The Project Gutenberg eBook of Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. II, No. X., March 1851

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Title: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. II, No. X., March 1851

Author: Various

Release date: November 18, 2012 [eBook #41401]

Language: English

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



No. X.—MARCH, 1851.—Vol. II.



ome, gentle Spring, ethereal mildness, come;
And from the bosom of yon dropping cloud,
While music wakes around, vail'd in a shower
Of shadowing roses, on our plains descend.
O Hertford, fitted or to shine in courts
With unaffected grace, or walk the plain
With innocence and meditation join'd
In soft assemblage, listen to my song,
Which thy own season paints; when Nature all
Is blooming and benevolent, like thee.
And see where surly winter passes off
Far to the north, and calls his ruffian blasts:
His blasts obey, and quit the howling hill,
The shatter'd forest, and the ravag'd vale;
While softer gales succeed, at whose kind touch,
Dissolving snows in livid torrents lost,
The mountains lift their green heads to the sky.
As yet the trembling year is unconfirm'd,
And Winter oft at eve resumes the breeze,
Chills the pale morn, and bids his driving sleets
Deform the day delightless; so that scarce

[Pg 434]

The bittern knows his time with bill engulf'd
To shake the sounding marsh; or, from the shore
The plovers when to scatter o'er the heath,
And sing their wild notes to the listening waste.
At last from Aries rolls the bounteous sun,
And the bright Bull receives him. Then no more
The expansive atmosphere is cramp'd with cold;
But, full of life and vivifying soul,
Lifts the light clouds sublime, and spreads them thin,
Fleecy, and white, o'er all surrounding heaven.
Forth fly the tepid airs; and unconfin'd,
Unbinding earth, the moving softness strays.
Joyous, the impatient husbandman perceives
Relenting nature, and his lusty steers
Drives from their stalls to where the well-us'd plow
Lies in the furrow, loosen'd from the frost.
There, unrefusing, to the harness'd yoke
They lend their shoulder, and begin their toil,
Cheer'd by the simple song and soaring lark.
Meanwhile, incumbent o'er the shining share
The master leans, removes the obstructing clay,
Winds the whole work, and sidelong lays the glebe.
While, through the neighboring fields the sower stalks
With measur'd step; and, liberal, throws the grain
Into the faithful bosom of the ground:
The harrow follows harsh, and shuts the scene.
Be gracious, Heaven! for now laborious man
Has done his part. Ye fostering breezes, blow!
Ye softening dews, ye tender showers, descend!

And temper all, thou world-reviving sun,
Into the perfect year! Nor ye who live
In luxury and ease, in pomp and pride,
Think these lost themes unworthy of your ear:
Such themes as these the rural Maro sung
To wide-imperial Rome, in the full height
Of elegance and taste, by Greece refin'd.
In ancient times, the sacred plow employ'd
The kings and awful fathers of mankind;
And some, with whom compar'd your insect tribes
Are but the beings of a summer's day,
Have held the scale of empire, rul'd the storm
Of mighty war, then with victorious hand,
Disdaining little delicacies, seiz'd
The plow, and greatly independent scorn'd
All the vile stores corruption can bestow.
Ye generous Britons, venerate the plow!
And o'er your hills and long withdrawing vales
Let Autumn spread his treasures to the sun,
Luxuriant and unbounded! As the sea,
Far through his azure turbulent domain,
Your empire owns, and from a thousand shores

[Pg 435]

Wafts all the pomp of life into your ports,
So with superior boon may your rich soil,
Exuberant, Nature's better blessings pour
O'er every land, the naked nations clothe,
And be the exhaustless granary of a world!
Nor only through the lenient air this change,
Delicious, breathes: the penetrative sun,
His force deep-darting to the dark retreat
Of vegetation, sets the steaming power
At large, to wander o'er the verdant earth,
In various hues; but chiefly thee, gay green!
Thou smiling Nature's universal robe!
United light and shade! where the sight dwells
With growing strength, and ever-new delight.
From the moist meadow to the wither'd hill,
Led by the breeze, the vivid verdure runs;
And swells, and deepens, to the cherish'd eye.
The hawthorn whitens; and the juicy groves
Put forth their buds, unfolding by degrees,
Till the whole leafy forest stands display'd,
In full luxuriance, to the sighing gales;
Where the deer rustle through the twining brake,
And the birds sing conceal'd. At once, array'd
In all the colors of the flushing year
By Nature's swift and secret-working hand,
The garden glows, and fills the liberal air
With lavish fragrance; while the promis'd fruit
Lies yet a little embryo, unperceiv'd,
Within its crimson folds. Now from the town,
Buried in smoke, and sleep, and noisome damps,
Oft let me wander o'er the dewy fields,
Where freshness breathes, and dash the trembling drops
From the bent bush, as through the verdant maze
Of sweetbrier hedges I pursue my walk;
Or taste the smell of dairy; or ascend
Some eminence, Augusta, in thy plains,
And see the country, far diffus'd around,
One boundless blush, one white-empurpled shower
Of mingled blossoms: where the raptur'd eye
Hurries from joy to joy; and, hid beneath
The fair profusion, yellow Autumn spies.
If, brush'd from Russian wilds, a cutting gale
Rise not, and scatter from his humid wings
The clammy mildew; or, dry-blowing, breathe
Untimely frost—before whose baleful blast
The full-blown Spring through all her foliage shrinks,
Joyless and dead, a wide-dejected waste.
For oft, engender'd by the hazy north,
Myriads on myriads, insect armies waft
Keen in the poison'd breeze; and wasteful eat,
Through buds and bark, into the blacken'd core
Their eager way. A feeble race! yet oft
The sacred sons of vengeance! on whose course
Corrosive famine waits, and kills the year.
[Pg 436] To check this plague, the skillful farmer chaff
And blazing straw before his orchard burns—
Till, all involv'd in smoke, the latent foe
From every cranny suffocated falls;
Or scatters o'er the blooms the pungent dust
Of pepper, fatal to the frosty tribe;
Or, when the envenom'd leaf begins to curl,
With sprinkled water drowns them in their nest:
Nor, while they pick them up with busy bill,
The little trooping birds unwisely scares.
Be patient, swains; these cruel-seeming winds
Blow not in vain. Far hence they keep, repress'd,
Those deepening clouds on clouds, surcharg'd with rain,
That o'er the vast Atlantic hither borne,
In endless train, would quench the summer blaze,
And, cheerless, drown the crude unripen'd year.
The northeast spends his rage, and now shut up
Within his iron caves—the effusive south
Warms the wide air, and o'er the void of heaven
Breathes the big clouds with vernal showers distent.
At first a dusky wreath they seem to rise,
Scarce staining ether; but by fast degrees,
In heaps on heaps, the doubling vapor sails
Along the loaded sky, and mingling deep,
Sits on the horizon round a settled gloom:
Not such as wintry storms on mortals shed,
Oppressing life; but lovely, gentle, kind,
And full of every hope and every joy,
The wish of Nature. Gradual sinks the breeze
Into a perfect calm; that not a breath
Is heard to quiver through the closing woods,
Or rustling turn the many-twinkling leaves
Of aspen tall. The uncurling floods, diffus'd
In glassy breadth, seem through delusive lapse
Forgetful of their course. 'Tis silence all,
And pleasing expectation. Herds and flocks
Drop the dry sprig, and, mute-imploring, eye
The falling verdure. Hush'd in short suspense,
The plumy people streak their wings with oil,
To throw the lucid moisture trickling off;
And wait the approaching sign to strike, at once,
Into the general choir. Even mountains, vales,
And forests seem, impatient, to demand
The promis'd sweetness. Man superior walks
Amid the glad creation, musing praise,
And looking lively gratitude. At last,
The clouds consign their treasures to the fields,
And, softly shaking on the dimpled pool
Prelusive drops, let all their moisture flow,
In large effusion, o'er the freshen'd world.
The stealing shower is scarce to patter heard
By such as wander through the forest walks,
Beneath the umbrageous multitude of leaves.
But who can hold the shade, while Heaven descends
In universal bounty, shedding herbs,
And fruits, and flowers, on Nature's ample lap?
Swift fancy fir'd anticipates their growth;
And, while the milky nutriment distills,
Beholds the kindling country color round.
Thus all day long the full-distended clouds
Indulge their genial stores, and well-shower'd earth
Is deep-enrich'd with vegetable life;
Till, in the western sky, the downward sun
Looks out, effulgent, from amid the flush
Of broken clouds, gay-shifting to his beam.
The rapid radiance instantaneous strikes
The illumin'd mountain; through the forest streams;
Shakes on the floods; and in a yellow mist,
Far smoking o'er the interminable plain,
In twinkling myriads lights the dewy gems.
Moist, bright, and green, the landscape laughs around
Full swell the woods; their every music wakes,
Mix'd in wild concert, with the warbling brooks
Increas'd, the distant bleatings of the hills,
The hollow lows responsive from the vales,
Whence blending all the sweeten'd zephyr springs
Meantime, refracted from yon eastern cloud,
Bestriding earth, the grand ethereal bow
Shoots up immense; and every hue unfolds,
In fair proportion running from the red
To where the violet fades into the sky.
Here, awful Newton, the dissolving clouds
Form, fronting on the sun, thy showery prism;
[Pg 437] And to the sage-instructed eye unfold
The various twine of light, by thee disclos'd
From the white mingling maze. Not so the swain:
He wondering views the bright enchantment bend,
Delightful, o'er the radiant fields, and runs
To catch the falling glory; but amaz'd
Beholds the amusive arch before him fly,
Then vanish quite away. Still night succeeds,
A soften'd shade; and saturated earth
Awaits the morning beam, to give to light,
Rais'd through ten thousand different plastic tubes,
The balmy treasures of the former day.
Then spring the living herbs, profusely wild,
O'er all the deep-green earth, beyond the power
Of botanist to number up their tribes:
Whether he steals along the lonely dale,
In silent search; or through the forest, rank
With what the dull incurious weeds account,
Bursts his blind way; or climbs the mountain rock,
Fir'd by the nodding verdure of its brow.
With such a liberal hand has Nature flung
Their seeds abroad, blown them about in winds,
Innumerous mix'd them with the nursing mould
The moistening current, and prolific rain.
But who their virtues can declare? who pierce,
With vision pure, into these secret stores
Of health, and life, and joy? the food of man,
While yet he liv'd in innocence, and told
A length of golden years, unflesh'd in blood;
A stranger to the savage arts of life,

Death, rapine, carnage, surfeit, and disease—
The lord, and not the tyrant, of the world.
The first fresh dawn then wak'd the gladdened race
Of uncorrupted man, nor blushed to see
The sluggard sleep beneath its sacred beam;
For their light slumbers gently fum'd away,
And up they rose as vigorous as the sun.
Or to the culture of the willing glebe,
Or to the cheerful tendance of the flock.
Meantime the song went round; and dance and sport,
Wisdom and friendly talk successive stole
Their hours away; while in the rosy vale
Love breath'd his infant sighs, from anguish free,
And full replete with bliss; save the sweet pain
That, inly thrilling, but exalts it more
Nor yet injurious act, nor surly deed,
Was known among these happy sons of heaven;
For reason and benevolence were law.
Harmonious Nature, too, look'd smiling on.
Clear shone the skies, cool'd with eternal gales,

[Pg 438]

And balmy spirit all. The youthful sun
Shot his best rays, and still the gracious clouds
Dropp'd fatness down; as, o'er the swelling mead,
The herds and flocks, commixing, play'd secure.
This when, emergent from the gloomy wood,
The glaring lion saw, his horrid heart
Was meeken'd, and he join'd his sullen joy;
For music held the whole in perfect peace:
Soft sigh'd the flute; the tender voice was heard,
Warbling the varied heart; the woodlands round
Applied their choir; and winds and waters flow'd
In consonance. Such were those prime of days.
But now those white unblemish'd minutes, whence
The fabling poets took their golden age,
Are found no more amid these iron times,
These dregs of life! Now the distemper'd mind
Has lost that concord of harmonious powers,
Which forms the soul of happiness; and all
Is off the poise within: the passions all
Have burst their bounds; and reason half-extinct,
Or impotent, or else approving, sees
The foul disorder. Senseless and deform'd,
Convulsive anger storms at large; or, pale
And silent, settles into fell revenge.
Base envy withers at another's joy,
And hates that excellence it can not reach.
Desponding fear, of feeble fancies full,
Weak and unmanly, loosens every power.
Even love itself is bitterness of soul,
A pensive anguish pining at the heart;
Or, sunk to sordid interest, feels no more
That noble wish, that never-cloy'd desire,
Which, selfish joy disdaining, seeks alone
To bless the dearer object of its flame.
Hope sickens with extravagance; and grief,
Of life impatient, into madness swells,
Or in dead silence wastes the weeping hours.
These, and a thousand mix'd emotions more,
From ever changing views of good and ill,
Form'd infinitely various, vex the mind
With endless storm; whence, deeply rankling, grows
The partial thought, a listless unconcern,
Cold, and averting from our neighbor's good;
Then dark disgust, and hatred, winding wiles
Coward deceit, and ruffian violence.
At last, extinct each social feeling, fell
And joyless inhumanity pervades
And petrifies the heart. Nature disturb'd
Is deem'd, vindictive, to have chang'd her course.
Hence, in old dusky time, a deluge came:
When the deep-cleft disparting orb, that arch'd
The central waters round, impetuous rush'd,
With universal burst, into the gulf,
And o'er the high-pil'd hills of fractur'd earth
Wide-dash'd the waves, in undulation vast;
Till, from the centre to the streaming clouds,
A shoreless ocean tumbled round the globe.
The Seasons since have, with severer sway,
Oppress'd a broken world: the Winter keen
Shook forth his waste of snows; and Summer shot
His pestilential heats. Great Spring, before,
Green'd all the year; and fruits and blossoms blush'd,
In social sweetness, on the self-same bough.
Pure was the temperate air; an even calm
Perpetual reign'd, save what the zephyrs bland
Breath'd o'er the blue expanse: for then nor storms
Were taught to blow, nor hurricanes to rage;
Sound slept the waters; no sulphureous glooms
Swell'd in the sky, and sent the lightning forth;
While sickly damps, and cold autumnal fogs,
Hung not, relaxing, on the springs of life.
But now, of turbid elements the sport,
From clear to cloudy toss'd, from hot to cold,
And dry to moist, with inward-eating change,
Our drooping days are dwindled down to naught,
Their period finish'd ere 'tis well begun.
And yet the wholesome herb neglected dies,
Though with the pure exhilarating soul
Of nutriment, and health, and vital powers,
Beyond the search of art, 'tis copious blest.
For, with hot ravin fir'd, ensanguin'd man
Is now become the lion of the plain,
And worse. The wolf, who from the nightly fold
Fierce drags the bleating prey, ne'er drank her milk,
Nor wore her warming fleece; nor has the steer,
At whose strong chest the deadly tiger hangs,
E'er plow'd for him. They too are temper'd high,
With hunger stung and wild necessity;
Nor lodges pity in their shaggy breast.
But man, whom Nature form'd of milder clay,
With every kind emotion in his heart,
And taught alone to weep—while from her lap
She pours ten thousand delicacies, herbs,
And fruits, as numerous as the drops of rain
Or beams that gave them birth—shall he, fair form!
Who wears sweet smiles, and looks erect on heaven,
E'er stoop to mingle with the prowling herd,
And dip his tongue in gore? The beast of prey,
Blood-stain'd deserves to bleed; but you, ye flocks,
What have you done? ye peaceful people, what,
To merit death? you, who have given us milk
In luscious streams, and lent us your own coat
Against the Winter's cold? And the plain ox,
That harmless, honest, guileless animal,
In what has he offended? he, whose toil,
Patient and ever ready, clothes the land
With all the pomp of harvest?—shall he bleed,
And struggling groan beneath the cruel hands
Even of the clowns he feeds? and that, perhaps,
To swell the riot of the autumnal feast,
Won by his labor? This the feeling heart
Would tenderly suggest; but 'tis enough,
In this late age, adventurous, to have touch'd
Light on the numbers of the Samian sage.
High Heaven forbids the bold presumptuous strain,
Whose wisest will has fixed us in a state
That must not yet to pure perfection rise:
Beside, who knows, how rais'd to higher life,
From stage to stage, the vital scale ascends?
Now, when the first foul torrent of the brooks,
Swell'd with the vernal rains, is ebb'd away—
And, whitening, down their mossy-tinctur'd stream
Descends the billowy foam—now is the time,
While yet the dark-brown water aids the guile,
To tempt the trout. The well dissembled fly,
The rod fine-tapering with elastic spring,
Snatch'd from the hoary steed the floating line,
And all thy slender watery stores, prepare.
But let not on thy hook the tortur'd worm,
Convulsive, twist in agonizing folds;
Which, by rapacious hunger swallow'd deep,
Gives, as you tear it from the bleeding breast
Of the weak, helpless, uncomplaining wretch,
Harsh pain and horror to the tender hand.
When, with his lively ray, the potent sun
Has pierc'd the streams, and rous'd the finny race
Then, issuing cheerful, to thy sport repair;
Chief should the western breezes curling play,
And light o'er ether bear the shadowy clouds,
High to their fount, this day, amid the hills,
And woodlands warbling round, trace up the brooks,
The next, pursue their rocky-channel'd maze,
Down to the river, in whose ample wave
[Pg 439] Their little naiads love to sport at large.

Just in the dubious point where with the pool,
Is mix'd the trembling stream, or where it boils
Around the stone, or from the hollow'd bank
Reverted plays in undulating flow,
There throw nice-judging, the delusive fly;
And, as you lead it round in artful curve,
With eye attentive mark the springing game.
Straight as above the surface of the flood
They wanton rise, or urg'd by hunger leap,
Then fix, with gentle twitch, the barbed hook;
Some lightly tossing to the grassy bank,
And to the shelving shore slow-dragging some,
With various hand proportion'd to their force.
If yet too young, and easily deceived,
A worthless prey scarce bends your pliant rod,
Him, piteous of his youth, and the short space
He has enjoy'd the vital light of heaven,
Soft disengage, and back into the stream
The speckled infant throw. But should you lure

From his dark haunt, beneath the tangled roots
Of pendent trees, the monarch of the brook,
Behooves you then to ply your finest art.
Long time he, followed cautious, scans the fly,
And oft attempts to seize it, but as oft
The dimpled water speaks his jealous fear.
At last, while haply o'er the shaded sun
Passes a cloud, he desperate takes the death,
With sullen plunge. At once he darts along,
Deep-struck, and runs out all the lengthen'd line
Then seeks the farthest ooze, the sheltering weed,
The cavern'd bank, his old secure abode;
And flies aloft, and flounces round the pool,
Indignant of the guile. With yielding hand,
That feels him still, yet to his furious course
Gives way, you, now retiring, following now
Across the stream, exhaust his idle rage;
Till floating broad upon his breathless side,
And to his fate abandon'd, to the shore
You gayly drag your unresisting prize.
Thus pass the temperate hours: but when the sun
Shakes from his noonday throne the scattering clouds,
Even shooting listless languor through the deeps,
Then seek the bank where flowering elders crowd,
Where scatter'd wild the lily of the vale
Its balmy essence breathes, where cowslips hang
The dewy head, where purple violets lurk,
With all the lowly children of the shade;
Or lie reclin'd beneath yon spreading ash
Hung o'er the steep, whence borne on liquid wing
The sounding culver shoots; or where the hawk
High in the beetling cliff his eyry builds.
There let the classic page thy fancy lead
Through rural scenes, such as the Mantuan swain
[Pg 440] Paints in the matchless harmony of song;
Or catch thyself the landscape, gliding swift
Athwart imagination's vivid eye;
Or, by the vocal woods and waters lull'd,
And lost in lonely musing, in a dream,
Confus'd, of careless solitude, where mix
Ten thousand wandering images of things,
Soothe every gust of passion into peace—
All but the swellings of the soften'd heart,
That waken, not disturb, the tranquil mind.
Behold, yon breathing prospect bids the muse
Throw all her beauty forth. But who can paint
Like Nature? Can imagination boast,
Amid its gay creation, hues like hers?
Or can it mix them with that matchless skill,
And lose them in each other, as appears
In every bud that blows? If fancy, then,
Unequal fails beneath the pleasing task,
Ah, what shall language do? ah, where find words
Ting'd with so many colors; and whose power,
To life approaching, may perfume my lays
With that fine oil, those aromatic gales,
That inexhaustive flow continual round?
Yet, though successless, will the toil delight.
Come then, ye virgins and ye youths whose hearts
Have felt the raptures of refining love;
And thou, Amanda, come, pride of my song!
Form'd by the Graces, loveliness itself!
Come with those downcast eyes, sedate and sweet,
Those looks demure, that deeply pierce the soul—
Where, with the light of thoughtful reason mix'd.

Shines lively fancy, and the feeling heart:
Oh come! and while the rosy-footed May
Steals blushing on, together let us tread
The morning dews, and gather in their prime
Fresh-blooming flowers, to grace thy braided hair
And thy lov'd bosom that improves their sweets.
See, where the winding vale its lavish stores,
Irriguous, spreads. See, how the lily drinks
The latent rill, scarce oozing through the grass,
Of growth luxuriant; or the humid bank,
In fair profusion, decks. Long let us walk,
Where the breeze blows from yon extended field,
Of blossom'd beans. Arabia can not boast

[Pg 441]

A fuller gale of joy than, liberal, thence
Breathes through the sense, and takes the ravish'd soul.
Nor is the mead unworthy of thy foot,
Full of fresh verdure, and unnumber'd flowers,
The negligence of Nature, wide and wild;
Where, undisguis'd by mimic art, she spreads
Unbounded beauty to the roving eye.
Here their delicious task the fervent bees,
In swarming millions, tend: around, athwart,
Through the soft air the busy nations fly,
Cling to the bud, and with inserted tube
Suck its pure essence, its ethereal soul;
And oft, with bolder wing, they soaring dare
The purple heath, or where the wild-thyme grows,
And yellow load them with the luscious spoil.
At length the finish'd garden to the view
Its vistas opens, and its alleys green.
Snatch'd through the verdant maze, the hurried eye
Distracted wanders: now the bowery walk
Of covert close, where scarce a speck of day
Falls on the lengthen'd gloom, protracted sweeps;
Now meets the bending sky; the river now
Dimpling along, the breezy-ruffled lake,
The forest darkening round, the glittering spire,
The ethereal mountain, and the distant main.
But why so far excursive? when at hand,
Along these blushing borders, bright with dew,
And in yon mingled wilderness of flowers,
Fair-handed Spring unbosoms every grace:
Throws out the snow-drop and the crocus first;
The daisy, primrose, violet darkly blue,
And polyanthus of unnumber'd dyes;
The yellow wallflower, stain'd with iron-brown;
And lavish stock, that scents the garden round;
From the soft wing of vernal breezes shed,
Anemonies; auriculas, enrich'd
With shining meal o'er all their velvet leaves:
And full ranunculus, of glowing red.
Then comes the tulip-race, where beauty plays
Her idle freaks: from family diffus'd
To family, as flies the father-dust,
The varied colors run; and, while they break
On the charm'd eye, the exulting florist marks,
With secret pride, the wonders of his hand.
No gradual bloom is wanting; from the bud,
First-born of Spring, to Summer's musky tribes:
Nor hyacinths, of purest virgin-white,
Low-bent, and blushing inward; nor jonquils,
Of potent fragrance; nor narcissus fair,
As o'er the fabled fountain hanging still;
Nor broad carnations; nor gay-spotted pinks;
Nor, shower'd from every bush, the damask-rose.
Infinite numbers, delicacies, smells,
With hues on hues expression can not paint,
The breath of Nature, and her endless bloom.
Hail, Source of Beings! Universal Soul
Of heaven and earth! Essential Presence, hail!
To thee I bend the knee; to thee my thoughts,
Continual, climb; who, with a master-hand,
Hast the great whole into perfection touch'd.
By thee the various vegetative tribes,
Wrapp'd in a filmy net, and clad with leaves,
Draw the live ether, and imbibe the dew.
By thee dispos'd into congenial soils,
Stands each attractive plant, and sucks, and swells
The juicy tide; a twining mass of tubes.
At thy command the vernal sun awakes
The torpid sap, detruded to the root
By wintry winds, that now in fluent dance,
And lively fermentation, mounting, spreads.
All this innumerous-color'd scene of things.
As rising from the vegetable world
My theme ascends, with equal wing ascend,
My panting muse; and hark, how loud the woods
Invite you forth in all your gayest trim.
Lend me your song, ye nightingales! oh, pour
The mazy-running soul of melody
Into my varied verse! while I deduce,
From the first note the hollow cuckoo sings,
The symphony of Spring, and touch a theme
Unknown to fame—the passion of the groves.
When first the soul of love is sent abroad,
Warm through the vital air, and on the heart
Harmonious seizes, the gay troops begin,
In gallant thought, to plume the painted wing;
And try again the long forgotten strain,
At first faint-warbled. But no sooner grows
The soft infusion prevalent, and wide,
Than, all alive, at once their joy o'erflows
In music unconfin'd. Up springs the lark,
Shrill-voic'd and loud, the messenger of morn:
Ere yet the shadows fly, he mounted sings
Amid the dawning clouds, and from their haunts
Calls up the tuneful nations. Every copse
Deep-tangled, tree irregular, and bush
Bending with dewy moisture, o'er the heads
Of the coy quiristers that lodge within,
Are prodigal of harmony. The thrush
And woodlark, o'er the kind contending throng
Superior heard, run through the sweetest length
Of notes; when listening Philomela deigns
To let them joy, and purposes, in thought
Elate, to make her night excel their day.
The blackbird whistles from the thorny brake;
The mellow bullfinch answers from the grove;
Nor are the linnets, o'er the flowering furze
Pour'd out profusely, silent: join'd to these
Innumerous songsters, in the freshening shade
Of new-sprung leaves, their modulations mix
Mellifluous. The jay, the rook, the daw,
And each harsh pipe, discordant heard alone,
Aid the full concert; while the stockdove breathes
A melancholy murmur through the whole.
'Tis love creates their melody, and all
This waste of music is the voice of love;
That even to birds and beasts the tender arts
Of pleasing teaches. Hence the glossy kind
Try every winning way inventive love
Can dictate, and in courtship to their mates
Pour forth their little souls. First, wide around,
With distant awe, in airy rings they rove,
Endeavoring by a thousand tricks to catch
The cunning, conscious, half-averted glance
Of their regardless charmer. Should she seem,
Softening, the least approvance to bestow,
Their colors burnish, and, by hope inspir'd,
They brisk advance; then, on a sudden struck,
Retire disorder'd; then again approach;
In fond rotation spread the spotted wing,
And shiver every feather with desire.
Connubial leagues agreed, to the deep woods
They haste away, all as their fancy leads,
Pleasure, or food, or secret safety prompts;
That Nature's great command may be obey'd:
Nor all the sweet sensations they perceive
Indulg'd in vain. Some to the holly-hedge
Nestling repair, and to the thicket some;
Some to the rude protection of the thorn
Commit their feeble offspring. The cleft tree
Offers its kind concealment to a few,
Their food its insects, and its moss their nests.
Others, apart, far in the grassy dale,
Or roughening waste, their humble texture weave
But most in woodland solitudes delight,
In unfrequented glooms, or shaggy banks,
Steep, and divided by a babbling brook.
[Pg 442] Whose murmurs soothe them all the livelong day,
When by kind duty fix'd. Among the roots
Of hazel, pendent o'er the plaintive stream,
They frame the first foundation of their domes;
Dry sprigs of trees, in artful fabric laid,
And bound with clay together. Now 'tis naught
But restless hurry through the busy air,
Beat by unnumber'd wings. The swallow sweeps
The slimy pool, to build his hanging house
Intent. And often, from the careless back
Of herds and flocks, a thousand tugging bills
Pluck hair and wool; and oft, when unobserv'd,
Steal from the barn a straw: till soft and warm,
Clean and complete, their habitation grows.
As thus the patient dam assiduous sits,
Not to be tempted from her tender task,
Or by sharp hunger, or by smooth delight,
Though the whole loosen'd Spring around her blows
Her sympathizing lover takes his stand
High on the opponent bank, and ceaseless sings
The tedious time away; or else supplies
Her place a moment, while she sudden flits
To pick the scanty meal. The appointed time
With pious toil fulfill'd, the callow young,
Warm'd and expanded into perfect life,
Their brittle bondage break, and come to light
A helpless family, demanding food
With constant clamor. Oh, what passions then,
What melting sentiments of kindly care,
On the new parents seize! Away they fly.
Affectionate, and undesiring bear

The most delicious morsel to their young
Which equally distributed, again
The search begins. Even so a gentle pair,
By fortune sunk, but form'd of generous mould,
And charm'd with cares beyond the vulgar breast,
In some lone cot amid the distant woods,
Sustained alone by providential Heaven,
Oft, as they weeping eye their infant train,
Check their own appetites and give them all.
Nor toil alone they scorn: exalting love,
By the great Father of the Spring inspir'd
Gives instant courage to the fearful race,
And to the simple, art. With stealthy wing,
Should some rude foot their woody haunts molest,
Amid a neighboring bush they silent drop,
And whirring thence, as if alarm'd, deceive
The unfeeling schoolboy. Hence, around the head
Of wandering swain, the white-winged plover wheels

[Pg 443]

Her sounding flight, and then directly on
In long excursion skims the level lawn,
To tempt him from her nest. The wild-duck, hence,
O'er the rough moss, and o'er the trackless waste
The heath-hen flutters, pious fraud! to lead
The hot-pursuing spaniel far astray.
Be not the muse asham'd here to bemoan
Her brothers of the grove, by tyrant man
Inhuman caught, and in the narrow cage
From liberty confin'd, and boundless air.
Dull are the pretty slaves, their plumage dull,
Ragged, and all its brightening lustre lost;
Nor is that sprightly wildness in their notes,
Which, clear and vigorous, warbles from the beech.
Oh, then, ye friends of love and love-taught song,
Spare the soft tribes, this barbarous art forbear!
If on your bosom innocence can win,
Music engage, or piety persuade.
But let not chief the nightingale lament
Her ruin'd care, too delicately fram'd
To brook the harsh confinement of the cage.
Oft when, returning with her loaded bill,
The astonish'd mother finds a vacant nest,
By the hard hand of unrelenting clowns
Robb'd, to the ground the vain provision falls
Her pinions ruffle, and, low-drooping, scarce
Can bear the mourner to the poplar shade.
Where all abandon'd to despair she sings
Her sorrows through the night; and, on the bough
Sole-sitting, still at every dying fall
Takes up again her lamentable strain
Of winding woe, till wide around the woods
Sigh to her song, and with her wail resound.
But now the feather'd youth their former bounds,
Ardent, disdain; and, weighing oft their wings,
Demand the free possession of the sky.
This one glad office more, and then dissolves
Parental love at once, now needless grown:
Unlavish Wisdom never works in vain.
'Tis on some evening, sunny, grateful, mild,
When naught but balm is breathing through the woods.
With yellow lustre bright, that the new tribes
Visit the spacious heavens, and look abroad
On Nature's common, far as they can see,
Or wing their range and pasture. O'er the boughs
Dancing about, still at the giddy verge
Their resolution fails—their pinions still,
In loose liberation stretch'd, to trust the void
Trembling refuse—till down before them fly
The parent guides, and chide, exhort, command,
Or push them off. The surging air receives
The plumy burden; and their self-taught wings
Winnow the waving element. On ground
Alighted, bolder up again they lead,
Farther and farther on, the lengthening flight,
Till, vanish'd every fear, and every power
Rous'd into life and action, light in air
The acquitted parents see their soaring race,
And, once rejoicing, never know them more.
High from the summit of a craggy cliff,
Hung o'er the deep, such as amazing frowns
On utmost Kilda's shore, whose lonely race
Resign the setting sun to Indian worlds,
The royal eagle draws his vigorous young;
Strong-pounc'd, and ardent with paternal fire.
Now fit to raise a kingdom of their own,
He drives them from his fort, the towering seat,
For ages, of his empire; which, in peace,
Unstain'd he holds, while many a league to sea
He wings his course, and preys in distant isles.
Should I my steps turn to the rural seat,
Whose lofty elms and venerable oaks
Invite the rook, who high amid the boughs,
In early Spring, his airy city builds,
And ceaseless caws amusive—there, well pleas'd,
I might the various polity survey
Of the mix'd household-kind. The careful hen
Calls all her chirping family around,
Fed and defended by the fearless cock;
Whose breast with ardor flames, as on he walks
Graceful, and crows defiance. In the pond,
The finely checker'd duck before her train
Rows garrulous. The stately-sailing swan
Gives out his snowy plumage to the gale;
And, arching proud his neck, with oary feet
Bears forward fierce, and guards his osier-isle,
Protective of his young. The turkey nigh,
Loud-threatening, reddens; while the peacock spreads
His every-color'd glory to the sun,
And swims in radiant majesty along.
O'er the whole homely scene, the cooing dove
Flies thick in amorous chase, and wanton rolls
The glancing eye, and turns the changeful neck.
While thus the gentle tenants of the shade
Indulge their purer loves, the rougher world
Of brutes, below, rush furious into flame
And fierce desire. Through all his lusty veins
The bull, deep-scorch'd, the raging passion feels.
Of pasture sick, and negligent of food,
Scarce seen, he wades among the yellow broom,
While o'er his ample sides the rambling sprays
Luxuriant shoot; or through the mazy wood
Dejected wanders, nor the enticing bud
Crops, though it presses on his careless sense.
And oft, in jealous maddening fancy wrapt,
He seeks the fight; and, idly butting, feigns
His rival gor'd in every knotty trunk.
Him should he meet, the bellowing war begins:
Their eyes flash fury; to the hollow'd earth,
Whence the sand flies, they mutter bloody deeds,
And groaning deep the impetuous battle mix;
While the fair heifer, balmy-breathing, near,
Stands kindling up their rage. The trembling steed,
[Pg 444] With this hot impulse seiz'd in every nerve,
Nor heeds the rein, nor hears the sounding thong;
Blows are not felt; but, tossing high his head,
And by the well-known joy to distant plains
Attracted strong, all wild he bursts away;
O'er rocks, and woods, and craggy mountains flies;
And, neighing, on the aerial summit takes
The exciting gale; then, steep-descending, cleaves
The headlong torrents foaming down the hills,
Even where the madness of the straiten'd stream
Turns in black eddies round—such is the force
With which his frantic heart and sinews swell.
Nor undelighted by the boundless Spring
Are the broad monsters of the foaming deep:
From the deep ooze and gelid caverns rous'd,
They flounce and tumble in unwieldy joy.
Dire were the strain, and dissonant, to sing
The cruel raptures of the savage kind;
How, by this flame their native wrath sublim'd,
They roam, amid the fury of their heart,
The far-resounding waste in fiercer bands,
And growl their horrid loves. But this, the theme
I sing, enraptur'd, to the British fair,
Forbids; and leads me to the mountain brow,
Where sits the shepherd on the grassy turf,
Inhaling, healthful, the descending sun.
Around him feeds his many-bleating flock,
Of various cadence; and his sportive lambs,
This way and that convolv'd, in friskful glee,
Their frolics play. And now the sprightly race
Invites them forth; when swift, the signal given,
They start away, and sweep the massy mound
That runs around the hill; the rampart once
Of iron war, in ancient barbarous times,
When disunited Britain ever bled,
Lost in eternal broil: ere yet she grew
To this deep-laid indissoluble state,
Where wealth and commerce lift the golden head;
And, o'er our labors, liberty and law
Impartial watch—the wonder of a world!
What is this mighty breath, ye curious, say,
That, in a powerful language, felt not heard,
Instructs the fowls of heaven; and through their breast
These arts of love diffuses? What, but God?
Inspiring God! who, boundless spirit all,
And unremitting energy, pervades,
Adjusts, sustains, and agitates the whole.
He ceaseless works alone, and yet alone
Seems not to work; with such perfection fram'd
Is this complex stupendous scheme of things.
But, though conceal'd, to every purer eye
The informing Author in his works appears:
Chief, lovely Spring, in thee, and thy soft scenes,
The smiling God is seen; while water, earth,
And air attest his bounty—which exalts
The brute creation to this finer thought,
And annual melts their undesigning hearts
Profusely thus in tenderness and joy.
Still let my song a nobler note assume,
And sing the infusive force of Spring on man,
When heaven and earth, as if contending, vie
To raise his being, and serene his soul,
Can he forbear to join the general smile
Of Nature? can fierce passions vex his breast,
While every gale is peace, and every grove
Is melody? Hence! from the bounteous walks
Of flowing Spring, ye sordid sons of earth,
Hard, and unfeeling of another's woe,
Or only lavish to yourselves; away!
But come, ye generous minds, in whose wide thought;
Of all his works, creative bounty burns
With warmest beam; and on your open front
And liberal eye sits, from his dark retreat
Inviting modest want. Nor till invok'd
Can restless goodness wait: your active search
Leaves no cold wintry corner unexplor'd;
Like silent-working Heaven, surprising oft
The lonely heart with unexpected good.
For you the roving spirit of the wind
Blows Spring abroad; for you the teeming clouds
Descend in gladsome plenty o'er the world;
And the sun sheds his kindest rays for you.
Ye flower of human race! In these green days,
Reviving sickness lifts her languid head;
Life flows afresh; and young-ey'd health exalts
The whole creation round. Contentment walks
The sunny glade, and feels an inward bliss
Spring o'er his mind, beyond the power of kings
To purchase. Pure serenity apace
Induces thought, and contemplation still.
By swift degrees the love of Nature works,
And warms the bosom; till at last, sublim'd
To rapture and enthusiastic heat,
We feel the present Deity, and taste
The joy of God to see a happy world!
These are the sacred feelings of thy heart,
Thy heart inform'd by reason's purer ray,
[Pg 445] O Lyttelton, the friend! thy passions thus
And meditations vary, as at large,
Courting the muse, through Hagley Park you stray;
Thy British Tempè! There along the dale,
With woods o'erhung, and shagg'd with mossy rocks,
Whence on each hand the gushing waters play.
And down the rough cascade white-dashing fall,
Or gleam in lengthen'd vista through the trees,
You silent steal; or sit beneath the shade
Of solemn oaks, that tuft the swelling mounts
Thrown graceful round by Nature's careless hand,
And pensive listen to the various voice
Of rural peace: the herds, the flocks, the birds,
The hollow-whispering breeze, the plaint of rills,
That, purling down amid the twisted roots
Which creep around, their dewy murmurs shake
On the sooth'd ear. From these abstracted oft,
You wander through the philosophic world;
Where in bright train continual wonders rise,
Or to the curious or the pious eye.
And oft, conducted by historic truth,
You tread the long extent of backward time:
Planning, with warm benevolence of mind,
And honest zeal unwarp'd by party rage,
Britannia's weal; how from the venal gulf
To raise her virtue, and her arts revive.
Or, turning thence thy view, these graver thoughts
The muses charm; while, with sure taste refin'd,
You draw the inspiring breath of ancient song,
Till nobly rises, emulous, thy own.
Perhaps thy lov'd Lucinda shares thy walk,
With soul to thine attun'd. Then Nature all
Wears to the lover's eye a look of love;
And all the tumult of a guilty world,
Toss'd by ungenerous passions, sinks away.
The tender heart is animated peace;
And as it pours its copious treasures forth,
In varied converse, softening every theme,
You, frequent-pausing, turn, and from her eyes,
Where meeken'd sense, and amiable grace,
And lively sweetness dwell, enraptur'd drink
That nameless spirit of ethereal joy,
Inimitable happiness! which love
Alone bestows, and on a favor'd few.
Meantime you gain the height, from whose fair brow
The bursting prospect spreads immense around;
And snatch'd o'er hill and dale, and wood and lawn,
And verdant field, and darkening heath between,
And villages embosom'd soft in trees,
And spiry towns by surging columns mark'd
Of household smoke, your eye excursive roams;
Wide-stretching from the hall, in whose kind haunt
The hospitable genius lingers still,
To where the broken landscape, by degrees
Ascending, roughens into rigid hills—
O'er which the Cambrian mountains, like far clouds
That skirt the blue horizon, dusky rise.
Flush'd by the spirit of the genial year,
Now from the virgin's cheek a fresher bloom
Shoots, less and less, the live carnation round;
Her lips blush deeper sweets; she breathes of youth:
The shining moisture swells into her eyes
In brighter flow; her wishing bosom heaves
With palpitations wild; kind tumults seize
Her veins, and all her yielding soul is love.
From the keen gaze her lover turns away,
Full of the dear ecstatic power, and sick
With sighing languishment. Ah, then, ye fair!
Be greatly cautious of your sliding hearts:
Dare not the infectious sigh; the pleading look,
Downcast and low, in meek submission dress'd,
But full of guile. Let not the fervent tongue,
Prompt to deceive, with adulation smooth,
Gain on your purpos'd will. Nor in the bower,
Where woodbines flaunt and roses shed a couch,
While evening draws her crimson curtains round,
Trust your soft minutes with betraying man.
And let the aspiring youth beware of love,
Of the smooth glance beware; for 'tis too late,
When on his heart the torrent-softness pours.
Then wisdom prostrate lies, and fading fame
Dissolves in air away; while the fond soul,
Wrapp'd in gay visions of unreal bliss,
Still paints the illusive form, the kindling grace,
The enticing smile, the modest-seeming eye,
Beneath whose beauteous beams, belying heaven
Lurk searchless cunning, cruelty, and death;
And still, false warbling in his cheated ear,
Her siren voice, enchanting, draws him on
[Pg 446] To guileful shores, and meads of fatal joy.
Even present, in the very lap of love
Inglorious laid—while music flows around,
Perfumes, and oils, and wine, and wanton hours—
Amid the roses, fierce repentance rears
Her snaky crest: a quick-returning pang
Shoots through the conscious heart; where honor still,
And great design, against the oppressive load
Of luxury, by fits, impatient heave.
But absent, what fantastic woes, arous'd,
Rage in each thought, by restless musing fed,
Chill the warm cheek, and blast the bloom of life!
Neglected fortune flies; and, sliding swift,
Prone into ruin fall his scorn'd affairs
'Tis naught but gloom around. The darken'd sun
Loses his light. The rosy-bosom'd Spring
To weeping fancy pines; and yon bright arch,
Contracted, bends into a dusky vault.
All nature fades extinct; and she alone
Heard, felt, and seen, possesses every thought,
Fills every sense, and pants in every vein.
Books are but formal dullness, tedious friends;
And sad amid the social band he sits,
Lonely and unattentive. From the tongue
The unfinish'd period falls: while, borne away
On swelling thought, his wafted spirit flies
To the vain bosom of his distant fair;
And leaves the semblance of a lover, fixed
In melancholy site, with head declined,
And love-dejected eyes. Sudden he starts,

Shook from his tender trance, and restless runs
To glimmering shades and sympathetic glooms,
Where the dun umbrage o'er the falling stream,
Romantic, hangs; there through the pensive dusk
Strays, in heart-thrilling meditation lost,
Indulging all to love; or on the bank
Thrown, amid drooping lilies, swells the breeze
With sighs unceasing, and the brook with tears.
Thus in soft anguish he consumes the day;
Nor quits his deep retirement, till the moon
Peeps through the chambers of the fleecy east,
Enlighten'd by degrees, and in her train
Leads on the gentle hours; then forth he walks,
Beneath the trembling languish of her beam,
With softened soul, and woos the bird of eve
To mingle woes with his; or, while the world
And all the sons of care lie hush'd in sleep,
Associates with the midnight shadows drear;
And, sighing to the lonely taper, pours
His idly tortur'd heart into the page

[Pg 447]

Meant for the moving messenger of love—
Where rapture burns on rapture, every line
With rising frenzy fir'd. But if on bed
Delirious flung, sleep from his pillow flies.
All night he tosses, nor the balmy power
In any posture finds; till the gray morn
Lifts her pale lustre on the paler wretch,
Exanimate by love: and then perhaps
Exhausted nature sinks awhile to rest,
Still interrupted by distracted dreams,
That o'er the sick imagination rise
And in black colors paint the mimic scene.
Oft with the enchantress of his soul he talks;
Sometimes in crowds distress'd, or if retir'd
To secret-winding flower-enwoven bowers,
Far from the dull impertinence of man,
Just as he, credulous, his endless cares
Begins to lose in blind oblivious love,
Snatch'd from her yielded hand, he knows not how,
Through forests huge, and long untravel'd heaths
With desolation brown, he wanders waste,
In night and tempest wrapp'd; or shrinks, aghast,
Back from the bending precipice; or wades
The turbid stream below, and strives to reach
The farther shore, where succorless and sad
She with extended arms his aid implores,
But strives in vain: borne by the outrageous flood
To distance down, he rides the ridgy wave,
Or whelm'd beneath the boiling eddy sinks.
These are the charming agonies of love,
Whose misery delights. But through the heart
Should jealousy its venom once diffuse,
'Tis then delightful misery no more,
But agony unmix'd, incessant gall,
Corroding every thought, and blasting all
Love's paradise. Ye fairy prospects, then,
Ye beds of roses, and ye bowers of joy,
Farewell. Ye gleamings of departed peace,
Shine out your last! the yellow-tinging plague
Internal vision taints, and in a night
Of livid gloom imagination wraps.
Ah! then, instead of love-enliven'd cheeks,
Of sunny features, and of ardent eyes
With flowing rapture bright, dark looks succeed,
Suffus'd and glaring with untender fire;
A clouded aspect, and a burning cheek,
Where the whole poison'd soul malignant sits,
And frightens love away. Ten thousand fears
Invented wild, ten thousand frantic views
Of horrid rivals, hanging on the charms
For which he melts in fondness, eat him up
With fervent anguish, and consuming rage.
In vain reproaches lend their idle aid,
Deceitful pride, and resolution frail,
Giving false peace a moment. Fancy pours,
Afresh, her beauties on his busy thought;
Her first endearments, twining round the soul
With all the witchcraft of ensnaring love.
Straight the fierce storm involves his mind anew;
Flames through the nerves, and boils along the veins;
While anxious doubt distracts the tortur'd heart:
For even the sad assurance of his fears
Were peace to what he feels. Thus the warm youth,
Whom love deludes into his thorny wilds,
Through flowery-tempting paths, or leads a life
Of fever'd rapture, or of cruel care;
His brightest aims extinguish'd all, and all
His lively moments running down to waste.
But happy they! the happiest of their kind!
Whom gentler stars unite, and in one fate
Their hearts, their fortunes, and their beings blend,
'Tis not the coarser tie of human laws,
Unnatural oft, and foreign to the mind,
That binds their peace, but harmony itself,
Attuning all their passions into love;
Where friendship full-exerts her softest power,
Perfect esteem enliven'd by desire
Ineffable, and sympathy of soul;
Thought meeting thought, and will preventing will
With boundless confidence: for naught but love
Can answer love, and render bliss secure.
Let him, ungenerous, who, alone intent
To bless himself from sordid parents buys
The loathing virgin, in eternal care,
Well-merited, consume his nights and days;
Let barbarous nations whose inhuman love
Is wild desire, fierce as the suns they feel;
Let eastern tyrants, from the light of heaven
Seclude their bosom-slaves, meanly possess'd
Of a mere lifeless, violated form:
While those whom love cements in holy faith,
And equal transport, free as Nature live,
Disdaining fear. What is the world to them,
Its pomp, its pleasure, and its nonsense all!
Who in each other clasp whatever fair
[Pg 448] High fancy forms, and lavish hearts can wish;

Something than beauty dearer, should they look
Or on the mind, or mind-illumin'd face—
Truth, goodness, honor, harmony, and love,
The richest bounty of indulgent Heaven.
Meantime a smiling offspring rises round,
And mingles both their graces. By degrees,
The human blossom blows; and every day,
Soft as it rolls along, shows some new charm,
The father's lustre and the mother's bloom.
Then infant reason grows apace, and calls
For the kind hand of an assiduous care.
Delightful task! to rear the tender thought,
To teach the young idea how to shoot,
To pour the fresh instruction o'er the mind,
To breathe the enlivening spirit, and to fix
The generous purpose in the glowing breast.

Oh, speak the joy! ye whom the sudden tear
Surprises often, while you look around,
And nothing strikes your eye but sights of bliss,
All various nature pressing on the heart;
An elegant sufficiency, content,
Retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books,
Ease and alternate labor, useful life,
Progressive virtue, and approving Heaven.
These are the matchless joys of virtuous love;
And thus their moments fly. The Seasons thus,
As ceaseless round a jarring world they roll,
Still find them happy; and consenting Spring
Sheds her own rosy garland on their heads:
Till evening comes at last, serene and mild;
When after the long vernal day of life,
Enamor'd more, as more remembrance swells
With many a proof of recollected love,
Together down they sink in social sleep;
Together freed, their gentle spirits fly
To scenes where love and bliss immortal reign.
[Pg 449]

[From Dickens's Household Words.]


I was born at Sawley, where the shadow of Pendle Hill falls at sunrise. I suppose Sawley sprang up into a village in the time of the monks, who had an abbey there. Many of the cottages are strange old places; others again are built of the abbey stones, mixed up with the shale from the neighboring quarries; and you may see many a quaint bit of carving worked into the walls, or forming the lintels of the doors. There is a row of houses, built still more recently, where one Mr. Peel came to live for the sake of the water-power, and gave the place a fillip into something like life, though a different kind of life, as I take it, from the grand slow ways folks had when the monks were about.

Now, it was six o'clock—ring the bell, throng to the factory; sharp home at twelve; and even at night, when work was done, we hardly knew how to walk slowly, we had been so bustled all day long. I can't recollect the time when I did not go to the factory. My father used to drag me there when I was quite a little fellow, in order to wind reels for him. I never remember my mother. I should have been a better man than I have been, if I had only had a notion of the sound of her voice, or the look on her face.

My father and I lodged in the house of a man, who also worked in the factory. We were sadly thronged in Sawley, so many people came from different parts of the country to earn a livelihood at the new work; and it was some time before the row of cottages I have spoken of could be built. While they were building, my father was turned out of his lodgings for drinking and being disorderly, and he and I slept in the brick-kiln—that is to say, when we did sleep o' nights; but, often and often we went poaching; and many a hare and pheasant have I rolled up in clay, and roasted in the embers of the kiln. Then, as followed to reason, I was drowsy next day over my work; but father had no mercy on me for sleeping, for all he knew the cause of it, but kicked me where I lay, a heavy lump on the factory-floor, and cursed and swore at me till I got up for very fear, and to my winding again. But when his back was turned I paid him off with heavier curses than he had given me, and longed to be a man that I might be revenged on him. The words I then spoke I would not now dare to repeat; and worse than hating words, a hating heart went with them. I forget the time when I did not know how to hate. When I first came to read, and learnt about Ishmael, I thought I must be of his doomed race, for my hand was against every man, and every man's against me. But I was seventeen or more before I cared for my book enough to learn to read.

After the row of works was finished, father took one, and set up for himself, in letting lodgings. I can't say much for the furnishing; but there was plenty of straw, and we kept up good fires; and there is a set of people who value warmth above every thing. The worst lot about the place lodged with us. We used to have a supper in the middle of the night; there was game enough, or if there was not game, there was poultry to be had for the stealing. By day we all made a show of working in the factory; by night we feasted and drank.

Now, this web of my life was black enough and coarse enough; but by-and-by, a little golden filmy thread began to be woven in; the dawn of God's mercy was at hand.

One blowy October morning, as I sauntered lazily along to the mill, I came to the little wooden bridge over a brook that falls into the Bribble. On the plank there stood a child, balancing the pitcher on her head, with which she had been to fetch water. She was so light on her feet that, had it not been for the weight of the pitcher, I almost believe the wind would have taken her up, and wafted her away, as it carries off a blow-ball in seed-time; her blue cotton dress was blown before her, as if she were spreading her wings for a flight; she turned her face round, as if to ask me for something, but when she saw who it was, she hesitated, for I had a bad name in the village, and I doubt not she had been warned against me. But her heart was too innocent to be distrustful; so she said to me, timidly:

"Please, John Middleton, will you carry me this heavy jug just over the bridge?"

It was the very first time I had ever been spoken to gently. I was ordered here and there by my father and his rough companions; I was abused and cursed by them if I failed in doing what they wished; if I succeeded, there came no expression of thanks or gratitude. I was informed of facts necessary for me to know. But the gentle words of request or entreaty were aforetime unknown to me, and now their tones fell on my ear soft and sweet as a distant peal of bells. I wished that I knew how to speak properly in reply; but though we were of the same standing, as regarded worldly circumstances, there was some mighty difference between us, which made me unable to speak in her language of soft words and modest entreaty. There was nothing for me but to take up the pitcher in a kind of gruff, shy silence, and carry it over the bridge as she had asked me. When I gave it her back again, she thanked me, and tripped away, leaving me, wordless, gazing after her, like an awkward lout, as I was. I knew well enough who she was. She was grandchild to Eleanor Hadfield, an aged woman, who was reputed as a witch by my father and his set, for no other reason, that I can make out, than her scorn, dignity, and fearlessness of rancor. It was true we often met her in the gray dawn of the morning when we returned from poaching, and my father used to curse her, under his breath, for a witch, such as were burnt, long ago, on Pendle Hill top; but I had heard that Eleanor was a skillful sick-nurse, and ever ready to give her services to[Pg 450] those who were ill; and I believe that she had been sitting up through the night (the night that we had been spending under the wild heavens, in deeds as wild), with those who were appointed to die. Nelly was her orphan grand-daughter; her little hand-maiden; her treasure; her one ewe-lamb. Many and many a day have I watched by the brook-side, hoping that some happy gust of wind, coming with opportune bluster down the hollow of the dale, might make me necessary once more to her. I longed to hear her speak to me again. I said the words she had used to myself, trying to catch her tone; but the chance never came again. I do not know that she ever knew how I watched for her there. I found out that she went to school, and nothing would serve me but that I must go too. My father scoffed at me; I did not care. I knew naught of what reading was, nor that it was likely that I should be laughed at; I, a great hulking lad of seventeen or upward, for going to learn my A, B, C, in the midst of a crowd of little ones. I stood just this way in my mind: Nelly was at school; it was the best place for seeing her, and hearing her voice again. Therefore I would go too. My father talked, and swore, and threatened, but I stood to it. He said I should leave school weary of it in a month. I swore a deeper oath than I like to remember, that I would stay a year, and come out a reader and a writer. My father hated the notion of folks learning to read, and said it took all the spirit out of them; besides, he thought he had a right to every penny of my wages; and though, when he was in good humor, he might have given me many a jug of ale, he grudged my two-pence a week for schooling. However, to school I went. It was a different place to what I had thought it before I went inside. The girls sat on one side, and the boys on the other; so I was not near Nelly. She, too, was in the first class; I was put with the little toddling things that could hardly run alone. The master sat in the middle, and kept pretty strict watch over us. But I could see Nelly, and hear her read her chapter; and even when it was one with a long list of hard names, such as the master was very fond of giving her, to show how well she could hit them off without spelling, I thought I had never heard a prettier music. Now and then she read other things. I did not know what they were, true or false; but I listened because she read; and, by-and-by, I began to wonder. I remember the first word I ever spoke to her was to ask her (as we were coming out of school) who was the father of whom she had been reading; for when she said the words "Our Father," her voice dropped into a soft, holy kind of low sound, which struck me more than any loud reading, it seemed so loving and tender. When I asked her this, she looked at me with her great blue wondering eyes, at first shocked; and then, as it were, melted down into pity and sorrow, she said in the same way, below her breath, in which she read the words "Our Father,"

"Don't you know? It is God."


"Yes; the God that grandmother tells me about."

"Tell me what she says, will you?" So we sat down on the hedge-bank, she a little above me, while I looked up into her face, and she told me all the holy texts her grandmother had taught her, as explaining all that could be explained of the Almighty. I listened in silence, for indeed I was overwhelmed with astonishment. Her knowledge was principally rote-knowledge; she was too young for much more; but we, in Lancashire, speak a rough kind of Bible language, and the texts seemed very clear to me. I rose up, dazed and overpowered. I was going away in silence, when I bethought me of my manners, and turned back, and said, "Thank you," for the first time I ever remember saying it in my life. That was a great day for me, in more ways than one.

I was always one who could keep very steady to an object when once I had set it before me. My object was to know Nelly. I was conscious of nothing more. But it made me regardless of all other things. The master might scold, the little ones might laugh; I bore it all without giving it a second thought. I kept to my year, and came out a reader and writer; more, however, to stand well in Nelly's good opinion, than because of my oath. About this time, my father committed some bad, cruel deed, and had to fly the country. I was glad he went; for I had never loved or cared for him, and wanted to shake myself clear of his set. But it was no easy matter. Honest folk stood aloof; only bad men held out their arms to me with a welcome. Even Nelly seemed to have a mixture of fear now with her kind ways toward me. I was the son of John Middleton, who, if he were caught, would be hung at Lancaster Castle. I thought she looked at me sometimes with a sort of sorrowful horror. Others were not forbearing enough to keep their expression of feeling confined to looks. The son of the overlooker at the mill never ceased twitting me with my father's crime; he now brought up his poaching against him, though I knew very well how many a good supper he himself had made on game which had been given him to make him and his father wink at late hours in the morning. And how were such as my father to come honestly by game?

This lad, Dick Jackson, was the bane of my life. He was a year or two older than I was, and had much power over the men who worked at the mill, as he could report to his father what he chose. I could not always hold my peace when he "threaped" me with my father's sins, but gave it him back sometimes in a storm of passion. It did me no good; only threw me farther from the company of better men, who looked aghast and shocked at the oaths I poured out—blasphemous words learned in my childhood, which I could not forget now that I would fain have purified myself of them; while all the[Pg 451] time Dick Jackson stood by, with a mocking smile of intelligence; and when I had ended, breathless and weary with spent passion, he would turn to those whose respect I longed to earn, and ask if I were not a worthy son of my father, and likely to tread in his steps. But this smiling indifference of his to my miserable vehemence was not all, though it was the worst part of his conduct, for it made the rankling hatred grow up in my heart, and overshadow it like the great gourd-tree of the Prophet Jonah. But his was a merciful shade, keeping out the burning sun; mine blighted what it fell upon.

What Dick Jackson did besides, was this, his father was a skillful overlooker, and a good man; Mr. Peel valued him so much, that he was kept on, although his health was failing; and when he was unable, through illness, to come to the mill, he deputed his son to watch over and report the men. It was too much power for one so young—I speak it calmly now. Whatever Dick Jackson became, he had strong temptations when he was young, which will be allowed for hereafter. But at the time of which I am telling, my hate raged like a fire. I believed that he was the one sole obstacle to my being received as fit to mix with good and honest men. I was sick of crime and disorder, and would fain have come over to a different kind of life, and have been industrious, sober, honest, and right-spoken (I had no idea of higher virtue then), and at every turn Dick Jackson met me with his sneers. I have walked the night through, in the old abbey field, planning how I could out-wit him, and win men's respect in spite of him. The first time I ever prayed, was underneath the silent stars, kneeling by the old abbey walls, throwing up my arms, and asking God for the power of revenge upon him.

I had heard that if I prayed earnestly, God would give me what I asked for, and I looked upon it as a kind of chance for the fulfillment of my wishes. If earnestness would have won the boon for me, never were wicked words so earnestly spoken. And oh, later on, my prayer was heard, and my wish granted! All this time I saw little of Nelly. Her grandmother was failing, and she had much to do in-doors. Besides, I believed I had read her looks aright, when I took them to speak of aversion; and I planned to hide myself from her sight, as it were, until I could stand upright before men, with fearless eyes, dreading no face of accusation. It was possible to acquire a good character; I would do it—I did it: but no one brought up among respectable, untempted people, can tell the unspeakable hardness of the task. In the evenings I would not go forth among the village throng; for the acquaintances that claimed me were my father's old associates, who would have been glad enough to enlist a strong young man like me in their projects; and the men who would have shunned me and kept me aloof, were the steady and orderly. So I staid in-doors, and practiced myself in reading. You will say, I should have found it easier to earn a good character away from Sawley, at some place where neither I nor my father was known. So I should; but it would not have been the same thing to my mind. Besides, representing all good men, all goodness to me, in Sawley Nelly lived. In her sight I would work out my life, and fight my way upward to men's respect. Two years passed on. Every day I strove fiercely; every day my struggles were made fruitless by the son of the overlooker; and I seemed but where I was—but where I must ever be esteemed by all who knew me—but as the son of the criminal—wild, reckless, ripe for crime myself. Where was the use of my reading and writing. These acquirements were disregarded and scouted by those among whom I was thrust back to take my portion. I could have read any chapter in the Bible now; and Nelly seemed as though she would never know it. I was driven in upon my books; and few enough of them I had. The peddlers brought them round in their packs, and I bought what I could. I had the "Seven Champions," and the "Pilgrim's Progress;" and both seemed to me equally wonderful, and equally founded on fact. I got Byron's "Narrative," and Milton's "Paradise Lost;" but I lacked the knowledge which would give a clew to all. Still they afforded me pleasure, because they took me out of myself, and made me forget my miserable position, and made me unconscious (for the time at least) of my one great passion of hatred against Dick Jackson.

When Nelly was about seventeen her grandmother died. I stood aloof in the church-yard, behind the great yew tree, and watched the funeral. It was the first religious service that ever I heard; and, to my shame, as I thought, it affected me to tears. The words seemed so peaceful and holy that I longed to go to church, but I durst not, because I had never been. The parish church was at Bolton, far enough away to serve as an excuse for all who did not care to go. I heard Nelly's sobs filling up every pause in the clergyman's voice; and every sob of hers went to my heart. She passed me on her way out of the church-yard; she was so near I might have touched her; but her head was hanging down, and I durst not speak to her. Then the question arose, what was to become of her? She must earn her living; was it to be as a farm-servant, or by working at the mill? I knew enough of both kinds of life to make me tremble for her. My wages were such as to enable me to marry, if I chose; and I never thought of woman, for my wife, but Nelly. Still, I would not have married her now, if I could; for, as yet, I had not risen up to the character which I had determined it was fit that Nelly's husband should have. When I was rich in good report, I would come forward, and take my chance; but until then, I would hold my peace. I had faith in the power of my long-continued, dogged, breasting of opinion. Sooner or later it must, it[Pg 452] should yield, and I be received among the ranks of good men. But, meanwhile, what was to become of Nelly? I reckoned up my wages; I went to inquire what the board of a girl would be, who should help her in her household work, and live with her as her daughter, at the house of one of the most decent women of the place; she looked at me suspiciously. I kept down my temper, and told her I would never come near the place; that I would keep away from that end of the village; and that the girl for whom I made the inquiry should never know but what the parish paid for her keep. It would not do; she suspected me; but I know I had power over myself to have kept to my word; and besides, I would not for worlds have had Nelly put under any obligation to me, which should speck the purity of her love, or dim it by a mixture of gratitude—the love that I craved to earn, not for my money, not for my kindness, but for myself. I heard that Nelly had met with a place in Bolland; and I could see no reason why I might not speak to her once before she left our neighborhood. I meant it to be a quiet, friendly telling her of my sympathy in her sorrow. I felt I could command myself. So, on the Sunday before she was to leave Sawley, I waited near the wood-path, by which I knew that she would return from afternoon church. The birds made such a melodious warble, such a busy sound among the leaves, that I did not hear approaching footsteps, till they were close at hand; and then there were sounds of two persons' voices. The wood was near that part of Sawley where Nelly was staying with friends; the path through it led to their house, and theirs only, so I knew it must be she, for I had watched her setting out to church alone.

But who was the other?

The blood went to my heart and head, as if I were shot, when I saw that it was Dick Jackson. Was this the end of it all? In the steps of sin which my father had trode, I would rush to my death and to my doom. Even where I stood I longed for a weapon to slay him. How dared he come near my Nelly? She too—I thought her faithless, and forgot how little I had ever been to her in outward action; how few words, and those how uncouth, I had ever spoken to her; and I hated her for a traitoress. These feelings passed through me before I could see, my eyes and head were so dizzy and blind. When I looked I saw Dick Jackson holding her hand, and speaking quick, and low, and thick, as a man speaks in great vehemence. She seemed white and dismayed; but all at once, at some word of his (and what it was she never would tell me), she looked as though she defied a fiend, and wrenched herself out of his grasp. He caught hold of her again, and began once more the thick whisper that I loathed. I could bear it no longer, nor did I see why I should. I stepped out from behind the tree where I had been lying. When she saw me, she lost her look of one strung up to desperation, and came and clung to me; and I felt like a giant in strength and might. I held her with one arm, but I did not take my eyes off him; I felt as if they blazed down into his soul, and scorched him up. He never spoke, but tried to look as though he defied me; at last his eyes fell before mine. I dared not speak; for the old horrid oaths thronged up to my mouth; and I dreaded giving them way, and terrifying my poor trembling Nelly.

At last he made to go past me; I drew her out of the pathway. By instinct she wrapped her garments round her, as if to avoid his accidental touch; and he was stung by this I suppose—I believe—to the mad, miserable revenge he took. As my back was turned to him, in an endeavor to speak some words to Nelly that might soothe her into calmness, she, who was looking after him, like one fascinated with terror, saw him take a sharp shaley stone, and aim it at me. Poor darling! she clung round me as a shield, making her sweet body into a defense for mine. It hit her, and she spoke no word, kept back her cry of pain, but fell at my feet in a swoon. He—the coward! ran off as soon as he saw what he had done. I was with Nelly alone in the green gloom of the wood. The quivering and leaf-tinted light made her look as if she were dead. I carried her, not knowing if I bore a corpse or not, to her friend's house. I did not stay to explain, but ran madly for the doctor.

Well! I can not bear to recur to that time again. Five weeks I lived in the agony of suspense; from which my only relief was in laying savage plans for revenge. If I hated him before, what think ye I did now? It seemed as if earth could not hold us twain, but that one of us must go down to Gehenna. I could have killed him; and would have done it without a scruple, but that seemed too poor and bold a revenge. At length—oh! the weary waiting oh! the sickening of my heart—Nelly grew better—as well as she was ever to grow. The bright color had left her cheek; the mouth quivered with repressed pain, the eyes were dim with tears that agony had forced into them, and I loved her a thousand times better and more than when she was bright and blooming! What was best of all, I began to perceive that she cared for me. I know her grandmother's friends warned her against me, and told her I came of a bad stock; but she had passed the point where remonstrance from bystanders can take effect—she loved me as I was, a strange mixture of bad and good, all unworthy of her. We spoke together now, as those do whose lives are bound up in each other. I told her I would marry her as soon as she had recovered her health. Her friends shook their heads; but they saw she would be unfit for farm-service or heavy work, and they perhaps thought, as many a one does, that a bad husband was better than none at all. Anyhow we were married; and I learned to bless God for my happiness, so far I beyond my deserts. I kept her like a lady. I[Pg 453] was a skillful workman, and earned good wages; and every want she had I tried to gratify. Her wishes were few and simple enough, poor Nelly! If they had been ever so fanciful, I should have had my reward in the new feeling of the holiness of home. She could lead me as a little child, with the charm of her gentle voice, and her ever-kind words. She would plead for all when I was full of anger and passion; only Dick Jackson's name passed never between our lips during all that time. In the evenings she lay back in her bee-hive chair, and read to me. I think I see her now, pale and weak, with her sweet young face, lighted by her holy, earnest eyes, telling me of the Saviour's life and death, till they were filled with tears. I longed to have been there, to have avenged him on the wicked Jews. I liked Peter the best of all the disciples. But I got the Bible myself, and read the mighty acts of God's vengeance in the Old Testament, with a kind of triumphant faith, that, sooner or later, He would take my cause in hand, and revenge me on mine enemy.

In a year or so, Nelly had a baby—a little girl, with eyes just like hers, that looked with a grave openness right into yours. Nelly recovered but slowly. It was just before winter, the cotton-crop had failed, and master had to turn off many hands. I thought I was sure of being kept on, for I had earned a steady character, and did my work well; but once again it was permitted that Dick Jackson should do me wrong. He induced his father to dismiss me among the first in my branch of the business; and there was I, just before winter set in, with a wife and new-born child, and a small enough store of money to keep body and soul together, till I could get to work again. All my savings had gone by Christmas Eve, and we sat in the house foodless for the morrow's festival. Nelly looked pinched and worn; the baby cried for a larger supply of milk than its poor starving mother could give it. My right hand had not forgot its cunning; and I went out once more to my poaching. I knew where the gang met; and I knew what a welcome back I should have—a far warmer and more hearty welcome than good men had given me when I tried to enter their ranks. On the road to the meeting-place I fell in with an old man—one who had been a companion to my father in his early days.

"What, lad!" said he, "art thou turning back to the old trade? It's the better business now, that cotton has failed."

"Ay," said I, "cotton is starving us outright. A man may bear a deal himself, but he'll do aught bad and sinful to save his wife and child."

"Nay, lad," said he, "poaching is not sinful; it goes against man's laws, but not against God's."

I was too weak to argue or talk much. I had not tasted food for two days. But I murmured, "At any rate, I trusted to have been clear of it for the rest of my days. It led my father wrong at first. I have tried and I have striven. Now I give all up. Right or wrong shall be the same to me. Some are fore-doomed; and so am I." And as I spoke, some notion of the futurity that would separate Nelly, the pure and holy, from me, the reckless and desperate one, came over me with an irrepressible burst of anguish. Just then the bells of Bolton-in-Bolland struck up a glad peal, which came over the woods, in the solemn midnight air, like the sons of the morning shouting for joy—they seemed so clear and jubilant. It was Christmas Day; and I felt like an outcast from the gladness and the salvation. Old Jonah spoke out:

"Yon's the Christmas bells. I say, Johnny, my lad, I've no notion of taking such a spiritless chap as thou into the thick of it, with thy rights and thy wrongs. We don't trouble ourselves with such fine lawyer's stuff, and we bring down the 'varmint' all the better. Now, I'll not have thee in our gang, for thou art not up to the fun, and thou'd hang fire when the time came to be doing. But I've a shrewd guess that plaguy wife and child of thine are at the bottom of thy half-and-half joining. Now, I was thy father's friend afore he took to them helter-skelter ways; and I've five shillings and a neck of mutton at thy service. I'll not list a fasting man; but if thou'lt come to us with a full stomach, and say, 'I like your life, my lads, and I'll make one of you with pleasure, the first shiny night,' why, we'll give you a welcome and a half; but to-night, make no more ado but turn back with me for the mutton and the money."

I was not proud; nay, I was most thankful. I took the meat, and boiled some broth for my poor Nelly. She was in a sleep, or a faint, I know not which; but I roused her, and held her up in bed, and fed her with a teaspoon, and the light came back to her eyes, and the faint moonlight smile to her lips; and when she had ended, she said her innocent grace, and fell asleep with her baby on her breast. I sat over the fire, and listened to the bells, as they swept past my cottage on the gusts of the wind. I longed and yearned for the second coming of Christ, of which Nelly had told me. The world seemed cruel, and hard, and strong, too strong for me; and I prayed to cling to the hem of his garment, and be borne over the rough places when I fainted and bled, and found no man to pity or help me, but poor old Jonah the publican and sinner. All this time my own woes and my own self were uppermost in my mind, as they are in the minds of most who have been hardly used. As I thought of my wrongs and my sufferings, my heart burned against Dick Jackson; and as the bells rose and fell, so my hopes waxed and waned, that in those mysterious days of which they were both the remembrance and the prophecy, he would be purged from off the earth. I took Nelly's Bible, and turned, not to the gracious story of the Saviour's birth, but to the records of the former[Pg 454] days when the Jews took such wild revenge upon all their opponents. I was a Jew—a leader among the people. Dick Jackson was as Pharaoh, as the King Agag, who walked delicately, thinking the bitterness of death was past—in short, he was the conquered enemy over whom I gloated, with my Bible in my hand—that Bible which contained our Saviour's words on the Cross. As yet, those words seemed faint and meaningless to me, like a tract of country seen in the starlight haze; while the histories of the Old Testament were grand and distinct in the blood-red color of sunset. By-and-by that night passed into day; and little piping voices came round, carol-singing. They wakened Nelly. I went to her as soon as I heard her stirring.

"Nelly," said I, "there's money and food in the house; I will be off to Padiham seeking work, while thou hast something to go upon."

"Not to-day," said she; "stay to-day with me. If thou wouldst only go to church with me this once"—for you see I had never been inside a church but when we were married, and she was often praying me to go; and now she looked at me, with a sigh just creeping forth from her lips, as she expected a refusal. But I did not refuse. I had been kept away from church before because I dared not go; and now I was desperate and dared do any thing. If I did look like a heathen in the face of all men, why, I was a heathen in my heart; for I was falling back into all my evil ways. I had resolved, if my search of work at Padiham should fail, I would follow my father's footsteps, and take with my own right hand and by my strength of arm, what it was denied me to obtain honestly. I had resolved to leave Sawley, where a curse seemed to hang over me; so what did it matter if I went to church, all unbeknowing what strange ceremonies were there performed? I walked thither as a sinful man—sinful in my heart. Nelly hung on my arm, but even she could not get me to speak. I went in; she found my places, and pointed to the words, and looked up into my eyes with hers, so full of faith and joy. But I saw nothing but Richard Jackson—I heard nothing but his loud nasal voice, making response, and desecrating all the holy words. He was in broadcloth of the best—I in my fustian jacket. He was prosperous and glad—I was starving and desperate. Nelly grew pale as she saw the expression in my eyes; and she prayed ever and ever more fervently as the thought of me tempted by the Devil, even at that very moment, came more fully before her.

By-and-by she forgot even me, and laid her soul bare before God, in a long silent weeping prayer, before we left the church. Nearly all had gone—and I stood by her, unwilling to disturb her, unable to join her. At last she rose up, heavenly calm. She took my arm, and we went home through the woods, where all the birds seemed tame and familiar. Nelly said she thought all living creatures knew it was Christmas Day, and rejoiced, and were loving together. I believed it was the frost that had tamed them; and I felt the hatred that was in me, and knew that whatever else was loving, I was full of malice and uncharitableness, nor did I wish to be otherwise. That afternoon I bade Nelly and our child farewell, and tramped to Padiham. I got work—how I hardly know; for stronger and stronger came the force of the temptation to lead a wild, free life of sin; legions seemed whispering evil thoughts to me, and only my gentle, pleading Nelly to pull me back from the great gulf. However, as I said before, I got work, and set off homeward to move my wife and child to that neighborhood. I hated Sawley, and yet I was fiercely indignant to leave it; with my purposes unaccomplished. I was still an outcast from the more respectable, who stood afar off from such as I; and mine enemy lived and flourished in their regard. Padiham, however, was not so far away, for me to despair—to relinquish my fixed determination. It was on the eastern side of the great Pendle Hill; ten miles away, maybe. Hate will overleap a greater obstacle.

I took a cottage on the Fell, high up on the side of the hill. We saw a long bleak moorland slope before us, and then the gray stone houses of Padiham, over which a black cloud hung; different from the blue wood or turf smoke about Sawley. The wild winds came down, and whistled round our house many a day when all was still below. But I was happy then. I rose in men's esteem. I had work in plenty. Our child lived and throve. But I forgot not our country proverb: "Keep a stone in thy pocket for seven years: turn it, and keep it seven years more; but have it ever ready to cast at thine enemy when the time comes."

One day a fellow workman asked me to go to a hill-side preaching. Now I never cared to go to church; but there was something newer and freer in the notion of praying to God right under His great dome; and the open air had had a charm to me ever since my wild boyhood. Besides, they said these ranters had strange ways with them, and I thought it would be fun to see their way of setting about it; and this ranter of all others had made himself a name in our parts. Accordingly we went; it was a fine summer's evening, after work was done. When we got to the place we saw such a crowd as I never saw before, men, women, and children; all ages were gathered together, and sat on the hill-side. They were care-worn, diseased, sorrowful, criminal; all that was told on their faces, which were hard, and strongly marked. In the midst, standing in a cart, was the ranter. When I first saw him, I said to my companion, "Lord! What a little man to make all this pother! I could trip him up with one of my fingers;" and then I sat down, and looked about me a bit. All eyes were fixed on the preacher; and I turned mine upon him too. He began to speak; it was in no fine-drawn[Pg 455] language, but in words such as we heard every day of our lives, and about things we did every day of our lives. He did not call our short-comings, pride or worldliness or pleasure-seeking, which would have given us no clear notion of what he meant, but he just told us outright what we did, and then he gave it a name, and said that it was accursed—and that we were lost if we went on so doing.

By this time the tears and sweat were running down his face; he was wrestling for our souls. We wondered how he knew our innermost lives as he did, for each one of us saw his sin set before him in plain-spoken words. Then he cried out to us to repent; and spoke first to us, and then to God, in a way that would have shocked many—but it did not shock me. I liked strong things; and I liked the bare full truth: and I felt brought nearer to God in that hour—the summer darkness creeping over us, and one after one the stars coming out above us, like the eyes of the angels watching us—than I had ever done in my life before. When he had brought us to our tears and sighs, he stopped his loud voice of upbraiding, and there was a hush, only broken by sobs and quivering moans, in which I heard through the gloom the voices of strong men in anguish and supplication, as well as the shriller tones of women. Suddenly he was heard again; by this time we could not see him; but his voice was now tender as the voice of an angel, and he told us of Christ, and implored us to come to Him. I never heard such passionate entreaty. He spoke as if he saw Satan hovering near us in the dark dense night, and as if our only safety lay in a very present coming to the Cross; I believe he did see Satan; we know he haunts the desolate old hills, awaiting his time, and now or never it was, with many a soul. At length there was a sudden silence; and by the cries of those nearest to the preacher, we heard that he had fainted. We had all crowded round him, as if he were our safety and our guide; and he was overcome by the heat and the fatigue, for we were the fifth set of people whom he had addressed that day. I left the crowd who were leading him down, and took a lonely path myself.

Here was the earnestness I needed. To this weak and weary, fainting man, religion was a life and a passion. I look back now, and wonder at my blindness as to what was the root of all my Nelly's patience and long-suffering; for I thought, now I had found out what religion was, and that hitherto, it had been all an unknown thing to me.

