The Project Gutenberg eBook of Harper's New Monthly Magazine, No. XXIV, May 1852, Vol. IV

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Title: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, No. XXIV, May 1852, Vol. IV

Author: Various

Release date: March 5, 2013 [eBook #42267]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Judith Wirawan, David Kline, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from scans of public domain works at the
University of Michigan's Making of America collection.)



No. XXIV.—MAY, 1852.—Vol. IV.




The person who came in so suddenly to help the boys extinguish the fire under the corn-barn, on the night of the robbery, was Antonio, or Beechnut, as the boys more commonly called him. In order to explain how he came to be there, we must go back a little in our narrative, and change the scene of it to Mrs. Henry's house at Franconia, where Antonio lived.

One morning about a week before the robbery, Phonny, Mrs. Henry's son, and his cousin Malleville, who was at that time making a visit at his mother's, were out upon the back platform at play, when they saw Antonio walking toward the barn.

"Children," said Antonio, "we are going into the field to get a great stone out of the ground. You may go with us if you like."

"Well;" said Phonny, "come, Malleville, let us go."

So the children followed Antonio to the barn. There was a man there, one of Mrs. Henry's workmen, called James, who was getting out the oxen. James drove the oxen into the shed, and there attached them to a certain vehicle called a drag. This drag was formed of two planks placed side by side, with small pieces nailed along the sides and at the ends. The drag was shaped at the front so as to turn up a little, in order that it might not catch in the ground when drawn along. There was a hole in the front part of the drag for the end of a chain to be passed through, to draw the drag by. The end of the chain was fastened by a wooden pin called a fid, which was passed through the hook or one of the links, and this prevented the chain from being drawn back through the hole again.

While James was attaching the oxen to the drag, Antonio was putting such tools and implements upon it as would be required for the work. He put on an iron bar, an ax, a saw, a shovel, and two spare chains.

"Now, children," said he, "jump on."

So Phonny and Malleville jumped on, and Antonio with them. Antonio stood in the middle of the drag, while Phonny and Malleville took their places on each side of him, and held on by his arms. James then started the oxen along, and thus they went into the field.

"And now, Beechnut," said Malleville, "I wish you would sing me the little song that Agnes sung when she was dancing on the ice that summer night."

Phonny laughed aloud at this. "Oh, Malleville!" said he; "there could not be any ice on a summer night."

"Yes, there could," said Malleville, in a very positive tone, "and there was. Beechnut told me so."

"Oh, that was only one of Beechnut's stories," said Phonny, "made up to amuse you."

"Well, I don't care," said Malleville, "I want to hear the song again."

Beechnut had told Malleville a story about the fairy Agnes whom he found dancing upon a fountain one summer night in the woods, having previously frozen over the surface of the water with a little silver wand. He had often sung this song to Malleville, and now she wished to hear it again. The words of the song, as Beechnut sang them, were as follows:

Peep! peep! chippeda dee.
Playing in the moonlight, nobody to see.
The boys and girls have gone away,
They've had their playtime in the day
And now the night is left for me:
Peep! peep! chippeda dee.

The music was as follows:



When Beechnut had sung the song Malleville said, "Again." She was accustomed to say "again," when she wished to hear Beechnut go on with his singing, and as she usually liked to hear such songs a great many times. Beechnut always continued to sing them, over and over, as long as she said "again."

[Pg 722] Thus Malleville kept him singing Agnes's song in this instance all the way toward the field.

At length Malleville ceased to say "again," on account of her attention being attracted to a bridge which she saw before them, and which it was obvious they were going to cross. It had only logs on the sides of it for railing. Beyond the bridge the road lay along the margin of a wood. The stone which James and Antonio were going to get out, was just beyond the bridge, and almost in the road. When the oxen got opposite to the stone, James stopped them, and Antonio and the children got off the drag.


It was only a small part of the stone that appeared above the ground. James took the shovel and began to dig around the place, so as to bring the stone more fully to view, while Antonio went into the wood to cut a small tree, in order to make a lever of the stem of it. Phonny took the saw—first asking Antonio's permission to take it—and climbed up into a large tree near the margin of the wood, where he began to saw off a dead branch which was growing there, and which may be seen in the picture. Malleville, in the mean time, sat down upon a square stone which was lying by the road-side near the wood, and occupied herself sometimes in watching the operation of digging out the stone, sometimes in looking up at Phonny, and sometimes in singing the song which Antonio had sung to her on the way.

Presently Antonio, having obtained his lever, came out into the road with it, and laid it down by the drag. He looked at the drag in doing this, and observed that one of the side-pieces had started up, and that it ought to be nailed down again. He looked up into the tree where Phonny was sawing, and said:


"What!" said Phonny.

"Look up over your head," said Antonio. Phonny looked up.

"Do you see that short branch just above you?"

"This?" said Phonny, putting his hand upon it.

"Yes," said Antonio.

"Yes," said Phonny, "I see it."

"Hang your saw on it," said Antonio.

Phonny did so.

"Now, come down from the tree," said Antonio.

Phonny climbed down as fast as he could, and came to Beechnut.

"Take all the things out of your pocket and put them down on the drag."

Phonny began to take the things out. First came a pocket handkerchief. Then a knife handle without any blades. Then a fishing line. Then two old coins and a dark red pebble stone. This exhausted one pocket.—From the other came a small glass prism, three acorns, and at last two long nails.

"Ah, that is what I want," said Antonio, taking up the nails. "I thought you had two nails in your pocket, for I remembered that I gave you two yesterday. Will you give them back to me again?"

"Yes," said Phonny.

"Now, put the things back in your pocket. I admire a boy that obeys orders, without stopping to ask why. He waits till the end, and then he sees why. Now, you can go back to your saw."

But instead of going back to his saw, Phonny seemed just at that instant to get a glimpse of something which attracted his attention along the road beyond the bridge, for as soon as he had put his goods and chattels back in his pockets, he paused a moment, looking in that direction, and then he set out to run as fast as he could over the bridge. Antonio looked, and saw that there was a girl coming along, and that Phonny was running to meet her.

Antonio wondered who it could be.

It proved to be Ellen Linn. When Malleville saw that it was Ellen, she ran to meet her. She asked her why she did not bring Annie with her.

"I did," said Ellen; "she is at the house. She was tired after walking so far, and so I left her there."

[Pg 723] "I am glad that she has come," said Malleville, "let us go and see her."

"Not just yet," said Ellen. "I will go with you pretty soon."

The fact was that Ellen had come to see Antonio about Rodolphus, and now she did not know exactly how she should manage to have any conversation with him alone; and she did not wish to talk before James and all the rest about the misconduct of her brother. As soon as Antonio saw her, he went to meet her, and walked with her up to the place where they were at work, to show her the great stone that they were digging out. Ellen looked at it a few minutes and asked some questions about it, but her thoughts were after all upon her brother, and not upon the stone. Presently she went to the place where Malleville had been sitting, and sat down there. She thought, perhaps, that Antonio would come there, and that then she could speak to him.

Phonny climbed up into the tree again, partly to finish his sawing, and partly to let Ellen Linn see how well he could work in such a high place. While he was there, Antonio went to the place where Ellen Linn was sitting, and asked her if she had heard from Rodolphus lately.

"Yes," said Ellen, "and that is the very thing that I came to see you about. I want to talk with you about Rodolphus."

Ellen said this in a low and desponding voice, and Antonio knew that she wished to speak to him alone.

"We can not talk very well here," said Antonio, "will it do if I come and see you about it to-night?"

"Yes," said Ellen, looking up joyfully. "Only I am sorry to put you to that trouble."

"I will come," said Antonio. "I shall get there about half-past eight."

Pretty soon after this, Ellen Linn went back to the house, and after a time she and Annie went home. About a quarter past eight that evening, she went out into the yard and down to the gate to watch for Antonio. At length she saw him coming. When he reached the house, Ellen walked with him to the great tree in the middle of the yard, and they both sat down on the bench by the side of it, while Annie was running about in the great circular walk, drawing her cart. Here Antonio and Ellen had a long conversation about Rodolphus. Ellen said that she had heard very unfavorable accounts of him. She had learned that he had got into bad company in the town where he now lived, as he had done at home, and that she was afraid that he was fast going to ruin. She did not know what could be done, but she thought that perhaps Antonio might go there and see him, and find out how the case really was, and perhaps do something to save her brother.

"I will go, at any rate," said Antonio, "and see if any thing can be done. Perhaps," he continued, "Mr. Kerber has found that he is a troublesome boy and may be willing to give him up, and then we can get him another place. However, at all events, I will go and see."

"When can you go?" asked Ellen.

"I can go next Saturday, most conveniently," said Antonio. "Besides if I go on Saturday I can stay till Monday, and that will give me all of Sunday to see Rodolphus, when he will of course be at leisure."

So it was arranged that Antonio was to go on Saturday. Ellen requested him to manage his expedition as privately as possible, for she did not wish to have her brother's misconduct made known more than was absolutely necessary. Antonio told her that nobody but Mrs. Henry should know where he was going, and that he would not even tell her what he was going for.

That evening Antonio obtained leave of Mrs. Henry to go to the town where Mr. Kerber lived, on Saturday, and to be gone until Monday. He told Mrs. Henry that the business on which he was going, was private, and that it concerned other persons, and that on their account, if she had confidence enough in him to trust him, he should like to be allowed to go without explaining what the business was. Mrs. Henry said that she had perfect confidence in him, and that she did not wish him to explain the nature of the business. She surmised, however, that it was something relating to Rodolphus, for she knew about his character and history, and she recollected Ellen's calling at her house to inquire for Antonio that morning.

When the Saturday arrived, Antonio began about ten o'clock to prepare for his journey. He had decided to set out on foot. He thought that he should get along very comfortably and well without a horse, as he supposed it would be easy for him to make bargains with the teamsters and travelers that would overtake him on the road, to carry him a considerable part of the way. He could have taken a horse as well as not from Mr. Henry's, but as he was to remain in the place where he was going over Sunday, he concluded that the expense of keeping the horse there, if he were to take one, would be more than he would have to pay to the travelers and teamsters for carrying him along the road.

He told James that he was going away, and that he was not to be back again until Monday. He did not, however, tell him where he was going. When he was all ready to set out, he went to his chest and took some money out of his till—as much as he thought that he should need—and then went into the parlor to tell Mrs. Henry that he was going.

"Are you all ready, and have you got every thing that you want?" asked Mrs. Henry.

Antonio said that he had every thing.

"Well, good-by then," said Mrs. Henry. "I wish you a pleasant journey; and if you find that any thing occurs so that you think it best to stay longer than Monday, you can do so."

Antonio thanked Mrs. Henry, bade her good-by, and went away.

Antonio stopped at Mrs. Linn's as he passed through the village. He had promised Ellen that he would call there on his way, to get a letter[Pg 724] which she was going to send, and had told her at what time he should probably come. He found Ellen waiting for him at the gate. She had a small parcel in her hand. When Antonio came to the gate she showed him the parcel, and asked him if he could carry such a large one.

"It is not large at all," said Antonio; "I can carry it just as well as not."

"It is my little Bible," said she, "and the letter is inside. It is the Bible that my aunt gave me; but I thought she would be willing that I should give it to Rodolphus, if she knew—"

Here Ellen stopped, without finishing her sentence, and walked away toward the house. Antonio looked after her a moment, and then went away without saying another word.

It was twelve o'clock before he was fairly set out on his journey. He walked on for about two hours, meeting with various objects of interest in the way, but without finding any traveler going the same way, to help him on his journey. At last he came to a place where there were two girls standing by a well before a farm-house. Antonio, being tired and thirsty, went up to the well to get a drink.


"How far is it from here to Franconia?" said Antonio to the girls.

They looked at him as if surprised, but at first they did not answer.

"Do you know?" said Antonio, speaking again.

"Haven't you just come from Franconia?" said one of the girls.

"Yes," said Antonio.

"Then I should think that you would know yourself," said she.

"No," said Antonio, "I don't know. I have been walking about two hours; but I don't know how far it is."

"I believe it is about five miles," said the youngest girl.

"Then I have come two miles and a half an hour," said Antonio. "It is twenty miles more that I have got to go."

Then he made a calculation in his mind, and found that if he should have to walk all the way, he should not reach the end of his journey till about eleven o'clock, allowing one hour to stop for supper and rest.

Antonio thanked the girls for his drink of water and then went on.

Pretty soon he saw a large wagon in the road before him. He walked on fast until he overtook it. He made a bargain with the wagoner to carry him as far as the wagon was going on his road, which was about ten miles. This ride rested him very much, but it did not help him forward at all in respect to time, for the wagon did not travel any faster than he would have walked.

At length the wagon came to the place where it was to turn off from Antonio's road; so Antonio paid the man the price which had been agreed upon, and then took to the road again as a pedestrian.

He walked on about an hour, and then he began to be pretty tired. He concluded that he would stop and rest and get some supper at the very next tavern. It was now about half-past seven, and he was yet, as he calculated, nearly eight miles from the end of his journey. Just then he heard the sound of wheels behind him, and, on looking round, he saw a light wagon coming, drawn by a single horse, and with but one man in the wagon. The wagon was coming on pretty rapidly, but Antonio determined to stop it as it passed; so he stood at one side of the road, and held up his hand as a signal, when the wagon came near.

The man stopped. On inquiry Antonio found that he was going directly to the town where Rodolphus lived. Antonio asked the man what he would ask to carry him there.

"What may I call your name?" said the man.

"My name is Antonio."

"And my name is Antony," said the man. "Antony. It is a remarkable coincidence that our names should be so near alike. Get in here with me and ride on to the tavern, we will see if we can make a trade."

Antonio found Antony a very amusing and agreeable companion. In the end it was agreed that they should stop at the tavern and have some supper, and that Antonio should pay for the supper for both himself and Antony, and in consideration of that, he was to be carried in the wagon to the end of his journey.

During the supper and afterward, while riding along the road, Antony was quite inquisitive to learn all about Antonio, and especially to ascertain what was the cause of his taking that journey. But Antonio resisted all these attempts, and would give no information whatever in respect to his business.

They reached the end of their journey about half-past nine o'clock. Antonio was set down at the tavern, which has already been spoken of as situated at the head of the lane leading to the corn-barn, where Rodolphus and the other boys[Pg 725] had made their rendezvous. Immediately after being shown to his room, which it happened was a chamber on the side of the house which was toward the lane, Antonio came down stairs and went out. His plan was to proceed directly to Mr. Kerber's house, hoping to be able to see Rodolphus that evening. He was afraid before he left the tavern that it might be too late, and that he should find they had all gone to bed at Mr. Kerber's. He thought, however, that he could tell whether the family were still up, by the light which he would in that case see at the windows; and he concluded that if the house should appear dark, he would not knock at the door, but go back to the tavern, and wait till the next morning.

The house was dark, and so Antonio, after standing and looking at it a few moments with a disappointed air, went back to the tavern. He went in at the door, and went up to his room. It happened that no one saw him go into the tavern this time, for as there was a very bright moon, and it shone directly into his chamber-window, he thought that he should not need a lamp to go to bed by, so he went directly up stairs to his room.

It was now about ten o'clock. Antonio sat down by his window and looked out. It was a beautiful evening, and he sat some time enjoying the scene. At length he heard suppressed voices, and looking down he saw three boys come stealing along round the corner of a fence and enter a lane. He saw the light of a lantern, too, for he was up so high that he could look down into it, as it were. He was convinced at once from these indications that there was something going on that was wrong.

He listened attentively, and thought that he could recognize Rodolphus's voice, and he was at once filled with apprehension and anxiety. He immediately took his cap, and went softly down stairs, and out at the door, and then going round into the lane, he followed the boys down toward the corn-barn. When they had all got safely in, underneath the building, he crept up softly to the place, and looking through a small crack in the boards he saw and heard all that was going on; he overheard the conversation between the boys about the box, saw them take away the straw, dig the hole, and bury it, and then had just time to step round the corner of the barn, and conceal himself, when the boys came out to see if the way was clear for them to go home. The next moment the light from the burning straw broke out, and Antonio, without stopping to think, ran instinctively in among the boys to help them to put out the fire.

Of course when the boys fled he was left there alone, and he soon found that it would be impossible for him to extinguish the fire. It spread so rapidly over the straw and among the boxes, that it was very plain all his efforts to arrest the progress of it would be unavailing. In the mean time he began to hear the cry of "fire." The people of the tavern had been the first to see the light, and were running to the spot down the lane. It suddenly occurred to Antonio that if he were found there at the fire he should be obliged to explain how he came there, and by so doing to expose Rodolphus as a thief and a burglar.[1] When Antonio thought how broken-hearted Ellen would be to have her brother sent to prison for such crimes, he could not endure the thought of being the means of his detection. He immediately determined therefore to run away, and leave the people to find out how the fire originated as they best could.

All these thoughts passed through Antonio's mind in an instant, and he sprang out from under the corn-barn as soon as he heard the men coming, and ran off toward the fields. The men saw him, and they concluded immediately that he was an incendiary who had set the building on fire, and accordingly the first two that came to the spot instead of stopping to put out the fire, determined to pursue the fugitive. Antonio ran to a place where there was a gap in a wall, and, leaping over, he crouched down, and ran along on the outer side of the wall. The men followed him. Antonio made for a haystack which was near, and after going round to the further side of the haystack, he ran on toward a wood, keeping the haystack between himself and the men, in hopes that he should thus be concealed from their view. As soon as he got into the wood he ran into a little thicket, and creeping into the darkest place that he could find, he lay down there to await the result.

The men came up to the place out of breath with running. They looked about in the wood for some time, and Antonio began to think that they would not find him. But he was mistaken. One of the men at length found him, and pulled him out roughly by the arms.

They took hold of him, one on one side and the other on the other, and led him back toward the fire. The building was by this time all in flames, and though many men had assembled they made no effort to extinguish the fire. It was obvious, in fact, that all such efforts would have been unavailing. Then, besides, as the building stood by itself, there was no danger to any other property, in letting it burn. The men gathered round Antonio, wondering who he could be, but he would not answer any questions. He was there an utter stranger to them all—a prisoner, seized almost in the very act of setting the building on fire, and yet he stood before them with such an open, fearless, honest look, that no one knew what to think or to say in respect to him.

In the mean time the flames rolled fearfully into the air, sending up columns of sparks, and illuminating all the objects around in the most brilliant manner. Groups of boys stood here and there, their faces brightened with the reflection of the fire, and their arms held up before their eyes to shield them from the dazzling light. A little further back were companies of women and children, beaming out beautifully from the surrounding[Pg 726] darkness, and a gilded vane on the village spire appeared relieved against the sky, as if it were a great blazing meteor at rest among the stars. At length the fire went down. The people gradually dispersed. The men who had charge of Antonio took him to the tavern, locked him up in a room there, and stationed one of their number to keep guard at the door till morning.



