The Project Gutenberg eBook of Harper's New Monthly Magazine, No. VII, December 1850, Vol. II

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Title: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, No. VII, December 1850, Vol. II

Author: Various

Release date: August 30, 2012 [eBook #40612]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Judith Wirawan, David Kline, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at





DECEMBER, 1850, TO MAY, 1851.

329 & 331 PEARL STREET,


In bringing the Second Volume of the New Monthly Magazine to a close, the Publishers would avail themselves of the occasion, to express their profound appreciation of the favor with which it has been received, and their earnest wish to render it still more deserving of the enlightened patronage of the American community. They commenced the publication with the firm conviction that it could be made the medium of valuable information and mental enjoyment to the great mass of readers, and that it would accordingly be sustained by their generous and cordial support. Nor have they been deceived in their anticipations. The Magazine has found a wider circulation with every monthly issue. The encomiums with which it has been welcomed by the universal voice of the press, and the verdict of intelligent readers, are a gratifying proof that the Publishers have succeeded in their endeavor to adapt it to the wants of the public mind. Encouraged by the experience of the first year of this extensive literary enterprise, they are determined to spare no effort to insure the succeeding volumes of the Magazine a still wider and more favorable reception among all classes of readers. They intend it to be a strictly national work. Devoted to no local interests, pledged to no religious sect or political party, connected with no favorite movement of the day, except the diffusion of intelligence, virtue, and patriotism, it will continue to be conducted with the impartiality and good faith, which it is equally the duty, the inclination, and the interest of the Publishers to maintain. In addition to the choicest productions of the English press, the Magazine will be enriched with such original matter as in their opinion will enhance its utility and attractiveness. The embellishments will be furnished by distinguished artists, and selected no less for their permanent value as vehicles of agreeable instruction than for the gratification of an æsthetic taste. With the ample literary, artistic, and mechanical resources which the Publishers have enlisted in the New Monthly Magazine, and their ambition to give it a character of genuine, substantial, reliable excellence in every department, they may assure its wide circle of patrons that its subsequent issues will more than justify the distinguished reputation which it has attained at this early period of its existence.


Actors and their Salaries403
A Death-Bed. By James Aldrich84
A Dream and the Interpretation Thereof816
Address to Gray Hair699
An Agreeable Surprise84
A little Stimulant361
Anecdote of a Dog97
Anecdote of a Hawk490
Anecdotes of Napoleon231
Anecdotes of Serpents663
Anecdotes of Wordsworth319
An Empty House103
An Excellent Match315
Apology for Burns334
Bachelor's Christmas399
Beauties of the Law543
Births:—Mrs. Meek of a Son672
Birth of Crime614
Bona Lombardi Brunoro155
Carol for the New Year396
Chapter on Bears546
Chapter on Dreams768
Chapter on Shawls39
Chapter on Wolves787
Charles Wolfe734
Cheerful Views of Human Nature242
Child Commodore641
Climate of Canada358
Colds and Cold Water110
Conflict of Love63
Courtesy of Americans846
Crisis in the Affairs of Mr. John Bull235
Crocodile Battery768
Crystal Palace584
Curiosities of Railway Traveling194
Curran, the Irish Orator497
Dangers of Doing Wrong226
Darling Dorel843
Death of a Goblin478
Death of Howard298
Death of John Randolph80
Dog and Deer of the Army407
Domestic Life of Alexander, Emperor of Russia99
Edible Birds'-Nests of China397
Efforts of a Gentleman in search of Despair521
Encounter with an Iceberg406
England in 1850. By Lamartine46
Escape of Queen Mary from Lochleven Castle22
Fair in Munich774
Fashions for December143
Fashions for Early Winter287
Fashions for Later Winter431
Fashions for Early Spring575
Fashions for Spring719
Fashions for May863
Fate of a German Reformer76
Five Minutes too Late647
Fidgety People662
Flowers in the Sick Room52
Freaks of Nature356
French Revolutionists, Marat, Robespierre, and Danton27
Gabrielle; or, The Sisters801
Gamblers of the Rhine61
General Rosas and the Argentine Republic484
German Picture of the Scotch25
Ghost-Stories of Chapelizod499
Give Wisely! An Anecdote121
Gunpowder and Chalk18
Habits and Amusements of the London Costermongers644
Haunts of Genius—Gray, Burke, Milton, Dryden, and Pope49
Heart of John Middleton449
History and Mystery of the Glass-House308
Horrors of War658
Household of Sir Thomas More616, 818
How to be Idolized640
Incident in the First French Revolution622
Invitation to the Zoological Gardens297
Jane Eccles; or, Confessions of an Attorney677
Judge Not626
Lamartine on the Religion of Revolutionary Men598
Land, Ho!—A Sketch of Australia357
Leaves from Punch

Preparatory Schools for Young Ladies; Ladies' Arithmetic; Netting for Ladies, 285. A False Apple-ation; A Tête-à-Tête; Expected out soon; Going down to a Watering-place; Attraction; 19th Cent'ry; Putting the Cart before the Horse; A Narrow Escape; Division of Labor; Animal Economy; A Holiday at the Public Offices, 429. Lectures on Letters; Punch on Special Pleading; Smithfield Club Cattle Show; Golden Opportunities; Universal Contempt of Court; Startling Fact, 569. 1851; Please, Sir, shall I hold your Horse? The Affairs of Grease; The War on Hats; Peace Offering; The Best Law Book; Justice for Bachelors; The Weather, a Drama for Every-Day Life; A Juvenile Party; the Kitchen Range of Art; Reward of Merit, 713. Encouragement to Book-Lenders; Diplomacy and Gastronomy, Supper at a Juvenile Party; One of the Juveniles after the Party; Conversation-Books for 1851; To find Room in a Crowded Omnibus; A File to Smooth Asperities; The Lowest Depth of Meanness; A Little Bit of Humbug, 859.

Letters and Letter Writing35
Literary Notices.

The Salamander; Spencer's Pastor's Sketches; Abbott's Madame Roland; Stanton's Sketches of Reforms and Reformers; Gorree's Churches and Sects of the United States; Cenotaph to a Woman of the Burman Mission; Fleetwood's Life of Christ; Banbridge's Scripture History for the Young; Poems by Grace Greenwood, 139. Hawthorne's Grandfather's Chair; The Green Hand; The New Englander; Bibliotheca Sacra; Maturin's Lyrics of Spain and Erin; Holmes's Astræa; De Quincey's Essays; Bigelow's Jamaica in 1851; Cantica Laudis; Young's Translations from Beranger, 140. Andersen's Tales; Gem of the Western World; Our Saviour with Prophets and Apostles; Sacred Scenes; National Cook-Book; Smith's Relations between Scripture and Geology, 141. Life and Works of John Adams; The Broken Bracelet; The Immortal; Boyd's edition of Paradise Lost; General View of the Fine Arts; Artist's Chromatic Hand-Book, 142. Reveries of a Bachelor; Richard Edney; Washburn's Issue of Philosophic Thought, 281. The Memorial; Evening of Life; Mrs. Knight's Memoir of Hannah More; Andrews' Latin Lexicon, 282. Smith's Classical Dictionary; Mansfield's American Education; The Ministry of the Beautiful; Green's History and Geography of the Middle Ages; Christian Melodies; Sketch of Fowell Buxton; The Manhattaner in New Orleans, 283. Redfield's Twelve Qualities of Mind; Winter in Madeira; Gems by the Wayside; The World's Progress; Vinet's Montaigne; Sumner's Orations; The Broken Bud; Bardouac; Fadette; Memoir of Alexander Waugh; Chanticleer, 284. Life and Times of Gen. Lamb; Memoir of James Handasyde Perkins; Humboldt's Religious Thoughts and Opinions; Balmes's Protestantism and Catholicity; Tappan's University Education, 425. Gilfillan's Bards of the Bible; Webster's Dictionary, 426. Celebrated Saloons; Home Ballads; History of my Pets; Cheever's Island World of the Pacific; Life of Summerfield; Greek Exile; Carpenter's Use and Abuse of Alcoholic Liquors; Mother's Recompense; The Diosma; Poems by S.G. Goodrich, 427. Woodbury's New Method of learning German; Poems by Frances A. and Metta V. Fuller; Lives of the Queens of Scotland; Pendennis; Southey's Life and Correspondence; Murray's Decline of Popery; Henry Smeaton, 428. The Howadji; Crumbs from the Land o' Cakes; De Quincey's Miscellaneous Essays; Hayward's Faust; Lavengro, 565. Abbott's Malleville; Practical Cook-Book; Foster's Discourse on Missions; Lewis's Restoration of the Jews; Anderson's Geography; The Dove and the Eagle; Carter's Publications, 566. Hildreth's United States; Lossing's Field Book; Du Barry's Progress of the United States; Salander and the Dragon, 567. The Prairie; Stanton's Address, and Street's Poem at Hamilton College; Lord Holland's Foreign Reminiscences; Jane Bouverie; Mayhew's London Labor and London Poor; The Moorland Cottage, 568. Johnson's California and Oregon, 709. Mount Hope, 710. Parnassus in Pillory, 711. Hawthorne's Twice Told Tales; Time the Avenger; Porter's Educational Systems of the Puritans and the Jesuits; Girlhood of Shakspeare's Heroines; Poetry from the Waverley Novels; Whipple's Essays and Reviews; Loomis's Geometry and Calculus; The City of the Silent; Blunt's Shipmaster's Assistant, 712. Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables, 855. Buttmann's Greek Grammar; Lee's Ecclesiastical Manual; Dixon's Life of Penn; The Rangers; Mulchinoch's Ballads; Foster's Christian Purity; Lyra Catholica, 856. The Soldier of the Cross; Field's Irish Confederates; Schmitz's History of Greece; Abbott's Franconia Stories; London Labor and the London Poor; Dwight's Roman Republic; De Quincey's Cæsars; Life on the Plains of the Pacific; Hints to Sportsmen, 857. Curran and His Contemporaries; Gayarre's Louisiana; Monge's Statics; Warreniana; Jung-Stilling's Pneumatology; Tuckerman's Poems; Theory of Effect; Volcano Diggings; Cooper's Wing and Wing; Irving's Conquest of Florida; Banker's Common-Place Book, 858.

Lively Turtle52
Lucy Cawthorne633
Lunatic Asylum in Palermo183
Madame Campan153
Mathematical Hermit627
Metal Founder of Munich516
Maurice Tiernay, the Soldier of Fortune. By Charles Lever173, 364, 468, 737
Michelet, the French Historian353
Milton and Wordsworth201
Mistakes in Personal Identity69
Modern Mummies321
Monthly Record of Current Events.

Political and General News.—State of feeling on the Compromise measures, 122. Letters of Washington Hunt to the Secession and Anti-Rent Conventions, 122. Meeting at Castle Garden; Letter of Mr. Webster; Nominations, 122. Constitution of Congress, 123. State Convention in Georgia, 123. Meeting at Macon, 123. State of Feeling in Georgia, 123. In South Carolina, 124. In Alabama; Gov. Collier declines to call a State Convention; Letter of Mr. Hilliard, 124. In Mississippi, 124. In Louisiana, 124. Letters of Senators Downs and Soulé; Letter from the Congressional delegation to the Governor, 124. Correspondence between Isaac Hill and Mr. Webster, 125. Dinner to Mr. Clayton, 125. Opening of Congress, 263. Message of President Fillmore, 133. Report of the Secretary of War, 264. Of the Secretary of the Navy, 265. Of the Postmaster General, 265. Of the Secretary of the Interior, 266. Bill for the protection of fugitives in Vermont, 267. Message of Gov. Ford of Virginia, 267. Of the Governor of Alabama, 267. Of Mississippi, 267. Union majority in Georgia, 267. Message of Gov. Bell of Texas, 268. Of Gov. Seabrook of South Carolina, 268. Of Gov. Brown of Florida, 268. The Nashville Convention, 268. Various Union meetings; and letters and speeches of Messrs. Webster, Choate, Stuart, Woodbury, Hilliard, and others, 268, 269, 270, 271. Reception of Mr. Clay in the Legislature of Kentucky, 271. Letters of Messrs. Hamilton, Poinsett, and Rush, 272. Speech of Mr. Clayton, 272. George Thompson, 272. General News from California, 272, 410, 556, 701. General news from Oregon, 273. Webster's reply to Hulsemann, 409, 848. Opening of the Legislature of New York, and Message of Gov. Hunt, 409. Message of Gov. Wright of Indiana, 410. Florida resolutions, 410. Of Gov. Johnston of Pennsylvania, 410. Boundary Commission, 411, 556, 701. Safety of the Steamer Atlantic, 555. Progress of measures in Congress, 555. Action of the Legislature of North Carolina in favor of Union, etc., 555. Indictment of Gov. Quitman, 556. Thanksgiving in Texas, 556. Loss of the John Adams, 556. Inaugural of Gov. Fort of New Jersey, 556. Letter of Gen. Houston in favor of Union, 556. Action for Union in Delaware, 556. Union meeting at Westchester, 556. Correspondence between a British consul and the Governor of South Carolina respecting imprisonment of colored seamen, 556. Indian hostilities in California, 556, 701. Gold Bluffs on Trinity River, 556, 701. Amount of gold shipped, 556. Adjournment of Congress, and notice of measures acted upon, 700. Measures for the relief of Kossuth, 700. The Postage bill, 700. Rescue of a fugitive slave in Boston, 701. Homestead exemption in Illinois, 701. Exemption in Delaware, 701. Free negroes in Iowa, 701. Germans in Texas, 701. Manufactures at the South, 701. Quiet after Excitement, 847. New York Common school law, 847. Canal enlargement bill, 847. Legislative visit to New York, 847. The sergeant-at-arms and the gamblers, 847. Ohio resolutions on the fugitive slave law, 847. Virginia Union resolutions, 847. General Union feeling at the South, 848. In South Carolina, 848. Mr. Hayne's disunion letter, 848. Senator Phelp's letter, 848. Amin Bey, 848. New Constitution of Ohio, 848. Virginia Constitutional Convention, 849. Socorro tragedy, 849.

Elections.—State elections in New York and New Jersey, 122. In Ohio and Massachusetts, 123. General Congressional result, 123. Election of U.S. Senators, 555, 701. Mr. Fish in New York, 555, 847.


Capture of slaves at Rio, 127. General news from Mexico, 273, 411, 557, 701, 849. Message of Herera, 457. Inauguration and speech of Arista as President, 557. Affairs in Nicaragua; discovery of gold; proceedings of Mr. Chatfield, the British consul, 557. Intelligence from Valparaiso, 557. Hostilities between Guatemala and San Salvador, 702. Gold in New Grenada, 702. Route across the isthmus through Lake Nicaragua, 702. Earthquake at Carthagena, 702. Peru, 702. Banishment of Buenos Ayreans from Bolivia, 702. Prohibition of the landing of liberated slaves in Brazil, 702.


Establishment of Catholic sees in England; Letter of Dr. Ullathorne, 125. Speech of Lord Stanley on Protection, 125. Tenant right in Ireland, 126. The Synod of Thurles, 126. Increase of Crime, 126. Submarine telegraph, 126, 132. Illumination on Arthur's Seat, 126. Speech of Prince Albert at York, 126. Consuming smoke at Manchester, 127. Emigration, 127. Movements for independence in New South Wales, 127. The Exhibition, 132, 274, 278, 419, 558, 704, 851. Bridge at Westminster, 133. New College at Glasgow, 133. Catholic excitement, 273, 558. Lord John Russell's Durham Letter, 273. Cardinal Wiseman's Appeal, 273. Law Reform, 273. Cotton in India, 274. Ornamental cemeteries in London, 278. Tax on telegraphs, 278. General view of the state of England, 411. Progress of the Catholic excitement, 413. Various addresses, speeches, deputations, etc., 414. Attempts to increase the supply of Cotton or to discover a substitute, 414. Famine in the Highlands, 415. Opposition of the Cunarders to the American steamers, 415. Increased value of silver, 415. Protest of the Bishops of the Episcopal Church in Ireland, 558. The surplus, 558. Austria demands the punishment of the assailants of Haynau, 558. Disturbances at the Cape of Good Hope, 558. Opening of Parliament; the Queen's Speech, 702. Ecclesiastical Titles Bill; Free-trade motion; unsatisfactory Budget, 703. Defeat of Ministers on franchise question; resignation of Ministers; attempt to form new cabinet, 704. Queen Adelaide's pension, 704. Petition for constitution for Cape of Good Hope, 704. Protestants of Dublin and Duke of Wellington, 704. Viceroyalty of Ireland, 704. Return of Cabinet to office, 848. Ecclesiastical Titles Bill mutilated, 849. Checks to Ministers, 850. Arsenic Bill, 850. Kaffir revolt, 850. Revolutionary Committee, 850. Miss Talbot and the Convent Bill, 850. Public execution, 850. Monster address, 850. Charges against Lord Torrington, 850. Coal-pit disaster, 850. Adulteration of food, 850. Hungarian refugees, 850. New expedition in search of Sir John Franklin, 851.


Pretended Republican plot, 127. The President's attempt to secure the army, 127. Quarrel between him and Changarnier, and between the Assembly and Gen. Hautpoul, who resigns, 128. Opening of the Assembly, and Message of the President, 275. Cavaignac and the President, 276. Letter from the Duke of Nemours, 276. General view of the state of France, 412. Credit passed for the army, 415. Public baths, 415. Bill for the observance of the Sabbath, 415. Luxury at the Elysée, 415. Progress of the quarrel between the President and the Assembly; dismissal of Changarnier; dissolution of the Ministries; President's tactics, 558, 704. Dotation to the President refused, and his consequent action, 704. Bill for the return of the Bourbons lost, 851. Speech of M. Dufraisse, 851. The Orleanists and Legitimists, 851. The Archbishop of Paris and the Bishop of Chartres, 851. Censure of M. Michelet, 851.


Hostilities in Schleswig-Holstein, 128. Catastrophe at Herrgott, 129. Forest conflagration in Poland, 129. Constitutions for Galicia and Bukowina, 129. Detailed statement of the German question, 274. Warlike aspect, 275. General view of the continent of Europe, 412. Peace prospects; Conference at Dresden, 415. Return of the Elector of Hesse Cassel, 416. Internal affairs of Austria, 416. Progress of affairs in the Dresden Conference; understanding between Austria and Prussia for the depreciation of the minor powers, 558, 705. Dresden Conference at fault, 851. Policy of Austria and Prussia, 852.


Address of Mazzini, 127. Overthrow of the Constitution and of liberty of the press in Tuscany, 129. Brigandage in the Roman States, 130, 705. General view of the state of the south of Europe, 413. Foreign troops in Rome, 416, 705. The Austrians in Venice, 416. Condition of Sardinia, 416. Disruption of the Spanish Cabinet, 416. Conspiracy under Mazzini, 705. Archbishop Hughes at Rome, 705. Liberal ministry in Piedmont, 705. Austrian movements, 852. Proclamations against political pamphlets, 852. Washington's birthday at Rome, 852. Protestant chapel, 852.


Contributions preparing for the Exhibition, 128. Affairs in India, 128. Mortality at Hong Kong, 129. Cotton in Bombay, 129. Insurrection in China, 129. The Hungarian refugees in Turkey, 129. Conspiracy at Teheran, 130. Collisions between the Turks and Christians, 276. Persecutions in Aleppo, 276. Disturbances in Syria, 276. Canal between the Mediterranean and Red Seas, 419. Napier's farewell, 705. Prospective annexations, 705. Suppression of insurrection in China, 705. Death of Lin, 705. Difficulties in Egypt, 705. Troubles at Bagdad, 705. Massacres in Southern Africa, 705.


United States.—Dinner to Mr. Webster at his native place, 130. Amin Bey, 130. M. Vattemare; Statue of Calhoun; Wm. W. Story; Wm. D. Gallagher, Prof. Filopanti; Daniel D. Barnard, 130. Crawford's Washington; bust of Allen; monument to Warren; movements of artists, 131. Gift-books and Annuals, 276. Lessing's Martyrdom of Huss, 277. Ehninger's etchings, 277. Academy of Design lectures, 277. Hawthorne, 277. Greek Slave, 277. Jenny Lind, 277, 852. Third ring of Saturn, 277. Cultivation of tea, 277. Darley's outlines, 277. Healey's portraits of Calhoun and Webster, 277. Power's statue of America, 279. Mr. Webster on the Mayflower, 416. Stephenson's statue of the Wounded Indian, 416. Panorama of Pilgrim's Progress, 417. Mount's Lucky Throw, 417. Powell's Burial of Fernando de Soto, 417. Prof. Hart's Female Prose Writers, 417. Mrs. Hale's Female Biography, 417. Mr. Putnam's new publications, 417. The Opera, 417. Paine's Water-gas, 417. Dembinski, 417. Public lectures by various individuals, 277, 559, 705. Presidential library, 559. Burns's birthday, 559. Dinner to Mr. Hoe, 559. Books, 559. Papers of Citizen Genet, 559. Talvi, 559. Panoramas, 705. Arrival of Tupper, 705. Celebration of Washington's birth-day, 706. Irving to Ichabod Crane, 706. Opening of Exhibition of Academy of Design, 852. Greenough's Pioneer, 852. Healey's Calhoun, 852. Pictures by Wright, Duggan, Stearns, and Richards, 852. Tupper as a lion, 853. Calhoun's Life and Works, 853. Works of Alexander Hamilton, 853. Taylor's El-Dorado in German, 853. First cotton sent to Liverpool, 853. Dr. Goadby's insects, 853. Acquittal of the Cuban invaders, 853.

Foreign.—Miss Howard's donation for hospital for widows, 126. Sir John Franklin, 126, 132. Levi's Commercial Law, 131. Wordsworth; Mazzini; Southey; Sir Robert Peel, 131. Idiots, 132. Delaroche's Napoleon crossing the Alps, 132. Monument to Elliott; Tindal, 132. Artists at Rome, 133. Duke of Wellington's sanctum, 133. Gutzlaff, 133. Government of the Sandwich Islands, 133. French exhibition of pictures, 134. Theatrical censorship, 134. Joan of Arc, 134. Madame de Genlis, 134. The woorari, 134. Suspension bridge across the Straits of Dover, 134. Barral and Bixio, 135. Sundry German books, 135, 422. Statues to Thaer, Gustavus Adolphus, Tegner, and Plettenberg, 135. Lessing's Martyrdom of Huss, 135. Literary Society at Jerusalem, 135. Polish literature, 135. Ticknor's Spanish Literature in German, 136. Portrait of Constantine, 136. New locomotive, 136. Meyerbeer, 136. Statue of Bavaria, 136. Kinkel, 136. Miscellanies, 137, 138, 278. Literary pensions, 278, 560. The Princess D'Este and the literary fund, 278. French voting machine, 279. New aerostatic machine, 279. Rossini; Armand Marrast; Jehan le Bel, 279. A common meridian, 279. Snail telegraph, 279. Beranger, 280. Mock Message of the President of France, 280. Theatrical quarrels in Brussels, 280. Heinrich Heine, 280. Works of art for the King of Bavaria and the Emperor of Russia, 280. Written language in Western Africa, 418. Earl of Carlisle's lectures, 418. Walter Savage Landor, 418. The Napiers, 418. Dr. Johnson and the Welsh bard, 418. Lawrence's portrait of Peel, 418. Copyright to foreigners in England, 418. Copying telegraph, 419. Monument to the Duke of Cambridge, 419. London charities, 419. Windsor Reward Society, 419. Ragged Schools, 419. Sale of the effects of O'Connell, 419. French telegraphs, 419. Guizot on Washington and Monk, 420. Toussaint Louverture, 420. St. Prix on Constitutional Law, 420. Effect of the French Revolution on newspapers, 420. Cemeteries in Paris, 420. Carl Ferd. Becker, 420. Bruno Bauer, 421. Brockhaus, 421. The Leipzig Book-Fair, 422. Rauch's Monument to Frederick the Great, 422. Tunnel under the Neva, 422. Translations into Russian, 422. Books prohibited in Italy, 423. Destruction of vase in the Vatican, 423. Oersted, 423. Passion-play at Ammergau, 423. Life of Foscolo, 423. D'Arlincourt's L'Italie Rouge, 423. Statue to Olbers, 423. Scandinavian literature, 423. Lamartine, 560, 706. Bad spelling, 560. St. Peter's chair, 560. Layard, 560. Last survivor of Cook's voyages, 561. Sir Roger de Coverley's chaplain redivivus, 561. Fossils as manure, 561. New classical works in Germany, 561. Mohammedan histories, 561. Ewald's Commentary, 561. Miss Martineau's new work, 706. Mrs. Sherwood, 706. Knowles as a controversialist, 706. England as it is, 706. Austrian view of Hungarian affairs, 706. Newton's way of living, 706. Sundry Books, 706. Remuneration of literature, 706. Talmudic refinements, 707. Knight and Chambers on paper-tax, 707. MSS. of Richelieu, 707. George the Fourth, and the library in the Museum, 707. Appleyard on the Kaffir language, 707. Signals in fog, 708. Velocity of light, 707. Hail in India, 708. Essence of milk, 708. Deutches Museum, 853. Causeries du Lundi, 853. Rare old editions, 853. Unique edition of La Fontaine, 853. Victor Hugo, 853. New work of Origen, 853. Germania, 1850, 853. Yeast: a Problem, 854. Landor to Duncan, 854. Dahomey and the Dahomans, 854. Dynamical Theory of the Earth, 854. Memoirs of a Literary Veteran, 854. Hartley Coleridge, 854.


Richard M. Johnson, 125. Watkins; Lenau; Becker; Rottman; Thomaschek, 133. Garnier, 134. Henry Fitzmaurice Hallam, 279. Gustav Schwab; Count Brandenburgh; M. Alexandre; M. Sauve; Gen. Bonnemain; Sir L. St. G. Skeffington; Mr. Raphall; M. Motteley; Lord Nugent; Karl Aug. Espe; Martin D'Auche, 424. D.S. Kaufman, 556. Mr. Ritchie, 560. Audubon, 561. Bem, 563. Viscount Alford; Duke of Newcastle; Bastiat; Maxwell the novelist; Prof. Schumacher, 564. Commissioner Lin, 705. Marquis of Northampton; John Pye Smith; Charles Coquerel; Spontini, 708. Mrs. Shelley; Joanna Baillie, 709. Isaac Hill; Mordecai M. Noah, 854. General Brooke; Commodore Wadsworth; Samuel F. Jarvis; John S. Skinner, 855.

Morning with Moritz Retzsch509
My Novel; or, Varieties in English Life. By Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton85, 251, 382, 524, 682, 825
Mysteries of a Tea-Kettle246
New Phase of Bee-Life488
Napoleon and the Pope791
Night of Terror in a Polish Inn41
Night with an Earthquake810
Not all Alone554
Notes on the Nile491
Novelty Iron Works; with Description of Marine Steam Engines, and their construction. By Jacob Abbott721
Passion for collecting Books397
Personal Appearance and Habits of Robert Southey145
Phantoms and Realities457, 601, 753
Pilchard Fishery on the Coast of Cornwall630
Plate Glass668
Plea for British Reptiles813
Prison Anecdote628
Public Opinion and the Press192
Punch on Birds, Balloons, and Boluses396
Rattlin the Reefer's Dream31
Rats and Rat-Killers202
Recollections of Chantrey322
Recollections of Sir Robert Peel328
Reminiscence of the French Revolution480
Robber Outwitted544
Robber's Revenge195
Sailing in the Air168, 323
Saturday in a London-Market656
Sketches from Life372
Sketch of a Miser620
Sketch of my Childhood. By De Quincey156, 302
Sloped for Texas187
Spring. By James Thomson433
Story of Fine-Ear482
Story of Giovanni Belzoni947
Story of Silver-Voice and her Sister Zoë762
Street Music in London67
Tale of Shipwreck335
The Broken Heart; or, the Well of Pen-Morfa205
The Champion.—An Incident in Spanish History781
The Deserted Village. By Goldsmith1
The Dumb Child194
Factory Boy660
The Fairy Queen517
The Farm Laborer.—The Father674
The Farm Laborer.—The Son784
The Fugitive King at Boscobel10
The Ghost that appeared to Mrs. Wharton72
The Gipsy in the Thorn-Bush338
The Golden Age120
The Kaffir Trader341
The Marriage Settlement330
The Queen's Tobacco-Pipe513
The Stolen Fruit.—A Story of Napoleon's Childhood822
The Talisman.—A Fairy Tale348
The Traveler. By Goldsmith289
The Unlawful Gift55
The Unnamed Shell747
The Watcher665
The Wife's Stratagem778
The Woodstream346
Thomas Harlowe599
Uncle John; or, The Rough Road to Riches840
Victims of Science698
Visit to a Colliery340
Visit to a Copper Mine652
Visit to an English Dairy165
Volcano Girl188
Voyage in Search of Sir John Franklin588
Waiting for the Post238
Washington Irving577
Waste of War810
What becomes of all the pins?597
Wilberforce and Chalmers824
William Cullen Bryant581
William Penn's Conversion to Quakerism613
Winter Vision359
Wordsworth and Carlyle201
Young Man's Counselor213


1. Portrait of Goldsmith1
2. The hawthorn bush1
3. To spurn imploring famine from the gate2
4. Beside the bed where parting life was laid3
5. The village master taught his little school4
6. The village ale-house5
7. The coy maid half willing to be press'd5
8. As some fair female unadorned and plain6
9. Here, while the courtier glitters in brocade7
10. The poor, houseless, shivering female lies7
11. Her fond husband strove to lend relief8
12. As rocks resist the billows and the sky9
13. Sketch of John Randolph of Roanoke80
14. Visiting and Ball Costumes for December143
15. Evening Costume144
16. Coiffure for Ball144
17. Portrait of Southey145
18. Vale of Watenlath148
19. Southey's Tomb152
20. Portrait of Madame Campan153
21. Portrait of Bona Lombardi Brunoro155
22. Portrait of De Quincey156
23. Preparatory School for Young Ladies285
24. Costumes for Winter287
25. Head-Dress and Corsage288
26. Bonnet288
27. Or where Campania's plain forsaken lies289
28. As some lone miser visiting his store290
29. The sports of children satisfy the child291
30. The Swiss their stormy mansions tread291
31. Breasts the air, and carols as he goes292
32. Where snow-tracks mark the way292
33. And dance, forgetful of the noontide hour293
34. Embosom'd in the deep where Holland lies294
35. Brighter streams than famed Hydaspes294
36. Talent sinks, and merit weeps unknown295
37. From their homes, a melancholy train296
38. Riding the Elephant297
39. Poking Fun at the Bear297
40. The Pelican at Feed297
41. Fellows of the Zoological Society298
42. A false Apple-ation429
43. A Tête-à-Tête429
44. Expected out soon429
45. Going down to a Watering-place429
46. Attraction429
47. Nineteenth Cent'ry429
48. Putting the Cart before the Horse430
49. A Narrow Escape430
50. Division of Labor430
51. Animal Economy430
52. A Holiday at the Public Offices430
53. Costumes for Later Winter431
54. Ball Costume432
55. Bonnets432
56. Head-Dress432
57. Come gentle Spring433
58. Lend their shoulder, and begin their toil434
59. Wafts all the pomp of life into your ports434
60. The deer rustle through the brake435
61. Blazing straw before his orchard burns435
62. The shower is scarce to patter heard436
63. While yet man lived in innocence437
64. The song went round, and dance437
65. Throw nice judging the delusive fly439
66. You gayly drag your unresisting prize439
67. Together let us tread the morning dews440
68. Gather fresh flowers to grace thy hair440
69. A gentle pair, by fortune sunk442
70. They weeping eye their infant train442
71. Hazel pendent o'er the plaintive stream443
72. On the aerial summit takes the gale444
73. Through Hagley Park, thy British Tempè445
74. On the bank thrown amid drooping lilies446
75. In soft anguish he consumes the day446
76. Woos the bird of eve to mingle woes446
77. Still interrupted by distracted dreams446
78. The garden to the view its vistas open447
79. By degrees the human blossom blows448
80. Delightful task! to rear the tender thought448
81. The Parcels Conveyance Company569
82. Oscillation illustrated569
83. Legendary G569
84. Historical H569
85. Selfish Ends570
86. Pneumatical K570
87. A Stilted Subject570
88. Pisces570
89. How doth the little busy Bee570
90. Cock Robin570
91. Assisting a pupil up the Gamut571
92. Yawning571
93. A startling Fact574
94. Costumes for Early Spring575
95. Morning Costume576
96. Velvet Bonnet576
97. Ribbon Bonnet576
98. White Silk Bonnet576
99. Portrait of Irving577
100. Irving's Residence580
101. Portrait of Bryant581
102. Bryant's Residence583
103. The Great Exhibition Building585
104. Installing the Crow's Nest588
105. Surrounded by Icebergs591
106. The Prince Albert in Danger593
107. The Arctic Discovery Ships at Midnight594
108. Please, Sir, shall I hold your Horse713
109. Bachelor's Bedroom714
110. Married Couple's Bedroom714
111. Elderly Servant715
112. Youthful Attendant715
113. A Juvenile Party717
114. Reward of Merit718
115. Costumes for Spring719
116. Coiffure720
117. Satin Bonnet720
118. Miss's Straw Bonnet720
119. View of the Novelty Works721
120. Entrance to the Novelty Works722
121. Plan of the Novelty Works723
122. View of a Marine Steam-Engine725
123. Cutting Engine726
124. Bending and Punching Engines726
125. Boring Engine727
126. Riveting the Boilers727
127. Filling the Ladles728
128. Casting a Cylinder728
129. The Explosion729
130. Digging out the Cylinder729
131. The Forges730
132. Heating a Shaft731
133. Forging a Shaft731
134. The Lathes732
135. Finishing732
136. Departure of the Steamer Pacific733
137. Encouragement to Book-Lenders859
138. Supper at a Juvenile Party860
139. A Juvenile after the Party861
140. A Little Bit of Humbug862
141. Promenade Costumes for May863
142. Evening Costume864
143. Morning Promenade Costume864
144. Head-Dresses864

[Pg 1]


No. VII.—DECEMBER, 1850.—Vol. II.



Oliver Goldsmith
Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain,
Where health and plenty cheer'd the laboring swain,
Where smiling spring its earliest visit paid,
And parting summer's lingering blooms delay'd—
Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease,
Seats of my youth, when every sport could please—
How often have I loiter'd o'er thy green,
Where humble happiness endear'd each scene;
How often have I paus'd on every charm—
The sheltered cot, the cultivated farm,
The never failing brook, the busy mill,
The decent church that topp'd the neighboring hill,
The hawthorn bush with seats beneath the shade
For talking age and whispering lovers made;
How often have I bless'd the coming day
When toil remitting lent its turn to play,
And all the village train from labor free,
Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree—
While many a pastime circled in the shade,
The young contending as the old survey'd,
And many a gambol frolick'd o'er the ground,
And sleights of art and feats of strength went round:
And still, as each repeated pleasure tir'd,
Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspir'd—
The dancing pair that simply sought renown
By holding out to tire each other down,
The swain mistrustless of his smutted face
[Pg 2] While secret laughter titter'd round the place,
The bashful virgin's sidelong looks of love,
The matron's glance that would those looks reprove.
These were thy charms, sweet village! sports like these,
With sweet succession, taught even toil to please;
These round thy bowers their cheerful influence shed;
These were thy charms—but all these charms are fled.
Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the lawn,
Thy sports are fled, and all thy charms withdrawn;
Amid thy bowers the tyrant's hand is seen,
And desolation saddens all thy green:
One only master grasps the whole domain,
And half a tillage stints thy smiling plain.
No more thy glassy brook reflects the day,
But chok'd with sedges works its weedy way;
Along thy glades, a solitary guest,
The hollow-sounding bittern guards its nest;
Amid thy desert-walks the lapwing flies,
And tires their echoes with unvaried cries;
Sunk are thy bowers in shapeless ruin all,
And the long grass o'ertops the mouldering wall;
And, trembling, shrinking from the spoiler's hand,
Far, far away thy children leave the land.
Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates and men decay;
Princes and lords may flourish, or may fade—
A breath can make them, as a breath has made;
But a bold peasantry, their country's pride,
When once destroy'd, can never be supplied.
A time there was, ere England's griefs began,
When every rood of ground maintain'd its man:
For him light labor spread her wholesome store,
Just gave what life requir'd, but gave no more;
His best companions, innocence and health,
And his best riches, ignorance of wealth.
But times are altered; trade's unfeeling train
Usurp the land, and dispossess the swain:
Along the lawn, where scatter'd hamlets rose,
Unwieldy wealth and cumbrous pomp repose:
And every want to opulence allied,
And every pang that folly pays to pride.
These gentle hours that plenty bade to bloom,
Those calm desires that ask'd but little room,
Those healthful sports that grac'd the peaceful scene,
Liv'd in each look and brighten'd all the green—
These, far departing, seek a kinder shore,
And rural mirth and manners are no more.
Sweet Auburn! parent of the blissful hour,
Thy glades forlorn confess the tyrant's power.
Here, as I take my solitary rounds
Amid thy tangling walks and ruin'd grounds,
And, many a year elaps'd, return to view
Where once the cottage stood, the hawthorn grew—
Remembrance wakes with all her busy train,
Swells at my breast, and turns the past to pain.
In all my wanderings round this world of care,
In all my griefs—and God has given my share—
I still had hopes, my latest hours to crown,
Amid these humble bowers to lay me down;
To husband out life's taper at the close,
And keep the flame from wasting by repose.
I still had hopes, for pride attends us still,
Amid the swains to show my book-learn'd skill—
Around my fire an evening group to draw,
And tell of all I felt, and all I saw;
And as an hare, whom hounds and horns pursue,
Pants to the place from whence at first she flew,
I still had hopes, my long vexations pass'd,
Here to return—and die at home at last.
O bless'd retirement, friend to life's decline,
Retreats from care, that never must be mine!
How happy he who crowns, in shades like these,
A youth of labor with an age of ease;
Who quits a world where strong temptations try—
And, since 'tis hard to combat, learns to fly.
For him no wretches, born to work and weep,
Explore the mine, or tempt the dangerous deep,
No surly porter stands, in guilty state,
[Pg 3] To spurn imploring famine from the gate;
But on he moves, to meet his latter end,
Angels around befriending virtue's friend—
Bends to the grave with unperceiv'd decay,
While resignation gently slopes the way—
And, all his prospects brightening to the last,
His heaven commences ere the world be pass'd.
Sweet was the sound, when oft at evening's close
Up yonder hill the village murmur rose.
There as I pass'd, with careless steps and slow,
The mingling notes came soften'd from below:
The swain responsive as the milkmaid sung,
The sober herd that low'd to meet their young,
The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the pool,
The playful children just let loose from school,
The watch-dog's voice that bay'd the whispering wind,
And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind—
These all in sweet confusion sought the shade
And fill'd each pause the nightingale had made.
But now the sounds of population fail,
No cheerful murmurs fluctuate in the gale,
No busy steps the grass-grown footway tread,
For all the bloomy flush of life is fled—
All but yon widow'd, solitary thing,
That feebly bends beside the plashy spring,
She, wretched matron—forced in age, for bread,
To strip the brook with mantling cresses spread,
To pick her wintry faggot from the thorn,
To seek her nightly shed, and weep till morn—
She only left of all the harmless train,
The sad historian of the pensive plain!
Near yonder copse, where once the garden smil'd,
And still where many a garden-flower grows wild—
There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose,
The village preacher's modest mansion rose.
A man he was to all the country dear;
And passing rich with forty pounds a year.
Remote from towns he ran his godly race,
Nor e'er had chang'd, nor wish'd to change, his place;
Unpractic'd he to fawn, or seek for power
By doctrines fashion'd to the varying hour.
Far other aims his heart had learn'd to prize—
More skill'd to raise the wretched than to rise.
His house was known to all the vagrant train,
He chid their wanderings, but reliev'd their pain:
The long remember'd beggar was his guest,
Whose beard descending swept his aged breast;
The ruin'd spendthrift, now no longer proud,
Claim'd kindred there, and had his claims allow'd.
The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay,
Sat by his fire, and talk'd the night away—
Wept o'er his wounds, or, tales of sorrow done,
Shoulder'd his crutch and show'd how fields were won.
Pleas'd with his guests, the good man learn'd to glow,
And quite forgot their vices in their woe;
Careless their merits or their faults to scan,
His pity gave ere charity began.
Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride,
And even his failings lean'd to virtue's side—
But in his duty, prompt at every call,
He watch'd and wept, he pray'd and felt for all:
And, as a bird each fond endearment tries
To tempt its new-fledg'd offspring to the skies,
He tried each art, reprov'd each dull delay,
Allur'd to brighter worlds, and led the way.
Beside the bed where parting life was laid,
[Pg 4] And sorrow, guilt, and pain by turns dismay'd,
The reverend champion stood: at his control
Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul;
Comfort came down the trembling wretch to raise,
And his last faltering accents whisper'd praise.
At church with meek and unaffected grace,
His looks adorn'd the venerable place;
Truth from his lips prevail'd with double sway,
And fools who came to scoff remain'd to pray.
The service pass'd, around the pious man,
With steady zeal, each honest rustic ran;
Even children follow'd, with endearing wile,
And pluck'd his gown, to share the good man's smile:
His ready smile a parent's warmth express'd,
Their welfare pleas'd him, and their cares distress'd.
To them his heart, his love, his griefs were given,
But all his serious thoughts had rest in heaven:
As some tall cliff, that lifts its awful form,
Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm
Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread
Eternal sunshine settles on its head.
Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way,
With blossom'd furze unprofitably gay—
There, in his noisy mansion, skill'd to rule,
The village master taught his little school.
A man severe he was, and stern to view;
I knew him well, and every truant knew:
Well had the boding tremblers learn'd to trace
The day's disasters in his morning face;
Full well they laugh'd with counterfeited glee
At all his jokes, for many a joke had he;
Full well the busy whisper, circling round,
Convey'd the dismal tidings when he frown'd—
Yet he was kind, or if severe in aught,
The love he bore to learning was in fault.
The village all declar'd how much he knew;
'Twas certain he could write, and cipher too,
Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage—
And even the story ran that he could gauge.
In arguing too, the parson own'd his skill,
For even though vanquish'd he could argue still;
While words of learned length and thundering sound
Amaz'd the gazing rustics rang'd around—
And still they gaz'd, and still the wonder grew
That one small head could carry all he knew.
But pass'd is all his fame: the very spot,
Where many a time he triumph'd, is forgot.
Near yonder thorn, that lifts its head on high,
Where once the sign-post caught the passing eye,
Low lies that house where nut-brown draughts inspir'd.
Where gray-beard mirth and smiling toil retir'd,
Where village statesmen talk'd with looks profound.
And news much older than their ale went round.
Imagination fondly stoops to trace
The parlor splendors of that festive place:
The whitewash'd wall, the nicely sanded floor,
[Pg 5]
The varnish'd clock that click'd behind the door—
The chest contriv'd a double debt to pay,
A bed by night, a chest of drawers by day—
The pictures plac'd for ornament and use,
The twelve good rules, the royal game of goose—
The hearth, except when winter chill'd the day,
With aspen bows, and flowers, and fennel gay—
While broken tea-cups, wisely kept for show,
Rang'd o'er the chimney, glistened in a row.
Vain, transitory splendors! could not all
Reprieve the tottering mansion from its fall?
Obscure it sinks; nor shall it more impart
[Pg 6] An hour's importance to the poor man's heart:
Thither no more the peasant shall repair
To sweet oblivion of his daily care;
No more the farmer's news, the barber's tale,
No more the woodman's ballad shall prevail;
No more the smith his dusky brow shall clear,
Relax his ponderous strength, and lean to hear;
The host himself no longer shall be found
Careful to see the mantling bliss go round;
Nor the coy maid, half willing to be press'd,
Shall kiss the cup to pass it to the rest.
Yes! let the rich deride, the proud disdain,
These simple blessings of the lowly train—
To me more dear, congenial to my heart,
One native charm, than all the gloss of art.
Spontaneous joys, where nature has its play,
The soul adopts, and owns their first-born sway—
Lightly they frolic o'er the vacant mind,
Unenvied, unmolested, unconfin'd;
But the long pomp, the midnight masquerade,
With all the freaks of wanton wealth array'd,
In these, ere triflers half their wish obtain,
The toiling pleasure sickens into pain—
And, even while fashion's brightest arts decoy,
The heart distrusting asks, if this be joy.
Ye friends to truth, ye statesmen who survey
The rich man's joys increase, the poor's decay—
'Tis yours to judge how wide the limits stand
Between a splendid and an happy land
Proud swells the tide with loads of freighted ore,
And shouting folly hails them from her shore;
Hoards even beyond the miser's wish abound,
And rich men flock from all the world around;
Yet count our gains: this wealth is but a name
That leaves our useful product still the same.
Not so the loss. The man of wealth and pride
Takes up a space that many poor supplied—
Space for his lake, his park's extended bounds,
Space for his horses, equipage, and hounds;
The robe that wraps his limbs in silken sloth
Has robbed the neighboring fields of half their growth;
His seat where solitary sports are seen,
Indignant spurns the cottage from the green;
Around the world each needful product flies,
For all the luxuries the world supplies;
While thus the land adorn'd for pleasure—all
In barren splendor feebly waits the fall.
As some fair female unadorn'd and plain,
Secure to please while youth confirms her reign
Slights every borrow'd charm that dress supplies,
Nor shares with art the triumph of her eyes—
But when those charms are pass'd, for charms are frail,
When time advances, and when lovers fail—
She then shines forth, solicitous to bless,
In all the glaring impotence of dress.
Thus fares the land, by luxury betray'd:
In nature's simplest charms at first array'd—
But verging to decline, its splendors rise,
Its vistas strike, its palaces surprise;
While, scourg'd by famine, from the smiling land
The mournful peasant leads his humble band—
And while he sinks, without one arm to save,
The country blooms—a garden and a grave.

Where then, ah! where shall poverty reside,
To 'scape the pressure of contiguous pride?
If to some common's fenceless limits stray'd
He drives his flock to pick the scanty blade,
Those fenceless fields the sons of wealth divide,
And even the bare-worn common is denied.

If to the city sped—what waits him there?
To see profusion that he must not share;
To see ten thousand baneful arts combin'd
To pamper luxury, and thin mankind;
To see those joys the sons of pleasure know,
Extorted from his fellow-creatures' woe:
Here, while the courtier glitters in brocade,
[Pg 7] There the pale artist plies the sickly trade;
Here, while the proud their long-drawn pomps display,
There the black gibbet glooms beside the way.
The dome where pleasure holds her midnight reign,
Here, richly deck'd, admits the gorgeous train—
Tumultuous grandeur crowds the blazing square,
The rattling chariots clash, the torches glare.
Sure scenes like these no troubles e'er annoy:
Sure these denote one universal joy!
Are these thy serious thoughts?—ah! turn thine eyes
[Pg 8] Where the poor houseless shivering female lies.
She once, perhaps, in village plenty bless'd,
Has wept at tales of innocence distress'd—
Her modest looks the cottage might adorn,
Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the thorn;
Now lost to all—her friends, her virtue fled,
Near her betrayer's door she lays her head—
And, pinch'd with cold, and shrinking from the shower,
With heavy heart deplores that luckless hour
When idly first, ambitious of the town,
She left her wheel, and robes of country brown.
Do thine, sweet Auburn! thine, the loveliest train,
Do thy fair tribes participate her pain?
Even now, perhaps, by cold and hunger led,
At proud men's doors they ask a little bread.
Ah, no! To distant climes, a dreary scene,
Where half the convex world intrudes between,
Through torrid tracts with fainting steps they go,
Where wild Altama murmurs to their woe.
Far different there from all that charm'd before,
The various terrors of that horrid shore;
Those blazing suns that dart a downward ray,
And fiercely shed intolerable day—
Those matted woods where birds forget to sing
But silent bats in drowsy clusters cling—
Those poisonous fields with rank luxuriance crown'd
Where the dark scorpion gathers death around—
Where at each step the stranger fears to wake
The rattling terrors of the vengeful snake—
Where crouching tigers wait their hapless prey,
And savage men more murderous still than they—
While oft in whirls the mad tornado flies,
Mingling the ravag'd landscape with the skies.
Far different these from every former scene;
The cooling brook, the grassy-vested green,
The breezy covert of the warbling grove,
That only shelter'd thefts of harmless love.
Good Heaven! what sorrows gloom'd that parting day,
That call'd them from their native walks away,
When the poor exiles, every pleasure pass'd,
Hung round their bowers, and fondly look'd their last,
And took a long farewell, and wish'd in vain
For seats like these beyond the western main—
And shuddering still to face the distant deep,
Return'd and wept, and still return'd to weep.
The good old sire, the first, prepar'd to go
To new-found worlds, and wept for others' woe—
But for himself, in conscious virtue brave,
He only wish'd for worlds beyond the grave;
His lovely daughter, lovelier in her tears,
The fond companion of his helpless years,
Silent went next, neglectful of her charms,
And left a lover's for a father's arms;
With louder plaints the mother spoke her woes,
And bless'd the cot where every pleasure rose,
And kiss'd her thoughtless babes with many a tear,
And clasp'd them close, in sorrow doubly dear—
While her fond husband strove to lend relief
In all the silent manliness of grief.

O luxury! thou curs'd by Heaven's decree,
How ill exchang'd are things like these for thee;
How do thy potions, with insidious joy,
[Pg 9] Diffuse their pleasures only to destroy!
Kingdoms by thee, to sickly greatness grown,
Boast of a florid vigor not their own;
At every draught more large and large they grow,
A bloated mass of rank, unwieldy woe—
Till sapp'd their strength, and every part unsound,
Down, down they sink, and spread a ruin round.
Even now the devastation is begun,
And half the business of destruction done;
Even now, methinks, as pondering here I stand,
I see the rural virtues leave the land;
Down, where yon anchoring vessel spreads the sail,
That idly waiting flaps with every gale,
Downward they move—a melancholy band—
Pass from the shore, and darken all the strand,
Contented Toil and hospitable Care,
And kind connubial Tenderness, are there—
And Piety with wishes plac'd above,
And steady Loyalty, and faithful Love.
And thou, sweet Poetry! thou loveliest maid,
Still first to fly where sensual joys invade,
Unfit in these degenerate times of shame
To catch the heart, or strike for honest fame—
Dear, charming nymph, neglected and decried,
My shame in crowds, my solitary pride—
Thou source of all my bliss, and all my woe,
That found'st me poor at first, and keep'st me so—
Thou guide by which the nobler arts excel,
Thou nurse of every virtue—fare thee well.
Farewell! and oh! where'er thy voice be tried,
On Tornea's cliffs or Pambamarca's side,
Whether where equinoctial fervors glow,
Or winter wraps the polar world in snow,
Still let thy voice, prevailing over time,
Redress the rigors of the inclement clime.
Aid slighted Truth: with thy persuasive strain
Teach erring man to spurn the rage of gain;
Teach him, that states of native strength possess'd,
Though very poor, may still be very bless'd;
That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay,
As ocean sweeps the labor'd mole away—
While self-dependent power can time defy,
As rocks resist the billows and the sky.

[Pg 10]



Boscobel House, which has obtained so much historical celebrity, in connection with the romantic adventures of Charles II., after his defeat at Worcester, is situated in Shropshire, on the borders of Staffordshire, lying between Tong Castle and Brewood. It was built in the reign of James I., by John Giffard, Esq., a Roman Catholic gentleman, who, when it was completed, having invited his neighbors to a house-warming feast, requested his friend, Sir Basil Brook, to give his new-built mansion a name. Sir Basil called it "Boscobel," from the Italian word, boscobella, because it was seated in the midst of many fair woods. The founder of the house had caused various places of concealment to be constructed, for the purpose of affording shelter to proscribed persons of his own religion, whom the severity of the penal laws often compelled to play at hide and seek, in queer corners.

The first fugitive of note who sought refuge, in his distress, at Boscobel House, was the unfortunate Earl of Derby, whose defeat at Bolton-le-Moors, near Wigan, was the precursor to that of the young king at Worcester, eight days later. The Earl of Derby, having escaped from his lost battle, with Colonel Roscarrock and two servants, got into the confines of Shropshire and Staffordshire, where he had the good luck to encounter an old friend, Mr. Richard Snead, an honest gentleman of that country, to whom he told the news of his own overthrow, and inquired if he knew of any private house, near at hand, where he might repose himself and his company in safety, till he could find an opportunity of joining the king. Mr. Snead, like a good Samaritan, conducted his noble friend to Boscobel House, where they arrived on Friday, August 29th, but found no one at home, except William Penderel, the housekeeper, and his wife, who, on their own responsibility, ventured to receive the noble cavalier, his companion, and servants, and kindly entertained them till the Sunday; and then, according to the earl's desire, conveyed them safely to Gataker Park, nine miles on their way to Worcester, where he arrived in time to take his part in that engagement which was emphatically styled by Stapylton, the roundhead, "the setting of the young king's glory."

The Earl of Derby and Colonel Roscarrock were in close attendance on Charles's person during the retreat from Worcester. They all made a stand on Kinner Heath, on the road to Kidderminster, as the night set in, to hold a consultation, when his majesty, being very tired, inquired of them and Lord Wilmot, "If they thought there was any place where he might venture to take a few hours' rest?" The Earl of Derby told him, "how, in his flight from Wigan to Worcester, he had met with that rara avis, a perfectly honest man, and a great convenience of concealment at Boscobel House; which, nevertheless, he thought it his duty to inform his majesty, was the abode of a recusant." At another time, some of the party might have objected to the young sovereign going to such quarters, but the danger being so imminent, now it was suggested, "that these people being accustomed to persecutions and searches, were most likely to possess the most ingenious contrivances to conceal him." At all events, the king made up his mind to proceed thither. When this decision was made known to Lord Talbot, he called for a young kinsman of the recusant master of Boscobel, Mr. Charles Giffard, who was fortunately among the sixty cavaliers who still shared the fortunes of their fugitive king. Lord Talbot inquired of this gentleman, if he could conduct his majesty to Boscobel. Charles Giffard cheerfully undertook to do so, having with him a servant of the name of Yates, who understood the country perfectly.

At a house about a mile beyond Stourbridge, the king drank a little water, and ate a crust of bread, the house affording no better provision. After this scanty refection, his majesty rode on, discoursing apart with Colonel Roscarrock about Boscobel House, and the security which he and the Earl of Derby had enjoyed at that place. Another privy-council was held, in the course of the journey, between the king and his most trusty friends, at which it was agreed, that the secret of his destination was too important to be confided to more than a select few of his followers; and Charles Giffard was asked if it were not possible to conduct him, in the first instance, to some other house in the neighborhood, the better to mask his design of concealing himself at Boscobel. The young cavalier replied, "Yes, there was another seat of the Giffards, about half a mile from Boscobel—Whiteladies; so called from its having been formerly a monastery of Cistercian nuns, whose habit was white." On which the king, and about forty of the party, separating themselves from the others, proceeded thither, under his faithful guidance. They arrived at break of day; and Giffard, alighting from his horse, told the king "that he trusted they were now out of immediate danger of pursuit." George Penderel, who had the charge of the house, opened the doors, and admitted the king and his noble attendants; after which, the king's horse was brought into the hall, and they all entered into an earnest consultation how to escape the fury of their foes; but their greatest solicitude was for the preservation of the king, who was, for his part, both tired and hungry with his forced march. Col. Roscarrock immediately dispatched a boy, of the name of Bartholomew Martin, to Boscobel, for William Penderel: Mr. Charles Giffard sent for another of these trusty brethren, Richard Penderel, who lived at Hobbal Grange, hard by. Both speedily obeyed the summons, and were brought into the parlor, where they[Pg 11] found their old acquaintance, the Earl of Derby, who introduced them into the inner parlor, which formed then the presence chamber of their throneless sovereign: the earl, reversing the order of courtly etiquette on this occasion, instead of presenting these two noble men, of low degree, to their royal master, he presented him to them; addressing himself in particular to William Penderel, and pointing at his majesty, he said, "This is the king; thou must have a care of him, and preserve him, as thou didst me."

William, in the sincerity of an honest heart, promised that he would do so, while Charles Giffard was at the same time exhorting Richard Penderel to have an especial care of his charge.

The loyal associates next endeavored to effect a transformation in the personal appearance of their royal master, by subjecting him to a process very similar to that technically styled by gipsies, "cutting a horse out of his feathers." In the first place, Richard Penderel trimmed off his majesty's flowing black ringlets in a very blunt and irreverent fashion, using his woodman's bill, which he happened to have in his girdle, instead of scissors, none being at hand, and time being too precious to stand on ceremony. His majesty was then advised to rub his hands on the back of the chimney, and with them to besmear his face, to darken his peculiar Italian-like complexion with a more swarthy tint. This done, he divested himself of his blue ribbon and jeweled badge of the Garter, and other princely decorations, his laced ruff and buff coat, and put on a noggen coarse shirt belonging to Edward Martin, a domestic living in the house, and Richard Penderel's green suit and leathern doublet, but had not time to be so exactly disguised as he was afterward, for both William and Richard Penderel warned the company to use dispatch, because there was a troop of rebels, commanded by Col. Ashenhurst, quartered at Cotsal, but three miles distant, some of which troop arrived within half an hour after the noble company was dispersed.

Richard Penderel conducted the king out through a back door, unknown to any of his followers, except a trusted few of the lords, who followed him into the back premises, and as far as an adjacent wood, belonging to the domain of Boscobel, called Spring Coppice, about half a mile from Whiteladies, where they took a sorrowful farewell of him, leaving him under the watchful care of three of the trusty Penderel brethren—William, Humphrey, and George. The Earl of Derby and the other gentlemen then returned to their comrades at Whiteladies, where, mounting in hot haste, with the intrepid Charles Giffard for their conductor, they scoured off on the north road; but a little beyond Newport they were surrounded by the rebels, and after some resistance, were made prisoners. Charles Giffard contrived to effect his escape from the inn at Banbury, where they halted, but the loyal Earl of Derby, who had sacrificed his own personal safety by resigning to his sovereign the little city of refuge at Boscobel, instead of occupying it himself, was subjected to the mockery of a pretended trial by the rebels, and beheaded, although he had only surrendered on a solemn promise of receiving quarter—promises which were never regarded by Cromwell and his associates. The cool-blooded malignity with which, in his dispatch, announcing his triumph at Worcester, Cromwell points out the noble captives, whom the fortunes of war had placed in his magnanimous hands, to his merciless tools as "objects of their justice," what was it but signing their death-warrants by anticipation, before the mock trials took place of the fore-doomed victims? and how revolting, after that death-whoop, appears the Pharisaical cant of his concluding sentences:

"The dimensions of this mercy are above my thoughts—it is, for aught I know, a crowning mercy. I am bold humbly to beg that the fatness of these continued mercies may not occasion pride and wantonness, as formerly the like hath done to a chosen people."

If Cromwell had understood the true meaning of the Saviour's words, "I will have mercy, and not sacrifice," he would probably have acted more like a Christian and written less like a Jew.

"But to return," saith the quaint chronicler of Boscobel, "to the duty of my attendance on his majesty in Spring Coppice. By that time Richard Penderel had conveyed him to the obscurest part of it, it was about sun-rising on Thursday morning, and the heavens wept bitterly at these calamities, insomuch that the thickest tree in the wood was not able to keep his majesty dry, nor was there any thing for him to sit on; wherefore Richard went to Francis Yates's house, a trusty neighbor, who had married his wife's sister, where he borrowed a blanket, which he folded and laid on the ground for his majesty to sit on." A three-legged stool would have been a luxury, at that comfortless period, to the throneless monarch, who claimed three realms as his rightful inheritance.

Richard Penderel, when he borrowed the blanket of his sister-in-law, the good-wife Yates, considerately begged her to provide a comfortable breakfast and bring it to him, at a place which he appointed in the wood. She presently made ready a mess of milk, and brought it, with bread, butter, and eggs, to the cold, wet, and half-famished king. Charles was, at first, a little startled at her appearance, but, perceiving she came on a kindly errand, he frankly appealed to her feminine compassion in these words:

"Good woman, can you be faithful to a distressed cavalier?"

"Yes, sir," she replied; "I will die rather than discover you!"

The king, well satisfied with the honest plainness of her answer, was able to eat with a hearty relish the simple fare she had brought[Pg 12] him. In the course of that day, he made up his mind to leave his woodland retreat, and endeavor to get into Wales. Richard Penderel, having consented to attend him in the capacity of a guide, conducted him first to his own house, Hobbal Grange, "where the old good-wife Penderel had not only the honor to see his majesty," pursues our authority, "but to see him attended by her son." A greater honor far, it was for her to feel that she was the mother of five sons, whom all the wealth of England would not have bribed, nor all the terrors of a death of torture intimidated, to betray their fugitive sovereign to those who thirsted for his blood. Cornelia, the mother of the Gracchi, had less reason to feel proud of her filial jewels, than this rustic English matron of her brave Shropshire lads. She had lost a sixth son, who had been slain fighting in the cause of King Charles I. Hobbal Grange was the paternal farm where these six brethren, William, John, Richard, Humphrey, Thomas, and George, were born. Thomas, George, and John, had all enlisted in the service of the late king, and fought for him as long as he had an army in the field; William was the house steward at Boscobel; Humphrey was the miller at Whiteladies; and Richard rented a part of his mother's farm and house, Hobbal Grange; he also pursued the business of a woodman. At Hobbal Grange, the king's disguise was completed, and he was furnished with a woodman's bill, to enable him the better to act the part of Richard Penderel's man, and it was agreed that he should assume the name of Will Jones. When all these arrangements had been made, and his homely supper ended, his majesty set out at nine o'clock, with intent to walk that night to Madely, in Shropshire, about five miles from Whiteladies, within a mile of the river Severn, which he would have to cross, in order to get into Wales.

Charles found his clouted shoes so uneasy to his feet on this pedestrian journey, that more than once he was fain to walk without, as less painful. About two miles from Madely, in passing Evelin Mill, the king and his trusty guide got an alarm; for Richard unwittingly permitting the gate to clap, the miller came out and challenged them, by asking, gruffly, "Who was there?" Richard, to avoid him, hastily drew the king out of the usual track, and led him through a brook, which they were compelled to ford, and the king's shoes getting full of water increased the uneasiness of his galled and blistered feet. His majesty was afterward wont, in recounting this adventure, to say, that "here he was in great danger of losing his guide, but the rustling of Richard's calf-skin breeches was the best direction he had to follow him in that dark night."

Charles was unconscious at the time how near he was to a party of his own friends, who had just taken refuge in Evelin Mill, and that the honest miller who had caused him so much alarm and distress by his challenge, was only doing his duty by the fugitive cavaliers in keeping guard to prevent a surprise from skulking foes or spies.

His majesty arrived at Madely about midnight, in weary plight; Richard conducted his royal master to the house of a loyal gentleman there, of the name of Woolf, on whose integrity he knew he could rely. The family had retired to rest, but Richard took the liberty of knocking till Mr. Woolf's daughter came to the door and inquired, "Who that late comer was?" he replied, "The king." An announcement that would, doubtless, have put any young lady into a flutter at a period less disastrous to royalty but such was the tragic romance of the epoch, that persons of all classes were familiarized to the most startling events and changes; the only source of surprise to honest gentlefolks was, the circumstance of finding their heads safe on their own shoulders in the midst of the horrors of military executions, which nearly decimated that neighborhood. Miss Woolf neither questioned the fact, nor hesitated to imperil herself and family by receiving the proscribed fugitive within her doors. She knew the integrity of Richard Penderel, and appreciated the tribute he paid to her courage and her truth, by confiding such a trust to her. The king refreshed and reposed himself beneath this hospitable roof for awhile, but as the rebels kept guard upon the passage of the Severn, and it was apprehended that a party of them, who were expected to pass through the town, might quarter themselves, which frequently happened, in that house, it was judged safer for the royal stranger to sleep in the adjacent barn. His majesty accordingly retired thither, attended by his trusty guide and life-guardsman, Richard Penderel, and remained concealed in that humble shelter the whole of the next day.

The intelligence which Mr. Woolf procured, meantime, was such as to convince him that it would be too hazardous for the king to attempt to prosecute his journey into Wales, and that the best thing he could do would be to return to Boscobel House, as affording facilities for his concealment till a safer opening for his retreat could be found. The king being of the same opinion, it was resolved that he should retrace his steps the next night, and meantime, his hands not being considered sufficiently embrowned for the character he personated, Mrs. Woolf brought some walnut-leaves and stained them. At eleven o'clock, he and the faithful Richard Penderel resumed their march, but midway between Madely and Boscobel, Charles was so completely overcome with grief, fatigue, and the pain he endured from his blistered feet, in his attempts to walk in the stiff shoes, that at last he flung himself on the ground, "declaring life was not worth the struggle of preserving, and that he would rather die than endure the misery he suffered." Richard gave him such comfort as his kindly nature suggested, and bidding him be of good cheer, and wait God's time for better fortunes, at last persuaded him to make a successful effort to reach Boscobel.[Pg 13] They arrived in the immediate vicinity about three o'clock on the Sunday morning; Richard left his majesty in the wood, while he went to reconnoitre, not knowing whether a party of Cromwell's soldiers might not have occupied the house in their absence. Fortunately, he found no one there but William Penderel, his wife, and the brave cavalier, Colonel Carlis, who had been the last man to retreat from Worcester, and, having succeeded in making his escape, had been for some time concealed in Boscobel Wood, and had come to ask relief of William Penderel, his old acquaintance. Richard informed him and William Penderel that the king was in the wood, and they all three went to pay their devoir, and found his majesty sitting, like melancholy Jacques, on the root of a tree. He was very glad to see the colonel, and proceeded with him and the Penderels to Boscobel House, and there did eat bread and cheese heartily, and, as an extraordinary treat, William's wife, whom his majesty was pleased to address merrily by the title of "My dame Joan," made a posset for him of thin milk and small beer—no "very dainty dish," one would think, "to set before a king;" but doubtless, in his present condition, more acceptable than the most exquisite plate of dilligrout that was ever served up by the lord of the Manor of Bardolf, cum privilegio, at the coronation banquet of any of his royal predecessors.

"My dame Joan" also performed another charitable service for her luckless liege lord, by bringing some warm water to bathe his galled and travel-soiled feet. Colonel Carlis pulled off his majesty's shoes, which were full of gravel, and his wet stockings, and there being no other shoes that would fit the royal fugitive, the good wife rendered these still more stiff and uncomfortable, in her zeal to dry them, by putting hot embers in them while the colonel was washing his master's feet.

When his majesty was thus refreshed, they all united in persuading him to go back into the wood, having great reason to apprehend that the roundhead troopers, who were then hunting the country round with blood-hounds, on a keen scent for their prey, would come and search Boscobel House. Humphrey Penderel, the miller, had been to Shefnal the day before, to pay some military imposts to the roundhead Captain Broadwaye, at whose house he encountered one of Cromwell's colonels, who had just been dispatched from Worcester in quest of the king. This man, having learned that the king had been at Whiteladies, and that Humphrey dwelt in that immediate neighborhood, examined him strictly, and laid before him both the penalty of concealing the royal fugitive "which," he said, "was death without mercy, and the reward for discovering him, which should be a thousand pounds ready money."

Neither threats nor bribes could overcome the loyal integrity of the stout-hearted miller, who pleaded ignorance so successfully that he was dismissed, and hastening, to Boscobel, brought the alarming tidings of the vicinity of the soldiers, and the price that had been set on his majesty's head.

The danger of his remaining in Boscobel House being considered imminent, it was determined by the faithful brothers to conceal the king and Colonel Carlis, whose life was in no less danger than that of his master, in a thick spreading oak. Having made choice of one which appeared to afford the greatest facility for concealment, they assisted the king and Colonel Carlis to ascend it, brought them such provisions as they could get, and a cushion for the king to sit on. In this unsuspected retreat they passed the day. The king having gone through much fatigue, and taken little or no rest for several nights, was so completely worn out, that having placed himself in a reclining position, with his head resting on Colonel Carlis's knee, he fell asleep, and slumbered away some hours—the colonel being careful to preserve him from falling.

Pope's popular, but long suppressed line,

"Angels who watched the royal oak so well,"

always makes me think that he must have been familiar with the following incident which my father's mother, Elizabeth Cotterel, who was the grand-daughter of a cadet of the old loyal family of that name, in Staffordshire, and maternally descended from one of the honest Penderel brothers, was accustomed to relate as a fact, derived from family tradition, connected with the perils and hair-breadth escapes of Charles II., at Boscobel.

"The roundhead troopers," she said, "having tracked the king, first to Whiteladies, and then to Boscobel Forest, were led, by the keen scent of their bloodhounds, just at the twilight hour, to the very tree in which he and Colonel Carlis were hidden. The traitors, a sergeant and five others of the same company, made a halt under the Royal Oak, and began to reconnoiter it, while their dogs came baying and barking round about the trunk. Suddenly the leaves began to rustle, and one of the villains cried out,

"'Hallo! some one is surely hidden here!—look how the branches shake.'

"'It will be worth a thousand pounds to us if it be the young king,' said another.

"Then the sergeant asked 'who would volunteer to ascend the tree, and earn a larger share of the reward by taking the supposed prize alive;' but, as no one appeared willing to risk the chance of encountering a clapperclawing from the royal lion, dealt from a vantage height, he was just giving the word for them to fire a volley into the tree, 'when, by the grace of God,'" the old lady would add, with impressive solemnity, "a white owl flew out from the thickest covert of the branches and screeched 'fie upon them!' as well she might; whereupon the false traitors hooted out a curse as bitter as that of Meroz on the poor bird, and growled to each other 'that it was she that had misled[Pg 14] their dogs, and had stirred the leaves withal, to mock themselves; howsomever, they would have a shot at her, to teach her better manners than to screech at the soldiers of the Lord.' But though five of the sorry knaves banged off their musketoons at the harmless bird, not one of them was marksman enough to hit a feather of her. Lastly, the sergeant took out a printed copy of the proclamation, promising 'the reward of a thousand pounds for the apprehension of the young man, Charles Stuart, eldest son of the late King Charles,' and fastened it on the trunk of the royal oak where his majesty was sitting in the branches above them, hearing all they said, and an eye-witness of their treason."

The breathless interest which this oral chronicle was wont to excite among juvenile loyalists of the third generation may be imagined, but the old lady had another tradition, of yet more thrilling import, engraven on the tablets of her memory, "derived, like the first," as she declared, "from those who could well vouch for its authenticity." As it forms a curious sequel to the other, and is really too good to be lost, I take leave to relate it, without expecting my readers to put the same degree of faith in my grandmother's traditionary lore as I have always been dutifully accustomed to do.

"The roundhead sergeant and his comrades, after they had retired from the vicinity of the royal oak, proceeded to Hobbal Grange, to refresh themselves at the expense of Richard Penderel, where, finding his wife alone, rocking the cradle of her infant boy, who was not well and very fractious, they, after she had brought out the best perry and mead the house afforded began to cross-question her about the king's previous appearance at Whiteladies, and, as they had done by her brother-in-law, Humphrey Penderel, to ply her with alternate threats and temptations, in order to induce her to discover any thing she might have learned on the subject. The amount of the reward for the apprehension of the royal fugitive had hitherto been concealed by Richard from his wife, probably from the painful consciousness of her weak point. At any rate, she heard it now with astonished ears, and the sergeant, in confirmation of his statement, displayed one of the printed copies of the proclamation to that effect. 'A thousand pounds!—a sum beyond her powers of calculation! The price of blood!—what then? Some one would earn it, why should not she?' She held parley with her besetting sin, and her desire of 'the accursed thing' grew stronger. At that moment her husband appeared, followed by the disguised king, who, cramped and exhausted with sitting so many hours in the tree, was coming to her hearth to warm and refresh himself, unconscious what unwelcome guests were already in possession of the Grange. The young wife hastened to Richard Penderel, showed him the paper, and whispered—

"'What is the king to us? A thousand pounds would make our fortunes.'

"'I'll cleave thy skull next moment, woman, an' thou dost,' was Richard Penderel's stern rejoinder, grasping his wood-ax with a significant gesture.

"He spoke in a tone which, though so low as to be audible to no other ear than hers, thrilled every vein in her body with terror. She knew he was a man who never broke his word, and she trembled lest the suspicions of the sergeant and his gang should have been excited by the emotions betrayed by her husband and herself during their brief passionate conference. She glanced at them, and saw they were watching her husband and scrutinizing the disguised king, who, yielding to the force of habit, had forgot his assumed character of Richard's serving-man so far as to seat himself uninvited on the only unoccupied stool in the room. Luckily, the cross baby, offended at the presence of so many strangers, set up his pipes, and began to scream and cry most lustily; at which Mistress Richard Penderel, affecting to be in a violent passion, snatched him out of the cradle, and thrusting him into the arms of the astonished king, on whom she bestowed a sound box on the ear at the same time, exclaimed, 'Thou lazy, good-for-naught fellow, wilt thou not so much as put out thy hand to rock the cradle? Take the boy to thee, and quiet him; he makes such a brawling, thy betters can't hear themselves speak.'

"The baby, finding himself in the hands of an unpracticed male nurse, continued to scream, and the mother to scold, till the sergeant rose up, with a peevish execration, implying that he would rather hear the roar of all the cannon that were fired at Worcester, than a chorus like that; and giving the word to his company, marched off in the full persuasion that Charles was the awkwardest lout in Shropshire, and his mistress the bitterest shrew he had seen for many a day."

After this alarm, it was judged better for the king to return to Boscobel House, and betake himself to the secret place of concealment, where the Earl of Derby had been safely hidden before the battle of Worcester. Dame Joan had provided some chickens that night, and cooked them in her best style for supper, for her royal guest—a dainty to which he had been unaccustomed for some time. She also put a little pallet in the secret recess for his majesty's use, who was persuaded to let William Penderel shave him, and cut his hair close with a pair of scissors, according to the country fashion. Colonel Carlis told the king, "Will was but a mean barber;" his majesty replied, "That he had never been shaved by any barber before," and bade William burn the hair he cut off. William, however, carefully preserved the royal locks, as precious memorials of this adventure, which were afterward in great request among the noble families of the neighborhood, who were eager to obtain the smallest portion of those relics.

After supper, Colonel Carlis asked the king, "What meat he would like for his Sunday's[Pg 15] dinner?" his majesty said, "Mutton, if it might be had." Now, there was none in the house, and it was considered dangerous for William to go to any place to purchase it; so Colonel Carlis repaired to Mr. William Staunton's fold, chose the fattest sheep there, stuck it with his dagger, and sent Will Penderel to bring it home.[1]

On Sunday morning, Charles, finding his dormitory none of the best, rose early, and entering the gallery near it, was observed to spend some time in prayer. After the fulfillment of this duty, which was doubtless performed with unwonted fervency, "his majesty, coming down into the parlor, his nose fell a bleeding, which put his poor faithful servants in a fright," till he reassured them, by saying it was a circumstance of frequent occurrence. He was very cheerful that day, and merrily assisted in cooking some mutton-collops from the stolen sheep provided by Colonel Carlis, on which subject he was afterward fond of joking with that devoted companion of his perils. The Penderel brothers, keeping watch and ward, in readiness to give the alarm, if any soldiers approached the mansion, the king felt himself in a state of security, "and spent some part of this Lord's-day in a pretty arbor in Boscobel Garden, situated on a mount, with a stone table and seats within. In this place, he passed some time in reading, and commended it for its retiredness."

John Penderel having, meantime, brought the welcome intelligence that Lord Wilmot, to whom he had acted as guide when he left Whiteladies, had found a safe asylum at the house of Mr. Whitgreave, of Mosely, the king sent him back to inform those gentlemen "that he would join them there at twelve that night." The distance being about five miles, John returned to tell his majesty they would be in readiness to meet him there.

The king not being yet recovered from the effect of his walk to Madely and back, it was agreed that he should ride on Humphrey's mill-horse, which was forthwith fetched home from grass, and accoutred with a pitiful old saddle and worse bridle. Before mounting, the king bade farewell to Colonel Carlis, who could not safely attend him, being too well known in that neighborhood.

The night was dark and rainy, dismal as the fortunes of the fugitive king, who, mounting Humphrey's mare, rode toward Mosely, attended by an especial body-guard of the five Penderels and their brother-in-law, Francis Yates; each of these was armed with a bill and pikestaff, having pistols in their pockets. Two marched before, one on each side their royal charge, and two came behind, a little in the rear—all resolutely determined, in case of danger, to have shown their valor in defending as well as they had done their fidelity in concealing their distressed sovereign. After some experience of the horse's paces, the king declared, "It was the heaviest, dull jade he ever bestrode." Humphrey, who was the owner of the beast, wittily replied—

"My liege, can you blame the mare for going heavily when she bears the weight of three kingdoms on her back?"

When they arrived at Penford Mill, within two miles of Mr. Whitgreave's house, his majesty was recommended by his guides to dismount, and proceed the rest of the way on foot, being a more private path, and nearer withal. At last, they arrived at the place appointed, which was a little grove of trees, in a close near Mr. Whitgreave's house, called Lea Soughes. There, Mr. Whitgreave and Mr. John Huddleston, the priest, met his majesty, in order to conduct him, by a private way, to the mansion, Richard and John Penderel, and Francis Yates continuing their attendance, but William, Humphrey, and George returned to Boscobel with the horse. Charles, not quite aware of this arrangement, was going on without bidding them farewell, but turning back, he apologized to them in these words:

"My troubles make me forget myself: I thank you all."

And so, giving them his hand to kiss, took a gracious leave of those true liegemen.

Mr. Whitgreave conducted the king into the secret chamber occupied by Lord Wilmot, who was expecting his return with great impatience, fearing lest the king should have missed his way, or been taken. As soon as Wilmot saw his royal master, he knelt and embraced his knees, and Charles, deeply moved, kissed him on the cheek, and asked, with much solicitude:

"What has become of Buckingham, Cleveland, and the others?"

Wilmot could only answer, doubtfully, "I hope they are safe." Then turning to Mr. Whitgreave and Huddleston, to whom he had not then confided the quality of the fugitive cavalier for whom he had requested this asylum, he said:

"Though I have concealed my friend's name all this while, I must now tell you this is my master, your master, and the master of us all."

Charles gave his hand to Whitgreave and Huddleston for them to kiss, and after commending their loyalty, and thanking them for their fidelity to his friend, which, he assured them, he never should forget, desired to see the place of concealment he was to occupy. Having seen it, and expressed his satisfaction, he returned to Lord Wilmot's chamber, where, his nose beginning to bleed again, he seated himself on the bedside, and drew forth such a pocket-handkerchief as was never seen in royal hands before, but it accorded with the rest of his array. Charles was dressed, at that time, in an old leathern doublet, a pair of green breeches, and a peasant's upper garment, known[Pg 16] in this country by the name of a "jump coat," of the same color; a pair of his own stockings, with the tops cut off, because they were embroidered, a pair of stirrup stockings over them, which had been lent him at Madely; a pair of clouted shoes, cut and slashed, to give ease to the royal feet, an old gray, greasy hat, without a lining, and a noggen shirt, of the coarsest manufacture. Mr. Huddleston, observing that the roughness of this shirt irritated the king's skin so much as to deprive him of rest, brought one of his own, made of smooth flaxen linen, to Lord Wilmot, and asked, "If his majesty would condescend to make use of it?" which Charles gladly did. Mr. Huddleston then pulled off his majesty's wet, uncomfortable shoes and stockings, and dried his feet, when he found that some white paper, which had been injudiciously put between his stockings and his skin, having got rucked and rolled up, had served to increase, instead of alleviating the inflammation.

Mr. Whitgreave brought up some biscuits and a bottle of sack, for the refreshment of his royal guest, who, after he had partaken of them, exclaimed, with some vivacity,

"I am now ready for another march; and if it shall please God to place me once more at the head of eight or ten thousand good men, of one mind, and resolved to fight, I should not despair of driving the rogues out of my kingdom."

Day broke, and the king, feeling in need of repose, was conducted to the artfully concealed hiding-place, where a pallet was placed for his accommodation, for his host durst not put him into a bed in one of the chambers.

After some rest taken in the hole, which was unfortunately too close and hot to allow of comfortable repose, Charles rose, and seeing Mr. Whitgreave's mother, was pleased to greet her with great courtesy, and to honor her with a salute. His place, during the day, was a closet over the porch, where he could see, unseen, every one who came up to the house.

That afternoon, a party of the roundhead soldiers arrived, with intent to arrest Mr. Whitgreave, having had information that he had been at Worcester fight.

"If," said Lord Wilmot to him, "they carry you off, and put you to the torture, to force you to confession, I charge you to give me up without hesitation, which may, perhaps, satisfy them, and save the king."

Charles was then lying on Mr. Huddleston's bed, but his generous host, instead of caring for his own danger, hurried him away into the secret hiding place; then, setting all the chamber doors open, went boldly down to the soldiers, and assured them that the report of his having been in the battle of Worcester was untrue, for he had not been from his own home for upward of a fortnight; to which all his neighbors bearing witness, the soldiers not only left him at liberty, but departed without searching the house.

The same day, only a few hours after his majesty had left Boscobel, two parties of the rebels came thither in quest of him. The first, being a company of the county militia, searched the house with some civility, but the others, who were Captain Broadwaye's men, behaved in a very ruffianly manner, searched the house with jealous scrutiny, plundered it of every thing portable, and after devouring all the little stock of provisions, presented a pistol at William Penderel, to intimidate him into giving them some information, and much frightened "my dame Joan," but failed to extort any confessions touching the royal guest who had so recently departed. They also paid a second visit to Whiteladies, and not only searched every corner in it, but broke down much of the wainscot, and finished by beating a prisoner severely who had been frightened into informing them that he came in company with the king from Worcester to that place, and had left him concealed there.

On the Tuesday, old Mrs. Whitgreave, who did her best to amuse her royal guest, by telling him all the news she could collect, informed him that a countryman, who had been up to the house that morning, had said "that he heard that the king, on his retreat, had rallied and beaten his enemies at Warrington Bridge, and that three kings had come in to his assistance."

"Surely," rejoined Charles, with a smile, "they must be the three kings of Cologne come down from heaven, for I can imagine none else."

Looking out of his closet window, that day, Charles saw two soldiers pass the gate, and told Mr. Huddleston, "he knew one of them to be a Highlander of his own regiment, who little thought his king and colonel were so near."

Mr. Huddleston had three young gentlemen under his care for education, staying in the same house—young Sir John Preston, Mr. Thomas Patyn, and Mr. Francis Reynolds. These he stationed at several garret windows that commanded the road, to watch and give notice if they saw any soldiers approaching, pretending to be himself in danger of arrest. The youths performed this service with diligent care all day, and when they sat down to supper, Sir John said merrily to his two companions, "Come, lads, let us eat heartily, for we have been upon the life-guard to-day."