Henceforward, my life was changed. I was zealous and fanatical. Beyond the set to whom I had affiliated myself I had no sympathy. I would have persecuted all who differed from me, if I had only had the power. I became an ascetic in all bodily enjoyments. And, strange and inexplicable mystery, I had some thoughts that by every act of self-denial I was attaining to my unholy end, and that, when I had fasted and prayed long enough, God would place my vengeance in my hands. I have knelt by Nelly's bedside, and vowed to live a self-denying life, as regarded all outward things, if so that God would grant my prayer. I left it in His hands. I felt sure He would trace out the token and the word; and Nelly would listen to my passionate words, and lie awake sorrowful and heart-sore through the night; and I would get up and make her tea, and re-arrange her pillows, with a strange and willful blindness that my bitter words and blasphemous prayers had cost her miserable, sleepless nights. My Nelly was suffering yet from that blow. How or where the stone had hurt her I never understood; but in consequence of that one moment's action, her limbs became numb and dead, and, by slow degrees, she took to her bed, from whence she was never carried alive. There she lay, propped up by pillows, her meek face ever bright, and smiling forth a greeting; her white pale hands ever busy with some kind of work; and our little Grace was as the power of motion to her. Fierce as I was away from her, I never could speak to her but in my gentlest tones. She seemed to me as if she had never wrestled for salvation as I had; and when away from her, I resolved, many a time and oft, that I would rouse her up to her state of danger when I returned home that evening—even if strong reproach were required I would rouse her up to her soul's need. But I came in and heard her voice singing softly some holy word of patience, some psalm which, maybe, had comforted the martyrs, and when I saw her face, like the face of an angel, full of patience and happy faith, I put off my awakening speeches till another time.

One night, long ago, when I was yet young and strong, although my years were past forty, I sat alone in my house-place. Nelly was always in bed, as I have told you, and Grace lay in a cot by her side. I believed them to be both asleep; though how they could sleep I could not conceive, so wild and terrible was the night. The wind came sweeping down from the hill-top in great beats, like the pulses of Heaven; and, during the pauses, while I listened for the coming roar, I felt the earth shiver beneath me. The rain beat against windows and doors, and sobbed for entrance. I thought the Prince of the Air was abroad; and I heard, or fancied I heard, shrieks come on the blast, like the cries of sinful souls given over to his power.

The sounds came nearer and nearer. I got up and saw to the fastenings of the door, for though I cared not for mortal man, I did care for what I believed was surrounding the house, in evil might and power. But the door shook as though it, too, were in deadly terror, and I thought the fastenings would give way. I stood facing the entrance, lashing my heart up to defy the spiritual enemy that I looked to see, every instant, in bodily presence; and the door did burst open; and before me stood—what was[Pg 456] it? man or demon? a gray-haired man, with poor worn clothes all wringing wet, and he himself battered and piteous to look upon, from the storm he had passed through.

"Let me in!" he said. "Give me shelter. I am poor, or I would reward you. And I am friendless too," he said, looking up in my face, like one seeking what he can not find. In that look, strangely changed, I knew that God had heard me; for it was the old cowardly look of my life's enemy. Had he been a stranger I might not have welcomed him, but as he was mine enemy, I gave him welcome in a lordly dish. I sat opposite to him. "Whence do you come?" said I. "It is a strange night to be out on the fells."

He looked up at me sharp: but in general he held his head down like a beast or hound.

"You won't betray me. I'll not trouble you long. As soon as the storm abates, I'll go."

"Friend!" said I, "what have I to betray?" and I trembled lest he should keep himself out of my power and not tell me. "You come for shelter, and I give you of my best. Why do you suspect me?"

"Because," said he, in his abject bitterness, "all the world is against me. I never met with goodness or kindness; and now I am hunted like a wild beast. I'll tell you—I am a convict returned before my time. I was a Sawley man," (as if I, of all men did not know it!) "and I went back like a fool to the old place. They've hunted me out where I would fain have lived rightly and quietly, and they'll send me back to that hell upon earth, if they catch me. I did not know it would be such a night. Only let me rest and get warm once more, and I'll go away. Good kind man! have pity upon me." I smiled all his doubts away; I promised him a bed on the floor, and I thought of Jael and Sisera. My heart leaped up like a war-horse at the sound of the trumpet, and said, "Ha, ha, the Lord hath heard my prayer and supplication; I shall have vengeance at last!"

He did not dream who I was. He was changed; so that I, who had learned his features with all the diligence of hatred, did not at first recognize him; and he thought not of me, only of his own woe and affright. He looked into the fire with the dreamy gaze of one whose strength of character, if he had any, is beaten out of him; and can not return at any emergency whatsoever. He sighed and pitied himself, yet could not decide on what to do. I went softly about my business, which was to make him up a bed on the floor; and, when he was lulled to sleep and security, to make the best of my way to Padiham, and summon the constable, into whose hands I would give him up to be taken back to his "hell upon earth." I went into Nelly's room. She was awake and anxious. I saw she had been listening to the voices.

"Who is there?" said she. "John, tell me—it sounded like a voice I knew. For God's sake, speak."

I smiled a quiet smile. "It is a poor man who has lost his way. Go to sleep my dear—I shall make him up on the floor. I may not come for some time. Go to sleep;" and I kissed her. I thought she was soothed, but not fully satisfied. However, I hastened away before there was any further time for questioning. I made up the bed; and Richard Jackson, tired out, lay down and fell asleep. My contempt for him almost equaled my hate. If I were avoiding return to a place which I thought to be a hell upon earth, think you I would have taken a quiet sleep under any man's roof, till somehow or another I was secure? Now comes this man, and with incontinence of tongue, blabs out the very thing he most should conceal, and then lies down to a good, quiet, snoring sleep. I looked again. His face was old, and worn, and miserable. So should mine enemy look. And yet it was sad to gaze upon him, poor hunted creature!

I would gaze no more, lest I grew weak and pitiful. Thus I took my hat and softly opened the door. The wind blew in, but did not disturb him, he was so utterly weary. I was out in the open air of night. The storm was ceasing, and instead of the black sky of doom, that I had seen when I last looked forth, the moon was come out, wan and pale, as if wearied with the fight in the heavens; and her white light fell ghostly and calm on many a well-known object. Now and then a dark torn cloud was blown across her home in the sky, but they grew fewer and fewer, and at last she shone out steady and clear, I could see Padiham down before me. I heard the noise of the water-courses down the hill-side. My mind was full of one thought, and strained upon that one thought, and yet my senses were most acute and observant. When I came to the brook, it was swollen to a rapid, tossing river; and the little bridge, with its hand-rail was utterly swept away. It was like the bridge at Sawley, where I had first seen Nelly; and I remembered that day even then in the midst of my vexation at having to go round. I turned away from the brook, and there stood a little figure facing me. No spirit from the dead could have affrighted me as it did; for I saw it was Grace, whom I had left in bed by her mother's side.

She came to me, and took my hand. Her bare feet glittered white in the moonshine; and sprinkled the light upward, as they plashed through the pool.

"Father," said she, "Mother bade me say this." Then pausing to gather breath and memory, she repeated these words, like a lesson of which she feared to forget a syllable.

"Mother says, 'There is a God in Heaven; and in His house are many mansions. If you hope to meet her there, you will come back and speak to her; if you are to be separate forever and ever, you will go on; and may God have mercy on her and on you!' Father, I have said it right—every word."

I was silent. At last I said,

"What made mother say this? How came she to send you out?"

[Pg 457]

"I was asleep, Father, and I heard her cry. I wakened up, and I think you had but just left the house, and that she was calling for you. Then she prayed, with the tears rolling down her cheeks, and kept saying—'Oh, that I could walk!—Oh, that for one hour I could run and walk!' So I said, 'Mother, I can run and walk. Where must I go?' And she clutched at my arm; and bade God bless me; and told me not to fear, for that he would compass me about; and taught me my message; and now, Father, dear Father, you will meet mother in Heaven, won't you—and not be separate forever and ever?" She clung to my knees and pleaded once more in her mother's words. I took her up in my arms and turned homeward.

"Is yon man there, on the kitchen floor?" asked I.

"Yes!" she answered. At any rate, my vengeance was not out of my power yet.

When we got home I passed him, dead asleep!

In our room, to which my child guided me, was Nelly. She sat up in bed, a most unusual attitude for her, and one of which I thought she had been incapable of attaining to without help. She had her hands clasped, and her face wrapt as if in prayer; and when she saw me, she lay back with a sweet, ineffable smile. She could not speak at first; but when I came near, she took my hand and kissed it, and then she called Grace to her, and made her take off her cloak and her wet things, and, dressed in her short scanty night-gown, she slipped into her mother's warm side, and all this time my Nelly never told me why she summoned me; it seemed enough that she should hold my hand, and feel that I was there. I believed she had read my heart; and yet I durst not speak to ask her. At last she looked up. "My husband," said she, "God has saved you and me from a great sorrow this night." I would not understand, and I felt her look die away into disappointment.

"That poor wanderer in the house-place is Richard Jackson, is it not?"

I made no answer. Her face grew white and wan.

"Oh," said she, "this is hard to bear. Speak what is in your mind, I beg of you. I will not thwart you harshly; dearest John, only speak to me."

"Why need I speak? You seem to know all."

"I do know that his is a voice I can never forget; and I do know the awful prayers you have prayed; and I know how I have lain awake, to pray that your words might never be heard; and I am a powerless cripple. I put my cause in God's hands. You shall not do the man any harm. What you have it in your thoughts to do I can not tell. But I know that you can not do it. My eyes are dim with a strange mist, but some voice tells me that you will forgive even Richard Jackson. Dear husband—dearest John, it is so dark I can not see you; but speak once to me."

I moved the candle—but when I saw her face, I saw what was drawing the mist over those loving eyes—how strange and woeful that she could die! Her little girl lying by her side looked in my face, and then at her; and the wild knowledge of death shot through her young heart and she screamed aloud.

Nelly opened her eyes once more. They fell upon the gaunt, sorrow-worn man who was the cause of all. He roused him from his sleep, at that child's piercing cry, and stood at the doorway looking in. He knew Nelly and understood where the storm had driven him to shelter. He came toward her:

"Oh, woman—dying woman—you have haunted me in the loneliness of the Bush far away—you have been in my dreams forever—the hunting of men has not been so terrible as the hunting of your spirit—that stone—that stone!" he fell down by her bedside in an agony—above which her saint-like face looked on us all, for the last time, glorious with the coming light of heaven. She spoke once again:

"It was a moment of passion—I never bore you malice for it. I forgive you—and so does John, I trust."

Could I keep my purpose there? It faded into nothing. But above my choking tears, I strove to speak clear and distinct, for her dying ear to hear, and her sinking heart to be gladdened.

"I forgive you, Richard; I will befriend you in your trouble."

She could not see; but instead of the dim shadow of death stealing over her face, a quiet light came over it, which we knew was the look of a soul at rest.

That night I listened to his tale for her sake; and I learnt that it is better to be sinned against than to sin. In the storm of the night mine enemy came to me; in the calm of the gray morning, I let him forth, and bade him "God speed." And a woe had come upon me, but the burning burden of a sinful, angry heart was taken off. I am old now, and my daughter is married. I try to go about preaching and teaching in my rough, rude way; and what I teach is how Christ lived and died, and what was Nelly's faith of love.

[From Fraser's Magazine.]




The sapling, green and tender, yields readily to wind and sun and the hand of the trainer; the grown tree resists the storm, and 'tis well with it if it be not torn up by the roots; the aged trunk, dried to the core, spreads out its branches and perishes. This is human life.

At first, all wonder and curiosity, we are moulded by surrounding circumstances, which often affect our after lives, as colors laid at the root of bulbous plants are said to transmit their tints to the blossom; next comes the age of knowledge, when reason struggles with passion,[Pg 458] and is not always the victor; lastly, the decay, when passion is extinct, and we live on a little longer on our memories, and then drop into dust.

When I formed the resolution to set down the events that have agitated my life, and marked it out with a strange difference from the lives of other men, I did not see the difficulties that beset my confession on the very threshold. They grew upon me by degrees. The more I reflected on it, the more reluctance I felt at the thought of writing about things which no man would believe. Looking back upon them from the verge of the grave, which can not now be long untenanted, they seem, even to me, more like fantastic dreams or wild allegories than real occurrences. How then can I expect others to accept as true a narration which contradicts their experience and convictions, and which I can not elucidate myself? I can explain nothing; I can only relate what has happened to me, careful not to deviate a hair's breadth into exaggeration. It would be little to the purpose to say that truth is stranger than fiction, an axiom which every body admits as a loose generality, but which nobody will consent to apply in the instances by which it is illustrated. I can attest, out of my own knowledge, that truth often presents inexplicable phenomena, and is sometimes irreconcilable with the laws of nature. But who will credit me, I said, when I narrate such things?

Again and again I approached the subject, and as often recoiled from the execution of my design. It was only by repeated efforts that I summoned up sufficient moral courage to overcome the fear and shame that overwhelmed me, from the apprehension that I should be regarded as one who had been himself deceived, or who was practicing a deception on others. A patient examination of the motives upon which my resolution was founded, determined me, however, to brave all such risks, in the assurance that they who, exercising their literal judgment, as they have a right to do, might see reason for doubting my veracity, could not fail, upon the whole, to draw a practical moral from my revelations. For the rest, I must appease my own scruples by declaring that I have herein written nothing that is not strictly true, and related exactly as it occurred.


My earliest recollections of my father do not extend to his form or lineaments. I remember nothing of him except his voice, the tone of which lingers as distinctly in my ear to this hour as if I had heard it yesterday. It was low and tremulous, and seemed to have a thrill in it of suffering, or anger, I know not which. The only parent I knew was my mother, with whom I lived in a solitude that I can not contemplate at this distance of time without shuddering.

Our house was situated on a lonely moor in the north of England, close upon the bleak border—a dismal neighborhood, savage, cold, and desolate. It was built so far back as the reign of Richard II., and with its flanking walls, crumbling on all sides into ruin, and its paved court-yards, covered a considerable area. Most of the apartments were large and gloomy, and hung with arras of so great an age, that the colors had grown dim, and the thread in many places appeared to be dropping into powder. Long corridors and smaller rooms ran round the quadrangle; and as the uses for which this huge pile was designed by its founders had long since passed away with the bands of retainers and extravagant pomp that distinguished the days of feudal hospitality and royal progresses, only a small part of it was kept up in an inhabitable condition by my mother. Unfortunately for my after life, the part so preserved lay in the very centre of the mansion, approachable only by dark passages, utterly obscure at night, and barely lighted in the day-time by narrow latticed windows, such as we see indented in the thick walls of old cloisters. To reach the inhabited rooms it was necessary to make many windings, to twine up a short spiral stair that led from the outer court, and to traverse two sides of the quadrangle.

This was always a fearful thing to me, which use by no means deprived of its terrors. There were many legends whispered from one to another in the winter nights of revolting crimes which had taken place there in former times, and which rose re-embodied before me as I cowered past the spots where they were said to have been enacted. The aspect of the dreary building, within and without, by day and night, made it all real. If the moon shone brightly into the passages, strange shadows were discernible flitting across the floor or creeping up the walls; and as I involuntarily glanced through shattered doors and inner casements, remnants of armor hanging about, and fragments of tapestry fluttering against the windows, and other relics of a 'sheeted ancestry,' would seem to glide out of the darkness, and fill the open spaces with forms swaying and undulating before my eyes. I remember how my limbs used to totter under me as I tried not to see these sights, and crept on, stifling the fear that was distilling drops of agony over my body by the greater fear of uttering a cry, lest the slightest noise might bring worse horrors round me. I am speaking of my childhood—and children will understand me.

Let no man scoff at these terrors. The wisest and bravest have quailed under them. Skepticism may laugh, but it would be more profitably employed in endeavoring to solve the problems which concern the connection between the material and the spiritual universe. Why is it that adults, as well as children, are impressed with a certain uneasiness in the dark? Not a fear of ghosts, or robbers, or accidents, or of any thing upon which the mind can reason, or of which the senses are cognizant; but a vague consciousness of invisible influences. In the daylight we have no such sensations; they belong exclusively to silence and darkness.

[Pg 459]

As a child, I grew up in the awe of these influences, fostered by loneliness and the moody companionship of a wayward woman, who held little intercourse with the outer world, and shut herself up in dreams and superstitions. An incident which occurred at this period helped to give a supernatural turn to many circumstances that were, no doubt, capable of a simple solution.

Toward the extremity of a court to the south of the old pile, there was a chasm in the ground, partly filled up with loose stones and brambles. The whole place was over-run with grass and weeds, and the walls and outbuildings that surrounded it were in ruins. I had heard that this spot, which gaped so grimly through the tall, lank bushes and accumulated rubbish, was formerly the entrance to a series of subterranean galleries, that had been excavated below the foundations for the purpose of concealing troops, or stowing away prisoners, in times of trouble; and that they had been used in that way during the Civil War, when the mansion stood out a long siege against some of Fairfax's generals. An irresistible curiosity to explore these galleries seized upon me. I was fascinated by the very fear with which the stories related about them had inspired me. I never could pass that yawning chasm, which, now nearly choked up, was hardly wide enough to admit of the descent of a grown person, without longing to plunge into its depths. I often lingered there in the twilight, when the shadows were falling about, enhancing the terror and the temptation; and one evening in the autumn I took courage, and, clearing away the brambles with trembling hands, I forced myself down, bringing with me a torrent of stones and earth.

Finding my feet at the bottom, and rubbing my eyes, I tried to grope my way onward. At first there was a dim light at a great distance above me, in a slanting direction, but in an instant afterward I was in total darkness. My first impulse was to laugh at the exploit I had achieved; but as I pattered along, plashing sometimes in pools of water, and sometimes knocking my head against the rough stones that jutted out on each side, my mirth deserted me. When I became accustomed to the darkness, I fancied I could discern shapeless figures rising up and vanishing in the gloom—the walls seemed to move out of their places, and heave to and fro like wrecks in a storm—then they would open, and collapse, and disappear: all was in motion, black and tumultuous, and a surging sound, as of winds and waters lashing and wailing in a confined space, moaned dismally in my ears. Even when I closed my eyes, and pressed my fingers upon them to shut out these sights, they were still before me. This was, of course, the work of mere fright; but what followed can not be so easily accounted for.

While I stood hesitating how I should proceed, for I had lost my track, and knew not whether I ought to go backward or forward, I heard a distinct rushing sound, quite close to me. It swept past, and all was silent again. It was like a rush of silk or satin, or some fabric that, suddenly crushed, gives out a crackling noise. All the blood in my body gathered into my head; my eyes emitted fire, as if they had been struck by a cord. A stifling sensation bubbled up to my throat, and I involuntarily uttered a cry, which was echoed from a hundred recesses, and continued at intervals, reverberating like a succession of shots in the distance. I panted with horror, as I grasped the wall and listened. My fear was too great to suffer me to cry out for help. The apprehension of again invoking these dreadful echoes appalled me; I hardly breathed, and stood still to listen, I know not how long. A death-like silence pervaded the darkness. The soughing of the winds had ceased, or I fancied so, the stillness was so heavy. It may be that my faculties were intent upon that palpable sound I had heard, and could distinguish nothing else.

At last I began to move, treading softly, and stopping at intervals to watch and listen. I had scarcely proceeded in this way a dozen paces, when I felt as plainly as if I saw the object in the broad glare of the sun, a quick motion at my side in a nook or crevice of the wall. It was like the effort of a person to shrink down and escape from me. In an excess of fright and desperation I clutched at it with my hands, and caught it—I say caught it, for a substance resembling a thick silk filled the palms of both my hands. I held it with the grasp of one who was struggling for life, and tried to speak, but my tongue was dry; and I could not articulate a word: and while I held it, I was conscious that the object was moving away—it moved away, and still I thought I held it. I had not the power to loosen my fingers, which I had a strong impulse to do—and then the silk glided out of them, although they were coiled in it—and the next moment a grasp of muscles, cold and sharp, was on my neck, and pressed into my flesh. I was distraught with terror, and my senses forsook me.

When I recovered, I found myself lying on a couch in the great room, my mother sitting at a distance, and an ancient female servant watching over me.

This woman was the oldest domestic in the house. She had lived all her life in the family, and had seen two generations into the grave. It was from her lips I had learned most of the traditions that filled my head with such alarm and curiosity; it was from her I had acquired a knowledge of those subterranean passages in which I had encountered this singular adventure; and as soon as my mother left the room I related the whole story to her. She heard it to the end with a dark expression of anger on her face, which I interpreted into a reproof on my willfulness and folly in venturing into such places; and then she questioned me severely[Pg 460] as to what I heard and saw, and what I thought it could have been. Finding that I could give her no satisfactory answers to these questions, she enjoined me to hold my tongue about it, and above all things not to speak of it to my mother. She rated me soundly for saying that I firmly believed I had caught something like a woman's dress in my hands; and she made me feel her old stuff gown, that I might assure myself it was no such texture as that. "How could I be so silly as to suppose that a woman, or even a man, would hide in vaults and passages that had not been opened for hundreds of years? What could I imagine they were doing there? It was more likely that rats, and toads, and bats were to be found there than human beings." And a great deal more to the like effect, as if she wanted to impress upon me that it was altogether the fancy of a distempered brain, and no reality.

Yet, in spite of every thing she said, my conviction remained unaltered. I could not be deceived in a fact so clearly attested by my own sensations. But the mystery was never cleared up; and I brooded over it in secret so perversely, that it exercised a blighting influence for a long time upon my imagination.

Many years afterward a suspicion crossed my mind, that this woman knew more about the matter than she cared to acknowledge. It was she who carried me into the house, having discovered me, as she stated, lying insensible in the court-yard; but I had no recollection of having found my way out into the air—a circumstance which at the time did not present itself to me in the light in which I am disposed to regard it now. Nor should I, perhaps, have been led to suspect her of duplicity, had she not acted with ingratitude at a time when sorrow and misfortune had fallen upon the house that had nurtured her from infancy.


My mother had no companion. Even the servants lived apart, and performed their allotted offices at hours when she was not present; so that our table was laid and our wants supplied, for the most part by unseen hands. Such was my mother's way of life. Solitude and early griefs had fallen heavily upon her spirits, and fretted her temper. She rarely exchanged words with the servants, and never except upon unavoidable occasions. A spoken language was almost interdicted among us, and in its place the language of books was substituted. We dwelt in a world of our own, in which the unreal was invested with a living interest. Conversation wearied her; she had no sympathy with the actual life around her, and had long closed her heart against it. But the charm of books was ever fresh and inexhaustible. She possessed in a higher degree than any person I ever knew the power of realizing their contents. Portraits stepped out of them, and became as familiar to her as if they had moved about her bodily in the flesh. This daily intercourse with the creations of the brain fed her morbid desire for seclusion, and was cultivated with an earnestness that proved fatal at last.

Her taste lay entirely in one direction; the marvelous and extravagant alone interested her. She prohibited all works that treated of real life, and sought for the excitement she loved in the region of wonder and romance. Her library (a room of which I will speak more particularly presently) was filled with histories of sorcery and enchantment—of miraculous escapes and perils—providential interpositions—dreams, omens, and spectral appearances—astrology and witchcraft—church-yard legends, and the superstitions which ascribe a mysterious power to spells, charms, and incantations—traditions of giants and monsters—feats of the genii and evil spirits, and narratives that embraced the whole round of that curious lore which relates to the alchemists and diviners.

These books were the delight and occupation of her life; and when her eyes latterly began to grow dim with age, it was my task to read them aloud to her. At first, I revolted from this labor; it hung drearily upon me, and sickened me. Youth is naturally mutinous under confinement, and yearns for activity and freedom. But it was surprising how soon I fell into her tastes, and found myself kindling, as she used to do, over the horrors these terrible books unfolded. And now they took possession of me, I began to believe in them as she did; and with belief, or the awe which is so closely allied to it, my eagerness to penetrate further and further grew into an irresistible passion. Many a time in the bleak autumn nights, when the sharp winds snapped the leaves from the trees, and drifted their crisp spoils against the windows, have I sat gasping over some hideous tale, to which, by an involuntary association of ideas, the desolation of the season imparted additional terrors. I was wrought upon by that sort of fascination which resides in the eyes of the snake, when it fixes its gaze upon the face of a child.

Children who have been brought up in a healthy collision with the world know nothing of the state of fear and mental slavery I am describing. A little judicious counsel would have dispelled these delusions; a little timely explanation would have shown me their absurdity. But where was I to seek it? In my isolation I had not a single adviser. I took all I read for granted. The book could not dissipate the chaos of doubts and importunities of struggling reason it generated; it was dumb, and could not answer my questions. If I appealed to my mother, she was chafed at the interruption and the heresy, and commanded me to read on. At last I doubted no longer. Wonder after wonder swept away my feeble judgment. I believed in a spiritual kingdom—in the return of the dead to the earth—in the power of prophecy and the agency of demons—in second sight and the elixir vitæ—in amulets and miraculous invocations; the crystal mirror of Cornelius Agrippa, the witches of the Brocken,[Pg 461] the Flying Dutchman, the Wandering Jew, were all realities to me. The ignorant alone believe in such things; but in this ignorance consisted all the knowledge that was thrown open to me.

The library was at some distance from the inhabited part of the house. It was an oblong room, with deep recesses, in which stood the old oak book-cases. If we had had the power of selecting a theatre for the performance of the legends which were read aloud here every night, we could not have found one better adapted to the purpose. The apartment was large and gloomy; and the tapestried walls, the ponderous draperies, the polished floor, the painted ceiling, the high-backed chairs, and the vast fire-place, with its carved mantle-shelf, supplied the very style of scene and furniture best adapted to give a striking effect to tales of crime and enchantment. Except close to the fire, and round the table on which we placed our lights, the library, from its height and extent, was buried in deep shadow; so that there was nothing wanted to help the imagination to a fitting locality for all kinds of mysteries.

I shall never forget my mother's sensations on one occasion when I read to her in this room an account of some man who kept watch through a whole night in a haunted chamber, and was never heard of afterward. She fancied that the tapestry moved, and called upon me to observe it. I did so, and fancied I saw it too. Twice she grasped my arm, and bade me cease; and looking shudderingly round, she twice desired me to listen, and tell her if I did not hear a foot-fall passing the extremity of the apartment in the dark with solemn regularity. I heard something—it was like the slow tread of a sentinel.

It was in that room, which cast its gloom over every page, blotting out its lines of sunshine wherever any happened to fall, that I read the Decameron. The groups in the garden—radiant, joyous, and in rapt attitudes of expectation and attention—were distinctly present to me, but darkened by immediate associations. Sorrow and anguish seemed to sit in their faces; there was no flush of emotion, no lightening in the eyes, no intensity in the cleft lips, no streaming hair, or burning cheeks, or startled gestures. All was cold, as if it were cut in marble. That pallid circle of listeners, disposed in such picturesque forms, seemed to me to be lying in a trance, so completely did the miserable influence of that room kill the gayety of all objects, and leave nothing but the skeleton behind.

We were never at a loss for excitement of this kind, which appeared, indeed, the only thing for which we lived. Our pursuits were interrupted for a time by the serious illness of my mother; but her irritable temperament rendered her impatient of sickness, and before the signs of the malady had passed out from her stricken frame she insisted upon returning to her nightly vigils.

Night after night she continued at her dangerous indulgence, while her eyes were visibly contracting a dull film, her cheeks wasting and falling in, and her pulse growing fainter and fainter. It was not a sight for a son to look upon, and tend with idle fancies and the levities of fable. I felt this and remonstrated, and the agonizing reality before me awakened me for a moment to the vanities of books. But she persisted in her demand and still preserved her listening posture, although the sense of hearing and the faculty of attention were sinking rapidly.

Some weeks had been consumed in this way, when one winter night she desired me to read a certain history from a favorite volume of old legends. The history she selected was that of a supernatural appearance that was alleged to have followed a gentleman of Verona with the fidelity of a shadow. The history set forth the arts and devices by which he endeavored to perplex and evade it—how he went into dark and lonely places, and how still his spectral companion stood at his side—how he rushed into crowded scenes, forcing his way violently through the mass, in the hope that he would thus escape; but no matter how dense the multitude, or by what stratagems and confederacy the gentleman sought to bury himself out of sight, the apparition in its human shape was ever standing or moving close beside him. The strangest thing was that it bore an unnatural likeness to him, not only in its face and form, but in its actions, which were always so faithfully and so instantaneously copied after him, that they resembled a reflection in a mirror. He tried the most painful and unexpected contortions, only to see them reproduced with a rapidity that mocked his despair.

The history went on to say how he invented various schemes, and underwent many fearful trials of sorcery, in the hope of banishing or subduing his horrid familiar, but all in vain, for the fiend baffled all his efforts, and was still found at his side, day and night, whether he rode or walked, or threw himself on his couch for repose—how he summoned courage to speak to it at last, and was answered by the echoes of his own voice—how he swam floods with the ghastly thing floating along with him on the surge—how he climbed the highest hills and fled into savage caverns, the familiar still toiling or groveling beside him—how, in a fit of madness, he tried to grapple it on the edge of a precipice with the desperate intent of dragging it down with him into the abyss below, and how the shape wrought in the struggle, impalpable to the touch, but visible to the sight, like painted air—how, after enduring horrible tortures, the man wasted away, and became a mere shadow, the spirit waning and fading in like manner—and how the priests of a holy order, in the solitudes of the Apennines, hearing of these strange events, bethought them of shriving the man, and expelling the incarnate devil that had worked such inexplicable misery upon him.

The history next went on to relate how the[Pg 462] monks found the man so weak and emaciated that he could scarcely take food or answer their questions—and how they had him conveyed to their chapel at midnight, amid the glare of torches and the chants of the holy brotherhood, the imperishable fiend lying stretched by his side in the litter, in open spite of the holy water with which they had sprinkled it, and of the care with which they had caused it to be made so small that it was thought impossible for him to find room upon it—and how, when the wretched man was brought to the altar, they placed him upright before it, and began to pray, the fiend all the while being in his usual place next to his mortal fellow—and how, as the prayers proceeded and the voices of the assembled priests, of whom numbers had collected from distant places to witness the scene, ascended to the roof, filling the sanctuary with solemn and blessed music, the man turned a look of deathly fear, and gazed into the eyes of the spirit, the spirit giving back the look with the same thrilling and awful expression—and how the sufferer, when the venerable abbot came to the benediction, and offered to place his hands upon his head, sank gradually down, the fiend sinking with him—and how, as the last word was uttered, they vanished together into the earth, and on the instant the torches were extinguished, as by a sudden gust of wind.

When I came to this point of the story, I lifted my eyes to look upon my mother. She sat upon her great chair opposite to me, looking straight at me with a glassy and vacant stare. Her limbs were rigid, and a spasm sat upon her features.

"Mother!" I exclaimed; "mother!" I could not speak more. I was choking for utterance, my hair coiled out like living fibres, the room seemed to swim round and round. I stretched out my arms and seized her hands—they were cold, cold and clammy. Let me not dwell on it—in that spectral chamber I was alone with the dead!


For many days afterward the house was like a tomb. My mother was laid out in the state-room, which, never having been used in our time, had a dank, earthy smell, and was wretchedly bleak and naked. She lay upon the old square bed, whose hangings, swept up into a ring over head, were once a bright orange damask, but now an undistinguishable tawny mass, from which tracery and color had long disappeared. There was no other article of furniture in the apartment, which bore dreary evidence of the neglect into which it had fallen. The fire-place was closed up with a screen; and the fragments of arras that hung from the walls were eaten into shreds by the damp. Desolate was the pomp of the poor corpse that lay freezing under its stately coverlid, in the icy air of that room.

The old woman, of whom I have already spoken, undertook the melancholy office of watching the dead. She suffered nobody else to approach the body. The house felt as if it were empty. Wherever a foot trod in the passage it gave out a hollow sound; and the servants, scared by undefined terror, immured themselves in their rooms, where they remained cooped and huddled together till the last rites were over.

Then went forth a scanty procession of ashy faces, winding down the black hills to the church-yard; and when she was laid in the grave, a shudder passed among them, and they whispered one to another, and then their eyes rested upon me. The action was significant of the feeling with which they regarded my situation. I was the last of my race, and my inheritance was little more than the mausoleum of my ancestors.

The old woman had done well to monopolize the tending of the dead, and the management of the funeral. She knew my unfitness, from grief and ignorance of the world, to enter upon such details; and she took them all off my hands, with a most careful watchfulness of my ease—and her own interest. During that brief interval of sorrow—when the whole household had withdrawn into retirement—she collected all the plate, valuables, and moneys, she could find in the house; and when the grave was closed, and the servants had returned home, she was nowhere to be found. She had, in short, made ample provision for the rest of her life out of such spoils as she could secure; for which, I afterward discovered, she had been making industrious preparations long before. Some attempts were made to trace her, but they were fruitless.

This was my first experience of the heartlessness of the world; and, although it is an incident of every-day occurrence in all civilized communities, it was new to me at that time, and stung me to the soul.

After months of seclusion through the biting winter and spring, summer came round again, and I thought I would venture abroad, in hope that the air and a little activity and change of scene would recruit my health; for I was shattered and nervous, and conscious of a prostration of mind almost amounting to disease. The country round about was abrupt and wild, covered with heather for the most part, broken up and picturesque, and studded here and there with patches of bright verdure, invaded by clumps of forest trees. In some places it took a mountainous character, and brawling streams rushing through deep gorges and rocky glens assimilated the scenery to the general tone of the region that lies still farther to the north. The neighborhood was lonely and unfrequented; it resembled the hilly solitudes of Arran and Bute; there were few homesteads in the distant landscape to send up cheerful volumes of smoke among the trees: and you might ride a whole morning without meeting a wayfarer.

I was on horseback one day, passing leisurely in an idle mood out of the mouth of a ravine that led to an open valley, when I saw a lady, in a riding-habit, mounted at no great distance[Pg 463] from me. Her horse was apparently picking his way slowly through the hillocks that dotted the surface of the sward. The appearance of a lady alone loitering in so unfrequented a spot surprised me. Had I seen an apparition I could not have been more astonished.

As she moved past toward the opposite side she turned her head, and her clear, pensive eyes, fell full upon my face with an expression of ineffable sweetness.

Where had I seen those features before? They seemed quite familiar to me. The dress, the action of her arm as she reined up her horse, and, above all, the sad beauty of her eyes, I could have protested I had seen a hundred times. Yet an instant's reflection would have sufficed to convince me that I was under a mistake, for visitors or friends like her there were none in our lonely house.

Her brief, quiet glance, had something in it of a look of recognition. I felt as if there was a recognition on both sides. I felt, too, or imagined, that she was slightly agitated by it. I knew that my own heart fluttered wildly. My solitary life had rendered me nervous, and the dangerous lore with which my head was filled gave to the incident an immediate coloring of romance. A new sensation had taken possession of me, a new world was opening to me; the solitude and remoteness of the place, and the unexpectedness of that vision rising up among the wild flowers and the dark green heather, acted like a charm upon me, and awakened me to a sense of bewildering delight I had never experienced before.

There is always an awkwardness in country places at rencounters between people who are unaccustomed to strangers. I hardly knew whether I should advance or retreat, and suffering my horse to take his own course, he carried me a little circuit behind a patch of trees that intervened between us. When I looked again she was gone. Scarcely a moment had elapsed, and she had vanished like a sunbow. I could hardly believe in a disappearance so miraculous, and rubbed my eyes, and gazed again and again over the vacant space before me. But she was nowhere to be seen. My curiosity was highly excited, and, dashing at full speed over the very spot she had so recently occupied, I traversed every outlet, but without success. It was broad noon. I knew all the bridle-tracks in and out of the valley, and it was impossible she could have taken any of them, and escaped my vigilant search in so short a time. What, then, was this form I had beheld? I had heard of Second Sight, and other visual deceptions—was this one of them? Had she melted into air? Had she come there only to mock me? Was I the victim of a self-delusion? The tortures of Tantalus were slight in comparison with the misery I felt as I rode round and round that sequestered dell, hoping in vain that she would return. But it was unlike any misery that had ever preyed upon me before. There was a strange thrill of expectation and uncertainty in it, and it pointed to an object in the future which, from that hour, gave me a novel interest in life. A total change had passed over me, and any change was welcome.

Every day I renewed my visit to the same place, but the nymph of my pilgrimage never returned to the spot where I had first beheld her. Under this disappointment fancy liberally supplied a picture which sustained and heightened my desire to gaze once more on the reality. By a mental process, of which I can give no further account than that it is very well known to all readers of romance who are endowed with faith and imagination, I culled the most lovable and fascinating qualities of a hundred heroines—the tenderness and devotion, gentleness and grace, of all the Amandas, Isidoras, and Ethelindas, my brain had become intimately acquainted with—and compiled out of them a suitable Ideal for the worship of my perturbed affections. Nor was I satisfied with creating this imaginary enchantress by a sweeping contribution from the special charms of all the fine heroines I had read of, but I must needs put her into every possible emergency that could show off her beauty and her virtues to advantage. I believe I made her run the gauntlet of more perilous adventures and extraordinary trials than ever befell any single heroine in the whole library of fiction.

I could not for an instant dismiss her from my thoughts; and that one look that had enthralled me was ever present to me. Even in sleep I was haunted by its disturbing influence, and the tantalizing scene in the valley was re-enacted, with sundry alterations and additions, over and over again in my dreams. As it had then become the sole occupation of my life to think of her, and to explore the country every day in search of her, it was not very wonderful that her image should have resolved itself into a settled illusion, possessing me so entirely that, in the image conjured up by my distempered imagination, I should at last believe that I actually saw before me that which I so cordially desired to see, and the seeing which was the object that engrossed me to the exclusion of all other pursuits. When one idea thus tyrannically absorbs the mind, the very monotony of its pressure is apt to overlay the reasoning faculties and coerce them into delusions. People mourning to excess over the dead have sometimes supposed that they saw them again "in their habit as they lived." Under the influence of great excitement, profound grief has done the work of fever; and assuredly there is a fever of the mind as well as of the body.

Thus it was that, laboring under this constant agony of desire, I saw that abstraction of all conceivable loveliness once more. She was seated in the library—in the very chair in which my mother died. I then little suspected that I was entranced by a phantom of my own making, and that the exquisite appearance that sat in my presence was of no more substance[Pg 464] than a beam of light, into which outlines and colors of immortal beauty were infused by my heated fancy. I spoke to her—she turned aside, and raised her hand with a motion, as I thought, of surprise. Again I addressed her, and she rose, and passed noiselessly toward the door. I confess that, anxious as I was to detain her, and procure some explanation from her, my courage gave way at this movement, and I spoke no more; but I followed her with my eyes, trying to read the feeling that seemed to flit in hers. It was clear to me, ambiguous as its expression was, and difficult as it is to explain it. The melancholy smile that played over her features contained a history. There was love (of course, having created her, it was natural I should make her return my passion), intense love, darkened by some great sorrow, as if insuperable obstacles stood in its way, and turned it to despair. She retired to the door-way, and stood there for a moment in the attitude of leave-taking. She was not, I thought, to be lost thus, and perhaps forever—one effort, and I might yet preserve her. I advanced hastily to grasp her hand, but as I stretched out mine to touch it, a chill, not of fear, but awe, came upon me, and I stood looking helplessly upon the inexplicable magic of her departure. She did not leave me in the manner of one who fled from my approach, but rather as if she left me reluctantly and by constraint, slowly and lingeringly dissolving from my sight—like a bright cloud fainting from twilight into darkness.

A long illness followed this visitation. During the fever that supervened, I was reunited in a delicious rapture to her who had so mysteriously fascinated me. Alone with her in weird solitudes, I gazed into the deep light of her eyes, fearing to speak lest at the sound of my voice she might again vanish from me. Silence appeared to be understood between us as the condition of our intercourse, so unconsciously did my imagination adapt itself to the spiritual nature of the delusion. At length the fever passed away, but although the body was delivered from the raging fires that had consumed its strength, the mind was still devoured by the same insatiable longing to discover the object of my inextinguishable passion. I was shattered in health and spirits; incapable of much exertion; and harassed by disappointments. I tried to shake off the despair that was rapidly gaining an ascendency over me; but the bleakness and loneliness of my life only helped to encourage it; and I finally resolved to leave the country, and seek relief and oblivion in new scenes and excitements. And so I forsook the old mansion with a heavy heart, and directed my course to London.


It was my first experiment in the world. I had no friends or acquaintances in the great metropolis. I was a stranger in its thronged thoroughfares, which are more desolate to a stranger than a howling wilderness.

At first I was distracted out of myself by the whirl of the vortex in which I found myself engulfed. The eternal din, the countless multitudes, the occupation that was legibly written in every man's face, gave me something to think of, and forced me into a sort of blind activity. But the novelty of this uproar and bustle, in which my own sympathies or interests were in no way engaged, soon palled upon me, and threw me back upon the morbid humors which the sudden change had only temporarily lulled. I panted again for quiet, and sought it in the depth of the town.

At that time the church, of St. Martin-in-the-Fields was buried in a mass of dingy buildings, which, clustering up about it on all sides, blotted it out from the sun. These buildings were intersected by numerous dark courts and passages, and in one of them there was a retired tavern frequented by a few persons, mostly of an intellectual caste—artists, musicians, authors; men of high aspirations, but whom fortune never seemed weary of persecuting, and who met here of an evening to compare notes, and vent their complaints against the world. This was exactly the sort of company that fell in with my tastes. It was a satisfaction to me to herd with disappointed men, and hear them rail at the prosperity which refused to crown their merits. Their failures in life had given a peculiar turn to their minds, and tinged their conversation with a spirit of fatalism. They were one and all clearly convinced that it was in vain to struggle against destiny—that no genius, however original or lofty, could secure its legitimate rewards by legitimate means—and that, in short, the only individuals really deserving of success were those who, by a perverse dispensation of laurels, never could attain it. This view of the wrongs and injustice they suffered from society stirred up much pride and bitterness among them, and led them into many abstract disquisitions, which were rendered attractive to me, no less by the nature of the topics they selected, than by the piquancy and boldness with which they dissected them.

The most remarkable person in this little knot was a young man of the name of Forrester. Like myself, he was of no profession, and appeared to be drawn into the circle by much the same motives. He was tall and pale, and generally reserved in speech; but subject to singular fluctuations—sometimes all sunshine, breaking out into fits of wild enthusiasm, and sometimes overwhelmed with despondency. These vicissitudes of mood and temperament, which indicated a troubled experience beyond his years, interested my sympathies. The more intimate I became with him, the more reason I had to suspect that his life, like my own, was the depository of some heavy secret; but I did not venture to question him on this point, from an apprehension which his bearing toward me led me to entertain that a similar suspicion lurked in his mind respecting me. I confess that I dreaded any allusion to my own history, and carefully avoided all subjects likely to lead[Pg 465] to it; for I should have been ashamed to acknowledge the sufferings I underwent from a cause which most men would have treated with ridicule and skepticism. I was quite aware that it was vulnerable to attacks of that sort, and the terror of having the deception, if it were one, which I had cherished with such fervor, rudely assailed and beaten down by common sense, made me preserve a strict silence in every thing relating to myself—a precaution that probably gave a keener zest to the curiosity I desired to baffle.

A strong friendship grew up between me and Forrester. We were both idlers, and we discovered that, by a happy coincidence, our literary tastes—if an industrious prosecution of desultory and unprofitable reading may be dignified by such a term—lay in the same channels. He was as deeply learned in the literature of the marvelous as I was myself; and during the summer evenings we used to take long walks into the country, beguiling the way by discussions upon a variety of wonderful matters which we turned up out of our old stores. The exercise at least was healthy, and the very disputations upon the evidence and likelihood of these things strengthened my faculties, and cleared off some clouds of credulity. This collision with another mind was a novelty to me, and, for a time, diverted me from other thoughts.

At our tavern Forrester and I enjoyed distinguished popularity. Every body listened to our opinions with attention, not so much because they were remarkable for their soundness, as because they were generally opposed to established notions, and were urged with earnestness. We always spoke like men who speak out of their convictions, while most of the others argued merely for argument's sake, and were ready to take any side of a question for the pleasure of getting up a controversy, and showing off their ingenuity.

One evening the conversation turned upon the possibility of the dead revisiting the earth, and the theory of manifest warnings before dissolution. The debate, which began in levity, soon took a more serious tone, and we had been arguing a full hour before I discovered that Forrester and I had engrossed the discussion to ourselves, the rest of the company maintaining a profound silence, and listening to our observations with undisguised wonder and astonishment. This discovery abashed me a little, for I never meant to make such a display, and I looked across at Forrester for the purpose of drawing his attention to the circumstance. I perceived, then, for the first time, that his face had undergone an extraordinary change. The natural pallor had taken an almost livid hue. The ordinary placidity of his features had given place to an expression of severe pain and alarm.

"What is the matter?" I inquired. "Are you ill?"

"No. Why do you ask?"

"You look dreadfully pale." He only smiled at this remark—but it was a ghastly smile.

"I know that something is the matter," I cried. "What is it, Forrester?"

"Nothing. What can be the matter? Are we not all living men talking upon equal terms, and in the best possible humor, about the dead? Why should that affect me more than any body else?"

"I know not why it should," I replied, "but I feel it does."

"Are you quite sure," he returned, in a low voice, "that it does not affect you as deeply?" He looked at me as if he knew my whole life, which he could not have known; and, in spite of a violent effort to suppress my feelings, I was conscious that I betrayed the agitation into which I was thrown by that searching look.

"Come, come," he exclaimed, rallying wildly, "we have both looked death in the face before now; and although use can not make it familiar, still a sight often repeated must lose some of its horrors."

"No, you are wrong. I have not seen death often."

"Once—only once," he replied, in the same hollow voice; "but you have seen many deaths in one."

"How do you know that?" I demanded; "or assume to know it?"

"One day you shall learn," he answered, calmly.

"You amaze me. Speak openly to me, Forrester, and not in these dark enigmas. I can bear to hear."

"Can you bear to suffer?" he asked.

"I can—I think I can," I replied, shrinking at my heart from the ordeal I invited. "I have suffered that which I should once have thought utterly fabulous, and beyond human endurance."

"I know it. But endurance has its limits. The earthly can bear only that which is of the earth—test them with sufferings that look out beyond this world into the darkness of eternity, and they perish. The trial is not in those things that are dated, bounded, and finite: it is where speculation can not reach nor reason avail us, where human knowledge and human strength are blind and idle, that the trial of that suffering begins, which is akin to the penalties of immortal spirits—a beginning without an end."

"I do not understand you," I answered.

"You will understand me, however, when the hour arrives." Then stopping short, he whispered, "they are observing us; this is not the place for such a theme. We shall meet again, when you shall be satisfied."


"Soon—I fear too soon. No matter—we shall meet, and you shall be satisfied."

He rose and left the room.

I was restrained from following him only by the consideration that I should expose myself to the criticisms of our companions, who, I had observed, were fond of making merry at the expense of their absent friends; and as I was beginning to feel very sensitive to ridicule, I[Pg 466] determined not to give them an opportunity of exercising their wit upon me.

When Forrester was gone, they immediately took him to pieces. His character, habits, life, and opinions, furnished them with abundant materials for commentary, which they were all the less scrupulous in dealing freely with because they really knew little or nothing about him. One said that there was a mysterious something about Forrester that he couldn't make out—it might be all right, but, for his part, he liked people to be candid with you and above-board; another remarked, that a man who lived nobody knew exactly how, and who disappeared every night at pretty much the same hour, and was so very incommunicative about his pursuits, laid himself open to suspicion, at all events; a third suggested that, probably, he had experienced some blight, which had spoiled him for company—perhaps he had been crossed in love (here there was a general laugh, and a rapid succession of puns); while a fourth, who made it a rule never to form a judgment on any man's character without knowing him thoroughly, could not help observing that Mr. Forrester certainly held some rather extraordinary doctrines about ghosts and other nonsense of that sort, which, to be sure, was no imputation on his character, but—here the speaker stopped short, and shook his head in a very significant manner.

These opinions, delivered off-hand, puzzled me exceedingly, for I could not arrive at their meaning. It was evident that Forrester was an object of mystery to our friends—and so he was to me. But neither they nor I could get any farther in the matter. They, however, dismissed him from their minds with the drain of their glasses, while I lay restlessly all night ruminating on what had occurred.

I was passing through a state of transition from the seclusion in which my faculties had been kept dormant into a section of society which was eminently calculated to awaken and sharpen them for use. I was already getting into a habit of reasoning with myself, of trying to trace effects to causes, and examining with suspicion many things which I had hitherto taken upon trust. At first I committed numerous blunders, and fell into all sorts of mistakes, in my eagerness to emulate the cleverness of the experienced individuals with whom I was in the habit of associating. And I could not have dropped upon a clique better qualified or disposed to ride roughshod over the whole region of romance. They were generally practical men and some of them were worldly men; for although not one of them was able to do any thing for himself, they were all adepts in the knowledge of what other people ought to do. They looked with supreme contempt upon sentimental people, and took infinite pleasure in running them down. They were not the sort of men to be tricked by appearances or clap-trap. They despised finery, and ostentation, and outside manners. They loved to look at things as they were, and to call them by their proper names; never, by any accident, over-rating an excellence, but very frequently exaggerating a defect, which they considered as an error on the right side. In this severe school I acquired a few harsh practical views of life, and was beginning to feel its realities growing up about me; but in the progress from the visionary to the real there were many shapes of darkness yet to be struggled with.

A few nights afterward I met Forrester on his way to the rendezvous. There was the same unaccountable reserve in his manner which he betrayed at our last abrupt parting; but my anxiety, awakened more by his looks than his words, would not brook delay. I resolved to get an explanation on the spot.

"Forrester," I said, "you have inflicted a pain upon me which no man has a right to inflict upon another, without giving him at the same time his full confidence. You have made use of strange allusions and hints, which you are bound to explain. You seem to know more about me than I have myself ever confided to you, or than you could have known through any channels with which I am acquainted. I ask you to satisfy me at once whether it is so, or not?"

"It is so," he replied. "You see I am as frank as you are curious."

"But that does not satisfy me. You say you know more about me than I have thought it necessary or desirable to impart to you. What is it that you know?"

"Little," he returned with a singularly disagreeable smile.

"Then it will be the sooner told. What is that little?" and I uttered the last word with rather a bitter and satirical emphasis.

Forrester drew up gravely at this, and replied to me slowly,

"That little is all. All that has ever happened to you, and the whole may be expressed in a single word. Your life has scarcely had enough of action in it to stir the surface; it has been a life of inward strife."

"You have described it truly. My world has not been like that of other men."

"Nor mine; but I have come out of the mist, and you are in it still."

"You speak riddles, and involve me in deeper obscurity than ever. But I am resolved to be satisfied, and will be trifled with no longer. What is that which you said, nay, pledged yourself I should soon learn?"

"You must not be impatient. Do not fear that I will not keep my pledge. If you knew all, you would understand that I dare not break it. To-morrow night, at this hour precisely, meet me on this spot, and you shall be made wiser; happier, I will not promise. Better it should never be, than that it should be too late. This is dark to you now, it will soon be clear enough."

We shook hands after the promise of meeting on the following night, and so parted. Neither[Pg 467] of us was in a condition to join the cynics at the tavern.

After a night of feverish suspense I rose early the next morning, my brain full of the prospect, clouded as it was, of the interview with Forrester. The day was passed in a ferment of agitation; I could not remain at home; I wandered abroad, forgot to dine, and was racked with a presentiment that my fate, for good or evil, hung upon the issue of the night.


At last the appointed hour arrived. Forrester was punctual to the moment. He was evidently affected by some strong emotion, which he made fearful efforts to control. I was too much touched by his condition, and had too much dread about what was coming, to venture upon any questions, particularly as he seemed to desire silence. He locked his arm in mine violently, and, without uttering a word, we traversed several streets till we reached a part of the town with which I was unacquainted. As we went forward Forrester's agitation sensibly increased; and when we entered a small square, in the centre of which there was a stunted plantation, with a mutilated fountain in the midst, he suddenly stopped, and turning, looked me full in the face.

"Have you courage?" he demanded.

"Mortal courage," I replied, "no more."

"Well, well, we are fools," he continued; "very worms, to think that we can cope with that which even to endure in ignorance is a task that sublimes our nature. Suffering is retributive and purifying. This is my last agony."

He then advanced hastily to a house, the door of which was screened by a low porch, tastefully covered with creepers. In his attitude at this instant there was a grandeur that made a deep impression upon me; it was derived from the triumph of his manly spirit over the anguish that was laboring at his heart. He knocked, and the door was hurriedly opened by a servant in mourning.

I should here remark that I had never been at his house before, although I had known him many months; nor was I even then aware that the house we were entering was his.

Motioning me to follow him up the stairs, which he ascended stealthily, I crept up after him with a very uneasy mind. When he reached the drawing-room door he paused for a moment, then turning the handle slowly and noiselessly, he entered the room. One glance at the apartment gave me a general idea of its character. It was small and fashionably furnished, but had an air of neglect and disorder which indicated that its tenant had been long confined by illness. At the opposite side was a sofa, which, for convenience, had been moved near the fire. A lady, apparently in a very delicate state of health (I could only judge by the languor of her position, for I could not see her face), lay resting upon it. Forrester stole quietly to her side, and took her hand.

"Gertrude, how do you feel this evening?"

A sigh, from the depths of her heart, answered him.

"Don't be alarmed; I am not alone; we have come to—"

"Who?" she demanded, suddenly raising herself from the sofa. "Who is come? Come!—come!—you!—Henry—and—"

She looked at me; I stood in the full light of the fire; our eyes met; every vein and artery in my body seemed to beat audibly; she uttered an hysterical cry, and fell back upon the sofa. I rushed to catch her, sobbed, gasped, tried to speak, flung myself upon my knees before her, and madly clasped the drooping hand, the living hand, of her who had so long enthralled my soul, and who, until this hour, had appeared to me more like a spirit of another world than a being of the earth like myself.

During this short and agitated scene, Forrester stood looking at us with a mixed expression of grief and satisfaction. His mind was evidently relieved of some weight that had oppressed it, but there still remained a heavy pang behind. His fortitude was admirable.

"It is accomplished!" he exclaimed, flinging himself into a chair; "and if there be a hope of repose left, perhaps I may live to look back upon this night with tranquillity."

The excitement of the moment affected the invalid so much that her strength sank under it, and she fainted in my arms. I did not perceive this until Forrester, whose watchfulness respecting her was unceasing, gently directed my attention to it, at the same time moving her to an easier position. I was too much bewildered to have sufficient self-possession to know what to do, but, trivial as this accident was, it instantly awoke me to the full consciousness that she lived and breathed before me; she who had hitherto been to me like the invisible spirit that accompanied the knight of old, uttering sweet sounds in the air, until his heart was consumed by the love of that Voice which poured its faithful music into his ears. It was a new life to know that she lived, and that the happiness I had so hopelessly yearned for was now within my reach.

"Enough," cried Forrester, "for the present. Let us leave her. She will be tended by more skillful leeches than we should prove."

A servant entered the room just as we retired, and after one long gaze, in which all past delusions seemed to expire, I followed him hastily into the street.

I stopped at the first retired place we reached. The explanation could no longer be delayed, but my impatience was so great that I interrupted it by a flood of questions. My mind was full of wonder, and I broke forth into a series of interrogatories, for the purpose of getting the information I wanted in the order of my own thoughts.

"Resolve me, Forrester," I concluded,—"resolve me on all these points, for I begin to fear that my life has hithertofore been but a dream,[Pg 468] and that even the reality which I have just looked upon will perish like the rest."

"Patience, patience!" he returned; "my thoughts are as confused as yours. I have as many scattered recollections to gather up as you have questions to put, and I know not if either of us can be satisfied in the end. But I am worn out. This new demand on my spirits has exhausted me. Let us go forward to a seat."

We advanced into the shrubbery, and in one of the recesses we found a seat. After a pause, Forrester began his revelations.

(To be continued.)


(Continued from Page 372.)


I am at a loss to know whether or not I owe an apology to my reader for turning away from the more immediate object of this memoir of a life, to speak of events which have assumed an historical reputation. It may be thought ill-becoming in one who occupied the subordinate station that I did, to express himself on subjects so very far above both his experience and acquaintance; but I would premise, that in the opinions I may have formed, and the words of praise or censure dropped, I have been but retailing the sentiments of those older and wiser than myself, and by whose guidance I was mainly led to entertain not only the convictions, but the prejudices, of my early years.

Let the reader bear in mind, too, that I was very early in life thrown into the society of men—left self-dependent, in a great measure, and obliged to decide for myself on subjects which usually are determined by older and more mature heads. So much of excuse, then, if I seem presumptuous in saying that I began to conceive a very low opinion generally of popular attempts at independence, and a very high one of the powers of military skill and discipline. A mob, in my estimation, was the very lowest, and an army about the very highest, object I could well conceive. My short residence at Castlebar did not tend to controvert these impressions. The safety of the town and its inhabitants was entirely owing to the handful of French who held it, and who, wearied with guards, pickets, and outpost duty, were a mere fraction of the small force that had landed a few days before.

Our "allies" were now our most difficult charge. Abandoning the hopeless task of drilling and disciplining them, we confined ourselves to the more practical office of restraining pillage and repressing violence—a measure, be it said, that was not without peril, and of a very serious kind. I remember one incident, which, if not followed by grave consequences, yet appeared at the time of a very serious character.

By the accidental mis-spelling of a name, a man named Dowall, a notorious ruffian and demagogue, was appointed "Commandant-de-Place," or Town-Major, instead of a most respectable shopkeeper named Downes, and who, although soon made aware of the mistake, from natural timidity, took no steps to undeceive the General. Dowall was haranguing a mob of half-drunken vagabonds, when his commission was put into his hands; and accepting the post as an evidence of the fears the French entertained of his personal influence, became more overbearing and insolent than ever. We had a very gallant officer, the second major of the 12th Regiment of the Line, killed in the attack on Castlebar, and this Dowall at once took possession of poor Delactre's horse, arms, and equipment. His coat and chako, his very boots and gloves, the scoundrel appropriated; and, as if in mockery of us and our poor friend, assumed a habit that he had, when riding fast, to place his sabre between his leg and the saddle, to prevent its striking the horse on the flanks.

I need scarcely say that thoroughly disgusted by the unsightly exhibition, our incessant cares, and the endless round of duty we were engaged in, as well as the critical position we occupied, left us no time to notice the fellow's conduct by any other than a passing sign of anger or contempt—provocations that he certainly gave us back as insolently as we offered them. I do not believe that the General ever saw him, but I know that incessant complaints were daily made to him about the man's rapacity and tyranny, and scarcely a morning passed without a dozen remonstrances being preferred against his overbearing conduct.

Determined to have his own countrymen on his side, he issued the most absurd orders for the billeting of the rabble, the rations and allowances of all kinds. He seized upon one of the best houses for his own quarters, and three fine saddle-horses for his personal use, besides a number of inferior ones for the ruffian following he called his staff!

It was, indeed, enough to excite laughter, had not indignation been the more powerful emotion, to see this fellow ride forth of a morning—a tawdry scarf of green, with deep gold fringe, thrown over his shoulder, and a saddle-cloth of the same color, profusely studded with gold shamrocks, on his horse; a drawn sword in his hand, and his head erect, followed by an indiscriminate rabble on foot or horseback—some with muskets, some pikes, some with sword-blades, bayonets, or even knives fastened on sticks, but all alike ferocious-looking and savage.

They affected to march in order, and, with a rude imitation of soldiery, carried something like a knapsack on their shoulders, surmounted by a kettle, or tin-cup, or sometimes an iron-pot—a grotesque parody on the trim-cooking equipment of the French soldier. It was evident, from their step and bearing, that they thought themselves in the very height of discipline; and this very assumption was far more[Pg 469] insulting to the real soldier than all the licentious irregularity of the marauder. If to us they were objects of ridicule and derision, to the townspeople they were images of terror and dismay. The miserable shopkeeper who housed one of them lived in continual fear; he knew nothing to be his own, and felt that his property and family were every moment at the dictate of a ruffian gang, who acknowledged no law, nor any rule save their own will and convenience. Dowall's squad were indeed as great a terror in that little town as I had seen the great name of Robespierre in the proud city of Paris.

In my temporary position on General Serazin's staff, I came to hear much of this fellow's conduct. The most grievous stories were told me every day of his rapacity and cruelty; but harassed and overworked, as the General was, with duties that would have been over-much for three or four men, I forbore to trouble him with recitals, which could only fret and distress him, without affording the slightest chance of relief to others. Perhaps this impunity had rendered him more daring; or, perhaps, the immense number of armed Irish, in comparison with the small force of disciplined soldiers, emboldened the fellow; but certainly he grew, day by day, more presumptuous and insolent, and at last so far forgot himself as to countermand one of General Serazin's orders, by which a guard was stationed at the Protestant church to prevent its being molested or injured by the populace.

General Humbert had already refused the Roman Catholic priest his permission to celebrate mass in that building; but Dowall had determined otherwise, and that, too, by a written order under his own hand. The French sergeant who commanded the guard of course paid little attention to this warrant; and when Father Hennisy wanted to carry the matter with a high hand, he coolly tore up the paper, and threw the fragments at him. Dowall was soon informed of the slight offered to his mandate. He was at supper at the time, entertaining a party of his friends, who all heard the priest's story, and of course, loudly sympathized with his sorrows, and invoked the powerful leader's aid and protection. Affecting to believe that the sergeant had merely acted in ignorance, and from not being able to read English, Dowall dispatched a fellow, whom he called his aid-de-camp, a schoolmaster named Lowrie, and who spoke a little bad French, to interpret his command, and to desire the sergeant to withdraw his men, and give up the guard to a party of "the squad."

Great was the surprise of the supper party, when, after the lapse of half an hour, a country fellow came in to say that he had seen Lowrie led off to prison between two French soldiers. By this time Dowall had drunk himself into a state of utter recklessness; while encouraged by his friend's praises, and the arguments of his own passions, he fancied that he might dispute ascendency with General Humbert himself. He at once ordered out his horse, and gave a command to assemble the "squad." As they were all billeted in his immediate vicinity, this was speedily effected, and their numbers swelled by a vast mass of idle and curious, who were eager to see how the matter would end; the whole street was crowded, and when Dowall mounted, his followers amounted to above a thousand people.

If our sergeant, an old soldier of the "Sambre et Meuse," had not already enjoyed some experience of our allies, it is more than likely that, seeing their hostile advance, he would have fallen back upon the main guard, then stationed in the market-square. As it was, he simply retired his party within the church, the door of which had already been pierced for the use of musketry. This done, and one of his men being dispatched to head-quarters for advice and orders, he waited patiently for the attack.

I happened that night to make one of General Serazin's dinner party, and we were sitting over our wine, when the officer of the guard entered hastily with the tidings of what was going on in the town.

"Is it the Commandant-de-Place himself is at the head?" exclaimed Serazin, in amazement, such a thought being a direct shock to all his ideas of military discipline.

"Yes, sir," said the officer; "the soldier knows his appearance well, and can vouch for its being him."

"As I know something of him, General," said I, "I may as well mention that nothing is more likely."

"Who is he—what is he?" asked Serazin hastily.

A very brief account—I need not say not a flattering one—told all that I knew or had ever heard of our worthy "Town Major." Many of the officers around corroborating, as I went on, all that I said, and interpolating little details of their own about his robberies and exactions.

"And yet I have heard nothing of all this before," said the General, looking sternly around him on every side.

None ventured on a reply, and what might have followed there is no guessing, when the sharp rattle of musketry cut short all discussion.

"That fire was not given by soldiers," said Serazin. "Go, Tiernay, and bring this fellow before me at once."

I bowed, and was leaving the room, when an officer, having whispered a few words in Serazin's ear, the General called me back, saying,

"You are not to incur any risk, Tiernay; I want no struggle, still less a rescue. You understand me."

"Perfectly, General; the matter will, I trust, be easy enough!"

And so I left the room, my heart, shall I avow it, bumping and throbbing in a fashion[Pg 470] that gave a very poor corroboration to my words. There were always three or four horses ready saddled for duty at each general's quarters, and taking one of them, I ordered a corporal of dragoons to follow me, and set out. It was a fine night of autumn; the last faint sunlight was yet struggling with the coming darkness, as I rode at a brisk trot down the main street toward the scene of action.

I had not proceeded far when the crowds compelled me to slacken my pace to a walk, and finding that the people pressed in upon me in such a way as to prevent any thing like a defense if attacked, still more, any chance of an escape by flight, I sent the corporal forward to clear a passage, and announce my coming to the redoubted "Commandant." It was curious to see how the old dragoon's tactics effected his object, and with what speed the crowd opened and fell back, as with a flank movement of his horse he "passaged" up the street, prancing, bounding, and back-leaping, yet all the while perfectly obedient to the hand, and never deviating from the straight line in the very middle of the thoroughfare.

I could catch from the voices around me that the mob had fired a volley at the church-door, but that our men had never returned the fire, and now a great commotion of the crowd, and that swaying, surging motion of the mass, which is so peculiarly indicative of a coming event, told that something more was in preparation; and such was it; for already numbers were hurrying forward with straw-fagots, broken furniture, and other combustible material, which, in the midst of the wildest cries and shouts of triumph, were now being heaped up against the door. Another moment, and I should have been too late—as it was, my loud summons to "halt," and a bold command for the mob to fall back, only came at the very last minute.

"Where's the Commandant?" said I, in an imperious tone. "Who wants him?" responded a deep husky voice, which I well knew to be Dowall's.

"The general in command of the town," said I, firmly; "General Serazin."

"Maybe I'm as good a general as himself," was the answer. "I never called him my superior yet! Did I, boys?"

"Never—devil a bit—why would you?" and such like, were shouted by the mob around us, in every accent of drunken defiance.

"You'll not refuse General Serazin's invitation to confer with your Commandant, I hope?" said I, affecting a tone of respectful civility, while I gradually drew nearer and nearer to him, contriving, at the same, by a dexterous plunging of my horse, to force back the bystanders, and thus isolate my friend Dowall.

"Tell him I've work to do here," said he, "and can't come; but if he's fond of a bonfire he may as well step down this far and see one."

By this time, at a gesture of command from me, the corporal had placed himself on the opposite side of Dowall's horse, and by a movement similar to my own, completely drove back the dense mob, so that we had him completely in our power, and could have sabred or shot him at any moment.

"General Serazin only wishes to see you on duty, Commandant," said I, speaking in a voice that could be heard over the entire assemblage; and then, dropping it to a whisper, only audible to himself, I added,

"Come along, quietly, sir, and without a word. If you speak, if you mutter, or if you lift a finger, I'll run my sabre through your body."

"Forward, way, there," shouted I aloud, and the corporal, holding Dowall's bridle, pricked the horse with the point of his sword, and right through the crowd we went at a pace that defied following, had any the daring to think of it.

So sudden was the act and so imminent the peril, for I held the point of my weapon within a few inches of his back, and would have kept my word most assuredly too, that the fellow never spoke a syllable as we went, nor ventured on even a word of remonstrance till we descended at the General's door. Then, with a voice tremulous with restrained passion, he said,

"If ye think I'll forgive ye this thrick, my fine boy, may the flames and fire be my portion! and if I hav'n't my revenge on ye yet, my name isn't Mick Dowall."

With a dogged, sulky resolution he mounted the stairs, but as he neared the room where the General was, and from which his voice could even now be heard, his courage seemed to fail him, and he looked back as though to see if no chance of escape remained. The attempt would have been hopeless, and he saw it.

"This is the man, General," said I, half pushing him forward into the middle of the room, where he stood with his hat on, and in attitude of mingled defiance and terror.

"Tell him to uncover," said Serazin; but one of the aids-de-camp, more zealous than courteous, stepped forward and knocked the hat off with his hand. Dowall never budged an inch, nor moved a muscle, at this insult; to look at him you could not have said that he was conscious of it.

"Ask him if it was by his orders that the guard was assailed?" said the General.

I put the question in about as many words but he made no reply.

"Does the man know where he is? Does he know who I am?" repeated Serazin, passionately.

"He knows both well enough, sir," said I; "this silence is a mere defiance of us."

"Parbleu!" cried an officer, "that is the 'coquin' took poor Delactre's equipments; the very uniform he has on was his."

"The fellow was never a soldier," said another.

"I know him well," interposed a third, "he is the very terror of the townsfolk."

"Who gave him his commission?—who appointed him?" asked Serazin.

[Pg 471]

Apparently the fellow could follow some words of French, for as the General asked this he drew from his pocket a crumpled and soiled paper, which he threw heedlessly upon the table before us.

"Why this is not his name, sir," said I: "this appointment is made out in the name of Nicholas Downes, and our friend here is called Dowall."

"Who knows him? who can identify him?" asked Serazin.

"I can say that his name is Dowall, and that he worked as a porter on the quay in this town when I was a boy," said a young Irishman who was copying letters and papers at a side-table. "Yes, Dowall," said the youth, confronting the look which the other gave him, "I am neither afraid nor ashamed to tell you to your face that I know you well, and who you are, and what you are."

"I'm an officer in the Irish Independent Army now," said Dowall, resolutely. "To the divil I fling the French commission and all that belongs to it. 'Tisn't troops that run and guns that burst we want. Let them go back again the way they came, we're able for the work ourselves."

Before I could translate this rude speech an officer broke into the room, with tidings that the streets had been cleared, and the rioters dispersed; a few prisoners of the squad, too, were taken, whose muskets bore trace of being recently discharged.

"They fired upon our pickets, General," said the officer, whose excited look and voice betrayed how deeply he felt the outrage.

The men were introduced; three ragged, ill-looking wretches, apparently only roused from intoxication by the terror of their situation, for each was guarded by a soldier with a drawn bayonet in his hand.

"We only obeyed ordhers my lord; we only did what the Captain tould us;" cried they in a miserable, whining tone, for the sight of their leader in captivity had sapped all their courage.

"What am I here for? Who has any business with me?" said Dowall, assuming before his followers, an attempt at his former tone of bully.

"Tell him," said Serazin, "that wherever a French general stands in full command he will neither brook insolence nor insubordination. Let those fellows be turned out of the town, and warned never to approach the quarters of the army under any pretense whatever. As for this scoundrel we'll make an example of him. Order a peloton into the yard and shoot him."

I rendered this speech into English as the General spoke it, and never shall I forget the wild scream of the wretch as he heard the sentence.

"I'm an officer in the army of Ireland. I don't belong to ye at all. You've no power over me. Oh, Captain, darlin'; oh, gentlemen, speak for me! General, dear; General, honey, don't sintince me! don't for the love of God!" and in groveling terror the miserable creature threw himself on his knees to beg for mercy.

"Tear off his epaulettes," cried Serazin, "never let a French uniform be so disgraced."

The soldiers wrenched off the epaulettes at the command, and not satisfied with this they even tore away the lace from the cuffs of the uniform, which now hung in ragged fragments over his trembling hands.

"Oh, sir, oh, General! oh, gentlemen, have marcy!"

"Away with him," said Serazin contemptuously; "it is only the cruel can be such cowards. Give the fellow his fusillade with blank cartridge, and the chances are fear will kill outright."

The scene that ensued is too shocking, too full of abasement to record; there was nothing that fear of death, nothing that abject terror could suggest, that this miserable wretch did not attempt to save his life; he wept—he begged in accents that were unworthy of all manhood—he kissed the very ground at the General's feet in his abject sorrow; and when at last he was dragged from the room his screams were the most terrific and piercing.

Although all my compassion was changed into contempt, I felt that I could never have given the word to fire upon him, had such been my orders; his fears had placed him below all manhood, but they still formed a barrier of defense around him. I accordingly whispered a few words to the sergeant as we passed down the stairs, and then affecting to have forgotten something, I stepped back toward the room, where the General and his staff were sitting. The scuffling sound of feet, mingled with the crash of fire-arms, almost drowned the cries of the still struggling wretch; his voice, however, burst forth into a wild cry, and then there came a pause—a pause that at last became insupportable to my anxiety, and I was about to rush down stairs, when a loud yell, a savage howl of derision and hate burst forth from the street; and on looking out I saw a vast crowd before the door, who were shouting after a man, whose speed soon carried him out of reach. This was Dowall, who thus suffered to escape, was told to fly from the town, and never to return to it.

"Thank heaven," muttered I, "we've seen the last of him."

The rejoicing, was, however, premature.


I have never yet been able to discover whether General Humbert really did feel the confidence that he assumed at this period, or that he merely affected it, the better to sustain the spirits of those around him. If our success at Castlebar was undeniable, our loss was also great, and far more than proportionate to all the advantages we had acquired. Six officers and two hundred and forty men were either killed or badly wounded, and as our small force had really acquired no reinforcement worth the name, it was evident[Pg 472] that another such costly victory would be our ruin.

Not one gentleman of rank or influence had yet joined us, few of the priesthood, and, even among the farmers and peasantry, it was easy to see that our recruits comprised those whose accession could never have conferred honor or profit on any cause.

Our situation was any thing but promising. The rumors that reached us, and we had no other or more accurate information than rumors, told that an army of thirty thousand men under the command of Lord Cornwallis, was in march against us; that all the insurrectionary movements of the south were completely repressed; that the spirit of the rebels was crushed, and their confidence broken, either by defeat or internal treachery. In a word that the expedition had already failed, and the sooner we had the means of leaving the land of our disasters the better.

Such were the universal feelings of all my comrades; but Humbert, who often had told us that we were only here to "éclairer la route" for another and more formidable mission, now pretended to think that we were progressing most favorably toward a perfect success. Perhaps he firmly believed all this, or perhaps he thought that the pretense would give more dignity to the finale of an exploit, which he already saw was nearly played out! I know not which is the true explanation, and am half disposed to think that he was actuated as much by one impulse as the other.

"The army of the North" was the talisman, which we now heard of for the first time, to repair all our disasters, and insure complete victory. "The Army of the North," whose strength varied from twenty to twenty-five, and sometimes reached even thirty thousand men, and was commanded by a distinguished Irish general, was now the centre to which all our hopes turned. Whether it had already landed, and where, of what it consisted, and how officered, not one of us knew any thing; but by dint of daily repetition and discussion we had come to believe in its existence as certainly as though we had seen it under arms.

The credulous lent their convictions without any trouble to themselves whatever; the more skeptical studied the map, and fancied twenty different places in which they might have disembarked; and thus the "Army of the North" grew to be a substance and reality, as undoubted as the scenes before our eyes.

Never was such a ready solution of all difficulties discovered as this same "Army of the North." Were we to be beaten by Cornwallis it was only a momentary check, for the Army of the North would come up within a few days and turn the whole tide of war. If our Irish allies grew insubordinate or disorderly, a little patience, and the Army of the North would settle all that. Every movement projected was fancied to be in concert with this redoubted corps, and at last every trooper that rode in from Killala or Ballina was questioned as to whether his dispatches did not come from the Army of the North.

Frenchmen will believe any thing you like for twenty-four hours. They can be flattered into a credulity of two days, and, by dint of great artifice and much persuasion, will occasionally reach a third; but there, faith has its limit; and if nothing palpable, tangible, and real intervene, skepticism ensues; and what with native sarcasm, ridicule, and irony, they will demolish the card edifice of credit far more rapidly than ever they raised it. For two whole days the "Army of the North" occupied every man among us. We toasted it over our wine; we discussed it at our quarters; we debated upon its whereabouts, its strength, and its probable destination; but on the third morning a terrible shock was given to our feelings by a volatile young Lieutenant of Hussars exclaiming—

"Ma foi! I wish I could see this same 'Army of the North!'"

Now, although nothing was more reasonable than this wish, nor was there any one of us who had not felt a similar desire, this sudden expression of it struck us all most forcibly, and a shrinking sense of doubt spread over every face, and men looked at each other, as though to say, "Is the fellow capable of supposing that such an army does not exist?" It was a very dreadful moment—a terrible interval of struggle between the broad day-light of belief and the black darkness of incredulity; and we turned glances of actual dislike at the man who had so unwarrantably shaken our settled convictions.

"I only said I should like to see them under arms," stammered he, in the confusion of one who saw himself exposed to public obloquy.

This half apology came too late, the mischief was done! and we shunned each other like men who were afraid to read the accusation of even a shrewd glance. As for myself, I can compare my feelings only to those of the worthy alderman, who broke out into a paroxysm of grief on hearing that "Robinson Crusoe" was a fiction. I believe, on that sudden revulsion of feeling, I could have discredited any and every thing. If there was no Army of the North, was I quite sure that there was any expedition at all? Were the generals mere freebooters, the chiefs of a marauding venture? Were the patriots any thing but a disorderly rabble, eager for robbery and bloodshed? Was Irish Independence a mere phantom? Such were among the shocking terrors that came across my mind as I sat in my quarters, far too dispirited and depressed to mix among my comrades.

It had been a day of fatiguing duty, and I was not sorry, as night fell, that I might betake myself to bed, to forget, if it might be, the torturing doubts that troubled me. Suddenly I heard a heavy foot upon the stair, and an orderly entered with a command for me to repair to the head-quarters of the General at once. Never did the call of duty summon me less willing, never found me so totally disinclined[Pg 473] to obey. I was weary and fatigued; but worse than this, I was out of temper with myself, the service, and the whole world. Had I heard that the Royal forces were approaching, I was exactly in the humor to have dashed into the thick of them, and sold my life as dearly as I could, out of desperation.

Discipline is a powerful antagonist to a man's caprices, for with all my irritability and discontent, I arose, and resuming my uniform, set out for General Humbert's quarters. I followed "the orderly," as he led the way through many a dark street and crooked alley, till we reached the square. There, too, all was in darkness, save at the mainguard, where, as usual, the five windows of the first story were a blaze of light, and the sounds of mirth and revelry, the nightly orgies of our officers, were ringing out in the stillness of the quiet hour. The wild chorus of a soldier-song, with its "ran-tan-plan" accompaniment of knuckles on the table, echoed through the square, and smote upon my ear with any thing but a congenial sense of pleasure.

In my heart I thought them a senseless, soulless crew, that could give themselves to dissipation and excess on the very eve, as it were, of our defeat, and with hasty steps I turned away into the side street, where a large lamp, the only light to be seen, proclaimed General Humbert's quarters.