During the night, Antonio had time to reflect upon the situation in which he was placed, and to consider what it was best for him to do. He decided that the first thing to be done, was to write to Mrs. Henry, and inform her what had happened. He determined also not to reveal any thing against Rodolphus, unless he should find that he was required by law to do so—at least until he could have time to consider whether something could not yet be done to save him from the utter ruin which would follow from his being convicted of burglary and sent to the state prison.

In the morning, an officer came with a regular warrant for arresting Antonio, on the charge of setting the corn-barn on fire. A warrant is a paper signed by a justice or judge, authorizing the officer to seize a prisoner, and to bring him before a magistrate, for what is called an examination. If, on the examination, the magistrate sees that the prisoner is clearly innocent, he releases him, and that is the end of the matter. If, however, he finds that there is reason to suspect that he may be guilty, he orders the officer to keep him in the jail till the time comes for the court to meet and try his case.

Sometimes, when the offense is not very serious, they release the prisoner on bail, as it is called, during the time that intervenes between his examination and his trial. That is, they give him up to his friends, on condition that his friends agree that he shall certainly appear at the time of trial—covenanting that if he does not appear they will pay a large sum of money. The money that is to be forfeited, if he fails to appear, varies in different cases, and is fixed by the judge in each particular case. This money is called the bail. If the prisoner has a bad character, and his friends generally believe that he is guilty, he can not get bail, for his friends are afraid that if they give bail for him, and so let him have his liberty, he will run away before the time comes for his trial, and then they will lose the money. When, for this or any other reason, a prisoner can not get bail, he has to go to prison, and stay there till his trial comes on. On the other hand, if the prisoner has a good character, and if his friends have confidence in him, they give bail, and thus he is left at liberty until his trial comes on.

At the examination of a prisoner, which takes place usually very soon after he is first arrested, he is allowed to say any thing that he pleases to say, in explanation of the suspicious circumstances under which he was taken. He is, however, not required to say any thing unless he chooses. The reason of this is, that no one is required to furnish any proof against himself, when he is charged with crime. If he can say any thing which will operate in his favor, he is allowed to do it, and what he says is written down, and is produced on his trial, to be used for or against him according to the circumstances of the case.

When the officer came in, in the morning, to arrest Antonio, he told him he was to go at eleven o'clock the next morning before the magistrate to be examined. Antonio asked the officer whether he could be allowed, in the mean time, to write a letter to his friends in Franconia.

"Yes," said the officer, "only I must see what you write."

So they brought Antonio a sheet of paper, and a pen and ink. He sat down to a table and wrote as follows:

"Hiburgh, July 10.

"To Mrs. Henry;

"There was a fire here last night which burnt up an old corn-barn, and I have been taken up for it, by the officers. They think that I set the corn-barn on fire, but I did not do it. I suppose, though, that I shall have to be tried, and I expect that I must go to prison until the trial comes[Pg 727] on, unless Mr. Keep could come down here and make some arrangement for me. You may depend that I did not set the corn-barn on fire.

"Yours with much respect,
"A. Bianchinette."

The officer read this letter when it was finished, and then asked Antonio whether it should be put into the post-office. Antonio inquired how much it would cost to send a boy with it on purpose. The officer told him what he thought it would cost, and then Antonio took out the money that he had in his pocket to see if he had enough. He found that he had more than enough, and so the officer sent a special messenger with the letter.

"And now," said the officer, "you must go with me to my house. I am going to keep you there until the examination to-morrow."

So Antonio took his cap and went down stairs with the officer. He found quite a number of men and boys at the door, waiting to see him come. These people followed him along through the street, as he walked toward the officer's house, some running before, to look him in the face, and some running behind, and calling him incendiary and other hard names. Antonio took no notice of them, but walked quietly along, talking with the officer.

When he got opposite to the lane, he looked down toward the place where the corn-barn had stood. He found that it had been burnt to the ground. The ruins were still smoking, and several men and boys were standing around the place—some looking idly on, and some poking up the smouldering fires.

There was something in Antonio's frank and honest air, and in the intelligence and good sense which he manifested in his conversation, which interested the officer in his favor. He told his wife when he got home that Antonio was the most honest looking rogue that he ever had the custody of. It shows, however, he added, how little we can trust to appearances. I once had a man in my keeping, who looked as innocent and simple-minded as Dorinda there, but he turned out to be one of the most cunning counterfeiters in the state.

Dorinda was the officer's little girl.

There was a room in the officer's house, which was made very strong, and used for the temporary keeping of prisoners. They put Antonio into this room and locked him in.

The officer, however, told him when he went away, that he would bring him some breakfast pretty soon; and this he did in about half an hour. Antonio ate his breakfast with an excellent appetite.

After breakfast he moved his chair up to a small window, which had been made in one side of the room. The window had a sash on the inside, and great iron bars without. Antonio opened the sash and looked out through the iron bars. He saw a pleasant green yard, and a little girl playing there upon the grass.

"What is your name?" said Antonio.

The little girl started at hearing this voice, ran back a little way, and then stood looking at Antonio with her hands behind her.

"Bring me that piece of paper," said Antonio, "that lies there on the grass, and I will make you a picture."

The girl stood still a moment as if much astonished, and then advancing timidly, she picked up the paper and brought it to Antonio's window, which was very near the ground, and held it up. Antonio reached his arm out between the bars of the grating and took the paper in.


Although the window was not high, it seemed to be with some difficulty that Antonio could reach the paper as Dorinda held it up. But this was partly because Dorinda was afraid, and did not dare to come too near.

Antonio took a pencil out of his pocket, and putting the paper down upon the window sill, he began to draw. Dorinda stood still upon the ground outside, watching him. Antonio made a picture of a very grave and matronly-looking cat, lying upon a stone step and watching two kittens that were playing upon the grass before her. There was a bare-headed boy near, who seemed to be putting a mitten upon his hand. Underneath Antonio wrote the words—

"This is the picture of a cat,
Looking at some kittens;
Also a boy without a hat,
Putting on his mittens."

When the work was finished, Antonio threw the paper out the window, and Dorinda who had[Pg 728] been all the time looking on with a very serious expression of countenance, took it up, and began to look at the drawing. She could not read, so she only looked at the picture. After examining it for some minutes, without, however, at all relaxing the extreme gravity of her countenance, she ran off to show the paper to her mother.

Presently she came back again. By this time Antonio had made another drawing. It was the representation of his own window, as it would appear on the outside, with iron bars forming a grating, and himself looking through between them. Underneath he wrote,

"Pity the poor prisoner, and bring him some books to read."

Dorinda took this picture too, when Antonio threw it out to her, and ran in with it to her mother. Presently she came out with two books in her hand. She came under the window and held them up timidly to Antonio, and Antonio took them in.

By the help of these books and some other indulgences that the officer allowed him, Antonio got through the day very comfortably and well.

The next morning, at eleven o'clock, the officer came to take his prisoner to the justice, for examination. The officer led Antonio along the street till he came to a lawyer's office. There were several men and boys about the door. These persons eyed Antonio very closely when he went in. On entering the office, Antonio was brought up in front of a table which stood in the middle of the room. A young man was sitting at the table with paper, and pen, and ink before him. He was the clerk. The justice himself sat in an arm-chair near the window.

The men and boys from the outside came in immediately after Antonio, and stood in the office, near the door, to hear the examination.

When all was ready, the justice commenced by saying to Antonio,

"What is your name?" young man.

"Antonio Bianchinette," said Antonio.

"Where do you live?" asked the justice.

"In Franconia," said Antonio.

"You are aware, I suppose," said the justice, "that you are charged with having set fire to the building which was burned night before last, and you are brought here for a preliminary examination. You can do just as you please about giving any explanation of the circumstances of the case, or answering any questions that I put to you. If you make any statements or answer any questions, what you say will be put down, and will be used either for, or against you, as the case may be, on your trial."

Antonio said in reply, that he did not wish to make any statements, or to answer any questions in relation to the fire.

"There is one thing, however," he added, "that I wish to say, and that is, that there is something buried in the ground, under the place where the building stood, that ought to be dug up, and if you will take me to the place I will show you where to dig."

"What is it that is buried there?" said the justice.

"I would rather not answer that question," said Antonio.

The justice paused a moment to consider what to do. He had heard of the robbery that had been committed on Saturday night, for Mr. Kerber, on going into his office on Monday morning, had found the back door unhasped, and his desk broken open, and the news of the robbery had spread all over the village. People wondered whether there could be any connection between the robbery and the fire, though nothing had been said to Antonio about it.

After thinking a moment about Antonio's proposal, the justice concluded to accede to it. The officer accordingly sent a man to get a spade and directed him to come with it to the ruins of the corn-barn. Another man went to tell Mr. Kerber that the boy who had been taken up for setting the barn on fire, had said that there was something buried there, and that perhaps it might prove to be his money-box. So Mr. Kerber determined to go and see.

In a short time quite a large party were assembled around the ruins. Antonio directed them where to dig. The men pulled away the blackened timbers and brands which were lying over the spot, and began to dig into the ground. In a few minutes they struck something hard with the spade, and setting the spade down beneath it so as to pry it out, they found that it was indeed Mr. Kerber's box.

The men gathered eagerly around to examine the box. Mr. Kerber shook it and found that the money was safe inside. He took out his key, but he could not get it into the key-hole, for the key-hole had got filled with earth. He turned the box down upon its side and knocked it upon something hard, and so got the earth out, and then he found that the key would go in. He unlocked the box, and to his great joy found that all was safe.

Antonio would not make any explanation, except that he did not suppose that any thing else was buried there, and that consequently it would do no good to dig any more. He said, moreover,[Pg 729] that he expected some of his friends would come from Franconia before night to see about his case, and so the justice gave him up to the care of the officer again, until his friends should come. The officer accordingly took his prisoner away again, and Mr. Kerber carried his money-box home.

Mr. Keep arrived that day about noon. He immediately had an interview with Antonio. After some little general conversation, Antonio said that he would rather not make any explanations of the circumstances under which he was arrested at present, even to Mr. Keep, unless Mr. Keep requested it.

"I tell you truly, sir," said he, "that I am entirely innocent: but I can not state what I know, without breaking a poor girl's heart who once saved my life, and I can not do it."

Mr. Keep was silent a few minutes when Antonio said this. He recollected Rodolphus and Ellen his sister, and recalled to mind the story of Ellen and the snow-shoes, which he had heard at the time. He immediately understood the whole case.

"I am not surprised that you feel as you do," said he, "but when a crime is committed and we are called upon to testify as a witness, we are bound to state what we know, without regard to our private feelings."

"Yes, sir," said Antonio, "but I am not called upon as a witness. I am charged with committing the crime myself, and the justice said that I was at liberty to answer or not, as I chose."

Mr. Keep was silent for a moment. He seemed to be reflecting upon what Rodolphus had said.

"By taking the course that you propose," he added, at length, "you run a great risk of being condemned yourself for the crime."

"Why, no, sir," said Antonio; "I can't be condemned unless they prove that I did it; and as I really did not do it, I don't think that they can prove that I did."

Mr. Keep smiled.

"Well suppose that you do as you propose," said Mr. Keep, "and allow yourself to take the place of the one who is really guilty, what good will it do him? You will only leave him to commit more crimes."

"I hope not, sir," said Antonio "I should try to get him away from here to some new place. I think that he has been led away. He has got into bad company."

"Well," said Mr. Keep, after a short pause, "the plan may succeed, but you run a great risk in taking such a course. I think that there is great danger that you would be condemned and sent to the state prison."

"Well," said Beechnut, "I should not mind that very much. There is no great harm in going to prison, if you are only innocent. I have been shut up here one day already, and I had a good time."

Mr. Keep said finally that the subject required time for consideration, and that in the mean time he would make arrangements for giving bail for Antonio. This he did, and then he and Antonio went together back to Franconia.


The time arrived for Antonio's trial very soon. At the appointed day he and Mr. Keep went together to the town where the court was to be held.

Mr. Keep delivered Antonio to the officer again, and the officer led him into a little room adjoining the court room and left him there under the custody of a subordinate officer. At length his case was called, and the officer came forward and conducted him into the court room.


When Antonio entered the room he looked around to see how it was arranged. At one end there was a platform, with a curtained window behind it, and a long desk in front. Behind the desk there sat an elderly gentleman whom Antonio supposed was the judge. He sat in a large arm-chair. There was another arm-chair upon the platform, but there was nobody sitting in it. Antonio thought that probably it was for another judge, and that he would come in by-and-by, but he did not come.

In front of the judge's desk and a little lower down, there was another desk, with a great many books and bundles of papers upon it. There was a man seated at this desk with his back to the judge's desk. This man was writing. He was the clerk of the court.

In front of the clerk's desk, and toward the middle of the room was a pretty large table with[Pg 730] lawyers sitting around it. The lawyers had green bags with papers in them.

On each side of the room there were two long seats facing toward the middle of the room. These seats were for the juries. Each seat was long enough for six men, making twelve in all on each side. Between the juries' seats and the judge's platform, there was, on each side, a stand for the witnesses. The witnesses' stands were placed in this position, so that all could hear the testimony which the witnesses should give.

On the back side of the room there were several seats for spectators. In front of the spectator's seats there were two chairs. The officer led Antonio to one of these chairs and gave him a seat there. The officer himself took his seat in the other chair. He had a long slender pole in his hand, which was his badge of office.

The first thing to be done was for the clerk to read the accusation. The accusation to be made against a prisoner is always written out in full, and is called an indictment. The indictment against Antonio was handed to the clerk and he read it. It charged Antonio with breaking into and robbing Mr. Kerber's office, and then setting fire to the barn.

After the indictment had been read, the judge, looking to Antonio, asked him whether he was guilty or not guilty.

"Not guilty," said Antonio.

The arrangements were then made for the trial. The jury were appointed, and they took their places in the jury seats which were on the right hand side of the court room. Some jury-men belonging to another jury were sitting in the seats on the left hand, but they had now nothing to do but to listen, like the other spectators.

There is a sort of public lawyer in every county, appointed for the purpose, whose business it is to attend to the trial of any person accused of crime in his county. He is called the county attorney. It is his duty to collect the evidence against the prisoner, and to see that it is properly presented to the court and jury, and to prove that the prisoner is guilty, if he can. The prisoner, on the other hand has another lawyer, whose duty it is to collect all the evidence in his favor, and to try to prove him innocent. The trial is always commenced by adducing first the evidences of the prisoner's guilt.

Accordingly, when the jury were ready, the judge called upon the county attorney to proceed.

He rose, and spoke as follows:

"May it please your Honor."

Here the county attorney bowed to the judge.

"And you, gentlemen of the jury."

Here he bowed to the jury.

"I am very sorry to have to appear against so young, and, I may add, so innocent-looking a person as the prisoner before you, on a charge of so serious a nature as burglary. But I have no choice. However much we may regret that a person so young should become so depraved as to commit such crimes, our duty to the community requires that we should proceed firmly and decidedly to the exposure and punishment of them. I shall proceed to lay before you the evidence that the prisoner at the bar is guilty of the crime charged against him. It will be the duty of his counsel, on the other hand, to prove his innocence, if he can. I shall be very glad, and I have no doubt that you will be, to find that he can succeed in doing this. I fear, however, that it will be out of his power.

"I shall prove to you, gentlemen of the jury, by the witnesses that I shall bring forward, that the prisoner left his home in a very mysterious manner on the Saturday when the robbery was committed. That he came to Hiburgh, and arrived here about nine o'clock. That he then went to his room, as if to go to bed, and immediately afterward went out in a secret manner. About half-past ten the corn-barn was found to be on fire; and on the people repairing to the spot, found the prisoner there alone. He fled, and was pursued. He was taken, and at length finding that he was detected, and terrified, perhaps, at the consequences of what he had done, he gave information of the place where the money which had been taken was concealed.

"These circumstances all point to the prisoner as the guilty party, or at least as one of the guilty parties concerned in the robbery. As to the fire, we lay no particular stress upon that, for it may have been accidental. We think it probable that it was so. The charge which we make against the prisoner is the robbery, and we are willing to consider the fire as an accident, providentially occurring as a means of bringing the iniquity to light."

The county attorney then began to call in his witnesses. The first witness was James.

James said that Antonio was well known to him; that he came originally from Canada; that he had lived for some time at Mrs. Henry's; and that on the Saturday in question he said that he was going to Hiburgh; but would not give him, James, any explanation of the business that called him there.

The next witness was Antony, the man who had brought Antonio in his wagon the last part of his journey.

Antony testified that he overtook the prisoner on the road, and that he brought him forward in his wagon. The prisoner, he said, seemed very anxious to get into town before nine o'clock; but he was very careful not to say any thing about the business which called him there. There was something very mysterious about him, Antony said, and he thought so at the time.

The next witness was the tavern keeper.

The tavern-keeper testified that Antonio came to his house a little past nine; that he seemed in a hurry to go to his room, that the tavern-keeper showed him the room and left him there; but that on going up a few minutes afterward to ask him what time he would have breakfast, he found that he was not there. That about an hour afterward he saw a light, and running out he found that the corn-barn was on fire. He cried "fire," and with another man ran to the corn-barn, and there saw[Pg 731] some one running away. He and the other man pursued the fugitive, and finally caught him, and found that it was the prisoner—the same young man that had come to his house as a traveler an hour before.

The next witness was Mr. Kerber.

Mr. Kerber testified that he left his office safe, with his money in the money-box, in the desk, on Saturday night, about half-past eight. That on the Monday morning following he found that the office had been broken into, the desk opened, and the money-box carried away. That he was present at the prisoner's examination before the justice, and that the prisoner then and there said that there was something buried under where the corn-barn had stood, and that the company all proceeded to the place, and dug into the ground where the prisoner directed them to dig, and that there they found the money-box.

The minutes of Antonio's examination before the justice were also read, in which he declined to give any explanation of the case.

The county attorney then said that his evidence was closed.

The judge then called upon Mr. Keep to bring forward whatever evidence he had to offer in the prisoner's favor. Mr. Keep had only two witnesses, and they could only testify to Antonio's general good character. They were Franconia men, who said that they had known Antonio a long time, that he had always borne an irreproachable character, and that they did not believe him capable of committing such a crime.

After the evidence was thus all in, Mr. Keep made a speech in defense of his client. He admitted, he said, that the case was a very extraordinary one. There was a mystery about it which was not explained. Still he said it was not really proved, either that Antonio stole the money or that he set fire to the barn. Many suppositions might be made to account for the facts, without implicating Antonio as really guilty.

The county attorney then made his speech. It was, of course, against Antonio. He said that the appearances were all against the prisoner, and that if he were really innocent, it would be easy for him to explain the case. His refusal to do this, and his showing where the money was hid, ought to be considered as completing the proofs of guilt, furnished by the other circumstances of the affair.

The judge then told the jury that it was their duty to decide whether it had been proved that Antonio was guilty.

"You have heard all the evidence," said he, "and you must decide. If you are perfectly satisfied that the prisoner is guilty, then you must condemn him. If you are satisfied that he is innocent, then of course you must acquit him. And if you are uncertain whether he is innocent or guilty, then you must acquit him too; for no one is to be condemned, unless it is proved positively that he is guilty."