Lord Wilmot's friend, Colonel Lane, of Bentley, had, previously to the king's arrival, offered to pass him on to Bristol, as the escort of his sister, Mrs. Jane Lane, who had fortunately obtained from one of the commanders, a passport for herself and her groom to go to Bristol, to see her sister, who was near her confinement. This offer Lord Wilmot had actually accepted, when John Penderel, bringing him word that the king was coming to Mosely, he generously transferred that chance for escape to his royal master. Lord Wilmot, having apprised the colonel and fair mistress Jane of the king's intention to personate her groom, Colonel[Pg 17] Lane came, by appointment, on Tuesday night, between twelve and one, to the corner of Mr. Whitgreave's orchard, to meet and convey his majesty to Bentley. The night was dark, and cold enough to render the loan of a cloak, which Mr. Huddleston humbly offered for his sovereign's use, extremely acceptable. Charles took his leave courteously of old Mrs. Whitgreave, whom he kissed, and gave many thanks for his entertainment, and used warm expressions of gratitude to her son and Mr. Huddleston, telling them, "that he was very sensible of the danger with which their concealing him might be attended to themselves," and considerately gave them the address of a merchant in London, who should have orders to supply them with money, and the means of crossing the sea, if they desired to do so, and promised, "if ever God were pleased to restore him to his dominions, not to be unmindful of their services to him." They knelt and kissed his hand, and prayed Almighty God to bless and preserve him, then reverentially attended him to the orchard, where Mr. Whitgreave told Colonel Lane "he delivered his great charge into his hands, and besought him to take care of his majesty."

Charles proceeded safely to Bentley with Colonel Lane, where, as he was to perform the part of a menial, he was under the necessity of taking a seat by the kitchen fire, next morning, to prevent suspicion.

The cook, observing that he appeared an idle hand, ordered him to "have a care that the roast meat did not burn"—a command that must have reminded the incognito majesty of England of the adventure of his illustrious ancestor, Alfred, in the herdsman's cottage, when he got into disgrace with the good wife by not paying a proper degree of attention to the baking of the cakes.

The same morning, we are told, a person suspected of being a spy and informer, coming into Colonel Lane's kitchen, and casting a scrutinizing eye on the king, observed that he was a stranger, and began to ask a leading question or two, when one of the servants, who knew his royal master, and feared he would commit himself, gave him two or three blows with the basting ladle, and bade him "mind his own business, which was to keep the spit going, and not turn round to prate, or he would get basted by the cook."

Charles only staid at Bentley, till some articles of Colonel Lane's livery could be prepared for his use, before he escorted Mrs. Jane Lane to Bristol, she riding on a pillion behind him, and Lord Wilmot following at a little distance. Mistress Jane conducted herself with great prudence and discretion to the royal bachelor during the journey, treating him as her master when alone, and as her servant before strangers. When they arrived at the house of her sister, Mrs. Norton, in Bristol, the first person the king saw was one of his own chaplains sitting at the door, amusing himself with looking at some people playing at bowls. His majesty, after performing his duty as Colonel Lane's servant, by taking proper care of the horse which had carried him and his fair charge from Bentley, left the stable, and came into the house, feigning himself sick of the ague, Mrs. Jane having suggested that device as an excuse for keeping his room, which she had caused to be prepared for him. The butler, who had been a royalist soldier in the service of Charles I., entering the room to bring the sick stranger some refreshment, as soon as he looked in his pale woe-worn face, recognized the features of his young king, and falling on his knees, while the tears overflowed his cheeks, exclaimed,

"I am rejoiced to see your majesty."

"Keep the secret from every one, even from your master," was the reply, and the faithful creature rendered implicit obedience. He, and Mrs. Jane Lane, constituted Charles's Privy Council at Bristol. No ship being likely to sail from that port for a month to come, the king considered it dangerous to remain there so long. He therefore repaired to the residence of Colonel Wyndham, in Dorsetshire, where he was affectionately welcomed by that loyal cavalier and his lady, who had been his nurse. The venerable mother of the colonel, though she had lost three sons and one grandchild in his service, considered herself only too happy to have the honor of receiving him as her guest.

Finally, after adventures too numerous to be recorded here, the fugitive king succeeded in securing a passage toward the end of October, in a little bark from Shoreham to Dieppe, where he landed in safety, more than forty persons, some of them in very humble circumstances, having been instrumental to his escape, not one of whom could be induced by the large reward offered by the Parliament for his apprehension, to betray him.

A certain eloquent Scotch essayist, who endeavors to apologize for the conduct of Algernon Sidney, and other worthies of his party, in accepting the bribes of France by impugning the integrity of the English character, and goes so far as to express a doubt whether there were an honest man to be met with at that epoch, save Andrew Marvel, appears to have forgotten the glorious instances of stainless honesty and virtue afforded by the Penderel brothers, and other noble men of all degrees, who proved themselves superior to all temptations that could be offered.

When England had, by general acclamation, called home her banished king, the five Shropshire brothers were summoned to attend him at Whitehall, on Wednesday, the 13th of June, 1661, when his majesty was pleased to acknowledge their faithful services, and signified his intention of notifying his gratitude by a suitable reward, inquiring if they had any particular favor to ask. They only asked an exemption from the penal laws, with liberty for[Pg 18] themselves and their descendants to enjoy the free exercise of their religion, being members of the Romish church. This request was granted, and their names, together with those of their kinswoman Mrs. Yates, Mr. Huddleston, and Mr. Whitgreave, were especially exempted in the statute from the pains and penalties of recusancy.

King Charles granted a moderate pension to them and their descendants for ever.

"The Oak," says a contemporary, whose pleasant little chronicle of Boscobel was published in 1660, the year of the restoration, "is now properly called 'The Royal Oake of Boscobel,' nor will it lose that name while it continues a tree: and since his majesty's happy restoration that those mysteries have been revealed, hundreds of people for many miles round, have flocked to see the famous Boscobel, which, as you have heard, had once the honor to be the palace of his sacred majesty, but chiefly to behold the Royal Oake, which has been deprived of all its young boughs by the visitors of it, who keep them in memory of his majesty's happy preservation."

Charles himself subsequently made a pilgrimage to the scene of his past troubles: when he visited the Royal Oak, he was observed to gather a handful of the acorns. Some of these he planted with his own hand in Saint James's Park. A promising young tree, which sprang from one of these acorns, which Charles had planted in the queen's pleasure garden, within sight of his bed-chamber, in Saint James's Palace, and was accustomed to water and tend with great pleasure, was called the King's Royal Oak, and had become an object of interest to the people as a relic of that popular sovereign; but was destroyed by Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, as soon as her husband obtained the grant of the ground on which it stood, for the site of Marlborough House. This was regarded as an outrage on popular feeling.

Of all our national commemorations, that of the restoration of monarchy, on the 29th of May, held the strongest hold on the affections of the people; the firmness with which they continued to observe that anniversary for a century after the expulsion of the royal line of Stuart, affords a remarkable proof of the constitutional attachment of this country to the cause of legitimacy. As long as that feeling lasted, the grave of William Penderel, in St. Giles's church-yard, was duly decked with oaken garlands by nameless loyalists of low degree, as often as the 29th of May came round; and men, women, and children wore oak leaves and acorns in memory of the fact,

"That Penderel the miller, at risk of his blood,
Hid the king of the isle in the king of the wood."

[From Dickens's Household Words]


Sir Valentine Saltear was a worthy gentleman, who had made a large fortune by constantly exporting Irish linens and lawns to France (from whence they came over to England as fine French goods), for which service to the trade of the three countries a discerning minister had obtained him the honor of knighthood. This fortune he had in part expended in building for himself a great mansion on the sea-coast of Kent, commanding a fine view of the country from the back windows, and the great ocean from the front. Every room on the first and second floors was furnished with a brass telescope, that could be screwed on to the window-sash, or by means of a pedestal, into the window-sill.

In the front of his house was a great field, in which he and his visitors used to play at cricket. It was bounded by the high, white chalk cliffs, which descended precipitously to the sea.

The cliffs, however, were unfortunately much undermined by natural caverns; so that every year, and, in fact, every time there was a storm at sea, a large portion of the chalk-rock fell down, and in the course of six or seven years he was obliged to rail off as "dangerous" a part of the already reduced field in front of his house. He could now only play at trap-ball, or battle-dore and shuttle-cock.

Still the sea continued its encroachments, and in a few years more the trap-ball was all over—it was too perilous, even if they had not continually lost the ball—and he and his sons were reduced to a game at long-taw, and hop-scotch.

Clearly perceiving that in the course of a few years more his field-sports would be limited to spinning a tee-totum before his front-door, he engaged the services of an eminent architect and civil engineer to build him a sea-wall to prevent the further encroachments of the enemy. The estimate of expense was five thousand pounds, and, as a matter of course, the work, by the time it was finished, cost ten thousand. This was nearly as much as Sir Valentine Saltear had paid for the building of his house.

But the worst part of the business was, that the very next storm which occurred at sea, and only a few weeks after, the waves dashed down, and fairly carried away the whole of this protective wall. In the morning it was clean gone, as though no such structure had been there, and a great additional gap was made in the cliff, plainly showing that the watery monster was quite bent on swallowing up Sir Valentine's house. He brought an action for the recovery of the money he had paid for his wall; but while this was pending, he saw his house being undermined from day to day, and in sheer despair felt himself obliged to apply to a still more eminent civil engineer. The estimate this gentleman made for the construction of a sea-wall—one that would stand—was ten thousand pounds. It might be a few pounds more or less—probably less. But the recent experience of Sir Valentine making him fear that it would probably be double that amount, he hesitated as to engaging the services of this gentleman.[Pg 19] He even thought of sending over to Ireland for fifty bricklayers, carpenters, and masons, and superintending the work himself. He was sure he could do it for six thousand pounds. It never once occurred to him to pull down his house, and rebuild it on high ground a quarter of a mile farther off.

In this dangerous yet undecided state of affairs, Sir Valentine one morning, breakfasting at his club in Waterloo Place, read in a newspaper a notice of the grand mining operation and explosion that was to take place at Seaford, the object of which was to throw down an immense mass of chalk cliff, the broken fragments whereof would, at a comparatively small cost, form a sea-wall, at an elevation of about one-fifth the height of the parent rock. Why, here was Sir Valentine's own case! His house was upon a very high chalk rock, and a sea-wall of one-fifth the height would answer every purpose. The only difficulty was his present proximity to the edge of the cliff. Still, he thought he could spare thirty feet or so, without losing his door-steps, and this width being exploded down to the base of the cliff, would constitute, by its fall, a very capital mound of protection which might last for a century or more. He therefore determined to see the explosion at Seaford, and if it proved successful, to adopt the very same plan.

Sir Valentine, accordingly, on the nineteenth of September, swallowed an early cup of chocolate, and hurried off to the Brighton railway terminus, and took his place in the Express train for Newhaven. It was a return-ticket, first class, for which he paid the sum of one pound four shillings. An Excursion train had started at nine o'clock, the return-ticket first class, being only eleven shillings; but Sir Valentine fearing that it would stop at every station on the way, and might not be in time for the great event, had prudently chosen the Express at Express price; namely, one pound four per ticket. There was some confusion in the arrangements of the terminus, apparently attributable to extensive additions and alterations in the buildings; but there was no difficulty in receiving the money.

The train started; its speed, though an Express, being nothing particular. When it arrived at Lewes, the passengers all had to alight, and wait for another train which was to take them on. At last a train arrived. It was declared to be full!

"Full!" cried Sir Valentine, "why, I have paid for the Express!—first-class—one pound four."

Full, however, this long train was. Presently a guard shouted that there was room for three in a second-class carriage.

"I secure one!" shouted Sir Valentine, holding up his fore-finger in a threatening manner to the guard, and jumped in. In due time, and by no means in a hurry, the "Express" train arrived.

Out leaped Sir Valentine, and demanded of the first person he met how far it was to Seaford? The man said he didn't know! to the utter astonishment and contempt of the excited knight. He asked the next person; who replied that he hadn't the very least idea, but they could tell him at the "tap." Sir Valentine looked on all sides to see if there were any cabs, flies, or vehicles of any kind, and descrying several in a group at some little distance, made toward them at long running strides—a boy who had overheard his question as to the distance, following at his heels, and bawling—"Two miles as a crow flies!—four miles by the road!—two miles as a cro-o-o-o!—four by the ro-o-o-o!"

Arrived amidst the vehicles, the knight found nearly all of them either engaged, or full, and it was only as a matter of favor that he was admitted as "one over the number," to the inside of a small van without springs; where, beside the heat and crushing, he had to endure a thorough draught and three short pipes, all the way.

The road wound round the base of a series of hills and other rising ground, and a line of vehicles might be seen all along this serpentine road, for two or three miles' distance; while a long unbroken line of pedestrians were descried winding along the pathway across the fields. After a very jolting and rumbling drive, Sir Valentine found himself "shot out" with the rest of the company, in front of a small "public" knocked up for the occasion, with a load or two of bricks and some boards, and crowded to excess. Private carriages, flies, cabs, carts, wagons, vans, were standing around, together with booths and wheelbarrows, set out with apples, nuts, bread and cheese, and ginger-beer of a peculiarly thin stream. Sir Valentine having breakfasted early, hastily, and lightly, was by this time—a quarter to two—extremely sharp set; he endeavored, therefore, to make his way into the house to get a bottle of stout and some ham or cold beef for luncheon. But after ten minutes' continuous efforts, he found he was still between the door-posts, and the noisy, choked-up window of the "bar," as far from his hopes as ever. He abandoned the attempt in disgust—but not without addressing himself to a seafaring man who was standing with his hands in his pockets, looking on:

"Is this sense?" said the knight. "Do you call this common sense? Do you think you are acting with any more reason than a dog possesses, to treat the public in this way? Then, your own interest—look at it!" (pointing to the crowd struggling in the door-way). "If you had any foresight, or a head for the commonest arrangements, would you not have a barrel of ale on wheels outside here?"

The seafaring man swung round on his heel with a smile, and Sir Valentine, having made his way into the field, obtained six pennyworth of gingerbread and a dozen of small apples, with which provender he in some sort revived his exhausted frame. He now bustled on toward[Pg 20] the foot of a broken embankment leading up to a lofty rising ground, the summit being the cliffs, a large portion of which was shortly to be detached, and thrown down by the explosion of a mine. The part to be blown off was marked out by broad belts of white, where the chalk had been thrown up, which made an imposing appearance even on the distant heights.

The sun shone brightly. All over the fields and fallow ground that lay between the halting-place just described, and the foot of the steep mount, the visitors were scattered—pedestrians, with here and there a horseman; sight-seers—the old and the young—men of science from various parts of the world—infantry soldiers, sappers and miners, ladies and gentlemen, sailors, marines, country people, railway laborers, policemen, boys and girls, and—far in the rear of all, with disapproving looks—two or three old women in spectacles. Renovated by his gingerbread and apples, Sir Valentine made his way manfully up the steep grassy ascent of the hill, chalk mountain it might be more properly termed, and, in the course of a quarter of an hour, he found himself at the spot where the explosion was to take place.

It was a tolerably level surface, of some hundred yards in diameter. Transverse belts of excavated chalk, with several trenches and pits half filled up, marked out the huge fragment of the solid mass which was to be separated. The boundary was further indicated by small flagstaffs, and also by sentinels, who prevented any of the visitors from trespassing on the dangerous ground, whereon, of course, they all had a half-delightful tingling wish to perambulate, and to feel themselves liable to be blown to atoms by a premature explosion.

Beneath the part marked off by the flagstaffs and sentinels, at a great depth in the chalk rock, were buried many thousand (the Brighton Herald said twenty-seven thousand!) pounds of gunpowder, distributed in different chambers and galleries, one communicating with another by means of a platina wire. This wire was carried up through the rock into a little wooden house, in which certain chemical mysteries were being secretly carried on by engineer officers. There was a little window in front, out of which the mysterious officer now and then half thrust his head, looked out, with profound gravity, upon the belts of chalk on the space before him, and, without appearing to see any of the crowding visitors, withdrew from the window. Presently another officer came, and did the same. "Come like shadows," muttered Sir Valentine, "so depart!"

But wishing that they might "show his eyes" the mysterious operations in the little wooden house, however grievous it might be to his feelings, our anxious knight hurried round to the back, where, he took it for granted, there was some means of entrance, as he had seen no officer get in at the window. He was right. There was a small narrow door of planks, with a sentry standing before it, who wore a forbidding face of much importance. And now a gentleman in blue spectacles approached, and nodded to the sentinel, who tapped at the door. The door was unlocked, and the favored man of science entered. Through the closing door, Sir Valentine caught sight of a sort of long, shapeless table, covered with chemical instruments and utensils, in short, an apparatus exciting great curiosity. The door closed, just as Sir Valentine handed up his card to the sentinel. The door was opened again—his card given in; somebody took it, and it seemed to fly over a row of small white porcelain painters' pallets, standing mid-deep in water, and then disappeared, as the door was suddenly closed again. A voice within was heard to say, impatiently, "I really am afraid we can't be disturbed!"

"Can't you!" exclaimed Sir Valentine, addressing himself to a servant girl, with a child in her arms, who was trying to get a peep in at the door: "can't you, indeed! What treatment do you call this? Do you think gentlemen would take the trouble to come down here, such a distance, and up here such a height, if they did not expect to see all that could possibly be seen? Is this your duty to the public who pays you? Why should you conceal any thing from me? Am I not a person of sufficient wealth and respectability to be allowed to know of all your doings up here! What brings you here but the public service? Who is your master? tell me that!"

"Edward Smith, of Seaford," answered the girl, with an angry face; "but I don't know as it's any business of yours!"

Sir Valentine brushed past the girl with a "Pooh, pshaw!" Observing it was announced, by a placard on one side of the little wooden house, that the explosion would take place at three o'clock, he took out his watch and found that it was already half-past two. It became important to decide on the most advantageous place to take up a position, in order to have the best view of the grand explosion. Some of the visitors—in fact, a considerable number—had ascended to the very highest part of the rock, which swept upward, with its green coating of grass to a distance of a hundred and fifty or two hundred yards beyond the dangerous spot. Another crowd took their posts at about the same distance below the fatal spot, each crowd being widely scattered, the boldest in each being nearest, the most timid the furthest off. Another crowd—and this was the largest by far—had descended to the beach, to see, from below, the fall of the great mass of lofty rock. Many had taken boats, and rowed, or sailed out, to behold it from a more directly opposite, yet safer position.

Now, Sir Valentine Saltear, being an enthusiast in sight-seeing, had not the least doubt but the way really to enjoy the thing, would be to stand upon the portion of the cliff that was to be thrown down; and, leaping from crack[Pg 21] to crack, and from mass to mass, as it majestically descended, reach by this means the sea, into which a good dive forward would render your escape from danger comparatively safe and easy. On second thoughts, however, he saw that it was precarious, because if the charge of powder were in excess of the weight to be separated, a great mass of fragments might fly upward into the air, and who could say but one of these might be the very place on which he himself was standing? He, therefore, contented himself with advancing to the extreme edge of the cliff, and peering over upon the beach below. The height was prodigious; the crowds walking about below were of pigmy size. The boats that were hovering about on the sea looked no bigger than mussel shells. Sir Valentine once thought of going out in a boat, but immediately recollecting that by doing so he should lose the fine effect of the trembling of the earth, he at once abandoned the idea. If he mounted above the scene of action he should lose the grandeur of the descent of the mass; if he stood on the mount at some distance below it, he could not see the surface crack and gape, though he might be exposed to flying fragments. He, therefore, decided forthwith on going down to the beach, and accordingly he hurried along the grassy slope, and then made his way down a precipitous zig-zag fissure in the sand hill below, till he found his feet rattling and limping over the stones of the beach.

Here he was amid six or seven thousand people—many more than he had seen from above—some walking about, some sitting in long rows or in groups, on the damp shingles, some standing in knots—all speculating as to how soon it would now be before the great explosion. A few flagstaffs were planted, with several sentinels, to mark the line which no one was allowed to pass; and this line was very strongly marked besides by a dark crowd of the most fearless of the visitors. According to their several degrees of apprehension, the crowds were scattered over the beach at various distances, some of them being at least a mile and a half off.

Sir Valentine, after an examination of all the bearings of the case, elected to have a place in the front row, close to the flagstaff; but, taking into consideration the possibility that the explosion might send up a great mass of fragments, which might come flying over that way, and crush numbers by their fall, he looked round to try and secure a retreat the instant he should see a black cloud of fragments in the air. The front line would not be able to retreat in time, because, being crowded, they would, in the panic of the moment, stumble over each other, and falling pell-mell, become an easy prey to the descending chalk. Sir Valentine, therefore, being not only an enthusiast, but also a man of foresight, took his post to the extreme right of the line, so that he could, if he saw need, retreat into the sea; to make sure of which, and, at the same time, to have an unimpeded view, he now stood half up to his knees in water.

It was three o'clock—the hour of doom for the chalk in its contest with gunpowder. A bugle sounded, and a movement of the sentries on the top of the rock was discerned by the thousands of eyes looking up from the beach. Many, also, who were above, suddenly thought they could better their positions by moving further off. Below, on the beach, there was a hush of voices; not a murmur was heard. Every body stood in his favorite attitude of expectation. All eyes were bent upon the lofty projecting cliff; and nearly every mouth was open, as if in momentary anticipation of being filled with an avalanche of chalk. Again a bugle sounded—and all was silence. Not a shingle moved.

Presently there was a low, subterranean murmur, accompanied by a trembling of the whole sea-beach—sea and all; no burst of explosion; but the stupendous cliff was seen to crack, heave outward, and separate in many places half way down; the upper part then bowed itself forward, and almost at the same instant, the cliff seemed to bend out and break at one-third of the way from the base, till, like an old giant falling upon his knees, down it sank, pitching at the same time head foremost upon the beach with a tremendous, dull, echoless roar. A dense cloud of white dust and smoke instantly rose, and obscured the whole from sight.

Every body kept his place a moment in silence—the front line then made a rush onward—then abruptly stopped, bringing up all those behind them with a jerk. Who knows but more cliff may be coming down? In the course of half a minute the cloud of dust had sufficiently dispersed itself to render the fallen mass visible. It formed a sort of double hill, about one-fifth of the height of the rocks above, the outer hill nearest the sea (which had been the head and shoulders of the fallen giant) being by far the largest. It was made up of fragments of all sizes, from small morsels, and lumps, up to huge blocks of chalk, many of which were two or three feet in thickness, intermixed with masses of the upper crust, having grass upon the upper surface.

Toward this larger hill of broken masses of chalk, the front rank of the cloud below, on the beach, now rushed. But after a few yards, they again stopped abruptly, bringing every body behind them bump up against their backs. Again, they moved on waveringly, when suddenly a small piece of cracked rock detached itself from above, and came rolling down. Back rushed the front line—a panic took place, and thousands retreated, till they found the cliff was not coming after them, when they gradually drew up, faced about, and returned to the onset. At length it became a complete charge: the front rank made directly for the large broken mound, in the face of clouds of drifting chalk-dust, and fairly carried it by[Pg 22] assault—mounting over blocks, or picking their way round about blocks, or between several blocks, and through soft masses of chalk, and so upward to the top—two soldiers, three sailors, a boy, and Sir Valentine, being the first who reached it. Thereupon, they set up a shout of victory, which was echoed by thousands from below. Fifty or sixty more were soon up after them; and one enthusiast, who had a very clever little brown horse, actually contrived to lead him up to the top, and then mounted him, amid the plaudits of the delighted heroes who surrounded him. Every body, horse and all, was covered with the continual rain of chalk-dust. The heroes were all as white as millers.

It was almost as difficult to descend as it had been to get up. However, Sir Valentine managed to effect this with considerable alacrity, and made his way hastily across the field to the little "public," with intent to secure a fly, or other conveyance, before they were all occupied by the numbers he had left behind him on the beach. Nothing could be had: all were engaged. He walked onward hastily, and was fortunate enough to overtake a large pleasure-cart, into which he got, and, after suffering the vexation of seeing every vehicle pass them, he at length arrived at the Newhaven railway station.



The escape of Mary Queen of Scots, from Lochleven Castle, is one of the most striking passages in the history of female royalty. The time, the place, the beauty and exalted rank of the illustrious heroine, her wrongs, and her distress, the chivalry and courage of the gallant spirits who had undertaken to effect her deliverance, the peril of the enterprise, and its success, combine all the elements of a romance. Yet the adventure creates a more powerful impression related in the graphic simplicity of truth, as it really befell, than when worked up with imaginary circumstances into a tale of fiction, even by the magic pen of Scott in the pages of "The Abbot."

The fatal concatenation of events, which had the effect of entangling the royal victim in the toils of her guileful foes, can not be developed here. The broad outline of the outward and visible facts is familiar to almost every reader, but to expose the undercurrent to view by documentary evidences, and to make manifest the hidden workings of iniquity, requires a wider field than these brief pages can afford. I must, therefore, refer the public to my long-promised "Life of Mary Stuart," which will shortly appear in my new series of royal female biographies,[2] based on documentary sources, for particulars which can scarcely fail of removing the obloquy with which mercenary writers, the ready tools of self-interested calumniators, have endeavored to blacken the name of this hapless lady.

The confederate lords into whose hands Mary, confiding in their solemn promises to treat her with all honor and reverence as their sovereign, rashly surrendered herself, at Carberry-hill, not only shamelessly violated their pact, but after exposing her to the most cruel insults from the very abjects of the people, incarcerated her in the gloomy fortress of Lochleven, under the jailorship of the mother of her illegitimate brother, the Earl of Murray, and the wardership of the sons that person had had by her late husband Sir Robert Douglas, of Lochleven, for the Lady of Lochleven was a married woman when the Earl of Murray was born.[3]

It is scarcely possible to imagine a more doleful abiding place for the fallen queen, in her affliction, than that which had been thus injuriously and by a refinement of malice, selected for her by her perfidious foes. The castle, which is of extreme antiquity, said indeed to have been founded by Congal, a Pictish king, is of rude architecture, consisting of a square donjon keep, flanked with turrets, and encompassed with a rampart; it is built on a small island, almost in the centre of the wild expanse of the deep, and oft-times stormy, waters of the loch, which is fifteen miles in circumference. The castle island consists of five acres, now overgrown with trees and brushwood. In the midst of this desolation tradition points out one ancient stem, of fantastic growth, said to have been planted by the royal captive as a memorial of her compulsory residence in the castle. The boughs of this tree, which is called "Queen Mary's Thorn," are constantly broken and carried away as relics by the visitors, whom the interest attached to the memory of that unhappy princess attracts to the spot, which her sufferings have rendered an historic site of melancholy celebrity.

The events of the long dreary months which Mary wore away in this wave-encircled prison-house, bereft of regal state, deprived of exercise and recreation, and secluded from every friend save her two faithful ladies, and a little maiden of ten years old, the voluntary companions of her durance, as well as the occupations wherewith she endeavored to beguile her sorrowful hours, will be found very fully detailed in my biography of that unfortunate queen, with many recently-discovered facts.

Toward the end of March, George Douglas, the youngest son of the Lady of Lochleven, whose manly heart had been touched with generous sympathy, or, as some assert, with a deep and enduring passion for his fair ill-fated sovereign, made a bold and almost successful attempt to convey her out of the castle, in the disguise of a laundress. The queen, however, being identified by the whiteness and delicacy of her hands, which she had raised to repel one of the[Pg 23] rude boatmen, who endeavored to remove her hood and muffler to get a sight of her face, she was brought back, and George Douglas was expelled from the Castle with disgrace. But though banished from his house, he lurked concealed in the adjacent village, where he had friends and confederates, and, doubtless inspired many an honest burgher and peasant with sympathy for the wrongs of their captive sovereign, by his description of the harsh restraint to which she was subjected within the grim fortress of Lochleven. At Kinross he was joined by the faithful John Beton, and other devoted servants of the queen, who were associated for the emancipation of their royal mistress, and had long been lurking, in various disguises, among the western Lomonds, to watch for a favorable opportunity of effecting their object.

Douglas had left, withal, an able coadjutor within the castle, a boy of tender years, of mysterious parentage, and humble vocation, who was destined to act the part of the mouse in Æsop's beautiful fable. This unsuspected confederate was a youth of fifteen, who waited on the Lady of Lochleven in the capacity of page. He is known in history by the names of Willie Douglas, and the Little Douglas; in the castle he was called the Lad Willie, the Orphan Willie, and the Foundling Willie,[4] for he was found, when a babe, at the castle gates. Home, of Godscroft, says, "He was the natural brother of George Douglas,"[5] a statement perfectly reconcileable with the story of his first introduction into the family of the late Laird of Lochleven. Such incidents are not of unfrequent occurrence in the daily romance of life, and often has it happened that the appeal made to the parental feelings of a profligate seducer, in behalf of a guiltless child of sin and sorrow, has awakened feelings of feminine compassion in the bosom of the injured wife, and the forlorn stranger has received a home and nurture through her charity. This appears to have been the case with regard to Little Willie and the Lady of Lochleven; for, whether she suspected his connection with the laird her husband or not, he was taken in, and brought up under her auspices, and as attendant on her person. Frail as she had been in her youth, and cruel and vindictive in her treatment of the lawful daughter of her royal seducer, whom it irked her pride to consider as her sovereign, it is nevertheless pleasant to trace out the evidence of some good in the harsh Lady of Lochleven.

The Foundling Willie remained in the castle, after the death of the old laird, an orphan dependent in the family, but his subsequent actions prove that he had received the education of a gentleman; for not only could he read and write, but he understood enough of French and other languages to be sent on secret missions to foreign princes. To these acquirements Willie added courage, firmness, and address, seldom paralleled in one of his tender years.

There is not any circumstance in the course of Mary Stuart's career more striking than the fact that, in this dark epoch of her life, when deprived of all the attributes of royalty, oppressed, calumniated, and imprisoned, two friends like George and Willie Douglas should have been raised up for her in the family of her deadliest foes. The regent and his confederates, men whose hands had been soiled with English gold, had not calculated on the existence of the chivalric feelings which animated those young warm hearts with the determination of effecting the liberation of their captive queen.

"Mary being deprived of pen and ink at this time," says her French biographer, Caussin, "wrote her instructions with a piece of charcoal, on her handkerchief, which she employed the boy Willie Douglas to dispatch to the Lord Seton." John Beton, who still lay, perdue, among the hills, was the ready bearer of this missive, and arranged every thing for the reception and safe conduct of his royal mistress, in case she should be fortunate enough to reach the shore in safety. For many nights he, with Lord Seton, George Douglas, and others, kept watch and ward on the promontory which commanded a view of the castle and the lake, in expectation of being apprised, by signal, that the project was about to be carried into effect.

On Sunday, the second evening in May, all things being in readiness, and the family at supper, Willie Douglas, who was waiting on the Lady of Lochleven, contrived, while changing her plate, to drop a napkin over the keys of the castle (which were always placed beside her during meals), and having thus enveloped them, succeeded in carrying them off unobserved. Hastening with them to the queen, he conducted her, by a private stair, to the postern, and so to the water-gate of the castle, which he took care to lock after him; and when the boat had gained convenient distance from the shore, flung the keys into the water. These mute memorials of the adventure were found covered with rust when the loch was drained, early in the present century. They are now in the possession of the Earl of Morton, at Dalmahoy House, where I saw them and the rude iron chain which formerly linked them together, but which, being rusted through, fell to pieces when taken out of the water. The Lochleven keys are five in number, large and small, of antique workmanship, and are all carefully enshrined in a casket lined with velvet, and preserved as precious relics by the noble representatives of the chivalric George Douglas.

The boat which Willie the Orphan had adroitly secured for the service of his captive sovereign, was that belonging to the castle, and the only medium of communication for the castellan and his meiné with the shore. Immediate pursuit was, therefore, almost impossible. The companions of Queen Mary's flight were, her faithful attendant, Mary Seton, ever near her in the hour[Pg 24] of peril, and a little girl of ten years old, of whose safety her majesty appeared tenderly careful, as she led her by the hand. The other damsel, a French lady of the name of Quenede, gave a remarkable proof of her personal courage and devotion to her royal mistress; for, not being quick enough to reach the castle gate till it was locked behind the retreating party, she fearlessly leaped out of the window of the queen's apartment into the loch, and swam after the boat till she was received within that little ark in her dripping garments.

Meantime, Lord Seton and his gallant associates, who were anxiously reconnoitring from their eyrie the progress of the little bark and its precious freight across the lake, remained in a state of the greatest excitement, not daring to believe that so feeble an instrument as the orphan Willie had succeeded in achieving an exploit which the bravest peers in Scotland might have been proud of having performed, and her own royal kinsmen, the allied princes of France and Spain, had not ventured to attempt. But all doubts and fears were dispelled when they recognized the stately figure of their queen, distinguished from the other females by her superior height, rising in the boat and giving the telegraphic signal of her safety, as previously agreed, by waving her vail, which was white with a crimson border, the royal colors of Scotland. The moment that auspicious ensign was displayed, fifty horsemen, who had lain concealed behind the hill, sprang to their saddles, and, with Lord Seton at their head, galloped down to the shore, where George Douglas and Beton, with another party of devoted friends, were already waiting to receive and welcome their enfranchised sovereign, as she sprang to the land. The fleetest palfreys that Scotland could supply had long been provided, and concealed by George Douglas's trusty confederates in the village, in anticipation of the success of this enterprise, and were now ready caparisoned for the queen and her ladies. Mary mounted without delay, and, attended by the faithful companions of her perils and escape, scoured across the country at fiery speed, without halting, till she reached North Queen's Ferry, about twenty miles from Lochleven. Embarking in the common ferry-boat at that port, she and her company crossed the rough waters of the Firth, and landed, tradition says, at the ancient wooden pier, which formerly jutted out into the sea, just above the town of South Queen's Ferry. There she was met and welcomed by Lord Claud Hamilton, and fifty cavaliers and other loyal gentlemen, eager to renew their homage, and burning to avenge her wrongs.

Lord Seton conducted his royal mistress to his own castle at West Niddry, distant seven miles from South Queen's Ferry, where she partook of his hospitality, and enjoyed the repose of a few hours, after her moonlight flitting. West Niddry now forms part of the fair domain of the Earl of Hopeton. The roofless shell of the stately castle, which afforded the first safe resting-place to the fugitive sovereign is still in existence. The changes of the last few years have conducted the railroad line between Edinburgh and Glasgow in close proximity to the ruins of the feudal fortress, which gave rest and shelter to the royal fugitive, after her escape from Lochleven. The gray mouldering pile, in its lonely desolation, arrests for a moment the attention of the musing moralist or antiquarian among the passengers in the trains that thunder onward to their appointed goal through solitudes that recall high and chivalric visions of the past. But Niddry Castle should be visited in a quiet hour by the historical pilgrim, who would retrace in fancy the last bright scene of Mary Stuart's life, when, notwithstanding the forced abdication which had transferred the regal diadem of Scotland to the unconscious brow of her baby-boy, she stood a queen once more among the only true nobles of her realm, those whom English gold had not corrupted, nor successful traitors daunted.

One window in Niddry Castle was, within the memory of many persons in the neighborhood, surmounted with the royal arms of Scotland, together with a stone entablature, which, though broken, is still in existence, in the orchard of the adjacent grange, inscribed in ancient letters with the day of the month and the date of the year, and even the age of George Lord of Seton, at the memorable epoch of his life when the beauteous majesty of Scotland, whom he had so honorable a share in emancipating from her cruel bondage, slept beneath his roof in safety.

Lord Seton had been an old and faithful servant of his queen. He was the master of the royal household, and had been present at her nuptials with the beloved husband of her youth, King Francis II., of France. On her return to Scotland, after the death of that sovereign, Mary offered to advance Seton to the dignity of an earldom, but being the premier baron in parliament, he refused to be the puisne earl, giving humble thanks to her majesty for her proffered grace at the same time. Mary then wrote the following extempore distich in Latin and also in French:

"Sunt comites ducesques denique reges;
Setoni dominum sit satis mihi;"

which, in plain English, may be rendered thus:

"Though earls and dukes, and even kings there be,
Yet Seton's noble lord sufficeth me."

"After that unfortunate battle of Langside, the said Lord George Seton was forced to fly to Flanders, and was there in exile two years, and drove a wagon with four horses for his subsistence. His picture in that condition," adds the quaint, kindred biographer of the noble family of Seton, "I have seen drawn, and lively painted, at the north end of the long gallery in Seton, now overlaid with timber. From Flanders, the said Lord George went to Holland, and there endeavored to seduce the two Scots regiments to the Spanish service, upon a design thereby to serve his sovereign the queen, the king of Spain being very much her friend. Which plot[Pg 25] of his being revealed, the states of Holland did imprison and condemn him to ride the cannon; but by the friendship and respect the Scotch officers had to him, he was by them set at liberty, notwithstanding this decision of the States."[6]

Lord Seton outlived these troubles, he was preserved to enjoy the reward of his integrity after those who pursued his life had been successively summoned to render up an account of the manner in which they had acquired and acquitted themselves of their usurped authority, till all were clean swept away. It is a remarkable fact that the most relentless of the persecutors of their hapless sovereign, Mary Stuart, especially those who for a brief period were the most successful in their ambitious projects, Murray, Lennox, Marr, Lethington, and Morton, all by violent or untimely deaths preceded their royal victim to the tomb.

James VI. testified a grateful sense of the services Lord Seton had rendered to queen Mary, by preferring him and his sons to the most honorable offices in his gift.

Mary herself rewarded George Douglas to the utmost of her power, in various ways, but above all by facilitating his marriage with a young and beautiful French heiress of high rank, to whom he had formed an attachment, and as his poverty was the only obstacle to this alliance, she generously enabled him to make a suitable settlement on his bride out of a portion of her French estates, which she assigned to him for this purpose by deed of gift. "Services like his," as she wrote to her uncle, "ought never to be forgotten."

A simple black marble tablet in the chancel of Edensor Church, to the left of the altar, marks the grave of John Beton, on which a Latin inscription records the fact, "that he died at Chatsworth, in his thirty-fourth year, worn out with the fatigues and hardships he had encountered in the service of his royal mistress," adding as his best and proudest epitaph, "that he had assisted in delivering that illustrious princess from her doleful prison in the Laga Laguina." (Lochleven.)

Poetry is the handmaid as well as the inspiration of chivalry, and if ever the deeds of brave and loyal gentlemen deserved to live in song, surely the achievement of the loyal associates who rescued their oppressed queen from her cruel captivity in Lochleven Castle, ought to be thus commemorated, and their names had in remembrance long after "the marble that enshrines their mortal remains has perished, and its imagery mouldered away."

[From Dickens's Household Words.]


A new play was recently produced at the principal theatre of Vienna, which illustrates the notions of Scotchmen which obtain currency and credence among the Germans. The scene is laid in St. Petersburgh; the real hero is a little animal, known to dog-fanciers as a Scotch terrier; but the nominal chief character is a banker from Glasgow, named Sutherland. He had failed in his native place, but in Russia he became a great man, for he was the favorite money-dealer of the Empress Catherine.

We all know the strength of a Scotch constitution, but we also know the severity of a St. Petersburgh winter: yet Mr. Sutherland presents himself to his audience, amidst the frozen scenery of that ice-bound city, in what is believed abroad to be the regular everyday costume of a citizen of Glasgow; namely, a kilt, jack-boots, and a cocked hat, with a small grove of fine real feathers. Mr. Sutherland, despite his scanty nether costume, appears to be in excellent health and spirits. He has thriven so well in the world that, in accordance with a tolerably correct estimate of the Caledonian national character, his relations at home begin to pay court to him, and to send him presents. One indulges him with the hero of the piece: the small, ugly, irate, snuffy quadruped before mentioned. The banker takes it with a good-humored "Pish!" little dreaming of the important part the little wretch is destined to play. He had scarcely received the gift when the Empress passes by, sees the dog, and desires to possess it, while the grateful Sutherland is too glad to be able to gratify a royal caprice at so light a cost.

She, in the fervency of her gratitude, named the dog after the donor—a great compliment.

Alas! one day, the dog, who had eaten too plentifully of zoobrême (chicken stewed with truffles), was seized with apoplexy and died; though not without suspicion of having been poisoned by the prime minister, a piece of whose leg he had digested the day before. The Empress sighed far more over the loss of her dog, than she would have done for that of the minister. The one might have been easily replaced: she knew at least twenty waiting open-mouthed for the vacancy. But who could replace her four-footed friend!—she mourns him as a loss utterly irreparable. She orders the greatest mark of affectionate respect it is possible to show to be performed on the dead terrier.

The scene changes; it is night. The fortunate banker is seated at dessert, after an excellent dinner of "mutton rosbif," and "hot-a-meale pour-ridges, and patatas," indispensable to a North Briton; his legs are crossed, his feet rest upon a monstrous fender, which he takes care to inform us he has received from England, as he sits sipping his "sherri port bier," and soliloquizing pleasantly over the various chances of his life. He is just about to finish his evening with some "croc," the English name for the pleasant invention of Admiral Grogram; his servant enters, to announce that the chief executioner with a file of soldiers have just dropped in, to say a word on a matter of business from the Empress.

[Pg 26]

The awful functionary, on stalking into the room, exclaimed, "I am come—"

"Well, I see you are," replied the banker, trying to be facetious, but feeling like a man with a sudden attack of ague.

"By command of the Empress!"

"Long may she live!" ejaculates Sutherland, heartily.

"It is really a very delicate affair," says the executioner; who, like the French Samson, is a humane man; "and I do not know how to break it to you."

"Oh, pray, don't hesitate. What would you like to take?" asked the banker, spilling the grog he tried to hand to the horrid functionary, from sheer fright.

The Envoy shakes his head grimly. "It is what we must all come to some day," he adds, after a short pause.

"What is? In Heaven's name do not keep me longer in suspense!" cries the banker, his very visible knees knocking together with agonizing rapidity.

"I have been sent," answers the awful messenger; again he stops—looks compassionately at his destined victim.


"By the Empress—"

"I know!"

"To have you—"


"Stuffed!" said the Executioner mournfully.

The banker shrieked.

"Stuffed!" repeats the man, laconically, pointing to a bird in a glass case, to prevent there being any mistake in Sutherland's mind as to the nature of the operation he is to be called upon to undergo.

The Executioner now lays his hand significantly on poor Sutherland's collar, and looks into his face, as if to inquire if he had any particular or peculiar fancy as to the mode in which he would like to go through the preparatory operation of being killed.

"I have brought the straw," he says, "and two assistants are without. The Empress can not wait; and we have not got your measure for the glass case yet."

The banker looks the very picture of abject misery; but Britons, in foreign comedies, are always ready to buy every thing, and the banker had lived long enough in Russia to know the value of a bribe. He therefore offers one so considerable, that his grim visitor is touched, and endeavors to lull his sense of duty to sleep by a sophistry.

"I was told, indeed, to have you stuffed," he reasons, "and got ready for the Empress; but nothing was said about time; so I don't mind giving you half an hour if you can satisfy these gentlemen"—and he turns to his associates.

It is briefly done. The banker pays like a man whose life depends on his liberality—we suppose several millions—for the Executioner remarks that he can not forget that a groom in England frequently receives several thousands sterling a year; this is a very prevalent idea among the Frankish and Teutonic nations of the Continent. We once heard a Spanish general assert, in a large assembly, that the usual pay of an English ensign was five hundred pounds a month, an idea doubtless derived from some Iberian dramatist; and therefore a public functionary like the Executioner must be remunerated proportionably higher. The enormous pecuniary sacrifice gets for Sutherland some half-hour's respite; which he wisely uses by flying to the British embassador, Sir Bifstik, and awaits the result with great anguish.

Sir Bifstik goes to the Empress. He is admitted. He asks if Her Majesty be aware of the position of a British subject named Sutherland?

"Excellent man," says Her Majesty, "No! What is it?"

Sir Bifstik bows low at the tones of the Imperial voice, and now begins to explain himself with something more than diplomatic haste; thinking, perhaps, that already the fatal straw may be filling the banker's members.

Imperial Catherine does not, of course, consider the putting to death of a mere Scotch banker, and making him in reality what some of his brethren are sometimes called figuratively—a man of straw—worth this fuss; and sets the embassador down in her mind as a person of wild republican ideas, who ought to be recalled as soon as possible by his government, and placed under proper surveillance; but, nevertheless, she causes some inquiries to be made, and learns that it is in consequence of her having ordered "Sutherland" to be stuffed that he is probably then undergoing that operation.

Sir Bifstik expresses such horror and consternation at this intelligence, that the Empress believes his mind to be disordered.

"What possible consequence can the accidental stuffing of a Scotch banker be to you, milor?" she saith.

"The ac-ci-den-t-al stuff-ings of a Scotcher Bankers!" in a German idiom not generally used by our nobility, gasps Sir Bifstik, mechanically, with pale lips and bristling hair.

"Take him away! He is mad!" screams the Empress, thinking that no sane person could be concerned about such a trifling affair, and in another moment the most sacred of international laws would have been violated (on the stage), and Great Britain insulted by profane hands being laid on the person of her embassador, when all at once a light breaks over the mind of Her Majesty—the recalling of something forgotten. She exclaims, with a Russian nonchalance quite cheering to behold, "Oh, I remember; now it is easily explained. My poor little dog (I had forgotten him too) died yesterday, and I wished his body to be preserved. Cher chien! His name was the same as that of the banker, I think. Alas that cruel Death should take my dog!"

"But Mr. Sutherland has, perhaps, already been murdered!" gasps the embassador. "I[Pg 27] pray that your Majesty will lose no time in having him released, should he be still alive!"

"Ah, true! I never thought of that," returns the Empress.

The order is finally issued, and Sutherland rescued, just as the Executioner, grown angry at his unreasonable remonstrances, resolves to delay no longer in executing the Imperial commands. To put the coup-de-grace on the comic agony of the poor banker, his immense red crop of hair has, in that half hour of frightful uncertainty, turned white as snow!

[From Hogg's Instructor.]



One obvious effect of the upheavings of a revolution is to develop latent power, and to deliver into light and influence cast down and crushed giants, such as Danton. But another result is the undue prominence given by convulsion and anarchy to essentially small and meagre spirits, who, like little men lifted up from their feet, in the pressure of a crowd, are surprised into sudden exaltation, to be trodden down whenever their precarious propping gives way. Revolution is a genuine leveler: "small and great" meet on equal terms in its wide grave; and persons, whose names would otherwise have never met in any other document than a directory, are coupled together continually, divide influence, have their respective partisans, and require the stern alembic of death to separate them, and to settle their true positions in the general history of the nation and the world.

Nothing, indeed, has tended to deceive and mystify the public mind more than the arbitrary conjunction of names. The yoking together of men in this manner has produced often a lamentable confusion as to their respective intellects and characteristics. Sometimes a mediocrist and a man of genius are thus coupled together; and what is lost by the one is gained by the other, while the credit of the whole firm is essentially impaired. Sometimes men of equal, though most dissimilar intellect, are, in defiance of criticism, clashed into as awkward a pair as ever stood up together on the floor of a country dancing-school. Sometimes, for purposes of moral or critical condemnation, two of quite different degrees of criminality are tied neck and heels together, as in the dread undistinguishing "marriages of the Loire." Sometimes the conjunction of unequal names is owing to the artifice of friends, who, by perpetually naming one favorite author along with another of established fame, hope to convince the unwary public that they are on a level. Sometimes they are produced by the pride or ambition, or by the carelessness or caprice, of the men or authors themselves. Sometimes they are the deliberate result of a shallow, though pretentious criticism, which sees and specifies resemblances, where, in reality, there are none. Sometimes they spring from the purest accidents of common circumstances, common cause, or common abode, as if a crow and a thrush must be kindred because seated on one hedge. From these, and similar causes, have arisen such combinations as Dryden and Pope, Voltaire and Rousseau, Cromwell and Napoleon, Southey and Coleridge, Rogers and Campbell, Hunt and Hazlitt, Hall and Foster, Paine and Cobbett, Byron and Shelley, or Robespierre and Danton.

In the first histories of the French Revolution, the names of Marat, Robespierre, and Danton occur continually together as a triumvirate of terror, and the impression is left that the three were of one order, each a curious compound of the maniac and the monster. They walk on, linked in chains, to common execution, although it were as fair to tie up John Ings, Judge Jeffreys, and Hercules Furens. A somewhat severer discrimination has of late unloosed Marat from the other two, and permitted Robespierre and Danton to walk in couples, simply for the purpose of pointing more strongly the contrast between the strait-laced demonism of the one, and the fierce and infuriated manhood of the other. At least, it is for this purpose that we have ranked their names together.

Of Marat, too, however, we are tempted to say a single word—"Marah," might he better have been called, for he was a water of bitterness. He reminds us of one of those small, narrow, inky pools we have seen in the wilderness, which seem fitted to the size of a suicide, and waiting in gloomy expectation of his advent. John Foster remarked, of some small "malignant" or other, that he had never seen so much of the "essence of devil in so little a compass." Marat was a still more compact concentration of that essence. He was the prussic acid among the family of poisons. His unclean face, his tiny figure, his gibbering form, his acute but narrow soul, were all possessed by an infernal unity and clearness of purpose. On the great clock of the Revolution—while Danton struck the reverberating hours—while Robespierre crept cautiously but surely, like the minute-hand, to his object—Marat was the everlasting "tick-tick" of the smaller hand, counting, like a death-watch, the quick seconds of murder. He never rested; he never slumbered, or walked through his part; he fed but to refresh himself for revolutionary action; he slept but to breathe himself for fresh displays of revolutionary fury. Milder mood, or lucid interval, there was none in him. The wild beast, when full, sleeps; but Marat was never full—the cry from the "worm that dieth not," within him being still, "Give, give," and the flame in his bosom coming from that fire which is "never to be quenched."

If, as Carlyle seems sometimes to insinuate, earnestness be in itself a divine quality, then should Marat have a high place in the gallery of heroes; for if an earnest angel be admirable, chiefly for his earnestness, should not an earnest imp be admirable, too? If a tiger be respectable[Pg 28] from his unflinching oneness of object, should not a toad, whose sole purpose is to spit sincere venom, crawl amid general consideration, too? If a conflagration of infernal fire be on the whole a useful and splendid spectacle, why not honor one of its bluest and most lurid flames, licking, with peculiar pertinacity, at some proud city "sham?" But we suspect, that over Carlyle's imagination the quality of greatness exerts more power than that of earnestness. A great regal-seeming ruffian fascinates him, while the petty scoundrel is trampled on. His soul rises to mate with the tiger in his power, but his foot kicks the toad before it, as it is lazily dragging its loathsomeness through the wet garden-beds. The devils, much admired as they stood on the burning marl, lose caste with him when, entering the palace of Pandemonium, they shrink into miniatures of their former selves. Mirabeau, with Carlyle, is a cracked angel; Marat, a lame and limping fiend.

Some one has remarked how singular it is that all the heroes of the French Revolution were ugly. It seems as curious to us that they were either very large or very little persons. Danton was a Titan; Mirabeau, though not so tall, was large, and carried a huge head on his shoulders; whereas Marat and Napoleon were both small men. But the French found their characteristic love of extremes gratified in all of them. Even vice and cruelty they will not admire, unless sauced by some piquant oddity, and served up in some extraordinary dish. A little, lean corporal, like Napoleon, conquering the Brobdingnagian marshals and emperors of Europe, and issuing from his nut-like fist the laws of nations; a grinning death's head, like Voltaire, frightening Christendom from its propriety, were stimulating to intoxication. But their talent was gigantic, though their persons were not; whereas, Marat's mind was as mean, and his habits as low, as his stature was small, and his looks disgustful. Here, then, was the requisite French ragout in all its putrid perfection. A scarecrow, suddenly fleshed, but with the heart omitted—his rags fluttering, and his arms vibrating, in a furious wind, with inflamed noddle, and small, keen, bloodshot eyes—became, for a season, the idol of the most refined and enlightened capital in Europe.

Had we traced, as with a lover's eye, the path of some beautiful flash of lightning, passing, in its terrible loveliness, over the still landscape, and seen it omitting the church spire, which seemed proudly pointing to it as it passed—sparing the old oak, which was bending his sacrificial head before its coming—touching not the tall pine into a column of torch-like flame, but darting its arrow of wrath upon the scarecrow, in the midst of a bean-field, and, by the one glare of grandeur, revealing its "looped and ragged" similitude to a man, its aspiring beggary, and contorted weakness—it would have presented us with a fit though faint image of the beautiful avenger, the holy homicide, the daughter of Nemesis by Apollo—Charlotte Corday—smiting the miserable Marat. Shaft from heaven's inmost quiver, why wert thou spent upon such a work? Beautiful, broad-winged bird of Jove, why didst thou light on such a quarry? Why not have ranged over Europe, in search of more potent and pernicious tyrants, or, at least, have run thy beak into the dark heart of Robespierre? Why did a steel, as sharp and bright as that of Brutus, when he rose "refulgent from the stroke," pierce only a vile insect on the hem of a mantle, and not at once a mantle and a man? Such questions are vain; for not by chance, but by decree, it came about that a death from a hand by which a demi-god would have desired to die, befell a demi-man, and that now this strange birth of nature shines on us forever, in the light of Charlotte Corday's dagger and last triumphant smile.

Yet, even to Marat, let us be merciful, if we must also be just. A monster he was not, nor even a madman; but a mannikin, of some energy and acuteness, soured and crazed to a preternatural degree, and whose fury was aggravated by pure fright. He was such a man as the apothecary in "Romeo and Juliet" would have become in a revolution; but he, instead of dealing out small doses of death to love-sick tailors and world-wearied seamstresses, rose by the force of desperation to the summit of revolutionary power, cried out for 80,000 heads, and died of the assaults of a lovely patriotic maiden, as of a sun-stroke. And yet Shakspeare has a decided penchant for the caitiff wretch he so graphically paints, and has advertised his shop to the ends of the earth. So let us pity the poor vial of prussic acid dashed down so suddenly, and by so noble a hand, whom mortals call Marat. Nature refuses not to appropriate to her bosom her spilt poisons, any more than her shed blooms—appropriates, however, only to mix them with kindlier elements, and to turn them to nobler account. So let us, in humble imitation, collect, and use medicinally, the scattered drops of poor acrid Marat.

Marat was essentially of the canaille—a bad and exaggerated specimen of the class, whom his imperfect education only contributed to harden and spoil. Robespierre and Danton belong, by birth and training, by feelings and habits, to the middle rank—Robespierre sinking, in the end, below it, through his fanaticism, and Danton rising above it, through his genius and power. Both were "limbs of the law," though the one might be called a great toe, and the other a huge Briarean arm; and, without specifying other resemblances, while Marat lost his temper and almost his reason in the mêlée of the Revolution, both Robespierre and Danton preserved to the last their self-possession, their courage, and the full command of their intellectual faculties, amidst the reelings of the wildest of revolutionary earthquakes, and the thick darkness of the deepest canopy of revolutionary night.

Robespierre reminds us much of one of the old Covenanters. Let not our readers startle at this seemingly strange assertion. We mean[Pg 29] the worst species of the old Covenanter—a specimen of whom is faithfully drawn by Sir Walter in Burley, and in our illustrious clansman—the "gifted Gilfillan." Such beings there did exist, and probably exist still, who united a firm belief in certain religious dogmas to the most woeful want of moral principle and human feeling, and were ready to fight what they deemed God's cause with the weapons of the devil. Their cruelties were cool and systematic; they asked a blessing on their assassinations, as though savages were to begin and end their cannibal meals with prayer. Such men were hopelessly steeled against every sentiment of humanity. Mercy to their enemies seemed to them treason against God. No adversary could escape from them. A tiger may feed to repletion, or be disarmed by drowsiness; but who could hope to appease the ghost of a tiger, did such walk? Ghosts of tigers, never slumbering, never sleeping, cold in their eternal hunger, pursuing relentlessly their devouring way, were the religious fanatics—the Dalziels and Claverhouses, as well as the Burleys and Mucklewraths, of the seventeenth century.

To the same order of men belonged Robespierre, modified, of course, in character and belief, by the influences of his period. The miscalled creed of the philosophers of France in the eighteenth century, which, with many of themselves, was a mere divertisement to their intellects, or a painted screen for their vices, sunk deep into the heart of Robespierre, and became a conviction and a reality with him. So far it was well; but, alas! the creed was heartless and immoral, as well as false. Laying down a wide object, it permitted every license of vice or cruelty in the paths through which it was to be gained. Robespierre became, accordingly, the worst of all sinners—a sinner upon system—a political Antinomian, glorying in his shame, to whom blood itself became at last an abstraction and a shadow; the guillotine only a tremendous shuttle, weaving a well-ordered political web; and the tidings of the fall of a thousand heads agreeably indifferent, as to the farmer the news of a cleared hay or harvest field.

That Robespierre had at the first any appetite for blood, is not now asserted by his bitterest foe. That he ever even acquired such a monstrous thirst, seems to us very unlikely. His only thought would be, at the tidings of another death, "Another sacrifice to my idea; another obstacle lifted out of its way." Nero's wish that his enemies had but "one neck" was, we think, comparatively a humane wish. It showed that he had no delight in the disgusting details, but only in the secure result of their destruction. He is the unnatural monster who protracts the fierce luxury—who sips his deep cup of blood lingeringly, that he may know the separate flavor of every separate drop, and who, like the Cyclops in the cave, leaves some select victim to the last, as a bonne bouche to his sated appetite—"Noman shall be the last to be devoured." Robespierre, no more than Nero, was up to such delicately infernal cruelty.

Carlyle frequently admits Robespierre's sincerity, and yet rates him as little other than a sham. We account for this as we did in the case of Marat. He is regarded as a small sincerity; and the sincerity of a small man contracts, to Carlyle's eye, something of the ludicrous air in which a Lilliputian warrior, shouldering his straw-sized musket, and firing his lead-drop bullets, seemed to Gulliver. "Bravo, my little hero!" shouts the Titan, with a loud laugh, as he sees him, with "sky-blue breeches," patronizing the houseless idea of a divine being, "prop away at the tottering heavens, with that new nine-pin of thine; but why is there not rather a little nice doll of an image in those showy inexpressibles, to draw out, and complete the conversion of thy people? and why not say, 'These be thy gods, O toy and toad-worshiping France!'" To bring him to respect, while he admits, the sincerity, we would need to disprove the smallness, of our Arras advocate. Now, compared to truly great men, such as Cromwell—or to extraordinary men, such as Napoleon, Mirabeau, and Danton—Robespierre was small enough. But surely it was no pigmy, whose voice—calm, dispassioned, and articulate—ruled lunatic France; who preserved an icy coolness amid a land of lava; who mastered, though it was only for a moment, a steed like the Revolution; and who threw from his pedestal, though it was by assailing in an unguarded hour, a statue so colossal as Danton's. Rigid, Roman-like purpose—keen, if uninspired, vision—the thousand eyes of an Argus, if not the head of a Jove, or the fist of a Hercules—perseverance, honesty, and first-rate business qualities—we must allow to Robespierre, unless we account for his influence by Satanic possession, and say—either no dunce aut Diabolus. Carlyle attributes his defeat and downfall to his pertinacious pursuit of a shallow logic to its utmost consequences. Probably he thus expresses, in his own way, the view we have already sought to indicate. Robespierre was the sincere, consistent, unclean apostle of an unclean system—a system of deism in theology—of libertinism in morals—of mobocracy in politics—of a "gospel according to Jean-Jacques"—a gospel of "liberty, equality, fraternity"—a liberty ending in general bondage, an equality terminating in the despotism of unprincipled talent, a fraternity dipping its ties in blood. With faithful, unfaltering footstep, through good report and bad report, he followed the genius of revolution in all her devious, dark, dangerous, or triumphant paths, till she at last turned round in anger, like a dogged fiend, and rent him in pieces.

In dealing with Robespierre, we feel, more than with Marat, that we are in contact with an intelligent human being, not an oddity, and mere splinter of a man. His idea led, and at last dragged him, but did not devour nor possess him. His cruelty was more a policy, and less a raging passion; and his great moral error[Pg 30] lay in permitting a theory, opposed to his original nature, to overbear his moral sense, to drain him of humanity, and to precipitate him to his doom. If he had resisted the devil, he would have fled from him.

In rising from Robespierre to Danton, we feel like one coming up from the lower plains of Sicily into its western coast—the country of the Cyclopes, with their one eye and gigantic stature; their courage, toil, ferocity, impiety, and power. Danton did tower Titanically above his fellows, and, with little of the divine, was the strongest of the earth-born. He had an "eye," like a shield of sight, broad, piercing, and looking straight forward. His intellect was clear, intuitive, commanding, incapable of the theoretical, and abhorrent of the visionary. He was practical in mind, although passionate in temperament, and figurative in speech. His creed was atheism, not apparently wrought out by personal investigation, or even sought for as an opiate to conscience, but carelessly accepted, as the one he found fashionable at the time. His conduct, too, was merely the common licentiousness of his country, taking a larger shape from his larger constitution and stronger passions. His political faith was less definite and strict, but more progressive and practical, and more accommodated to circumstances than Robespierre's. His patriotism was as sincere as Robespierre's, but hung about him in more voluminous folds. It was a toga, not a tunic. A sort of lazy greatness, which seemed, at a distance, criminal indifference, characterized him when in repose. His cupidity was as Cyclopean as his capacity. Nothing less than a large bribe could fill such a hand. No common goblet could satisfy such a maw. Greedy of money, for money's sake, he was not. He merely wished to live, and all Paris knew what he meant by living. And with all the royal sops to Cerberus, he remained Cerberus still. Never had he made the pretensions of a Lord Russell, or Algernon Sidney, and we know how they were subsidized. His "poverty, but not his will consented." Had he lived in our days, a public subscription—a "Danton testimonial, all subscriptions to be handed in to the ---- office of Camille Desmoulins," would have saved this vast needy patriot—this "giant worm of fire," from the disgrace of taking supplies from Louis, and then laughing a wild laughter at his provider, as he gnawed on at the foundations of his throne.

In fact, careless greatness, without principle, was the key to Danton's merits and faults—his power and weakness. Well did Madame Roland call him "Sardanapalus." When he found a clover field, he rolled in it. When he had nothing to do, he did nothing; when he saw the necessity of doing something immediately, he could condense ages of action into a few hours. He was like some terrible tocsin, never rung till danger was imminent, but then arousing cities and nations as one man. And thus it was that he saved his country and lost himself, repulsed Brunswick, and sunk before Robespierre.

It had been otherwise, if his impulses had been under the watchful direction of high religious, or moral, or even political principle. This would have secured unity among his passions and powers, and led to steady and cumulative efforts. From this conscious greatness, and superiority to the men around him, there sprung a fatal security and a fatal contempt. He sat on the Mountain smiling, while his enemies were undermining his roots; and while he said, "He dares not imprison me," Robespierre was calmly muttering "I will."

It seemed as if even revolution were not a sufficient stimulus to, or a sufficient element for Danton's mighty powers. It was only when war had reached the neighborhood of Paris, and added its hoarse voice to the roar of panic from within, that he found a truly Titanic task waiting for him. And he did it manfully. His words became "half battles." His actions corresponded with, and exceeded his words. He was as calm, too, as if he had created the chaos around him. That the city was roused, yet concentrated—furious as Gehenna, but firm as fate, at that awful crisis, was all Danton's doing. Paris seemed at the time but a projectile in his massive hand, ready to be hurled at the invading foe. His alleged cruelty was the result, in a great measure, of this habitual carelessness. Too lazy to superintend with sufficient watchfulness the administration of justice, it grew into the Reign of Terror. He was, nevertheless, deeply to blame. He ought to have cried out to the mob, "The way to the prisoners in the Abbaye lies over Danton's dead body;" and not one of them had passed on. He repented, afterward, of his conduct, and was, in fact, the first martyr to a milder regime. Not one of his personal enemies perished in that massacre: hence the name "butcher" applied to him is not correct. He did not dabble in blood. He made but one fierce and rapid irruption into the neighborhood of the "red sea," and returned sick and shuddering therefrom.

His person and his eloquence were in keeping with his mind and character. We figure him always after the pattern of Bethlehem Gabor, as Godwin describes him: his stature gigantic, his hair a dead black, a face in which sagacity and fury struggle for the mastery—a voice of thunder. His mere figure might have saved the utterance of his watchword, "We must put our enemies in fear." His face was itself a "Reign of Terror." His eloquence was not of the intellectual, nor of the rhetorical cast. It was not labored with care, nor moulded by art. It was the full, gushing utterance of a mind seeing the real merits of the case in a glare of vision, and announcing them in a tone of absolute assurance. He did not indulge in long arguments or elaborate declamations. His speeches were Cyclopean cries, at the sight of the truth breaking, like the sun, on his mind.[Pg 31] Each speech was a peroration. His imagination was fertile, rugged, and grand. Terrible truth was sheathed in terrible figure. Each thought was twin-born with poetry—poetry of a peculiar and most revolutionary stamp. It leaped into light, like Minerva, armed with bristling imagery. Danton was a true poet, and some of his sentences are the strangest and most characteristic utterances amid all the wild eloquence the Revolution produced. His curses are of the streets, not of Paris, but of Pandemonium; his blasphemies were sublime as those heard in the trance of Sicilian seer, belched up from fallen giants through the smoke of Etna, or like those which made the "burning marl" and the "fiery gulf" quake and recoil in fear.

Such an extraordinary being was Danton, resembling rather the Mammoths and Megatheriums of geology than modern productions of nature. There was no beauty about him why he should be desired, but there was the power and the terrible brilliance, the rapid rise and rapid subsidence of an Oriental tempest. Peace—the peace of a pyramid, calm-sitting and colossal, amid long desolations, and kindred forms of vast and coarse sublimity—be to his ashes!

It is lamentable to contemplate the fate of such a man. Newly married, sobered into strength and wisdom, in the prime of life, and with mildness settling down upon his character, like moonlight on the rugged features of the Sphinx, he was snatched away. "One feels," says Scott of him, "as if the eagle had been brought down by a 'mousing owl.'" More melancholy still to find him dying "game," as it is commonly called—that is, without hope and without God in the world—caracolling and exulting, as he plunged into the waters of what he deemed the bottomless and the endless night; as if a spirit so strong as his could die—as if a spirit so stained as his could escape the judgment—the judgment of a God as just as he is merciful; but also—blessed be his name!—as merciful as he is just.

[From Bentley's Miscellany.]



It was about the middle of August, 18—, that the Old Lucifer was cruising in the Monar Passage, a strait about forty miles wide, which separates the eastern end of St. Domingo from the island of Porto Rico. I was "middy" of the morning watch: it had been dead calm all night, but the gentle trade-wind was rising with the rising sun, and morning was glorious with the magic gilding of a tropical sky. Some time after eight bells,[7] when Ned Rattlin, who was never very punctual or methodical in any of his movements, came on deck to relieve me, and I was about to hurry down to my breakfast of warm skilligalee, or, as our old French negro, who served as midshipmen's steward and maid-of-all-work, with true French tact for murdering the king's English, called it, "giggeragee," Ralph seized me by the collar of my jacket, crying,

"Avast! Careless, my boy; you really must not make sail for the cockpit till you have heard the horrid dream which I had last night or this morning, for I dreamt it twice over, and can not get it out of my head. I must tell it to some one, and you are the only one that I dare tell it to; I should be so confoundedly laughed at by the servum pocus of the cockpit; but you and I know each other, and have some pursuits and feelings in common. We have our day-dreams and our night-dreams, and we know that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in the philosophy of a midshipman's berth."

Now, had not Ralph seized hold of me by the lappel of my jacket, as before said, I should certainly have cut and run; for a reefer of sixteen, who is just relieved from the morning-watch, which he has kept for four hours, from four o'clock in the morning, and who has taken a cold bath in the wash-deck tub, is not likely to be in a humor to let his breakfast of cocoa or skilligalee grow cold. But, with the powerful grip of Ralph's shoulder-of-mutton fist on my collar, there was no chance of escape without tearing my jacket from clue to earring, which I felt that I could not afford to do; for, as I have before remarked, Ralph Rattlin was my senior by two years at least, and overtopped me in height by a foot, or something near it. I therefore made a virtue of necessity, and said,

"Well, Jemmy, if you'll promise not to keep me long, and allow me, first, to run down below and tell old Dom to keep my burgoo[8] warm, I'll return and hear your wonderful dream, though I fancy it's all gammon, and only manufactured to try the capacity of my swallow; because you know that, like yourself, I have a bit of hankering after the marvelous, and, as the negro Methodist said of the prophet Jonah, am 'a tellible fellow for fish,' though I doubt whether, like him, I could quite swallow a whale."

"Well, then, make sail, you little flibbertigibbet, and make haste back, that's a good fellow."

The above elegant soubriquet he generally favored me with, when, in Yankee parlance, I had "riled" him and got his "dander up," as was always the case when he was called Jemmy Caster; he being but too conscious that his[Pg 32] long loose figure and shambling gait bore, at that time, no small resemblance to those of a waister of that name, though he afterward became a remarkably fine, handsome man, bearing a striking resemblance, not without sufficient reason, to King George the Fourth.

In a few minutes I had made arrangements with old Dominique for the safe custody of my breakfast, and was again pacing the lee side of the quarter-deck, by the side of my gigantic messmate.

"And now, my dear Careless," said he, with unusual gravity, "if you can be serious for a few minutes, I will relate to you this infernal dream, which so preys upon my spirits that I do not feel like myself this morning, and must unburden my mind. I dreamt, then, that I was on the second dog-watch, as you know I shall be this evening; it was between seven and eight bells, the night pitch-dark, with the wind blowing fresh from the northeast, the ship under double-reefed topsails, and foresail close hauled on the starboard tack, running at the rate of five knots as I had found upon heaving the log. Suddenly the sea became like one sheet of flame; its appearance was awfully grand; the head of every wave, as it curled over and broke, diffused itself in broad streaks and flashes of blue and white flame; and I involuntarily repeated to myself the two lines of that singular, soul-freezing rhapsody, the 'Ancient Mariner,' which, though descriptive of a very different state of the ocean from that now presented to my imagination, I felt to be most applicable to what I saw before me—

The water, like a witch's oils,
Burnt green, and blue, and white;

and then, referring to the two preceding lines of the stanzas—

About, about, in reel and rout,
The death-fires danced at night.

For that strangely wild and beautiful poem had taken a powerful hold on my sleeping fancy. I asked myself, with a shudder, can there be 'death-fires?' And it seemed that the question uttered half aloud, had no sooner passed my lips, than it received its answer in a most strange and fearful manner; for a voice, like no human voice that I ever yet heard, shrieked out, in a tone of horror and distress, that made my blood run cold, 'Ship a-hoy—ship a-hoy!' I turned toward the lee quarter, whence the voice came; and, jumping on a carronade-slide, I saw the body of a man appearing out of the sea, from the waist upward, of gigantic size, and of most forbidding—and at the same time woeful—countenance. His body appeared covered with scales, like that of a fish, which reflected the ghastly phosphoric light of the waters in radiating hues of green and gold, and purple and violet. His ample jaws, which opened from ear to ear, and which were furnished with a triple row of saw-shaped teeth, like those of a shark, were fringed with a thick curled beard and mustache, of pale sea-green, which fell in wavy masses, mingling with long elf-locks of the same sickly hue, over his broad breast and shoulders; his deep sunk eyes flashed out with a strange unearthly light from beneath thick, overhanging eyebrows of that self-same sea-green hue, and his head was surrounded and surmounted with a waving diadem of 'green, and blue and white' flames, flashing upward, and radiating sideways, and curling over their waving tops, so as to ape the exact form of ostrich feathers. Awful as the figure was, and though it made my flesh creep, yet dreaming as I was, I felt conscious that there was something of the ridiculous attached to the bizarrerie of its appearance. You know my vein, Careless, and will give me credit for a true exposition of my feelings, when I tell you that, though in a most awful funk, I could not help adopting the words of Trinculo, and asking myself, half aloud,

What have we here—a man or a fish?

I had not, till that moment, noticed the quarter-master of the watch, a fine old weather-beaten seaman, who stood close to my side, and was, like myself, attentively watching the movements of the strange demon-like merman, who continued to follow the ship within a few fathoms of the lee quarter-gallery, with a continual bowing or nodding motion of the head, which caused his plumes of livid flame to flash and corruscate, so that, to my eyes, they appeared to assume various forms of terror, as of 'fiery flying serpents,' entwining his temples and thence shooting upward, hissing and protruding their forked tongues, and lashing the air with their wings and tails of flame; and then, again, they subsided as before into the form of gracefully-curling ostrich plumes; meanwhile he kept opening his terrific jaws, from which issued a thin blue luminous vapor, as if in act to speak, but uttered no audible sound, except that every now and then he would wring his huge hands, which appeared to be webbed to the second joint of the fingers, like the feet of a water fowl, and furnished with long, crooked nails like an eagle's claws, and utter a wailing shriek so like the cry of a drowning man, that it nearly drove me mad to hear it, and seemed to freeze my very blood in my veins. Whether old Bitts, the quarter-master, had really heard me quote the words of Trinculo, or whether, as all things seem to work by supernatural influences in dreams, he had divined my question by intuition, I know not, but he answered me at once.

"'No, sir; believe an old sailor, that 'ere critter is neither man nor fish; it is somebody far more terrible-like, and one that few living sailors have ever set eyes on, though, mayhap, I may have seen him before; mayhap, d'ye see, I can't tell when nor where, nor whether it were sleeping or waking; howsomedever, be that as it will, I knows him well enough, for sure that 'ere's old Davy himself—old Davy Jones—he's come for some poor fellow's soul on board this here ship; and if you wants to[Pg 33] get rid of him, you'd better go down at once, and call the captain up, that he may tell him to take what he wants and be off; for, till that's done, he'll keep alongside the ship, and if he's kept too long waiting, there's no saying but he may send a hurricane which may sweep the Old Lucifer and all her officers and crew, away down into his locker.'

"This hint was no sooner given, than I thought I went down into the captain's cabin, where I found Captain Dure seated at the cabin-table, just under the swinging lamp, as pale as death, and trembling from head to foot like an aspen-leaf.

"'Please, sir,' I said, touching my hat, as in duty bound, 'Davy Jones has come alongside, and is waiting for somebody's soul; will you please to come on deck, and tell him to take what he wants?'

"'I know it,' said the captain, who seemed utterly unnerved with terror, while the presence of the unearthly visitant seemed to

—— harrow up his soul, freeze his young blood;
Make his two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres;
His knotted and combined locks to part,
And each particular hair to stand on end
Like quills upon the fretful porcupine.

"'I had a glimpse of him,' continued he, 'out of the quarter-gallery window, and that's enough for me. Let the officer of the watch, or the first lieutenant, tell him to take what he wants, and get rid of him.'

"Now, it seemed to me in my dream that I was dreadfully annoyed at the conduct of the captain in shrinking in such a dastardly manner from his duty; for, from the moment that Bitts had informed me who the stranger was and what he required, I had gone down and reported his advent to the skipper, with as much coolness and unconcern as I should have done the coming alongside of the admiral or any other great personage, and all my terror seemed, for the time, to have vanished as soon as the strange vision became connected with matters of routine or ship's duty. I, therefore, addressed the captain again, as it seemed to me, in a tone more authoritative than respectful: 'But, sir, you must come on deck; for old Bill Bitts says that Davy Jones will hearken to nobody but the captain or commander of the ship for the time being, and he knows Davy of old; and says, that if you don't come up on deck soon and let him go, the old fellow will send a hurricane that will blow the Old Lucifer out of the water, and that we shall find ourselves all, men and officers, down in Davy Jones's locker before you can say Jack Robinson. And I can tell you, sir, that the sky looks very ugly to windward.'

"'Well, Ralph, my boy!' said the captain, apparently quite convinced by my eloquent speech, which seemed to go down capitally in my dream, though I guess I should soon be looking out for squalls at the main-top-gallant-mast head, if I were to venture to address such a cavalier harangue to the skipper in waking earnest. 'Well, Ralph, my boy! give me your arm, and we'll go on deck, and give old Davy his due, since it must be so.' And with my assistance the captain mounted the companion-ladder, still trembling in every limb.

"As soon as we came on deck, I led him over to the lee side of the quarter-deck, and begged him to mount the carronade slide, and give his unwelcome visitor the congé d'élire, for which he seemed waiting, still bowing his head, waving his fiery plumes, and mopping and mowing, and showing his treble row of teeth, as before. At the sight of the frightful demon, the captain seemed more dead than alive, and ready to fall from the gun-carriage, on which I was obliged to support him; he, however, plucked up courage to shriek out, in a voice that trembled with agitation, 'Whoever, or whatever you are, take what you want, and begone;' and having said so, he sank powerless into my arms; upon which the creature uttered one of its strange, thrilling shrieks as of a drowning man, but which seemed mingled with a sort of shrill, demoniac laughter, and disappeared below the waves—the waving plumes of his singular head-gear flashing up half-mast high as he sank out of sight. At the same moment, my eyes were somehow mysteriously directed from it, and I saw Jacob Fell, the forecastle-man, fall dead into the arms of one of his watch-mates, he, whom we call Cadaverous Jack, and whom you christened the Ancient Mariner, because you said he went about his duty looking so miserable, holding his head down on one side, as if he always felt the weight of the murdered albatross hanging about his neck. Immediately a heavy squall threw the ship on her beam-ends, and I awoke"—which was the singular dream related to me by my quondam friend and shipmate, with a gravity quite unusual with him, except when he wanted to play upon the credulity of some of us youngsters, when he used to assume the gravest possible countenance, though I could always, in these cases, discern the lurking devil in his eyes. In this case, however, I could discover no such appearance of fun and frolic; his looks were, on the contrary, perfectly serious, and even allied to sadness, in spite of the bravado with which he had assumed his usual careless levity of manner in certain parts of his narration. I determined, however, not to let him have the laugh against me, and therefore said, "Come, come, Jemmy, you should tell that dream to the marines; the sailors can't bolt it; it's rather too tough. We all of us know that you are always dreaming, but you can't catch old birds with such chaff. I am too old a sea-dog, and have sailed over too many leagues of blue water to bite at such gammon." I prided myself much on being Ralph's senior in the service by a couple of years or so, and felt indignant that he should think of treating me as a youngster, because he had about the same advantage of me in age. He, however, affirmed, in the most solemn manner, that it was an actual bonâ-fide dream, and[Pg 34] that it had been reiterated on his falling asleep again, though in broken and disjointed patches, sometimes one part, sometimes another, of the previous vision being presented to his sleepy fancy; but there was always this horrible merman, with his shark's jaws and his flaming tiara, and poor Jacob Fell lying dead in his messmate's arms. But methinks I hear some nautical reader exclaim, "All stuff!" who ever heard of two reefers telling their dreams, and chattering on the sacred precincts of the quarter-deck of one of her Majesty's frigates, like a guinea-pig and an embryo cadet on the quarter-deck of a Bengal trader? Pardon, my noble sea-hossifer, but you must remember that the Old Lucifer was not the crack frigate—not the Eos, six-and-thirty, but only a small frigate; and that, although she was blessed with a real martinet of a first-lieutenant, yet, in point of discipline, she was like most jackass frigates and sloops of war, et hoc genus omne, little better than a privateer; besides, our Portuguese supernumerary lieutenant was the officer of the watch, and Ralph had completely got the weather-gage of him, and could do what he liked with the "pavior." However, the dream was told me by Ralph nearly in the very words in which I have given it, though, perhaps, not all on deck, for the subject was renewed over our allowance of grog in the midshipmen's berth after dinner, for nothing could drive it out of Rattlin's head, and he was all that day singularly silent and distrait on all other subjects. That evening I had the first dog-watch; and when Rattlin came on deck at six o'clock to relieve me, the sun was setting in a red and angry-looking sky, and there was every symptom of a squally night.

"Well, Percy," he said, "this sunset reminds me of my dream. I really think old Davy will be among us before my watch is out."

"Very well, Jemmy, I'll come on deck at seven bells and see," I replied, as I ran down the companion for an hour's snooze, for, as my nautical readers will be aware, I had the middle watch. Mindful of my promise, as soon as I heard seven bells struck, I roused myself from the locker on which I had stretched myself, and went on deck, and I was immediately struck with the perfect coincidence of the weather, and all the accessories to those described by Rattlin in his dream. The ship had just been put about, and was now close hauled on the starboard tack; the night pitch dark, the breeze freshening from the northeast, and the sea beginning to assume that luminous appearance so frequently observable under a dark sky and with a fresh breeze, but which, though generally attributed to myriads of luminous animalculæ, has never yet been fully and satisfactorily accounted for. I joined my friend Rattlin, and said to him, in a low tone, "This looks, indeed, like your dream."

"Yes," he answered, looking very pale and nervous; "it does, indeed. I don't know what to make of it. Davy Jones will certainly lay hold of some of us to-night."

At this moment the first-lieutenant came on deck, followed by the captain, whose sallow countenance, as he stood abaft the binnacle, and the light fell on his face, looked rather more ghastly than usual.

"I think, Mr. Silva," said the former, addressing the officer of the watch, "we had better take another reef in the topsails; it looks very squally to windward; it's drawing near to eight bells, so we'll turn the hands up at once."

"Mr. Rattlin," said Silva, "all hands reef topsails."

"Boatswain's-mate," bawled out Rattlin, going forward on to the weather gangway, "turn the hands up to reef topsails."

"Ay, ay, sir;" and immediately his silver call was between his lips, and after blowing a shrill prelude, his hoarse voice was heard proclaiming, "All hands reef topsails, ahoy," which was re-echoed from the main-deck by the call and voice of the boatswain's-mate of the watch below, and, finally, by those of the boatswain himself, as the men came tumbling up the fore and main hatchways, and were soon seen scampering up the rigging, or making the best of their way to their various stations. In less than five minutes the topsails were double-reefed, and the ship again dashing the spray from her bows. It being now so near the time for relieving the watch, the crew, with the exception of the idlers, all remained on deck, and the topmen scattered in groups about the gangways and forecastle.

All at once the sky grew blacker than before, the breeze freshened, and the surface of the sea became like one sheet of pale blue and white flame.

"Now, Careless," whispered Rattlin, actually trembling with excitement, "my dream to the life!"

The words had scarcely passed his lips, when such a shriek as I never heard before or since, seemed to come out of the very depths of the ocean, close under the ship's counter on the lee quarter. Every one rushed to the lee gangway, or jumped on the quarter-deck guns, to look in the direction from whence the sound came; but nothing could be seen. Once more that doleful cry arose, and it seemed now rather more distant from the ship, and then it ceased forever.

"A man overboard!" cried the first lieutenant, who seemed the first to recover his senses, seizing a grating of the companion-hatchway, and flinging it over the lee bulwark, while the lieutenant of the watch did the same with its fellow. "Down with helm, and heave her all aback—let go the lee braces—lay the main-topsail to the mast—square away the after-yards, my boys—lower the jolly-boat—jump into her, some of ye, and cast off her fastenings."

This latter command had, however, been obeyed ere it was issued, for the captain of the[Pg 35] mizen-top and myself had jumped into the boat, where we were soon joined by three other mizen-top-men, and had her all clear for lowering. Two other seamen stood with the boat's tackle-falls in their hands.

"Lower away," cried I; and down we went.