A bustle and stir, very unusual at this late hour, pervaded the passages and the stairs, and it was some time before I could find one of the staff to announce my arrival, which at last was done somewhat unceremoniously, as an officer hurried me through a large chamber crowded with the staff, into an inner room, where, on a small field-bed, lay General Humbert, without coat or boots, a much-worn scarlet cloak thrown half over him, and a black handkerchief tied round his head. I had scarcely seen him since our landing, and I could with difficulty recognize the burly high-complexioned soldier of a few days back in the worn and haggard features of the sick man before me. An attack of ague, which he had originally contracted in Holland, had relapsed upon him, and he was now suffering all the lassitude and sickness of that most depressing of all maladies.

Maps, books, plans, and sketches of various kinds scattered the bed, the table, and even the floor around him; but his attitude as I entered betrayed the exhaustion of one who could labor no longer, and whose worn-out faculties demanded rest. He lay flat on his back, his arms straight down beside him, and, with half closed eyes, seemed as though falling off to sleep.

His first aid-de-camp, Merochamp, was standing with his back to a small turf fire, and made a sign to us to be still, and make no noise as we came in.

"He's sleeping," said he, "it's the first time he has closed his eyes for ten days."

We stood for a moment uncertain, and were about to retrace our steps, when Humbert said, in a low, weak voice,

"No! I'm not asleep, come in."

The officer who presented me now retired, and I advanced toward the bed-side.

"This is Tiernay, General," said Merochamp, stooping down and speaking low, "you wished to see him."

"Yes, I wanted him. Ha! Tiernay, you see me a good deal altered since we parted last; however, I shall be all right in a day or two; it's a mere attack of ague, and will leave when the good weather comes. I wished to ask you about your family, Tiernay; was not your father Irish?"

"No, sir; we were Irish two or three generations back, but since that we have belonged either to Austria or to France."

"Then where were you born?"

"In Paris; sir, I believe, but certainly in France."

"There, I said so, Merochamp; I knew that the boy was French."

"Still I don't think the precaution worthless," replied Merochamp; "Teeling and the others advise it."

"I know they do," said Humbert, peevishly, "and for themselves it may be needful, but this lad's case will be injured not bettered by it. He is not an Irishman; he never was at any time a British subject. Have you any certificate of birth or baptism, Tiernay?"

"None, sir, but I have my 'livret' for the school of Saumur, which sets forth my being a Frenchman by birth."

"Quite sufficient, boy, let me have it."

It was a document which I always carried about with me since I landed, to enable me any moment, if made prisoner, to prove myself an alien, and thus escape the inculpation of fighting against the flag of my country. Perhaps there was something of reluctance in my manner as I relinquished it, for the General said, "I'll take good care of it, Tiernay, you shall not fare the worse because it is in my keeping. I may as well tell you that some of our Irish officers have received threatening letters. It is needless to say they are without name, stating that if matters go unfortunately with us in this campaign, they will meet the fate of men taken in open treason; and that their condition of officers in our service will avail them nothing. I do not believe this. I can not believe that they will be treated in any respect differently from the rest of us. However, it is only just that I should tell you, that your name figures among those so denounced; for this reason I have sent for you now. You, at least, have nothing to apprehend on this score. You are as much a Frenchman as myself. I know Merochamp thinks differently from me, and that your Irish descent and name will be quite enough to involve you in the fate of others."

A gesture, half of assent but half of impatience, from the aid-de-camp, here arrested the speaker.

"Why not tell him frankly how he stands?"[Pg 474] said Humbert, eagerly. "I see no advantage in any concealment."

Then addressing me, he went on. "I purpose, Tiernay, to give you the same option I gave the others, but which they have declined to accept. It is this: we are daily expecting to hear of the arrival of a force in the north, under the command of Generals Tandy and Rey."

"The Army of the North?" asked I, in some anxiety.

"Precisely; the Army of the North. Now I desire to open a communication with them, and at the same time to do so through the means of such officers as, in the event of any disaster here, may have the escape to France open to them; which this army will have, and which, I need not say, we have no longer. Our Irish friends have declined this mission, as being more likely to compromise them if taken; and also as diminishing and not increasing their chance of escape. In my belief that you were placed similarly, I have sent for you here this evening, and at the same time desire to impress upon you that your acceptance or refusal is purely a matter at your own volition."

"Am I to regard the matter simply as one of duty, sir? or as an opportunity of consulting my personal safety?"

"What shall I say to this Merochamp?" asked Humbert, bluntly.

"That you are running to the full as many risks of being hanged for going as by staying; such is my opinion," said the aid-de-camp. "Here as a rebel, there as a spy."

"I confess, then," said I smiling at the cool brevity of the speech, "the choice is somewhat embarrassing! May I ask what you advise me to do, General?"

"I should say go, Tiernay."

"Go, by all means, lad," broke in the aid-de-camp, who throughout assumed a tone of dictation and familiarity most remarkable. "If a stand is to be made in this miserable country, it will be with Rey's force; here the game will not last much longer. There lies the only man capable of conducting such an expedition, and his health can not stand up against its trials!"

"Not so, Merochamp; I'll be on horseback to-morrow or the day after at furthest; and if I never were to take the field again, there are others, yourself among the number, well able to supply my place: but to Tiernay—what says he?"

"Make it duty, sir, and I shall go, or remain here with an easy conscience," said I.

"Then duty be it, boy," said he; "and Merochamp will tell you every thing, for all this discussion has wearied me much, and I can not endure more talking."

"Sit down here," said the aid-de-camp, pointing to a seat at his side, "and five minutes will suffice."

He opened a large map of Ireland before us on the table, and running his finger along the coast-line of the western side, stopped abruptly at the bay of Lough Swilly.

"There," said he, "that is the spot. There, too, should have been our own landing! The whole population of the North will be with them—not such allies as these fellows, but men accustomed to the use of arms, able and willing to take the field. They say that five thousand men could hold the passes of those mountains against thirty."

"Who says this?" said I, for I own it, that I had grown marvelously skeptical as to testimony.

"Napper Tandy, who is a general of division, and one of the leaders of this force;" and he went on: "The utmost we can do will be to hold these towns to the westward till they join us. We may stretch away thus far," and he moved his finger toward the direction of Leitrim, but no further. "You will have to communicate with them; to explain what we have done, where we are, and how we are. Conceal nothing—let them hear fairly, that this patriot force is worth nothing, and that even to garrison the towns we take they are useless. Tell them, too, the sad mistake we made by attempting to organize what never can be disciplined, and let them not arm a population, as we have done, to commit rapine and plunder."

Two letters were already written—one addressed to Rey, the other to Napper Tandy. These I was ordered to destroy if I should happen to become a prisoner; and with the map of Ireland, pen-marked in various directions, by which I might trace my route, and a few lines to Colonel Charost, whom I was to see on passing at Killala, I was dismissed. When I approached the bed-side to take leave of the General, he was sound asleep. The excitement of talking having passed away, he was pale as death, and his lips totally colorless. Poor fellow, he was exhausted-looking and weary, and I could not help thinking, as I looked on him, that he was no bad emblem of the cause he had embarked in!

I was to take my troop-horse as far as Killala, after which I was to proceed either on foot, or by such modes of conveyance as I could find, keeping as nigh the coast as possible, and acquainting myself, so far as I might do, with the temper and disposition of the people as I went. It was a great aid to my sinking courage to know that there really was an "Army of the North," and to feel myself accredited to hold intercourse with the generals commanding it.

Such was my exultation at this happy discovery, that I was dying to burst in among my comrades with the tidings, and proclaim at the same time my own high mission. Merochamp had strictly enjoined my speedy departure without the slightest intimation to any whither I was going, or with what object.

A very small cloak-bag held all my effects, and with this slung at my saddle, I rode out of the town just as the church clock was striking[Pg 475] twelve. It was a calm, starlight night, and once a short distance from the town, as noiseless and still as possible; a gossoon, one of the numerous scouts we employed in conveying letters or bringing intelligence, trotted along on foot beside me to show the way, for there was a rumor that some of the Royalist cavalry still loitered about the passes to capture our dispatch-bearers, or make prisoners of any stragglers from the army.

These "gossoons," picked up by chance, and selected for no other qualification than because they were keen-eyed and swift of foot, were the most faithful and most worthy creatures we met with. In no instance were they ever known to desert to the enemy, and stranger still, they were never seen to mix in the debauchery and excesses so common to all the volunteers of the rebel camp. Their intelligence was considerable, and to such a pitch had emulation stimulated them in the service, that there was no danger they would not incur in their peculiar duties.

My companion on the present occasion was a little fellow of about thirteen years of age, and small and slight even for that; we knew him as "Peter," but whether he had any other name, or what, I was ignorant. He was wounded by a sabre cut across the hand, which nearly severed the fingers from it, at the bridge of Castlebar, but with a strip of linen bound round it now, he trotted along as happy and careless as if nothing ailed him.

I questioned him as we went, and learned that his father had been a herd in the service of a certain Sir Roger Palmer, and his mother a dairy-maid in the same house; but as the patriots had sacked and burned the "Castle," of course they were now upon the world. He was a good deal shocked at my asking what part his father took on the occasion of the attack, but for a very different reason than that which I suspected.

"For the cause, of course!" replied he, almost indignantly, "why wouldn't he stand up for ould Ireland!"

"And your mother—what did she do?"

He hung down his head, and made no answer till I repeated the question.

"Faix," said he, slowly and sadly, "she went and towld the young ladies what was goin' to be done, and if it hadn't been that the 'boys' caught Tim Hynes, the groom, going off to Foxford with a letter, we'd have had the dragoons down upon us in no time! They hanged Tim, but they let the young ladies away, and my mother with them, and off they all went to Dublin."

"And where's your father now?" I asked.

"He was drowned in the bay of Killala four days ago. He went with a party of others to take oatmeal from a sloop that was wrecked in the bay, and an English cruiser came in at the time and fired on them; at the second discharge the wreck and all upon it went down!"

He told all these things without any touch of sorrow in voice or manner. They seemed to be the ordinary chances of war, and so he took them. He had three brothers and a sister; of the former, two were missing, the third was a scout; and the girl—she was but nine years old—was waiting on a canteen, and mighty handy, he said, for she knew a little French already, and understood the soldiers when they asked for a "goutte," or wanted "du feu" for their pipes.

Such, then, was the credit side of the account with Fortune, and, strange enough, the boy seemed satisfied with it; and although a few days had made him an orphan and houseless, he appeared to feel that the great things in store for his country were an ample recompense for all. Was this, then, patriotism? Was it possible that one, untaught and unlettered as he was, could think national freedom cheap at such a cost? If I thought so for a moment, a very little further inquiry undeceived me. Religious rancor, party feuds, the hate of the Saxon—a blind, ill-directed, unthinking hate—were the motives which actuated him. A terrible retribution for something upon somebody, an awful wiping out of old scores, a reversal of the lot of rich and poor, were the main incentives to his actions, and he was satisfied to stand by at the drawing of this great lottery, even without holding a ticket in it!

It was almost the first moment of calm reflective thought I had enjoyed, as I rode along thus in the quiet stillness of the night, and I own that my heart began to misgive me as to the great benefits of our expedition. I will not conceal the fact, that I had been disappointed in every expectation I had formed of Ireland.

The bleak and barren hills of Mayo, the dreary tracts of mountain and morass, were about as unworthy representatives of the boasted beauty and fertility, as were the half-clad wretches who flocked around us of that warlike people of whom we had heard so much. Where were the chivalrous chieftains with their clans behind them? Where the thousands gathering around a national standard? Where that high-souled patriotism, content to risk fortune, station—all, in the conflict for national independence? A rabble led on by a few reckless debauchees, and two or three disreputable or degraded priests, were our only allies; and even these refused to be guided by our counsels, or swayed by our authority. I half-suspected Serazin was right when he said, "Let the Directory send thirty thousand men, and make it a French province; but let us not fight an enemy to give the victory to the 'sans culottes.'"

As we neared the pass of Burnageeragh, I turned one last look on the town of Castlebar, around which, at little intervals of space, the watch-fires of our pickets were blazing; all the rest of the place was in darkness.

It was a strange and a thrilling thought to think that there, hundreds of miles from their home, without one link that could connect them to it, lay a little army in the midst of an enemy's[Pg 476] country, calm, self-possessed, and determined. How many, thought I, are destined to leave it? How many will bring back to our dear France the memory of this unhappy struggle?


I found a very pleasant party assembled around the Bishop's breakfast-table at Killala. The Bishop and his family were all there, with Charost and his staff, and some three or four other officers from Ballina. Nothing could be less constrained, more easy, or more agreeable, than the tone of intimacy which in a few days had grown up between them. A cordial good feeling seemed to prevail on every subject, and even the reserve, which might be thought natural on the momentous events then happening, was exchanged for a most candid and frank discussion of all that was going forward, which I must own astonished as much as it gratified me.

The march on Castlebar, the choice of the mountain-road, which led past the position occupied by the Royalists, the attack and capture of the artillery, had all to be related by me for the edification of such as were not conversant with French; and I could observe that however discomfited by the conduct of the militia, they fully relied on the regiments of the line and the artillery. It was amusing, too, to see with what pleasure they listened to all our disparagement of the Irish volunteers.

Every instance we gave of insubordination or disobedience delighted them, while our own blundering attempts to manage the people, the absurd mistakes we fell into, and the endless misconceptions of their character and habits, actually convulsed them with laughter.

"Of course," said the Bishop to us, "you are prepared to hear that there is no love lost between you, and that they are to the full as dissatisfied with you as you are dissatisfied with them."

"Why, what can they complain of?" asked Charost, smiling; "we gave them the place of honor in the very last engagement!"

"Very true, you did so, and they reaped all the profit of the situation. Monsieur Tiernay has just told the havoc that grape and round-shot scattered among the poor creatures. However, it is not of this they complain—it is their miserable fare, the raw potatoes, their beds in open fields and highways, while the French, they say, eat of the best and sleep in blankets; they do not understand this inequality, and perhaps it is somewhat hard to comprehend."

"Patriotism ought to be proud of such little sacrifices," said Charost, with an easy laugh; "besides, it is only a passing endurance, a month hence, less, perhaps, will see us dividing the spoils, and reveling in the conquest of Irish independence."

"You think so, Colonel?" asked the Bishop, half slyly.

"Parbleu! to be sure I do, and you?"

"I'm just as sanguine," said the Bishop, "and fancy that about a month hence we shall be talking of all these things as matters of history; and while sorrowing over some of the unavoidable calamities of the event, preserving a grateful memory of some who came as enemies, but left us warm friends."

"If such is to be the turn of fortune," said Charost, with more seriousness than before, "I can only say that the kindly feelings will not be one-sided."

And now the conversation became an animated discussion on the chances of success or failure. Each party supported his opinion ably and eagerly, and with a degree of freedom that was not a little singular to the by-standers. At last, when Charost was fairly answered by the Bishop on every point, he asked:

"But what say you to the Army of the North?"

"Simply, that I do not believe in such a force," rejoined the Bishop.

"Not believe it—not believe on what General Humbert relies at this moment, and to which that officer yonder is an accredited messenger! When I tell you that a most distinguished Irishman, Napper Tandy—"

"Napper Tandy!" repeated the Bishop, with a good-humored smile; "the name is quite enough to relieve one of any fears, if they ever felt them. I am not sufficiently acquainted with your language to give him the epithet he deserves; but if you can conceive an empty, conceited man, as ignorant of war as of politics, rushing into a revolution for the sake of a green uniform, and ready to convulse a kingdom that he may be called a major-general; only enthusiastic in his personal vanity, and wanting even in that heroic daring which occasionally dignifies weak capacities—such is Napper Tandy."

"What in soldier-phrase we call a 'Blaque,'" said Charost, laughing. "I'm sorry for it."

What turn the conversation was about to take I can not guess, when it was suddenly interrupted by one of the Bishop's servants rushing into the room, with a face bloodless from terror. He made his way up to where the Bishop sat, and whispered a few words in his ear.

"And how is the wind blowing, Andrew?" asked the Bishop, in a voice that all his self-command could not completely steady.

"From the north, or the northwest, and mighty strong, too, my Lord," said the man, who trembled in every limb.

The affrighted aspect of the messenger, the excited expression of the Bishop's face, and the question as to the "wind," at once suggested to me the idea that a French fleet had arrived in the bay, and that the awful tidings were neither more nor less than the announcement of our reinforcement.

"From the northwest," repeated the Bishop; "then, with God's blessing, we may be spared." And so saying, he arose from the table, and with an effort that showed that the strength to do so had only just returned to him. "Colonel[Pg 477] Charost, a word with you!" said he, leading the way into an adjoining room.

"What is it?—what has happened?—what can it be?" was asked by each in turn. And now groups gathered at the windows, which all looked into the court of the building, which was now crowded with people, soldiers, servants, and country-folk, gazing earnestly toward the roof of the castle.

"What's the matter, Terry?" asked one of the Bishop's sons, as he threw open the window.

"'Tis the chimbley on fire, Master Robert," said the man; "the kitchen chimbly, wid those divils of Frinch!"

I can not describe the burst of laughter that followed the explanation!

So much terror for so small a catastrophe was inconceivable; and whether we thought of Andrew's horrified face, or the worthy Bishop's pious thanksgiving as to the direction of the wind, we could scarcely refrain from another outbreak of mirth. Colonel Charost made his appearance at the instant, and although his step was hurried, and his look severe, there was nothing of agitation or alarm on his features.

"Turn out the guard, Truchet, without arms," said he. "Come with me, Tiernay—an awkward business enough," whispered he, as he led me along. "These fellows have set fire to the kitchen chimney, and we have three hundred barrels of gunpowder in the cave!" Nothing could be more easy and unaffected than the way he spoke this; and I actually stared at him, to see if his coldness was a mere pretense; but far from it—every gesture and every word showed the most perfect self-possession, with a prompt readiness for action.

When we reached the court, the bustle and confusion had reached its highest; for, as the wind lulled, large masses of inky smoke hung, like a canopy, over head, through which a forked flame darted at intervals, with that peculiar furnace-like roar that accompanies a jet of fire in confined places. At times, too, as the soot ignited, great showers of bright sparks floated upward, and afterward fell, like a fiery rain, on every side. The country people, who had flocked in from the neighborhood, were entirely occupied with these signs, and only intent upon saving the remainder of the house, which they believed in great peril, totally unaware of the greater and more imminent danger close beside them.

Already they had placed ladders against the walls, and, with ropes and buckets, were preparing to ascend, when Truchet marched in with his company, in fatigue-jackets, twenty sappers with shovels accompanying them.

"Clear the court-yard, now," said Charost, "and leave this matter to us."

The order was obeyed somewhat reluctantly, it is true, and at last we stood the sole occupants of the spot, the Bishop being the only civilian present, he having refused to quit the spot, unless compelled by force.

The powder was stored in a long shed adjoining the stables, and originally used as a shelter for farming tools and utensils. A few tarpaulins we had carried with us from the ships were spread over the barrels, and on this now some sparks of fire had fallen, as the burning soot had been carried in by an eddy of wind.

The first order was, to deluge the tarpaulins with water; and while this was being done, the sappers were ordered to dig trenches in the garden, to receive the barrels. Every man knew the terrible peril so near him; each felt that at any instant a frightful death might overtake him, and yet every detail of the duty was carried on with the coldest unconcern; and when at last the time came to carry away the barrels, on a species of handbarrow, the fellows stepped in time, as if on the march, and moved in measure, a degree of indifference, which, to judge from the good Bishop's countenance, evidently inspired as many anxieties for their spiritual welfare, as it suggested astonishment and admiration for their courage. He himself, it must be owned, displayed no sign of trepidation; and in the few words he spoke, or the hints he dropped, exhibited every quality of a brave man.

At moments the peril seemed very imminent indeed. Some timber having caught fire, slender fragments of burning wood fell in masses, covering the men as they went, and falling on the barrels, whence the soldiers brushed them off with cool indifference. The dense, thick smoke, too, obscuring every object a few paces distant, added to the confusion, and occasionally bringing the going and returning parties into collision, a loud shout, or cry, would ensue; and it is difficult to conceive how such a sound thrilled through the heart at such a time. I own that more than once I felt a choking fullness in the throat, as I heard a sudden yell, it seemed so like a signal for destruction. In removing one of the last barrels from the hand-barrow, it slipped, and falling to the ground, the hoops gave way, it burst open, and the powder fell out on every side. The moment was critical, for the wind was baffling, now wafting the sparks clear away, now whirling them in eddies around us. It was then that an old sergeant of Grenadiers threw off his upper coat and spread it over the broken cask, while, with all the composure of a man about to rest himself, he lay down on it, while his comrades went to fetch water. Of course his peril was no greater than that of every one around him; but there was an air of quick determination in his act which showed the training of an old soldier. At length the labor was ended, the last barrel was committed to the earth, and the men, formed into line, were ordered to wheel and march. Never shall I forget the Bishop's face as they moved past. The undersized and youthful look of our soldiers had acquired for them a kind of depreciating estimate in comparison with the more mature and manly stature of the British soldier, to whom, indeed, they offered a strong contrast on parade; but now, as they were seen[Pg 478] in a moment of arduous duty, surrounded by danger, the steadiness and courage, the prompt obedience to every command, the alacrity of their movements, and the fearless intrepidity with which they performed every act, impressed the worthy Bishop so forcibly, that he muttered half aloud, "Thank heaven there are but few of them!"

Colonel Charost resisted steadily the Bishop's proffer to afford the men some refreshment; he would not even admit of an extra allowance of brandy to their messes. "If we become too liberal for slight services, we shall never be able to reward real ones," was his answer; and the Bishop was reduced to the expedient of commemorating what he could not reward. This, indeed, he did with the most unqualified praise, relating in the drawing-room all that he had witnessed, and lauding French valor and heroism to the very highest.

The better to conceal my route, and to avoid the chances of being tracked, I sailed that evening in a fishing-boat for Killybegs, a small harbor on the coast of Donegal, having previously exchanged my uniform for the dress of a sailor, so that if apprehended I should pretend to be an Ostend or Antwerp seaman, washed overboard in a gale at sea. Fortunately for me I was not called on to perform this part, for as my nautical experiences were of the very slightest, I should have made a deplorable attempt at the impersonation. Assuredly the fishermen of the smack would not have been among the number of the "imposed upon," for a more sea-sick wretch never masqueraded in a blue jacket than I was.

My only clew, when I touched land, was a certain Father Doogan, who lived at the foot of the Bluerock Mountains, about fifteen miles from the coast, and to whom I brought a few lines from one of the Irish officers, a certain Bourke of Ballina. The road led in this direction, and so little intercourse had the shore folk with the interior, that it was with difficulty any one could be found to act as a guide thither. At last an old fellow was discovered, who used to travel these mountains formerly with smuggled tobacco and tea; and although, from the discontinuance of the smuggling trade, and increased age, he had for some years abandoned the line of business, a liberal offer of payment induced him to accompany me as guide.

It was not without great misgivings that I looked at the very old and almost decrepit creature, who was to be my companion through a solitary mountain region.

The few stairs he had to mount in the little inn where I put up seemed a sore trial to his strength and chest; but he assured me that once out of the smoke of the town, and with his foot on the "short grass of the sheep-patch," he'd be like a four-year-old; and his neighbor having corroborated the assertion, I was fain to believe him.

Determined, however, to make his excursion subservient to profit in his old vocation, he provided himself with some pounds of tobacco and a little parcel of silk handkerchiefs, to dispose of among the country people, with which, and a little bag of meal slung at his back, and a walking-stick in his hand, he presented himself at my door just as day was breaking.

"We'll have a wet day, I fear, Jerry." said I, looking out.

"Not a bit of it," replied he. "'Tis the spring tides makes it cloudy there beyant; but when the sun gets up it will be a fine mornin'; but I'm thinkin' ye'r strange in them parts;" and this he said with a keen sharp glance under his eyes.

"Donegal is new to me, I confess," said I guardedly.

"Yes, and the rest of Ireland, too," said he, with a roguish leer. "But come along, we've a good step before us;" and with these words he led the way down the stairs, holding the balustrade as he went, and exhibiting every sign of age and weakness. Once in the street however he stepped out more freely, and before we got clear of the town, walked at a fair pace, and, to all seeming, with perfect ease.

(To be continued.)


There is a by-street, called the Pallant, in an old cathedral city—a narrow carriage-way, which leads to half a dozen antique mansions. A great number of years ago, when I began to shave, the presence of a very fascinating girl induced me to make frequent calls upon an old friend of our family who lived in one of the oldest of these houses, a plain, large building of red brick. The father, and the grandfather, and a series of great-great-great and other grandfathers of the then occupant, Sir Francis Holyoke, had lived and died beneath its roof. So much I knew; and I had inkling of a legend in connection with the place, a very horrible affair. How and when I heard the story fully told, I have good reason to remember.

We were in the great dark wainscoted parlor one December evening; papa was out. I sat with Margaret by the fire-side, and saw in the embers visions of what might come to pass, but never did. Ellen was playing at her harpsichord in a dark corner of the room, singing a quaint and cheerful duet out of Grétry's Cœur de Lion with my old school-fellow, Paul Owen, a sentimental youth, who became afterward a martyr to the gout, and broke his neck at a great steeple-chase. "The God of Love a bandeau wears," those two were singing. Truly, they had their own eyes filleted. The fire-light glow, when it occasionally flickered on the cheek over which Paul was bending, could not raise the semblance of young health upon its shining whiteness. That beautiful white hand was fallen into dust before Paul Owen had half earned the wedding-ring that should encircle it.

"Thanks to you, sister—thanks, too, to Grétry for a pleasant ditty. Now, don't let us have candles. Shall we have ghost stories?"

"What! in a haunted house?"

"The very thing," cried Paul; "let us have[Pg 479] all the story of the Ghost of Holyoke. I never heard it properly."

Ellen was busy at her harpsichord again, with fragments from a Stabat Mater. Not Rossini's luscious lamentation, but the deep pathos of that Italian, who in days past "mœrebat et dolebat," who moved the people with his master-piece, and was stabbed to death by a rival at the cathedral door.

"Why, Ellen, you look as if you feared the ghosts."

"No, no," she said; "we know it is an idle tale. Go to the fire, Paul, and I will keep you solemn with the harpsichord, in order that you may not laugh while Margaret is telling it."

"Well, then," began Margaret, "of course this story is all nonsense."

"Of course it is," said I.

"Of course it is," said Paul.

Ellen continued playing.

"I mean," said Margaret, "that really and truly no part of it can possibly be any thing but fiction. Papa, you know, is a great genealogist, and he says that our ancestor, Godfrey of Holyoke, died in the Holy Land, and had two sons, but never had a daughter. Some old nurse made the tale that he died here, in the house, and had a daughter Ellen. This daughter Ellen, says the tale, was sought in marriage by a young knight who won her good-will, but could not get her father's. That Ellen—very much unlike our gentle, timid sister in the corner there—was proud and willful. She and her father quarreled. His health failed, because, the story hints mysteriously, she put a slow and subtle poison into his after-supper cup night after night. One evening they quarreled violently, and the next morning Sir Godfrey was gone. His daughter said that he had left the house in anger with her. The tale, determined to be horrible, says that she poisoned him outright, and with her own hands buried him in an old cellar under this room. That cellar-door is fastened with a padlock, to which there is no key remaining. Not being wanted, it has not been opened probably for scores of years."


"Well—in a year or two the daughter married, and in time had children scampering about this house. But her health failed. The children fell ill, and, excepting one or two, all died. One night—"


"One night she lay awake through care; and in the middle of the night a figure like her father came into the room, holding a cup like that from which he used to drink after his supper. It moved inaudibly to where she lay, placed the cup to her lips; a chill came over her. The figure passed away, but in a few minutes she heard the shutting of the cellar-door. After that she was often kept awake by dread, and often saw that she was visited. She heard the cellar-door creak on its hinge, and knew it was her father coming. Once she watched all night by the sick-bed of her eldest child; the goblin came, and put the cup to her child's lips; she knew then that her children who were dead, and she herself who was dying, and that child of hers, had tasted of her father's poison. She died young. And ever since that time, the legend says, Sir Godfrey walks at night, and puts his fatal goblet to the lips of his descendants, of the children and children's children of his cruel child. It is quite true that sickliness and death occur more frequently among those who inhabit this house than is to be easily accounted for. So story-tellers have accounted for it, as you see. But it is certain that Sir Godfrey fell in Palestine, and had no daughter."

Ellen continued playing with her face bowed down over the harpsichord. Margaret, a healthy cheerful girl, had lived generally with an old aunt in the south of England. But the two girls wore mourning. In the flower of her years their mother had departed from them, after long lingering in broken health. The bandeau seemed to have been unrolled from poor Paul's eyes, for, after a long pause, which had been filled by Ellen's music, he said:

"Ellen, did you ever see Sir Godfrey?"

She left her harpsichord and came to him, and leaning down over his shoulder, kissed him.

Was she thinking of the sorrow that would come upon him soon?

The sudden closing of a heavy door startled us all. But a loud jovial voice restored our spirits. Sir Francis had come in from his afternoon walk and gossip, and was clamoring for tea.

"Why, boys and girls, all in the dark! What mischief are you after?"

"Laughing at the Holyoke Ghost, papa," said Margaret.

"Laughing, indeed; you look as if you had been drinking with him. Silly tale! silly tale! Look at me, I'm hale and hearty. Why don't Sir Godfrey tackle me? I'd like a draught out of his flagon."

A door below us creaked upon its hinges. Ellen shrank back visibly alarmed.

"You silly butterfly," Sir Francis cried, "it's Thomas coming up out of the kitchen with the candles you left me to order. Tea, girls, tea!"

Sir Francis, a stout, warm-faced, and warm-hearted gentleman, kept us amused through the remainder of that evening. My business the next day called me to London, from whence I sailed in a few days for Valparaiso. While abroad, I heard of Ellen's death. On my return to England, I went immediately to the old cathedral city, where I had many friends. There I was shocked to hear that Sir Francis himself had died of apoplexy, and that Margaret, the sole heir and survivor, had gone back, with her health injured, to live with her aunt in the south of England. The dear old house, ghost and all, had been To Let, and had been taken by a school-mistress. It was now "Holyoke House Seminary for Young Ladies."

The school had succeeded through the talent of its mistress; but although she was not a lady[Pg 480] of the stocks and backboard school, the sickliness among her pupils had been very noticeable. Scarlet fever, too, had got among them, of which three had died. The school had become in consequence almost deserted, and the lady who had occupied the house was on the point of quitting. Surely, I thought, if this be Sir Godfrey's work, he is as relentless an old goblin as can be imagined.

For private reasons of my own, I traveled south. Margaret bloomed again; as for her aunt, she was a peony in fullest flower. She had a breezy house by the sea-side, abominated dirt and spiders, and, before we had been five minutes together, abused me for having lavender-water upon my handkerchief. She hated smells, it seemed; she carried her antipathy so far as to throw a bouquet out of the window which I had been putting together with great patience and pains for Margaret.

We talked of the old house at ——.

"I tell you what it is, Peggy," she said, "if ever you marry, ghost or no ghost, you're the heir of the Holyokes, and in the old house you shall live. As soon as Miss Williams has quitted, I'll put on my bonnet and run across with you into the north."

And so she did. We stalked together into the desolate old house. It echoed our tread dismally.

"Peggy," said aunt Anne with her eyes quite fixed, "Peggy, I smell a smell. Let's go down stairs." We went into the kitchen.

"Peggy," the old lady said, "it's very bad. I think it's Sir Godfrey."

"O aunt!" said Margaret, laughing; "he died in Palestine, and is dust long ago."

"I'm sure it's Sir Godfrey," said aunt Anne. "You fellow," to me, "just take the bar belonging to that window-shutter, and come along with me. Peggy, show us Sir Godfrey's cellar."

Margaret changed color. "What," said the old lady, "flinch at a ghost you don't believe in! I'm not afraid, see; yet I'm sure Sir Godfrey's in the cellar. Come along."

We came and stood before the mysterious door with its enormous padlock. "I smell the ghost distinctly," said aunt Anne.

Margaret did not know ghosts had a smell.

"Break the door open, you chap." I battered with the bar, the oaken planks were rotten and soon fell apart—some fell into the cellar with a plash. There was a foul smell. A dark cellar had a very little daylight let into it—we could just see the floor covered with filth, in which some of the planks had sunk and disappeared.

"There," said the old lady, "there's the stuff your ghost had in his cup. There's your Sir Godfrey who poisons sleepers, and cuts off your children and your girls. Bah! We'll set to work, Peggy; it's clear your ancestors knew or cared nothing about drainage. We'll have the house drained properly, and that will be the death of the goblin."

So it was, as our six children can testify.


The following sketch of his life was given to me by the subject of it, while living as M. Hippolyte in a retired quarter of Paris, and procuring a subsistence by following the profession of a baker:

"My name is Palamede de Tour la Roche. I was the third son of the Duc de Tour la Roche, who, with his wife, eldest son, and daughter, perished in the Revolution in '93. The earliest thing I remember was living in the Hôtel Tour la Roche in great luxury and splendor—'the curled darling' of my beautiful mother, and the spoiled pet and plaything of all the house and all the company who came to it. My youth took no heed of passing events; but one evening our hôtel was attacked, and from that day to this I saw no more of my father and brothers—but my mother and sister continued to live as before, only they were now continually weeping, clasping me to their bosoms in passionate fondness, and never going out of the great gates. Every thing was changed: we had no longer any servants except an old woman, her daughter, and a lame son, with whom I played in the garden, undisturbed by the cries which reached us there, because I attached no ideas that I can remember to them, and I was told not to be frightened, for it was only wicked, drunken people shouting. When I inquired after my papa, and Henri, and Philippe—they were called unexpectedly to England, and would be back again one of these days, was the answer, which contented me. Although full eleven years old, my mind had been kept so much under, and I had lived so entirely in the perfumed atmosphere of the drawing-room—where, being little of my age, people forgot it, and made a plaything of me—that many a boy of seven or eight knew more of the world than I did.

"One night, after being some time in bed, I was awakened by a terrible noise in the house, and loud voices, and lights glancing in the court. I felt greatly frightened, but did not dare to move; in a little time it ceased entirely, and, childlike, I again sunk to slumber. I lay awake long next morning. I remember singing to myself, and wondering why old Marotte did not, as usual, come to dress me; so at last I got up and went into my mother's room. Every thing there was in disorder, and neither mother, sister, nor servant to be seen. I cried bitterly, and ran from room to room, searching in every corner in vain. All was silent. My passionate cries of 'Maman! Maman! Louise! Louise!' remained unanswered; and the doors were fastened or locked, all but the one which led out of a small chamber into the garden, that had probably been overlooked. At last they opened, and such a rabble came pouring in, that I was frightened to death, and could scarcely make use of my trembling limbs to convey me to the garden, where I crept into a very thick bush, and remained happily unseen. There I sat, I suppose,[Pg 481] for hours: I heard sounds of revelry, of quarreling, and breaking, and gun-firing; saw furniture thrown out of the windows—furniture I knew so well! and people with bloody hands and faces standing at them. I think I must have fainted. When I recovered my senses, however, it was getting quite dusk; so, when the coast was pretty clear, I stole out into the street, and wandering away toward the Champs Elysées, lay down under a tree, and slept—forgetting grief, terror, hunger, and cold, in the dreamless sleep of innocent childhood—the last I was ever to know—for the scenes that I witnessed the day following 'my early bloom of heart destroyed.' When I stood up, and saw where I was, and the events of the preceding evening crowded to my confused mind, a sort of madness, I suppose, seized me; I thought I was in my little gilded bed in my own alcove at home, and was dreaming a frightful dream, not uncommon to children who have been indulging in pastry or rich dishes. I therefore quietly turned my steps toward the hôtel, expecting there to find things as usual. I can scarcely tell what images passed through my brain, but the full horror of my helpless situation did not break upon me until I found myself before the well-known porte cochère, which was shut. Then I knew it was no dream, and that all was real; and from that hour to this I have never entered my father's house—never even seen him, my brothers, my sister: my mother I saw once more—on the scaffold!"

Here the poor old man, whose voice had faltered two or three times, stopped and sobbed audibly.

"Pray," said I, "do not go on, my dear Monsieur de Tour la Roche."

"Do not call me by that dear name: I can not bear it. No; I called myself Hippolyte after one of our footmen: I could not bear to hear the name my darling mother addressed me by profaned by the lips that surrounded me afterward. But to proceed—"

"Oh no; pray spare yourself."

"On the contrary, it is a relief to my long-pent-up grief: I had for some time lived in the streets, subsisting upon chance; and I was standing on a heap of rubbish, just where the corner-house on the left-hand side of the Rue Royale now stands, looking at the guillotine doing its dreadful work. A man, a woman mounted, and their heads fell; two other women, coarsely attired, stood waiting; one turned—Oh God! it was my mother!—my gentle, timid, kind, darling mother! Timid and gentle no longer, she looked calm and cold, moved resolutely, looking for one moment up to Heaven, and said words I would now give my life-blood to hear. My blood curdled, my heart stopped, as I heard the rattle and clap of the descending guillotine. 'Maman! maman!' I shrieked. It was over! 'Encore une autre!' shouted a fierce man beside me. 'Maman! maman!' 'Wring the neck of that little aristocrat!' cried the mob. The man advanced, as I hoped, to kill me at once, but he only grasped me fast, saying, 'No, I shall take him home, pour le tuer à mon aise.' Death I wished for; but torture!—I fainted; and when I came to myself I was in an unfrequented street, still tightly held by the man. 'Don't be afraid, my child—I shan't hurt you; but never, as you value your life, whisper your name; if you do—here he swore a terrific oath—I will kill you cruelly. Now come with me. You shall sleep with mon petit Pierre: call yourself Achille, Hercule, Hippolyte—what you please, if not your own name.' Hippolyte, then, and Hippolyte I have been ever since—Jean Hippolyte, when I signed my name. The house he carried me to was wretched, dark, and dirty; the food given coarse, but plentiful; and here I groveled, moody, and nearly mad, for more than a year, wandering through the streets idle and in rags, seldom speaking, unless forced, lest I should inadvertently betray myself. At last this man, whose name was Jean Leroux, told me he had obtained employment for both Pierre and me in a boulangerie. We were clothed somewhat more decently, and sent about with bread to different parts of the neighborhood, and employed in various little ways at first, sweeping out the shop, ovens, &c.; but by degrees we made progress. As I could both read and write, which Pierre could not do, and he was also naturally a slow, indolent boy, I was preferred before him; but he was not ill-natured, and bore me no malice. I grew up healthy enough, and tall; got forward at my trade, and soon made money. I served also seven years under the Emperor, and brought away, besides my laurels, two trifling wounds. Upon my return, still keeping my secret, which, however, there was now no longer danger in discovering, I commenced a search for my elder brother Philippe, of whose death I have never heard; but without success; although I ascertained that my father and Henri had been guillotined, and that my poor sister had been massacred in the streets. I recommenced my former business, and worked early and late to make enough to enable me to live in peace and seclusion, waiting anxiously, but I hope patiently, until He who in his wisdom has thought fit to afflict me, shall take me to those realms where all tears shall be wiped from our eyes. I built this house back from those which line the street: passages and kitchens look into the courts; but I never go near those parts except at an early hour to mass. I live in my garden, and with my books. Monsieur Butterini—who never assumed the title his wife is so proud of, although he had an undoubted right to bear it, poor man—married the daughter of the person at whose house he lodged before taking up his abode in mine, as a matter of economy, for she saved him a seamstress, a nurse, and a servant. She is vain, weak, and vulgar, as you see, but has ever been correct in her conduct, attentive to him while he lived, as she now is to me, in return for my allowing her to retain two of the rooms she before occupied,[Pg 482] money enough to dress upon in the mean time, and a small annuity when I die. The people whom I occasionally entertain, and to whom I shall leave the little wealth I possess, are the families of Jean Leroux's children, and those of my first master; but I feel still, as I have ever felt, that I am of noble birth. When my will is read, all will then know that a De Tour la Roche has baked their bread, but not until then. It has been a great relief to my mind to tell all this to you, madame; and if Philippe or his descendants should be in England, promise that you will seek them out, and speak to them of me, and perhaps even yet some of my own blood will pray over my grave!"

I was deeply impressed by this melancholy history; and afterward spent many an hour with the old man in his garden, where he always welcomed me with a smile, and talked unreservedly, sometimes even cheerfully. He lived several years afterward, but last winter died of bronchitis. Many know parts of this story now, and I see no reason why I should not relate the sad tale as he himself told it to me. Some worldly-wise people may ask why he did not take his own proper title, and move in his proper sphere, when he could do so; but I can very easily comprehend his feelings. His heart was almost broken; he took no pleasure in this world, nor in the things of this world, except those by which he could "look up through nature unto nature's God." What were the vanities of life to him? Obtaining his estate and title—the first of which would have been difficult, if not impossible—would only have hindered his desire of leading the life of calm, unpretending seclusion which pleased him best; and, besides this, he was impressed with the idea that Philippe, who was the rightful Duc de Tour la Roche, or his children, were in existence somewhere. He was in no want of money, having made by his own exertions more than enough for his moderate requirements: no, nor of the world's respect. All respected him for his integrity and charity; and his air and manner in themselves were sufficient to impress those who came in contact with him, even while they knew he was but a retired tradesman. I can understand it all perfectly. Some of those who chance to read this paper may possibly have seen his tomb at Père la Chaise: but they will not find the name of Tour la Roche, for that of course is fictitious.


Ten or twelve years ago, there was, in the prison at Brest, a man sentenced for life to the galleys. I do not know the exact nature of his crime, but it was something very atrocious. I never heard, either, what his former condition of life had been; for even his name had passed into oblivion, and he was recognized only by a number. Although his features were naturally well formed, their expression was horrible: every dark and evil passion seemed to have left its impress there; and his character fully corresponded to its outward indications. Mutinous, gloomy, and revengeful, he had often hazarded his life in desperate attempts to escape, which hitherto had proved abortive. Once, during winter, he succeeded in gaining the fields, and supported, for several days, the extremity of cold and hunger. He was found, at length, half frozen and insensible under a tree, and brought back to prison, where, with difficulty, he was restored to life. The ward-master watched him more closely, and punished him more severely by far, than the other prisoners, while a double chain was added to his heavy fetters. Several times he attempted suicide, but failed, through the vigilance of his guards. The only results of his experiments in this line were an asthma, caused by a nail which he hammered into his chest, and the loss of an arm, which he fractured in leaping off a high wall. After suffering amputation, and a six months' sojourn in the hospital, he returned to his hopeless life-long task-work.

One day this man's fierce humor seemed softened. After the hours of labor, he seated himself, with the companion in misery to whom he was chained, in a corner of the court; and his repulsive countenance assumed a mild expression. Words of tenderness were uttered by the lips which heretofore had opened only to blaspheme; and with his head bent down, he watched some object concealed in his bosom.

The guards looked at him with disquietude, believing he had some weapon hidden within his clothes; and two of them approaching him stealthily from behind, seized him roughly, and began to search him before he could make any resistance. Finding himself completely in their power, the convict exclaimed: "Oh, don't kill him! Pray, don't kill him!"

As he spoke, one of the guards had gained possession of a large rat, which the felon had kept next his bosom.

"Don't kill him!" he repeated. "Beat me, chain me; do what you like with me; but don't hurt my poor rat! Don't squeeze him so between your fingers! If you will not give him back to me, let him go free!"—And while he spoke, for the first time, probably, since his childhood, tears filled his eyes, and ran down his cheeks.

Rough and hardened men as were the guards, they could not listen to the convict, and see his tears, without some feeling of compassion. He who was about to strangle the rat, opened his fingers and let it fall to the ground. The terrified animal fled with the speed peculiar to its species, and disappeared behind a pile of beams and rubbish.

The felon wiped away his tears, looked anxiously after the rat, and scarcely breathed until he had seen it out of danger. Then he rose, and silently, with the old savage look, followed his companion in bonds, and lay down with him on their iron bedstead, where a ring and chain fastened them to a massive bar of the same metal.

[Pg 483]

Next morning, on his way to work, the convict, whose pale face showed that he had passed a sleepless night, cast an anxious, troubled glance toward the pile of wood, and gave a low, peculiar call, to which nothing replied. One of his comrades uttered some harmless jest on the loss of his favorite; and the reply was a furious blow, which felled the speaker, and drew down on the offender a severe chastisement from the task-master.

Arrived at the place of labor, he worked with a sort of feverish ardor, as though trying to give vent to his pent-up emotion; and, while stooping over a large beam, which he and some others were trying to raise, he felt something gently tickle his cheek. He turned round, and gave a shout of joy. There, on his shoulder, was the only friend he had in the world—his rat!—who, with marvelous instinct, had found him out, and crept gently up to his face. He took the animal in his hands, covered it with kisses, placed it within his nest, and then, addressing the head jailer, who happened to pass by at the moment, he said:

"Sir, if you will allow me to keep this rat, I will solemnly promise to submit to you in every thing, and never again to incur punishment."

The ruler gave a sign of acquiescence, and passed on. The convict opened his shirt, to give one more fond look at his faithful pet, and then contentedly resumed his labor.

That which neither threats nor imprisonment, the scourge nor the chain, could effect, was accomplished, and rapidly, by the influence of love, though its object was one of the most despised among animals. From the moment when the formidable convict was permitted to cherish his pet night and day in his bosom, he became the most tractable and well-conducted man in the prison. His Herculean strength, and his moral energy, were both employed to assist the governors in maintaining peace and subordination. Fine-Ear, so he called his rat, was the object of his unceasing tenderness. He fed it before he tasted each meal, and would rather fast entirely than allow it to be hungry. He spent his brief hours of respite from toil in making various little fancy articles, which he sold, in order to procure dainties which Fine Ear liked—gingerbread and sugar, for example. Often, during the period of toil, the convict would smile with delight when his little friend, creeping from its nestling place, would rub its soft fur against his cheek. But when, on a fine sunshiny day, the rat took up his position on the ground, smoothed his coat, combed his long mustaches with his sharp nails, and dressed his long ears with his delicate paws, his master would testify the utmost delight, and exchange tender glances with the black, roguish eyes of Master Fine-Ear.

The latter, confiding in his patron's care and protection, went, came, sported, or stood still, certain that no one would injure him; for to touch a hair of the rat's whisker would be to incur a terrible penalty. One day, for having thrown a pebble at him, a prisoner was forced to spend a week in hospital, ere he recovered the effects of a blow bestowed on him by Fine-Ear's master.

The animal soon learned to know the sound of the dinner-bell, and jumped with delight on the convict when he heard the welcome summons.

Four years passed on in this manner, when one day poor Fine-Ear was attacked by a cat, which had found her way into the workshop, and received several deep wounds before his master, flying to the rescue, seized the feline foe, and actually tore her to pieces.

The recovery of the rat was tedious. During the next month the convict was occupied in dressing his wounds. It was strange, the interest which every one connected with the prison took in Fine-Ear's misfortune. Not only did the guards and turnkeys speak of it as the topic of the day, but the hospital nurses furnished plasters and bandages for the wounds; and even the surgeon condescended to prescribe for him.

At length the animal recovered his strength and gayety, save that one of his hind paws dragged a little, and the cicatrice still disfigured his shin. He was more tame and affectionate than ever, but the sight of a cat was sufficient to throw his master into a paroxysm of rage, and, running after the unlucky puss, he would, if possible, catch and destroy her.

A great pleasure was in store for the convict. Thanks to his good conduct during the past four years, his sentence of imprisonment for life had been commuted into twenty years, in which were to be included the fifteen already spent in prison.

"Thank God!" he cried, "under His mercy it is to Fine-Ear I owe this happiness!" and he kissed the animal with transport. Five years still remained to be passed in toilsome imprisonment, but they were cut short in an unlooked-for manner.

One day, a mutinous party of felons succeeded in seizing a turnkey, and having shut him up with themselves in one of the dormitories, they threatened to put him to death if all their demands were not instantly complied with, and a full amnesty granted for this revolt.

Fine-Ear's master, who had taken no part in the uproar, stood silently behind the officials and the soldiers, who were ready to fire on the insurgents. Just as the attack was about to commence, he approached the chief superintendent, and said a few words to him in a low voice.

"I accept your offer," replied the governor: "remember, you risk your life; but if you succeed, I pledge my word that you shall be strongly recommended to the government for unconditional pardon, this very night."

The convict drew forth Fine-Ear from his bosom, kissed him several times, and then placing him within the vest of a young fellow-prisoner[Pg 484] with whom the rat was already familiar, he said, in a broken voice:

"If I do not return, be kind to him, and love him as I have loved him."

Then, having armed himself with an enormous bar of iron, he marched with a determined step to the dormitory, without regarding the missiles which the rebels hurled at his head. With a few blows of his bar, he made the door fly open, and darting into the room, he over-turned those who opposed his entrance, threw down his weapon, and seizing the turnkey, put him, or rather flung him, out safe and sound into the passage.

While in the act of covering the man's escape from the infuriated convicts, he suddenly fell to the ground, bathed in blood. One of the wretches had lifted the iron bar and struck down with it his heroic comrade.

He was carried dying to the hospital, and, ere he breathed his last, he uttered one word—it was "Fine-Ear!"

Must I tell it? the rat appeared restless and unhappy for a few days, but he soon forgot his master, and began to testify the same affection for his new owner that he had formerly shown to him who was dead.

Fine-Ear still lives, fat, and sleek, and strong; indeed, he no longer fears his feline enemies, and has actually succeeded in killing a full-grown cat and three kittens. But he no longer remembers the dead, nor regards the sound of his master's number, which formerly used to make him prick up his ears and run from one end of the court to the other.

Does it only prove that rats, as well as men, may be ungrateful? Or is it a little illustration of the wise and merciful arrangement, that the world must go on, die who will?

[From Colburn's United Service Magazine.]


In the provinces of the Argentine confederation, as well as throughout the whole of South America, the population is divided into two distinct families; the city and the country. The inhabitants of the cities—issues of the Spanish colonization—are, as it were, intimately blended with the foreign element, which they seem to represent; the inhabitants of the country, on the other hand, constitute the indigenous element, with all the customs of primitive life. Until the accession to power of General Rosas, who from the first had especially applied himself to the task of incorporating these two distinct races under one general head, by taming down the half savage nature of the country party, this strongly marked separation between the two castes, had been the principal cause of the numerous revolutions which had hitherto distracted and laid waste the country. This fusion, it must be allowed, was a difficult task to perform: and though not yet perfectly accomplished, it is, nevertheless, easily recognizable in the province of Buenos Ayres; above all, in that portion of it which lies round the capital.

The inhabitant of the country, who is styled a Gaucho, is, as it were, an isolated being on the face of creation; for in vain do we seek his counterpart either in the deserts of Asia, or in the sands of Africa. The provinces of the Argentine Confederation may almost be termed deserts; since, over the entire face of a territory equal in extent to the whole of France, is scattered a population numbering but 800,000 souls. In these vast and almost deserted plains, there are no cities to be found, but merely estancias—a species of solitary farms planted amid immense solitudes. Alone, among his peons (or daily laborers) Gauchos like himself, the estancier lives as absolute master, without desires, without industry, without agricultural labor. His sole occupation consists in branding, and, when the proper time shall come, in slaughtering the cattle, which form his entire wealth. The Gaucho exists on meat and water only; the use of bread, vegetables, fruits, or spirituous liquors being unknown to him. As for his outward apparel, he rudely manufactures it out of the hides of oxen, or the fleeces of the sheep; a few sticks, and three or four ox hides, suffice for the construction of his tent, when he sojourns for any length of time in one spot; for ordinarily, he sleeps in the open air, enveloped in his poncho. His simple, but formidable arms, are reduced to the lasso, and the bolas, and to a large knife, which he wears stuck into his waist-belt. The Gaucho remains for weeks and months entire, without perceiving the face of a human being; passing his time in wandering amid the innumerable flocks and herds which cover the plains.

Whenever he feels the calls of hunger, he springs on horseback, pursues a bull, lassoes it, slaughters it, and out of the still palpitating flesh cuts the piece he prefers; rarely does he take the trouble to have it cooked, but contents himself before devouring his steak, with softening it, by leaving it for a while under his saddle.

It may easily be understood how completely this wild and solitary existence tends to destroy in the breast of the Gaucho every social sentiment; and what profound hatred he must nourish against the inhabitant of the city, who knows how to enjoy all the blessings of civilization, and derive profit from the produce of his rude and toilsome trade.

In the same ratio as the Gaucho has held himself aloof from all social progress, has the inhabitant of the city eagerly met it half-way. In the dwelling of the latter, thanks to the activity of commerce, which pours forth in profusion all its riches into the lap of its votary, we find not only all our European comforts, but even our tastes, in science, literature, and the arts. But, as we have said before, the causes of the separation of the two races are beginning to disappear; and taking into consideration the ever active and increasing stride of European[Pg 485] civilization, we may safely presume that in a very few years, there will remain scarcely a trace of the former strongly marked difference.

Throughout the entire province of Buenos Ayres, the country is completely naked, a dense grass alone covers the plains, which are watered by numerous rivulets, that wind through the vast prairies; the country is almost a perfect level, and the soil of which it is composed, though still virgin of all implements of husbandry, of an extraordinary degree of fertility; it is indeed with difficulty that we can discover in the environs of the city, a few gardens where it has been even turned.

The city of Buenos Ayres has been constructed upon an uniform plan; it is divided into suadres, which intersect each other at right angles. The houses are composed simply of a ground floor; they are painted entirely white, and have a very neat and pleasing aspect. Buenos Ayres is now very thickly peopled; its inhabitants numbering more than a hundred thousand souls; it would appear, also, to be in a highly flourishing condition, as regards its commerce, for in the course of last year, upward of three hundred European ships entered its harbor, bearing merchandise from almost every quarter of the world.

John Manuel Ortes de Rosas, the sovereign dictator of the republic, personifies the country party, and is, according to his own account at least, the descendant of an old and noble Spanish family, which, in the time of the conquest, emigrated to South America; what is indisputable, is, that he is a Gaucho. At the period when the first troubles broke out in the country, he was proprietor of a considerable estancia; which, by his skill and perseverance, he had been able to render a model establishment. Rosas had been endowed by nature with all the talents and virtues of the most finished Gaucho; there was not an inhabitant of the plain who could tame a wild horse like him, or handle with more skill and dexterity the lasso, or the bolas; not a Gaucho was there, who possessed his dexterity in the use of the knife; or who, having thrown himself in the midst of danger, could withdraw himself therefrom with more good fortune. These physical qualities would alone have sufficed to place him in the very first rank among these half-savage men, who recognize no other law than that of force; but to these advantages, Rosas joined those of a superior intellect, and a degree of understanding very uncommon in a land so far removed from every source of enlightened instruction. Appointed at first officer of militia, it was not long ere he became commandant of the country; shortly after this, he entered Buenos Ayres, drove Lavalle out of the city, and had himself proclaimed governor.

Rosas is now a man of about fifty-eight or sixty years of age; and though, according to popular rumor, suffering from gout, and other infirmities, no traces of these disorders are perceptible upon his person. He is a man of lofty stature; his features are regular, and announce firmness; and his vivid and piercing eyes possess a degree of penetration, which takes nothing away from the austerity of his personal appearance. When conversing with strangers, the dignity of his mien, the gravity of his gestures, and the choice of his expressions, would lead one to imagine that he has constantly lived in the society of men eminent for their learning and talents; occasionally he affects, but without success, a sort of natural bonhomie; but he well knows that this little deceit is easily seen through, and he seldom employs it, except when in company with men whom he knows to be his inferiors in point of intellect. When, on the contrary, Rosas finds himself amid his old companions, the Gauchos, his tone and manner entirely change: it is no longer the polished and civilized man, the man of the cabinet and the study, that is before us, but rather the horse and bull tamer, the lion hunter, and the wild dweller on the prairies. His speech, perhaps a moment before elegant and scholarly, now becomes gross and obscene, while his gestures assume an expression known only to the desert.

What we have just stated regarding Rosas, will suffice to make our readers comprehend his consummate skill; if we add to this an obstinate and resolute character, and a will which has never recoiled before any necessity to attain its ends—did this necessity even involve an assassination or a massacre—and an enormous superiority of intellect over all the men who surround him, the almost boundless power which this man has succeeded in grasping and maintaining in his country, may easily be comprehended. What augments still further the degree of his power, is the secret manner in which it is exercised. Although in reality reigning as absolute sovereign over the country whose constitution and institutions he is daily trampling under foot, Rosas has ever been enabled to dissemble his power, and, nominally at least, shelter himself behind the rampart of legality.

Thus, among the apparent rights which he has left to the Chamber of Representatives, if it is necessary that it should give a decision upon any question, he demands it by a public and official message, almost with humility: but by a private letter addressed at the same time to the President, he directs him as to the precise form which is to be adopted by the Chamber in pronouncing the resolution to be taken, as well as the exact day and hour when the said resolution is to be made known to him. To such a point are these things carried, that it is in the very cabinet of Rosas himself that the fulsome votes of thanks periodically passed by the different provincial assemblies of the Confederation to the hero of the desert, the saviour of the country, the restorer of the laws, &c., &c., &c., are drawn up.

Rosas attained to power uttering the war whoop of "Death to the Unitarians,"[1] and by[Pg 486] giving himself out as the restorer of the federal government; and yet it is a notorious fact, that there is not on the face of the earth a system of government more centralizing, more despotic, more Unitarian, if we must say the word, than that which he has constituted; and it is this fact alone which clearly proves the extraordinary skill of this man. He has been enabled to push beyond the limits of the possible the sciences of audacity and falsehood. It is with the assistance of the federalists that he has been enabled to conquer; true, he has dubbed himself federalist in name, but as far as regards the principle of the thing, he has done his utmost to wipe away from the institutions and customs of the country every thing that might bear the most remote resemblance to this form of government, by collecting together in his own hands more than the sum of the public power—in fact, assuming in all things the sovereign will of an autocratic dictator, from whose decrees there can be no appeal.

One of the glaring defects of the Argentine character is the thirst for power, which possesses the inhabitants, to obtain which no obstacle will restrain them. Previous to attaining to the supreme power, though recognized as the chief of the country party, Rosas was surrounded by caudillos, whose devotion to his interests did not appear to him to be completely absolute; in fact, he well knew that on the very first occasion which should present itself, each of them, profiting by the ascendency which he individually exercised over his partisans, would make no scruple of disputing with him the power he envied. It was absolutely necessary that he should rid himself of this obnoxious body-guard, and this step he at once resolved upon, and forthwith put into execution. In a very brief space of time, steel and poison had done their work, and delivered him from all those rivals which his ambition had to dread, while the provinces very soon lost, under the terror which they experienced at this wholesale slaughter, the bare idea of resistance. There still remained, however, the city: Buenos Ayres had not supported Lavalle as it ought to have done, nevertheless it inclosed within its walls a goodly number of men who, though they had indeed reason to manifest indifference for the Unitarian government, were too enlightened not to feel a bitter regret for their own culpable weakness. It was as a fire smouldering within the city, which sooner or later would not fail to burst forth into a flame. Rosas comprehended this movement, and bethought himself of the means of stifling it in the bud. It was then that he founded the famous popular society of the mashorca. It has been asserted, and we believe with reason, that this society by its number of outrages on human life, merits in the criminal annals of the world a renown greater than that of the celebrated Jacobin Club, and the revolutionary tribunal of the first French Revolution. Recruited from among the ranks of the savage, ignorant, and cruel men who surrounded the new Dictator, the members of the mashorca set to work with ardor to moralize the country according to the will of General Rosas. By the mere terror which this formidable mashorca inspired, Rosas was enabled to make the world believe, that he was at once the elect of his fellow citizens and the depository of their wishes and desires. It served him also to drill the nation to the manifestation of either enthusiasm or furious rage, of which he might, according to circumstances, stand in need.

The people, docile as a flock of sheep, accordingly howled or applauded in the streets, or upon the public places, at the will of the dictator. The means of action of the mashorqueros upon the multitude are well known—they consist in violence and assassination. Although in appearance mute and devoted to Rosas, the city of Buenos Ayres still bears mourning for the victims which were then sacrificed to his fury and ambition. Obedient to the resentments of the elect of the people, the mashorqueros, at certain days and certain hours, would spread themselves far and wide throughout the streets, poinard in hand, and, penetrating into the dwellings pointed out to them, would pitilessly immolate the Unitarian savages which the federal pacificator had previously marked as victims for their homicidal fury. The precise number of these victims of the blind rage of a sanguinary party is unknown; but it must have been considerable, for during an entire week the blood flowed unceasingly, and at that period it was no uncommon sight to behold the decapitated heads of the slain exposed in the public market-place; at length, one day, a cart, preceded by musicians, made the circuit of the city, to collect the dead bodies which lay in piles before the houses.

It is not difficult to comprehend the effect of a similar system of government upon a population by no means numerous, exhausted by long civil dissensions, and which would have been completely annihilated at the very first symptom of any thing approaching resistance. It submitted in silence. Rosas, now certain from henceforth of being able to reign by terror, began to moderate his excesses, and only from time to time had recourse to violence, in order to intimidate those among the population in whose breasts there might still lurk the remnants of some generous or patriotic sentiment.

Rosas possesses an incredible power of continuous labor: he sleeps during the greater part of the day, and passes the night in his cabinet. It is not until four o'clock in the afternoon that he quits his bedroom. During the summer, when he is in the country, he may be seen from this hour until six o'clock galloping through the gardens, open to all comers, or playing in front of the house with an enormous tigress, which, though of the greatest ferocity with strangers, trembles and crouches to the earth, at his voice. At six o'clock he takes a light repast; after which he sits down to work, and does not leave off until five or six in the morning.[Pg 487] It is at this hour that he dines in company with a couple of jesters, dressed in an eccentric manner, one of whom goes by the name of the governor, who seek to amuse him by their witticisms, their grotesque games, and sometimes by fighting. It has been said that Rosas is surrounded by guards. But this is utterly false. His house, which is vast and elegant, stands upon the highway, and the doors, according to the general custom of the country, are always wide open. So far from it being the case that he keeps his person carefully guarded, it is, on the contrary, frequently a very difficult matter on entering the house to meet with even a domestic to announce you; and the visitor could with as much ease reach his private cabinet or his bed-chamber as he could the courts upon which these apartments open. There is not even a sentry or a porter at the principal door.

Next to Rosas, the personage who plays the most important part in all the Confederation, is his daughter, Manuelita. The position which this woman has acquired for herself is unique, like that of her father, although relatively less important, since she is not consulted upon State affairs. She possesses, nevertheless, with regard to all that appertains to the second rank, a liberty of action entirely her own. Manuelita is, as it were, an under Secretary of State in the cabinet of a minister in charge of a vast administration. She has her secretaries, her offices, her correspondence; and is well able to attend to a vast amount of important business without neglecting those duties toward society, which her intellectual acquirements and natural amiability of disposition impose upon her. By many writers, Manuelita has been portrayed as a species of bacchante, unceasingly exciting her father to the commission of acts of violence, giving herself up to all the irregularities of a life of dissipation, and scandalizing society by the spectacle of incessant orgies. Now nothing can be less true, nothing more false, than this. It is not necessary to know Manuelita, it is sufficient to have seen her but for a few moments to be convinced of the utter falsehood of these mendacious travelers' tales. Manuelita is Rosas' daughter, and consequently has many prejudices to overcome, many hatreds to conquer: yet she is esteemed and loved by all, which, be it remarked, is no mean praise in a country where it may be said that no one is esteemed. This is, in our idea, the best reply to offer to the various calumnies it has pleased the "many-headed" to heap upon her. And how, we may ask, can it be otherwise? If there is a being on the earth who can soften the rigors of Rosas' tyrannical government, can solicit and obtain mercy or justice, it is Manuelita. She is the sole hope of the unfortunate, of the oppressed, of the poor, and rarely is this hope deceived.

Manuelita is tall and elegantly formed. Her age has been stated to be about four-and-thirty although she looks no more than twenty-seven or twenty-eight. Her features are regular and bear the Spanish impress, that is to say, that they are strongly marked. Her large black eyes announce great strength of mind, yet the glances which shoot therefrom have an expression of infinite gentleness and kindness. Her jet black hair serves to bring out in more prominent relief the ivory fairness of her skin. Her entire person, in short, breathes an air of grace and refinement to be met with only in the Spanish women, who possess the rare art of being able to join to the charms of beauty a certain abandon unknown to the women of other countries.

Manuelita possesses in a high degree the "knowledge of the salons," as the French would call it; she speaks English, French, and Italian, as her mother tongue, and whatever turn the conversation may take, whether "grave or gay, lively or severe," she is equally enabled to shine in it either by judicious observations, or brilliant repartee. Manuelita entertains for her father a degree of affection amounting to absolute devotion; often has she been seen to shed tears on learning the cruelties practiced by Rosas. In the excess of grief which the acts of the Dictator caused her, she has sometimes let her indignation burst forth before her friends, but nothing can sever the bonds of that filial love which bind her to her father. And happy is it for the country that this is the case, for it is very evident that were it not for her, the fury of Rosas would have displayed itself more fatally than it has yet done. We have heard related by two eye-witnesses a scene which took place between her and her father, during the period of the first mashorca executions, which shows the degree of dominion which the latter exercises over her. One evening while Manuelita was seated at her piano-forte singing to her auditors some Spanish romance, Rosas entered the room holding in his hand a silver salver, upon which was deposited a pair of human ears cut from the head of a savage Unitarian; advancing slowly to the instrument he placed the salver upon the piano before the eyes of his daughter. Manuelita started up violently from her seat and with features almost livid with rage and horror, she seized her piece of music and cast it over the plate, then turning round she was about to give free course to her indignation, when her eyes met the fixed and terrible glance of the general; she ceded to this power and fell fainting to the ground.

We could relate a thousand facts of this nature, which abundantly prove the falsity of the many imputations directed against the character of Manuelita.

We have just said that the two individuals alone worthy of attention and study throughout the whole of the Argentine Confederation, are first of all General Rosas, and afterward, his daughter, Manuelita. In fact it is in them, in their will or their caprices, that are concentrated the entire policy and administration of the republic. The men who, below them nominally[Pg 488] fill the higher offices of the State, are but mutes, divested alike of either power or will. Like the stage representatives of noble knights and powerful monarchs, the higher functionaries of the republic and especially the secretaries of state hold office without filling any character. They serve occasionally to make known the will of the governor without being permitted in any case to interpret it. Even the general officers in command of the armed forces dispersed over the territory are obliged to keep near their persons certain subaltern agents enjoying the confidence of the governor, whose orders and directions they are obliged implicitly to follow. Although nominally and apparently holding appointments which seem to invest them with a certain degree of authority, the state functionaries are in this respect no better off than their less fortunate countrymen, but are like all the rest of the Argentines, in a state of absolute and slavish dependence.

When General Rosas seized the reins of government, his first and principal care was to transform completely the Argentine society. In place of the enlightened men whom Rivadavia had applied himself to seek out, Rosas has raised to the first rank, the crew of unlettered ignorant men, stained with every crime which disgraces human nature, who had seconded his ambitious views. The biographies of the individuals who formed the mashorca are well known to every one, but such is the terror inspired by the Dictator, that each, even the sons, brothers, and widows of those who fell beneath their murderous knives, eagerly hasten to show all the civility and deference in their power for the particular friends of the governor. Never in any country have we had so many examples of abject and shameful servility as in this. The Argentine society possesses neither morality, religion, honor, nor courage. All look forward to the day when the country shall be delivered from the reign of despotism and tyranny which has so long oppressed it; but there is not a man in all Buenos Ayres who has the courage to manifest his feelings of disgust and repugnance for those who aid the governor in retaining power. And let not the reader imagine that it is only a tacit assent which is rendered to the tyrant's iron rule; each after venting curses "not loud but deep" when he is certain of not being heard, against the Dictator and his acolytes, rushes into the streets to take part in the public manifestations commanded by Rosas. The savage device that we read upon the cinta[2] is the cry which the watchmen shout aloud every hour of the night in the streets of the city; it is the cry which the actors give utterance to upon the stage on federal days, by way of prologue, previous to the commencement of the piece; it is the shout which the troops and militia under arms howl forth when the governor rides down the ranks, and as if the threat of death to the Unitarians which it contains was not sufficient, it is augmented according to circumstances by similar denunciations directed against any particular marked individual who may have rendered himself obnoxious to the government, and also against foreigners, as well as by vivats in honor of the immortal warrior, of the king of justice, of the restorer of the laws, of the great, the magnificent, the high and mighty Rosas, in a word.

If the thorough abasement of moral character, the inevitable result of despotism, which we observe in the Buenos Ayreans, did not counteract the feelings of sympathy one is naturally disposed to show for this population, the Argentine society would possess great attractions for the traveler. The men who represent the Unitarian element are in general of polished and agreeable manners. All the women without exception are possessed of a remarkable degree of beauty, and if their education is not quite so finished as it might be, they are, like all Spanish women, endowed with a sort of natural grace and tact which stand them in lieu of it: they display an extraordinary degree of luxury in their toilets, and one might say that they outstrip the Parisian fashions, which are with them more ephemeral even than in the spot which has given them birth. For luxury and lavish expenditure as regards the adornment of the person, nothing is comparable to the interior of the Opera-house on a crowded night; the dazzled eye perceives at first but a vast amphitheatre sparkling with gold, jewels, silk and lace, so disposed as to impart fresh attractions to the ivory shoulders and ebon locks they deck, lending all the charms of art to the riches of nature.


About the middle of an afternoon in July, 1848, we had landed on a low sand-bank, which, for a short distance, skirted the right bank of the stream, for the purpose of encamping for the night; and right glad were we to stretch our limbs after ten hours' paddling. The Indians had started in their wood-skin up the neighboring creek, in quest of game for our evening's repast, and the women were clearing a space beneath the branches for our hammocks, and collecting fuel for the nightly fire. All who have wandered with the pleasant Waterton in his chivalrous Expedition on the Essequibo, will remember his first guiltless attempt to hook the wary cayman, before seeking more skillful allies in the Indian settlement higher up the river. The sand-bank in which we were about to bivouac, was that mentioned in his narrative, where, for four days, he had impatiently waited for the shades of evening, and as often turned into his hammock at day-break with his longings ungratified.

It was, as usual, intensely hot in the sun. To seek some relief, for the first time during the day, I strolled—or rather straggled, for every step through the tangled creepers had to be gained by hacking and hewing with a cutlass—down[Pg 489] to the cool banks of the creek, whose overhanging branches, forming a magnificent arcade of verdure, almost excluded (or admitted only at distant intervals), the scorching rays.

Seating myself on the smooth gray trunk of a tree, which lay prostrate across the sluggish water, whose broken limbs shone bright in the gay drapery of a scarlet-blossomed epiphyte, I lighted my pipe, and taking a book from my pocket, began lazily turning over the pages and lightly gleaning the pleasant thought of a witty and social poet. My attention now and again drawn away by the ceaseless tappings of a yellow-headed woodpecker on a decaying tree close at hand, to the glittering flashes of a Karabimitas, a Topaz-throated humming-bird—a frequenter of dark and solitary creeks, capturing flies among the gay petals, for his nest-keeping partner, who, a few paces up the stream was gently swinging with the evening breezes in her tiny home. I had been in this position for some time, little regarding the whizzing hum of insects constantly passing and repassing—when, my gaze chancing to fall a yard or more from my resting-place, I detected a small bright-gray bee, about the third of an inch in length, disappearing in what seemed a solid part of the trunk.

There was no hole or crevice perceptible to the eye, nor did that portion of the bark feel less smooth than that immediately adjoining. I might be mistaken—nay, I must be. I had just arrived at this last conclusion, when a tiny piece of the bark was suddenly raised, and out flew the little gentleman I had seen disappear, or one too like him not to belong to the same family. The mystery was solved. Some ingenious bee-architect had devised an entrance-gate, fitting so admirably as to defy discovery when shut; while I was certain that I could lay my finger almost on the precise spot, the closest inspection failed to reveal any trace of its outline. The bark, though polished and even, was covered with faint interlaced streaks, from which even the smoothest bark is never free; and the skillful carpenter had adapted the irregular tracings of nature to his object of concealment. Wishing to inspect the workmanship without injuring its delicacy, I had to wait patiently until it should again fly open; nor was I kept long in expectation, for it presently popped up to permit the egress of another of the fraternity, and a ready twig prevented its descending. I found it designedly crooked and jagged at the edges, with an average width of about a quarter of an inch, and twice that in length; its substance was little more than the outer skin of the bark, and, being still connected at one end, opened and closed as with a spring. The cunning workman had no doubt been aware that had he made it much shorter—which the size of the passengers would have permitted—it would have required to be thrown farther back, when the greater tension would soon have destroyed the elasticity of the hinge, and, with that, its power of fitting close to the tree. Immediately within the doorway was a small ante-chamber, forming a sort of porter's lodge to the little surly gray-liveried gentleman inside, who, without quitting his retreat, showed his displeasure at my intrusion in a manner too pointed to be mistaken, and certainly manifesting neither trepidation nor alarm at the sight of one of the "lords of the creation," though probably the first offered to his inspection. From the entrance-hall, two circular tunnels conducted into the interior of the establishment, from whence came the confused murmurs of a numerous and busy community. I had just allowed the door to close, and was admiring the exceeding neatness of the workmanship, when another of the family returned home, signifying his arrival, and obtaining admittance in a manner at once novel and singular.

After darting against the entrance, and touching it with his feet, he rose again into the air, and taking a wide swoop round the trunk came up on the other side, this time, flying straight toward the "trap," which was quickly raised, when he was a few inches distant, and, on his entering, as quickly closed. The office of the pugnacious individual inside was explained; he was actually the doorkeeper, and his returning comrades, having, like any other modern gentleman, politely rapped, circled out of the observation of prying eyes, till he was prepared to admit them. Numbers were constantly arriving, and all went through the process I have described, each flying away, after knocking, in a different direction, but all allowing the same time to elapse before returning for admission; thus, the door was never opened save at the proper moment.

After watching their proceedings for some time, I discovered the reason of their not waiting quietly at the entrance. Sneaking among the stray leaves and rubbish in the trunk, and in the holes and cavities of the bark, were numbers of small insects, of the same color as the bees, but with the addition of one or two minute bands of black across the abdomen; their slender, graceful forms and partially exposed ovipositors revealed, however, the cause of their slinking about, and stamped them the parasitic ichneumons of the hive. I thought that, after the habits of their tribe, they were endeavoring to obtain an entrance, when they pouncingly hovered over the bees as they were disappearing in the door-way; but, as none ever succeeded, I conjectured that they had devised and were pursuing some other plan of introducing their blood-thirsty progeny. Further observation showed this to be correct. The rascals were endeavoring to attach their eggs to the small pellets of pollen with which each bee was laden, and they often succeeded, in spite of the admirably devised tactics to prevent them.

The duties of the janitor were gradually ceasing; all the bees had returned save a few stragglers, and even these were becoming scarce; the last parting rays of the sun—a signal for the twilight birds to issue from their lurking[Pg 490] places—warned me, that in a few minutes I should have some difficulty in penetrating through the thick underwood, for I was in a clime where the sun "sinks at once, and all is night."

I was about to retrace my steps, when the measured stroke of paddles caught my ear, and presently the Indian "corial," with a brave batch of maroudis, and some smaller birds, turned a bend in the sinuous creek, and swiftly glided toward me, guided through the fallen trees and branches, which in some places almost choked the narrow stream, by the skillful arm of old Paley, as I had dubbed our usual steersman. The same keen eye that kept the frail bark clear of besetting obstacles, quickly detected me—though it was almost dark—stretched in the tree above him. Staying the progress of the "wood-skin" beneath, I slipped off my boots, and cautiously lowered myself down.

I wouldn't advise any one to squat with booted heel in a flimsy "bark," especially when—intended for two and accommodating four—it is skimming along with the water an inch or so from the edge. A lurch to one side, and over you go—pleasantly enough in shallow water on a hot day, but any thing but that with twenty feet of black fluid beneath, and you not able to swim. A few weeks' practice had enabled me to balance myself without endangering others; so we landed safely.

The birds, soon ready for the pot, were in a few minutes boiling away among the "cassareep" and peppers. We made hearty suppers that night; and as I lay in my hammock, taking the usual "soothing whiff" before resigning myself to sleep, the howling of monkeys, the bellowings of caymen, and the various cries of goatsucker, owl, and tiger-bird, blending with the occasional roar of the jaguar in his midnight courtship, the soughing of the breeze among the trees, and the murmur of the distant falls, made as discordant and motley a "hushaby" as one could imagine. Fortunately, all the screeching and howling in the universe would have failed to drive away my slumbers; so I quietly fell asleep, with the swaying branches brushing past my face. My latest waking thoughts, I remember, now recalling the wandering Waterton (he might have slept suspended from the same branch), and his fishing for caymen; now, the bees and their tiny trap-doors; now, my tiger-robbed coverlet, and the rapids we were to "shoot" in the morning; and, lastly, blending into a confused murmur—raising pleasant recollections of the old school-room buzz, and of the kindly comrades and anxious friends in my far-off home.

We were up and away down the sparkling river at daybreak the next morning; and I had no other opportunity of observing the economy of the bees and their enemies; nor in my rambles did I ever chance to meet with another family of the same species, or with kindred habits.


An English work on Game Birds and Wild Fowls, recently published, contains the following curious anecdote:

"A friend of Colonel Bonham—the late Col. Johnson, of the Rifle Brigade—was ordered to Canada with his battalion, in which he was then a captain, and being very fond of falconry, to which he had devoted much time and expense, he took with him two of his favorite peregrines, as his companions, across the Atlantic.