The jury were then conducted out by an officer of the court, to a small room adjoining, where they were to deliberate on the case. In about fifteen minutes they returned. The judge then called upon the prisoner to rise. Antonio rose and looked toward the judge. The jury were standing in their places, looking toward the judge, too.

"Gentlemen of the jury," said the judge, "are you agreed upon the verdict?"

The foreman of the jury said,

"We are agreed."

"Gentlemen of the jury," said the judge again, "what say you? is the prisoner guilty or not guilty?"

"Not guilty," said the foreman.

There was general smile of satisfaction about the room at hearing this decision. The clerk wrote down the verdict in the record. The judge directed the prisoner to be discharged, and then called for the case which came next on the docket.[2]

Antonio went out with Mr. Keep and got into a wagon which Mr. Keep had provided all ready for him at the door. They set out, counsel and client, on their return to Franconia.

Mr. Keep was of course very much relieved at the result of the trial; for though he was himself perfectly satisfied of his client's innocence, still the circumstances were very strong against him, and there was, in fact, nothing but his good character in his favor. He had been very much afraid, therefore, that Antonio would be condemned, for the jury are bound to decide according to the evidence that is placed before them.

"You have got off very well, so far," said Mr. Keep. "Having been accused as an accomplice in the crime, it was your privilege to be silent. Should you, however, hereafter be called upon as a witness, you will have to give your testimony."

"Why must I?" asked Antonio.

"Your duty to your country requires it," said Mr. Keep.

"Then," said Antonio, "I suppose I must, and I will."


Rodolphus and his two confederates in crime were in a state of great anxiety and apprehension, during the period which intervened between the committing of the crime and the trial of Antonio. Antonio did not attempt to hold any communication with Rodolphus during this interval, for fear that by so doing he might awaken in people's minds some suspicion of the truth. He had, however, a secret plan of doing something to save Rodolphus from ruin, so soon as the excitement, which had been occasioned by the robbery and the fire, should have passed by. All his plans however were defeated by an unexpected train of occurrences, which took place a day or two after his acquittal, and which changed suddenly the whole aspect of the affair.

One night very soon after Antonio's trial, Rodolphus, after he had gone to bed and was just falling asleep, was awakened by a loud knocking at his door.

[Pg 732] "Rodolphus!" said a harsh voice, outside, "Rodolphus! get up and let us in."


Rodolphus was dreadfully terrified. He was always terrified by any unexpected sight or sound, as the guilty usually are. He got up and opened the door. Mr. Kerber and another man came in.

"You are my prisoner," said the stranger. "You must put on your clothes and come with me."

Rodolphus was in great distress and trepidation. He however put on his clothes. He did not dare to ask what he was arrested for. He knew too well. The officer informed him that he was arrested on a charge of being concerned in the robbery of Mr. Kerber, but that he need not say any thing about it unless he chose to do so. Rodolphus was so terrified and distressed that he did not know what to say or do. So the officer led him away, pale and trembling, to his house, and locked him up in the same room where Antonio had been confined. There was a little bed in one corner of the room. Rodolphus went and sat down upon it, and sobbed and wept in anguish and despair.

In a day or two his friends in Franconia heard of his arrest, and Mr. Keep went down to see him. Mr. Keep came as Rodolphus's counsel and friend—in order to confer with him and to defend him on his trial; but Rodolphus considered him as banded with all the rest of the world against him, and either could not, or would not answer any of the friendly questions which Mr. Keep proposed to him; but sat crying all the time while Mr. Keep was there, and making himself very miserable. Mr. Keep saw at once that he was guilty, and despaired of being able to do any thing to save him.

There was nobody to give bail for Rodolphus, and so it was necessary to keep him in close confinement until the time for his trial arrived. In consideration, however, of his tender years, it was decided not to take him to the jail, but to keep him at the house of the officer, in the strong room where he was put when he was first arrested.

The room itself was a very comfortable one, but Rodolphus spent his time in it very unhappily. The people treated him very kindly, but nothing gave him any peace or comfort. They brought him books, but he could not read well enough to take any pleasure in them. Sometimes he would go to the window and look out upon the green yard, but it only made him more miserable to see the grass and the flowers, and the trees waving in the wind, and the birds flying about at liberty. Sometimes he saw Dorinda there playing with her kitten, and singing little songs; but this sight made him more unhappy than all the rest.

Rodolphus's mother came down to to see him once, with Antonio. Antonio drove down with her in a wagon. The visit, however, did not give either Rodolphus or his mother any pleasure. They spoke scarcely a word to each other, while she staid. When she got into the wagon to go home, Antonio, seeing how much she was distressed, tried to comfort her by saying, that she must not be so troubled; he hoped, he said, that Rodolphus would yet turn out to be a good boy. There had been a great many cases, where boys had been led away when young, by bad company, to do what was very wrong, who were afterward sorry for it, and changed their courses and behaved well. This conversation seemed to make Mrs. Linn feel somewhat more composed, but she was still very unhappy.

At length the time for the trial drew near. Rodolphus felt great solicitude and anxiety as the time approached. He did not know what evidence there was against him, for no one had been allowed to talk with him on the subject of the crime. Even Mr. Keep, his lawyer, did not know what the evidence was, for it is always customary in such cases, for each party to keep the evidence which they have to offer, as much as possible concealed. Antonio had, however, received a summons to appear as a witness, and Mr. Keep told him that if they insisted on examining him, he would be bound to answer all the questions which they put to him, honestly and truly, whatever his private feelings might be.

When the day arrived, Rodolphus was taken by the officer to the court room, and placed in the same chair where Antonio had sat. Antonio had looked around upon the proceedings with so frank and honest an expression of countenance, and with such an unconcerned air, that every one had been impressed with a belief of his innocence. Rodolphus, on the other hand, sat still, pale, and trembling, and he manifested in his whole air and demeanor every indication of conscious guilt.

The preliminary proceedings were all much the same as they had been in the case of Antonio.[Pg 733] When these had been gone through, the judge called upon the county attorney to proceed. After a short opening speech he said, that his first witness was Mr. Kerber. Mr. Kerber was called, and took his place upon the stand.

Mr. Kerber first gave an account of the robbery, describing the situation of his office and of the two doors leading to it, and of the desk in the corner, and narrating all the circumstances relating to the appearance of his office on the Monday morning, and the discovery of the strong box under the ruins of the corn-barn. He then proceeded as follows:

"For a time I considered it certain that Antonio, the one who was first suspected, was the one really guilty, and made no effort or inquiry in any other direction until he was tried. I was convinced then that he was innocent, and immediately began to consider what I should do to find out the robber. I examined the hole again which had been bored into the door, and the marks of the tools by which the desk had been broken open. I thought that I might, perhaps, possibly find the tools that fitted these places somewhere about town, and that if I should, I might, possibly, in that way, get some clew to the robbers. So I borrowed the bits and the chisels of several of my neighbors, but I could not find any that would fit.

"At last I happened to think of some old tools that I had in a back room, and on comparing them I found two that fitted exactly. There was a bit which just fitted the hole, and there were some fibres of the wood which had been caught upon the edge of the bit, where it was dull, that looked fresh and compared well with the color of the wood of the door. There was a large chisel, too, that fitted exactly to the impressions made upon the wood of the desk, in prying it open.

"I could see, too, that some of these tools had recently been moved, by the dust having been disturbed around them. There were marks and tracks, too, in the dust, upon a bench, where some boy had evidently climbed up to get the tools. I tried one of Rodolphus's shoes to these tracks, and found that it fitted exactly."

While Mr. Kerber was making these statements, Rodolphus hung his head, and looked utterly confounded.

"Just about the time," continued Mr. Kerber, "that I made these discoveries, a person came to me and informed me—"

"Stop," interrupted Mr. Keep. "You are not to state what any other person informed you. You are only to state what you know personally, yourself."

Mr. Kerber was silent.

The county attorney, who knew well that this was the rule in all trials, said that he had nothing more to ask that witness then, but that he would withdraw him for a time. He then called Antonio. Antonio took his place upon the stand.

After the oath was administered as usual, the county attorney began to question Antonio as follows:

"Were you in Hiburgh on the night of this robbery?"

"I was," said Antonio.

"At what time did you arrive there?" asked the attorney.

"I believe it was a little past nine," said Antonio.

"Were you at the corn-barn when it took fire?"

"I was," said Antonio.

"State now to the jury what it was that led you to go there."

Antonio recollected that what first attracted his attention and led him to go out, was seeing Rodolphus and the other boys going by with their lantern, and hearing their suppressed voices; and he perceived that if he went any further in his testimony he should prove Rodolphus to be guilty; so he stopped, and after a moment's pause, he turned to the judge, and asked whether he could not be excused from giving any more testimony.

"On what ground do you wish to be excused?" said the judge.

"Why, what I should say," said Antonio, "might go against the boy, and I don't wish to say any thing against him."

"You can not be excused," said the judge, shaking his head. "It is very often painful to give testimony against persons accused of crime, but it is a duty which must be performed."

"But there is a special reason," said Antonio, "in this case."

"What is the reason?" said the judge.

Antonio hesitated. At length he said timidly,

"His sister saved my life."

Here there was a pause. The preferring such a request, to be excused from testifying, and for such a reason, is a very uncommon occurrence in a court. The judge, the jury, the lawyers, and all the spectators looked at Antonio, who stood upon the witness's stand all the time, turning his face toward the judge, awaiting his decision.

After a pause the judge said,

"Your unwillingness to do any thing to injure the brother of a girl who saved your life, does you honor, and I would gladly excuse you if I could, but it is not in my power. The ends of justice require that you should give your testimony, whatever the consequences may be."

"What would be done," asked Antonio, "if I should refuse to do so?"

"Then you would be sent to prison yourself," said the judge, "for contempt of court."

"And suppose I am willing to go to prison," said Antonio, "rather than testify against Ellen's brother; can I do so?"

The judge looked a little perplexed. What answer he would have given to this question we do not know, for he was prevented from answering it, by the county attorney, who here rose and said,

"May it please your honor, I will withdraw this witness for the present. I shall be glad to get along without his testimony, if possible, and perhaps I can."

Antonio then left the stand, very much relieved. Rodolphus wondered who would be called next. His heart sank within him, when[Pg 734] he saw an officer who had gone out a moment before, come in and lead Gilpin to the witness-stand.

It is customary in almost all countries, whenever a crime is committed, and it is not possible to ascertain who committed it by any ordinary proofs, to allow any one of the accomplices who is disposed to do so, to come forward and inform against the rest, and then to exempt him from punishment in consideration of his so doing. It seems very base for one person to lead another into sin, or even to join him in it, and then to assist in bringing his accomplice to punishment, in order to escape it himself. But they who combine to commit crimes, must be expected to be base. Gilpin was so. There seemed to be nothing noble or generous in his nature. As soon as he found out that Rodolphus was suspected, he feared that Rodolphus would confess, and then that he should himself be seized. Accordingly, he went immediately to Mr. Kerber, and told him that he knew all about the robbery, and that he would tell all about it, if they would agree that he should not come to any harm.

This arrangement was finally made. They, however, seized Gilpin, and shut him up, so as to secure him for a witness, and he had been in prison ever since Rodolphus's arrest, though Rodolphus knew nothing about it. Christopher had run away the moment he heard of Rodolphus's arrest, and nothing had since been heard of him. Gilpin was now brought forward to give his testimony.

There was a great contrast in his appearance, as he came upon the stand, from that of Antonio. He looked guilty and ashamed, and he did not dare to turn his eyes toward Rodolphus at all. He could not go forward himself and tell a connected story, but he made all his statements in answer to questions put to him by the county attorney. He, however, in the end, told all. He explained how Rodolphus had first cut a hole in the partition, and then he narrated the conversation which the boys had held together behind the wall. He told about the tools, and the dark lantern, and the breaking in; also about going to the corn-barn, burying the box, and then of the accidental setting of the straw on fire, and of Antonio's suddenly coming in among them. In a word, the whole affair was brought completely to light. Mr. Keep questioned Gilpin afterward very closely, to see if he would contradict himself, and so prove that the story which he was telling, was not true; but he did not contradict himself, and finally he went away.

There were no witnesses to be offered in favor of Rodolphus, and very little to be said in his defense. When, at length, the trial was concluded, the jury conferred together a little in their seats, and then brought in a verdict of guilty.

The next day Rodolphus was sentenced to ten days' solitary confinement in the jail, and after that, to one year of hard labor in the state prison.


Two or three days after Rodolphus's trial, Ellen, who had done every thing she could to cheer and comfort her mother in her sorrow, told her one morning that she desired to go and see her uncle Randon that day.

"Is it about Rodolphus?" asked her mother.

"Yes, mother," said Ellen.

"Well, you may go," said her mother; "but I don't think that any thing will do any good now."

After all her morning duties had been performed, about the house, Ellen put on her bonnet, and taking Annie by the hand, in order that she might lead her to school, she set out on the way to her uncle's. She left Annie at school as she passed through the village, and she arrived at her uncle's about ten o'clock.

Her uncle had been married again. His present wife was a very strong and healthy woman, who was almost all the time busily engaged about the farm work, but she was very fond of Ellen, and always glad to see her at the farm. When Ellen arrived at the farm, on this occasion, she went in at the porch door as usual. There was no one in the great room. She passed through into the back entry. From the back entry she went into the back room—the room where in old times she used to shut up her kitten.

This room was now used as a dairy. There was a long row of milk-pans in it, upon a bench. Mrs. Randon was there. She seemed very glad to see Ellen, and asked her to walk into the house.

Ellen said that she came to see her uncle. So her aunt went with her out into the yard where her uncle was at work; he was mending a harrow.

"Well, Ellen," said her uncle, "I am very glad to see you. But I am sorry to hear about poor Rodolphus."

"Yes," said Ellen, "but I have thought of one more plan. It's of no use to keep him from going to the state prison, even if we could, unless we can get a good place for him. Now what I wish is, that if we can get him free, you would let him come and live here with you. Perhaps you could make him a good boy."

Mr. Randon leaned upon the handle of his broad ax, and seemed to be at a loss what to say. He looked toward his wife.

"Yes," said she, "let him come. I should like to have him come very much. We can make him a good boy."

"Well," said Mr. Randon.

"Well!" said Ellen. Her eyes brightened up as she said this, and she turned to go away. Mr. and Mrs. Randon attempted to stop her, but she said that she could not stay then, and so she went away.

"She can not get him free," said Mr. Randon.

"I don't know," said his wife. "Perhaps she may. Such a girl as she can do a great deal when she tries."

Ellen went then as fast as she could go, to Mrs Henry's. She found Antonio in the garden.

"Antonio," said she, "my uncle Randon says that he will take Rodolphus and let him live there with him, on the farm, if we can only get him out of prison."

"But we can't get him out of prison," said[Pg 735] Antonio. "It is too late now, he has been condemned and sentenced."

"But the governor can pardon him," said Ellen.

"Can he?" said Antonio.

"Yes," said Ellen.

"Can he?" repeated Antonio. "Then I'll go and see if he will."

Two days after this Antonio was on his way to the town where the governor lived. He met with various adventures on his way, and he felt great solicitude and doubt about the result of the journey. At last he arrived at the place.

He was directed to a large and handsome house, which stood in the centre of the principal street of the village, enveloped in trees and shrubbery. There was a beautiful yard, with a great gate leading to it, on one side of the house.

Antonio looked up this yard and saw an elderly gentleman there, just getting into a chaise. A person who seemed to be his hired man was holding the horse. The gentlemen stopped, with his foot upon the step of the chaise, when he saw Antonio coming, and looked toward him.


"Is this Governor Dummer?" said Antonio, as he came up.

"Yes," said the gentleman, "that is what they call me."

"I wanted to see you about some business," said Antonio, "but you are going away."

The governor looked at Antonio a moment, and, being pleased with his appearance, he said,

"Yes, I am going away, but not far. Get into the chaise with me, and we can talk as we ride."

So the governor got into the chaise.

Antonio followed him; the hired man let go of the horse's head, and Antonio and the governor rode together out of the yard.

Antonio was quite afraid at first, to find himself suddenly shut up so closely with a governor. He, however, soon recovered his self-possession, and began to give an account of Rodolphus' case. The governor listened very attentively to all he had to say. Then he asked Antonio a great many questions, some about Rodolphus' mother and sister, and also about Antonio himself. Finally he asked what it was proposed to do with Rodolphus, in case he should be pardoned and set at liberty. Antonio said that he was to go to his uncle's, which was an excellent place, and where he hoped that he would learn to be a good boy.

The governor seemed very much interested in the whole story. He, however, said that he could not, at that time, come to any conclusion in respect to the affair; he must make some further inquiries. He must see the record of the trial, and the other documentary evidence connected with the case. He would attend to it immediately, he said, and write to Mr. Keep in respect to the result.

About a week after this, Mr. Keep sent for Antonio to come and see him. Antonio went.

"Well, Antonio," said Mr. Keep, as Antonio entered his office, "Rodolphus is pardoned. I I should like to have you ask Mrs. Henry if she will let you go to-morrow, and bring him home. If she says that you may go, call here on your way, and I will give you some money to pay the expenses of the journey."

Early the next morning, Antonio called at Mr. Keep's office, on his way after Rodolphus. Mr. Keep gave him some money. Antonio received it, for he thought it would not be proper to decline it. He had, however, plenty of his own. He had already put in his pocket six half dollars which he had taken from his chest that morning. Mr. Keep gave him a bank bill. He put this bill into his waistcoat pocket and pinned it in.

He then proceeded on his journey. In due time he arrived at the place where Rodolphus was imprisoned. The pardon had already arrived, and the jailer was ready to deliver up Rodolphus to his friends. He told Antonio that he was very glad that he had come to take the boy away. He did not like, he said, to lock up children.

Antonio took Rodolphus in his wagon, and they drove away. It was late in the afternoon when they set out, but though Antonio did not expect to get to Franconia that night, he was anxious to proceed as far as he could. He intended to stop that night at a tavern in a large town, and get home, if possible, the next day. They arrived at the tavern safely. They took supper; and after supper, being tired, they went to bed. Antonio had done all that he could to make Rodolphus feel at his ease and happy, during the day, having said nothing at all to him about his bad conduct. He had talked to him about his uncle, and about his going there to live, and other pleasant subjects. Still Rodolphus[Pg 736] seemed silent and sober, and after supper he seemed glad to go to bed.

The two boys slept in two rooms which opened into each other. Antonio proposed to have the door open, between these rooms, but Rodolphus seemed to wish to have it shut. Antonio made no objection to this, but at last, when he was ready to go to bed, he opened the door a little to say good-night to Rodolphus. Rodolphus, he saw, when he opened the door, was sitting at a little table, writing upon a piece of paper, with a pencil. Antonio bade him good-night and shut the door again.

"I hope he is writing to his mother," said Antonio to himself, "to confess his faults and promise to be a good boy."