During her descent, I had shipped the rudder, and we were soon pulling away to leeward. In vain we pulled about for more than an hour in the short, tumbling sea, which scintillated as it broke around us, and shed a ghastly hue on our anxious countenances, while the

Elfish light
Fell off in hoary flakes

from the blades of our oars at every dip as they rose again from the water. At length the stentorian voice of the first-lieutenant hailed us to come on board, and we gave up our hopeless search, bringing with us nothing but one of the gratings and the life-buoy, which had been thrown overboard to support the drowning man, had he been fortunate enough to lay hold on one or the other of them. Upon passing the word forward to inquire whether any of the ship's company were missing, it was found that Jacob Fell, the forecastle-man, had not been seen since he had laid out with one of his watch-mates to stow the jib, which was hauled down when the topsails were reefed; the other man had left him out on the jib-boom, whence he must have fallen overboard; and it was supposed, from his thrilling and unearthly shriek, that he had been seized by a shark, as that part of the Carribean Sea is peculiarly infested by those voracious creatures; and thus was most singularly accomplished my shipmate Rattlin's dream.

[From Chambers's Edinburgh Journal.]


Neither history nor tradition tells us aught of the first letter—who was its writer, and on what occasion; how it was transmitted, or in what manner answered. The Chinese, the Hindoo, and the Scandinavian mythologies had each tales regarding the inventors of writing, and the rest of those that by pre-eminence may be called human arts; but concerning the beginner of mankind's epistolary correspondence, neither they nor the classic poets—who by the way, volunteered many an ingenious story on subjects far less important—have given us the least account.

Pope says:

"Heaven first taught letters for some wretch's aid—
Some banished lover, or some captive maid."

The poet evidently refers to the letter-writing art, and it may be so, for aught we can tell; but with all submission to his superior knowledge, banished lovers and captive maids have rarely been the transmitters of such useful inventions. Certainly, whoever first commenced letter-writing, the world has been long his debtor. It is long since the Samaritans wrote a letter against the builders of Jerusalem to Artaxerxes, and it may be observed that the said letter is the earliest epistle mentioned in any history. Older communications appear to have been always verbal, by means of heralds and messengers. Homer, in his account of all the news received and sent between the Greeks and Trojans, never refers to a single letter. The scribe's occupation was not altogether unknown in those days, but it must have been brought to considerable perfection before efforts in the epistolary style were made. That ancient language of picture and symbol, in which Egypt expressed her wisdom, was undoubtedly the earliest mode of writing; but, however, calculated to preserve the memory of great historical events amid the daily life, and toil, and changes of nations, it was but poorly fitted for the purpose of correspondence. How could compliments or insinuations be conveyed by such an autograph? Letters must have been brief and scanty in the hieroglyphic times; yet doubtless not without some representations, for the unalphabeted of mankind have combined to hold mutual intelligence by many a sign and emblem, especially in those affairs designated of the heart, as they above all others contribute to ingenuity. Hence came the Eastern language of flowers, which, with Oriental literature and mythology, is now partially known over the civilized world. In its native clime this natural alphabet is said to be so distinctly understood, that the most minute intimations are expressed by it; but the more frank and practical courtship of Europe has always preferred the pen as its channel of communication, which, besides its greater power of enlargement, prevents those mistakes into which the imperfectly-initiated are apt to fall with flowers. For instance, there is a story of a British officer in Andalusia who, having made a deep impression on the heart of a certain alcaide's daughter, in one of the small old towns of that half-Moorish province, and receiving from her one morning a bouquet, the significance of which was—"My mother is in the way now, but come to visit me in the twilight," supposed in his ignorance, and perhaps presumption, that he was invited to an immediate appointment: whereupon he hurried to the house, just in time to meet the venerable signora, when the lady of his heart boxed his ears with her own fair hands, and vowed she would never again send flowers to a stupid Englishman.

In fine contrast to this sample of misunderstanding stands forth the dexterity with which an Irish serving-maid contrived to signify, by symbols of her own invention, her pleasure, on a still more trying occasion. Poor Kitty, though a belle in her class, could neither read nor write; but her mistress's grown-up daughter undertook, as a labor of love, to carry on a correspondence between her and a certain hedge schoolmaster in the neighborhood, who laid siege to Kitty's heart and hand on account of a small deposit in the savings' bank, and that proverbial attraction which learned men are said to find in rather illiterate ladies. The schoolmaster was,[Pg 36] however, providently desirous of fixing on the mind of his future partner an impression of his own superiority sufficient to outlast the wear and tear of married life, and therefore wooed chiefly by long and learned letters, to which Kitty responded in her best style, leaving to her volunteer secretary what she called "the grammar" of her replies; besides declaring, with many hardly-complimentary observations on the schoolmaster's person and manners, that she had not the slightest interest in the affair, but only, in her own words, "to keep up the craythur's heart." Thus the courtship had proceeded prosperously through all the usual stages, when at length the question, par excellence, was popped (of course on paper). Kitty heard that epistle read with wonted disdain; but, alas, for human confidence! there was something in her answer with which she could not trust the writer of so many; for after all her scorn, Kitty intended to say, "Yes," and her mode of doing so merits commemoration. In solitude that evening, beside the kitchen hearth, she sketched on a sheet of white paper, with the help of a burned stick, a rude representation of a human eye, and inclosing a small quantity of wool, dispatched it next morning to the impatient swain by the hand of his head scholar—those primitive tokens expressing to Kitty's mind the important words, "I will," which the teacher, strange to say, understood in the same sense; and their wedding took place, to the unqualified amazement of Kitty's amanuensis. Epistolary forms and fashions have had their mutations like all other human things. The old Eastern mode of securing letters was by folding them in the shape of a roll, and winding round them a thin cord, generally of silk, as the luxury of letters was known only to the rich. In the case of billets-doux—for Eastern lovers did not always speak by flowers when the pen was at their command—enthusiastic ladies sometimes substituted those long silken strings which, from time immemorial, the Oriental women have worn in their hair—a proceeding which was understood to indicate the deepest shade of devotedness.

The mythic importance attached to these hair-strings must, indeed, have been great, as history records that a certain prince, whose dominions were threatened by Mithridates, the great king of Pontus—like other great men, a troublesome neighbor in his day—sent the latter a submissive epistle, offering homage and tribute, and bound with the hair-strings of his nineteen wives, to signify that he and his were entirely at the monarch's service. The custom of securing letters by cords came through the Greek empire into Europe in the middle ages; but the use of the seal seems still earlier, as it is mentioned in Old Testament history. Ancient writers speak of it as an Egyptian Invention, together with the signet-ring, so indispensable throughout the classic world, and regarded as the special appendage of sovereignty in the feudal times.

Of all the letters the Egyptians wrote on their papyrus, no specimens now remain, except perhaps those scrolls in the hands of mummies, referred to by early Christian authors as epistles sent to deceased friends by those unreturning messengers; and they, it may be presumed, were at the best but formal letters, since no reply was ever expected. The classic formula for correspondence, "Augustus to Julius, greeting," is now preserved only in letters-patent, or similar documents. That brief and unvarying style has long been superseded in every language of Europe by a graduated series of endearing terms, rising with the temperature of attachment, from "Dear Sir," or "Madam," to a limit scarcely assignable, but it lies somewhere near "Adored Thomas" or "Margery."

Masters of the fine arts as they were, those ancient nations came far short of the moderns in that of letter-writing. The few specimens of their correspondence that have reached us are either on matters of public business, or dry and dignified epistles from one great man to another, with little life and less gossip in them. It is probable that their practice was somewhat limited, as the facilities of the post-office were unknown to Greece and Rome—the entire agency of modern communication being to the classic world represented only by the post or courier, who formed part of the retinue of every wealthy family. The method of writing in the third person, so suitable for heavy business or ceremony, is evidently a classical bequest. It does not appear to have been practiced in England till about the beginning of the eighteenth century, though it was early in use among the continental nations. Louis XIV. used to say, it was the only style in which a prince should permit himself to write; and in the far East, where it had been in still older repute, the Chinese informed his missionaries that ever since they had been taught manners by the Emperor Tae Sing, no inferior would presume to address a man of rank in any other form, especially as a law of the said emperor had appointed twenty blows of the bamboo for that infraction of plebeian duty.

Of all human writings, letters have been preserved in the smallest proportion. How few of those which the best-informed actors in great events or revolutions must have written, have been copied by elder historians or biographers! Such documents are, by their nature, at once the least accessible and the most liable to destruction; private interests, feelings, and fears, keep watch against their publication; but even when these were taken out of the way, it is to be feared that the narrow-minded habit of overlooking all their wisdom deemed minute, which has made the chronicles of nations so scanty, and many a life in two volumes such dull reading, also induced learned compilers to neglect, as beneath their search, the old letters bundled up in dusty chest or corner, till they served a succeeding generation for waste paper. Such mistakes have occasioned heavy losses to literature.[Pg 37] Time leaves no witnesses in the matters of history and character equal to these. How many a disputed tale, on which party controversy has raged, and laborious volumes have been written, would the preservation of one authentic note have set at rest forever?

The practical learning of our times, in its search after confirmation and detail, amply recognizes the importance of old letters; and good service has been done to both history and moral philosophy by those who have given them to the press from state-paper office and family bureau. In such collections one sees the world's talked-of-and-storied people as they were in private business, in social relations, and in what might be justly designated the status of their souls. In spite of the proverbial truisms, that paper never refuses ink, and falsehood can be written as well as spoken, the correspondence of every man contains an actual portrait of the writer's mind, visible through a thousand disguises, and bearing the same relation to the inward man that a correct picture bears to the living face; without change or motion, indeed, but telling the beholder of both, and indicating what direction they are likely to take.

The sayings of wits and the doing of oddities long survive them in the memory of their generation—the actions of public men live in history, and the genius of authors in their works; but in every case the individual, him or herself, lives in letters. One who carried this idea still farther, once called letter-writing the Daguerreotype of mind—ever leaving on the paper its true likeness, according to the light in which it stands for the time; and he added, like the sun's painting, apt to be most correct in the less pleasant lines and lineaments. Unluckily this mental portraiture, after the fashion of other matters, seems less perceptible to the most interested parties. Many an unconcerned reader can at this day trace in Swift's epistles the self-care and worship which neither Stella nor Vanessa could have seen without a change in their histories.

Cardinal Mazarin, however, used to say that an ordinary gentleman might deceive in a series of interviews, but only a complete tactician in one of letters; "that is," observed his eminence, "if people don't deceive themselves." The cardinal's statement strikingly recalls, if it does not explain, a contemporary remark, that the most successful courtships, in the fullest sense of that word, were carried on with the help of secret proxies in the corresponding department. The Count de Lauson, whose days, even to a good old age, were equally divided between the Bastile and the above-mentioned pursuit, in which he must have been rather at home—for though a poor gentleman, with little pretensions to family, still less to fortune, and no talents that the world gave him credit for, he contrived in his youth to marry a princess of the blood-royal of France, who had refused half the kings of Europe, and been an Amazon in the war of the Frondé; and in his age a wealthy court belle—this Count de Lauson declared that he could never have succeeded in his endeavors after high matches but for a certain professional letter-writer of Versailles, on whose death he is said to have poured forth unfeigned lamentations in the presence of his last lady. Letters always appear to have been peculiarly powerful in the count's country. Madame de Genlis, whose "Tales of the Castle," and "Knights of the Swan" delighted at least the juveniles of a now-departing generation, was believed to have made a complete conquest, even before first sight, of the nobleman whose name she bears, by a single letter, addressed to a lady at whose house he was an admiring visitor, when she unadvisedly showed him the epistle. An anxiously-sought introduction and a speedy marriage followed; but the scandal-mongers of the period averred that their separation, which took place some years after, was owing, among other circumstances, to an anonymous letter received by the baron himself.

Frederick the Great used to call the French the first letter-writers of Europe, and it is probable that their national turn for clever gossip gives to their epistles a sort of general interest, for in no other country have letters formed so large a portion of published literature. This was particularly true in Frederick's own age. Never did a death or a quarrel take place—and the latter was not rare among the savants of that period—but comfort or satisfaction was sought in the immediate publication of every scrap of correspondence, to the manifold increase of disputes and heartburnings. Some of the most amusing volumes extant were thus given to the world; and Madame Dunoyer's, though scarcely of that description, must not be forgotten from the tale of its origin. When Voltaire was a young attaché to the French embassy at the Hague, with no reputation but that of being rather unmanageable by his family and confessor, he was on billet-doux terms, it seems, with madame's daughter; but madame found out that he was poor, or something like it, for in no other respect was the lady scrupulous. Her veto was therefore laid on the correspondence, which nevertheless survived under interdict for some time, till Voltaire left the embassy, and it died of itself; for he wrote the "Oedipe," became talked of by all Paris, and noticed by the Marquis de Vellers. Gradually the man grew great in the eyes of his generation, his fame as a poet and philosopher filled all Europe, not forgetting the Hague; and when it had reached the zenith, Madame Dunoyer collected his letters to her daughter, which remained in her custody, the receiver being by this time married, and published them at her own expense in a handsomely-bound volume. Whether to be revenged on fortune for permitting her to miss so notable a son-in-law, or on him for obeying her commands, it is now impossible to determine, but her book served to show the world that the early billets-doux of a[Pg 38] great genius might be just as milk-and-watery as those of common people.

Indeed letter-publishing seems to have been quite the rage in the eighteenth century. The Secretary La Beaumelle stole all Madame de Maintenon's letters to her brother, setting forth her difficulties in humoring Louis XIV., and printed them at Copenhagen. Some copies were obligingly forwarded to Versailles, but madame assured the king they were beneath his royal notice, which, being confirmed by his confessor, was of course believed; but the transaction looks like retributive justice on her well-known practice of keeping sundry post-office clerks in pay to furnish a copy of every letter sent or received by the principal persons at court, not excepting even the royal family. Among these were copied the celebrated letters of the Dauphiness Charlotte Elizabeth of Bavaria, which now, in good plain print, present to all readers of taste in that department a complete chronicle of all the scandal, gossip, and follies of Versailles; and that princess, whose pride stood so high on her family quarterings, was gravely rebuked, and obliged to ask pardon seven years after for certain uncomplimentary passages in her epistles regarding madame when she first came to court as nursery governess to the king's children.

Dangerous approvers have old letters been from throne to cottage. Many a specious statement, many a fair profession, ay, and many a promising friendship, have they shaken down. Readers, have a care of your deposits in the post-office; they are pledges given to time. It is strange, though true, how few historical characters are benefited by the publication of their letters, surviving, as such things do, contemporary interests and prejudices, as well as personal influence.

There must be something of the salt that will not lose its savor there to make them serve the writers in the eyes of posterity. What strange confidence the age of hoop and periwig put in letter-writing! Divines published their volumes of controversy or pious exhortation, made up of epistles to imaginary friends. Mrs. Chapone's letters to her niece nourished the wisdom of British belles; while Lord Chesterfield's to his son were the glass of fashion for their brothers; and Madame de Sévigné's to her daughter, written expressly for publication, afforded models for the wit, elegance, and sentiment of every circle wherein her language was spoken. The epistolary style's inherent power of characterization naturally recommended it in the construction of their novels, and many a tale of fame and fashion in its day, besides "La Nouvelle Heloise," and "Sir Charles Grandison," was ingeniously composed of presumed correspondence.

Chinese literature is said to possess numerous fictions in that form; but it is not to be regretted that modern novelists, whose name is more than legion, pass it by in favor of direct narrative; for, under the best arrangement, a number of letters can give but a series of views, telling the principals' tale in a broken, sketchy fashion, and leaving little room for the fortunes of second-rate people, who are not always the lowest company in the novel. Tours and travels tell pleasantly in letters, supposing of course the letters to be well written; for some minds have such a wondrous affinity for the commonplace, that the most important event or exciting scene sinks to the every-day level under their pen.

Sir Andrew Mitchell, who was British embassador to Prussia during the seven years' war, writes from the camp before Prague concerning that great battle which turned the scale of power in Germany, and served Europe to talk of till the French Revolution, in a style, but for quotations from the bulletin, suitable to the election of some civic alderman; and a less known traveler, writing to a friend of the glare of Moscow's burning, which he saw from a Russian country-house, reddening the northern night, describes it as "a very impressive circumstance, calculated to make one guard against fire."

It has been remarked that, as a general rule, poets write the best, and schoolmasters the worst letters. That the former, in common with literary men of any order, should be at least interesting correspondents, seems probable; but why the instructors of youth should be generally stricken with deficiency in letter-writing is not so easy of explanation.

Some one has also observed that, independent of mental gifts and graces, characters somewhat cold and frivolous generally write the most finished letters, and instanced Horace Walpole, whose published epistles even in our distant day command a degree of attention never to be claimed by those of his superior contemporaries—the highly-gifted Burke, and the profound Johnson. It may be that the court gossip in and upon which Horace lived has done much for the letters from Strawberry Hill, but the vein must have been there; and the abilities that shine in the world of action or of letters, the conversational talents or worthiness of soul, do not make the cleverest correspondent.

Count Stadion, prime minister to the Elector of Mayence, according to Goethe, hit on an easy method of making an impression by letters. He obliged his secretary, Laroche, to practice his handwriting, which, it appears, he did with considerable success; and, says the poet in his own memoirs, being "passionately attached to a lady of rank and talent, if he stopped in her society till late at night, his secretary was, in the mean time, sitting at home, and hammering out the most ardent love-letters; the count chose one of these, and sent it that very night to his beloved, who was thus necessarily convinced of the inextinguishable fire of her passionate adorer."

"Hélas!" as Madame d'Epigny remarked, when turning over the printed epistles of a deceased friend, "one can never guess how little[Pg 39] truth the post brings one;" but from the following tradition, it would seem the less the better. Among the old-world stories of Germany are many regarding a fairy chief or king, known from rustic times as Number Nip, or Count-the-Turnips. One of his pranks was played in an ancient inn of Heidelberg, where, on a December night, he mixed the wine with a certain essence distilled from the flowers of Elfland, which had the effect of making all who tasted it tell nothing but truth with either tongue or pen till the morning. The series of quarrels which took place in consequence round the kitchen fire belong not to the present subject; but in the red parlor there sat, all from Vienna, a poet, a student, a merchant, and a priest. After supper, each of these remembered that he had a letter to write—the poet to his mistress, the merchant to his wife, the priest to the bishop of his diocese, and the student to his bachelor uncle, Herr Weisser of Leopoldstadt, who had long declared him his heir. Somehow next morning they were all at the post-office beseeching their letters back; but the mail had been dispatched, and the tale records how, after that evening's correspondence, the poet's liege lady dismissed him, the merchant and his wife were divorced, the priest never obtained preferment, and none of the letters were answered except the student's, whom Herr Weisser complimented on having turned out such a prudent, sensible young man, but hoped he wouldn't feel disappointed, as himself intended to marry immediately.

The most curiously-characteristic letters now made public property are those of Sir Walter Raleigh to Queen Elizabeth, written from the Tower (to which the historian of the world was committed for wedding without her majesty's permission), and in the highest tone of desperation that a banished lover could assume; the correspondence between Frederick of Prussia and Voltaire, then of France, after what was called their reconciliation, beginning with the grandest compliments, and ending with reminiscences of quite another kind, particularly that from the royal pen, which opens with, "You, who from the heights of philosophy look down on the weakness and follies of mankind," and concludes with the charge of appropriating candle-ends; and the epistles of Rousseau during his residence in England, which alternate between discoveries of black conspiracies against his life and fame, and threats of adjournment to the workhouse, if his friends would not assist him to live in a better style than most country gentlemen of the period.

There are printed samples with whose writers fame has been busy; but who can say what curiosities of letter-writing daily mingle with the mass that pours through the London Post-Office? Can it be this continual custody and superintendence of so large a share of their fellow-creatures' wisdom, fortunes, and folly, that endows post-office functionaries in every quarter with such an amount of proverbial crustiness, if the word be admissible? Do they, from the nature of their business, know too much about the public to think them worth civility, so that nobody has yet discovered a very polite postmaster or man? A strange life the latter leads in our great cities. The truest representative of destiny seems his scarlet coat, seen far through street and lane: at one door he leaves the news of failure and ruin, and at another the intelligence of a legacy. Here his message is the death of a friend, while to the next neighbor he brings tidings of one long absent, or the increase of kindred; but without care or knowledge of their import, he leaves his letters at house after house, and goes his way like a servant of time and fortune, as he is, to return again, it may be, with far different news, as their tireless wheels move on. Are there any that have never watched for his coming? The dwellers in palaces and garrets, large families, and solitary lodgers, alike look out for him with anxious hope or fear. Strange it is for one to read over those letters so watched and waited for, when years have passed over since their date, and the days of the business, the friendship, or perhaps the wooing, to which they belong are numbered and finished!

How has the world without and within been altered to the correspondents since they were written? Has success or ill fortune attended the speculations by which they set such store? What have been their effects on outward circumstances, and through that certain channel, on the men? Has the love been forgotten? Have the friends become strange or enemies? Have some of them passed to the land whose inhabitants send back no letters? And how have their places been filled? Truly, if evidence were ever wanting regarding the uncertainty of all that rests on earth, it might be found in a packet of old letters.


We scarcely know a truer test of a gentlewoman's taste in dress than her selection of a shawl, and her manner of wearing it: and yet if the truth must be owned, it is the test from which few Englishwomen come with triumph. Generally speaking, the shawl is not their forte, in fact they are rather afraid of it. They acknowledge its comfort and convenience for the open carriage, or the sea-side promenade, but rarely recognize it for what it is, a garment capable of appearing the most feminine and graceful in the world. They are too often oppressed by a heap of false notions on the subject; have somehow an idea that a shawl is "old" or "dowdy;" and yet have a dim comprehension that the costly shawls which they more frequently hear of than see, must have some unimagined merits to prove an excuse for their price.

The Frenchwoman, on the contrary, has traditions about "Cashmeres," and remembers no blank of ignorance on the subject. She[Pg 40] played at dressing her doll with one, you may be sure; chronicled as an epoch in her life, her first possession of the real thing; holds it as precious as a diamond, and as something to which appertains the same sort of intrinsic value; and shrugs her shoulders with compassionate contempt at an Englishwoman's ignorant indifference on this subject—just as a lover of olives pities the coarse palate which rejects them. Truly the taste for the shawl is a little inherent, and a great deal acquired and cultivated; as appreciation for the highest attributes of every department of art ever must be, from a relish for Canova's chefs-d'œuvres down to a relish for M. Soyer's dishes.

Of course among those we are addressing, there is a minority who do know, and duly esteem a beautiful shawl: perhaps, from the possession of wealth, they have long been accustomed to be surrounded by objects of rare and exquisite fabric, and their practiced eyes would be quick at detecting inferiority: perhaps without great riches or the personal possession of valuable attire, a fine taste may have been cultivated by circumstances: and perhaps they are Anglo-Indians, or the relatives and near friends of Anglo-Indians, who know well a "Cashmere,"—measuring every other shawl in the world by and from it—and to whom the word conjures up a host of memories half sunshine and half shadow.

It was not until quite the close of the last century, that Cashmeres were prized in Europe. Travellers' tales had mentioned them, it is true, but that was before the locomotive age, and when travelers were few, and traveling unspeakably tedious; when soldiers went to India to hold and increase their country's territory; when a few traders made princely fortunes; but when every system of interchange was narrow and exclusive, and people were taught to be content with clumsy common wares, instead of raising them to excellence by the spur of competition. It is said that in the year 1787, the embassadors of Tippoo Saib left behind them at Paris a few Cashmere shawls—intended as gracious presents we presume—but which were regarded solely as curiosities, and not even much esteemed in that capacity, for we learn that they were employed as dressing-gowns, and even used for carpeting! Not till after Napoleon's expedition to Egypt did they become the rage; and a solid good resulted from that campaign in the introduction of a fabric destined to be the model of one of the most famous manufactures of the French.

Madame Emile Gaudin, a lady of Greek extraction and a reigning beauty, is reputed to have first worn a Cashmere shawl in Paris; but if we know any thing of the "Consul's Wife," or the "Empress Josephine," she was not very far behind, for her love of Cashmeres was next to her love of flowers, as more than one anecdote might be called in to testify. What scenes this history of an inanimate object conjures up to the mind's eye. These leaders of fashion when the old century went out on the young Republic of France, whose Master was already found—who were they? The wives of men who were working out the destiny of Europe, guided by a chief who, be he judged for good or evil, looms on the page of history in giant proportions!

As we have said, the Cashmere shawl became the rage. The farce of pretended equality in France was acted out, and the curtain dropped on it in preparation for quite a different tableau; people no longer risked their lives by dressing elegantly, and it was not now expected that the soubrette, the blanchisseuse, or the poissonnière should dress precisely the same as the lady of a general officer. There was wealth, too, in the land, and the enormous sums demanded for these shawls were readily forthcoming. Sums equivalent to two or three hundred pounds of our money were commonly paid even for soiled worn articles, which had done duty as turbans to Mogul soldiers, or girded a Bayadere's waist, or been the sacerdotal garment of an idolatrous priest—and had very frequently been thus used by more than one generation. It is true, the durability of the fabric and the lasting properties of the dyes, permitted the cleansing of these shawls with scarcely perceptible injury or deterioration, but still it was only the intrinsic merit of the thing, which could have overcome the natural repugnance which the known or suspected history of a Cashmere must in many instances have occasioned.

The Levant traders had now large commissions, and the result was that new shawls were soon more easily procurable, but still bearing an enormous price. This is readily accounted for, and a brief description of the manufacture of Indian shawls will show how it is that they never can be cheap:—The wool of the Thibet goat is the finest in the world, and for the best shawls only the finest even of this wool is used. The animals are shorn once a year, and a full-grown goat only produces about eight ounces of wool of this first quality. There is every reason to suppose that the climate has very much to do with the perfection of the animal, for attempts to naturalize it elsewhere have all more or less failed. The loom on which a Cashmere shawl is woven is of the rudest and most primitive description, the warp being supported by two sticks, and the woof entirely worked in by the human hand. This slow laborious process permits a neatness and exactness of finish beyond the power of any machinery to rival; and when we take into account a life-long practice in the art, and—remembering the Hindoo "castes," which usually limit a family to the exercise of a single craft—in most instances the family secrets and traditions which have been preserved, we cease to wonder at the perfection of the work. These Asiatic weavers, temperate in their habits and readily contented, receive a wage of from three-halfpence to twopence a day; but if their wants more nearly approximated to those of an European laborer,[Pg 41] what would an Indian Cashmere be worth, when we are informed that from thirty to forty men have sometimes been employed from eighteen months to two years in the manufacture of a single shawl! There is something very kindling to the imagination in the thought of these swarthy weavers, attired perhaps in our Manchester calicoes, laboring patiently for weeks and months to produce a fabric worthy of rank and royalty, without other than most vague or false ideas of the scenes in which their work will be displayed.

The borders of these shawls are made in several pieces, sometimes as many as from ten to twenty, and are afterward sewn together to form the pattern; and by the border an Indian shawl may always be recognized from a French or Paisley one, however close an imitation the latter may appear. Every stitch of the border of the Indian shawl being worked by the hand is distinct in itself, and may be pulled out—though it is not very easily detached—without further injury to the fabric; whereas the shawl made on a French or British loom has the border formed in one piece, whence a long thread may at any time be readily drawn. Indeed there is no surer test by which a lady may know a veritable Cashmere, than by examining the border; but if she have a fine eye for color this faculty will also assist her. The preparation of the dyes which the Hindoos use is still a secret, of which they are very chary, removing their operations to a distance whenever they have reason to dread inquisitive lookers on. But the result in their fabrics is perceived in the peculiar richness and clearness of their hues, and at the same time absence of glare; the reds, blues, and greens, reminding one more of the harmonious tints of old stained glass than any thing else.

It must not, however, be supposed that in the progressive nineteenth century, even this Asiatic manufacture has remained stationary. Receiving the impetus of fashion, the shawls of Cashmere have become, within the last dozen years, richer and more elaborate than ever; their richness and elaboration of pattern necessitating even a firmer and more substantial groundwork than heretofore, but still the method of their manufacture remains unchanged, as might be expected from the conservatism inseparable from semi-barbarism. London is now one of the chief marts for Cashmeres. It may not be generally known that London dealers send quantities of shawls to France, America, Russia, and even Turkey, a convincing proof of the enterprise of British merchants. They supply many other foreigners, especially finding a market among them for the gold embroidered shawls, which are frequently worn on state occasions at foreign courts. The duty on Indian shawls is now only about five per cent. Twice a year there are public sales, to which dealers are invited by catalogues sent to Paris and other continental cities. One of the great merits of a Cashmere seems that it is really never out of date; and when, comparing even the old "pine" patterns with the large long shawls, the rich borders of which sweep in graceful flowing lines into the very centre, we feel that they are still "of one family," and hold together—if the comparison be not too fanciful—rich and poor, in right clannish fashion.

Some of the most modern and most costly Indian shawls resemble in pattern that of the long French Cashmere, simply however because the French have copied the Indian design. The gold and silver thread employed for the embroidery of Cashmere shawls is usually prepared in the following manner; and the chief seat of the manufacture is at Boorhampoor, a city of the Deccan. A piece of the purest ore is beaten into a cylindrical form about the size of a thick reed, and then beaten out in length until it will pass through an orifice the eighth of an inch in diameter; it is drawn through still finer perforations until it is reduced to the proportion of a bobbin thread. Now a different plan is pursued; the wire already produced is wound upon several reels which work upon pivots, the ends of the thread being passed through still finer holes, and then affixed to a large reel which is set rapidly in motion and still further attenuates the threads. It is afterward flattened on an anvil of highly polished steel, by a practiced and dexterous workman; and by an ingenious process, a silk thread is afterward plated, or sheathed as it were by this minute wire. It is asserted that if a lump of silver be gilt in the first instance before being drawn into wire, it will retain the gilding through all the subsequent hard usage of hammering, winding, and drawing to which it is subjected, coming out to the very last a gilded thread. It is easy to understand that gold and silver thread of this pure description, unlike tinsel finery, it is not liable to tarnish.

There are few of our readers who can require telling that China crape is made entirely of silk, and that shawls manufactured of it are generally costly in proportion to the richness of the pattern. The foundation or ground of the shawls is chiefly made at Nankin, and then sent to Canton to be embroidered. The pattern is formed by two "needlemen," who work together, the one passing the silk down, and the other from beneath passing it up, while a third workman changes the silk for them when necessary. Thus the apparent marvel of equal neatness on both sides is accounted for, by the explanation of this simple method; but we have quite failed, from examination of the work, to detect the process of fastening on and off; with such mysterious ingenuity is this needful operation performed. China crape shawls have been very fashionable of late years, and almost defying vulgar imitation, are little likely to fall into disrepute.

[From Tait's Magazine.]



I had but just quitted the university, and was a mere stripling, when I received the appointment of judge-commissary at a little[Pg 42] town in New East Prussia, as the part of Poland was termed which, during the partition of that country, had fallen to the share of Prussia.

I will not weary the reader by giving any lengthened account of my journey; the country was but one flat throughout, the men mere boors, the officials uncouth, the accommodation execrable. Yet the people all seemed happy enough. Man and beast have each their allotted elements. The fish perishes when out of water—the elegance of a boudoir would prove fatal to a Polish Jew.

Well, to make my story short, I arrived one evening, a little before sunset, at a place called, I believe (but should be sorry to vouch for my accuracy), Brczwezmcisl, a pleasant little town enough. When I say pleasant, to be sure I own that the streets were unpaved, the houses begrimed with soot, and the natives not over refined either in manners or person; but a man who works in a coal-mine is pleasant, after his fashion, even as the pet figurante of the day after hers.

I had pictured to myself Brczwezmcisl, the place where I was to enter upon my functions, as far more formidable than I in fact found it, and perhaps on that account I was now prepared to term it pleasant. I remember that the first time I tried to pronounce the name of the place I very nearly brought on lock-jaw. Hence, no doubt, my gloomy anticipations as to its appearance. Names certainly do influence our ideas to a most marvelous extent. Moreover, what mainly contributed to enhance my secret misgivings as to the town destined to enjoy the benefit of my talents was the fact that I had never yet been so far from home as to lose sight of its church steeple. I had a tolerable idea that my way did not lead me in the vicinity of the Cannibal Islands, or of the lands where men's heads "do grow beneath their shoulders;" but I was not without some apprehension, as I journeyed on, of receiving an occasional pistol-shot, or feeling the cold steel of a stiletto between my ribs.

My heart throbbed violently as I caught the first glimpse of Brczwezmcisl. It appeared, at a distance, a vast plain, covered with mud-heaps. But what mattered that to one of my imaginative powers? There was my goal, there my entering scene in life. Not a soul did I know there, with the exception of an old college acquaintance, named Burkhardt, who had been but recently appointed collector of taxes at Brczwezmcisl. I had apprised him of my near advent, and requested him to provide me with temporary lodgings. The nearer I approached the town, the keener waxed my esteem and friendship for Burkhardt, with whom I had never been on terms of intimacy; indeed, my mother enjoined me always to shun his society, seeing that his reputation for steadiness was not of the highest. But now I was his till death. He was my only rallying point in this wild Polish town; he was the sole plank to which I could cling.

I am not of a superstitious character, but I own to a certain belief in omens; and I had settled in my mind that it would be a lucky sign if the first person we met coming out of the town gates should prove a young woman, and the reverse if one of the other sex. As we were about to enter the town a girl, to all appearance comely and well-made, issued from the gate. Damsel of happy augury! Fain could I have quitted the cumbrous vehicle, and cast my travel-worn frame prostrate at your feet. I wiped my eye-glass that I might not lose one of her features, but grave them for ever in the tablets of my memory.

As she came nearer, I discovered to my dismay that my Brczwezmcisl Venus was a thought hideous. Slim she was, good sooth, but it was the slimness of one wasted by disease! shape and figure had she none. Her face was a perfect surface, for some untoward accident had deprived her of her nose; and had it not been for the merest apology for lips, her head might have been taken for the skull of a skeleton. As we came yet nearer, I remarked that the fair Pole was a warm patriot; for she put out her tongue at me in derision of her nation's oppressors, whose countryman I was.

Under these happy auspices we entered the town, and halted at the Post-office, newly decorated with the Prussian eagle, which would have shown to much greater advantage, in all the glories of fresh paint, had not some patriotic little street blackguards adorned it with a thick coating of mud.


I asked the postmaster very politely where I could find Mr. Tax-collector Burkhardt. In order, I suppose, to convince me that even in that remote corner of the globe officials were true to those habits of courtesy and attention for which they are so eminently distinguished, he suffered me to repeat my question six times ere he vouchsafed to inquire, in his gruffest tones, what I wanted; a seventh time did I reiterate my inquiry, and that, I flatter myself with a degree of politeness that would have done honor to the most finished courtier.

"In the old Starosty," he growled out.

"Might I be permitted most respectfully to inquire whereabout this same old Starosty may be located?"

"I have no time. Peter show this person the way."

And away went Peter and I, while the postmaster, who had no time to answer me, lolled out of the window, with his pipe in his mouth, watching us. Aha, my fine fellow, thought I, just let me catch you in the hands of justice—whose unworthy representative I have here the honor to be—and I'll make you rue the day you dared sport your churlishness upon me.

Peter, the Polish tatterdemalion, who escorted[Pg 43] me, understood and spoke so little German, that our conversation was extremely limited. His sallow face and sharp features rendered him particularly unprepossessing.

"Tell me, my worthy friend," I asked, as we waded side by side through the mud, "do you know Mr. Tax-collector Burkhardt?"

"The old Starosty."

"Good; but what can I do in your old Starosty?"


"God forbid! that does not at all chime in with my arrangements."

"Stone-dead; die!"

"Why, what have I done?"

"Prussian—no Pole."

"I am a Prussian, certainly."

"Know that."

"What do you mean by dying then?"

"So, and so, and so;" and the fellow thrust the air as though he clenched a dagger. He then pointed to his heart, groaned, and rolled his eyes in a manner awful to behold. I began to feel rather uncomfortable, for Peter had by no means the look of one beside himself; besides, the understrappers at the post-office are seldom recruited from a lunatic asylum.

"I think we are at cross purposes, my excellent friend," I at length resumed. "What do you mean by die?"

"Kill!" and he gave me a wild sidelong glance.

"How, kill?"

"When night comes."

"When night comes—this very night? Your wits are wool-gathering, sirrah!"

"Pole, yes; but no Prussian."

I shook my head, and desisted from any further attempt at conversation. We evidently could not make each other out. And yet there was fearful meaning in the scoundrel's words. I was well aware of the inveterate hatred felt by the Poles toward the Prussians, and how it had already led to fatal collisions between them. What if the dunder-headed fellow had meant to convey a warning to me? or perhaps he had involuntarily betrayed the secret of a plot for the general massacre of every Prussian. I mentally resolved to divulge the whole to my friend and fellow-countryman Burkhardt, as we arrived at the so-termed Starosty. It was constructed of stone, evidently of some antiquity, and situate in a dull remote street. Ere we reached it I observed how each passer-by cast a sly furtive glance up at its time-worn walls. My guide did the same; and pointing to the door, he shuffled off without word or gesture of salutation.

It must be owned that my arrival and reception at Brczwezmcisl were none of the most flattering. The discourteous damsel at the gate, the surly New East Prussian postmaster, and the Pole, with his unintelligible jargon, had put me on the very worst terms with my new place of sojourn and office of judge-commissary. How I congratulated myself to think that I was about to meet one who had, at least, breathed the same air as myself! To be sure, Mr. Burkhardt was not held in the best repute at home; but a man's character varies according to the circumstances of his position, even were he still the same as of old. Better far a jovial tippler than a sickly skeleton with her projected tongue; better far a hare-brained gambler than the postmaster with his studied coarseness; ay, better the company of a vaporing hector than that of a Polish malcontent. The latter phase in Burkhardt's character even served to elevate him in my eyes; for, between ourselves be it observed, my gentleness and love of quiet, my steadiness and reserve, so oft the theme of praise with mamma, would stand me but in sorry stead should any rising of the people take place. Some virtues become vices in certain positions.

As I entered the old Starosty I was puzzled to know where to find my dear and long-cherished friend Burkhardt. The house was very spacious. The creaking of the rusty door-hinges resounded through the whole building, yet without bringing any one to ascertain who might be there.

I discovered an apartment on my left, and knocked gently at the door. As my signal was unanswered by any friendly "Come in," I knocked more loudly than before: still no answer. My knocks re-echoed through the house. I waxed impatient, and yearned to clasp Burkhardt, the friend of my soul, to my heart. I opened the door and went in. In the middle of the room was a coffin.

If I be always polite to the living, still more so am I to the dead. I was about to retire as gently as I could, when a parting glance at the coffin showed me that its hapless occupant was no other than the tax-collector, Burkhardt, who had been called on, poor fellow, in his turn, to discharge that great tax so peremptorily demanded of us by that grim collector Death. There he lay regardless alike of flagon or dice box, calm and composed as though he had never shared in the joys or cares of this life.

Indescribably shocked, I rushed from the chamber of death, and sought relief in the long gloomy corridor. What on earth was to become of me now? Here I was, hundreds of miles from my native home and the maternal mansion, in a town whose very name I never had heard until I was sent to un-Pole-ify it as judge-commissary! My sole acquaintance, the friend of my heart, had shuffled off this mortal coil. What was I to do, where lay my head, or how find the lodgings engaged for me by the dear departed?

My gloomy reflections were here disturbed by the creaking of the door on its rusty hinges, whose harsh grating jarred strangely on my nerves.

A pert, flippant-looking livery-servant rushed up the stairs, contemplated me with a broad stare of astonishment, and at length addressed me. My knees shook beneath me. I suffered the fellow to talk to me to his heart's delight,[Pg 44] but for the first few moments fright deprived me of all power of reply; and even had my state of mind permitted me to speak, it would have amounted to much the same thing, seeing that the man was speaking Polish.

Perceiving that he remained without reply, he proceeded to address me in German, which he spoke very fluently. I at length mustered up sufficient courage to tell him my whole story, and the various adventures I had met with since my arrival at the accursed town whose name it still dislocated my jaws to pronounce. As he heard my name he assumed a more respectful mien, took off his hat, and proceeded to give me the following details, which, for the reader's benefit, I have compressed into the smallest possible space.

He informed me, to begin with, that his name was Lebrecht; that he had served as interpreter and most faithful of domestics to Mr. Tax-collector, of pious memory, until the preceding night, when it had pleased Heaven to remove the excellent and ever to be lamented tax-collector to another and a better world. The manner of his death was perfectly in keeping with the tenor of his life. He had been passing the evening at wine and cards with some Polish gentlemen. The fumes of the wine aroused the Prussian pride of my friend, while it kindled to a yet fiercer pitch the old Sarmatian patriotism of his companions. Words grew high, blows were exchanged, and one of the party dealt my late friend three or four blows with a knife, any one of which was of itself sufficient to have extinguished life. In order to avoid incurring the penalties of New East Prussian justice, the guilty parties had taken themselves off—whither none could tell. My ever-to-be-regretted friend had, shortly before his death, made all the requisite arrangements for me, and hired a very experienced German cook, who would wait upon me at a moment's notice. In the course of his narrative, Lebrecht led me to infer, from several hints that he gave me, how the Poles were sworn foes to the Prussians, and how I must expect to meet with such delicate attentions as those lavished on me by the damsel at the gate. He explained to me moreover, that my friend Peter was a muddle-headed jackass, and that his pantomimic gestures referred, in all probability, to the fate of my hapless friend. He warned me to be constantly on my guard, as the infuriated Poles were evidently hatching some plot; as for himself, he was fully determined to quit the town immediately after the funeral of his late master.

This narrative terminated, he conducted me up the broad stone staircase to the apartments provided for me. Passing through a suite of lofty rooms, very spacious, but very dreary to behold, we came to an apartment of large dimensions, wherein was a press bedstead, with curtains of faded yellow damask, an old table, whose feet had once been gilded, and half a dozen dusty chairs. Suspended to the wall was an enormous looking-glass, almost bereft of its reflecting powers, in a quaint, old-fashioned frame, while the wall itself was garnished by parti-colored tapestry, representing scenes from the Old Testament. Time and the moth had done their work upon it, for it hung in tatters, and waved to and fro at the slightest motion. King Solomon sat headless on his throne of judgment, and the hands of the wicked elders had long since mouldered away. I felt by no means at my ease in this my lonely dwelling; far rather would I have taken up my quarters at the inn, and, oh that I had done so! But I kept my own counsel, partly from sheer nervousness, and partly because I did not wish to appear at all daunted at being in such immediate vicinity with a corpse. Moreover, I entertained no doubt but that Lebrecht and the experienced cook would bear me company during the night. The former lost no time in lighting the two candles that stood on the table, for it was fast getting dusk, and then took his departure for the purpose of procuring me the means of subsistence, and such like, to fetch my luggage, and to apprise the aforesaid experienced cook that the time had arrived for her to enter upon her functions. My luggage arrived in due time, likewise every requisite for my meal; but no sooner had I re-imbursed Lebrecht the money he had laid out for me than he wished me good-night, and went his way forthwith.

I misdoubted the fellow at once, for the moment he had swept up his money he was off. I was on the point of rushing after him, to entreat him not to leave me, but I held back for very shame. Why should I make the wretch the confidant of my timidity? I had no doubt but that he would spend the night in some room or other, to keep watch over the body of his slaughtered master. The sound of the banging-to of the street-door undeceived me at once; and that sound thrilled through my very marrow. I hurried to the window, and beheld him scampering across the street, as though the foul fiend were at his heels. He was soon out of sight, leaving myself and the corpse sole tenants of the old Starosty.


I do not believe in ghosts, but yet at night-time I own to being somewhat apprehensive of their appearance. This may seem to involve a paradox, but I only state the fact. The death-like stillness of all around, the time-worn tapestry that clung in fluttering shreds around that dreary chamber, the consciousness of the body of a murdered man in the room above, the deadly feud between the Prussian and the Pole, all conspired to fill my soul with awe and apprehension. I hungered, but could not eat. I wearied for repose, but could find none. I examined the window, to ascertain if it could afford me egress in case of need, for I should have been utterly lost in the labyrinth of chambers and corridors necessary to traverse ere I could[Pg 45] gain the door. To my dismay strong iron bars forbade all hope of escape in that quarter.

Suddenly the old Starosty seemed awakening to life. I heard doors open and close, steps at some little distance, and the sound of voices in animated conversation. I was at a loss how to account for this rapid change in the state of affairs, but I felt that it boded me but little good. It seemed as though I heard a warning voice saying, "'Tis thou they seek! Did not that blundering Peter betray the secret of the intended massacre? Save thyself ere it be too late." I shuddered in every limb. Methought I saw the murderous band, how they thirsted for my blood, and were concerting the method of my death. I heard their footsteps approaching nearer and more near. Already had they reached the ante-chamber leading to my apartment. They were muttering together in low whispers. I sprang up, and bolted and barred the door, and, as I did so, became aware that some one was endeavoring to open it on the other side. I scarce dared breathe, lest my very breath should betray me. I heard by their voices that they were Poles. As my unlucky stars would have it, I must needs study a little Polish, by way of qualifying myself for my official duties; and I could detect the words "blood," "death," and "Prussians." My knees quaked, cold drops started to my brow. Again was the attempt to open the door repeated, but it seemed as though the intruders wished to avoid confusion, for I heard them depart, or rather glide, from thence.

Whether it were that the Poles had aimed at my life, or my property, or whether they had determined upon another mode of attack, I resolved to extinguish my candles, in order that their light might not betray me from without. How could I tell but that one of the ruffians might not fancy taking a shot at me through the windows?

Night is friend to no man, and man has an instinctive dread of darkness, else whence the terror of children, even before they have been scared by the tale of goblin grim and spectre dire? No sooner was I in utter obscurity than all manner of horrors, possible and impossible, crowded upon me. I flung myself upon my bed, in the hopes of sleeping, but the clothes seemed tainted with the foul odor of dead men's graves. If I sat up it was worse; for ever and anon a rustling sound, as of some one near me, caused me to shudder afresh. The form of the murdered man, with his livid brow and half-glazed eye, seemed to stalk before me. What prospects would I not have sacrificed but to be once more free! And now the bells tolled the

"Witching hour of night,
When church-yards yawn, and hell itself looks out."

Each stroke vibrated upon my soul. In vain I called myself a superstitious fool, a faint-hearted dastard: it availed me nothing. Unable at length to bear up any longer, and nerved either by daring or despair, I sprang from my seat, groped my way to the door, unbolted and unbarred it, and resolved, albeit at the risk of my life, to gain the street.

Merciful heavens! what did I behold as I opened the door! I started and staggered back. Little had I looked for such a grisly sentinel.


By the dim flickering of an old lamp placed on a side-table, I saw before me the murdered Tax-collector, lying in his bier, even as I had seen him in the room above. But now I could perceive how his shirt, which had previously been concealed by a pall, was dyed with the big black gouttes of blood. I strove to rally my senses, to persuade myself that the whole was the mere phantom of my over-heated imagination; but as I stirred the coffin with my foot, till the corpse seemed as though about to move and unclose its eyes, I could no longer doubt the fearful reality of the spectacle before me. Almost paralyzed by fear, I rushed to my room, and fell backward on my bed.

And now a confused noise proceeded from the bier. Was the dead alive? for the sound that I heard was of one raising himself with difficulty. A low and suppressed moan thrilled in my ears, and I saw before me the form of the murdered one; it strode through the door, entered my room, then stalked awhile to and fro, and disappeared. As I again summoned up my reason to my aid, the spectre, or the corpse, or the living dead, gave my reason the lie by depositing its long, lank, livid length upon my bed and across my body, its icy shoulders resting upon my neck, and nearly depriving me of breath.

How I escaped with life I can not explain to this present hour. Mortal dread was upon me, and I must have remained a long while in a state of unconsciousness; for as I heard from beneath my grisly burden the clock sound, instead of its striking one—the signal for spirits to vanish—it was striking two.

I leave the horrors of my situation to the reader's imagination. The smell of the charnel-house in my nostrils, and a yet warm corpse struggling for breath, as though the death-rattle were upon him; while I was benumbed by terror, and the hellish weight of the burden I bore. The scenes in Dante's Hell fall far short of anguish such as was then mine. I was too weak or terror-stricken to disengage myself from the corpse, which seemed as if expiring a second time; for I conjectured that, while senseless from loss of blood, the wretched man had been taken for dead, and thrust forthwith, Polish fashion, into a coffin, and now lay dying in good earnest. He seemed powerless alike for life and death, and I was doomed to be the couch whereon the fearful struggle would terminate.

I strove to fancy that all my adventures in Brczwezmcisl were but a dream, and that I was laboring under an attack of nightmare, but circumstances and surrounding objects were too strong to admit of any such conclusion; still, I verily believe I should have finally succeeded in[Pg 46] convincing myself that it was all a vision, and nothing but a vision, had not an incident more striking than any that hitherto preceded, established, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the fact of my being broad awake.


It was day-break; not that I could perceive the light of heaven, for the shoulders of my expiring friend impeded my view, but I inferred so from the bustle in the street below. I heard the footsteps and voices of men in the room; I could not make out the subject of their conversation, as they talked in Polish, but I remarked that they were busy about the coffin. Now, beyond a doubt, thought I, they are looking for the dead man, and my deliverance is at hand; and so it proved, although it happened after a fashion for which I was but little prepared.

One of the exploring party smote so lustily with a stout bamboo upon the extended form of the dead or dying, that he started up, and stood erect. Some of the blows lighted upon my hapless person with such effect as to make me yell out most vigorously, and take up a position directly in the rear of the defunct. This old Polish and New East Prussian method of restoring the dead to life proved, certainly, so efficacious in the present instance, that I doubt whether the impassibility of death were not preferable to the acute perceptions of the living.

I now perceived that the room was filled by men, for the most part Poles. The timely castigation had been administered by a police-officer appointed to superintend the funeral. The Tax-collector still slept the sleep of death in his coffin, which stood in the ante-chamber, whither it had been transported by the drunken Poles, who had been ordered to convey it to what had been formerly the porter's lodge. They had, however, been pleased to select my ante-chamber as a fitting resting-place for their charge, whom they confided to the watch of one of their besotted comrades, who had slumbered at his post, and, awakened probably by my entrance, had groped his way, with all the instinct of one far gone in liquor, to my bed, and there slept off the fumes of his potations.

The preceding incidents had so thoroughly unmanned me as to bring on a severe attack of fever, and for seven long weeks did I lie raving about the horrors of that fearful night; and even now, albeit, thanks to the Polish insurrection, I am no longer judge-commissary at Brczwezmcisl, I can scarce think on my adventure in New East Prussia without a shudder. However, I am always glad to relate it, as it contains a sort of moral—to wit, that we ought not to fear that which we profess to disbelieve.



When a man is strongly preoccupied with the crisis under which his country labors, every opportunity that arises is caught at to turn to the profit of his compatriots the sights with which he is struck, and the reflections with which those sights inspire him. Called by circumstances of an entirely private nature to revisit England for some time, after an absence of twenty years, it was impossible for me not to be dazzled by the immense progress made by England during that lapse of time, not only in population, in riches, industry, navigation, railroads, extent, edifices, embellishments, and the health of the capital, but also, and more especially, in charitable institutions for the people, and in associations of real religious, conservative, and fraternal socialism, between classes, to prevent explosions by the evaporation of the causes which produce them, to stifle the murmurs from below by incalculable benefits from above, and to close the mouths of the people, not by the brutalities of the police, but by the arm of public virtue. Very far from feeling afflicted or humiliated at this fine spectacle of the operation of so many really popular works, which give to England at the present moment an incontestable pre-eminence in this respect over the rest of Europe, and over us, I rejoiced at it. To asperse one's neighbor is to lower one's self. The rivalries between nations are paltry and shameful when they consist in denying or in hating the good that is done by our neighbors. These rivalries, on the contrary, are noble and fruitful when they consist in acknowledging, in glorifying, and in imitating the good which is done every where; instead of being jealousies, these rivalries become emulation. What does it signify whether a thing be English or French, provided it be a benefit? Virtues have no country, or, rather, they are of every country; it is God who inspires them, and humanity which profits by them. Let us then learn, for one, how to admire.

But I am told that these practical virtues of the English to the poorer, the proletaire, the suffering classes, are nothing but the prudence of selfishness! Even if that were the case, we ought still to applaud, for a selfishness so prudent and so provident, a selfishness which could do itself justice by so well imitating virtue, a selfishness which would corrupt the people by charity and prosperity—such a selfishness as that would be the most profound and most admirable of policies, it would be the Machiavelism of virtue. But it is not given to selfishness alone to transform itself so well into an appearance of charity; selfishness restricts itself, while charity diffuses itself; without doubt there is prudence in it, but there is also virtue, without doubt Old England, the veritable patrician republic under her frontispiece of monarchy, feels that the stones of her feudal edifice are becoming disjoined, and might tumble under the blast of the age, if she did not bind them together every day by the cement of her institutions in favor of her people. That is good sense, but under that good sense there is virtue; and it is impossible to remain in England for any length of time without discovering[Pg 47] it. The source of that public virtue is the religious feeling with which that people is endowed more than many others; a divine feeling of practical religious liberty, has developed at the present moment, under a hundred forms, among them. Every one has a temple to God, where every one can recognize the light of reason, and adore that God, and serve him with his brothers in the sincerity, and in the independence of his faith. Yes, there is, if you will, at the same time, prudence, well-understood selfishness, and public virtue in the acts of England, in order to prevent a social war. Let it be whatever you like; but would that it pleased God that plebeian and proprietary France could also see and comprehend its duty to the people! Would that it pleased God that she could take a lesson from that intelligent aristocracy! Would that she could, once for all, say to herself, "I perish, I tremble, I swoon in my panics. I call at one time on the Monarchy, at another on the Republic, at another on legitimacy, now on illegitimacy—then on the Empire, now on the Inquisition—then on the police, now on the sabre, and then on eloquence to save me, and no one can save me but myself. I will save myself by my own virtue."

I have seen England twice in my life: the first time in 1822. It was the period when the Holy Alliance, recently victorious and proud of its victories over the spirit of conquest of Napoleon, struggled against the newly-born liberalism, and was only occupied in every where restoring ancient regimes and ancient ideas. The government of England, held at that time by the intelligent heirs of a great man (Mr. Pitt), was a veritable contradiction to the true nature of the country of liberty; it had taken up the cause of absolute sovereigns against the nations; it made of the free and proud citizens of England the support and soldier of the Holy Alliance; it blindly combated the revolution, with its spirit and institutions, at home and every where else. England, by no means comfortable under such a government, hardly recognized herself. She felt by instinct that she was made to play the part of the seide of despotism and of the church, in place of the part of champion of independent nationalities, and of the regulated liberty of thought which Mr. Pitt had conceived for her. Thus her tribunes, her public papers, her popular meetings, her very streets and public places rang with indignation against her government and her aristocracy. The ground trembled in London under the steps of the multitudes who assembled at the slightest appeal or opportunity; the language of the people breathed anger, their physiognomies hatred of class to class; hideous poverty hung up its tatters before the doors of the most sumptuous quarters; women in a state of emaciation, hectic children, and ghastly men were to be seen wandering with a threatening carelessness about shops and warehouses laden with riches; the constables and the troops were insufficient, after the scandalous prosecution of the queen, to bridle that perpetual sedition of discontent and of hunger. The painful consciousness of a tempest hanging over Great Britain was felt in the air. A cabinet, the author and victim of that false position, sank under the effort. A statesman sought in despair a refuge against the difficulties which he saw accumulating on his country, and which he could no longer dominate but by force. I avow that I myself, at that time young and a foreigner, and not yet knowing either the solidity or the elasticity of the institutions and the manners of England, was deceived, like every body else, by these sinister symptoms of a fall, and that I prognosticated, as every body else also did, the approaching decline and fall of that great and mysterious country. The ministry of Mr. Canning placed me happily in the wrong.

I saw England again in 1830, a few months after our revolution of July. At that time the political government of England was moderate, reasonable, and wise. It endeavored, as Lord Palmerston, as Sir Robert Peel, as the Duke of Wellington have done, after the revolution of February, to prevent a collision on the Continent between the revolution and the counter-revolution. It then refused, as it refused in 1848, to be a party to an anti-French or anti-republican coalition. It proclaimed not only the right and independence of nationalities, but also the right and independence of revolutions. It thus humanely avoided irritating the revolutionists. It spared Europe the effusion of much blood. But in 1830 it was the misery of the English and Irish proletaires that frightened the regards and brought consternation to the thoughts of observers. Ireland was literally dying of inanition. The manufacturing districts of the three kingdoms having produced more than the world could consume during the fifteen years of peace, left an overflow of manufactures—the masses emaciated, vitiated in body and mind, and vitiated by their hatred against the class of society who possess. The manufacturers had dismissed armies of workmen without bread. These black columns were to be seen, with their mud-colored jackets, dotting the avenues and streets of London, like columns of insects whose nests had been upset, and who blackened the soil under their steps.

The vices and brutishness of these masses of proletaires, degraded by ignorance and hunger—their alternate poverty and debaucheries—their promiscuousness of ages, of sexes, of dens of fetid straw, their bedding in cellars and garrets—their hideous clamors, to be met with at certain hours in the morning in certain lanes of the unclean districts of London—when those human vermin emerged into the light of the sun with howling groaning, or laughter that was really Satanic, it would have made the masses of free creatures really envy the fate of the black slaves of our colonies—masses which are abased and flogged, but, at all events loathed! It was the recruiting of the army of Marius; all that[Pg 48] was wanting was a flag. Social war was visible there with all its horrors and its furies—every body saw it, and I myself forboded it like every body else. These symptoms struck me as such evidences of an approaching overthrow for a constitution which thus allowed its vices to stagnate and mantle, that, having some portion of my patrimony in England, I hastened to remove it, and to place it where it would be sheltered from a wreck which appeared to me to be inevitable. During this time the aristocracy and the great proprietary of England appeared insensible to these prognostics of social war, scandalized the eyes of the public by the contrast of their Asiatic luxury with these calamities, absented themselves from their properties during whole years, and were traveling from Paris to Naples and to Florence, while at the same time propagating speculative or incendiary liberalism with the liberals of the Continent. Who would not have trembled for such a country?

This time (September, 1850) I was struck, on visiting England, with an impression wholly opposed to the impressions which I have just depicted to you. I arrived in London, and I no longer recognized that capital, excepting by that immense cloud of smoke which that vast focus of English labor or leisure raises in the heavens, and by that overflowing without limit of houses, workshops, and chateaux, and agreeable residences, that a city of 2,600,000 inhabitants casts year after year beyond its walls, even to the depths of her forests, her fields, and her hills. Like a polypus with a thousand branches, London vegetates and engrafts, so to speak, on the common trunk of the city quarters on quarters, and towns upon towns. These quarters, some for labor, and others for the middle classes; some for the choice leisure of the literary classes, and others for the luxury of the aristocracy and for the splendor of the crown, not only attest the increase of that city which enlarges itself in proportion to its inhabitants, but they testify to the increase of luxury, of art, of riches, and of ease, of all which the characters are to be recognized in the disposition, in the architecture, in the ornaments, in the spaciousness, and in the comfort, sometimes splendid, sometimes modest, of the habitations of man. In the west two new towns—two towns of hotels and palaces—two towns of kings of civilization, as the Embassador of Carthage would have said—have sprung up. Toward the green and wooded heights of Hampstead—that St. Cloud of London—is a new park, including pastures, woods, waters, and gardens in its grounds, and surrounded by a circle of houses of opulent and varied architecture, each of which represents a building capital that it frightens one to calculate. Beyond this solitude inclosed in the capital other towns and suburbs have commenced, and are rapidly climbing these heights, step by step, and hillock after hillock. In these places arise chapels, churches, schools, hospitals, penitentiary prisons on new models, which take away from them their sinister aspect and significance, and which hold out moral health and correction to the guilty in place of punishment and branding. In these places are to be seen hedges of houses appropriated to all the conditions of life and fortune, but all surrounded by a court or a little garden, which affords the family rural recollections, the breathing of vegetation, and the feeling of nature present even in the very heart of the town.

This new London, which is almost rural, creeps already up these large hills, and spreads itself, from season to season, in the fields which environ them, to go by lower, more active, and more smoky suburbs, to rejoin, as far as the eye can see, the Thames, beyond which the same phenomenon is reproduced on the hills and in the plains on the other side. In surveying this the eye loses itself as if on the waves of the ocean. On every side the horizon is too narrow to embrace that town, and the town continues beyond the horizon; but every where also the sky, the air, the country, the verdure, the waters, the tops of the oaks, are mixed with that vegetation of stones, of marble, and of bricks, and appears to make of new London, not an arid and dead city, but a fertile and living province, which germinates at the same time with men and trees, with habitations and fields; a city of which the nature has not been changed, but in which, on the contrary, nature and civilization respect each other, seek for and clasp each other, for the health and joy of man, in a mutual embrace.

Between these two banks of the river, and between its steeples and its towers—between the tops of its oaks, respected by the constructors of these new quarters—you perceive a movable forest of masts, which ascend and descend perpetually the course of the Thames, and streak it with a thousand lines of smoke, while the steamers, loaded with passengers, stream out like a river of smoke above the river of water which carries them. But it is not in the newly constructed quarters alone that London has changed its appearance, and presents that image of opulence, of comfort, and of labor, with thriving—the city itself, that furnace at the same time blackened and infect of this human ebullition, has enlarged its issues, widened its streets, ennobled its monuments, extended and straightened its suburbs, and made them more healthy. The ignoble lanes, with their suspicious taverns, where the population of drunken sailors huddled together like savages in dregs and dust, have been demolished. They have given place to airy streets, where the passers-by, coming back from the docks, those entrepôts of the four continents, pass with ease in carriages or on foot—to spacious and clean houses, to modest but decent shops, where the maritime population find, on disembarking, clothes, food, tobacco, beer, and all the objects of exchange necessary for the retail trade of seaports: those streets are now as well cleaned from filth, from drunkenness and obscenity, as the[Pg 49] other streets and suburbs of the city. One can pass through them without pity and without disgust; one feels in them the vigilance of public morality and the presence of a police which, if it can not destroy vice, can at all events keep it at a distance from the eyes of the passer-by, and render even the cloacæ inoffensive.

In the country districts and secondary towns around London the same transformation is observable. The innumerable railways which run in every direction all over England have covered the land with stations, coal depôts, new houses for the persons employed, elegant offices for the administration, viaducts, bridges over the lines to private properties; and all these things impart to England, from the sea to London, the appearance of a country which is being cleared, and where the occupants are employed in running up residences for themselves. Every thing is being built, and every thing is smoking, hurrying on, so perfectly alive is this soil; one feels that the people are eager to seize on the new sense of circulation which Providence has just bestowed on man.

Such is England in a physical sense, sketched broadly. As to political England, the following are the changes which struck me. I describe them as I reviewed them, with sincerity, it is true, but not unmixed with astonishment. The appearance of the people in the streets is no longer what filled me with consternation twenty years ago. In place of those ragged bands of beggars—men, women, and children—who swarmed in the narrow and gloomy streets of the manufacturing town, you will see well-dressed workmen, with an appearance of strength and health, going to work or returning peaceably from their workshop with their tools on their shoulders; young girls issuing without tumult from the houses where they work, under the superintendence of women older than themselves, or of a father or brother, who brings them back to their home; from time to time you see numerous columns of little children of from five to eight years of age, poorly but decently clad, led by a woman, who leaves them at their own doors, after having watched over them all day. They all present the appearance of relative comfort, of most exquisite cleanliness, and of health. You will perceive few, if any, idle groups on the public ways, and infinitely fewer drunken men than formerly; the streets appear as if purged of vice and wretchedness, or only exhibit those which always remain the scum of an immense population.

If you converse in a drawing-room, in a public carriage, at a public dinner table, even in the street, with men of the different classes in England; if you take care to be present, as I did, at places where persons of the most advanced opinions meet and speak; if you read the journals, those safety-valves of public opinion, you must remain struck with the extreme mildness of men's minds and hearts, with the temperance of ideas, the moderation of what is desired, the prudence of the Liberal Opposition, the tenderness evinced toward a conciliation of all classes, the justice which all classes of the English population render to each other, the readiness of all to co-operate, each according to his means and disposition, in advancing the general good—the employment, comfort, instruction, and morality of the people—in a word, a mild and serene air is breathed in place of the tempest blast which then raged in every breast. The equilibrium is re-established in the national atmosphere. One feels and says to one's self, "This people can come to an understanding with itself. It can live, last, prosper, and improve for a long time in this way. Had I my residence on this soil, I should not any longer tremble for my hearth."

I except, it must be understood, from this very general character of harmony and reconciliation, two classes of men whom nothing ever satisfies—the demagogues and the extreme aristocrats—two tyrannies which can not content themselves with any liberty, because they eternally desire to subjugate the people—the one by the intolerance of the rabble, the other by the intolerance of the little number. The newspapers of the inexorable aristocracy, and of the ungovernable radicalism, are the only ones that still contrast by their bitterness with the general mildness of opinions in Great Britain. But some clubs of Chartists, rendered fanatical by sophistry, and some clubs of diplomatists, rendered fanatical by pride, only serve the better to show the calm and reason which are more and more prevailing in the other parts of the nation. The one make speeches to the emptiness of places where the people are invited to meet, and the others pay by the line for calumnies and invective against France and against the present age. No one listens, and no one reads. The people work on. The intelligent Tories lament Sir Robert Peel, and accept the inheritance of his Conservative doctrines by means of progress.

It appears that a superhuman hand carried away during that sleep of twenty years, all the venom which racked the social body of this country. If a Radical procession is announced, as on the 10th of April, 250,000 citizens, of all opinions, appear in the streets of London as special constables, and preserve the public peace against these phantoms of another time. Such is the present appearance of the public mind in England to a stranger.

[From the Ladies' Companion.]



Two summers ago I spent a few pleasant weeks among some of the loveliest scenery of our great river. The banks of the Thames, always beautiful, are nowhere more delightful than in the neighborhood of Maidenhead—one side ramparted by the high, abrupt, chalky cliffs of Buckinghamshire; the other edging gently[Pg 50] away into our rich Berkshire meadows, checkered with villages, villas, and woods.

My own temporary home was one of singular beauty—a snug cottage at Taplow, looking over a garden full of honeysuckles, lilies, and roses, to a miniature terrace, whose steps led down into the water, or rather into our little boat; the fine old bridge at Maidenhead just below us; the magnificent woods of Cliefden, crowned with the lordly mansion (now, alas! a second time burnt down), rising high above; and the broad majestic river, fringed with willow and alder, gay with an ever-changing variety—the trim pleasure-yacht, the busy barge, or the punt of the solitary angler, gliding by placidly and slowly, the very image of calm and conscious power. No pleasanter residence, through the sultry months of July and August, than the Bridge cottage at Taplow.

Besides the natural advantages of the situation, we were within reach of many interesting places, of which we, as strangers, contrived—as strangers usually do—to see a great deal more than the actual residents.

A six-mile drive took us to the lordly towers of Windsor—the most queenly of our palaces—with the adjuncts that so well become the royal residence, St. George's Chapel and Eton College, fitting shrines of learning and devotion! Windsor was full of charm. The ghostly shadow of a tree, that is, or passes for Herne's oak—for the very man of whom we inquired our way maintained that the tree was apocryphal, although in such cases I hold it wisest and pleasantest to believe—the very old town itself, with the localities immortalized by Sir John and Sir Hugh, Dame Quickly and Justice Shallow, and all the company of the Merry Wives, had to me an unfailing attraction. To Windsor we drove again and again, until the pony spontaneously turned his head Windsor-ward.

Then we reviewed the haunts of Gray, the house at Stoke Pogis, and the church-yard where he is buried, and which contains the touching epitaph wherein the pious son commemorates "the careful mother of many children, one of whom only had the misfortune to survive her." To that spot we drove one bright summer day, and we were not the only visitants. It was pleasant to see one admirer seated under a tree, sketching the church, and another party, escorted by the clergyman, walking reverently through it. Stoke Pogis, however, is not without its rivals; and we also visited the old church at Upton, whose ivy-mantled tower claims to be the veritable tower of the "Elegy." A very curious scene did that old church exhibit—that of an edifice not yet decayed, but abandoned to decay; an incipient ruin, such as probably might have been paralleled in the monasteries of England after the Reformation, or in the churches of France after the first Revolution. The walls were still standing, still full of monuments and monumental inscriptions; in some the gilding was yet fresh, and one tablet especially had been placed there very recently, commemorating the talents and virtues of the celebrated astronomer, Sir John Herschell. But the windows were denuded of their glass, the font broken, the pews dismantled, while on the tottering reading-desk one of the great Prayer-books, all mouldy with damp, still lay open—last vestige of the holy services with which it once resounded. Another church had been erected, but it looked new and naked, and every body seemed to regret the old place of worship, the roof of which was remarkable for the purity of its design.

Another of our excursions was to Ockwells—a curious and beautiful specimen of domestic architecture in the days before the Tudors. Strange it seems to me that no one has exactly imitated that graceful front, with its steep roof terminated on either side by two projecting gables, the inner one lower than the other, adorned with oak carving, regular and delicate as that on an ivory fan. The porch has equal elegance. One almost expects to see some baronial hawking party, or some bridal procession issue from its recesses. The great hall, although its grand open roof has been barbarously closed up, still retains its fine proportions, its dais, its music gallery, and the long range of windows, still adorned with the mottos and escutcheons of the Norreys's, their kindred and allies. It has long been used as a farm-house; and one marvels that the painted windows should have remained uninjured through four centuries of neglect and change. Much that was interesting has disappeared, but enough still remains to gratify those who love to examine the picturesque dwellings of our ancestors. The noble staircase, the iron-studded door, the prodigious lock, the gigantic key (too heavy for a woman to wield), the cloistered passages, the old-fashioned buttery-hatch, give a view not merely of the degree of civilization of the age, but of the habits and customs of familiar daily life.

Another drive took us to the old grounds of Lady Place, where, in demolishing the house, care had been taken to preserve the vaults in which the great Whig leaders wrote and signed the famous letter to William of Orange, which drove James the Second from the throne. A gloomy place it is now—a sort of underground ruin—and gloomy enough the patriots must have found it on that memorable occasion: the tombs of the monks (it had formerly been a monastery) under their feet, the rugged walls around them, and no ray of light, except the lanterns they may have brought with them, or the torches that they lit. Surely the signature of that summons which secured the liberties of England would make an impressive picture—Lord Somers in the foreground, and the other Whig statesmen grouped around him. A Latin inscription records a visit made by George the Third to the vaults; and truly it is among the places that monarchs would do well to visit—full of stern lessons!

Chief pilgrimage of all was one that led us first to Beaconsfield, through the delightful[Pg 51] lanes of Buckinghamshire, with their luxuriance of hedge-row timber, and their patches of heathy common. There we paid willing homage to all that remained of the habitation consecrated by the genius of Edmund Burke. Little is left, beyond gates and outbuildings, for the house has been burnt down and the grounds disparked; but still some of his old walks remained, and an old well and traces of an old garden—and pleasant it was to tread where such a man had trodden, and to converse with the few who still remembered him. We saw, too, the stalwart yeoman who had the honor not only of furnishing to Sir Joshua the model of his "Infant Hercules," but even of suggesting the subject. Thus it happened. Passing a few days with Mr. Burke at his favorite retirement, the great painter accompanied his host on a visit to his bailiff. A noble boy lay sprawling in the cradle in the room where they sat. His mother would fain have removed him, but Sir Joshua, then commissioned to paint a picture for the Empress Catherine, requested that the child might remain, sent with all speed for pallet and easel, and accomplished his task with that success which so frequently waits upon a sudden inspiration. It is remarkable that the good farmer, whose hearty cordial kindness I shall not soon forget, has kept in a manner most unusual the promise of his sturdy infancy, and makes as near an approach to the proportions of the fabled Hercules as ever Buckinghamshire yeoman displayed.

Beaconsfield, however, and even the cherished retirement of Burke, was by no means the goal of our pilgrimage. The true shrine was to be found four miles farther, in the small cottage at Chalfont St. Giles, where Milton found a refuge during the Great Plague of London.

The road wound through lanes still shadier and hedge-rows still richer, where the tall trees rose from banks overhung with fern, intermixed with spires of purple foxglove; sometimes broken by a bit of mossy park-paling, sometimes by the light shades of a beech-wood, until at last we reached the quiet and secluded village whose very first dwelling was consecrated by the abode of the great poet.

It is a small tenement of four rooms, one on either side the door, standing in a little garden, and having its gable to the road. A short inscription, almost hidden by the foliage of the vine, tells that Milton once lived within those sacred walls. The cottage has been so seldom visited, is so little desecrated by thronging admirers, and has suffered so little from alteration or decay, and all about it has so exactly the serene and tranquil aspect that one should expect to see in an English village two centuries ago, that it requires but a slight effort of fancy to image to ourselves the old blind bard still sitting in that little parlor, or sunning himself on the garden-seat beside the well. Milton is said to have corrected at Chalfont some of the sheets of the "Paradise Lost." The "Paradise Regained" he certainly composed there. One loves to think of him in that calm retreat—to look round that poor room and think how Genius ennobles all that she touches! Heaven forfend that change in any shape, whether of embellishment or of decay, should fall upon that cottage!

Another resort of ours, not a pilgrimage, but a haunt, was the forest of old pollards, known by the name of Burnham Beeches. A real forest it is—six hundred acres in extent, and varied by steep declivities, wild dells, and tangled dingles. The ground, clothed with the fine short turf where the thyme and the harebell love to grow, is partly covered with luxuriant fern; and the juniper and the holly form a fitting underwood for those magnificent trees, hollowed by age, whose profuse canopy of leafy boughs seems so much too heavy for the thin rind by which it is supported. Mr. Grote has a house here on which we looked with reverence; and in one of the loveliest spots we came upon a monument erected by Mrs. Grote in memory of Mendelssohn, and enriched by an elegant inscription from her pen.

We were never weary of wandering among the Burnham Beeches; sometimes taking Dropmore by the way, where the taste of the late Lord Grenville created from a barren heath a perfect Eden of rare trees and matchless flowers. But even better than amid that sweet woodland scene did I love to ramble by the side of the Thames, as it bounded the beautiful grounds of Lord Orkney, or the magnificent demesne of Sir George Warrender, the verdant lawns of Cliefden.

That place also is full of memories. There it was that the famous Duke of Buckingham fought his no less famous duel with Lord Shrewsbury, while the fair countess, dressed, rather than disguised, as a page, held the horse of her victorious paramour. We loved to gaze on that princely mansion—since a second time burnt down—repeating to each other the marvelous lines in which our two matchless satirists have immortalized the duke's follies, and doubting which portrait were the best. We may at least be sure that no third painter will excel them. Alas! who reads Pope or Dryden now? I am afraid, very much afraid, that to many a fair young reader these celebrated characters will be as good as manuscript. I will at all events try the experiment. Here they be:

"In the first rank of these did Zimri stand
A man so various, that he seemed to be
Not one, but all mankind's epitome;
Stiff in opinions, always in the wrong,
Was every thing by starts and nothing long;
But in the course of one revolving moon,
Was chemist, fiddler, statesman, and buffoon,
Then all for women, painting, rhyming, drinking
Besides ten thousand freaks that died in thinking.
Blest madman, who could every hour employ
With something new to wish or to enjoy!"
Dryden. Absalom and Achitophel.
[Pg 52]

Now for the little hunchback of Twickenham:

"In the worst inn's worst room, with mat half hung,
The walls of plaster, and the floor of dung;
On once a flock-bed, but repaired with straw,
With tape-tied curtains never meant to draw,
The George and Garter dangling from that bed,
Where tawdry yellow strove with dirty red:
Great Villiers lies:—but, ah, how changed from him,
That life of pleasure, and that soul of whim,
Gallant and gay in Cliefden's proud alcove,
The bower of wanton Shrewsbury and love!
Or just as gay at council 'mid the ring
Of mimic statesmen and their merry king!
No wit to flatter left of all his store;
No fool to laugh at, which he valued more;
There, victor of his health, of fortune, friends
And fame, the lord of useless thousands ends?"
Pope. Moral Essays.


Among the terrors of our youth we well remember there were certain poisonous exhalations said to arise from plants and flowers if allowed to share our sleeping-room during the night, as though objects of loveliness when seen by daylight took advantage of the darkness to assume the qualities of the ghoul or the vampire. Well do we remember how maternal anxiety removed every portion of vegetable life from our bedroom, lest its gases should poison us before morning! This opinion, and the cognate one that plants in rooms are always injurious, is prevalent still, and it operates most unfavorably in the case of the bed-ridden, or the invalid, by depriving them of a chamber garden which would otherwise make time put off his leaden wings, and while away, in innocent amusement, many a lagging hour. Now we assure our readers that this is a popular superstition, and will endeavor to put them in possession of the grounds on which our statement is founded. In doing so, we do not put forth any opinions of our own, but the deductions of science, for the truth of which any one acquainted with vegetable physiology can vouch.

Plants, in a growing state, absorb the oxygen gas of the atmosphere, and throw off carbonic acid; these are facts, and as oxygen is necessary to life and carbonic acid injurious to it, the conclusion has been jumped at that plants in apartments must have a deleterious influence. But there is another fact equally irrefragable, that plants feed on the carbonic acid of the atmosphere, and are, indeed, the grand instruments employed in the laboratory of Nature for purifying it from the noxious exhalations of animal life. From the spacious forests to the blade of grass which forces itself up through the crevices of a street pavement, every portion of verdure is occupied in disinfecting the air. By means of solar light the carbonic acid, when taken in by the leaves, is decomposed, its carbon going to build up the structure of the plant and its disengaged oxygen returning to the air we breathe. It is true that this process is stopped in the darkness, and that then a very small portion of carbonic acid is evolved by plants; but as it is never necessary for a patient to sleep in a room with flowers, we need say nothing on that subject. Cleanliness, and other considerations, would suggest having a bedroom as free as possible during the night, and our object is answered if we show that vegetation is not injurious in the day. That it is, on the contrary, conducive to health, is a plain corollary of science.

Perhaps the error we are speaking of may have originated from confounding the effects of the odors of plants with a general result of their presence. Now, all strong scents are injurious, and those of some flowers are specially so, and ought on no account to be patronized by the invalid. But it happens, fortunately, that a very large class of plants have either no scent at all, or so little as to be of no consequence, so that there is still room for an extensive selection. This, then, is one rule to be observed in chamber gardening. Another is, that the plants admitted should be in perfect health, for while growing vegetation is healthful, it becomes noxious when sickly or dead. Thirdly, let the most scrupulous cleanliness be maintained; the pots, saucers, and the stands being often subjected to ablutions. Under this head also we include the removal of dying leaves, and all flowers, before they have quite lost their beauty, since it is well known that the petals become unpleasant in some varieties as soon as the meridian of their brief life is passed. By giving attention to these simple regulations, a sick chamber may have its windows adorned with flowers without the slightest risk to the health of the occupant, and in saying this we open the way to some of the most gentle lenitives of pain, as well as to sources of rational enjoyment. If those who can go where they please, in the sunshine and the shade, can gather wild flowers in their natural dwellings, and cultivate extensive gardens, still find pleasure in a few favorites in-doors, how much more delight must such treasured possessions confer on those whom Providence has made prisoners and who must have their all of verdure and floral beauty brought to them!

[From Dickens's Household Words.]



I have a comfortable property. What I spend, I spend upon myself; and what I don't spend I save. Those are my principles. I am warmly attached to my principles, and stick to them on all occasions.

I am not, as some people have represented, a mean man. I never denied myself any thing that I thought I should like to have. I may[Pg 53] have said to myself "Snoady"—that is my name—"you will get those peaches cheaper if you wait till next week;" or, I may have said to myself, "Snoady, you will get that wine for nothing, if you wait till you are asked out to dine;" but I never deny myself any thing. If I can't get what I want without buying it, and paying its price for it, I do buy it and pay its price for it. I have an appetite bestowed upon me; and, if I balked it, I should consider that I was flying in the face of Providence.

I have no near relation but a brother. If he wants any thing of me, he don't get it. All men are my brothers; and I see no reason why I should make his an exceptional case.

I live at a cathedral town where there is an old corporation. I am not in the Church, but it may be that I hold a little place of some sort. Never mind. It may be profitable. Perhaps yes, perhaps no. It may, or it may not, be a sinecure. I don't choose to say, I never enlightened my brother on these subjects, and I consider all men my brothers. The negro is a man and a brother—should I hold myself accountable for my position in life, to him? Certainly not.

I often run up to London. I like London. The way I look at it, is this. London is not a cheap place, but, on the whole, you can get more of the real thing for your money there—I mean the best thing, whatever it is—than you can get in most places. Therefore, I say to the man who has got the money, and wants the thing, "Go to London for it, and treat yourself."

When I go, I do it in this manner. I go to Mrs. Skim's Private Hotel and Commercial Lodging House, near Aldersgate-street, City (it is advertised in "Bradshaw's Railway Guide," where I first found it), and there I pay, "for bed and breakfast, with meat, two and ninepence per day, including servants." Now, I have made a calculation, and I am satisfied that Mrs. Skim can not possibly make much profit out of me. In fact, if all her patrons were like me, my opinion is, the woman would be in the Gazette next month.

Why do I go to Mrs. Skim's when I could go to the Clarendon, you may ask? Let us argue that point. If I went to the Clarendon I could get nothing in bed but sleep; could I? No. Now, sleep at the Clarendon is an expensive article; whereas, sleep at Mrs. Skim's, is decidedly cheap. I have made a calculation and I don't hesitate to say, all things considered, that it's cheap. Is it an inferior article, as compared with the Clarendon sleep, or is it of the same quality? I am a heavy sleeper, and it is of the same quality. Then why should I go to the Clarendon?

But as to breakfast? you may say. Very well. As to breakfast. I could get a variety of delicacies for breakfast at the Clarendon, that are out of the question at Mrs. Skim's. Granted. But I don't want to have them! My opinion is, that we are not entirely animal and sensual. Man has an intellect bestowed upon him. If he clogs that intellect by too good a breakfast, how can he properly exert that intellect in meditation, during the day upon his dinner? That's the point. We are not to enchain the soul. We are to let it soar. It is expected of us.

At Mrs. Skim's I get enough for breakfast (there is no limitation to the bread and butter, though there is to the meat), and not too much. I have all my faculties about me, to concentrate upon the object I have mentioned, and I can say to myself besides, "Snoady, you have saved six, eight, ten, fifteen shillings, already to-day. If there is any thing you fancy for your dinner, have it, Snoady, you have earned your reward."

My objection to London, is, that it is the head-quarters of the worst radical sentiments that are broached in England. I consider that it has a great many dangerous people in it. I consider the present publication (if it's "Household Words") very dangerous, and I write this with the view of neutralizing some of its bad effects. My political creed is, let us be comfortable. We are all very comfortable as we are—I am very comfortable as I am—leave us alone!