"It was his constant habit during the voyage to allow them to fly every day, after 'feeding them up,' that they might not be induced to take off after a passing sea-gull, or wander out of sight of the vessel. Sometimes their rambles were very wide and protracted. At others they would ascend to such a height as to be almost lost to the view of the passengers, who soon found them an effectual means of relieving the tedium of a long sea voyage, and naturally took a lively interest in their welfare; but as they were in the habit of returning regularly to the ship, no uneasiness was felt during their occasional absence. At last, one evening, after a longer flight than usual, one of the falcons returned alone. The other—the prime favorite—was missing. Day after day passed away and, however much he may have continued to regret his loss, Captain Johnson had at length fully made up his mind that it was irretrievable, and that he should never see her again. Soon after the arrival of the regiment in America, on casting his eyes over a Halifax newspaper, he was struck by a paragraph announcing that the captain of an American schooner had at that moment in his possession a fine hawk, which had suddenly made its appearance on board his ship during his late passage from Liverpool. The idea at once occurred to Captain Johnson that this could be no other than his much-prized falcon, so having obtained immediate leave of absence, he set off for Halifax, a journey of some days. On arriving there he lost no time in waiting on the commander of the schooner, announcing the object of his journey, and requested that he might be allowed to see the bird; but Jonathan had no idea of relinquishing his prize so easily, and stoutly refused to admit of the interview, 'guessing' that it was very easy for an Englisher to lay claim to another man's property, but 'calculating' that it was a 'tarnation sight' harder for him to get possession of it; and concluded by asserting, in unqualified terms, his entire disbelief in the whole story. Captain Johnson's object, however, being rather to recover his falcon than to pick a quarrel with the truculent Yankee, he had fortunately sufficient self-command to curb his indignation, and proposed that his claim to the ownership of the bird should be at once put to the test by an experiment, which several Americans who were present admitted to be perfectly reasonable, and[Pg 491] in which their countryman was at last persuaded to acquiesce. It was this. Captain Johnson was to be admitted to an interview with the hawk—who, by the way, had as yet shown no partiality for any person since her arrival in the New World; but, on the contrary, had rather repelled all attempts at familiarity—and if at this meeting she should not only exhibit such unequivocal signs of attachment and recognition as should induce the majority of the bystanders to believe that he really was her original master, but especially if she should play with the buttons of his coat, then the American was at once to waive all claim to her. The trial was immediately made. The Yankee went up-stairs, and shortly returned with the falcon; but the door was hardly opened before she darted from his fist, and perched at once on the shoulder of her beloved and long-lost protector, evincing, by every means in her power, her delight and affection, rubbing her head against his cheek, and taking hold of the buttons of his coat and champing them playfully between her mandibles, one after another. This was enough. The jury were unanimous. A verdict for the plaintiff was pronounced; even the obdurate heart of the sea-captain was melted, and the falcon was at once restored to the arms of her rightful owner."



"Nile Notes, by an Howadji" (the Eastern name for traveler) is the title of a new book, by a young American, soon to be issued from the press of Messrs. Harper and Brothers. It is written with great vivacity, and will compare favorably with "Eōthen," or the best books of the day on the East. The following extracts will be found attractive.


While the Hadji Hamed fluttered about the deck, and the commander served his kara kooseh, the crew gathered around the bow and sang.

The stillness of early evening had spelled the river, nor was the strangeness dissolved by that singing. The men crouched in a circle upon the deck, and the reis, or captain, thrummed the tarabuka, or Arab drum, made of a fish-skin stretched upon a gourd. Raising their hands, the crew clapped them above their heads, in perfect time, not ringingly, but with a dead, dull thump of the palms—moving the whole arm to bring them together. They swung their heads from side to side, and one clanked a chain in unison. So did these people long before the Ibis nestled to this bank, long before there were Americans to listen.

For when Diana was divine, and thousands of men and women came floating down the Nile in barges to celebrate her festival, they sang and clapped, played the castanets and flute, stifling the voices of Arabian and Lybian echoes with a wild roar of revelry. They, too, sang a song that came to them from an unknown antiquity, Linus, their first and only song, the dirge of the son of the first king of Egypt.

This might have been that dirge that the crew sang in a mournful minor. Suddenly, one rose and led the song, in sharp, jagged sounds, formless as lightning. "He fills me the glass full, and gives me to drink," sang the leader, and the low-measured chorus throbbed after him, "Hummeleager malooshee." The sounds were not a tune, but a kind of measured recitative. It went on constantly faster and faster, exciting them, as the Shakers excite themselves, until a tall, gaunt Nubian rose in the moonlight and danced in the centre of the circle, like a gay ghoul among his fellows.

The dancing was monotonous, like the singing, a simple jerking of the muscles. He shook his arms from the elbows, like a Shaker, and raised himself alternately upon both feet. Often the leader repeated the song as a solo, then the voices died away, the ghoul crouched again, and the hollow throb of the tarabuka continued as an accompaniment to the distant singing of Nero's crew, that came in fitful gusts through the little grove of sharp, slim masts:

"If you meet my sweetheart,
Give her my respects."

The melancholy monotony of this singing in unison, harmonized with the vague feelings of that first Nile night. The simplicity of the words became the perpetual childishness of the men, so that it was not ludicrous. It was clearly the music and words of a race just better than the brutes. If a poet could translate into sound the expression of a fine dog's face, or that of a meditative cow, the Howadji would fancy that he heard Nile music. For, after all, that placid and perfect animal expression would be melancholy humanity. And with the crew only, the sound was sad; they smiled, and grinned, and shook their heads with intense satisfaction. The evening and the scene were like a chapter of Mungo Park. I heard the African mother sing to him as he lay sick upon her mats, and the world and history forgotten, those strange, sad sounds drew me deep into the dumb mystery of Africa.

But the musical Howadji will find a fearful void in his Eastern life. The Asiatic has no ear, and no soul for music. Like other savages and children, he loves a noise, and he plays on shrill pipes—on the tarabuka, on the tár, or tambourine, and a sharp, one-stringed fiddle, or rabáb. Of course, in your first Oriental days, you will decline no invitation, but you will grow gradually deaf to all entreaties of friends, or dragomen, to sally forth and hear music. You will remind him that you did not come to the East to go to Bedlam.

This want of music is not strange, for silence is natural to the East and the tropics. When, sitting quietly at home, in midsummer, sweeping ever sunward in the growing heats, we at length reach the tropics in the fixed fervor of a July noon, the day is rapt, the birds are still, the wind swoons, and the burning sun glares silence on the world.

[Pg 492]

The Orient is that primeval and perpetual noon. That very heat explains to you the voluptuous elaboration of its architecture, the brilliance of its costume, the picturesqueness of its life. But no Mozart was needed to sow Persian gardens with roses breathing love and beauty, no Beethoven to build mighty Himmalayas, no Rossini to sparkle and sing with the birds and streams. Those realities are there, of which the composers are the poets to Western imaginations. In the East, you feel and see music, but hear it never.

Yet, in Cairo and Damascus the poets sit at the cafés, surrounded by the forms and colors of their songs, and recite the romances of the Arabian Nights, or of Aboo Zeyd, or of Antar, with no other accompaniment than the tár, or the rabáb, then called the "Poet's Viol," and in the same monotonous strain. Sometimes the single strain is touching, as when on our way to Jerusalem, the too-enamored camel-driver, leading the litter of the fair Armenian, saddened the silence of the desert noon with a Syrian song. The high, shrill notes trembled and rang on the air. The words said little, but the sound was a lyric of sorrow. The fair Armenian listened silently as the caravan wound slowly along, her eyes musingly fixed upon the East, where the flower-fringed Euphrates flows through Bagdad to the sea. The fair Armenian had her thoughts, and the camel-driver his; also the accompanying Howadji listened and had theirs.

The Syrian songs of the desert are very sad. They harmonize with the burning monotony of the landscape in their long recitative and shrill wail. The camel steps more willingly to that music, but the Howadji, swaying upon his back, is tranced in the sound, so naturally born of silence.

Meanwhile our crew are singing, although we have slid upon their music, and the moonlight, far forward into the desert. But these are the forms and feelings that their singing suggested. While they sang I wandered over Sahara, and was lost in the lonely Libyan hills—a thousand simple stories, a thousand ballads of love and woe trooped like drooping birds through the sky-like vagueness of my mind. Rosamond Grey, and the child of Elle passed phantom-like with vailed faces—for love, and sorrow, and delight, are cosmopolitan, building bowers indiscriminately of palm-trees or of pines.

The voices died away like the Muezzins', whose cry is the sweetest and most striking of all Eastern sounds. It trembles in long-rising and falling cadences from the balcony of the minaret, more humanly alluring than bells, and more respectful of the warm stillness of Syrian and Egyptian days. Heard in Jerusalem it has especial power. You sit upon your house-top reading the history whose profoundest significance is simple and natural in that inspiring clime; and as your eye wanders from the aerial dome of Omar, beautiful enough to have been a dome of Solomon's Temple, and over the olives of Gethsemane climbs the Mount of Olives—the balmy air is suddenly filled with a murmurous cry, like a cheek suddenly rose-suffused—a sound near, and far, and every where, but soft and vibrating, and alluring, until you would fain don turban, kaftan, and slippers, and kneeling in the shadow of a cypress on the sun-flooded marble court of Omar, would be the mediator of those faiths, nor feel yourself a recreant Christian.

Once I heard the Muezzin cry from a little village on the edge of the desert, in the starlight before the dawn: it was only a wailing voice in the air. The spirits of the desert were addressed in their own language—or was it themselves lamenting, like water-spirits to the green boughs overhanging them, that they could never know the gladness of the green world, but were forever demons and denizens of the desert? But the tones trembled away, without echo or response, into the starry solitude. Al-lá-hu Ak-bar, Al-lá-hu Ak-bar!

So with songs and pictures, with musings, and the dinner of a Mecca pilgrim, passed the first evening upon the Nile.


Verde Giovane was joyous and gay. He had already been to the pyramids, and had slept in a tomb, and had his pockets picked as he wandered through their disagreeable darkness. He had come freshly and fast from England, to see the world, omitting Paris and Western Europe on his way, as he embarked at Southampton for Alexandria. Being in Cairo, he felt himself abroad. Sternhold and Hopkins were his Laureates, for perpetually on all kinds of wings of mighty winds he came flying all abroad. He lost a great deal of money at billiards to "jolly" fellows whom he afterward regaled with cold punch and choice cigars. He wrangled wildly with a dragoman of very imperfect English powers, and packed his tea for the voyage in brown paper parcels. He was perpetually on the point of leaving. At breakfast, he would take a loud leave of the "jolly" fellows, and if there were ladies in the room, he slung his gun in a very abandoned manner over his shoulder, and while he adjusted his shot-pouch with careless heroism, as if the enemy were in ambush on the stairs, as who should say, "I'll do their business easily enough," he would remark with a meaning smile, that he should stop a day or two at Esne, probably, and then go off humming a song from the Favorita—or an air whose words were well known to the jolly fellows, but would scarcely bear female criticism.

After this departure, he had a pleasant way of reappearing at the dinner-table, for the pale ale was not yet aboard, or the cook was ill, or there had been another explosion with the dragoman. Verde Giovane found the Cairene evenings "slow." It was astonishing how much execution he accomplished with those words of very moderate calibre, "slow," "jolly," and "stunning." The universe arraying itself in Verde Giovane's mind, under those three heads.[Pg 493] Presently it was easy to predicate his criticisms in any department. He had lofty views of travel. Verde Giovane had come forth to see the world, and vainly might the world seek to be unseen. He wished to push on to Sennaar and Ethiopia. It was very slow to go only to the cataracts. Ordinary travel, and places already beheld of men, were not for Verde. But if there were any Chinese wall to be scaled, or the English standard were to be planted upon any vague and awful Himmalayan height, or a new oasis were to be revealed in the desert of Sahara, here was the heaven-appointed Verde Giovane, only awaiting his pale ale, and determined to dally a little at Esne. After subduing the East by travel, he proposed to enter the Caucasian Mountains, and serve as a Russian officer. These things were pleasant to hear, as to behold at Christmas those terrible beheadings of giants by Tom Thumb, for you enjoyed a sweet sense of security and a consciousness that no harm was done. They were wild Arabian romances, attributable to the inspiration of the climate, in the city he found so slow. The Cairenes were listening elsewhere to their poets, Verde Giovane was ours; and we knew very well that he would go quietly up to the first cataract, and then returning to Alexandria, would steam to Jaffa, and thence donkey placidly to Jerusalem, moaning in his sleep of Cheapside and St. Paul's.


That the East will never regenerate itself, contemporary history shows; nor has any nation of history culminated twice. The spent summer reblooms no more—the Indian summer is but a memory and a delusion. The sole hope of the East is Western inoculation. The child must suckle the age of the parent, and even "Medea's wondrous alchemy" will not restore its peculiar prime. If the East awakens, it will be no longer in the turban and red slippers, but in hat and boots. The West is the sea that advances forever upon the shore, the shore can not stay it, but becomes the bottom of the ocean. The Western, who lives in the Orient, does not assume the kaftan and the baggy breeches, and those of his Muslim neighbors shrink and disappear before his coat and pantaloons. The Turkish army is clothed, like the armies of Europe. The grand Turk himself, Mohammad's vicar, the Commander of the Faithful, has laid away the magnificence of Haroun Alrashid, and wears the simple red Tarboosh, and a stiff suit of military blue. Cairo is an English station to India, and the Howadji does not drink sherbert upon the pyramids, but champagne. The choice Cairo of our Eastern imagination is contaminated with carriages. They are showing the secrets of the streets to the sun. Their silence is no longer murmurous, but rattling. The "Uzbeekeeyah," public garden of Cairo, is a tea garden, of a Sunday afternoon crowded with ungainly Franks, listening to bad music. Ichabod, Ichabod! steam has towed the Mediterranean up the Nile to Boulak, and as you move on to Cairo, through the still surviving masquerade of the Orient, the cry of the melon-merchant seems the sadly significant cry of each sad-eyed Oriental, "Consoler of the embarrassed, O Pips!"

The century has seen the failure of the Eastern experiment, headed as it is not likely to be headed again, by an able and wise leader. Mohammad Alee had Egypt and Syria, and was mounting the steps of the sultan's throne. Then he would have marched to Bagdad, and sat down in Haroun Alrashid's seat, to draw again broader and more deeply the lines of the old Eastern empire. But the West would not suffer it. Even had it done so, the world of Mohammad Alee would have crumbled to chaos again when he died, for it existed only by his imperial will, and not by the perception of the people.

At this moment the East is the El Dorado of European political hope. No single power dares to grasp it, but at last England and Russia will meet there, face to face, and the lion and the polar bear will shiver the desert silence with the roar of their struggle. It will be the return of the children to claim the birth-place. They may quarrel among themselves, but whoever wins, will introduce the life of the children and not of the parent. A possession and a province it may be, but no more an independent empire. Father Ishmael shall be a sheikh of honor, but of dominion no longer, and sit turbaned in the chimney corner, while his hatted heirs rule the house. The children will cluster around him, fascinated with his beautiful traditions, and curiously compare their little black shoes with his red slippers.


The Howadji entered the bower of the Ghazeeyah. A damsel admitted us at the gate, closely vailed, as if women's faces were to be seen no more forever. Across a clean little court, up stone steps that once were steadier, and we emerged upon a small, inclosed stone terrace, the sky-vaulted ante-chamber of that bower. Through a little door that made us stoop to enter, we passed into the peculiar retreat of the Ghazeeyah. It was a small, white, oblong room, with but one window, opposite the door, and that closed. On three sides there were small holes to admit light, as in dungeons, but too lofty for the eye to look through, like the oriel windows of sacristies. Under these openings were small glass vases holding oil, on which floated wicks. These were the means of illumination.

A divan of honor filled the end of the room; on the side was another, less honorable, as is usual in all Egyptian houses; on the floor a carpet, partly covering it. A straw matting extended beyond the carpet toward the door, and between the matting and the door was a bare space of stone floor, whereon to shed the slippers.

Hadji Hamed, the long cook, had been ill, but hearing of music and dancing and Ghawazee, he had turned out for the nonce, and accompanied us to the house, not all unmindful[Pg 494] possibly, of the delectations of the Mecca pilgrimage. He stood upon the stone terrace afterward, looking in with huge delight! The solemn, long tomb-pilgrim! The merriest lunges of life were not lost upon him, notwithstanding.

The Howadji seated themselves orientally upon the divan of honor. To sit as Westerns sit is impossible upon a divan. There is some mysterious necessity for crossing the legs; and this Howadji never sees a tailor now in lands civilized, but the dimness of Eastern rooms and bazaars, the flowingness of robe, and the coiled splendor of the turban, and a world reclining leisurely at ease, rise distinct and dear in his mind—like that Sicilian mirage seen on divine days from Naples—but fleet as fair. To most men a tailor is the most unsuggestive of mortals; to the remembering Howadji he sits a poet.

The chibouque and nargileh and coffee belong to the divan, as the parts of harmony to each other. I seized the flowing tube of a brilliant amber-hued nargileh, such as Hafiz might have smoked, and prayed Isis that some stray Persian might chance along to complete our company. The Pacha inhaled at times a more sedate nargileh, at times the chibouque of the Commander, who reclined upon the divan below.

A tall Egyptian female, filially related, I am sure, to a gentle giraffe who had been indiscreet with a hippopotamus, moved heavily about, lighting the lamps, and looking as if her bright eyes were feeding upon the flame, as the giraffes might browse upon lofty autumn leaves. There was something awful in this figure. She was the type of those tall, angular, Chinese-eyed, semi-smiling, wholly homely and bewitched beings who sit in eternal profile in the sculptures of the temples. She was mystic, like the cow-horned Isis. I gradually feared that she had come off the wall of a tomb, probably in Thebes hard by, and that our Ghawazee delights would end in a sudden embalming, and laying away in the bowels of the hills with a perpetual prospect of her upon the walls.

Avaunt, Spectre! The Fay approaches, and Kushuk Arnem entered her bower. A bud no longer, yet a flower not too fully blown. Large laughing eyes, red pulpy lips, white teeth, arching nose, generous-featured, lazy, carelessly self-possessed, she came dancing in, addressing the Howadji in Arabic—words whose honey they would not have distilled through interpretation. Be content with the aroma of sound, if you can not catch the flavor of sense—and flavor can you never have through another mouth. Smiling and pantomime were our talking, and one choice Italian word she knew—buono. Ah! how much was buono that choice evening. Eyes, lips, hair, form, dress, every thing that the strangers had or wore, was endlessly buono. Dancing, singing, smoking, coffee—buono, buono, buonissimo! How much work one word will do!

The Ghazeeyah entered—not mazed in that azure mist of gauze and muslin wherein Cerito floats fascinating across the scene, nor in the peacock plumage of sprightly Lucille Grahn, nor yet in that June cloudiness of airy apparel which Carlotta affects, nor in that sumptuous Spanishness of dark drapery wherein Fanny is most Fanny.

The glory of a butterfly is the starred brilliance of its wings. There are who declare that dress is divine—who aver that an untoileted woman is not wholly a woman, and that you may as well paint a saint without his halo, as describe a woman without detailing her dress. Therefore, while the coarser sex vails longing eyes, will we tell the story of the Ghazeeyah's apparel.

Yellow morocco slippers hid her feet, rosy and round; over these brooded a bewildering fullness of rainbow silk—Turkish trowsers we call them, but they are shintyan in Arabic. Like the sleeve of a clergyman's gown, the lower end is gathered somewhere, and the fullness gracefully over-falls. I say rainbow, although to the Howadji's little cognizant eye was the shintyan of more than the seven orthodox colors. In the bower of Kushuk, nargileh-clouded, coffee-scented, are eyes to be strictly trusted?

Yet we must not be entangled in this bewildering brilliance. A satin jacket, striped with velvet, and of open sleeves, wherefrom floated forth a fleecy cloud of under-sleeve, rolling adown the rosy arms, as June clouds down the western rosiness of the sky, inclosed the bust. A shawl, twisted of many folds, cinctured the waist, confining the silken shintyan. A golden necklace of charms girdled the throat, and the hair, much unctuated, as is the custom of the land, was adorned with a pendent fringe of black silk, tipped with gold, which hung upon the neck behind.

Let us confess to a dreamy, vaporous vail, overspreading, rather suffusing with color, the upper part of the arms and the lower limits of the neck. That rosiness is known as tób to the Arabians—a mystery whereof the merely masculine mind is not cognizant. Beneath the tób, truth allows a beautiful bud-burstiness of bosom; yet I swear, by John Bunyan, nothing so aggravating as the Howadji beholds in saloons unnamable nearer the Hudson than the Nile. This brilliant cloud, whose spirit was Kushuk Arnem, our gay Ghazeeyah, gathered itself upon a divan, and she inhaled vigorously a nargileh. A damsel in tób and shintyan exhaling azure clouds of aromatic smoke, had not been displeasing to that Persian poet, for whose coming I had prayed too late.

But more welcome than he, came the still-eyed Xenobi. She entered timidly like a bird. The Howadji had seen doves less gracefully sitting upon palm-boughs in the sunset, than she nestled upon the lower divan. A very dove of a Ghazeeyah—a quiet child, the last born of Terpsichore. Blow it from Mount Atlas, a modest dancing-girl. She sat near this Howadji, and handed him, O Haroun Alrashid! the tube of his nargileh. Its serpentine sinuosity flowed through her fingers, as if the golden gayety[Pg 495] of her costume were gliding from her alive. It was an electric chain of communication, and never until some Xenobi of a houri hands the Howadji the nargileh of Paradise, will the smoke of the weed of Shiraz float so lightly, or so sweetly taste.

Xenobi was a mere bud, of most flexile and graceful form, ripe and round as the spring fruit of the tropics. Kushuk had the air of a woman for whom no surprises survive; Xenobi saw in every new day a surprise, haply in every Howadji a lover.

She was more richly dressed than Kushuk. There were gay gold bands and clasps upon her jacket; various necklaces of stamped gold and metallic charms clustered around her neck, and upon her head a bright silken web, as if a sun-suffused cloud were lingering there, and, dissolving, showered down her neck in a golden rain of pendants. Then, O Venus! more azure still—that delicious gauziness of tób, whereof more than to dream is delirium. Wonderful the witchery of a tób! Nor can the Howadji deem a maiden quite just to nature, who glides through the world unshintyaned and untóbed.

Xenobi was perhaps sixteen years old, and a fully developed woman; Kushuk Arnem, of some half-dozen summers more. Kushuk was unhennaed; but the younger, as younger maidens may, graced herself with the genial gifts of nature. Her delicate filbert nails were rosily tinted on the tips with henna, and those peddler poets meeting her in Paradise would have felt the reason of their chant, "Odors of Paradise, O flowers of the henna!" But she had no kohl upon the eyelashes, nor like Fatima of Damascus, whom the Howadji later saw, were her eyebrows shaved and replaced by thick, black arches of kohl. Yet fascinating are the almond-eyes of Egyptian women, bordered black with the kohl, whose intensity accords with the sumptuous passion that mingles moist and languid with their light. Eastern eyes are full of moonlight—Eastern beauty is a dream of passionate possibility, which the Howadji would fain awaken by the same spell with which the prince of Faery dissolved the enchanted sleep of the princess. Yet kohl and henna are only beautiful for the beautiful. In a coffee-shop at Esne, bold-faced among the men, sat a coarse courtesan sipping coffee and smoking a nargileh, whose kohled eyebrows and eyelashes made her a houri of hell.

"There is no joy but calm," I said, as the moments, brimmed with beauty, melted in the starlight, and the small room became a bower of bloom and a Persian garden of delight. We reclined, breathing fragrant fumes, and interchanging, through the Golden-sleeved, airy nothings. The Howadji and the houris had little in common but looks. Soulless as Undine, and suddenly risen from a laughing life in watery dells of lotus, sat the houris; and, like the mariner, sea-driven upon the enchanted isle of Prospero, sat the Howadji, unknowing the graceful gossip of Faery. But there is a faery always folded away in our souls, like a bright butterfly chrysalized, and sailing eastward, layer after layer of propriety, moderation, deference to public opinion, safety of sentiment, and all the thick crusts of compromise and convention roll away, and bending southward up the Nile, you may feel the faery fairly flutter her wings. And if you pause at Esne, she will fly out, and lead you a will-o'-the-wisp dance across all the trim sharp hedges of accustomed proprieties, and over the barren flats of social decencies. Dumb is that faery, so long has she been secluded, and can not say much to her fellows. But she feels and sees and enjoys all the more exquisitely and profoundly for her long sequestration.

Presently an old woman came in with a tár, a kind of tambourine, and her husband, a grisly old sinner, with a rabáb, or one-stringed fiddle. Old Hecate was a gone Ghazeeyah—a rose-leaf utterly shriveled away from rosiness. No longer a dancer, she made music for dancing. And the husband, who played for her in her youth, now played with her in her age. Like two old votaries who feel when they can no longer see, they devoted all the force of life remaining to the great game of pleasure, whose born thralls they were.

There were two tarabukas and brass castanets, and when the old pair were seated upon the carpet near the door, they all smote their rude instruments, and a wild clang rang through the little chamber. Thereto they sang. Strange sounds—such music as the angular, carved figures upon the temples would make, had they been conversing with us—sounds to the ear like their gracelessness to the eye.

This was Egyptian Polyhymnia preluding Terpsichore.


"The wind is fair
The boat is in the bay,
And the fair mermaid Pilot calls away—"

Kushuk Arnem quaffed a goblet of hemp arrack. The beaker was passed to the upper divan, and the Howadji sipping, found it to smack of anniseed. It was strong enough for the Pharaohs to have imbibed—even for Herod before beholding Herodias, for these dances are the same. This dancing is more ancient than Aboo Simbel. In the land of the Pharaohs, the Howadji saw the dancing they saw, as uncouth as the temples they built. This dancing is to the ballet of civilized lands what the gracelessness of Egypt was to the grace of Greece. Had the angular figures of the temple sculptures preluded with that music, they had certainly followed with this dancing.

Kushuk Arnem rose and loosened her shawl girdle in such wise, that I feared she was about to shed the frivolity of dress, as Venus shed the sea-foam, and stood opposite the divan, holding her brass castanets. Old Hecate beat the tár into a thunderous roar. Old husband drew sounds from his horrible rabáb, sharper than the sting of remorse, and Xenobi and the Giraffe each thrummed a tarabuka until[Pg 496] thought the plaster would peel from the wall. Kushuk stood motionless, while this din deepened around her, the arrack aerializing her feet, the Howadji hoped, and not her brain. The sharp surges of sound swept around the room, dashing in regular measure against her movelessness, until suddenly the whole surface of her frame quivered in measure with the music. Her hands were raised, clapping the castanets, and she slowly turned upon herself, her right leg the pivot, marvelously convulsing all the muscles of her body. When she had completed the circuit of the spot on which she stood, she advanced slowly, all the muscles jerking in time to the music, and in solid, substantial spasms.

It was a curious and a wonderful gymnastic. There was no graceful dancing—once only there was the movement of dancing when she advanced, throwing one leg before the other as gipsies dance. But the rest was most voluptuous motion—not the lithe wooing of languid passion, but the soul of passion starting through every sense, and quivering in every limb. It was the very intensity of motion, concentrated and constant. The music still swelled savagely in maddened monotony of measure. Hecate and the old husband, fascinated with the Ghazeeyah's fire, threw their hands and arms excitedly above their instruments, and an occasional cry of enthusiasm and satisfaction burst from their lips. Suddenly stooping, still muscularly moving, Kushuk fell upon her knees, and writhing with body, arms and head upon the floor, still in measure—still clanking the castanets, and arose in the same manner. It was profoundly dramatic. The scenery of the dance was like that of a characteristic song. It was a lyric of love which words can not tell—profound, oriental, intense, and terrible. Still she retreated, until the constantly down-slipping shawl seemed only just clinging to her hips, and making the same circuit upon herself, she sat down, and after this violent and extravagant exertion was marbly cold.

Then timid but not tremulous, the young Xenobi arose bare-footed, and danced the same dance, not with the finished skill of Kushuk, but gracefully and well, and with her eyes fixed constantly upon the elder. With the same regular throb of the muscles she advanced and retreated, and the Paradise-pavilioned prophet could not have felt his heavenly harem complete, had he sat smoking and entranced with the Howadji.

Form so perfect was never yet carved in marble; not the Venus is so mellowly moulded. Her outline has not the voluptuous excess which is not too much—which is not perceptible to mere criticism, and is more a feeling flushing along the form, than a greater fullness of the form itself. The Greek Venus was sea-born, but our Egyptian is sun-born. The brown blood of the sun burned along her veins—the soul of the sun streamed shaded from her eyes. She was still, almost statuesquely still. When she danced it was only stillness intensely stirred, and followed that of Kushuk as moonlight succeeds sunshine. As she went on, Kushuk gradually rose, and joining her, they danced together. The Epicureans of Cairo indeed, the very young priests of Venus, assemble the Ghawazee in the most secluded adyta of their dwellings, and there eschewing the mystery of the shintyan, and the gauziness of the tób, they behold the unencumbered beauty of these beautiful women. At festivals so fair, arrack, raw brandy, and "depraved human nature," naturally improvise a ballet whereupon the curtain here falls.

Suddenly, as the clarion call awakens the long-slumbering spirit of the war-horse, old Hecate sprang to her feet, and loosening her girdle, seized the castanets, and, with the pure pride of power, advanced upon the floor, and danced incredibly. Crouching before like a wasting old willow, that merely shakes its drooping leaves to the tempest, she now shook her fibres with the vigor of a nascent elm, and moved up and down the room with a miraculous command of her frame.

In Venice I had heard a gray gondolier, dwindled into a ferryman, awakened in a moonlighted midnight, as we swept by with singers chanting Tasso, pour his swan-song of magnificent memory into the quick ear of night.

In the Champs Elysées I had heard a rheumy-eyed Invalide cry with the sonorous enthusiasm of Austerlitz, "Vive Napoleon!" as a new Napoleon rode by.

It was the Indian summer goldening the white winter—the Zodiacal light far flashing day into the twilight. And here was the same in dead old Egypt—in a Ghazeeyah who had brimmed her beaker with the threescore and ten drops of life. Not more strange, and unreal, and impressive in their way, the inscrutable remains of Egypt, sand-shrouded but undecayed, than in hers this strange spectacle of an efficient Coryphée of seventy.

Old Hecate! thou wast pure pomegranate also, and not banana, wonder most wonderful of all—words which must remain hieroglyphics upon these pages—and whose explication must be sought in Egypt, as they must come hither who would realize the freshness of Karnak.

Slow, sweet singing followed. The refrain was plaintive, like those of the boat songs—soothing, after the excitement of the dancing, as nursery lays to children after a tired day. "Buono," Kushuk Arnem! last of the Arnems, for so her name signified. Was it a remembering refrain of Palestine, whose daughter you are? "Taib," dove Xenobi! Fated, shall I say, or favored? Pledged life-long to pleasure! Who would dare to be? Who but a child so careless would dream that these placid ripples of youth will rock you stormless to El Dorado?

O Allah! and who cares? Refill the amber nargileh, Xenobi—another fingan of mellow mocha. Yet another strain more stirring. Hence, Hecate! shrivel into invisibility with the thundering tár, and the old husband with his diabolical rabáb. Waits not the one-eyed first officer below, with a linen lantern, to pilot[Pg 497] as to the boat? And the beak of the Ibis points it not to Syene, Nubia, and a world unknown?

Farewell, Kushuk! Addio, still-eyed dove! Almost thou persuadest me to pleasure. O Wall-street, Wall-street! because you are virtuous, shall there be no more cakes and ale?


The next year after the exertions of Grattan had secured the independence of the Irish legislature, and just as the great question of reform began to loom up in the political horizon, there entered parliament another man, whose name is imperishably connected with the history of Ireland, John Philpot Curran. Of a slight and ungainly figure, there was nothing about him to overawe a legislative assembly. Grattan was the Colossus of debate. Curran, like a skillful gladiator, played round the arena, and sometimes thrusting himself into the lists in the lighter armor of his wit, carried off the victory where his giant ally would have been less successful. But, in truth, this was not his proper theatre. He came into the Parliament-house in the evening, after having been all day in court. He was then jaded in body and mind, and chose rather to listen than to speak. As Grattan was most at home in parliament, Curran was most in his element at the bar. It was in the Four Courts that he rose above all other men; that he won the reputation of being the most eloquent advocate that Ireland had ever produced.

But it is on other accounts that Curran deserves a more minute sketch in this history. He represents, perhaps more than any of his celebrated countrymen, the Irish character—a nature compounded of imagination and sensibility. Though of less kingly intellect than Grattan, he was of a warmer temperament, and more fitted to be a popular idol.

Curran sprang from the people. He was born at Newmarket, an obscure town in the county of Cork, in 1750—being thus four years younger than Grattan. On the father's side he was descended from one of Cromwell's soldiers. Passing his childhood in the country, he was thrown much among the people. He loved to recall the days when he played marbles in the street of Newmarket, or assumed the part of Punch's man at a country fair. He loved to visit the peasantry in their cabins, and to listen to their tales. There he saw the Irish character—its wit, its humor, its sensibility to mirth and tears. There too, in those rough natures, which appear so sullen and savage, when brought face to face with their oppressors, he found the finest and tenderest affections of the human heart. There too he found a natural poetry and eloquence. He was a constant attendant at the weddings and wakes of his neighborhood. It was customary at that time to employ hired mourners for the dead, and their wild and solemn lamentations struck his youthful imagination. In after-years, he acknowledged that his first ideas of eloquence were derived from listening to the laments of mourners at the Irish burials.

When transferred to Trinity College in Dublin, he became distinguished chiefly for his social powers. Full of the exuberant life of youth, overflowing with spirits, and fond of fun and frolic, he was always a welcome companion among the students.

His mother had designed him for the church. When he came out of college, his tastes took another turn. But his mother never got over her disappointment at his not being a preacher. Not even his brilliant reputation at the bar and in parliament, could satisfy her maternal heart. She lived to see the nation hanging on the lips of this almost inspired orator. Yet even then she would lament over him, "O Jacky, Jacky, what a preacher was lost in you!" Her friends reminded her that she had lived to see her son one of the judges of the land. "Don't speak to me of judges," she would reply, "John was fit for any thing; and had he but followed our advice, it might hereafter be written upon my tomb that I had died the mother of a bishop."

But no one as yet knew that he had extraordinary talent for eloquence. Indeed he did not suspect it himself. In his boyhood he had a confusion in his utterance, from which he was called by his school-fellows "stuttering Jack Curran." It was not until many years after, while studying law at the Temple, that he found out that he could speak. After his fame was established, a friend dining with him one day, could not repress his admiration of Curran's eloquence, and remarked that it must have been born with him. "Indeed, my dear sir," replied Curran, "it was not, it was born twenty-three years and some months after me." But when he had made the important discovery of this concealed power, he employed every means to render his elocution perfect. He accustomed himself to speak very slowly to correct his precipitate utterance. He practiced before a glass to make his gestures graceful. He spoke aloud the most celebrated orations. One piece he was never weary of repeating, the speech of Antony over the body of Cæsar. This he recommended to his young friends at the bar as a model of eloquence.

And while he thus used art to smooth a channel for his thoughts to flow in, no man's eloquence ever issued more freshly and spontaneously from the heart. It was always the heart of the man that spoke. It was because his own emotions were so intense, that he possessed such power over the feelings of others.

His natural sympathies were strong. Like every truly great man, he was simple as a child. He had all those tastes which mark a genuine man. He loved nature. He loved children. He sympathized with the poor. It was perhaps from these popular sympathies that he preferred Rousseau among the French writers, and that his friendship was so strong with Mr. Godwin.

[Pg 498]

His nature was all sensibility. He was most keenly alive to gay, or to mournful scenes. He had a boyish love of fun and frolic. He entered into sports with infinite glee. In these things he remained a child to the end of his days; while in sensibility to tears he had the heart of a woman. Thus to the last hour of life he kept his affections fresh and flowing.

He had the delicate organization of genius. His frame vibrated to music like an Eolian harp. He had the most exquisite relish for the beauties of poetry. He was extravagantly fond of works of imagination. He devoured romances. And when in his reading he met with a passage which gratified his taste, he was never weary of repeating it to himself, or reading it to the friends who came to see him.

In conversation, perhaps the most prominent faculty of his mind was fancy—sportive, playful, tender, and pathetic. His conversation was a stream which never ceased to flow. His brilliant imagination, and the warmth with which he entered into every thing, gave it a peculiar fascination. Byron said that Curran had spoken more poetry than any man had ever written. In a circle of genial friends, after dinner, his genius was in its first action. His countenance lighted up, and his conversation, beginning to flow, now sparkled, now ran like wine. Flashes of wit played round him. Mirth gleamed from his eye and shot from his tongue. He had an endless store of anecdote, to which his extraordinary dramatic talent enabled him to give the happiest effect. He told stories, and hitting off the point of Irish character by the most exquisite mimicry; he "set the table on a roar," following perhaps with some touching tale which instantly brought tears into every eye. "You wept," says Phillips, "and you laughed, and you wondered; and the wonderful creature, who made you do all at will, never let it appear that he was more than your equal, and was quite willing, if you chose, to become your auditor."

The wit of Curran was spontaneous. It was the creation of the moment, the electric sparks shot from a mind overcharged with imagery and feeling. In this it differed from the wit of another great Irishman. Sheridan had more of the actor about him. His brilliant sayings were prepared beforehand. He aimed at display in the receptions at Holland House as much as when writing a comedy for Drury-lane.

Perhaps no foreigner, who has visited England, has had a better opportunity of seeing its distinguished men than Madame De Stael. She was constantly surrounded by the most brilliant society of London. Yet even in that blaze of genius, she was most struck, as she often told her friends, with the conversational powers of Curran. This too, was in 1813, when his health had sunk, and his spirits were so depressed, as to make it an effort to support his part at all in society.

From the vivacity of his conversation, one would hardly have suspected the depth and seriousness of his character. In talking with ladies or with young persons, his mind was remarkable for its constant playfulness. A gleam of sunshine illumined his whole being. Yet those who knew him intimately were aware that he was subject all his life to constitutional melancholy. Like many other men celebrated for their wit, his gayety alternated with deep depression. The truth was that he sympathized too intensely with the scenes of real life, to be uniformly gay. In his country he saw so much to sadden him, that his feelings took a melancholy tone. The transition was often instantaneous from humor to pathos. His friends, who saw him in his lighter moods, were surprised at the sudden change of his countenance. "In grave conversation, his voice was remarkable for a certain plaintive sincerity of tone"—a sadness which fascinated the listener like mournful music.

In his eloquence appeared the same transitions of feeling and variety of talent. He could descend to the dryest details of law or evidence. Thomas Addis Emmet, who, though younger, practiced at the same bar, says that Curran possessed a logical head. From this he could rise to the highest flights of imagination, and it was here, and in appeals to the feelings, that he was most at home. Sometimes his wit ran away with him. His fancy was let off like a display of fireworks. It flew like a thousand rockets, darting, whizzing, buzzing, lighting up the sky with fantastic shapes.

By turns he could use the lightest or the heaviest weapon, as suited the object of his attack. Where ethereal wit or playful irony were likely to be thrown away upon some gross and insensible subject, he could point the keenest edge of ridicule, or the coarsest invective, or the most withering sarcasm.

When dissecting the character of a perjured witness, he seemed to delight in making him feel the knife. His victim, at such a time, appeared like an insect whom he had lanced with a needle, and was holding up to the laughter and scorn of the world. Thus, when treating the evidence of O'Brien, a hired informer, who had come on the stand to swear away the lives of men whom the government had determined to sacrifice, Curran apostrophized the patriotic individual, "Dearest, sweetest, Mr. James O'Brien," exposing the utter rottenness of his character in a tone of irony, until the man, who had a forehead of brass, was forced to slink back into the crowd, and to escape from the court.

So in his place in parliament, when exposing the corruption of the officers of government, he did not spare nor have pity. A swarm of blood-suckers had fastened on the state, who were growing fat from draining the life of their unhappy country. Curran proclaimed the immaculate virtue of "those saints on the pension list, that are like lilies of the field—they toil not, neither do they spin, but they are arrayed like Solomon in his glory." The extent to which[Pg 499] this corruption had gone was incredible. "This polyglot of wealth," said Curran, "this museum of curiosities, the pension list, embraces every link in the human chain, every description of men, women, and children, from the exalted excellence of a Hawke or a Rodney, to the debased situation of the lady who humbleth herself that she may be exalted." The road to advancement at that day in Ireland, to the peerage, to the judicial bench, was to betray the country. Curran branded those who thus came into power by one of the strongest figures in English eloquence. "Those foundlings of fortune, overwhelmed in the torrent of corruption at an early period, lay at the bottom like drowned bodies, while soundness or sanity remained in them; but at length becoming buoyant by putrefaction, they rose as they rotted, and floated to the surface of the polluted stream, where they were drifted along, the objects of terror, and contagion, and abomination."

At the bar he often indulged in sallies of wit, and thus conciliated the attention of the court. His delicate satire, his comical turns of thought, convulsed the court with laughter. Then suddenly he stopped, his lip quivered, his sentences grew slow and measured, and he poured forth strains of the deepest pathos, as he pictured the wrongs of his country, or lamented the companions of other days, the illustrious departed, "over whose ashes the most precious tears of Ireland had been shed." His voice excelled in the utterance of plaintive emotions, and the homage which had been paid to his eloquence by mirth, was now paid in the sound of suppressed weeping, which alone broke the death-like stillness of the room. In pleading for one on trial for his life, his voice subsided toward the close and sunk away in tones of solemnity and supplication. Thus would he say, "Sweet is the recollection of having done justice in that hour when the hand of death presses on the human heart! Sweet is the hope which it gives birth to! From you I demand that justice for my client, your innocent and unfortunate fellow-subject at the bar; and may you have it for a more lasting reward than the perishable crown we read of, which the ancients placed on the brow of him who saved in battle the life of a fellow-citizen!"

But the trait which appears most conspicuous in the public efforts of Curran, and which made him the idol of his countrymen, was his enthusiastic love of Ireland. Says his biographer, "Ireland was the choice of his youth, and was from first to last regarded by him, not so much with the feelings of a patriot, as with the romantic idolatry of a lover." In early life he had learned to love the Irish peasantry, and no lapse of time could chill his affection. No temptation of office could seduce him from the side of the poor and the oppressed. He knew their noble qualities, and his bosom burned at the wrongs which they suffered.

One of his first causes at the bar was pleading for a Catholic priest who had been brutally assaulted by a nobleman. Such was the fear of incurring the displeasure of a lord, that no one dared to undertake the prosecution, until Curran stepped forward, then a young lawyer. His effort was successful. Not long after, the priest was called away from the world. He sent for Curran to his bedside. Gold and silver he had none. But he gave him all in his power, the benediction of a dying man. He caused himself to be raised up in his bed, and stretching out his trembling hands to place them upon the head of the defender, invoked for him the blessing of the Almighty. Such scenes as this, while they excited the enthusiasm of the Catholic population throughout Ireland for the young advocate, who had dared to defend a priest of their proscribed religion, at the same time strengthened his determination to make common cause with his countrymen in their sufferings.

It is melancholy to reflect that efforts so great for the liberty and happiness of Ireland, were not crowned with complete success. But the patriotism and the courage were not less noble because overborne by superior power. It is the honor of Curran that he loved Ireland in her woe, and loved her to the last. Toward the close of life he said, "To our unhappy country, what I had, I gave. I might have often sold her. I could not redeem her. I gave her the best sympathies of my heart, sometimes in tears, sometimes in indignation, sometimes in hope, but often in despondence."

[From the Dublin University Magazine.]


Take my word for it, there is no such thing as an ancient village, especially if it has seen better days, unillustrated by its legends of terror. You might as well expect to find a decayed cheese without mites, or an old house without rats, as an antique and dilapidated town without an authentic population of goblins. Now, although this class of inhabitants are in nowise amenable to the police authorities, yet as their demeanor greatly affects the comforts of her Majesty's subjects, I can not but regard it as a grave omission that the public have hitherto been left without any statistical returns of their numbers, activity, &c., &c. And I am persuaded that a Commission to inquire into and report upon the numerical strength, habits, haunts, &c., &c., of supernatural agents resident in Ireland, would be a great deal more innocent and entertaining than half the Commissions for which the country pays, and at least as instructive. This I say more from a sense of duty, and to deliver my mind of a grave truth than with any hope of seeing the suggestion adopted. But, I am sure, my readers will deplore with me that the comprehensive powers of belief, and apparently illimitable leisure, possessed by parliamentary commissions of inquiry, should never have been applied to the subject I have named, and that the collection of that species of information should be confided to the gratuitous and[Pg 500] desultory labors of individuals, who, like myself, have other occupations to attend to. This, however, by the way.

Among the village outposts of Dublin, Chapelizod once held a considerable, if not a foremost rank. Without mentioning its connection with the history of the great Kilmainham Preceptory of the Knights of St. John, it will be enough to remind the reader of its ancient and celebrated castle, not one vestige of which now remains, and of the fact that it was for, we believe, some centuries, the summer residence of the Viceroys of Ireland. The circumstance of its being up, we believe, to the period at which that corps was disbanded, the head-quarters of the Royal Irish Artillery, gave it also a consequence of an humbler, but not less substantial kind. With these advantages in its favor, it is not wonderful that the town exhibited at one time an air of substantial and semi-aristocratic prosperity unknown to Irish villages in modern times.

A broad street, with a well-paved foot-path, and houses as lofty as were at that time to be found in the fashionable streets of Dublin; a goodly stone-fronted barrack; an ancient church, vaulted beneath, and with a tower clothed from its summit to its base with the richest ivy; an humble Roman Catholic chapel; a steep bridge spanning the Liffey, and a great old mill at the near end of it, were the principal features of the town. These, or at least most of them, remain, but still the greater part in a very changed and forlorn condition. Some of them indeed superseded, though not obliterated by modern erections, such as the bridge, the chapel, and the church in part; the rest forsaken by the order who originally raised them, and delivered up to poverty, and in some cases to absolute decay.

The village lies in the lap of the rich and wooded valley of the Liffey, and is overlooked by the high grounds of the beautiful Phœnix Park on the one side, and by the ridge of the Palmerstown hills on the other. Its situation, therefore is eminently picturesque; and factory fronts and chimneys notwithstanding, it has, I think, even in its decay, a sort of melancholy picturesqueness of its own. Be that as it may, I mean to relate two or three stories of that sort, which may be read with very good effect by a blazing fire on a shrewd winter's night, and are all directly connected with the altered and somewhat melancholy little town I have named. The first I shall relate concerns


About thirty years ago there lived in the town of Chapelizod an ill-conditioned fellow of Herculean strength, well known throughout the neighborhood by the title of Bully Larkin. In addition to his remarkable physical superiority, this fellow had acquired a degree of skill as a pugilist which alone would have made him formidable. As it was, he was the autocrat of the village, and carried not the sceptre in vain. Conscious of his superiority, and perfectly secure of impunity, he lorded it over his fellows in a spirit of cowardly and brutal insolence, which made him hated even more profoundly than he was feared.

Upon more than one occasion he had deliberately forced quarrels upon men whom he had singled out for the exhibition of his savage prowess; and, in every encounter his overmatched antagonist had received an amount of "punishment" which edified and appalled the spectators, and in some instances left ineffaceable scars and lasting injuries after it.

Bully Larkin's pluck had never been fairly tried. For, owing to his prodigious superiority in weight, strength, and skill, his victories had always been certain and easy; and in proportion to the facility with which he uniformly smashed an antagonist, his pugnacity and insolence were inflamed. He thus became an odious nuisance in the neighborhood, and the terror of every mother who had a son, and of every wife who had a husband who possessed a spirit to resent insult, or the smallest confidence in his own pugilistic capabilities.

Now it happened that there was a young fellow named Ned Moran—better known by the soubriquet of "Long Ned," from his slender, lathy proportions—at that time living in the town. He was, in truth, a mere lad, nineteen years of age, and fully twelve years younger than the stalwart bully. This, however, as the reader will see, secured for him no exemption from the dastardly provocations of the ill-conditioned pugilist. Long Ned, in an evil hour, had thrown eyes of affection upon a certain buxom damsel, who, notwithstanding Bully Larkin's amorous rivalry, inclined to reciprocate them.

I need not say how easily the spark of jealousy, once kindled, is blown into a flame, and how naturally, in a coarse and ungoverned nature, it explodes in acts of violence and outrage.

"The bully" watched his opportunity, and contrived to provoke Ned Moran, while drinking in a public-house with a party of friends, into an altercation, in the course of which he failed not to put such insults upon his rival as manhood could not tolerate. Long Ned, though a simple, good-natured sort of fellow, was by no means deficient in spirit, and retorted in a tone of defiance which edified the more timid, and gave his opponent the opportunity he secretly coveted.

Bully Larkin challenged the heroic youth, whose pretty face he had privately consigned to the mangling and bloody discipline he was himself so capable of administering. The quarrel, which he had himself contrived to get up, to a certain degree covered the ill-blood and malignant premeditation which inspired his proceedings, and Long Ned, being full of generous ire and whisky punch, accepted the gage of battle on the instant. The whole party, accompanied by a mob of idle men and boys, and in short, by all who could snatch a moment from the calls of business, proceeded in slow procession through the old gate into the Phœnix Park, and mounting the hill overlooking the town, selected near its summit a level spot on which to decide the quarrel.

The combatants stripped, and a child might[Pg 501] have seen in the contrast presented by the slight, lank form and limbs of the lad, and the muscular and massive build of his veteran antagonist, how desperate was the chance of poor Ned Moran.

"Seconds" and "bottle-holders"—selected, of course, for their love of the game—were appointed, and "the fight" commenced.

I will not shock my readers with a description of the cool-blooded butchery that followed. The result of the combat was what any body might have predicted. At the eleventh round, poor Ned refused to "give in;" the brawny pugilist, unhurt, in good wind, and pale with concentrated, and as yet, unslaked revenge, had the gratification of seeing his opponent seated upon his second's knee, unable to hold up his head, his left arm disabled; his face a bloody, swollen, and shapeless mass; his breast scarred and bloody, and his whole body panting and quivering with rage and exhaustion.

"Give in Ned, my boy," cried more than one of the by-standers.

"Never, never," shrieked he, with a voice hoarse and choking.

Time being "up," his second placed him on his feet again. Blinded with his own blood, panting and staggering, he presented but a helpless mark for the blows of his stalwart opponent. It was plain that a touch would have been sufficient to throw him to the earth. But Larkin had no notion of letting him off so easily. He closed with him without striking a blow (the effect of which, prematurely dealt, would have been to bring him at once to the ground, and so put an end to the combat), and getting his battered and almost senseless head under his arm, fast in that peculiar "fix" known to the fancy pleasantly by the name of "chancery," he held him firmly, while with monotonous and brutal strokes, he beat his fist, as it seemed, almost into his face. A cry of "shame" broke from the crowd, for it was plain that the beaten man was now insensible, and supported only by the Herculean arm of the bully. The round and the fight ended by his hurling him upon the ground, falling upon him at the same time, with his knee upon his chest.

The bully rose, wiping the perspiration from his white face with his blood-stained hands, but Ned lay stretched and motionless upon the grass. It was impossible to get him upon his legs for another round. So he was carried down, just as he was, to the pond which then lay close to the old Park gate, and his head and body were washed beside it. Contrary to the belief of all, he was not dead. He was carried home, and after some months, to a certain extent, recovered. But he never held up his head again, and before the year was over he had died of consumption. Nobody could doubt how the disease had been induced, but there was no actual proof to connect the cause and effect, and the ruffian Larkin escaped the vengeance of the law. A strange retribution, however, awaited him.

After the death of Long Ned, he became less quarrelsome than before, but more sullen and reserved. Some said, "he took it to heart," and others, that his conscience was not at ease about it. Be this as it may, however, his health did not suffer by reason of his presumed agitations, nor was his worldly prosperity marred by the blasting curses with which poor Moran's enraged mother pursued him; on the contrary, he had rather risen in the world, and obtained regular and well-remunerated employment from the Chief-secretary's gardener, at the other side of the Park. He still lived in Chapelizod, whither, on the close of his day's work, he used to return across the Fifteen Acres.

It was about three years after the catastrophe we have mentioned, and late in the autumn, when, one night, contrary to his habit, he did not appear at the house where he lodged, neither had he been seen any where, during the evening, in the village. His hours of return had been so very regular, that his absence excited considerable surprise, though, of course, no actual alarm; and, at the usual hour, the house was closed for the night, and the absent lodger consigned to the mercy of the elements, and the care of his presiding star. Early in the morning, however, he was found lying in a state of utter helplessness upon the slope immediately overlooking the Chapelizod gate. He had been smitten with a paralytic stroke; his right side was dead; and it was many weeks before he had recovered his speech sufficiently to make himself at all understood.

He then made the following relation: he had been detained, it appeared, later than usual, and darkness had closed in before he commenced his homeward walk across the Park. It was a moonlight night, but masses of ragged clouds were slowly drifting across the heavens. He had not encountered a human figure, and no sounds but the softened rush of the wind sweeping through bushes and hollows, met his ear. These wild and monotonous sounds, and the utter solitude which surrounded him, did not, however, excite any of those uneasy sensations which are ascribed to superstition, although he said he did feel depressed, or, in his own phraseology, "lonesome." Just as he crossed the brow of the hill which shelters the town of Chapelizod, the moon shone out for some moments with unclouded lustre, and his eye, which happened to wander by the shadowy inclosures which lay at the foot of the slope, was arrested by the sight of a human figure climbing, with all the haste of one pursued, over the church-yard wall, and running up the steep ascent directly toward him. Stories of "resurrectionists" crossed his recollection, as he observed this suspicious-looking figure. But he began, momentarily, to be aware, with a sort of fearful instinct which he could not explain, that the running figure was directing his steps, with a sinister purpose, toward himself.

The form was that of a man with a loose[Pg 502] coat about him, which, as he ran, he disengaged, and as well as Larkin could see, for the moon was again wading in clouds, threw from him. The figure thus advanced until within some two score yards of him; it arrested its speed, and approached, with a loose, swaggering gait. The moon again shone out bright and clear, and, gracious God! what was the spectacle before him? He saw as distinctly as if he had been presented there in the flesh, Ned Moran, himself, stripped naked from the waist upward, as if for pugilistic combat, and drawing toward him in silence. Larkin would have shouted, prayed, cursed, fled across the Park, but he was absolutely powerless; the apparition stopped within a few steps, and leered on him with a ghastly mimicry of the defiant stare with which pugilists strive to cow one another before combat. For a time, which he could not so much as conjecture, he was held in the fascination of that unearthly gaze, and at last the thing, whatever it was, on a sudden swaggered close up to him with extended palms. With an impulse of horror, Larkin put out his hand to keep the figure off, and their palms touched—at least, so he believed—for a thrill of unspeakable agony, running through his arm, pervaded his entire frame, and he fell senseless to the earth.

Though Larkin lived for many years after, his punishment was terrible. He was incurably maimed; and being unable to work, he was forced, for existence, to beg alms of those who had once feared and flattered him. He suffered, too, increasingly, under his own horrible interpretation of the preternatural encounter which was the beginning of all his miseries. It was vain to endeavor to shake his faith in the reality of the apparition, and equally vain, as some compassionately did, to try to persuade him that the greeting with which his vision closed, was intended, while inflicting a temporary trial, to signify a compensating reconciliation.

"No, no," he used to say, "all won't do. I know the meaning of it well enough; it is a challenge to meet him in the other world—in Hell, where I am going—that's what it means, and nothing else."

And so, miserable and refusing comfort, he lived on for some years, and then died, and was buried in the same narrow church-yard which contains the remains of his victim.

I need hardly say how absolute was the faith of the honest inhabitants, at the time when I heard the story, in the reality of the preternatural summons which, through the portals of terror, sickness, and misery, had summoned Bully Larkin to his long, last home, and that, too, upon the very ground on which he had signalized the guiltiest triumph of his violent and vindictive career.

I recollect another story of the preternatural sort, which made no small sensation, some five-and-thirty years ago, among the good gossips of the town; and, with your leave, courteous reader, I shall relate it.


Those who remember Chapelizod a quarter of a century ago, or more, may possibly recollect the parish sexton. Bob Martin was held much in awe by truant boys who sauntered into the church-yard on Sundays, to read the tombstones, or play leap-frog over them, or climb the ivy in search of bats or sparrows' nests, or peep into the mysterious aperture under the eastern window, which opened a dim perspective of descending steps losing themselves among profounder darkness, where lidless coffins gaped horribly among tattered velvet, bones, and dust, which time and mortality had strewn there. Of such horribly curious, and otherwise enterprising juveniles, Bob was, of course, the special scourge and terror. But terrible as was the official aspect of the sexton, and repugnant as his lank form, clothed in rusty, sable vesture, his small, frosty visage, suspicious, gray eyes, and rusty, brown scratch-wig, might appear to all notions of genial frailty; it was yet true, that Bob Martin's severe morality sometimes nodded, and that Bacchus did not always solicit him in vain.

Bob had a curious mind, a memory well stored with "merry tales," and tales of terror. His profession familiarized him with graves and goblins, and his tastes with weddings, wassail, and sly frolics of all sorts. And as his personal recollections ran back nearly three score years into the perspective of the village history, his fund of local anecdote was copious, accurate, and edifying.

As his ecclesiastical revenues were by no means considerable, he was not unfrequently obliged, for the indulgence of his tastes, to arts which were, at the best, undignified.

He frequently invited himself when his entertainers had forgotten to do so; he dropped in accidentally upon small drinking-parties of his acquaintance in public-houses, and entertained them with stories, queer or terrible, from his inexhaustible reservoir, never scrupling to accept an acknowledgment in the shape of hot whisky-punch, or whatever else was going.

There was at that time a certain atrabilious publican, called Philip Slaney, established in a shop nearly opposite the old turnpike. This man was not, when left to himself, immoderately given to drinking; but being naturally of a saturnine complexion, and his spirits constantly requiring a fillip, he acquired a prodigious liking for Bob Martin's company. The sexton's society, in fact, gradually became the solace of his existence, and he seemed to lose his constitutional melancholy in the fascination of his sly jokes and marvelous stories.

This intimacy did not redound to the prosperity or reputation of the convivial allies. Bob Martin drank a good deal more punch than was good for his health, or consistent with the character of an ecclesiastical functionary. Philip Slaney, too, was drawn into similar indulgences, for it was hard to resist the genial seductions of his gifted companion; and as he was obliged to[Pg 503] pay for both, his purse was believed to have suffered even more than his head and liver.

Be this as it may, Bob Martin had the credit of having made a drunkard of "black Phil Slaney"—for by this cognomen was he distinguished; and Phil Slaney had also the reputation of having made the sexton, if possible, a "bigger bliggard" than ever. Under these circumstances, the accounts of the concern opposite the turnpike became somewhat entangled; and it came to pass one drowsy summer morning, the weather being at once sultry and cloudy, that Phil Slaney went into a small back parlor, where he kept his books, and which commanded, through its dirty window-panes, a full view of a dead wall, and having bolted the door, he took a loaded pistol, and clapping the muzzle in his mouth, blew the upper part of his skull through the ceiling.

This horrid catastrophe shocked Bob Martin extremely; and partly on this account, and partly because having been, on several late occasions, found at night in a state of abstraction, bordering on insensibility, upon the high road, he had been threatened with dismissal; and, as some said, partly also because of the difficulty of finding any body to "treat" him as poor Phil Slaney used to do, he for a time forswore alcohol in all its combinations, and became an eminent example of temperance and sobriety.

Bob observed his good resolutions, greatly to the comfort of his wife, and the edification of the neighborhood, with tolerable punctuality. He was seldom tipsy, and never drunk, and was greeted by the better part of society with all the honors of the prodigal son.

Now it happened, about a year after the grisly event we have mentioned, that the curate having received, by the post, due notice of a funeral to be consummated in the church-yard of Chapelizod, with certain instructions respecting the site of the grave, dispatched a summons for Bob Martin, with a view to communicate to that functionary these official details.

It was a lowering autumn night: piles of lurid thunder-clouds, slowly rising from the earth, had loaded the sky with a solemn and boding canopy of storm. The growl of the distant thunder was heard afar off upon the dull, still air, and all nature seemed, as it were, hushed and cowering under the oppressive influence of the approaching tempest.

It was past nine o'clock when Bob, putting on his official coat of seedy black, prepared to attend his professional superior.

"Bobby, darlin'," said his wife, before she delivered the hat she held in her hand to his keeping, "sure you won't, Bobby, darlin'—you won't—you know what."

"I don't know what," he retorted, smartly, grasping at his hat.

"You won't be throwing up the little finger, Bobby, acushla?" she said, evading his grasp.

"Arrah, why would I, woman? there, give me my hat, will you?"

"But won't you promise me, Bobby darlin'—won't you, alanna?"

"Ay, ay, to be sure I will—why not? there, give me my hat, and let me go."

"Ay, but you're not promisin', Bobby mavourneen; you're not promisin' all the time."

"Well, divil carry me if I drink a drop till I come back again," said the sexton, angrily; "will that do you? And now will you give me my hat?"

"Here it is, darlin'," she said, "and God send you safe back."

And with this parting blessing she closed the door upon his retreating figure, for it was now quite dark, and resumed her knitting till his return, very much relieved; for she thought he had of late been oftener tipsy than was consistent with his thorough reformation, and feared the allurements of the half dozen "publics" which he had at that time to pass on his way to the other end of the town.

They were still open, and exhaled a delicious reek of whisky, as Bob glided wistfully by them; but he stuck his hands in his pockets and looked the other way, whistling resolutely, and filling his mind with the image of the curate and anticipations of his coming fee. Thus he steered his morality safely through these rocks of offense, and reached the curate's lodging in safety.

He had, however, an unexpected sick call to attend, and was not at home, so that Bob Martin had to sit in the hall and amuse himself with the devil's tattoo until his return. This, unfortunately, was very long delayed, and it must have been fully twelve o'clock when Bob Martin set out upon his homeward way. By this time the storm had gathered to a pitchy darkness, the bellowing thunder was heard among the rocks and hollows of the Dublin mountains, and the pale, blue lightning shone upon the staring fronts of the houses.

By this time, too, every door was closed; but as Bob trudged homeward, his eye mechanically sought the public-house which had once belonged to Phil Slaney. A faint light was making its way through the shutters and the glass panes over the door-way, which made a sort of dull, foggy halo about the front of the house.

As Bob's eyes had become accustomed to the obscurity by this time, the light in question was quite sufficient to enable him to see a man in a sort of loose riding-coat seated upon a bench which, at that time, was fixed under the window of the house. He wore his hat very much over his eyes, and was smoking a long pipe. The outline of a glass and a quart bottle were also dimly traceable beside him; and a large horse saddled, but faintly discernible, was patiently awaiting his master's leisure.

There was something odd, no doubt, in the appearance of a traveler refreshing himself at such an hour in the open street; but the sexton accounted for it easily by supposing that, on the closing of the house for the night, he had taken[Pg 504] what remained of his refection to the place where he was now discussing it al fresco.

At another time Bob might have saluted the stranger, as he passed, with a friendly "good-night;" but, somehow, he was out of humor and in no genial mood, and was about passing without any courtesy of the sort, when the stranger, without taking the pipe from his mouth, raised the bottle, and with it beckoned him familiarly, while, with a sort of lurch of the head and shoulders, and at the same time shifting his seat to the end of the bench, he pantomimically invited him to share his seat and his cheer. There was a divine fragrance of whisky about the spot, and Bob half-relented; but he remembered his promise just as he began to waver, and said,

"No, I thank you, sir, I can't stop to-night."

The stranger beckoned with vehement welcome, and pointed to the vacant place on the seat beside him.

"I thank you for your polite offer," said Bob, "but it's what I'm too late as it is, and haven't time to spare, so I wish you a good-night."

The traveler jingled the glass against the neck of the bottle, as if to intimate that he might at least swallow a dram without losing time. Bob was mentally quite of the same opinion; but, though his mouth watered, he remembered his promise, and, shaking his head with incorruptible resolution, walked on.

The stranger, pipe in mouth, rose from his bench, the bottle in one hand, and the glass in the other, and followed at the sexton's heels, his dusky horse keeping close in his wake.

There was something suspicious and unaccountable in this importunity.

Bob quickened his pace, but the stranger followed close. The sexton began to feel queer, and turned about. His pursuer was behind, and still inviting him with impatient gestures to taste his liquor.

"I told you before," said Bob, who was both angry and frightened, "that I would not taste it, and that's enough. I don't want to have any thing to say to you or your bottle; and in God's name," he added, more vehemently, observing that he was approaching still closer, "fall back, and don't be tormenting me this way."

These words, as it seemed, incensed the stranger, for he shook the bottle with violent menace at Bob Martin; but, notwithstanding this gesture of defiance, he suffered the distance between them to increase. Bob, however, beheld him dogging him still in the distance, for his pipe shed a wonderful red glow, which duskily illuminated his entire figure, like a lurid atmosphere of meteor.

"I wish the devil had his own, my boy," muttered the excited sexton, "and I know well enough where you'd be."

The next time he looked over his shoulder, to his dismay he observed the importunate stranger as close as ever upon his track.

"Confound you," cried the man of skulls and shovels, almost beside himself with rage and horror, "what is it you want of me?"

The stranger appeared more confident, and kept wagging his head and extending both glass and bottle toward him as he drew near, and Bob Martin heard the horse snorting as it followed in the dark.

"Keep it to yourself, whatever it is, for there is neither grace nor luck about you," cried Bob Martin, freezing with terror; "leave me alone, will you."

And he fumbled in vain among the seething confusion of his ideas for a prayer or an exorcism. He quickened his pace almost to a run; he was now close to his own door, under the impending bank by the river side.

"Let me in, let me in, for God's sake; Molly, open the door!" he cried, as he ran to the threshold, and leant his back against the plank. His pursuer confronted him upon the road; the pipe was no longer in his mouth, but the dusky red glow still lingered round him. He uttered some inarticulate cavernous sounds, which were wolfish and indescribable, while he seemed employed in pouring out a glass from the bottle.

The sexton kicked with all his force against the door, and cried at the same time with a despairing voice,

"In the name of God Almighty, once for all, leave me alone!"

His pursuer furiously flung the contents of the bottle at Bob Martin; but, instead of fluid, it issued out in a stream of flame, which expanded and whirled round them, and for a moment they were both enveloped in a faint blaze; at the same instant a sudden gust whisked off the stranger's hat, and the sexton beheld that his skull was roofless. For an instant he beheld the gaping aperture, black and shattered, and then he fell senseless into his own doorway, which his affrighted wife had just unbarred.

I need hardly give my reader the key to this most intelligible and authentic narrative. The traveler was acknowledged by all to have been the spectre of the suicide, called up by the Evil One to tempt the convivial sexton into a violation of his promise, sealed, as it was, by an imprecation. Had he succeeded, no doubt the dusky steed, which Bob had seen saddled in attendance, was destined to have carried back a double burden to the place from whence he came.

As an attestation of the reality of this visitation, the old thorn-tree which overhung the doorway was found in the morning to have been blasted with the infernal fires which had issued from the bottle, just as if a thunderbolt had scorched it.

The moral of the above tale is upon the surface, apparent, and, so to speak, self-acting—a circumstance which happily obviates the necessity of our discussing it together. Taking our leave, therefore, of honest Bob Martin, who now sleeps soundly in the same solemn dormitory where, in his day, he made so many beds for others, I come to a legend of the Royal Irish[Pg 505] Artillery, whose head-quarters were for so long a time in the town of Chapelizod. I don't mean to say that I can not tell a great many more stories, equally authentic and marvelous, touching this old town; but as I may possibly have to perform a like office for other localities, and as Anthony Poplar is known, like Atropos, to carry a shears, wherewith to snip across all "yarns" which exceed reasonable bounds, I consider it, on the whole, safer to dispatch the traditions of Chapelizod with one tale more.

Let me, however, first give it a name; for an author can no more dispatch a tale without a title, than an apothecary can deliver his physic without a label. We shall, therefore, call it,


There lived some fifteen years since in a small and ruinous house, little better than a hovel, an old woman who was reported to have considerably exceeded her eightieth year, and who rejoiced in the name of Alice, or popularly, Ally Moran. Her society was not much courted, for she was neither rich, nor, as the reader may suppose, beautiful. In addition to a lean cur and a cat, she had one human companion, her grandson, Peter Brien, whom, with laudable good-nature, she had supported from the period of his orphanage down to that of my story, which finds him in his twentieth year. Peter was a good-natured slob of a fellow, much more addicted to wrestling, dancing, and love-making, than to hard work, and fonder of whisky-punch than good advice. His grandmother had a high opinion of his accomplishments, which, indeed, was but natural, and also of his genius, for Peter had of late years begun to apply his mind to politics; and as it was plain that he had a mortal hatred of honest labor, his grandmother predicted, like a true fortune-teller, that he was born to marry an heiress, and Peter himself (who had no mind to forego his freedom even on such terms), that he was destined to find a pot of gold. Upon one point both were agreed, that, being unfitted by the peculiar bias of his genius for work, he was to acquire the immense fortune to which his merits entitled him by means of a pure run of good luck. This solution of Peter's future had the double effect of reconciling both himself and his grandmother to his idle courses, and also of maintaining that even flow of hilarious spirits which made him every where welcome, and which was, in truth, the natural result of his consciousness of approaching affluence.

It happened one night that Peter had enjoyed himself to a very late hour with two or three choice spirits near Palmerstown. They had talked politics and love, sung songs, and told stories, and, above all, had swallowed, in the chastened disguise of punch, at least a pint of good whisky, every man.

It was considerably past one o'clock when Peter bid his companions good-by, with a sigh and a hiccough, and, lighting his pipe, set forth on his solitary homeward way.

The bridge of Chapelizod was pretty nearly the midway point of his night march, and from one cause or another his progress was rather slow, and it was past two o'clock by the time he found himself leaning over its old battlements, and looking up the river, over whose winding current and wooded banks the soft moonlight was falling.

The cold breeze that blew lightly down the stream was grateful to him. It cooled his throbbing head, and he drank it in at his hot lips. The scene, too, had, without his being well sensible of it, a secret fascination. The village was sunk in the profoundest slumber, not a mortal stirring, not a sound afloat, a soft haze covered it all, and the fairy moonlight hovered over the entire landscape.

In a state between rumination and rapture, Peter continued to lean over the battlements of the old bridge, and as he did so he saw, or fancied he saw, emerging one after another along the river bank in the little gardens and inclosures in the rear of the street of Chapelizod, the queerest little white-washed huts and cabins he had ever seen there before. They had not been there that evening when he passed the bridge on the way to his merry tryst. But the most remarkable thing about it was the odd way in which these quaint little cabins showed themselves. First he saw one or two of them just with the corner of his eye, and when he looked full at them, strange to say, they faded away and disappeared. Then another and another came in view, but all in the same coy way, just appearing and gone again before he could well fix his gaze upon them; in a little while, however, they began to bear a fuller gaze, and he found, as it seemed to himself, that he was able by an effort of attention to fix the vision for a longer and a longer time, and when they waxed faint and nearly vanished, he had the power of recalling them into light and substance, until at last their vacillating indistinctness became less and less, and they assumed a permanent place in the moonlit landscape.

"Be the hokey," said Peter, lost in amazement, and dropping his pipe into the river unconsciously, "them is the quarist bits iv mud cabins I ever seen, growing up like musharoons in the dew of an evening, and poppin' up here and down again there, and up again in another place, like so many white rabbits in a warren; and there they stand at last as firm and fast as if they were there from the Deluge; bedad it's enough to make a man a'most believe in the fairies."

This latter was a large concession from Peter, who was a bit of a free-thinker, and spoke contemptuously in his ordinary conversation of that class of agencies.

Having treated himself to a long last stare at these mysterious fabrics, Peter prepared to pursue his homeward way; having crossed the bridge and passed the mill, he arrived at the corner of the main-street of the little town, and casting a careless look up the Dublin road, his[Pg 506] eye was arrested by a most unexpected spectacle.

This was no other than a column of foot-soldiers, marching with perfect regularity toward the village, and headed by an officer on horseback. They were at the far side of the turnpike, which was closed; but much to his perplexity he perceived that they marched on through it without appearing to sustain the least check from that barrier.

On they came at a slow march; and what was most singular in the matter was, that they were drawing several cannons along with them; some held ropes, others spoked the wheels, and others again marched in front of the guns and behind them, with muskets shouldered, giving a stately character of parade and regularity to this, as it seemed to Peter, most unmilitary procedure.

It was owing either to some temporary defect in Peter's vision, or to some illusion attendant upon mist and moon-light, or perhaps to some other cause, that the whole procession had a certain waving and vapory character which perplexed and tasked his eyes not a little. It was like the pictured pageant of a phantasmagoria reflected upon smoke. It was as if every breath disturbed it; sometimes it was blurred, sometimes obliterated; now here, now there. Sometimes, while the upper part was quite distinct, the legs of the column would nearly fade away or vanish outright, and then again they would come out into clear relief, marching on with measured tread, while the cocked hats and shoulders grew, as it were, transparent, and all but disappeared.

Notwithstanding these strange optical fluctuations, however, the column continued steadily to advance. Peter crossed the street from the corner near the old bridge, running on tip-toe, and with his body stooped to avoid observation, and took up a position upon the raised foot-path in the shadow of the houses, where, as the soldiers kept the middle of the road, he calculated that he might, himself undetected, see them distinctly enough as they passed.

"What the div—, what on airth," he muttered, checking the irreligious ejaculation with which he was about to start, for certain queer misgivings were hovering about his heart, notwithstanding the factitious courage of the whisky-bottle. "What on airth is the mainin' of all this? is it the French that's landed at last to give us a hand and help us in airnest to this blessed repale? If it is not them, I simply ask who the div—, I mane who on airth are they, for such sogers as them I never seen before in my born days?"

By this time the foremost of them were quite near, and truth to say, they were the queerest soldiers he had ever seen in the course of his life. They wore long gaiters and leather breeches, three-cornered hats, bound with silver lace, long blue coats, with scarlet facings and linings, which latter were shown by a fastening which held together the two opposite corners of the skirt behind; and in front the breasts were in like manner connected at a single point, where, and below which, they sloped back, disclosing a long-flapped waistcoat of snowy whiteness; they had very large, long cross-belts, and wore enormous pouches of white leather hung extraordinarily low, and on each of which a little silver star was glittering. But what struck him as most grotesque and outlandish in their costume was their extraordinary display of shirt-frill in front, and of ruffle about their wrists, and the strange manner in which their hair was frizzed out and powdered under their hats, and clubbed up into great rolls behind. But one of the party was mounted. He rode a tall white horse, with high action and arching neck; he had a snow-white feather in his three-cornered hat, and his coat was shimmering all over with a profusion of silver lace. From these circumstances Peter concluded that he must be the commander of the detachment, and examined him as he passed attentively. He was a slight, tall man, whose legs did not half fill his leather breeches, and he appeared to be at the wrong side of sixty. He had a shrunken, weather-beaten, mulberry-colored face, carried a large black patch over one eye, and turned neither to the right nor to the left, but rode right on at the head of his men with grim, military inflexibility.

The countenance of these soldiers, officers as well as men, seemed all full of trouble, and, so to speak, scared and wild. He watched in vain for a single contented or comely face. They had, one and all, a melancholy and hang-dog look; and as they passed by, Peter fancied that the air grew cold and thrilling.

He had seated himself upon a stone bench, from which, staring with all his might, he gazed upon the grotesque and noiseless procession as it filed by him. Noiseless it was; he could neither hear the jingle of accoutrements, the tread of feet, nor the rumble of the wheels; and when the old colonel turned his horse a little, and made as though he were giving the word of command, and a trumpeter, with a swollen blue nose and white feather fringe round his hat, who was walking beside him, turned about and put his bugle to his lips, still Peter heard nothing, although it was plain the sound had reached the soldiers, for they instantly changed their front to three abreast.

"Botheration!" muttered Peter, "is it deaf I'm growing?"

But that could not be, for he heard the sighing of the breeze and the rush of the neighboring Liffey plain enough.

"Well," said he, in the same cautious key, "by the piper, this bangs Banagher fairly! It's either the Frinch army that's in it, come to take the town iv Chapelizod by surprise, an' makin' no noise for feard iv wakenin' the inhabitants; or else it's—it's—what it's—somethin' else. But, tundher-an-ouns, what's gone wid Fitzpatrick's shop across the way?"

The brown, dingy stone building at the opposite[Pg 507] side of the street looked newer and cleaner than he had been used to see it; the front door of it stood open, and a sentry, in the same grotesque uniform, with shouldered musket, was pacing noiselessly to and fro before it. At the angle of this building, in like manner, a wide gate (of which Peter had no recollection whatever) stood open, before which, also, a similar sentry was gliding, and into this gateway the whole column gradually passed, and Peter finally lost sight of it.

"I'm not asleep; I'm not dhramin'," said he, rubbing his eyes, and stamping slightly on the pavement, to assure himself that he was wide awake. "It is a quare business, whatever it is; an' it's not alone that, but every thing about the town looks strange to me. There's Tresham's house new painted, bedad, an' them flowers in the windies! An' Delany's house, too, that had not a whole pane of glass in it this morning, and scarce a slate on the roof of it! It is not possible it's what it's dhrunk I am. Sure there's the big tree, and not a leaf of it changed since I passed, and the stars overhead, all right. I don't think it is in my eyes it is."

And so looking about him, and every moment finding or fancying new food for wonder, he walked along the pavement, intending, without further delay, to make his way home.

But his adventures for the night were not concluded. He had nearly reached the angle of the short lane that leads up to the church, when for the first time he perceived that an officer, in the uniform he had just seen, was walking before, only a few yards in advance of him.

The officer was walking along at an easy, swinging gait, and carried his sword under his arm, and was looking down on the pavement with an air of reverie.

In the very fact that he seemed unconscious of Peter's presence, and disposed to keep his reflections to himself, there was something reassuring. Besides, the reader must please to remember that our hero had a quantum sufficit of good punch before his adventure commenced, and was thus fortified against those qualms and terrors under which, in a more reasonable state of mind, he might not impossibly have sunk.

The idea of the French invasion revived in full power in Peter's fuddled imagination, as he pursued the nonchalant swagger of the officer.