The next morning Antonio rose pretty early, but he moved softly about the room, so as not to disturb Rodolphus, who he supposed was asleep, as his room was still. Antonio went down and ordered breakfast, and attended to his horses, and by-and-by he came up again to see if Rodolphus had got up. He listened at the door, and all was still. He then opened the door gently and looked in. There was nobody there, and to Antonio's great surprise, the bed was smooth and full, as if had not been disturbed.

Antonio went in. He saw a paper lying on the table with his own name on the outside of it. He took this paper up, and found that it was in Rodolphus's handwriting. It was half in written, and half in printed characters, and very badly spelled. The substance of it was this.


"I am sorry to go off and leave you, but I must. I should be glad to go and live at my uncle's, but I can't. Don't try to find out where I have gone. Give my love to my mother and to Ellen. I had not any money, and so I had to take your half dollars out of your pocket. If I ever can, I shall pay you.


"P.S. It's no use in me trying to be a good boy."

Antonio made diligent inquiry for Rodolphus, in the town where he disappeared, and in all the surrounding region, but no trace of the fugitive could be found. He finally gave up the search and went mournfully home.



France had tried republicanism, and the experiment had failed. There was neither intelligence nor virtue among the people, sufficient to enable them to govern themselves. During long ages of oppression they had sunk into an abyss, from whence they could not rise, in a day, to the dignity of freemen. Not one in thirty of the population of France could either read or write. Religion and all its restraints, were scouted as fanaticism. Few had any idea of the sacredness of a vote, of the duty of the minority good-naturedly to yield to the majority. It is this sentiment which is the political salvation of the United States. Not unfrequently, when hundreds of thousands of ballots have been cast, has a governor of a State been chosen by the majority of a single vote. And the minority, in such circumstances, have yielded just as cordially as they would have done to a majority of tens of thousands. After our most exciting presidential elections, the announcement of the result is the harbinger of immediate peace and good-natured acquiescence all over the land. The defeated voter politely congratulates his opponent upon his success. The French seemed to have attained no conception of the sanctity of the decisions of the ballot-box. Government was but a series of revolutions. Physical power alone was recognized. The strongest grasped the helm, and, with the guillotine, confiscation, and exile, endeavored hopelessly to cripple their adversaries. Ten years of such anarchy had wearied the nation. It was in vain to protract the experiment. France longed for repose. Napoleon was the only one capable of giving her repose. The nation called upon him, in the loudest tones which could be uttered, to assume the reins of government, and to restore the dominion of security and order. We can hardly call that man an usurper who does but assume the post which the nation with unanimity entreats him to take. We may say that he was ambitious, that he loved power, that glory was his idol. But if his ambition led him to exalt his country; if the power he loved was the power of elevating the multitude to intelligence, to self-respect, and to comfort; if the glory he sought was the glory of being the most illustrious benefactor earth has ever known, let us not catalogue his name with the sensualists and the despots, who have reared thrones of self-aggrandizement and self-indulgence upon the degradation of the people. We must compare Napoleon with the leaders of armies, the founders of dynasties, and with those who, in the midst of popular commotions, have ascended thrones. When we institute such a comparison, Napoleon stands without a rival, always excepting, in moral worth, our own Washington.

The next morning after the overthrow of the Directory, the three consuls, Napoleon, Sieyes, and Ducos, met in the palace of the Luxembourg. Sieyes was a veteran diplomatist, whose gray hairs entitled him, as he supposed, to the moral supremacy over his colleagues. He thought that Napoleon would be satisfied with the command of the armies, while he would be left to manage the affairs of state. There was one arm-chair in the room. Napoleon very coolly assumed it. Sieyes, much annoyed, rather petulantly exclaimed, "Gentlemen, who shall take the chair?" "Bonaparte surely," said Ducos; "he already has it. He is the only man who can save us." "Very well, gentlemen," said Napoleon, promptly, "let us proceed to business." Sieyes was staggered. But resistance to a will so imperious, and an arm so strong, was useless. [Pg 737]


Sieyes loved gold. Napoleon loved only glory. "Do you see," inquired Sieyes, pointing to a sort of cabinet in the room, "that pretty piece of furniture?" Napoleon, whose poetic sensibilities were easily aroused, looked at it with interest, fancying it to be some relic of the disenthroned monarchs of France. Sieyes continued: "I will reveal to you a little secret. We Directors, reflecting that we might go out of office in poverty, which would be a very unbecoming thing, laid aside, from the treasury, a sum to meet that exigence. There are nearly two hundred thousand dollars in that chest. As there are no more Directors, the money belongs to us." Napoleon now began to understand matters. It was not difficult for one who had proudly rejected millions, to look with contempt upon thousands. "Gentlemen," said he, very coolly, "should this transaction come to my knowledge, I shall insist that the whole sum be refunded to the public treasury. But should I not hear of it, and I know nothing of it as yet, you, being two old Directors, can divide the money between you. But you must make haste. Tomorrow it may be too late." They took the hint, and divided the spoil; Sieyes taking the lion's share. Ducos complained to Napoleon of the extortion of his colleague. "Settle the business between yourselves," said Napoleon, "and be quiet. Should the matter come to my ears, you will inevitably lose the whole."

This transaction, of course, gave Napoleon a supremacy which neither of his colleagues could ever again question. The law which decreed[Pg 738] the provisional consulship, conferred upon them the power, in connection with the two legislative bodies, of twenty-five members each, of preparing a new Constitution to be submitted to the people. The genius of Napoleon, his energy, his boundless information, and his instinctive insight into the complexities of all subjects were so conspicuous in this first interview, that his colleagues were overwhelmed. That evening Sieyes went to sup with some stern republicans, his intimate friends. "Gentlemen," said he, "the republic is no more. It died to-day. I have this day conversed with a man who is not only a great general, but who is himself capable of every thing, and who knows every thing. He wants no counselors, no assistance. Politics, laws, the art of governing, are as familiar to him as the manner of commanding an army. He is young and determined. The republic is finished." "But," one replied, "if he becomes a tyrant, we must call to our aid the dagger of Brutus." "Alas! my friends," Sieyes rejoined, "we should then fall into the hands of the Bourbons, which would be still worse."

Napoleon now devoted himself, with Herculean energies, to the re-organization of the government, and to the general administration of the affairs of the empire. He worked day and night. He appeared insensible to exhaustion or weariness. Every subject was apparently alike familiar to his mind; banking, police regulations, diplomacy, the army, the navy, every thing which could pertain to the welfare of France was, grasped by his all-comprehensive intellect.

The Directory had tyrannically seized, as hostages, any relatives of the emigrants upon whom they could lay their hands. Wives, mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers, children, were imprisoned and held responsible, with their lives, for the conduct of their emigrant relatives. Napoleon immediately abolished this iniquitous edict, and released the prisoners. Couriers, without delay, were dispatched all over France to throw open the prison doors to these unfortunate captives.

Napoleon even went himself to the Temple, where many of these innocent victims were imprisoned, that he might, with his own hand break their fetters. On Napoleon's return from this visit to the prison he exclaimed, "What fools these Directors were! To what a state have they brought our public institutions. The prisoners are in a shocking condition. I questioned them, as well as the jailers, for nothing is to be learned from the superiors. When in the prison I could not help thinking of the unfortunate Louis XVI. He was an excellent man, but too amiable to deal with mankind. And Sir Sydney Smith, I made them show me his apartments. If he had not escaped I should have taken Acre. There are too many painful associations connected with that prison. I shall have it pulled down one day or other. I ordered the jailer's books to be brought, and finding the list of the hostages, immediately liberated them. I told them that an unjust law had placed them under restraint, and that it was my first duty to restore them to liberty."


The priests had been mercilessly persecuted. They could only escape imprisonment by taking an oath which many considered hostile to their religious vows. Large numbers of them were immured in dungeons. Others, in dismay and poverty, had fled, and were wandering fugitives in other lands. Napoleon redressed their wrongs, and spread over them the shield of his powerful protection. The captives were liberated, and the exiles invited to return. The principle was immediately established that the rights of conscience were to be respected. By this one act, twenty thousand grief-stricken exiles were restored to France, proclaiming through city and village the clemency of the First Consul. In the rural districts of France, where the sentiment of veneration for Christianity still lingered, the priests were received with the warmest welcome. And in the hut of the peasant the name of Napoleon was breathed with prayers and tears of gratitude.

Some French emigrants, furnished with arms by England, were returning to France, to join the royalists in La Vendee, in extending the ravages of civil war. The ship was wrecked on the coast of Calais, and they were all made prisoners. As they were taken with arms in their hands, to fight against their country, rigorous laws doomed them, as traitors, to the guillotine. Napoleon interposed to save them. Magnanimously he asserted—"No matter what their intentions were. They were driven on our soil by the tempest. They are shipwrecked men. As such they are entitled to the laws of hospitality. Their persons must be held inviolable." Unharmed they were all permitted to re-embark and leave France. Among these emigrants were many men of illustrious name. These acts of generosity on the part of Napoleon did much to disarm their hostility, and many of them became subsequently firm supporters of his power.

The Revolutionary tribunals had closed the churches, and prohibited the observance of the Sabbath. To efface, if possible, all traces of that sacred day, they had appointed every tenth day, for cessation from labor and festivity. A heavy fine was inflicted upon any one who should close his shop on the Sabbath, or manifest any reverence for the discarded institution. Napoleon, who had already resolved to reinstate Christianity in paganized France, but who found it necessary to move with the utmost caution, ordered that no man should be molested for his religious principles or practices. This step excited hostility. Paris was filled with unbelief. Generals, statesmen, philosophers, scouted the idea of religion. They remonstrated. Napoleon was firm. The mass of the common people were with him, and he triumphed over aristocratic infidelity.

With singular tact he selected the most skillful and efficient men to fill all the infinitely varied departments of state. "I want more head," said he, "and less tongue." Every one was kept[Pg 739] busy. Every one was under the constant vigilance of his eagle eye. He appeared to have an instinctive acquaintance with every branch of legislation, and with the whole science of government. Three times a week the minister of finance appeared before him, and past corruption was dragged to light and abolished. The treasury was bankrupt. Napoleon immediately replenished it. The army was starving, and almost in a state of mutiny. Napoleon addressed to them a few of his glowing words of encouragement and sympathy, and the emaciate soldiers in their rags, enthusiastically rallied again around their colors, and in a few days, from all parts of France, baggage wagons were trundling toward them, laden with clothing and provisions. The navy was dilapidated and blockaded. At the voice of Napoleon in every port of France the sound of the ship hammer was heard, and a large armament was prepared to convey succor to his comrades in Egypt. Such vigor mortal man never exhibited before. All France felt an immediate impulse. At the same time in which Napoleon was accomplishing all these duties, and innumerable others, any one of which would have engrossed the whole energies of any common man, he was almost daily meeting his colleagues and the two committees to discuss the new Constitution.

Sieyes was greatly alarmed at the generosity of some of Napoleon's acts. "The emigrants," said he, "will return in crowds. The royalists will again raise their heads, and the republicans will be massacred." His imagination was so excited with apprehensions of conspiracies and assassinations, that he once awoke Napoleon at three o'clock in the morning, to inform him of a fearful conspiracy, which had just been discovered by the police. Napoleon quietly listened to his story, and then, raising his head from his pillow, inquired, "Have they corrupted our guard?" "No!" Sieyes replied. "Then go to bed," said Napoleon, "and let them alone. It will be time enough to be alarmed, when our six hundred men are attacked." Napoleon was so powerful, that he could afford to be generous. His magnanimity was his most effectual safeguard.

In less than six weeks, the new Constitution was ready to be presented to the nation for their acceptance. In the original draft, drawn up by Sieyes, the supreme power was to be vested in a Grand Elector, to be chosen for life, to possess a revenue of one million of dollars, and to reside in the utmost possible magnificence in the palaces of Versailles. He was to be a mock king, with all the pomp and pageantry of royalty, but without its power. This was the office which Sieyes hoped would satisfy the ambition of Napoleon. Napoleon exploded it as with a bomb-shell. "Can you conceive," he exclaimed, "that a man of the least talent or honor, would humble himself to accept an office, the duties of which are merely to fatten like a pig on so many millions a year?" The Grand Elector was annihilated. The following was the Constitution adopted. The sovereign power was to be invested in Napoleon as First Consul. Two subordinate consuls, Cambaceres and Lebrun, were to be his counselors,[Pg 740] with deliberative voices only. The Consuls proposed laws to a body called the Tribunate, who thoroughly discussed them, and either rejected, or, if they approved, recommended the law to a third body, called the Legislature. The Legislature heard the report in silence, having no deliberative voice. Three were appointed from the Tribunate to present the arguments in favor of the law, and three those against it. Without further debate, the Legislature, as judges, voted. The Senate also was a silent body. It received the law from the Legislature, and approved or condemned. Here were the forms of an ample supply of checks and balances. Every act proposed by Napoleon, must be sanctioned by the Tribunate, the Legislature, and the Senate before it could become a law.

"The Constitution," said Sieyes, "is a pyramid of which the people is the base." Every male in France 21 years of age, paying a tax, was a voter. They amounted to about 5,000,000. In their primary assemblies, they chose 500,000 delegates. These delegates, from their own number, chose 50,000. These latter, from themselves, chose 5000. These 5000 were the Notables, or the eligible to office. From them, thus elected by the people, all the offices were to be filled. The Constitution declared Napoleon to be First Consul for ten years, with an annual salary of $100,000. Cambaceres and Lebrun were his associate Consuls, with a salary of $60,000. These three, with Sieyes and Ducos, were to choose, from the Notables, the Senate, to consist of eighty members. They were elected for life, and received a salary of $5000. The Senate chose three hundred members, from the Notables, to compose the Legislature, with a salary of $2000, and one hundred members to compose the Tribunate, with an annual salary of $3000 each.

Such, in brief, was the Constitution under which Napoleon commenced his reign. Under a man of ordinary vigor this would have been a popular and a free government. With Napoleon it was in effect an unlimited monarchy. The energy of his mind was so tremendous that he acquired immediately the control of all these bodies. The plans he proposed were either so plainly conducive to the public welfare, or he had such an extraordinary faculty of convincing Tribunes, Legislators, and Senators that they were so, that these bodies almost invariably voted in perfect accordance with his will. It was Napoleon's unquestioned aim to aggrandize France. For the accomplishment of that purpose he was ready to make any conceivable personal sacrifice. In that accomplishment was to consist all his glory. No money could bribe him. No enticements of sensual indulgence could divert his energies from that single aim. His capacious intellect seemed to grasp intuitively every thing which could affect the welfare of France. He gathered around him, as agents for the execution of his plans, the most brilliant intellects of Europe, and yet they all took the attitude of children in his presence. With a body which seemed incapable of fatigue, and a mind whose energies never were exhausted, he consecrated himself to the majestic enterprise, by day and by night, and with an untiring energy which amazed and bewildered his contemporaries, and which still excites the wonder of the world. No one thought of resisting his will. His subordinates sought only to anticipate his wishes. Hence no machinery of government, which human ingenuity could devise, could seriously embarrass the free scope of his energies. His associates often expressed themselves as entirely overawed by the majesty of his intellect. They came from his presence giving utterance to the most profound admiration of the justice and the rapidity of his perceptions. "We are pressed," said they, "into a very whirlwind of urgency; but it is all for the good of France."

The Constitution was now presented to the whole people, for their acceptance or rejection. A more free and unbiased expression of public opinion could not possibly have been obtained. The result is unparalleled in the annals of the ballot-box. There were 3,011,007 votes cast in favor of the Constitution, and but 1562 in the negative. By such unanimity, unprecedented in the history of the world, was Napoleon elected First Consul of France. Those who reject the dogma of the divine right of kings, who believe in the sacred authority of the voice of the people, will, in this act, surely recognize the legitimacy of Napoleon's elevation. A better title to the supreme power no ruler upon earth could ever show. With Americans it can not be a serious question who had the best title to the throne, Louis Capet, from the accident of birth, or Napoleon Bonaparte, from the unanimous vote of the people. Napoleon may have abused the power which was thus placed in his hands. Whether he did so or not, the impartial history of his career will record. But it is singularly disingenuous to call this an usurpation. It was a nation's voice. "I did not usurp the crown," said Napoleon, proudly and justly. "It was lying in the mire. I picked it up. The people placed it on my head." It is not strange that the French people should have decided as they did. Where is the man now, in either hemisphere, who would not have preferred the government of Napoleon to any other dominion which was then possible in France?

From the comparatively modest palace of the Luxembourg, Napoleon and Josephine now removed to take up their residence in the more magnificent apartments of the Tuileries. Those saloons of royalty which had been sacked and denied by the mob of Paris, were thoroughly repaired. The red cap of Jacobinism had been daubed upon the walls of the apartments of state, and a tri-colored cockade had been painted upon the military hat of Louis XIV. "Wash those out," said Napoleon. "I will have no such abominations." The palace was furnished with more than its former splendor. Statues of illustrious men of all lands embellished the vacant niches. Those gorgeous saloons, where kings[Pg 741] and queens for so many ages had reveled, were now adorned, with outvying splendor, for the residence of the people's chosen ruler.

Louis was the king of the nobles, placed by the nobles upon the throne. He consulted for their interests. All the avenues of wealth and honor were open for them alone. The people were merely slaves, living in ignorance, poverty, obscurity, that the king and the nobles might dwell in voluptuousness. Napoleon was the ruler of the people. He was one of their own number. He was elevated to power by their choice. He spread out an unobstructed arena for the play of their energies. He opened before them the highways to fame and fortune. The only aristocracy which he favored was the aristocracy of intellect and industry. No privileged classes were tolerated. Every man was equal in the eye of the law. All appealed to the same tribunals, and received impartial justice. The taxes were proportioned to property. The feudal claims of the landed proprietors were abolished. And there was no situation in the state, to which the humblest citizen might not aspire. They called Napoleon First Consul. They cared not much what he was called, so long as he was the supreme ruler of their own choice. They were proud of having their ruler more exalted, more magnificent, more powerful than the kings of the nobles. Hence the secret of their readiness to acquiesce in any plans which might minister to the grandeur of their own Napoleon. His glory was their glory. And never were they better pleased than when they saw him eclipse in splendor the proudest sovereigns upon the surrounding thrones.

One evening Napoleon, with his gray surtout buttoned up closely around him, went out with Bourrienne, incognito, and sauntered along the Rue St. Honoré, making small purchases in the shops, and conversing freely with the people about the First Consul and his acts. "Well, citizen," said Napoleon, in one of the shops, "what do they say of Bonaparte?" The shop-keeper spoke of him in terms of the most enthusiastic admiration. "Nevertheless," said Napoleon, "we must watch him. I hope that it will not be found that we have merely changed one tyrant for another—the Directory for Bonaparte." The shop-keeper was so indignant at this irreverent intimation, that he showered upon Napoleon such a volley of abuse, as to compel him to escape precipitately into the street, greatly amused and delighted with the adventure.