All mankind are my brothers, and I don't think it Christian—if you come to that—to tell my brother that he is ignorant, or degraded, or dirty, or any thing of the kind. I think it's abusive, and low. You meet me with the observation that I am required to love my brother. I reply, "I do." I am sure I am always willing to say to my brother, "My good fellow, I love you very much; go along with you; keep to your own road; leave me to mine; whatever is, is right; whatever isn't, is wrong; don't make a disturbance!" It seems to me, that this is at once the whole duty of man, and the only temper to go to dinner in.

Going to dinner in this temper in the city of London, one day not long ago, after a bed at Mrs. Skim's, with meat-breakfast and servants included, I was reminded of the observation which, if my memory does not deceive me, was formerly made by somebody on some occasion, that man may learn wisdom from the lower animals. It is a beautiful fact, in my opinion, that great wisdom is to be learned from that noble animal the turtle.

I had made up my mind, in the course of the day I speak of, to have a turtle dinner. I mean a dinner mainly composed of turtle. Just a comfortable tureen of soup, with a pint of punch, and nothing solid to follow, but a tender juicy steak. I like a tender juicy steak. I generally say to myself when I order one, "Snoady, you have done right."

When I make up my mind to have a delicacy, expense is no consideration. The question resolves itself, then, into a question of the very best. I went to a friend of mine who is a member of the Common Council, and with that friend I held the following conversation.

[Pg 54]

Said I to him, "Mr. Groggles, the best turtle is where?"

Says he, "If you want a basin for lunch, my opinion is, you can't do better than drop into Birch's."

Said I, "Mr. Groggles, I thought you had known me better, than to suppose me capable of a basin. My intention is to dine. A tureen."

Says Mr. Groggles, without a moment's consideration, and in a determined voice. "Right opposite the India House, Leadenhall-street."

We parted. My mind was not inactive during the day, and at six in the afternoon I repaired to the house of Mr. Groggles's recommendation. At the end of the passage, leading from the street into the coffee-room, I observed a vast and solid chest, in which I then supposed that a turtle of unusual size might be deposited. But, the correspondence between its bulk and that of the charge made for my dinner, afterward satisfied me that it must be the till of the establishment.

I stated to the waiter what had brought me there, and I mentioned Mr. Groggles's name. He feelingly repeated after me, "A tureen of turtle, and a tender juicy steak." His manner, added to the manner of Mr. Groggles in the morning, satisfied me that all was well. The atmosphere of the coffee-room was odoriferous with turtle, and the steams of thousands of gallons, consumed within its walls, hung, in savory grease, upon their surface. I could have inscribed my name with a penknife, if I had been so disposed, in the essence of innumerable turtles. I preferred to fall into a hungry reverie, brought on by the warm breath of the place, and to think of the West Indies and the Island of Ascension.

My dinner came—and went. I will draw a vail over the meal, I will put the cover on the empty tureen, and merely say that it was wonderful—and that I paid for it.

I sat meditating, when all was over, on the imperfect nature of our present existence, in which we can eat only for a limited time, when the waiter roused me with these words.

Said he to me, as he brushed the crumbs off the table, "Would you like to see the turtle, sir?"

"To see what turtle, waiter?" said I (calmly) to him.

"The tanks of turtle below, sir," said he to me.

Tanks of turtle! Good gracious! "Yes!"

The waiter lighted a candle, and conducted me down stairs to a range of vaulted apartments, cleanly white-washed and illuminated with gas, where I saw a sight of the most astonishing and gratifying description, illustrative of the greatness of my native country. "Snoady," was my first observation to myself, "Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves!"

There were two or three hundred turtle in the vaulted apartments—all alive. Some in tanks, and some taking the air in long dry walks littered down with straw. They were of all sizes; many of them enormous. Some of the enormous ones had entangled themselves with the smaller ones, and pushed and squeezed themselves into corners, with their fins over water-pipes, and their heads downward, where they were apoplectically struggling and splashing, apparently in the last extremity. Others were calm at the bottom of the tanks; others languidly rising to the surface. The turtle in the walks littered down with straw, were calm and motionless. It was a thrilling sight. I admire such a sight. It rouses my imagination. If you wish to try its effect on yours, make a call right opposite the India House any day you please—dine—pay—and ask to be taken below.

Two athletic young men, without coats, and with the sleeves of their shirts tucked up to the shoulders, were in attendance on these noble animals. One of them, wrestling with the most enormous turtle in company, and dragging him up to the edge of the tank, for me to look at, presented an idea to me which I never had before. I ought to observe that I like an idea. I say, when I get a new one, "Snoady, book that!"

My idea, on the present occasion, was—Mr. Groggles! It was not a turtle that I saw, but Mr. Groggles. It was the dead image of Mr. Groggles. He was dragged up to confront me, with his waistcoat—if I may be allowed the expression—toward me; and it was identically the waistcoat of Mr. Groggles. It was the same shape, very nearly the same color, only wanted a gold watch-chain and a bunch of seals, to be the waistcoat of Mr. Groggles. There was what I should call a bursting expression about him in general, which was accurately the expression of Mr. Groggles. I had never closely observed a turtle's throat before. The folds of his loose cravat, I found to be precisely those of Mr. Groggles's cravat. Even the intelligent eye—I mean to say, intelligent enough for a person of correct principles, and not dangerously so—was the eye of Mr. Groggles. When the athletic young man let him go, and, with a roll of his head, he flopped heavily down into the tank, it was exactly the manner of Mr. Groggles as I have seen him ooze away into his seat, after opposing a sanitary motion in the Court of Common Council!

"Snoady," I couldn't help saying to myself, "you have done it. You have got an idea, Snoady, in which a great principle is involved. I congratulate you!" I followed the young man, who dragged up several turtle to the brinks of the various tanks. I found them all the same—all varieties of Mr. Groggles—all extraordinarily like the gentlemen who usually eat them. "Now, Snoady," was my next remark, "what do you deduce from this?"

"Sir," said I, "what I deduce from this, is, confusion to those Radicals and other Revolutionists who talk about improvement. Sir," said I, "what I deduce from this, is, that there isn't this resemblance between the turtles and the Groggleses for nothing. It's meant to show mankind that the proper model for a Groggles,[Pg 55] is a turtle; and that the liveliness we want in a Groggles, is the liveliness of a turtle, and no more." "Snoady," was my reply to this, "you have hit it. You are right!"

I admired the idea very much, because, if I hate any thing in the world, it's change. Change has evidently no business in the world, has nothing to do with it, and isn't intended. What we want is (as I think I have mentioned) to be comfortable. I look at it that way. Let us be comfortable, and leave us alone. Now, when the young man dragged a Groggles—I mean a turtle—out of his tank, this was exactly what the noble animal expressed as he floundered back again.

I have several friends besides Mr. Groggles in the Common Council, and it might be a week after this, when I said, "Snoady, if I was you, I would go to that court, and hear the debate to-day." I went. A good deal of it was what I call a sound, old English discussion. One eloquent speaker objected to the French as wearing wooden shoes; and a friend of his reminded him of another objection to that foreign people, namely, that they eat frogs. I had feared, for many years, I am sorry to say, that these wholesome principles were gone out. How delightful to find them still remaining among the great men of the City of London, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty! It made me think of the Lively Turtle.

But I soon thought more of the Lively Turtle. Some Radicals and Revolutionists have penetrated even to the Common Council—which otherwise I regard as one of the last strongholds of our afflicted constitution; and speeches were made, about removing Smithfield Market—which I consider to be a part of that Constitution—and about appointing a Medical Officer for the City, and about preserving the public health; and other treasonable practices, opposed to Church and State. These proposals Mr. Groggles, as might have been expected of such a man, resisted; so warmly, that, as I afterward understood from Mrs. Groggles, he had rather a sharp attack of blood to the head that night. All the Groggles party resisted them too, and it was a fine constitutional sight to see waistcoat after waistcoat rise up in resistance of them and subside. But what struck me in the sight was this, "Snoady," said I, "here is your idea carried out, sir! These Radicals and Revolutionists are the athletic young men in shirt sleeves, dragging the Lively Turtle to the edges of the tank. The Groggleses are the turtle, looking out for a moment, and flopping down again. Honor to the Groggleses! Honor to the Court of Lively Turtle! The wisdom of the Turtle is the hope of England!"

There are three heads in the moral of what I had to say. First, turtle and Groggles are identical; wonderfully alike externally, wonderfully alike mentally. Secondly, turtle is a good thing every way, and the liveliness of the turtle is intended as an example for the liveliness of man; you are not to go beyond that. Thirdly, we are all quite comfortable. Leave us alone!

[From Chambers's Edinburgh Journal.]


The chastened glory of a bright autumnal evening was shining upon the yellow harvest fields of Bursley Farm, in the vicinity of the New Forest, and tinting with changeful light the dense but broken masses of thick wood which skirted the southern horizon, when Ephraim Lovegrove, a care-cankered, worn-out dying man, though hardly numbering sixty years, was, at his constantly and peevishly-iterated request, lifted from the bed on which for many weeks he had been gradually and painfully wasting away, and carried in an arm-chair to the door. From the cottage, situated as it was upon an eminence, the low-lying lands of Bursley, and its straggling homestead, which once called him master, could be distinctly seen. The fading eyes of the old man wandered slowly over the gleaming landscape, and a faint smile of painful recognition stole upon his harsh and shriveled features. His only son, a fine handsome young fellow, stood silently, with his wife, beside him—both, it seemed, as keenly, though not, perhaps, as bitterly, impressed with the scene and the thoughts it suggested; and their child, a rosy youngster of about five years of age, clung tightly to his mother's gown, frightened and awed apparently by the stern expression he read upon his father's face. A light summer air lifted the old man's thin white locks, fanned his sallow cheeks, and momently revived his fainting spirit. "Ay," he muttered, "the old pleasant home, Ned, quiet, beautiful as ever. It's only we who change and pass away."

"The home," rejoined the son, "of which we have been robbed—lawfully robbed."

"I'm not so clear on that as I was," said Ephraim Lovegrove, slowly and with difficulty. "It was partly our own want of foresight—mine, I mean, of course: we ought not to have calculated on—"

The old man's broken accents stopped suddenly. The strength which the sight of his former home and the grateful breeze which swept up from the valley awakened, had quickly faded; and the daughter-in-law, touching her husband's arm, and glancing anxiously at his father's changing countenance, motioned that he should be re-conveyed to bed. This was done, and a few spoonfuls of wine revived him somewhat. Edward Lovegrove left the cottage upon some necessary business; and his wife, after putting her child to bed, re-entered the sick-room, and seated herself with mute watchfulness by the bedside of her father-in-law.

"Ye are a kind, gentle creature, Mary," said the dying man, whose failing gaze had been for[Pg 56] some time fixed upon her pale, patient face; "as kind and gentle—more so, it seems to me, in this poor hovel, than when we dwelt in yon homestead, from which you, with us, have been so cruelly driven."

"Murmuring, father," she replied, in a low, sweet voice, "would not help us. It is surely better to submit cheerfully to a hard lot, than to chafe and fret one's life away at what can not be helped. But it's easy for me," she hastily added, fearing that her words might sound reproachfully in the old man's ear—"it's easy for me, who have health, a kind husband, and my little boy left me, to be cheerful, but it is scarcely so for you, suffering in body and mind, and tormented in a thousand ways."

"Ay, girl, it has been a sharp trial; but it will soon be over. In a few hours it will matter little whether old Ephraim Lovegrove lived and died in a pig-sty or a palace. But I would speak of you. You and Ned should emigrate. There are countries, I am told, where you would be sure to prosper. That viper Nichols, I remember, once offered to assist—I could never make out from what motive—from what—A little wine," he added feebly. "The evening, for the time of the year, is very chilly: my feet and legs are cold as stones." He swallowed the wine, and again addressed himself to speak, but his voice was scarcely audible. "I have often thought," he murmured, "as I lay here, that Symons, Nichols's clerk, from a hint he dropped, knows something of—of—your mother and—and—" The faint accents ceased to be audible; but the grasp of the dying man closed tightly upon the frightened woman's hand, as he looked wildly in her face as he drew her toward him, as if some important statement remained untold. He struggled desperately for utterance, but the strife was vain, and brief as it was fierce: his grasp relaxed, and with a convulsive groan, Ephraim Lovegrove fell back and expired.

The storm which had made shipwreck of the fortunes of Ephraim Lovegrove had leveled with the earth prouder roof-trees than his. In early life he had succeeded his father as the tenant of a farm in Wiltshire. He was industrious, careful, and ambitious; and aided by the sum of £500, which he received with his wife, and the high prices which agricultural produce obtained during the French war, he was enabled, at the expiration of his lease in Wiltshire, to become the proprietor of Bursley Farm. This purchase was effected when wheat ranged from £30 to £40 a load, at a proportionately exorbitant price of £5000. His savings amounted to about one half of this sum, and the remainder was raised by way of mortgage. Matters went on smoothly enough till the peace of 1815, and the subsequent precipitate fall in prices. Lovegrove showed gallant fight, hoping against hope that exceptional legislation would ultimately bolster up prices to something like their former level. He was deceived. Every day saw him sinking lower and lower; and in the sixth year of peace he was reluctantly compelled to abandon the long since desperate and hopeless struggle with adverse fortune. The interest on the borrowed money had fallen considerably in arrear, and Bursley Farm was sold by auction at a barely sufficient sum to cover the mortgage and accumulated interest. The stock was similarly disposed of, and stout Ephraim withdrew with his family to a small cottage in the neighborhood of his old home, possessed, after his debts were discharged, of about thirty pounds in money and a few necessary articles of furniture. The old man's heart was broken: he took almost immediately to his bed, and after a long agony of physical pain, aggravated and embittered by mental disquietude and discontent, expired, as we have seen, worn out in mind and body.

The future of the surviving family was a dark and anxious one. Edward Lovegrove, a frank, kindly-tempered young man, accustomed, in the golden days of farming, to ride occasionally after the hounds, as well equipped and mounted as any in the field, was little fitted for a struggle for daily bread with the crowded competition of the world. He had several times endeavored to obtain a situation as bailiff, but others more fortunate, perhaps better qualified, filled up every vacancy that offered, and the almost desperate man, but for the pleading helplessness of his wife and child, would have sought shelter in the ranks of the army—that grave in which so many withered prospects and broken hopes lie buried. As usual with disappointed men, his mind dwelt with daily-augmenting bitterness upon the persons at whose hands the last and decisive blows which had destroyed his home had been received. Sandars the mortgagee he looked upon as a monster of perfidy and injustice; but especially Nichols the attorney, who had superintended and directed the sale of the Bursley homestead, was regarded by him with the bitterest dislike. Other causes gave intensity to this vindictive feeling. The son of the attorney, Arthur Nichols, a wild, dissipated young man, had been a competitor for the hand of Mary Clarke, the sole child of Widow Clarke, and now Edward Lovegrove's wife. It was not at all remarkable or surprising that young Nichols should admire and seek to wed pretty and gentle Mary Clarke, but it was deemed strange by those who knew his father's grasping, mercenary disposition, that he should have been so eager for the match, well knowing, as he did, for the payments passed through his hands, that the widow's modest annuity terminated with her life. It was also known, and wonderingly commented upon, that the attorney was himself an anxious suitor for the widow's hand up to the day of her sudden and unexpected decease, which occurred about three years after her daughter's marriage with Edward Lovegrove. Immediately after this event, as if some restraint upon his pent-up malevolence had been removed, the elder[Pg 57] Nichols manifested the most active hostility toward the Lovegroves; and to his persevering enmity it was generally attributed that Mr. Sandars had availed himself of the power of sale inserted in the mortgage deed, to cast his unfortunate debtor helpless and homeless upon the world.

Sadly passed away the weary, darkening days with the young couple after the old man's death. The expenses of his long illness had swept away the little money saved from the wreck of the farm; and it required the sacrifice of Edward's watch and some silver teaspoons to defray the cost of a decent funeral. At last, spite of the thriftiest economy, all was gone, and they were penniless.

"You have nothing to purchase breakfast with to-morrow, have you, Mary?" said the husband, after partaking of a scanty tea. The mother had feigned only to eat: little Edward, whose curly head was lying in her lap as he sat asleep on a low stool beside her, had her share.

"Not a farthing," she replied, mildly, even cheerfully, and the glance of her gentle eyes was hopeful and kind as ever. "But, bear up, Edward: we have still the furniture; and were that sold at once, it would enable us to reach London, where, you know, so many people have made fortunes, who arrived there as poor as we."

"Something must be done, that is certain," replied the husband. "We have not yet received an answer from Salisbury about the porter's place I have applied for."

"No; but I would rather, for your sake, Edward, that you filled such a situation at some place further off, where you were not so well known."

Edward Lovegrove sighed, and, presently, rising from his chair, walked toward a chest of drawers that stood at the further end of the room. His wife, who guessed his intention—for the matter had been already more than once hinted at—followed him with a tearful, apprehensive glance. Her husband played tolerably well—wonderfully in the wife's opinion—upon the flute, and a few weeks after their marriage, her mother had purchased and presented him with a very handsome one with silver keys. He used, in the old time, to accompany his wife in the simple ballads she sang so sweetly—and now this last memorial of the past, linked as it was with tender and pious memories, must be parted with! Edward Lovegrove had not looked at it for months: his life, of late so out of tune, would have made harsh discord of its music; and as he took it from the case, and, from the mere force of habit, moistened the joints, and placed the pieces together, a flood of bitterness swelled his heart to think that this solace of "lang syne" must be sacrificed to their hard necessities. He blew a few tremulous and imperfect notes, which awakened the little boy, who was immediately clamorous that mammy should sing, and daddy play, as they used to do.

"Shall we try, Mary," said the husband, "to please the child?" Poor Mary bowed her head: her heart was too full to speak. The flutist played the prelude to a favorite air several times over, before his wife could sufficiently command her voice to commence the song, and she had not reached the end of the second line when she stopped, choked with emotion, and burst into an agony of tears.

"It is useless trying, Mary," said Edward Lovegrove, soothingly, as he rose and put by the flute. "I will to bed at once, for to and from Christchurch, where I must dispose of it, is a long walk." He kissed his wife and child, and went up-stairs. The mother followed soon afterward, put her boy to rest, and after looking wistfully for a few moments at the worn and haggard features of her husband as he lay asleep, re-descended the stairs, and busied herself with some necessary household work.

As she was thus employed, a slight tap at the little back window struck her ear, and, looking sharply round, she recognized the pale, uncouth features of Symons, lawyer Nichols' deformed clerk and errand-man, who was eagerly beckoning her to open the casement. This was the person of whom Ephraim Lovegrove had spoken just previous to his death. Symons, who had never known father or mother, had passed his infancy and early boyhood in the parish workhouse, from whence he had passed into the service of Mr. Nichols, who, finding him useful, and of some capacity, had retained him in his employ to the present time, but at so bare a stipend, as hardly sufficed to keep body and soul together. Poor Symons was a meek, enduring drudge, used to the mocks and buffets of the world; and except under the influence of strong excitement, hardly dared to rebel or murmur, even in spirit. His acquaintance with the Lovegrove family arose from his being placed in possession of the furniture and stock of Bursley Farm, under a writ of fi. fa. issued by Nichols. On the day the inventory was taken, in preparation for the sale, a heavy piece of timber, which he was assisting to measure, fell upon his left foot, and severely crushed it. From his master he received only a malediction for his awkwardness; but young Mrs. Lovegrove—not so much absorbed in her own grief as to be indifferent to the sufferings of others—had him brought carefully into the house, and herself tended his painful hurt with the gentlest care and compassion, and ultimately effected a thorough cure. This kindness to a slighted, deformed being, who, before, had scarcely comprehended the meaning of the word, powerfully effected Symons; and he had since frequently endeavored, in his shy, awkward way, to testify the deep gratitude he felt toward his benefactress, of whose present extreme poverty he, in common with every other inhabitant of the scattered hamlet, had, of course, become fully cognizant. Charity Symons—the parish authorities had so named him, in order, doubtless[Pg 58] that however high he might eventually rise in the world, he should never ungratefully forget his origin—beckoned, as I have said, eagerly to the lone woman, and the instant she opened the casement, he thrust a rather heavy bag into her hand.

"For you," he said, hurriedly: "I got it for next to nothing of Tom Stares; but mind, not a word! God bless and reward you!" and before Mrs. Lovegrove could answer a word, or comprehend what was meant, he had disappeared.

On opening the bag, the surprised and affrighted woman found that it contained a fine hen-pheasant and a hare! No wonder she was alarmed at finding herself in possession of such articles; for in those good old days game could not be lawfully sold or purchased; and unless it could be distinctly proved that it came by gift from a qualified killer, its simple possession was a punishable offense. This pheasant and hare had doubtless been poached by Tom Stares, a notorious offender against the game-laws; but what was to be done? Spite of all the laws that were enacted upon the subject, the peasant and farmer intellect of England could never be made to attach a moral delinquency to the unauthorized killing of game. A dangerous occupation, leading to no possible good, and, eventually, sure to result in evil to the transgressor, prudent men agreed it was; but as for confounding the stealing of a wooden spoon, worth a penny, with the snaring of a hare, worth, perhaps, five shillings—that never entered any body's head. And thus it happened that Mrs. Lovegrove, though conscious that the hare and bird had been illegally obtained, felt nothing of the instinctive horror and shame that would have mantled her forehead, had she been made the recipient of a stolen threepenny-worth of cheese or bacon. She recalled to mind the journey her husband must take in the morning—he, weak, haggard for want of food—of which here was an abundant present supply: her boy, too, who had twice at tea-time, ere he fell asleep, asked vainly for more bread! As these bitter thoughts glanced through her brain, a sharp double rap at the door caused her to start like a guilty thing, and then hastily undo her apron, and throw it over the betraying present. The door was not locked, and the postman, impatient of delay, lifted the latch, and stepped into the room. Was he soon enough to observe what was on the table? Mary Lovegrove would have thought so, but for the unconcerned, indifferent aspect of the man as he presented a letter, and said, "It's prepaid: all right;" and without further remark, went away. The anxious and nervous woman trembled so much, that she could hardly break the seal of the letter; and the words, as she strove to make out the cramped hand by the brilliant moonlight, danced confusedly before her eyes. At last she was able to read. The letter was from Salisbury and announced that Mr. Brodie "regretted to say, as he had known and respected the late Ephraim Lovegrove, that he had engaged a person to fill the situation which had been vacant, a few hours previous to his receiving Edward Lovegrove's application." That plank, then, had sunk under them like all the rest! A hard world, she thought, and but little entitled to obedience or respect from the wretches trampled down in its iron course. Edward should not, at all events, depart foodless on his morning's errand; neither should her boy lack breakfast. On this she was now determined, and with shaking hands and flushed cheek, she hastily set about preparing the bird for the morning meal—a weak and criminal act, if you will; but a mother seldom reasons when her child lacks food: she only feels.

Edward Lovegrove very easily reconciled himself to the savory breakfast which awaited him in the morning; and he and his son were doing ample justice to it—the wife, though faint with hunger, could not touch a morsel—when the latch of the door suddenly lifted, and in hurried Thompson the miller, and chief constable of the Hundred, followed by an assistant. A faint scream escaped from Mrs. Lovegrove, and a fierce oath broke from her husband's lips, as they recognized the new-comers, and too readily divined their errand.

"A charming breakfast, upon my word!" exclaimed the constable, laughing. "Roasted pheasant—no less! Our information was quite correct, it appears."

"What is the meaning of this, and what do you seek here?" exclaimed Edward Lovegrove.

"You and this game, of which we are informed you are unlawfully possessed. I hope," added the constable, a feeling, good sort of man—"I hope you will be able to prove both this half-eaten pheasant and the hare I see hanging yonder were presented to you by some person having a right to make such gifts?"

A painful and embarrassing pause ensued. It would have been useless, as far as themselves were concerned, to have named Charity Symons, even had Lovegrove or his wife been disposed to subject him to the penalties of the law and the anger of his employer.

"After all," observed the constable, who saw how matters stood, "it is but a money penalty."

"A money penalty!" exclaimed Lovegrove. "It is imprisonment—ruin—starvation for my wife and child. Look at these bare walls—these threadbare garments—and say if it can mean any thing else!"

"I am sorry for it," rejoined Thompson. "The penalty is a considerable one: five pounds for each head of game, with costs; and I am afraid, if Sir John Devereux's agent—lawyer Nichols—presses the charge, in default of payment, six months' imprisonment! Sir John's preserves have suffered greatly of late."

"It is that rascal, that robber Nichols' doing then!" fiercely exclaimed Lovegrove. "I[Pg 59] might have guessed so; but if I don't pay him off both for old and new one of these days—"

"Tut—tut!" interrupted the constable: "it's no use calling names, nor uttering threats we don't mean to perform. Perhaps matters may turn out better than you think. In the mean time you must appear before Squire Digby, and so must your hare and what remains of your breakfast."

Arrived before the magistrate, the prisoner, taken in "flagrant délit," had of course no valid defense to offer. The justice remarked upon the enormity of the offense committed, and regretted, exceedingly that he could not at once convict and punish the delinquent; but as the statute required that two magistrates should concur in the conviction, the case would be adjourned till that day week, when a petty sessions would be held. In the mean time he should require bail in ten pounds for the prisoner's appearance. This would have been tantamount to a sentence of immediate imprisonment, had not the constable, who had been formerly intimate with the Lovegroves, stepped forward and said, that if the prisoner would give him his word that he would not abscond, he would bail him. This was done, and the necessary formalities complete, the husband and wife took their sad way homeward.

What was now to be done? Their furniture, if sold at its highest value, would barely discharge the penalties incurred, and they would be homeless, penniless, utterly without resource? The wife wept bitterly, accusing herself as the cause of this utter ruin; her husband indulged in fierce and senseless abuse of Nichols, and in a paroxysm of fury seized a sheet of letter-paper, tore it hastily in halves, and scribbled a letter to the attorney full of threats of the direst vengeance. This crazy epistle he signed 'A Ruined Man,' and without pausing to reflect on what he was doing, dispatched his little boy to the post-office with it. This mad proceeding appeared to have somewhat relieved him: he grew calmer, strove to console his wife, went out and obtained credit at the chandler's—the first time they had made such a request—for a few necessaries; and after a short interval, the unfortunate couple were once more discussing their sad prospects with calmness and partially-renewed hope. More than once Edward Lovegrove wished he had not sent the letter to Nichols; but he said nothing to his wife about it, and she, it afterward appeared, had been so pre-occupied at the time, as not to heed or inquire to whom or of what he was writing.

On the third day after Edward Lovegrove's appearance before the magistrate, he set off about noon for Christchurch, in order to dispose of his flute—a sacrifice which could no longer be delayed. It was growing late, and his wife was sitting up in impatient expectation of his return, when an alarm of "Fire" was raised, and it was announced that a wheat-rick belonging to Nichols, who farmed in a small way, was in flames. Many of the villagers hastened to the spot; but the fire, by the time they arrived, had been effectually got under, and after hanging about the premises a short time, they turned homeward. Edward Lovegrove joined a party of them, and incidently remarked that he had been to Christchurch, where he had met young Nichols, and had some rough words with him: on his return, the young man had passed him on horseback when about two miles distant from the elder Nichols' house, and just as he (Lovegrove) neared the attorney's premises, the rick burst into flames. This relation elicited very little remark at the time, and bidding his companion good-night, Lovegrove hastened home.

"The constables are looking for you," said a young woman, abruptly entering the chandler's shop, whither Edward Lovegrove had proceeded the following morning to discharge the trifling debt he had incurred.

"For me?" exclaimed the startled young man.

"Yes, for you;" and, added the girl with a meaning look and whisper, "if you were near the fire last night, I would advise you to make yourself scarce for a time."

Her words conveyed no definite meaning to Edward Lovegrove's mind. The fire! Constables after him! He left the shop, and took with hasty steps, his way to the cottage, distant over the fields about a quarter of a mile.

"Lawyer Nichols' fire," he muttered as he hurried along. "Surely they do not mean to accuse me of that!"

The sudden recollection of the threatening letter he had sent glanced across and smote, as with the stroke of a dagger, upon his brain. "Good God! to what have I exposed myself?"

His agitation was excessive; and at the instant the constables, who had been to his home in search of him, turned the corner of a path, a few paces ahead, and came full upon him. In his confusion and terror he turned to flee, but so weakly and irresolutely, that he was almost immediately overtaken and secured.

"I would not have believed this of you, Edward Lovegrove," exclaimed the constable.

"Believed what?" ejaculated the bewildered man.

"That you would have tried to revenge yourself on Lawyer Nichols by such a base, dastardly trick. But it's not my business to reproach you, and the less you say the better. Come along."

As they passed on toward the magistrate's house, an eager and curious crowd gradually collected and accompanied them; and just as they reached Digby Hall, a distant convulsive scream, and his name frantically pronounced by a voice which the prisoner but too well recognized, told him that his wife had heard of his capture, and was hurrying to join him. He drew back, but his captors urged him impatiently on; the hall-door was slammed in the faces[Pg 60] of the crowd, and he found himself in the presence of the magistrate and the elder Nichols.

The attorney, who appeared to be strongly agitated, deposed in substance that the prisoner had been seen by his son near his premises a few minutes before the fire burst out; that he had abused and assaulted young Mr. Nichols but a few hours previously in the market at Christchurch; and that he had himself received a threatening letter, which he now produced, only two days before, and which he believed to be in the prisoner's handwriting—

The prisoner, bewildered by terror, eagerly denied that he wrote the letter.

This unfortunate denial was easily disposed of, by the production, by the constable, of a half sheet of letter-paper found in the cottage, the ragged edge of which precisely fitted that of the letter. Edward Lovegrove would have been fully committed at once, but that the magistrate thought it desirable that the deposition of Arthur Nichols should be first formally taken. This course was reluctantly acquiesced in by the prosecutor, and the prisoner was remanded to the next day.

The dismay of Charity Symons, when he found that his well-intentioned present had only brought additional suffering upon the Lovegroves, was intense and bitter; but how to help them, he knew not. He had half made up his mind to obtain—no matter by what means—a sight of certain papers which he had long dimly suspected would make strange revelations upon matters affecting Mary Lovegrove, when the arrest of her husband on a charge of incendiarism thoroughly determined him to risk the expedient he had long hesitatingly contemplated. The charge, he was quite satisfied in his own mind, was an atrocious fabrication, strongly as circumstances seemed to color and confirm it.

The clerk, as he sat that afternoon in the office silently pursuing his ill-paid drudgery, noticed that his employer was strangely ill at ease. He was restless, and savagely impatient of the slightest delay on the most necessary question. Evening fell early—it was now near the end of October, and Symons with a respectful bow, left the office. A few minutes afterward, the attorney having carefully locked his desk, iron chest, &c., and placed the keys in his pocket, followed.

Two hours had elapsed, when Symons re-entered the house by the back way, walked through the kitchen, softly ascended the stairs, and groped his way to the inner, private office. There was no moon, and he dared not light a candle; but the faint starlight fortunately enabled him to move about without stumbling or noise. He mounted the office steps, and inserted the edge of a sharp broad chisel between the lock and the lid of a heavy iron-bound box marked 'C.' The ease and suddenness with which the lid yielded to the powerful effort he applied to it, overthrew his balance, and he with difficulty saved himself from falling on the floor. The box was not locked, and on putting his hand into it, he discovered that it was entirely empty! The tell-tale papers had been removed, probably destroyed! At the moment Symons made this exasperating discovery, the sound of approaching footsteps struck upon his startled senses, and shaking with fright, he had barely time to descend the steps, and coop himself up in a narrow cupboard under one of the desks, when the Nicholses, father and son, entered the office—the former with a candle in his hand.

"We are private here," said the father in a low, guarded voice; "and I tell you you must listen to reason.

"I don't like it a bit," rejoined the young man. "It's a cowardly, treacherous business; and as for swearing I saw him near the fire when it so strangely burst out, I won't do it at any price."

"Listen to me, you foolish, headstrong boy," retorted the elder Nichols, "before you decide on beggary for yourself, and ruin—the gallows, perhaps, for me."

"Wh-e-e-e-w! Why, what do you mean?"

"I will tell you. You already know that Mary Woodhouse married Robert Clarke against his uncle's consent; you also know that Robert Clarke died about five years after the marriage, and that the seventy pounds a year which the uncle allowed his nephew to keep him from starvation was continued to be paid through me to his widow."

"Yes, I have heard all this before."

"But you do not know," continued the attorney in an increasingly-agitated voice, "that about six years after Robert Clarke's death, the uncle so far relented toward the widow and daughter—though he would never see either of them—as to increase the annuity to two hundred pounds, and that at his death, four years since, he bequeathed Mrs. Clarke five hundred pounds per annum, with succession to her daughter: all of which sums, I, partly on account of your riot and extravagance, have appropriated."

"Good heaven, what a horrible affair! What would you have me do?"

"I have told you. The dread of discovery has destroyed my health, and poisoned my existence. Were he once out of the country, his wife would doubtless follow him; detection would be difficult; conviction, as I will manage it, impossible."

There was more said to the same effect; and the son, at the close of a long and troubled colloquy, departed, after promising to "consider of it."

He had been gone but a few minutes; the elder Nichols was silently meditating the perilous position in which he had placed himself, when a noiseless step approached him from behind, and a heavy hand was suddenly placed upon his shoulder. He started wildly to his feet, and confronted the stern and triumphant glance of the once humble and submissive[Pg 61] Charity Symons. The suddenness of the shock overcame him, and he fainted.

Mary Lovegrove, whose child had sobbed itself to sleep, was sitting in solitude and darkness in the lower room of the cottage, her head bowed in mute and tearless agony upon the table, when, as on a previous evening, a tap at the back window challenged her attention. It was once more Charity Symons. "What do you here again?" exclaimed the wretched wife with some asperity of tone: "you no doubt intended well; but you have nevertheless ruined, destroyed me."

"Not so," rejoined the deformed clerk, his pale, uncouth, but expressive features gleaming with wild exultation in the clear starlight. "God has at last enabled me to requite your kindness to a contemned outcast. Fear not for to-morrow. Your husband is safe, and you are rich." With these words he vanished.

On the next morning a letter was placed in the magistrate's hands from Mr. Nichols, stating that circumstances had come to the writer's knowledge which convinced him that Edward Lovegrove was entirely innocent of the offense imputed to him; that the letter, which he had destroyed, bore quite another meaning from that which he had first attributed to it; and that he consequently abandoned the prosecution. On further inquiry, it was found that the attorney had left his house late the preceding night, accompanied by his son, had walked to Christchurch, and from thence set off post for London. His property and the winding up of his affairs had been legally confided to his late clerk. Under these circumstances the prisoner was of course immediately discharged; and after a private interview with Symons, returned in joy and gladness to his now temporary home. He was accompanied by the noisy felicitations of his neighbors, to whom his liberation and sudden accession to a considerable fortune had become at the same moment known. As he held his passionately-weeping wife in his arms, and gazed with grateful emotion in her tearful but rejoicing eyes, he whispered, "That kind act of yours toward the despised hunchback has saved me, and enriched our child. 'Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy!'"

[From Dickens's Household Words.]


In literature, in science, in art, we find Germany quite on a level with the present age. She has produced men and books equal to the men and books of England or France, as the names of Goethe, Schiller, Humboldt, Liebig, and a score of others bear testimony. But while in poetry, philosophy, and science, she is on a par with the best portions of modern Europe; in politics—in the practical science of government—she is an indefinite number of centuries behindhand. Governmentally, she is now where the English were during the Saxon Heptarchy, with seven or more kingdoms in a space that might be well governed by one sceptre. Where she might get along very well with two, she has a dozen petty kings, and petty courts, and petty national debts, and petty pension-lists, and paltry debased and confusing coinages, and petty cabals, quarrels, and intermixture of contending interests.

Out of this division of territory arises, of course, a number of small poor princes; and as poor princes do not like to work hard when their pockets are low, we find them busy with the schemes, shifts, and contrivances, common from time immemorial with penniless people who have large appetites for pleasure, small stomachs for honest work—real, living, reigning dukes though they be, they have added to the royal "businesses" to which they were born, little private speculations for the encouragement of rouge et noir and roulette. These small princes have, in fact, turned gambling house keepers—hell-keepers, in the vulgar but expressive slang of a London police court—proprietors of establishments where the vicious and the unwary, the greedy hawk and the silly pigeon, congregate, the one to plunder and the other to be plucked. That which has been expelled from huge London, as too great an addition to its vice, or, if not quite expelled, is carried on with iron-barred doors, unequal at times to protect its followers from the police and the infamy of exposure—that which has been outlawed from the Palais Royal and Paris, as too bad even for the lax morality of a most free-living city—that huge vice which caters to the low senses of cunning and greediness, and tempts men to lose fortune, position, character, even hope, in the frantic excitements of, perhaps, one desperate night—such a vice is housed in fine buildings raised near mineral springs, surrounded by beautiful gardens, enlivened by music, and sanctioned by the open patronage of petty German princes holding sway in the valley watered by the Rhine. In fact, unscrupulous speculators are found to carry on German gaming-tables at German spas, paying the sovereign of the country certain thousands of pounds a year for the privilege of fleecing the public.

The weakened in body are naturally weakened in mental power. The weak in body are promised health by "taking the waters" at a German bath. The early hours, the pleasant walks, the good music, the promised economy, are inducements. The weakened mind wants more occupation than it finds, for these places are very monotonous, and the gaming-table is placed by the sovereign of the country in a noble room—the Kursaal, to afford excitement to the visitor, and profits—the profits of infamy—to himself.

There are grades in these great gaming-houses for Europe. Taking them in the order in which they are reached from Cologne, it may be said that Wiesbaden is the finest town, having very pleasant environs, and the least play. The Grand Duke of Nassau, therefore, has[Pg 62] probably the smallest share of the gaming-table booty.

Homburg which comes next in order, is far more out of reach, is smaller, duller—(it is indeed very, very dreary)—and has to keep its gaming-tables going all the year round, to make up the money paid by the lessees of the gambling-house to the duke. The range of the Taunus is at the back of the "town" (a village about as large, imposing, and lively as Hounslow), and affords its chief attraction. The rides are agreeable, if the visitor has a good horse—(a difficult thing to get in that locality)—and is fond of trotting up steep hills, and then ambling down again. In beauty of position, and other attractions, it is very far below both Wiesbaden and Baden.

Baden-Baden is the third, and certainly most beautiful of these German gambling-towns. The town nestles, as it were, in a sheltered valley, opening among the hills of the Black Forest. In summer its aspect is very picturesque and pleasant; but it looks as if in winter it must be very damp and liable to the atmosphere which provokes the growth of goitre. At Baden there is said to be more play than at the other two places put together. From May till the end of September, roulette and rouge et noir—the mutter of the man who deals the cards, and the rattle of the marble—are never still. The profits of the table at this place are very large. The man who had them some years ago retired with an immense fortune; and one of his successors came from the Palais Royal when public gaming was forbidden in Paris, and was little less successful than his predecessor. The permanent residents at Baden could alone form any idea of the sums netted, and only such of those as were living near the bankers. They could scarcely avoid seeing the bags of silver, five franc pieces chiefly, that passed between the gaming-tables and the bank. A profit of one thousand pounds a fortnight was thought a sign of a bad season; and so it must have been, when it is calculated that the gambling-table keeper paid the duke a clear four thousand pounds a year as the regal share of the plunder, and agreed to spend two thousand a year in decorating the town of Baden. The play goes on in a noble hall called the Conversations House, decorated with frescoes and fitted up most handsomely. This building stands in a fine ornamental garden, with green lawns and fine avenues of tall trees; and all this has been paid for by the profits of roulette and rouge et noir. Seeing this, it may cause surprise that people play at all; yet the fascination is so great that, once within its influence, good resolutions and common sense seem alike unequal to resistance. All seems fair enough, and some appear to win, and then self-love suggests, "Oh, my luck will surely carry me through!" The game is so arranged that some win and some lose every game, the table having, it is said, only a small percentage of chance in its favor. These chances are avowedly greater at roulette than at rouge et noir, but at both it is practically shown that the player, in the long run, always loses. It is whispered that, contrary to the schoolboy maxim, cheating does thrive at German baths; and those who have watched the matter closely, say a Dutch banker won every season by following a certain plan. He waited till he saw a heavy stake upon the table, and then backed the other side. He always won.

Go into one of the rooms at any of these places, and whom do you see? The off-scourings of European cities—professional gamblers, ex-officers of all sorts of armies; portionless younger brothers; pensioners; old men and old women who have outlived all other excitements; a multitude of silly gulls, attracted by the waters, or the music, or the fascination of play; and a sprinkling of passing tourists, who come—"just look in on their way," generally to be disappointed—often to be fleeced. Young and handsome women are not very often seen playing. Gaming is a vice reserved for middle age. While hearts are to be won, dollars are not worth playing for. Cards, and rouge, and dyspepsy seem to be nearly allied, if we may judge by the specimens of humanity seen at the baths of Wiesbaden, Homburg, and Baden. The players—and player and loser are almost synonymous terms—are generally thin and anxious; the bankers, fat and stolid. As the brass whirls round, the table-keeper has the look of a quiet bloated spider, seemingly passionless, but with an eye that glances over every chance on the board. At his side see an elderly man, pale and thin, the muscles of whose lower jaw are twitching spasmodically, yet with jaded, forced resignation, he loses his last five pounds. Next him is a woman highly dressed, with false hair and teeth, and a great deal of paint. She has a card in her hand, on which she pricks the numbers played, and thus flatters herself she learns the best chances to take. Next to her see one of the most painful sights these places display. A father, mother, and young girl are all trying their fortune; the parents giving money to the child that they "may have her good luck," reckless of the fatal taste they are implanting in her mind. Next is a Jew, looking all sorts of agonies, and one may fancy he knows he is losing in an hour, what it has cost him years of cunning and self-denial to amass. And so on, round the table, we find ill-dressed and well dressed Germans, French, Russians, English, Yankees, Irish, mixed up together, in one eager crowd; thirsting to gain gold without giving value in return; risking what they have in an insane contest which they know has destroyed thousands before them; losing their money, and winning disgust, despondency, and often despair and premature death. Never a year is said to go by without its complement of ruined fools and hasty suicides. The neighboring woods afford a convenient shelter; and a trigger, or a handkerchief and a bough, complete the tragedy.

[Pg 63]

[From Chambers's Edinburgh Journal.]


In the north of France, near the Belgian frontier, is situated a small, obscure town. It is surrounded by high fortifications, which seem ready to crush the mean houses in the centre. Inclosed, so to speak, in a net-work of walls, the poor little town has never sent a suburb to wander on the smooth green turf outside; but as the population increased, new streets sprang up within the boundary, crowding the already narrow space, and giving to the whole the aspect of some huge prison.

The climate of the north of France during half the year is usually damp and gloomy. I shall never forget the sensation of sadness which I felt when obliged by circumstances to leave the gay, sunny south, and take up my abode for a while in the town I have described. Every day I walked out; and in order to reach the nearest gate, I had to pass through a narrow lane, so very steep, that steps were cut across it in order to render the ascent less difficult. Traversing this disagreeable alley, it happened one day that my eyes rested on a mean-looking, gray-colored house, which stood detached from the others. Seldom, indeed, could a ray of sunshine light up its small, green-paned windows, and penetrate the interior of its gloomy apartments. During the winter the frozen snow on the steps made it so dangerous to pass through the narrow alley, that its slippery pavement seemed quite deserted. I do not remember to have met a single person there in the course of my daily walk; and my eye used to rest with compassion on the silent gray house. "I hope," thought I, "that its inhabitants are old—it would be fearful to be young there!" Spring came; and in the narrow lane the ice changed into moisture; then the damp gradually dried up, and a few blades of grass began to appear beneath the rampart wall. Even in this gloomy passage there were tokens of awakening life, but the gray house remained silent and sad as before. Passing by it, as usual, in the beginning of June, I remarked, placed on the window-sill of the open casement, a glass containing a bunch of violets. "Ah," thought I, "there is a soul here!"

To love flowers, one must either be young, or have preserved the memories of youth. The enjoyment of their perfume implies something ideal and refined; and among the poor a struggle between the necessities of the body and the instincts of the soul. I looked at the violets with a feeling of sadness, thinking that they probably formed the single solace of some weary life. The next day I returned. Even in that gloomy place the sweet rejoicing face of summer had appeared, and dissipated the chill silence of the air. Birds were twittering, insects humming, and one of the windows in the old gray house was wide open.

Seated near it was a woman working busily with her needle. It would be difficult to tell her age, for the pallor and sadness of her countenance might have been caused as much by sorrow as by years, and her cheek was shadowed by a profusion of rich dark hair. She was thin, and her fingers were long and white. She wore a simple brown dress, a black apron, and white collar; and I remarked the sweet, though fading bunch of violets carefully placed within the folds of her kerchief. Her eyes met mine, and she gently inclined her head. I then saw more distinctly that she had just reached the limit which separates youth from mature age. She had suffered, but probably without a struggle, without a murmur—perhaps without a tear. Her countenance was calm and resigned, but it was the stillness of death. I fancied she was like a drooping flower, which, without being broken, bends noiselessly toward the earth.

Every day I saw her in the same place, and, without speaking, we exchanged a salutation. On Sundays I missed her, and concluded that she walked into the country, for each Monday a fresh bunch of violets appeared in the window. I conjectured that she was poor, working at embroidery for her support; and I discovered that she was not alone in the house, for one day a somewhat impatient voice called "Ursula!" and she rose hastily. The tone was not that of a master, neither did she obey the summons after the manner of a servant, but with an expression of heartfelt readiness; yet the voice breathed no affection; and I thought that Ursula perchance was not loved by those with whom she lived.

Time passed on, and our silent intimacy increased. At length each day I gathered some fresh flowers, and placed them on the window-sill. Ursula blushed, and took them with a gentle, grateful smile. Clustering in her girdle, and arranged within her room, they brought summer to the old gray house. It happened one evening that as I was returning through the alley a sudden storm of rain came on. Ursula darted toward the door, caught my hand as I was passing, and drew me into the narrow passage which led to her room. Then the poor girl clasped both my hands in hers, and murmured, softly, "Thanks!" It was the first time I had heard her voice, and I entered her apartment. It was a large, low room, with a red-tiled floor, furnished with straw chairs ranged along the walls. Being lighted by only one small window, it felt damp and gloomy. Ursula was right to seat herself close by the casement to seek a little light and air. I understood the reason of her paleness—it was not that she had lost the freshness of youth, but that she had never possessed it. She was bleached like a flower that has blossomed in the shade.

In the farthest corner of the room, seated on arm-chairs, were two persons, an old man and woman. The latter was knitting without looking at her work—she was blind. The man[Pg 64] was unemployed: he gazed vacantly at his companion without a ray of intelligence in his face: it was evident that he had overpassed the ordinary limit of human life, and that now his body alone existed. Sometimes in extreme old age the mind, as though irritated by its long captivity, tries to escape from its prison, and in its efforts, breaks the harmonious chord that links them together. It chafes against the shattered walls; it has not taken flight, but it feels itself no longer in a place of rest.

These, then, were the inhabitants of the silent gray house—a blind old woman, an imbecile old man, and a young girl faded before her time by the sadness and gloom that surrounded her! Her life had been a blank; each year had borne away some portion of her youth, her beauty, and her hope, and left her nothing but silence and oblivion. I often returned to visit Ursula, and one day, while I sat next her in the window, she told me the simple story of her life.

"I was born," said she, "in this house; and I have never quitted it; but my parents are not natives of this country—they came here as strangers, without either friends or relatives. When they married, they were already advanced in life; for I can not remember them ever being young. My mother became blind, and this misfortune rendered her melancholy and austere; so that our house was enveloped in gloom. I was never permitted to sing, or play, or make the slightest noise: very rarely did I receive a caress. Yet my parents loved me: they never told me that they did; but I judged their hearts by my own, and I felt that I loved them. My days were not always as solitary as they are now; I had a sister"—Her eyes filled with tears, but they did not overflow; they were wont to remain hidden in the depths of her heart. After a few moments, she continued—"I had an elder sister: like our mother, she was grave and silent, but toward me she was tender and affectionate. We loved each other dearly, and shared between us the cares which our parents required. We never enjoyed the pleasure of rambling together through the fields, for one always remained at home; but whichever of us went out, brought flowers to the other, and talked to her of the sun, and the trees, and the fresh air. In the evenings we worked together by the light of a lamp; we could not converse much, for our parents used to slumber by our side; but whenever we looked up, we could see a loving smile on each other's face; and we went to repose in the same room, never lying down without saying 'Good-night! I hope, dear sister, you will sleep well!' Was it not a trial to part? Yet I do not murmur: Martha is happy in heaven. I know not if it was the want of air and exercise, or the dull monotony of her life, which caused the commencement of Martha's illness, but I saw her gradually languish and fade. I alone was disquieted by it; my mother did not see her, and she never complained. With much difficulty I at length prevailed on my sister to see a physician. Alas! nothing could be done: she lingered for a time, and then died. The evening before her death, as I was seated by her bed, she clasped my hand between her trembling ones: 'Adieu! my poor Ursula!' she said: 'take courage, and watch well over our father and mother. They love us, Ursula; they love us, although they do not often say so. Take care of your health for their sake; you can not die before them. Adieu! sister: don't weep for me too much, but pray to our heavenly Father. We shall meet again, Ursula!' Three days afterward, Martha was borne away in her coffin, and I remained alone with my parents. When my mother first heard of my sister's death, she uttered a loud cry, sprang up, took a few hasty steps across the room, and then fell on the ground. I raised her up, and led her back to her arm-chair. Since then she has not wept, but she is more silent than before, save that her lips move in secret prayer. I have little more to tell. My father became completely imbecile, and at the same time we lost nearly the whole of our little property. I have succeeded in concealing this loss from my parents; making money for their support by selling my embroidery. I have no one to speak to since my sister's death; I love books, but I have no time for reading—I must work. It is only on Sunday that I breathe the fresh air; and I do not walk far, as I am alone. Some years since, when I was very young, I used to dream while I sat in this window. I peopled the solitude with a thousand visions which brightened the dark hours. Now a sort of numbness has fallen on my thoughts—I dream no more. While I was young, I used to hope for some change in my destiny; now I am twenty-nine years old, and sorrow has chastened my spirit: I no longer hope or fear. In this place I shall finish my lonely days. Do not think that I have found resignation without a conflict. There were times when my heart revolted at living without being loved, but I thought of Martha's gentle words, 'We shall meet again, sister!' and I found peace. Now I often pray—I seldom weep. And you, madam—are you happy?"

I did not answer this question of Ursula's. Speaking to her of happiness would be like talking of an ungrateful friend to one whom he has deserted.

Some months afterward, on a fine autumn morning, as I was preparing to go to Ursula, I received a visit from a young officer who had lately joined the garrison. He was the son of an old friend of my husband's, and we both felt a lively interest in his welfare. Seeing me prepared for a walk, he offered his arm, and we proceeded toward the dwelling of Ursula. I chanced to speak of her; and as the young officer, whom I shall call Maurice d'Erval, seemed to take an interest in her story, I related it to him as we walked slowly along. When we reached the old gray house he looked[Pg 65] at her with pity and respect, saluted her, and withdrew. Ursula, startled at the presence of a stranger, blushed slightly. At that moment she looked almost beautiful. I know not what vague ideas crossed my brain, but I looked at her, and then, without speaking, I drew the rich bands of her hair into a more becoming form, I took a narrow black velvet collar off my own neck, and passed it round hers, and I arranged a few brilliant flowers in her girdle. Ursula smiled without understanding why I did so: her smile always pained me—there is nothing more sad than the smile of the unhappy. They seem to smile for others, not for themselves. Many days passed without my seeing Maurice d'Erval, and many more before chance led us together near the old gray house.

It was on our return from a country excursion with a large gay party. On entering the town, we all dispersed in different directions: I took the arm of Maurice, and led him toward Ursula's abode. It was one of those soft, calm autumn evenings, when the still trees are colored by the rays of the setting sun, and every thing breathes repose. It is a time when the soul is softened, when we become better, when we feel ready to weep without the bitterness of sorrow. Ursula, as usual, was seated in the window. A slanting ray of sunshine falling on her head lent an unwonted lustre to her dark hair: her eyes brightened when she saw me, and she smiled her own sad smile. Her sombre dress showed to advantage her slender, gracefully-bending figure, and a bunch of violets, her favorite flower, was fastened in her bosom. There was something in the whole appearance of Ursula which suited harmoniously the calm, sad beauty of the evening, and my companion felt it. As we approached, he fixed his eyes on the poor girl, who, timid as a child of fifteen, hung down her head, and blushed deeply. Maurice stopped, exchanged a few words with us both, and then took his leave. But from that time he constantly passed through the narrow alley, and paused each time for a moment to salute Ursula. One day, accompanied by me, he entered her house.

There are hearts in this world so unaccustomed to hope, that they can not comprehend happiness when it comes to them. Enveloped in her sadness, which, like a thick vail, hid from her sight all external things, Ursula neither saw nor understood. She remained under the eyes of Maurice as under mine—dejected and resigned. As to the young man, I could not clearly make out what was passing in his mind. It was not love for Ursula, at least so I thought, but it was that tender pity which is nearly allied to it. The romantic soul of Maurice pleased itself in the atmosphere of sadness which surrounded Ursula. Gradually they began to converse; and in sympathizing with each other on the misery of life, they experienced that happiness whose existence they denied. Months passed on; the pleasant spring came back again; and one evening, while walking with a large party, Maurice d'Erval drew me aside, and after some indifferent remarks, said, "Does not the most exalted happiness consist in making others share it with you? Is there not great sweetness in imparting joy to one who would otherwise pass a life of tears?" I looked at him anxiously without speaking. "Yes," said he, "dear friend, go ask Ursula if she will marry me!"

An exclamation of joy was my reply, and I hurried toward the gray house. I found Ursula, as usual, seated at her work. Solitude, silence, and the absence of all excitement had lulled her spirit into a sort of drowsiness. She did not suffer; she even smiled languidly when I appeared, but this was the only sign of animation she displayed. I feared not giving a sudden shock to this poor paralyzed soul, or stirring it into a violent tumult of happiness: I wanted to see if the mental vigor was extinct, or merely dormant. I placed my chair next hers, I took both her hands in mine, and fixing my eyes on hers, I said, "Ursula, Maurice d'Erval has desired me to ask you if you will be his wife!"

The girl was struck as if with a thunderbolt; her eyes beamed through the tears that filled them, and her blood, rushing through the veins, mantled richly beneath her skin. Her chest heaved, her heart beat almost audibly, and her hands grasped mine with a convulsive pressure. Ursula had only slumbered, and now the voice of love awakened her. She loved suddenly: hitherto she might, perchance, have loved unwittingly, but now the vail was rent, and she knew that she loved.

After a few moments, she passed her hand across her forehead, and said, in a low voice, "No: it is not possible!"

I simply repeated the same phrase, "Maurice d'Erval asks you if you will be his wife," in order to accustom her to the sound of the words, which, like the notes of a harmonious chord, formed for her, poor thing, a sweet, unwonted melody.

"His wife!" repeated she with ecstasy; "his wife!" And running toward her mother, she cried, "Mother, do you hear it? He asks me to be his wife!"

"Daughter," replied the old blind woman, "my beloved daughter, I knew that, sooner or later, God would recompense your virtues."

"My God!" cried Ursula, "what hast Thou done for me this day? His wife! beloved daughter!" And she fell on her knees with clasped hands, and her face covered with tears. At that moment footsteps were heard in the passage. "It is he!" cried Ursula. "He brings life!" I hastened away, and left Ursula glowing with tearful happiness to receive Maurice d'Erval alone.

From that day Ursula was changed. She grew young and beautiful under the magic influence of joy, yet her happiness partook in some measure of her former character: it was calm, silent, and reserved; so that Maurice, who had first loved a pale, sad woman, seated in the[Pg 66] shade, was not obliged to change the coloring of the picture, although Ursula was now happy. They passed long evenings together in the low, dull room, lighted only by the moonbeams, conversing and musing together.

Ursula loved with simplicity. She said to Maurice, "I love you—I am happy—and I thank you for it!" The old gray house was the only scene of these interviews. Ursula worked with unabated diligence, and never left her parents. But the walls of that narrow dwelling no longer confined her soul: it had risen to freedom, and taken its flight. The sweet magic of hope brightens not only the future, but the present, and through the medium of its all-powerful prism changes the coloring of all things. The old house was as mean-looking and gloomy as ever, but one feeling, enshrined in the heart of a woman, changed it to a palace. Dreams of hope, although you fleet and vanish like golden clouds in the sky, yet come, come to us ever! Those who have never known you, are a thousand times poorer than those who live to regret you!

Thus there passed a happy time for Ursula. But a day came when Maurice entering her room in haste, said, "Dearest, we must hasten our marriage; the regiment is about to be moved to another garrison, and we must be ready to set out."

"Are we going far, Maurice?"

"Does it frighten my Ursula to think of seeing distant countries? There are many lands more beautiful than this."

"Oh, no, Maurice, not for myself, but for my parents: they are too old to bear a long journey." Maurice looked at his betrothed without speaking. Although he well knew that, in order to share his wandering destiny, Ursula must leave her parents, yet he had never reflected seriously on the subject. He had foreseen her grief, but confiding in her affection, he had thought that his devoted love would soothe every sorrow of which he was not himself the cause. It was now necessary to come to an explanation; and sad at the inevitable pain which he was about to inflict on his betrothed, Maurice took her hand, made her sit down in her accustomed place, and said, gently, "Dearest, it would be impossible for your father and mother to accompany us in our wandering life. Until now, my Ursula, we have led a loving, dreamy life, without entering soberly into our future plans. I have no fortune but my sword; and now, at the commencement of my career, my income is so small, that we shall have to submit together to many privations. I reckon on your courage; but you alone must follow me. The presence of your parents would only serve to entail misery on them, and hopeless poverty on us."

"Leave my father and my mother!" cried Ursula.

"Leave them, with their little property, in this house; confide them to careful hands; and follow the fortunes of your husband."

"Leave my father and my mother!" repeated Ursula. "But do you know that the pittance they possess would never suffice for their support—that without their knowledge, I work to increase it—and that, during many years, I have tended them alone?"

"My poor Ursula!" replied Maurice, "we must submit to what is inevitable. Hitherto you have concealed from them the loss of their little fortune; tell it to them now, as it can not be helped. Try to regulate their expenditure of the little which remains; for, alas! we shall have nothing to give them."

"Go away, and leave them here! Impossible! I tell you, I must work for them!"

"Ursula, my Ursula!" said Maurice, pressing both her hands in his, "do not allow yourself, I conjure you, to be carried away by the first impulse of your generous heart. Reflect for a moment: we do not refuse to give, but we have it not. Even living alone, we shall have to endure many privations."

"I can not leave them," said Ursula, looking mournfully at the two old people slumbering in their arm-chairs.

"Do you not love me, Ursula?" The poor girl only replied by a torrent of tears.

Maurice remained long with her, pouring forth protestations of love, and repeating explanations of their actual position. She listened without replying; and at length he took his leave. Left alone, Ursula leaned her head on her hand, and remained without moving for many hours. Alas! the tardy gloom of happiness which brightened her life for a moment was passing away: the blessed dream was fled never to return! Silence, oblivion, darkness, regained possession of that heart whence love had chased them. During the long midnight hours who can tell what passed in the poor girl's mind? God knew: she never spoke of it.

When day dawned, she shuddered, closed the window, which had remained open during the night, and, trembling from the chill which seized both mind and body, she took paper and pen, and wrote—"Farewell, Maurice! I remain with my father and my mother: they have need of me. To abandon them in their old age would be to cause their death: they have only me in the world. My sister, on her death-bed, confided them to me, saying, 'We shall meet again, Ursula!' If I neglected my duties, I should never see her more. I have loved you well—I shall love you always. You have been very kind, but I know now that we are too poor to marry. Farewell! How hard to write that word! Farewell, dear friend—I knew that happiness was not for me, Ursula."

I went to the old gray house, and so did Maurice; but all our representations were useless—she would not leave her parents. "I must work for them!" she said. In vain I spoke to her of Maurice's love, and, with a sort of cruelty, reminded her of her waning youth, and the improbability of her meeting another husband. She listened, while her tears dropped[Pg 67] on the delicate work at which she labored without intermission, and then in a low voice she murmured, "They would die: I must work for them!" She begged us not to tell her mother what had passed. Those for whom she had sacrificed herself remained ignorant of her devotion. Some slight reason was assigned for the breaking off of the marriage, and Ursula resumed her place and her employment near the window, pale, dejected, and bowed down as before.

Maurice d'Erval possessed one of those prudent, deliberating minds which never allow themselves to be carried away by feeling or by impulse. His love had a limit: he prayed and intreated for a time, but at length he grew weary, and desisted.

It happened one day, while Ursula was seated in her window, that she heard a distant sound of military music, and the measured trampling of many feet. It was the regiment departing. Tremblingly she listened to the air, which sounded as a knell in her ears; and when the last faint notes died away in the distance, she let her work fall on her lap, and covered her face with her hands. A few tears trickled between her fingers, but she speedily wiped them away, and resumed her work: she resumed it for the rest of her life. On the evening of this day of separation—this day when the sacrifice was consummated—Ursula, after having bestowed her usual care on her parents, seated herself at the foot of her mother's bed, and, bending toward her with a look, whose tearful tenderness the blind old woman could not know, the poor deserted one took her hand, and murmured softly, "Mother! you love me; do you not? Is not my presence a comfort to you? Would you not grieve to part with me, my mother?"

The old woman turned her face to the wall, and said in a fretful tone, "Nonsense, Ursula. I'm tired; let me go to sleep!" The word of tenderness which she had sought as her only recompense was not uttered; the mother fell asleep without pressing her daughter's hand; and the poor girl, falling on her knees, poured out her sorrows in prayer to One who could both hear and heal them.

From that time Ursula became more pale, more silent, more cast down than ever. The last sharp sorrow bore away all traces of her youth and beauty. "All is ended!" she used to say; and all, save duty, was ended for her on earth. No tidings came of Maurice d'Erval. Ursula had pleased his imagination, like some graceful melancholy picture, but time effaced its coloring from his memory, and he forgot. How many things are forgotten in this life! How rarely do the absent mourn each other long!

One year after these events, Ursula's mother began visibly to decline, yet without suffering from any positive malady. Her daughter watched and prayed by her bed, and received her last benediction. "Once more she is with thee, Martha!" sighed Ursula: "be it thine to watch over her in heaven." She knelt down, and prayed by the side of the solitary old man. She dressed him in mourning without his being conscious of it; but on the second day he turned toward the empty arm-chair next his own, and cried, "My wife!"

Ursula spoke to him, and tried to divert his attention; but he repeated, "My wife!" while the tears rolled down his cheeks. In the evening, when his supper was brought, he turned away from it, and fixing his eyes on the vacant chair, said, "My wife!"

Ursula tried every expedient that love and sorrow could suggest; but in vain. The old man continued watching the place which his wife was wont to occupy; and refusing food, he would look at Ursula, and with clasped hands, in the querulous tone of a child imploring some forbidden indulgence, repeat, "My wife!" In a month afterward he died. His last movement was to raise his clasped hands, look up to Heaven, and cry "My wife!" as though he saw her waiting to receive him. When the last coffin was borne away from the old gray house, Ursula murmured softly, "My God! couldst thou not have spared them to me a little longer?" She was left alone; and many years have passed since then.

I left the dark old town and Ursula to travel into distant lands. By degrees she ceased to write to me, and after many vain efforts to induce her to continue the correspondence, I gradually lost all trace of her. I sometimes ask myself, "What has been her fate? Is she dead?" Alas! the poor girl was ever unfortunate: I fear she still lives!


"Charming place this," said a mad lady to us while looking out of a window of the finest Lunatic Asylum in North Britain; "so retired, so quiet, so genteel, so remote from the busy hum of men and women. The view you perceive is lovely—quite sylvan (there were two trees in the remote distance), 'Silence reigns around,' as the poet says, and then you see, sir, we do not allow street bands to come here."

On inquiry, we were told that this patient was a London literary lady. Her mania, like Morose in Ben Jonson's Epicure, was against noise. She constantly prayed for deafness. She walked in list shoes, and spoke in a whisper as an example to others. The immediate cause of her confinement had not been ascertained, but we have no doubt that she had been driven stark mad by the street discord of the metropolis. We firmly believe her case is not singular. Judging from our own experience of the extremest brink of insanity, to which we have been occasionally driven by the organic and Pandean persecutions to which we have been subjected, we should say that much of the madness existing and wrought in this county of Middlesex originates in street music.[Pg 68] If Dr. Connolly can not bear us out in this opinion, we shall be rather astonished.

A man of thoughtful habit, and of a timid, or nervous temperament, has only to take apartments in what lodging-house-keepers wickedly call, in their advertisements, "a quiet neighborhood," to be tolerably sure of making his next move in a strait waistcoat to an asylum for the insane. In retired streets, squares, terraces, or "rows," where the more pleasing music of cart, coach, and cab wheels does not abound, the void is discordantly filled up by peripatetic concerts, which last all day long. You are forced, each morning, to shave to the hundredth psalm groaned out from an impious organ; at breakfast you are stunned by the basses of a wretched waltz belched forth from a bass trombone; and your morning is ruined for study by the tinkling of a barrel piano-forte; at luncheon acute dyspepsia communicates itself to your vitals in the stunning buldering of a big-drum; tuneless trumpets, discordant cornets, and blundering bass-viols form a running accompaniment of discord to your afternoon walk; hurdy-gurdies, peradventure, destroy your dinner; fiddles and harps squeak away the peace of your whole evening; and, when you lay your distracted head on your pillow you are robbed of sleep by a banditti of glee singers, hoarsely croaking, "Up rouse ye then, my merry, merry men!"

Yet this is a land of liberty, and every man's house is his castle!

A man may have every comfort this world can afford—the prettiest house, the sweetest wife, the most unexceptionable cook, lovely children, and a good library—but what are these when the enjoyment they afford is destroyed by an endless charivari; when domestic happiness is made misery by street discord; when an English gentleman is denied what is insured to every Pentonville prisoner—peace; when a wise legislation has patented the silent system for convicts only, and supplies no free-born Briton with a defense from hideous invasions of his inmost privacy: a legislature which, here, in London, in the year of grace eighteen hundred and fifty, where civilization is said to have made some advances—permits bag-pipes!

This is a subject upon which it is impossible, without the most superhuman self-control, to write with calmness.

Justice is supposed in this country to be meted out with an even hand. A humane maxim says, "Better let ten guilty men escape, than one innocent man suffer." Yet what have the public, especially of "quiet neighborhoods," done; what crimes have we committed; what retribution have we invoked; that we are to be visited with the indiscriminating punishment, the excruciating agony, squealed and screeched into our ears out of that instrument of ineffable torture, the Scotch bagpipe? If our neighbor be a slanderer, a screw, a giver of bad dinners, or any other sort of criminal for whom the law has provided no punishment and a bag-pipe serenade be your mode of revenge on him, shut him up with a piper or pipers in the padded room in Bedlam, or take him out to the Eddystone lighthouse; but for the love of mercy, do not make us, his unoffending neighbors, partakers of his probably just, but certainly condign punishment!

We have, however, a better opinion of human nature than to believe in such extreme vindictiveness. We rather attribute these public performances of sonorous savagery to the perverted taste of a few unfortunate individuals, who pretend to relish the discords, and who actually pay the kilted executioners of harmony. The existence of such wretched amateurs might be doubted, if we did not remember that the most revolting propensities are to be found among mankind. There are people who chew tobacco; a certain tribe of Polynesian aborigines deem assafœtida the most delicious of perfumes; and Southey, in his Travels in Spain, states that the Gallician carters positively refused to grease their wheels because of the delight the creaking gave them. Yet although the grating of wooden axles, or even the sharpening of saws, is music to the pibroch, it appears from a variety of evidence that bad taste can actually reach, even in the female mind, to the acme of encouraging and patronizing street bagpipers.

Do we wish to banish all music from the busy haunts of men? By no means. Good music is sometimes emitted from our pavements—the kerb sends forth here and there, and now and then, sounds not unworthy of the best appointed orchestra. Where these superior street performers received their musical education it is not our business to inquire; but their arrangements of some of the most popular opera music, show that their training has been strictly professional. Quintette, Sestette, and Septette bands of brass and string are occasionally heard in the open street, whose performances show that the pieces have been regularly scored and rigidly rehearsed. "Tune, time, and distance" are excellently kept; the pianos and fortes are admirably colored—there is no vamping of basses; no "fudging" of difficult passages. We look upon such players as musical missionaries who purvey the best music from the opera houses and from the saloons of the nobility to the general public, to the improvement of its musical taste. But where even these choice pavé professionists have us at a disadvantage is in their discoursing their excellent music at precisely the times when we do not want the sounds of the charmer, charm he never so wisely. The habitant of the "quiet neighborhood," fond as he is of Casta Diva or the Rosen Waltz, would rather not be indulged with them just as he is commencing to study a complicated brief, or while he is computing the draft of a difficult survey. When he wants music he likes to go to it; he never wants it to come to him.

[Pg 69]

[From Dickens's Household Words.]


There is no kind of evidence more infirm in its nature and against which jurymen on legal trials should be more on their guard, than that involving identity of person. The number of persons who resemble each other is not inconsiderable in itself; but the number is very large of persons who, though very distinguishable when standing side by side, are yet sufficiently alike to deceive those who are without the means of immediate comparison.

Early in life an occurrence impressed me with the danger of relying on the most confident belief of identity. I was at Vauxhall Gardens where I thought I saw, at a short distance, an old country gentleman whom I highly respected, and whose favor I should have been sorry to lose. I bowed to him, but obtained no recognition. In those days the company amused themselves by walking round in a circle, some in one direction, some in the opposite, by which means every one saw and was seen—I say in those days, because I have not been at Vauxhall for a quarter of a century. In performing these rounds I often met the gentleman, and tried to attract his attention, until I became convinced that either his eyesight was so weakened that he did not know me, or that he chose to disown my acquaintance. Some time afterward, going into the county in which he resided, I received, as usual, an invitation to dinner; this led to an explanation, when my friend assured me he had not been in London for twenty years. I afterward met the person whom I had mistaken for my old friend, and wondered how I could have fallen into the error. I can only explain it by supposing that, if the mind feels satisfied of identity, which it often does at the first glance, it ceases to investigate that question, and occupies itself with other matter; as in my case, where my thoughts ran upon the motives my friend might have for not recognizing me, instead of employing themselves on the question of whether or no the individual before my eyes was indeed the person I took him for.

If I had had to give evidence on this matter my mistake would have been the more dangerous, as I had full means of knowledge. The place was well lighted, the interviews were repeated, and my mind was undisturbed. How often have I known evidence of identity acted upon by juries, where the witness was in a much less favorable position (for correct observation) than mine.

Sometimes, a mistaken verdict is avoided by independent evidence. Rarely, however, is this rock escaped, by cross-examination, even when conducted with adequate skill and experience. The belief of the witness is belief in a matter of opinion resulting from a combination of facts so slight and unimportant, separately considered, that they furnish no handle to the cross-examiner. A striking case of this kind occurs to my recollection, with which I will conclude.

A prisoner was indicted for shooting at the prosecutor, with intent to kill him. The prosecutor swore that the prisoner had demanded his money, and that upon refusal, or delay, to comply with his requisition, he fired a pistol, by the flash of which his countenance became perfectly visible; the shot did not take effect, and the prisoner made off. Here the recognition was momentary, and the prosecutor could hardly have been in an undisturbed state of mind, yet the confidence of his belief made a strong impression on all who heard the evidence, and probably would have sealed the fate of the prisoner without the aid of an additional fact of very slight importance, which was, however, put in evidence, by way of corroboration, that the prisoner, who was a stranger to the neighborhood, had been seen passing near the spot in which the attack was made about noon of the same day. The judge belonged to a class now, thank God! obsolete, who always acted on the reverse of the constitutional maxim, and considered every man guilty until he was proved to be innocent.

If the case had closed without witnesses on behalf of the prisoner, his life would have been gone: fortunately, he possessed the means of employing an able and zealous attorney, and more fortunately, it so happened that several hours before the attack the prisoner had mounted upon a coach, and was many miles from the scene of the crime at the hour of its commission.

With great labor, and at considerable expense, all the passengers were sought out, and, with the coachman and guard, were brought into court, and testified to the presence among them of the prisoner. An alibi is always a suspected defense, and by no man was ever more suspiciously watched than by this judge. But when witness after witness appeared, their names corresponding exactly with the way-bill produced by the clerk of a respectable coach-office, the most determined skepticism gave way, and the prisoner was acquitted by acclamation. He was not, however, saved by his innocence, but by his good fortune. How frequently does it happen to us all to be many hours at a time without having witnesses to prove our absence from one spot by our presence at another! And how many of us are too prone to avail ourselves of such proof in the instances where it may exist!

A remarkable instance of mistake in identity, which put the life of a prisoner in extreme peril, I heard from the lips of his counsel. It occurred at the Special Commission held at Nottingham after the riots consequent on the rejection of the Reform Bill by the House of Lords, in 1831.

The prisoner was a young man of prepossessing appearance, belonging to what may be called the lower section of the middle rank of life, being a framework knitter, in the employment[Pg 70] of his father, a master manufacturer in a small way. He was tried on an indictment charging him with the offense of arson. A mob, of which he was alleged to be one, had burned Colwick Hall, near Nottingham, the residence of Mr. Musters, the husband of Mary Chaworth, whose name is so closely linked with that of Byron. This ill-fated lady was approaching the last stage of consumption, when, on a cold and wet evening in autumn, she was driven from her mansion, and compelled to take refuge among the trees of her shrubbery—an outrage which probably hastened her death.

The crime, with its attendant circumstances, created, as was natural, a strong sympathy against the criminals. Unhappily, this feeling, so praiseworthy in itself, is liable to produce a strong tendency in the public mind to believe in the guilt of a party accused. People sometimes seem to hunger and thirst after a criminal, and are disappointed when it turns out that they are mistaken in their man, and are, consequently, slow to believe that such an error has been made. Doubtless, the impression is received into the mind unconsciously; but although on that ground pardonable, it is all the more dangerous. In this case, the prisoner was identified by several witnesses as having taken an active part in setting fire to the house.

He had been under their notice for some considerable space of time: they gave their evidence against him without hesitation, and probably the slightest doubt of its accuracy. His defense was an alibi. The frame at which he worked had its place near the entrance to the warehouse, the room frequented by the customers and all who had business to transact at the manufactory. He acted, therefore, as door-keeper, and in that capacity had been seen and spoken with by many persons, who in their evidence more than covered the whole time which elapsed between the arrival of the mob at Colwick Hall and its departure. The alibi was believed, and the prisoner, after a trial which lasted a whole day, was acquitted.

The next morning he was to be tried again on another indictment, charging him with having set fire to the castle at Nottingham. The counsel for the prosecution, influenced by motives of humanity, and fully impressed with the prisoner's guilt on both charges, urged the counsel for the prisoner to advise his client to plead guilty, undertaking that his life should be spared, but observing at the same time that his social position, which was superior to that of the other prisoners, would make it impossible to extend the mercy of the Crown to him unless he manifested a due sense of his offenses by foregoing the chance of escape. "You know," said they, "how rarely an alibi obtains credit with a jury. You can have no other defense to-day than that of yesterday. The castle is much nearer than Colwick Hall to the manufactory, and a very short absence from his work on the part of the prisoner might reconcile the evidence of all the witnesses, both for him and against him; moreover, who ever heard of a successful alibi twice running?"

The counsel for the prisoner had his client taken into a room adjoining the court, and having explained to him the extreme danger in which he stood, informed him of the offer made by the prosecutors. The young man evinced some emotion, and asked his counsel to advise what step he should take. "The advice," he was answered, "must depend upon a fact known to himself alone—his guilt or innocence. If guilty, his chance of escape was so small, that it would be the last degree of rashness to refuse the offer; if, on the other hand, he were innocent, his counsel, putting himself in the place of the prisoner, would say, that no peril, however imminent, would induce him to plead guilty." The prisoner was further told, that in the course of a trial circumstances often arose at the moment, unforeseen by all parties, which disclosed the truth; that this consideration was in his favor, if he were innocent, but showed at the same time that there were now chances of danger, if he were guilty, the extent of which could not be calculated, nor even surmised. The youth, with perfect self-possession, and unshaken firmness, replied, "I am innocent, and will take my trial." He did so. Many painful hours wore away, every moment diminishing the prisoner's chance of acquittal, until it seemed utterly extinguished, when some trifling matter, which had escaped the memory of the narrator, occurred, leading him to think it was possible that another person, who must much resemble the prisoner, had been mistaken for him. Inquiry was instantly made of the family, whether they knew of any such resemblance; when it appeared that the prisoner had a cousin so much like himself, that the two were frequently accosted in the streets, the one for the other. The cousin had absconded.

It is hardly credible, though doubtless true, that a family of respectable station could have been unaware of the importance of such a fact, or that the prisoner, who appeared not deficient in intelligence, and who was assuredly in full possession of his faculties, could be insensible to its value. That either he or they could have placed such reliance on his defense as to induce them to screen his guilty relative, is to the last degree improbable, especially as the cousin had escaped. Witnesses, however, were quickly produced, who verified the resemblance between the two, and the counsel for the prosecution abandoned their case, expressing their belief that their witnesses had given their evidence under a mistake of identity.

The narrator added, that an alibi stood a less chance of favorable reception at Nottingham than elsewhere, although in every place received with great jealousy. In one of the trials arising out of the outrages committed by the Luddites, who broke into manufactories and destroyed all lace frames of a construction[Pg 71] which they thought oppressive to working men, an alibi, he said, had been concocted, which was successful in saving the life of a man notoriously guilty, and which had therefore added to the disrepute of this species of defense. The hypothesis was, that the prisoner, at the time when the crime was committed, at Loughborough, sixteen miles from Nottingham, was engaged at a supper party at the latter place; and the prisoner, having the sympathy of a large class in his favor, whose battle he had been fighting, no difficulty was experienced by his friends in finding witnesses willing to support this hypothesis on their oaths; but it would have been a rash measure to have called them into the box unprepared. And when it is considered how readily a preconcerted story might have been destroyed by cross-examination, the task of preparing the witnesses so as to elude this test, was one requiring no ordinary care and skill. The danger would arise thus: Every witness would be kept out of court, except the one in the box. He would be asked where he sat at the supper? where the prisoner sat, and each of the other guests; what were the dishes, what was the course of conversation, and so forth—the questions being capable of multiplication ad infinitum; so that, however well tutored, the witnesses would inevitably contradict each other upon some matters, on which the tutor had not foreseen that the witness would be cross-examined, or to which he had forgotten the answer prescribed. The difficulty was, however, surmounted. After the prisoner's apprehension, the selected witnesses were invited to a mackerel supper, which took place at an hour corresponding to that at which the crime was committed; and so careful was the ingenious agent who devised this conspiracy against the truth that, guided by a sure instinct, he fixed upon the same day of the week as that on which the crime had been committed, though without knowing how fortunate it would be for the prisoner that he took this precaution. When, on cross-examination, it was found that the witnesses agreed as to the order in which the guests were seated, the contents of the dishes, the conversation which had taken place, and so forth; the counsel for the crown suspected the plot, but not imagining that it had been so perfectly elaborated, they inquired of their attorneys as to whether there was any occurrence peculiar to the day of the week in question, and were told that upon the evening of such a day, a public bell was always rung, which must have been heard at the supper, if it had taken place at the time pretended. The witnesses were separately called back and questioned as to the bell. They had all heard it; and thus not only were the cross-examiners utterly baffled, but the cross-examination gave tenfold support to the examination in chief, that is, to the evidence as given by the witnesses in answer to the questions put by the prisoner's counsel in his behalf.

The triumph of falsehood was complete. The prisoner was acquitted. When however the attention of prosecutors is called to the possibility of such fabrications they become less easy of management. The friends of a prisoner are often known to the police, and may be watched—the actors may be surprised at the rehearsal; a false ally may be inserted among them; in short there are many chances of the plot failing. This, however, is an age of improvement, and the thirty years which have elapsed since the days of Luddism have not been a barren period in any art or science. The mystery of cookery in dishes, accounts, and alibis, has profited by this general advancement. The latest device which my acquaintance with courts has brought to my knowledge is an alibi of a very refined and subtle nature. The hypothesis is, that the prisoner was walking from point A to point Z, along a distant road, at the hour when the crime was committed. The witnesses are supposed each to see him, and some to converse with him, at points which may be indicated by many or all the letters of the alphabet. Each witness must be alone when he sees him, so that no two may speak to what occurred at the same spot or moment of time; but, with this reservation, each may safely indulge his imagination with any account of the interview which he has wit to make consistent with itself, and firmness to abide by under the storm of a cross-examination. "The force of falsehood can no farther go." No rehearsal is necessary. Neither of the witnesses needs know of the existence of the others. The agent gives to each witness the name of the spot at which he is to place the prisoner. The witness makes himself acquainted with that spot, so as to stand a cross-examination as to the surrounding objects, and his education is complete. But as panaceas have only a fabulous existence, so this exquisite alibi is not applicable to all cases; the witness must have a reason for being on the spot, plausible enough to foil the skill of the cross-examiner; and, as false witnesses can not be found at every turn, the difficulty of making it accord with the probability that the witness was where he pretends to have been on the day and at the hour in question, is often insuperable; to say nothing of the possibility and probability of its being clearly established, on the part of the prosecution, that the prisoner could not have been there. I should add, that, except in towns of the first magnitude, it must be difficult to find mendacious witnesses who have in other respects the proper qualifications to prove a concocted alibi, save always where the prisoner is the champion of a class; and then, according to my experience—sad as the avowal is—the difficulty is greatly reduced.

These incidents illustrate the soundness of the well known proposition, that mixture of truth with falsehood, augments to the highest degree the noxious power of the venomous ingredient. That man was no mean proficient in the art of deceiving, who first discovered the[Pg 72] importance of the liar being parsimonious in mendacity. The mind has a stomach as well as an eye, and if the bolus be neat falsehood, it will be rejected like an overdose of arsenic which does not kill.

Let the juryman ponder these things, and beware how he lets his mind lapse into a conclusion either for or against the prisoner. To perform the duties of his office, so that the days which he spends in the jury-box will bear retrospection, his eyes, his ears, and his intellect must be ever on the watch. A witness in the box, and the same man in common life, are different creatures. Coming to give evidence, "he doth suffer a law change." Sometimes he becomes more truthful, as he ought to do, if any change is necessary; but unhappily this is not always so, and least of all in the case of those whose testimony is often required.

I remember a person, whom I frequently heard to give evidence quite out of harmony with the facts, but I shall state neither his name nor his profession. A gentleman who knew perfectly well the unpalatable designation which his evidence deserved, told me of his death. I ventured to think it was a loss which might be borne, and touched upon his infirmity, to which my friend replied in perfect sincerity of heart, "Well! after all, I do not think he ever told a falsehood in his life—out of the witness box!"