"Be the powers iv Moll Kelly, I'll ax him what it is," said Peter, with a sudden accession of rashness. "He may tell me or not, as he plases, but he can't be offinded, anyhow."

With this reflection having inspired himself, Peter cleared his voice, and began,

"Captain," said he, "I ax your pardon, captain, an' maybe you'd be so condescendin' to my ignorance as to tell me, if it's plaisin' to yer honor, whether your honor is not a Frinchman, if it's plaisin' to you."

This he asked, not thinking that, had it been as he suspected, not one word of his question, in all probability, would have been intelligible to the person he addressed. He was, however, understood, for the officer answered him in English, at the same time slackening his pace, and moving a little to the side of the pathway, as if to invite his interrogator to take his place beside him.

"No; I am an Irishman," he answered.

"I humbly thank your honor," said Peter, drawing nearer—for the affability and the nativity of the officer encouraged him—"but maybe your honor is in the sarvice of the King of France?"

"I serve the same king as you do," he answered, with a sorrowful significance which Peter did not comprehend at the time; and, interrogating in turn, he asked, "But what calls you forth at this hour of the day?"

"The day, your honor!—the night, you mane."

"It was always our way to turn night into day, and we keep to it still," remarked the soldier. "But, no matter, come up here to my house; I have a job for you, if you wish to earn some money easily. I live here."

As he said this, he beckoned authoritatively to Peter, who followed almost mechanically at his heels, and they turned up a little lane near the old Roman Catholic chapel, at the end of which stood, in Peter's time, the ruins of a tall, stone-built house.

Like every thing else in the town, it had suffered a metamorphosis. The stained and ragged walls were now erect, perfect, and covered with pebble-dash; window-panes glittered coldly in every window; the green hall-door had a bright brass knocker on it. Peter did not know whether to believe his previous or his present impressions; seeing is believing, and Peter could not dispute the reality of the scene. All the records of his memory seemed but the images of a tipsy dream. In a trance of astonishment and perplexity, therefore, he submitted himself to the chances of his adventure.

The door opened, the officer beckoned with a melancholy air of authority to Peter, and entered. Our hero followed into a sort of hall, which was very dark, but he was guided by the steps of the soldier, and in silence they ascended the stairs. The moonlight, which shone in at the lobbies, showed an old, dark wainscoting, and a heavy, oak bannister. They passed by closed doors at different landing-places, but all was dark and silent as, indeed, became that late hour of the night.

Now they ascended to the topmost floor. The captain paused for a minute at the nearest door, and, with a heavy groan, pushing it open, entered the room. Peter remained at the threshold. A slight female form in a sort of loose, white robe, and with a great deal of dark hair hanging loosely about her, was standing in the middle of the floor, with her back toward them.

The soldier stopped short before he reached her, and said, in a voice of great anguish, "Still[Pg 508] the same, sweet bird—sweet bird! still the same." Whereupon, she turned suddenly, and threw her arms about the neck of the officer, with a gesture of fondness and despair, and her frame was agitated as if by a burst of sobs. He held her close to his breast in silence; and honest Peter felt a strange terror creep over him, as he witnessed these mysterious sorrows and endearments.

"To-night, to-night—and then ten years more—ten long years—another ten years."

The officer and the lady seemed to speak these words together; her voice mingled with his in a musical and fearful wail, like a distant summer wind, in the dead hour of night, wandering through ruins. Then he heard the officer say, alone, in a voice of anguish,

"Upon me be it all, forever, sweet birdie, upon me."

And again they seemed to mourn together in the same soft and desolate wail, like sounds of grief heard from a great distance.

Peter was thrilled with horror, but he was also under a strange fascination; and an intense and dreadful curiosity held him fast.

The moon was shining obliquely into the room, and through the window Peter saw the familiar slopes of the Park, sleeping mistily under its shimmer. He could also see the furniture of the room with tolerable distinctness—the old balloon-backed chairs, a four-post bed in a sort of recess, and a rack against the wall, from which hung some military clothes and accoutrements; and the sight of all these homely objects reassured him somewhat, and he could not help feeling unspeakably curious to see the face of the girl whose long hair was streaming over the officer's epaulet.

Peter, accordingly, coughed, at first slightly, and afterward more loudly, to recall her from her reverie of grief; and, apparently, he succeeded; for she turned round, as did her companion, and both, standing hand-in-hand, looked upon him fixedly. He thought he had never seen such large, strange eyes in all his life; and their gaze seemed to chill the very air around him, and arrest the pulses of his heart. An eternity of misery and remorse was in the shadowy faces that looked upon him.

If Peter had taken less whisky by a single thimbleful, it is probable that he would have lost heart altogether before these figures, which seemed every moment to assume a more marked and fearful, though hardly definable contrast to ordinary human shapes.

"What is it you want with me?" he stammered.

"To bring my lost treasure to the church-yard," replied the lady, in a silvery voice of more than mortal desolation.

The word "treasure" revived the resolution of Peter, although a cold sweat was covering him, and his hair was bristling with horror; he believed, however, that he was on the brink of fortune, if he could but command nerve to brave the interview to its close.

"And where," he gasped, "is it hid—where will I find it?"

They both pointed to the sill of the window, through which the moon was shining at the far end of the room, and the soldier said:

"Under that stone."

Peter drew a long breath, and wiped the cold dew from his face, preparatory to passing to the window, where he expected to secure the reward of his protracted terrors. But looking steadfastly at the window, he saw the faint image of a new-born child sitting upon the sill in the moonlight with its little arms stretched toward him, and a smile so heavenly as he never beheld before.

At sight of this, strange to say, his heart entirely failed him, he looked on the figures that stood near, and beheld them gazing on the infantine form with a smile so guilty and distorted, that he felt as if he were entering alive among the scenery of hell, and shuddering, he cried in an irrepressible agony of horror:

"I'll have nothing to say with you, and nothing to do with you; I don't know what yez are or what yez want iv me, but let me go this minute, every one of yez, in the name of God."

With these words there came a strange rumbling and sighing about Peter's ears; he lost sight of every thing, and felt that peculiar and not unpleasant sensation of falling softly, that sometimes supervenes in sleep, ending in a dull shock. After that he had neither dream nor consciousness till he wakened, chill and stiff, stretched between two piles of old rubbish, among the black and roofless walls of the ruined house.

We need hardly mention that the village had put on its wonted air of neglect and decay, or that Peter looked around him in vain for traces of those novelties which had so puzzled and distracted him upon the previous night.

"Ay, ay," said his old mother, removing her pipe, as he ended his description of the view from the bridge, "sure enough I remember myself, when I was a slip of a girl, these little white cabins among the gardens by the river side. The artillery sogers that was married, or had not room in the barracks, used to be in them, but they're all gone long ago."

"The Lord be marciful to us!" she resumed, when he had described the military procession, "it's often I seen the regiment marchin' into the town, jist as you saw it last night, acushla. Oh, voch, but it makes my heart sore to think iv them days; they were pleasant times, sure enough; but is not it terrible, avick, to think it's what it was, the ghost of the rigiment you seen? The Lord betune us an' harm, for it was nothing else, as sure as I'm sittin' here."

When he mentioned the peculiar physiognomy and figure of the old officer who rode at the head of the regiment—

"That," said the old crone, dogmatically, "was ould Colonel Grimshaw, the Lord presarve us! he's buried in the church-yard iv Chapelizod, and well I remember him, when I[Pg 509] was a young thing, an' a cross ould floggin' fellow he was wid the men, an' a devil's boy among the girls—rest his soul!"

"Amen!" said Peter; "it's often I read his tombstone myself; but he's a long time dead."

"Sure, I tell you he died when I was no more nor a slip iv a girl—the Lord betune us and harm!"

"I'm afeard it is what I'm not long for this world myself, afther seeing such a sight as that," said Peter, fearfully.

"Nonsinse, avourneen," retorted his grandmother, indignantly, though she had herself misgivings on the subject; "sure there was Phil Doolan, the ferryman, that seen black Ann Scanlan in his own boat, and what harm ever kem of it?"

Peter proceeded with his narrative, but when he came to the description of the house, in which his adventure had had so sinister a conclusion, the old woman was at fault.

"I know the house and the ould walls well, an' I can remember the time there was a roof on it, and the doors an' windows in it, but it had a bad name about being haunted, but by who, or for what, I forget intirely."

"Did you ever hear was there gold or silver there?" he inquired.

"No, no, avick, don't be thinking about the likes; take a fool's advice, and never go next or near them ugly black walls again the longest day you have to live; an' I'd take my davy, it's what it's the same word the priest himself 'ud be afther sayin' to you if you wor to ax his riverence consarnin' it, for it's plain to be seen it was nothing good you seen there, and there's neither luck nor grace about it."

Peter's adventure made no little noise in the neighborhood, as the reader may well suppose; and a few evenings after it, being on an errand to old Major Vandeleur, who lived in a snug old-fashioned house, close by the river, under a perfect bower of ancient trees, he was called on to relate the story in the parlor.

The major was, as I have said, an old man; he was small, lean, and upright, with a mahogany complexion, and a wooden inflexibility of face; he was a man, besides, of few words, and if he was old, it follows plainly that his mother was older still. Nobody could guess or tell how old, but it was admitted that her own generation had long passed away, and that she had not a competitor left. She had French blood in her veins, and although she did not retain her charms quite so well as Ninon de l'Enclos, she was in full possession of all her mental activity, and talked quite enough for herself and the major.

"So, Peter," she said, "you have seen the dear, old Royal Irish again in the streets of Chapelizod. Make him a tumbler of punch, Frank; and Peter, sit down, and while you take it let us have the story."

Peter accordingly, seated near the door, with a tumbler of the nectarian stimulant steaming beside him, proceeded with marvelous courage, considering they had no light but the uncertain glare of the fire, to relate with minute particularity his awful adventure. The old lady listened at first with a smile of good-natured incredulity; her cross-examination touching the drinking-bout at Palmerstown had been teasing, but as the narrative proceeded she became attentive, and at length absorbed, and once or twice she uttered ejaculations of pity or awe. When it was over, the old lady looked with a somewhat sad and stern abstraction on the table, patting her cat assiduously meanwhile, and then suddenly looking upon her son, the major, she said,

"Frank, as sure as I live he has seen the wicked Captain Devereux."

The major uttered an inarticulate expression of wonder.

"The house was precisely that he has described. I have told you the story often, as I heard it from your dear grandmother, about the poor young lady he ruined, and the dreadful suspicion about the little baby. She, poor thing, died in that house heart-broken, and you know he was shot shortly after in a duel."

This was the only light that Peter ever received respecting his adventure. It was supposed, however, that he still clung to the hope that treasure of some sort was hidden about the old house, for he was often seen lurking about its walls, and at last his fate overtook him, poor fellow, in the pursuit; for climbing near the summit one day, his holding gave way, and he fell upon the hard uneven ground, fracturing a leg and a rib, and after a short interval died, and he, like the other heroes of these true tales, lies buried in the little church-yard of Chapelizod.



At Dresden we enjoyed the advantage of friendly intercourse with one who is honored as much for his virtues as his talents, and whom it is a gratification to name—Professor Vogel von Vogelstein, whose latest work decorates a new church at Leipzig, designed by the estimable and highly gifted Professor Heidelhoff of Nuremberg. The simplicity of life of the great German masters, is very striking; they care nothing for display, except that upon their canvas, or their walls. One of the great secrets of their success is their earnestness of purpose. Professor Vogel seldom leaves his studio except to render courtesy to friend or stranger: and it is happy for those who have the privilege of his acquaintance, to know that such labors of love draw him frequently forth. As yet, years have not diminished the ardor with which he works—respected and beloved by all who know him. It was a true pleasure to sit in his studio, and converse with him; not only about Art, but about England; where he spent some time in communion with Wilkie, and Callcott, and Lawrence, and others, who, though passed away, have left immortalities behind them.

While conversing with Professor Vogel one[Pg 510] morning we expressed an earnest wish to see Moritz Retzsch—who had so wonderfully embodied the conceptions of Goethe, of Shakspeare, and of Schiller; his extraordinary powers of invention and description, with a few strokes of his pencil, had rendered him an object of the deepest interest to us, many years ago when an artist friend, now dead and gone, first made him known to us; and although he resided we had been told, "a long way out of Dresden," we resolved, if we could, to visit him at his home. It was therefore very pleasant when Professor Vogel offered to accompany us himself, and present us to the great artist. In the evening, as we stood on the noble bridge that spans the rapid Elbe, a summer-house crowning one of the distant vine-clad hills, was pointed out to us as belonging to him whom we so much desired to know.

"His dwelling," said our friend, "is directly below that hill, and he resides on his paternal acres; his father's vineyards are as green as ever; and the artist's love of nature, is fostered amid its beauties." Nothing could be more charming than the scene. We had left the Bruhl Terrace crowded with company, driven away from its music and society by the clouds of tobacco smoke which wrap the Germans in an elysium peculiarly "their own;" but the music was softened by distance, into sweeter harmony. The sun was setting, warming the pale green of the vineyards into autumnal richness, and casting delicious tints upon the undulating waters; the atmosphere was so pure, so free from what sad experience teaches us to consider the natural vapors of city life, that the spires and public buildings looked as if carved in ivory; the mighty river swept freely on, its strong current hopelessly contending with the massive masonry of the bridge; one or two steamers were puffing their way from some of the distant villages; and a party near the shore were moving their oars, rather than rowing, singing what sounded to us like a round and chorus, in that perfect tune and time, where the voices seem as one; twilight came down without any haze, so that the range of hills was still visible, and still we fancied we saw the Pavilion of Moritz Retzsch. Our friend told us he was born at Dresden in 1779, and had never visited the distant schools, nor wandered far from his native city; in early childhood he manifested a talent for Art; modeling in clay, carving in wood, and exercising his imitative, as well as his imaginative powers, by drawing with any thing, or upon any thing, whatever he saw or fancied. He never intended to become an artist; he had not received what is called "an artistic education." He looked at and loved whatever was beautiful in nature, and copied it without an effort. At that period, the profession of Art would have been all too tranquil a dream for his boyhood to enjoy; nay, his "hot youth," ardent and desiring excitement, full of visions of adventure and liberty, had, at one time, nearly induced him to become a huntsman, or forester—(one of the jägers made familiar to us on the stage, in green hunting dress and buckskin, with belt and bugle)—in the Royal service; a little consideration, a few speaking facts, however, taught him that this project would not have secured him the freedom he coveted so much; and, most fortunately, when he entered his twentieth year, he determined on the course which has given both to himself and to the world, such delicious pleasure. He abandoned himself to Art, and has ever since exercised it with a devotion and enthusiasm, a sacred freedom, that, despite his excitable temperament, has rendered him happy. Such was our friend's information concerning the author of those wonderful "outlines" which have been the admiration of the world for nearly half a century, and are scarcely better known in Germany than they are in England.

"Nothing," he added, "could surpass the ardor with which the young artist labored. His soul was animated by the grand conceptions of Goethe and Schiller; his ears drank in the beauty and sublimity of their poetry; and he lived in the mingled communion of great men, and the lovely and softened beauty of Saxon fatherland." In 1828, he was nominated Professor of Painting in the Dresden Royal Academy; but fame, much as he sought and loved it, did not fill his soul. The older he grew, the more his great heart yearned for that continuous sympathy with some object to comprehend and appreciate his noble pursuit, and to value him, as he believed he deserved. He coveted affection as much as fame.

One of the dwellers near his father's vineyard was rich in the possession of a little daughter of extraordinary grace and beauty. She inspired the artist with some of his brightest conceptions of that peculiar infantine loveliness which his pencil has rendered with such eloquent fidelity.

The child crept into his heart—the young girl took possession of it. The poet-painter made no effort to dispossess her; on the contrary, he increased her power by giving her an excellent education; and when she had arrived at the age of womanhood, he made her his wife. Their married years have numbered many. One may be considered old, the other is no longer young; but their happiness has been, as far as it can be, without a shadow. Although they have no children, they do not seem to have desired them. Some gallant husbands pen a sonnet to a wife on her birth-day, or the anniversary of her marriage, but Moritz Retzsch sketches his birthday ode, in which the beauty and worth of his cherished wife, his own tenderness and happiness, their mingled hopes and prayers, are penciled in forms the most poetic and expressive. From year to year these designs have enriched the album of Madame Retzsch; and never was a more noble tribute laid at the feet of any lady-love, even in the times of old romance!

[Pg 511]

Professor Vogel had promised that Moritz Retzsch should show us his drawings; and we were full of hope that we should also have the privilege of seeing this Album. The sunset had given promise of—

"A goodly day to-morrow."

And it was with no small delight that, on our return to our hotel, we found an hour had been fixed for our visit to the village, or Weinberg, and that Professor Vogel would be ready to accompany us at the time appointed.

We were prepared to expect allegorical designs; and Mrs. Jameson has long since converted us to a belief in the great power and benefit of symbolic painting, particularly on the minds and imaginations of the young. "To address the moral faculties through the medium of the imagination," says this distinguished lady, "for any permanent or beneficial purpose, is the last thing thought of by our legislators and educators. Fable, except as a mere nomenclature of heathen gods and goddesses, is banished from the nursery, and allegory in Poetry and the Fine Arts is out of fashion;" and then she mingles her ink with gall, and adds, "it is deemed the child's play of the intellect, fit only for the days of Dante, or Spenser, or Michael Angelo."

Wearied with pleasure, we slept; but what we had seen and what we anticipated rendered repose impossible. The morning was bright, and warm, and sunny; and when our kind friend entered the carriage, we felt assured of a day's enjoyment. We soon skirted the city, and found ourselves rolling in sight of the river; the road was overshadowed by trees, which had not yielded a leaf to the insidious advances of autumn; the villas—not certainly with shaven lawns and carefully-tended gardens, were picturesque and charming from the novelty of their construction, and not the less striking because the foliage was left to twine about them in unconstrained luxuriance. We had become accustomed to the wicker wagons, and the heavy oxen, and slow paces of men and horses; but there is something always to admire in the broad faces of the well-built Saxons, and the frank and kindly expression of their clear blue eyes.

We soon reached the narrow roads that wound along the base of the vine-clad hills, rising so abruptly as to form terrace after terrace, until they achieved the topmost height. Nothing can be more delightful than the situation of the houses at the foot of these hills, commanding, as they do, the whole of the rich valley in which Dresden is placed. "They call it Paradise," said our kind companion; "and truly it deserves the name."

It was positively refreshing to hear how Professor Vogel delighted in extolling Professor Retzsch. His eulogiums were so warm from the heart, and the desire to do his friend service so sincere, that we honored him more than ever. At last we paused at the garden-gate of the cottage-house of the illustrator of Faust, and entered. Wide-spreading trees overshadowed the path which led along the side of the house to a sort of stone verandah, formed by the upper story projecting over the lower, and supported by rude stone pillars. At the further end were stairs leading to the living-rooms; and down these stairs came a gentleman who must have riveted attention wherever seen. His figure was somewhat short and massive, and his dress not of the most modern fashion; yet the head was magnificent. His whole appearance recalled Cuvier to us so forcibly, that we instantly murmured the name of the great naturalist; but when his clear wild blue eyes beamed their welcome, and his lips parted into a smile to give it words, we were even more strongly reminded of Professor Wilson; in each, a large, well-developed head, masculine features, a broad and high forehead, a mouth strongly expressive of a combination of generosity and force, bespoke the careful thinker and acute observer; and in both, the hair, "sable silvered," seemed to have been left to the wild luxuriance of nature. He preceded us to the drawing-room—an uncarpeted chamber, furnished with old-fashioned German simplicity. Several birthday garlands were hung upon the walls. There were three doors opening into the apartment, and a long sofa extending along one of the sides; this sofa was canopied by ivy, growing in pots at either end, and entwined round a delicate framework. In Heidelhoff's house, at Nüremberg, we had seen wreaths of ivy growing round the window-curtains in a peculiarly graceful manner; and at Berlin, in the costly and beautiful dwelling of the admirable sculptor Wichmann, the door leading from the dining into the billiard-room—where Mendelssohn delighted to play while Jenny Lind sat by and sung, enjoying, as she always does, the enjoyment of others—that door is trellised with ivy, the trellis being formed of light bamboo, and the foliage contrasting charmingly with the color of the trellis. The dust of our carpets, perhaps, prevents the introduction of this charming ornament generally into our rooms; but it is difficult to conceive how much this simple loan from nature may be made to enrich the interiors of our dwellings.

Nothing can be more frank and cordial than Retzsch's manner, mingling, as it does, much simplicity with promptness and decision. After the lapse of a few minutes, the servant who had opened the gate brought in a couple of easels, and upon them the artist placed two paintings; both exquisitely drawn and designed, but so unlike what we had expected in color, that for a moment we felt disappointed. Our enthusiasm and admiration however, soon revived; and when, shortly afterward, he conducted us into an inner room, and, having seated us with due formality, in a great chair, opposite a little table, produced a portfolio of drawings, the kind face of Professor Vogel was illumined: "Ah!" he exclaimed, "now you will be delighted. I have brought many to my friend's studio; I have looked at these drawings over and over[Pg 512] again, yet each time I see something to admire anew; there is always a discovery to be made—some allegory, half hidden under a rose-leaf; some wise and playful satire, peeping beneath the wing of a Cupid, or from the fardel of a traveler. What a pity you do not understand German, that you might hear him read those exquisite lyrics, beautiful as the sonnets of your own Shakspeare, or Wordsworth—but I will interpret—I will interpret."

And so he did—with considerate patience: there we sat turning over page after page of the most exquisite fancies; the overflowings not only of the purest and most brilliant imagination, but of the deepest tenderness and exalted independence. The allegories of Moritz Retzsch, are not of the "hieroglyphic caste," such as roused the indignation of Horace Walpole; there were no sentimental Hopes supported by anchors: no fat-cheeked Fames puffing noiseless trumpets; no common-place Deaths, with dilapidated hour-glasses; they were triumphs of pure Art, conveying a poetical idea, a moral or religious truth, a brilliant satire, brilliant and sharp as a cutting diamond, by "graphical representation;" each subject was a bit of the choicest lyric poetry, or an epigram, in which a single idea or sentiment had been illustrated and embodied, giving "a local habitation," a name, a history, in the smallest compass, and in the most intelligible and attractive form.

With what delight we turned over these matchless drawings, many of them little more than outlines, yet so full of meaning—pausing between each, to glance at the face of the interpreter; though so distinctly was the idea conveyed, that there needed none; only it was such a rare delight to hear him tell his meaning in his own full sounding tongue, his face expressing all he wished to say, before the words were spoken.

We could have lingered over that portfolio for hours, and like Professor Vogel have found something new at each inspection of the same drawing; but the artist seemed to grow gently impatient to show us his wife's Album—the book of which we had heard so much on the previous evening; there it was, carefully cased and covered—and before he opened it, he explained, with smiling lips, that on each of Madame Retzsch's birthdays, he had presented to her a drawing expressive of his devotion, his faith in her virtues, or the hopes or disappointments to which the destiny of life had subjected them. However delicate and endearing may be the love of youth, with it there is always associated a dread that it may not endure until the end—that the world may tarnish or destroy it; that,

"A word unkind or wrongly taken,"

may be the herald of harshness and of estrangement; but when, after a lapse of accumulated years, Cupid folds his wings without the loss of a single feather, and laughs at his arch-enemy "Time," the sunshine of the picture creates an atmosphere of happiness that excites the best sympathies of our nature. While he descanted on these results of his luxuriant and overflowing imagination and affection, never was genius more thoroughly love-inspired; never, as we had heard, did poet pen more exquisite birthday odes, than were framed by the tender and eloquent pencil of Moritz Retzsch on the birthdays of his wife.

We did not feel it to be a defect in the graphic allegories, so rich and varied in thought and expression, that they required, or rather received, the eloquent explanations, of their great originator; the scene around that little table was in exquisite harmony; Professor Vogel's expressions of delight were as enthusiastic as our own; he repeatedly said that a visit to his old friend was a renewal of his own youth; he hailed the precious Album with as much pleasure as ourselves, and reveled in the poetry and originality of its illustrations, with a freshness of feeling supposed only to belong to the early years of life.

We can not remember that Retzsch sat down once during our long visit; he was standing or moving about, the entire time, and frequently passed his fingers through the masses of his long gray hair, so that it assumed most peculiar styles; but nothing could detract from the picturesque magnificence of his noble head. His restlessness was certainly peculiar, he passed and repassed into the room where his precious drawings were scattered in such rich profusion, returning again and again to the window, enjoying our pleasure, the expression of his face varying so eloquently and honestly, that a young child could have read his thoughts: and then the indescribable brightness of that face; stormy, it no doubt could be at times, but the thunder would have been as nothing to the lightning.

The great artist seemed as curious about England as a country child is about London; indeed the mingling of simplicity and wisdom, is one of the strongest phases in his character; so gigantic, and yet so delicate, in Art; so full of the rarest knowledge; animated by an unsurpassable imagination; proud of the distinction his talents command, and yet of a noble and heroic independence which secures universal respect. The artist and his wife accompanied us to the gate which was soon to shut us out of "Paradise;" and, amply gratified as we were with our visit and its results, we felt that there was still so much more to say and to see, that the past hours appeared like winged moments, reminding us how—

"Noiseless falls the foot of time
That only treads on flowers."

It seemed as though the gate had closed upon an old friend, instead of upon one seen for so brief a space, and never perhaps to be met with again in this world. One of the dreams of a life-time had been fully realized. We had paid Moritz Retzsch the involuntary compliment, of forgetting the celebrity of the artist, in the warmth of our admiration of the man. The gate was closed, and we were driving[Pg 513] rapidly toward Dresden—the scenery softened and mellowed by the gray and purply tone which follows a golden sunset. Yes, we felt as if we had parted from a friend; and surely the sacred lovingness we bear to those—honored though unseen—who have been as friends within our homes, dispersing by the power of their genius all trace, for a time, of the fret and turmoil of the busy world; soothing our sorrows; teaching us how to endure, and how to triumph; or enriching our minds by that Art-knowledge, which, in the holiness of its beauty, is only second to the wisdom "which cometh from above;"—surely a higher tribute than either gratitude or admiration, is that of placing them within our hearts, there to remain until the end; amid the good, the beautiful, the true, and the beloved of life itself.


We have seen pipes of all sorts and sizes in our time. In Germany, where the finest cnaster is but twenty-pence a pound, and excellent leaf-tobacco only five-pence, we have seen pipes that resembled actual furnaces compared with the general race of pipes, and have known a man smoke out half a pound of cnaster and drink a gallon of beer at a sitting. But this is perfectly pigmy work when compared with the royal pipe and consumptive tobacco power of Victoria of England. The queen's pipe is, beyond all controversy—for we have seen it—equal to any other thousand pipes that can be produced from the pipial stores of this smoking world. She has not only an attendant to present it whenever she may call for it, but his orders are to have it always in the most admirable smoking state—always lighted, without regard to the quantity of tobacco it may consume; and, accordingly, her pipe is constantly kept smoking day and night without a moment's intermission, and there are, besides the grand pipe-master, a number of attendants incessantly employed in seeking the most suitable tobacco, and bringing it to the grand-master. There is no species of tobacco which the queen has not in her store-room. Shag, pig-tail, Cavendish, Manilla, Havanna, cigars, cheroots, negrohead, every possible species of nicotian, she gives a trial to, by way of variety. A single cigar she holds in as much contempt as a lion would a fly by way of mouthful. We have seen her grand-master drop whole handfuls of Havannas at once into her pipe, and after them as many Cubas.

It may abate the wonder of the reader at this stupendous smoking power of the queen, if we admit, as must, indeed, have become apparent in the course of our remarks, that the queen performs her smoking, as she does many of her other royal acts, by the hands of her servants. In truth, to speak candidly, the queen never smokes at all, except through her servants. And this will appear very likely, when we describe the actual size of her royal pipe. It is, indeed of most imperial dimensions. The head alone is so large, that while its heel rests on the floor of her cellar, its top reaches out of the roof. We speak a literal fact, as any one who procures an order for the purpose may convince himself by actual inspection. We are sure that the quantity of tobacco which is required to supply it, must amount to some tons in the year. Nay, so considerable is it, that ships are employed specially to bring over this tobacco, and these ships have a dock of one acre in extent at the port of London entirely for their exclusive reception. In a word, the Queen's Tobacco-pipe, its dimensions, its attendance, its supply and consumption of tobacco, are without any parallel in any age or any nation.

If we have raised any wonder in the breasts of our readers, we shall not diminish that wonder by some further explanations regarding this extraordinary pipe; if we have raised any incredulity, what we are now about to add will at once extinguish it.

The Queen's Tobacco-pipe, then, is a furnace built in the very centre of the great Tobacco Warehouse at the London Docks. This furnace is kept for the purpose of consuming all the damaged tobacco which comes into port. As the warehouse is the Queen's Warehouse, the furnace is really termed the Queen's Pipe; and all that we have related of it is literally true, and is, in itself and all the circumstances connected with it, one of the most remarkable things in this country.

If any one would form any thing like an adequate conception of the wonders of London, and of the power and wealth of this country, he should pay a visit to the London Docks. After having traversed the extent, and amazed himself at the myriad population, the intense activity, the stupendous affluence, and the endless variety of works going on in this capital of the globe, he will, on arriving at the Docks, feel a fresh and boundless astonishment. From near the Tower all the way to Blackwall, a distance of four miles, he will find it a whole world of docks. The mass of shipping, the extent of vast warehouses, many of them five and seven stories high, all crowded with ponderous heaps of merchandise from every region of the globe, have nothing like it besides in the world, and never have had. The enormous wealth here collected is perfectly overwhelming to the imagination.

If the spectator first enter St. Katherine's Docks, he finds them occupying twenty-three acres, with water capable of accommodating one hundred and twenty ships, and warehouses of holding one hundred and ten thousand tons of goods; the capital of the company alone exceeding two millions of pounds. Proceeding to the London Docks, properly so called, there he will find an extent of more than one hundred acres, offering water for five hundred ships, and warehouse room for two hundred and thirty-four thousand tons of goods; the capital of the company amounting to four millions of pounds. The West India Docks next present themselves,[Pg 514] being three times as extensive as the London Docks, having an area of no less than two hundred and ninety-five acres, with water to accommodate four hundred vessels, and warehouse-room for one hundred and eighty thousand tons of merchandise; the capital of the company is more than six millions of pounds, and the value of goods which have been on the premises at one time twenty millions. Lastly, the East India Docks occupy thirty-two acres, and afford warehouse-room for fifteen thousand tons of goods.

The whole of these docks occupying four hundred and fifty acres, offering accommodations for one thousand two hundred ships, and for five hundred and thirty thousand tons of goods.

But these are only the docks on the left bank of the river; on the other side, docks extend from Rotherhithe to Deptford; the Surrey Docks, the Commercial Docks, and the East Country Docks. When the gigantic extent of these docks, and the mass of property in them, are considered, Tyre and Sidon shrink up into utter insignificance.

But of all these astonishing places, our present attention is devoted only to the London Docks, properly so called, as being connected with the operations of the Queen's Pipe; the damaged and unsalable goods of these docks being its food. In these docks are especially warehoused wine, wool, spices, tea, ivory, drugs, tobacco, sugars, dye-stuffs, imported metals, and sundry other articles. Except the teas and spices, you may procure inspection of all these articles, as they lie in their enormous quantities, by a ticket from the secretary. If you wish to taste the wines, you must have a tasting order for the purpose.

Imagine yourselves, then, entering the gateway of the London Docks. If you wish only to walk round and see the shipping, and people at work, you can do that without any order. As you advance, you find yourself surrounded right and left by vast warehouses, where numbers of people, with carts and trucks, are busily at work taking in and fetching out goods. On your right you soon pass the ivory warehouse, where no lady is admitted except by a special order. The cause of this singular regulation, by no means complimentary to the fair sex, we were unable to ascertain. No lady could very well be suspected of carrying off in her muff an elephant's tooth of some hundred weight, but there must have been female thieves, dexterous enough to secrete, perhaps a rhinoceros's tooth, of perhaps some dozen pounds, valued at one pound seven shillings per pound; and thus contrived to bring a stigma on the whole sex.

Vast heaps of ivory lie on the floor of this warehouse, in huge elephants' tusks, of from twenty to a hundred pounds weight each; tusks of rhinoceros, and the ivory weapons of sword-fish and sea-unicorns. Here lay, on our last visit, the African spoils of Mr. Gordon Cumming; and, indeed, the spectacle is one that carries you away at once to the African deserts, and shows you what is going on there while we are quietly and monotonously living at home.

Proceeding down the dock-yard, you see before you a large area literally paved with wine-casks, all full of the most excellent wines. On our last visit, the wine then covering the ground was delicious Bordeaux, as you might easily convince yourself by dipping a finger into the bunghole of any cask; as, for some purpose of measurement, or testing the quality, the casks were most of them open. This is, in fact, the great depôt of the wine of the London merchants, no less than sixty thousand pipes being capable of being stored away in the vaults here. One vault alone, which formerly was seven acres, has now been extended under Gravel-lane, so that at present it contains upward of twelve acres! These vaults are faintly lit with lamps, but on going in, you are at the entrance accosted with the singular demand—"Do you want a cooper?" Many people, not knowing its meaning, say, "No, by no means!" The meaning of the phrase is, "do you want to taste the wines?" when a cooper accompanies you to pierce the casks, and give you the wine. Parties are every day, and all day long, making these exploratory and tasting expeditions. Every one on entering is presented with a lamp at the end of a lath, about two feet long, and you soon find yourselves in some of the most remarkable caving in the world. Small streets, which you perceive are of great extent, by the glimmering of lamps in the far distance, extend before you, and are crossed by others in such a manner that none but those well acquainted with the geography of these subterranean regions could possibly find their way about them. From the dark vaulted roof over head, especially in one vault, hang strange figures, black as night, light as gossamer, and of a yard or more in length, resembling skins of beasts, or old shirts dipped in soot. These are fed to this strange growth by the fumes of the wine.

For those who taste the wines the cooper bores the heads of the pipes, which are ranged throughout these vast cellars on either hand in thousands and tens of thousands, and draws a glassful. These glasses, though shaped as wine-glasses, resemble much more goblets in their size, containing each as much as several ordinary wine-glasses. What you do not drink is thrown upon the ground; and it is calculated that at least a hogshead a day is thus consumed. Many parties who wish for a cheap carouse, procure a tasting order, take biscuits with them, and drink of the best of all sorts of wine in the cellars, and in quantities enough to terrify any disciple of Father Mathew. Here, again, we find a regulation permitting no ladies to enter these cellars after one o'clock. For such a rule there must be a sufficient cause, and the fact which we have just stated may perhaps furnish the key to it.

Not less striking than those cellars is the Mixing House above, where there are vats into which merchants who wish to equalize all their[Pg 515] wines of one vintage can have them emptied, and then re-drawn into their casks. The largest of these vats contains twenty-three thousand two hundred and fifty gallons; and to it the famous Heidelburg Tun is a mere keg.

But the reader may ask, what have these wine-cellars to do with the Queen's Pipe? It is this: in the centre of the great east vault you come to a circular building without any entrance. It is the root and foundation of the Queen's Pipe. Quitting the vault, and ascending into the warehouse over it, you find that you are in the Great Tobacco Warehouse, called the Queen's Warehouse, because the Government rent the Tobacco Warehouses here for fourteen thousand pounds per annum. This one warehouse has no equal in any other part of the world. It is five acres in extent, and yet it is covered with a roof, the framework of which is of iron, erected, we believe, by Mr. Barry, the architect of the new houses of parliament, and of so light and skillful a construction, that it admits of a view of the whole place; and so slender are the pillars, that the roof seems almost to hang upon nothing. Under this roof is piled a vast mass of tobacco in huge casks, in double tiers; that is, two casks in height. This warehouse is said to hold, when full, twenty-four thousand hogsheads, averaging one thousand two hundred pounds each, and equal to thirty thousand tons of general merchandise. Each cask is said to be worth, duty included, two hundred pounds; giving a sum total of tobacco in this one warehouse, when filled, of four millions, eight hundred thousand pounds in value! Besides this, there is another warehouse of nearly equal size, where finer kinds of tobacco are deposited, many of them in packages of buffalo-hide, marked "Giron," and Manilla for cheroots, in packages of sacking lined with palmetto leaves. There is still another warehouse for cigars, called the Cigar Floor, in which there are frequently one thousand five hundred chests, valued at one hundred pounds each, at an average, or one hundred and fifty thousand pounds in cigars alone.

The scene in the Queen's Warehouse, to which we return, is very singular. Long streets stretch right and left between the walls of tobacco-casks; and when the men are absent at one of their meals, you find yourself in an odd sort of solitude, and in an atmosphere of tobacco. Every one of these giant hogsheads is stripped twice from the tobacco during its stay in this warehouse; once on entrance, to weigh it, and again before leaving, to ascertain whether the mass is uninjured; and to weigh what is found good for the duty, and for the sale price to the merchant. Thus the coopers take all these hogsheads twice to pieces, and put them together again. This tobacco is of the strong, coarse kind, for pigtail, shag, snuff, &c. The finer kinds, as we have said, go to the other warehouse.

But your eye is now attracted by a guide-post, on which is painted, in large letters, "To the Kiln." Following this direction, you arrive at the centre of the warehouse, and at the Queen's Pipe. You enter a door on which is rudely painted the crown royal and the initials "V.R.," and find yourself in a room of considerable size, in the centre of which towers up the kiln; a furnace of the conical kind, like a glass-house or porcelain furnace. On the door of the furnace is again painted the crown and the "V.R." Here you find, in the furnace, a huge mass of fire, and around are heaps of damaged tobacco, tea, and other articles ready to be flung upon it, as it admits of it. This fire never goes out, day or night, from year to year. There is an attendant who supplies it with its fuel, as it can take it; and men, during the day-time, constantly coming laden with great loads of tobacco, cigars, and other stuff, condemned to the flames. Whatever is forfeited, and is too bad for sale, be it what it will, is doomed to the kiln. At the other Docks damaged goods, we were assured, are buried till they are partly rotten, and then taken up and disposed of as rubbish or manure. Here the Queen's Pipe smokes all up, except the greater quantity of the tea, which, having some time ago set the chimney of the kiln on fire, is now rarely burnt. And strange are the things that sometimes come to this perpetually burning furnace. On one occasion, the attendant informed us, he burnt nine hundred Australian mutton-hams. These were warehoused before the duty came off. The owner suffered them to remain till the duty ceased, in hopes of their being exempt from it; but this not being allowed, they were left till so damaged as to be unsalable. Yet a good many, the man declared, were excellent; and he often made a capital addition to his breakfast from the roast that, for some time, was so odoriferously going on. On another occasion he burnt thirteen thousand pairs of condemned French gloves.

In one department of the place often lie many tons of the ashes from the furnace, which are sold by auction, by the ton, to gardeners and farmers, as manure, and for killing insects, to soap-boilers and chemical manufacturers. In a corner are generally piled cart-loads of nails, and other pieces of iron, which have been swept up from the floors, or have remained in the broken pieces of casks and boxes which go to the kiln. Those which have been sifted from the ashes are eagerly bought up by gunsmiths, sorted, and used in the manufacture of gun-barrels, for which they are highly esteemed, as possessing a toughness beyond all other iron, and therefore calculated, pre-eminently, to prevent bursting. Gold and silver, too, are not unfrequently found among these ashes; for many manufactured articles, if unsalable, are broken up, and thrown in. There have sometimes, indeed, been vast numbers of foreign watches, professing themselves to be gold watches, but being gross impostors, which have been ground up in a mill, and then flung in here.

Such is the Queen's Tobacco-Pipe, unique of its kind, and in its capacity of consumption.[Pg 516] None of the other Docks have any thing like it. It stands alone. It is the Pipe—and as we have said, establishes the Queen of England, besides being the greatest monarch on the globe, as the greatest of all smokers—not excepting the Grand Turk, or the Emperor of Austria, the greatest tobacconist of Europe.


When we gaze in admiration at some great work of plastic art, our thoughts naturally recur rather to the master mind whence the conception we now see realized first started into life, than to any difficulties which he or others might have had to overcome in making the quickened thought a palpable and visible thing. All is so harmonious; there is such unity throughout; material, form, and dimensions, are so adapted and proportioned one to the other, that we think not of roughnesses or of opposing force as connected with a work whence all disparities are removed, and where every harshness is smoothed away. There stands the achieved fact in its perfect completeness: there is nothing to remind us of its progress toward that state, for the aids and appliances thereunto have been removed; and the mind, not pausing to dwell on an intermediate condition, at once takes in the realized creation as an accomplished whole. And if even some were inclined to follow in thought such a work in its growth, there are few among them who, as they look at a monument of bronze, have any notion how the figure before them grew up into its present proportions. They have no idea how the limbs were formed within their earthen womb, and how many and harassing were the anxieties that attended on the gigantic birth.

The sculptor, the painter, the engraver, has each, in his own department, peculiar difficulties to overcome; but these for the most part are such as skill or manual dexterity will enable him to vanquish. He has not to do with a mighty power that opposes itself to his human strength, and strives for the mastery. He has not to combat an element which he purposely rouses into fury, and then subjugates to his will. But the caster in metal has to do all this. He flings into the furnace heaps of brass—cannon upon cannon, as though they were leaden toys; and he lights a fire, and fans and feeds the flames, till within that roaring hollow there is a glow surpassing what we have yet seen of fire, and growing white from very intensity. Anew it is plied with fuel, fed, gorged. The fire itself seems convulsed and agonized with its own efforts; but still it roars on. Day by day, and night after night, with not a moment's relaxation, is this fiery work carried on. The air is hot to breathe; the walls, the rafters, are scorched, and if the ordeal last much longer, all will soon be in a blaze. The goaded creature becomes maddened and desperate, and is striving to burst its prison; while above it a molten metal sea, seething and fiery, is heaving with its ponderous weight against the caldron's sides!

Lest it be thought this picture is too highly colored, or that it owes any thing to the imagination for its interest, let us look into the foundry of Munich, and see what was going on there at midnight on the 11th of October 1845.

When King Louis I. had formed the resolution of erecting a colossal statue of Bavaria, it was Schwanthaler whom he charged to execute the work. The great artist's conception responded to the idea which had grown in the mind of the king, and in three years' time a model in clay was formed, sixty-three feet in height, the size of the future bronze statue. The colossus was then delivered over to the founder, to be cast in metal. The head was the first large portion that was executed. While the metal was preparing for the cast, a presentiment filled the master's mind that, despite his exact reckoning, there might still be insufficient materials for the work, and thirty cwt. were added to the half-liquid mass. The result proved how fortunate had been the forethought: nothing could be more successful. And now the chest of the figure was to be cast, and the master conceived the bold idea of forming it in one piece. Those who have seen thirty or forty cwt. of metal rushing into the mould below, have perhaps started back affrighted at the fiery stream. But 400 cwt. were requisite for this portion of the statue; and the formidable nature of the undertaking may be collected from the fact that till now, not more than 300 cwt. had ever filled a furnace at one time.

But see, the mass begins slowly to melt; huge pieces of cannon float on the surface, like boats on water, and then gradually disappear. Presently upon the top of the mass a crust is seen to form, threatening danger to the furnace as well as to the model prepared to receive the fluid bronze. To prevent this crust from forming, six men were employed day and night in stirring the lava-like sea with long poles of iron; retiring, and being replaced by others every now and then; for the scorching heat, in spite of wetted coverings, causes the skin to crack like the dried rind of a tree. Still the caldron was being stirred, still the fire was goaded to new efforts, but the metal was not yet ready to be allowed to flow. Hour after hour went by, the day passed, and night came on. For five days and four nights the fire had been kept up and urged to the utmost intensity, and still no one could tell how long this was yet to last. The men worked on at their tremendous task in silence; the fearful heat was increasing, and as though it would never stop. There was a terrible weight in the burning air, and it pressed upon the breasts of all. There was anxiety in their hearts, though they spoke not, but most of all in his who had directed this bold undertaking. For five days he had not left the spot, but, like a Columbus watching for the hourly-expected land, had awaited the final moment. On the evening of the fifth day exhausted nature demanded repose, and he sat down to sleep. Hardly had he closed his eyes when his wife[Pg 517] roused him with the appalling cry, "Awake, awake, the foundry is on fire!" And it was so. Nothing could stand such terrific heat. The rafters of the building began to burn. To quench the fire in the usual way was impossible, for had any cold fluid come in contact with the liquid metal, the consequences would have been frightful: the furnace would have been destroyed, and the 400 cwt. of bronze lost. With wet cloths, therefore, the burning rafters were covered to smother the flames. But the walls were glowing, too; the whole building was now like a vast furnace. Yet still more fuel on the fire!—the heat is not enough; the metal boils not yet! Though the rafters burn, and the walls glow, still feed, and gorge, and goad the fire!

At last the moment comes!—the whole mass is boiling! Then the metal-founder of Munich, Miller by name, called to the men who were extinguishing the burning beams, "Let them burn; the metal is ready for the cast!" And it was just midnight, when the whole of the rafters of the interior of the building were in flames, that the plug was knocked in, and the fiery flood rushed out into the mould below.

All now breathed more freely: there was an end of misgiving and foreboding; and the rude workmen, as if awe-struck by what they had accomplished, stood gazing in silence, and listening to the roar of the brazen cataract. It was not till the cast was completed that the master gave the signal for extinguishing the burning roof.

In due time the bell of the little chapel of Neuhausen was heard summoning thither the master and his workmen to thank God for the happy completion of the work. No accident had occurred to any during its progress; not one had suffered either in life or limb.



"Once upon a time," in the earlier part of the seventeenth century, was born Charles Perrault. We pass over his boyhood and youth to the period when, after having long filled the situation of Commissioner of Public Buildings, he fell into disgrace with his patron, the prime minister Colbert, and was obliged to resign his situation. Fortunately he had not been unmindful of prudential economy during the days of prosperity, and had made some little savings on which he retired to a small house in the Rue St. Jacques, and devoted himself to the education of his children.

About this time he composed his fairy tales. He himself attached little literary importance to productions destined to be handed down to posterity, ever fresh and ever new. He usually wrote in the morning the story intended for the evening's amusement. Thus were produced in their turn "Cinderella," "Little Red Riding-Hood," "Blue Beard," "Puss in Boots," "Riquet with the Tuft," and many other wondrous tales which men now, forsooth, pretend to call fictions. Charles Lamb knew better. He was once looking for books for a friend's child, and when the bookseller, seeing him turn from shelves loaded with Mrs. Trimmer and Miss Edgeworth, offered him modern tales of fay and genii, as substitutes for his old favorites, he exclaimed, "These are not my own true fairy tales!"

When surrounded by his grandchildren, Perrault related to them the stories he had formerly invented for his children. One evening after having repeated for the seventh or eighth time the clever tricks of "Puss in Boots," Mary, a pretty little girl of seven years of age, climbed up on her grandfather's knee, and giving him a kiss, put her little dimpled hands into the curls of the old man's large wig.

"Grandpapa," said she, "why don't you make beautiful stories for us as you used to do for papa and my uncles?"

"Yes," exclaimed the other children, "dear grandpapa, you must make a story entirely for ourselves."

Charles Perrault smiled, but there was a touch of sadness in the smile. "Ah, dear children," said he, "it is very long since I wrote a fairy tale, and I am not as young as I was then. You see I require a stick to enable me to get along, and am bent almost double, and can walk but very, very slowly. My eyes are so dim, I can hardly distinguish your little merry faces; my ear can hardly catch the sound of your voices; nor is my mind what it was. My imagination has lost its vigor and freshness; memory itself has nearly deserted me; but I love you dearly, and like to give you pleasure. However, I doubt if my poor bald head could now make a fairy tale for you, so I will tell you one which I heard so often from my mother that I think I can repeat it word for word."

The children joyfully gathered round the old man, who passed his hands for a moment across his wrinkled brow, and began the story as follows:

My mother and your great-grandmother, Madeline Geoffrey, was the daughter of a linendraper, who, at the time I speak of, had been residing for three years in the Rue des Bourdonnais, close to the Cemetery of the Innocents. One evening, having gone alone to vespers at the church of St. Eustace, as she was hastening home to her mother, who had been prevented by illness from accompanying her, she heard a great noise at the top of the street, and looking up saw an immense mob hurrying along, shouting and hooting. As they were then in the midst of the troubles of the Fronde, Madeline in alarm hurried toward the house, and having opened the door by a latch-key, was turning to close it, when she was startled on seeing behind her a woman wrapped in a black mantle holding two children by the hand. This woman rushed past Madeline into the shop, exclaiming, "In the name of all you hold most dear, save me! Hide me and my children in some corner of your house! However helpless and unfortunate I may appear at this moment, doubt not my power to prove my gratitude to you."

[Pg 518]

"I should want no reward for helping the distressed," said Madeline, deeply touched by the mother's agony; "but poor protection can this house afford against a brutal mob." The stranger cast a hurried and tearful glance around; when, suddenly uttering a cry of joy, she fixed her eye upon part of the floor almost concealed by the shop counter, and rushing to the spot, exclaimed, "I have it!—I have it!" As she spoke, she lifted a trap-door contrived in the floor, opening on a stone staircase which led to a subterranean passage; and snatching up her children in her arms, darted down into the gulf, leaving my mother stupefied with astonishment. But the cries of the mob, who had by this time reached the shop, and were clamorously demanding admittance, roused her; and quickly closing the trap-door, she called her father who came down in great alarm.

After a short parley, he opened the door, which they were beginning to force. The mob consisted of two or three hundred miserable tattered wretches, who poured into the house; and after searching every corner of it, without finding any thing, were so furious with disappointment, that they seized upon Madeline and her father.

"Deliver up to us the woman we are looking for!" they exclaimed. "She is a vile sorceress—an enemy to the citizens of Paris; she takes the part of the hated Austrian against us; she is the cause of all the famine and misery that is desolating Paris. We must have her and her children, that we may wreak just vengeance on them!"

"We know not who you mean," replied my grandfather, who, in truth, was quite ignorant of what had occurred; "we have not seen any one—no one has entered the house."

"We know how to make such obstinate old wretches speak," exclaimed one of the ringleaders. He seized my mother, and pointing a loaded pistol at her breast, cried, "The woman! We want the woman!"

At this moment Madeline, being exactly over the trap-door, heard a slight rustle underneath; and fearing that it would betray the stranger's hiding-place, endeavored to drown the noise from below by stamping with her foot, while she boldly replied, "I have no one to give up to you."

"Well, then, you shall see how it fares with those who dare to resist us!" roared one of the infuriated mob. Tearing off her vail, he seized Madeline by the hair, and pulled her to the ground.

"Speak!" he exclaimed, "or I will drag you through the streets of Paris to the gibbet on the Place de la Grève." My mother uttered not a word, but silently commended herself to God. What might have been the issue Heaven only knows, had not the citizens in that quarter, on seeing their neighbor's house attacked, hastily armed themselves, and dispersed the mob. Madeline's first care was to reassure her almost fainting mother. After which, rejoining her father, she helped him to barricade the door, so as to be prepared for any new incursion, and then began to prepare the supper as usual.

While laying the cloth, the young girl debated whether she should tell her father of the refuge afforded to the stranger by the subterraneous passage; but after a fervent prayer to God, to enable her to act for the best, she decided that it would be more prudent not to expose him to any risk arising from the possession of such a secret. Arming herself, therefore, with all the resolution she could command, she performed her usual household duties; and when her father and mother had retired to rest, and all was quiet in the house, she took off her shoes, and stealing down stairs into the shop, cautiously opened the trap-door, and entered the vault with provisions for those who already were indebted to her for life and safety.

"You are a noble girl," said the stranger to her. "What do I not owe to your heroic devotedness and presence of mind? God will reward you in heaven, and I trust he will permit me to recompense you here below." Madeline gazed with intense interest on the stranger, as the light of the lamp in her hand, falling full upon her face, gave to view features whose dignified and majestic expression inspired at the very first glance a feeling of respect. A long black mantle almost wholly concealed her figure and a vail was thrown over her head. Her children lay at her feet in a quiet sleep.

"Thanks for the food you have brought," said she to Madeline. "Thanks, dear girl. As for me, I can not eat; but my children have tasted nothing since morning. I will ask you to leave me your light; and now go, take some rest, for surely you must want it after the excitement you have undergone." Madeline looked at her in surprise.

"I should have thought, madam," said she, "that you would make an effort to find some asylum, if not more secure, at least more comfortable than this."

"Be not uneasy about me, my good girl. When my time is come, it will be as easy for me to leave this place as it was to reveal to you the secret of its existence. Good-night, my child. Perhaps we may not meet again for some time; but remember I solemnly promise that I will grant any three wishes you may form!" She motioned to her to retire; and that indescribable air of majesty which accompanied every gesture of the unknown seemed as if it left Madeline no choice but to obey.

Notwithstanding her fatigue, Madeline hardly slept that night. The events of the day had seized hold of her imagination, and she exhausted herself in continued and wondering conjecture. Who could this woman be, pursued by the populace, and accused of being a sorceress, and an enemy to the people? How could she know of a place of concealment of which the inhabitants of the house were ignorant? As vainly did Madeline try to explain her entire composure, the certainty with which she spoke of being[Pg 519] able to leave the vault whenever she pleased, and, above all, the solemn and mysterious promise she had made to fulfill any three wishes of the young girl.

Had you, my dear children, been in your great-grandmother's place, should you not have been very much excited and very curious? What think you? would you have slept a bit better than Madeline did? I hardly think you would, if I may judge from those eager eyes.

The whole of the next day Madeline could think of nothing but her secret. Seated behind the counter, in her usual place, she started at the slightest sound. At one moment, it seemed to her as if every one who entered the shop must discover the trap-door; at the next she expected to see it raised to give egress to the unknown, till, dizzy and bewildered, she scarcely knew whether to believe her whose life she had saved to be a malignant sorceress or a benevolent fairy. Then smiling at her own folly, she asked herself how a woman endowed with supernatural power could need her protection. It is unnecessary to say how long the time appeared to her till she could revisit the subterranean passage, and find herself once more in the presence of the stranger. Thus the morning, the afternoon, and the evening wore slowly away, and it seemed ages to her till her father, mother, and the shopmen were fairly asleep.

As soon as the clock struck twelve, she rose, using still more precaution than on the preceding night, opened the trap-door, descended the stone staircase, and entered the subterraneous passage, but found no one. She turned the light in every direction. The vault was empty: the stranger and her children had disappeared! Madeline was almost as much alarmed as surprised; however, recovering herself, she carefully examined the walls of the vault. Not an opening, not a door, not the smallest aperture was to be seen. She stamped on the ground, but no hollow sound was heard. Suddenly she thought she perceived some written characters on the stone-flag. She bent down, and by the light of her lamp read the following words, evidently traced with some pointed instrument: "Remember, Madeline, that she who owes to thee the life of her children, promises to grant thee three wishes."

Here Perrault stopped.

"Well, children," said he, "what do you think of this first part of my story, and of your great-grandmother's adventures? What conjectures have you formed as to the mysterious lady?"

"She is a good fairy," said little Mary, "for she can grant three wishes, like the fairy in Finetta."

"No, she is a sorceress," objected Louisa. "Did not the people say so, and they would not have wanted to kill her unless she was wicked?"

"As for me," replied Joseph, the eldest of the family, "I believe neither in witches nor fairies, for there are no such things. Am not I right, grandpapa?"

Charles Perrault smiled, but contented himself with saying—"Now, be off to bed. It is getting late. Do not forget to pray to God to make you good children; and I promise, if you are very diligent to-morrow, to finish for you in the evening the wonderful adventures of your great-grandmother."

The children kissed their grandpapa, and went to bed to dream of Madeline and the fairy.

The next evening, the old man, taking his usual seat in the arm-chair, resumed his story without any preamble, though a preamble is generally considered as important by a story-teller as a preface is by the writer of a romance. He spoke as follows:

It would seem that my mother, in her obscure and peaceful life, had nothing to wish for, or that her wishes were all fulfilled as soon as formed; for she not only never invoked the fairy of the vault, but even gradually lost all remembrance of the promises made her by the unknown, and the whole adventure at last faded from her memory. It is true that thirteen years had passed away, and the young girl had become a wife and mother. She had long left the house where the occurrence I have related to you took place, and had come to live in the Rue St. Jacques, where we now reside, though I have since then rebuilt the former tenement.

My father, as you know, was a lawyer. Though of noble birth, he did not think it beneath him to marry the daughter of a shopkeeper, with but a small dowry. He found in Madeline's excellent qualities, her gentleness and beauty, irresistible attractions—and who that knew her could disapprove of his choice? Madeline possessed in an eminent degree that natural refinement of mind and manner which education and a knowledge of the world so often fail to give, while it seems intuitive in some. She devoted herself entirely to the happiness of her husband and her four sons, of whom I was the youngest. My father's income was quite sufficient for all the expenses of our happy family; for a truly happy family it was, till it pleased God to lay heavy trial upon us. My father fell ill, and for a whole year was obliged to give up the profits of his situation to provide a substitute; and he had scarcely begun, after his recovery, to endeavor to repair the losses he had suffered, when a fresh misfortune occurred.

One night, as my mother was lying quietly in bed, with her four little cubs around her, she was awakened by an unusual noise to behold the house wrapped in flames, which had already almost reached the room in which we were. At this moment my father appeared, and took my eldest brothers in his arms, while my mother had charge of Nicholas and me, who were the two youngest. Never shall I forget this awful moment. The flames crackled and hissed around us, casting a livid hue over the pale faces of my father and mother, who boldly advanced[Pg 520] through the fire. With great difficulty they gained the staircase. My father dashed bravely forward. Nicholas, whom my mother held by the hand, screamed violently, and refused to go a step further. She caught him up in her arms, but during the short struggle the staircase had given way, and for a few moments my mother stood paralyzed by despair. But soon the imminent danger roused all the energy of her heroic nature. Your grandmother was no common woman. She immediately retraced her steps, and firmly knotting the bedclothes together, fastened my brother and myself to them, and letting us down through the window, my father received us in his arms. Her children once saved, my mother thought but little of danger to herself, and she waited in calm self-possession, till a ladder being brought, she was rescued.

This trial was but a prelude to many others. The loss of our house completed the ruin of which my father's illness was the beginning. He was obliged to dispose of his situation, and take refuge in small lodgings at Chaillot, and there set to work steadily and cheerfully to support his family, opening a kind of pleader's office for legal students; but his health soon failed, and he became dangerously ill. My noble-minded mother struggled hard to ward off the want that now seemed inevitable; but what availed the efforts of one woman to support a sick husband and four children? One night came when we had literally nothing to eat. I shall never forget my mother's face, and the tears which streamed down her cheeks, when one of us cried, "Mother, we are very hungry!"

She now resolved to apply for help to the nuns of Chaillot; a step which, to her independent spirit, was a far greater trial than to brave the threats of the mob or the fury of the flames. But what is there too hard for a mother who has heard her children ask for food which she had not to give them? With sinking heart, and cheek now pale, now crimson from the struggle within her, she presented herself at the convent, and timidly made known her desire to speak with the superior. Her well-known character procured her instant admission, and her tale once told, obtained for her much kindly sympathy and some relief. As she was passing through the cloisters on her way back, she was startled by a voice suddenly demanding, "Art thou not Madeline Perrault?"

My mother started; the tones of that voice found an echo in her memory, and though thirteen years had elapsed since she had heard it, she recognized it to be that of the being whom her husband was wont to call her "Fairy." She turned round, and as the pale moonbeams that were now struggling through the long dim aisle fell upon the well-remembered stately form, in its black garb and flowing mantle, it seemed to Madeline's excited imagination to be indeed a being of some other world.

"I made thee a promise," said the unknown—"didst thou doubt my power, that thou hast never invoked my aid?" My mother crossed herself devoutly, now convinced that she was dealing with a supernatural being. The phantom smiled at her awe-struck look, and resumed, "Yet fear not; you have but to name three wishes, and my promise is still sure: they shall be granted." "My husband—oh, if he were but once more well!" "I say not that to give life or healing is within my province to bestow. God alone holds in his hands the issues of life and death. Say what else lies near thine heart?"

"Bread for my husband and children. Save them and me from beggary and want!"

"This is but one wish, and I would grant two more."

"I ask not—wish not for more."

"Be it so, then, Madeline Perrault; hold yourself in readiness to obey the orders that shall reach you before twelve hours have passed over your head." And she disappeared from Madeline's sight as suddenly as she had appeared to her.

My mother returned home in considerable agitation, and told my father all that had occurred. He tried to persuade her that the whole scene had been conjured up by her own excited imagination. But my mother persisted in repeating that nothing could be real if this was but fancy; and they passed a sleepless night in bewildering conjectures.

Early the next day a carriage stopped at the door, and a footman announced to my mother that it was sent to convey her and her family to a place appointed by one whose summons there was good reason they should obey. No questioning could extract from him any further information. You may well fancy how long my father and mother debated as to the prudence of obeying the mysterious summons. But curiosity at last prevailed; and to the unmixed delight of the children of the party, we all got into the carriage, which took the road to Paris, and drove on rapidly till we reached the Rue St. Jacques, where it drew up before a new house; and as the servant opened the carriage-door and let down the steps, my father perceived that it occupied the site of his house which had been burned down.

Our little party was met in the entrance by a deputation of the civic authorities, who welcomed my father to his house, and congratulated him on his being reinstated in the situation he had so long held with such credit to himself, and, as they were pleased to add, to themselves as members of the body to which he was such an honor.

My father stood as if in a dream, while my mother shed tears of joy and gratitude. A letter was now handed to her; and, hastily breaking the seal, she read, "Madeline, hast thou still a wish? Speak, and it shall be gratified!"

"Only that I may be allowed to see my benefactress, to pour out at her feet my heart's gratitude."

[Pg 521]

And at the instant the door opened, and the unknown appeared. Madeline, with clasped hands, darted suddenly forward; then, as suddenly checking herself, uttered some incoherent words, broken by sobs.

"Madeline," said the lady, "I have paid but a small part of the debt I owe you. But for you a ferocious mob would have murdered me and my children. To you I owe lives dearer to me than my own. Do not deem me ungrateful in so long appearing to have forgotten you. It has pleased our Heavenly Father to visit me also with heavy trials. Like you, I have seen my children in want of food which I had not to give, and without a spark of fire to warm their chilled limbs. But more, my husband was traitorously put to death, and I have been myself proscribed. When you rescued me, they were hunting me like a wild beast, because I refused to take part against the son of my brother. But brighter days have dawned. My son is restored to the throne of his fathers, and Henrietta of England can now pay the debt of gratitude she owes Madeline Perrault."

"But how can poor Madeline ever pay the debt she owes?" exclaimed my mother.

"By sometimes coming to visit me in my retreat at Chaillot; for what has a queen without a kingdom, a widow weeping for her murdered husband, a mother forever separated from her children—what has she any more to do with the world whose nothingness she has so sadly experienced? To know that amid my desolation I have made one being happy, will be soothing to me, and your children's innocent merriment perchance may beguile some lonely hours. Henceforth, Madeline, our intercourse will not bear the romantic character that has hitherto marked it, and which chance, in the first instance, and afterward a whim of mine, has made it assume. By accident I was led to take refuge in your house in the Rue des Bourdonnais, and instantly recollected it as the former abode of Ruggieri, my mother's astrologer. His laboratory was the vault which doubtless you have not forgotten, and the entrance to which was as well known to me as the subterraneous passage by which I left it, and which led to the Cemetery of the Innocents. Last night I heard all you said to the superior, and was about to inquire directly of yourself, when, seeing the effect of my sudden appearance, I was induced to play the fairy once more. The instant you left me I put in requisition the only fairy wand I possessed, and money soon placed at my disposal the house which I have the happiness of making once again your own. You now know my secret, but though no fairy, I have still some influence, and you shall ever have in me a firm friend and protectress."

And from that time the queen never lost an opportunity of serving my mother and her family, and it is to her I owe the favor and patronage of the minister Colbert.

"And now, children," said Perrault, "how do you like my last fairy tale?"

[From Dickens's Household Words.]


Mr. Blackbrook lived in a world of his own. It was his pleasure to believe that men were phantoms of a day. For life he had the utmost contempt. He pronounced it to be a breath, a sigh, a fleeting shadow. His perpetual theme was, that we are only here for a brief space of time. He likened the uncertainty of existence to all the most frightful ventures he could conjure up. He informed timid ladies that they were perpetually on the edge of a yawning abyss; and warned little boys that their laughter might be turned to tears and lamentation, at the shortest notice. Mr. Blackbrook was a welcome guest in a large serious circle. From his youth he had shown a poetic leaning, of the most serious order. His muse was always in deep mourning—his poetic gum oozed only from his favorite grave-yard.

He thought "L'Allegro" Milton's worst performance; and declared that Gray's "Elegy in a Country Church-yard" was too light and frivolous. His life was not without its cares; but, then, he reveled in his misfortunes. He was always prepossessed with a man who wore a hatband. The owl was his favorite bird. A black cat was the only feline specimen he would admit to his sombre apartment; and his garden was stocked with yew-trees. He reveled in the charm of melancholy—he would not, if he could, be gay. His meditations raised him so great a height above his family, that little sympathy could exist between them. Eternity so engaged him, that his brothers and sisters—mere phantoms—did not cost him much consideration. His youthful Lines to the Owl, in the course of which he called the bird in question "a solemn messenger," "a dread image of the moral darkness which surrounds us," "a welcome voice," and "a mysterious visitant," indicated the peculiar turn of his mind. His determination to be miserable was nothing short of heroic. In his twenty-second year a relation left him a modest fortune. His friends flocked about him to congratulate him; but they found him in a state of seraphic sorrow, searching out a proper rhyme to the urn in which he had poetically deposited the ashes of his benefactor. On looking over the lines he had distilled from his prostrate heart, his friends, to their astonishment, discovered that he had alluded to the bequest in question in the most contemptuous strain:

Why leave to one thy velvet and thy dross,
Whose wealth is boundless, and whose velvet's moss?

So ran his poetic commentary. His boundless wealth consisted of intellectual treasures exclusively, and the sweet declaration that moss was his velvet, was meant to convey to the reader the simplicity and Arcadian nature of his habits. The relation who had the assurance to leave him a fortune, was dragged remorselessly through fifty lines as a punishment for his temerity.[Pg 522] Yet, in a fit of abstraction, Mr. Blackbrook hurried to Doctors' Commons to prove the will; hereby displaying his resignation to the horrible degree of comfort which the money assured to him. It was not for him, however, to forget that life was checkered with woe, that it was a vale of tears—a brief, trite, contemptible matter. The gayety of his house and relations horrified him; they interfered, at every turn, with his melancholy mood. He sighed for the fate of Byron or Chatterton! Why was he doomed to have his three regular meals per diem; to lie, at night, upon a feather-bed, and the recognized layers of mattresses; to have a new coat when he wanted one; to have money continually in his pocket, and to be accepted when he made an offer of marriage? The fates were obviously against him. One of his sisters fell in love. How hopefully he watched the course of her passion! How fondly he lingered near, in the expectation, the happy expectation, of a lovers' quarrel. But his sister had a sweet disposition—a mouth made to distill the gentlest and most tender accents. The courtship progressed with unusual harmony on both sides. Only once did fortune appear to favor him. One evening, he observed that the lovers avoided each other, and parted coldly. Now was his opportunity; and in the still midnight, when all the members of his household were in bed, he took his seat in his chamber, and, by the midnight oil, threw his soul into some plaintive lines "On a Sister's Sorrow." He mourned for her in heart-breaking syllables; likened her lover to an adder in an angel's path; dwelt on her quiet gray eyes, her stately proportions, and her classic face. He doomed her to years of quiet despair, and saw her fickle admirer the gayest of the gay. He concluded with the consoling intelligence, that he would go hand in hand with her along the darkened passage to the grave. His sister, however, did not avail herself of this proffered companionship, but chose rather to be reconciled, and to marry her lover.

Mr. Blackbrook found some consolation for this disappointment in the composition of an epithalamium of the most doleful character on the occasion of his sister's marriage, in the course of which he informed her that Jove's thunderbolts might be hurled at her husband's head at any period of the day; that we all must die; that the bride may be a widow on the morrow of her nuptials; and other equally cheerful truths. Yet at his sister's wedding-breakfast, Mr. Blackbrook coquetted with the choice parts of a chicken, and drowned his sorrow in a delectable jelly.

When for a short time he was betrayed into the expression of any cheerful sentiment, if he ever allowed that it was a fine day, he quickly relapsed into congenial gloom, and discovered that there might be a thunder-storm within the next half-hour. His only comfort was in the reflection that his maternal uncle's family were consumptive. Here he anticipated a fine field for the exercise of his poetic gifts, and, accordingly, when his aunt was gathered to her fore-fathers, her dutiful nephew laid a sheet of blank paper upon his desk, and settled himself down to write "a Dirge." He began by attributing all the virtues to her—devoting about six lines to each separate virtue. Her person next engaged his attention, and he discovered, though none of her friends had ever remarked her surpassing loveliness, that her step was as the breath of the summer-wind on flowers (certainly no gardener would have trusted her upon his box-borders); that she was fresh as Hebe (she always breakfasted in bed); that she had pearly teeth (her dentist has maliciously informed us that they were made of the very best ivory); and, finally, that her general deportment was most charming—so charming that Mr. Blackbrook never dared trust himself in her seductive presence. Having proceeded thus far with his melancholy duty, the poet ate a hearty supper of the heaviest cold pudding, and—we had almost written—went to bed—but we remember that Mr. Blackbrook always "retired to his solitary couch." He rose, betimes, on the following morning, looking most poetically pale. His dreams had been of woe, and darkness, and death; the pudding had had the desired effect. Again he placed himself at his desk, and having read over the prefatory lines which we have endeavored to describe, he threw his fragrant curl from his marble forehead, and thought of the funeral-pall, the darkened hall—of grief acute, and the unstrung lute. He put his aunt's sorrowing circle in every possible position of despair. He represented his surviving uncle as threatening to pass the serene portals of reason; he discovered that a dark tide rolled at the unhappy man's feet; that the sun itself would henceforth look dark to him; that he would never smile again; and that, in all probability, the shroud would soon enwrap his manly form. He next proceeded to describe minutely the pearly tears of his cousins, and the terrible darkness that had come over their bright, young dreams. An affecting allusion to his own unfathomable grief on the occasion, was concluded by the hope that he might soon join his sainted aunt, though he had never taken the least trouble to pay her a visit while she lived in St. John's Wood. This touching dirge was printed upon mourning paper, and distributed among Mr. Blackbrook's friends. The death of an aunt was an affecting incident, but still it fell short of the brink of despair. Mr. Blackbrook's natural abiding-place was the edge of a precipice. His muse must be fed on heroic sorrows, hopeless agony, and other poetical condiments of the same serious nature. The course of modern life was too level for his impetuous spirit; but in the absence of that terrible condition to which he aspired, he caught at every incident that could nerve the pinion of his muse for grander flights. A dead fly, which he found crushed between the leaves of a book, furnished him with a theme for one of his tenderest compositions.[Pg 523] He speculated upon the probable career of the fly—opined that it had a little world of its own, a family, and a sense of the beautiful. This effusion met with such fervent praise, that he followed it up by "Thoughts on Cheese-dust," in which he dived into the mysteries of these animalculæ, and calculated the myriads of lives that were sacrificed to give a momentary enjoyment to the "pampered palate of man." His attention was called, however, from these minor poetic considerations, to a matter approaching in its gravity to that heroic pitch of sorrow which he had sought so unsuccessfully hitherto.

His cousin was drowned by the upsetting of a pleasure-boat. At such a calamity it was reasonable to despair—to refuse comfort—to leave his hair uncombed—to look constantly on the ground—to lose all appetite—to write flowing verse. Mr. Blackbrook entered upon his vocation with a full sense of its heroism. At least one hundred lines would be expected from him on so tremendous an occasion. The catastrophe was so poetical! The sea-weed might have been represented entangled in the golden tresses of the poor girl, had the accident happened only a little nearer the Nore; and the print of her fair form might have been faintly traced upon "the ribbed sea-sand." This was unfortunate. In reality, the "melancholy occurrence" took place at Richmond. Mr. Blackbrook began by calling upon the willows of Richmond and its immediate vicinity to dip their tender branches in the stream, in token of their grief. Mr. Blackbrook, felicitously remembering that Pope once lived not far from Richmond, next invoked that poet's shade, and begged the loan of his melodious rhythm. But the shade in question not answering to the summons, all that remained for the sorrowing poet to do was to take down his dictionary of rhymes, and tune his own lyre to its most mournful cadences. He set to work: he called the Thames a treacherous stream; he christened the wherry a bark; he declared that when the pleasure-party embarked at Richmond-bridge, Death, the lean fellow, was standing upon the beach with his weapon upraised. Asterisks described the death; and some of his friends declared this passage the best in the poem. He then went on to inform his readers that all was over; but by this expression the reader must not infer that the dirge was brought to a conclusion: by no means. Mr. Blackbrook had made up his mind that his state of despair required, at least, one hundred lines to give it adequate expression. He had devoted twenty to the death of a fly—surely, then, a female cousin deserved one hundred. This logical reflection spurred him on. He pulled down the blinds, and in a gloom that suited well with his forlorn state of mind, he began a picture of his condition. With the aid of his dictionary, having asserted that the shroud enwrapped a cousin's form, he reflected that he envied the place of the winding-sheet, and was jealous of the worms. He felt that he was warming into his subject. He tried to think of the condition in which the remains of his relative would speedily be; and having carefully referred to an eminent medical work as to the length of time which the human body requires to resolve itself into its original earth (for he was precise in his statements), he proceeded to describe, with heart-rending faithfulness, the various stages of this inevitable decay. That was true poetry. He declared that the worm would crawl upon those lips that the lover had fondly pressed, and that the hand which once touched the harp so magically was now motionless forever. Having brought this tragic description to a conclusion, he proceeded to number the flowers that should spring from his cousin's grave, and to promise that

——from year to year,
Roses shall flourish, moistened by a tear.

This vow evidently eased his heart a little, and enabled him to conclude the poem in a more cheerful spirit. He wound up with the reflection, that care was the lot of humanity, and that it was his duty to bear his proportion of the common load with a patient though bruised spirit. He felt that to complete his poetic destiny he ought to wander, none knew whither, and to turn up only at most unseasonable hours, and in most solemn places. But unhappily he was informed that it was necessary he should remain on the spot for the proper management of his affairs. Fate would have it so. Why was he not allowed to pursue his destiny? He was one day mentally bewailing the even tenor of his way, when a few kind friends suggested that he should publish his effusions. At first he firmly refused. What was fame to him—a hopeless, despairing man on the brink of the grave! His friends, however, pressed him in the end into compliance; and in due time Mr. Blackbrook's "Life-drops from the Heart" were offered to the public for the price of ten shillings—little more than one shilling per drop.

An eminent critic wrote the following opinion of our friend and his poetry:

"We notice Mr. Blackbrook as the representative of a school—the Doleful School. He draws terrible pictures; but what are his materials? He does not write from the heart, inasmuch as, if he really felt that incessant agony, which is his everlasting theme, we should find in his performances some original imagery—something with an individual stamp. We rather hold Mr. Blackbrook to be a very deliberate, vain, and calculating being, who takes advantage of a domestic calamity to display his knack of verse-making; who composedly turns a couplet upon the coffin of his mistress; whose sympathy and sensibility are only the ingenious masks of inordinate self-esteem. His view of the poetic is only worthy of an undertaker. He sees nature through a black-crape vail. He describes graves with the minuteness of a body-snatcher; and when he would be impressive is disgusting. You see the actor, not the poet. He admits you (for he can not help it) behind[Pg 524] the scenes. His rhymes are not the music of a poetic faculty; but rather the jingle of a parrot. He is one of a popular school, however; and while the public buy his wares, he will continue to fashion them. Materialist to the back-bone, he simpers about the littleness of human dealings and human sympathies. He who pretends to be melted with pity over the fate of a fly, would use his mother's tombstone as a writing-desk. He deals in human sorrow, as his baker deals in loaves. Nervous dowagers, who love tears and 'dreadful descriptions;' who enjoy 'a good cry;' and who have the peculiar faculty of seeing the dark side of every thing, enjoy his dish of verses amazingly. To sensitive young ladies there is a terrible fascination in his inventories of the tomb and its appendages; and children are afraid to walk about in the dark, after listening to one of his effusions. The followers of his school include one or two formidable young ladies, who enter into descriptions of death—that is to say, the material part of death—with a minuteness that must excite the envy even of the most ingenious auctioneer. When bent upon a fresh composition, these terrible young poetesses, having killed a child, proceed to trace its journey to the tomb—its return to earth. How they gloat over the dire changes!—how systematically the painful portrait is proceeded with! In this they rival Chinese artists. And people of ill-regulated sympathy, who, containing within them all the elements of spiritual culture, are yet affected only by sensual appeals, regard these doleful effusions as the outpourings of true human suffering.

"Mr. Blackbrook and his disciples are hapless materialists, verse-makers without a sense of the beautiful. They are patronized by those to whom they write down; and the effect of their lucubrations is to enchain the imagination, to debase the moral capacity, to weaken that spiritual faith which disdains the horrors of the church-yard. Mr. Blackbrook's adventures in search of despair were undertaken, to our mind, in a cold-blooded spirit. A resolute determination to discover the gloomiest phase of every earthly matter, a longing for the applause of a foolish clique, and a confused idea that Chatterton was a poet because he perished miserably, while Byron owed his inspiration to his domestic unhappiness—make up that picture of a verse-writer which we have endeavored to delineate. When extraordinary vanity is allied to very ordinary ability, the combination is an unwholesome, ascetic, weak, and deformed mind: such a mind has Mr. Blackbrook. He endeavors to drag us into a vault, when we would regard the heavenly aspect of death. Ask him to solve the great mystery, and he points to the fading corpse. His tears suggest the use of onions; and his threats of self-destruction, remind us of the rouge and Indian ink of an indifferent melodramatic actor. We have no respect for his misfortunes, since we find that he esteems them only as opportunities for display: we know that despair is welcome to him. He turns his back to the sun, and rejoices to see the length of shade he can throw upon the earth. Nature to him is only a vast charnel-house—so constructed that he may sing a life-long requiem. He would have us journey through life with our eyes fixed upon the ground, scenting the gases of decay. But wiser men—poets of the soul—bid us look up to heaven, nor disdain, as we raise our heads, to mark the beauty of the lily—to gather, and with hearty thanks, the fragrance of the rose."