It was on the morning of the 19th of February, 1800, when all Paris was in commotion to witness the most gratifying spectacle of the people's sovereign taking possession of the palace of the ancient kings. The brilliance of Napoleon's character and renown had already thrown his colleagues into the shade. They were powerless. No one thought of them. Sieyes foresaw this inevitable result, and, with very commendable self-respect, refused to accept the office of Second Consul. A few interviews with Napoleon had taught him that no one could share power with a will so lofty and commanding. Napoleon says, "Sieyes had fallen into a mistake respecting the nature of these Consuls. He was fearful of mortification and of having the First Consul to contend with at every step. This would have been the case had all the Consuls been equal. We should then have all been enemies. But the Constitution having made them subordinate, there was no room for the struggles of obstinacy." Indeed there was no room for such a conflict. Utter powerlessness can not contend with omnipotence. The subordinate Consuls could only give advice when Napoleon asked it. He was not likely to trouble them.

The royal apartments in the Tuileries were prepared for the First Consul. The more modest saloons in the Pavilion of Flora were assigned to the two other Consuls. Cambaceres, however, was so fully conscious of the real position which he occupied, that he declined entering the palace of the kings. He said to his colleague, Lebrun, "It is an error that we should be lodged in the Tuileries. It suits neither you nor me. For my part, I will not go. General Bonaparte will soon want to lodge there by himself. Then we shall be suffered to retire. It is better not to go at all."

The morning of Napoleon's removal to the Tuileries, he slept later than usual. When Bourrienne entered his chamber at seven o'clock, Napoleon was soundly asleep. On awaking he said, "Well, Bourrienne, we shall at length sleep at the Tuileries. You are very fortunate; you are not obliged to make a show of yourself. You may go in your own way. But as for me, I must go in a procession. This I dislike. But we must have a display. It gratifies the people. The Directory was too simple; it therefore enjoyed no consideration. With the army, simplicity is in its place. But in a great city, in a palace, it is necessary that the chief of a state should draw attention upon himself by all possible means. But we must move with caution. Josephine will see the review from the apartments of Consul Lebrun."

Napoleon entered a magnificent carriage, seated between his two colleagues, who appeared but as his attendants or body-guard. The carriage was drawn by six beautiful white horses, a present to Napoleon from the Emperor of Austria, immediately after the treaty of Campo Formio. A gorgeous train of officers, accompanied by six thousand picked troops, in the richest splendor of military display, composed the cortège. Twenty thousand soldiers, with all the concomitants of martial pomp, in double files, lined the streets through which the procession was to pass. A throng which could not be numbered, from the city and from the country, filled the garden, the streets, the avenues, the balconies, the house-tops, and ebbed and flowed in surging billows far back into the Elysian Fields. They had collected to exult in introducing the idol of the army and of the nation—the people's king—into the palace from which they had expelled the ancient monarchs of France. The[Pg 742] moment the state carriage appeared, the heavens seemed rent with the unanimous shout, "Long live the First Consul." As soon as Napoleon arrived at the foot of the great stair, ascending to the palace, he left the other Consuls, and, mounting his horse, passed in review the magnificent array of troops drawn up before him. Murat was on his right; Lannes on his left. He was surrounded by a brilliant staff of war-worn veterans, whose scarred and sun-burnt visages told of many a toilsome and bloody campaign. There were three brigades, which appeared with the banners which had passed through the terrific conflicts of Lodi, Rivoli, and Arcola. They were black with powder, and torn into shreds by shot. Napoleon instantly uncovered his head, and, with profound reverence, saluted these monuments of military valor. An universal burst of enthusiasm greeted the well-timed and graceful act. Napoleon then returned to the Tuileries, ascended to the audience-chamber, and took his station in the centre of the room. All eyes were fixed upon him. The two associate Consuls were entirely forgotten, or, rather, they were reduced to the rank of pages, following in his train, and gracing his triumph.


The suite of rooms appropriated to Josephine, consisted of two magnificent saloons, with private apartments adjoining. In the evening a vast assemblage of brilliant guests were gathered in those regal halls. When Josephine entered the gorgeously illumined apartments, leaning upon the arm of Talleyrand, and dressed with that admirable taste which she ever displayed, a murmur of admiration rose from the whole assembly. The festivities of the evening were protracted until nearly the dawn of the ensuing morning. When the guests had all retired, Napoleon, with his hands folded behind him, paced to and fro through the spacious halls, apparently absorbed in profound and melancholy thought; and then, as if half soliloquizing, said to his secretary, Bourrienne, "Here we are in the Tuileries. We must take good care to remain here. Who has not inhabited this palace? It has been the abode of robbers; of members of the Convention. There is your brother's house, from which, eight years ago, we saw the good Louis XVI. besieged in the Tuileries and carried off into captivity. But you need not fear a repetition of that scene. Let them attempt it with me if they dare."

The next morning Napoleon said to Bourrienne, "See what it is to have the mind set upon a thing. It is not two years since we resolved to take possession of the Tuileries. Do you think that we have managed affairs badly since that time. In fact, I am well satisfied. Yesterday's affair went off well. Do you imagine that all those people who came to pay their court to me were sincere? Most certainly they were not. But the joy of the people was real. The people know what is right. Besides, consult the great thermometer of public opinion, the public funds. On the 17th Brumaire they were at 11—the 20th, 16—to-day, 21. In this state of things, I can allow the Jacobins to chatter. But they must not talk too loud."

With consummate tact, Napoleon selected the ablest men of the empire to occupy the most important departments in the state. Talleyrand, the wily diplomatist, having received his appointment, said to Napoleon, "You have confided to me the administration of foreign affairs. I will justify your confidence. But I deem it my duty at once to declare, that I will consult with you alone. That France may be well governed, there must be unity of action. The First Consul must retain the direction of every thing, the home, foreign, and police departments, and those of war and the marine. The Second Consul is an able lawyer. I would advise that he have the direction of legal affairs. Let the Third[Pg 743] Consul govern the finances. This will occupy and amuse them. Thus you, having at your disposal the vital powers of government, will be enabled to attain the noble object of your aims, the regeneration of France." Napoleon listened in silence. Having taken leave of his minister, he said to his secretary, "Talleyrand has detected my views. He is a man of excellent sense. He advises just what I intend to do. They walk with speed who walk alone." Some one had objected to the appointment of Talleyrand, saying, "He is a weathercock." "Be it so," said Napoleon, "he is the ablest Minister for Foreign Affairs in our choice. It shall be my care that he exerts his abilities."

"Carnot," objected another, "is a republican." "Republican or not," Napoleon replied, "he is the last Frenchman who will wish to see France dismembered. Let us avail ourselves of his unrivaled talents in the war department, while he is willing to place them at our command."

"Fouché," objected one, "is a compound of falsehood and duplicity." "Fouché alone," Napoleon rejoined, "is able to conduct the ministry of the police. He alone has a knowledge of all the factions and intrigues which have been spreading misery through France. We can not create men. We must take such as we find. It is easier to modify, by circumstances, the feelings and conduct of an able servant than to supply his place."

M. Abriel, a peer of France, was recommended as Minister of Justice. "I do not know you, citizen Abriel," said Napoleon, as he presented him his diploma of office, "but I am informed that you are the most upright man in the magistracy. It is on that account that I have named you Minister of Justice."

One of Napoleon's first acts was to abolish the annual festival celebrating the bloody death of Louis XVI. He declared it to be a barbarous ceremony, and unworthy of a humane people. "Louis was a tyrant," said Sieyes. "Nay, nay," Napoleon promptly replied, "Louis was no tyrant. Had he been a tyrant, I should this day have been a captain of engineers, and you, Monsieur L'Abbé, would have been saying mass."

The Directory had resorted to the iniquitous procedure of forced loans to replenish the bankrupt treasury. Napoleon immediately rejected the tyrannical system. He assembled seventy of the most wealthy capitalists of Paris, in his closet at the Tuileries. Frankly he laid before them the principles of the new government, and the claims it had on the confidence of the public. The appeal was irresistible. The merchants and bankers, overjoyed at the prospect of just and stable laws, by acclamation voted an immediate loan of two millions of dollars. Though this made provision but for a few days, it was very timely aid. He then established an equitable tax upon property, sufficient to meet the exigencies of the state. The people paid the tax without a murmur.

Napoleon entertained profound aversion for the men who had been engaged in the sanguinary scenes of the revolution, particularly for the regicides. He always spoke with horror of those men of blood, whom he called the assassins of Louis. He deplored the necessity of employing any of them. Cambaceres was a member of the Convention which had condemned the king to the guillotine. Though he voted against the sentence of death, he had advocated his arrest. "Remember," said Napoleon one day to Cambaceres, at the same time playfully pinching his ear, "that I had nothing to do with that atrocious business. But your case, my dear Cambaceres, is clear. If the Bourbons ever return, you must be hanged." Cambaceres did not enjoy such pleasantry. His smile was ghastly. Upon the reorganization of the Supreme Court of France, Napoleon said to Bourrienne, "I do not take any decided steps against the regicides. But I will show what I think of them. Target, the president of this court, refused to defend Louis XVI. I will replace him by Tronchet, who so nobly discharged that perilous duty. They may say what they choose. My mind is made up."

The enthusiasm of the army was immediately revived by the attention which the First Consul devoted to its interests. He presented beautiful sabres to those soldiers who had highly distinguished themselves. One hundred were thus conferred. A sergeant of grenadiers had obtained permission to write to the First Consul, expressing his thanks. Napoleon, with his own hand, replied, "I have received your letter, my brave comrade. You had no occasion to remind me of your gallant behavior. You are the most courageous grenadier in the army since the death of the brave Benezeti. You have received one of the hundred sabres which I have distributed, and all agree that none deserve it better. I wish much to see you again. The Minister of War sends you an order to come to Paris." This letter was widely circulated in the army, and roused the enthusiasm of the soldiers to the highest pitch. The First Consul, the most illustrious general of France, the great Napoleon, calls a sergeant of grenadiers "my brave comrade." This sympathy for the people was ever a prominent trait in Napoleon's character.

The following anecdote will illustrate his views upon this subject; or, rather, a part of his views. All men have varying moods of mind, which seem to be antagonistic to each other. Napoleon was conversing with O'Meara respecting the English naval service.

"During the winter," said O'Meara, "the seamen are better off at sea than the officers."

"Why so?" inquired Napoleon.

"Because," was the reply, "they have the advantage of the galley-fire, where they can warm and dry themselves."

"And why can not the officers do the same?"

"It would not be exactly decorous," O'Meara replied, "for the officers to mix in that familiar way with the men."

"Ah, this aristocratic pride!" exclaimed Napoleon "Why, in my campaigns, I used to go[Pg 744] to the lines in the bivouacs; sit down with the humblest soldier, and converse freely with him. You are the most aristocratic nation in the world. I always prided myself on being the man of the people. I sprung from the populace myself. Whenever a man had merit I elevated him, without asking how many degrees of nobility he had. To the aristocracy you pay every kind of attention. Nothing can be too good for them. The people you treat precisely as if they were slaves. Can any thing be more horrible than your pressing of seamen? You send your boats on shore to seize upon every male that can be found, who, if they have the misfortune to belong to the populace, if they can not prove themselves gentlemen, are hurried on board your ships. And yet you have the impudence to cry out against the conscription in France. It wounds your pride, because it fell upon all ranks. You are shocked that a gentleman's son should be obliged to defend his country, just as if he were one of the common people—that he should be compelled to expose his body like a vile plebeian. Yet God made all men alike. One day the people will avenge themselves. That conscription, which so offended your aristocratic pride, was conducted scrupulously according to the principles of equal rights. Every native of a country is bound to defend it. The conscription did not, like your press-gang, crush a particular class, because they were poor. It was the most just, because the most equal, mode of raising troops. It rendered the French army the best composed in the world."

When a prisoner on board the Northumberland, in his passage to St. Helena, all the common sailors, though English, became most enthusiastically attached to Napoleon. Some one alluded to this fact. "Yes," said Napoleon, "I believe that they were my friends. I used to go among them; speak to them kindly, and ask familiar questions. My freedom in this respect quite astonished them, as it was so different from that which they had been accustomed to receive from their own officers. You English are great aristocrats. You keep a wide distance between yourselves and the people."

It was observed in reply, "On board a man-of-war it is necessary to keep the seamen at a great distance, in order to maintain a proper respect for the officers."

"I do not think," Napoleon rejoined, "that it is necessary to keep up so much reserve as you practice. When the officers do not eat or drink, or make too many freedoms with the seamen, I see no necessity for any greater distinctions. Nature formed all men equal. It was always my custom to go freely among the soldiers and the common people, to converse with them, ask them little histories, and speak kindly to them. This I found to be of the greatest benefit to me. On the contrary, the generals and officers I kept at a great distance."

Notwithstanding these protestations of freedom from aristocratic pride, which were unquestionably sincere, and in their intended application strictly true, it is also evident that Napoleon was by no means insensible to the mysterious fascination of illustrious rank. It is a sentiment implanted in the human heart, which never has been, and never can be eradicated. Just at this time Murat sought Napoleon's sister Caroline for his bride. "Murat! Murat!" said Napoleon, thoughtfully and hesitatingly. "He is the son of an innkeeper. In the elevated rank to which I have attained I can not mix my blood with his." For a moment he seemed lost in thought, and then continued, "Besides, there is no hurry. I shall see by-and-by." A friend of the young cavalry officer urged the strong attachment of the two for each other. He also plead Murat's devotion to Napoleon, his brilliant courage, and the signal service he had rendered at the battle of Aboukir. "Yes," Napoleon replied, with animation, "Murat was superb at Aboukir. Well, for my part, all things considered, I am satisfied. Murat suits my sister. And, then, they can not say that I am aristocratic, that I seek grand alliances. Had I given my sister to a noble, all you Jacobins would have cried out for a counter-revolution. Since that matter is settled we must hasten the business. We have no time to lose. If I go to Italy I wish to take Murat with me. We must strike a decisive blow, there. Come to-morrow." Notwithstanding Napoleon's vast power, and the millions which had been at his disposal, his private purse was still so empty, that he could present his sister Caroline with but six thousand dollars as her marriage portion. Feeling the necessity of making some present in accordance with his exalted rank, he took a magnificent diamond necklace, belonging to Josephine, as the bridal gift. Josephine most gracefully submitted to this spoliation of her jewelry.

As Napoleon became more familiar with the heights of power to which he had attained, all these plebeian scruples vanished. He sought to ally his family with the proudest thrones of Europe; and, repelling from his bosom the faithful wife of his early years, he was proud of commingling his own blood with that of a daughter of the Cæsars.

In the midst of these events, the news arrived in France of the death of Washington. Napoleon immediately issued the following order of the day to the army:—"Washington is dead! That great man fought against tyranny. He established the liberty of his country. His memory will be ever dear to the free men of both hemispheres; and especially to the French soldiers, who, like him and the American troops, have fought for liberty and equality. As a mark of respect, the First Consul orders that, for ten days, black crape be suspended from all the standards and banners of the Republic."

In reference to the course he pursued at this time, Napoleon subsequently remarked, "Only those who wish to deceive the people, and rule them for their own personal advantage, would desire to keep them in ignorance. The more they are enlightened, the more will they feel convinced of the utility of laws, and of the necessity of defending them; and the more steady, happy, and prosperous will society become. If knowledge[Pg 745] should ever be dangerous to the multitude, it can can only be when the government, in opposition to the interests of the people, drives them into an unnatural situation, or dooms the lower classes to perish for want. In such a case, knowledge will inspire them with the spirit to defend themselves. My code alone, from its simplicity, has been more beneficial to France than the whole mass of laws which preceded it. My schools and my system of mutual instruction, are to elevate generations yet unborn. Thus, during my reign, crimes were constantly diminishing. On the contrary, with our neighbors in England, they have been increasing to a frightful degree. This alone is sufficient to enable any one to form a decisive judgment of the respective governments.[3]

"Look at the United States," he continued, "where, without any apparent force or effort, every thing goes on prosperously. Every one is happy and contented. And this is because the public wishes and interests are in fact the ruling power. Place the same government at variance with the will and interest of its inhabitants, and you would soon see what disturbance, trouble, and confusion—above all, what increase of crime, would ensue. When I acquired the supreme direction of affairs, it was wished that I might become a Washington. Words cost nothing; and no doubt those who were so ready to express the wish, did so without any knowledge of times, places, persons, or things. Had I been in America, I would willingly have been a Washington. I should have had little merit in so being. I do not see how I could reasonably have acted otherwise. But had Washington been in France, exposed to discord within and invasion from without, he could by no possibility have been what he was in America. Indeed it would have been folly to have attempted it. It would only have prolonged the existence of evil. For my part, I could only have been a crowned Washington. It was only in a congress of kings, and in the midst of kings, yielding or subdued, that I could take my place. Then, and then only, could I successfully display Washington's moderation, disinterestedness and wisdom."

"I think," said La Fayette, at the time of the revolution which placed Louis Phillipe upon the throne of France, "that the Constitution of the United States is the best which has ever existed. But France is not prepared for such a government. We need a throne surrounded by republican institutions."

Napoleon was indefatigable in his endeavors to reorganize in the Tuileries the splendors of a court. The French people were like children who needed to be amused, and Napoleon took good care to provide amusement for them. His ante-chambers were filled with chamberlains, pages, and esquires. Servants, in brilliant liveries, loitered in the halls and on the staircases. Magnificent entertainments were provided, at which Josephine presided with surpassing grace and elegance. Balls, operas, and theatres, began to be crowded with splendor and fashion, and the gay Parisians were delighted. Napoleon personally took no interest whatever in these things. All his energies were engrossed in the accomplishment of magnificent enterprises for the elevation of France. "While they are discussing these changes," said he, "they will cease to talk nonsense about my politics, and that is what I want. Let them amuse themselves. Let them dance. But let them not thrust their heads into the councils of government. Commerce will revive under the increasing expenditure of the capital. I am not afraid of the Jacobins. I never was so much applauded as at the last parade. It is ridiculous to say that nothing is right but what is new. We have had enough of such novelties. I would rather have the balls of the opera than the saturnalia of the Goddess of Reason."[4]

While Napoleon was thus engaged in reconstructing society in France, organizing the army, strengthening the navy, and conducting the diplomacy of Europe, he was maturing and executing the most magnificent plans of internal improvements. In early life he had conceived a passion for architectural grandeur, which had been strengthened and chastened by his residence among the time-honored monuments of Italy and Egypt. With inconceivable activity of mind, he planned those vast works of utility and of beauty in Paris, and all over the empire, which will forever remain the memorials of his well-directed energies, and which will throw a lustre over his reign which never can be sullied. He erected the beautiful quay on the banks of the Seine, in front of the Tuileries. He swept away the buildings which deformed the Place Carrousel, and united the Louvre and the Tuileries, forming a magnificent square between those splendid edifices. He commenced the construction of a fourth side for the great square opposite the picture gallery. It was a vast and a noble undertaking; but it was interrupted by those fierce wars, which the allied kings of Europe waged against him. The Bridge of Arts was commenced. The convents of the Feuillans and Capucines, which had been filled with victims during the revolution, were torn down, and the magnificent Rue de Rivoli, now one of the chief ornaments of Paris, was thrown open. Canals, bridges, turnpike-roads, all over the empire, were springing into existence. One single mind inspired the nation.