[From Dickens's Household Words]


When my mother was a girl, some rumors began to steal through the town where she lived, about something having gone amiss with old Mrs. Wharton: for, if Mrs. Wharton was not known by all the townspeople, she was known and respected by so many, that it was really no trifle when she was seen to have the contracted brow, and the pinched look about the nose that people have when they are in alarm, or living a life of deep anxiety. Nobody could make out what was the matter. If asked, she said she was well. Her sons were understood to be perfectly respectable, and sufficiently prosperous; and there could be no doubt about the health, and the dutifulness, and the cheerfulness, of the unmarried daughter who lived with her. The old lady lived in a house which was her own property; and her income, though not large, was enough for comfort. What could it be that made her suddenly so silent and grave? Her daughter was just the same as ever, except that she was anxious about the change in her mother. It was observed by one or two that the clergyman had nothing to say, when the subject was spoken of in his hearing. He rolled and nodded his head, and he glanced at the ceiling and then stuck his chin deep into his shirt-frill: but those were things that he was always doing, and they might mean nothing. When inquired of about his opinion of Mrs. Wharton's looks and spirits, he shifted his weight from one foot to the other, as he stood before the fire with his hands behind him, and said, with the sweet voice and winning manner that charmed young and old, that, as far as he knew, Mrs. Wharton's external affairs were all right; and, as for peace of mind, he knew of no one who more deserved it. If the course of her life, and the temper of her mind, did not entitle her to peace within, he did not know who could hope for it. Somebody whispered that it would be dreadful if a shocking mortal disease should be seizing upon her: whereupon he, Mr. Gurney, observed that he thought he should have known if any such thing was to be apprehended. As far as a fit of indigestion went, he believed she suffered occasionally; but she did not herself admit even that. Dr. Robinson, who was present, said that Mrs. Wharton's friends might be quite easy about her health. She was not troubled with indigestion, nor with any other complaint. People could only go on to ask one another what could be the matter. One or two agreed that Mr. Gurney had made very skillful answers, in which he was much assisted by his curious customary gestures; but that he had never said that he did not know of any trouble being on Mrs. Wharton's mind.

Soon after this, a like mysterious change appeared to come over the daughter; but no disasters could be discovered to have happened. No disease, no money losses, no family anxieties were heard of; and, by degrees, both the ladies recovered nearly their former cheerfulness and ease of manner—nearly, but not altogether. They appeared somewhat subdued, in countenance and bearing; and they kept a solemn silence when some subjects were talked of, which often turn up by the Christmas fireside. It was years before the matter was explained. My mother was married by that time, and removed from her smoky native town, to a much brighter city in the south. She used to tell us, as we grew up, the story of Mrs. Wharton, and what she endured; and we could, if we had not been ashamed, have gone on to say, as if we had still been little children, "tell us again." When we were going into the north to visit our grandparents, it was all very well to tell us of coal-wagons that we should see running without horses, or iron rails laid down in the roads; and of the keelmen rowing their keel-boats in the river, and, all at once, kicking up their right legs behind them, when they gave the long pull; and of the glass-houses in the town, with fire coming out of the top of the high chimneys; and of the ever-burning mounds near the mouths of the coal-pits, where blue and yellow flames leaped about, all night, through the whole year round. It was all very well to think of seeing these things; but we thought much more of walking past old Mrs. Wharton's house, and, perhaps, inducing Mr. Gurney to tell us, in his way, the story we had so often heard my mother tell in hers.

[Pg 73]

The story was this:

One midsummer morning Mrs. Wharton was so absent at breakfast, that her daughter found all attempts at conversation to be in vain. So she quietly filled the coffee-pot, which her mother had forgotten to do, and, in the middle of the forenoon, ordered dinner, which she found her mother had also forgotten. They had just such a breakfasting three times more during the next fortnight. Then, on Miss Wharton crossing the hall, she met her mother in bonnet and shawl, about to go out, so early as half-past nine. The circumstance would not have been remarked, but for the mother's confused and abashed way of accounting for going out. She should not be gone long. She had only a little call to make, and so on. The call was on Mr. Gurney. He had hardly done breakfast, when he was told that Mrs. Wharton wished to speak with him alone.

When he entered the study, Mrs. Wharton seemed to be as unready with her words as himself; and when he shook hands with her, he observed that her hand was cold. She said she was well, however. Then came a pause during which the good pastor was shifting from one foot to the other, on the hearth-rug, with his hands behind him, though there was nothing in the grate but shavings. Mrs. Wharton, meantime, was putting her vail up and down, and her gloves on and off. At last, with a constrained and painful smile, she said that she was really ashamed to say what she came to say, but she must say it; and she believed and hoped that Mr. Gurney had known her long enough to be aware that she was not subject to foolish fancies and absurd fears.

"No one further from it," he dropped, and now he fixed his eyes on her face. Her eyes fell under his, when she went on.

"For some time past, I have suffered from a most frightful visitation in the night."

"Visitation! What sort of visitation?"

She turned visibly cold while she answered, "It was last Wednesday fortnight that I awoke in the middle of the night—that is between two and three in the morning, when it was getting quite light, and I saw—"

She choked a little, and stopped.

"Well!" said Mr. Gurney, "What did you see?"

"I saw at the bottom of the bed, a most hideous—a most detestable face—gibbering, and making mouths at me."

"A face!"

"Yes; I could see only the face (except, indeed, a hand upon the bedpost), because it peeped round the bedpost from behind the curtain. The curtains are drawn down to the foot of the bed."

She stole a look at Mr. Gurney. He was rolling his head; and there was a working about his mouth before he asked—

"What time did you sup that night?"

"Now," she replied, "you are not going to say, I hope, that it was nightmare. Most people would; but I hoped that you knew me better than to suppose that I eat such suppers as would occasion nightmare, or that I should not know nightmare from reality."

"But, my dear Mrs. Wharton, what else can I say?"

"Perhaps you had better listen further, before you say any thing."

He nodded and smiled, as much as to say that was true.

"I have seen the same appearance on three occasions since."


"Yes, on three several nights, about the same hour. And, since the first appearance, my supper has been merely a little bread and butter, with a glass of water. I chose to exclude nightmare, as I would exclude any thing whatever that could possibly cause an appearance so horrible."

"What sort of face is it?"

"Short and broad;—silly, and yet sly; and the features gibber and work—Oh! fearfully!"

"Do you hear it come and go?"

"No. When I wake—(and I never used to wake in the night)—it is there: and it disappears—to say the truth—while my eyes are covered; for I can not meet its eyes. I hear nothing. When I venture a glance, sometimes it is still there; sometimes it is gone."

"Have you missed any property?"

"No: nor found any trace whatever. We have lost nothing; and there is really not a door or window that seems ever to have been touched: not an opening where any one could get in or out."

"And if there were, what could be the object? What does your daughter say to it?"

"Oh!" said Mrs. Wharton, rising quickly, "she does not, and indeed she must not know a word of it. I ought to have said, at first, that what I am telling you is entirely in confidence. If I told my daughter, it must then go no further. We could not keep our servants a week, if it got out. And if I should want to let my house, I could not find a tenant. The value of the property would go down to nothing; and, in justice to my daughter, I must consider that; for it is to be hers hereafter. And we could never have a guest to stay with us. No one would sleep in the house a single night. Indeed, you must not—"

"Well, well: I will not mention it. But I don't see—"

He paused; and Mrs. Wharton replied to his thought.

"It is difficult to form conjectures—to say any thing, in such a case, which does not appear too foolish to be uttered. But one must have some thoughts; and perhaps—if one can talk of possibilities—it is possible that this appearance may be meant for me alone; and therefore, if I can conceal it from my daughter ... till I am convinced whether it is meant for me alone."

"I would soon try that," observed Mr. Gurney.[Pg 74] Seeing Mrs. Wharton look wistfully at him, he continued,

"My advice is that you have your daughter sleep with you, after hearing your story. Try whether she can see this face."

"You do not think she would?"

"I think she would not. My dear friend, if I were a medical man, I could tell you facts which you are little aware of—anecdotes of the strange tricks that our nerves play with us;—of delusions so like reality—"

"Do you think I have not considered that?" exclaimed the poor lady. "Mr. Gurney, I did not think that you would try to persuade me out of my senses, when I tell you, that four times I have seen in daylight, and when wide awake, and in perfect health, what I have said."

Mr. Gurney was very gentle; but, as he said, what could he suggest but indigestion, or some such cause of nervous disturbance? Yet his heart smote him when his old friend laid her forehead again the mantle-piece, and cried heartily.

He did all he could. He tried indefatigably, though in vain, to persuade her to let her daughter share the spectacle: and he went, the same day, when Miss Wharton was out for her walk, and the servants were at dinner, to examine the house. He made no discovery. The gratings of the under-ground cellars were perfect. The attics had no trap-doors; and the house had no parapet. The chimneys were too high and narrow for any one to get in at the top. No window or door was ever found unfastened in the morning. Mrs. Wharton did not think she could engage for courage enough to get out of bed, or to look beyond the curtains. Nor could she promise not to draw her curtains. The face had never appeared within them; and they seemed a sort of protection where there was no other.

Without having made any promises, she went so far as to start up in bed, the next time she saw the face. The eyes winked horribly at her; the head nodded—and was gone. The beating of her heart prevented her hearing any thing that time; but once or twice during the autumn she fancied she heard a light and swift footstep in the passage. She always left her room-door open, for the sake of the same sort of feeling of security that most people crave when they shut and bolt theirs. If this was a ghost, bolts would not keep it out; and she could fly the more easily through the open door if her terror should become too great to be endured alone. For the first time, she now burned a night-light in her chamber, as the nights lengthened, and not a dim, flickering rush candle, but a steady wax-light. She knew that her daughter wondered at the strange extravagance; but she could not bear darkness, or a very feeble light, when the thing might be behind the curtain.

Throughout October the visits were almost nightly. In the first week in November they suddenly ceased, and so many weeks passed away without a return, that Mrs. Wharton began to be a little alarmed about her own wits, and to ask herself whether, after all, it was not possible that this was a trick of the nerves. One night in January, that doubt, at least, was settled; for there, at the same bed-post, was the same face. Mrs. Wharton was now, after this interval, subdued at once. She had borne, for half-a-year, her pastor's suspicions of her digestion and of her wisdom, and now, she really wanted sympathy. She let him tell her daughter (let him, rather than tell it herself, because he could make light of it, and she could not); and she gladly agreed to let her daughter sleep with her. For long, she gained nothing by it. During the whole fortnight that the visits now continued, Miss Wharton never once saw the face. She tried to wake the moment her mother touched her; she tried to keep awake; but she never saw the face: and after that fortnight, it did not come again till April.

One bright May dawn, she saw it. Her mother pulled her wrist, and, she waked up to a sight which burned itself in upon her brain. She suppressed a shriek at the moment; but she could not tell Mr. Gurney of it afterward, without tears. She wanted that day to leave the house immediately; but the thought of her mother's long-suffering with this horror, the consideration of the serious consequences of declaring themselves ghost-seers in the town, and of the disastrous effect upon their property, and of the harmlessness of the ghost, induced her to summon up her courage, and bear on. She did more. When a little inured, she one night sprang out of bed, rushed round the foot of it, and out upon the landing. The stairs were still dim in the dawn; but she was confident that she saw something moving there—passing down to the hall. As soon as she could make the servants attend her, she told them she believed somebody was in the house; and all the four women—two ladies and two maids—went, armed with pokers and shovels, and examined the whole house. They found nothing, neither in the chimneys, nor under the beds, nor in any closet—nothing, from cellar to attic. And when the maids had recovered a little, they agreed what a tiresome and wearying thing it was when ladies took fancies. This was only their first night of disturbance. Miss Wharton called them up three times more; and then she gave the matter up. The servants thought her strangely altered, and wished she might not be going to be ill.

Thus matters went on for some years. The oddest thing was the periodicity of the visits. In winter they were rare; but there was generally a short series in or about January, after which they ceased till the end of March, or the beginning of April. They went on through nearly the whole summer, with one or two intervals of about a fortnight. The servants never suspected even the existence of the mystery. Their ladies never mentioned it; and no article was ever displaced at night. The ladies became[Pg 75] in time so accustomed to the appearance as to bear it almost without uneasiness. It occurred to them sometimes, how odd it was to be living under the weight of such a mystery; and they were silent when ghosts were talked about, and felt and looked very serious when they were laughed at: but their alarm had subsided. The Thing never did them any harm; and they had now got merely to open drowsy eyes, to see if it was there; and to drop asleep the moment it was there no longer. This may seem strange to those who have not (and also to those who have) seen ghosts; but we none of us know what we may come to; and these two ladies reached the point of turning their heads on their pillows, without much beating of the heart, under the gibbering of a hideous ghost.

One circumstance worth noting is, that the Thing once spoke. After one of its mocking nods, it said, "I come to see you whenever I please." When Mr. Gurney was told this, he asked whether the language was English, and what sort of English it was. It must have been English, as the ladies did not observe any thing remarkable. As to the dialect, it had made no particular impression upon them, but when they came to remember and consider, they thought it must have been the broad dialect of the district, which they were accustomed to hear in the kitchen, and in the streets and shops, every day. This was all. Amidst the multitude of nightly visitations, no explanation—no new evidence—occurred for several years. Mr. Gurney was not fond of being puzzled. His plan was to dismiss from his mind what puzzled him. He seldom inquired after the ghost; and when he did, he always received the same answer.

One morning, after this lapse of years, Mr. Gurney called to ask the ladies if they would like to join a party to see a glass-house. The residents of manufacturing towns can not intrude in such places at their own pleasure, but (as is well known) take their opportunity when an arrival of strangers, or other such occasion, opens the doors of any manufactory. Mr. Gurney was the first man in the town, in regard to doing the honors of it. All strangers were introduced to him; and the doors of all show-places flew open before him. He was wont to invite his friends in turn to accompany him and his party of strangers to these show-places; and he now invited the Whartons to the glass-house. Miss Wharton was unavoidably engaged at the school, but her mother went.

When the whole party were standing near one of the furnaces, observing the coarsest kind of glass blowing—that of green-glass bottles—Mrs. Wharton suddenly seized Mr. Gurney's arm with one hand, while with the other she pointed, past the glare, to a figure on the other side of the furnace.

"That's the face!" she exclaimed, in great agitation; "keep quiet, and pull down your vail," said Mr. Gurney in her ear. She drew back into the shadow, and let down her vail, feeling scarcely able to stand. Mr. Gurney did not offer her an arm; he had something else to do.

"Who is that man?" he inquired of the foreman, who was showman at the moment. The man inquired about looked scarcely human. He was stunted in figure, large in face, and hideous—making all allowance for the puffing out of his cheeks, as he blew vigorously at the end of the long pipe he was twirling in his baboon-like hands.

"That poor fellow, sir? His name is Middleton. He is a half-wit—indeed, very nearly a complete idiot. He is just able to do what you see—blow the coarsest sort of glass."

Mr. Gurney wished to speak with him; and the poor creature was summoned. He came grinning; and he grinned yet more when he was requested to show the glass-house to the gentleman. Mrs. Wharton, with her vail down, hung on her friend's arm; and they followed the idiot, who was remarkably light-footed (for a wonder), to the place he was most fond of. He took them down to the annealing chamber; and then he observed that it was "a nice warm place o'nights." Being asked how he knew that, he began pointing with his finger at Mrs. Wharton, and peeping under her bonnet. Being advised to look him in the face, she raised her vail; and he sniggled and giggled, and said he had seen her many a time when she was asleep, and many a time when she was awake; and another lady, too, who was not there. He hid himself down here when the other men went away—it was so warm! and then he could go when he pleased, and see "her there," and the other, when they were asleep. Mr. Gurney enticed him to whisper how he managed it; and then with an air of silly cunning, he showed a little square trap-door in the wall, close by the floor, through which he said he passed. It seemed too small for the purpose; but he crept in and out again. On the other side, he declared, was Mrs. Wharton's cellar. It was so. Far distant as the glass-house seemed from her house, it ran back so far, the cellar running back also, that they met. No time was lost in sending round to the cellar; and, by a conversation held through the trap-door, it was ascertained that when Mrs. Wharton's stock of coals was low, that is, in summer, and before a fresh supply came in, in mid winter, Middleton could get in, and did get in, almost every night. When he did not appear, it was only because the coals covered the trap-door.

Who shall say with what satisfaction the ladies watched the nailing up of the trap-door, and with what a sense of blissful comfort they retired to rest henceforth? Who shall estimate the complacency of the good clergyman at this complete solution of the greatest mystery he had ever encountered? Who will not honor the courage and fortitude of the ladies, and rejoice that their dwelling escaped the evil reputation of being a Haunted House? Lastly, who will not say that most of the goblin tales[Pg 76] extant may, if inquired into, be as easily accounted for as that appertaining to the good Mrs. Wharton? which has this advantage over all other ghost stories—it is perfectly and literally true.

[From Dickens's Household Words.]



The winter of 1844 was a severe one in Germany. Both sides of the Rhine, for many miles between Coblentz and Cologne, were frozen hard enough to bear a horse and cart; and even the centre, save and except a thin stream where the current persisted in displaying its urgent vitality, was covered over with thin ice, or a broken film that was constantly endeavoring to unite and consolidate its quivering flakes and particles. We were staying in Bonn at this time. All the Englishmen in the town, who were skaters, issued forth in pilot-coats or dreadnaught pea-jackets, and red worsted comforters, with their skates dangling over their shoulders. Holding their aching noses in their left hands, they ran and hobbled through the slippery streets, and made their way out at the town-gates near the University. They were on the way to Popplesdorf—a little village about a mile distant from Bonn. We were among them—red comforter round neck—skates over shoulder.

The one great object in this little village is a somewhat capacious and not unpicturesque edifice called the Schloss, or Castle, of Popplesdorf. The outer works of its fortifications are a long avenue of trees, some pretty fir groves and wooded hills, numerous vineyards, and a trim series of botanic gardens. The embrasures of its walls are armed with batteries of learned tomes; its soldiers are erudite professors and doctors who have chambers there; students discourse on philosophy and art, and swords and beer, and smoke forever on its peaceful drawbridge; and, on the wide moat which surrounds it, Englishmen in red comforters—at the time whereof we now speak—are vigorously skating with their accustomed gravity. This scene was repeated daily for several weeks, in the winter of 1844.

One morning, issuing forth on the same serious business of life, we perceived that the peasantry of Popplesdorf, who have occasion to come to Bonn every market-day, had contrived to enliven the way and facilitate the journey by the gradual construction of a series of capital long slides. We stood and contemplated these lengthy curves, and sweeps, and strange twisting stripes of silver, all gleaming in the morning sun, and soon arrived at the conviction that it was no doubt the pleasantest market-pathway we had ever seen. No one was coming or going at this moment; for Popples is but a little dorf, and the traffic is far from numerous, even at the busiest hours. Now, there was a peculiar charm in the clear shining solitude of the scene, which gave us, at once, an impression of loneliness combined with the brightest paths of life and activity.

And yet we gradually began to feel we should like to see somebody—student or peasant—come sliding his way from Popplesdorf. It was evidently the best, and indeed the correct mode for our own course to the frozen moat of the castle. But before we had reached the beginning of the first slide (for they are not allowed to be made quite up to the town gates), we descried a figure in the distance, which, from the course it was taking, had manifestly issued from the walls of the castle. It was not a peasant—it was not one of our countrymen; be it whom it might, he at least took the slides in first-rate style. As he advanced, we discerned the figure of a tall man, dressed in a dark, long-skirted frock coat, buttoned up to the throat, with a low-crowned hat, from beneath the broad brim of which a great mass of thick black hair fell heavily over his shoulders. Under one arm he held a great book and two smaller ones closely pressed to his side, while the other hand held a roll of paper, which he waved now and then in the air, to balance himself in his sliding. Some of the slides required a good deal of skill; they had awkward twirls half round a stone, with here and there a sudden downward sweep. Onward he came, and we presently recognized him. It was Dr. Gottfried Kinkel, lecturer on archæology; one of the most able and estimable of the learned men in Bonn.

Gottfried Kinkel was born in a village near Bonn, where his father was a clergyman. He was educated at the Gymnasium of Bonn, and during the whole of that period, he was especially remarkable, among companions by no means famous for staid and orderly habits, as a very quiet, industrious young man, of a sincerely religious bent of mind, which gained for him the notice and regard of all the clergy and the most devout among the inhabitants of the town. His political opinions were liberal; but never went beyond those which were commonly entertained at the time by nearly all men of education. He studied divinity at the University, where he greatly distinguished himself in various branches of learning, and obtained the degree of Doctor in Philosophy.

He first preached at Cologne, and with great success, his oratory being considered as brilliant as his reasonings were convincing. His sermons were subsequently published, and became very popular, and he was chosen as a teacher of Theology in the University of Bonn.

He next turned his attention to the study of the Arts. On this subject he wrote and published a History, and lectured on "Ancient and Mediæval Art," both in the University and other public institutions, with unparalleled success and applause.

His labors at this period, and for a long time after, were very arduous, generally occupying[Pg 77] thirteen hours a day. Being only what is called a "privat-docent," he did not as yet receive any salary at the University; he was therefore compelled to work hard in various ways, in order to make a small income. However, he did this very cheerfully.

But his abandonment of Theology for these new studies, caused him the loss of most of his devout friends. They shook their heads, and feared that the change denoted a step awry from the true and severely marked line of orthodox opinions. They were right; for he soon after said that he thought the purity of religion would be best attained by a separation of Church and State!

Dr. Kinkel suffers no small odium for this; but he can endure it. He has uttered an honest sentiment, resulting from his past studies; he has become a highly applauded and deservedly esteemed lecturer on another subject; he is, moreover, one of the best sliders in Bonn, and is now balancing his tall figure (as just described) with books under one arm, on his way to the University.

Happy Gottfried Kinkel!—may you have health and strength to slide for many a good winter to come!—rare Doctor of Philosophy, to feel so much boyish vitality after twenty years of hard study and seclusion!—fortunate lecturer on Archæology, to live in a country where the simplicity of manners will allow a Professor to slide his way to his class, without danger of being reproved by his grave and potent seniors, or of shocking the respectable inhabitants of his town!


The Castle of Popplesdorf commands the most beautiful views of some of the most beautiful parts of Rhenish Prussia; and the very best point from which to look at them, is the window of the room that used to be the study of Dr. Gottfried Kinkel. That used to be—and is not now—alas, the day! But we must not anticipate evils; they will come only too soon in their natural course.

In this room, his library and study, we called to see Dr. Kinkel. There he sat—dressing-gown, slippers, and cloud-compelling pipe. The walls were all shelves, the shelves all books—some bound, some in boards, "some in rags, and some in jags"—together with papers, maps, and scientific instruments of brass and of steel. There stood the Hebrew, Greek, and Roman authors; in another division, the Italian and French: on the other side, in long irregular ranges, the old German and the modern German; and near at hand, the Anglo-Saxon and English. What else, and there was much, we had not time to note, being called to look out at the window. What a window it was!—a simple wooden frame to what exquisite and various scenery! Let the reader bear in mind, that it is not winter now—but a bright morning in May.

Close beneath the window lay the Botanic Gardens, with their numerous parterres of flowers, their lines and divisions of shrubs and herbs. Within a range of a few miles round, we looked out upon the peaceful little villages of Popplesdorf and Kessenich, and the fertile plain extending from Bonn to Godesberg—with gentle hills, vales, and ridges, all covered with vineyards, whose young leaves gave a tender greenness and fresh look of bright and joyous childhood to the scenery. Beyond them we saw the Kessenicher Höhe, the blue slate roofs and steeples of many a little church and chapel, and the broad, clear, serpent windings of the Rhine, with the gray and purple range, in the distance, of the Seven Mountains, terminating with the Drachenfels. Over the whole of this, with the exception only of such soft, delicate shades and shadows as were needful to display the rest, there lay a clear expanse of level sunshine, so tender, bright, and moveless, as to convey an impression of bright enchantment, which grew upon your gaze, and out of which rapture you awoke as from a dream of fairy land, or from the contemplation of a scene in some ideal sphere.

Fortunate Dr. Kinkel, to have such a window as this! It was no wonder that, besides his studies in Theology, in ancient and mediæval art, and in ancient and modern languages—besides writing his History of the Arts, and contributing learned papers to various periodicals—besides preaching, lecturing, and public and private teaching, his soul was obliged to compose a volume of poems—and again displease the severely orthodox, by the absence of all prayers in verse, and the presence of a devout love of nature.

For, here, in their placidity,
Learning and Poesy abide;
Not slumbering on the unfathomed sea,
Yet all unconscious of the tide
That urges on mortality
In eddies, and in circles wide.
Ah, here, the soul can look abroad
Beyond each cold and narrow stream,
Enrich'd with gold from mines and ford,
Brought sparkling to the solar beam;
Yet be no miser with its hoard—
No dreamer of the common dream.

Thus sang Dr. Kinkel, in our imperfect translation thus inadequately echoed; and here he wrought hard in his vocation, amid the smiles of some of the loveliest of Nature's scenes.

But besides the possession of all these books, and of this wonderful window, Dr. Kinkel was yet more fortunate in his domestic relations. He was married to an amiable, highly educated, and accomplished lady, who endeavored, by all the means in her power, to assist his labors, and render them less onerous by her own exertions. She was a very fine musician, and a superior piano-forte player—one of the favorite pupils of Moscheles, and afterward, we believe, of Mendelssohn. She divided her time equally between assisting her husband, educating their child, and giving private lessons in music; and because this accomplished hard working couple[Pg 78] did not find their energies quite worn out by toiling for thirteen hours a day, they gave a private concert at the castle once a month, at which a whole opera of Mozart or Weber was often gone through—both the instrumental and vocal parts being by amateurs, or pupils of Madam Kinkel.

So, once again, we say, notwithstanding all these labors, Dr. Kinkel's life in the Castle of Popplesdorf, was that of a fortunate and happy man. At this period he was about two-and-thirty years of age. He could not have been more; probably he was less.


It is the year 1848, and the Continental Revolutions are shaking all the foreign thrones. Every body, not directly or indirectly in the pay of a court, feels that the lot of the people should be ameliorated. The populations of all nations have borne enormous burdens, with extraordinary patience, for a very long time—say a thousand years—and, at last, they have no more patience left. But what is all this to abstract thought, to learning and science, to poetic raptures, and picturesque ease? It has hitherto been regarded as too grossly material, or of too coarse and common a practicality for the great majority of those whose lives were passed in abstract studies and refinements. Ay—but this must not continue. The world has come to a pass at which every soul must awake, and should be "up and doing."

Dr. Gottfried Kinkel, now, besides his other honors and emoluments, and private earnings, is installed as a salaried professor in the University of Bonn. It can not be but such a man must awake, and take an interest in these continental revolutions which are boiling up all round him. Still, it is not likely he will step into the vortex or approach it. His worldly position is strong against it—all his interests are against it; moreover, he has a wife, and, besides he has now three children.

Howbeit, Dr. Kinkel does rise with these events, and his wife, so far from restraining him, feels the same enthusiastic patriotism, and exhorts him to step forward, and swell the torrent of the time. He feels strongly that Prussia should have a constitution; that her intellect and sober character deserves a constitutional monarchy, like ours in England, with such improvements as ours manifestly needs, and he places himself at the head of the popular party in Bonn, where he delivers public orations, the truthful eloquence and boldness of which startle, delight, and encourage his audiences.

He is soon afterward elected a member of the Berlin parliament. He sides with the Left, or democratic party; he advocates the cause of the oppressed people and the poor, he argues manfully and perseveringly the real interests of all governments, in granting a rational amount of liberty, showing, that in the present stage of the moral world, it is the only thing to prevent violence, and to secure good order. His speeches breathe a prophetic spirit.

The revolution gathers fuel, more rapidly than can be well disposed, and it takes fire at Baden. The names reach near and far—many are irresistibly attracted. They have seen, and too well remember, the faithlessness and treachery of governments—they believe the moment has come to strike a blow which shall gain and establish the constitutional liberty they seek. Dr. Kinkel immediately leaves his professorship; he believes he ought now to join those who wield the sword, and peril their lives in support of their principles. He proposes to hasten to Baden, to defend the constitution framed by the Frankfort parliament. His patriotic wife consents, and, in the evening, he takes leave of her, and of his sleeping children.

It must not be concealed that with this strong feeling in favor of a constitutional monarchy, there was an infusion of principles of a more sweeping character; nor would it be going too far to say that amid the insurgents of Baden were some who entertained opinions not far removed from red republicanism. Be this as it may, we are persuaded that Dr. Kinkel's political principles and aims were purely of a constitutional character, however he may have been drawn into the fierce vortex of men and circumstances which surrounded him.

Dr. Kinkel serves for eleven days in a free corps in Baden, where the army of the insurgents have assembled. At the commencement of the battle, he is wounded, and taken prisoner with arms in his hands. The sequel of these struggles is well enough known; but the fate of the prisoners who survived their wounds, must be noticed.

According to the Prussian law, Dr. Kinkel should have been sentenced to six years' confinement as a state prisoner. This sentence is accordingly passed upon the other prisoners; and with a wise and commendable clemency many are set free after a short time. But as Dr. Kinkel is a man of high education and celebrity, it is thought best to give him a very severe punishment, according to the old ignorance of what is called "making an example," as if this sort of example did not provoke and stimulate, rather than deter others; and, as if clemency were not only one of the noblest attributes of royalty, but one of its best safe-guards in its effect on the feelings of a people.

Dr. Kinkel is, accordingly, sentenced to be imprisoned for life in a fortress, as a state criminal; and away he is carried.

But now comes into play the anger and resentment of many of those who had once so much admired Kinkel, and held him up as a religious champion, until the woeful day when he left preaching for the study of the arts; and the yet more woeful, not to call it diabolical hour, when he announced his opinion that a separation of Church and State might be the[Pg 79] best course for both. After a series of intrigues, the enemies of Kinkel induce the king to alter the sentence; but in order to avoid the appearance of unusual severity, it is announced that his sentence of imprisonment in the fortress shall be alleviated, by transferring him to an ordinary prison. In pursuance, therefore, of these suggestions of his enemies, he is ordered to be imprisoned for life in one of the prisons appropriated to the vilest malefactors—viz., to the prison of Naugard, on the Baltic.

Dr. Kinkel is dressed in sackcloth, and his head is shaved. His wedding-ring is taken from him, and every little memento of his wife and children which might afford him consolation. His bed is a sack of straw laid upon a board. He has to scour and clean his cell, and perform every other menial office. Light is allowed him only so long as he toils; and, as soon as the requisite work is done, the light is taken away. Such is his melancholy lot at the present moment!

He who used to toil for thirteen hours a day amidst the learned languages, and the works of antiquity, in the study of Theology, and of the arts—the eloquent preacher, lecturer, and tutor—is now compelled to waste his life, with all its acquirements, in spinning. For thirteen hours every day, he is doomed to spin. By this labor he earns, every day, threepence for the state, and a halfpenny for himself! This latter sum, amounting to threepence a week, is allowed him in mercy, and with it he is permitted to purchase a dried herring and a small loaf of coarse brown bread—which, furthermore, he is allowed to eat as a Sunday dinner—his ordinary food consisting of a sort of odious pap in the morning (after having spun for four hours), some vegetables at noon, and some bread and water at night.

For months he has not enjoyed a breath of fresh air. He is allowed to walk daily for half-an-hour in a covered passage; but even this is refused whenever the jailor is occupied with other matters, and can not attend to trifles.

Dr. Kinkel has no books nor papers; there is nothing for him but spinning—spinning—spinning! Once a month he is, by great clemency, allowed to write one letter to his wife, which has to pass through the hands of his jailor, who, being empowered to act as censor, judiciously strikes out whatever he does not choose Madame Kinkel to know. All sympathizing letters are strictly withheld from him, while all those which severely take him to task, and censure his political opinions and conduct, are carefully placed in his hands, when he stops to take his breath for a minute from his eternal spinning.

Relatives are not, by the law, allowed to see a criminal during the first three months; after that time, they may. But after having been imprisoned at Naugard three months—short of a day—Dr. Kinkel is suddenly removed to another prison at Spandau, there to re-commence a period of three months. By this device he is prevented from seeing his wife, or any friend—all in a perfectly legal way.

The jailor is strictly enjoined not to afford Dr. Kinkel any sort of opportunity, either by writing or by any other means, of making intercession with the king to obtain pardon, or the commutation of his sentence into banishment. All these injunctions are fully obeyed by the jailor—indeed the present one is more severe than any of the others.

Nevertheless, the melancholy truth has oozed out—the picture has worn its tearful way through the dense stone walls—and here it is for all to see—and, we doubt not, for many to feel.

Gottfried Kinkel, so recently one of the most admired professors of the University of Bonn, one of the ornaments of the scholarship and literature of modern Germany, now clothed in sackcloth, with shaven head, and attenuated frame, sits spinning his last threads. He utters no reproaches, no complaints; but bears his sufferings with a sweet resignation that savors already of the angelic abodes to which his contemplations are ever directed. He has entreated his wife to have his heart buried amidst those lovely scenes on which he so often gazed with serene rapture, from his study-window in the Castle of Popplesdorf.

Those who behold this last picture and revert to the one where the professor came happily sliding his way to his class at the University, may perchance share the emotion which makes us pass our hands across our eyes, to put aside the irrepressible tribute of sorrow which dims and confuses the page before us. His worst enemies could never have contemplated any thing so sad as this. Many, indeed, have already relented—but let their interceding voices be heard before it is too late.

The literary men of no country are united, or they might move the whole kingdom. Still less are the literary men of different countries united, or they might move the world. But are they, therefore, without a common sympathy for one another? We are sure this is not the case; and making this appeal to the literary men of England, we believe it will not be in vain. Nor are we without hope, that a strong sympathy of this kind, being duly and respectfully made known to the King of Prussia, or to Baron Manteufel, the Minister of the Interior, may induce His Majesty to consider that, the revolution being at an end, clemency is not only the "brightest jewel in a crown," but its noblest strength, and that, while royal power can lose nothing, it must gain honor by remitting all further punishment of one who has only shared in the political offense of thousands who are now at liberty. All that the friends, at home and abroad, of Gottfried Kinkel ask is—his liberation from prison, and a permission to emigrate to England or America.

[Pg 80]


John Randolph of Roanoke[10]

John Randolph of Roanoke, as he always signed himself, one of the most remarkable men this country has produced, died in 1833, at a hotel in Philadelphia, while on his way to England for the benefit of his health. A life of him which has just been published, written by the Hon. Hugh A. Garland, contains a very detailed and interesting account of his last days, in which the peculiarities of his character are clearly developed:

When the approach of the boat to the landing of Potomac creek was announced, he was brought out of the room by his servants, on a chair, and seated in the porch, where most of the stage passengers were assembled. His presence seemed to produce considerable restraint on the company; and though he appeared to solicit it, none were willing to enter into conversation; one gentleman only, who was a former acquaintance, passed a few words with him; and so soon as the boat reached the landing, all hurried off, and left him nearly alone, with his awkward servants as his only attendants. An Irish porter, who seemed to be very careless and awkward in his movements, slung a trunk round and struck Mr. Randolph with considerable force against the knee. He uttered an exclamation of great suffering. The poor Irishman was much terrified, and made the most humble apology, but Mr. Randolph stormed at him—would listen to no excuse, and drove him from his presence. This incident increased the speed of the by-standers, and in a few minutes not one was left to assist the dying man.

Dr. Dunbar, an eminent physician, of Baltimore, witnessing what happened, and feeling his sympathies awakened toward a man so feeble, and apparently so near his end, walked up to the chair, as the servants were about to remove their master, and said, "Mr. Randolph, I have not the pleasure of your acquaintance, but I have known your brother from my childhood; and as I see you have no one with you but your servants—you appear to require a friend, I will be happy to render you any assistance in my power, while we are together on the boat." He looked up, and fixed such a searching gaze on the doctor as he never encountered before. But having no other motive but kindness for a suffering fellow man, he returned the scrutinizing look with steadiness. As Mr. Randolph read the countenance of the stranger, who had thus unexpectedly proffered his friendship, his face suddenly cleared up; and with a most winning smile, and real politeness, and with a touching tone of voice, grasping the doctor's hand, he said, "I am most thankful to you, sir, for your kindness, for I do, indeed, want a friend."

He was now, with the doctor's assistance, carefully carried on board, and set down in the most eligible part of the cabin. He seemed to be gasping for breath, as he sat up in the chair, having recovered a little, he turned to the doctor, and said, "Be so good, sir, if you please, as to give me your name." The doctor gave him his name, his profession, and place of residence.

"Ah! doctor," said he, "I am passed surgery—passed surgery!" "I hope not, sir," the doctor replied. With a deeper and more pathetic tone, he repeated, "I am passed surgery."

He was removed to a side berth, and laid in a position where he could get air; the doctor also commenced fanning him. His face was wrinkled, and of a parched yellow, like a female of advanced age. He seemed to repose for a moment, but presently he roused up, throwing round an intense and searching gaze. The doctor was reading a newspaper.

"What paper is that, doctor?"

"The —— Gazette, sir."

"A very scurrilous paper, sir—a very scurrilous paper."

After a short pause, he continued, "Be so good, sir, as to read the foreign news for me—the debates in Parliament, if you please."

As the names of the speakers were mentioned, he commented on each; "Yes," said he, "I knew him when I was in England;" then went on to make characteristic remarks on each person.

In reading, the doctor fell upon the word budget; he pronounced the letter u short, as in bud—b[)u]dget. Mr. Randolph said quickly, but with great mildness and courtesy, "Permit me[Pg 81] to interrupt you for a moment, doctor; I would pronounce that word budget; like oo in book." "Very well, sir," said the doctor, pleasantly, and continued the reading, to which Mr. Randolph listened with great attention. Mr. Randolph now commenced a conversation about his horses, which he seemed to enjoy very much; Gracchus particularly, he spoke of with evident delight. As he lay in his berth, he showed his extremities to the doctor, which were much emaciated. He looked at them mournfully, and expressed his opinion of the hopelessness of his condition. The doctor endeavored to cheer him with more hopeful views. He listened politely, but evidently derived no consolation from the remarks. Supper was now announced; the captain and the steward were very attentive, in carrying such dishes to Mr. Randolph as they thought would be pleasing to him. He was plentifully supplied with fried clams, which he ate with a good deal of relish. The steward asked him if he would have some more clams. "I do not know," he replied; "doctor, do you think I could take some more clams?" "No, Mr. Randolph; had you asked me earlier, I would have advised you against taking any, for they are very injurious; but I did not conceive it my right to advise you." "Yes, you had, doctor; and I would have been much obliged to you for doing so. Steward, I can't take any more; the doctor thinks they are not good for me."

After the table was cleared off, one of the gentlemen—the one referred to as a former acquaintance of Mr. Randolph's, observed that he should like to get some information about the boats north of Baltimore. "I can get it for you, sir," replied Mr. Randolph. "Doctor, do me the favor to hand me a little wicker-basket, among my things in the berth below." The basket was handed to him; it was full of clippings from newspapers. He could not find the advertisement he sought for. The gentleman, with great politeness, said, "Don't trouble yourself, Mr. Randolph." Several times he repeated, "Don't trouble yourself, sir." At length Randolph became impatient, and looking up at him with an angry expression of countenance, said, "I do hate to be interrupted!" The gentleman, thus rebuked, immediately left him.

Mr. Randolph then showed another basket of the same kind, filled with similar scraps from newspapers, and observed that he was always in the habit, when any thing struck him in his reading, as likely to be useful for future reference, to cut it out and preserve it in books, which he had for that purpose; and that he had at home several volumes of that kind.

He showed his arrangements for traveling in Europe; and after a while, seeing the doctor writing, he said, "Doctor, I see you are writing; will you do me the favor to write a letter for me, to a friend in Richmond?" "Certainly, sir." "The gentleman," he continued, "stands A, No. 1, among men—Dr. Brockenbrough, of Richmond." The letter gave directions about business matters, principally, but it contained some characteristic remarks about his horses. He exulted in their having beaten the stage; and concluded, "So much for blood. Now," said he, "sign it, doctor."

"How shall I sign it, Mr. Randolph? sign it John Randolph of Roanoke?"

"No, sir, sign it Randolph of Roanoke."

It was done accordingly. "Now, doctor," said he, "do me the favor to add a postscript." The postscript was added, "I have been so fortunate as to meet with Dr. ——, of ——, on board this boat, and to form his acquaintance, and I can never be sufficiently grateful for his kind attentions to me."

So soon as the letter was concluded, Mr. Randolph drew together the curtains of his berth; the doctor frequently heard him groaning heavily, and breathing so laboriously, that several times he approached the side of the berth to listen if it were not the beginning of the death-struggle. He often heard him, also, exclaiming, in agonized tones, "Oh, God! Oh, Christ!" while he was engaged in ejaculatory prayer.

He now became very restless, was impatient and irascible with his servants, but continued to manifest the utmost kindness and courtesy toward Dr. Dunbar.

When the boat reached the wharf at Alexandria, where the doctor was to leave, he approached the side of the berth, and said, "Mr. Randolph, I must now take leave of you." He begged the doctor to come and see him, at Gadsby's, then, grasping his hand, he said, "God bless you, doctor; I never can forget your kind attentions to me."

Next day he went into the Senate chamber, and took his seat in the rear of Mr. Clay. That gentleman happened at the time to be on his feet, addressing the Senate. "Raise me up," said Randolph, "I want to hear that voice again." When Mr. Clay had concluded his remarks, which were very few, he turned round to see from what quarter that singular voice proceeded. Seeing Mr. Randolph, and that he was in a dying condition, he left his place and went to speak to him; as he approached, Mr. Randolph said to the gentleman with him, "Raise me up." As Mr. Clay offered his hand, he said, "Mr. Randolph, I hope you are better, sir." "No, sir," replied Randolph, "I am a dying man, and I came here expressly to have this interview with you."

They grasped hands and parted, never to meet more.

Having accomplished the only thing that weighed on his mind, having satisfied Mr. Clay, and the world, that, notwithstanding a long life of political hostility, no personal animosity rankled in his heart, he was now ready to continue on his journey, or to meet, with a lighter conscience, any fate that might befall him.

He hurried on to Philadelphia, to be in time for the packet, that was about to sail from the Delaware. But he was too late; he was destined to take passage in a different boat, and[Pg 82] to a land far different from that of his beloved England. It was Monday night when he reached the city, and the storm was very high. His friends found him on the deck of the steamboat, while Johnny was out hunting for a carriage. He was put into a wretched hack, the glasses all broken, and was driven from hotel to hotel in search of lodgings, and exposed all the time to the peltings of the storm. He at length drove to the City Hotel, kept by Mr. Edmund Badger. When Mr. Badger came out to meet him, he asked if he could have accommodations. Mr. Badger replied that he was crowded, but would do the best he could for him. On hearing this, he lifted up his hands, and exclaimed, "Great God! I thank Thee; I shall be among friends, and be taken care of!"

Mr. Randolph was very ill. Dr. Joseph Parish, a Quaker physician, was sent for. As he entered the room, the patient said, "I am acquainted with you, sir, by character. I know you through Giles." He then told the doctor that he had attended several courses of lectures on anatomy, and described his symptoms with medical accuracy, declaring he must die if he could not discharge the puriform matter.

"How long have you been sick, Mr. Randolph?"

"Don't ask me that question; I have been sick all my life. I have been affected with my present disease, however, for three years. It was greatly aggravated by my voyage to Russia. That killed me, sir. This Russian expedition has been a Pultowa, a Beresina to me."

The doctor now felt his pulse. "You can form no judgment by my pulse; it is so peculiar."

"You have been so long an invalid, Mr. Randolph, you must have acquired an accurate knowledge of the general course of practice adapted to your case."

"Certainly, sir; at forty, a fool or a physician, you know."

"There are idiosyncracies," said the doctor, "in many constitutions. I wish to ascertain what is peculiar about you."

"I have been an idiosyncracy all my life. All the preparations of camphor invariably injure me. As to ether, it will blow me up. Not so with opium; I can take opium like a Turk, and have been in the habitual use of it, in one shape or another, for some time."

Before the doctor retired, Mr. Randolph's conversation became curiously diversified. He introduced the subject of the Quakers; complimented them in his peculiar manner for neatness, economy, order, comfort—in every thing. "Right," said he, "in every thing except politics—there always twistical." He then repeated a portion of the Litany of the Episcopal church, with apparent fervor. The following morning the doctor was sent for very early. He was called from bed. Mr. Randolph apologized very handsomely for disturbing him. Something was proposed for his relief. He petulantly and positively refused compliance. The doctor paused and addressed a few words to him. He apologized, and was as submissive as an infant. One evening a medical consultation was proposed; he promptly objected. "In a multitude of counsel," said he, "there is confusion; it leads to weakness and indecision; the patient may die while the doctors are staring at each other." Whenever Dr. Parish parted from him, especially at night, he would receive the kindest acknowledgments, in the most affectionate tones: "God bless you; He does bless you, and He will bless you."

The night preceding his death, the doctor passed about two hours in his chamber. In a plaintive tone he said, "My poor John, sir, is worn down with fatigue, and has been compelled to go to bed. A most attentive substitute supplies his place, but neither he nor you, sir, are like John; he knows where to place his hand on any thing, in a large quantity of baggage prepared for a European voyage." The patient was greatly distressed in breathing, in consequence of difficult expectoration. He requested the doctor, at his next visit, to bring instruments for performing the operation of bronchotomy, for he could not live unless relieved. He then directed a certain newspaper to be brought to him. He put on his spectacles, as he sat propped up in bed, turned over the paper several times, and examined it carefully, then placing his finger on a part he had selected, handed it to the doctor, with a request that he would read it. It was headed "Cherokee." In the course of reading, the doctor came to the word "omnipotence," and pronounced it with a full sound on the penultimate—omnipotence. Mr. Randolph checked him, and pronounced the word according to Walker. The doctor attempted to give a reason for his pronunciation. "Pass on," was the quick reply. The word impetus was then pronounced with the e long, "impetus." He was instantly corrected. The doctor hesitated on the criticism. "There can be no doubt of it, sir." An immediate acknowledgment of the reader that he stood corrected, appeared to satisfy the critic, and the piece was concluded. The doctor observed that there was a great deal of sublimity in the composition. He directly referred to the Mosaic account of creation, and repeated, "'Let there be light, and there was light.' There is sublimity."

Next morning (the day on which he died), Dr. Parish received an early and an urgent message to visit him. Several persons were in the room, but soon left it, except his servant John, who was much affected at the sight of his dying master. The doctor remarked to him, "I have seen your master very low before, and he revived; and perhaps he will again." "John knows better than that, sir." He then looked at the doctor with great intensity, and said in an earnest and distinct manner, "I confirm every disposition in my will, especially that respecting my slaves, whom I have manumitted, and for whom I have made provision."

"I am rejoiced to hear such a declaration[Pg 83] from you, sir," replied the doctor, and soon after, proposed to leave him for a short time, to attend to another patient. "You must not go," was the reply; "you can not, you shall not leave me. John! take care that the doctor does not leave the room." John soon locked the door, and reported, "Master, I have locked the door, and got the key in my pocket: the doctor can't go now."

He seemed excited, and said, "If you do go, you need not return." The doctor appealed to him as to the propriety of such an order, inasmuch as he was only desirous of discharging his duty to another patient. His manner instantly changed, and he said, "I retract that expression." Some time afterward, turning an expressive look, he said again, "I retract that expression."

The doctor now said that he understood the subject of his communication, and presumed the Will would explain itself fully. He replied, in his peculiar way, "No, you don't understand it; I know you don't. Our laws are extremely particular on the subject of slaves—a Will may manumit them, but provision for their subsequent support, requires that a declaration be made in the presence of a white witness; and it is requisite that the witness, after hearing the declaration, should continue with the party, and never lose sight of him, until he is gone or dead. You are a good witness for John. You see the propriety and importance of your remaining with me; your patients must make allowance for your situation. John told me this morning, 'Master, you are dying.'"

The doctor spoke with entire candor, and replied, that it was rather a matter of surprise that he had lasted so long. He now made his preparations to die. He directed John to bring him his father's breast button; he then directed him to place it in the bosom of his shirt. It was an old-fashioned, large-sized gold stud. John placed it in the button hole of the shirt bosom—but to fix it completely, required a hole on the opposite side. "Get a knife," said he, "and cut one." A napkin was called for, and placed by John, over his breast. For a short time he lay perfectly quiet, with his eyes closed. He suddenly roused up and exclaimed, "Remorse! remorse!" It was thrice repeated—the last time, at the top of his voice, with great agitation. He cried out, "Let me see the word. Get a dictionary, let me see the word." "There is none in the room, sir." "Write it down, then—let me see the word." The doctor picked up one of his cards, "Randolph of Roanoke." "Shall I write it on this card?" "Yes, nothing more proper." The word remorse, was then written in pencil. He took the card in a hurried manner, and fastened his eyes on it with great intensity. "Write it on the back," he exclaimed—it was so done and handed him again. He was extremely agitated, "Remorse! you have no idea what it is; you can form no idea of it, whatever; it has contributed to bring me to my present situation—but I have looked to the Lord Jesus Christ, and hope I have obtained pardon. Now, let John take your pencil and draw a line under the word," which was accordingly done. "What am I to do with the card?" inquired the doctor. "Put it in your pocket—take care of it—when I am dead, look at it."

The doctor now introduced the subject of calling in some additional witnesses to his declarations, and suggested sending down stairs for Edmund Badger. He replied, "I have already communicated that to him." The doctor then said, "With your concurrence, sir, I will send for two young physicians, who shall remain and never lose sight of you until you are dead; to whom you can make your declarations—my son, Dr. Isaac Parish, and my young friend and late pupil, Dr. Francis West, a brother of Captain West."

He quickly asked, "Captain West of the Packet?" "Yes, sir, the same." "Send for him—he is the man—I'll have him."

Before the door was unlocked, he pointed toward a bureau, and requested the doctor to take from it a remuneration for his services. To this the doctor promptly replied, that he would feel as though he were acting indelicately, to comply. He then waived the subject, by saying, "In England it is always customary."

The witnesses were now sent for, and soon arrived. The dying man was propped up in the bed, with pillows, nearly erect. Being extremely sensitive to cold, he had a blanket over his head and shoulders; and he directed John to place his hat on, over the blanket, which aided in keeping it close to his head. With a countenance full of sorrow, John stood close by the side of his dying master. The four witnesses—Edmund Badger, Francis West, Isaac Parish, and Joseph Parish, were placed in a semi-circle, in full view. He rallied all the expiring energies of mind and body, to this last effort. "His whole soul," says Dr. Parish, "seemed concentrated in the act. His eyes flashed feeling and intelligence. Pointing toward us, with his long index finger, he addressed us."

"I confirm all the directions in my Will, respecting my slaves, and direct them to be enforced, particularly in regard to a provision for their support." And then raising his arm as high as he could, he brought it down with his open hand, on the shoulder of his favorite John, and added these words, "Especially for this man." He then asked each of the witnesses whether they understood him. Dr. Joseph Parish explained to them, what Mr. Randolph had said in regard to the laws of Virginia, on the subject of manumission—and then appealed to the dying man to know whether he had stated it correctly. "Yes," said he, and gracefully waving his hand as a token of dismission, he added, "The young gentlemen will remain with me."

The scene was now soon changed. Having disposed of that subject most deeply impressed[Pg 84] on his heart, his keen penetrating eye lost its expression, his powerful mind gave way, and his fading imagination began to wander amidst scenes and with friends that he had left behind. In two hours the spirit took its flight, and all that was mortal of John Randolph of Roanoke was hushed in death. At a quarter before twelve o'clock, on the 24th day of June, 1833, aged sixty years, he breathed his last, in a chamber of the City Hotel, No. 41, North Third-street, Philadelphia.

His remains were taken to Virginia, and buried at Roanoke, not far from the mansion in which he lived, and in the midst of that "boundless contiguity of shade," where he spent so many hours of anguish and of solitude. He sleeps quietly now; the squirrel may gambol in the boughs above, the partridge may whistle in the long grass that waves over that solitary grave, and none shall disturb or make them afraid.


The ties of relationship are held most sacred in the imperial family of Austria—Maria Louisa had been taught to reverence them from her infancy. She was tenderly attached to every member of her family, and when the preliminaries of her marriage with Napoleon were arranged, and she knew that she was about to leave all who were so dear to her, and with whom she had passed all her days, her heart sank within her, and her tears flowed incessantly. The day came: she was to leave forever the home of her childhood. She took a most affecting leave of all her family, and then shut herself up in her own apartment, where, according to etiquette, she was to remain till the French embassador who was to conduct her to Paris went to hand her to the carriage. When Berthier, Prince de Neufchatel, went into her cabinet for this purpose, he found her weeping most bitterly. For some time she was unable to speak: at length words of passionate grief found their way.

"I can not help crying," she said; "every thing I look at, and that I am going to leave, is so dear to me: there are my sister's drawings, my mother herself worked this tapestry, these pictures were painted by my uncle Charles."

Thus she went on apostrophizing every article the room contained, even the very carpets, and all her pets of whom she was so fond, so cherished, and caressed; her singing birds, that she loved to sit and listen to—these were all to be left behind—and the parrot that she herself had taught to speak; but, above all, the little faithful dog, the favorite companion, even he was not to accompany her—for it had been said that the emperor did not like pet dogs. As she caressed the little creature her tears fell faster. Berthier was sensibly touched by the marks of affection bestowed by the young princess on all the objects associated with home. He told her that all would not be in readiness for their departure for a couple of hours. So the poor princess was allowed the indulgence of her grief for a little while longer. But the moment came, and she had to tear herself away from the scenes and the friends that occupied all her affection. An enthusiastic greeting awaited her from the crowds assembled to welcome her. Splendor surrounded her on every side; but home and the dear friends were far away. As Napoleon led her from the balcony of the Tuileries, where she had been gazed at and hailed with acclamations of joy by the populace, he said—

"Come, Louisa, I ought to give you some little reward for the happiness which you have conferred on me—the great happiness which I have just enjoyed. Nay, nay, don't be afraid to follow me," continued he, as he led her along one of the narrow corridors of the palace, lit by a single lamp; "nay, nay, don't be afraid to follow me."

Suddenly they stopped at the door of a room wherein a dog was making efforts to get out. The emperor opened the door—the favorite dog was there. He testified his joy at again seeing his mistress by a thousand wild pranks; bounding and jumping about her. The profusion of lamps by which the room was lit up, discovered to Maria Louisa that it was furnished with the very chairs and the carpets of her apartment at Vienna. There were her sister's drawings, and the tapestry wrought by her mother's hands; there were the pictures painted by her uncle Charles; there was her parrot, and there her singing birds; and, above all, the pet dog. Louisa was greatly affected and delighted by finding herself surrounded by these dear, familiar objects. So well had Berthier planned and executed this agreeable surprise for the disconsolate princess, whom he had found weeping over all that had been endeared to her by the fondest associations, that she never suspected his design in delaying their departure from Vienna.

"Come in, Berthier," said the emperor, opening a side door, "and let the empress thank you. There, Louisa, thank him—embrace him who planned this pleasure for you."

How frequently genius effects great ends by the simplest means! It is most interesting to see the greatest difficulties give way before its magic influence.



Her suffering ended with the day,
Yet lived she at its close,
And breathed the long, long night away,
In statue-like repose.
But when the sun, in all his state,
Illumed the eastern skies,
She pass'd through Glory's morning-gate
And walk'd in Paradise!
[Pg 85]

[From Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine.]


(Continued from page 777.)

Book II.—Initial Chapter:—Informing the Reader how this Work came to have Initial Chapters.

"There can't be a doubt," said my father, "that to each of the main divisions of your work—whether you call them Books or Parts—you should prefix an Initial or Introductory Chapter."

Pisistratus.—"Can't be a doubt, sir! Why so?"

Mr. Caxton.—"Fielding lays it down as an indispensable rule, which he supports by his example; and Fielding was an artistical writer, and knew what he was about."

Pisistratus.—"Do you remember any of his reasons, sir?"

Mr. Caxton.—"Why, indeed, Fielding says very justly that he is not bound to assign any reason; but he does assign a good many, here and there—to find which, I refer you to Tom Jones. I will only observe, that one of his reasons, which is unanswerable, runs to the effect that thus, in every Part or Book, the reader has the advantage of beginning at the fourth or fifth page instead of the first—'a matter by no means of trivial consequence,' saith Fielding, 'to persons who read books with no other view than to say they have read them—a more general motive to reading than is commonly imagined; and from which not only law books and good books, but the pages of Homer and Virgil, of Swift and Cervantes have been often turned over.' There," cried my father triumphantly, "I will lay a shilling to twopence that I have quoted the very words."

Mrs. Caxton.—"Dear me, that only means skipping: I don't see any great advantage in writing a chapter, merely for people to skip it."

Pisistratus.—"Neither do I!"

Mr. Caxton, dogmatically.—"It is the repose in the picture—Fielding calls it 'contrast'—(still more dogmatically) I say there can't be a doubt about it. Besides (added my father after a pause), besides, this usage gives you opportunities to explain what has gone before, or to prepare for what's coming; or, since Fielding contends with great truth, that some learning is necessary for this kind of historical composition, it allows you, naturally and easily, the introduction of light and pleasant ornaments of that nature. At each flight in the terrace, you may give the eye the relief of an urn or a statue. Moreover, when so inclined, you create proper pausing places for reflection; and complete, by a separate yet harmonious ethical department, the design of a work, which is but a mere Mother Goose's tale if it does not embrace a general view of the thoughts and actions of mankind."

Pisistratus.—"But then, in these initial chapters, the author thrusts himself forward and just when you want to get on with the dramatis personæ, you find yourself face to face with the poet himself."

Mr. Caxton.—"Pooh! you can contrive to prevent that! Imitate the chorus of the Greek stage, who fill up the intervals between the action by saying what the author would otherwise say in his own person."

Pisistratus, slyly.—"That's a good idea, sir—and I have a chorus, and a chorægus too, already in my eye."

Mr. Caxton, unsuspectingly.—"Aha! you are not so dull a fellow as you would make yourself out to be; and, even if an author did thrust himself forward, what objection is there to that? It is a mere affectation to suppose that a book can come into the world without an author. Every child has a father, one father at least, as the great Condé says very well in his poem."

Pisistratus.—"The great Condé a poet!—I never heard that before."

Mr. Caxton.—"I don't say he was a poet, but he sent a poem to Madame de Montansier. Envious critics think that he must have paid somebody else to write it; but there is no reason why a great captain should not write a poem—I don't say a good poem, but a poem. I wonder, Roland, if the Duke ever tried his hand at 'Stanzas to Mary,' or 'Lines to a sleeping babe.'"

Captain Roland.—"Austin, I'm ashamed of you. Of course the Duke could write poetry if he pleased—something, I dare say, in the way of the great Condé—that is something warlike and heroic, I'll be bound. Let's hear!"

Mr. Caxton, reciting—

"Telle est du Ciel la loi sèvère
Qu'il faut qu'un enfant ait un père;
On dit même quelque fois
Tel enfant en a jusqu'á trois."

Captain Roland, greatly disgusted.—"Condé write such stuff!—I don't believe it."

Pisistratus.—"I do, and accept the quotation—you and Roland shall be joint fathers to my child as well as myself."

"Tel enfant en a jusqu'á trois."

Mr. Caxton, solemnly.—"I refuse the proffered paternity; but so far as administering a little wholesome castigation, now and then, I have no objection to join in the discharge of a father's duty."

Pisistratus.—"Agreed; have you any thing to say against the infant hitherto?"

Mr. Caxton.—"He is in long clothes at present; let us wait till he can walk."

Blanche.—"But pray whom do you mean for a hero?—and is Miss Jemima your heroine?"

Captain Roland.—"There is some mystery about the—"

Pisistratus, hastily.—"Hush, Uncle; no letting the cat out of the bag yet. Listen, all of you! I left Frank Hazeldean on his way to the Casino."

[Pg 86]


"It is a sweet pretty place," thought Frank, as he opened the gate which led across the fields to the Casino, that smiled down upon him with its plaster pilasters. "I wonder, though, that my father, who is so particular in general, suffers the carriage road to be so full of holes and weeds. Mounseer does not receive many visits, I take it."

But when Frank got into the ground immediately before the house, he saw no cause of complaint as to want of order and repair. Nothing could be kept more neatly. Frank was ashamed of the dint made by the pony's hoofs in the smooth gravel; he dismounted, tied the animal to the wicket, and went on foot toward the glass door in front.

He rang the bell once, twice, but nobody came, for the old woman-servant, who was hard of hearing, was far away in the yard, searching for any eggs which the hen might have scandalously hidden from culinary purposes; and Jackeymo was fishing for the sticklebacks and minnows, which were, when caught, to assist the eggs, when found, in keeping together the bodies and souls of himself and his master. The old woman was on board wages—lucky old woman! Frank rang a third time, and with the impetuosity of his age. A face peeped from the Belvidere on the terrace. "Diavolo!" said Dr. Riccabocca to himself. "Young cocks crow hard on their own dunghill; it must be a cock of a high race to crow so loud at another's."

Therewith he shambled out of the summer-house, and appeared suddenly before Frank, in a very wizard-like dressing robe of black serge, a red cap on his head, and a cloud of smoke coming rapidly from his lips, as a final consolatory whiff, before he removed the pipe from them. Frank had indeed seen the doctor before, but never in so scholastic a costume, and he was a little startled by the apparition at his elbow, as he turned round.

"Signorino—young gentleman," said the Italian, taking off his cap with his usual urbanity, "pardon the negligence of my people—I am too happy to receive your commands in person."

"Dr. Rickeybockey?" stammered Frank, much confused by this polite address, and the low yet stately bow with which it was accompanied, "I—I have a note from the Hall. Mamma—that is, my mother—and aunt Jemima beg their best compliments, and hope you will come, sir."

The Doctor took the note with another bow, and, opening the glass door, invited Frank to enter.

The young gentleman, with a schoolboy's usual bluntness, was about to say that he was in a hurry, and had rather not; but Dr. Riccabocca's grand manner awed him, while a glimpse of the hall excited his curiosity—so he silently obeyed the invitation.

The hall, which was of an octagon shape, had been originally paneled off into compartments, and in these the Italian had painted landscapes, rich with the sunny warm light of his native climate. Frank was no judge of the art displayed; but he was greatly struck with the scenes depicted: they were all views of some lake, real or imaginary—in all, dark-blue shining waters reflected dark-blue placid skies. In one, a flight of steps descended to the lake, and a gay group was seen feasting on the margin: in another, sunset threw its rose-hues over a vast villa or palace, backed by Alpine hills, and flanked by long arcades of vines, while pleasure-boats skimmed over the waves below. In short, throughout all the eight compartments, the scene, though it differed in details, preserved the same general character, as if illustrating some favorite locality. The Italian, did not, however, evince any desire to do the honors to his own art, but, preceding Frank across the hall, opened the door of his usual sitting-room, and requested him to enter. Frank did so, rather reluctantly, and seated himself with unwonted bashfulness on the edge of a chair. But here new specimens of the Doctor's handicraft soon riveted attention. The room had been originally papered; but Riccabocca had stretched canvas over the walls, and painted thereon sundry satirical devices, each separated from the other by scroll-works of fantastic arabesques. Here a Cupid was trundling a wheelbarrow full of hearts, which he appeared to be selling to an ugly old fellow, with a money-bag in his hand—probably Plutus. There Diogenes might be seen walking through a market-place, with his lantern in his hand, in search of an honest man, while the children jeered at him, and the curs snapped at his heels. In another place, a lion was seen half dressed in a fox's hide, while a wolf in a sheep's mask was conversing very amicably with a young lamb. Here again might be seen the geese stretching out their necks from the Roman Capitol in full cackle, while the stout invaders were beheld in the distance, running off as hard as they could. In short, in all these quaint entablatures some pithy sarcasm was symbolically conveyed; only over the mantle-piece was the design graver and more touching. It was the figure of a man in a pilgrim's garb, chained to the earth by small but innumerable ligaments, while a phantom likeness of himself, his shadow, was seen hastening down what seemed an interminable vista; and underneath were written the pathetic words of Horace,

"Patriæ quis exul
Se quoque fugit?"

"What exile from his country can fly himself as well?" The furniture of the room was extremely simple, and somewhat scanty; yet it was arranged so as to impart an air of taste and elegance to the room. Even a few plaster busts and statues, though bought of some humble itinerant, had their classical effect glistening[Pg 87] from out stands of flowers that were grouped around them, or backed by graceful screen-works formed from twisted osiers, which, by the simple contrivance of trays at the bottom, filled with earth, served for living parasitical plants, with gay flowers contrasting thick ivy leaves, and gave to the whole room the aspect of a bower.

"May I ask your permission?" said the Italian, with his finger on the seal of the letter.

"Oh, yes," said Frank with naïveté.

Riccabocca broke the seal, and a slight smile stole over his countenance. Then he turned a little aside from Frank, shaded his face with his hand, and seemed to muse. "Mrs. Hazeldean," said he at last, "does me very great honor. I hardly recognize her hand-writing, or I should have been more impatient to open the letter." The dark eyes were lifted over the spectacles, and went right into Frank's unprotected and undiplomatic heart. The Doctor raised the note, and pointed to the characters with his forefinger.

"Cousin Jemima's hand," said Frank, as directly as if the question had been put to him.

The Italian smiled. "Mr. Hazeldean has company staying with him?"

"No; that is, only Barney—the Captain. There's seldom much company before the shooting season," added Frank with a slight sigh; "and then you know the holidays are over. For my part, I think we ought to break up a month later."

The Doctor seemed reassured by the first sentence in Frank's reply, and seating himself at the table, wrote his answer—not hastily, as we English write, but with care and precision, like one accustomed to weigh the nature of words—in that stiff Italian hand, which allows the writer so much time to think while he forms his letters. He did not therefore reply at once to Frank's remark about the holidays, but was silent till he had concluded his note, read it three times over, sealed it by the taper he slowly lighted, and then, giving it to Frank, he said—

"For your sake, young gentleman, I regret that your holidays are so early; for mine, I must rejoice, since I accept the kind invitation you have rendered doubly gratifying by bringing it yourself."

"Deuce take the fellow and his fine speeches! One don't know which way to look," thought English Frank.

The Italian smiled again, as if this time he had read the boy's heart, without need of those piercing black eyes, and said, less ceremoniously than before, "You don't care much for compliments, young gentleman?"

"No, I don't indeed," said Frank heartily.

"So much the better for you, since your way in the world is made: it would be so much the worse if you had to make it!"

Frank looked puzzled: the thought was too deep for him—so he turned to the pictures.

"Those are very funny," said he: "they seem capitally done—who did 'em?"

"Signorino Hazeldean, you are giving me what you refused yourself."

"Eh?" said Frank, inquiringly.


"Oh—I—no; but they are well done, arn't they, sir?"

"Not particularly: you speak to the artist."

"What! you painted them?"


"And the pictures in the hall?"

"Those too."

"Taken from nature—eh?"

"Nature," said the Italian sententiously, perhaps evasively, "lets nothing be taken from her."

"Oh!" said Frank, puzzled again.

"Well, I must wish you good morning, sir; I am very glad you are coming."

"Without compliment?"

"Without compliment."

"A rivedersi—good-by for the present, my young signorino. This way," observing Frank make a bolt toward the wrong door.

"Can I offer you a glass of wine—it is pure, of our own making?"

"No, thank you, indeed, sir," cried Frank, suddenly recollecting his father's admonition. "Good-by—don't trouble yourself, sir; I know my way now."

But the bland Italian followed his guest to the wicket, where Frank had left the pony. The young gentleman, afraid lest so courteous a host should hold the stirrup for him, twitched off the bridle, and mounted in haste, not even staying to ask if the Italian could put him in the way to Rood Hall, of which way he was profoundly ignorant. The Italian's eye followed the boy as he rode up the ascent in the lane, and the Doctor sighed heavily. "The wiser we grow," said he to himself, "the more we regret the age of our follies: it is better to gallop with a light heart up the stony hill than to sit in the summer-house and cry 'How true!' to the stony truths of Machiavelli!"

With that he turned back into the Belvidere; but he could not resume his studies. He remained some minutes gazing on the prospect, till the prospect reminded him of the fields, which Jackeymo was bent on his hiring, and the fields reminded him of Lenny Fairfield. He walked back to the house, and in a few moments re-emerged in his out-of-door-trim, with cloak and umbrella, relighted his pipe, and strolled toward Hazeldean village.

Meanwhile Frank, after cantering on for some distance, stopped at a cottage, and there learned that there was a short cut across the fields to Rood Hall, by which he could save nearly three miles. Frank, however, missed the short cut, and came out into the high road: a turnpike keeper, after first taking his toll, put him back again into the short cut; and finally, he got into some green lanes, where a dilapidated finger-post directed him to Rood. Late at noon, having ridden[Pg 88] fifteen miles in the desire to reduce ten to seven, he came suddenly upon a wild and primitive piece of ground, that seemed half chase, half common, with slovenly tumble-down cottages of villainous aspect scattered about in odd nooks and corners; idle dirty children were making mud pies on the road; slovenly-looking women were plaiting straw at the thresholds; a large but forlorn and decayed church, that seemed to say that the generation which saw it built was more pious than the generation which now resorted to it, stood boldly and nakedly out by the roadside.

"Is this the village of Rood?" asked Frank of a stout young man breaking stones on the road—sad sign that no better labor could be found for him!

The man sullenly nodded, and continued his work.

"And where's the Hall—Mr. Leslie's?"

The man looked up in stolid surprise, and this time touched his hat.

"Be you going there?"

"Yes, if I can find out where it is."

"I'll show your honor," said the boor alertly.

Frank reined in the pony, and the man walked by his side.

Frank was much of his father's son, despite the difference of age, and that more fastidious change of manner which characterizes each succeeding race in the progress of civilization. Despite all his Eton finery, he was familiar with peasants, and had the quick eye of one country-born as to country matters.

"You don't seem very well off in this village, my man?" said he, knowingly.

"No; there be a deal of distress here in the winter time, and summer too, for that matter; and the parish ben't much help to a single man."

"But the farmers want work here as well as elsewhere, I suppose?"

"'Deed, and there ben't much farming work here—most o' the parish be all wild ground loike."

"The poor have a right of common, I suppose," said Frank, surveying a large assortment of vagabond birds and quadrupeds.

"Yes; neighbor Timmins keeps his geese on the common, and some has a cow—and them be neighbor Jowles's pigs. I don't know if there's a right, loike; but the folks at the Hall does all they can to help us, and that ben't much: they ben't as rich as some folks; but," added the peasant proudly, "they be as good blood as any in the shire."

"I'm glad to see you like them, at all events."

"Oh, yes, I likes them well eno'; mayhap you are at school with the young gentleman?"

"Yes." said Frank.

"Ah! I heard the clergyman say as how Master Randal was a mighty clever lad, and would get rich some day. I'se sure I wish he would, for a poor squire makes a poor parish. There's the Hall, sir."


Frank looked right ahead, and saw a square house that, in spite of modern sash-windows, was evidently of remote antiquity—a high conical roof; a stack of tall quaint chimney-pots of red baked clay (like those at Sutton Place in Surrey), dominating over isolated vulgar smoke-conductors, of the ignoble fashion of present times; a dilapidated groin-work, encasing within a Tudor arch a door of the comfortable date of George III., and the peculiarly dingy and weather-stained appearance of the small finely finished bricks, of which the habitation was built—all showed the abode of former generations adapted with tasteless irreverence to the habits of descendants unenlightened by Pugin, or indifferent to the poetry of the past. The house had emerged suddenly upon Frank out of the gloomy waste land, for it was placed in a hollow, and sheltered from sight by a disorderly group of ragged, dismal, valetudinarian fir-trees, until an abrupt turn of the road cleared that screen, and left the desolate abode bare to the discontented eye. Frank dismounted; the man held his pony; and, after smoothing his cravat, the smart Etonian sauntered up to the door, and startled the solitude of the place with a loud peal from the modern brass knocker—a knock which instantly brought forth an astonished starling who had built under the eaves of the gable roof, and called up a cloud of sparrows, tomtits, and yellow-hammers, who had been regaling themselves among the litter of a slovenly farm-yard that lay in full sight to the right of the house, fenced off by a primitive, paintless wooden rail. In process of time a sow, accompanied by a thriving and inquisitive family, strolled up to the gate of the fence, and, leaning her nose on the lower bar of the gate, contemplated the visitor with much curiosity and some suspicion.

While Frank is still without, impatiently swingeing his white trowsers with his whip, we will steal a hurried glance toward the respective members of the family within. Mr. Leslie, the pater familias, is in a little room called his 'study,' to which he regularly retires every morning after breakfast, rarely reappearing till one o'clock, which is his unfashionable hour for dinner. In what mysterious occupations Mr. Leslie passes those hours no one ever formed a conjecture. At the present moment he is seated before a little rickety bureau, one leg of which (being shorter than the other), is propped up by sundry old letters and scraps of newspapers; and the bureau is open, and reveals a great number of pigeon-holes and divisions, filled with various odds and ends, the collection of many years. In some of these compartments are bundles of letters, very yellow, and tied in packets with faded tape; in another, all by itself, is a fragment of plum-pudding stone, which Mr. Leslie has picked up in his walks and considered a rare mineral. It is neatly labeled "Found in Hollow Lane, May 21st, 1824, by Maunder[Pg 89] Slugge Leslie, Esq." The next division holds several bits of iron in the shape of nails, fragments of horse-shoes, &c., which Mr. Leslie had also met with in his rambles, and, according to a harmless popular superstition, deemed it highly unlucky not to pick up, and, once picked up, no less unlucky to throw away. Item, in the adjoining pigeon-hole, a goodly collection of pebbles with holes in them, preserved for the same reason, in company with a crooked sixpence: item, neatly arranged in fanciful mosaics, several periwinkles, Blackamoor's teeth (I mean the shell so called), and other specimens of the conchiferous ingenuity of Nature, partly inherited from some ancestral spinster, partly amassed by Mr. Leslie himself in a youthful excursion to the sea-side. There were the farm-bailiff's accounts, several files of bills, an old stirrup, three sets of knee and shoe buckles which had belonged to Mr. Leslie's father, a few seals tied together by a shoe-string, a shagreen toothpick case, a tortoiseshell magnifying glass to read with, his eldest son's first copybooks, his second son's ditto, his daughter's ditto, and a lock of his wife's hair arranged in a true-lover's knot, framed and glazed. There were also a small mousetrap; a patent corkscrew, too good to be used in common; fragments of a silver teaspoon, that had, by natural decay, arrived at a dissolution of its parts; a small brown Holland bag, containing halfpence of various dates, as far back as Queen Anne, accompanied by two French sous, and a German silber gros; the which miscellany Mr. Leslie magniloquently called "his coins," and had left in his will as a family heirloom. There were many other curiosities of congenial nature and equal value—"quæ nunc describere longum est." Mr. Leslie was engaged at this time in what is termed "putting things to rights"—an occupation he performed with exemplary care once a week. This was his day; and he had just counted his coins, and was slowly tying them up again, when Frank's knock reached his ears.

Mr. Maunder Slugge Leslie paused, shook his head as if incredulously, and was about to resume his occupation, when he was seized with a fit of yawning which prevented the bag being tied for full two minutes.

While such was the employment of the study—let us turn to the recreations in the drawing-room, or rather parlor. A drawing-room there was on the first floor, with a charming look-out, not on the dreary fir-trees, but on the romantic undulating forest-land, but the drawing-room had not been used since the death of the last Mrs. Leslie. It was deemed too good to sit in, except when there was company; there never being company, it was never sate in. Indeed, now the paper was falling off the walls with the damp, and the rats, mice, and moths—those "edaces rerum"—had eaten, between them, most of the chair-bottoms and a considerable part of the floor. Therefore the parlor was the sole general sitting-room; and being breakfasted in, dined, and supped in, and, after supper, smoked in by Mr. Leslie to the accompaniment of rum and water, it is impossible to deny that it had what is called "a smell"—a comfortable wholesome family smell—speaking of numbers, meals, and miscellaneous social habitation.—There were two windows: one looked full on the fir-trees; the other on the farm-yard, with the pigsty closing the view. Near the fir-tree window sate Mrs. Leslie; before her, on a high stool, was a basket of the children's clothes that wanted mending. A work-table of rosewood inlaid with brass, which had been a wedding present, and was a costly thing originally, but in that peculiar taste which is vulgarly called "Brumagem," stood at hand: the brass had started in several places, and occasionally made great havoc on the children's fingers and Mrs. Leslie's gown; in fact, it was the liveliest piece of furniture in the house, thanks to that petulant brass-work, and could not have been more mischievous if it had been a monkey. Upon the work-table lay a housewife and thimble, and scissors and skeins of worsted and thread, and little scraps of linen and cloth for patches. But Mrs. Leslie was not actually working—she was preparing to work; she had been preparing to work for the last hour and a half. Upon her lap she supported a novel, by a lady who wrote much for a former generation, under the name of "Mrs. Bridget Blue Mantle." She had a small needle in her left hand, and a very thick piece of thread in her right; occasionally she applied the end of the said thread to her lips, and then—her eyes fixed on the novel—made a blind vacillating attack at the eye of the needle. But a camel would have gone through it with quite as much ease. Nor did the novel alone engage Mrs. Leslie's attention, for ever and anon she interrupted herself to scold the children; to inquire "what o'clock it was;" to observe that "Sarah would never suit," and to wonder why Mr. Leslie would not see that the work-table was mended. Mrs. Leslie had been rather a pretty woman. In spite of a dress at once slatternly and economical, she has still the air of a lady—rather too much so, the hard duties of her situation considered. She is proud of the antiquity of her family on both sides; her mother was of the venerable stock of the Daudlers of Daudle Place, a race that existed before the Conquest. Indeed, one has only to read our earliest chronicles, and to glance over some of those long-winded moralizing poems which delighted the thanes and ealdermen of old, in order to see that the Daudlers must have been a very influential family before William the First turned the country topsy-turvy. While the mother's race was thus indubitably Saxon, the father's had not only the name but the peculiar idiosyncrasy of the Normans, and went far to establish that crotchet of the brilliant author of Sybil, or the Two Nations as to the continued distinction between the conquering and conquered populations. Mrs. Leslie's father boasted the name of[Pg 90] Montfydget; doubtless of the same kith and kin as those great barons Montfichet, who once owned such broad lands and such turbulent castles. A high-nosed, thin, nervous, excitable progeny, those same Montfydgets, as the most troublesome Norman could pretend to be. This fusion of race was notable to the most ordinary physiognomist in the physique and in the morale of Mrs. Leslie. She had the speculative blue eye of the Saxon, and the passionate high nose of the Norman; she had the musing do-nothingness of the Daudlers, and the reckless have-at-everythingness of the Montfydgets. At Mrs. Leslie's feet, a little girl with her hair about her ears (and beautiful hair it was too), was amusing herself with a broken-nosed doll. At the far end of the room, before a high desk, sate Frank's Eton schoolfellow, the eldest son. A minute or two before Frank's alarum had disturbed the tranquillity of the household, he had raised his eyes from the books on the desk, to glance at a very tattered copy of the Greek Testament, in which his brother Oliver had found a difficulty that he came to Randal to solve. As the young Etonian's face was turned to the light, your first impression, on seeing it, would have been melancholy but respectful interest—for the face had already lost the joyous character of youth—there was a wrinkle between the brows; and the lines that speak of fatigue, were already visible under the eyes and about the mouth; the complexion was sallow, the lips were pale. Years of study had already sown, in the delicate organization, the seeds of many an infirmity and many a pain; but if your look had rested longer on that countenance, gradually your compassion might have given place to some feeling uneasy and sinister, a feeling akin to fear. There was in the whole expression so much of cold calm force, that it belied the debility of the frame. You saw there the evidence of a mind that was cultivated, and you felt that in that cultivation there was something formidable. A notable contrast to this countenance, prematurely worn and eminently intelligent, was the round healthy face of Oliver, with slow blue eyes, fixed hard on the penetrating orbs of his brother, as if trying with might and main to catch from them a gleam of that knowledge with which they shone clear and frigid as a star.

At Frank's knock, Oliver's slow blue eyes sparkled into animation, and he sprang from his brother's side. The little girl flung back the hair from her face, and stared at her mother with a look which spoke wonder and fright.

The young student knit his brows, and then turned wearily back to the books on his desk.

"Dear me," cried Mrs. Leslie, "who can that possibly be? Oliver, come from the window, sir, this instant, you will be seen! Juliet, run—ring the bell—no, go to the stairs, and say, 'not at home.' Not at home on any account," repeated Mrs. Leslie nervously, for the Montfydget blood was now in full flow.

In another minute or so, Frank's loud boyish voice was distinctly heard at the outer door.

Randal slightly started.

"Frank Hazeldean's voice," said he; "I should like to see him, mother."

"See him," repeated Mrs. Leslie in amaze, "see him!—and the room in this state!"

Randal might have replied that the room was in no worse state than usual; but he said nothing. A slight flush came and went over his pale face; and then he leant his cheek on his hand, and compressed his lips firmly.

The outer door closed with a sullen, inhospitable jar, and a slip-shod female servant entered with a card between her finger and thumb.

"Who is that for? give it to me, Jenny," cried Mrs. Leslie.

But Jenny shook her head, laid the card on the desk beside Randal, and vanished without saying a word.

"Oh, look, Randal, look up," cried Oliver, who had again rushed to the window; "such a pretty gray pony!"

Randal did look up; nay, he went deliberately to the window, and gazed a moment on the high-mettled pony, and the well-dressed high-spirited rider. In that moment changes passed over Randal's countenance more rapidly than clouds over the sky in a gusty day. Now envy and discontent, with the curled lip and the gloomy scowl; now hope and proud self-esteem, with the clearing brow, and the lofty smile; and then all again became cold, firm, and close as he walked back to his books, seated himself resolutely, and said, half aloud,

"Well, knowledge is power!"


Mrs. Leslie came up in fidget and in fuss; she leant over Randal's shoulder and read the card. Written in pen and ink, with an attempt at imitation of printed Roman character, there appeared first, "Mr. Frank Hazeldean;" but just over these letters, and scribbled hastily and less legibly in pencil, was—

"Dear Leslie,—sorry you are out—come and see us—Do!"

"You will go, Randal?" said Mrs. Leslie, after a pause.

"I am not sure."

"Yes, you can go; you have clothes like a gentleman; you can go any where, not like those children;" and Mrs. Leslie glanced almost spitefully on poor Oliver's coarse, threadbare jacket, and little Juliet's torn frock.

"What I have I owe at present to Mr. Egerton, and I should consult his wishes; he is not on good terms with these Hazeldeans." Then glancing toward his brother, who looked mortified, he added, with a strange sort of haughty kindness, "What I may have hereafter, Oliver, I shall owe to myself; and then, if I rise, I will raise my family."

"Dear Randal," said Mrs. Leslie, fondly kissing[Pg 91] him on the forehead, "what a good heart you have!"