(Continued from page 396.)


Whatever may be the ultimate success of Miss Jemima Hazeldean's designs upon Dr. Riccabocca, the Machiavelian sagacity with which the Italian had counted upon securing the services of Lenny Fairfield was speedily and triumphantly established by the result. No voice of the Parson's, charmed he ever so wisely, could persuade the peasant-boy to go and ask pardon of the young gentleman, to whom, because he had done as he was bid, he owed an agonizing defeat and a shameful incarceration. And, to Mrs. Dale's vexation, the widow took the boy's part. She was deeply offended at the unjust disgrace Lenny had undergone in being put in the stocks; she shared his pride, and openly approved his spirit. Nor was it without great difficulty that Lenny could be induced to resume his lessons at school; nay, even to set foot beyond the precincts of his mother's holding. The point of the school at last he yielded, though sullenly; and the Parson thought it better to temporize as to the more unpalatable demand. Unluckily Lenny's apprehensions of the mockery that awaited him in the merciless world of his village were realized. Though Stirn at first kept his own counsel, the Tinker blabbed the whole affair. And after the search instituted for Lenny on the fatal night, all attempt to hush up what had passed would have been impossible. So then Stirn told his story, as the Tinker had told his own; both tales were very unfavorable to Leonard Fairfield. The pattern boy had broken the Sabbath, fought with his betters, and been well mauled into the bargain; the village lad had sided with Stirn and the authorities in spying out the misdemeanors of his equals: therefore Leonard Fairfield, in both capacities of degraded pattern boy and baffled spy, could expect no mercy; he was ridiculed in the one, and hated in the other.

It is true that, in the presence of the schoolmaster, and under the eye of Mr. Dale, no one openly gave vent to malignant feelings; but the moment those checks were removed, popular persecution began.

Some pointed and mowed at him; some cursed him for a sneak, and all shunned his society; voices were heard in the hedgerows, as he passed through the village at dusk, "Who was[Pg 525] put in the stocks? baa!" "Who got a bloody nob for playing spy to Nick Stirn? baa!" To resist this species of aggression would have been a vain attempt for a wiser head and a colder temper than our poor pattern boy's. He took his resolution at once, and his mother approved it; and the second or third day after Dr. Riccabocca's return to the Casino, Lenny Fairfield presented himself on the terrace with a little bundle in his hand. "Please, sir," said he to the Doctor, who was sitting cross-legged on the balustrade, with his red silk umbrella over his head.

"Please, sir, if you'll be good enough to take me now, and give me any hole to sleep in, I'll work for your honor night and day; and as for the wages, mother says 'just suit yourself, sir.'"

"My child," said the Doctor, taking Lenny by the hand, and looking at him with the sagacious eye of a wizard, "I knew you would come! and Giacomo is already prepared for you! As to wages, we'll talk of them by-and-by."

Lenny being thus settled, his mother looked for some evenings on the vacant chair, where he had so long sate in the place of her beloved Mark; and the chair seemed so comfortless and desolate, thus left all to itself, that she could bear it no longer.

Indeed the village had grown as distasteful to her as to Lenny—perhaps more so; and one morning she hailed the Steward as he was trotting his hog-maned cob beside the door, and bade him tell the Squire that "she would take it very kind if he would let her off the six months' notice for the land and premises she held—there were plenty to step into the place at a much better rent."

"You're a fool," said the good-natured Steward; "and I'm very glad you did not speak to that fellow Stirn instead of to me. You've been doing extremely well here, and have the place, I may say, for nothing."

"Nothin' as to rent, sir, but a great deal as to feeling," said the widow. "And now Lenny has gone to work with the foreign gentleman, I should like to go and live near him."

"Ah, yes—I heard Lenny had taken himself off to the Casino—more fool he; but, bless your heart, 'tis no distance—two miles or so. Can't he come home every night after work?"

"No, sir," exclaimed the widow almost fiercely; "he shan't come home here, to be called bad names and jeered at! he whom my dead good-man was so fond and proud of. No, sir; we poor folks have our feelings, as I said to Mrs. Dale, and as I will say to the Squire hisself. Not that I don't thank him for all favors—he be a good gentleman, if let alone; but he says he won't come near us till Lenny goes and axes pardin. Pardin for what, I should like to know? Poor lamb! I wish you could ha' seen his nose, sir—as big as your two fists. Ax pardin! If the Squire had had such a nose as that, I don't think it's pardin he'd ha' been axing. But I let's the passion get the better of me—I humbly beg you'll excuse it, sir. I'm no scollard, as poor Mark was, and Lenny would have been, if the Lord had not visited us otherways. Therefore just get the Squire to let me go as soon as may be; and as for the bit o' hay and what's on the grounds and orchard, the new-comer will no doubt settle that."

The Steward, finding no eloquence of his could induce the widow to relinquish her resolution, took her message to the Squire. Mr. Hazeldean, who was indeed rarely offended at the boy's obstinate refusal to make the amende honorable to Randal Leslie, at first only bestowed a hearty curse or two on the pride and ingratitude both of mother and son. It may be supposed, however, that his second thoughts were more gentle, since that evening, though he did not go himself to the widow, he sent his "Harry." Now, though Harry was sometimes austere and brusque enough on her own account, and in such business as might especially be transacted between herself and the cottagers, yet she never appeared as the delegate of her lord except in the capacity of a herald of peace and mediating angel. It was with good heart, too, that she undertook this mission, since, as we have seen, both mother and son were great favorites of hers. She entered the cottage with the friendliest beam in her bright blue eye, and it was with the softest tone of her frank, cordial voice that she accosted the widow. But she was no more successful than the Steward had been. The truth is, that I don't believe the haughtiest duke in the three kingdoms is really so proud as your plain English rural peasant, nor half so hard to propitiate and deal with when his sense of dignity is ruffled. Nor are there many of my own literary brethren (thin-skinned creatures though we are) so sensitively alive to the Public Opinion, wisely despised by Dr. Riccabocca, as that same peasant. He can endure a good deal of contumely sometimes, it is true, from his superiors, (though, thank Heaven! that he rarely meets with unjustly); but to be looked down upon, and mocked, and pointed at by his own equals—his own little world—cuts him to the soul. And if you can succeed in breaking this pride, and destroying this sensitiveness, then he is a lost being. He can never recover his self-esteem, and you have chucked him half way—a stolid, inert, sullen victim—to the perdition of the prison or the convict-ship.

Of this stuff was the nature both of the widow and her son. Had the honey of Plato flowed from the tongue of Mrs. Hazeldean, it could not have turned into sweetness the bitter spirit upon which it descended. But Mrs. Hazeldean, though an excellent woman, was rather a bluff, plain-spoken one—and, after all, she had some little feeling for the son of a gentleman, and a decayed fallen gentleman, who, even by Lenny's account, had been assailed without any intelligible provocation; nor could she, with her strong common sense, attach all the importance which Mrs. Fairfield did to the unmannerly impertinence of a few young cubs, which, she said[Pg 526] truly, "would soon die away if no notice was taken of it." The widow's mind was made up, and Mrs. Hazeldean departed—with much chagrin and some displeasure.

Mrs. Fairfield, however, tacitly understood that the request she had made was granted, and early one morning her door was found locked, the key left at a neighbor's to be given to the Steward; and, on farther inquiry, it was ascertained that her furniture and effects had been removed by the errand-cart in the dead of the night. Lenny had succeeded in finding a cottage, on the road-side, not far from the Casino; and there, with a joyous face, he waited to welcome his mother to breakfast, and show how he had spent the night in arranging her furniture.

"Parson!" cried the Squire, when all this news came upon him, as he was walking arm-in-arm with Mr. Dale to inspect some proposed improvement in the Alms-house, "this is all your fault. Why did not you go and talk to that brute of a boy, and that dolt of a woman? You've got 'soft sawder enough,' as Frank calls it in his new-fashioned slang."

"As if I had not talked myself hoarse to both!" said the Parson, in a tone of reproachful surprise at the accusation. "But it was in vain! O Squire, if you had taken my advice about the Stocks—quieta non movere!"

"Bother!" said the Squire. "I suppose I am to be held up as a tyrant, a Nero, a Richard the Third, or a Grand Inquisitor, merely for having things smart and tidy! Stocks, indeed!—your friend Rickeybockey said he was never more comfortable in his life—quite enjoyed sitting there. And what did not hurt Rickeybockey's dignity (a very gentleman-like man he is, when he pleases) ought to be no such great matter to Master Leonard Fairfield. But 'tis no use talking! What's to be done now? The woman must not starve, and I'm sure she can't live out of Rickeybockey's wages to Lenny (by the way, I hope he don't board him upon his and Jackeymo's leavings: I hear they dine upon newts and sticklebacks—faugh!). I'll tell you what, Parson, now I think of it—at the back of the cottage which she has taken there are some fields of capital land just vacant. Rickeybockey wants to have 'em, and sounded me as to the rent when he was at the Hall. I only half promised him the refusal. And he must give up four or five acres of the best land round the cottage to the widow—just enough for her to manage—and she can keep a dairy. If she wants capital, I'll lend her some in your name—only don't tell Stirn; and as for the rent, we'll talk of that when we see how she gets on, thankless, obstinate jade that she is! You see," added the Squire, as if he felt there was some apology due for this generosity to an object whom he professed to consider so ungrateful, "her husband was a faithful servant, and so—I wish you would not stand there staring me out of countenance, but go down to the woman at once, or Stirn will have let the land to Rickeybockey, as sure as a gun. And hark ye, Dale, perhaps you can contrive, if the woman is so cursedly stiff-backed, not to say the land is mine, or that it is any favor I want to do her—or, in short, manage it as you can for the best." Still even this charitable message failed. The widow knew that the land was the Squire's, and worth a good £3 an acre. "She thanked him humbly for that and all favors; but she could not afford to buy cows, and she did not wish to be beholden to any one for her living. And Lenny was well off at Mr. Rickeybockey's, and coming on wonderfully in the garden way; and she did not doubt she could get some washing—at all events, her haystack would bring in a good bit of money, and she should do nicely, thank their honors."

Nothing further could be done in the direct way, but the remark about the washing suggested some mode of indirectly benefiting the widow. And a little time afterward, the sole laundress in that immediate neighborhood happening to die, a hint from the Squire obtained from the landlady of the inn opposite the Casino such custom as she had to bestow, which at times was not inconsiderable. And what with Lenny's wages (whatever that mysterious item might be), the mother and son contrived to live without exhibiting any of those physical signs of fast and abstinence which Riccabocca and his valet gratuitously afforded to the student in animal anatomy.


Of all the wares and commodities in exchange and barter, wherein so mainly consists the civilization of our modern world, there is not one which is so carefully weighed—so accurately measured—so plumbed and gauged—so doled and scraped—so poured out in minima and balanced with scruples—as that necessary of social commerce called "an apology!" If the chemists were half so careful in vending their poisons, there would be a notable diminution in the yearly average of victims to arsenic and oxalic acid. But, alas, in the matter of apology, it is not from the excess of the dose, but the timid, niggardly, miserly manner in which it is dispensed, that poor Humanity is hurried off to the Styx! How many times does a life depend on the exact proportions of an apology! Is it a hairbreadth too short to cover the scratch for which you want it? Make your will—you are a dead man! A life, do I say?—a hecatomb of lives! How many wars would have been prevented, how many thrones would be standing, dynasties flourishing—commonwealths brawling round a bema, or fitting out galleys for corn and cotton—if an inch or two more of apology had been added to the proffered ell! But then that plaguy jealous, suspicious old vinegar-faced Honor, and her partner Pride—as penny-wise and pound-foolish a she-skinflint as herself—have the monopoly of the article.[Pg 527] And what with the time they lose in adjusting their spectacles, hunting in the precise shelf for the precise quality demanded, then (quality found) the haggling as to quantum—considering whether it should be apothecary's weight or avoirdupois, or English measure or Flemish—and, finally, the hullaboloo they make if the customer is not perfectly satisfied with the monstrous little he gets for his money—I don't wonder, for my part, how one loses temper and patience, and sends Pride, Honor, and Apology, all to the devil. Aristophanes, in his "Comedy of Peace," insinuates a beautiful allegory by only suffering that goddess, though in fact she is his heroine, to appear as a mute. She takes care never to open her lips. The shrewd Greek knew very well that she would cease to be Peace, if she once began to chatter. Wherefore, O reader, if ever you find your pump under the iron heel of another man's boot, Heaven grant that you may hold your tongue, and not make things past all endurance and forgiveness by bawling out for an apology!


But the Squire and his son, Frank, were large-hearted, generous creatures in the article of apology, as in all things less skimpingly dealt out. And seeing that Leonard Fairfield would offer no plaster to Randal Leslie, they made amends for his stinginess by their own prodigality. The Squire accompanied his son to Rood Hall, and, none of the family choosing to be at home, the Squire, in his own hand, and from his own head, indited and composed an epistle which might have satisfied all the wounds which the dignity of the Leslies had ever received.

This letter of apology ended with a hearty request that Randal would come and spend a few days with his son. Frank's epistle was to the same purport, only more Etonian and less legible.

It was some days before Randal's replies to these epistles were received. The replies bore the address of a village near London, and stated that the writer was now reading with a tutor preparatory to entrance at Oxford, and could not, therefore, accept the invitation extended to him.

For the rest, Randal expressed himself with good sense, though not with much generosity. He excused his participation in the vulgarity of such a conflict by a bitter but short allusion to the obstinacy and ignorance of the village boor; and did not do what you, my kind reader, certainly would have done under similar circumstances, viz., intercede in behalf of a brave and unfortunate antagonist. Most of us like a foe better after we have fought him—that is, if we are the conquering party; this was not the case with Randal Leslie. There, so far as the Etonian was concerned, the matter rested. And the Squire, irritated that he could not repair whatever wrong that young gentleman had sustained, no longer felt a pang of regret as he passed by Mrs. Fairfield's deserted cottage.


Lenny Fairfield continued to give great satisfaction to his new employers, and to profit, in many respects, by the familiar kindness with which he was treated. Riccabocca, who valued himself on penetrating into character, had, from the first, seen that much stuff of no common quality and texture was to be found in the disposition and mind of the English village boy. On farther acquaintance, he perceived that, under a child's innocent simplicity, there were the workings of an acuteness that required but development and direction. He ascertained that the pattern boy's progress at the village-school proceeded from something more than mechanical docility and readiness of comprehension. Lenny had a keen thirst for knowledge, and through all the disadvantages of birth and circumstance, there were the indications of that natural genius which converts disadvantages themselves into stimulants. Still, with the germs of good qualities lay the embryos of those which, difficult to separate, and hard to destroy, often mar the produce of the soil. With a remarkable and generous pride in self-repute, there was some stubbornness; with great sensibility to kindness, there was also strong reluctance to forgive affront.

This mixed nature in an uncultivated peasant's breast interested Riccabocca, who, though long secluded from the commerce of mankind, still looked upon man as the most various and entertaining volume which philosophical research can explore. He soon accustomed the boy to the tone of a conversation generally subtle and suggestive; and Lenny's language and ideas became insensibly less rustic and more refined. Then Riccabocca selected from his library, small as it was, books that, though elementary, were of a higher cast than Lenny could have found within his reach at Hazeldean. Riccabocca knew the English language well, better in grammar, construction, and genius, than many a not ill-educated Englishman; for he had studied it with the minuteness with which a scholar studies a dead language, and amidst his collection he had many of the books which had formerly served him for that purpose. These were the first works he had lent to Lenny. Meanwhile Jackeymo imparted to the boy many secrets in practical gardening and minute husbandry, for at that day farming in England (some favored counties and estates excepted) was far below the nicety to which the art has been immemorially carried in the north of Italy—where, indeed, you may travel for miles and miles as through a series of market-gardens—so that, all these things considered, Leonard Fairfield might be said to have made a change for the better. Yet, in truth, and looking below the surface, that might be fair matter of doubt. For, the[Pg 528] same reason which had induced the boy to fly his native village, he no longer repaired to the church of Hazeldean. The old intimate intercourse between him and the Parson became necessarily suspended, or bounded to an occasional kindly visit from the latter—visits which grew more rare, and less familiar, as he found his former pupil in no want of his services, and wholly deaf to his mild entreaties to forget and forgive the past, and come at least to his old seat in the parish church. Lenny still went to church—a church a long way off in another parish—but the sermons did not do him the same good as Parson Dale's had done; and the clergyman, who had his own flock to attend to, did not condescend, as Parson Dale would have done, to explain what seemed obscure, and enforce what was profitable, in private talk, with that stray lamb from another's fold.

Now, I question much if all Dr. Riccabocca's sage maxims, though they were often very moral, and generally very wise, served to expand the peasant boy's native good qualities, and correct his bad, half so well as the few simple words, not at all indebted to Machiavelli, which Leonard had once reverently listened to, when he stood by his father's chair, yielded up for the moment to the good Parson, worthy to sit in it; for Mr. Dale had a heart in which all the fatherless of the parish found their place. Nor was this loss of tender, intimate, spiritual lore so counterbalanced by the greater facilities for purely intellectual instruction, as modern enlightenment might presume. For, without disputing the advantage of knowledge in a general way, knowledge, in itself, is not friendly to content. Its tendency, of course, is to increase the desires, to dissatisfy us with what is, in order to urge progress to what may be; and, in that progress, what unnoticed martyrs among the many must fall, baffled and crushed by the way! To how large a number will be given desires they will never realize, dissatisfaction of the lot from which they will never rise! Allons! one is viewing the dark side of the question. It is all the fault of that confounded Riccabocca, who has already caused Lenny Fairfield to lean gloomily on his spade, and, after looking round, and seeing no one near him, groaned out querulously:

"And am I born to dig a potato-ground?"

Pardieu, my friend Lenny, if you live to be seventy, and ride in your carriage; and by the help of a dinner-pill, digest a spoonful of curry, you may sigh to think what a relish there was in potatoes, roasted in ashes, after you had digged them out of that ground with your own stout young hands. Dig on, Lenny Fairfield, dig on! Dr. Riccabocca will tell you that there was once an illustrious personage[4] who made experience of two very different occupations—one was ruling men, the other was planting cabbages; he thought planting cabbages much the pleasanter of the two!


Dr. Riccabocca had secured Lenny Fairfield and might, therefore, be considered to have ridden his hobby in the great whirligig with adroitness and success. But Miss Jemima was still driving round in her car, handling the reins, and flourishing the whip, without apparently having got an inch nearer to the flying form of Dr. Riccabocca.

Indeed, that excellent and only too-susceptible spinster, with all her experience of the villainy of man, had never conceived the wretch to be so thoroughly beyond the reach of redemption as when Dr. Riccabocca took his leave, and once more interred himself amidst the solitudes of the Casino, without having made any formal renunciation of his criminal celibacy. For some days she shut herself up in her own chamber, and brooded with more than her usual gloomy satisfaction on the certainty of the approaching crash. Indeed, many signs of that universal calamity which, while the visit of Riccabocca lasted, she had permitted herself to consider ambiguous, now became luminously apparent. Even the newspaper, which, during that credulous and happy period, had given half a column to Births and Marriages, now bore an ominously-long catalogue of Deaths; so that it seemed as if the whole population had lost heart, and had no chance of repairing its daily losses. The leading articles spoke, with the obscurity of a Pythian, of an impending crisis. Monstrous turnips sprouted out from the paragraphs devoted to General News. Cows bore calves with two heads, whales were stranded in the Humber, showers of frogs descended in the High-street of Cheltenham.

All these symptoms of the world's decrepitude and consummation, which by the side of the fascinating Riccabocca might admit of some doubt as to their origin and cause, now conjoined with the worst of all, viz.—the frightfully progressive wickedness of man—left to Miss Jemima no ray of hope save that afforded by the reflection that she could contemplate the wreck of matter without a single sentiment of regret.

Mrs. Dale, however, by no means shared the despondency of her fair friend, and, having gained access to Miss Jemima's chamber, succeeded, though not without difficulty, in her kindly attempts to cheer the drooping spirits of that female misanthropist. Nor, in her benevolent desire to speed the car of Miss Jemima to its hymeneal goal, was Mrs. Dale so cruel toward her male friend, Dr. Riccabocca, as she seemed to her husband. For Mrs. Dale was a woman of shrewdness and penetration, as most quick-tempered women are; and she knew that Miss Jemima was one of those excellent young ladies who are likely to value a husband in proportion to the difficulty of obtaining him. In fact, my readers of both sexes must often have met, in the course of their experience, with that peculiar sort of feminine disposition, which requires the warmth of the conjugal hearth to develop all[Pg 529] its native good qualities; nor is it to be blamed overmuch if, innocently aware of this tendency in its nature, it turns toward what is best fitted for its growth and improvement, by laws akin to those which make the sunflower turn to the sun, or the willow to the stream. Ladies of this disposition, permanently thwarted in their affectionate bias, gradually languish away into intellectual inanition, or sprout out into those abnormal eccentricities which are classed under the general name of "oddity" or "character." But, once admitted to their proper soil, it is astonishing what healthful improvement takes place—how the poor heart, before starved and stinted of nourishment, throws out its suckers, and bursts into bloom and fruit. And thus many a belle from whom the beaux have stood aloof, only because the puppies think she could be had for the asking, they see afterward settled down into true wife and fond mother, with amaze at their former disparagement, and a sigh at their blind hardness of heart.

In all probability, Mrs. Dale took this view of the subject; and certainly in addition to all the hitherto dormant virtues which would be awakened in Miss Jemima when fairly Mrs. Riccabocca, she counted somewhat upon the mere worldly advantage which such a match would bestow upon the exile. So respectable a connection with one of the oldest, wealthiest, and most popular families in the shire, would in itself give him a position not to be despised by a poor stranger in the land; and though the interest of Miss Jemima's dowry might not be much, regarded in the light of English pounds (not Milanese lire), still it would suffice to prevent that gradual progress of dematerialization which the lengthened diet upon minnows and sticklebacks had already made apparent in the fine and slow-evanishing form of the philosopher.

Like all persons convinced of the expediency of a thing, Mrs. Dale saw nothing wanting but opportunities to insure its success. And that these might be forthcoming, she not only renewed with greater frequency, and more urgent instance than ever, her friendly invitations to drink tea and spend the evening, but she artfully so chafed the Squire on his sore point of hospitality, that the Doctor received weekly a pressing solicitation to dine and sleep at the Hall.

At first the Italian pished and grunted, and said Cospetto, and Per Bacco, and Diavolo, and tried to creep out of so much proffered courtesy. But, like all single gentlemen, he was a little under the tyrannical influence of his faithful servant; and Jackeymo, though he could bear starving as well as his master when necessary, still, when he had the option, preferred roast beef and plum-pudding. Moreover, that vain and incautious confidence of Riccabocca, touching the vast sum at his command, and with no heavier drawback than that of so amiable a lady as Miss Jemima—who had already shown him (Jackeymo) many little delicate attentions—had greatly whetted the cupidity which was in the servant's Italian nature: a cupidity the more keen because, long debarred its legitimate exercise on his own mercenary interests, he carried it all to the account of his master's!

Thus tempted by his enemy, and betrayed by his servant, the unfortunate Riccabocca fell, though with eyes not unblinded, into the hospitable snares extended for the destruction of his—celibacy! He went often to the Parsonage, often to the Hall, and by degrees the sweets of the social domestic life, long denied him, began to exercise their enervating charm upon the stoicism of our poor exile. Frank had now returned to Eton. An unexpected invitation had carried off Captain Higginbotham to pass a few weeks at Bath with a distant relation, who had lately returned from India, and who, as rich as Crœsus, felt so estranged and solitary in his native isle that, when the Captain "claimed kindred there," to his own amaze "he had his claims allowed;" while a very protracted sitting of Parliament still delayed in London the Squire's habitual visitors in the later summer; so that—a chasm thus made in his society—Mr. Hazeldean welcomed with no hollow cordiality the diversion or distraction he found in the foreigner's companionship. Thus, with pleasure to all parties, and strong hopes to the two female conspirators, the intimacy between the Casino and Hall rapidly thickened; but still not a word resembling a distinct proposal did Dr. Riccabocca breathe. And still, if such an idea obtruded itself on his mind, it was chased therefrom with so determined a Diavolo that, perhaps, if not the end of the world, at least the end of Miss Jemima's tenure in it, might have approached, and seen her still Miss Jemima, but for a certain letter with a foreign post-mark that reached the Doctor one Tuesday morning.


The servant saw that something had gone wrong, and, under pretense of syringing the orange-trees, he lingered near his master, and peered through the sunny leaves upon Riccabocca's melancholy brows.

The Doctor sighed heavily. Nor did he, as was his wont, after some such sigh, mechanically take up that dear comforter, the pipe. But though the tobacco-pouch lay by his side on the balustrade, and the pipe stood against the wall between his knees, childlike lifting up its lips to the customary caress—he heeded neither the one nor the other, but laid the letter silently on his lap, and fixed his eyes upon the ground.

"It must be bad news, indeed!" thought Jackeymo, and desisted from his work. Approaching his master, he took up the pipe and the tobacco-pouch, and filled the bowl slowly, glancing all the while to that dark, musing face on which, when abandoned by the expression of intellectual vivacity or the exquisite smile of Italian courtesy, the deep downward lines revealed the characters of sorrow. Jackeymo did[Pg 530] not venture to speak; but the continued silence of his master disturbed him much. He laid that peculiar tinder which your smokers use upon the steel, and struck the spark—still not a word, nor did Riccabocca stretch forth his hand.

"I never knew him in this taking before," thought Jackeymo; and delicately he insinuated the neck of the pipe into the nerveless fingers of the hand that lay supine on those quiet knees—the pipe fell to the ground.

Jackeymo crossed himself, and began praying to his sainted namesake with great fervor.

The Doctor rose slowly, and, as if with effort, he walked once or twice to and fro the terrace; and then he halted abruptly, and said,


"Blessed Monsignore San Giacomo, I knew thou wouldst hear me!" cried the servant; and he raised his master's hand to his lips, then abruptly turned away and wiped his eyes.—"Friend," repeated Riccabocca, and this time with a tremulous emphasis, and in the softest tone of a voice never wholly without the music of the sweet South, "I would talk to thee of my child."


"The letter, then, relates to the Signorina. She is well?"

"Yes, she is well now. She is in our native Italy."

Jackeymo raised his eyes involuntarily toward the orange-trees, and the morning breeze swept by and bore to him the odor of their blossoms.

"Those are sweet even here, with care," said he, pointing to the trees. "I think I have said that before to the Padrone."

But Riccabocca was now looking again at the letter, and did not notice either the gesture or the remark of his servant.

"My aunt is no more!" said he, after a pause.

"We will pray for her soul!" answered Jackeymo, solemnly. "But she was very old, and had been a long time ailing. Let it not grieve the Padrone too keenly: at that age, and with those infirmities, death comes as a friend."

"Peace be to her dust!" returned the Italian. "If she had her faults, be they now forgotten forever; and in the hour of my danger and distress, she sheltered my infant! That shelter is destroyed. This letter is from the priest, her confessor. You know that she had nothing at her own disposal to bequeath to my child, and her property passes to the male heir—mine enemy."

"Traitor!" muttered Jackeymo; and his right hand seemed to feel for the weapon which the Italians of lower rank often openly wear in their girdles.

"The priest," resumed Riccabocca, calmly, "has rightly judged in removing my child as a guest from the house in which my enemy enters as lord."

"And where is the Signorina?"

"With that poor priest. See, Giacomo—here, here—this is her handwriting at the end of the letter—the first lines she ever yet traced to me."

Jackeymo took off his hat, and looked reverently on the large characters of a child's writing. But large as they were, they seemed indistinct, for the paper was blistered with the child's tears; and on the place where they had not fallen, there was a round fresh moist stain of the tear that had dropped from the lids of the father. Riccabocca renewed, "The priest recommends a convent."

"To the devil with the priest!" cried the servant; then, crossing himself rapidly, he added, "I did not mean that, Monsignore San Giacomo—forgive me! But your Excellency[5] does not think of making a nun of his only child!"

"And yet why not?" said Riccabocca, mournfully; "what can I give her in the world? Is the land of the stranger a better refuge than the home of peace in her native clime?"

"In the land of the stranger beats her father's heart!"

"And if that beat were stilled, what then? Ill fares the life that a single death can bereave of all. In a convent at least (and the priest's influence can obtain her that asylum among her equals and amidst her sex) she is safe from trial and from penury—to her grave."

"Penury! Just see how rich we shall be when we take those fields at Michaelmas."

"Pazzie!" (follies) said Riccabocca, listlessly. "Are these suns more serene than ours, or the soil more fertile? Yet in our own Italy, saith the proverb, 'he who sows land reaps more care than corn.' It were different," continued the father, after a pause, and in a more irresolute tone, "if I had some independence, however small, to count on—nay, if among all my tribe of dainty relatives there were but one female who would accompany Violante to the exile's hearth—Ishmael had his Hagar. But how can we two rough-bearded men provide for all the nameless wants and cares of a frail female child? And she has been so delicately reared—the woman-child needs the fostering hand and tender eye of a woman."

"And with a word," said Jackeymo, resolutely, "the Padrone might secure to his child all that he needs, to save her from the sepulchre of a convent; and ere the autumn leaves fall, she might be sitting on his knee. Padrone, do not think that you can conceal from me the truth, that you love your child better than all things in the world—now the Patria is as dead to you as the dust of your fathers—and your heart-strings would crack with the effort to tear her from them, and consign her to a convent. Padrone, never again to hear her voice—never again to see her face! Those little arms that twined round your neck that dark night, when[Pg 531] we fled fast for life and freedom, and you said, as you felt their clasp, 'Friend, all is not yet lost!'"

"Giacomo!" exclaimed the father, reproachfully, and his voice seemed to choke him. Riccabocca turned away, and walked restlessly to and fro the terrace; then, lifting his arms with a wild gesture as he still continued his long, irregular strides, he muttered, "yes, heaven is my witness that I could have borne reverse and banishment without a murmur, had I permitted myself that young partner in exile and privation. Heaven is my witness that, if I hesitate now, it is because I would not listen to my own selfish heart. Yet never, never to see her again—my child! And it was but as the infant that I beheld her! O friend, friend—" (and, stopping short with a burst of uncontrollable emotion, he bowed his head upon his servant's shoulder;) "thou knowest what I have endured and suffered at my hearth, as in my country; the wrong, the perfidy, the—the—" His voice again failed him; he clung to his servant's breast, and his whole frame shook.

"But your child, the innocent one—think now only of her!" faltered Giacomo, struggling with his own sobs.

"True, only of her," replied the exile, raising his face—"only of her. Put aside thy thoughts for myself, friend—counsel me. If I were to send for Violante, and if, transplanted to these keen airs, she drooped and died—look, look—the priest says that she needs such tender care; or if I myself were summoned from the world, to leave her in it alone, friendless, homeless, breadless perhaps, at the age of woman's sharpest trial against temptation; would she not live to mourn the cruel egotism that closed on her infant innocence the gates of the House of God?"

Giacomo was appalled by this appeal; and indeed Riccabocca had never before thus reverently spoken of the cloister. In his hours of philosophy, he was wont to sneer at monks and nuns, priesthood and superstition. But now, in that hour of emotion, the Old Religion reclaimed her empire; and the skeptical, world-wise man, thinking only of his child, spoke and felt with a child's simple faith.


"But again, I say," murmured Jackeymo, scarce audibly, and after a long silence, "if the Padrone would make up his mind—to marry!"

He expected that his master would start up in his customary indignation at such a suggestion—nay, he might not have been sorry so to have changed the current of feeling; but the poor Italian only winced slightly, and mildly withdrawing himself from his servant's supporting arm, again paced the terrace, but this time quietly and in silence. A quarter of an hour thus passed. "Give me the pipe," said P. Riccabocca, passing into the Belvidere.

Jackeymo again struck the spark, and, wonderfully relieved at the Padrone's return to his usual adviser, mentally besought his sainted namesake to bestow a double portion of soothing wisdom on the benignant influences of the weed.


Dr. Riccabocca had been some little time in the solitude of the Belvidere, when Lenny Fairfield, not knowing that his employer was therein, entered to lay down a book which the Doctor had lent him, with injunctions to leave on a certain table when done with. Riccabocca looked up at the sound of the young peasant's step.

"I beg your honor's pardon—I did not know—"

"Never mind; lay the book there. I wish to speak with you. You look well, my child; this air agrees with you as well as that of Hazeldean?"

"Oh, yes, sir."

"Yet it is higher ground, more exposed?"

"That can hardly be, sir," said Lenny; "there are many plants grow here which don't flourish at the Squire's. The hill yonder keeps off the east wind, and the place lays to the south."

"Lies, not lays, Lenny. What are the principal complaints in these parts?"

"Eh, sir?"

"I mean what maladies, what diseases?"

"I never heard tell of any, sir, except the rheumatism."

"No low fevers? no consumption?"

"Never heard of them, sir."

Riccabocca drew a long breath, as if relieved.

"That seems a very kind family at the Hall."

"I have nothing to say against it," answered Lenny, bluntly. "I have not been treated justly. But as that book says, sir, 'It is not every one who comes into the world with a silver spoon in his mouth.'"

Little thought the Doctor that those wise maxims may leave sore thoughts behind them. He was too occupied with the subject most at his own heart to think then of what was in Lenny Fairfield's.

"Yes; a kind, English, domestic family. Did you see much of Miss Hazeldean?"

"Not so much as of the Lady."

"Is she liked in the village, think you?"

"Miss Jemima? Yes. She never did harm. Her little dog bit me once—she did not ask me to beg its pardon, she asked mine! She's a very nice young lady; the girls say she's very affable: and," added Lenny with a smile, "there are always more weddings going on when she's down at the Hall."

"Oh!" said Riccabocca. Then, after a long whiff, "Did you ever see her play with the little children? Is she fond of children, do you think?"

"Lord, sir, you guess every thing. She's never so pleased as when she's playing with the babies."

[Pg 532]

"Humph!" grunted Riccabocca. "Babies—well, that's womanlike. I don't mean exactly babies, but when they're older—little girls."

"Indeed, sir, I dare say; but," said Lenny, primly, "I never as yet kept company with the little girls."

"Quite right, Lenny; be equally discreet all your life. Mrs. Dale is very intimate with Miss Hazeldean—more than with the Squire's lady. Why is that, think you?"

"Well, sir," said Leonard, shrewdly, "Mrs. Dale has her little tempers, though she's a very good lady; and Madam Hazeldean is rather high, and has a spirit. But Miss Jemima is so soft: any one could live with Miss Jemima, as Joe and the servants say at the Hall."

"Indeed! Get my hat out of the parlor, and—just bring a clothes-brush, Lenny. A fine sunny day for a walk."

After this most mean and dishonorable inquisition into the character and popular repute of Miss Hazeldean, Signore Riccabocca seemed as much cheered up and elated as if he had committed some very noble action; and he walked forth in the direction of the Hall with a far lighter and livelier step than that with which he had paced the terrace.

"Monsignore San Giacomo, by thy help and the pipe's, the Padrone shall have his child!" muttered the servant, looking up from the garden.


Yet Dr. Riccabocca was not rash. The man who wants his wedding-garment to fit him must allow plenty of time for the measure. But, from that day, the Italian notably changed his manner toward Miss Hazeldean. He ceased that profusion of compliment in which he had hitherto carried off in safety all serious meaning. For indeed the Doctor considered that compliments, to a single gentleman, were what the inky liquid it dispenses is to the cuttle-fish, that by obscuring the water, sails away from its enemy. Neither did he, as before, avoid prolonged conversations with that young lady, and contrive to escape from all solitary rambles by her side. On the contrary, he now sought every occasion to be in her society; and, entirely dropping the language of gallantry, he assumed something of the earnest tone of friendship. He bent down his intellect to examine and plumb her own. To use a very homely simile, he blew away that froth which there is on the surface of mere acquaintanceships, especially with the opposite sex; and which, while it lasts, scarce allows you to distinguish between small beer and double X. Apparently Dr. Riccabocca was satisfied with his scrutiny—at all events, under that froth there was no taste of bitter. The Italian might not find any great strength of intellect in Miss Jemima, but he found that, disentangled from many little whims and foibles—which he had himself the sense to perceive were harmless enough if they lasted, and not so absolutely constitutional but what they might be removed by a tender hand—Miss Hazeldean had quite enough sense to comprehend the plain duties of married life; and if the sense could fail, it found a substitute in good old homely English principles and the instincts of amiable kindly feelings.

I know not how it is, but your very clever man never seems to care so much as your less gifted mortals for cleverness in his helpmate. Your scholars, and poets, and ministers of state, are more often than not found assorted with exceedingly humdrum good sort of women, and apparently like them all the better for their deficiencies. Just see how happily Racine lived with his wife, and what an angel he thought her, and yet she had never read his plays. Certainly Goethe never troubled the lady who called him "Mr. Privy Councilor" with whims about "monads," and speculations on "color," nor those stiff metaphysical problems on which one breaks one's shins in the Second Part of the Faust. Probably it may be that such great geniuses—knowing that, as compared with themselves, there is little difference between your clever woman and your humdrum woman—merge at once all minor distinctions, relinquish all attempts that could not but prove unsatisfactory, at sympathy in hard intellectual pursuits, and are quite satisfied to establish that tie which, after all, best resists wear and tear—viz., the tough household bond between one human heart and another.

At all events, this, I suspect, was the reasoning of Dr. Riccabocca, when one morning, after a long walk with Miss Hazeldean, he muttered to himself,

"Duro con duro
Non fece mai buon muro."

Which may bear the paraphrase, "Bricks without mortar would make a very bad wall." There was quite enough in Miss Jemima's disposition to make excellent mortar: the Doctor took the bricks to himself.

When his examination was concluded, our philosopher symbolically evinced the result he had arrived at by a very simple proceeding on his part—which would have puzzled you greatly if you had not paused, and meditated thereon, till you saw all that it implied. Dr. Riccabocca took off his spectacles! He wiped them carefully, put them into their shagreen case, and locked them in his bureau: that is to say, he left off wearing his spectacles.

You will observe that there was a wonderful depth of meaning in that critical symptom, whether it be regarded as a sign outward, positive, and explicit; or a sign metaphysical, mystical, and esoteric. For, as to the last—it denoted that the task of the spectacles was over; that, when a philosopher has made up his mind to marry, it is better henceforth to be short-sighted—nay, even somewhat purblind—than to be always scrutinizing the domestic felicity, to which he is about to resign himself, through a pair of cold, unillusory barnacles. And for the[Pg 533] things beyond the hearth, if he can not see without spectacles, he is not about to ally to his own defective vision a good sharp pair of eyes, never at fault where his interests are concerned? On the other hand, regarded positively, categorically, and explicitly, Dr. Riccabocca, by laying aside those spectacles, signified that he was about to commence that happy initiation of courtship when every man, be he ever so much a philosopher, wishes to look as young and as handsome as time and nature will allow. Vain task to speed the soft language of the eyes through the medium of these glassy interpreters! I remember, for my own part, that once on a visit to Adelaide, I was in great danger of falling in love—with a young lady, too, who would have brought me a very good fortune—when she suddenly produced from her reticule a very neat pair of No. 4, set in tortoise-shell, and, fixing upon me their Gorgon gaze, froze the astonished Cupid into stone! And I hold it a great proof of the wisdom of Riccabocca, and of his vast experience in mankind, that he was not above the consideration of what your pseudo-sages would have regarded as foppish and ridiculous trifles. It argued all the better for that happiness which is our being's end and aim, that, in condescending to play the lover, he put those unbecoming petrifiers under lock and key.

And certainly, now the spectacles were abandoned, it was impossible to deny that the Italian had remarkably handsome eyes. Even through the spectacles, or lifted a little above them, they were always bright and expressive; but without those adjuncts, the blaze was soft and more tempered: they had that look which the French call velouté, or velvety; and he appeared altogether ten years younger. If our Ulysses, thus rejuvenated by his Minerva, has not fully made up his mind to make a Penelope of Miss Jemima, all I can say is, that he is worse than Polyphemus, who was only an Anthropophagos.

He preys upon the weaker sex, and is a Gynophagite!


"And you commission me, then, to speak to our dear Jemima?" said Mrs. Dale, joyfully, and without any bitterness whatever in that "dear."

Dr. Riccabocca.—"Nay, before speaking to Miss Hazeldean, it would surely be proper to know how far my addresses would be acceptable to the family."

Mrs. Dale.—"Ah!"

Dr. Riccabocca.—"The Squire is of course the head of the family."

Mrs. Dale (absent and distrait).—"The Squire—yes, very true—quite proper." (Then looking up with naïveté)—"Can you believe me, I never thought of the Squire. And he is such an odd man, and has so many English prejudices, that really—dear me, how vexatious that it should never once have occurred to me that Mr. Hazeldean had a voice in the matter. Indeed, the relationship is so distant—it is not like being her father; and Jemima is of age, and can do as she pleases; and—but as you say, it is quite proper that he should be consulted, as the head of the family."

Dr. Riccabocca.—"And you think that the Squire of Hazeldean might reject my alliance! Pshaw! that's a grand word indeed; I mean, that he might object very reasonably to his cousin's marriage with a foreigner, of whom he can know nothing, except that which in all countries is disreputable, and is said in this to be criminal—poverty."

Mrs. Dale (kindly).—"You mistake us poor English people, and you wrong the Squire, heaven bless him! for we were poor enough when he singled out my husband from a hundred for the minister of his parish, for his neighbor and his friend. I will speak to him fearlessly—"

Dr. Riccabocca.—"And frankly. And now I have used that word, let me go on with the confession which your kindly readiness, my fair friend, somewhat interrupted. I said that if I might presume to think my addresses would be acceptable to Miss Hazeldean and her family, I was too sensible of her amiable qualities not to—not to—"

Mrs. Dale (with demure archness).—"Not to be the happiest of men—that's the customary English phrase, Doctor."

Riccabocca (gallantly).—"There can not be a better. But," continued he, seriously, "I wish it first to be understood that I have—been married before."

Mrs. Dale (astonished).—"Married before!"

Riccabocca.—"And that I have an only child, dear to me—inexpressibly dear. That child, a daughter, has hitherto lived abroad; circumstances now render it desirable that she should make her home with me. And I own fairly that nothing has so attached me to Miss Hazeldean, nor so induced my desire for our matrimonial connection, as my belief that she has the heart and the temper to become a kind mother to my little one."

Mrs. Dale (with feeling and warmth).—"You judge her rightly there."

Riccabocca.—"Now, in pecuniary matters, as you may conjecture from my mode of life, I have nothing to offer to Miss Hazeldean correspondent with her own fortune, whatever that may be."

Mrs. Dale.—"That difficulty is obviated by settling Miss Hazeldean's fortune on herself, which is customary in such cases."

Dr. Riccabocca's face lengthened. "And my child, then?" said he, feelingly. There was something in that appeal so alien from all sordid and merely personal mercenary motives, that Mrs. Dale could not have had the heart to make the very rational suggestion—"But that child is[Pg 534] not Jemima's, and you may have children by her."

She was touched, and replied hesitatingly—"But, from what you and Jemima may jointly possess, you can save something annually—you can insure your life for your child. We did so when our poor child whom we lost was born," (the tears rushed into Mrs. Dale's eyes); "and I fear that Charles still insures his life for my sake, though heaven knows that—that—"

The tears burst out. That little heart, quick and petulant thought it was, had not a fibre of the elastic muscular tissues which are mercifully bestowed on the hearts of predestined widows. Dr. Riccabocca could not pursue the subject of life insurances further. But the idea—which had never occurred to the foreigner before, though so familiar to us English people, when only possessed of a life income—pleased him greatly. I will do him the justice to say, that he preferred it to the thought of actually appropriating to himself and his child a portion of Miss Hazeldean's dower.

Shortly afterward he took his leave, and Mrs. Dale hastened to seek her husband in his study, inform him of the success of her matrimonial scheme, and consult him as to the chance of the Squire's acquiescence therein. "You see," said she, hesitatingly, "though the Squire might be glad to see Jemima married to some Englishman, yet, if he asks who and what is this Dr. Riccabocca, how am I to answer him?"

"You should have thought of that before," said Mr. Dale, with unwonted asperity; "and, indeed, if I had ever believed any thing serious could come out of what seemed to me so absurd, I should long since have requested you not to interfere in such matters." "Good heavens!" continued the Parson, changing color, "if we should have assisted, underhand as it were, to introduce into the family of a man to whom we owe so much, a connection that he would dislike! how base we should be! how ungrateful!"

Poor Mrs. Dale was frightened by this speech, and still more by her husband's consternation and displeasure. To do Mrs. Dale justice, whenever her mild partner was really either grieved or offended, her little temper vanished—she became as meek as a lamb. As soon as she recovered the first shock she experienced, she hastened to dissipate the Parson's apprehensions. She assured him that she was convinced that if the Squire disapproved of Riccabocca's pretensions, the Italian would withdraw them at once, and Miss Hazeldean would never know of his proposals. Therefore, in that case, no harm would be done.

This assurance coinciding with Mr. Dale's convictions as to Riccabocca's scruples on the point of honor, tended much to compose the good man; and if he did not, as my reader of the gentler sex would expect from him, feel alarm lest Miss Jemima's affections should have been irretrievably engaged, and her happiness thus put in jeopardy by the Squire's refusal, it was not that the Parson wanted tenderness of heart, but experience in womankind; and he believed, very erroneously, that Miss Jemima Hazeldean was not one upon whom a disappointment of that kind would produce a lasting impression. Therefore Mr. Dale, after a pause of consideration, said kindly—

"Well, don't vex yourself—and I was to blame quite as much as you. But, indeed, I should have thought it easier for the Squire to have transplanted one of his tall cedars into his kitchen-garden, than for you to inveigle Dr. Riccabocca into matrimonial intentions. But a man who could voluntarily put himself into the Parish Stocks for the sake of experiment, must be capable of any thing! However, I think it better that I, rather than yourself, should speak to the Squire, and I will go at once."


The Parson put on the shovel hat, which—conjoined with other details in his dress peculiarly clerical, and already, even then, beginning to be out of fashion with churchmen—had served to fix upon him, emphatically, the dignified but antiquated style and cognomen of "Parson;" and took his way toward the Home Farm, at which he expected to find the Squire. But he had scarcely entered upon the village green when he beheld Mr. Hazeldean, leaning both hands on his stick, and gazing intently upon the Parish Stocks. Now, sorry am I to say that, ever since the Hegira of Lenny and his mother, the Anti-Stockian and Revolutionary spirit in Hazeldean, which the memorable homily of our Parson had awhile averted or suspended, had broken forth afresh. For though, while Lenny was present to be mowed and jeered at, there had been no pity for him, yet no sooner was he removed from the scene of trial, than a universal compassion for the barbarous usage he had received produced what is called "the reaction of public opinion." Not that those who had mowed and jeered repented them of their mockery, or considered themselves in the slightest degree the cause of his expatriation. No; they, with the rest of the villagers, laid all the blame upon the Stocks. It was not to be expected that a lad of such exemplary character could be thrust into that place of ignominy, and not be sensible of the affront. And who, in the whole village, was safe, if such goings-on and puttings-in were to be tolerated in silence, and at the expense of the very best and quietest lad the village had ever known? Thus, a few days after the widow's departure, the Stocks was again the object of midnight desecration: it was bedaubed and bescratched—it was hacked and hewed—it was scrawled all over with pithy lamentations for Lenny, and laconic execrations on tyrants. Night after night new inscriptions appeared, testifying the sarcastic wit and the vindictive sentiment of the parish. And perhaps the Stocks[Pg 535] themselves were only spared from ax and bonfire by the convenience they afforded to the malice of the disaffected: they became the Pasquin of Hazeldean.

As disaffection naturally produces a correspondent vigor in authority, so affairs had been lately administered with greater severity than had been hitherto wont in the easy rule of the Squire and his predecessors. Suspected persons were naturally marked out by Mr. Stirn, and reported to his employer, who, too proud or too pained to charge them openly with ingratitude, at first only passed them by in his walks with a silent and stiff inclination of his head; and afterward gradually yielding to the baleful influence of Stirn, the Squire grumbled forth that "he did not see why he should be always putting himself out of his way to show kindness to those who made such a return. There ought to be a difference between the good and the bad." Encouraged by this admission, Stirn had conducted himself toward the suspected parties, and their whole kith and kin, with the iron-handed justice that belonged to his character. For some, habitual donations of milk from the dairy, and vegetables from the gardens, were surlily suspended; others were informed that their pigs were always trespassing on the woods in search of acorns; or that they were violating the Game Laws in keeping lurchers. A beer-house, popular in the neighborhood, but of late resorted to overmuch by the grievance-mongers (and no wonder, since they had become the popular party), was threatened with an application to the magistrates for the withdrawal of its license. Sundry old women, whose grandsons were notoriously ill-disposed towards the Stocks, were interdicted from gathering dead sticks under the avenues, on pretense that they broke down the live boughs; and, what was more obnoxious to the younger members of the parish than most other retaliatory measures, three chestnut trees, one walnut, and two cherry trees, standing at the bottom of the park, and which had, from time immemorial, been given up to the youth of Hazeldean, were now solemnly placed under the general defense of "private property." And the crier had announced that, henceforth, all depredators on the fruit-trees in Copse Hollow would be punished with the utmost rigor of the law. Stirn, indeed, recommended much more stringent proceedings than all these indications of a change of policy, which, he averred, would soon bring the parish to its senses—such as discontinuing many little jobs of unprofitable work that employed the surplus labor of the village. But there the Squire, falling into the department, and under the benigner influence of his Harry, was as yet not properly hardened. When it came to a question that affected the absolute quantity of loaves to be consumed by the graceless mouths that fed upon him, the milk of human kindness—with which Providence has so bountifully supplied that class of the mammalia called the "Bucolic," and of which our Squire had an extra "yield"—burst forth, and washed away all the indignation of the harsher Adam.

Still your policy of half-measures, which irritates without crushing its victims, which flaps an exasperated wasp-nest with a silk pocket-handkerchief, instead of blowing it up with a match and train, is rarely successful; and, after three or four other and much guiltier victims than Lenny had been incarcerated in the Stocks, the parish of Hazeldean was ripe for any enormity. Pestilent jacobinical tracts, conceived and composed in the sinks of manufacturing towns—found their way into the popular beer-house—heaven knows how, though the Tinker was suspected of being the disseminator by all but Stirn, who still, in a whisper, accused the Papishers. And, finally, there appeared among the other graphic embellishments which the poor Stocks had received, the rude gravure of a gentleman in a broad-brimmed hat and top-boots, suspended from a gibbet, with the inscription beneath—"A warnin to hall tirans—mind your hi!—sighnde Captin sTraw."

It was upon this significant and emblematic portraiture that the Squire was gazing when the Parson joined him.

"Well, Parson," said Mr. Hazeldean, with a smile which he meant to be pleasant and easy, but which was exceedingly bitter and grim, "I wish you joy of your flock—you see they have just hanged me in effigy!"

The Parson stared, and, though greatly shocked, smothered his emotions; and attempted, with the wisdom of the serpent and the mildness of the dove, to find another original for the effigy.

"It is very bad," quoth he, "but not so bad as all that, Squire; that's not the shape of your hat. It is evidently meant for Mr. Stirn."

"Do you think so!" said the Squire, softened. "Yet the top-boots—Stirn never wears top-boots."

"No more do you—except in hunting. If you look again, those are not tops—they are leggings—Stirn wears leggings. Besides, that flourish, which is meant for a nose, is a kind of a hook like Stirn's; whereas your nose—though by no means a snub—rather turns up than not, as the Apollo's does, according to the plaster cast in Riccabocca's parlor."

"Poor Stirn!" said the Squire, in a tone that evinced complacency, not unmingled with compassion, "that's what a man gets in this world by being a faithful servant, and doing his duty with zeal for his employer. But you see that things have come to a strange pass, and the question now is, what course to pursue. The miscreants hitherto have defied all vigilance, and Stirn recommends the employment of a regular night-watch with a lantern and bludgeon."

"That may protect the Stocks, certainly; but will it keep those detestable tracts out of the beer-house?"

[Pg 536]

"We shall shut the beer-house up at the next sessions."

"The tracts will break out elsewhere—the humor's in the blood!"

"I've half a mind to run off to Brighton or Leamington—good hunting at Leamington—for a year, just to let the rogues see how they can get on without me!"

The Squire's lip trembled.

"My dear Mr. Hazeldean," said the Parson, taking his friend's hand, "I don't want to parade my superior wisdom; but if you had taken my advice, quieta non movere. Was there ever a parish so peaceable as this, or a country-gentleman so beloved as you were, before you undertook the task which has dethroned kings and ruined states—that of wantonly meddling with antiquity, whether for the purpose of uncalled-for repairs, or the revival of obsolete uses."

At this rebuke the Squire did not manifest his constitutional tendencies to choler; but he replied almost meekly, "If it were to do again, faith, I would leave the parish to the enjoyment of the shabbiest pair of Stocks that ever disgraced a village. Certainly I meant it for the best—an ornament to the green; however, now they are rebuilt, the Stocks must be supported. Will Hazeldean is not the man to give way to a set of thankless rapscallions."

"I think," said the Parson, "that you will allow that the House of Tudor, whatever its faults, was a determined, resolute dynasty enough—high-hearted and strong-headed. A Tudor would never have fallen into the same calamities as the poor Stuart did!"

"What the plague has the House of Tudor got to do with my Stocks?"

"A great deal. Henry the VIII. found a subsidy so unpopular that he gave it up; and the people, in return, allowed him to cut off as many heads as he pleased, besides those in his own family. Good Queen Bess, who, I know, is your idol in history—"

"To be sure!—she knighted my ancestor at Tilbury Fort."

"Good Queen Bess struggled hard to maintain a certain monopoly; she saw it would not do, and she surrendered it with that frank heartiness which becomes a sovereign, and makes surrender a grace."

"Ha! and you would have me give up the Stocks?"

"I would much rather they had staid as they were, before you touched them; but, as it is, if you could find a good plausible pretext—and there is an excellent one at hand—the sternest kings open prisons, and grant favors, upon joyful occasions. Now a marriage in the royal family is of course a joyful occasion!—and so it should be in that of the King of Hazeldean." Admire that artful turn in the Parson's eloquence!—it was worthy of Riccabocca himself. Indeed, Mr. Dale had profited much by his companionship with that Machiavellian intellect.

"A marriage—yes; but Frank has only just got into long tails!"

"I did not allude to Frank, but to your cousin Jemima!"


The Squire staggered as if the breath had been knocked out of him, and, for want of a better seat, sate down on the Stocks.

All the female heads in the neighboring cottages peered, themselves unseen, through the casements. What could the Squire be about?—what new mischief did he meditate? Did he mean to fortify the Stocks? Old Gaffer Solomons, who had an indefinite idea of the lawful power of squires, and who had been for the last ten minutes at watch on his threshold, shook his head and said, "Them as a-cut out the mon, a-hanging, as a-put in the Squire's head!"

"Put what?" asked his grand-daughter.

"The gallus!" answered Solomons—"he be a-goin to have it hung from the great elm-tree. And the Parson, good mon, is a-quotin Scripter agin it—you see he's a-taking off his gloves, and a-putting his two han's together, as he do when he pray for the sick, Jenny."

That description of the Parson's mien and manner, which, with his usual niceness of observation, Gaffer Solomons thus sketched off, will convey to you some idea of the earnestness with which the Parson pleaded the cause he had undertaken to advocate. He dwelt much upon the sense of propriety which the foreigner had evinced in requesting that the Squire might be consulted before any formal communication to his cousin; and he repeated Mrs. Dale's assurance, that such were Riccabocca's high standard of honor and belief in the sacred rights of hospitality, that, if the Squire withheld his consent to his proposals, the Parson was convinced that the Italian would instantly retract them. Now, considering that Miss Hazeldean was, to say the least, come to years of discretion, and the Squire had long since placed her property entirely at her own disposal, Mr. Hazeldean was forced to acquiesce in the Parson's corollary remark, "That this was a delicacy which could not be expected from every English pretender to the lady's hand." Seeing that he had so far cleared ground, the Parson went on to intimate, though with great tact, that, since Miss Jemima would probably marry sooner or later, (and, indeed, that the Squire could not wish to prevent her), it might be better for all parties concerned that it should be with some one who, though a foreigner, was settled in the neighborhood, and of whose character what was known was certainly favorable, than run the hazard of her being married for her money by some adventurer or Irish fortune-hunter at the watering-places she yearly visited. Then he touched lightly on Riccabocca's agreeable and companionable qualities; and concluded with a skillful peroration upon the excellent occasion the wedding[Pg 537] would afford to reconcile Hall and Parish, by making a voluntary holocaust of the Stocks.

As he concluded, the Squire's brow, before thoughtful, though not sullen, cleared up benignly. To say truth, the Squire was dying to get rid of the Stocks, if he could but do so handsomely and with dignity; and if all the stars in the astrological horoscope had conjoined together to give Miss Jemima "assurance of a husband," they could not so have served her with the Squire, as that conjunction between the Altar and the Stocks which the Parson had effected!

Accordingly, when Mr. Dale had come to an end, the Squire replied with great placidity and good sense, "That Mr. Rickeybockey had behaved very much like a gentleman, and that he was very much obliged to him; that he (the Squire) had no right to interfere in the matter, farther than with his advice; that Jemima was old enough to choose for herself, and that, as the Parson had implied, after all, she might go farther and fare worse—indeed, the farther she went (that is, the longer she waited), the worse she was likely to fare. I own for my part," continued the Squire, "that, though I like Rickeybockey very much, I never suspected that Jemima was caught with his long face; but there's no accounting for tastes. My Harry, indeed, was more shrewd, and gave me many a hint, for which I only laughed at her. Still I ought to have thought it looked queer when Mounseer took to disguising himself by leaving off his glasses, ha—ha! I wonder what Harry will say; let's go and talk to her."

The Parson, rejoiced at this easy way of taking the matter, hooked his arm into the Squire's, and they walked amicably toward the Hall. But on coming first into gardens, they found Mrs. Hazeldean herself, clipping dead leaves or fading flowers from her rose-trees. The Squire stole slily behind her, and startled her in her turn by putting his arm round her waist, and saluting her smooth cheek with one of his hearty kisses; which, by the way, from some association of ideas, was a conjugal freedom that he usually indulged whenever a wedding was going on in the village.

"Fie, William!" said Mrs. Hazeldean coyly, and blushing as she saw the Parson. "Well, who's going to be married now?"

"Lord, was there ever such a woman?—she's guessed it!" cried the Squire in great admiration. "Tell her all about it, Parson."

The Parson obeyed.

Mrs. Hazeldean, as the reader may suppose, showed much less surprise than her husband had done; but she took the news graciously, and made much the same answer as that which had occurred to the Squire, only with somewhat more qualification and reserve. "Signor Riccabocca had behaved very handsomely; and though a daughter of the Hazeldeans of Hazeldean, might expect a much better marriage, in a worldly point of view, yet as the lady in question had deferred finding one so long, it would be equally idle and impertinent now to quarrel with her choice—if indeed she should decide on accepting Signor Riccabocca. As for fortune, that was a consideration for the two contracting parties. Still, it ought to be pointed out to Miss Jemima that the interest of her fortune would afford but a very small income. That Dr. Riccabocca was a widower was another matter for deliberation; and it seemed rather suspicious that he should have been hitherto so close upon all matters connected with his former life. Certainly his manners were in his favor, and as long as he was merely an acquaintance, and at most a tenant, no one had a right to institute inquiries of a strictly private nature; but that, when he was about to marry a Hazeldean of Hazeldean, it became the Squire at least to know a little more about him—who and what he was. Why did he leave his own country? English people went abroad to save; no foreigner would choose England as a country in which to save money! She supposed that a foreign doctor was no very great things; probably he had been but a professor in some Italian university. At all events, if the Squire interfered at all, it was on such points that he should request information."

"My dear madam," said the Parson, "what you say is extremely just. As to the causes which have induced our friend to expatriate himself, I think we need not look far for them. He is evidently one of the many Italian refugees whom political disturbances have driven to our shore, whose boast it is to receive all exiles, of whatever party. For his respectability of birth and family he certainly ought to obtain some vouchers. And if that be the only objection, I trust we may soon congratulate Miss Hazeldean on a marriage with a man who, though certainly very poor, has borne privations without a murmur; has preferred all hardship to debt; has scorned to attempt betraying her into any clandestine connection; who, in short, has shown himself so upright and honest, that I hope my dear Mr. Hazeldean will forgive him if he is only a doctor—probably of laws—and not, as most foreigners pretend to be, a marquis, or a baron at least."

"As to that," cried the Squire, "'tis the best thing I know about Rickeybockey, that he don't attempt to humbug us by any such foreign trumpery. Thank heaven, the Hazeldeans of Hazeldean were never tuft-hunters and title-mongers; and if I never ran after an English lord, I should certainly be devilishly ashamed of a brother-in-law whom I was forced to call markee or count! I should feel sure he was a courier, or runaway valley-de-sham. Turn up your nose at a doctor, indeed, Harry!—pshaw, good English style that! Doctor! my aunt married a Doctor of Divinity—excellent man—wore a wig, and was made a dean! So long as Rickeybockey is not a doctor of physic, I don't care a button. If he's that, indeed, it would be suspicious; because, you see those foreign doctors[Pg 538] of physic are quacks, and tell fortunes, and go about on a stage with a Merry-Andrew."

"Lord, Hazeldean! where on earth did you pick up that idea?" said Harry, laughing.

"Pick it up!—why, I saw a fellow myself at the cattle fair last year—when I was buying short-horns—with a red waistcoat and a cocked hat, a little like the Parson's shovel. He called himself Doctor Phoscophornio—wore a white wig, and sold pills! The Merry-Andrew was the funniest creature—in salmon-colored tights—turned head over heels, and said he came from Timbuctoo. No, no; if Rickeybockey's a physic Doctor, we shall have Jemima in a pink tinsel dress, tramping about the country in a caravan!"

At this notion, both the Squire and his wife laughed so heartily that the Parson felt the thing was settled, and slipped away, with the intention of making his report to Riccabocca.


It was with a slight disturbance of his ordinary suave and well-bred equanimity that the Italian received the information, that he need apprehend no obstacle to his suit from the insular prejudices or the worldly views of the lady's family. Not that he was mean and cowardly enough to recoil from the near and unclouded prospect of that felicity which he had left off his glasses to behold with unblinking naked eyes:—no, there his mind was made up; but he had met with very little kindness in life, and he was touched not only by the interest in his welfare testified by a heretical priest, but by the generosity with which he was admitted into a well-born and wealthy family, despite his notorious poverty and his foreign descent. He conceded the propriety of the only stipulation, which was conveyed to him by the Parson with all the delicacy that became a man professionally habituated to deal with the subtler susceptibilities of mankind—viz., that, among Riccabocca's friends or kindred, some one should be found whose report would confirm the persuasion of his respectability entertained by his neighbors;—he assented, I say, to the propriety of this condition; but it was not with alacrity and eagerness. His brow became clouded. The Parson hastened to assure him that the Squire was not a man qui stupet in titulis, (who was besotted with titles), that he neither expected nor desired to find an origin and rank for his brother-in-law above that decent mediocrity of condition to which it was evident, from Riccabocca's breeding and accomplishments, he could easily establish his claim. "And though," said he smiling, "the Squire is a warm politician in his own country, and would never see his sister again, I fear, if she married some convicted enemy of our happy constitution, yet for foreign politics he does not care a straw: so that if, as I suspect, your exile arises from some quarrel with your Government—which, being foreign, he takes for granted must be insupportable—he would but consider you as he would a Saxon who fled from the iron hand of William the Conqueror, or a Lancastrian expelled by the Yorkists in our Wars of the Roses."

The Italian smiled. "Mr. Hazeldean shall be satisfied," said he simply. "I see, by the Squire's newspaper, that an English gentleman who knew me in my own country has just arrived in London. I will write to him for a testimonial, at least to my probity and character. Probably he may be known to you by name—nay, he must be, for he was a distinguished officer in the late war. I allude to Lord L'Estrange."

The Parson started.

"You know Lord L'Estrange?—a profligate, bad man, I fear."

"Profligate!—bad!" exclaimed Riccabocca. "Well, calumnious as the world is, I should never have thought that such expressions would be applied to one who, though I knew him but little—knew him chiefly by the service he once rendered to me—first taught me to love and revere the English name!"

"He may be changed since—" The parson paused.

"Since when?" asked Riccabocca, with evident curiosity.

Mr. Dale seemed embarrassed. "Excuse me," said he, "it is many years ago; and, in short, the opinion I then formed of the gentleman in question was based upon circumstances which I can not communicate."

The punctilious Italian bowed in silence, but he still looked as if he should have liked to prosecute inquiry.

After a pause, he said, "Whatever your impressions respecting Lord L'Estrange, there is nothing, I suppose, which would lead you to doubt his honor, or reject his testimonial in my favor?"

"According to fashionable morality," said Mr. Dale, rather precisely, "I know of nothing that could induce me to suppose that Lord L'Estrange would not, in this instance, speak the truth. And he has unquestionably a high reputation as a soldier, and a considerable position in the world." Therewith the Parson took his leave. A few days afterward, Dr. Riccabocca inclosed to the Squire, in a blank envelope, a letter he had received from Harley L'Estrange. It was evidently intended for the Squire's eye, and to serve as a voucher for the Italian's respectability; but this object was fulfilled, not in the coarse form of a direct testimonial, but with a tact and delicacy which seemed to show more than the fine breeding to be expected from one in Lord L'Estrange's station. It argued that most exquisite of all politeness which comes from the heart: a certain tone of affectionate respect (which even the homely sense of the Squire felt, intuitively, proved far more in favor of Riccabocca than the most elaborate certificate of his qualities and antecedents) pervaded the whole, and would have sufficed in itself to remove all scruples[Pg 539] from a mind much more suspicious and exacting than that of the Squire of Hazeldean. But, lo and behold! an obstacle now occurred to the Parson, of which he ought to have thought long before—viz., the Papistical religion of the Italian. Dr. Riccabocca was professedly a Roman Catholic. He so little obtruded that fact—and, indeed, had assented so readily to any animadversions upon the superstition and priestcraft which, according to Protestants, are the essential characteristics of Papistical communities—that it was not till the hymeneal torch, which brings all faults to light, was fairly illumined for the altar, that the remembrance of a faith so cast into the shade burst upon the conscience of the Parson. The first idea that then occurred to him was the proper and professional one—viz., the conversion of Dr. Riccabocca. He hastened to his study, took down from his shelves long neglected volumes of controversial divinity, armed himself with an arsenal of authorities, arguments, and texts; then, seizing the shovel-hat, posted off to the Casino.


The Parson burst upon the philosopher like an avalanche! He was so full of his subject that he could not let it out in prudent driblets. No, he went souse upon the astounded Riccabocca,

Jupiter ipse ruens tumultu."

The sage—shrinking deeper into his arm-chair, and drawing his dressing-robe more closely round him—suffered the Parson to talk for three-quarters of an hour, till indeed he had thoroughly proved his case; and, like Brutus, "paused for a reply."

Then said Riccabocca mildly, "In much of what you have urged so ably, and so suddenly, I am inclined to agree. But base is the man who formally forswears the creed he has inherited from his fathers, and professed since the cradle up to years of maturity, when the change presents itself in the guise of a bribe;—when, for such is human nature, he can hardly distinguish or disentangle the appeal to his reason from the lure to his interests—here a text, and there a dowry!—here Protestantism, there Jemima. Own, my friend, that the soberest casuist would see double under the inebriating effects produced by so mixing his polemical liquors. Appeal, my good Mr. Dale, from Philip drunken to Philip sober!—from Riccabocca intoxicated with the assurance of your excellent lady, that he is about to be "the happiest of men," to Riccabocca accustomed to his happiness, and carrying it off with the seasoned equability of one grown familiar with stimulants—in a word, appeal from Riccabocca the wooer to Riccabocca the spouse. I may be convertible, but conversion is a slow process; courtship should be a quick one—ask Miss Jemima. Finalmente, marry me first, and convert me afterward!"

"You take this too jestingly," began the Parson; "and I don't see why, with your excellent understanding, truths so plain and obvious should not strike you at once."

"Truths," interrupted Riccabocca profoundly, "are the slowest growing things in the world! It took 1500 years from the date of the Christian era to produce your own Luther, and then he flung his Bible at Satan (I have seen the mark made by the book on the wall of his prison in Germany), besides running off with a nun, which no Protestant clergyman would think it proper and right to do nowadays." Then he added, with seriousness, "Look you, my dear sir—I should lose my own esteem if I were even to listen to you now with becoming attention—now, I say, when you hint that the creed I have professed may be in the way of my advantage. If so, I must keep the creed and resign the advantage. But if, as I trust—not only as a Christian, but a man of honor—you will defer this discussion, I will promise to listen to you hereafter; and though, to say truth, I believe that you will not convert me, I will promise you faithfully never to interfere with my wife's religion."

"And any children you may have?"

"Children!" said Dr. Riccabocca, recoiling—"you are not contented with firing your pocket-pistol right in my face; you must also pepper me all over with small-shot. Children! well, if they are girls, let them follow the faith of their mother; and if boys, while in childhood, let them be contented with learning to be Christians; and when they grow into men, let them choose for themselves which is the best form for the practice of the great principles which all sects have in common."

"But," began Mr. Dale again, pulling a large book from his pocket.

Dr. Riccabocca flung open the window, and jumped out of it.

It was the rapidest and most dastardly flight you could possibly conceive; but it was a great compliment to the argumentative powers of the Parson, and he felt it as such. Nevertheless, Mr. Dale thought it right to have a long conversation, both with the Squire and Miss Jemima herself, upon the subject which his intended convert had so ignominiously escaped.

The Squire, though a great foe to Popery, politically considered, had also quite as great a hatred to turn-coats and apostates. And in his heart he would have despised Riccabocca if he could have thrown off his religion as easily as he had done his spectacles. Therefore he said, simply—"Well, it is certainly a great pity that Rickeybockey is not of the Church of England, though, I take it, that would be unreasonable to expect in a man born and bred under the nose of the Inquisition"—(the Squire firmly believed that the Inquisition was in full force in all the Italian states, with whips, racks, and thumb-screws; and, indeed, his chief information of Italy was gathered from a perusal he had given[Pg 540] in early youth to The One-Handed Monk)—"but I think he speaks very fairly, on the whole, as to his wife and children. And the thing's gone too far now to retract. It is all your fault for not thinking of it before; and I've now just made up my mind as to the course to pursue respecting those d—d Stocks!"

As for Miss Jemima, the parson left her with a pious thanksgiving that Riccabocca at least was a Christian, and not a Pagan, Mahometan, or Jew!


There is that in a wedding which appeals to a universal sympathy. No other event in the lives of their superiors in rank creates an equal sensation among the humbler classes.

From the moment the news had spread throughout the village that Miss Jemima was to be married, all the old affection for the Squire and his House burst forth the stronger for its temporary suspension. Who could think of the Stocks at such a season? They were swept out of fashion—hunted from remembrance as completely as the question of Repeal or the thought of Rebellion from the warm Irish heart, when the fair young face of the Royal Wife beamed on the sister isle.

Again cordial courtesies were dropped at the thresholds by which the Squire passed to his home-farm; again the sun-burnt brows uncovered—no more with sullen ceremony—were smoothed into cheerful gladness at his nod. Nay, the little ones began again to assemble at their ancient rendezvous by the Stocks, as if either familiarized with the phenomenon, or convinced that, in the general sentiment of good-will, its powers of evil were annulled.

The Squire tasted once more the sweets of the only popularity which is much worth having, and the loss of which a wise man would reasonably deplore; viz., the popularity which arises from a persuasion of our goodness, and a reluctance to recall our faults. Like all blessings, the more sensibly felt from previous interruption, the Squire enjoyed this restored popularity with an exhilarated sense of existence; his stout heart beat more vigorously; his stalwart step trod more lightly; his comely English face looked comelier and more English than ever—you would have been a merrier man for a week to have come within hearing of his jovial laugh.

He felt grateful to Jemima and to Riccabocca as the special agents of Providence in this general integratio amoris. To have looked at him, you would suppose that it was the Squire who was going to be married a second time to his Harry!

One may well conceive that such would have been an inauspicious moment for Parson Dale's theological scruples. To have stopped that marriage—chilled all the sunshine it diffused over the village—seen himself surrounded again by long sulky visages—I verily believe, though a better friend of Church and State never stood on a hustings, that, rather than court such a revulsion, the Squire would have found jesuitical excuses for the marriage if Riccabocca had been discovered to be the Pope in disguise! As for the Stocks, their fate was now irrevocably sealed. In short, the marriage was concluded—first privately, according to the bridegroom's creed, by a Roman Catholic clergyman, who lived in a town some miles off, and next publicly in the village church of Hazeldean.

It was the heartiest rural wedding! Village girls strewed flowers on the way; a booth was placed amidst the prettiest scenery of the Park, on the margin of the lake—for there was to be a dance later in the day—an ox was roasted whole. Even Mr. Stirn—no, Mr. Stirn was not present, so much happiness would have been the death of him! And the Papisher, too, who had conjured Lenny out of the stocks; nay, who had himself sate in the Stocks for the very purpose of bringing them into contempt—the Papisher! he had as lief Miss Jemima had married the devil! Indeed he was persuaded that, in point of fact, it was all one and the same. Therefore Mr. Stirn had asked leave to go and attend his uncle the pawnbroker, about to undergo a torturing operation for the stone! Frank was there, summoned from Eton for the occasion—having grown two inches taller since he left—for the one inch of which nature was to be thanked, for the other a new pair of resplendent Wellingtons. But the boy's joy was less apparent than that of others. For Jemima was a special favorite with him—as she would have been with all boys—for she was always kind and gentle, and made many pretty presents whenever she came from the watering-places. And Frank knew that he should miss her sadly, and thought she had made a very queer choice.

Captain Higginbotham had been invited; but, to the astonishment of Jemima, he had replied to the invitation by a letter to herself, marked "private and confidential." 'She must have long known,' said the letter, 'of his devoted attachment to her; motives of delicacy, arising from the narrowness of his income, and the magnanimity of his sentiments, had alone prevented his formal proposals; but now that she was informed (he could scarcely believe his senses, or command his passions) that her relations wished to force her into a barbarous marriage with a foreigner of most forbidding appearance, and most abject circumstances, he lost not a moment in laying at her feet his own hand and fortune. And he did this the more confidently, inasmuch as he could not but be aware of Miss Jemima's secret feelings toward him, while he was proud and happy to say, that his dear and distinguished cousin, Mr. Sharpe Currie, had honored him with a warmth of regard which justified the most brilliant expectations—likely to be soon realized—as his eminent relative had contracted a very bad liver-complaint in the service of his country, and could not last long!'

In all the years they had known each other, Miss[Pg 541] Jemima, strange as it may appear, had never once suspected the Captain of any other feelings to her than those of a brother. To say that she was not gratified by learning her mistake, would be to say that she was more than woman. Indeed, it must have been a source of no ignoble triumph to think that she could prove her disinterested affection to her dear Riccabocca, by a prompt rejection of this more brilliant offer. She couched the rejection, it is true, in the most soothing terms. But the Captain evidently considered himself ill used; he did not reply to the letter, and did not come to the wedding.

To let the reader into a secret, never known to Miss Jemima, Captain Higginbotham was much less influenced by Cupid than by Plutus in the offer he had made. The Captain was one of that class of gentlemen who read their accounts by those corpse-lights, or will-o'-the-wisps, called expectations. Ever since the Squire's grandfather had left him—then in short clothes—a legacy of £500, the Captain had peopled the future with expectations! He talked of his expectations as a man talks of shares in a Tontine; they might fluctuate a little—be now up and now down—but it was morally impossible, if he lived on, but that he should be a millionaire one of these days. Now, though Miss Jemima was a good fifteen years younger than himself, yet she always stood for a good round sum in the ghostly books of the Captain. She was an expectation to the full amount of her £4000, seeing that Frank was an only child, and it would be carrying coals to Newmarket to leave him any thing.

Rather than see so considerable a cipher suddenly sponged out of his visionary ledger—rather than so much money should vanish clean out of the family, Captain Higginbotham had taken what he conceived, if a desperate, at least a certain, step for the preservation of his property. If the golden horn could not be had without the heifer, why, he must take the heifer into the bargain. He had never formed to himself an idea that a heifer so gentle would toss and fling him over. The blow was stunning. But no one compassionates the misfortunes of the covetous, though few perhaps are in greater need of compassion. And leaving poor Captain Higginbotham to retrieve his illusory fortunes as he best may among "the expectations" which gathered round the form of Mr. Sharpe Currie, who was the crossest old tyrant imaginable, and never allowed at his table any dishes not compounded with rice, which played Old Nick with the Captain's constitutional functions—I return to the wedding at Hazeldean, just in time to see the bridegroom—who looked singularly well on the occasion—hand the bride (who, between sunshiny tears and affectionate smiles, was really a very interesting and even a pretty bride, as brides go) into a carriage which the Squire had presented to them, and depart on the orthodox nuptial excursion amidst the blessings of the assembled crowd.

It may be thought strange by the unreflective that these rural spectators should so have approved and blessed the marriage of a Hazeldean of Hazeldean with a poor, outlandish, long-haired foreigner; but, besides that Riccabocca, after all, had become one of the neighborhood, and was proverbially "a civil-spoken gentleman," it is generally noticeable that on wedding occasions the bride so monopolizes interest, curiosity, and admiration, that the bridegroom himself goes for little or nothing. He is merely the passive agent in the affair—the unregarded cause of the general satisfaction. It was not Riccabocca himself that they approved and blessed—it was the gentleman in the white waistcoat who had made Miss Jemima—Madam Rickeybocky!