The most inveterate opponents of Napoleon are constrained to the admission that it is impossible[Pg 746] to refuse the praise of consummate prudence and skill to these, and indeed to all the arrangements he adopted in this great crisis of his history. "We are creating a new era," said he. "Of the past we must forget the bad, and remember only the good."

In one of the largest and most populous provinces of France, that of La Vendee, many thousand royalists had collected, and were carrying on a most desperate civil war. England, with her ships, was continually sending to them money, ammunition, and arms, and landing among them regiments of emigrant troops formed in London. They had raised an army of sixty thousand men. All the efforts of the Directory to quell the insurrection had been unavailing. The most awful atrocities had disgraced this civil conflict. As soon as Napoleon was firmly seated in his consular chair, he sent an invitation for the chiefs of these royalist forces in La Vendee to visit him in Paris, assuring them of a safe return. They all accepted the invitation. Napoleon met them in his audience-chamber with the utmost kindness and frankness. He assured them that it was his only object to rescue France from the ruin into which it had fallen; to bring peace and happiness to his distracted country. With that laconic logic which he had ever at command, he said, "Are you fighting in self-defense? You have no longer cause to fight. I will not molest you. I will protect you in all your rights. Have you taken arms to revive the reign of the ancient kings? You see the all but unanimous decision of the nation. Is it honorable for so decided a minority to attempt, by force of arms, to dictate laws to the majority?"

Napoleon's arguments were as influential as his battalions. They yielded at once, not merely their swords but their hearts' homage. One alone, George Cadoudal, a sullen, gigantic savage, who preferred banditti marauding above the blessings of peace, refused to yield. Napoleon had a private interview with him. The guard at the door were extremely alarmed lest the semi-barbarian should assassinate the First Consul. Napoleon appealed to his patriotism, his humanity, but all in vain. Cadoudal demanded his passports and left Paris. "Why did I not," he afterward often said, as he looked at his brawny, hairy, Samson-like arms, "strangle that man when I had him in my power?" He went to London, where he engaged in many conspiracies for the assassination of Napoleon, and was finally taken in France, and shot.


Civil war was now at an end, and with most singular unanimity all France was rejoicing in the reign of the First Consul. Napoleon loved not war. He wished to build up, not to tear down. He desired the glory of being the benefactor and not the scourge of his fellow-men. Every conflict in which he had thus far been engaged was strictly a war of self-defense. The expedition to Egypt can not be considered an exception, for that enterprise was undertaken as the only means of repelling the assaults of the most determined and powerful enemy France has ever known. Napoleon was now strong. All France was united in him. With unobstructed power he could wield all her resources, and guide all her armies. Under these circumstances most signally did he show his love of peace, by adopting the very characteristic measure of writing directly to the King of England and to the Emperor of Austria, proposing reconciliation. It was noble in the highest degree for him to do so. Pride would have said, "They commenced the conflict; they shall be the first to ask for peace." To the King of England he wrote,

"Called, Sire, by the wishes of the French nation, to occupy the first magistracy of the Republic, I judge it well, on entering my office, to address myself directly to your Majesty. Must[Pg 747] the war, which for the four last years has devastated the world, be eternal? Are there no means of coming to an understanding? How can the two most enlightened nations of Europe, stronger already and more powerful than their safety or their independence requires, sacrifice to ideas of vain-glory the well-being of commerce, internal prosperity, and the repose of families! How is it that they do not feel peace to be the first of necessities as the first of glories? These sentiments can not be strangers to the heart of your Majesty, who governs a free people with the sole aim of rendering it happy.

"Your Majesty will perceive only, in this overture, the sincerity of my desire to contribute efficaciously, for a second time, to the general pacification, by this prompt advance, perfectly confidential and disembarrassed of those forms, which, perhaps necessary to disguise the dependence of weak states, reveal, when adopted by strong states, only the wish of mutual deception. France and England by the misuse of their powers, may yet, for a long period, retard, to the misery of all nations, their exhaustion. But I venture to say that the fate of the civilized world is connected with the termination of a war, which has set the whole world in flames."

To this magnanimous application for peace, the King of England did not judge it proper to return any personal answer. Lord Grenville replied in a letter full of most bitter recriminations. And all France was exasperated by the insulting declaration that if France really desired peace, "The best and most natural pledge of its reality and permanence, would be the restoration of that line of princes which, for so many centuries maintained the French nation in prosperity at home, and consideration and respect abroad. Such an event would at once remove, and will at any time remove all obstacles in the way of negotiation or peace."

This was, indeed, an irritating response to Napoleon's pacific appeal. He, however, with great dignity and moderation, replied through his minister, M. Talleyrand, in the following terms:

"So far from having provoked the war, France, from the commencement of the revolution, solemnly proclaimed her love of peace, her disinclination for conquests, and her respect for the independence of all governments. And it is not to be doubted, that occupied at that time entirely with her own internal affairs, she would have avoided taking any part in those of Europe, and would have remained faithful to her declarations.

"But from an opposite disposition, as soon as the French revolution had broken out, almost all Europe entered into a league for its destruction. The aggression was real long before it was public. Internal resistance was excited; the enemies of the revolution were favorably received, their extravagant declamations were supported, the French nation was insulted in the person of its agents, and England particularly set this example, by the dismissal of the minister of the Republic. Finally, France was attacked in her independence, her honor, and her safety, long before war was declared.

"It is to these projects of dismemberment, subjection, and dissolution, that France has a right to impute the evils which she has suffered, and those which have afflicted Europe. Assailed on all sides, the Republic could not but equally extend the efforts of her defense. And it is only for the maintenance of her own independence, that she has called into requisition her own strength and the courage of her citizens. If in the midst of the critical circumstances which the revolution and the war have brought on, France has not always shown as much moderation as the nation has shown courage, it must be imputed to the fatal and persevering animosity with which the resources of England have been lavished to accomplish the ruin of France.

"But if the wishes of his Britannic majesty are in unison with those of the French Republic, for the re-establishment of peace, why, instead of attempting apologies for the war, should not attention be directed to the means of terminating it. It can not be doubted that his Britannic Majesty must recognize the right of nations to choose their form of government, since it is from this right that he holds his crown. But the First Consul can not comprehend how, after admitting this fundamental principle, upon which rests the existence of political societies, his Majesty could annex insinuations, which tend to an interference with the internal affairs of the Republic. Such interference is no less injurious to the French nation and its government, than it would be to England and his Majesty, if an invitation were held out, in form of a return to that republican form of government which England adopted about the middle of the last century, or an exhortation to recall to the throne that family whom their birth had placed there, and whom a revolution had compelled to descend from it."

There was no possibility of parrying these home thrusts. Lord Grenville consequently entirely lost his temper. Replying in a note even more angry and bitter than the first, he declared that England was fighting for the security of all governments against French Jacobinism, and that hostilities would be immediately urged on anew without any relaxation. Napoleon was not at all disappointed or disheartened at the result of this correspondence. He earnestly desired peace. But he was not afraid of war. Conscious of the principle, "thrice is he armed who hath his quarrel just," he was happy in the conviction that the sympathies of impartial men in all nations would be with him. He knew that the arrogant tone assumed by England, would unite France as one man, in determined and undying resistance. "The answer," said he, "filled me with satisfaction. It could not have been more favorable. England wants war. She shall have it. Yes! yes! war to the death."

The throne of the King of England, the opulence of her bishops, and the enormous estates of her nobles were perhaps dependent upon the issue of this conflict. The demolition of all exclusive privileges, and the establishment of perfect equality of rights among all classes of men[Pg 748] in France, must have shaken the throne, the aristocracy, and the hierarchy of England, with earthquake power. The government of England was mainly in the hands of the king, the bishops, and the lords. Their all was at stake. In a temptation so sore, frail human nature must not be too severely censured. For nearly ten years, the princes of France had been wandering houseless fugitives over Europe. The nobles of France, ejected from their castles, with their estates confiscated, were beggars in all lands. Bishops who had been wrapped in ermine, and who had rolled in chariots of splendor, were glad to warm their shivering limbs by the fire of the peasant, and to satiate their hunger with his black bread. To king, and bishop, and noble, in England, this was a fearful warning. It seemed to be necessary for their salvation to prevent all friendly intercourse between England and France, to hold up the principles of the French Revolution to execration, and above all, to excite, if possible, the detestation of the people of England, against Napoleon, the child and the champion of popular rights. Napoleon was the great foe to be feared, for with his resplendent genius he was enthroning himself in the hearts of the people of all lands.

But no impartial man, in either hemisphere, can question that the right was with Napoleon. It was not the duty of the thirty millions of France to ask permission of the fifteen millions of England to modify their government. The kings of Europe, led by England, had combined to force with the bayonet, upon France, a rejected and an execrated dynasty. The inexperienced Republic, distracted and impoverished by these terrific blows, was fast falling to ruin. The people invested Napoleon with almost dictatorial powers for their rescue. It was their only hope. Napoleon, though conscious of strength, in the name of bleeding humanity, pleaded for peace. His advances were met with contumely and scorn, and the trumpet notes of defiant hosts rang from the Thames to the Danube. The ports of France were blockaded by England's invincible fleet, demolishing the feeble navy of the Republic, and bombarding her cities. An army of three hundred thousand men pressed upon the frontiers of France, threatening a triumphant march to her capital, there to compel, by bayonet and bomb-shell, the French people to receive a Bourbon for their king. There was no alternative left to Napoleon but to defend his country. Most nobly he did it.

The correspondence with the British government, which redounds so much to the honor of Napoleon, vastly multiplied his friends among the masses of the people in England, and roused in parliament, a very formidable opposition to the measures of government. This opposition was headed by Fox, Sheridan, Lord Erskine, the Duke of Bedford, and Lord Holland. They did not adopt the atrocious maxim, "Our country—right or wrong," but rather the ennobling principle "Our country—when in the wrong, we will try to put her right." Never, in the history of the world, has there been a more spirited or a more eloquent opposition than this question elicited. Fox, the rival of Pitt, and the profound admirer of Napoleon, was the most prominent leader of this opposition. Napoleon, with his laconic and graphic eloquence, thus describes the antagonistic English statesmen. "In Fox, the heart warmed the genius. In Pitt the genius withered the heart."

"You ask," the opposition exclaimed, "who was the aggressor? What matters that? You say it was France. France says it was England. The party you accuse of being the aggressor is the first to offer to lay down arms. Shall interminable war continue merely to settle a question of history? You say it is useless to treat with France. Yet you treated with the Directory. Prussia and Spain have treated with the Republic, and have found no cause for complaint. You speak of the crimes of France. And yet your ally, Naples, commits crimes more atrocious, without the excuse of popular excitement. You speak of ambition. But Russia, Prussia, and Austria, have divided Poland. Austria grasps the provinces of Italy. You yourself take possession of India, of part of the Spanish, and of all the Dutch colonies. Who shall say that one is more guilty than another in this strife of avarice. If you ever intend to treat with the French Republic, there can be no more favorable moment than the present."

By way of commentary upon the suggestion that France must re-enthrone the Bourbons, a letter was published, either real or pretended, from the heir of the exiled house of Stuart, demanding from George the Third, the throne of his ancestors. There was no possible way of parrying this home thrust. George the Third, by his own admission, was an usurper, seated upon the throne of the exiled Stuarts. The opposition enjoyed exceedingly the confusion produced, in the enemies' ranks, by this well-directed shot.

The government replied, "Peace with Republican France endangers all the monarchies of Europe. The First Consul is but carrying out, with tremendous energy, the principles of the revolution—the supremacy of the people. Peace with France is but a cessation of resistance to wrong. France still retains the sentiments which characterized the dawn of her revolution. She was democratic. She is democratic. She declares war against kings. She continues to seek their destruction."

There was much force in these declarations. It is true that Napoleon was not, in the strict sense of the word, a democrat. He was not in favor of placing the government in the hands of the great mass of the people. He made no disguise of his conviction that in France the people had neither the intelligence nor the virtue essential to the support of a wise and stable republic. Distinctly he avowed that in his judgment the experiment of a republic had utterly failed, that France must return to monarchy. The great mass of the people were also satisfied of this[Pg 749] necessity. "The French generally," said Napoleon, "do not ask for liberty. They only seek equality."

But France no longer wished for an aristocratic king, who would confer wealth, splendor, and power exclusively upon his nobles. The old feudal throne was still hated with implacable hatred. France demanded a popular throne; a king for the people, one who would consult the interests of the masses, who would throw open to all alike the avenues of influence and honor and opulence. Such a monarch was Napoleon. The people adored him. He is our emperor, they shouted with enthusiasm. We will make him greater than all the kings of all the nobles. His palaces shall be more sumptuous, his retinue more magnificent, his glory more dazzling; for our daughters may enter his court as maids of honor, and our sons may go in and out at the Tuileries, Versailles, and St. Cloud, the marshals of France. Lord Grenville was right in saying that Napoleon was but carrying out the principles of the revolution—equality of privileges—the supremacy of popular rights. But the despots of Europe were as hostile to such a king as to a republic.

On the same day in which Napoleon's pacific letter was sent to the King of England, another, of the same character, was dispatched to the Emperor of Austria. It was conceived in the following terms:

"Having returned to Europe, after an absence of eighteen months, I find a war kindled between the French Republic and your Majesty. The French nation has called me to the occupation of the First Magistracy. A stranger to every feeling of vain-glory, the first of my wishes is to stop the effusion of blood which is about to flow. Every thing leads me to foresee that, in the next campaign, numerous armies, ably conducted, will treble the number of the victims, who have already fallen since the resumption of hostilities. The well-known character of your Majesty, leaves me no doubt as to the secret wishes of your heart. If those wishes only are listened to, I perceive the possibility of reconciling the interests of the two nations.

"In the relations which I have formerly entertained with your Majesty, you have shown me some personal regard. I beg you, therefore, to see in this overture, which I have made to you, the desire to respond to that regard, and to convince your Majesty, more and more, of the very distinguished consideration which I feel toward you."

Austria replied, in courteous terms, that she could take no steps in favor of peace without consulting her ally England. Thus all Napoleon's efforts to arrest the desolations of war failed. The result had been anticipated. He was well aware of the unrelenting hostility with which the banded kings of Europe contemplated the overthrow of a feudal throne, and of the mortal antipathy with which they regarded the thought of receiving a democratic king into their aristocratic brotherhood. Nothing now remained for Napoleon but to prepare to meet his foes. The allies, conscious of the genius of that great captain who had filled the world with the renown of his victories, exerted themselves to the utmost to raise such forces, and to assail Napoleon with numbers so overwhelming, and in quarters so varied as to insure his bewilderment and ruin. The Archduke Charles, of Austria, who was practically acquainted with the energy of Napoleon, urged peace. But England and Austria were both confident that France, exhausted in men and money, could not hold out for another campaign.

The Bourbons now made an attempt to bribe Napoleon to replace them upon their lost throne. The Count of Provence, subsequently Louis XVIII., wrote to him from London, "For a long time, general, you must have known the esteem in which I hold you. If you doubt my gratitude, mark your own place. Point out the situation you wish for your friends. The victor of Lodi, Castiglione, and Arcola, can never prefer a vain celebrity to true glory. But you are losing the most precious moments. We could secure the happiness of France. I say we, for I require Bonaparte for such an attempt, and he could not achieve it without me. Europe observes you. Glory awaits you. I am impatient to restore peace to my people."

Napoleon did not imitate the example of the King of England and pass this letter over to his minister. Courteously and kindly, with his own hand he replied. "I have received your letter. I thank you for the obliging expressions it contains respecting myself. You should renounce all hopes of returning to France. You could not return but over the corpses of 100,000 Frenchmen. Sacrifice your interest to the happiness and repose of your country. History will duly appreciate your conduct, in so doing. I am not insensible to the misfortunes of your family, and shall learn with pleasure that you are surrounded with every thing which can restore the tranquillity of your retreat."

Benedict Arnold attempted to bring the American Revolution to a close by surrendering the United States to their rejected king. It was not in Napoleon's line of ambition to imitate his example. The Bourbons, finding the direct proffer of reward unavailing, then tried the effect of female blandishments. The fascinating Duchess of Guiche, a lady of great beauty and talent, was dispatched a secret emissary to the court of the First Consul, to employ all the arts of eloquence, address, and the most voluptuous loveliness, in gaining an influence over Napoleon. Josephine, who had suffered so much during the Revolution, and whose associations had been with the aristocracy of France, was a royalist. She trembled for the safety of her husband, and was very anxious that he should do whatever in honor might be done, to restore the Bourbons. In every possible way she befriended the royalists, and had secured, all over Europe, their cordial esteem. The Duchess of Guiche easily got access to Josephine. Artfully she said, one morning at the breakfast-table, "A few days ago I[Pg 750] was with the Count of Provence in London. Some one asked him what he intended to do for Napoleon, in the event of his restoring the Bourbons. He replied, 'I would immediately make him Constable of France, and every thing else which he might choose. And we would raise on the Carrousel, a magnificent column, surmounted with a statue of Bonaparte crowning the Bourbons.'" Soon after breakfast Napoleon entered. Josephine most eagerly repeated the words to him. "And did you not reply," said Napoleon, "that the corpse of the First Consul would be made the pedestal of the column." The fascinating duchess was still present. She immediately assailed Napoleon with all her artillery of beauty, smiles, and flattery. The voluptuous freedom of her manners, and the charms of the bewitching emissary, alarmed the jealousy of Josephine. Napoleon, however, was impervious to the assault. That night the duchess received orders to quit Paris; and in the morning, in the charge of the police, she was on her way toward the frontier.


It has often been said that Napoleon made overtures to the Bourbons for the cession of their rights to the throne. In reference to this assertion Napoleon says, "How was such a thing possible? I, who could only reign by the very principle which excluded them, that of the sovereignty of the people; how could I have sought to possess, through them, rights which were proscribed in their persons? That would have been to proscribe myself. The absurdity would have been too palpable, too ridiculous. It would have ruined me forever in public opinion. The fact is that neither directly nor indirectly, at home or abroad, did I ever do any thing of the kind."

The report probably originated in the following facts. Friendly relations were at one time existing between Prussia and France. The Prussian government inquired if Napoleon would take umbrage if the Bourbon princes were allowed[Pg 751] to remain in the Prussian territory. Napoleon replied that he had no objections to that arrangement. Emboldened by the prompt consent, it was then asked if the French government would be willing to furnish them with an annual allowance for their support. Napoleon replied that it should be done most cheerfully, provided Prussia would be responsible for the princes remaining quiet, and abstaining from all intrigues to disturb the peace of France.