"No mother; my books don't tell me that it is a good heart that gets on in the world; it is a hard head," replied Randal, with a rude and scornful candor. "But I can read no more just now; come out, Oliver."

So saying, he slid from his mother's hand and left the room.

When Oliver joined him, Randal was already on the common; and, without seeming to notice his brother, he continued to walk quickly and with long strides in profound silence. At length he paused under the shade of an old oak, that, too old to be of value save for firewood, had escaped the ax. The tree stood on a knoll, and the spot commanded a view of the decayed house—the old dilapidated church—the dismal, dreary village.

"Oliver," said Randal, between his teeth, so that his voice had the sound of a hiss, "it was under this tree that I first resolved to—"

He paused.

"What, Randal?"

"Read hard; knowledge is power!"

"But you are so fond of reading."

"I?" cried Randal. "Do you think, when Wolsey and Thomas à-Becket became priests, they were fond of telling their beads and pattering Aves? I fond of reading!"

Oliver stared; the historical allusions were beyond his comprehension.

"You know," continued Randal, "that we Leslies were not always the beggarly poor gentlemen we are now. You know that there is a man who lives in Grosvenor-square, and is very rich—very. His riches come to him from a Leslie; that man is my patron, Oliver, and he is very good to me."

Randal's smile was withering as he spoke. "Come on," he said, after a pause—"come on." Again the walk was quicker, and the brothers were silent.

They came at length to a little shallow brook, across which some large stones had been placed at short intervals, so that the boys walked over the ford dryshod. "Will you pull me down that bough, Oliver?" said Randal, abruptly, pointing to a tree. Oliver obeyed mechanically; and Randal stripping the leaves, and snapping off the twigs, left a fork at the end; with this he began to remove the stepping-stones. "What are you about, Randal?" asked Oliver, wonderingly.

"We are on the other side of the brook now; and we shall not come back this way. We don't want the stepping-stones any more! away with them!"


The morning after this visit of Frank Hazeldean's to Rood Hall, the Right Honorable Audley Egerton, member of Parliament, privy councilor, and minister of a high department in the state—just below the rank of the cabinet—was seated in his library, awaiting the delivery of the post, before he walked down to his office. In the mean while he sipped his tea, and glanced over the newspapers with that quick and half-disdainful eye with which your practical man in public life is wont to regard the abuse or the eulogium of the Fourth Estate.

There is very little likeness between Mr. Egerton and his half-brother; none indeed, except that they are both of tall stature, and strong, sinewy, English build. But even in this last they do not resemble each other; for the Squire's athletic shape is already beginning to expand into that portly embonpoint which seems the natural development of contented men as they approach middle life. Audley, on the contrary, is inclined to be spare; and his figure, though the muscles are as firm as iron, has enough of the slender to satisfy metropolitan ideas of elegance. His dress—his look—his tout ensemble, are those of the London man. In the first, there is more attention to fashion than is usual among the busy members of the House of Commons; but then Audley Egerton had always been something more than a mere busy member of the House of Commons. He had always been a person of mark in the best society, and one secret of his success in life has been his high reputation as a "gentleman."

As he now bends over the journals, there is an air of distinction in the turn of the well-shaped head, with the dark brown hair—dark in spite of a reddish tinge—cut close behind, and worn away a little toward the crown, so as to give additional height to a commanding forehead. His profile is very handsome, and of that kind of beauty which imposes on men if it pleases women; and is therefore, unlike that of your mere pretty fellows, a positive advantage in public life. It is a profile with large features clearly cut, masculine, and somewhat severe. The expression of his face is not open like the Squire's; nor has it the cold closeness which accompanies the intellectual character of young Leslie's; but it is reserved and dignified, and significant of self-control, as should be the physiognomy of a man accustomed to think before he speaks. When you look at him, you are not surprised to learn that he is not a florid orator nor a smart debater—he is a "weighty speaker." He is fairly read, but without any great range either of ornamental scholarship or constitutional lore. He has not much humor; but he has that kind of wit which is essential to grave and serious irony. He has not much imagination, nor remarkable subtlety in reasoning; but if he does not dazzle, he does not bore: he is too much the man of the world for that. He is considered to have sound sense and accurate judgment. Withal, as he now lays aside the journals, and his face relaxes its austerer lines, you will not be astonished to hear that he is a man who is said to have been greatly beloved by women, and still to exercise much influence[Pg 92] in drawing-rooms and boudoirs. At least no one was surprised when the great heiress Clementina Leslie, kinswomen and ward to Lord Lansmere—a young lady who had refused three earls and the heir-apparent to a dukedom—was declared by her dearest friends to be dying of love for Audley Egerton. It had been the natural wish of the Lansmeres that this lady should marry their son, Lord L'Estrange. But that young gentleman, whose opinions on matrimony partook of the eccentricity of his general character, could never be induced to propose, and had, according to the on dits of town, been the principal party to make up the match between Clementina and his friend Audley; for the match required making-up despite the predilections of the young heiress. Mr. Egerton had had scruples of delicacy. He avowed, for the first time, that his fortune was much less than had been generally supposed, and he did not like the idea of owing all to a wife, however much he might esteem and admire her. L'Estrange was with his regiment abroad during the existence of these scruples; but by letters to his father, and to his cousin Clementina, he contrived to open and conclude negotiations, while he argued away Mr. Egerton's objections; and, before the year in which Audley was returned for Lansmere had expired, he received the hand of the great heiress. The settlement of her fortune, which was chiefly in the funds, had been unusually advantageous to the husband; for though the capital was tied up so long as both survived—for the benefit of any children they might have—yet, in the event of one of the parties dying without issue by the marriage, the whole passed without limitation to the survivor. In not only assenting to, but proposing this clause, Miss Leslie, if she showed a generous trust in Mr. Egerton, inflicted no positive wrong on her relations; for she had none sufficiently near to her to warrant their claim to the succession. Her nearest kinsman, and therefore her natural heir, was Harley L'Estrange; and if he was contented, no one had a right to complain. The tie of blood between herself and the Leslies of Rood Hall was, as we shall see presently, extremely distant.

It was not till after his marriage that Mr. Egerton took an active part in the business of the House of Commons. He was then at the most advantageous starting-point for the career of ambition. His words on the state of the country took importance from his stake in it. His talents found accessories in the opulence of Grosvenor-square, the dignity of a princely establishment, the respectability of one firmly settled in life, the reputation of a fortune in reality very large, and which was magnified by popular report into the revenues of a Crœsus. Audley Egerton succeeded in Parliament beyond the early expectations formed of him. He took, at first, that station in the House which it requires tact to establish, and great knowledge of the world to free from the charge of impracticability and crotchet, but which, once established, is peculiarly imposing from the rarity of its independence; that is to say, the station of the moderate man who belongs sufficiently to a party to obtain its support, but is yet sufficiently disengaged from a party to make his vote and word, on certain questions, matter of anxiety and speculation.

Professing Toryism (the word Conservative, which would have suited him better, was not then known), he separated himself from the country party, and always avowed great respect for the opinions of the large towns. The epithet given to the views of Audley Egerton was "enlightened." Never too much in advance of the passion of the day, yet never behind its movement, he had that shrewd calculation of odds which a consummate mastery of the world sometimes bestows upon politicians—perceived the chances for and against a certain question being carried within a certain time, and nicked the question between wind and water. He was so good a barometer of that changeful weather called Public Opinion that he might have had a hand in the Times newspaper. He soon quarreled, and purposely, with his Lansmere constituents—nor had he ever revisited that borough, perhaps because it was associated with unpleasant reminiscences in the shape of the Squire's epistolary trimmer, and in that of his own effigies which his agricultural constituents had burned in the corn-market. But the speeches which produced such indignation at Lansmere, had delighted one of the greatest of our commercial towns, which at the next general election honored him with its representation. In those days, before the Reform Bill, great commercial towns chose men of high mark for their members; and a proud station it was for him who was delegated to speak the voice of the princely merchants of England.

Mrs. Egerton survived her marriage but a few years; she left no children; two had been born, but died in their first infancy. The property of the wife, therefore, passed without control or limit to the husband.

Whatever might have been the grief of the widower, he disdained to betray it to the world. Indeed, Audley Egerton was a man who had early taught himself to conceal emotion. He buried himself in the country, none knew where, for some months: when he returned, there was a deep wrinkle on his brow; but no change in his habits and avocations, except that, shortly afterward, he accepted office, and thus became more busy than ever.

Mr. Egerton had always been lavish and magnificent in money matters. A rich man in public life has many claims on his fortune, and no one yielded to those claims with an air so regal as Audley Egerton. But among his many liberal actions, there was none which seemed more worthy of panegyric, than the generous favor he extended to the son of his wife's poor and distant kinsfolks, the Leslies of Rood Hall.

Some four generations back, there had lived a[Pg 93] certain Squire Leslie, a man of large acres and active mind. He had cause to be displeased with his elder son, and though he did not disinherit him, he left half his property to a younger.

The younger had capacity and spirit, which justified the paternal provision. He increased his fortune; lifted himself into notice and consideration, by public services and a noble alliance. His descendants followed his example, and took rank among the first commoners in England, till the last male, dying, left his sole heiress and representative in one daughter, Clementina, afterward married to Mr. Egerton.

Meanwhile the elder son of the fore-mentioned squire had muddled and sotted away much of his share in the Leslie property; and, by low habits and mean society, lowered in repute his representation of the name.

His successors imitated him, till nothing was left to Randal's father, Mr. Maunder Slugge Leslie, but the decayed house which was what the Germans call the stamm schloss, or "stem hall" of the race, and the wretched lands immediately around it.

Still, though all intercourse between the two branches of the family had ceased, the younger had always felt a respect for the elder, as the head of the house. And it was supposed that, on her death bed, Mrs. Egerton had recommended her impoverished namesakes and kindred to the care of her husband. For, when he returned to town after Mrs. Egerton's death, Audley had sent to Mr. Maunder Slugge Leslie the sum of £5000, which he said his wife, leaving no written will, had orally bequeathed as a legacy to that gentleman; and he requested permission to charge himself with the education of the eldest son.

Mr. Maunder Slugge Leslie might have done great things for his little property with those £5000, or even (kept in the three-per-cents) the interest would have afforded a material addition to his comforts. But a neighboring solicitor having caught scent of the legacy, hunted it down into his own hands, on pretense of having found a capital investment in a canal. And when the solicitor had got possession of the £5000, he went off with them to America.

Meanwhile Randal, placed by Mr. Egerton at an excellent preparatory school, at first gave no signs of industry or talent; but just before he left it, there came to the school, as classical tutor, an ambitious young Oxford man; and his zeal, for he was a capital teacher, produced a great effect generally on the pupils, and especially on Randal Leslie. He talked to them much in private on the advantages of learning, and shortly afterward he exhibited those advantages in his own person; for, having edited a Greek play with much subtle scholarship, his college, which some slight irregularities of his had displeased, recalled him to its venerable bosom by the presentation of a fellowship. After this he took orders, became a college tutor, distinguished himself yet more by a treatise on the Greek accent, got a capital living, and was considered on the high road to a bishopric. This young man, then, communicated to Randal the thirst for knowledge; and when the boy went afterward to Eton, he applied with such earnestness and resolve that his fame soon reached the ears of Audley; and that person, who had the sympathy for talent, and yet more for purpose, which often characterizes ambitious men, went to Eton to see him. From that time, Audley evinced great and almost fatherly interest in the brilliant Etonian; and Randal always spent with him some days in each vacation.

I have said that Egerton's conduct, with respect to this boy, was more praiseworthy than most of those generous actions for which he was renowned, since to this the world gave no applause. What a man does within the range of his family connections, does not carry with it that éclat which invests a munificence exhibited on public occasions. Either people care nothing about it, or tacitly suppose it to be but his duty. It was true, too, as the Squire had observed, that Randal Leslie was even less distantly related to the Hazeldeans than to Mrs. Egerton, since Randal's grandfather had actually married a Miss Hazeldean (the highest worldly connection that branch of the family had formed since the great split I have commemorated). But Audley Egerton never appeared aware of that fact. As he was not himself descended from the Hazeldeans, he never troubled himself about their genealogy; and he took care to impress it upon the Leslies, that his generosity on their behalf, was solely to be ascribed to his respect for his wife's memory and kindred. Still the Squire had felt as if his "distant brother" implied a rebuke on his own neglect of these poor Leslies, by the liberality Audley evinced toward them; and this had made him doubly sore when the name of Randal Leslie was mentioned. But the fact really was, that the Leslies of Rood, had so shrunk out of all notice that the Squire had actually forgotten their existence, until Randal became thus indebted to his brother; and then he felt a pang of remorse that any one, save himself, the head of the Hazeldeans, should lend a helping hand to the grandson of a Hazeldean.

But having thus, somewhat too tediously, explained the position of Audley Egerton, whether in the world, or in relation to his young protégé, I may now permit him to receive and to read his letters.


Mr. Egerton glanced over the pile of letters placed beside him, and first he tore up some, scarcely read, and threw them into the waste-basket. Public men have such odd out-of-the-way letters, that their waste-baskets are never empty: letters from amateur financiers proposing new ways to pay off the national debt; letters from America (never free!) asking for[Pg 94] autographs; letters from fond mothers in country villages, recommending some miracle of a son for a place in the king's service; letters from freethinkers in reproof of bigotry; letters from bigots in reproof of freethinking; letters signed Brutus Redivivus, containing the agreeable information that the writer has a dagger for tyrants, if the Danish claims are not forthwith adjusted; letters signed Matilda or Caroline, stating that Caroline or Matilda has seen the public man's portrait at the Exhibition, and that a heart sensible to its attractions may be found at No. — Piccadilly; letters from beggars, impostors, monomaniacs, speculators, jobbers—all food for the waste-basket.

From the correspondence thus winnowed, Mr. Egerton first selected those on business, which he put methodically together in one division of his pocket-book; and, secondly, those of a private nature, which he as carefully put into another. Of these last there were but three—one from his steward, one from Harley L'Estrange, one from Randal Leslie. It was his custom to answer his correspondence at his office; and to his office, a few minutes afterward, he slowly took his way. Many a passenger turned back to look again at the firm figure, which, despite the hot summer day, was buttoned up to the throat; and the black frock-coat thus worn, well became the erect air, and the deep full chest of the handsome senator. When he entered Parliament-street, Audley Egerton was joined by one of his colleagues, also on his way to the cares of office.

After a few observations on the last debate, this gentleman said:

"By the way, can you dine with me next Saturday, to meet Lansmere? He comes up to town to vote for us on Monday."

"I had asked some people to dine with me," answered Egerton, "but I will put them off. I see Lord Lansmere too seldom, to miss any occasion to meet a man whom I respect so much."

"So seldom! True, he is very little in town; but why don't you go and see him in the country? Good shooting—pleasant old-fashioned house."

"My dear Westbourne, his house is 'nimium vicina Cremonæ,' close to a borough in which I have been burned in effigy."

"Ha—ha—yes—I remember you first came into Parliament for that snug little place; but Lansmere himself never found fault with your votes, did he?"

"He behaved very handsomely, and said he had not presumed to consider me his mouthpiece; and then, too, I am so intimate with L'Estrange."

"Is that queer fellow ever coming back to England?"

"He comes, generally every year, for a few days, just to see his father and mother, and then goes back to the Continent."

"I never meet him."

"He comes in September or October, when you, of course, are not in town, and it is in town that the Lansmeres meet him."

"Why does not he go to them?"

"A man in England but once a year, and for a few days, has so much to do in London, I suppose."

"Is he as amusing as ever?"

Egerton nodded.

"So distinguished as he might be!" continued Lord Westbourne.

"So distinguished as he is!" said Egerton, formally; "an officer selected for praise, even in such fields as Quatre Bras and Waterloo; a scholar, too, of the finest taste; and as an accomplished gentleman, matchless!"

"I like to hear one man praise another so warmly in these ill-natured days," answered Lord Westbourne. "But, still, though L'Estrange is, doubtless, all you say, don't you think he rather wastes his life—living abroad?"

"And trying to be happy, Westbourne? Are you sure it is not we who waste our lives? But I can't stay to hear your answer. Here we are at the door of my prison."

"On Saturday, then?"

"On Saturday. Good-day."

For the next hour, or more, Mr. Egerton was engaged on the affairs of the state. He then snatched an interval of leisure (while awaiting a report, which he had instructed a clerk to make him), in order to reply to his letters. Those on public business were soon dispatched; and throwing his replies aside, to be sealed by a subordinate hand, he drew out the letters which he had put apart as private.

He attended first to that of his steward: the steward's letter was long; the reply was contained in three lines. Pitt himself was scarcely more negligent of his private interests and concerns than Audley Egerton—yet, withal, Audley Egerton was said, by his enemies, to be an egotist.

The next letter he wrote was to Randal, and that, though longer, was far from prolix: it ran thus:

"Dear Mr. Leslie—I appreciate your delicacy in consulting me, whether you should accept Frank Hazeldean's invitation to call at the Hall. Since you are asked, I can see no objection to it. I should be sorry if you appeared to force yourself there; and, for the rest, as a general rule, I think a young man who has his own way to make in life, had better avoid all intimacy with those of his own age, who have no kindred objects, nor congenial pursuits.

"As soon as this visit is paid, I wish you to come to London. The report I receive of your progress at Eton, renders it unnecessary, in my judgment, that you should return there. If your father has no objection, I propose that you should go to Oxford, at the ensuing term. Meanwhile, I have engaged a gentleman, who is a fellow of Baliol, to read with you; he is of[Pg 95] opinion, judging only by your high repute at Eton, that you may at once obtain a scholarship in that college. If you do so, I shall look upon your career in life as assured.

"Your affectionate friend, and
sincere well-wisher,

The reader will remark that, in this letter, there is a certain tone of formality. Mr. Egerton does not call his protégé "Dear Randal," as would seem natural, but coldly and stiffly, "Dear Mr. Leslie." He hints, also, that the boy has his own way to make in life. Is this meant to guard against too sanguine notions of inheritance, which his generosity may have excited?

The letter to Lord L'Estrange was of a very different kind from the others. It was long, and full of such little scraps of news and gossip as may interest friends in a foreign land; it was written gayly, and as with a wish to cheer his friend; you could see that it was a reply to a melancholy letter; and in the whole tone and spirit there was an affection, even to tenderness, of which those who most liked Audley Egerton would have scarcely supposed him capable. Yet, notwithstanding, there was a kind of constraint in the letter, which perhaps only the fine tact of a woman would detect. It had not that abandon, that hearty self-outpouring, which you might expect would characterize the letters of two such friends, who had been boys at school together, and which did breathe indeed in all the abrupt rambling sentences of his correspondent. But where was the evidence of the constraint? Egerton is off-hand enough where his pen runs glibly through paragraphs that relate to others; it is simply that he says nothing about himself—that he avoids all reference to the inner world of sentiment and feeling. But perhaps, after all, the man has no sentiment and feeling! How can you expect that a steady personage in practical life, whose mornings are spent in Downing-street, and whose nights are consumed in watching Government bills through a committee, can write in the same style as an idle dreamer amidst the pines of Ravenna or on the banks of Como.

Audley had just finished this epistle, such as it was, when the attendant in waiting announced the arrival of a deputation from a provincial trading town, the members of which deputation he had appointed to meet at two o'clock. There was no office in London at which deputations were kept waiting less than at that over which Mr. Egerton presided.

The deputation entered—some score or so of middle-aged, comfortable-looking persons, who nevertheless had their grievance—and considered their own interests, and those of the country, menaced by a certain clause in a bill brought in by Mr. Egerton.

The Mayor of the town was the chief spokesman, and he spoke well—but in a style to which the dignified official was not accustomed. It was a slap-dash style—unceremonious, free, and easy—an American style. And, indeed, there was something altogether in the appearance and bearing of the Mayor which savored of residence in the Great Republic. He was a very handsome man, but with a look sharp and domineering—the look of a man who did not care a straw for president or monarch, and who enjoyed the liberty to speak his mind, and "wallop his own nigger!"

His fellow-burghers evidently regarded him with great respect; and Mr. Egerton had penetration enough to perceive that Mr. Mayor must be a rich man, as well as an eloquent one, to have overcome those impressions of soreness or jealousy which his tone was calculated to create in the self-love of his equals.

Mr. Egerton was far too wise to be easily offended by mere manner; and, though he stared somewhat haughtily when he found his observations actually pooh-poohed, he was not above being convinced. There was much sense and much justice in Mr. Mayor's arguments, and the statesman civilly promised to take them into full consideration.

He then bowed out the deputation; but scarcely had the door closed before it opened again, and Mr. Mayor presented himself alone, saying aloud to his companions in the passage, "I forgot something I had to say to Mr. Egerton; wait below for me."

"Well, Mr. Mayor," said Audley, pointing to a seat, "what else would you suggest?"

The Mayor looked round to see that the door was closed; and then, drawing his chair close to Mr. Egerton's, laid his forefinger on that gentleman's arm, and said, "I think I speak to a man of the world, sir."

Mr. Egerton bowed, and made no reply by word, but he gently removed his arm from the touch of the forefinger.

Mr. Mayor.—"You observe, sir, that I did not ask the members whom we return to Parliament to accompany us. Do better without 'em. You know they are both in Opposition—out-and-outers."

Mr. Egerton.—"It is a misfortune which the Government can not remember, when the question is whether the trade of the town itself is to be served or injured."

Mr. Mayor.—"Well, I guess you speak handsome, sir. But you'd be glad to have two members to support Ministers after the next election."

Mr. Egerton, smiling.—"Unquestionably, Mr. Mayor."

Mr. Mayor.—"And I can do it, Mr. Egerton. I may say I have the town in my pocket; so I ought, I spend a great deal of money in it. Now, you see, Mr. Egerton, I have passed a part of my life in a land of liberty—the United States—and I come to the point when I speak to a man of the world. I'm a man of the world myself, sir. And if so be the Government will do something for me, why, I'll do something[Pg 96] for the Government. Two votes for a free and independent town like ours—that's something, isn't it?"

Mr. Egerton, taken by surprise.—"Really, I—"

Mr. Mayor, advancing his chair still nearer, and interrupting the official.—"No nonsense, you see, on one side or the other. The fact is, that I've taken it into my head that I should like to be knighted. You may well look surprised, Mr. Egerton—trumpery thing enough, I dare say; still, every man has his weakness, and I should like to be Sir Richard. Well, if you can get me made Sir Richard, you may just name your two members for the next election—that is, if they belong to your own set, enlightened men, up to the times. That's speaking fair and manful, isn't it?"

Mr. Egerton, drawing himself up.—"I am at a loss to guess why you should select me, sir, for this very extraordinary proposition."

Mr. Mayor, nodding good-humoredly.—"Why, you see, I don't go all along with the Government; you're the best of the bunch. And maybe you'd like to strengthen your own party. This is quite between you and me, you understand; honor's a jewel!"

Mr. Egerton, with great gravity.—"Sir, I am obliged by your good opinion; but I agree with my colleagues in all the great questions that affect the government of the country, and—"

Mr. Mayor, interrupting him.—"Ah, of course, you must say so; very right. But I guess things would go differently if you were Prime Minister. However, I have another reason for speaking to you about my little job. You see you were member for Lansmere once, and I think you came in but by two majority, eh?"

Mr. Egerton.—"I know nothing of the particulars of that election; I was not present."

Mr. Mayor.—"No; but luckily for you, two relatives of mine were, and they voted for you. Two votes, and you came in by two! Since then, you have got into very snug quarters here, and I think we have a claim on you—"

Mr. Egerton.—"Sir, I acknowledge no such claim; I was and am a stranger to Lansmere; and, if the electors did me the honor to return me to Parliament, it was in compliment rather to—"

Mr. Mayor, again interrupting the official.—"Rather to Lord Lansmere, you were going to say; unconstitutional doctrine that, I fancy. Peer of the realm. But, never mind, I know the world; and I'd ask Lord Lansmere to do my affair for me, only I hear he is as proud, as Lucifer."

Mr. Egerton, in great disgust, and settling his papers before him.—"Sir, it is not in my department to recommend to his Majesty candidates for the honor of knighthood, and it is still less in my department to make bargains for seats in Parliament."

Mr. Mayor.—"Oh, if that's the case, you'll excuse me; I don't know much of the etiquette in these matters. But I thought that, if I put two seats in your hands, for your own friends, you might contrive to take the affair into your department, whatever it was. But, since you say you agree with your colleagues, perhaps it comes to the same thing. Now, you must not suppose I want to sell the town, and that I can change and chop my politics for my own purpose. No such thing! I don't like the sitting members; I'm all for progressing, but they go too much ahead for me; and, since the Government is disposed to move a little, why I'd as lief support them as not. But, in common gratitude, you see (added the Mayor, coaxingly), I ought to be knighted! I can keep up the dignity, and do credit to his Majesty."

Mr. Egerton, without looking up from his papers.—"I can only refer you, sir, to the proper quarter."

Mr. Mayor, impatiently.—"Proper quarter! Well, since there is so much humbug in this old country of ours, that one must go through all the forms and get at the job regularly, just tell me whom I ought to go to."

Mr. Egerton, beginning to be amused as well as indignant.—"If you want a knighthood, Mr. Mayor, you must ask the Prime Minister; if you want to give the Government information relative to seats in Parliament, you must introduce yourself to Mr. ——, the Secretary of the Treasury."

Mr. Mayor.—"And if I go to the last chap, what do you think he'll say."

Mr. Egerton, the amusement preponderating over the indignation.—"He will say, I suppose, that you must not put the thing in the light in which you have put it to me; that the Government will be very proud to have the confidence of yourself and your brother electors; and that a gentleman like you, in the proud position of Mayor, may well hope to be knighted on some fitting occasion. But that you must not talk about the knighthood just at present, and must confine yourself to converting the unfortunate political opinions of the town."

Mr. Mayor.—"Well, I guess that chap there would want to do me! Not quite so green, Mr. Egerton. Perhaps I'd better go at once to the fountain-head. How d'ye think the Premier would take it?"

Mr. Egerton, the indignation preponderating over the amusement.—"Probably just as I am about to do."

Mr. Egerton rang the bell; the attendant appeared.

"Show Mr. Mayor the way out," said the Minister.

The Mayor turned round sharply, and his face was purple. He walked straight to the door; but, suffering the attendant to precede him along the corridor, he came back with a rapid stride, and clenching his hands, and with a voice thick with passion, cried, "Some day or[Pg 97] other I will make you smart for this, as sure as my name's Dick Avenel!"

"Avenel!" repeated Egerton, recoiling—"Avenel!"

But the Mayor was gone.

Audley fell into a deep and musing reverie, which seemed gloomy, and lasted till the attendant announced that the horses were at the door.

He then looked up, still abstractedly, and saw his letter to Harley L'Estrange open on the table. He drew it toward him, and wrote, "A man has just left me, who calls himself Aven—" in the middle of the name his pen stopped. "No, no," muttered the writer, "what folly to re-open the old wounds there," and he carefully erased the words.

Audley Egerton did not ride in the Park that day, as was his wont, but dismissed his groom; and, turning his horse's head toward Westminster Bridge, took his solitary way into the country. He rode at first slowly, as if in thought; then fast, as if trying to escape from thought. He was later than usual at the House that evening, and he looked pale and fatigued. But he had to speak, and he spoke well.


The Lyons diligence was just going to start from Geneva. I climbed on the roof, and chose my place next the postillion: there was still a vacant seat, and the porter, after closing the door of the coupé, called "Monsieur Dermann!" A tall young man, with a German style of countenance, advanced, holding in his arms a large black grayhound, which he vainly tried to place on the roof.

"Monsieur," said he, addressing me, "will you have the kindness to take my dog?"

Bending over, I took hold of the animal, and placed him on the straw at my feet. I observed that he wore a handsome silver collar, on which the following words were tastefully engraved: "Bevis—I belong to Sir Arthur Burnley, given him by Miss Clary."

His owner was, therefore, an Englishman; yet my fellow-traveler, who had now taken his place by my side, was evidently either a Swiss or a German, and his name was Dermann. Trifling as was the mystery, it excited my curiosity, and, after two or three hours' pleasant conversation had established a sort of intimacy between us, I ventured to ask my companion for an explanation.

"It does not surprise me," he answered, "that this collar should puzzle you; and I shall have great pleasure in telling you the story of its wearer. Bevis belongs to me, but it is not many years since he owned another master whose name is on his collar. You will see why he still wears it. Here Bevis! speak to this gentleman."

The dog raised his head, opened his bright eyes, and laying back his long ears, uttered a sound which might well pass for a salutation.

M. Dermann placed the animal's head on his knees, and began to unfasten the collar.

Instantly Bevis drew back his head with a violent jerk, and darted toward the luggage on the hinder part of the roof. There, growling fiercely, he lay down, while his muscles were stiffened, and his eyes glowing with fury.

"You see, Monsieur, how determined he is to guard his collar; I should not like to be the man who would try to rob him of it. Here, Bevis!" said he, in a soft, caressing tone, "I won't touch it again, poor fellow! Come and make friends!"

The grayhound hesitated, still growling. At length he returned slowly toward his master, and began to lick his hands; his muscles gradually relaxed, and he trembled like a leaf.

"There, boy, there," said M. Dermann, caressing him. "We won't do it again, lie down now, and be quiet."

The dog nestled between his master's feet, and went to sleep. My fellow-traveler then turning toward me, began:

"I am a native of Suabia, but I live in a little village of the Sherland, at the foot of the Grimsel. My father keeps an inn for the reception of travelers going to St. Gothard.

"About two years since, there arrived at our house one evening a young Englishman, with a pale, sad countenance; he traveled on foot, and was followed by a large grayhound, this Bevis, whom you see. He declined taking any refreshment, and asked to be shown to his sleeping-room. We gave him one over the common hall, where we were all seated round the fire. Presently we heard him pacing rapidly up and down; from time to time uttering broken words, addressed no doubt to his dog, for the animal moaned occasionally as if replying to, and sympathizing with his master. At length we heard the Englishman stop, and apparently strike the dog a violent blow, for the poor beast gave a loud howl of agony, and seemed as if he ran to take refuge under the bed. Then his master groaned aloud. Soon afterward he lay down, and all was quiet for the night. Early next morning he came down, looking still more pale than on the previous evening, and having paid for his lodging, he took his knapsack and resumed his journey, followed by the grayhound, who had eaten nothing since their arrival, and whose master seemed to take no further notice of him, than to frown when the creature ventured to caress him.

"About noon, I happened to be standing at the door looking toward the direction which the Englishman had taken when I perceived a dark object moving slowly along. Presently I heard howls of distress, proceeding from a wounded dog that was dragging himself toward me. I ran to him, and recognized the Englishman's grayhound. His head was torn, evidently by a bullet, and one of his paws broken. I raised him in my arms, and carried him into the house. When I crossed the threshold he made evident efforts to escape; so I placed him on the ground[Pg 98]. Then, in spite of the torture he was suffering, which caused him to stagger every moment, he dragged himself up-stairs, and began to scratch at the door of the room where his master had slept, moaning at the same time so piteously, that I could scarce help weeping myself. I opened the door and with a great effort he got into the room, looked about, and not finding whom he sought he fell down motionless.

"I called my father, and, perceiving that the dog was not dead, we gave him all possible assistance, taking indeed as much care of him as though he had been a child, so much did we feel for him. In two months he was cured, and showed us much affection; we found it, however, impossible to take off his collar, even for the purpose of binding up his wounds. As soon as he was able to walk, he would often go toward the mountain and be absent for hours. The second time this occurred we followed him. He proceeded as far as a part of the road where a narrow defile borders a precipice; there he continued for a long time, smelling and scratching about. We conjectured that the Englishman might have been attacked by robbers on this spot, and his dog wounded in defending him. However, no event of the kind had occurred in the country, and, after the strictest search, no corpse was discovered. Recollecting, therefore, the manner in which the traveler had treated his dog, I came to the conclusion that he had tried to kill the faithful creature. But wherefore? This was a mystery which I could not solve.

"Bevis remained with us, testifying the utmost gratitude for our kindness. His intelligence and good-humor attracted the strangers who frequented our inn, while the inscription on his collar, and the tale we had to tell of him, failed not to excite their curiosity.

"One morning in autumn, I had been out to take a walk, accompanied by Bevis. When I returned, I found seated by the fire, in the common-hall, a newly-arrived traveler, who looked round as I entered. As soon as he perceived Bevis, he started and called him. The dog immediately darted toward him with frantic demonstrations of joy. He ran round him, smelling his clothes and uttering the sort of salutation with which he honored you just now, and finally placing his fore-paws on the traveler's knees began to lick his face.

"'Where is your master, Bevis? Where is Sir Arthur?' said the stranger, in English.

"The noble dog howled piteously, and lay down at the traveler's feet. Then the latter begged us to explain his presence. I did so; and as he listened, I saw a tear fall on the beautiful head of the grayhound, whom he bent over to caress.

"'Monsieur,' said he, addressing me, 'from what you tell me, I venture to hope that Sir Arthur still lives. We have been friends from childhood. About three years since, he married a rich heiress, and this dog was presented to him by her. Bevis was highly cherished for his fidelity, a quality which unhappily was not possessed by his mistress. She left her fond and loving husband, and eloped with another man. Sir Arthur sued for a divorce and obtained it; then, having arranged his affairs in England, he set out for the Continent, followed only by his dog. His friends knew not whither he went; but it now appears that he was here last spring. Doubtless, the presence of Bevis, evermore recalling the memory of her who had so cruelly wronged him, must have torn his heart, and at length impelled him to destroy the faithful creature. But the shot not having been mortal, the dog, I imagine, when he recovered consciousness, was led by instinct to seek the house where his master had last slept. Now, Monsieur, he is yours, and I heartily thank you for the kindness you have shown him.'

"About ten o'clock the stranger retired to his room, after having caressed Bevis, who escorted him to his door, and then returned to his accustomed place before the fire. My parents and the servants had retired to rest, and I prepared to follow their example, my bed being placed at one end of the common-hall. While I was undressing, I heard a storm rising in the mountains. Just then there came a knocking at the door, and Bevis began to growl. I asked who was there? A voice replied—'Two travelers, who want a night's lodging.' I opened a small chink of the door to look out, and perceived two ragged men, each leaning on a large club. I did not like their look, and knowing that several robberies had been committed in the neighborhood, I refused them admission, telling them that in the next village they would readily find shelter. They approached the door, as though they meant to force their way in; but Bevis made his voice heard in so formidable a manner, that they judged it prudent to retire. I bolted the door and went to bed. Bevis, according to his custom, lay down near the threshold, but we neither of us felt inclined to sleep.

"A quarter of an hour passed, when suddenly, above the wailing of the wind, came the loud shrill cry of a human being in distress. Bevis rushed against the door with a fearful howl; at the same moment came the report of a gun, followed by another cry. Two minutes afterward I was on the road, armed with a carbine, and holding a dark lantern; my father and the stranger, also armed, accompanied me. As for Bevis, he had darted out of the house, and disappeared.

"We approached the defile which I mentioned before, at the moment when a flash of lightning illumined the scene. A hundred yards in advance, we saw Bevis grasping a man by the throat. We hurried on, but the dog had completed his work ere we reached him; for two men, whom I recognized as those who had sought admittance at our inn, lay dead, strangled by his powerful jaws. Farther on, we discovered another man, whose bloody wounds the[Pg 99] noble dog was licking. The stranger approached him, and gave a convulsive cry: it was Sir Arthur, the master of Bevis!"

Here M. Dermann paused; the recollection seemed to overcome him; and he stooped to caress the sleeping grayhound, in order to hide his emotion. After awhile, he finished his recital in a few words.

"Sir Arthur was mortally wounded, but he lived long enough to recognize his dog, and to confess that, in a moment of desperation, he had tried to kill the faithful creature, who now avenged his death, by slaying the robbers who attacked him. He appointed the stranger his executor, and settled a large pension on Bevis, to revert to the family of the inn-keeper, wishing thus to testify his repentant love toward his dog, and his gratitude to those who had succored him.

"The grief of Bevis was excessive; he watched by his master's couch, covering his dead body with caresses, and for a long time lay stretched on his grave, refusing to take nourishment; and it was not until after the lapse of many months that the affection of his new master seemed to console him for the death of Sir Arthur."

As my fellow-traveler finished his recital, the diligence stopped to change horses at the little town of Mantua. Here M. Dermann's journey ended, and having taken down his luggage, he asked me to assist the descent of his dog. I shook hands with him cordially, and then called Bevis, who, seeing me on such good terms with his master, placed his large paws on my breast, and uttered a low, friendly bark. Shortly afterward they both disappeared from my sight, but not from my memory, as this little narrative has proved to my readers.



The tragedy of which Paul I. was the victim, called Alexander to the throne of all the Russias in the twenty-fourth year of his age. He had been carefully educated under the eye of his grandmother, the able Catharine. Her choice of a preceptor in La Harpe, a Swiss republican, who had fraternized with the revolutionists of France, was a problem the sovereigns of Europe could not solve; but after all, republicanism can not be very far removed from despotism, if we may judge from its consequences, since history shows us that republics end in despotic sovereignties. Catharine was doubtless aware of this fact when she gave La Harpe the direction of her grandson's education. It was prudent to avoid Russian ascendency in a matter so important to herself, for Catharine was a foreigner and a usurper, a fact of which a native instructor might have availed himself to her disadvantage. In educating her grandsons, the great empress excluded the fine arts. She wished to make them rulers, not professors of music and painting; and she was right; La Harpe inspired, it is said, his imperial pupil with lessons of generosity and truth it was no easy task to eradicate during his eventful life. The policy of Catharine made her determine to give wives to her grandsons as soon as they were marriageable. Her jealousy, or her profound judgment, made her overlook Paul in the succession of Russia, by a mental but not a public exclusion. Alexander was destined by her to the throne of which she had robbed his father Constantine, she proudly hoped to place on one she designed to win from the Sultan, an ambitious desire which was never realized.

Three German princesses came to the court of St. Petersburg, in order that Catharine might make choice of suitable brides for her grandsons. The empress thoughtfully expected the arrival of her guests, whose approach she watched from a window of her palace.

The empress, whose motions were dignified and graceful, attached great importance to deportment; she formed her opinions of young people by that standard. The destinies of these princesses were decided the instant they alighted from their traveling carriage. The first leaped down without availing herself of the step. The empress shook her head, "She will never be empress of Russia, she is too precipitate," was her internal remark. The second entangled her feet in her dress, and with difficulty escaped a fall. "She is not the empress, for she is too awkward," and Catharine again turned her eyes on the carriage with anxious curiosity. The third princess descended very gracefully; she was beautiful, majestic, and grave. "Behold the future Empress of Russia," said Catharine. This princess was Louisa of Baden.

Catharine introduced these ladies to her grandsons, as the children of the Duchess of Baden-Durlack, born Princess of Darmstadt, her early friend, whose education she wished to finish at her court, since the possession of their country by the French had left them without a home. The great dukes saw through this artifice, and upon their return to their own palace talked much of Catharine's élèves.

"I think the eldest very pretty," said Alexander.

"For my part," rejoined Constantine, "I consider them neither pretty nor plain. They ought to be sent to Riga to the princes of Courland; they are really quite good enough for them."

The Empress Catharine was informed, that very day, of the opinion of her grandsons. The admiration of Alexander for Louisa of Baden sympathized with her intentions. The Grand Duke Constantine had done the personal attractions of this young princess great injustice, for Louisa of Baden, besides the freshness of her youth, had lovely fair ringlets, hanging in rich profusion on her magnificent shoulders, a form light and flexible as that of a fairy, and large[Pg 100] blue eyes full of sweetness and sensibility. The following day, the empress brought the princesses to the palace of Prince Potemkin, which she had appointed for their residence. While they were at their toilet, she sent them dresses, jewels, and the cordon of St. Catharine. After chatting with them upon the topics she considered suitable to their age, she asked to see their wardrobe, which she examined, article by article, with interest and curiosity. Having finished her scrutiny, she kissed the princesses, and remarked, with an emphatic smile,

"My friends, I was not so rich as you when I came to St. Petersburg." In fact, Catharine was very poor when she arrived in Russia, but she left her adopted country a heritage in Poland and the Crimea.

The predilection of Alexander for Louisa of Baden was responded to by that lovely princess. The grand duke at that time was a charming young man, full of benevolence and candor, with the best temper in the world, and the young German did not attempt to disguise her tenderness for him. Catharine, in announcing to them that they were destined for each other, believed she was rendering them perfectly happy.

The behavior of the bride was admirably adapted to the circumstances in which she was placed. She acquired the Russian language with grace and facility, and accepted a new name with the tenets of the Greek religion. She received those of Elizabeth Alexiowena, the same borne by the imperial daughter of Peter the Great.

Notwithstanding the fortunate presages of the Empress Catharine, this early marriage was not one of happiness. The inconstancy of Alexander, indeed, withered the nuptial garland while yet green on the brow of the bride, and made it for her a crown of thorns.

The tragedy that elevated Alexander to the throne, restored to the devoted wife the wandering affections of her husband. His profound grief made her sympathy necessary to him, and the young empress, almost a stranger to Paul, wept for him like a true daughter. The secret tears of Alexander were shed at night on the bosom of his consort, whose tender concern for him consoled him for the restraint he imposed upon his feelings during the day.

The regretful remembrance of Alexander for his father, outlasted the reviving affection he had during that dolorous period felt for his wife.

The empress, still a young woman, was an old spouse, and the emperor had inherited the passionate and inconstant temperament of Catharine. But, gracious and smiling as he always was with the ladies, or polite and friendly to the gentlemen, there crossed his brow from time to time a gloomy shadow, the mute but terrible memorial of that dreadful night, when he heard the death struggle of his father, and was conscious of his agony without the power to save him. His perpetual smile was the mask beneath which he disguised the anguish of his mind, and as he advanced in life, this profound melancholy threatened to deepen into malady. He did not yield, however, without maintaining a warfare with his remorse. He combated memory with action. His reforms, his long and laborious journeys, had but one aim. In the course of his reign, he is supposed to have traversed fifty thousand leagues. But, however rapidly he performed these journeys, he never deviated from the time he fixed for his setting off or return, even by an hour, and he undertook them without guards and without an escort. He, of course, met with many strange adventures, and was amused with rendering his personal assistance whenever he met with accidents or encountered difficulties by the wayside. In his journey to Finland in company with Prince Pierre Volkouski, the imperial carriage in traversing a sandy mountain rolled back, notwithstanding the efforts of the coachman, upon which the emperor jumped out, and literally lent his shoulder to the wheel, leaving his companion asleep.

The rough motion of the carriage disturbed the slumbers of the prince, who found himself at the bottom of the carriage and alone. He looked about him with astonishment, when he perceived the emperor, with his brow bedewed with perspiration, from the effects of his toil in assisting to drag him and the vehicle to the top of the mountain, the precise point at which he had awakened from his sleep.

At another time, while traversing Little Russia, while the horses were changing at a certain station, the emperor expressed his determination to travel on foot for a few miles, ordering his people not to hasten their arrangements, but to let him walk forward. Alone, with no mark of distinction, dressed in a military great-coat, that gave no clew to the rank of the wearer, the emperor traversed the town without attracting attention, till he arrived at two roads, and found himself obliged to inquire his way of an individual who was sitting before the door of the last house smoking a pipe. This personage, like the emperor wore a military great-coat, and by his pompous air seemed to entertain no small opinion of his own consequence.

"My friend, can you tell me which of these roads will bring me to ——?" asked the emperor.

The man of the pipe scanned him from head to foot, apparently surprised at the presumption of a pedestrian, in speaking to such a dignitary as himself, and between two puffs of smoke he growled out very disdainfully the ungracious reply, "The right."

"Thank you, sir," said the emperor, raising his hat with the respect this uncivil personage seemed by his manner to command. "Will you permit me to ask you another question?"

"What do you want to know?"

"Your rank in the army, if you please."

"Guess," returned he of the pipe.

"Lieutenant, perhaps?"

"Go higher."

"Captain?" rejoined the emperor.

[Pg 101]

"Much higher;" and the smoker gave a consequential puff.

"Major, I presume?"

"Go on," replied the officer.


"Yes, you have guessed it at last, but you have taken some trouble to discover my rank."

The low bow of the emperor made the man with the pipe conclude he was speaking to an inferior, so, without much ceremony, he said, "Pray, who are you? for I conclude you are in the army."

"Guess," replied the emperor, much amused with the adventure.


"Go on."


"Much higher."


"You must still go on."


"You have not yet arrived at my rank in the army."

The officer took his pipe out of his mouth. "Colonel, I presume."

"You have not yet reached my grade."

The officer assumed a more respectful attitude. "Your Excellency is then Lieutenant-general?"

"You are getting nearer the mark."

The puzzled lieutenant-colonel kept his helmet in his hand, and looked stupid and alarmed.

"Then it appears to me that your Highness is Field-Marshal?"

"Make another attempt, and perhaps you will discover my real position."

"His Imperial Majesty!" exclaimed the officer, trembling with apprehension, and dropping the pipe upon the ground, which was broken into twenty pieces.

"The same, at your service," replied the emperor, laughing.

The poor lieutenant-colonel dropped upon his knees, uttering the words in a pitiful tone, "Ah! sire, pardon me."

"What pardon do you require?" replied the emperor. "I asked my way of you, and you pointed it out, and I thank you for that service.—Good day."

The good-tempered prince then took the road to the right, leaving the surly lieutenant-colonel ashamed and astonished at the colloquy he had held with his sovereign.

He gave a proof of intrepidity and presence of mind during a tempest which befell him on a lake near Archangel, when, perceiving the pilot overwhelmed with the responsibility his imperial rank laid upon him, he said, "My friend, more than eighteen hundred years have elapsed, since a Roman general, placed in similar circumstances, said to his pilot, 'Fear not, for thou hast with thee Cæsar and his fortunes.' I am, however, less bold than Cæsar; I therefore charge thee to think no more of the emperor than of thyself or any other man, and do thy best to save us both." The pilot took courage, and relieved from his burden by the wisdom of his sovereign, guided the helm with a firm hand, and brought the tempest-tossed skiff safely to the shore.

The Emperor Alexander was not always so fortunate. He met with several dangerous accidents, and his last journey to the provinces of the Don nearly cost him his life. A fall from his droski hurt his leg, and left him incurably lame. This misfortune was aggravated by his disregarding the advice of his medical attendant, who prescribed rest for some days; but Alexander, who was a strict disciplinarian, did not choose to delay his return to St. Petersburg an hour beyond the time he had fixed. Erysipelas attacked the limb, and the emperor was confined to his bed for many weeks, and never recovered his lameness. The sight of his wife, pale and melancholy, whom his infidelity had injured, increased his mental despondency. That princess watched over him with the conjugal tenderness which no neglect could extinguish, but her fair face had forever lost the smile which once lighted up, like a sunbeam, every beautiful feature, and he felt himself the cause of that secret sorrow which had banished the bloom from her cheek and the smile from her lips. Elizabeth had borne him two daughters, but her children had not survived their fifth and seventh years. A childless mother and forsaken wife, Elizabeth the Empress resembled no longer the bright Louisa of Baden, the object of Alexander's first love, the princess who had shed tears of happiness when the joyful start and impassioned look of her lover had assured the Empress Catharine how willingly he accepted the hand of the princess she had destined for him. The heart of the wife had never swerved from her devotion; her love had increased with time, but she knew not how to share his affections with a rival.

Alexander was solitary in his habits; repose was necessary to a man who loved privacy, and hated those prestiges of power which had surrounded him from infancy. He had inherited his imperial grandmother's love for Tzarsko Zelo, a palace situated between three and four leagues from St. Petersburg. This palace stood upon the site of a cottage formerly belonging to an old Dutch-woman named Sarah, a person well known to Peter the Great, with whom that mighty prince was accustomed to chat and drink milk.

The fruitful plains covered with grass and waving corn, lately redeemed by the plow from their native sterility, pleased the legislator who was an habitué at the abode of Sarah, and at the death of the old woman, he presented the cottage to the Empress Catharine, with the surrounding lands, as a suitable situation for a farm-house. Catharine, as simple in her tastes as her imperial consort, gave her architect proper directions respecting this grange. He, however, thought fit to build her a fine mansion. Her daughter, the Empress Elizabeth, found this house too costly for a farm-house, and too mean for an imperial residence. She pulled it down and built a magnificent palace after the design[Pg 102] of Count Rastreti. This Russian had the barbarous taste to gild the building within and without. The bas-reliefs, statues, caryatides, roof and basement, glittered with a waste of this precious metal. The count wished to make this palace surpass Versailles, and so it did in wealth undoubtedly. The Empress Elizabeth invited the French embassador to the fête she gave at the inauguration of her golden house, which outshone even the celebrated one built by Nero. The palace of Tzarsko Zelo, was considered by the whole court the eighth wonder of the world.

The silence of the Marquis de Chetardie surprised her majesty, who with some pique requested his opinion, adding, he appeared to think something was wanting.

"I am seeking for the case of this jewel, Madam," dryly replied the embassador; a bon mot which ought to have gained him a sitting in the academy of St. Petersburg, where wit was a surer passport than learning.

The golden roof of Tzarsko Zelo was ill-calculated to stand the rigor of a Russian winter. The noble architect had built it for summer. Cold had been forgotten in his calculation. The expensive repairs every spring brought in its course, compelled Catharine the Great to sacrifice the gilding. She had scarcely issued her orders, before a customer appeared for the article she was excluding from her palace, for which a speculator offered her an immense sum. The empress thanked him for a liberal offer none but a Russian sovereign would have declined, assuring him with a smile, "that she never sold her old chattels."

This empress loved Tzarsko Zelo where she built the little palace for her grandson Alexander, and surrounded it with spacious gardens, which she was aware he loved. Bush, her architect, could discover no supply from whence he could obtain water in the immediate neighborhood, yet he prepared lakes, canals and fish-ponds, upon the responsibility of the empress, being sure that his reservoirs would not long be empty if she ordered water to come. His successor Baner did not leave the empress to discover its source. He cast his eyes upon the estate of Prince Demidoff, who possessed a super-abundant quantity of the precious fluid the imperial gardens wanted. He mentioned the aridity of Tzarsko Zelo, and the courteous subject dutifully bestowed his superfluous moisture upon the imperial gardens. In despite of nature, copious streams rushed forward, and at the bidding of the architect rose into cascades, ran into canals, filled fish-ponds, and spread in expansive lakes. The Empress Consort Elizabeth, upon beholding these wonders, playfully remarked, "We may fall out with all Europe, but we must take care not to quarrel with Prince Demidoff." In fact, that obliging noble could have killed the whole court with thirst, by stopping the supply of water he allowed to the imperial family.

Educated at Tzarsko Zelo, Alexander was attached to a place filled with the recollections of his infancy. He had learned there to walk; to speak, to ride, to sail, to row. He had passed there the brightest and happiest part of his life. He came with the first fine days, and only left his favorite residence when the snows of winter compelled him to take up his abode in the winter palace.

Even in this luxurious solitude, where the emperor wished to enjoy the repose which affords to princes the same pleasure amusement offers to persons of less exalted rank, Alexander found his privacy invaded and his attention claimed by those who had the temerity to break through the invisible circle with which Russian etiquette fenced round a despotic sovereign.

A foreigner at St. Petersburg, in the summer of 1823, ventured to seek the Emperor Alexander in the delicious gardens of Tzarsko Zelo, in order to present a petition, with which delicate commission he had been charged by a friend. He thus relates his adventure:

"After a bad breakfast at the Hotel de la Restauration, I entered the park, into which the sentinels permitted every body to walk without opposition. Respect alone prevented the Russian subject from entering the gardens, I knew, yet I was about to break this boundary and to intrude myself upon the emperor's notice. I was told he passed a great deal of his time in the shady walks, and I hoped chance would obtain for me the interview I sought. Wandering about the grounds, I discovered the Chinese town, a pretty group of five houses, each of which had its own ice-house and garden. In the centre of this town, which is in the form of a star, whose rays it terminates, stands a pavillion, which is used either for a ball or concert-room, which surrounds a green court, at the four corners of which are placed four mandarins, the size of life, smoking their pipes. This Chinese town is inhabited by the aid-de-camps of the sovereign. Catharine, attended by her court, was walking in this part of her garden, when she beheld, to her surprise, the mandarins puffing forth real smoke, while their eyes appeared to ogle her, and their heads to bow in the most familiar manner in the world. She approached in order to find out the cause of this sudden animation on the part of these statues. Immediately the loyal mandarins descended from their pedestals, and made Chinese prostrations at her feet, reciting some complimentary verses to the imperial lady, to please whom they had transformed themselves into the images of the men with pig-tails. She smiled, and quickly recognized them for the Prince de Ligne, Potemkin, Count Segur, and M. de Cobentzal.

"Leaving the Chinese town, I saw the huts of the lamas, where these inhabitants of the south are kept and acclimated to a temperature very different from that at the foot of the Cordilleras. These animals were presented to the emperor by the Viceroy of Mexico, and their original number of nine has been reduced, by the rigor of the Russian winters, to five; from[Pg 103] which, however, a numerous race have succeeded, who bear the cold much better than the parent stock.

"In the middle of the French garden stands a pretty dining-room, containing the celebrated table of Olympus, imitated from a whim devised by the Regent Orleans; where the wishes of the guests are supplied by invisible hands from beneath. They have only to place a note in their plate expressive of their desire, when the plate disappears, and in five minutes after reappears with the article required. This magic originates in a forecast which anticipates every possible want. A beautiful lady finding her hair out of dress, wished for curling-irons, feeling assured that such an odd request would defy even the enchantment of the Olympian table to procure. She was astonished at finding her plate return with a dozen pair. I saw the curious monument raised to commemorate three favorite greyhounds, pets of the Empress Catharine. This pyramid, erected by the French ambassador, Count Segur, contains two epitaphs: one, by himself, is a sort of burlesque upon the old eulogistic style so prevalent in the last century; the other is by Catharine, and may be literally translated into English:—

"'Here lies the Duchess Anderson,
Who bit Mr. Rogerson.'

"I visited successively the column of Gregory Orloff, the pyramid erected in honor of the conqueror of Tchesma, and the grotto of Pausilippo, and passed four hours wandering along the borders of lakes, and traversing the plains and forests inclosed in these delicious gardens, when I met an officer in uniform, who courteously raised his hat. I asked a lad employed in taking a walk 'the name of this fine gentleman,' for such he appeared to me to be. 'It is the emperor,' was his reply. I immediately took a path which intersected that he had taken, yet, when I had advanced about twenty steps, I stopped upon perceiving him near me.

"He divined, apparently, that respect to his person prevented me from crossing his walk; he therefore kept on his way, while I awaited him in the side walk, holding my hat in my hand. I perceived he limped in his gait from the wound in his leg, which had lately re-opened; and I remarked as he advanced the change that had taken place in his appearance since I had seen him at Paris, nine years before. His countenance, then so open and smiling, bore the expression of that deep and devouring melancholy which it was said continually oppressed his mind, yet his sorrowful features still were impressed with a character of benevolence, which gave me courage to attempt the performance of my hazardous commission. 'Sire,' said I, advancing a single step toward him.

"'Put on your hat, sir,' was his kind and gracious reply; 'the air is too keen for you to remain uncovered.'

"'Will your majesty permit—'

"'Cover your head, sir, then; cover your head;' but, perceiving my respect rendered me disobedient to his commands, he took my hat from my hand, and with his own imperial one replaced it on my head. 'Now,' said he, 'what do you wish to say to me?'

"'Sire, this petition,' and I took the paper from my pocket, but the action disturbed him, and I saw him frown.

"'Sir, why do you pursue me here with petitions? do you know that I have left St. Petersburg to be free from such annoyances?'

"'Yes, sire, I am aware of it, nor dare I disguise the boldness of an attempt for which I can only expect pardon from your benevolence. This, however, seems to have some claim to your majesty's consideration, since it is franked.'

"'By whom?' inquired the emperor, with some quickness in his manner.

"'By his Imperial Highness the Grand Duke Constantine, your majesty's august brother.'

"'Ah!' exclaimed the emperor, putting out his hand, but as quickly withdrawing it again.

"'I hope your majesty will for once infringe your custom, and will deign to accept this supplication.'

"'No, sir; I will not receive it; for to-morrow, I shall have a thousand, and shall be compelled to desert these gardens, where it seems I can no longer hope to enjoy privacy.' He perceived my disappointment in my countenance, and his natural kindness would not suffer him to dismiss me with a harsh refusal. Pointing with hand toward the church of St. Sophia, he said—'Put that petition into the post-office in the city, and I shall see it to-morrow, and the day after, you will have an answer.'

"I expressed my gratitude in animated terms.

"'Prove it,' was his quick reply.

"I declared my willingness to do any thing he required, as the test of that feeling.

"'Well, tell nobody that you have presented me a petition and got off with impunity,' and he resumed his walk.

"I followed his advice, and posted my paper, and three days after received a favorable reply to my petition."

[From Eliza Cook's Journal.]


Who has not seen at some time an empty house which has struck them as the picture of desolation? They may know a hundred uninhabited tenements, but they look as well kept and prosperous, as though they would soon be filled again. They do not impress the senses in the same way as that peculiar one, which appears to be condemned, like some outcast, to perpetual seclusion in the midst of happy neighbors, who mock, and flout, and taunt it with their bright windows and clean steps, and fresh paint and shining door knobs and knockers, just as Mr. Well-to-do, who is making money, and dresses well, and lodges luxuriously and feeds[Pg 104] plentifully, may treat with scorn poor Do-nothing, who, unable to find employment of any sort, wears a patched threadbare coat, dwells in a leaky garret, and does not know where on earth to look for to-morrow's dinner. Indeed there is something more in this comparison than appears at first sight, for the world of the streets is apt to treat the empty house much as it does the poverty-stricken man. The ragged lads who play about the avenues of streets, and bask about the sunshiny nooks, draw back and cease their jokes and are decorous in the presence of Mr. Trim or Mr. Broadcloth, but they have a sarcasm or a coarse epithet for poor Patch, and for poorer Tatter possibly a sly pebble or a dab of mud.

Some years ago there was an empty house opposite to mine, which brought such thoughts as these to my mind. There was a dirty bill in one of the windows, and the remains of another upon one of the window shutters, with directions where to inquire as to rent, &c., but nobody seemed to dream of any body taking it. The neighborhood was a respectable one, and in striking contrast with this one unfortunate tenement, and happy faces at the windows of its neighbors seemed to make them crow over it, as Mrs. Fruitful with her half-dozen of handsome children triumphs over Mrs. Childless, who would give her ears to call the half of her friend's little flock her own. Not that my empty house was utterly lonely either, for its door-step was, in fine weather, the chosen resort of a group of little specimens of humanity in dirt and rags, who from the seclusion of some neighboring alley brought them chalk, and pieces of tiles and slate, with which they scratched uncouth figures upon the doors and shutters as high up as they could reach; and with mud from the gutter they made their dirt pies, and left the remnants to accumulate upon the dingy sill. There was a plentiful supply of stones, too, in the macadamized road, and a large family of boys, unable to resist the tempting opportunity for mischievous "shies," paid rough attentions to the empty house with the flints, till the sunshine which had long been denied admittance, through the dusty and begrimed panes, found its way unimpeded through empty and dismantled sashes. Possibly, too, in consequence of this, the very sparrows, usually so bold, which used to build under the eaves and twitter upon the window sills and house-top, forsook the ill-fated building and left it to its destiny.

I do not know what it was, but there was something which powerfully attracted my attention to the place, and I often sat at my window and mused upon it. Sometimes I thought it was in Chancery, for it had just the look of a house which the lawyers had thoroughly riddled; and sometimes I thought it had the reputation of being haunted, for somehow or other people always give ghosts credit for the very worst taste, and seem to think them incapable of choosing any but the most uncomfortable habitations.

Passers-by would often stop to look at the house, and not unfrequently some of them would look over it; and then the owner or his agent would come with them, bringing the rusty key which turned with difficulty in the lock, and setting free the creaking door, which moved so lazily upon its hinges. This person was such a human likeness to the house, that I sometimes wondered he did not, out of pure sympathy, come and live there himself. He was a little battered-looking old man, whose rusty dirty suit of black just matched the doors and shutters, and I could almost fancy that his very spectacles, like the windows, were cracked and broken by boys throwing stones at him.

These inquiries, however, always resulted in nothing, except the great discomfiture of the children, who held dominion over the door-step, and who were always summarily routed and driven off by peevish exclamations and feeble cuffs from the rusty little old man. I suppose most of those who came were merely actuated by curiosity. I was more than once tempted by the same motive to go and look at the inside myself, and those who really had serious designs of settling there were frightened out of them by the combined dismalness of the place, and the warder who had charge of it. At last, there really was some sign of the empty house being let. I noticed one evening that a respectable, quiet-looking young couple, with an old lady in widow's weeds, whom I immediately decided was the widowed mother of either husband or wife (for of course they were husband and wife) went to look at the empty house, attended by the little old man; and from the fact, that after looking at the premises for a longer time than visitors usually did, the party came out, and, contrary to custom, all four walked away together, I was led to suppose that I might have opposite neighbors.

The next morning, before I left home for business, I saw at once that I was right as to the house having been taken. The little old man, notwithstanding he looked so rusty, must have been a diligent, as well as a quaint, old-fashioned fellow, for there were ladders and steps, and painters, plumbers, bricklayers, and laborers all at work upon the house. Some were upon the top replacing cracked tiles, others were making the windows weather-proof, and others again were intent upon counteracting the ravages of chalk, sharp slates, and dirt upon the paint of the doors and window shutters. The group of children came as usual, but they did not venture to attempt to take up their old station; the apparition of the old man scared them from that, and perhaps they were altogether too much struck with astonishment at the altered character of the scene to attempt it. But they were very unwilling to give up their old sovereignty and abandon the spot. They lingered doubtfully for some days about the place, sometimes looking at the tall ladders and the workmen, and sometimes sitting upon the heaps of broken tiles and brickbats, watching[Pg 105] the Irish hodman stirring the mortar about, with much the same feelings, perhaps, as a red Indian lingers about the white man's clearing, formerly the hunting-ground of his fathers. Possibly the youngsters thought that all the men and ladders might be cleared away, and that they would succeed to the again vacant door-step, with the added advantages of a newly-painted door to scratch upon, and these hallucinations were not thoroughly dispelled for about a week, when they saw a charwoman scouring the passage and front steps. That sufficed to wither all their hopes; repairs they could have survived, for they remembered something of the sort once in their own alley, but scrubbing and washing were entirely unmistakable, they understood at once that somebody was "coming in," and dispersed to seek another place of resort.

It may be supposed that the diligence of the little old man, who never left the laborers all day, soon had the little house fit for the reception of its new inmates, in spite of occasional damages in the glass department, till the boys became reconciled to its new smartness. He was there the first thing in the morning, sitting on a three-legged stool which I believe he brought with him, and he went to the public house with the men when they had their meals, so that they should not stay too long. Under such vigilant superintendence, the last ladder and pair of steps were taken away in about a week, and the inmates—the two young folks, and the old widow lady I have already mentioned, and their household goods made their appearance. The furniture showed at a glance that both the past and the present had contributed their quotas to the household, for there were the old-fashioned, large-seated, heavy high-backed chairs of half-a-century since, with a heavy, square table, and a quaint, antique cabinet, matching well with the aged widowed mother; while the light caned seats and other modern requisites, represented the young people just entering upon life. I knew at once what afterward I found to be the case, that by probably a hasty marriage two households had been mingled into one.

I was always a solitary, secluded man, given to make observations and to pick up information about those who interested me, but not to cultivate acquaintances, and so it was from what I saw from my windows and from hearsay, that I picked up what I knew of the new comers. Slight as this source of information may seem to be, it is wonderful what a deal of knowledge of a certain kind is obtained in this manner; indeed, if any one were to examine the sources of his own knowledge, he would find that if not the largest, a very large proportion had been picked up from the chit-chat of society.

I was peculiarly favorably situated for acquiring knowledge in this way, for my landlady, a chatty, good-tempered widow, knew the private history of most of her neighbors, and was extremely well versed in the gossip and scandal of the place; and her extensive knowledge, added to the equally diversified lore of the fat old half-laundress, half-charwoman, who had lived all her life in the vicinity (and was the very person who had scared the before-mentioned urchins by scouring the once empty house), and the tit-bits of sayings and doings, communicated by the baker, butcher, green-grocer, and milkman, furnished a stock of history which, reinforced by my own habits of observation, fully qualified me for giving the little narrative which follows; and which I am tempted to give to the world not so much for its intrinsic interest, or because it contains any record of great deeds, but because it shows industry and perseverance triumphing over the obstacles of the world, and bearing the burdens of misplaced benevolence.

To begin then our tale in earnest. The head of the house opposite was Thomas Winthorpe, who acted as book-keeper to a large outfitting house in the city. He was a rather taciturn, grave young man, and bore these characteristics upon his face, but he was fond of knowledge, and had acquired no small portion for a man in his position. Well-principled, and untiringly energetic, and industrious, he had risen from a low station more from the passive habit of steady good conduct, than the active exercise of any brilliant qualities, and he felt a pride in the fact; never hesitating, though he did not parade it, to utter the truth that he was first hired to sweep the offices, light the fires, and do other menial jobs. There was a striking similarity between him and his little wife, Kate Winthorpe (who had just changed her name from Stevens), which you saw in their faces, for Kate was grave, and habitually rather silent too. But her gravity had a shade more of pensiveness in it than Thomas's, which might have told the keen observer that it had not the same origin.

Such indeed was the fact, for what difficulty and early poverty had done for Thomas, youthful plenty and after troubles had done for Kate though the bright smiles which I could now and then see chasing the shadows over Kate's comely but not pretty face, as she bade her husband good-by in the morning or welcomed him home at night, told that happiness was bringing back much of her original character.

The old lady, Mrs. Stevens, Kate's mother, was a good sort of old lady, so far as I could learn, with a respectful tenderness for Thomas, and a fond affection for Kate, who had been the prop of her age and the solace of her troubles; but without any thing remarkable in her character beyond a meek resignation, which well supplied the place of a higher philosophy, and led her cheerfully to accept the present and be content with the past.

So far as I could glean, Mrs. Stevens was the widow of a once affluent yeoman in one of the western counties, who lived in the "good old English style," liked his dogs, and gun, and[Pg 106] horses, was not averse to a run with the hounds—had a partiality for parish and club dinners, and was fond of plenty of company at home. This sort of life might have done tolerably well in the palmy times of farming, when with war prices, corn was, as Hood has it, "at the Lord knows what per quarter;" but when lower prices came with peace, and more industry and less expenditure was required, poor Stevens was one of the first to feel the altered times, and as he could not give up his old habits, difficulties began to press upon and thicken around him. After a few years, creditors became clamorous, and the landlord urgent for the payment of rent in arrear, and the result was that he was compelled to give up his farm and sell his stock, to save himself from a prison. This left him a small remnant upon which, if he had been a prudent, self-denying man, he might have begun the world afresh, but he took his downfall so much to heart, that in a few months he died of his old enemy, the gout.

Mrs. Stevens was thus left a widow with two children, Kate, a young girl of fifteen or sixteen, and Charles, a fine young man of three or four and twenty, who held a small farm in that neighborhood, and had hitherto depended more upon his father's purse than his own industry. Little as Mrs. Stevens knew of the world, she felt that it would not do to depend upon Charles, who was one of those jolly, good-tempered, careless fellows every body knows—men who go on tolerably well so long as all is smooth, but wanting providence and foresight, are pretty sure to founder upon the first dangerous rock ahead. To do Charles justice, however, he would willingly have shared his home with his mother and sister, and for a long time managed to remit enough to them to pay their rent.

When the first grief of widowhood was over, Mrs. Stevens and her daughter, without any very definite plan, but drawn by that strange attraction that impels alike the helpless, the inexperienced, and the ambitious to the great centres of population, came up to London with the small sum of money which, after every debt had been scrupulously discharged, was left to her. Beyond that resource she had none, save the address of a first cousin who, report said, had grown very rich in trade, and to whom she hoped she might look for aid and advice. In this, however, she was speedily undeceived, for upon calling upon her cousin, and introducing herself and Kate, she was received by the withered old miser very curtly, and told that as he came up to London a poor boy with five and ninepence in his pocket, and had managed to get on fairly, she with fifty pounds in her pocket could do very well without help. Perhaps if the widow had let Kate plead her suit she might have fared better, for the old man patted Kate's back, and seemed to dip his hand in his pocket with the half intention of making her a present, but it was only a half intention, and the widow went away with a heavy heart, convinced that she must not look for assistance in that quarter.

I need not tell what little I know of the efforts of Mrs. Stevens to find for herself a useful place in the great, busy, unfriendly, or at least, coldly-indifferent world of London-life—how she found thousands as eager and as anxious as herself—how, although she pinched and stinted, and denied herself every luxury, she saw her small stock of money silently wasting away, and no apparent means of getting more; all these things are unhappily so every-day and commonplace, such mere ordinary vulgar troubles, that every body knows them, and nobody cares to hear more about them.

At last one day, after a weary walk, under a scorching sky, in search of employment, the widow and her daughter saw in the window of an outfitter's shop, the welcome announcement "good shirt hands wanted." So the widow and Kate entered, and with some little trembling saw the person whose business it was to give work to the needlewomen, and made known their errand. Mr. Sturt, a sharp, rather rough man, who had the management of this department, said, "Yes, they did want 'hands,' but they required some one to become security for the work given out."

The widow's chagrin was as great now as her hopes had been high a few minutes before, and she said at once that she did not know any one who would become security, at which Mr. Sturt was turning coldly away; but suddenly thinking of her cousin, she said to herself that he would surely not refuse her this one favor, and she told Mr. Sturt that she would try and come again, and timidly gave that gentleman her address. As soon as the widow's back was turned, Mr. Sturt threw the address on the floor, for he was perfectly sure of having plenty of applications, and it did not matter to him whether the widow ever came again or not; but Thomas Winthorpe, who was employed in a different department of the business, happened to be a witness of the scene, had seen the widow's hand shake, and lips quiver with hope and disappointment, and had marked the anxious look of Kate; and with that sympathy which past poverty so often begets for the poor, he picked up the "rejected address," resolving that he would inquire, and if Mrs. Stevens and her daughter deserved it, he would help them to the work.

It was more than a year since Mrs. Stevens had seen her rich cousin, and when she hastened to his house to prefer her humble petition it was shut up, and all the information she could gain from the neighbors was, that Mr. Norton had gone no one knew whither. This was a sad blow to Mrs. Stevens and Kate; what to do they knew not, and as they wended their way back to their now almost destitute home, their poverty appeared more hopeless than ever; for disappointment is far harder to bear than mere trouble, just as the sky never looks so dismal and threatening as when a bright ray has just[Pg 107] departed, and the sun has sunk behind a thick, dark cloud.

Thomas Winthorpe, however, carried his good intention into effect directly he left business, and little as he was able to glean in their neighborhood of their life and past history, he was convinced that Mrs. Stevens and her daughter deserved help. How, however, to afford them assistance without wounding their feelings was for some time a difficult question; but at last he determined to become surety for them at the shop without their knowledge, and then to call, as if it were a matter of business, and tell them that they could have work.

The next morning accordingly, he told Mr. Sturt that he intended to become surety for Mrs. Stevens, and took no notice of that individual's shrugs, and winks, and inuendoes—which were meant to insinuate a sinister motive upon the part of Thomas—further than by looking at him so fixedly and composedly, and withal with such an expression of contempt, that Mr. Sturt, although not a very bashful personage, was fairly confused; and in the evening Thomas called and introduced himself to Mrs. Stevens, and told her that, in consequence of inquiries which had been made, she might have the work when she pleased. The widow and Kate, who had not stirred out of the house that day, and were in the depths of despair, not knowing which way to turn for help, looked upon Thomas as a preserving angel, and could have almost worshiped him for the unexpected good news of which he was the bearer; nor was their estimation of him lessened when the widow, remembering what had been said about security, questioned him as to how that obstacle had been overcome; and, after a few awkward attempts at parrying and equivocation, Thomas, who was but a poor dissembler, confessed the kindly part he had acted, and was overwhelmed with their expressions of gratitude. From that moment they became intimate, and before the interview, which was a somewhat long one, concluded, Thomas saw, partly from their conversation, partly from the relics of furniture they had managed to transport to London, that they had moved in a more comfortable station, and were simple country folks; and with a feeling possibly prompted by an unconscious heart-leaning to the quiet Kate, and a latent wish to keep her away from the shop, he offered, as he lived close by, to take their work to and fro for them, and so to save them the trouble of going into the city, an offer which Mrs. Stevens who, in her depressed circumstances, shrunk from strangers, and had no wish to face the rough Mr. Sturt, thankfully accepted.

From this time the widow and her daughter sat down earnestly to work, and though luxuries are not the lot of those who live by shirt-making, yet as the house they were employed by was a respectable one, and paid something better than slop prices, and as Thomas contrived that they should have the best description of work, and Charles Stevens, from time to time, remitted to them sufficient to pay their rent, they, with their simple wants, soon began to feel tolerably comfortable and independent. Thomas, too, who was an orphan, did not neglect his opportunities of knowing them better, and became a close and dear acquaintance, whose coming every evening was regularly looked for. At first, of course, he only made business calls, and now and then sat and chatted afterward; then he brought a few flowers for their mantle-piece, or a book, or newspaper, which he thought might amuse them; and, by-and-by, he read to them: and, at last, business, instead of being the primary object of his visits, was the last thing thought of, and left till he was going away: occasionally, too, Thomas thought that they were working too hard, and that a walk would do them good, and he became the companion of their little promenades.

Of course the experienced reader will see in all this that Thomas was in love with Kate; and so he was, but Thomas was a prudent man. Kate was young as well as himself; he had but a small salary, and it was better to wait till he could offer Kate such a home as he should like to see her mistress of. And Kate, what of her? did she love Thomas Winthorpe, too? Well, we don't know enough of the female heart to answer such a question. How should an old bachelor, indeed, get such knowledge? But, perhaps, our better informed lady friends may be enabled to form an opinion, when they are told that Kate began to dress herself with more care, and to curl her luxuriant dark hair more sedulously, and that she was more fidgety than her mother as the time for Thomas to call approached, and grew fonder of reading the books he brought, and the flowers of his giving. Mrs. Stevens, however, saw nothing of all this, and Thomas never spoke of love, and Kate never analyzed her feelings, so that we suppose if she was in love, she had glided into it so gently, that she did not know it herself.

Something like three years had passed away in this humble, but tranquilly happy state of existence, during which Thomas had been silently adding to his stock of furniture, and quietly saving money out of his small salary, when a new misfortune fell upon the Stevenses. The mother had had weak eyes when a child, but as she grew up to womanhood the defect had disappeared. Still there was a latent tendency to disease, which it seemed close application to needlework in her declining years had developed. For a long time Mrs. Stevens had felt this, but concealed it from Kate, till her eyes became so dim, that she could not go on any longer, and Kate became aware of the truth. This was a sad blow, and Kate, who had come to look instinctively to Thomas for advice, took the opportunity, when her mother was out of the room for a few minutes, at his next visit, to tell him the fact, and her fears that her mother was going blind. This was their first confidence, which I have been told[Pg 108] goes a great way in love affairs, and from that time they were drawn still closer together. Thomas advised immediate medical assistance, and not liking to offer Kate the fee, arranged to get an hour or two the next day but one, and accompany them to an eminent oculist. This was done, and the surgeon, after examining the widow's eyes, said that skill could do nothing for her, but that rest was indispensable, and that she must not exert her sight.

The whole of the work was now thrown upon Kate, and unmurmuringly did the noble girl bend herself to the task of providing for herself and her nearly blind mother. The first dawn of light saw her, needle in hand, and Thomas found her at night stooping over her task. Their little walks were given up, and she denied herself almost the bare necessaries of life, so that her mother might not feel the change. This could not go long without Kate's health suffering, and Thomas saw with grief the pale cheek, and the thinning figure, and the red tinge round the eyelids, which spoke of over-work and failing strength. These changes did not improve Kate's good looks, but when did true love ever think of beauty? He saw that the poor girl must soon break down, and then there were but two courses open, either to offer his hand, which he was sure would be accepted, or to offer them assistance.

From motives of prudence, Thomas had rather that the time when he should become a housekeeper for himself had been longer delayed; but he did not like to offer her money, for he felt as though such an obligation would make her feel dependent, and draw her from him; and so he resolved at once to make her his wife, and save her from the fate which otherwise seemed impending over her.

How the declaration was made, and where, and whether or not there were many blushes or smiles, or tears or kisses, I really do not know; but from Thomas's practical manner, and Kate's earnest, truthful, straightforward mind, and the length of time they had been as intimate and confidential as brother and sister, I should think that there was little of what some folk choose to call "the sentimental," although, perhaps, there was not any the less of true sentiment. But certain it is, that Thomas was accepted, the widow did not object, and all the neighborhood soon knew that Kate Stevens and Thomas Winthorpe were about to be married.

Of course, as is usual upon such occasions, there was plenty of comment. A good many young ladies who had done their best to "set their caps" at Thomas, intensely pitied poor Kate for choosing such a quiet stupid sort of fellow, and not a few old ladies, who would have jumped at Thomas for a son-in-law, were "sincerely" glad that it was not their daughter. And there was a universal chorus of prophecy, as to the troubles that awaited the young couple; for what (said the prophets) could they do with Thomas's small salary, and Kate's old mother, if they came to have a family? and so forth.

Kate and Thomas knew nothing of all this, and if they had, it would not have affected them much, for confident in their quiet earnest affection for each other, they looked forward to the future, not as a period of easy enjoyment, but as one of effortful, though hopeful industry. The preliminaries were soon arranged; Thomas had no friends to consult, and Charles Stevens was glad to hear that his sister was about to be married—a license was dispensed with, and the vulgarity of banns resorted to to save expense. The bride was given away by a young mechanic, a friend of Thomas's, whose sister acted as bridesmaid; there was a quiet dinner at Thomas's lodgings, no wedding tour, and the next day they went into the empty house, which had been done up for their reception, and suited their scanty means, and when filled with the new furniture of Thomas, and the old relics of the widow, Kate thought, ay, and so did Thomas too, it made the most comfortable home they had ever seen. I have purposely hurried over this part of my story, because it is so very commonplace. After people have been deluged with brides in white satin and Brussels lace vails, supported by a splendid train of bridesmaids, all deluging their cambric-worked handkerchiefs in sympathetic tears, what could I say for a marriage with a bride in plain white, and Miss Jones, in a dyed silk, for a bridesmaid, and dry pocket-handkerchiefs, into the bargain, to make it interesting? Obviously nothing. Yet for all that, it was, possibly, as happy a wedding as was ever solemnized at St. George's, Hanover-square, and chronicled in the Morning Post, with half a dozen flourishes of trumpets.

My readers now know all about the people who came into the empty house, and made it look as cheerful as it had before looked miserable. Of their domestic life I, of course, knew little: they kept no servant, and Kate was occasionally to be seen through the windows dusting and brushing about; but long before Thomas came home she was neat, and even smart, and her ready smile as she opened the door, told me how happy they were. It made even me half romantic, and if I could have found just such another Kate, I half thought that I should have renounced an old bachelor's life. Of their pecuniary affairs I, of course, knew little, but I saw that their baker called regularly, and that Kate went out with her market-basket, and if they had run in debt I was sure that I should have heard of it.

After a little while, though, I began to notice that Thomas had a habit which gave me some uneasiness for the future of the young couple. When he came home he staid for about an hour, or just long enough to have his tea, and then went out again for about two hours. It is true that he did not exhibit any symptoms of dissipation when he returned, but I did not like the habit. My mind, however,[Pg 109] was set at rest by my landlady, who could tell me all about it. She knew young Jones the cabinet-maker, who was present at the wedding, and informed me that Thomas Winthorpe, who was a good mechanic, employed his spare time in working with Jones, and that both of them prudently put by the earnings of their leisure time as a fund for future contingencies, so that my mind was set at rest upon this point.

In due time, a little Kate blessed the household of my opposite neighbors, and next, a little Thomas, and every thing appeared to go on as happily as ever; and the old grandmother who had only partially recovered the use of her eyes, leading her little grand-daughter, and led in her turn by Kate, who also carried the baby, would often go out for a walk, leaving the servant girl in charge of the house (for Thomas's salary having increased, they could afford to keep a girl now without being extravagant), and a happier family group it would not be easy to find.

It was about this time, I observed a new addition to the family in the shape of a stout, ruddy young man, who wore a green coat, with bright buttons, and looked like a country farmer. I at once guessed that this was Kate's brother, of whom I had heard, on a visit to his sister, and though I was right as to the person, the other part of my guess was incorrect. It was Charles Stevens, but he was not there upon a visit. The fact was, that Charles, whose foresight never went the length of looking a year ahead, had been totally ruined by a failure in the wheat crops of his farm. All his property had been sold, and he left destitute of every thing except a few pounds in his pocket, and without any great stock of energy and intelligence to fall back upon, had sought the refuge of his brother-in-law's roof, which, no doubt, was at first cheerfully afforded him. But it was soon evident that Charles was likely to bear heavily upon the Winthorpes, for he did not seem disposed to exert himself to gain a livelihood. He appeared to lounge about the house all day, and toward the evening, evidently to Thomas's chagrin, came out to lean on the gate and smoke his pipe in the open air, thus giving the house an air somewhat different from its former aspect of respectability. I saw, too, as I sat up late reading (a bad habit of mine) that a light burned till midnight in the Winthorpes' windows, and sometimes hearing a heavy knocking, I looked out and saw at their door the bright buttons of Charles Stevens shining in the light of the gas lamp.

So far as I could learn, Thomas Winthorpe never visited these offenses of the brother upon his wife, but for her sake suppressed his indignation at the careless, thoughtless, lazy habits of Charles, and bore all in silence; but I heard that he talked of them to young Jones and lamented the moral obligation he felt to support Charles even in idleness. These feelings, we may be assured, were not lessened when Kate made a third addition to the family, and passed through a long and dangerous, and, of course, expensive illness, and I was told (the gossips knew all this through Miss Jones, the bridesmaid) that Thomas had been obliged to devote the earnings of his overtime to pay the doctor's bill, and the quarter's rent, for which he had been unable otherwise to provide.

When Kate got up and resumed her family duties, there were other indications of poverty in the household, one of which was that the servant girl was discharged, notwithstanding that there was more necessity than ever for her assistance. Kate's morning walks were given up—she, as well as her husband, looked more careworn—the old grandmother acted the part of housemaid, and Thomas wore a more threadbare coat than usual. Nobody looked jolly and comfortable, except the "ne'er do well," who was the cause of these uncomfortable changes, but he looked as ruddy and careless, and smoked his pipe at the front gate as composedly as ever, disturbed only by the recollection that he had once been so much better off, and the knowledge that he had not so much money to spend as he used to have; for by this time the cash he had brought with him from the country, and of which he had never offered Thomas a penny, was well-nigh gone.