Leaning on his wife's arm—(for it was a habit of the Squire to lean on his wife's arm rather than she on his, when he was specially pleased; and there was something touching in the sight of that strong sturdy frame thus insensibly, in hours of happiness, seeking dependence on the frail arm of woman)—leaning, I say, on his wife's arm, the Squire, about the hour of sunset, walked down to the booth by the lake.

All the parish—young and old, man, woman, and child—were assembled there, and their faces seemed to bear one family likeness, in the common emotion which animated all, as they turned to his frank fatherly smile. Squire Hazeldean stood at the head of the long table; he filled a horn with ale from the brimming tankard beside him. Then he looked round, and lifted his hand to request silence; and, ascending the chair, rose in full view of all. Every one felt that the Squire was about to make a speech, and the earnestness of the attention was proportioned to the rarity of the event; for (though he was not unpracticed in the oratory of the hustings) only thrice before had the Squire made what could fairly be called "a speech" to the villagers of Hazeldean—once on a kindred festive occasion, when he had presented to them his bride—once in a contested election for the shire, in which he took more than ordinary interest, and was not quite so sober as he ought to have been—once in a time of great agricultural distress, when, in spite of reduction of rents, the farmers had been compelled to discard a large number of their customary laborers; and when the Squire had said, "I have given up keeping the hounds, because I want to make a fine piece of water, (that was the origin of the lake), and to drain all the low lands round the park. Let every man who wants work come to me!" And that sad year the parish rates of Hazeldean were not a penny the more.

Now, for the fourth time, the Squire rose, and thus he spoke. At his right hand, Harry; at his left, Frank. At the bottom of the table, as vice-president, Parson Dale, his little wife behind him, only obscurely seen. She cried readily, and her handkerchief was already before her eyes.

[Pg 542]


"Friends and neighbors—I thank you kindly for coming round me this day, and for showing so much interest in me and mine. My cousin was not born among you as I was, but you have known her from a child. It is a familiar face and one that never frowned, which you will miss at your cottage doors, as I and mine will miss it long in the old Hall—"

Here there was a sob from some of the women, and nothing was seen of Mrs. Dale but the white handkerchief. The Squire himself paused, and brushed away a tear with the back of his hand. Then he resumed, with a sudden change of voice that was electrical—

"For we none of us prize a blessing till we have lost it! Now, friends and neighbors—a little time ago, it seemed as if some ill-will had crept into the village—ill-will between you and me, neighbors!—why, that is not like Hazeldean!"

The audience hung their heads! You never saw people look so thoroughly ashamed of themselves. The Squire proceeded—

"I don't say it was all your fault; perhaps it was mine."

"Noa—noa—noa," burst forth in a general chorus.

"Nay, friends," continued the Squire humbly, and in one of those illustrative aphorisms which, if less subtle than Riccabocca's were more within reach of the popular comprehension; "nay—we are all human; and every man has his hobby: sometimes he breaks in the hobby, and sometimes the hobby, if it is very hard in the mouth, breaks in him. One man's hobby has an ill habit of always stopping at the public house! (Laughter). Another man's hobby refuses to stir a peg beyond the door where some buxom lass patted its neck the week before—a hobby I rode pretty often when I went courting my good wife here! (Much laughter and applause). Others have a lazy hobby, that there's no getting on; others, a runaway hobby that there's no stopping: but to cut the matter short, my favorite hobby, as you well know, is always trotted out to any place on my property which seems to want the eye and hand of the master. I hate (cried the Squire warming) to see things neglected and decayed, and going to the dogs! This land we live in is a good mother to us, and we can't do too much for her. It is very true, neighbors, that I owe her a good many acres, and ought to speak well of her; but what then? I live among you, and what I take from the rent with one hand, I divide among you with the other (low, but assenting murmurs). Now the more I improve my property, the more mouths it feeds. My great-grandfather kept a Field-Book, in which were entered, not only the names of all the farmers and the quantity of land they held, but the average number of the laborers each employed. My grandfather and father followed his example: I have done the same. I find, neighbors, that our rents have doubled since my great-grandfather began to make the book. Ay—but there are more than four times the number of laborers employed on the estate, and at much better wages, too! Well, my men, that says a great deal in favor of improving property, and not letting it go to the dogs. (Applause). And therefore, neighbors, you will kindly excuse my hobby: it carries grist to your mill. (Reiterated applause). Well—but you will say, 'What's the Squire driving at?' Why this, my friends: There was only one worn-out, dilapidated tumble-down thing in the Parish of Hazeldean, and it became an eyesore to me; so I saddled my hobby, and rode at it. O ho! you know what I mean now! Yes, but neighbors, you need not have taken it so to heart. That was a scurvy trick of some of you to hang me in effigy, as they call it."

"It warn't you," cried a voice in the crowd, "it war Nick Stirn."

The Squire recognized the voice of the Tinker; but though he now guessed at the ringleader—on that day of general amnesty, he had the prudence and magnanimity not to say, "Stand forth, Sprott: thou art the man." Yet his gallant English spirit would not suffer him to come off at the expense of his servant.

"If it was Nick Stirn you meant," said he, gravely, "more shame for you. It showed some pluck to hang the master; but to hang the poor servant, who only thought to do his duty, careless of what ill-will it brought upon him, was a shabby trick—so little like the lads of Hazeldean, that I suspect the man who taught it to them was never born in the parish. But let by-gones be by-gones. One thing is clear, you don't take kindly to my new Pair of Stocks! They have been a stumbling-block and a grievance, and there's no denying that we went on very pleasantly without them. I may also say that in spite of them we have been coming together again lately. And I can't tell you what good it did me to see your children playing again on the green, and your honest faces, in spite of the Stocks, and those diabolical tracts you've been reading lately, lighted up at the thought that something pleasant was going on at the Hall. Do you know, neighbors, you put me in mind of an old story which, besides applying to the Parish, all who are married, and all who intend to marry, will do well to recollect? A worthy couple, named John and Joan, had lived happily together many a long year, till one unlucky day, they bought a new bolster. Joan said the bolster was too hard, and John that it was too soft. So, of course, they quarreled. After sulking all day, they agreed to put the bolster between them at night." (Roars of laughter among the men; the women did not know which way to look, except, indeed, Mrs. Hazeldean, who, though she was more than usually rosy, maintained her innocent, genial smile, as much as to say, "There is no harm in the Squire's jests.") The orator resumed, "After[Pg 543] they had thus lain apart for a little time, very silent and sullen, John sneezed. 'God bless you!' says Joan over the bolster. 'Did you say God bless me?' cries John—'then here goes the bolster!'"

Prolonged laughter and tumultuous applause.

"Friends and neighbors," said the Squire, when silence was restored, and lifting the horn of ale, "I have the pleasure to inform you that I have ordered the Stocks to be taken down, and made into a bench for the chimney nook of our old friend Gaffer Solomons yonder. But mind me, lads, if ever you make the Parish regret the loss of the Stocks, and the overseers come to me with long faces, and say, 'the Stocks must be rebuilded,' why—" Here from all the youth of the village rose so deprecating a clamor, that the Squire would have been the most bungling orator in the world if he had said a word further on the subject. He elevated the horn over his head, "Why, that's my old Hazeldean again! Health and long life to you all!"

The Tinker had sneaked out of the assembly, and did not show his face in the village for the next six months. And as to those poisonous tracts, in spite of their salubrious labels, "The Poor Man's Friend," or "The Rights of Labor," you could no more have found one of them lurking in the drawers of the kitchen-dressers in Hazeldean, than you would have found the deadly nightshade on the flower-stands in the drawing-room of the Hall. As for the revolutionary beer-house, there was no need to apply to the magistrates to shut it up; it shut itself up before the week was out.

O young head of the great House of Hapsburg, what a Hazeldean you might have made of Hungary!—What a "Moriamur pro rege nostro" would have rung in your infant reign—if you had made such a speech as the Squire's!

(To be continued.)


As a happy illustration of the certainty, cheapness, and expedition of the English law, in upholding those who are in the right, we have received the following strange narrative from an esteemed correspondent, who is himself a lawyer:

"The most litigious fellow I ever knew, was a Welshman, named Bones. He had got possession, by some means, of a bit of waste ground behind a public-house in Hogwash-street. Adjoining this land was a yard, belonging to the parish of St. Jeremiah, which the Parish Trustees were fencing in with a wall. Bones alleged that one corner of their wall was advanced about ten inches on his ground, and as they declined to remove it back, he kicked down the brickwork before the mortar was dry. The Trustees having satisfied themselves that they were not only within their own boundary, but that they had left Bones some feet of the parish land to boot, built up the wall again. Bones kicked it down again.

"The Trustees put it up a third time under the protection of a policeman. The inexorable Bones, in spite of the awful presence of this functionary, not only kicked down the wall again, but kicked the bricklayers into the bargain. This was too much, and Bones was marched off to Guildhall for assaulting the bricklayers. The magistrate rather pooh-poohed the complaint, but bound over Bones to keep the peace. The causa belli, the wall, was re-edified a fourth time; but when the Trustees revisited the place next morning, it was again in ruins! While they were in consultation upon this last insult, they were politely waited on by an attorney's clerk, who served them all with 'writs' in an action of trespass, at the suit of Bones, for encroaching on his land.

"Thus war was declared about a piece of dirty land, literally not so big as a door-step, and the whole fee-simple of which would not sell for a shilling. The Trustees, however, thought they ought not to give up the rights of the parish to the obstinacy of a perverse fellow, like Bones, and resolved to indict Bones for assaulting the workmen. Accordingly, the action and the indictment went on together.

"The action was tried first, and as the evidence clearly showed the Trustees had kept within their own boundary, they got the verdict. Bones moved for a new trial; that failed. The Trustees now thought they would let the matter rest, as it had cost the parish about one hundred and fifty pounds, and they supposed Bones had had enough of it. But they had mistaken their man. He brought a writ of error in the action, which carried the cause into the Exchequer Court, and tied it up nearly two years, and in the mean time he forced them, nolens volens, to try the indictment. When the trial came on, the Judge said, that as the whole question had been decided in the action, there was no occasion for any further proceedings, and therefore the defendant had better be acquitted, and so make an end of it.

"Accordingly, Bones was acquitted; and the very next thing Bones did, was to sue the Trustees in a new action, for maliciously instituting the indictment against him without reasonable cause! The new action went on to trial; and it being proved that one of the Trustees had been overheard to say that they would punish him, this was taken as evidence of malice, and Bones got a verdict for forty shillings damages besides all the costs. Elated with this victory, Bones pushed on his old action in the Exchequer Chamber to a hearing, but the court affirmed the judgment against him, without hearing the Trustees' counsel.

"The Trustees were now sick of the very name of Bones, which had become a sort of bugbear, so that if a Trustee met a friend in the street, he would be greeted with an inquiry after the health of his friend Mr. Bones. They would have gladly let the whole matter drop into oblivion, but Jupiter and Bones had determined otherwise; for the indomitable Briton brought a writ of error in the House of Lords,[Pg 544] on the judgment of the Exchequer Chamber. The unhappy Trustees had caught a Tartar, and follow him into the Lords they must. Accordingly after another year or two's delay, the case came on in the Lords. Their Lordships pronounced it the most trumpery writ of error they had ever seen, and again affirmed the judgment, with costs, against Bones. The Trustees now taxed their costs, and found that they had spent not less than five hundred pounds in defending their claim to a bit of ground that was not of the value of an old shoe. But, then, Bones was condemned to pay the costs. True; so they issued execution against Bones; caught him, after some trouble, and locked him up in jail. The next week, Bones petitioned the Insolvent Court, got out of prison; and, on examination of schedule, his effects appeared to be £0 0s. 0d.! Bones had, in fact, been fighting the Trustees on credit for the last three years; for his own attorney was put down as a creditor to a large amount, which was the only satisfaction the Trustees obtained from perusing his schedule.

"They were now obliged to have recourse to the Parish funds to pay their own law expenses, and were consoling themselves with the reflection that these did not come out of their own pockets, when they received the usual notification that a bill in Chancery had been filed against them, at Mr. Bones's suit, to overhaul their accounts with the parish, and prevent the misapplication of the parish money to the payment of their law costs! This was the climax. And being myself a disciple of Coke, I have heard nothing further of it; being unwilling, as well, perhaps, as unqualified, to follow the case into the labyrinthic vaults of the Court of Chancery. The catastrophe, if this were a tale, could hardly be mended—so the true story may end here."


Willie Bailie was a household name about a hundred years ago, in the upper parts of Clydesdale. Men, women, and children had heard of Willie, and the greater proportion had seen him. Few, in his time, could excel Willie in dexterity in his profession, which consisted of abstracting money from people's pockets, and in other predatory feats. He frequented the fairs all round the district, and no man's purse was safe if Willie happened to be in the market. The beautiful village of Moffat, in Annandale, was one of his frequent places of resort when any of its fairs happened to be held, and here, among the honest farmers, he was invariably successful; and to show his professional skill on such occasions, he has been known to rob a man and return his purse to him two or three times in the same day; but this he did only with his intimate friends, who were kind to him in providing lodgings, when plying his nominal occupation of tinker from one farm-house to another; in the case of others, it was, of course, different. His wife abetted him in all his thieving exploits, and generally sat in a place in the outskirts of the town, that had been previously fixed on, and there received in silence whatever spoil her husband might throw incidentally into her lap in the shape of her fairing. But Willie was a privileged freebooter, was generous withal, and well liked by the people in the neighborhood, on whom he rarely committed any acts of plunder, and any one might have trusted what he called his "honor."

Willie's character was well known both to high and low, and he became renowned for a heroism which few who esteem respectability would now covet. The high estimation in which he was held as an adept in his profession, induced a Scottish nobleman to lay a high bet, with an Englishman of some rank, that Willie would actually rob and fairly despoil a certain noted riever on the southern side of the border, who was considered one of the most daring and dexterous that frequented the highways in those dubious times, and one whose exploits the gentleman was in the habit of extolling. The Scottish nobleman conferred with Willie, and informed him of the project—a circumstance which mightily pleased our hero, and into which he entered with all enthusiasm. The interest which Willie took in the matter was to the nobleman a guarantee of ultimate success; and, having given all the marks of the robber, and directed him to the particular place on the road where he was sure to meet with him, he left it to Willie himself to arrange the subsequent mode of procedure.

Willie's ingenuity was instantly at work, and he concocted a scheme which fairly carried him through the enterprise. He got an old, frail-looking pony, partially lame, and with long, shaggy hair. He filled a bag of considerable dimensions with a great quantity of old buttons, and useless pieces of jingling metal. He next arrayed himself in beggarly habiliments, with clouted shoes, tattered under-garments, a cloak mended in a hundred places, and a soiled, broad-brimmed bonnet on his head. The money-bag he tied firmly behind the saddle; he placed a pair of pistols under his coat, and a short dagger close by his side. Thus accoutred he wended his way slowly toward the border, both he and the animal apparently in the last stage of helplessness and decrepitude. The bag behind was carefully covered by the cloak, that spread its duddy folds over the hinder parts of the poor lean beast that carried him. Sitting in a crouching posture on the saddle, with a long beard and an assumed palsified shaking of the hand, nobody would have conceived for a moment that Willie was a man in the prime of life, of a well-built, athletic frame, with more power in his arm than three ordinary men, and of an intrepid and adventurous spirit, that feared nothing, but dared every thing. In this plight, our worthy went dodging over the border, and entered the neighboring kingdom, where every person that met him regarded him as a poor,[Pg 545] doited, half-insane body, fit only to lie down at the side of a hedge, and die unheeded, beside the crazy steed. In this way, he escaped without suspicion, and advanced without an adventure to the skirts of the wood, where he expected to encounter his professional brother.

When Willie entered the road that led through the dark and suspicious forest, he was all on the alert for the highwayman. Every rustling among the trees and bushes arrested his attention, not knowing but a whizzing ball might in a moment issue therefrom, or that the redoubted freebooter himself might spring upon him like a tiger. Neither of these, however, occurred; but a man on horseback was seen advancing slowly and cautiously on the road before him. This might be he, or it might not, but Willie now recollected every particular mark given of the man with whom he expected to encounter, and he was prepared for the most vigilant observation. As the horseman advanced, Willie was fully convinced that he had met with his man, and this was the critical moment, for here was the identical highwayman.

"How now, old fellow?" exclaimed the robber; "what seek you in these parts? Where are you bound for, with this magnificent equipage of yours?"

"Why, to tell you the truth, I am e'en a puir honest man frae Scotland, gaen a wee bit farther south on business of some consequence, and I am glad I have met with a gentleman like you, and I would fain put myself under your protection in this dreary wood, as I am a stranger, and wadna like ony mischance to befa', considering the errand I am on."

The robber eyed Willie with a sort of leer, thinking he had fallen in with an old driveling fool, at whose expense he might amuse himself with impunity, and play a little on his simplicity.

"What makes you afraid of this wood?" said the robber.

"Why, I was told that it was infested with highwaymen; and, to tell you the truth, as I take you to be an honest man and a gentleman, I hae something in this bag that I wadna like to lose, for twa reasons—baith because of its value, and because it was intrusted to my care."

"What have you got, pray, that you seem so anxious to preserve? I can't conceive that any thing of great value can be intrusted to your care. Why, I would not give a crown-piece, nor the half of it, for the whole equipage."

"That's just the very thing. You see, I am not what I appear to be. I have ta'en this dress, and this auld, slovenly pony, for the purpose of avoiding suspicion in these precarious places. I have behind me a bag full of gold—you may hear by the jingling of the pieces when I strike here with my hand. Now, I am intrusted with all this treasure, to convey it to a certain nobleman's residence in the south; and I say again, that I am glad that I have met you, to conduct me safely through the forest."

At this, the robber was highly amused, and could scarcely believe that a simplicity so extreme, and bordering on insanity, could exist; and yet there was an archness in the old man's look, and a wiliness in his manner, that hardly comported with his external appearance. He said he had gold with him—he affirmed that he was not exactly what he appeared to be—not so poor as his tattered garments would indicate, and withal trustworthy, having so large a sum of money committed to his care. It might be, there was not a word of truth in his story; he might be some cunning adventurer from the border, plying a certain vocation on his own account, not altogether of a reputable cast; but, whatever the case might be, the silly old man was completely in his power, and, if he had gold in his possession, it must be seized on, and no time was to be lost.

"I tell you," said the highwayman, wheeling his horse suddenly round in front of Willie's pony, "I tell you, old man, that I am that same robber of whom you seem to be afraid, and I demand an instant surrender of your gold."

"Hoot, toot," exclaimed Willie, "gae wa, gae wa! You a robber! You are an honest man, and you only want to joke me."

"I tell you distinctly that I am the robber, and I hold you in my power."

"And I say as distinctly," persisted Willie, "that you are a true man. That face of yours is no a robber's face—there's no a bit o' a robber about ye, and sae ye maun e'en guard me through the wood, and gie me the word o' a leel-hearted Englishman that ye'll no see ony ill come ower me."

"No humbug!" vociferated the highwayman, in real earnest; "dismount, and deliver me that bag immediately, else I will make a riddle of your brainless skull in a trice."

Willie saw that it was in vain to parley, for the highwayman had his hand on the pommel of his pistol, and an unscrupulous act would lay him dead at his feet. Now was the time for the wary Scot to put his plan in execution. All things had happened as he wished, and he hoped the rest would follow.

"Weel, weel," said Willie, "since it maun be, it maun be. I shall dismount, and deliver you the treasure, for life is sweet—sweeter far than even gold to the miser. I wanted to act an honest part, but, as we say on the north side of the border, 'Might makes right,' and sae, as I said, it e'en maun be."

Willie then, with some apparent difficulty, as an old, stiff-limbed man, lifted himself from the pony, and stood staggering on the ground.

"Now," said he, laying his hand heavily on the money-bag, "I have a request or two to make, and all is yours. When I return to Scotland, I must have some marks about my person to show that I have been really robbed, and that I have not purloined the gold to my own purposes. I will place my bonnet here on the side of the road, and you will shoot a ball through it; and then, here is this old cloak—you must send another ball exactly through[Pg 546] here, so that I can show, when I return, what a fray I have been in, and how narrowly I have escaped."

To this the robber consented, and, having alighted from his steed, made two decided perforations in the way he was desired. This was with Willie a great point gained, for the robber's pistols were now empty, and restored to their place.

"I have yet another request," said Willie, "and then the matter will be completed. You must permit me to cut the straps that tie the bag to the saddle, and to throw it over this hedge, and then go and lift it yourself, that I may be able to swear that, in the struggle, I did what I could to conceal the money, and that you discovered the place where I had hid it, and then seized it; and thus I will stand acquitted in all points."

To this also the highwayman consented. Willie, accordingly, threw the heavy bag over the hedge, and obsequiously offered to hold the robber's high-spirited steed till he should return with the treasure. The bandit, suspecting nothing on the part of the driveling old man, readily committed his horse to his care, while he eagerly made his way through the hedge to secure the prize. In the mean time, however, Willie was no less agile; for, having thrown off his ragged and cumbersome cloak, he vaulted upon the steed of the highwayman with as much coolness as if he had been at his own door. When the robber had pushed his way back through the hedge, dragging the bag with him, he was confounded on seeing his saddle occupied by the simpleton whose gold he had so easily come by. But he was no longer a simpleton—no longer a wayfaring man in beggar's weeds—but a tall, buirdly man, arrayed in decent garb, and prepared to dispute his part with the best.

"What, ho! scoundrel! Do you intend to run off with my horse? Dismount instantly, or I will blow out your brains!"

"The better you may," replied Willie; "your pistols are empty, and your broadsword is but a reed; advance a single step nearer, and I will send a whizzing ball through your beating heart. As to the bag, you can retain its contents, and sell the buttons for what they will bring. In the mean time, farewell, and should you happen to visit my district across the border, I shall be happy to extend to you a true Scotch hospitality."

On this, Willie applied spur and whip to the fleet steed, and in a few minutes was out of the wood, and entirely beyond the reach of the highwayman. When Willie had time to consider the matter, he found a valise behind the saddle, which, he had no doubt, was crammed with spoils of robbery; nor was he mistaken, for, on examination, it contained a great quantity of gold, and other precious articles. The highwayman, on opening Willie's bag, found it filled with old buttons and other trash. His indignation knew no bounds: he swore, and vociferated, and stamped with his feet, but all to no purpose; he had been outwitted by the wily Scot, and, artful as he himself was, he had met with one more artful still.

The Scottish nobleman gained the bet, and the affair made a great noise for many a long year. Daring men of this description were found in every part of the kingdom, frequenting the dark woods, the thick hedges, and the ruinous buildings by the wayside; and, what is remarkable, these desperadoes were conventionally held in high repute, and were deemed heroes. In the time of Charles II., when the English thoroughfares were so infested with such adventurers, we find that one Claude Duval, a highwayman, while he was a terror to all men, was at the same time a true gallant in the esteem of all the ladies. He was as popular and renowned as the greatest chieftains of his age; and, when he was at last apprehended, "dames of high rank visited him in prison, and, with tears, interceded for his life; and, after his execution, the corpse lay in state, with all the pomp of scutcheons, wax-lights, black hangings, and mutes." The order of society in the times to which we refer was vastly different from what it is now. Men's habits and moral sentiments were then of the lowest grade, but, thanks to the clearer light and better teaching of Christianity, the condition of all classes is vastly elevated. The Gospel has effected in the community infinitely more than all law and social regulations otherwise could have accomplished.

[From Bentley's Miscellany.]


Slender. Why do your dogs bark so? be there bears i' the town?

Anne. I think there are, sir; I heard them talked of.

Slender. I love the sport well; but I shall as soon quarrel at it as any man in England: you are afraid if you see the bear loose, are you not?

Anne. Ay, indeed, sir.

Slender. That's meat and drink to me now! I have seen Sackerson loose twenty times; and have taken him by the chain; but I warrant you the women have so cried and shrieked at it that it passed—but women, indeed can not abide 'em; they are very ill-favored, rough things.

Merry Wives of Windsor.

Those who ramble amid the beautiful scenery of Torquay, who gaze with admiration on the bold outlines of the Cheddar Cliffs, or survey the fertile fen district of Cambridgeshire, will find it difficult to believe that in former ages these spots were ravaged by bears surpassing in size the grizzly bear of the Rocky Mountains, or the polar bear of the Arctic regions; yet the abundant remains found in Kent Hole Torquay, and the Banwell Caves, together with those preserved in the Woodwardian Museum at Cambridge, incontestably prove that such was the case. Grand indeed was the Fauna of the British isles in those early days! Lions—the true old British lions—as large again as the biggest African species, lurked in the ancient thickets; elephants, of nearly twice the bulk of the largest individuals that now exist[Pg 547] in Africa or Ceylon, roamed here in herds; at least two species of rhinoceros forced their way through the primeval forests; the lakes and rivers were tenanted by hippopotami as bulky and with as great tusks as those of Africa. These statements are not the offspring of imagination, but are founded on the countless remains of these creatures which are continually being brought to light, proving from their numbers and variety of size, that generation after generation had been born, and lived, and died in Great Britain.[6]

It is matter of history, that the brown bear was plentiful here in the time of the Romans, and was conveyed in considerable numbers to Rome, to make sport in the arena. In Wales they were common beasts of chase, and in the history of the Gordons, it is stated that one of that clan, so late as 1057, was directed by his sovereign to carry three bears' heads on his banner, as a reward for his valor in killing a fierce bear in Scotland.

In 1252, the sheriffs of London were commanded by the king to pay fourpence a day for "our white bear in the Tower of London and his keeper;" and in the following year they were directed to provide "unum musellum et unam cathenam ferream"—Anglicè, a muzzle and an iron chain, to hold him when out of the water, and a long and strong rope to hold him when fishing in the Thames. This piscatorial bear must have had a pleasant time of it, as compared to many of his species, for the barbarous amusement of baiting was most popular with our ancestors. The household book of the Earl of Northumberland contains the following characteristic entry: "Item, my Lorde usith and accustomith to gyfe yearly when hys Lordshipe is att home to his barward, when he comyth to my Lorde at Cristmas with his Lordshippes beests, for making his Lordschip pastyme the said xij days xxs."

In Bridgeward Without there was a district called Paris Garden; this, and the celebrated Hockley in the Hole, were in the sixteenth century the great resorts of the amateurs in bear-baiting and other cruel sports, which cast a stain upon the society of that period—a society in a transition state, but recently emerged from barbarism, and with all the tastes of a semi-barbarous people. Sunday was the grand day for these displays, until a frightful occurrence which took place in 1582. A more than usually exciting bait had been announced, and a prodigious concourse of people assembled. When the sport was at its highest, and the air rung with blasphemy, the whole of the scaffolding on which the people stood gave way, crushing many to death, and wounding many more. This was considered as a judgment of the Almighty on these Sabbath-breakers, and gave rise to a general prohibition of profane pastime on the Sabbath.

Soon after the accession of Elizabeth to the throne, she gave a splendid banquet to the French embassadors, who were afterward entertained with the baiting of bulls and bears (May 25, 1559). The day following, the embassadors went by water to Paris Garden, where they patronized another performance of the same kind. Hentzer, after describing from observation a very spirited and bloody baiting, adds, "To this entertainment there often follows that of whipping a blinded bear, which is performed by five or six men, standing circularly with whips, which they exercise upon him without any mercy, as he can not escape because of his chain. He defends himself with all his strength and skill, throwing down all that come within his reach and are not active enough to get out of it, and tearing their whips out of their hands and breaking them." Laneham, in his account of the reception of Queen Elizabeth at Kenilworth, in 1575, gives a very graphic account of the "righte royalle pastimes." "It was a sport very pleasant to see the bear, with his pink eyes learing after his enemies' approach; the nimbleness and wait of the dog to take his advantage, and the force and experience of the bear again to avoid his assaults. If he were bitten in one place, how he would pinch in another to get free; that if he were taken once, then by what shift with biting, with clawing, with roaring, with tossing and tumbling he would work and wind himself from them, and when he was loose, to shake his ears twice or thrice with the blood and the slaver hanging about his physiognomy."

These barbarities continued until a comparatively recent period, but are now, it is to be hoped, exploded forever. Instead of ministering to the worst passions of mankind, the animal creation now contribute, in no inconsiderable degree, to the expansion of the mind and the development of the nobler feelings. Zoological collections have taken the place of the Southwark Gardens and other brutal haunts of vice, and we are glad to say, often prove a stronger focus of attraction than the skittle ground and, its debasing society. By them, laudable curiosity is awakened, and the impression, especially on the fervent and plastic minds of young people, is deep and lasting. The immense number of persons[7] of the lower orders, who visited the London Gardens during the past season, prove the interest excited. The love of natural history is inherent in the human mind, and now for the first time the humbler classes are enabled to see to advantage, and to appreciate the beauties of animals of whose existence they were in utter ignorance, or if known, so tinctured with the marvelous, as to cause them to be regarded mainly as objects of wonder and of dread.

California is hardly less remarkable for its bears than for its gold. The Grizzly Bear, expressively named Ursus Ferox and U. Horribilis,[Pg 548] reigns despotic throughout those vast wilds which comprise the Rocky Mountains and the plains east of them, to latitude 61°. In size it is gigantic, often weighing 800 pounds; and we ourselves have measured a skin eight feet and a half in length. Governor Clinton received an account of one fourteen feet long, but there might have been some stretching of this skin. The claws are of great length, and cut like a chisel when the animal strikes a blow with them. The tail is so small as not to be visible; and it is a standing joke with the Indians (who with all their gravity are great wags), to desire one unacquainted with the grizzly bear to take hold of its tail. The strength of this animal may be estimated from its having been known to drag easily to a considerable distance, the carcase of a bison, weighing upward of a thousand pounds. Mr. Dougherty, an experienced hunter, had killed a very large bison, and having marked the spot, left the carcase for the purpose of obtaining assistance to skin and cut it up. On his return, the bison had disappeared! What had become of it he could not divine; but at length, after much search, discovered it in a deep pit which had been dug for it at some distance by a grizzly bear, who had carried it off and buried it during Mr. Dougherty's absence. The following incident is related by Sir John Richardson: "A party of voyagers, who had been employed all day in tracking a canoe up the Saskatchewan, had seated themselves in the twilight by a fire, and were busy preparing their supper, when a large grizzly bear sprang over their canoe that was tilted behind them, and seizing one of the party by the shoulder, carried him off. The rest fled in terror, with the exception of a Metif, named Bourasso, who, grasping his gun, followed the bear as it was retreating leisurely with his prey. He called to his unfortunate comrade that he was afraid of hitting him if he fired at the bear, but the man entreated him to fire immediately, as the bear was squeezing him to death. On this he took a deliberate aim, and discharged his piece into the body of the bear, which instantly dropped his prey to follow Bourasso, who however escaped with difficulty, and the bear retreated to a thicket, where it is supposed to have died." The same writer mentions a bear having sprung out of a thicket, and with one blow of his paw completely scalped a man, laying bare the skull, and bringing the skin down over the eyes. Assistance coming up, the bear made off without doing him further injury; but the scalp, not being replaced, the poor man lost his sight, though it is stated the eyes were uninjured.

Grizzly bears do not hug, but strike their prey with their terrific paws. We have been informed by a gentleman who has seen much of these creatures (having indeed killed five with his own hand) that when a grizzly bear sees an object, he stands up on his hind legs, and gazes at it intently for some minutes. He then, if it be a man or a beast, goes straight on utterly regardless of numbers, and will seize it in the midst of a regiment of soldiers. One thing only scares these creatures, and that is the smell of man. If in their charge they should cross a scent of this sort, they will turn and fly.

Our informant was on one occasion standing near a thicket, looking at his servant cleaning a gun. He had just dismounted, and the bridle of the thorough-bred horse was twisted round his arm. While thus engaged, a very large grizzly bear rushed out of the thicket, and made at the servant, who fled. The bear then turned short upon this gentleman, in whose hand was a rifle, carrying a small ball, forty to the pound; and as the bear rose on his hind legs to make a stroke, he was fortunate enough to shoot him through the heart. Had the horse moved in the slightest at the critical moment, and jerked his master's arm, nothing could have saved him; but the noble animal stood like a rock. On another occasion, a large bear was shot mortally. The animal rushed up a steep ascent, and fell back, turning a complete somerset ere he reached the ground. The same gentleman told us two curious facts, for which he could vouch; namely, that these bears have the power of moving their claws independently. For instance, they will take up a clod of earth which excites their curiosity, and crumble it to pieces by moving their claws one on the other; and that wolves, however famished, will never touch a carcase which has been buried by a grizzly bear, though they will greedily devour all other dead bodies. The instinct of burying bodies is so strong with these bears, that instances are recorded where they have covered hunters who have fallen into their power and feigned death, with bark, grass, and leaves. If the men attempted to move, the bear would again put them down, and cover them as before, finally leaving them comparatively unhurt.

The grizzly bears have their caves, to which they retire when the cold of winter renders them torpid; and this condition is taken advantage of by the most intrepid of the hunters. Having satisfied themselves about the cave, these men prepare a candle from wax taken from the comb of wild bees, and softened by the grease of the bear. It has a large wick, and burns with a brilliant flame. Carrying this before him, with his rifle in a convenient position, the hunter enters the cave. Having reached its recesses, he fixes the candle on the ground, lights it, and the cavern is soon illuminated with a vivid light. The hunter now lies down on his face, having the candle between the back part of the cave where the bear is, and himself. In this position, with the muzzle of the rifle full in front of him, he patiently awaits his victim. Bruin is soon roused by the light, yawns and stretches himself, like a person awaking from a deep sleep. The hunter now cocks his rifle, and watches the bear turn his head, and with slow and waddling steps approach the candle. This is a trying moment, as the extraordinary tenacity of life of the grizzly bear renders an unerring[Pg 549] shot essential. The monster reaches the candle, and either raises his paw to strike, or his nose to smell at it. The hunter steadily raises his piece; the loud report of the rifle reverberates through the cavern; and the bear falls with a heavy crash, pierced through the eye, one of the few vulnerable spots through which he can be destroyed.

The Zoological Society have at various times possessed five specimens of the grizzly bear. The first was Old Martin, for many years a well known inhabitant of the Tower Menagerie. We remember him well as an enormous brute, quite blind from cataract, and generally to be seen standing on his hind legs with open mouth, ready to receive any tit-bit a compassionate visitor might bestow. Notwithstanding the length of time he was in confinement (more than twenty years), all attempts of conciliation failed, and to the last he would not permit of the slightest familiarity, even from the keeper who constantly fed him. Some idea may be formed of his size, when we say that his skull (which we recently measured) exceeds in length by two inches the largest lion's skull in the Osteological Collection, although several must have belonged to magnificent animals.

After the death of old Martin, the Society received two fine young bears from Mr. Catlin, but they soon died. Their loss, however, has been amply replaced by the three very thriving young animals which have been recently added to the collection. These come from the Sierra Nevada, about 800 miles from San Francisco, and were brought to this country by Mr. Pacton. They were transported with infinite trouble across the Isthmus of Panama, in a box carried on men's shoulders, and are certainly the first of their race who have performed the overland journey. The price asked was £600, but they were obtained at a much less sum; since their sojourn in this country, they have greatly increased in size, and enjoy excellent health. An additional interest attaches to these animals from two of them having undergone the operation for cataract.

Bears are extremely subject to this disease, and of course are thereby rendered blind. Their strength and ferocity forbade any thing being done for their relief, until a short time ago, when, by the aid of that wonderful agent, chloroform, it was demonstrated that they are as amenable to curative measures as the human subject.

On the 5th of last November, the first operation of the sort was performed on one of these grizzly bears, which was blind in both eyes. As this detracted materially from his value, it was decided to endeavor to restore him to sight; and Mr. White Cooper having consented to operate, the proceedings were as follow: A strong leathern collar to which a chain was attached, was firmly buckled around the patient's neck, and the chain having been passed round one of the bars in front of the cage, two powerful men endeavored to pull him up, in order that a sponge containing chloroform should be applied to his muzzle by Dr. Snow. The resistance offered by the bear was as surprising as unexpected. The utmost efforts of these men were unavailing; and, after a struggle of ten minutes, two others were called to their aid. By their united efforts, Master Bruin was at length brought up, and the sponge fairly tied round his muzzle. Meanwhile the cries and roarings of the patient were echoed in full chorus by his two brothers, who had been confined to the sleeping den, and who scratched and tore at the door to get to the assistance of their distressed relative. In a den on one side was the Cheetah, whose leg was amputated under chloroform some months ago, and who was greatly excited by the smell of the fluid and uproar. The large sloth bear in a cage on the other side, joined heartily in the chorus, and the Isabella bear just beyond, wrung her paws in an agony of woe. Leopards snarled in sympathy, and laughing hyenas swelled the chorus with their hysterical sobs. The octo-basso growling of the polar bears, and roaring of the lions on the other side of the building, completed as remarkable a diapason as could well be heard.

The first evidence of the action of the chloroform on the bear, was a diminution in his struggles; first one paw dropped, then the other. The sponge was now removed from his face, the door of the den opened, and his head laid upon a plank outside. The cataracts were speedily broken up, and the bear was drawn into the cage again. For nearly five minutes he remained, as was remarked by a keeper without knowledge, sense, or understanding, till at length one leg gave a kick, then another, and presently he attempted to stand. The essay was a failure, but he soon tried to make his way to his cage. It was Garrick, if we remember right, who affirmed that Talma was an indifferent representative of inebriation, for he was not drunk in his legs. The bear, however acted the part to perfection, and the way in which (like Commodore Trunnion on his way to church) he tacked, during his route to his den, was ludicrous in the extreme. At length he blundered into it, and was left quiet for a time. He soon revived, and in the afternoon ate heartily. The following morning on the door being opened, he came out, staring about him, caring nothing for the light, and began humming, as he licked his paws, with much the air of a musical amateur sitting down to a sonata on his violoncello.

A group might have been dimly seen through the fog which covered the garden on the morning of the 15th November, standing on the spot where the proceedings above narrated took place ten days previously. This group comprised Professor Owen, Mr. Yarrell, the president of the Society, Count Nesselrode, Mr. Waterhouse, Mr. Pickersgill, R.A., Captain Stanley, R.N., and two or three other gentlemen. They were assembled to witness the restoration to sight of another of the grizzly bears. The bear this time was brought out of the den, and his chain passed round the rail in front of it. Diluted[Pg 550] chloroform was used, and the operation was rendered more difficult by the animal not being perfectly under its influence. He recovered immediately after the couching needle had been withdrawn from the second eye, and walked pretty steadily to his sleeping apartment, where he received the condolences of his brethren, rather ungraciously it must be confessed, but his head was far from clear, and his temper ruffled. When the cataracts have been absorbed the animals will have sight.

The wooded districts of the American continent were tenanted before civilization had made such gigantic strides, by large numbers of the well known black bear, Ursus Americanus. Some years ago, black bears' skins were greatly in vogue for carriage hammer-cloths, &c.; and an idea of the animals destroyed, may be formed from the fact, that in 1783, 10,500 skins were imported, and the numbers gradually rose to 25,000 in 1803, since which time there has been a gradual decline. In those days, a fine skin was worth from twenty to forty guineas, but may now be obtained for five guineas.

The chase of this bear is the most solemn action of the Laplander; and the successful hunter may be known by the number of tufts of bears' hair he wears in his bonnet. When the retreat of a bear is discovered, the ablest sorcerer of the tribe beats the runic drum to discover the event of the chase, and on which side the animal ought to be assailed. During the attack, the hunters join in a prescribed chorus, and beg earnestly of the bear that he will do them no mischief. When dead, the body is carried home on a sledge, and the rein-deer employed to draw it, is exempt from labor during the remainder of the year. A new hut is constructed for the express purpose of cooking the flesh, and the huntsmen, joined by their wives, sing again their songs of joy and of gratitude to the animal, for permitting them to return in safety. They never presume to speak of the bear with levity, but always allude to him with profound respect, as "the old man in the fur cloak." The Indians, too, treat him with much deference. An old Indian, named Keskarrah, was seated at the door of his tent, by a small stream, not far from Fort Enterprise, when a large bear came to the opposite bank, and remained for some time apparently surveying him. Keskarrah, considering himself to be in great danger, and having no one to assist him but his aged wife, made a solemn speech, to the following effect: "Oh, bear! I never did you any harm; I have always had the highest respect for you and your relations, and never killed any of them except through necessity. Pray, go away, good bear, and let me alone, and I promise not to molest you." The bear (probably regarding the old gentleman as rather a tough morsel) walked off, and the old man, fancying that he owed his safety to his eloquence, favored Sir John Richardson with his speech at length. The bear in question, however, was of a different species to, and more sanguinary than the black bear, so that the escape of the old couple was regarded as remarkable.

The Ursus Americanus almost invariably hybernates; and about a thousand skins have been annually imported by the Hudson's Bay Company, from these black bears destroyed in their winter retreats. A spot under a fallen tree is selected for its den, and having scratched away a portion of the soil, the bear retires thither at the commencement of a snow-storm, and the snow soon furnishes a close warm covering. When taken young, these bears are easily tamed; and the following incident occurred to a gentleman of our acquaintance: a fine young bear had been brought up by him with an antelope of the elegant species called Furcifer, the two feeding out of the same dish, and being often seen eating the same cabbage. He was in the habit of taking these pets out with him, leading the bear by a string. On one occasion he was thus proceeding, a friend leading the antelope, when a large fierce dog flew at the latter. The gentleman, embarrassed by his charge, called out for assistance to my informant, who ran hastily up, and in doing so accidentally let the bear loose. He seemed to be perfectly aware that his little companion was in difficulty, and rushing forward, knocked the dog over and over with a blow of his paw, and sent him off howling. The same bear would also play for hours with a Bison calf, and when tired with his romps, jumped into a tub to rest; having recovered, he would spring out and resume his gambols with his boisterous playfellow, who seemed to rejoice when the bear was out of breath, and could be taken at a disadvantage, at which time he was sure to be pressed doubly hard. There was a fine bear of this description in the old Tower Menagerie, which long shared his den with a hyena, with whom he was on good terms except at meal-times, when they would quarrel in a very ludicrous manner, for a piece of beef, or whatever else might happen to form a bone of contention between them. The hyena, though by far the smaller was generally master, and the bear would moan most piteously in a tone resembling the bleating of a sheep, while the hyena quietly consumed the remainder of the dinner.

The following is an account of an adventure which occurred to Frank Forester, in America. A large bear was traced to a cavern in the Round Mountain, and every effort made for three days without success to smoke or burn him out. At length a bold hunter, familiar with the spot, volunteered to beard the bear in his den. The well-like aperture, which, alone could be seen from without, descended for about eight feet, then turned sharp off at right angles, running nearly horizontally for about six feet, beyond which it opened into a small circular chamber, where the bear had taken up his quarters. The man determined to descend, to worm himself, feet forward, on his back, and to shoot at the eyes of the bear, as they would be[Pg 551] visible in the dark. Two narrow laths of pine wood were accordingly procured, and pierced with holes, in which candles were placed and lighted. A rope was next made fast about his chest, a butcher's knife disposed in readiness for his grasp, and his musket loaded with two good ounce bullets, well wrapped in greased buckskin. Gradually he disappeared, thrusting the lights before him with his feet, and holding the musket ready cocked in his hand. A few anxious moments—a low stifled growl was heard—then a loud, bellowing, crashing report, followed by a wild and fearful howl, half anguish, half furious rage. The men above wildly and eagerly hauled up the rope, and the sturdy hunter was whirled into the air uninjured, and retaining in his grasp his good weapon; while the fierce brute rushed tearing after him even to the cavern's mouth. As soon as the man had entered the small chamber, he perceived the glaring eyeballs of the bear, had taken steady aim at them, and had, he believed, lodged his bullets fairly. Painful moanings were soon heard from within, and then all was still! Again the bold man determined to seek the monster; again he vanished, and his musket shot roared from the recesses of the rock. Up he was whirled; but this time, the bear, streaming with gore, and furious with pain, rushed after him, and with a mighty bound, cleared the confines of the cavern! A hasty and harmless volley was fired, while the bear glared round as if undecided upon which of the group to wreak his vengeance. Tom, the hunter, coolly raised his piece, but snap! no spark followed the blow of the hammer! With a curse Tom threw down the musket, and, drawing his knife, rushed forward to encounter the bear single handed. What would have been his fate had the bear folded him in his deadly hug, we may be pretty sure; but ere this could happen, the four bullets did their work, and he fell; a convulsive shudder passed through his frame, and all was still. Six hundred and odd pounds did he weigh, and great were the rejoicings at his destruction.

The wild pine forests of Scandinavia yet contain bears in considerable numbers. The general color of these European bears is dark brown, and to a great degree they are vegetable feeders, although exceedingly fond of ants and honey. Their favorite food is berries and succulent plants; and in autumn, when the berries are ripe, they become exceedingly fat. Toward the end of November the bear retires to his den, and passes the winter months in profound repose. About the middle of April he leaves his den, and roams about the forest ravenous for food. These bears attain a large size, often weighing above four hundred pounds; and an instance is on record of one having weighed nearly seven hundred and fifty pounds. The best information relative to the habits and pursuits of these Scandinavian bears is to be found in Mr. Lloyd's "Field Sports of the North of Europe," from which entertaining work we shall draw largely.

When a district in Sweden is infested with bears, public notice is given from the pulpit during divine service, that a skăll or battue is to take place, and specifying the number of people required, the time and place of rendezvous, and other particulars. Sometimes as many as 1500 men are employed, and these are regularly organized in parties and divisions. They then extend themselves in such a manner that a cordon is formed, embracing a large district, and all simultaneously move forward. By this means the wild animals are gradually driven into a limited space, and destroyed as circumstances admit. These skălls are always highly exciting, and it not unfrequently happens that accidents arise, from the bears turning upon and attacking their pursuers. A bear which had been badly wounded, and was hard pressed, rushed upon a peasant whose gun had missed fire, and seized him by the shoulders with his fore paws. The peasant, for his part, grasped the bear's ears. Twice did they fall, and twice get up, without loosening their holds, during which time the bear had bitten through the sinews of both arms, from the wrists upward, and was approaching the exhausted peasant's throat, when Mr. Falk, "öfwer jäg mästare," or head ranger of the Wermeland forests, arrived, and with one shot ended the fearful conflict.

Jan Svenson was a Dalecarlian hunter of great repute, having been accessory to the death of sixty or seventy bears, most of which he had himself killed. On one occasion he had the following desperate encounter: having, with several other peasants, surrounded a very large bear, he advanced with his dog to rouse him from his lair; the dog dashed toward the bear, who was immediately after fired at and wounded by one of the peasants. This man was prostrated by the infuriated animal, and severely lacerated. The beast now retraced his steps, and came full on Jan Svenson, a shot from whose rifle knocked him over. Svenson, thinking the bear was killed, coolly commenced re-loading his rifle. He had only poured in the powder, when the bear sprung up and seized him by the arm. The dog, seeing the jeopardy in which his master was placed, gallantly fixed on the bear's hind quarters. To get rid of this annoyance, the bear threw himself on his back, making with one paw a blow at the dog, with the other holding Svenson fast in his embraces. This he repeated three several times, handling the man as a cat would a mouse, and in the intervals he was biting him in different parts of the body, or standing still as if stupefied. In this dreadful situation Svenson remained nearly half an hour; and during all this time the noble dog never ceased for a moment his attacks on the bear. At last the brute quitted his hold, and moving slowly to a small tree at a few paces' distance, seized it with his teeth; he was in his last agonies, and presently fell dead to the ground. On this occasion Svenson was wounded in thirty-one different places, principally[Pg 552] in the arms and legs. This forest monster had, in the early part of the winter, mortally wounded another man, who was pursuing him, and from his great size was an object of general dread.

Lieutenant Oldenburg, when in Torp in Norrland, saw a chasseur brought down from the forest, who had been desperately mangled by a bear. The man was some distance in advance of his party, and wounded the animal with a ball. The bear immediately turned on him; they grappled, and both soon came to the ground. Here a most desperate struggle took place, which lasted a considerable time. Sometimes the man, who was a powerful fellow, being uppermost, at other times the bear. At length, exhausted with fatigue and loss of blood, the chasseur gave up the contest, and turning on his face in the snow, pretended to be dead. Bruin, on this, quietly seated himself on his body, where he remained for near half an hour. At length the chasseur's companions came up, and relieved their companion by shooting the bear through the heart. Though terribly lacerated, the man eventually recovered.

Captain Eurenius related to Mr. Lloyd an incident which he witnessed in Wenersborg, in 1790: A bear-hunt or skăll was in progress, and an old soldier placed himself in a situation where he thought the bear would pass. He was right in his conjecture, for the animal soon made his appearance, and charged directly at him. He leveled his musket, but the piece missed fire. The bear was now close, and he attempted to drive the muzzle of the gun down the animal's throat. This attack the bear parried like a fencing master, wrested the gun from the man, and quickly laid him prostrate. Had he been prudent all might have ended well, for the bear, after smelling, fancied him dead, and left him almost unhurt. The animal then began to handle the musket, and knock it about with his paws. The soldier seeing this, could not resist stretching out his hand and laying hold of the muzzle, the bear having the stock firmly in his grasp. Finding his antagonist alive, the bear seized the back of his head with his teeth, and tore off the whole of his scalp, from the nape of the neck upward, so that it merely hung to the forehead by a strip of skin. Great as was his agony, the poor fellow kept quiet, and the bear laid himself along his body. While this was going forward, Captain Eurenius and others approached the spot, and on coming within sixteen paces, beheld the bear licking the blood from the bare skull, and eying the people, who were afraid to fire lest they should injure their comrade. Captain Eurenius asserted, that in this position the soldier and bear remained for a considerable time, until at last the latter quitted his victim, and slowly began to retire, when a tremendous fire being opened, he fell dead. On hearing the shots, the wretched sufferer jumped up, his scalp hanging over his face, so as to completely blind him. Throwing it back with his hand, he ran toward his comrades like a madman, frantically exclaiming, "The bear! the bear!" the scalp was separated, and the captain described it as exactly resembling a peruke. In one respect the catastrophe was fortunate for the poor soldier; it was in the old days of pipe-clay and pomatum, and every one in the army was obliged to wear his hair of a certain form, and this man being, for satisfactory reasons, unable to comply with the regulation, and a tow wig not being admissible, he immediately received his discharge.

A curious circumstance is related by Mr. Lloyd, showing the boldness of wolves when pressed by hunger. A party were in chase of a bear, who was tracked by a dog. They were some distance behind the bear, when a drove of five wolves attacked and devoured the dog. Their appetites being thus whetted, they forthwith made after the bear, and coming up with him, a severe conflict ensued, as was apparent from the quantity of hair, both of the bear and wolves, that was scattered about the spot. Bruin was victorious, but was killed a few days afterward by the hunters. The wolves, however, had made so free with his fur, that his skin was of little value. On another occasion, a drove of wolves attacked a bear, who, posting himself with his back against a tree, defended himself for some time with success; but at length his opponents contrived to get under the tree, and wounded him desperately in the flank. Just then some men coming up, the wolves retreated, and the wounded bear became an easy prey.

It occasionally happens that cattle are attacked by bears, but the latter are not always victorious. A powerful bull was charged in the forest by a bear, when, striking his horns into his assailant, he pinned him to a tree. In this situation they were both found dead—the bull from starvation, the bear from wounds. So says the author above quoted.

The hybernation of bears gives rise to a curious confusion of cause and effect in the minds of the Swiss peasantry. They believe that bears which have passed the winter in the mountain caverns, always come out to reconnoitre on the 2d of February; and that they if the weather be then cold and winterly, return, like the dove to the ark, for another fortnight; at the end of which time they find the season sufficiently advanced to enable them to quit their quarters without inconvenience; but that, if the weather be fine and warm on the 2d, they sally forth, thinking the winter past. But on the cold returning after sunset, they discover their mistake, and return in a most sulky state of mind, without making a second attempt until after the expiration of six weeks, during which time man is doomed to suffer all the inclemencies consequent on their want of urbanity. Thus, instead of attributing the retirement of the bears to the effects of the cold, the myth makes the cold to depend on the seclusion of the bears!

The fat of bears has, from time immemorial,[Pg 553] enjoyed a high reputation for promoting the growth of hair; but not a thousandth part of the bear's grease sold in shops comes from the animal whose name it carries. In Scandinavia, the only part used for the hair is the fat found about the intestines. The great bulk of the fat, which in a large bear may weigh from sixty to eighty pounds, is used for culinary purposes. Bears' hams, when smoked, are great delicacies, as are also the paws; and the flesh of bears is not inferior to our excellent beef.

On a certain memorable day, in 1847, a large hamper reached Oxford, per Great Western Railway, and was in due time delivered according to its direction, at Christchurch, consigned to Francis Buckland, Esq., a gentleman well known in the University for his fondness for natural history. He opened the hamper, and the moment the lid was removed out jumped a creature about the size of an English sheep dog, covered with long shaggy hair, of a brownish color. This was a young bear, born on Mount Lebanon, in Syria, a few months before, who had now arrived to receive his education at our learned University. The moment that he was released from his irksome attitude in the hamper, he made the most of his liberty, and the door of the room being open, he rushed off down the cloisters. Service was going on in the chapel, and, attracted by the pealing organ, or some other motive, he made at once for the chapel. Just as he arrived at the door, the stout verger happened to come thither from within, and the moment he saw the impish looking creature that was rushing into his domain, he made a tremendous flourish with his silver wand, and, darting into the chapel, ensconced himself in a tall pew, the door of which he bolted. Tiglath-pe-leser (as the bear was called), being scared by the silver wand, turned from the chapel, and scampered frantically about the large quadrangle, putting to flight the numerous parties of dogs, who in those days made that spot their afternoon rendezvous. After a sharp chase, a gown was thrown over Tig, and he was with difficulty secured. During the struggle, he got one of the fingers of his new master into his mouth, and—did he bite it off? No, poor thing! but began vigorously sucking it, with that peculiar mumbling noise for which bears are remarkable. Thus was he led back to Mr. B.'s rooms, walking all the way on his hind legs, and sucking the finger with all his might. A collar was put round his neck, and Tig became a prisoner. His good-nature and amusing tricks soon made him a prime favorite with the undergraduates; a cap and gown were made, attired in which (to the great scandal of the dons) he accompanied his master to breakfasts and wine parties, where he contributed greatly to the amusement of the company, and partook of good things, his favorite viands being muffins and ices. He was in general of an amiable disposition, but subject to fits of rage, during which his violence was extreme; but a kind word, and a finger to suck, soon brought him round. He was most impatient of solitude, and would cry for hours when left alone, particularly if it was dark. It was this unfortunate propensity which brought him into especial disfavor with the Dean of Christchurch, whose Greek quantities and hours of rest were sadly disturbed by Tig's lamentations.

On one occasion he was kept in college till after the gates had been shut, and there was no possibility of getting him out without the porter seeing him, when there would have been a fine of ten shillings to pay the next morning; for during this term an edict had gone forth against dogs, and the authorities not being learned in zoology, could not be persuaded that a bear was not a dog. Tig was, therefore, tied in a court-yard near his master's rooms, but that gentleman was soon brought out by his piteous cries, and could not pacify him in any other way than by bringing him into his rooms, and at bed time Tig was chained to the post at the bottom of the bed, where he remained quiet till day-light, and then shuffling on to the bed, awoke his master by licking his face—he took no notice, and presently Tig deliberately put his hind legs under the blankets and covered himself up; there he remained till chapel time, when his master left him, and on his return found that the young gentleman had been amusing himself during his solitude by overturning every thing he could get at in the room, and, apparently, had had a quarrel and fight with the looking-glass, which was broken to pieces and the wood work bitten all over. The perpetrator of all this havoc sat on the bed, looking exceedingly innocent, but rocking backward and forward as if conscious of guilt and doubtful of the consequences. Near to Tig's house there was a little monkey tied to a tree, and Jacko's great amusement was to make grimaces at Tig; and when the latter composed himself to sleep in the warm sunshine, Jacko would cautiously descend from the tree, and, twisting his fingers in Tig's long hair, would give him a sharp pull and in a moment was up the tree again, chattering and clattering his chain. Tig's anger was most amusing—he would run backward and forward on his hind legs sucking his paws, and with his eyes fixed on Jacko, uttering all sorts of threats and imprecations, to the great delight of the monkey. He would then again endeavor to take a nap, only to be again disturbed by his little tormentor. However, these two animals established a truce, became excellent friends, and would sit for half-an-hour together confronting each other, apparently holding a conversation. At the commencement of the long vacation, Tig, with the other members of the University, retired into the country, and was daily taken out for a walk round the village, to the great astonishment of the bumpkins. There was a little shop, kept by an old dame who sold whipcord, sugar-candy, and other matters, and here, on one occasion, Tig was treated to sugar-candy. Soon afterward he got loose, and at once made off for the[Pg 554] shop, into which he burst to the unutterable terror of the spectacled and high capped old lady, who was knitting stockings behind the counter; the moment she saw his shaggy head and heard the appalling clatter of his chain, she rushed up stairs in a delirium of terror. When assistance arrived the offender was discovered, seated on the counter, helping himself most liberally to brown sugar; and it was with some difficulty, and after much resistance, that he was dragged away.

Mr. Buckland had made a promise that Tig should pay a visit to a village about six miles distant, and determined that he should proceed thither on horseback. As the horse shied whenever the bear came near him, there was some difficulty in getting him mounted; but at last his master managed to pull him up by the chain while the horse was held quiet. Tig at first took up his position in front, but soon walked round and stood up on his hind legs, resting his fore paws on his master's shoulders. To him this was exceedingly pleasant, but not so to the horse, who not being accustomed to carry two, and feeling Tig's claws, kicked and plunged to rid himself of the extra passenger. Tig held on like grim death, and stuck in his claws most successfully; for in spite of all the efforts of the horse he was not thrown. In this way the journey was performed, the country folks opening their eyes at the apparition.

This reminds us of an anecdote mentioned by Mr. Lloyd: a peasant had reared a bear which became so tame that he used occasionally to cause him to stand at the back of his sledge when on a journey; but the bear kept so good a balance that it was next to impossible to upset him. One day, however, the peasant amused himself by driving over the very worst ground he could find, with the intention, if possible, of throwing Bruin off his equilibrium. This went on for some time, till the animal became so irritated that he gave his master, who was in front of him, a tremendous thump on the shoulder with his paw, which frightened the man so much that he caused the bear to be killed immediately; this, as he richly deserved the thump, was a shabby retaliation.

When term recommenced, Tiglath-pe-leser returned to the University, much altered in appearance, for being of the family of silver bears of Syria, his coat had become almost white; he was much bigger and stronger, and his teeth had made their appearance, so that he was rather more difficult to manage; the only way to restrain him when in a rage, was to hold him by the ears; but on one occasion having lost his temper, he tore his cap and gown to pieces. About this time the British Association paid a visit to Oxford, and Tig was an object of much interest. The writer was present on several occasions when he was introduced to breakfast parties of eminent savants, and much amusement was created by his tricks, albeit they were a little rough. In more than one instance he made sad havoc with book-muslins and other fragile articles of female attire; on the whole, however, he conducted himself with great propriety, especially at an evening meeting at Dr. Daubeny's, where he was much noticed, to his evident pleasure.

Still, however, the authorities at Christchurch, not being zoologists, had peculiar notions respecting bears; and at length, after numerous threats and pecuniary penalties, the fatal day arrived, and Tig's master was informed that either "he or the bear must leave Oxford the next morning." There was no resisting this, and poor dear Tig was, accordingly, put into a box—a much larger one than that in which he had arrived—and sent off to the Zoological Gardens, Regent's Park; here he was placed in a comfortable den by himself; but, alas! he missed the society to which he had been accustomed, the excitement of a college life, and the numerous charms by which the University was endeared to him; he refused his food; he ran perpetually up and down his den in the vain hope to escape, and was one morning found dead, a victim to a broken heart!



Not all alone; for thou canst hold
Communion sweet with saint and sage;
And gather gems, of price untold,
From many a consecrated page:
Youth's dreams, the golden lights of age,
The poet's lore, are still thine own;
Then, while such themes thy thoughts engage,
Oh, how canst thou be all alone?
Not all alone; the lark's rich note,
As mounting up to heaven, she sings;
The thousand silvery sounds that float
Above, below, on morning's wings;
The softer murmurs twilight brings—
The cricket's chirp, cicada's glee;
All earth, that lyre of myriad strings,
Is jubilant with life for thee!
Not all alone; the whispering trees,
The rippling brook, the starry sky,
Have each peculiar harmonies
To soothe, subdue, and sanctify:
The low, sweet breath of evening's sigh,
For thee hath oft a friendly tone,
To lift thy grateful thoughts on high,
And say—thou art not all alone!
Not all alone; a watchful Eye,
That notes the wandering sparrow's fall,
A saving Hand is ever nigh,
A gracious Power attends thy call—
When sadness holds the heart in thrall,
Oft is His tenderest mercy shown;
Seek, then, the balm vouchsafed to all,
And thou canst never be alone!
[Pg 555]

Monthly Record of Current Events.



The public mind has been almost wholly absorbed, during the past month, in anxiety for the safety of the American steamer Atlantic. She was known to have left Liverpool on the 28th of December, and was seen four days out by a packet which afterward reached New York. From that time until the 16th of February an interval of fifty days, nothing whatever was known of her fate. The anxiety of the public mind was becoming intense, when, on the evening of February 16th, the Africa arrived with news of her safety. It seems that on the 6th of January the main shaft of her engine was broken, which rendered the engine completely unmanageable. She stood for Halifax until the 11th, against strong head winds, when it became evident that she could not reach that port before her provisions would give out, and she accordingly put back for Cork, where she arrived on the 22d of January. Her mails and passengers came in the Africa. The Cambria had been chartered to bring her cargo, and was to sail February 4th. The Atlantic was to be taken to Liverpool for repairs, which would probably occupy three months. Few events within our recollection have caused more general joy than the intelligence of her safety.

Congress, during the past month, has done but little of permanent interest to any section of the country. Various important subjects have been extensively discussed, but upon none of them has any favorable or decisive action been taken. Several attempts have been made, by the friends of a protective tariff in the House of Representatives, to insert some provisions in the deficiency and appropriation bills which would secure an amendment of the existing tariff favorable to their views. None of these efforts, however, have been successful. A zealous discussion has also been had upon a bill to establish a branch of the United States Mint in the city of New York; it met with strong opposition—especially from the city of Philadelphia and was finally defeated. A bill concerning the land titles in California has also been largely discussed in the Senate, and finally passed. A resolution has been adopted in that body authorizing the President of the United States to confer the brevet rank of Lieutenant General; it is of course designed for application to General Scott. A bill further reducing the rates of postage has passed the House of Representatives. Three cents was by it adopted as the uniform rate of letter postage. The bill was very greatly changed in the Senate, and its fate is still doubtful. The French Spoliation Bill, the project for establishing a line of steamers on the coast of Africa, and other bills have been before Congress but no action has been had upon them. The Senate has passed a bill appropriating ten millions of acres of public lands (equal to twelve millions five hundred thousand dollars) to be apportioned among the several States in an equitable ratio, for the endowment of Hospitals for the indigent insane. This act is one of the most philanthropic and beneficent ever passed by any legislative body. It has been ably and zealously pressed upon the attention of Congress by Miss Dix, whose devotion to the cause of humanity has already won for her a world-wide reputation.

Elections of United States Senators have been held in several of the States with various results. In Florida, on the 15th of January, Mr. Mallory, Democrat, was elected over Mr. Yulee. In Missouri, after a protracted effort, Henry S. Geyer, Whig, was elected on the fortieth ballot, receiving 80 votes against 55 for Mr. Benton, and 20 scattering. Mr. Geyer is a German by birth, but came to this country when he was about three years old. He is now one of the ablest lawyers and most upright men in the State which he is hereafter in part to represent. In Pennsylvania, Mr. Broadhead, Democrat, was elected without serious difficulty. In New York both branches of the Legislature proceeded to nominate a Senator in accordance with the law upon the subject, on the 4th day of February. In the Assembly Hamilton Fish was nominated, receiving 79 votes against 48 for other candidates. In the Senate he had 16 votes, while 16 Senators voted each for a separate candidate, one of them, Senator Beekman from New York City, being a Whig. After two ballotings, on Mr. Beekman's motion, the Senate adjourned. No nomination has been made, nor can the attempt be renewed, except by the passage of a special law. In Massachusetts repeated efforts to elect a Senator have proved unsuccessful. Charles Sumner, Free Soil, has several times lacked but three or four votes of an election, Mr. Winthrop being his principal opponent. The vacancy occasioned by Mr. Webster's resignation has been filled by the election of Hon. Robert Rantoul. Mr. Boutwell was elected Governor of the State by the Legislature. The effort to elect a Senator for the next term will be renewed from time to time. In Rhode Island, after several ballotings, in which two Whigs and one Democrat received about an equal number of votes each, Charles T. James, Esq., Democrat, was elected, having received a large number of Whig votes. In Ohio, an attempt to elect a Senator to succeed Mr. Ewing, proved ineffectual. Ten ballots were had, after which the Legislature adjourned, thus abandoning the effort. In Michigan General Cass has been re-elected United States Senator by the Legislature.

The Legislature of North Carolina has closed its session. Notwithstanding the strenuous efforts that have been made to excite among the people of this State serious disaffection toward the Union, the action of the Legislature has been exceedingly moderate. Resolutions upon the subject, calculated to inflame the public mind, were laid upon the table by a very decisive vote. A bill has been passed authorizing an agricultural, mineralogical, and botanical survey of the State. The Governor is to make the appointment, and the Surveyor is required personally, or by his assistants, "to visit every county in the State, and examine every thing of interest or value in either of the above departments, to ascertain the nature and character of[Pg 556] its products, and the nature and character of its soil, as well as to give an account of its minerals."

Gen. Quitman, Governor of Mississippi, has been indicted at New Orleans on charge of having participated in the unlawful expedition from the United States against Cuba. He has resigned his office, and given bail for his appearance in Court, asking for a speedy trial. A number of others have also been indicted, one of whom, Gen. Henderson, has been tried. The trial lasted several days, and was conducted on both sides with great ability. The connection of the accused with the expedition seemed to have been clearly proved: the jury, however, were not able to agree on a verdict, four of them, it is said, taking the ground that the expedition was justifiable and proper.

Intelligence to December 19th has been received from the Commission to survey the boundary line between Mexico and the United States. The Mexican Commissioner, Gen. Conde, had joined the American Commissioners at El Paso. Several conferences were had before a starting point could be agreed upon for the survey, as the maps of that region were very inconsistent and imperfect. Throughout New Mexico, according to the most recent advices, great inconvenience is sustained from Indian depredations, made in spite of treaty stipulations.

The Arkansas Legislature adjourned January 14, after a session of seventy-one days, which has been fruitful in acts of local importance.

The Governor of Texas has designated the first Thursday in March as a day of public thanksgiving. The fact is worthy of record here as an evidence that this New England custom is steadily making its way into the new States.

Accidents to steamboats on our Western waters continue to challenge public attention. The steamer John Adams on the Ohio, on the 27th of January, struck a snag and sunk in two minutes. One hundred and twenty-three lives were lost—mostly of emigrants.

Hon. George F. Fort was installed into office as Governor of New Jersey on the 21st of January. His inaugural address recommends the establishment of free schools, the enactment of general incorporation laws, homestead exemption, &c., and urges a full assent to the Compromise measures of the last session of Congress.

Some attention has been attracted to a letter from Gen. Houston to Hon. John Letcher of Virginia, rebuking very severely the attempt made by South Carolina to induce Virginia to take the lead in a scheme of secession. Gen. Houston speaks of the Constitution as the most perfect of human instruments, and refuses to countenance any attempt to alter or amend its provisions. He says that every intelligent and disinterested observer must concede that agitation at the North is dying out, that the laws are obeyed, and that no necessity exists for resisting or dissolving the Union. The letter exerts a marked influence on the political movements of the day.

The House of Representatives in Delaware on the 5th of February adopted a series of resolutions very warmly approving the Compromise measures of the last session of Congress, and especially the law for the more effectual enforcement of the provisions of the Constitution requiring the surrender of fugitive slaves.

Hon. D.S. Kaufman, member of Congress from Texas, died very suddenly on the 31st of January. His decease was ascribed to an affliction of the heart, but it is supposed by those who knew him most intimately to have resulted from a wound received by a pistol shot some years since in a rencontre in the Texas Legislature. The ball had never been extracted. He was a gentleman of ability and of a very amiable disposition.

A large "Union meeting" was held at Westchester, N.Y., on the 30th of January. A letter was received from Daniel Webster, regretting his inability to attend the meeting, and warmly approving its objects. Mr. Clay also wrote a letter which was read at the meeting, in which he said that "two classes of disunionists threaten our country: one is that which is open and undisguised in favor of separation—the other is that which, disowning a desire of dissolution of the Union, adopts a course and contends for measures and principles which must inevitably lead to that calamitous result." He considered the latter the "more dangerous, because it is deceptive and insidious."

A correspondence between Mr. Mathew, a British consul, and the Governor of South Carolina, has excited some attention. Mr. Mathew represents the very great inconvenience occasioned by the law of South Carolina requiring the imprisonment of every colored person arriving in her ports until the departure of the vessel, and the payment of expenses by her captain. The correspondence is friendly, and the subject has been referred to a committee in the South Carolina Legislature. The fact of a correspondence between the representative of a foreign power and one of the States of the Union, in its separate capacity, excites remark and censure.

From California our advices are to the 15th of January. The cholera had entirely disappeared. The result of the late State election had been definitely ascertained. In the Senate there is a Whig majority of two, and in the Assembly a Whig majority of nine. This result is deemed important on account of the pending election of U.S. Senator in place of Mr. Frémont. Gov. Burnett has resigned, and Lieut.-Gov. McDougal been installed in his place. Hon. David C. Broderick, formerly of New York, was chosen President of the Senate. Renewed difficulties have occurred with the Indians, and the general impression seemed to be that no friendly arrangement could be made with them. They demand the free use of their old hunting-grounds, and will listen to no proposition which involves their surrender. The settlers, especially on the Trinity and Klamath rivers, suffer grievously from their marauding incursions, and have been compelled to raise and arm companies to repel them. A serious and protracted war is apprehended.

The latest arrival brings the report of a discovery of gold exceeding in magnitude any before made. Twenty-seven miles beyond the Trinity River, it is said, is a beach seven miles in extent, bounded by a high bluff. A heavy sea, breaking upon the shore washes away the lighter sand, and that which remains is rich to an unparalleled extent. A company has been formed to proceed to this locality, and the Secretary estimates the sum which each member will secure, at many millions.

The whole amount of gold dust shipped at San Francisco during the year 1850, is officially stated at $29,441,583. At least twenty millions are supposed to have gone forward, in addition, in private hands, so that the total product of the mines during the year is estimated at nearly fifty millions. The mines in all quarters continued to yield abundant returns.

[Pg 557]


We have intelligence from Mexico to the 25th of January. Congress assembled on the 1st. The President opened the session by a speech about an hour in length. He says that the stipulations of the treaty of peace with the United States have been faithfully observed, and have proved highly advantageous for Mexico. Three treaties have been concluded during his administration—one with the United States in regard to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, another with the same power concerning the extradition of criminals, and another with Guatemala on the same subject. Domestic tranquillity has been preserved throughout the country; complaint, however, is made that the States transcend their rightful authority, and thus weaken the General Government; and the necessity of providing a remedy for this abuse, in order to maintain the integrity of the Federal Constitution, is strongly urged. Commerce and manufactures are said to have flourished, and the mining business, which is the chief resource of Mexico, has been peculiarly good. Their entire returns during the last year are estimated at thirty millions. The President urges the propriety of making laws to restrain the licentiousness of the press. The army has been thoroughly reformed, consisting now of only 6246 men, all of whom are characterized as "true soldiers," stationed in places where their services will be most useful to the Republic. On the 15th, Gen. Arista was inaugurated President of Mexico. His opening address was brief, pertinent, and patriotic. He spoke of peace as the first necessity of the Republic, and promised that it should be "maintained at any cost, as the only manner in which the happiness and prosperity of the people can be secured." He says that "every thing will be done by the central authorities to enable the States to equalize the expenses and their revenues; to multiply their ways of communication; to augment their agricultural and commercial industry; in short, to make them great and powerful, attracting to their bosoms the intelligent, industrious and enlightened population which they so much need." The address was received with great satisfaction. The ceremony of the inauguration was extremely brilliant, and was witnessed by an immense concourse of people. After it was over, the President and his ministers repaired to the cathedral, where a Te Deum was sung, and prayers offered up for the happiness of the nation. The personal popularity of Gen. Arista is very great, and the best hopes are indulged of his administration.

Mr. Letcher, the American Minister, left for the United States, on the 26th, and reached New Orleans Feb. 4th. It was supposed that he brought the Tehuantepec treaty ratified with him. A revolt against the central government has occurred in Guanajuato, but it was soon put down by the troops. A number of the ringleaders in it have been executed. The Mexican Government has granted to a company styled Rubio, Barron, Garay, Torre & Co., the whole of the public lands in the State of Sonora, comprising one of the most valuable tracts in the whole country.

The Yucatan papers complain loudly of the encroachments of the English in fortifying Belize, and in otherwise interfering in the affairs of the Peninsula. The American Hydrographic Party was busily engaged in surveying the route across the Isthmus.


From Nicaragua we have intelligence to the 13th of January. A rich placer of gold is said to have been discovered about eight miles from Realejo. The crops throughout the country have been seriously threatened by immense flocks of locusts. In consequence of the alarm created by this menaced destruction, the Government has thrown open all the ports of the country to the free admission of all kinds of grain. Don Jose Sacasa has been elected Director of Nicaragua—the term of the present incumbent expiring on the 1st of May. The difficulties between the Government of San Salvador and the British Charge, Mr. Frederick Chatfield, have led to the blockade by the latter, on behalf of his Government, of all the ports of San Salvador. Mr. Chatfield resorted to this extreme measure because the Government refused to comply with his demands, that they should countermand certain instructions they had given to their agents, and contradict, officially, certain statements concerning the British Government made in the public prints of San Salvador. The cause of this blockade was certainly somewhat singular; but the form of it was still more so; for by its terms, British vessels were excluded from its operation. Mr. Chatfield has also written a letter to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nicaragua, complaining of the unwillingness of that Government to negotiate with Great Britain, acting on behalf of the King of Mosquito, for a boundary between the territories of Mosquito and those of Nicaragua; and saying that, "as a proof of the conciliatory spirit of the British Government," it had determined to prescribe and maintain a certain boundary line, which is designated. He adds that the British government is still willing to treat on the subject, and urges the importance of "coming to a friendly understanding with the Mosquito government, since no canal, or any other improved mode of transit across the Isthmus, can well be established before the difficulty, raised by Nicaragua on this point, is put an end to." In a subsequent letter, enforcing the necessity of arranging the claims of a British house for damages, Mr. Chatfield makes a singular but evident allusion to the hopes entertained by the Government of Nicaragua of aid from the United States. He says that, "Whatever assurances Nicaragua may receive that the conduct of its Government, however irregular it may be toward another, will at all times find support from third parties, still the Government of Nicaragua must feel that no reliance should be placed on such assurances, as no foreign Government will compromise political and commercial interests on the behalf of a country whose rulers reject the ordinary means of settling matters open to dispute, by argument, and negotiation."

From Valparaiso we have intelligence to January 2d. The U.S. Corvette Vincennes had been at that port, and took the American Minister, Hon. Bailie Peyton, on a visit to the province of Conception. A very destructive fire had occurred at Valparaiso, at which property to the value of a quarter of a million of dollars was consumed. Congress met December 16th, in extra session. A law had been passed authorizing the Executive to reform the Custom-House regulations. A law is under discussion making an appropriation of $36,000 annually to the Pacific Steam Navy. By an existing law of the country, eight acres of land are given to each foreign colonist: a new law is proposed, largely increasing the grant. The sum of $2244 has been voted to afford temporary residences for a colony of German emigrants. These facts are important indications of the efforts made to invite foreigners into the country. Henri Herz, the pianist, was at Valparaiso on the 1st of January. On the 5th,[Pg 558] there was an eruption of the volcano of Portillo, near Santiago.


It is decided that Parliament is to be opened by the Queen in person, on the 4th of February. Speculation is rife as to the course of Government upon the subject of the "Papal Aggressions," of which though there are many rumors, nothing authentic has transpired. The excitement upon this subject, though the mode of manifestation is changed, seems not to have died away. It occupies less space in the newspapers, and fewer public meetings are held; the discussion now being carried on in books and pamphlets, of which the last month has produced about one hundred, in addition to nearly two hundred before published. In the address of the English prelates to the Queen, which was noticed in our last Number, no mention was made of the Irish Church. The bishops of that country have taken the matter up, and have protested both to her Majesty and to their English brethren, against any proceedings which shall imply that the two branches of the Episcopal Church have separate rights and interests. The Church question, in various aspects, can not well fail of being the prominent one in the ensuing session of Parliament. A movement has been set on foot, by the High Church Party with a view to a convocation for the settlement of various questions in debate within the Church; at a public meeting for this object speeches marked by peculiar acrimony were made. Secessions to the Roman Church, among the higher classes and the clergy, are more frequent than at any former period.

The unwonted prospect of a surplus in the revenue, has occasioned propositions for the abolition of many of the most onerous and odious taxes. Among those spoken of are the window tax, the tax on paper, that on tea, and the malt tax. The paper tax seems to be the favorite of the press; but the probability is that the reduction will be made upon the window tax. The question threatens to be an embarrassing one for the Ministry, who will find it difficult to decide among so many conflicting claims.

The Austrian government has officially demanded that punishment should be inflicted upon those persons who committed the assault upon General Haynau. After a somewhat prolonged correspondence the British Home Secretary declined to make any inquiry into the matter, on the plea that "it could not be attended with any satisfactory result." The refusal of General Haynau to enter any complaint before the authorities is assigned as the ground for this conclusion. Prince Schwartzenberg, in his closing dispatch, hints that the Austrian government may consider it "befitting to exercise reciprocity with regard to British subjects who may happen to be in Austria."