A few evenings after this last attempt of Louis XVIII. to regain the throne, Napoleon was one evening walking with Bourrienne in the gardens of his favorite retreat at Malmaison. He was in fine spirits, for all things were moving on very prosperously.


"Has my wife," said he to Bourrienne, "been speaking to you of the Bourbons?"

"No, general!" Bourrienne replied.

"But, when you converse with her," Napoleon added, "you lean a little to her opinions. Tell me now, why do you desire the return of the Bourbons? You have no interest in their return; nothing to expect from them. You can never be any thing with them. You have no chance but to remain all your life in an inferior situation. Have you ever seen a man rise under kings by merit alone?"

"General," replied Bourrienne, "I am quite of your opinion on one point. I have never received any favor under the Bourbons; neither have I the vanity to suppose I should ever rise, under them, to any conspicuous station. But I look at the interests of France. I believe that you will hold your power as long as you live. But you have no children, and it is pretty certain that you will never have any by Josephine. What are we to do when you are gone? What is to become of France? You have often said that your brothers were not—"

Here Napoleon interrupted him, exclaiming: "Ah! as to that you are right. If I do not live thirty years to finish my work, you will, when I am dead, have long civil wars. My brothers do not suit France. You will then have a violent contest among the most distinguished generals, each of whom will think that he has a right to take my place."

"Well, general," said Bourrienne, "why do you not endeavor to remedy those evils which you foresee?"

"Do you suppose," Napoleon replied, "that I have never thought of that? But weigh well the difficulties which are in my way. In case of a restoration, what is to become of the men who were conspicuous in the revolution? What is to become of the confiscated estates and the national domain, which have been sold and sold again? What is to become of all the changes which have been effected in the last twelve years?"

"But, general," said Bourrienne, "need I recall to your attention, that Louis XVIII. in his letter to you guarantees the contrary of all which you apprehend? Are you not in a situation to impose any conditions you may think fit?"

"Depend upon it," Napoleon replied, "the Bourbons will think that they have reconquered their inheritance, and will dispose of it as they please. Engagements the most sacred, promises the most positive, will disappear before force. No sensible man will trust them. My mind is made up. Let us say no more upon the subject. But I know how these women torment you. Let them mind their knitting, and leave me to mind my affairs."

Pithily Bourrienne adds, "The women knitted. I wrote at my desk. Napoleon made himself Emperor. The empire has fallen to pieces. Napoleon is dead at St. Helena. The Bourbons have been restored."

The boundless popularity which Napoleon acquired, was that which follows great achievements, not that which is ingloriously sought for by pampering to the vices and yielding to the prejudices of the populace. Napoleon was never a demagogue. His administration was in accordance with his avowed principles. "A sovereign," said he, "must serve his people with dignity, and not make it his chief study to please them. The best mode of winning their love is to secure their welfare. Nothing is more dangerous than for a sovereign to flatter his subjects. If they do not afterward obtain every thing which they want, they become irritated, and fancy that promises have been broken. If they are then resisted, their hatred increases in proportion as they consider themselves deceived. A sovereign's first duty is unquestionably to conform with the wishes of his people. But what the people say is scarcely[Pg 752] ever what they wish. Their desires and their wants can not be learned from their own mouths, so well as they are to be read in the heart of their prince."

Again he said in memorable words, which must not be forgotten in forming a just estimate of his character, "The system of government must be adapted to the spirit of the nation. France required a strong government. France was in the same state as Rome when a dictator was declared necessary for the salvation of the republic. Successions of coalitions against the existence of the Republic, had been formed by English gold among all the most powerful nations of Europe. To resist successfully it was essential that all the energies of the country should be at the disposal of the chief. I never conquered unless in my own defense. Europe never ceased to make war against France and her principles. It was necessary for us to conquer, that we might not be conquered. Between the parties which agitated France I was like a rider seated on an unruly horse, who always wants to swerve either to the right or the left. To lead him to keep a straight course, he is obliged to make him feel the bridle. The government of a country, just emerging from revolution, menaced by foreign enemies and agitated by the intrigues of domestic traitors, must necessarily be energetic. In quieter times my dictatorship would have terminated, and I should have commenced my constitutional reign. Even, as it was, with a coalition always existing against me, either secret or public, there was more equality in France, than in any other country in Europe. One of my grand objects was to render education accessible to every body. I caused every institution to be formed upon a plan which offered instruction to the public either gratis, or at a rate so moderate as not to be beyond the means of the peasant. The museums were thrown open to the whole people. The French populace would have become the best educated in the world. All my efforts were directed to illuminate the mass of the nation, instead of brutifying them by ignorance and superstition. The English people, who are lovers of liberty, will one day lament, with tears, having gained the battle of Waterloo. It was as fatal to the liberties of Europe as that of Philippi was to those of Rome. It has precipitated Europe into the hands of despots, banded together for the oppression of mankind."

Though Napoleon felt deeply the sanctity of law, and the necessity of securing the inflexible enforcement of its penalties, he was never more highly gratified than when he was enabled, by the exercise of the pardoning power, to rescue the condemned. Says Bourrienne, whose testimony will not be questioned, "When the imperious necessities of his political situation, to which, in fact, he sacrificed every thing, did not interpose, the saving of life afforded him the highest satisfaction. He would even have thanked those, to whom he rendered such a service, for the gratification they had thus afforded him." A French emigrant, M. Defeu, had been taken, with arms in his hands, fighting against France. The crime was treason; the penalty death. He was connected with some of the most honorable families in France. A very earnest petition was presented to Napoleon for his pardon. "There is no room for mercy here," Napoleon sternly replied. "A man who fights against his country is a child who would kill his mother." The affecting condition of his family was urged, and the beneficial effects upon the community of such an act of clemency. Napoleon paused for a moment, and then said, "Write, 'The First Consul orders the judgment on M. Defeu to be suspended.'" The laconic reprieve was instantly written, signed by Napoleon, and dispatched to Sens, where the unfortunate man was imprisoned. The next morning, the moment Bourrienne entered the First Consul's apartment, Napoleon said to him, "I do not like to do my work by halves. Write to Sens, 'The First Consul desires that M. Defeu be immediately liberated.' He may repay the deed with ingratitude. But we can not help that—so much the worse for him. In all such cases, Bourrienne, never hesitate to speak to me. When I refuse it will only be because I can not do otherwise."

In Napoleon's disposition firmness and gentleness were singularly and beautifully blended. The following anecdote illustrates the inflexibility of his sense of justice. A wealthy nobleman, thirty years of age, had married a young girl of sixteen. It was a mercenary marriage. The friends of the young lady, without any regard to her feelings, dragged her to the altar. She cherished no affection for her husband. He became jealous of her, and, without the slightest proof of her criminality, murdered her. He was arrested, tried, and condemned to death. Connected by birth with the first families in France, and rallying around him the interest of the most influential of friends, great exertions were made to obtain from the First Consul a pardon. To the petitioners, pleading in his behalf, Napoleon replied:

"Why should I pardon this man? He availed himself of his fortune for the vile purpose of bribing the affections of a girl. He did not succeed in winning them, and he became jealous. His jealousy was not the result of love but of vanity. He has committed the crime of murder. What urged him to it? Not his honor, for his wife had not injured it. No! he was instigated by brutality, vanity, and self-love. He has no claim to mercy. The rich are too prone to consider themselves elevated above the reach of the law. They imagine that wealth is a sacred shield to them. This man has committed a crime for which there are no extenuating circumstances. He must suffer the punishment to which he is justly doomed. If I were to pardon him, that act of misplaced indulgence would put in jeopardy the life of every married woman. As the law positively protects the outraged husband, so it must protect the wife against the consequences of dislike, interest, caprice, or a new passion, which may impel a husband to obtain a divorce,[Pg 753] by a more prompt and less expensive course than a legal process."


Josephine whose tender feelings at times controlled her judgment was urgent in her intercession. Many of the relatives of the wretched man were among her most intimate friends. "This," said she, "is the first favor I have asked since your attainment of the supreme power. Surely you will not deny me?"

"I can not," said Napoleon, "grant your request. And when it is known, Josephine, that even your persuasions could not induce me to commit an act of injustice, no one else will henceforth dare to petition me for such a purpose."

England, Austria, and Russia, together with many other of the minor powers of monarchical Europe, were now combined against France. The Emperor Paul of Russia had furnished a large army to co-operate with the allies in their assault upon the Republic. Ten thousand of the Russians had been taken prisoners. But in the recent disasters which had overwhelmed the arms of France, many thousand French prisoners were in the hands of the allies. Napoleon proposed an exchange. The Austrian government refused, because it selfishly wished to exchange for Austrians only. The English government also refused, assigning the reason that it was contrary to their principles to exchange for prisoners taken from other nations. "What," exclaimed Napoleon to the Court of St. James, "do you refuse to liberate the Russians, who were your allies, who were fighting in your ranks, and under your own commander, the Duke of York?" With Vienna he also expostulated, in tones of generous warmth, "Do you refuse to restore to their country those men to whom you are indebted for your victories and conquests in Italy, and who have left in your hands a multitude of French prisoners, whom they have taken? Such injustice excites my indignation." Then yielding to those impulses, so characteristic of his generous nature, he exclaimed, "I will restore them to the Czar without exchange. He shall see how I esteem brave men." Whatever Napoleon undertook he performed magnificently. The Russian officers immediately received their swords. The captive troops, ten thousand in number, were assembled at Aix-la-Chapelle. They were all furnished with a complete suit of new clothing in the uniform of their own regiments, and thoroughly armed with weapons of the very best of French manufacture. The officers were authorized to organize them into battalions and regiments. And thus triumphantly these battalions of armed men were returned into the bosom of the ranks of the multitudinous hosts, rushing down upon France. It is gratifying to record that magnanimity so extraordinary passed not away unappreciated.

The Emperor Paul was so disgusted with the selfishness of Austria and England, and was so struck with admiration in view of this unparalleled generosity of Napoleon, that he immediately abandoned the alliance. He attached himself to Napoleon with that enthusiasm of constitutional ardor which characterized the eccentric monarch. In a letter to the First Consul, written with his own hand, he said, "Citizen First Consul!—I do not write to you to discuss the rights of men or citizens. Every country governs itself as it pleases. Wherever I see at the head of a nation a man who knows how to rule and how to fight, my heart is attracted toward him. I write to acquaint you with my dissatisfaction with England, who violates every article of the law of nations, and has no guide but her egotism and her interest. I wish to unite with you to put an end to the unjust proceedings of that government."

Russia was thus detached from the alliance, and sending a minister to Paris, recognized the new government. Napoleon now sent an embassador to Prussia to establish, if possible, friendly relations with that power. Duroc, the only one whom Napoleon ever admitted to his ultimate friendship, was selected for this mission, in consequence[Pg 754] of his graceful address, his polished education, and his varied accomplishments.—Frederick William was a great admirer of military genius. Duroc, who had been in the campaigns of Italy and of Egypt, could interest him with the recital of many heroic enterprises. The first interview of Duroc with the Prussian monarch was entirely private, and lasted two hours. The next day Duroc was invited to dine with the king, and the Prussian court immediately recognized the consular government.

Notwithstanding Napoleon's vast exaltation, he preserved personally the same simple tastes and habits, the same untiring devotion to the details of business, and the same friendships as when he was merely a general of the Republic. He rose at seven o'clock, dressed with scrupulous neatness, during which time the morning journals were read to him. He then entered his cabinet, where he read letters, and wrote or dictated answers until ten. He then breakfasted with Josephine and Hortense, usually some of his aids and one or two literary or scientific friends being invited. At the close of this frugal meal, he attended the meetings of the Council, or paid visits of ceremony or business to some of the public offices. At five o'clock he returned to dinner, on ordinary occasions not allowing himself more than fifteen minutes at the table. He then retired to the apartments of Josephine, where he received the visits of ministers, and of the most distinguished persons of the metropolis.

In the organization of his court Napoleon was unalterably determined to suppress that licentiousness of manners, which for ages had disgraced the palaces of the French monarchs, and which, since the overthrow of Christianity, had swept like a flood of pollution over all France. He was very severe upon those females, often of the highest rank, who endeavored to attract attention by freedom of dress or behavior. It was expected that men and their wives should appear in society together—a thing hitherto unprecedented, and contrary to all ideas of fashionable life. The court had hitherto taken the lead in profligacy, and the nation had followed. Napoleon thought that by enforcing purity of morals in the palace, he could draw back the nation to more decorum of manners. "Immorality," said he, "is, beyond a doubt, the worst of all faults in a sovereign; because he introduces it as a fashion among his subjects, by whom it is practiced for the sake of pleasing him. It strengthens every vice, blights every virtue, and infects all society like a pestilence. In short, it is a nation's scourge."

On one occasion a courtier, very high in rank and office, one of the imperial chamberlains, requested permission to present his daughter-in-law at court. She was extremely beautiful, and though distinguished by a captivating air of simplicity, was one of the most artful of the daughters of Eve. She joined the imperial parties on all occasions, and wherever she went threw herself in the way of Napoleon. Her soft and languishing eyes were riveted upon him. She sighed, blushed, and affected bashfulness, while, at the same time, she constantly placed herself in situations to attract his notice. Sometimes she would stand, for a long time, apparently lost in reverie, gazing and sighing before the portraits of Napoleon. Her father-in-law affected displeasure at her conduct, and complained of the unfortunate but resistless passion which she had imbibed. Her husband, who was infamously in the intrigue, regarded the matter with the most philosophic indifference. The mother-in-law also made herself busy to help the matter along, saying that, after all, it was hard to blame her for loving Napoleon. For some time Napoleon paid no attention to the intrigue, and appeared not to notice it. At length the affair became a subject of court gossip, and it was necessary that it should be noticed.

One evening, at the close of a sitting of the Council of State, at which Napoleon had presided, conducting Cambaceres into the recess of one of the windows, he said, "Madame B—— is rendering herself quite intolerable to me. The conduct of her relations is still more odious. The father-in-law is an infamous man, her husband a mean-spirited wretch, and her mother a vile intriguing woman, by whose arts, however, I am not to be duped. The abandoned female, who unreservedly puts up her virtue to sale, is preferable to the hypocrite who, for motives equally mercenary, affects a sentimental attachment. I wish you to call on my chamberlain, and inform him that I dispense with his services for the space of a year. Inform his wife that I forbid her appearance at court for six years. And make known to the affectionate married couple, that, to afford them an opportunity of duly appreciating each other's excellent qualities, I give them leave to spend six months in Naples, six months in Vienna, and six months in any other part of Germany."

On another occasion a lieutenant-colonel sent a petition to Napoleon, soliciting promotion. In accordance with the corruptions of those paganized times, he added, "I have two beautiful daughters, who will be too happy to throw themselves at the feet of the good Emperor, and thank him for the benefit conferred on their father." Napoleon was indignant at this atrocious proposal. He said, "I know not what withholds me from having this infamous letter inserted in the order of the day of the writer's regiment." Napoleon made inquiries respecting this officer, and found that he had been one of the assassins during the reign of terror, and an intimate friend of Robespierre. He immediately dismissed him from service. He found that the daughters were amiable and interesting young ladies, totally unconscious of the infamous project entertained by their father. That they might not suffer the penalty of their father's baseness, he settled a small pension on each of them, on condition of their leaving Paris, and retiring to their native city.

Napoleon effectually enthroned himself in the hearts of the common people of France. They believed[Pg 755] him to be their friend and advocate. They still cherish the same belief. At this hour there is no ruler, enthroned or entombed, who is regarded with the enthusiastic veneration with which the people of France now cherish the memory of their emperor. Napoleon stands alone in that glory. He has no rival.



The pleasant tales of Sultans' pilgrimages are only the mirage of memory.

The poor and pious Muslim, which is not the title of Caliphs, when he undertakes a long desert journey, does not carry nine hundred camels for his wardrobe, but he carries his grave-linen with him. Stricken by fatigue, or privation, or disease, when his companions can not tarry for his recovery or death, he performs the ablution with sand, and digging a trench in the ground, wraps himself in his grave-clothes, and covering his body with sand, lies alone in the desert to die, trusting that the wind will complete his burial.

In the Arabs around you, you will mark a kindred sobriety. Their eyes are luminous and lambent, but it is a melancholy light. They do not laugh. They move with easy dignity, and their habitual expression is musing and introverted, as that of men whose minds are stored with the solemn imagery of the desert.

You will understand that your own party of Arabs is not of the genuine desert breed. They are dwellers in cities, not dwellers in tents. They are mongrel, like the population of a sea-port. They pass from Palestine to Egypt with caravans of produce, like coast-traders, and are not pure Bedoueen. But they do not dishonor their ancestry. When a true Bedoueen passes upon his solitary camel, and with a low-spoken salaam, looks abstractedly and incuriously upon the procession of great American Moguls, it is easy to see that his expression is the same as that of the men around you, but intensified by the desert.

Burckhardt says that all Orientals, and especially the Arabs, are little sensible of the beauty of nature. But the Bedoueen is mild and peaceable. He seems to you a dreamy savage. There is a softness and languor, almost an effeminacy of impression, the seal of the sun's child. He does not eat flesh—or rarely. He loves the white camel with a passion. He fights for defense, or for necessity; and the children of the Shereefs, or descendants of the Prophet, are sent into the desert to be made heroes. They remain there eight or ten years, rarely visiting their families.

The simple landscape of the desert is the symbol of the Bedoueen's character; and he has little knowledge of more than his eye beholds. In some of the interior provinces of China, there is no name for the ocean, and when in the time of Shekh Daheir, a party of Bedoueen came to Acre upon the sea, they asked what was that desert of water.

A Bedoueen after a foray upon a caravan, discovered among his booty several bags of fine pearls. He thought them dourra, a kind of grain. But as they did not soften in boiling, he was about throwing them disdainfully away, when a Gaza trader offered him a red tarboosh in exchange, which he delightedly accepted.

Without love of natural scenery, he listens forever to the fascinating romances of the poets, for beautiful expressions naturally clothe the simple and beautiful images he every where beholds. The palms, the fountains, the gazelles, the stars, and sun, and moon, the horse, and camel—these are the large illustration and suggestion of his poetry.

Sitting around the evening fire and watching its flickering with moveless melancholy, his heart thrills at the prowess of El-Gundubah, although he shall never be a hero, and he rejoices when Kattalet-esh-Shugan says to Gundubah, "Come let us marry forthwith," although he shall never behold her beauty, nor tread the stately palaces.

He loves the moon which shows him the way over the desert that the sun would not let him take by day, and the moon looking into his eyes, sees her own melancholy there. In the pauses of the story by the fire, while the sympathetic spirits of the desert sigh in the rustling wind, he says to his fellow, "Also in all true poems there should be palm-trees and running water."

For him in the lonely desert the best genius of Arabia has carefully recorded upon parchment its romantic visions, for him Haroun El Rashid lived his romantic life, for him the angel spoke to Mohammad in the cave, and God received the Prophet into the seventh heaven.