Still, Thomas, though hard-pressed, worked on patiently and perseveringly, hoping for better times, and these fortunately were close at hand. People say that "Troubles never come alone," and I am inclined to think Fortune also sends her favors in showers. Be that as it may, just at this time, Charles, who was getting disgusted at idleness without plenty of pocket-money, received and accepted an offer to go out to Australia, with an old farming acquaintance; and a few days more saw his chest put into a cab, into which vehicle he followed, while Kate and his mother (Thomas was away at business) bade him a tearful farewell; and within a few days Thomas's employers, more than satisfied with his conduct, promoted him to a post where his salary was doubled.

What a change came over the house and family! The old servant girl came back, and seemed so glad and brisk that she was never tired of work, and made the place look brighter and neater than ever. The walks, too, were resumed, and Thomas, justified in ceasing his evening work, made one of the party after tea. Kate's cheek grew round and rosy again, and Thomas's eye was brighter, and his old grave smile came back, as he enjoyed the happiness and comfort he had so well earned: and to crown all, I am told that the young Winthorpes will be very rich, for that little rusty, shabby old man, who used to show the empty house, is Mrs. Stevens's rich cousin, whom Kate had not recognized, and the old lady was too short-sighted to notice, and who had left his former house, and assumed the name of Willis, so that he might not be found out and worried by his poor relations. My landlady informs me that the old man, who knew his relations from the[Pg 110] first, was struck with Thomas's punctuality in always paying the rent on the day it was due, and by his untiring industry (qualities which probably found an echo in his own nature), and that the beautiful children (strange that such a little, withered old miser should love blooming, careless children), have completed his liking for the family. Thomas, however, has refused all the old man's offers of assistance, and insists on continuing to pay the rent for the house; and the old gentleman, who is now a frequent visitor, and really does not look half so rusty as he used, unable in any other way to confer obligations upon the family, has claimed to stand godfather for the third child, and has bequeathed to the youngsters all his large property, so we may fairly presume that the worst difficulties of the Winthorpes are over, and that a happy future is in store for them.

Reader, my little tale, or, without plot as it is, you may say my long gossip, is at an end. It began about an empty house, and has run through the fortunes of a family. How like a path in life, where the first step ushers us onward we know not where; or, to compare small things with great, how like a philosopher picking up at random a simple stone, and thence being led on to the comprehension of the physical history of the world. But plotless tale, or rambling gossip, whichever it may be, I hope it has not been without its usefulness, but that it has served as one more piece of proof that integrity, charity, industry, and self-denial, if they do not always command success, give a man the best possible chance of obtaining it on the only condition which renders success worth having, namely, the preservation of self-respect.

[From Tait's Edinburgh Magazine.]


Who has not had a cold? or rather, who has not had many colds? Who does not know that malady which commences with slight chilliness, an uneasy feeling of being unwell, which does not justify abstinence from the ordinary business and occupations of the day, but deprives one of all satisfaction and enjoyment in them, and takes away all the salt and savor of life, even as it deprives the natural palate of its proper office, making all things that should be good to eat and drink vapid and tasteless? Who does not know the pain in the head, the stiff neck, the stuffy nose, the frequent sneeze, the kerchief which is oftener in the hand than in the pocket? Such, with a greater or less amount of peevishness, are the symptoms of the common cold in the head; which torments its victim for two or three days, or perhaps as many weeks, and then departs, and is forgotten. Few people take much notice of colds; and yet let any one, who is even moderately liable to their attacks, keep an account of the number of days in each year when he has been shut out by a cold from a full perception of the pleasures and advantages of life, and he will find that he has lost no inconsiderable portion of the sum total of happy existence through their malign influence. How many speeches in Parliament and at the Bar, that should have turned a division or won a cause, have been marred because the orator has had a cold which has confused his powers, stifled his voice, and paralyzed all his best energies! How many pictures have failed in expressing the full thoughts of the artist, because he has had a cold at that critical stage of the work when all his faculties of head and hand should have been at their best to insure the fit execution of his design! How many bad bargains have been made, how many opportunities lost in business, because a cold has laid its leaden hand upon them, and converted into its own dull nature what might have resulted in a golden harvest! How many poems—but no: poetry can have nothing in common with a cold. The Muses fly at the approach of flannel and water-gruel. It is not poems that are spoiled, but poets that are rendered of impossible existence by colds. Can one imagine Homer with a cold, or Dante? But these were southerns, and exempt by climate from this scourge of the human race in Boreal regions. But Milton or Shakspeare, could they have had colds? Possibly some parts of "Paradise Regained" may have been written in a cold. Possibly the use of the handkerchief in "Othello," which is banished as an impropriety by the delicate critics of France from their version of the Moor of Venice, may have been suggested by familiarity with that indispensable accessory in a cold. Colds are less common in the clear atmosphere of Paris than in the thick and fog-laden air of London; and this may account for the difference of national taste, on this point. It is said of the great German Mendelssohn, that he always composed sitting with his feet in a tub of cold water. This was not the musician, but his grandfather, the metaphysician, and father of that happy and contentedly obscure intermediate Mendelssohn, who used to say, "When I was young, I was known as the son of the great Mendelssohn; and now that I am old, I am known as the father of the great Mendelssohn." But who ever was known to compose any thing while sitting with his feet in a tub of hot water, and with the composing draught standing on the table at his side, to remind him that in the matter of composition he is to be a passive, and not an active subject? How many marriages may not have been prevented by colds? The gentleman is robbed of his courage, and does not use his opportunity for urging his suit; or the lady catches a cold, and appears blowing her nose, and with blanched cheeks and moist eyes:

"The sapphire's blue within her eyes is seen;
Her lips the ruby's choicest glow disclose;
Her skin is like to fairest pearls I ween;
But ah! the lucid crystal tips her nose."

And so the coming declaration of love is effectually nipped in the bud by the unromantic realities of the present catarrh.

[Pg 111]

Napoleon, as is well known, lost the battle of Leipsig in consequence of an indigestion brought on by eating an ill-dressed piece of mutton; and Louis Philippe, in February, 1848, fled ignominiously from the capital of his kingdom because he had a cold, and could not use the faculties which at least might have secured for him as respectable a retreat to the frontier as was enjoyed by his predecessor Charles the Tenth. He might have shown fight; he might have thrown himself upon the army, or upon the National Guard; he might have done a hundred things better for his own fame, rather than get into a hack cab and run away. But it was not to be: Louis Philippe had the influenza; and Louis Philippe with the influenza was not the same man who had shown so much craft and decision in the many previous emergencies of his long and eventful life. Louis Philippe, without a cold, had acquitted himself creditably in the field of battle, had taught respectably in schools, had contrived for himself and his family the succession to a kingdom, had worked and plotted through all the remarkable events with which his name is associated, and by which it will ever be remembered in the romance of history; but Louis Philippe, with a cold, subsided at once and ingloriously into simple John Smith in a scratch-wig.

Of places in which colds are caught it is not necessary to be particular. For, as a late Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench laid it down in summing up to a jury, in a case of sheep-stealing, after some time had been wasted in showing that the stolen sheep had been slaughtered with a particular knife—any knife will kill a sheep—so it may be said that a cold may be caught any where: on the moor or on the loch; traveling by land or by water; by rail or by stage; or in a private carriage, or walking in the streets; or sitting at home or elsewhere, in a draught, or out of a draught, but more especially in it. Upon a statistical return of the places in which colds have been caught, by persons of both sexes, and under twenty-one years of age, founded upon the answers of the patients themselves, it appears that more colds are caught upon the journey in going to school, and at church, than at the theatre and in ball-rooms. Upon a similar return from persons liable to serve as jurymen in London and Middlesex, it appears that a majority of colds is caught in courts of justice; to which statement, perhaps, more confidence is due than to the former, as it is not known that Dr. Reid has ventilated any of the churches or theatres in the metropolis. Indeed, if the ancient physical philosophers, who had many disputes upon the first cause of cold, had enjoyed the advantage of living in our days and country, they might have satisfied themselves on this matter, and at the same time have become practically acquainted with the working of our system of jurisprudence, by attending in Westminster Hall, when they would go away perhaps with some good law, but most certainly with a very bad cold in their heads. Upon the returns from ladies with grown-up daughters and nieces, it appears from their own statements, that more colds are caught at evening parties than any where else; which is in remarkable discrepancy with the statements of the young ladies themselves, as before mentioned. The same curious want of agreement is found to prevail as to the number of colds caught on water-parties, pic-nics, archery-meetings, and the like, which, according to one set of answers, never give rise to colds, but which would certainly be avoided by all prudent persons if they gave implicit belief to the other.

Of the remedy for colds something may now be said. As with other evils, the remedy may exist either in the shape of prevention or of cure, and of course should be most sought after, by prudent people, in the former. Much ancestral wisdom has descended to us in maxims and apothegms on the prevention and management of colds. Like other venerable and traditional lore which we are in the habit of receiving without questioning, it contains a large admixture of error with what is really good and true; and of the good and true much occasionally meets with undeserved disparagement and contempt. Our grandmothers are right when they inculcate an active avoidance of draughts of air, when they enjoin warm clothing, and especially woolen stockings and dry feet. Their recommendation of bed and slops is generally good, and their "sentence of water-gruel" in most cases is very just, and better than any other for which it could be commuted; but when they lay down the well-known and authoritative dogma, stuff a cold and starve a fever, they are no longer to be trusted. This is a pernicious saying, and has caused much misery and illness. Certain lovers of antiquity, in their anxiety to justify this precept, would have us to take it in an ironical sense. They say, stuff a cold and starve a fever: that is, if you commit the absurdity of employing too generous a diet in the earlier stages of a cold, you will infallibly bring on a fever, which you will be compelled to reduce by the opposite treatment of starvation. This, however, may be rejected as mere casuistry, however well it may be intended by zealous friends of the past. Our British oracles were not delivered in such terms of Delphic mystery, but spoke out plain and straightforward; and even this one permits of some justification with out doing violence to the obvious meaning of the words. For every cold is accompanied with some fever, the symptoms of which are more or less obvious, and it indicates the presence in the system of something which ought not to be there, and which is seeking its escape. Every facility should be given to this escape which is consistent with the general safety of the system. We may reasonably leave a window open, or a door upon the latch, to favor the retreat of a disagreeable intruder, but we should not be willing to break a hole in the wall of the house. All the remedies of hot water for the feet, warming the bed, exciting gentle perspiration, are directed[Pg 112] to this object. Occasionally, the excitement of an evening passed in society, especially if there is dancing, and in a room of somewhat elevated temperature, is sufficient to carry off an incipient cold. So a cold may be stopped, in limine, by the use of a few drops of laudanum; and so, perhaps, the stimulus of some slight excess in eating or drinking may operate to eject the advancing cold before it has completely lodged itself in the system. But this is dangerous practice, and the same object may be effected far more safely and surely by the common nursing and stay-at-home remedies.

Of all prophylactic or precautionary measures (in addition, of course, to prudent attention to dress and diet), the best is the constant use of the cold bath. It is only necessary to glance at the ironmongers' shops to see that of late years the demand for all kinds of washing and bathing apparatus has much increased, and that many persons are aware of the importance of this practice. The exact method of applying the cold element must depend on the constitution of the patient. For the very vigorous and robust, the actual plunge-bath may not be too much; but few are able to stand this, for the great abstraction of animal heat by the surrounding cold fluid taxes the calorific powers of the system severely; nor is a convenient swimming or plunge-bath generally attainable. A late lamented and eminent legal functionary, who lived near the banks of the Thames, bathed in the river regularly every morning, summer and winter, and, it is said, used to have the ice broken, when necessary, in the latter season. He continued this practice to a good old age, and might have sat for the very picture of health. The shower-bath has the merit of being attainable by most persons, at any rate when at home, and is now made in various portable shapes. The shock communicated by it is not always safe; but it is powerful in its action, and the first disagreeable sensation after pulling the fatal string is succeeded by a delicious feeling of renewed health and vitality. The dose of water is generally made too large; and by diminishing this, and wearing one of the high peaked or extinguisher caps now in use, to break the fall of the descending torrent upon the head, the terrors of the shower-bath may be abated, while all the beneficial effects are retained. It has, however, the disadvantage of not being easily carried about during absence from home, and the want of it is a great inconvenience to those who are accustomed to use it. None of the forms which are really portable are satisfactory, and all occupy some time and trouble in setting up and taking down again, unless, indeed, you are reckless of how and where you fix your hooks, and of the state of the floor of the room after the flood has taken place, and perhaps benevolently wish that the occupants of the room beneath should participate in the luxury you have been enjoying. For nearly all purposes the sponge is sufficient, used with one of the round flat baths which are now so common. Cold water, thus applied, gives sufficient stimulus to the skin, and the length of the bath, and the force with which the water is applied, are entirely under command. The sponging-bath, followed by friction with a rough towel, has cured thousands of that habitual tendency to catch cold which is so prevalent in this climate, and made them useful and happy members of society. The large tin sponging-bath is itself not sufficiently portable to be carried as railway luggage, but there are many substitutes. India-rubber has been for some time pressed into this service, either in the shape of a mere sheet to be laid on the floor, with a margin slightly raised to retain the water, or in a more expensive form, in which the bottom consists of a single sheet of the material, while the side is double, and can be inflated so as to become erect, in the same manner as the india-rubber air-cushions. Either form may be rolled up in a small compass. The latter give a tolerably deep bath, capable of holding two or three pails of water; but it is not very manageable when it has much water in it, and must be unpopular with the housemaids. As there is no stiff part about it, it is difficult, or rather impossible, for one person to lift it for the purpose of emptying the water; and the air must be driven out before it can be packed up again, which occasions a delay which is inconvenient in rapid traveling. Besides, on the Continent at least, where the essential element of water is not to be had, except in small quantity, the excellence of holding much is thrown away. Traveling-boxes have lately been made of that universal substance, gutta-percha, which serve the double duty of holding clothes or books on the roads, and of baths in the bed room. The top can be slipped off in a moment, and is at once available as a bath; and when ever the whole box is unpacked, both portions can be so employed. But the one disadvantage which prevents gutta-percha from being adopted for many other purposes tells against it here. It becomes soft and pliable at a very low temperature, which unfits it for hot climates, and for containing hot water in our own temperate regions. There is also the danger of burning or becoming injured by the heat, if left incautiously too near the fire. But for this drawback, it seems as if there was nothing to prevent every thing from being made of gutta-percha. It is almost indestructible, resists almost all chemical agents, and is easily moulded into any required form. But like glass, it has its one fault. Glass is brittle—gutta-percha can not resist moderate heat; and but for this, these two materials might divide the world between them. It is related that a certain inventor appeared before the Emperor Tiberius with a crystal vessel, which he dashed on the pavement, and picked up unhurt; in fact, he had discovered malleable glass, the philosopher's stone of the useful arts. His ingenuity did not meet with the success it deserved; for the emperor, whether alarmed at the novelty, and wishing to protect the interests of the established glass-trade[Pg 113] or wishing to possess the wonderful vase, and to transmit it in the imperial treasure-chambers as an unique specimen of the manufacture, immediately ordered his head to be cut off, and the secret perished with him. Any one who rediscovered it, or could communicate to the rival vegetable product the quality of resisting heat, would make his fortune; and although he might find the patent-office slow and expensive, would nowadays be better rewarded by a discerning public than his unfortunate predecessor was by the Roman tyrant. But to return to our baths: a very good portable article may be made by having a wooden traveling-box, lined with thin sheet zinc. It may be of deal or elm, and painted outside. The lid may be arranged to slip on and off, like the rudder of a boat, on eyes and pintles, or on common sliding hinges; and there may be a movable tray, three or four inches deep, to be lined also with zinc, which serves for holding the immediate dressing-apparatus, and all that need be taken out for a single night's use. This tray, together with the lid laid side by side on the floor, makes a fair enough sponging-bath; and if the box itself is placed between them, and half-filled with water, a most luxurious bathing-apparatus is at once established. The zinc lining should be painted, or, what is still better, japanned; and the lock should open on the side of the box, and be fitted with a hinged hasp, which can be turned up, out of the way, upon the side of the lid, when it is detached and in use as a bath. The lock should not open upward in the edge of the box, or the water might enter it, and damage the wards; and the hasps sticking up from the edge of the lid would be in the way. A box on this plan has been made, and has been in use for some months with perfect success, and may possibly be exhibited for the instruction of foreigners in the Great Exposition of 1851. The only objection is the increased weight arising from the metallic lining; and this might be removed by employing sheet gutta-percha in its place, or by relying on good workmanship and paint alone to keep the box water-tight. The gutta-percha would, in this case, be supported by the wood of the box, and could not get out of shape; but it still would be liable to injury if used with warm water.

Little need be said of sponges. The best fetch a high price, but are probably most economical in the end; for a good sponge, used only with cold water, will last a long time. There is an inferior kind of sponge, very coarse, ragged and porous, which formerly was not sold for toilet use, but which is now to be found in the shops, and is sold especially for use in the sponging-bath. It is much cheaper than the fine sponge; and readily takes up, and as readily gives out again, a large quantity of water; and on the whole, may be recommended. Our old friend, India-rubber, appears again as the best material of which the sponge-bag can be made. Oil-skin is efficient while it lasts, but it is very easily torn; and sponges are apt to be impatiently rammed into their bags in last moments of packing.

Armed with his sponge and his portable bath, a man may go through life, defying some of its worst evils. Self-dubbed a Knight of the Bath, he may look down with scorn upon the red ribbons and glittering baubles of Grand Crosses and Commanders, and may view with that calm philosophy to which nothing so much contributes as a state of high health the chances and changes of a surrounding world of indigestions and catarrhs. With his peptic faculties, in that state of efficiency in which the daily cold effusion will maintain them, he will enjoy his own dinners; he will not grudge his richer neighbor his longer and more varied succession of dishes, and he will do his best to put his poorer one in the way to improve his humbler and less certain repast. With his head and eyes clear and free from colds, he will think and see for himself; and will discern and act upon the truth and the right, disregarding the contemptuous sneezes of those who would put him down, and the noisy coughs of those who would drown his voice when lifted up in the name of humanity and justice.


"Then you believe in the justice of this world, after the fashion of our old nursery-tales, in which the good boy always got the plum-cake, and the bad one was invariably put in the closet?" said Charles Monroe, addressing at once Lady Annette Leveson and her temporary squire, old Judge Naresby, as they paused in a moral disquisition, on which her ladyship had employed the greater part of their afternoon's stroll through Leveson Park, interrupted only by an occasional remark from her niece Emma, a girl just returned from school, who hung on Charles's arm, and called the party's attention to every woodland prospect and grand old tree they passed.

Lady Annette had relations in the peerage, though they were not reckoned among the wealthiest of that body. Her husband had been similarly connected, but he was long dead; and his childless widow's jointure consisted of little more than a castellated mansion, a park, renowned for the antiquity of its oaks, on the borders of one of the midland counties, and an old-fashioned house in Park-lane, London. These possessions were to descend, on her death, to the orphan daughter of her husband's brother, who, having besides a dowery of some five thousand in the funds, was, by the unanimous vote of her family, placed under Lady Annette's guardianship. In speeding on that orphan girl's education from one boarding-school to another, in dipping a short way into all the popular philosophy of the age, and taking an easy interest in all its social improvements, Lady Annette had spent her limited income and quiet years, without the usual excitements of either working[Pg 114] altar-cloths or setting up a Dissenting chapel. Lady Annette was, of course, a sort of positivist in her way. She had an almost material faith in virtue rewarded. Good for good, love for love, was the substance of her creed regarding time's returns; and being somewhat zealous in the doctrine, she had exerted all her eloquence to prove it to the satisfaction of the Judge. He was a man after her own faith and fortunes—well born, as it is called, and gifted with a cool, clear head, which, just fitting him for the study of law, and no more, had calmly raised him through the intervening steps of his profession to the bench; but his experience of life had been far wider, and he had seen certain occurrences in its course which made him doubt her ladyship's philosophy.

The Judge's opposition had ceased, nevertheless, and Lady Annette remained mistress of the field when Charles Monroe volunteered the above interpretation. Considering that, besides her title, the lady had full twenty years the start of him in life's journey, the attack was bold; but Charles was known at Leveson Park as her Scottish cousin, belonging to a poor but honorable family north of Tweed, and already named as a rising barrister, though comparatively young in the profession. He had been engaged for sundry cases on the circuit which the Judge had just completed—as concerned her ladyship's county, with a maiden assize, where, after white gloves and congratulations had been duly presented, the evening was devoted to a family dinner and chat with Lady Annette, preparatory to justice and he taking their way on the morrow to the neighboring shire.

Lady Annette and the Judge were old acquaintances, and he had come early enough to find the three among the old oaks, where it was pleasant to talk in that bright summer afternoon till the dinner-hour and the rest of the party arrived; so they found time for argument.

"Well, Charles," said Lady Annette, whose habitually good temper seemed slightly ruffled by her cousin's remark, "there are sounder lessons taught men in the nursery than most of them practice in after-life; and the teaching of those tales appears to me a truth verified by every day's experience. Do we not see that industry and good conduct generally bring the working-classes to comparative wealth, while the best families are reduced by extravagance and profligacy? Does not even the popular mind regard virtue with honor, and vice with contempt? Surely there is, even in this world, an unslumbering Providence, which, eventually rewards the good and punishes the wicked?"

"Sometimes," said Charles.

"Well, your response is amusing," said Lady Annette, smiling; "but let us hear your view of the subject."

"I fear it is not very definite," said her cousin. "Perhaps I am not clearsighted enough; but this life has always seemed to me full of inconsistencies and contradictions; yet, one thing I believe, that moral goodness does not always lead to good fortune, nor moral evil to bad. Sometimes that for which I have no name but the ancient one of friendly stars, and sometimes a practical knowledge of men and things as they are, or the want of these, conducts us to the one, or leaves us to the other."

"Oh, Charles, what a pity that pretty girl should be lame!" whispered Emma, as they now emerged on a broad walk, which, being the most direct route to a neighboring village, had been long open to pedestrians. And a young girl, evidently of the servant class, who walked with considerable difficulty, laid down a small bundle she carried, and leant for rest against a mossy tree. The girl was not more than eighteen; her soft dark hair, fine features, and small, but graceful figure, were singularly attractive, in spite of a sickly pallor and remarkable lameness; but the face had such an expression of fearless honesty and truth as made it truly noble, and took the whole party's attention.

"That's a fine face," said the Judge, when they had passed. "There looks something like goodness there; and, apropos of our controversy, it somehow reminds me of a case which is to be tried to-morrow, in which the principal witness is a young girl, who defended her master's house single-handed against two burglars, and actually detained one of them till he was arrested."

"Oh, aunt, we must go to hear the case," said young Emma, earnestly.

"It certainly will be interesting," said Lady Annette. "What a noble girl in her station too! Charles, I hope you will allow there is some probability of her being rewarded?"

"Perhaps," said Charles.

"Oh, never mind him," interrupted the Judge, who got very soon tired of moral questions; "he debated the same subject with Thornley and me t'other evening, and would have totally routed us if we had not taken refuge in whist."

Charles made no reply, for his attention was once more engaged by the girl, who, with a flushed cheek, and all the speed she could muster, passed them at that moment, and the Judge had succeeded in diverting Lady Annette's thoughts to another channel.

"Thornley should be an able antagonist," said she, "I am told he is very clever. It was but t'other day that, in looking over one of his mother's old letters from Florence, I recollected she had mentioned his Italian tutor's predictions of the great figure he should make at Cambridge. By the way, Charles, he was your class-fellow there. How far were they fulfilled?"

"The only time ever I remember him to make a figure," answered Charles, vainly endeavoring to suppress a smile, "was, when he refused the challenge of a wild Welsh student, on whose pranks he had been rather censorious, saying a duel was contrary to his principles; and though the Welshman actually insulted him[Pg 115] in the very streets, he preferred a formal apology to fighting."

"What a high-principled young man!" exclaimed Lady Annette and her niece in the same breath.

"Yes," said the Judge, "so much conscientiousness and moral courage is worth a world of talent."

"It must be a comfort," continued her ladyship with enthusiasm, "to Mr. Thornley, to find the pains bestowed on his son's education so well repaid. Do you know he would never allow him to enter a public school, saying, that knowledge in such places was paid for with both morals and manners; and Edmund was educated under his own eye, by some of the best scholars in Florence."

"Mr. Thornley had great discernment," remarked the Judge; "I wonder he didn't show it, more in his pecuniary affairs."

"Ah, what a falling off was there!" half sighed Lady Annette. "It vexes me to think of it, they were such old friends of ours. What a belle poor Mrs. Thornley was!—they tell me she has grown very old and dowdy now. And how he used to sport! and yet one might have known the estate would go to creditors. But his misfortunes improved him greatly, they say, turned his attention entirely to high subjects—Italian progress, and all that. Do you know, when they lived in Florence, the Austrian police had quite an eye upon him, and he was proud of that, poor man! I wish you had seen his letters."

Here her ladyship stopped short, for a figure was seen rapidly approaching, which all the party know to be that of Edmund Thornley. The gentleman whose education, character, and family history had been thus freely discussed, was a tall, well-proportioned man, with fair complexion, and curling auburn hair. There was something almost feminine about his small mouth and pearly teeth; but his full blue eyes and smooth white brow had no expression but those of health and youth, retaining the latter to an extreme degree, though he was rather advanced in the twenties. The story of his parentage and prospects, was already talked over by the Thornleys' old friends in Leveson Park. An only son, born in the ranks of English gentry, but brought up in Italy, to which pecuniary embarrassment had early obliged his father to retire, he had been educated, it was said, most carefully under the paternal roof, with all home influences around him—sent first to the University of Cambridge, and, subsequently, to the study of English law, partly by way of scope for his talents, and partly, as the best provision for the heir of a deeply-mortgaged estate.

Edmund Thornley was a young man for whom friends did every thing. His parents and tutors, in Italy, had promised and vowed great things in his name, to his relatives in England; and, though they could not believe the report, for he had, as yet, astonished neither Cambridge, nor the Temple, it was proper for them to allow there was talent in him which must come out some day, and all that interest and solicitation could do, was done with the Thornleys' old acquaintances, to secure patronage for their son. By that influence the judge had been induced to make choice of him for his marshal, as it is legal etiquette to style a sort of humble companion or assistant, on the circuit. Hitherto, he had filled the post to his superior's entire satisfaction; but Naresby, who specially understood the art of making his dependents useful, had that day left him some letters to write previous to joining Lady Annette's party.

The hostess warmly welcomed the son of her old friends, whose doings she had just canvassed. Charles received his former class-fellow with cold civility; and, warned by the dinner-bell, the company adjourned to Leveson Hall, in time to meet the rector and his lady, a quiet country pair, who completed their party. It was soon manifest what advantage Thornley's gentle, attentive manner, gave him in the eyes of the ladies compared with the sometimes abrupt, and often careless address of their Scotch cousin. Emma found him particularly agreeable; and the subject of the approaching trial being renewed after dinner, both she and her aunt were charmed with the enthusiastic admiration of the young girl's courage and devotedness, which he expressed in the warmest terms; while Charles merely hoped that those whom she had served so well, would not forget her poverty.

"Such," said Lady Annette, in a whispered dissertation on the contrast of the young men, while she and the judge sat at whist by themselves, "Such are the natural effects of a home education, and a mother's influence."

"Oh, yes," responded Naresby, somewhat confused by the cards which he was shuffling; "Thornley is an excellent person, and very accommodating. He never troubles one with a view of his own, like other lads."

On the following day there was a crowded court-house in the assize town of the neighboring county. The case to be tried had been the topic of gossip and wonder there for many a week, and Lady Annette and her niece were not the only members of the surrounding gentility among the audience. Charles Monroe had the honor of escorting them, for the first time in their lives, to a court of justice; and all his explaining powers were put in requisition by Emma's whispered inquiries, till, the usual preliminaries being gone through, the prisoner was placed at the bar. He was a dark-looking, muscular fellow, whose way seemed to have laid through the wild places of low life; but when he pleaded "Not guilty," in a strong Welsh accent, some strange recollections appeared to strike Charles, and he whispered to Lady Annette, "That man used to look after game-dogs for Harry Williams, with whom Thornley wouldn't fight at Cambridge; and they told me Harry had been expelled."

"Yes," replied her ladyship, in a low, but[Pg 116] triumphant tone, as she cast a glance of more than approbation on the marshal, now occupying his usual place near the judge; "men are even in this world rewarded according to their works."

Charles smiled incredulously, but his smile changed to a look of surprised recognition, for the principal witness, who just then stood up to take the oath, was none other than the girl they had met in Leveson Park. Many a curious eye was turned on that fair honest face; the judge himself seemed to recognize her, and the marshal to forget his habitual composure, in astonishment that one so young and pretty, should be the heroine of such a tale; but, without either the vanity or the bashfulness nearly always allied to it, which would have upset most young people in her position, the girl told her story modestly and plainly, like one who felt she had done her duty, and made no display about it. Her evidence was simply to the effect that her name was Grace Greenside, that she was a servant at Daisy Dell—the local designation of a property occupied by one of the better class of farmers in the shire—and had been for two years maid-of-all-work at the farm-house, which was situated in a solitary part of the country, and at some distance from the high road. On the fifth of the previous month, it being Sunday, and the other three servants having gone in different directions, her mistress took their little boy and girl with them to the parish church, about a mile distant, leaving her alone in the house, with strict orders not to quit it, and admit none but special friends of the family till their return; on account, as she believed, of a considerable sum of money which her master had drawn from the bank but a few days before, for the purchase of an adjoining farm. Soon after they were gone, two men, one of whom was the prisoner, knocked loudly at the front door, and demanded admission, which, owing to her orders, and their suspicious appearance, she refused, when they tried to force an entrance; but, arming herself with her master's loaded gun, she defended the premises, which were well secured—being built, as the girl described, in old fighting times—till, by sounding one of those antiquated horns, kept for similar purposes in many an old country house, she alarmed half the parish, and men were seen coming across the fields, on which the assailants fled. The prisoner, however, carried with him a fine vest of her master's, which, owing to an accident, had been spread out to dry on a hedge hard by; and, bitterly blaming herself for leaving the article within his reach, the girl pursued him in hopes of recovering it, and actually overtook, laid hold of, and detained him till the neighbors came up and completed the capture, in spite of his blows, by which she had been so seriously injured as to be confined to the house till the previous day, when she walked with great difficulty about two miles to see her relatives.

Her tale was confirmed by the evidence of several country people who had assisted in securing the prisoner, by that of her master, a hard-looking, worldly man, of her father, a clownish laborer, and of an ill-tempered, slatternly woman, who proved to be her stepmother. Grace dropped a courtesy, and quitted the witness-box, amid a general murmur of applause. The jury, without retiring, found a unanimous verdict of "Guilty;" and, after a lengthy address, equally divided between eulogy of the girl's conduct and reprobation of the criminal's, not forgetting some prophetic hints touching the future destiny of his companion who had escaped, the judge commanded sentence of death to be recorded against him, and a small sum of money to be immediately bestowed on Grace, not only in testimony of the court's sense of her merits, but by way of compensation for the injuries she had received, as his lordship phrased it, "in the service of justice and good order."

"A poor reward, but, perhaps, not unacceptable," thought Charles, glancing at her apparel, which, though clean and neatly worn, was such as indicated almost the lowest state of feminine funds, as with a grateful countenance she stepped out to await the leisure of the court functionaries in that matter, and another case came on.

"Let us go now," said Lady Annette to her niece, "How very interesting it was, and how delighted Edmund Thornley seemed!"

"He has just gone out, aunt," remarked Emma, who had grown singularly alive to the marshal's motions; and Charles, as he resumed the duties of a cavalier, silently recollected that, throughout the trial, while Thornley conversed with the judge or took notes for him, according to custom, his eye had often wandered toward Grace Greenside, and he had left the court the first unobserved moment after she quitted it. The young barrister was, therefore, not surprised, on crossing one of the outer divisions, to find him there by her side, talking in a most animated manner. They were words of praise he had been uttering; and there was a glow on the girl's cheek, and a light in her eye, which neither the judge's encomiums nor the applause of a crowded court had called forth; yet, at their approach, a sudden confusion came over Thornley for an instant, but the next he saluted the ladies with his usual courtesy, and more than his usual warmth.

"You find me conversing with the heroine of Daisy Dell," said he; and the remnant of his speech was so low, that Charles could only catch, "artless simplicity," and "mind above her station." It reached the girl's ear, nevertheless; and a wild, waking dream of hope, or passion, or it might be vanity, passed over that young face.

"Oh, aunt, let us speak to her," said Emma, and fully conscious of the honor and reward which a few words from her patrician lips must confer on plebeian merit, Lady Annette stepped up, and addressed some complimentary inquiries to Grace.

[Pg 117]

The gratified girl replied with many a courtesy. There was an asking-leave look in young Emma's face as it turned to her aunt for a moment, and then, like one determined to venture, she drew a small turquoise ring from her finger, and pressed it into the girl's hand, with a low whisper, "You have been very good and honest; take this from me."

"It is the first ring I ever wore," said Grace, endeavoring to force the small circlet on one finger after another, which hard work had roughened and expanded; but Emma's turquoise could find rest only on the little one. "It is the lucky finger," said she, blushing to the brow; "and a thousand thanks, my lady; but it is too fine for the like of me."

"May it be lucky to you, my girl!" half murmured Charles, emptying his light purse almost unperceived into her other hand, while Lady Annette was assuring her that good conduct always had its reward; and before the girl had time to thank him, he hurried away with the delighted Emma, while Thornley conducted her ladyship to their carriage over the way.

Scarce had Charles handed in his charge when one of his clients, who had litigated a garden-fence for four years past, pounced upon him with a lately-discovered evidence for his claim, which occupied some hours in explanation; and before he returned to the court-house, Grace Greenside had received her money, and went her way. The marshal was busy writing a note for the Judge, and his lordship was passing sentence on a turnip-stealer.

Next day Charles gained the case touching the garden-fence, according to the county newspapers, by a display of legal learning and eloquence never before equaled in that court-house; but the same evening a letter brought the hard-working barrister the joyful intelligence that a legal appointment in one of the West India Islands, for which he had canvassed and despaired till it was refused by some half-dozen of the better provided, had been conferred upon him.

It is doubtful if three years can pass over any spot of this inhabited earth without bringing many changes, and they had brought its share to the border of that midland county since Lady Annette convinced the judge, and vanquished her Scotch cousin, on a great moral question, among the old trees of Leveson Park. Leveson Park and Hall were lonely now in the summer-time, for another uncle had died, leaving Emma some additional thousands, and her aunt removed to the house in Park-lane every London season, to have her properly brought out.

In the adjoining shire, trials of still greater interest (for there was a murder and two breaches of promise among them) had long superseded in the popular mind the case of Daisy Dell; but the neighbors for miles round that solitary farm-house still talked at intervals of Grace Greenside, how a fine gentleman who had spoken to her in court came many a day after the assizes privately about the fields to see her, and how she had been seen driving away with him in a chaise from the end of the green lane late one evening, when her mistress imagined she was busy in the diary. The girl's relatives said he was nephew to the judge who had been on the circuit that year, and would soon be a judge himself; that he had taken Grace to London, and made a real lady of her; but their neighbors knew the way of the world too well to place entire faith in that statement, and the master of the house she had defended (it was said gratuitously) gave it as his private judgment that the girl had been ruined by being made so much of.

The old house in Park-lane looked as comfortable as handsome but antiquated furniture could make it. It was the height of the London season, and Lady Annette Leveson had given a dinner-party—as it was understood, by way of welcome to her cousin, Mr. Monroe, who had just returned from Barbadoes, with an older look, a darker complexion, and his footing made sure in Government employ at home. His residence was now in London; and his near relationship, of which Lady Annette had grown singularly mindful of late, made him an intimate visitor at her house, where, on the present occasion, he did the honors to a number of gentlemen, still conversing over their wine; while, as British etiquette prescribes, Lady Annette had led the fairer portion of her company to small talk and the drawing-room.

Useful as Charles was often pronounced by her ladyship, and a rising cousin as he had become, the assiduous attentions and quietly agreeable manner of Edmund Thornley made much greater way in the secret favor of both aunt and niece. Edmund was by this time called to the bar. He made no great figure there, but friends were still doing for him, and he had sundry relations who took care of his interests in London. The chief of these was a brother-in-law of his father; but Miss Thornley had been his first wife, and a second had reigned for eleven years in her stead. Mr. Crainor was a barrister of the West-end, who worshiped respectability, and had no family but two married daughters. It was through him that all advices and letters of credit came from Italy, where Thornley senior still found it convenient to sojourn; and he was Edmund's counselor in all things. Being an acquaintance of Emma's last bequeathing uncle, that gentleman had thought proper to make him one of his executors; he had, consequently, considerable influence at the house in Park-lane, and was believed to use it in favor of his nephew-in-law, who, shrewd people said, might form an eligible connection there; but, as yet, rumor went no further on the subject. There were also those who thought Charles Monroe might be a successful rival, as his prospects were now more promising, and his talents known to be superior; but Emma's private opinion of him was,[Pg 118] that he looked wonderfully old, had no sensibility, and an almost vulgar way of conducting himself to ladies. He had left her a school-girl, not sixteen, and found her a graceful, accomplished woman of the harmlessly sentimental school, who shed tears at tragedies, and gave largely, considering her purse, at charity sermons, made collections of poetry, and never inquired beyond the surface of her own circle, except regarding some very romantic story of real life.

Edmund Thornley sat on an ottoman between Lady Annette and her niece, turning over for their edification the leaves and plates of one of those richly got up annuals so dear to London drawing-rooms at a period within most people's memory. He never lingered long with the gentlemen, at least, in Park-lane.

"Oh, what a lovely picture!" said Emma, as a Swiss scene turned up. "And that figure," she continued, pointing to one at a cottage door, "how much it reminds of the girl—I forget her name—who defended the farm-house against robbers. Don't you remember, Mr. Thornley, how you called her the heroine of Daisy Dell?"

"Oh, yes," said Edmund, after a trial of recollection. "It is like her, but I think she was not quite so pretty."

"Certainly not so tastefully dressed," said Lady Annette; "these Swiss have so much the advantage of our peasantry; but she was a most interesting creature. And yet, Mr. Thornley," added her ladyship, who retained the taste for morality, "I fear the transaction did not turn out to her benefit. They had strange reports in that part of the country, and my niece and I have often observed her since we came to London."

"Oh, aunt!" interposed Emma, "but she dressed and looked so—so—very properly. I am sure she has married some person of her choice, and lives happily. It would just complete her story."

The mention of a story after dinner, in the height of the London season, is sufficient to wake up any drawing-room, and had its natural effect on Lady Annette's.

"Oh, pray what was it?" demanded half a dozen voices; and Emma was of course obliged to relate the tale, with frequent applications for assistance to Mr. Thornley, whose replies, though always brief, were satisfactory, as he turned over the annual, apparently the least interested person in the room. When they had marveled sufficiently over her narrative, Lady Annette, being a little proud of Miss Leveson's sentiments, felt bound to acquaint them with the episode of the ring, which she had just finished when the first of the dining-room deserters straggled in.

"The last time I saw her she looked sickly and careworn—far worse than that day we met her in the Park. You recollect it, Charles. We are speaking of Grace Greenside," said Emma, addressing her aunt's cousin, as he took the nearest seat.

"What of her now?" said Charles, bending eagerly forward; but here Mr. Crainor interposed, with a petition that Emma would sing them that charming song with which she enchanted Lady Wharton's party, as he, and in fact the whole company, was dying to hear it. In less than five minutes, which were consumed in general pressing, Emma was conducted to the piano by Mr. Thornley. There was a deal of music, tea, chit-chat, and a breaking-up, but no more talk of Grace Greenside.

"My dear boy," said Mr. Crainor, taking his nephew's arm with something of the warmth of wine in his manner, when they were fairly in the streets, it being eleven o'clock on a calm summer's night, and part of their way the same. "My dear boy, you are not aware of what injury you are doing to your best interests, as one may say, by keeping that girl so long about you. She has been notorious; and notorious people—women, I mean—are always dangerous. Weren't they talking of her at Lady Annette's to-night? Depend on it, the story will ooze out, you are so well known, and so much visited now. Then people will call you dissipated, and I can't tell what. Such tales always spoil a man's chances with advantageous ladies."

"I was thinking of that myself," said Edmund; "but it's a delicate point, and one wouldn't like a scene, you know."

"True," responded his adviser; "but a little management will prevent that. Captain Lancer is your man, if you want to get clear off. Just introduce him, and the whole business is done."

"Do you really think so?" said Edmund, with a languid smile.

"I'll stake ten to one on it," replied Crainor; "Lancer has tenfold your attractions for any woman, irresistible as you think yourself—a fine, forward-looking military man, who has fought half a dozen duels, not to speak of his experience. Don't you know the captain is married, though he passes for a bachelor here? married an old ebony, with a whole sugar-plantation in Jamaica, five years ago! That's what he sports upon; while rum, they say, consoles the lady for his absence. He told me the other day he was in want of some occupation, and I advise you to give him one; but good night," added the sage counselor, for by this time they were near Edmund's lodgings; and even through the gaslight a pale face might be seen at the front window, looking anxiously out for him.

Sadly indeed was Grace Greenside altered since the day when the four passed her in the walk through Leveson Park. The lameness was long gone—her naturally good constitution had shaken off the effects of that fearful struggle; her dress was of somewhat better materials and a neater cut. She herself had something of a town look about her, as one whom three years' residence had made familiar with the noisy streets of London; but in the thin face and sunken eyes there were lines of care, and[Pg 119] weary look, which told of lonely winter evenings and pining summer days. For three long years the girl had shared Edmund Thornley's apartments, in the strangely-blended capacities of mistress and valet. That a maid-of-all-work in a solitary farm-house, who was eighteen, could scarcely read, and had a cross stepmother, should have been induced to enter on such a course by a man so far her superior in fortune and education, not to speak of eight years' seniority, must be matter of marvel to those only whose wisdom and virtue are of the untried sort. But so it was; and farm-servant as she had been, it was wonderful how little poor Grace was spoiled by her change of position. It might be that the girl was by nature too simple or too honest to take its ordinary advantages, such as they are; perhaps it was not fine things and nothing to do alone that she expected in London with Edmund, when leaving behind her good name and country summers—the only good things that life had given her; at all events, she lived humble and retired days, aiming only to take care of Thornley's domestic interest to the utmost of her power, and make herself generally useful to him in sickness and health. There was a suitability in that conduct to the peculiar tastes of the gentleman. Like most selfish people, he was a great admirer of self-devotedness in others; and, long after the days of first fancy and flattery were over, continued to value Grace as a contributor to his comfort, in the fashion of an easy chair or a good fire. Did not she keep every thing in order for his comings and goings, which, with Edmund Thornley, were as regular as the clock on the mantle-piece, for he was a most quiet bachelor, and never forgot himself; but now the convenience might cost him too dear, and must be parted with, according to his uncle's counsel. So, with it on his mind, and the usual calm smile on his face, he received her kindly greeting, heard and repeated the intelligence of the day over a nice supper, and retired to rest.

Next day, Mr. Crainor introduced Captain Lancer to his nephew, at a coffee-house; and Thornley brought him home to dine, and introduced him to Grace, after which, as his servant remarked, "it was hextonishing how often that ansum capting called, and how many messages the master sent him home with to Miss Greenside; till one day he eard her speak monstrous loud up stairs, and there was a door slammed, and the Capting came down looking all of a eap."

The servant might also have observed that, during the day, Grace looked impatiently for his master; but Edmund did not come, for he and Captain Lancer dined together at a tavern.

The nights were growing long, and the harvest moon could be seen at intervals through the fog and smoke of London. Grace thought how it shone on corn-fields and laden orchards far away, and how long it was since she left them; but other and more troubled thoughts passed through her mind as she sat waiting for Thornley. It was not yet eight, but that was his knock, and in another minute he stepped into the room.

"Edmund, dear," said the girl, eager to unburden her mind, "I have a strange story for you to-night. That Captain Lancer is a bad, bad man. Would you believe it, Edmund, he told all sorts of stories on you this day, and asked me to go with him to France, the villain!"

"Indeed!" said Thornley, seating himself, with a look of prepared resolution. "That was a good offer, Grace. The captain is very rich, and might marry you."

Grace stared upon him in blank astonishment. "You see," continued the unmoved Edmund, "you and I can live together no longer; my character would suffer, and my prospects too, Grace. You would not injure my prospects? Besides, you want country air; it would be good for you to go home a little time, and I would give you something handsome, and see you off on the Middlesex coach."

The amazement had passed from the girl's face now; for all that she had half suspected, and tried not to believe so long, was proved true to her.

"Is it Emma Leveson you are going to marry?" she said, growing deadly pale.

"Perhaps," said Thornley. "But, dear me, what is the matter?" as Grace looked down for an instant at the ring on her little finger, then sunk down on a chair, and covered her face with her hands.

"Here," continued Edmund, pulling out his pocket-book, which contained the only consolation known to him, "I have not much to myself, but here are two hundred pounds; it will make you live like a lady among them;" and he laid the notes in her lap.

Grace never looked at him or them; she sat for about a minute stiff and silent, then rose, letting the bank-paper scatter on the carpet, and walked quickly out. Edmund heard her go up stairs, and come down again; there was a sound of the hall-door shutting quietly, and when he inquired after it the servant told him Miss Greenside had gone without saying any thing. Edmund gathered up the notes, and locked them in his desk, smoked a cigar, read the Court Journal; but Grace did not come back, nor did she ever again cross the threshold. When Thornley told Mr. Crainor, on the earliest opportunity, that gentleman averred that the girl had looked out for herself before Captain Lancer came, and Edmund said, "It was wonderful that she left the notes behind her, for all the money she could have was some savings in a little purse."

One Sunday, about six weeks after the event we have related, Charles Monroe, on search of a short way from the Scotch church to his chambers, was passing through a poor but decent street, known as Cowslip-court, though a[Pg 120] Cowslip had never been seen there within the memory of man, when his attention was attracted by an old woman in dingy black, looking for something on the ground, with a most rueful countenance.

"What have you lost, my good woman?" inquired Charles in some curiosity.

"It's a ring, sir," said the dame, "was left me by a poor soul as was buried this morning. Some people thought it strange to see her so young by herself, but she wor a decent creature for all that, and did what she could in honesty. First she took to sewing, sir; but that didn't do, for she was sickly, and got worse, till at last she died, all alone in my two-pair back. And I'm sure that ring wor a love-token, or something of the sort, for she used to cry over it when no one was by, and once bade me take it when she was gone, because I minded her in her sickness; and I was just going to show it to Mrs. Tillet, when it dropped out of my fingers. But lauk, sir, there it is!"

"It's Emma Leveson's ring," said Charles, picking up the little turquoise from among the dust at his feet. "Was the woman's name Grace Greenside?"

"Just the same sir," said its new owner, clutching at the ring; "an' she was—"

"A fool," added a more than half-intoxicated soldier, with a long pipe in his mouth, lolling on the steps of an empty house as if they had been a sofa. "I tell you she was a fool; and I was a gentleman once in my day, but I was unfortunate. They wouldn't let me stay at college, though I kept the gamest pack in Cambridge; and after that I took—to a variety of business," said he, with another puff; "but if that girl had taken me at my word, I would have stood by her. See the foolishness of women! She would keep the old house, and transport Skulking Tom; he partly deserved it for hitting her so hard, and there's what's come of it." With a repetition of his last aphorism, the soldier smoked on, and Charles after a minute inspection, recognized in the dirty and prematurely old man his once boisterous class-fellow, Harry Williams. The time for remonstrance or improvement was long past with him, and Charles had grown a stranger to his memory; so, without word or sign of former acquaintance, he purchased the ring from that communicative old woman at about three times its lawful price, collected what further information he could regarding the deceased, and went his way.

"Ay," said Charles, gazing on the ring some time after, when the whole particulars of her story were gathered, "had she been worse or wiser, poor Grace would have fared better in this world;" and then he thought of the ring's first owner. But, before the period of his musings, Lady Annette and her niece had gone with some of their noble relations to spend the winter in Italy, Edmund Thornley accompanying them on a visit to his father's residence; and, in her latest letter to a confidential cousin, Emma had mentioned that his fine sense of propriety, and his enthusiasm for all that was great and good, made him a most delightful companion on the Continent.


The father sits, and marks his child
Through the clover racing wild;
And then as if he sweetly dream'd,
He half remembers how it seem'd
When he, too, was a reckless rover
Among the bee-beloved clover:
Pure airs, from heavenly places, rise
Breathing the blindness from his eyes,
Until, with rapture, grief, and awe,
He sees again as then he saw.
As then he saw, he sees again
The heavy-loaded harvest wain,
Hanging tokens of its pride
In the trees on either side;
Daisies, coming out at dawn,
In constellations, on the lawn;
The glory of the daffodil;
The three black windmills on the hill,
Whose magic arms fling wildly by,
With magic shadows on the rye:
In the leafy coppice, lo,
More wealth than miser's dreams can show,
The blackbird's warm and woolly brood,
With golden beaks agape for food!
Gipsies, all the summer seen,
Native as poppies to the green;
Winter, with its frosts and thaws,
And opulence of hips and haws;
The mighty marvel of the snow;
The happy, happy ships that go,
Sailing up and sailing down,
Through the fields and by the town;—
All the thousand dear events
That fell when days were incidents.
And, then, his meek and loving mother—
Oh, what speechless feelings smother
In his heart at thought of her!
What sacred, piercing sorrow mounts,
From new or unremembered founts,
While to thought her ways recur.
He hears the songs she used to sing;
His tears in scalding torrents spring;
Oh, might he hope that 'twould be given.
Either in this world, or in heaven,
To hear such songs as those again!
—But life is deep and words are vain.
Mark yonder hedgerow, here and there
Sprinkled with Spring, but mainly bare;
The wither'd bank beneath, where blows,
In yellow crowds, the fresh primrose:
What skill of color thus could smite
The troubled heart-strings thro' the sight
What magic of sweet speech express
Their primeval tenderness?
Can these not utter'd be, and can
The day-spring of immortal man?
[Pg 121]


One evening, a short time since, the curate of B., a small village in the north of France, returned much fatigued to his humble dwelling. He had been visiting a poor family who were suffering from both want and sickness; and the worthy old man, besides administering the consolations of religion, had given them a few small coins, saved by rigid self-denial from his scanty income. He walked homewards, leaning on his stick, and thinking, with sorrow, how very small were the means he possessed of doing good and relieving misery.

As he entered the door, he heard an unwonted clamor of tongues, taking the form of a by no means harmonious duet—an unknown male voice growling forth a hoarse bass, which was completely overscreeched by a remarkably high and thin treble, easily recognized by the placid curate as proceeding from the well-practiced throat of his housekeeper, the shrewish Perpetua of a gentle Don Abbondio.

"A pretty business this, monsieur!" cried the dame, when her master appeared, as with flashing eyes, and left arm a-kimbo, she pointed with the other to a surly-looking man, dressed in a blouse, who stood in the hall, holding a very small box in his hand. "This fellow," she continued, "is a messenger from the diligence, and he wants to get fifteen francs as the price of the carriage of that little box directed to you, which I'm sure, no matter what it contains, can't be worth half the money."

"Peace, Nanette," said her master; and, taking the box from the man, who at his approach, civilly doffed his hat, he examined the direction.

It was extremely heavy, and bore the stamp of San Francisco, in California, together with his own address. The curate paid the fifteen francs, which left him possessed of but a few sous, and dismissed the messenger.

He then opened the box, and displayed to the astonished eyes of Nanette an ingot of virgin gold, and a slip of paper, on which were written the following words:

"To Monsieur the Curate of B.
"A slight token of eternal gratitude, in remembrance of August 28th, 1848.
"Charles F——.
"Formerly sergeant-major in the —th regiment; now a gold-digger in California."

On the 28th of August, 1848, the curate was, on the evening in question, returning from visiting his poor and sick parishioners. Not far from his cottage he saw a young soldier with a haggard countenance and wild bloodshot eyes, hastening toward the bank of a deep and rapid river, which ran through the fields. The venerable priest stopped him, and spoke to him kindly.

At first the young man would not answer, and tried to break away from his questioner; but the curate fearing that he meditated suicide, would not be repulsed, and at length, with much difficulty, succeeded in leading him to his house. After some time, softened by the tender kindness of his host, the soldier confessed that he had spent in gambling a sum of money which had been entrusted to him as sergeant-major of his company. This avowal was made in words broken by sobs, and the culprit repeated several times, "My poor mother! my poor mother! if she only knew—"

The curate waited until the soldier had become more calm, and then addressed him in words of reproof and counsel, such as a tender father might bestow on an erring son. He finished by giving him a bag containing one hundred and thirty francs, the amount of the sum unlawfully dissipated.

"It is nearly all I possess in the world," said the old man, "but by the grace of God you will change your habits, you will work diligently, and some day, my friend, you will return me this money, which indeed belongs more to the poor than to me."

It would be impossible to describe the young soldier's joy and astonishment. He pressed convulsively his benefactor's hand, and after a pause, said,

"Monsieur, in three months my military engagement will be ended. I solemnly promise that, with the assistance of God, from that time I will work diligently." So he departed, bearing with him the money and the blessing of the good man.

Much to the sorrow and indignation of Nanette, her master continued to wear through the ensuing winter, his old threadbare suit, which he had intended to replace by warm garments; and his dinner frequently consisted of bread and soupe maigre.

"And all this," said the dame, "for the sake of a worthless stroller, whom we shall never see or hear of again!"

"Nanette," said her master, with tears in his eyes, as he showed her the massive ingot, whose value was three thousand francs, "never judge hardly of a repentant sinner. It was the weeping Magdalen who poured precious ointment on her Master's feet; it was the outlawed Samaritan leper who returned to give Him thanks. Our poor guest has nobly kept his word. Next winter my sick people will want neither food nor medicine; and you must lay in plenty of flannel and frieze for our old men and women, Nanette!"

[Pg 122]




In Politics the past month has been distinguished by the occurrence of elections in several of the States, and by a general agitation, in every section of the Union, of questions connected with the subject of slavery. The discussions through the press and before public audiences, have been marked by great excitement and bitterness, and have thus induced a state of public feeling in the highest degree unfavorable to that calm and judicious legislation which the critical condition of the country requires. We recorded at the proper time, the passage by Congress of the several measures generally known as the "peace measures" of the session—the last of which was the bill making more effectual provision for the recovery of fugitive slaves. Congress had no sooner adjourned than these measures, and especially the last, became the theme of violent public controversy. In the Northern States, several attempts to regain possession of fugitives from slavery in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and other places, were resisted with great clamor, and served to inflame public feeling to a very unhealthy extent. In our last number we mentioned some of the incidents by which this agitation was marked. It influenced greatly the elections in New York, Massachusetts, and other states, where nominations for Congress and state officers were made with special reference to these questions. The result of these elections is now to be recorded.

In our last number we mentioned the action of the Whig State Convention at Syracuse, the secession of forty members in consequence of the adoption of a resolution approving the course of Senator Seward, and their subsequent meeting at Utica, and renomination of the same ticket. Mr. Hunt, the Whig candidate for Governor, wrote a letter expressing acquiescence in the peace measures of Congress, but adding that the Fugitive Slave Law contained many unjust provisions, and ought to receive essential modifications. A convention representing the Anti-Renters of the state afterward assembled, and nominated Mr. Hunt as their candidate for Governor. On the 22d of October he wrote a letter to the Committee declining to recognize the action of any organization except that of the Whig party from which he had first received his nomination, and adding that, if elected, his "Constitutional duties could not be changed, nor his conduct in the discharge of them influenced, by the course taken in the election by any particular class of our citizens or any organization other than the party to which he belonged." Under all circumstances, he said, it would be his highest aim to execute his official trust with firmness and impartiality. He would "be actuated by an honest desire to promote justice, to uphold the supremacy of the law, to facilitate all useful reforms, to second legitimate endeavors for the redress of public grievances, and to protect the rights and advance the welfare of the whole people."

In the City of New York, meantime, there had been a growing feeling of apprehension at the tone of current political discussions and at the opposition everywhere manifested at the North to the Fugitive Slave Law, and on the 30th of October a very large public meeting was held at Castle Garden of those who were in favor of sustaining all the peace measures of Congress, and of taking such measures as would prevent any further agitation of the question of slavery. Mr. George Wood, an eminent member of the New York Bar, presided. A letter was read from Mr. Webster, to whom the resolutions intended to be brought forward had been sent, with an invitation to attend the meeting. The invitation was declined, but Mr. Webster expressed the most cordial approbation of the meeting, and of its proposed action. He concurred in "all the political principles contained in the resolutions, and stood pledged to support them, publicly and privately, now and always, to the full extent of his influence, and by the exertion of every faculty which he possessed." The Fugitive Slave Law he said, was not such a one as he had proposed, and should have supported if he had been in the Senate. But it is now "the law of the land, and as such is to be respected and obeyed by all good citizens. I have heard," he adds, "no man, whose opinion is worth regarding, deny its constitutionality; and those who counsel violent resistance to it, counsel that, which, if it take place, is sure to lead to bloodshed, and to the commission of capital offenses. It remains to be seen how far the deluded and the deluders will go in this career of faction, folly, and crime. No man is at liberty to set up, or to affect to set up, his own conscience as above the law, in a matter which respects the rights of others, and the obligations, civil, social, and political, due to others from him. Such a pretense saps the foundation of all government, and is of itself a perfect absurdity; and while all are bound to yield obedience to the laws, wise and well-disposed citizens will forbear from renewing past agitation, and rekindling the names of useless and dangerous controversy. If we would continue one people, we must acquiesce in the will of the majority, constitutionally expressed; and he that does not mean to do that, means to disturb the public peace, and to do what he can to overturn the Government." The resolutions adopted at the meeting, declared the purpose "to sustain the Fugitive Slave Law and its execution by all lawful means:" and that those represented at the meeting would "support no candidate at the ensuing or any other election, for state officers, or for members of Congress or of the Legislature, who is known or believed to be hostile to the peace measures recently adopted by Congress, or any of them, or in favor of re-opening the questions involved in them, for renewed agitation."

This meeting was followed by the nomination of a ticket, intended to represent these views, and those candidates only were selected, from both the party nominees, who were known or believed to entertain them. Mr. Seymour (Dem.) was nominated for Governor; Mr. Cornell (Whig) for Lieutenant Governor; Mr. Mather (Dem.) for Canal Commissioner; and Mr. Smith (Whig) for Clerk of the Court of Appeals. This movement in[Pg 123] New York City in favor of these candidates, caused a reaction in favor of the others in the country districts of the state. The election occurred on the 5th of November, and resulted as follows:

 Whigs.  Democrats.
Gov.Hunt214,353 Seymour214,095
Lieut. Gov.Cornell210,721 Church217,935
Canal Com.Blakely213,762 Mather214,818
Prison Ins.Baker207,696 Angel217,720
ClerkSmith210,926 Benton217,840

From this it will be seen that Mr. Hunt was elected Governor, and all the rest of the Democratic ticket was successful. Thirty-four members of Congress were also elected, there being 17 of each political party. The Legislature is decidedly Whig. In the Senate, which holds over from last year, there is a Whig majority of 2; and of the newly elected members of Assembly, 81 are Whigs, and 47 Democrats. This result derives special importance from the fact that a U.S. Senator is to be chosen to succeed Hon. D.S. Dickinson, whose term expires on the 4th of March, 1851. The vote on the Repeal of the Free School Law was as follows:

Against repeal203,501
For repeal168,284
Majority against repeal35,217

In New Jersey a state election also occurred on the 5th of November. The candidates for Governor were Dr. Fort, Democrat, and Hon. John Runk, Whig. The result of the canvass was as follows:

Fort's majority5,672

Five members of Congress were also elected, 4 of whom were Democrats, and 1 Whig.

In Ohio the election occurred in October, with the following result:

Wood, Democrat133,092Majority11,997.
Johnston, Whig121,095
Smith, Abolitionist13,826

Twenty-one members of Congress were elected, of whom 8 were Whigs, and 13 Democrats.

In Massachusetts the election took place on the 12th of November, with the following result for Governor—there being, of course, no election, as a majority of all the votes cast is requisite to a choice:

Briggs, Whig55,351
Boutwell, Democrat36,245
Phillips, Free Soil27,811

Of 9 Congressmen, 3 Whigs are chosen, and in 6 districts no choice was effected. Hon. Horace Mann, the Free Soil candidate, succeeded against both the opposing candidates. To the State Senate 13 Whigs and 27 of the Opposition were chosen; and to the House of Representatives 169 Whigs, 179 Opposition, and in 79 districts there was no choice. The vacancies were to be filled by an election on the 25th of November. A U.S. Senator from this State is also to be chosen, to succeed Hon. R.C. Winthrop, who was appointed by the Governor to supply the vacancy caused by Mr. Webster's resignation.

No more elections for Members of Congress will be held in any of the States (except to fill vacancies) until after March 4th, 1851. The terms of 21 Senators expire on that day—of whom 8 are Whigs, and 13 Democrats. Judging from the State elections already held there will be 6 Whigs and 15 Democrats chosen to fill their places. The U.S. Senate will then stand thus:

Holding over18Whigs23Democrats.
New Senators6"15"
Total24 38

The House of Representatives comprises 233 members, of whom 127 have already been chosen, politically divided as follows—compared with the delegations from each State in the present Congress:

Missouri32 5
Iowa 211
Florida1 1
South Carolina 7 7
New York1717322
New Jersey1441
Wisconsin 312
Massachusetts[11]3 3
Delaware 11

Should the remaining 16 States be represented in the next Congress politically as at present, the Democratic majority would be about 30. In reference to the contingency of the next presidential election devolving upon the House, for lack of a choice by the people, 9 of the above States would go Democratic, five of them Whig, and one (the State of New York), would have no vote, its delegation being equally divided. The delegations of the same States in the present Congress are as follows, viz., 7 Whig, 7 Democratic, and one (Iowa) equally divided.

While such have been the results of the elections in the Northern States, and such the tone of public feeling there, a still warmer canvass has been going on throughout the South. We can only indicate the most prominent features of this excitement, as shown in the different Southern States.

In Georgia a State Convention of delegates is to assemble, by call of the Executive, under an act of the Legislature, at Milledgeville, on the 10th of December: and delegates are to be elected. The line of division is resistance, or submission, to the Federal Government. A very large public meeting was held at Macon, at which resolutions were adopted, declaring that, if the North would adhere to the terms of the late Compromise—if they would insure a faithful execution of the Fugitive Slave Bill, and put down all future agitation of the slavery question—then the people of the South will continue to live in the bonds of brotherhood, and unite in all proper legislative action for the preservation and perpetuity of our glorious Union. Hon. Howell Cobb, Speaker of the House of Representatives, made a speech in support of these resolutions. Hon. A.H. Stephens, R. Toombs, Senator Berrien, and other distinguished gentlemen of both parties, have made efforts in the same direction, and public meetings have been held in several counties, at which similar sentiments were proclaimed. The general feeling in Georgia seems to be in favor of acquiescence in the recent legislation of Congress, provided the North will also acquiesce, and faithfully carry its acts into execution.

In South Carolina, the whole current of public feeling seems to be in favor of secession. At a meeting held at Greenville, on the 4th of November,[Pg 124] Col. Memminger made a speech, in which he expressed himself in favor of a Confederation of the Southern States, and if that could not be accomplished, then for South Carolina to secede from the Union, stand upon and defend her rights, and leave the issue in the hands of Him who ruleth the destinies of nations. He was answered by General Waddy Thompson, who depicted forcibly and eloquently the ruinous results of such a course as that advised, and repelled the charges of injustice urged against the Northern States. The meeting, however, adopted resolutions, almost unanimously, embodying the sentiments of Col. Memminger. And the tone of the press throughout the state is of the same character.

In Alabama public opinion is divided. A portion of the people are in favor of resistance, and called upon Gov. Collier to convene a State Convention, to take the matter into consideration. The Governor has issued an address upon the subject, in which he declines to do so, at present, until the course of other Southern States shall have been indicated. He says that while all profess to entertain the purpose to resist aggression by the Federal Legislature on the great southern institution, public opinion is certainly not agreed as to the time or occasion when resistance should be interposed, or as to the mode or measure of it. He apprehends renewed efforts for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, and pertinacious exertions for the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Law; that California will be divided into several States, and that the North will thus acquire power enough so to amend the Federal Constitution as to take away the right of representation for the slaves—a result which he, of course, regards as fatal to the South. He believes that any State has a right to secede from the Union, at pleasure, but thinks that a large majority of the people of Alabama, are strongly disinclined to withdraw from the confederation, until other measures have been unsuccessfully tried to resist further aggression. Under these circumstances, he recommends the people of the State so to develop their resources, establish manufactures, schools, shipping houses, &c., as to become really independent of the North. This is the policy which, in his judgment, will prove most effectual in securing the rights, and protecting the interests of the South. Hon. Mr. Hilliard has written a letter to the citizens of Mount Meigs, declaring that, though opposed to the admission of California, he sees nothing in the measures of the last session which would justify the people of the Southern States in resisting them, or furnish any ground for revolution. A very large mass meeting of the citizens of Montgomery county, held on the 20th of October, adopted resolutions, first reciting that a systematic and formidable organization is in progress in some of the Southern States, having for its object some form of violent resistance to the Compromise measures passed by Congress at its last session; and that if this resistance is carried out according to the plans of a portion of the citizens of the Southern States, it must, inevitably, lead to a dissolution of the Union; and that the Montgomery meeting, though they do not approve of them all, do not consider these measures as furnishing any sufficient and just cause for resistance; and then declaring, 1. That they will rally under the flag of the Union. 2. That they will support no man for any office, who is in favor of disunion, or secession, on account of any existing law or act of Congress. 3. That they acquiesce in the recent action of Congress. And, 4. That if the Compromise should be disturbed, they will unite with the South in such measures of resistance as the emergency may demand.

In Mississippi the contest is no less animated. It was brought on by the issuing of a proclamation by Gov. Quitman, calling a State Convention, for the purpose of taking measures of redress. A private letter, written by Gov. Quitman, has also been published, in which he avows himself in favor of secession. On the last Saturday in October, a mass meeting was held at Raymond, at which Col. Jefferson Davis was present, and made a speech. He was strongly in favor of resistance, but was not clear that it should be by force. He thought it possible to maintain the rights of the South in the Union. He was willing, however, to leave the mode of resistance entirely to the people, while he should follow their dictates implicitly. Mr. Anderson replied to him, and insisted that the Federal Government had committed no unconstitutional aggression upon the rights of the South, and that they ought, therefore, to acquiesce in the recent legislation of Congress. Senator Foote is actively engaged in canvassing the state, urging the same views. He meets very violent opposition in various sections.

In Louisiana indications of public sentiment are to be found in the position of the two United States Senators. Mr. Downs, in his public addresses, takes the ground that the South might as well secede because Illinois and Indiana are free States as because California is. He admits that California is a large State, but he says she is not half so large as Texas, a slave State, brought into the Union five years ago. Mr. Soulé, the other Senator, having expressed no opinion upon the subject, was addressed in a friendly note of inquiry first by Hon. C.N. Stanton, asking whether he was in favor of a dissolution of the Union, of the establishment of a Southern Confederacy, or of the secession of Louisiana, because of the late action of Congress. Mr. Soulé, in his reply, complains bitterly of the "vile abuse" heaped upon him, charges his correspondent with seeking his political destruction, and refers him to his speeches in the Senate for his sentiments upon these questions. A large number of the members of his own party then addressed to Mr. Soulé the same inquiries, saying that they did it from no feeling of unkindness, but merely to have a fair and proper comprehension of his opinions upon a most important public question. Mr. S., under date of Oct. 30, replies, refusing to answer their inquiries, and saying that their only object was to divide and distract the Democratic party. Senator Downs[Pg 125], in reply to the same questions, has given a full and explicit answer in the negative: he is not in favor of disunion or secession.

A letter written during the last session of Congress, dated January 7, 1850, from the Members of Congress from Louisiana, to the Governor of that State, has recently been published. It calls his attention to the constant agitation of the subject of slavery at the North, and to the fact that the legislature of every Northern State had passed resolutions deemed aggressive by the South, and urging the Governor to recommend the Legislature of Louisiana to join the other Southern States in resisting this action. The opinion is expressed that "decisive action on the part of the Southern States at the present crisis, is not only not dangerous to the Union, but that it is the best, many think, the only way of saving it."

Among the political events of the month is the publication of a correspondence between Hon. Isaac Hill, long a leader of the Democratic party in New Hampshire, and Mr. Webster, in regard to the efforts of the latter to preserve the peace and harmony of the Union by allaying agitation on the subject of slavery. Mr. Hill, under date of April 17, wrote to Mr. Webster expressing his growing alarm at the progress of ill-feeling between the different sections of the country, and his conviction that "all that is of value in the sound discrimination and good sense of the American people will declare in favor of Mr. Webster's great speech in the Senate upon that subject. Its author," he adds, "may stand upon that alone, and he will best stand by disregarding any and every imputation of alleged inconsistency and discrepancy of opinion and practice, in a public career of nearly half a century." Mr. Webster, in acknowledging the letter, speaks of it as "an extraordinary and gratifying incident in his life," coming as it did from one who had long "belonged to an opposite political party, espoused opposite measures, and supported for high office men of very different political opinions." They had not differed, however, in their devotion to the Union; and now, that its harmony is threatened, it was gratifying to see that both concurred in the measures necessary for its preservation. His effort, he says, had been and would be to cause the billows of useless and dangerous controversy to sleep and be still. He was ready to meet all the consequences which are likely to follow the attempt to moderate public feeling in highly excited times, and he cheerfully left the speech to which Mr. Hill had alluded, "with the principles and sentiments which it avows, to the judgment of posterity."

A public dinner was given to the Hon. John M. Clayton on the 16th of November, by the Whigs of Delaware, at Wilmington, at which Mr. C. made a long and eloquent speech in vindication of the policy pursued by the late President Taylor and his Administration. He paid a very high tribute to the personal character, moral firmness, patriotism, and sagacity of the late President, and vindicated his course from the objections which have been urged against it. He expressed full confidence in the perpetuity of the Union, and ridiculed the apprehensions that have been so widely entertained of its dissolution. A large number of guests were present, and letters were read from many distinguished gentlemen who had been invited but were unable to attend. Preferences were expressed at the meeting for Gen. Scott as a candidate for the Presidency in 1852.

Colonel Richard M. Johnson, Vice President of the United States for four years from 1836, died at Frankfort, Ky., on the 19th of November, aged 70. He has been a member of Congress, and Senator of the United States from Kentucky, and acquired distinction under General Harrison in the Indian war of 1812. At the time of his death he was a member of the Kentucky Legislature.


The event of the month which has excited most interest, has been the establishment by the Pope of Roman Catholic jurisdiction in England. The Pope has issued an Apostolic Letter, dated September 24th, which begins by reciting the steps taken hitherto for the promotion of the Catholic faith in England. Having before his eyes the efforts made by his predecessors, and desirous of imitating their zeal, and carrying forward to completion the work which they commenced, and considering that every day the obstacles are falling off which stood in the way of the extension of the Catholic religion, Pius IX. believes that the time has come when the form of government should be resumed in England such as it exists in other nations. He thinks it no longer necessary that England should be governed by Vicars Apostolic, but that she should be furnished with the ordinary episcopal form of government. Being confirmed in these thoughts by the desires expressed by the Vicars Apostolic, the clergy and laity, and the great body of English Catholics, and, also, by the advice of the Cardinals forming the Congregation for Propagating the Faith, the Pope decrees the re-establishment in England of a hierarchy of bishops, deriving their titles from their own Sees, which he constitutes in the various Apostolic districts. He then proceeds to erect England into one archiepiscopal province of the Romish church, and divides that province into thirteen bishoprics.

The promulgation of this letter created throughout England a feeling of angry surprise, and nearly the whole of London has teemed with the most emphatic and earnest condemnation of the measure. In order somewhat to mitigate the alarm of startled Protestantism, Dr. Ullathorne, an eminent Catholic divine, has published a letter to show that the act is solely between the Pope and his spiritual subjects, who have been recognized as such by the English Emancipation Act, and that it does not in the slightest degree interfere with the laws of England, in all temporal matters. He shows that the jurisdiction which the Pope has asserted in England, is nothing more than has been exercised by every communion in the land, and that nothing can be more unfair than to confound this measure, which is really one of liberality to the Catholics of England, with ideas of aggression on the English government and people. In 1688, he says, England was divided into four vicariates. In 1840, the four were again divided into eight; and, in 1850, they are again divided and changed into thirteen. This has been done in consequence of efforts begun by the Catholics of England, in 1846, and continued until the present time. By changing the Vicars Apostolic into Bishops in ordinary, the Pope has given up the exercise of a portion of his power, and transferred it to the bishops. This letter, with other papers of a similar tenor, has somewhat modified the feeling of indignation with which the Pope's proceeding was at first received, and attention has been turned to the only fact of real importance connected with the matter, namely, the rapid and steady increase of the Roman Catholics, by conversions from the English Established Church. The Daily News, in a paper written with marked ability, charges this increase upon the secret Catholicism of many of the younger clergy, encouraged by ecclesiastical superiors, upon the negligent administration of other clergymen, and upon the exclusive character of the Universities. Very urgent demands are made by the press, and by the clergy of the Established Church, for the interference of the Government against the Pope's invasion of the rights of England; but no indications have yet been given of any intention on the part of ministers to take any action upon the subject.

A good deal of attention has been attracted to a speech made by Lord Stanley, the leader of the Protectionist party in England, at a public dinner, Oct. 4th, in which he urged the necessity, on the part of the agricultural interests of the kingdom, of adapting themselves to the free-trade policy, instead of laboring in vain for its repeal. The speech has been very widely regarded as an abandonment of the[Pg 126] protective policy by its leading champion, and it is, of course, considered as a matter of marked importance with reference to the future policy of Great Britain upon this subject. The Marquis of Granby, on the other hand, at the annual meeting of the Waltham Agricultural Society, held on the 19th of October, again urged the necessity of returning to the old system of protection, and exhorted reliance on a future Parliament for its accomplishment. The subject of agriculture is attracting an unusual degree of attention, and the various issues connected with it, form a standard topic of discussion in the leading journals.

The Tenant Right question continues to be agitated with great earnestness and ability in Ireland. A deputation from the Ulster Tenant Right Provincial Committee waited on the Earl of Clarendon during his visit to Belfast to present an address. The earl declined to receive them, but wrote a letter, dated Sept. 18, in reply to one inclosing a copy of the address. He expressed great satisfaction at the prevalence of order and at the evidence of agricultural prosperity, and assured them of the wish of the government to settle the rights of tenants on a just and satisfactory basis. A great Tenant Right meeting was held at Meath, October 10th, at which some 15,000 persons are said to have been present.

The Committee of Prelates appointed by the Synod of Thurles to carry into execution the project of establishing a Catholic University in Ireland, on the model of the Catholic University at Louvain, have resolved that regular monthly collections, on the plan of that for the Propagation of the Faith, be made throughout the kingdom by local committees, of which the parochial clergy are to be ex-officio members. They have published a long address to the Catholics of Ireland, insisting on the grave evils to faith and morals of separating religion from secular education, and calling loudly for support to their projected establishment.

The month has been distinguished in England by an extraordinary prevalence of crime. Murders, burglaries, and other offenses against the law have been frequent beyond all former experience. The details of these incidents it is not worth while to give. The Household Narrative gives a chapter, written after the manner of Ledru Rollin, in which the state of England during the month of October is presented in a most unpromising light. The writer says that, notwithstanding the gloominess of the picture, every fact stated in it is true, and every inference is false. There have also been an unusual number of accidents during the month.

Miss Howard, of York Place, has assigned over to trustees £45,000, for the erection of twenty-one houses on her property at Pinner, near Harrow, in the form of a crescent; the centre-house for the trustees, the other twenty houses for the use of twenty widows, who are to occupy them free of rent and taxes, and also to receive £50 a year clear of all deductions. The widows of naval men to have the preference, then those of military men, and, lastly, those of clergymen. This is justly chronicled as an act of munificent charity.

The Free Grammar School at Richmond, erected as a testimonial to the memory of the late Canon Tate, who was one of the most successful teachers in England, was opened with much ceremony on the 3d of October.

A Temperance Festival was held on the 14th, at the London Tavern. The company, between five and six hundred, were entertained with tea, speeches, and temperance melodies. The principal speaker was Mr. George Cruikshank, the celebrated artist, who was vehemently applauded.

Negotiations have been entered into with the Lords of the Admiralty and Government authorities for the establishment of a Submarine Telegraph across St. George's Channel, upon a similar though much more extensive scale to that now being undertaken between England and France. From the extreme western coast of Ireland to Halifax, the nearest telegraphic station in America, the distance is 2155 miles; and as this might be accomplished by the steamers in five or six days, it is apprehended that England, by means of telegraphic communication, may be put in possession of intelligence from America in six days, instead of as now in twelve or fourteen.

The Queen and Prince Albert have returned from their visit to Scotland. They remained at Balmoral till the 10th Oct., on the morning of which day they departed for the South. They arrived at Edinburgh about seven in the evening. Preparations had been made to give a loyal welcome; and among the features of the demonstration, was a bonfire piled to the height of forty feet on the summit of Arthur's Seat. The blazing mass consisted of thirty tons of coal, a vast quantity of wood saturated with oil and turpentine, and a thousand tar-barrels. It was kindled at five o'clock, and the flames are said to have been seen by the Queen for many miles of her route on both sides of the Forth. The party left Edinburgh next morning, and arrived in the evening at Buckingham Palace; and on Saturday, the 12th, they went to Osborne.

Intelligence has been received from the Arctic Expedition in search of Sir John Franklin. The North Star, which went out as a tender-ship to the expedition of Sir John Clark Ross a year and a half ago, returned unexpectedly to Spithead on the 28th of September, bringing dispatches from the ships of the four expeditions which went out early this year. The Prince Albert, a ship dispatched in July last, under Captain Forsyth, to make a special search beyond Brentford Bay, returned to Aberdeen on the 29th ult. Dispatches from Captain Ommaney, Captain Penny, Sir John Ross, and Captain Forsyth, have been published by the Admiralty; but they throw little or no light on the fate of the missing voyagers.

The British Government has decided to send all letters and newspapers for the United States by the first steamer, whether American or English. Hitherto they have invariably been detained for a British steamer, unless specially marked for transmission by the American line.

A Dublin paper states that Dr. Wiseman, who has been made Archbishop of Westminster by the Pope, is a native of Seville, where his parents, who are natives of Waterford, Ireland, resided several years. His father was a wine-merchant in Andalusia.

The Lord Mayor of York gave a splendid entertainment to the Lord Mayor of London, on the 25th of October, which was attended by a great number of the leading men of England. Prince Albert was present, and made a very sensible and pertinent extempore speech. Its leading feature was a marked and impressive eulogy on Sir Robert Peel. In alluding to the interest taken by Sir Robert in the great Industrial Exhibition, Prince Albert took occasion to say that he had assurances of the most reliable character that the works in preparation for the great Exhibition were "such as to dispel all apprehension for the position which British industry will maintain."

[Pg 127]

At the meeting of the Canford Estate Agricultural Show on the 22d of October, the lady of Sir John Guest made a brief but most admirable speech, expressing her regard for the laboring classes of England, and her earnest desire that the utmost efforts should be made for their elevation and improvement. This unusual incident, and the admirable spirit which it evinced, elicited great applause.

The Town Council of Manchester are taking vigorous steps to compel the manufacturers of that city to consume the smoke of their furnaces, and thus to rid the city of the dense cloud which has hung over it hitherto. The process is found to be perfectly practicable, and decidedly economical. Some of the heaviest manufacturing establishments in the city testify to a saving of one-third in coal. The issue of the experiment will be important.

The rapid increase of burglaries and thefts in Birmingham has elicited from Mr. D.H. Hill a suggestion for the suppression of crime, which is regarded as pertinent and important by the leading journals. He proposes that whenever a jury is satisfied that an accused party is addicted to theft, he shall be compelled to prove a good character, and to show means of subsistence, on penalty of being adjudged a thief, and punished accordingly, under an old statute.

Emigration from Ireland to the United States continues and increases. A great part of those who leave are described by the Irish papers as being farmers of the most respectable class, and considerable apprehensions are expressed of the injurious effect of the movement on the prosperity of the country.

A letter from Brazil, written by Lieut. Bailey of the royal navy, details some rather prompt proceedings on his part in the capture of slavers. He was sent out to the Brazil station, and arrived off Rio Janeiro June 18th, and in sight of the harbor captured a vessel engaged in slave-trading, and sank her the same night. On the 20th, he captured a second, and sent her to St. Helena for adjudication; and on the 23d, he seized another, taking her out of a Brazilian port, which has hitherto been contrary to law. The affair excited a good deal of feeling in Brazil, and was likely to lead to a misunderstanding with the English government. The effect of such proceedings, in exasperating a government which might be induced by friendly appeals to put an end to slave-trading, is forcibly urged.

The Paris correspondent of the London Times has developed an alleged secret plot of the Red Republicans, to revive the revolutionary fever throughout Europe, and the substance of his statements is also given in the Paris Patrie—both accounts being evidently derived from the same source. It is asserted that the Socialists have leagued themselves together and that a secret congress of their chiefs was held in Paris on the 2d of June, where they planned a gigantic conspiracy, the ramifications of which extend to the whole of Europe, and even to the heart of Russia, where it is said to menace a terrible explosion. The motto which has been adopted is, "Sans pitié ni merci," and it has been resolved that all the chiefs of states shall be assassinated. It is added that in one of the numerous secret meetings held by the initiated under the presidency of the principal agents, the death of the Bonapartists was sworn, and would be the signal for the destruction of all the Bourbons, and of all their friends and supporters. The threat uttered by one of the German chiefs of the conspiracy was to the effect that "on the field of battle we shall spare no one, and we will strike down our dearest friends if they are not unconditional Communists." After indicating the dépôts of arms formed by the Communist conspirators in all the capitals where it has established seats, enumerating the means employed to ensnare the foolish and the ambitious, and, in fact, indicating all its resources and all its plans, the document informs us that the object of the conspiracy is to arrive, by means of general confusion and a sanguinary combat, at the extermination of all those who possess a foot of land, or a coupon of rente, and that it has sworn the oath of Hannibal against all the monarchies of Europe. Plunder and assassination form the basis of the plan. The document terminates thus, "The soil of Europe is undermined, so as to render a frightful catastrophe imminent." The pretended revelation is ridiculed in nearly all quarters.

On the destruction of the Roman Republic, the Roman Representatives appointed a National Committee, of which Mazzini was the head, with extensive political powers. This committee has just issued an address, dated at London, calling on all Italians and all Italian provinces to join their standard, promising them eventual success. In the course of the address they declare that they have effected such an organization of the forces of the movement as circumstances permit, and insist on the necessity of Italy becoming an independent nation.