In the colonies, the process of "annexation" goes on steadily. In India one or two extensive districts are in course of absorption. At the Cape of Good Hope, the Governor has deposed the most powerful of the Kaffir chiefs, and appointed a British officer to assume the control of his people. In Australia vehement opposition has sprung up against the transportation system; and there is reason to suppose that this outlet for the criminal population of Great Britain will soon be closed.

The "Crystal Palace," is so far completed that it has been made over into the hands of the Commissioners. Severe storms have luckily occurred, which have proved the entire stability of the edifice, not a pane of glass, even, of which has been broken by them. Mr. Paxton has written a letter to Lord John Russell, strenuously urging that after the first fortnight, and with the exception of one day in each week, admission to the Exhibition be gratis.


From France the political intelligence is of considerable importance, not so much on its own account, as showing a deep and increasing hostility between the President and the National Assembly. This feeling has been manifested by several incidents, and has caused within three weeks three separate Ministries, besides an interregnum of a week. The personal adherents of the President in the Assembly have never constituted more than a third of that body; but he has always succeeded in carrying his measures by dexterously pitting one party against the other: each party preferring him to their opponents. But when the President's designs for the perpetuation of his power became apparent, all parties began to look upon General Changarnier as in some sort a counterpoise. A collision having arisen between the General and the Ministers, the Assembly took part with the former, whereupon the Ministry resigned. The President, despite the remonstrances of the leaders of the Assembly, made the dismissal of Changarnier a sine quâ non in the appointment of a new Ministry. He at length succeeded in forming one that would take this step; and the General was dismissed, and the enormous military functions he had exercised were divided among a number of officers. A fierce opposition at once sprang up against the new Ministry. A singular coalition was formed, mainly through the tactics of M. Thiers, of Conservatives, Cavaignac Republicans, and ultra Democrats, so that a vote declaring want of confidence in the Ministry passed by 417 to 278; whereupon this Ministry resigned. No man of all the majority could be found who would undertake to form a Ministry from its discordant elements; a like attempt to form one from the minority in the Assembly was unsuccessful. At last, the President formed one of which not an individual was a member of the Assembly. Throughout the whole of these transactions, Louis Napoleon has shown a political skill and dexterity scarcely inferior to that manifested in the field by the Great Emperor. With vastly inferior forces at his command, he has gained every point: he has got rid of his most formidable rival, Changarnier; he has convinced, apparently, the middle classes that the only hope of peace and stability lies in his possession of power; and the Assembly have been driven into acts of opposition which can bear no other interpretation than that of a factious struggle for power. The position of the President is considerably strengthened by the late occurrences.


The Dresden Free Conference is still in session, and matters seem as impracticable as the Genius of Mysticism could desire. Enough has transpired to show that the minor Powers have not been alarmed without good reason. The cordial understanding between Austria and Prussia is displayed perhaps too ostentatiously to be altogether sincere; but there can be no doubt that the two governments have combined to aggrandize themselves at the expense of the others. It seems to be determined that the new Executive Committee will be composed of eleven votes, of which Austria and Prussia are each to have two. The Committee of the old[Pg 559] Confederation consisted of seventeen votes, of which those Powers had one each, and even then it was complained that their influence was excessive. It is admitted on all hands that any approach to a nearer union is impracticable at present; that the Dresden Conference is quite as incapable of improvising a German Nation, as was that assembly of pedants and pettifoggers that called itself the Frankfort Parliament.——Hostilities have ceased in Schleswig-Holstein, the stadtholderate of which have yielded their functions to the commissioners of the Confederation.——The first trial by jury at Vienna, took place, under the new Austrian Constitution, on the 15th of January.



The literary incidents of the month have not been very noteworthy. James, the English novelist, has been lecturing at Albany to large and interested audiences. He has bought a residence at Stockbridge, Mass., where he will reside, in the immediate neighborhood of Longfellow, the Sedgwicks, and other literary celebrities. A series of valuable lectures upon Art have been delivered before the Artists of New York, in pursuance of a very excellent plan adopted by their Association. The first of the series was delivered by Henry James, Esq., and was an excellent critical exposition of the nature and characteristics of Art. He was followed by George W. Curtis, Esq., in a fine sketch of the condition and prospects of Art on the Continent. The leading idea of his lecture was that Art never promised more abundant results than now.

Congress at its last session appropriated two thousand dollars to commence the purchase of a library for the use of the President of the United States. It is a little singular that a project so eminently useful should have been so long neglected. Its execution has been now undertaken with spirit, under the direction of Mr. Charles Lanman.

The birth-day of Burns was celebrated by a public dinner on the 25th of January at the Astor House, in New York. The poet Bryant was present as a guest, and made a very happy speech, in which he said that the fact that Burns had taken a local dialect, and made it classical and given it a character of universality, was of itself sufficient to stamp him as a man of the highest order of genius.

Mr. Hoe, celebrated for his printing presses, has just completed a new one, having eight cylinders, and thus throwing off eight sheets at each revolution, for the use of the Sun newspaper in New York. He was the recipient lately of a public dinner given to him by the proprietors of the paper, at which several of the most eminent literary celebrities in the country were present as guests. The occasion was one of interest: we hope it may be deemed indicative of a growing disposition to tender public honors to the benefactors, as well as to the destroyers, of their race.

The literary productions of the month will be found noticed in another department of this Magazine. Several works of interest are promised by the leading publishers. The Harpers have in press a volume of traveling sketches, entitled Nile Notes, by an American, which will be found to be one of the best of its kind. It is written with great vivacity and with very marked ability. Many of its chapters are fully equal to Eothen, and the work in its general characteristics is not at all inferior to that spirited and admirable book. The Harpers have also in press a work by Mr. H.M. Field, giving a succinct history of the Great Irish Rebellion with biographical sketches of the most prominent of the Irish Confederates. It will find a wide circle of readers. The Harpers are also about to publish Mayhew's London Labor and the London Poor in the Nineteenth Century, made up of his Letters in the London Morning Chronicle upon that subject, revised and extended. These papers reveal a state of things not at all creditable to the English people or to the age in which we live. As originally published in London they excited great attention and have done much toward arousing the public sense of justice to the poor.

Cooper, the novelist, has a work in preparation upon the Social History of this country. It will probably, however, not be published until fall. Mr. Putnam has in progress a new and very elegantly printed uniform edition of his novels. Another New York house promise a complete edition of Joanna Baillie's poems, with a new edition of Elizabeth Barret Browning.

Prof. Agassiz, the celebrated Naturalist, is making a survey of the Florida reefs and keys, in the hope that he may throw some light upon their formation and growth. He is nominally attached to the Coast Survey.

American scholars still continue their valuable contributions to classical learning. Prof. Drisler, of Columbia College, one of the most thorough and accurate linguists in the country, is engaged upon an English-Greek Lexicon, which will be a most valuable aid to the classical student, in connection with similar works by the same author hitherto issued.

In the departments of religious and theological literature, we find indications of renewed activity among the divines of our country. Prof. J. Addison Alexander, of Princeton, has a new critical and exegetical work in the course of preparation. Rev. Dr. Spring will soon publish, through M.W. Dodd, a volume under the title of First Things, a series of lectures designed to set forth and illustrate some of the facts and moral duties earliest revealed to mankind. From Rev. Dr. Condit, of Newark, we are to have a work entitled The Christian Home, setting forth the relations, duties, and benefits of the domestic institution. Rev. H.A. Rowland, author of a work on the Common Maxims of Infidelity, has in press a volume under the title of The Path of Life.

The late Edmond Charles Genet, Embassador from the Republic of France to this country at the close of the last century, left behind him, at his decease, a vast amount of papers, consisting of journals of his life, letters from the prominent statesmen and politicians of this country, and correspondence with his sister, the celebrated Madame Campan. It is understood that members of his family are arranging them with a view to publication. From the close social and political relations which M. Genet, after his dismissal from the embassy, bore to the prominent politicians of the Democratic party, there can be no doubt that these papers, if judiciously edited, will throw much light upon the political history of the period preceding the war of 1812.

It is known by those familiar with current Continental literature, that the wife of Prof. Edward Robinson published, some time since, in Germany, under her usual pseudonym, Talvi, a very full and excellent history of the early Colonization of New England. This work has lately been translated from German into English by William Hazlitt, and[Pg 560] published in London. It was published originally at Leipsic in 1847. We presume it will be reprinted here.

Rev. H.T. Cheever's Whale and his Captors has been reprinted in London, with a preface by Dr. Scoresby, who commends it very highly.


The London Leader destroys the romance of Lamartine's visit to England. It seems, according to that paper, that he did not go for the philosophic purpose of studying the country, but to make bargains for the publication of his History of the Directory, which he offered for five thousand pounds. The publishers, he urged, could issue it simultaneously in England, France, and Germany, and so secure an enormous profit. "Our countrymen," says the Leader, "with an indifference to Mammon worthy of a philosopher, declined the magnificent proposal: and Lamartine returned to France and sold his work to an association of publishers for 12,000 francs, which he hopes to get." He is also to publish a new novel in the feuilleton of the Siècle.

Edmond Texier, a French journalist, has published a very lively history of French journals and journalists. It is a small and unelaborate book, but is exceedingly readable. Political writers in France, it will be remembered, are required to sign their names to their articles. The Vote Universel recently contained a strong essay signed by Gilland. The Attorney-general prosecuted the paper, alleging that the article was written by George Sand, and citing the bad spelling of Gilland's private letters as a proof that he could not have been the writer. Madame George Sand peremptorily denies having written a line of the article, and avers that Rousseau himself, in a single letter in her possession, makes three mistakes in spelling three lines, owing to the difficult and capricious rules of the French language.

Lady Morgan has published a pamphlet on the Roman Catholic Controversy. It is in the form of a letter to Cardinal Wiseman, and is a defense of herself against an attack upon a passage in her book on Italy. In that book she had related a curious anecdote. She said that when Bonaparte entered Italy the enthroned chair of St. Peter, contained in the magnificent shrine of bronze which closes the view of the nave in St. Peter's Cathedral, was brought into a better light and the cobwebs brushed off. Certain curious letters were discovered on the surface, which were deciphered and found to contain the Arabian formula, "There is but one God, and Mahomet is his prophet." Cardinal Wiseman branded this story as "false, foolish, slanderous, and profligate." Lady Morgan gives as her authority for it the eminent savans Denon and Champollion, who saw the inscription, deciphered it, and told its meaning in her presence. Her letter is ably written, and excites attention.—Lady Morgan is said to be the oldest living writer who continues to write: for though Miss Joanna Baillie is some five years, and Rogers perhaps ten years her senior, neither of the latter has touched a pen in the way of authorship for a long time; whereas Lady Morgan, for all her blindness, has, according to the Liverpool Albion, for a good while back, been a regular contributor to one of the London morning journals.

The British government has bestowed a pension of £100 a year upon the widow of the celebrated Belzoni, who died fifteen years ago. The public satisfaction at this announcement is tempered with surprise that the pension was not bestowed fifteen years ago. Mr. Poole, the author of "Paul Pry," and other literary works of a light character, has received a retiring pension of the same amount. Similar pensions have been granted to George Petrie, LL.D., author of "The Round Towers of Ireland," and other antiquarian works; and to Dr. Kitto, editor of the "Pictorial Bible," "Cyclopædia of Biblical Literature," and other works in that department of letters. Dr. Kitto, although deaf from an early age, in consequence of an accident, has traveled over many lands in connection with the Missionary Society.

Letters from Rome announce the death in that city of Mr. Ritchie, the sculptor, of Edinburgh. The circumstances are peculiarly melancholy. It had been the dream of Mr. Ritchie's life to go to Rome; this year he was able to travel, and he arrived in that city in September last, with some friends as little acquainted with the nature of the malaria as himself. With these friends it appears that he made a visit to Ostia; the season was dangerous; the party took no precautions, and they all caught the malaria fever. He died after a few days' illness, and was followed to the grave by most of the English and American artists in Rome.

Austen Henry Layard, whose enterprise has opened a new field for historical research, was born in Paris, March 5, 1817. His father, who was Dean of Bristol, filled a high civil office in Ceylon, between the years 1820 and 1830. The early years of the future explorer of Nineveh were spent in Florence, where he early acquired his artistic tastes and skill as a draughtsman. On returning to England, young Layard commenced the study of law, but his love of adventure rendered this profession distasteful to him, and he abandoned it. In 1839 he left England, with no very definite object in view, visited Russia and the North of Europe, and spent some time in Germany. Thence he took his course toward the Danube, and visited the semi-barbarous provinces on the Turkish frontier, which form the debatable ground between the Orient and the Occident. In Montenegro he passed some time, aiding an active young Chief in his efforts to ameliorate the condition of his subjects. From hence he passed into the East, where he led the life of an Arab of the desert, and acquired a thorough knowledge of the languages of Arabia and Turkey. We next find him in Persia, Asia Minor, and Syria, where he visited almost every spot made memorable by history or tradition. He now felt an irresistible desire to penetrate to the regions beyond the Euphrates, to which history and tradition point as the birth-place of the wisdom of the West. At Constantinople, he fell in with the English Embassador, Sir Stratford Canning, by whom he was encouraged to undertake and carry on those excavations amid the Assyrian and Babylonian ruins, which have conclusively demonstrated that a gigantic civilization had passed away before what we are accustomed to call ancient civilization dawned, a civilization stretching back almost to the days when the ark rested upon Ararat; a civilization which was old when the pyramids were young. And, what is still more remarkable, the relics of this civilization are more perfect and beautiful in proportion to the remoteness of their date, the earlier of these ancient sculptures being invariably the noblest in design, and the most exquisite and elaborate in execution.

In 1848, Mr. Layard visited England for a few months, where, notwithstanding the monthly attacks of an aguish fever contracted in the damp[Pg 561] apartments which he was obliged to inhabit while prosecuting his excavations at Nimroud, he prepared for the press the two volumes of his Nineveh and its Remains, executed the drawings for the hundred plates, and a volume of inscriptions in the cuneiform character for the British Museum.

The last survivor of Cook's voyage, a sailor named John Wade, is said to be now begging his bread at Kingston-on-Thames. He is within a few months of completing his hundredth year, having been born in New York in May, 1751. He was with Cook when he was killed on the Island of Hawaii; and is said to have served at the battles of Cape St. Vincent, Teneriffe, the Nile, Copenhagen, Camperdown, and Trafalgar.

An interesting collection of sketches, by members of the Sketching Society has been opened to the public. This society numbers among its members the two Chalons, Bone, Christall, Partridge, Stump, Leslie, Stanfield, and Uwins. What gives to the present collection a unique interest is that they are entirely impromptu productions, three hours being the limit allowed for their completion. At each meeting of the society the president announces a subject, and the drawings are made on the spot.

Sir Roger de Coverley's chaplain is familiar to the recollection of all. He has lately found an imitator. The Vicar of Selby announced a few weeks since, that he should that day commence reading the sermons of others, as there were many productions of the ablest divines which were altogether unknown to his parishioners; and he thought the time spent in writing so many new sermons might be more usefully employed in other matters connected with his profession. He then proceeded to read a sermon which he said he had heard preached at the University with great effect.

Professor Owen, in 1840, had submitted to him for examination, a fossil body, which he was enabled to identify as the tooth of some species of whale. It was subsequently discovered that certain crags upon the coast of Suffolk, especially one at Felixstow, contained an immense quantity of fossils of a similar character, which examinations, undertaken by Owen and Henslow, showed to be rolled and water-worn fragments of the skeletons of extinct species of mammals, mostly of the whale kind. This discovery has been shown by a recent trial in the English courts, to be of immense pecuniary value. A Mr. Lawes took out a patent for the manufacture of super-phosphate of lime, as a substitute for bone-dust, for agricultural purposes, by applying sulphuric acid to any mineral whatever, known or unknown, which might contain the phosphate of lime. It was found that these fossil remains contained of this from 50 to 60 per cent., and Mr. Lawes undertook to extend his patent so as to include the production of the super-phosphate from them. In this he was unsuccessful, the court deciding that he could not claim a monopoly of all the fossil remains in the country. It was shown on the trial, that an income of more than $50,000 a year has been derived from the use of this phosphate.

A number of classical works of decided interest have recently been published; among them are: Platonis Opera Omnia. This new edition of Plato is edited by Stallbaum, whose name is a sufficient guarantee for the faithful editorial care bestowed upon it. It is in one volume, small folio, uniform with the edition of Aristotle by Weisse, and that of Cicero by Nobbe.—Lachmann's edition of Lucretius supplies a want which has been long felt of a good critical edition of the philosophical poet. The volume of the text is accompanied by a critical commentary in a separate volume.—The second part of the second volume of Professor Ritschl's edition of Plautus containing the "Pseudulus," has appeared. The editor has the reputation of being the best Plautinian scholar in Germany. He has spent years in the preparation of this edition, having undertaken an entirely new recension of the works of the great dramatic poet.—Corpus Inscriptionum Græcarum. This important work, under the editorial charge of the veteran Böckh, with whom is associated Franz, is rapidly approaching completion. The third part of the third volume is published. A fourth part, which will complete the work, is promised speedily.

From the press of the Imperial Academy at St. Petersburgh has appeared the first volume of a collection of Mohammedan Sources for the History of the Southern Coasts of the Caspian Sea. The volume contains 643 pages of the Persian text of the history of Tabaristan, Rujan, and Massanderan, by Seher-Eddin, edited, with a German introduction, by Bernhard Dorn, Librarian of the Imperial Library. It gives a history, commencing with the mythical ages and ending with the year 1476, of the various dynasties which have ruled those regions, which have scarcely been brought within the light of authentic history, but to which we must look for the solution of many interesting problems in relation to the progress and development of the race. The editor promises forthwith a translation of the history, with annotations.

Professor Heinrich Ewald, of Göttingen, has just put forth a translation of and commentary upon the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, marked by that free dealing with the sacred text characteristic of the Rationalistic school. He proposes to himself the task of separating what he supposes to be the original substance of the evangelical narrative from subsequent additions and interpolations—"to free the kernel from the Mosaic husk." The author had intended to delay the publication of this commentary until after the publication of his History of the Jews; but he thought he perceived in the present state of religion in Germany, and especially in the alarming decline of the religious element among the masses of the people, a call upon him to furnish an antidote—such as it is. In the preface he takes occasion to make some severe criticisms upon the politics of the day, and in particular those of Prussia.


John James Audubon, the Ornithologist, died at his residence a few miles from New York, on the 27th of January. He was born in Louisiana, about 1775, of French parentage, traces of which were apparent through life in the foreign intonation with which he spoke the English language, although he wrote it with great vigor and correctness. He early manifested that enthusiastic love of nature, which subsequently became his ruling passion, and the mainspring of all his endeavors through life. In the preface to his "Ornithological Biography," he gives a vivid sketch of the growth of his fondness for the winged creation. "None but aerial companions," says he, "suited my fancy; no roof seemed so secure to me as that formed of the dense foliage under which the feathered tribes were seen to resort, or the caves and fissures of the massy rocks to which the dark-winged cormorant and the curlew retired to rest, or to protect themselves from the fury of the tempest." With increasing years, a desire for the actual possession of his favorites[Pg 562] grew up in his mind. But this longing was nowise satiated by the possession of them dead: with their life their charms were gone. At this period his father showed him a book of illustrations—of no very high artistic excellence, we may well believe. A bush thrown into certain solutions, in a particular state, will cause crystalization. The young enthusiast's mind was in such a state—the vague desires, the indefinite longings crystalized around that Book of Illustrations. He longed to be a creator. To imitate by lines and colors the beings he loved, became the passion of his life. But like all true artists, he was at first doomed to experience the disappointment of being unable to realize his ideal: his drawings so far from truly representing the originals, were even inferior to the engravings in his book. Every year he made hundreds, which he regularly burned upon every succeeding birthday.

In his sixteenth year he was sent to Paris to pursue his education. There he studied drawing under the revolutionary painter David. But his heart was ever in his native woods, and after a stay of eighteen months he gladly returned. His father now gave him a farm near Philadelphia, at the junction of the Pekioming Creek and the Schuylkill. Here he married, and entered into mercantile transactions, apparently with ill success. He was in the forests when he should have been in the counting-house, if he would succeed in business. His friends looked askance at him, as one who only made drawings when he might have made money. They were doubtless correct in their estimate of his capacity. That indomitable spirit which bore him thousands of miles through the untrodden wilderness, softened the earth or the branch of a tree for his bed; "bore bravely up his chin" when he swam the swollen stream, with his rifle and painting materials lashed above his head—was doubtless adequate, if directed to that end, to have gained any given amount of money. Pegasus made an indifferent plow-horse; and Audubon but a poor trader. So after ten years of this divided pursuit, one bright October morning found him floating down the Ohio in a skiff in which were his wife and child, his scanty wares, and a couple of negro rowers. He set up his household gods at Henderson, Kentucky, where he resided for some years, and engaged again, with a partner, in trade. Still he was accustomed to make long excursions, with no companion but his dog and rifle, a tin box strapped to his side containing his brushes and paints. All this while his collection of drawings, which was subsequently to constitute the "Birds of America," grew under his hand; yet strange to say, the thought of publishing never entered his mind.

One spring day in 1810, a stranger entered the counting-room of Audubon, presented specimens of a book he was preparing, and requested his patronage. The stranger was Alexander Wilson, and the book was his "American Ornithology." Audubon was about to subscribe for it, when his partner asked him, in French, why he did so, assuring him that his own drawings were far better, and that he must be as well acquainted with the habits of American birds as the stranger could be. Wilson asked if Audubon had any drawings of birds. A large portfolio was exhibited: and the veteran ornithologist could not avoid the conclusion that his own efforts were far surpassed. He became sad, and though Audubon showed him every attention, loaned him drawings, and accompanied him through the neighboring woods, the thought of being excelled was more than he could bear. He departed, shaking the dust from his feet, and entered in his diary that "literature or art had not a friend in the place."

The year following, we find Audubon far down among the bayous of Florida, still engaged in collecting materials for his work; yet still, apparently, with no definite purpose of publication. Of the next ten or twelve years of his life, we have no particular accounts. But we understand that he has left behind him an autobiography, which will doubtless be made public, and which we venture to predict, will exceed in interest and adventure the lion-king Cumming's African exploits, springing as Audubon's did from high devotion to science, instead of the mere animal instinct of destruction. All this while his great work was growing. But in a single night the result of the labor of years was destroyed by a pair of rats, who selected a box containing two hundred drawings, with more than a thousand figures, as a place in which to rear their plundering brood. "The burning heat," says he, "which rushed through my brain was too great to be endured without affecting the whole of my nervous system. I slept not for several nights, and the days passed like days of oblivion, until the dormant powers being aroused into action through the strength of my constitution, I took up my gun, my note-book, and my pencils, and went forward to the woods as gayly as though nothing had happened." In three years his portfolios were again full.

In 1824, Audubon found himself at Philadelphia, on his way to the great lakes. Here he was introduced to Lucien Bonaparte, who seems to have induced him to determine upon the publication of his work. A year and a half of happy toil ensued, enlivened by a new object. He had loved and wooed Nature for her own dear self; but now he began to feel presentiments that his bride would raise him to a throne among the immortals. In 1826 he set sail for England. His first feeling was that of despondency. What was he, whose acquirements had been won by the solitary wanderings of more than a quarter of a century, amid lonely forest solitudes; what could he be in comparison with those who had been trained and taught by intercourse with civilized life? But these feelings were of brief duration. The wonderful backwoodsman was warmly welcomed by the best and wisest men of Europe. Cuvier was his admirer, Alexander von Humboldt became his cherished friend and correspondent. "The hearts of all," wrote Wilson, "warmed toward Audubon, who were capable of conceiving the difficulties, dangers, and sacrifices that must have been encountered, endured, and overcome, before genius could have embodied these, the glory of its innumerable triumphs."

And so Audubon was encouraged to publish his work. It was a vast undertaking. It would take sixteen years to accomplish it; he was now somewhat declined into the vale of years, and would be an old man when it was completed; and when the first drawings were put into the hands of the engraver he had not a single subscriber. But his heart was upborne by reliance on that Power, on whom depends success. After three years spent in Europe, he returned to America in 1829, leaving his work in process of execution in Edinburgh. Toward the close of 1830 his first volume, containing one hundred plates, every figure of the size and colors of life, was issued. It was hailed with universal applause; royal names headed his subscription list, which, at one thousand dollars each, reached the number of 175, of whom eighty were Americans. His name was enrolled among the[Pg 563] members of the learned Societies of Great Britain and the Continent, and the world claimed him among her great men.

In the Autumn of 1831, Audubon visited Washington, where he received from Government letters of protection and assistance, to be used at all national ports, revenue, and naval stations. Having been delayed by sickness, he proceeded upon his expedition toward the close of the following summer. He tracked the forests of Maine, explored the shores of the British provinces, bringing back rich spoils; and returned to Charleston, to spend the winter in the preparation of his drawings and the accompanying descriptions. In 1834 he published his second volume. The three following years were passed in exploring expeditions, mostly to the South, one of which was to Florida, another to Texas, in a vessel placed at his disposal by Government, and in the preparation of his drawings and descriptions. At the close of this period he published the fourth and last volume of plates, and the fifth of descriptions. The whole work contained 435 plates, comprising more than a thousand figures of birds, all drawn of the size of life, in their natural attitudes and circumstances, and colored from nature.

In 1839 Audubon commenced in this country the republication of the "Birds of America," in seven large octavo volumes, which were issued during the succeeding five years. Before the expiration of this period, however, he commenced the preparation of the "Quadrupeds of America," of which he had materials for five large volumes: in the literary department of which he was assisted by Dr. Bachman, of Charleston. This has recently been concluded, and forms a monument to his memory hardly less imposing than his earlier work. In the meanwhile, though more than sixty winters had passed over his head, he projected an expedition to the Rocky Mountains, with all the adventurous spirit of his youth. But he perhaps over-rated his physical capabilities; at least the expedition was not made. The concluding years of his life were passed on the beautiful estate of Minniesland, upon the Hudson, some ten miles from New York. For several years his health had been giving way, until the time when he passed from earth to the still land of the immortals. His was a happy life. He had found his vocation, and pursued it for long years, earnestly, faithfully, and triumphantly. The forms of beauty which won his early love, and drew him into the broad forests, he brought back to cheer us who can not follow his footsteps. He has linked himself with the undying loveliness of Nature; and, therefore, his works are a possession to all men forevermore.

Joseph Bem, the famous Polish General in the late Hungarian war, died at Aleppo in the early part of December. It is somewhat singular that during the whole course of hostilities he declared his conviction that he should survive until the year 1850. Bem was born in 1795 at Tarnow in Gallicia. Having completed his education at the Military School in Warsaw, he entered the army, and served as lieutenant of artillery in the divisions of Davoust and Macdonald. On the conclusion of peace, he remained with the Polish army, who were now in the Russian service, where he attained the rank of captain and adjutant, and was finally appointed teacher in the Artillery School at Warsaw. Dissatisfied with his position, he applied for a discharge, which was granted; but for some unexplained cause he was summoned before a court-martial, and sentenced to an imprisonment of two months. From 1825 to the outbreak of the Polish insurrection in 1830, he resided at Lemberg, where he busied himself with mechanical and mathematical studies. When the rising of the Poles took place, he hastened to Warsaw, was appointed major, and obtained the command of a regiment of flying artillery. For his distinguished services at the battles of Igania and Ostrolenka he was raised successively to the rank of lieutenant-colonel and colonel, and received the command of the Polish artillery. At Ostrolenka he was wounded, but as he lay upon the ground, he directed the movements of his guns. When the cause of Poland was lost, he headed the first emigration to France, where the greater portion of the next eighteen years was spent. In 1833 he entered into negotiations with Don Pedro of Portugal to raise a Polish regiment for his service; but the project was unsuccessful; and Bem incurred the suspicions of his fellow exiles, by one of whom an attempt was made to assassinate him. The following years he passed in France and England, where we trace him by several treatises which he published upon the organization of artillery, the manufacture of powder, the distillation of brandy, the modes of working in wood and metal, and a system of mnemonics. He also taught languages, for a time, for very scanty pay, at London and Oxford, but was obliged to abandon this occupation in consequence of a surgical operation for the extraction of a bullet; for a time he was in receipt of the few shillings weekly which the Polish Association were able to bestow upon destitute exiles. The bread of exile which Dante found so bitter, was sweet compared with that which Bem, for long years, was forced to taste. He made an attempt to establish a Polytechnic Company, near Paris, which failed from the want of adequate funds.

Upon the breaking out of the revolutions of 1848, we find Bem in the thick of the conflict. On the 14th of October he made his appearance at Vienna, where he endeavored to organize the revolt in the Austrian capital. Here he could never have anticipated success; but he was aware that resistance in Vienna would give the Hungarians time to arm. Finding the cause hopeless in Vienna, he betook himself to Kossuth, at Comorn. Here he had some difficulty in proving his identity; but at length Bem succeeded in winning the confidence of the Hungarian ruler. At Pesth, where he concerted future operations with Kossuth, another attempt was made to assassinate Bem by a young Pole who had conceived the idea that he had betrayed the popular cause at Vienna. From Pesth Bem was dispatched by Kossuth to Transylvania, in order to organize the revolt against Austria. The transactions in Transylvania formed perhaps the most brilliant portion of the whole Hungarian war. In the course of ten weeks, with a newly raised army, always inferior in force to the enemy, by a series of hard fighting and skillful manœuvres, he placed Transylvania in the hands of the Hungarians. The accession of Russia to the side of Austria was decisive of the contest. Bem, sorely pressed in Transylvania, was summoned by Kossuth to assume the command in chief; and at Temesvar, on the 10th of August 1849, he lost the last battle of Hungary; though he here displayed the highest qualities of the soldier and the general. The Austrians were repulsed at all points, mowed down by the terrible fire from the Hungarian artillery, which Bem had posted with his accustomed skill; but his[Pg 564] troops were exhausted, and a fresh body of Austrians under Prince Lichtenstein, decided the day. "A single draught of wine to each hussar," said Guyon, "would have saved the battle." In the rout which ensued, Bem, who was weakened by his wounds, was thrown from his horse, and broke his collar bone. The day following the disastrous battle of Temesvar, Kossuth resigned the dictatorship into the hands of Görgey, who two days after, on the 13th of August, surrendered his whole army, consisting of 24,000 men with 144 pieces of cannon, to the Russians.

Bem at first made some efforts to prolong the hopeless contest; but it was in vain, and on the 17th of the month he bade farewell to the country from which he had hoped so much. Kossuth, Dembinski, Bem, and some others took refuge in Turkey, where their residence or extradition was made a political question by the powers of Europe. In the anticipation of being given up, Bem embraced Mohammedanism, and entered the Turkish service, under the name of Murad Bey. There is nothing to wonder at in this procedure. His one principle through life had been hatred to Russia, and to this he would not hesitate to sacrifice any and every other consideration; his only religion was to avenge his country upon the Czar; if that could be done, it mattered little to him whether it was effected under the banner of the cross or the crescent. He persisted to the last in his profession of Mohammedanism, and was buried with military honors, greatly lamented by the Ottoman government, into whose military organization he had introduced many beneficial reforms. Bem possessed military genius of a high order; he was bold and rapid in his decisions, fertile in resources, whether to take advantage of a victory or to retrieve a defeat. He clearly perceived that the most effective arm in modern warfare is artillery, the service of which he always superintended in person. Previous to a battle he appointed the positions his guns were to assume, examined and leveled them in person, whence he was nicknamed, by his German legion, "the Piano-forte player." At the time of his death, he had reached his fifty-sixth year, but the severe exposures which he had undergone, and his numerous wounds, gave him the appearance of a still greater age. As a man, all who knew Bem were enthusiastic in his praise. Generous in disposition, gentle and modest in demeanor, he inspired deep personal attachment in all with whom he came in contact.

Viscount Alford (John Hume Cust) died on the 2d of January. In 1849 he succeeded to the vast Bridgewater estates, and assumed, by royal license, the name of Egerton, in place of that of Cust. He was a member of the House of Commons from 1836 to 1847. He inherited an estate from the late Earl of Bridgewater, under a will of very singular character. By this document it was provided that unless Lord Alford should, within five years, succeed in gaining a rank in the peerage higher than that of earl, the estate should go to his brother, with a like condition, which also failing, it was to pass to another branch of the family.

The Duke of Newcastle (Henry Pelham Fiennes Pelham Clinton) died Jan. 12, at the age of 66. He was one of the most consistent and unbending of the Tory conservative nobility of England, and a most strenuous opponent of every measure of reform. He said of himself that "on looking back to the past, I can honestly assert that I repent of nothing that I have done. Vestigia nulla retrorsum. Such has been the cradle of my opinions: time may have matured them, and given them something like authority; at all events, the sentiments that might have been doubtful, are now rootedly confirmed." Thus incapable of learning by experience, of becoming wiser as a man than he was when a boy, his political career was thoroughly consistent. He was alike opposed to Catholic emancipation, the repeal of the Test Act, and any modification of the Corn Laws. When Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, he refused, in spite of the positive demand of Government, to insert in the commission of the peace the names of two gentlemen who were not members of the Established Church. When the Reform Bill was in agitation, he stood up manfully for the rotten boroughs which enabled him to return six members to the House of Commons, the disfranchisement of which cost him a large sum which he had invested in property of which the franchise constituted the main value. His hereditary possessions were very large, and by his wife he obtained estates to the value of £12,000 per annum, besides personal property to the amount of £200,000; yet, owing to extensive purchases of unproductive estates, he was embarrassed in pecuniary matters. Apart from his narrow and bigoted politics, his character was marked by many noble and excellent traits.

Frederick Bastiat, the leader of the free-trade party in France, died at Rome, on the 24th of December. He was a member of the National Assembly; and his death was hastened by his severe and protracted labors during the last session. His essays, bearing the general title of Sophismes Economiques, originally published in a periodical, the Journal des Economistes, of which he was editor, have been made known to the American public through the columns of the Evening Post, which is a sufficient guarantee of their authority with the upholders of that policy.

W.H. Maxwell, the Irish novelist, died at Musselburg, near Edinburgh, December 29. In early life he was a captain in the British army, and noted for his social qualities. He subsequently entered the Church, and obtained the benefice of prebendary of Balla, a wild district in Connaught, with an income, but no congregation or official duties. Among his works we recollect "Hector O'Halloran," "Story of My Life," "Wild Sports of the West," and many humorous sketches in the periodical literature of the day.

Professor Schumacher, the Astronomer of the Observatory at Altona, died on the 28th of December, in his 71st year. For many years he conducted the Astronomische Nachrichten, in which capacity he was well known in the scientific world. He had been successively Professor of Astronomy at the University of Copenhagen, and Director of the Observatory at Manheim, in Baden. From 1817 to 1821 he measured the length of the degree of longitude from Copenhagen to the western coast of Jutland, and that of the degree of latitude from the northern extremity of Jutland to the frontiers of Hanover. He subsequently executed for the English Government the measure of the difference of longitude between the observatories of Greenwich and Altona.

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Literary Notices.

The Howadji; or, Nile Notes (published by Harper and Brothers), is a new volume of Oriental travels, by a young New-Yorker, describing a voyage on the Nile and the marvels of Egypt, with a freshness and originality that give it all the fascination of a romance. Speaking in the character of the Howadji, which is the name given by the Egyptians to foreign travelers, the author describes a succession of rare incidents, revealing the very heart of Eastern life, and transporting us into the midst of its dim, cloud-like scenes, so as to impress us with the strongest sense of reality. He does not claim the possession of any antiquarian lore; he has no ambition to win the fame of a discoverer; nor in the slightest degree is he a collector of statistical facts. He leaves aside all erudite speculations, allowing the moot points of geography and history to settle themselves, and gives himself up to the dreamy fancies and romantic musings which cluster round the imagination in the purple atmosphere of the East. His work is, in fact, a gorgeous prose-poem, inspired by his recollections of strange and vivid experiences, and clothed in the quaint, picturesque costume which harmonizes with his glowing Oriental visions. No previous traveler has been so richly imbued with the peculiar spirit of the East. His language is pervaded with its luxurious charm. Bathed in the golden light of that sunny clime, his words breathe a delicious enchantment, and lull the soul in softest reveries. The descriptive portions of the book are often diversified with a vein of profound and tender reflection, and with incidental critical allusions to Art, which have the merit both of acuteness and originality. From the uncommon force and freedom of mind, exhibited in this volume, with its genuine poetic inspirations, we foresee that a brilliant career in letters is opened to the author, if his ambition or tastes impel him to that sphere of activity.

Crumbs from the Land o' Cakes, by John Knox (published by Gould and Lincoln), is a rapid sketch of a tour in Scotland, by an enthusiastic admirer and native of that country. It makes no pretensions to originality or literary skill, but written without affectation, and from recent actual experience, it makes a very readable volume. The title is quaintly explained in the preface. "Crumbs are but trifles, though a morsel of manchineel may poison a man, and the same quantity of gingerbread may tickle his palate; but the crumbs here presented do not belong to either class. All Scotchmen know that the cakes for which their native land is celebrated are made of oatmeal (baked hard); which, though substantial, are very dry: this consideration will show the propriety of the title. It is also appropriate in another respect, for the writer is conscious that these fragmentary notes of travel in his native country are, in comparison to the richness of the materials and the subject, but as the crumbs to the loaf."

Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, Boston, have published a third volume of De Quincy's Writings, comprising his Miscellaneous Essays on sacred subjects, of which the quaint peculiarity of the title is suggestive of the bold, fanciful genius of the author. Among them, we find "Murder, considered as one of the Fine Arts;" "The Vision of Sudden Death;" "Dinner, Real and Reputed," and others, all redolent of the strange imaginative conceits, the playful toying with language, and the startling intensity of description which characterize the Visions of the English Opium Eater.

The same house have issued a neat duodecimo edition of Goethe's Faust, translated by Hayward, of which the curious aesthetic and philological merits are well known to every German scholar. It is an almost literal transcript of the original into English prose, but executed with such a profound appreciation of its spirit, such nice verbal accuracy, and such exquisite handling of the delicate mechanism of language, as to present a more faithful idea of the wild and marvelous beauty of the great German poem, than the most successful translation in verse. According to Mr. Hayward's theory of translation, "If the English reader, not knowing German, be made to stand in the same relation to Faust as the English reader, thoroughly acquainted with German stands in toward it—that is, if the same impressions be conveyed through the same sort of medium, whether bright or dusky, coarse or fine—the very extreme point of a translator's duty has been attained." The loudly-expressed verdict of competent literary judges (so far as we know without a dissenting voice), and the numerous editions it has gone through on both sides of the Atlantic, are ample proofs of the felicitous and effective manner in which the translator has completed the task thus imposed upon himself. The Preface and Notes attached to this volume, show the vivacity of his genius, and his rich stores of choice learning.

Lavengro: The Scholar—The Gipsy—The Priest, by George Borrow (published by Harper and Brothers, and George P. Putnam), is the title of certain portions of the unique autobiography of the erratic author of "The Bible in Spain." Among the many things which he professes to have aimed at in this book, is the encouragement of charity, and free and genial manners, as well as the exposure of humbug in various forms. The incidents related are in accordance with this design. Borrow's early life was filled with strange and startling adventures. With a taste from the cradle for savage freedom, he never became subject to social conventionalisms. His soul expanded in the free air, by the side of running streams, and in the mountain regions of liberty. He received the strongest impressions from all the influences of nature. He was led by a strange magnetism to intimacy with the most eccentric characters. An ample fund of material for an interesting narrative was thus provided. He has made use of them in his own peculiar and audacious manner. A more self-reliant writer is not to be found in English literature. He has no view to the effect of his words on the reader, but aims only to tell the story with which his mind teems. Hence his pages are as fresh as morning dew, and often run riot with a certain gipsy wildness. His narrative has little continuity. He piles up isolated incidents, which remain in his memory, but with no regard to regular[Pg 566] sequence or completeness. On this account he is sometimes not a little provoking. He shuts off the stream at the moment your curiosity is most strongly excited. But the joyous freedom of his spirit, his consummate skill as a story teller, and the startling eccentricities of his life, so little in accordance with the tameness and dull proprieties of English society, give an elastic vitality to his book, and make it of more interest to the reader than almost any recent issue of the English press.

Harper and Brothers have commenced the publication of a new series of juvenile tales by Jacob Abbott, entitled The Franconia Stories. The first volume, called Malleville, is a very agreeable narrative of life in New Hampshire, abounding in attractive incidents, and related in the fresh and natural style for which the author is justly celebrated. This series is intended by the author to exert a kindly moral influence on the hearts and dispositions of the readers, although it will contain little formal exhortation and instruction. He has no doubt hit upon the true philosophy, in this respect, nothing being so distasteful to a young reader as the interruption of the narrative by the statement of a moral, unless he can contrive to swallow the sugar, while he rejects the medicine. Mr. Abbott relies on his quiet and peaceful pictures of happy domestic life, and the expression of such sentiments and feelings as it is desirable to exhibit in the presence of children. He is far more sure of the effect aimed at by this method, than by any insipid dilutions of Solomon or Seneca.

The Practical Cook-Book (published by Lippincott, Grambo, and Co.) is the title of a new work on gastronomic science, by a Lady of Boston, which brings the taste and philosophy of that renowned seat of the Muses to the elucidation of the mysteries of the cuisine. The young housekeeper will be saved from many perplexities by consulting its lucid oracles.

Edward H. Fletcher has published a new edition of the celebrated Discourse on Missions, by John Foster, delivered in 1818, before the London Baptist Missionary Society, with a Preliminary Essay on the Skepticism of the Church, by Rev. Joseph P. Thompson, of the Broadway Tabernacle. It is republished in this country with a view to counteract the impression since made by the extraordinary writer, in his critique on Rev. Dr. Harris's popular work, "The Great Commission," in which Foster alludes to the missionary enterprise in terms of disparagement, giving the opposers of evangelical missions and evangelical religion the sanction of his great name, and the authority of his latest opinions. In the opinion of the Editor, no better refutation of his argument can be given than is contained in the Missionary Discourse from Mr. Foster's own pen. Being written in the maturity of his intellect, and regarded by himself as one of his most successful efforts, it may be taken as a more authentic expression of his opinions than the letter to Dr. Harris, which was written in his old age: an old age rendered gloomy and morose by seclusion from the world, and by the failure of the schemes which he had fondly cherished in more ardent years. The character of the Discourse is tersely summed up in a short paragraph by Mr. Thompson. "In the thoroughness of its discussion and the comprehensiveness of its view; in the clearness and strength of its reasoning, and the force and beauty of its diction; in the glow of its sentiment, and the sublimity of its faith, this discourse stands at the head of productions of its class, as an exhibition of the grandeur of the work of missions, and of the imperative claims of that work upon the Church of Christ. There is nothing in it local or temporary, but it comes to Christians of this generation with all the freshness and power which thirty years ago attended its delivery." The Preliminary Essay by the Editor is a vigorous and uncompromising attack on the prevalent skepticism of the Church in respect to the obligations of the Missionary Enterprise.

J.S. Redfield has issued a work on The Restoration of the Jews, by Seth Lewis, in which the author maintains the doctrine of a literal return of the Jews to Palestine, and the second coming of Christ in connection with that event. Mr. Lewis, whose death took place one or two years since, at an advanced old age, was one of the District Judges of the State of Louisiana, and highly respected for his learning and ability, as well as his exemplary private character. He was devoted to the study of the Scriptures, and presents the fruits of his research with modesty and earnestness, though hardly in a manner adapted to produce a general conviction of the correctness of his views.

The same publisher has issued A Practical System of Modern Geography, by John F. Anderson, a successful teacher of one of the Public Schools in this city. The leading features of this little work are brevity, clearness, and simplicity. The author has aimed to present a practical system of Geography, unconnected with subjects not pertaining to the science, in a manner adapted to facilitate the rapid progress of the pupil. We think that he has met with great success in the accomplishment of his plan.

Tallis, Willoughby, and Co. continue the serial publication of The Life of Christ, by John Fleetwood, which beautiful work is now brought down to the Twelfth Number. It is embellished with exquisite engravings, and in all respects is worthy of a place in every family.

The same house are bringing out Scripture Illustrations for the Young, by Frederick Bambridge, in a style of peculiar beauty—a work every way adapted to charm the taste and inform the mind of the juvenile reader.

The Dove and the Eagle (published by Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, Boston) is a slight satirical poem, with some clever hits at transcendentalism, socialism, teetotalism, woman's-rights-ism, and other rampant hobbies of the day.

Among the latest republications of Robert Carter and Brothers, we find a neat edition of Young's Night Thoughts, printed on excellent white paper, in a convenient, portable form; The Principles of Geology Explained, by Rev. David King, showing the relations of that science to natural and revealed religion; The Listener, by Caroline Fry; the able and elaborate work on The Method of the Divine Government, by James M'Cosh; and Daily Bible Illustrations, by John Kitto, in three volumes. This last work has gained an extensive popularity in England, and has the rare merit of presenting the scenes of Sacred History in a vivid and picturesque light, with a rare freedom from bombast on the one hand, and from weak common-place on the other.

The Carters have recently published a new edition of Mrs. L.H. Sigourney's popular contribution to the cause of Temperance, entitled Water Drops, consisting of an original collection of stories, essays, and short poems, illustrative of the benefits of total abstinence. The Eighth Edition of Dr. G.B. Cheever's Lectures on the Pilgrim's Progress, is also just issued by the same house.

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The History of the United States, by Richard Hildreth, Vol. IV. (published by Harper and Brothers), commences a new series of his great historical work, embracing the period subsequent to the adoption of the Federal Constitution in 1789, and reaching to the close of Mr. Monroe's first Presidential term in 1821. The volume now issued is devoted to the administration of Washington, and gives a condensed and intelligible view of the early development of American legislation, of the gradual formation of the parties which have since borne the most conspicuous part in our national politics, and of the character and influence of the statesmen who presided over the first operations of the Federal Government.

With a greater vivacity of style than is shown in the preceding volumes, the present exhibits the results of no less extensive research, and a more profound spirit of reflection. Mr. Hildreth evidently aims at a rigid impartiality in his narrative of political events, although he never affects an indifference toward the pretensions of conflicting parties. His sympathies are strongly on the side of Washington, Hamilton, and Jay, with regard to the questions that soon embarrassed the first administration. While he presents a lucid statement of the principles at issue, he takes no pains to conceal his own predilections, always avoiding, however, the tone of a heated partisan. This portion of his work, accordingly, is more open to criticism, than his account of the earlier epochs of American history. The political devotee may be shocked at the uncompromising treatment of some of his favorites, while he can not fail to admit the ability which is evinced in the estimate of their characters.

Among the topics which occupy an important place in this volume, are the Inauguration of the Federal Government, the establishment of the Revenue System, the Financial Policy of Hamilton, the Growth of Party Divisions, the Insurrection in Pennsylvania, Mr. Jay's Treaty with England, and Mr. Monroe's Mission to France. These are handled with great fullness and clearness of detail, with a sound and discriminating judgment, and in a style which, though seldom graphic and never impassioned, has the genuine historical merits of precision, energy, and point. We rejoice to welcome this series as an admirable introduction to the political history of our Republic, and shall look for its completion with impatience.

Lossing's Pictorial Field-Book of the Revolution (published by Harper and Brothers) has now reached the close of the First Volume. Its interest has continued without diminution through the successive Numbers. The liveliness of the narrative, as well as the beauty of the embellishments, has given this work a wide popularity, which we have no doubt it will fully sustain by the character of the subsequent volumes. The union of history, biographical incidents, and personal anecdotes is one of its most attractive features, and in the varied intercourse of Mr. Lossing with the survivors of the Revolutionary struggle, and the descendants of those who have deceased, he has collected an almost exhaustless store of material for this purpose, which he has shown himself able to work up with admirable effect.

The United States: Its Power and Progress (published by Lippincott, Grambo, and Co.) is a translation by Edmund L. Du Barry of the Third Paris edition of a work by M. Poussin, late Minister of France to the United States. It presents a systematic historical view of the early colonization of the country, with an elaborate description of the means of national defense, and of agriculture, commerce, manufactures, and education in the United States. M. Poussin had some excellent qualifications for the performance of this task. Residing in this country for many years, he was able to speak from experience of the practical working of republican institutions. Connected with the Board of Engineers appointed by the American Government for topographical surveys in reference to future military operations, he had attained an exact knowledge of our geographical position, and the whole organization of our internal improvements. A decided republican in feeling, his warmest sympathies were with the cause of political progress in this country. Free from the aristocratic prejudices of the Old World, the rapid development of social prosperity in the United States was a spectacle which he could not contemplate with indifference. Hence his volume is characterized not only by breadth of information, but by fairness of judgment. If he sometimes indulges a French taste for speculative theories, he is, in general, precise and accurate in his statements of facts. His description of our organization for the defense of the coast and the frontiers is quite complete, and drawn to a great degree from personal observation, may be relied on as authentic. We can freely commend this work to the European who would attain a correct view of the social condition, political arrangements, and industrial resources of the United States, as well as to our own citizens who are often so absorbed in the practical operations of our institutions as to lose sight of their history and actual development.

Salander and the Dragon, by Frederic William Shelton (published by George P. Putnam and Samuel Hueston), is a more than commonly successful attempt in a difficult species of composition, and one in which the disgrace of failure is too imminent to present a strong temptation to any but aspirants of the most comfortable self-complacency. Mr. Shelton, however, has little to fear from the usual perils that beset this path of literary effort. He has a genius for the vocation. With such a fair fruitage, from the first experiment, we hope he will allow no rust to gather on his implements.

Salander is a black, or rather greenish monster of a dwarf, without bones, capable of being doubled into all shapes, like a strip of India Rubber, and stretching himself out like the same. He was committed for safe-keeping to the jailer of an important fortress, called the Hartz Prison. The jailer, whose name was Goodman, held the place under the Lord of Conscienza, a noble of the purest blood, and very strict toward his vassals. After suffering no slight annoyance from the pranks of the horrid imp, the jailer applied to the lord of the castle for relief, who told him that the rascally prisoner had been imposed upon him by forged orders, but now that he had him in possession, he must guard him with the strictest vigilance, and subject him to the most severe treatment. The adventures of the jailer with the infernal monster compose the materials of the allegory, which is conducted with no small skill, and with uncommon beauty of expression. The upshot of the story is to illustrate the detestable effects of slander, a vice which the author treats with a wholesome bitterness of invective, regarding it as one of the most diabolical forms of the unpardonable sin. It could not be incarnated in a more loathsome body than that of the hideous Salander. We can only tolerate his presence on account of the exceeding beauty of the environment in which he is placed.

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Geo. P. Putnam has published the Fifth Volume of Cooper's Leather-Stocking Tales, containing The Prairie, with an original Introduction and Notes by the author. In this volume we have the last scenes in the exciting career of Leather-Stocking, who has been driven from the forest by the sound of the ax, and forced to seek a desperate refuge in the bleak plains that skirt the Rocky Mountains. The new generation of readers, that have not yet become acquainted with this noble creation, have a pleasure in store that the veteran novel-reader may well envy.

An Address by Henry B. Stanton, and Poem by Alfred B. Street pronounced before the Literary Societies of Hamilton College, are issued in a neat pamphlet by Rogers and Sherman Utica. Mr. Stanton's Address presents a comparative estimate of Ultraists, Conservatives, and Reformers, as mingled in the conflicting classes of American Society, using the terms to designate forces now in operation rather than parties and with no special reference to combinations of men which have been thus denominated. His views are brought forward with vigor and discrimination, and free from the offensive tone which discussions of this nature are apt to produce. In applying the principles of his Address to the subject of American literature, he forcibly maintains the absurdity of an abject dependence on the ancient classics. "I would not speak disparagingly of the languages of Greece and Rome. As mere inventions, pieces of mechanism, they are as perfect as human lip ever uttered, as exquisite as mortal pen ever wrote; and the study of the literature they embalm refines the taste and strengthens the mind. But while the writers of Greece and Rome are retained in our academic halls, they should not be allowed to exclude those authors whose researches have enlarged the boundaries of knowledge, and whose genius has added new beauties to the Anglo-Saxon tongue. Let Homer and Shakspeare, Virgil and Milton, Plato and Bacon, Herodotus and Macaulay, Livy and Bancroft, Xenophon and Prescott, Demosthenes and Webster, Cicero and Brougham, stand on the same shelves, and be studied by the same classes."

Mr. Street's Poem is a polished and graceful description of the romantic scenery of the Mohawk Valley, interspersed with several striking Indian legends, comparing the tranquil happiness of the present day, with the carnage and misery of the old warfare. Mr. Street gives a pleasing picture in the following animated verses:

View the lovely valley now!
Villages strew, like jewels on a chain,
All its bright length. Whole miles of level grain,
With leagues of meadow-land and pasture-field,
Cover its surface; gray roads wind about,
O'er which the farmer's wagon clattering rolls,
And the red mail-coach. Bridges cross the streams,
Roofed, with great spider-webs of beams within.
Homesteads to homesteads flash their window-gleams,
Like friends they talk by language of the eye;
Upon its iron strips the engine shoots,
(That half-tamed savage with its boiling heart
And flaming veins, its warwhoop and its plume.
That seems to fly in sullen rage along—
Rage at its captors—and that only waits
Its time to dash its victims to quick death).
Swift as the swallow skims, that engine fleets
Through all the streaming landscape of green field
And lovely village. On their pillared lines,
Distances flash to distances their thoughts,
And all is one abode of all the joy
And happiness that civilization yields.

Harper and Brothers have republished from the English edition Lord Holland's Foreign Reminiscences, edited by his son, Henry Edward, Lord Holland—a book which has excited great attention from the English press, and will be read with interest by the lovers of political anecdote in this country. It is filled with rapid, gossiping notices of the principal European celebrities of the past generation, and devotes a large space to personal recollections of the Emperor Napoleon. Lord Holland writes in an easy conversational style, and his agreeable memoirs bear internal marks of authenticity.

Jane Bouverie, by Catherine Sinclair, is a popular English novel (republished by Harper and Brothers), intended to sketch a portrait of true feminine loveliness, without an insipid formality and without any romantic impossibilities of perfection. The denouement has the rare peculiarity of not ending in marriage, the heroine remaining in the class of single ladies, designated by the author as par excellence "The Sisters of England."

London Labor and the London Poor, by Henry Mayhew (republished by Harper and Brothers), is the title of a work of the deepest interest and importance to all who wish to obtain a comprehensive view of the present condition of industry and its rewards in the metropolis of Great Britain. It consists of the series of papers formerly contributed by the author to the Morning Chronicle, entirely rewritten and enlarged by the addition of a great variety of facts and descriptions. The author has devoted his attention for some time past to the state of the working classes. He has collected an immense number of facts, illustrative of the subject, which are now brought to light for the first time. His evident sympathies with the poor do not blind his judgment. His statements are made after careful investigation, and show no disposition to indulge in theoretic inferences. As a vivid picture of London life, in the obscure by-ways, concerning which little is generally known, his work possesses an uncommon value. It is to be issued in successive parts, illustrated with characteristic engravings, the first of which only has yet appeared in the present edition.

Harper and Brothers have published a new English novel by the author of Mary Barton, entitled The Moorland Cottage, a pleasing domestic story of exquisite beauty.

[Pg 569]

Three Leaves From Punch.


We find in a recent number of that well-known and reliable newspaper, the London Punch, an interesting sketch of a new and improved system of teaching the elementary branches of education. It proceeds upon principles somewhat different from those which have generally obtained in the popular methods of instruction. It was prepared by the Editor of the journal referred to, for the Council of Education established a few years since by the English Government, for the express purpose of discussing and promoting improved methods of public teaching. In a note accompanying the work, the author states that, as soon as it was completed, he forwarded it, by

the parcels conveyance company,

with a polite note to the Secretary of the Council.

We regret that our limits will not permit us to present to the readers of the New Monthly Magazine a full description of this novel work. We can only give a slight sketch of the manner in which it proposes to teach the Alphabet. The author thinks that, in the systems in general use hitherto, advantage has not been sufficiently taken of the pictorial form, as capable of connecting with the alphabet, not only agreeable associations, but many useful branches of knowledge.

He would begin with the letter A, by rendering it attractive to children as a swing, and the opportunity might then be taken of leading the conversation to the swing of the pendulum, the laws which govern its oscillations, and the experiments of Maupertius, Clairault, and Lemmonier, upon its variations in different latitudes.

G, the child might be told, stands for George, and the pictorial illustrations of St. George and the dragon (the latter about to swallow its own tail) would enable the teacher to enter upon a disquisition relative to the probable Eastern origin of the legendary stories of the middle ages.

H would naturally suggest reminiscences of modern English history. The teacher would give some account of George Fox, the first Quaker, and of the singular customs and opinions of the sect he founded. Thence the child might be led to perceive the evils of schism, and the legitimate, and mischievous consequences of that right of private judgment still claimed by a small, but happily now an uninfluential minority in the established church.

[Pg 570]

J might introduce some profitable remarks upon Natural History, when the difference could be explained between bipeds by nature, and quadrupeds who become bipeds only for selfish ends.

Advantage might be taken of the pictorial illustration of K to lay the foundation of an acquaintance both with the science of Pneumatics, and with Captain Reid's theory of the laws affecting the course of storms.

With the letter M the child might learn the meaning of what is termed the centre of gravity, so important to be maintained by ladies walking on stilts.

The letter S, reminding the teacher of Piscesfishes—one of the signs of the Zodiac, would furnish him with a suitable opportunity for discoursing upon Astronomy. Afterward he might take up the subject of Ichthyology, and speak of the five orders, the apodal, the jugular, the abdominal, the thoracic, and cartilaginous species, into which the great family of fishes is divided.


The Editor of this work gives also a general outline of the manner in which this system was received by the Council, when it was first brought to their notice. The President was so highly delighted with it, that he not only promised to give the matter still further consideration, but invited the author to bring forward certain other works for infancy, upon which, it was generally understood, he had been engaged. To this polite invitation the Editor replied that he had been able as yet to complete only two works of this description, namely, the delightful Poem,

how doth the little busy bee,

and the equally interesting and still more tragic history of

cock robin.

[Pg 571]

He thought the teacher could not better follow out Dr. Watts's idea of "improving the shining hour," than by rendering the same lesson of industry available for a full account of the genus apis, taking care not to confound in the child's mind the apis of entomology with apis the bull, worshiped by the ancient Egyptians. With regard to the historical work referred to, it was high time that the juvenile mind should be disabused of a popular error. The facts were, that a man of the name of Sparrow had robbed a farm-yard of its poultry, for which offense, after being taken and made to confess his guilt, he was transported. The crime and punishment were suggestive of many useful reflections upon the importance of honesty; but the facts were ludicrously distorted and deprived of all their moral force in the spurious account published by certain booksellers in St. Paul's Church-yard of the same transaction. A question is asked, "Who kill'd Cock Robin?" and the following answer is given:

"I says the Sparrow,
With my bow and arrow,
I killed Cock Robin!!!"

In continuing his account of this interview, the Editor introduces the new system of musical notation, which he also brought to the notice of the Council, and which they all agreed would be found exceedingly useful in

assisting a pupil up the gamut.

But into this branch of the subject we can not follow him. In fact, the Editor states that, at this point of his exposition, he was constrained to desist by noticing that several members of the Council had become so deeply impressed with the merits of his pictorial system, that they were illustrating it in their own persons, by throwing themselves into the form of

the letter Y.



Before administering law between litigating parties, there are two things to be done—in addition to the parties themselves—namely, first to ascertain the subject for decision, and, secondly, to complicate it so as to make it difficult to decide. This is effected by letting the lawyers state in complicated terms the simple cases of their clients, and thus raising from these opposition statements a mass of entanglement which the clients themselves might call nasty crotchets, but which the lawyers term "nice points." In every subject of dispute with two sides to it, there is a right and a wrong, but in the style of putting the contending statements, so as to confuse the right and the wrong together, the science of special pleading consists. This system is of such remote antiquity, that nobody knows the beginning of it, and this accounts for no one being able to appreciate its end. The accumulated chicanery and blundering of several generations, called in forensic language the "wisdom of successive ages," gradually brought special pleading into its present shape, or, rather, into its present endless forms. Its extensive drain on the pockets of the suitors has rendered it always an important branch of legal study, while, when properly understood, it appears an instrument so beautifully calculated for distributive justice, that, when brought to bear upon property, it will often distribute the whole of it among the lawyers, and leave nothing for the litigants themselves.


Actions are divided into Real, in which there is often much sham; Personal, in which the personality is frequently indulged in by Counsel, at the expense of the witnesses; and Mixed, in which a great deal of pure nonsense sometimes prevails. The Legislature being at last sensible to the shamness of Real, and the pure nonsense of Mixed actions, abolished all except four, and for the learning on these subjects, now become obsolete, we must refer to the "books," which have been transferred to the shops of Butter, from the shop of Butterworth.[8]

There are three superior Courts of Common Law, one of their great points of superiority being their superior expense, which saves the Common Law from being so common as to be positively vulgar; and its high price gives it one of the qualities of a luxury, rendering it caviare to the million, or indeed to any but the millionaire. These Courts are the Queen's Bench—a bench which five judges sit upon; the Exchequer, whose sign is a chess or draught-board—some say to show how difficult is the game of law, while others maintain it is merely emblematic of the drafts on the pockets of the suitor; and thirdly, the Common Pleas, which took its title, possibly,[Pg 572] from the fact of the lawyers finding the profits such as to make them un-Common-ly Pleas'd.

The real and mixed actions not yet abolished, are—1st, the Writ of Right of Dower, and 2d, the Writ of Dower; both relating to widows; but as widows are formidable persons to go to law against, these actions are seldom used. The third is the action of Quare Impedit, which would be brought against me by a parson if I kept him out of his living; but as the working parsons find it difficult to get a living, this action is also rare. The fourth is the action of Ejectment, for the recovery of land, which is the only action that can not be brought without some ground.

Of personal actions, the most usual are debt, and a few others; but we will begin by going into debt as slightly as possible. The action of debt is founded on some contract, real or supposed, and when there has been no contract, the law, taking a contracted view of matters, will have a contract implied. Debt, like every other personal action, begins with a summons, in which Victoria comes "greeting;" which means, according to Johnson, "saluting in kindness," "congratulating," or "paying compliments at a distance;" but, considering the unpleasant nature of a writ at all times, we can not help thinking that the word "greeting" is misapplied. The writ commands you to enter an appearance within eight days, and, by way of assisting you to make an appearance, the writ invests you, as it were, with a new suit.

The action of Covenant lies for breach of covenant, that is to say, a promise under seal; and under wafer it is just as binding, for you are equally compelled to stick to it like wax.

The action of Detinue lies where a party seeks to recover what is detained from him; though it does not seem that a gentleman detaining a newspaper more than ten minutes at a coffee-house would be liable to detinue, though the action would be an ungentlemanly one, to say the least of it.

The action of Trespass lies for any injury committed with violence, such as assault and battery, either actual or implied; as, if A, while making pancakes, throws an egg-shell at B, the law will imply battery, though the egg-shell was empty.

The action of Trespass on the Case lies, where a party seeks damages for a wrong to which trespass will not apply—where, in fact, a man has not been assaulted or hurt in his person, but where he has been hurt in that tender part—his pocket. Of this action there are two species, called assumpsit, by which the law—at no time very unassuming—assumes that a person, legally liable to do a thing, has promised to do it, however unpromising such person may be; and trover, which seeks to recover damages for property which it is supposed the defendant found and converted, so that an action might perhaps be brought in this form, to recover from Popery those who have been found and converted to the use, or rather lost and converted to the abuses, of the Romish Church.

Having gone slightly into the different forms of actions; having just tapped the reader on the shoulder with a writ in each case, which, by the way, should be personally served on him at home, though the bailiff runs the risk of getting sometimes served out, we shall proceed to trial—perhaps, of the reader's patience—in a subsequent chapter.


The writ being now served, it is next to be returned, and this is sometimes done by giving it back at once to the bailiff or throwing it in his face. Such quick returns as these would bring such very small profit to a plaintiff that they are not allowable, and the writ can only be returned by the sheriff bringing it back, on a certain day, into the superior court. He then gives a short account, in writing, of the manner in which the writ has been executed; but, if the bailiff has been pumped upon—as we find reported in Shower—or pelted with oysters, as in Shelley's case, or kicked down stairs, as he was in Foot against the Sheriff, it does not seem that the particulars need be set forth.

If the defendant does not appear within eight days after the writ has come "greeting," as if it would say, "my service to you," the plaintiff may, in most cases, appear for him; and this shows how true it is that appearances are often deceitful and treacherous; for, when a plaintiff appears for a defendant, it is only to have an opportunity of appearing against him at the next step.

The pleadings now commence, which were originally delivered orally by the parties themselves in open Court, when success might depend on length of tongue; but the parties themselves being got rid of, in the modern practice, and the lawyers coming in to represent them, success usually depends on length of purse. The object of pleading, whether oral or written, is to bring the parties to an issue; which means, literally, a way out; but, in practice, the effect of getting plaintiff and defendant to an issue is to let them both regularly in.

Almost all pleas, except those of the simplest kind, must be signed by a barrister; who does not usually draw the plea, but he merely draws the half guinea for the use of his name. The pleading begins with the declaration, in which the plaintiff is supposed to state the cause of action; but in which he gives such an exaggerated account of his grievances, that not more than one-tenth of what he states, is to be believed. For example, if A has had his nose slightly pulled by B, the former proceeds to say that "the defendant, with force and arms, and with great force and violence, seized, laid hold of, pulled, plucked, and tore, and with his fists, gave and struck a great many violent blows, and strokes, on and about, diverse parts of the plaintiff's nose." If Jones has been given into[Pg 573] custody by Smith, without sufficient reason; and Jones brings an action for false imprisonment; instead of saying, "he was compelled to go to a station-house," he declares that the defendant, "with force, and arms, seized, laid hold of, and with great violence pulled, and dragged, and gave, and struck a great many violent blows and strokes, and forced, and compelled him—the plaintiff—to go in and along divers public streets and highways, to a police office; whereby the plaintiff was not only greatly hurt, bruised, and wounded, but was also kept."

If Snooks's dog bites Thomson's pet lamb, Snooks declares, "That defendant did willfully and injuriously keep a certain dog, he, the defendant, well knowing that the said dog was and continued to be fierce and mad, and accustomed to attack, bite, injure, hurt, chase, worry, harass, tear, agitate, wound, lacerate, snap at, and kill sheep and lambs, and that the said dog afterward to wit, on the — day of ——, and divers other days, did attack (&c., &c., down to) and kill one hundred sheep and one hundred lambs of the plaintiff; whereby the said sheep and the said lambs (it will be remembered there was only one lamb), were greatly terrified, damaged, injured, hurt, deteriorated, frightened, depreciated, floored, flustered, and flabbergasted, to the damage of the plaintiff of £—, and therefore he brings his suit."

The various forms of declaration are so numerous, that they fill a volume of 700 large pages of Chitty, who is quite chatty on this dry subject, so much does he find to say with regard to it. To this able and amusing writer we refer those who are curious to know how a schoolmaster may declare for "work and labor, care, diligence, and attendance of himself, his ushers and teachers, there performed and bestowed in and about the teaching, instructing, boarding, educating, lodging, flogging, enlightening, thrashing, washing, whipping, and otherwise soundly improving divers infants and persons." These, and almost all other conceivable causes of action, are dealt with fully in the pages to which we allude, and all therefore who wish the treat of going to law, are referred to the treatise alluded to.



This melancholy event came off last week, when prizes were distributed to the breeders of the very leanest stock—a brass band, the horns and ophicleides draperied with black crape, playing funeral airs at intervals. The results of free trade were never more shockingly conspicuous than in the shadowy forms of steers and oxen; while there was a pen of a dozen pigs, scarcely one of which was visible to the naked eye. We observed more than one benevolent lady weeping pearls over indefinite things that had vainly struggled to become porkers. There were sheep that were nothing but the merest bladebones, here and there covered with threads of worsted. The Queen and Prince Albert, with two of the little Princes, visited the spectacle, contemplating it with becoming gravity. The Prince carried away the prize for a bull that was only visible when placed under a glass of forty Opera power. Occasionally, an acute ear might detect sounds that a liberal mind might interpret as ghost-like bellowings—spectral bleatings—with now and then an asthmatic attempt at a grunt. The Duke of Wellington's battering-ram is not to be seen when looked at in front; but only from either side. It is said to have been fed upon old drum-heads, with occasionally the ribbons of a recruiting sergeant chopped and made into a warm mash. We ought, by the way, to have remarked that the Duke of Richmond attended, as President, in deep mourning; and bore in his face and manner the profoundest traces of unutterable woe. However, let us proceed to give the list of prizes, all of them so many triumphant proofs of the withering influence of Free-Trade.


The Duke of Rutland carried away the £30 prize for the thinnest steer. It had been fed on waste copies of Protectionist pamphlets with the tune of "The Roast Beef of Old England," played in A flat on a tin trumpet. Some idea may be entertained of the nicety with which the animal had been brought to the lowest point of life, when we state that five minutes after the noble Duke received the prize, the thing died; all the brass band braying "The Roast Beef of Old England" for half-an-hour, in the vain hope of reviving it. The beast was distributed among the Marylebone poor; all of them ordered to appear in spectacles to see, if possible, their proper quantities.


The Duke of Atholl bore off the first prize of £20, for an extraordinary specimen of Highland sheep, that both puzzled and delighted the judges. The sheep had been reared upon Highland thistles, according to the Duke's well-known hospitality; and these thistles so judiciously served, that they had taken the place of the wool, growing through the animal's sides, and coating them all over with their brushy points. The Rev. Mr. Bennett was present, and was much delighted with his wool of thistles; he is to be presented with a comforter—the thing will be very popular by Christmas, to be called the Atholl Bosom Friend—woven from the fleece. The web, in place of the vulgar linen shirt, is expected to become very general with the ladies and gentlemen who feed upon the honey hived at St. Barnabas.


Colonel Sibthorp took the prize for the Pig of Lead; so small a pig, that it might creep down the tube of a Mordan's pencil. Mr. Disraeli sent the shadow of a sow; one of his practical epigrams, showing he had ceased to have even a real squeak for Protection; he also sent a porker that, from its largeness of size—where smallness was the object—was deemed[Pg 574] hopeless of any reward. However, Mr. Disraeli carefully removing a muzzle from the pig's snout, the animal collapsed flat as a crush-hat. The fact is, Mr. Disraeli had, as he afterward averred, seemingly fattened the hog upon a pair of bellows. There are, we have heard, pigs that see the wind; whether Mr. Disraeli's pig is of that sort, the eloquent Protectionist said not. He, however, took a second prize; and next year promises to exhibit a whole litter of the smallest pigs in the world, suckled upon vials of aquafortis.


The leap of the Cow that jumped over the Moon was exhibited by the Duke of Richmond. This Cow had been fed on the printer's ink from the Standard newspaper, which sufficiently accounts for the daring altitude of its flight. The Duke was proffered the gold medal, but resolutely refused any such vanity.

In conclusion, we are happy to say that the Exhibition was well attended. The thousands of our countrymen who witnessed the wretched condition of the cattle must have carried away with them the profound conviction, that the days of Free Trade are numbered; and that a speedy return to Protection is called for by the interests of man and brute—from Dukes to steers, from Parliament men to pigs.


There is so much precious ore being brought from California, that people are beginning to fear gold may become a drug as well as a metal. Already gold fish are quoted at Hungerford market lower than silver, the recent importations having acted even upon the finny tribe, and those with silver scales have had the balance turned in their favor. In Europe, we go to great expense in watering the road to lay the dust; but the gold dust of California is so valuable, that no watering carts are employed, and when a man comes home from a dusty walk he has only to shake his coat, to shake a good round sum into his pocket. In California the housemaids stipulate for the dust as a perquisite, and the "regular dustman" of the place pays an enormous sum for the privilege of acting as "dust-contractor for the district."


It seems that any person is liable to be committed to prison for his lifetime by the Court of Chancery, as guilty of contempt of Court, for not paying that which he has not to pay, and for not doing other impossibilities. What a number of people might be committed for contempt of the Court of Chancery, if we all expressed our feelings!


Oxford Swell. "Do you make many of these Monkey-Jackets now?"

Snip. "Oh dear yes, Sir. There are more Monkeys in Oxford this Term than ever, Sir."

[Pg 575]

Early Spring Fashions.

Fig. 1.—Morning and Evening Costumes.

March is a fickle month; one day dallying with Zephyrus in the warm sunlight, and promising verdure and flowers, and the next playing bo-peep with Boreas at every corner, and spreading a mantle of frost or snow over the fields where the early blossoms are venturing forth.

"Now Winter lingers in the lap of Spring,"

and the ladies should remember the trite maxim, when preparing to lay aside their heavy garments, that "one swallow does not make a Summer." A few sunny days, during this month, will allow a change of out-of-door costume, and for these Fashion has already provided; but generally the winter fabrics and forms will be seasonable till near the close of the month. The Promenade Costumes[Pg 576] are the same as in February, and we omit an illustration of them.

In the large plate, the larger figure on the left, shows a beautiful and graceful style of Morning Costume. It consists of a robe of blue brocade; the high body opens in the front nearly to the waist. The fronts of the skirt are lined with amber satin, and a fulling of the same is placed on the edge of the fronts, graduating in width toward the top, and carried round the neck of the dress.

The sleeves are very wide from the elbow, and lined with amber satin. The edge of the sleeve is left plain, but there is a rûche of satin round the middle of the sleeve, just below the elbow. Underdress of jaconet muslin, trimmed with lace, or embroidery. The cap is of tulle, with blue trimmings.

The larger figure on the right, exhibits an Evening Dress of great elegance. A skirt of white satin, the lower part trimmed with narrow folds of the same, put on at equal distances. The sides are decorated with an elongated puffing of satin, surrounded with a fulling of narrow blonde. Over this is worn a short round tunic of white tulle, encircled with a frilling of blonde, and decorated upon each side of the front with two small white roses, surrounded with green leaves. The body plain, pointed, draped with white tulle and lace, forming short sleeves. The small figure in the group shows a pretty style of dress for a little Miss. It is of dark blue cashmere, the skirt trimmed with two rows of ribbon-velvet. The cape is formed of narrow folds, open in the front, and continued across with bands of velvet. Pantaloons of embroidered cambric. The bonnet is formed of narrow pink fancy ribbon.

Fig. 2.—Morning Costume.

Figure 2 represents another pretty style of Morning Costume. It is a high dress of pale blue silk, opening in front nearly to the waist, which is long and pointed. It has a small cape, vandyked at the edge, and trimmed with a narrow fringe, having a heading of velvet; the sleeves to correspond. The skirt is long and full, with three broad flounces deeply vandyked, and edged with two rows of narrow fringe corresponding with those of the capes. The top flounce is headed by a single row of fringe. Underdress and undersleeves, jaconet muslin, trimmed with lace or embroidery. The cap is black lace, with a tie and falls of the same. A full rûche of white tulle entirely surrounds the face.

Fig. 3.—Velvet Bonnet.

In bonnets there are a great variety of new and elegant patterns. The front of the brims continue very large and open, the crowns round, low, and small. Figure 3 is rather an exception to the extreme of fashion It shows a very neat style of plain bonnets suitable for the closing winter. It is of ultramarine velvet, with a broad black lace turned back over the edge, and a deep curtain. A very fashionable style is composed of Orient gray pearl, half satin, half velours épinglé, having a very rich effect, and decorated with touffés marquises made of marabouts. Several very light and elegant bonnets have appeared, made entirely of blonde, and ornamented with pink marabouts, and sablés with silver, which droops in touffés upon the inclined side of the front, while the other side is relieved with a bunch of pink velvet leaves. Another style is very elegant for early Spring, represented in Figure 4. It is made of light green fluted ribbon, a plain foundation, over which, at the edge of the front and toward the crown, is the same material, vandyked in pattern. The bonnet front is waved. Bonnets of white silk (Figure 5) trimmed with lace, quite small and ornamented in the front with small bunches of flowers, are fashionable for a carriage costume.

Fig. 4.—Ribbon Bonnet.
Fig. 5.—White Silk Bonnet.


The season for balls is nearly over. Dresses for these assemblies are made of light material, and with two or three skirts. One charming model is composed of white tulle, with three skirts trimmed all round with a broad open-worked satin ribbon; the third skirt being raised on one side, and attached with a large bouquet of flowers, while the ribbon is twisted, and ascends to the side of the waist, where it finishes. The same kind of flowers ornament the sleeves and centre of the corsage, which is also trimmed with a deep drapery of tulle.

Feather trimmings are now much in vogue, disposed on fringes of marabout, and placed at the edge of the double skirts of tulle.

For Head Dresses, flowers and lace are in constant request.

Fashionable Colors are of deep and mellow hues; white predominates for evening use.


[1] The centralizing party in the confederation is thus denominated.

[2] This device is thus conceived: "Long live the Argentine Confederation! Death to the savage, filthy, and disgusting Unitarians!"

[3] From the "Irish Confederates," by Henry M. Field, in the press of Harper and Brothers.

[4] The Emperor Diocletian.

[5] The title of Excellency does not, in Italian, necessarily express any exalted rank, but is often given by servants to their masters.

[6] See "A History of British Fossil Mammals," by our great Zoologist, Professor Owen.

[7] The number of visitors to the Zoological Gardens, Regent's Park, during the past year, was very nearly 400,000.

[8] Butterworth—the Law Publisher in Fleet Street.

Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors have been repaired, other punctuations have been left as printed in the paper book.

Obvious printer's errors have been repaired, other inconsistent spellings have been kept, including:
- use of hyphen (e.g. "moonlight" and "moon-light");
- accents (e.g. "Nüremberg" and "Nuremberg");
- proper names (e.g. "Leipsic" and "Leipzig");
- any other inconsistent spellings (e.g. "Machiavelian" and "Machiavellian").

Pg 548, word "thing" removed (One thing [thing] only).