We have hitherto alluded to the public agitation started in the British Colony of New South Wales in favor of independence, by Dr. Lang, who had organized an association for the purpose of accomplishing the object which he declared to be so desirable. The movement has been represented by the English papers as being unsupported by the colonists, and as, therefore, of no importance. We see, however, that Dr. Lang has recently been elected mayor of the City of Sydney, which shows that the people there, at least, have confidence in his character and respect for his views.


Nothing important has occurred in France during the month, except a change in the War Department, growing out of the supposed efforts of the President to attach the army to his interests. On the 3d of October the President reviewed a great body of troops near Versailles. He was accompanied by the Minister of War, and by General Roguet, his aid-de-camp. General Changarnier left Paris an hour before the President. Though entitled to take the command he did not do so, General Neumayer acting in his room. After the review the President gave a collation to the officers and non-commissioned officers, and ordered 13,000 rations to be distributed to the soldiers. The President joined the collation given to the general officers, but General Changarnier declined being present, and returned to Paris. The frequency of these reviews, the manner in which the troops were feasted by the President, the manifestations made by the soldiers, and the rumor that a difference of opinion existed between the President and General Changarnier on the subject, led to an extraordinary meeting of the Commission of Permanence. The Minister of War, General Hautpoul, having been called on to explain the circumstances with reference to the late reviews, replied that he wished to inform the Commission that he held no command from the Assembly, and that, consequently, he could deny[Pg 128] the right of the Commission to put any questions to him. He, however, waived these objections; and, in reply to the question, said that the accounts published in the papers respecting the reviews were grossly exaggerated; and that nothing whatever had occurred there of an unconstitutional or an unmilitary character. The Minister further observed that it would be impossible to publish an order of the day preventing the soldiers from expressing their feelings of attachment and respect to the chief of the State, and if it were possible he would not do so. With respect to the review that was to take place on the following Thursday, he pledged himself for the maintenance of the most complete tranquillity on that occasion. When the Commission was about to separate, the President again addressed the Minister of War, and said, "General Hautpoul, I am desired by the committee to apprise you that in case General Changarnier be removed from his command, or that any other steps be taken against him, we are determined to convoke, forthwith, the Legislative Assembly." To this the Minister made no reply, and the Commission adjourned.

On Thursday the 10th, the review referred to by the Minister of War took place. There were 25,000 troops, chiefly cavalry. The President was accompanied by General Hautpoul, the Minister of War, and several other general officers, besides his usual brilliant staff. When the defiling of the troops in front of the President took place, he was loudly hailed by part of the cavalry, who cried "Vive l'Empereur!" "Vive Napoleon!" After the troops had defiled, the usual refreshments were served out to them, and the President, accompanied by his staff, paid a visit to the camp, but General Changarnier left the ground.

The Proces-verbal of the meeting of the Council of Permanence, held on the 12th, drawn up by M. Dupin to the President, was to the following effect: The violation of the promises made by the Minister of War, and the unconstitutional manifestations, provoked or tolerated, are severely blamed. The committee did not think proper to invite the Minister of War to give further explanations. Deploring the incidents of the review, it still expressed complete confidence in the loyalty of the army, and is satisfied that the cries were not spontaneous on the part of the soldiers, but instigated by certain officers. In order to avoid alarming the country in the absence of imminent peril, it has not deemed proper to convoke the Assembly; but it deeply disapproves reviews so frequent, into which habits altogether unusual and foreign to military traditions have been so boldly introduced.

As a sequel to these disputes, General Hautpoul has found it necessary to resign his place in the government, and has gone to Algeria as governor of that colony. He is succeeded as Minister of War by General Schramm. Soon after the accession of the latter, an official notification appeared in the Moniteur that General Neumayer had been removed from the command of the 1st division and appointed to the 15th. The reason given for this removal is said to be that General N., at the last review at Satory, expressly enjoined the troops not to give utterance to any cry whatever, deeming silence to be more strictly in accordance with the regulations of the army, and in conformity, too, with the instructions he had received from the Commander-in-Chief. This, it is said, much displeased both Louis Napoleon and the Minister of War. At all events, General Changarnier was greatly offended at the removal, and a complete breach has occurred between him and the President. He refuses to resign until the Assembly shall have passed judgment in the matter.


The war between Denmark and the Duchies is bloody and disastrous. The army of Schleswig-Holstein has made several attempts to take the city of Friedrichstadt by storm, none of which have been successful, and the losses sustained by General Willisen have been considerable, particularly in officers. After bombarding part of the town during the whole of the 4th of October, the town was in the evening attacked by two battalions of infantry and a detachment of riflemen. After a desperate struggle, in which both sides must have suffered very heavy losses, the Danes gave way a little, but only to seek the cover of new entrenchments and barricades thrown up in the middle of the town. The resistance which they met with here was so violent and determined, that notwithstanding the most brilliant bravery, the Schleswig-Holsteiners were compelled to retire at midnight. They took up a new position somewhat in advance of the old, and the conflict was renewed on the following morning, but with no better success. The fighting continued till near midnight. Sixteen officers out of twenty belonging to the 5th battalion were slain. General Christiansen covered the retreat with his battery, while the flames of the burning city cast a ghastly light upon the retiring troops. After the failure of this desperate assault, General Willisen withdrew his troops from before Friedrichstadt. The heavy guns were taken back to Rendsburg, and the two armies were again in the same position they occupied before the 29th of September; the only result having been the almost total destruction of the unfortunate town, and the loss of many brave men on both sides.

The Danish journals of the 16th state that orders have been issued for the return to Copenhagen of all the Danish ships of war, except the smaller craft, in consequence of the advanced season of the year, and its accompanying storms, which render it nearly impossible for vessels to hold to the coast.

A rumor has obtained currency through the Times that the aid extended to the Schleswig-Holsteiners by Prussia, has led to the interference of Russia and of France, and that these two powers have jointly proposed to England that the three powers shall peremptorily require Prussia to fulfill her recent engagement with Denmark, and withdraw the support she still continues to give to the Schleswig-Holstein army. In the event of Prussia hesitating to comply with this reasonable demand, Russia and France are prepared to back it, by an invasion of the Silesian provinces of Prussia on the one side, and the Rhenish on the other. The British Government, in reply, it is said, declines to join with Russia and France in such a note as that described, but proposes that all three powers shall separately remonstrate with Prussia on her present breach of faith with the Danish Government. These rumors have created a good deal of interest and anxiety, as threatening the peace of Europe.


The accounts from India are from Bombay to October 3, and from Calcutta to September 21st. Great preparations were on foot for the great Industrial Exhibition at London. The Maharajah has ordered specimens of every kind of Cashmerian product to be got ready without delay. The shawls intended for the purpose are described as remarkably splendid. The heir to the throne, Rajah[Pg 129] Runheer Singh, having heard of the distinguished "success" at London of the Nepaul Envoy, is anxious to visit England himself; but the prospect of a disputed succession, in the event of his father's death, will probably keep him at home.

The whole of British India was tranquil, but the petty civil war on the Nizam's borders still continued.

The native state of Oude seems inclined to rival the Nizam's territories in anarchy and misgovernment. Some months since an English officer was killed and two guns lost in an attack on the fort of a refractory vassal of the King of Oude. A second event of the same nature has occurred. The Rajah of Esanuggur had shown himself for some time unwilling to pay the portion of revenue due from him to the Oude government, and in endeavoring to obtain these dues from him, Lieut. P. Orr, with a small party, had a brisk fight, each side losing a considerable number. Lieut. Orr was forced to retreat, and took refuge in the districts of a rival Rajah.

The present aspect of the Punjaub is most encouraging; the population, now disarmed, have settled down into their former habits of industry. The breadth of land under cultivation this season is said to be unprecedented, and the crops are every where most promising.

The most important piece of intelligence from Hong-Kong is the continuation of the fearful mortality among the British troops. This mortality was chiefly in the 59th regiment, which had lost ninety men in about two months. This sickness, therefore, is ascribed to the unhealthiness of the barracks and the want of sufficient sanitary precautions. The mortality, however, had begun to abate.

A formidable insurrection against the Chinese government had broken out in the province of Kwang-si. The leader, who is named Li-ting-pang, is said to be at the head of 50,000 men. He has assumed the title borne by the highest Tartar generals, and threatens to exterminate the present, and restore the old Chinese dynasty.

In Bombay, the culture of cotton is rapidly extending. Two years ago, the whole of the land under cultivation with American cotton in that Presidency, was under twenty thousand acres. At the present moment the quantity exceeds one hundred thousand acres, and there is every certainty of a rapid increase taking place.

At a court martial held in Bombay, Lieut. Rose was found guilty of a want of spirit, in applying to the civil power for an escort of police to protect him from Mr. Lang, editor of the Mofussilite, with whom he had a quarrel. He was sentenced to be reprimanded by Sir Charles Napier, and to lose his staff appointment.


The question as to the Hungarian refugees is not yet arranged. Numerous communications have taken place on this subject between the Porte and the Austrian internuncio, and a recent conference has been held between the British embassador and General Aupick. The Divan, considering itself pledged to Austria by its anterior declaration, is unwilling to break, inconsiderately, an engagement of this nature, by which its relations with the Court of Vienna might be gravely compromised. In order, therefore, to conciliate all parties, the Porte has written on this subject to its embassador at Vienna, directing him to confer with the Austrian Cabinet on the modifications that it may be possible and desirable to make in the situation of the refugees. The Russian Minister affects not to interfere in this affair, but, notwithstanding this, it is obvious to every one that he is in private communication with the Austrian internuncio. The Turkish fleet, which had been for some time cruising in the Archipelago, has returned to Constantinople.


The Representative Constitution and the Liberty of the Press have been destroyed in Tuscany. On the 23d Sept. two Decrees were promulgated; the first announced the dissolution of the Chamber of Deputies and declared that till a fresh convocation of the legislature, all power would be exercised by the Grand Duke in the Council of State. The second declared that no journal or periodical should be published without first obtaining the written authorization of the Minister of the Interior, to whom the names and other circumstances of the director and of the proprietor of the printing establishment are to be communicated.


A frightful calamity has occurred at the place of pilgrimage called Herrgott, in Austria. At one of the public-houses the pilgrims (of whom there were 3000 assembled at Herrgott) were spending the night in eating and drinking. While baking the fish the oven took fire. Behind the inn were a number of stables and barns, in which hundreds of the pilgrims were reposing, and almost all perished in the flames. Scarcely half of the pilgrims were saved, and those who survived have for the most part been much injured.

From Poland there is a singular account of a forest on fire. Near Cracow, adjoining the line of railway, there is a large peat ground, part of which runs below an immense forest. Some sparks from a locomotive engine were blown in that direction, and fell on the peat. A few days after, the ground in the forest was found to be very warm, and some rumbling and crackling noises were heard. Several large trees fell as if cut down by an ax, and the leaves of others withered. As it was naturally considered that a subterranean fire must be burning under the forest, the officers charged with the inspection of it caused large trenches to be cut. This conjecture turned out to be well-founded, for the fire soon afterward burst forth, and still continued its ravages. The forest presented the appearance of a vast sea of flame, which was every day extending. The country round to the extent of six leagues was perfectly illuminated, and it has been found impossible to stop the progress of the fire.

The long expected Constitution for Galicia has at length appeared. That Crown land will have three districts, Cracow, Lemberg, and Stanislawow—each with a separate administration. In Cracow the specific Polish, and in Stanislawow the Ruthennian element is prevalent. Lemberg, the capital of Galicia, is the seat of the Provincial Government. In the Lemberg district the two branches of the same race (the Sclavonic) are mixed.

The Constitution for the Bukowina has also been published. This remote Crown land is divided into six districts or captaincies, which are under the immediate control of the Stadtholder of the province, who has still to be appointed. Count Goluchowski had been sworn in as Stadtholder of Galicia.

Letters from Ravenna, in the Genoa Gazette, give appalling accounts of the progress of brigandage[Pg 130] in the Roman states. Two persons, considered as spies by the bandits, had been decapitated by them in the vicinity of the above-mentioned town, and their heads placed on poles at a cross-road. The diligence of Imola has lately been stopped and robbed of 1000 scudi (5500f.) belonging to the Pope. At Lugo, three individuals carried off 11,000f. from a bank, and passed triumphantly through the town with their booty, without any one daring to stop them.

An extensive conspiracy has recently been discovered at Teheran. The most influential members of the clergy were at the head of it, and its object was to overthrow the present Shah, to replace him by a descendant of Ali, and to drive all the Turks out of Persia. Numerous arrests have been made at Teheran, and in the principal towns. The greater number of those arrested belong to the body of Ulemas.



The past month has not been marked by any movements of importance in any of these departments. Our publishers have generally confined their issues to works especially intended for the holiday season. Most of our public men have been recruiting themselves from the fatigues of the late protracted session of Congress, or preparing, by taking part in the political canvass, for the session that is at hand. Mr. Clay was received at Lexington with abundant demonstrations of enthusiastic personal and political affection. He has remained at home during the vacation.

Mr. Webster has been spending some weeks at his farm in Marshfield, and at his native town, Franklin, N.H. During his stay at the latter place a number of his old friends and neighbors paid him a visit, and sat down to an old-fashioned dinner, at which friendly greetings were exchanged with their distinguished host. The occasion was one of rare enjoyment. Mr. Webster's health has been very sensibly benefited by this greatly needed interval of relaxation from public duties. In some remarks made at an informal meeting with some friends in Boston, Mr. W. said that for six months during the last session of Congress, he had not slept two hours any one night.

A public dinner was recently given at Boston to Amin Bey, the Turkish Envoy to the United States, by some of the merchants of Boston. Thomas B. Curtis presided, and a large number of distinguished guests were present. Amin Bey replied to a toast complimentary to the Sultan, by expressing his warm sense of the friendliness with which he had been received in this country, and his earnest desire for an extension of commerce and of mutual kind offices between his own government and that of the United States. Mr. Webster made a brief and eloquent response to a toast thanking him for his efforts in behalf of the Union. In the course of his remarks he said that "the slavery question New England could only interfere with as a meddler: she had no more to do with it than she had with the municipal government of a city in the Island of Cuba." Very eloquent speeches, breathing similar sentiments, were made by Edward Everett, Mr. Winthrop, and others and J.P. Brown Esq., the interpreter of Amin Bey, responded happily to a toast complimenting Hon. George P. Marsh the American Minister at Constantinople. Mr. Brown said that as a diplomatist and a scholar Mr. Marsh enjoyed, in an eminent degree, the respect and esteem of the enlightened young Sultan of Turkey, and all his Ministers.

M. Alexandre Vattemare, who is known as the founder of the system of International Exchanges, has taken leave of the United States in a very warm and eloquent address, expressing his gratitude for the kindness of his reception, his brilliant anticipations of the great results which time will develop from the system to which he has devoted his life, and commending it to the favor and aid of the American people. The world has seen few instances of rarer or more disinterested devotion to high public objects than this amiable and enthusiastic gentleman has exhibited.

The statue of John C. Calhoun, made by Powers for the City of Charleston, and which was lost by shipwreck off Fire Island, has been recovered, and sent forward to its destination. The left arm was broken off at the elbow: with this exception it was uninjured.

At a recent meeting of the Academy of Design in New York, it was stated by the president, Mr. Durand, that the institution had incurred a considerable debt beyond its resources, and mentioned a proposition that the artists connected with it should paint pictures to be disposed of for the benefit of the Academy. In regard to the mode of disposing of them a raffle was suggested: but Mr. Cozzens, the President of the Art-Union, being present as an honorary member, at once offered to purchase them at such a price as might be fixed upon them by the Academy. The proposition was at once accepted, and has given great and general satisfaction as an indication of good feeling between two institutions which have been sometimes represented as hostile to each other.

Mr. Wm. D. Gallagher, who is very favorably known as a literary gentleman of ability, has received the appointment of confidential clerk in the Treasury Department at Washington.

Mr. William W. Story, son of the late Judge Story, has recently returned from Italy, where he has been perfecting himself in the art of sculpture, for which he abandoned the profession of law a few years since. He brought with him a number of very beautiful models made while at Rome. He has executed a bust of the distinguished jurist, his father, for the Inner Temple, London. He will return to Rome in the spring.

We understand that the painting and gilding of white china, imported from England and France, is engaging considerable attention in this country, and that there is one establishment in Boston where above a hundred persons are constantly employed.

Prof. Filopanti, an Italian scholar of some distinction, has been delivering a series of lectures in New York, on the Influence of Secret Societies on the Revolutions of Ancient and Modern Rome.

Hon. Daniel D. Barnard has sailed for Europe to enter upon his duties as American Minister at Berlin. Previous to his departure his fellow citizens of Albany addressed him a very complimentary letter, expressing their regret at the loss of his society, and their admiration of his character. Mr. B. is one of the most cultivated and scholarly of American statesmen.

It is stated, though we know not upon what authority, that Col. Bliss is preparing a History of the Campaigns of General Taylor. Such a work would be of great value and interest, historically and in a literary point of view.

G.P.R. James, Esq., is delivering his lectures[Pg 131] on the History of Civilization in different northern cities. He intends to spend the winter at the South. He has placed one of his sons at Yale College, and the other in the Law School at New Haven.

Mr. Crawford, the American sculptor, is soon to commence modeling the statue of Washington, which our government has commissioned him to execute. From a granite basement, in the form of a star of six rays, rises a pedestal, upon which stands the equestrian statue, in bronze, sixteen feet in height. The six points of the star are to be surmounted with six colossal figures. The casting will be executed either at Paris or Munich.

Steps have been taken to erect a suitable monument to the memory of General Warren. A committee of which Mr. Everett was chairman have reported in favor of a statue to be placed in Faneuil Hall, Boston.

A bust of Ethan Allen has just been completed by a Vermont artist, Mr. Kinney. He had a great deal of difficulty in procuring an accurate likeness; the grandson of Allen, Colonel Hitchcock of the army, is said to bear a striking personal resemblance to the old hero.

The Bulletin of the American Art-Union contains information concerning American Artists which has personal interest:—

Durand has not yet removed from his residence on the Hudson. Kensett and Champney have been sketching among the White Hills of New Hampshire. Cropsey is at his country studio, at Greenwood Lake. Church and Gignoux have returned from the coast of Maine with their portfolios well stocked with sketches. Ranney continues to work upon his picture of Marion, with his Army, crossing the Pedee, which will soon be completed. Matteson, now residing at Sherburne, has nearly finished a picture representing A Trial Scene in the Backwoods, which, it is said, will advance his reputation. Jones, a sculptor who has a high reputation at the West, has removed to New York; he has already modeled busts of General Taylor, Lewis Cass, Henry Clay, Thomas Corwin, and other notabilities, and is now employed on a spirited head of General Scott, at the order of some friends in Detroit.

Edwin White is diligently pursuing his studies in Paris. Hall, we believe, has also gone to Paris from Düsseldorf. Page has arrived in Florence, which place he intends to make his residence for several months. He has formed a warm intimacy with Powers, whose portrait he is painting. Whitridge and McConkey have lately sent home several pictures which indicate improvement, although they are somewhat tinged with the mannerism of the Düsseldorf school, where these artists have been studying so long. They propose to leave Germany very soon, and after visiting Italy and France, to return home in the spring. Leutze is at work on his great picture of Washington Crossing the Delaware. The size of this painting is the same with that of those in the Rotunda of the Capitol, twelve feet by eighteen feet. It will probably be completed in the spring, when the artist intends to accompany it to this country, from which he has been absent now about ten years. Upjohn, the architect was, by the last accounts, in Venice. Glass has returned to his residence at Kensington, near London, from the neighborhood of Haddon Hall, where he has been assiduously engaged in sketching. He is at work upon a group of paintings, illustrative of scenes in the wars of the Stuarts. He is an artist of decided merit and increasing reputation.


In England very few books of special value or interest have been published or announced. The most important book of the month is the first part of a very able and laborious compilation on Commercial Law by Mr. Leone Levi. The object of the entire undertaking, is to survey the principles and administration of all the various commercial laws of foreign countries, with a view to a direct comparison with the mercantile law of Great Britain. Mr. Levi appears to have been engaged for years, with this object, in correspondence with the merchants of upward of fifty countries remarkable more or less for distinct and separate commercial usages; and to have obtained in every instance the information he sought. His ultimate object, is the establishment of a national and international code of commerce among all civilized countries, rejecting what is inconvenient or unjust in all, and retaining and codifying what is best in each.

A life of Wordsworth, by the Rev. Christopher Wordsworth, is announced as in press. Its appearance will be awaited with interest.

M. Mazzini has just republished his letters, orations, and other tracts on Italy, with an eloquent and earnest appeal to the English people, in a small volume entitled Royalty and Republicanism in Italy. M. Mazzini repels in this book the charge so often brought against him of having distracted and divided the forces of his native country, at the time when they ought to have been concentrated on the paramount duty of driving out the Austrians.

A curious incident connected with American History is mentioned in the closing volume of Southey's Life, which has just been published in London. While Jared Sparks was examining the state papers in the public offices of the British Government, so much matter was ferreted out that the government "wished to tell its own story," and Southey adds, that his "pulse was felt," but he declined writing it on the ground that others could perform the task as well, and he had other engagements on hand.

Southey, in 1829, declined a proposal from Fraser to write a popular history of English literature in four volumes. It is to be regretted that he did not write such a work.

In a letter to a friend, speaking of the Foreign Review, Southey says that of its contributors, he "only knows that an Edinburgh person, by name Carlyle, has written the most striking papers on German literature." This style of reference to one who is now one of the most eminent English writers, strikes a reader as curious. In the same letter he speaks of Heraud, as "a man of extraordinary powers, and not less extraordinary industry and ardor."

In 1835, Sir Robert Peel wrote to Southey, informing him that he had advised the king to "adorn the distinction of the baronetage with a name the most eminent in literature, and which had claims to respect and honor which literature alone could never confer"—that of Southey himself. He accompanied this with a private letter, begging to know if there was any way in which the possession of power would enable him to be of service to Mr. Southey. The latter replied, in a letter marked by the utmost propriety, declining the baronetcy, as he had not the means of supporting it, and asking for an increase of his pension, which was then £200. Sir Robert soon after added to this a new pension of £300, on a public principle, "the recognition of literary and scientific eminence as a public claim." He conferred, at the same time, a similar[Pg 132] pension on Professor Airey, of Cambridge, Mrs. Somerville, Sharon Turner, and James Montgomery.

The Athenæum says that an experiment, set on foot by the liberality of a few humane persons in the vicinity of London, has proved conclusively that the number of idiots exceeds that of lunatics, and that very much may be done, not only to promote their physical comfort, but to bring the small germs of intellect which exist even in the most imbecile minds, into intelligent and useful activity. Encouraged by this success, they have appealed to the public for aid in establishing an institution for the relief of that unfortunate class. They propose to erect a building suitable for three hundred patients.

The proprietors of the Marine Telegraph between England and France propose, instead of laying a wire like the one which the storm broke recently, to have new wires inclosed in ropes of four or five inches in diameter—the first layer being made of gutta percha, and the outer one of iron wire, all chemically prepared to resist the action of water and the attacks of marine animalculæ. In each cable there will be four lines of communication, and two cables will be laid down at a distance of three miles apart, to provide for any accident that may happen to one of them. The whole, it is said, will be ready in May next, and a grand inauguration is proposed, Prince Albert being at one end of the wire and Louis Napoleon at the other.

A project is on foot to reclaim from the sea, at Norfolk, 32,000 acres of land, said to be of great agricultural value. The estimated expense of doing it is £640,000.

Mr. Halliwell has addressed a letter to the Times, complaining of an unauthorized republication in London of an edition of Shakspeare, with introductions and notes by himself, published with considerable success in New York.

Miss Martineau has been exciting a good deal of mirth in England by a published account of having succeeded in mesmerizing a sick cow.

Dr. Maitland is urging the formation of a society to bring out new editions of the most celebrated and least accessible works on Church History. His plan is received with favor by the literary and religious journals.

The foundations of several old walls, supposed to have formed a Roman burial mound, have recently been discovered in Hertfordshire, and means have been adopted to give the locality a thorough exploration. Several human skeletons were found in the vicinity.

New statues of Newton, Shakspeare, Milton, and Bacon, are to be set up on the four new pedestals in the British Museum; models of them have been made by Sir Richard Westmacott. An elaborate piece of sculpture has also been prepared for the tympanum of the pediment, representing the progress of man from a savage condition up to the highest state of intellectual advancement.

Mr. Godwin has addressed a letter to the Lord Mayor elect of London, on the subject of improving the character of the annual city "show" on the 9th of November, and urging that some little invention and taste might be exercised upon it, in lieu of repeating year after year the same dull and effete routine. He thinks that so ancient a custom ought not to be abandoned, and proposes to raise it out of the monotonous and prosaic routine into which it has fallen, by the introduction, among other changes, of emblems and works of art, accordant with its ancient character, and worthy of the present time.

The effect of the great Industrial Exhibition upon the health of London is engaging considerable attention. It is estimated that not less than a million of people will pour into the city at that time, and it is contended by medical men of eminence that, unless wise and vigorous measures be adopted, so vast and sudden an influx will create a pestilence. The remedy proposed is to secure in some way the daily distribution of the arrivals over a large area in London, and a series of cheap trains which would carry off a portion of the pressure daily, spreading the gathered millions over thirty or forty miles of movable encampment.

Sundry relics, ropes, canvas, bones, &c., were recently brought to England by the Prince Albert, which were found at Cape Riley, in the Arctic Seas, and were supposed to afford traces of Sir John Franklin. They were submitted by the Admiralty to Captain Parry, Sir John Richardson, and others for examination, and the conclusion arrived at is, that they were left at Cape Riley by Sir John Franklin's expedition about the year 1845. It is supposed that being stopped by ice, Sir John remained there for a short time making observations, &c. The reports are elaborate, and evince careful and minute investigation. The conclusion at which they arrive is very generally credited, so that the first part of Sir John's adventures in the Arctic Seas is supposed to be at length known.

The building for the Great Exhibition in London has been commenced, and the work upon it goes forward with great rapidity. It is said that the exhibition will probably have the effect to create several local museums of great interest and importance. The advantages of such institutions, especially to inventors, would be very great.

Delaroche's great picture of "Napoleon crossing the Alps," has reached London, where it is on exhibition. It is described as being wonderfully exact in copying nature, but as lacking elevation of purpose and the expression of sentiment. An officer in a French costume, mounted on a mule, is conducted by a rough peasant through a dangerous pass, whose traces are scarcely discernible through the deep-lying snow—and his aid-de-camp is just visible in a ravine of the towering Alps. These facts, the Athenæum says, are rendered with a fidelity that has not omitted the plait of a drapery, the shaggy texture of the four-footed animal, nor a detail of the harness on his back. The drifting and the imbedded snow, the pendent icicle which a solitary sun-ray in a transient moment has made—all are given with the utmost truth. But the lofty and daring genius that led the humble Lieutenant of Ajaccio to be the ruler and arbiter of the destinies of the largest part of Europe, will be sought in vain in the countenance painted by M. Delaroche.

A curious discovery has been made in a collection of ancient marbles at Marbury Hall, in Cheshire, formed at Rome in the middle of the last century. A fragment of the frieze of the Parthenon has been found, and is unmistakably identified by its exactly fitting the parent stone in the British Museum.

The people of Sheffield are subscribing and soliciting subscriptions in other cities for a monument to the memory of the poet Ebenezer Elliott. It is not intended that the monument should be vast or expensive, but that a neat cenotaph or column, at a cost of twelve or fifteen hundred pounds, should be erected and placed in a position suitable to do honor to the genius whose memory it is to perpetuate.

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The statue in honor of Chief Justice Tindal is nearly completed. The inscription for the pedestal, contributed by Justice Talfourd, speaks of the illustrious man in whose honor it is erected, as "a Judge, whose administration of English law, directed by serene wisdom, animated by purest love of justice, endeared by unwearied kindness, and graced by the most lucid style, will be held by his country in undying remembrance."

The Roman Government has ordered the students of art, before admission to the academies of the city, to be examined as to the state of their morals and their opinions on politics. Mr. Hely, an English sculptor, has been commanded to quit the Roman territories; the marriage of his sister to the celebrated Dr. Achilli is supposed to have been the reason for this command. The London papers complain that the Americans are the only people in Rome who are permitted to "exhibit their political, artistic, and religious heresies with impunity;" and they cite in proof Powers's emblematic statue of the Republic of America trampling under its feet the kingly diadem; Crawford's design for the monument to Washington, which the Athenæum says is original and striking; and the fact, that the American residents have just obtained permission to erect a Protestant Church, the first ever built in the Eternal City.

A good deal of difficulty has been experienced in deciding on the erection of a bridge at Westminster. The Athenæum, is reminded, by the investigations, of a story told of a board of magistrates in the west of Ireland who met to consider the propriety of erecting a new jail, when, after a protracted and bewildering discussion, they formally passed three resolutions; namely, that a new jail should be built—that the materials of the old jail should be used in constructing the new one—and that the prisoners should be kept as securely as possible in the old jail until the new one was ready for their reception!

A new college—with peculiar features which give it general interest—is about to be established in Glasgow. It is to consist of two distinct parts; the school proper and the college. In the first, as is deemed suitable in a great commercial city, youths will be grounded in the elements of a sound commercial education; in the second the senior students will go through the usual course of preparation for the Universities. The college is to be self-supporting, unsectarian, and non-political. The fees are settled on a scale so low as to make the trial interesting as an experiment—and the lectures are to be open to ladies: a library and reading-room are to form parts of the establishment.

The sanctum of the Duke of Wellington at Walmer Castle is described as a room of but ordinary size, destitute of ornament, and with but scanty furniture, bearing very much the appearance of the apartment of a petty officer in a garrison. On the right is an ordinary camp bedstead, with a single horse-hair mattress, and destitute of curtains. Over this is a small collection of books, comprising the best English classical authors, French memoirs, military reports, official publications, and Parliamentary papers. In the centre of the room is an ink-stained mahogany table, at which the Duke is occupied in writing some two or three hours each day; and near this is a smaller portable desk, used for reading or writing while in bed; besides these, the furniture of the room consists of some two or three chairs. The window looks out upon the sea, and a door opens upon the ramparts where, until recently, the Duke was always to be found as early as six o'clock, taking his morning walk.

Gutzlaff, the missionary to China, presents one of the most striking examples of activity upon record. He was born in 1803, in Pyritz, a Pomeranian village, and commenced his missionary labors at about thirty years of age. He is now on a journey through Europe, the object of which is to establish a Christian Union for the evangelization of China. In person he hardly realizes the usual romantic idea of a missionary hero. He is short and stout, with a ruddy face, broad mouth, and eyelids sleepily closed. His voice is strong and not pleasant; and he gesticulates violently. It has been often remarked that persons who have long resided among the American Indians, become assimilated to them in personal appearance. A similar assimilation would seem to have taken place in the person of Gutzlaff. His features have assumed an aspect so thoroughly Chinese, that he is usually taken by them for a fellow countryman.

A correspondent of an English journal furnishes some personal sketches of the men concerned in the government of the Sandwich Islands, which have considerable interest. The king, Tamehameha III., according to this writer, is a man of some education, for a native, and appears to take some interest in matters of state. He was formerly addicted to intemperance, but some years since, through the influence of the missionaries, abandoned the habit; but is said lately to have returned to it. He receives an income of $12,000, besides rents from his estates to the amount of probably $25,000 more. All the principal departments of government, with but a single exception, are filled by foreigners. The Minister of Finance occupies the most important post, and exercises the most powerful influence. This is Mr. G.P. Judd, an American, a man of good education and sound judgment, and undoubtedly the fittest man in the kingdom for the post. The Minister of Foreign Affairs is Mr. R.C. Wyllie, a Scotchman. He was formerly a wealthy merchant, whom a roving disposition brought into the Pacific in 1844. He is a clever, social gentleman of nearly fifty years of age, who fills the office he holds with decided ability, and resolutely declines all compensation for his services. The Minister of the Interior is Mr. John Young, a half-breed, whose father was an Englishman. He is about thirty-five years of age, and is said to be the handsomest man in the Islands. He does no discredit to his post, although like other half-breeds, he can hardly be considered as of equal capacity to his European colleagues. The Minister of Public Instruction is Rev. B. Armstrong, until some two years ago a missionary, who is said to be the best scholar in the Hawaiian language in the islands. He and Mr. Judd, exercise the real government of the islands, which could hardly be in better hands. The salary of the ministers is $3000 per annum.

Lord John Russell has intrusted the execution of the national Peel Monument to Mr. Gibson at Rome.

Great complaints are made of injury done to books, and other valuable works, in the British Museum.

Among the distinguished men who have died within the last month, we notice Mr. Watkins, the son-in-law and biographer of Ebenezer Elliott; Nikolaus Lenau, a German poet, who died in a madhouse; C.F. Becker, "the genial," whose philological works have gained him a lasting reputation in the world of letters; Carl Rottman, painter to the King of Bavaria, one of the first[Pg 134] artists of the day; Wenzel Johann Tomaschek, one of the first musical composers of modern times—"the ancient master of Bohemian music," as he was fondly called at Prague.


M. Taboureau has discovered a method of converting the mud of the newly macadamized Boulevards at Paris into bricks; and so confident is the expectation of thus using it, that the government has invited bids for the privilege of using it for a series of years. "Cheap as dirt" has lost its meaning.

A new shell has just been invented by a chemist named Lagrange, which is said to be capable of sinking a ship of 120 guns in a few minutes. Some experiments made with it in the presence of skillful officers were entirely successful.

An artist named Garnier died lately in Paris, whose only claim to distinction lay in the incredibly long time which he spent on incredibly poor pictures. One of them representing the entrance of Napoleon and Marie Louise into the Tuileries, took him thirty-seven years, and when finished was a wretched daub. A notice of his life was read in the Academy.

The French papers state, that a number of workmen are employed in fixing a wire from the Bastile to the Madeleine, as an experiment for a new company that has proposed to establish an electric telegraph throughout Paris for the transmission of messages.

A Belgian engineer, M. Laveleye, proposes to connect the Seine and the Rhine by means of a canal, by constructing which, navigation would be open from London to the Black Sea and Constantinople, through the heart of the Continent, and by means of the great watercourses on or near whose banks lie the materials of nearly all the internal and external trade of Europe. The estimated cost is £1,600,000.

Preparations are in active progress for the grand exhibition of French pictures and sculpture at the Palais National, which is to commence on the 15th of December. The official notification which has been issued directs artists to send in their works from the 2d to the 15th of November. The exhibitors themselves are to choose the jury of selection, each exhibitor naming any one he may think fit. The first exhibition of the kind which ever took place in France was in 1673; and the first time a selecting jury was formed was in 1745. After the Revolution of 1848 the jury was abolished, and every body was allowed to exhibit; but this was found to be impracticable for the future, and the present system of the artists electing the jury themselves came into operation the following year. For upward of a century, the members of the Academy of Painting and Sculpture enjoyed the exclusive privilege of exhibiting.

Although the censorship on theatrical pieces in Paris has been re-established in even more than its wonted strictness, the prefect of police does not think it sufficient. He has recently directed the commissaries of police (there is one in every theatre every night) to pay particular attention to every performance, and to notify him if there be any thing "in the words, style, play, or costume of the actor, or in the applause or disapprobation of the public," which may appear politically objectionable. This proceeding of the prefect has caused profound dissatisfaction in the theatrical circles.

The Paris "Débats" announces two new works from the pen of M. Guizot, to be published at the end of this month. The first is entitled "Monk; Fall of the Republic, and Re-establishment of the Monarchy in England in 1660." The second is "Washington; Foundation of the Republic of the United States of America."

An experiment has been made at the arsenal of Metz, of mortars, hand grenades, and bombs made of zinc, which has completely succeeded.

A vessel arrived at Bordeaux on the 18th inst. from Canton, having on board a curious collection of Chinese arms and costumes for the Museum of Paris.

Several works concerning Joan of Arc have recently been published in France. The one which attracts most attention is devoted to her martial exploits, and shows that she did not hesitate in combat to put her foe to death with her own hand. It is also cited as completely exonerating the English from the odium of having had any part in her horrid execution, since it shows that she was tried, condemned, and executed by the Inquisition—that the charges against her were purely and wholly ecclesiastical; that her trial was conducted in the pure ecclesiastical form, just as those of any other suspected sorcerer, witch, or heretic; and that in virtue of ecclesiastical laws she was sentenced and burned.

An article on Madame de Genlis and the system of education which she adopted with the late King Louis Philippe, written by the eminent critic and academician M. de Saint-Beuve, has excited some attention. The writer dwells upon the prodigious memory of Louis Philippe, and says that he knew a good deal of almost every possible subject, and had a great faculty of displaying this multifarious knowledge in conversation.

The members of the Académie des Sciences, at Paris, have lately been racking their brains and wearying their tongues, in an attempt to decide what forms the centre of the earth—whether it be a globe of fire or a huge furnace, as some say—a perfect void, as others maintain—a solid substance, harder than granite, according to some—or a mass of water according to others: but, as might readily be anticipated, these discussions have had no practical or useful result.

The subject which has excited most attention at the meetings of the Academy has been the inquiry made in Algiers, by Bernard and Pelouze, upon the fearful poison called the Woorari. The composition of this deadly matter has long been kept a mysterious secret among the priests and sorcerers of the Rio Negro and the Amazon. It was analyzed by Humboldt, and the experiments that have now been made confirm his views. It is a watery extract from a plant of the genus Strychnos. A weapon with the smallest point covered with the matter kills as instantaneously as prussic acid. Various experiments have been tried upon animals that show how immediate is its action, and the singular changes that result in the blood, which in a moment becomes of a death-black color, and does not, after death, on exposure to air, recover its usual redness.

The trials at Algiers have ceased to excite any attention. There are 66 persons accused of a conspiracy to seize the Government; the reports come down to the 13th of September.

We learn from the Paris Siècle that the Academy of Sciences has at present under consideration a project of a most extraordinary character, being neither more nor less than a suspension bridge between France and England. M. Ferdinand Lemaitre proposes to establish an aerostatic bridge[Pg 135] between Calais and Dover. For this purpose he would construct strong abutments, to which the platform would be attached. At a distance of every 100 yards across the channel he would sink four barges, heavily laden, to which would be fixed a double iron chain, of peculiar construction. A formidable apparatus of balloons, of an elliptical form, and firmly secured, would support in the air the extremity of these chains, which would be strongly fastened to the abutments on the shore by other chains. Each section of 100 yards would cost about 300,000f., which would make 84,000,000f. for the whole distance across. These chains, supported in the air at certain distances, would become the point of support to this fairy bridge, on which the inventor proposes to establish an atmospheric railway. This project has been developed at great length by the inventor, and seems to be discussed with great gravity by the Academy.

MM. Barral and Bixio, whose two former ascents in crazy and ill-fitted balloons we noticed some time since, are now superintending the construction of an aerial machine better adapted for enabling them to pursue a course of studies in the atmosphere. Its dimensions are to be fifty-four feet by forty-five, and will be capable of carrying up twenty persons, if inflated with pure hydrogen; if with carbonated hydrogen, twelve. We may now hope that the balloon will be redeemed from the service of charlatanism, and will contribute to the advancement of science.


As a natural result of the disturbances in Germany, its current literature has to a great extent assumed the form of political pamphlets and romances. Among the works of more general interest, which have recently made their appearance, we note the following: The Book of Predictions and Prophecies: a complete collection of all the writings of all the prominent prophets and seers of the present and past; to wit, of Ailly, Bishop Müller, Peter Tarrel, &c., with predictions concerning Jerusalem, Orval, the End of the World, &c. Popular History of the Catholic Church, brought down to the present time, by J. Sporchil. The Present: an Encyclopædic Representation of Contemporary History. This, though in some respects, an independent work, may yet be considered as a supplement to the celebrated Conversations-Lexicon. It is published in parts, of which two or three appear each month, twelve parts forming a volume. The Parts which have just been published, contain the history of the German National Congress; the Hungarian Revolution; the Local and Political state of Nassau; the Insurrection in Schleswig-Holstein in 1848; State and town of Frankfort. It is published by Brockhaus, of Leipzig, who also announces New Dramatic Poems, by Oehlenschlager. History of the Heretics of the Middle Ages, especially of the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries, by C.U. Hahn. Henrietta Herz, her Life and Reminiscences, edited by J. Furst. The authoress passed a long life on terms of intimate friendship with men of science and literature. Her reminiscences, though written late in life, present a lively and good-humored picture of the society of Berlin for a long course of years, embracing sketches of Mirabeau, Jean Paul, Müller, the historian, Schleiermacher, Humboldt, Ludwig Börne, and others.

A bronze statue of the celebrated agriculturist, Albert Thaer, has just been erected at Leipzig. The costume is that of a German farmer, slightly idealized, and wearing a broad mantle. The right hand is raised as if in the act of teaching; the left holds a roll, with the inscription, "National Husbandry;" and upon the marble pedestal is inscribed, "The German Cultivators to the honored teacher, Albert Thaer."

At the royal foundry in Munich preparations are making for casting in bronze three colossal statues: that of Gustavus Adolphus, for Göttenburg; that of the Swedish poet Tegner, for Stockholm; and that of Walter of Plettenberg, a celebrated Livonian general, surnamed "The Conqueror of the Russians." The last statue was modeled by Schwanthaler; the others are the works of two young Swedish sculptors, MM. Fogelberg and Quarnstroem, both residing in Rome.

An extract of a private letter from Rome states that the Coliseum is in process of restoration.

Lessing's great picture—"The Martyrdom of Huss," is described at length by a Düsseldorf correspondent of the Leipzig Grenzboten. It is eighteen feet by fifteen, and contains some twenty-seven figures of the size of life; which, contrary to the practice of the French painters in pictures of this size, are so carefully finished, that they can be looked at close at hand. There is not a superfluous figure in the picture—none introduced to fill a space, as is too frequently the case in large paintings. The clearness of the general idea is not marred by the effect of the separate parts: the artistic separation of the group suffers the main figure first to attract the eye. In this picture Lessing has given proof of his ability in landscape as well as in figures. The next work upon which he is to be engaged is a large picture, commissioned by the King of Prussia, representing the imprisonment of Pope Paschal by Henry V.

An association has been formed in Jerusalem for the investigation of subjects connected with the Holy Land, including history, language, numismatics, statistics, manufactures, commerce, agriculture, natural history, and every other subject of literary and scientific research, with the exception of religious controversy. From the names of those engaged in the project, it is hoped that the association will make large additions to our present stores of information respecting Palestine.

The Leipzig journals contain notices of the recent productions of Polish literature, which are not without interest even in this country. A romance, by the Countess Ludwica Offolinska, recently published at Cracow, has excited considerable attention. It is entitled "The Fate of Sophia," and is written with great simplicity, and the deepest religious feeling. The heroine receives at home a religious training, and then is thrown out into the world. She appears in succession as the waiting-maid, and then the friend of her mistress; then as maid to a worn-out woman of fashion, and at last as governess to the children of her first beloved mistress and friend. The sound principles she had learned at her father's house, serve her as a defense amid all the perils which surround her in her career. The same authoress has put forth two comedies: "The Holy Christ," and "Vespers in the Country."

Vincent Pol, a poet, and for a short time Professor of Geography in the University of Cracow, is one of the most distinguished geographers of the day. His "Glance at the Northern Waters of the Carpathians and their Districts," is an earnest of important contributions to geographical science from the Slavic countries.

F. Antoniewicz, an ecclesiastic, has published[Pg 136] "A Festival-day Lecture to our People," written with great eloquence. Rychcicki, otherwise known as a historian, has put forth a "History of the celebrated Chancellor Skarga, and a Description of the Century in which he lived."

From the Warsaw press have appeared, among other works, "A Lexicon of Polish Painters," comprising all artists who were born, or lived in Poland, or whose works refer to that country. It is by Rastawiecki, contains two volumes, and is ornamented with portraits. Dorbrski's "A Few Words more about the Caucasus," is a continuation of a former work.

From Wilna appears the "Athenæum," by the prolific Kraszwski. It contains from the pen of the editor a work of great value, "Lithuania under Witold," and a romance. "The Wilna Album" contains seventy sheets of views of interesting and remarkable places in that city.

There are now published in Russia 154 periodicals, of which 108 are in Russian, 29 in German, 8 in French, 5 Polish, 3 Lettish, and 1 Italian. Of these 64 are published in St. Petersburgh, 20 in the East-sea German provinces, 13 in Moscow, 5 in Odessa, and 52 in the remaining parts of the empire.

Brockhaus, the great Leipzig publisher, announces a translation into German of Ticknor's History of Spanish Literature, by Dr. R.H. Julius, of Hamburg; with the assistance of Ferdinand Wolf, of Vienna, and other scholars. The German editor has labored for several years in this department of literature, and will also avail himself of Dozy's learned work on Arabian-Spanish literature, which appeared in Holland in 1849.

A paragraph in the London Builder states that a very curious discovery has been made in the Mosque of St. Sophia, at Constantinople. In the course of cleansing and repairing the interior, the original decorations in mosaic have been brought to light, including, as it is said, a portrait of Constantine. Drawings have been made, and are on their way to England. The Sultan, to prevent the necessity of removing them, as portraits are prohibited by the Koran, has considerately ordered them to be covered up again.

A newly invented locomotive steam engine has been tried at Charleroi, with full success. The inventor, M. Hector de Callias, a Sardinian engineer, proposes to increase the speed of locomotives, to give them an adherence four times greater than they now have, and to decrease the expense of fuel. By the pressure of only one atmosphere the wheels made, in the trial referred to, 300 revolutions a minute, which would give a speed of 24 leagues an hour. The Belgian Minister of Public Works has appointed a committee of engineers to report to him on the experiments which are to take place on the government lines, and has ordered every assistance to be given to the inventor to facilitate his object.

Meyerbeer is engaged in composing the music for the choruses of the Eumenides of Æschylus, which is about to be represented at Berlin, at the special request of the King of Prussia, who is passionately fond of the old Greek drama.

Interesting descriptions are given of the Volks-Fest, or great festival of the Bavarian people, celebrated at Munich on the first of October, in which the peasants from all the royal possessions receive from the king, in presence of the assembled multitude, prizes for the good results of their labor in rearing cattle, &c. The week this year opened with wet weather, which did not, however, prevent the attendance of an immense number of the people of all classes and conditions. The King Maximilian, with his brother Otho, King of Greece, was present, occupying a splendid pavilion in the centre, around which were ranged boxes for the gentry and seats for the people. Three days were devoted to the exhibition of cattle, grain, and agricultural products of all kinds, intermingled with various sports and gymnastic exercises, and the fourth was set apart for the unvailing of the gigantic statue of Bavaria, the colossal gift of the Ex-King Ludwig to his people. This great statue was commenced in 1844, and is now only so far finished as to warrant the removal of the wooden screens by which it has been concealed. It is fifty-four feet high, and stands upon a granite pedestal of thirty feet. It is cast in bronze, of which not less than 125 tons were consumed, and is described as a work of imposing sublimity and profound beauty. It has for the back-ground a white marble temple, called the "Hall of Heroes," of Doric architecture, composed of a centre and two wings, and forming a semi-circle behind the figure. To convey some idea of the size of the statue it is stated that the face is equal to the height of a man, the body twelve feet in diameter, the arm five, the index finger six inches, and two hands can not cover the nail of the great toe. The grandeur of the features is sanctified by the gracious sweetness of the expression; the clustering hair falls on either side from the noble brow, and is entwined with a circle of oak-leaves, one uplifted arm holding the fame-wreath of laurel, the other grasping a sword, beneath which sits the lion. Skins clothe the vast body to the hips; solemn folds of massive drapery, passing off the large symmetry of the limbs to the feet. The material difficulties attendant upon the casting were very great. The unvailing of this great work was made the occasion for a carnival of fun. Men of every trade brought for display gigantic specimens of their respective callings, made upon the same scale as the statue, which were exhibited with great parade and amidst magnificent music, and processions, &c. After the multitude had been collected in front, the screen was suddenly removed, and the colossal statue stood revealed, and was greeted with shoutings, and the voice of an immense band of singers. An oration in honor of the king was then pronounced by Teichlein the painter, from the steps of the pedestal, after which the throng dispersed.

The director of the observatory at St. Petersburg, M. Kuppffer has applied to the French government to establish a number of stations in different parts of the country for taking meteorological observations, with the view of aiding him in the vast studies he has been for some time past making, respecting the climates of different countries. In England and Germany it appears such stations have been formed, and have proved of great utility. Before complying with M. Kuppffer's request, the government has requested the opinion of the academy on the subject. It can not but be favorable. It is pleasant to see the several nations of Europe, in the midst of their fierce political dissensions and struggles for supremacy, thus uniting for the promotion of science.

In this number of the New Monthly will be found an interesting account of the character and life of the distinguished German scholar, Kinkel, who is imprisoned by the Prussian government for his liberal opinions. Late European papers state that his friends requested permission for him to continue a work he had commenced on the Fine Arts among the Christian nations, but it was peremptorily refused.[Pg 137] He is not allowed pens and ink, or books of any kind, and it is said that he is treated with unusual and cruel rigor.

Artin Bey, late Prime Minister of Egypt, has not, as was expected, gone on to Constantinople, but has retired to the mountains of Lebanon, in Syria, where he awaits the final result of the step he took in flying from Egypt.

On the 17th Oct. Prince Paskiewitch completed the fiftieth year of his service in the Russian army. The emperor held a grand review on that day, and presented him personally with a Field Marshal's baton, in acknowledgment of his fidelity.

M. Freiberg, the director of the opera at Berlin, has brought an action against Madame Fiorentina, for a breach of engagement, and against Lumley, of London, for engaging her; he has laid his damages at eighty thousand francs.

The Pope has performed a popular act of clemency, by pardoning, only an hour before the execution was to have taken place, the three individuals convicted of complicity in the attempt to assassinate Col. Nardonic, Chief of the Roman Police, on the 19th of June last. The attempt having failed, Pius IX. commuted the pain of death to that of the hulks for life, without hope of further remission. It was a political crime, the death of the odious re-actionist having been decreed in a secret democratic society.

The commission appointed in Rome to ascertain and estimate the damage done to the monuments of Rome, buildings, and ruins, during the siege of the last year, have concluded their report, and fixed upon the sums of 508,800 francs, as the total, estimated in money, of the damage done by the besieging French forces, and 1,565,275 francs, of that inflicted by the Romans themselves.

The rise of the Nile this year has been unsatisfactory. The river has already begun to fall, and it is feared that a vast extent of land will not have been sufficiently watered, and that next year's crops will be short.

A project has been started to erect a monument to Columbus, at Palos de Maguer, opposite the Convent of St. Ann, whence the great discoverer set sail on his first voyage. The design proposed is a colossal statue, twenty feet high, surrounded by groups of figures, forming a base of forty feet in circumference. The lowest estimate of the expense is $100,000.


A rather extraordinary contest has arisen between the manufacturers of embroidered articles at Nancy and the wholesale merchants in Paris. The former demand a complete prohibition of the imports of the articles which they manufacture. The merchants, on the other hand, defend the principle of the freedom of commerce, and demand that the embroidered muslins of Switzerland be admitted into France. M. Dumas, the Minister of Commerce, has pronounced in favor of the manufacturers of Nancy.

During the last two years and a half, the houses of 1951 families have been leveled in Kilrush, Ireland, and 408 other families have been unhoused.

The tide of emigration is continued as vigorously as ever. From Kerry considerable numbers were proceeding to Cork and Limerick, to embark for the United States.

Preparations, it is said, are in active progress for the reorganization of the Dublin Trades Union—a body which, some years since, possessed considerable influence in the conduct of political affairs in the metropolis.

A society has been formed in London for the reform of abuses in the Court of Chancery.

It is proposed to erect a monument in Edinburgh to Wallace, the Scottish hero.

More than 2000 members of the Methodist Society have been expelled at Bristol, because they are in favor of a reform in the polity of their Society.

A sailors' home on a large scale is about to be established at Plymouth.

A great chess match, to be played by amateurs of all nations during the Exhibition of 1851, is being arranged for.

Five new whalers are to be added to the whaling fleet of Peterhead next season.

Large purchases of wine continue to be made in the Douro, at high prices.

Upwards of five hundred members have already joined the Liverpool Freehold Land Society.

A mummy brought from Thebes by Sir J.E. Tennent was unrolled in the Museum at Belfast.

Numerous bales of moss have lately been imported into London from Cork.

Meyerbeer is at present at Paris, and has attended several public as well as private concerts.

The library left by Dr. Neander is to be sold by auction. There are about 4000 volumes; among them some of the best editions of the old church Fathers, presented by the theological students to Neander on his birth-day. An attempt is making to purchase the library for the use of the theological students at the University. The total sum demanded is not more than $4000.

An immense layer of sulphur has been discovered near Alexandria. It can be obtained in large quantities so cheaply, that it is expected the price of the article will be reduced in Europe.

The English population of Madrid increases in a remarkable degree. The Aranjuez railroad, the gas works, the mines of Guadalajara, and various other industrial enterprises, afford employment to many of them.

A verdict of manslaughter has been returned by the coroner's jury against Captain Rowles, of the bark New Liverpool, lately arrived at Southampton, in which some Lascar seamen had died from neglect.

The Madrid aeronaut, when preparing last week for his aerial voyage over Europe, to convince the world that a balloon can be guided in any direction, found a large rent in the silk. The voyage has, therefore, been delayed for some weeks.

A steam company is on the eve of being formed at Constantinople for towing vessels through the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. The capital is to be £150,000, in fifteen hundred shares of £100 each. The Sultan and most of the ministers are on the list.

A Transylvanian nobleman, writing to a friend in England, speaks of the pleasure with which he read of the reception of Haynau in England. He states that General Count Leiningen, an hour before his execution, said, "You will see our infamous murder will excite the greatest sensation in England, and I recommend Haynau not to venture on a visit to England, for the people will stone him."

The landed interest of the late Sir Robert Peel was not much under £35,000 a year.

A private in the 56th regiment of the line was sentenced to death by court-martial in Paris for having struck a corporal.

The circulation of all the Paris newspapers has[Pg 138] greatly diminished, under the operation of recent laws.

About one hundred Mormons passed through Liverpool lately, on their way to the Salt Lake Valley, North America.

It is stated that about £70,000 was paid by the Government of Spain for the steamships Hibernia and Caledonia.

Louis Napoleon has purchased fifty head of fallow deer, of Mr. Fuller, of England, with which to stock the park of St. Cloud.

Leipsig fair, which has just terminated, proved very satisfactory. Worsted and cotton goods of English manufacture were in good demand.

A revolt has broken out in Morocco, in consequence of a decree by the emperor, ordering the skins of all slaughtered animals to be considered as his exclusive property.

An iron lighthouse of vast dimensions is about to be erected on the Fastnett, a solitary rock several miles out in the Atlantic, off the coast of Cork and Kerry.

In London, under the patronage of the Lady Mayoress, a large carpet is in progress of preparation for the Exhibition. It is to be thirty feet in length, twenty in width, and to consist of one hundred and fifty squares.

It is stated upon good authority, that in the articles of rice and tobacco alone, a mercantile firm in Liverpool will this year realize £300,000, supposed to be the largest sum ever made by any mercantile house in Europe in one year.

The foreign merchants and shippers of London have agreed to establish a "club for all nations," to meet the requirements of the strangers, merchants and others, who will be in town during the Exhibition of 1851. The club will be provided, in addition to the usual accommodations, with interpreters acquainted with all the languages of the East and of Europe, guides and commissioners, and departments for information. A committee of gentlemen, merchants of London, has been elected to carry out the undertaking.

About two years ago, the scientific world was surprised by the announcement that Drs. Krapf and Rebman, who had been zealously employed in connection with the Missionary Society in Eastern and Central Africa, had discovered a mountain or mountains within one degree of the Equator, and about two hundred miles distant from the sea, which were covered with perpetual snow, and which there was every reason to suppose were no other than Ptolemy's "Mountains of the Moon." It now appears that there is no doubt of the fact.

A curious exhibition is in course of preparation for the World's Fair, by Mr. Wyld, M.P., the eminent map-engraver. He is constructing a huge globe, of fifty-six feet in diameter, which will be provided with a convenient mode of ingress and egress; the different countries of the world will be represented upon the inner, and not upon the outer surface, and the interior will be fitted up with galleries and staircases, so as to enable the visitor to make a tour of the world, and visit each of the countries whose industry or productions will be displayed in the Great Exhibition.

The wife of Mr. Maclean, late M.P. for Oxford, has been killed, by being thrown from her carriage at Castellamare, near Naples.

In many of the provincial towns a strong feeling prevails in favor of making the Peel monument assume the shape of useful institutions, such as libraries.

A new monthly magazine, adapted to meet the wants of the advanced section of the Nonconformists, has been announced.

The inmates of St. Luke's Hospital were treated to the entertainments of music and dancing at a lunatics' ball. The success of the experiment will lead to its repetition.

A new dock, called the Victoria Tidal Harbor, has been opened at Greenock.

Highway robbery is becoming very prevalent in the neighborhood of Liverpool.

A movement is in progress for the erection of a monument at Newcastle to the late George Stephenson, "the father of railways."

The great water-works for the supply of Manchester are rapidly approaching completion.

The Manchester Guardian notices the arrival at Manchester of a consignment of 250 bales of saw-ginned cotton from India.

The trade of Paisley continues in a satisfactory state, and weavers are in great demand.

The tonnage of the port of Liverpool has increased from 1,223,318 tons, in 1836, to 3,309,746 in 1849.

The subscriptions of the City of London Committee toward the Great Exhibition amount to £26,189 18s. 9d.

The South Devon Railway Company lost £364,000 by the atmospheric bubble.

The money sent by the Irish emigrants in America to their starving relatives at home equals, it is said, the whole of the Irish poor-rates.

The Prussian Commissioners, on the subject of the Exhibition of 1851, have issued an address recommending a hearty co-operation in the design.

The Koh-i-noor diamond, or Mountain of Light, will, it is said, be placed among the collection of minerals at the Exhibition in Hyde Park next year.

The county expenditure for the West Riding of Yorkshire, was in 1824 £38,860; in 1832 it had risen to £53,477; and went on increasing until 1847, when it had risen to £103,561.

A French paper, the Courrier du Nord, says that the Minister of Agriculture, while recently visiting the coal mines of the Anzin Company, at Denain, discovered a rough diamond, fixed in a stone which had been extracted from the coal.

An Englishman, Col. Daniels, has left his estate of nearly two millions of dollars to a bookseller in New Haven, Connecticut, who was kind to him while sick and without friends in the United States. Two claimants have appeared for the bequest. Mr. Levi H. Young and Mr. Charles S. Uhlhorn, who were in partnership at the time referred to.

The Hungarian exiles at Constantinople, it is said, are about to issue a journal. The Italians there have published flying sheets for some time past.

A correspondent of a Philadelphia paper writes that caricatures on American subjects abound in Paris.

Capt. Stansbury, of the Topographical Engineers, and party, arrived at St. Louis, Nov. 12, on their return from an exploring expedition to the Great Salt Lake.

A Paris paper asserts that Guizot refused a nomination as a candidate for the National Assembly from the department of the Cher.

[Pg 139]


John S. Taylor has published the third edition of The Salamander, the exquisite prose poem by Mrs. E. Oakes Smith, which found such a cordial appreciation from the most genial critical tastes on its first publication. The present edition has received the title of Hugo, from one of the principal characters in the story, though we think that a more appropriate and suggestive name might have been The Lost Angel. Under whatever title, however, the work belongs to a unique and most difficult branch of literary composition. Essentially poetical in its conception, it is clothed in the forms of prose, which the most consummate artistic skill can hardly mould into an adequate expression for such bold and lofty speculations as pervade the whole structure of this work. The language, which is singularly beautiful and impressive, is made the vehicle for an allegory of a very refined and subtle character, appealing but indirectly to the mass of human sympathies, and illuminated only by the dim and fitful light of the supernatural. It is no wonder that the allegorical mode should present such potent seductions to genius of the highest order. It leaves such ample scope to the imagination, allows such indulgence to the largest liberty of invention, and is so fruitful in materials for vivid and effective illustration, that it offers the most enticing charm to writers whose consciousness of power is embarrassed in the usual forms of expression. At the same time, unless like the allegories of sacred history, the import is too obvious to be mistaken, or like those of John Bunyan, it lays open the secrets of universal experience, this mode of writing is too far removed from the popular mind to contain the most powerful elements of success. Even in the creative hands of Dante and Spenser, the allegory is regarded rather as a hindrance than an aid, by the warmest admirers of their poetry. Hence we consider it no discredit to the author of "Hugo," that she has not entirely conquered the difficulties of this style of literary art. Her production is studded with beauties of thought and phrase that betray a genius of rare vigor and versatility. She has nobly dared to deviate from the beaten track, and has thus constructed a work, which must be regarded as a gem of precious quality, for its exquisite brilliancy of coloring, its transparent beauty of texture, and the vivid and natural truthfulness with which it gives back the lights of a radiant imagination.

A Pastor's Sketches, by Rev. Ichabod S. Spencer (published by M.W. Dodd), is a unique volume, presenting a highly instructive record of the experience of the author, during an active and varied pastoral intercourse. The sketches, which are all drawn from real life, describe the mental operations under the influence of strong religious emotion, in a manner equally interesting to the psychologist and the theologian. Most of the instances related occurred at a period of unusual excitement, but they are free from any tincture of fanaticism, and may be studied to advantage by all who are interested in the moral and religious advancement of their fellow men. The author displays a remarkable insight into human nature, a strong attachment to the doctrines of the church in which he is a minister, a rare power of close, consecutive reasoning, which is used with great effect in disposing of skeptical objections, a fluency of language and a variety and aptness of illustration, that must always make him a master in the work of dealing with troubled, or erring, or diseased consciences. His volume can not fail to become a favorite on the table of the pastor, and, indeed, of all who are curious in the narratives of religious experience.

Harper and Brothers have published The History of Madame Roland, by J.S.C. Abbott, an agreeable compilation of the principal events in the life of that extraordinary woman, forming one of the most readable volumes of the day.

Baker and Scribner have published a second and revised edition of Sketches of Reforms and Reformers, by Henry B. Stanton, a work which has attained a great and deserved popularity. It is written with vigor, animation, and impartiality, presenting a lucid, systematic view of the progress of political reform in Great Britain, with lively portraitures of the most eminent men who have been distinguished in the movement.

Lewis Colby has published The Churches and Sects of the United States, by Rev. P. Douglass Gorree, giving a brief account of the origin, history, doctrines, church-government, mode of worship, usages, and statistics of the various denominations in this country. The copious information which it presents, although reduced within a narrow compass, will be found to comprise most of the essential facts concerning the different topics treated, and from the diligence and candor evinced by the author, we have no doubt of its entire reliability.

The same publisher has issued A Cenotaph to a Woman of the Burman Mission, being a memoir of Mrs. Helen M. Mason, whose devoted piety and modest worth eminently entitled her to this feeling commemoration by her husband.

Tallis, Willoughby, and Co. continue the serial publication of The Life of Christ, by John Fleetwood, beautifully illustrated with steel engravings; and Scripture History for the Young, by Frederick Banbridge, profusely embellished with appropriate plates, representing the most remarkable incidents in the Old and New Testaments.

Ticknor, Reed, and Fields have published a new volume of Poems by Grace Greenwood, consisting of a selection from her contributions to the Magazines, with several pieces which we[Pg 140] have not before seen in print. Like all the productions of that popular authoress, they are marked with strong traces of individuality, varying with the mood of the moment, now expressing a deep and melancholy pathos, and now gay with exuberant hope and native elasticity of spirit. A transparent atmosphere of intellectuality is the medium for the loftiest flights of her fancy, inspiring confidence even in her most erratic excursions, and giving a healthy tone to her glowing effusions of sentiment.

We have also from Ticknor, Reed, and Fields a new edition of The Grandfather's Chair, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, with Biographical Stories from the lives of Benjamin West, Sir Isaac Newton, Dr. Johnson, Oliver Cromwell, Benjamin Franklin, and Queen Christina. Mr. Hawthorne's narratives for juvenile reading are no less original and attractive in their kind, than the admirable tales and descriptions by which he is known to the majority of readers.

A cheap edition of the powerful sea-story, The Green Hand, has been published in one volume complete, by Harper and Brothers, enabling the admirers of that racy production to enjoy its flavor without making "two bites of the cherry."

The New-Englander, for November (published at New Haven by J.B. Carrington), is an able number of this bold and masculine periodical, discussing various topics of interest with a healthy grasp of intellect, and a fresh energy of expression, which show that it has escaped the incubus of a lifeless religionism, and breathes a free, independent, and aspiring spirit, equally removed from presumption and timidity. Among the articles, is an elaborate and able reply to Professor Agassiz, on "The Original Unity of the Human Race," an admirable Review of "Tennyson's In Memoriam," a paper on California, with others of no less interest.

The Bibliotheca Sacra, conducted by B.B. Edwards, and E.A. Park, for November (Andover, W.I. Draper), abounds in choice and recondite learning, with a sufficient sprinkling of popular articles to attract the attention of general readers. "The Life and Character of De Wette" gives an instructive account of the position and influence of that eminent German theologian. The whole number is highly creditable to the condition of sacred literature in this country.

Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, Boston, have published Lyrics of Spain and Erin, by Edward Maturin, a neat volume of spirited and graceful poetry, consisting of Spanish Ballads, Legends and Superstitions of Ireland, and Miscellaneous Pieces.

We have also from their press Astræa, A Phi Beta Kappa Poem, by O.W. Holmes, gleaming with brilliant flashes of wit, and playfully scoring some of the prevalent follies of the day; a volume of Biographical Essays, by Thomas De Quincey, a work of extraordinary interest, as presenting the judgment of that bold and vigorous thinker on such names as Shakspeare, Pope, Lamb, Goethe, and Schiller; and Numa Pompilius, translated from the French of Florian, by J.A. Ferris.

Jamaica in 1850, by John Bigelow (published by Geo. P. Putnam), is less a book of travels than a treatise on practical economy, suggested by a short residence on that island during a part of last winter. The largest portion of the volume is devoted to a discussion of the causes to which the commercial and industrial decline of Jamaica may be ascribed, and of the measures which, in the opinion of the author, would restore that delightful and fertile island to more than its ancient prosperity. The root of the evil, according to Mr. Bigelow, is to be found in the degradation of labor, the non-residence of the landholders, the encumbered condition of real estate, and the monopoly of the soil by a small number of proprietors. He warmly maintains the importance of developing the vast industrial resources of the island, and establishing the laboring classes in a state of personal independence. His views are set forth at considerable length, and with a variety of illustrations. The discussion is often enlivened by descriptions of local customs and manners, narratives of personal experience, and lively sketches of incident and character. Mr. Bigelow's style has the fluency, ease, and vivacity, with the occasional inaccuracies, which naturally proceed from the habit of perpetual and rapid composition, inseparable from the profession of a newspaper editor. Some portions of this volume have already appeared in the New York Evening Post, of which Mr. Bigelow is one of the conductors, where they produced a very favorable impression. They lose none of their interest in the present form, and will be found to present a mass of important information in an unusually agreeable manner.

Messrs. Tappan, Whittemore, and Mason have recently published Cantica Laudis; or, The American Book of Church Music, being chiefly a selection of chaste and elegant melodies from the most classic authors, ancient and modern, with harmony parts; together with Chants, Anthems, and other set pieces, for choirs and schools; to which are added, Tunes for Congregational singing, by Lowell Mason and George James Webb. Also, by the same authors, The Melodist, a collection of popular and social songs, original and selected, harmonized and arranged for soprano, alto, tenor, and base voices.

Beranger; Two Hundred of his Lyrical Poems, done into English verse, by William Young (published by George P. Putnam), is a selection from Beranger's Songs, of which one hundred have already appeared in a London edition, and are here reproduced, after careful revision, the remainder being now printed for the first time. On many accounts, Beranger is less suited for representation in a foreign language than most poets who have gained such wide popularity among their own countrymen. Many of his most brilliant effusions have a strong tincture of licentiousness; they are marked by a freedom[Pg 141] of delineation and of language which every decent English translator would wish to avoid; and their publication in any other land than that of their origin, would be an ungracious enterprise. Besides, his productions are singularly idiomatic in their style; growing out of the current events of the day; abounding in local and political allusions; and strongly impressed with the national characteristics of France. The external form of these popular lyrics seems to be the necessary costume of their spirit. You can not separate one from the other without violating the integrity of the piece. Its vitality resides in the light, airy, evanescent structure of the rhythm. This delicate vase can not be broken without wasting the precious aromas which it incloses. With these formidable difficulties in the way of the translator, we must give Mr. Young the highest credit for the felicitous manner in which he has accomplished his task. His selections are made with an admirable balance of taste. He has excluded all pieces, that could justly be condemned on the score of grossness or a frivolous treatment of sacred things, while he has not yielded to the suggestions of an over-fastidious and morbid prudery. The translation bears the marks of pains-taking diligence and a scrupulous desire for accuracy. It is the result of a profound study and a familiar knowledge of the author. It renders the general outlines of the original with almost the fidelity of a daguerreotype. The reader who has no acquaintance with French poetry may obtain from it a sufficiently distinct idea of the costume, the movement, and the verbal harmonies of Beranger. Nor is this all. Many of the songs are alive and tremulous with gayety and feeling. They are written as the author would have written in English. If the racy and delicious flavor of the original is not always preserved, it is no fault of the translator. Literary art has not yet discovered the secret of retaining the freshness of inspiration through the process of transplanting into a foreign tongue. A neat biographical sketch of Beranger is a welcome appendage to the volume.

C.S. Francis and Co. have issued a neat edition of Hans Christian Andersen's popular juveniles The Story Teller, The Ugly Duck, Little Ellie, and other tales, illustrated with wood-engravings.

The Gem of the Western World, published by Cornish, Lamport, and Co., is the title of a new Annual for 1851, edited by Mrs. Mary E. Hewitt, containing several original articles from her own pen, with contributions from a variety of well-known popular writers. The admirable taste of the editress is a guarantee for the excellence of the literary matter which she has admitted into the volume.

D. Appleton and Co. announce a magnificent collection of Gift-Books for the approaching holidays, which in the chaste and elevated character of their contents, and the exquisite beauty of their embellishments have not been surpassed by any similar publications in this country. Our Saviour with Apostles and Prophets, edited by Rev. Dr. Wainwright, contains a series of portraits of the sacred personages described in the text, from designs by Finden and other artists of acknowledged eminence in England. They are beautifully engraved on steel, presenting with great fidelity to character, the ideal traits of the prophets and martyrs, whose features they are supposed to represent. Each plate is accompanied with an original essay, prepared expressly for this volume, and written with uniform propriety and good taste. The writers are among the most distinguished American divines in their respective denominations. They have performed the task assigned to them in the preparation of this elegant work, with good judgment, fidelity, and eminent success. Instead of attempting to "gild the refined gold" of the sacred writers with the thin tinsel of modern rhetoric, they have preserved the decorum appropriate to the subject, and expressed the reflections which it suggests, in grave, modest, and forcible language. Hence, this volume possesses an intrinsic value, as a work on Scripture Biography, which recommends it to the notice of the religious public, independently of the beauty and impressive character of its pictorial illustrations. We are greatly indebted both to the Editor and the Publishers for such a valuable addition to the tempting literature of the holidays.

Another of their illustrated publications, of a less expensive character, is entitled Sacred Scenes, describing various passages in the life of our Saviour by artistic representations, accompanied with suitable selections from the works of distinguished English writers.

Evenings at Donaldson Manor is a charming collection of tales and narratives from the pen of Maria J. McIntosh, which with Midsummer Fays, by Susan Pindar, is adapted to the younger classes of readers, forming beautiful and appropriate gifts for the season of social congratulations and the exchanges of friendship and domestic affection.

The National Cook-Book, by A Lady of Philadelphia, published by Robert E. Peterson, is a treatise adapted to American tastes and habits, and will, of course, be satisfactory to those who prefer a bill of fare in their own language. Great attention has been paid to that department of cookery exclusively adapted to the sick or convalescent, most of the dishes having been prepared according to the directions of eminent physicians of Philadelphia.

The Relation between the Holy Scriptures and some Parts of Geological Science, is reprinted by Robert E. Peterson, of Philadelphia, from the fourth London edition, greatly enlarged by its veteran author, John Pye Smith, the distinguished Professor of Divinity in the College at Homerton. The work, which consists of a series of Lectures, illustrated by copious notes, displays extensive and diligent research, uncommon strength and fairness of argument, and an animated and impressive style. It has met[Pg 142] with brilliant success in England, and has gained a highly favorable reputation in this country.

Little and Brown, Boston, have issued the Second Volume of The Works of John Adams, with a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations, by his Grandson, Charles Francis Adams, the first volume, which has not yet made its appearance, being reserved for the Life of President Adams, announced on the title-page. The present volume is composed of a Diary, some portions of an Autobiography, and Notes of the earlier debates in the Provincial Congress at Philadelphia. The Diary was commenced in 1755, the year of the author's graduation at Harvard College, and continues to 1778, the period of his first departure for Europe as Envoy to the Court of Versailles. It presents a curious picture of the youth and early manhood of the celebrated statesman, and of the gradual development of political events till their consummation in the war of the Revolution. The sketches which are also given of several of the Massachusetts politicians, whose names have since become identified with the history of their country, derive a peculiar interest from the freedom and unconsciousness with which they are drawn, the writer having no idea of publicity, and intending his record of current events as merely the pastime of a leisure hour. His frank and copious details, which are published without alteration by the Editor, often give an amusing illustration of the domestic life of New England, and with a few homely touches, reveal the spirit of the people which led to resistance against British aggression. The manner in which the work has been prepared for publication is in a high degree creditable to the fidelity, impartiality, and excellent judgment of the Editor. He gives all necessary explanations in cases of doubt or obscurity, but never distracts the attention of the reader by a superfluity of comment. With an evident tenderness for the reputation of his venerable relative, he allows him to depict himself in genuine colors, making no attempt to gloss over his infirmities, or to place his virtues in an exaggerated light. The volume is issued in a style of great typographical elegance, with a portrait of President Adams in his youth, and a very natural sketch of the primitive old Yankee homestead in Quincy.

The Broken Bracelet and Other Poems (Phil., Lindsay and Blakiston), by Mrs. C.H.W. Esling, is the title of a volume of poems, which, in another form, have been favorably received by the public, and are now collected by the suggestion of the literary friends of the author, formerly Miss Waterman. They are justly entitled to the compliment of a reprint, on account of their true poetic sentiment, their graceful versification, their delicate appreciation of beauty, and their pure and healthy sympathies with the varied aspects of humanity. The poem, from which the volume takes its name, is a romantic Italian story, abounding in natural touches of pathos, and many of the smaller pieces show a depth of feeling and versatility of expression that can not fail to make them general favorites.

The Immortal; A Dramatic Romance, and Other Poems, by James Nack (published by Stringer and Townsend), is introduced with a memoir of the author, by George P. Morris, who gives an interesting description of the circumstances which, at an early period of life, decided his future position. Mr. Nack was the son of a merchant in the city of New York. He soon displayed a love of study, which gave promise of future intellectual distinction. His genius for poetry received a remarkably precocious development. But he had scarcely attained his ninth year when he met with a severe accident, which resulted in the total destruction of his hearing. He was thus deprived of the power of articulation to so great a degree, that he has since confined himself to writing as the medium of intercourse with others. His natural energy and perseverance, however, have enabled him to overcome the obstacles to literary culture, which, to most persons, would have been insurmountable. The poetry in the present volume, in addition to the interest excited by the situation of the author, possesses the decided merits of a vivid imagination, great tenderness and purity of feeling, and usually a chaste and vigorous diction.

Baker and Scribner have issued an edition of Milton's Paradise Lost, in one handsome duodecimo volume, edited by Professor James R. Boyd, containing original, explanatory, and critical notes, with a copious selection from the commentaries of Newton, Todd, Sir Egerton Brydges, Stebbing, and others. The edition is illustrated by engravings from the celebrated designs of Martin.

A General View of the Fine Arts (published by G.P. Putnam), is the production of a lady, who, while devoting her leisure hours to its composition, was practically engaged with the pallet and colors. It is intended to diffuse a taste for the study of the fine arts, by gathering into a small compass, the information which was before diffused through many expensive and often inaccessible volumes. Under the different heads of Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, and Music, the author has presented a variety of historical sketches, discussions of theoretical principles, anecdotes of celebrated artists, and descriptions of their most important productions. Without making any pretensions to entire originality, the work displays a lucid arrangement, an extent of information, and a pleasing vivacity of style, which give a very favorable idea of the diligence, conscientiousness, critical judgment, and artistic enthusiasm of the anonymous author. An appropriate introduction by Huntington, the distinguished American painter, accompanies the volume.

G.P. Putnam has published the Artist's Chromatic Hand-Book, by John P. Ridner, a convenient practical treatise on the properties and uses of the different colors employed in painting.

[Pg 143]

Fashions for December.

Fig. 1.Visiting and Ball Costumes for December

The extremely mild weather which has prevailed during the autumn, has somewhat retarded the preparations for winter; yet the modists have not been unmindful of the passage of the months, and the fact that December always promises frosts and snows. From Paris, the great fountain of taste in dress, elegant bonnets have been received. Some are of white, lilac, pink, and green satin, covered with black lace of rich pattern; others are of black and colored velvets, trimmed with a small feather on each side; the inside trimming composed of velvet flowers and foliage, in tints harmonizing with the color of the bonnet. Pardessus, wadded, and of the same material as the dress, are now generally worn, the patterns varying but little from those depicted in our last Number. Dresses, mantelets, and other articles of costume, are ornamented with braid and embroidery. Embroidered silks are worn, of which the gray, shot with white, and ornamented with embroidered flowers and foliage of gray silk, the stems and tendrils being white, are most in vogue. The corsage is low, open[Pg 144] in front, sleeves demi-long. Another seasonable material for a plain walking and in-door dress, is a French fabric called amure, which consists of a mixture of silk and wool. It is woven in dress lengths.

The figure on the left in Figure 1, represents an elegant ball costume. The dress is composed of white crape, the skirt, which is full, being handsomely trimmed with white lace and fullings of crape put on at equal distances; the upper row of lace, reaching to a little below the waist. Plain low corsage, the top part encircled with a double fall of lace, forming a kind of berthe, and headed with a narrow fulling of crape, similar to that on the skirt. This berthe entirely conceals the plain, short sleeve; the whole is worn over a skirt of white satin. The hair is simply arranged in a cable twist, being confined at the back with a gold or silver comb. The figure on the right represents a visiting costume. The dress is a rich plaided silk, composed of a mixture of purple, red, green, and white. The skirt is made quite plain; low corsage, trimmed with a double row of white lace across the front, one row standing up, and the other drooping over the front. Pardessus of the same material, trimmed all round with a quilling of plain purple ribbon. This is repeated upon the lower part of the pagoda sleeves, and also serves to attach the pardessus across the front of the bosom. Under pagoda sleeves are of white lace. The bonnet is of paille d'Italie, lined with white silk, and decorated with pink roses, the exterior having a doubled plaited frill of white silk, and a beautiful white ostrich feather.

Fig. 2.Evening Costume
Fig. 3.Coiffure for Ball

Fig. 2 represents an evening costume. The dress is of satin, of a rich deep American primrose hue, the skirt made quite plain and very full, en petit train; low pointed corsage, trimmed with a fulling of satin ribbon, the same color as the dress, which is put on to form a kind of shallow cape round the back part, and descends upon each side of the front, finishing on either side of the point, and gradually narrowing from the shoulders. It is trimmed with a fall of white lace upon the lower edge, a narrower one forming a beading to the plaiting round the neck. The centre of the corsage is adorned with nœuds of the same colored ribbon, placed at regular distances; the short sleeves finished with a row of fulled ribbon, similar to that on the corsage, edged with a very narrow lace. The coiffure represents the front of the figure on the left.

Fig. 3 is given chiefly to show an elegant style of coiffure for a ball or evening party. A portion of the hair is brought forward in plaits, and fastened at the parting, at the top of the forehead, with a rich pearl ornament, forming a kind of festoon on each side of the head. The remainder of the front hair is disposed in a thick curl, which descends to the curve of the neck. The dress is of lilac satin; the skirt plain and full. The corsage is low, headed with white lace, and trimmed on one shoulder, with fullings of satin ribbon, of the same color as the dress, and upon the other with puffs and nœuds of the same. Open short sleeves composed of two deep falls of white lace. On one side a fall of lace extends from the centre of the corsage, and connects with the sleeves.

Fashionable Colors depend entirely upon the complexion; for example, for ladies who are brunettes, with a fresh color, light blue, straw color, pink, and pale green, are most in favor; while those of a blonde complexion universally adopt black, red, and very dark hues


[1] When honest William Penderel subsequently waited on Mr. Staunton, and acknowledged the abstraction of the sheep, offering, at the same time, to pay for it, that loyal gentleman laughed heartily at the incident, and said, "He was glad to hear that his majesty had tasted his mutton, and much good might it do him."

[2] "Lives of the Queens of Scotland, and English Princesses connected with the regal succession of Great Britain."

[3] See many dispatches from the English envoys resident in Scotland. State Paper Office, from 1534 to 1536.

[4] "Life of Lord Herries," edited by Pitcairne, Abbotsford Club, p. 101.

[5] "Life of James Earl of Morton," in the "Lives of the Douglases," p. 302.

[6] Continuation of the "History of the Houses of Seytoun, by Alexander, Viscount Kingston. Printed for the Maitland Club."

[7] Time is regulated on board a king's ship by a half-hour glass, which is placed in the binnacle, in charge of the quarter-master of the watch on deck, and who when he turns the glass, passes the word forward to strike the bell, which, in a man-of-war, is hung to the main-bitts, just over the main-hatchway, and where it is consequently heard with facility all over the ship.

[8] Burgoo, or skilligalee, is the sea-term for what in Scotland is called "parritch," and in Ireland "stirabout," namely, oatmeal boiled in water.

[9] Starosts were Poles of high birth, appointed as bailiffs or vice-governors of the various districts and provinces.

[10] This sketch is from a portrait of Randolph taken during his last visit to England. It is said by those who remember him well, to present an accurate and by no means caricatured or exaggerated representation of his singular personal appearance, while walking in the streets.

[11] Six vacancies.

Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors have been repaired, other punctuations have been left as printed in the paper book.

Erroneous page numbers in Table of Content corrected.

Obvious printer's errors have been repaired, other inconsistent spellings have been kept, including:
- use of hyphen (e.g. "bag-pipe" and "bagpipe");
- accents (e.g. "dépôts" and "depôts");
- proper names (e.g. "Leipzig" and "Leipsig");
- capitalisation (e.g. "Post-Office" and "Post-office");
- any other inconsistent spellings (e.g. "ambassador" and "embassador").

Following corrections are by removal or addition of a word:
- Pg 23, word "of" added (the course of Mary Stuart's career);
- Pg 60, word "a" added (in a low, guarded voice);
- Pg 73, word "get" removed (could get {get} in);
- Pg 135, word "the" removed (surnamed {the} "The Conqueror).