Some early morning a cry rings through the group of black square tents. He springs from his dreams of green gardens and flowing waters, and stands sternly against the hostile tribe which has surprised his own. The remorseless morning secretes in desert silence the clash of swords, the ring of musketry, the battle-cry. At sunset the black square tents are gone, the desolation of silence fills the air that was musical with the recited loves of Zul-Himmeh, and the light sand drifts in the evening wind over the corpse of a Bedoueen.

—So the grim Genius of the desert touches every stop of romance and of life in you as you traverse his realm and meditate his children. Yet warm and fascinating as is his breath, it does not warp your loyalty to your native West, and to the time in which you were born. Springing from your hard bed upon the desert, and with wild morning enthusiasm pushing aside the door of your tent, and stepping out to stand among the stars, you hail the desert and hate the city, and glancing toward the tent of the Armenian Khadra, you shout aloud to astonished MacWhirter,

"I will take some savage woman, she shall rear my dusky race."

But as the day draws forward, and you see the same forms and the same life that Abraham saw,[Pg 756] and know that Joseph leading Mary into Egypt might pass you to-day, nor be aware of more than a single sunset since he passed before, then you feel that this germ, changeless at home, is only developed elsewhere—that the boundless desert freedom is only a resultless romance.

The sun sets and the camp is pitched. The shadows are grateful to your eye, as the dry air to your lungs. But as you sit quietly in the tent-door, watching the Armenian camp and the camels, your cheeks pales suddenly as you remember Abraham, and that "he sat in the tent-door in the heat of the day." Saving yourself, what of the scene is changed since then? The desert, the camels, the tents, the turbaned Arabs, they were what Abraham saw when "he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, lo! three men stood by him."

You are contemporary with the eldest history. Your companions are the dusky figures of vaguest tradition. The "long result of Time," is not for you. In that moment you have lost your birthright. You are Ishmael's brother. You have your morning's wish. A child of the desert, not for you are Art, and Poetry, and Science, and the glowing roll of History shrivels away.

The dream passes as the day dies, and to the same stars which heard your morning shout of desert praise, you whisper as you close the tent-door at evening,

"Better fifty years of Europe, than a cycle of Cathay."


I do not wonder that Mohammad Alee burned to be master of Syria, and struck so bravely for it.

His career was necessarily but a brilliant bubble, and his success purely personal. That career was passed before the West fairly understood it. It was easier for the Jews to believe good from Nazareth than for us to credit genius in Egypt, and we should as soon have dreamed of old mummied Cheops throned upon the great pyramid and ruling the Pharaohs' realm anew, as of a modern king there, of kingliness unsurpassed in the century, except by Napoleon, working at every disadvantage, yet achieving incredible results.

He was the son of a fisherman—made his way by military skill—recognized the inherent instability of the Mameluke government then absolute in Egypt, and which was only a witless tyranny, sure to fall before ambitious sense and skill. He propitiated the Sublime Porte, whose Viceroy in Egypt was only a puppet of state, practically imprisoned by the Mamelukes in the citadel—and he gained brilliant victories in the Hedjaz, over the Wahabys, infidel and schismatic Muslim.

In 1811, he accomplished the famous massacre of the Mamelukes in the court of the citadel, of which Horace Vernet has painted so characteristic a picture, and for which Mohammad Alee has been much execrated.

But in Turkish politics, humanity is only a question of degree. With Mohammad Alee and the Mamelukes it was diamond cut diamond. They were a congregation of pestilent vapors, a nest of hoary-headed tyrants, whom it was a satisfaction to Humanity and Decency to smoke out and suffocate in any way. Mohammad Alee had doubtless little enough rose-water in his policy to satisfy the grimmest Carlyle. The leader of sanguinary Albanians and imbruted Egyptians against wild Arab hordes is not likely to be of a delicate stomach.

But he was clear-eyed and large-minded. He had the genius of a statesman rather than the shrewdness of a general, although as a soldier he was singularly brave and successful. Of all his acts the massacre of the Mamelukes was perhaps the least bloody, because, by crushing the few heads he had won the victory. A sudden and well-advised bloodshed is often sure to issue in a peace which saves greater misery. It was Cromwell's rule and it was Napoleon's—it was also Mohammad Alee's, and the results usually proved its wisdom.

Moreover, in the matter of this massacre, the balance of sympathy is restored by the fact that only a short time previous to the Mamelukes' Banquet of Death in the citadel, they had arranged Mohammad Alee's assassination upon his leaving Suez. By superior cunning he ascertained the details of this pleasant plan, and publicly ordered his departure for the following morning, but privately departed upon a swift-trotting dromedary in the evening. There was great consequent frustration of plan and confusion of soul among the Mamelukes, who had thought, in this ingenious manner, to cut the knot of difficulty, and they were only too glad to hurry with smooth faces to the Pacha's festival—too much in a hurry, indeed, to reflect upon his superior cunning and to be afraid of it. They lost the game. They were the diamond cut, and evidently deserve no melodious tear.

Mohammad Alee thus sat as securely in his seat as a Turkish Pacha can ever hope to sit. He assisted the Porte in the Greek troubles, perpetrating other massacres there; and afterward, when Abdallah, Pacha of Acre, rebelled against "the Shadow," Mohammad Alee was sent to subdue him. He did so, and then interceded with the Porte for Abdallah's safety.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Alee had ascertained his force, and was already sure of the genius to direct it. He had turned the streams of French and English skill into the agriculture, manufactures, and military discipline of Egypt. His great aim for years had been to make Egypt independent—to revive the ancient richness of the Nile valley, and to take a place for Egypt among the markets of the world. He accomplished this so far, that, restoring to the plain of Thebes the indigo which was once famous there, he poured into the European market so much and so good indigo that the market was sensibly affected. His internal policy was wrong, but we can not here consider it.

Watching and waiting, in the midst of this internal prosperity and foreign success and amazement, while Egyptian youth were thronging to the Parisian Universities, and the Parisian youth looked to Egypt as the career of fame and fortune—as[Pg 757] the young Spaniards of a certain period looked to the diamond-dusted Americas—in the midst of all the web Mohammad Alee sat nursing his ambition and biding his time.

Across the intervening desert, Syria wooed him to take her for his slave. Who was there to make him afraid? Leaning on Lebanon, and laving her beautiful feet in the sea, she fascinated him with love. He should taste boundless sway. Eastward lay Bagdad and Persia, thrones of Caliphs who once sat in his seat—why should not he sit in theirs? Then with softer whispers she pointed to the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus, and looked what she dared not speak.

I do not wonder that he was enchanted. I do not wonder that he burned to be master of the superb slave that lay so lovely and fair in the sun, dreaming, as now we see her dream, under the vines and olives. His peer, Napoleon Bonaparte, against whom, in Egypt, his maiden sword was fleshed, whom he loved to name and to hear that they were born in the same year, had thus seen from Elba the gorgeous Fata-Morgana of European empire. How could Mohammad Alee reflect that sallying forth to grasp it, that peer had bitten the dust? That fate deterred the Pacha, as the experience of others always deters ourselves—as a blade of grass stays the wind. Shall not you and I, my reader, swim to our Heros, though a thousand Leanders never came to shore?

It was this Syria through which we plod, this brilliant morning, that seduced Mohammad Alee.

A land of glorious resources and without a population. Here grow wheat, rye, barley, beans and the cotton plant. Oats are rare; but Palestine produces sesame and dourra, a kind of pulse like lentils. Baalbec grows maize. Sugar and rice are not unknown at Beyrout. Lebanon is wreathed with vines. Indigo flourishes without cultivation on the banks of the Jordan. The Druses cultivate the white mulberry. Gaza has dates like those of Mecca, and pomegranates as fine as those of Algiers. Figs and bananas make the gardens of Antioch tropical. From Aleppo come pistachio-nuts. The almond, the olive and the orange thrive in the kindly air; and Damascus revels in twenty kinds of apricot, with all the best fruits of France.

Many of the inhabitants pass us, and we can see what they are. They are repulsive in appearance, the dregs of refuse races. They look mean and treacherous, and would offer small resistance to determination and skill. Mohammad Alee had little fear of the Syrians.

He could not resist the song of the Siren; and suddenly "the Eastern Question" agitated political Europe, and the diplomatic genius of the three greatest states—England, France and Russia—was abruptly challenged by the alarming aspect of the Syrian war, which threatened, with a leader despising the political stagnation and military imbecility of the vast realm of "the Shadow of God on Earth," to issue in a new empire.

Mohammad Alee having subdued Abdallah, Pacha of Acre, and saved his life and throne by intercession with the Porte, was surprised that Abdallah harbored all fugitives from Egypt. He observed that, following his own example, Abdallah was introducing the European discipline into his army, and was enticing into his service many young officers who had been Europeanly instructed at his own expense. He expostulated with Abdallah, and appealed to the Porte. The Sublime Porte, like other political Sublimities, hesitated, meditated—

"Then idly twirled his golden chain,
And smiling, put the question by."

Mohammad Alee, with expectant eyes fixed upon Syria, sat silent, his hand trembling with eagerness and ready to grasp the splendid prize. "The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces" of a new oriental empire rose, possible in the light of hope.

His army was carefully disciplined. The fame of its tried officers had been won upon the battle-fields of the Empire. He had a fleet and all the resources of the latest military and marine science. Over all, he had his son Ibrahim, already proved in Arabia and Greece, of a military genius peculiarly Oriental, swift and stern, rude in thought, but irresistible in action—the slave of his father's ambition, the iron right-hand of his will. Internal prosperity and external prestige sealed Mohammad Alee's hope and determination.

Against him was arrayed the worldly magnificence of the Ottoman Porte. But the bannered Muslim lance that had thundered at the gates of Constantinople, and entering, had planted itself upon the earliest Christian church, and flapped barbaric defiance at civilization, was rusty and worm-eaten. Its crimson drapery fluttering, rent, upon an idle wind, would be inevitably shivered by the first rough blow of modern steel.

And the great Powers?—

Their action was, of course, doubtful. There was a chance of opposition, a probability of interference. But the grandeur of the stroke was its safety. From the universal chaos what new combinations might not be educed!

No sooner, therefore, had the Porte "put the question by," than Mohammad Alee proceeded to answer it. The Egyptian army, headed by Ibrahim Pacha, advanced into Syria, and sat down before Acre. Cherishing the old grudge against Abdallah, the Porte, now that a decided part had been taken, smiled faintly in approval. But the conduct of the war betrayed resources of ability and means which kindled terrible suspicions. The firman came from Stamboul, commanding the Pacha of Egypt to withdraw into his own province. He declined, and was declared a rebel.

The bridge thus fell behind him, and only victory or death lay before.

For six months Ibrahim Pacha lay before Acre, and on the 27th May, 1832, he entered by bloody assault the city which Richard Cœur de Lion and Philip Augustus had conquered before him, and from which Napoleon Bonaparte had retired foiled. The Syrian war began.

[Pg 758] The victorious army advanced, triumphing. The Syrian cities fell before it. The stream of conquest swept northward, overflowing Damascus as it passed. The war was no longer a quarrel of two Pachas, it was a question of life or death for the Turkish Empire. Vainly the Sultan's choicest generals struggled to stem the torrent. The proud walls along the Golden Horn trembled, lest their pride should be for the third time humbled, and this time, as the last, from the Asian shore.

Northern and Western Europe stared amazed at the wonderful spectacle, listening across the hushed Mediterranean to the clang of arms resounding in the effete East, as the appalled Romans heard the gusty roar of the battle of the Huns high over them, and invisible in the air.

Surely it was only the interference of the three Powers that saved the Sultan's throne. That alone deprived us of the pageant of another oriental military romance, so rapid in inception, so entire in execution, that we should have better comprehended those sudden, barbaric descents of the middle ages, which changed in a moment the political aspect of the invaded land:—in a moment, because the mighty appearance of life and power was but a mummy, which a blow would pulverize.

One man, however strong and skillful, could not withstand the force of Europe, and Mohammad Alee retired, baffled, before the leaders of the political Trinity that a few years before had dethroned Napoleon.

The crisis of his life was passed, and unfavorably for his hopes and aims. At the age of sixty-five he relinquished the struggle with Fate, and still one of the great men of a century, rich in great men, with no hope before him, and none behind—for since kingly genius is not hereditary, your divine right is a disastrous fiction—he sank slowly away into dotage.

Before the end, however, both he and his son Ibrahim showed themselves to the Europeans who had watched with such astonished interest the culmination and decay of their power. Ibrahim Pacha, with his fangs removed, shook his harmless rattle, for the last time in the world's hearing, at a dinner given him by young Englishmen, at the Reform Club in Pall Mall, and the wreck of Mohammad Alee, driveling and dozing, took a hand at whist with young Americans in a hotel at Naples.

Father and son returned to Egypt and died there. A vast mosque of alabaster, commenced by Mohammad Alee, and now finished, crowns Cairo, "the delight of the imagination." He wished to be 'buried there; but he lies without the city walls, in that suburb of tombs, upon the cracked sides of one of which a Persian poet has written—"Each crevice of this ancient edifice is a half-opened mouth, that laughs at the fleeting pomp of royal abodes."

All the winds that blow upon Cairo, laugh that mocking laughter, and in any thoughtful mood, as you listen to them and look over the city, you will mark the two alabaster minarets of Mohammad Alee's mosque, shafts of snow in the rich blue air, if you will, but yet pointing upward.

Leaning on Lebanon, and laving her beautiful feet in the sea, the superb slave he burned to possess, still dreams in the sun. We look from the tent door and see her sleeping, and the remembrance of this last, momentary interest which disturbed the slumber, reminds us that it will one day be broken. So fair is the prize, that, knowing all others desire her as ardently, no single hand feels strong enough to grasp it, and the conflict of many ambitions secures her peace.

Yet it is clear that nerve and skill could do what they have done, and so spare is the population, so imbecile the government, and so rich the soil, that a few thousand determined men could march unresisted through Syria, and possess the fair and fertile land.


Christians and Saracens agree in reprobating the black hat. But the Damascenes declare open war against it. In 1432, Bertrandon de la Brocquière entered the city with a "broad beaver hat," which was incontinently knocked off his head. Naturally his first movement was "to lift my fist," but wisdom held his hand, and he desisted, content to revenge himself by the questionable inference that it was "a wicked race."

But if it be "wicked" to malign the black hat, who shall be justified?

This was only a gentle illustration of the bitter hatred of Christians and all infidels, cherished by the Damascenes, who are the most orthodox of Muslim. Indeed, it is only within twenty years that an accredited English representative could reside in Damascus, and he maintains an imposing state. At present, some hundred European tourists visit the city yearly, and the devout faithful find reasons for toleration in infidel gold, which they never found in argument.

Here, too, as every where in Syria, Ibrahim Pacha has been our ally. He permitted infidels to ride horses through the streets. "O, Allah!" exclaimed the religious Damascenes, who are termed by the Turks Shami-Shoumi, cursed rascals. "Your Highness suffers Christians to sit as high as the faithful."

"No, my friends," responded Ibrahim, "you shall ride dromedaries, which will put you much above them."

We went into the bazaars to encounter these enemies of the black hat, and ex-officio riders of dromedaries. We had a glimpse of their beauty as we entered the city. But Eastern life is delightful in detail. It is a mosaic to be closely studied.

You enter, and the murmurous silence blends pleasantly with the luminous dimness of the place. The matting overhead, torn and hanging in strips along which, gilding them in passing, the sun slides into the interior, is a heavy tapestry. The scene is a perpetual fair, not precisely like Greenwich Fair, or that of the American Institute, but such as you frequent in Arabian stories.

[Pg 759] Bedoueen glide spectrally along, with wild, roving eyes, like startled deer. Insane Dervishes and Santons meditate the propriety of braining the infidel Howadji. Shekhs from distant Asia, pompous Effendi from Constantinople, Bagdad traders, cunning-eyed Armenian merchants meet and mingle, and many of our old friends, the grizzly-bearded, red-eyed fire-worshipers, somnolently curled among their goods, eye us, through the smoke they emit, as perfect specimens of the proper sacrifice they owe their Deity. All strange forms jostle and crowd in passing, except those which are familiar; and children more beautiful than any in the East, play in the living mazes of the crowd.

Shopping goes actively on. The merchant without uncrossing his legs, exhibits his silks and coarse cottons to the long draped and vailed figures that group picturesquely about his niche. Your eye seizes the bright effect of all the gay goods as you saunter on. Here a merchant lays by his chibouque and drinks, from a carved glass, sweet liquorice water, cooled with snow from Lebanon. Here one closes his niche and shuffles off to the mosque, followed by his boy-slave with the chibouque. Here another rises, and bows, and falls, kissing the floor, and muttering the noon prayer. Every where there is intense but languid life.

The bazaars are separated into kinds. That of the jewelers is inclosed, and you see the Jews, swarthy and keen-eyed servants of Mammon, busily at work. Precious stones miserably set, and handfuls of pearls, opals, and turquoises are quietly presented to your inspection. There is no eagerness of traffic. A boy tranquilly hands you a ring, and another, when you have looked at the first. You say "la," no, and he retires.

Or you pause over a clumsy silver ring, with an Arabic inscription upon the flint set in it. Golden Sleeve ascertains that it is the cipher of Hafiz. You reflect that it is silver, which is the orthodox metal, the Prophet having forbidden gold. You place it upon your finger, with the stone upon the inside, for so the Prophet wore his upon the fore-finger, that he might avoid ostentation. It is a quaint, characteristic, oriental signet-ring. Hafiz is a common name, it is probably that of the jeweler who owns the ring. But you have other associations with the name, and as you remember the Persian poet, you suffer it to remain upon your finger, and pay the jeweler a few piastres. You do not dream that it is enchanted. You do not know that you have bought Ala-ed-deen's lamp, and as a rub of that evoked omnipotent spirits, so a glance at your ring, when Damascus has become a dream, will restore you again to the dim bazaar, and the soft eyes of the children that watch you curiously as you hesitate, and to the sweet inspiration of Syria.

You pass on into the quarter where the pattens are made, inlaid with pearl, such as you remarked upon the feet of the kohl-eyebrowed houris. Into the shoemakers, where the brilliant leathers justify better poetry than Hans Sach's interminable rhymes, though here is only their music, not their moral. You climb crumbling steps, and emerge from darkness upon the top of the bazaar, on a ledge of a Roman ruin, and look down into the sunny greenness of the great mosque, which you can not more nearly approach. Then down, and by all the beautiful fabrics of the land, hung with the tin-foiled letters that surround pieces of English prints, and which the color-loving eye of the Oriental seizes as an ornament for his own wares, you pass into the region of drugs and apothecaries, and feel that you are about visiting that Persian Doctor in Mecca who dealt in nothing but miraculous balsams and infallible elixirs, whose potions were all sweet and agreeable, and the musk and aloe wood which he burned, diffused a delicious odor through the shop. Surely he was court-physician to Zobeide.

Golden Sleeve pauses before an old figure curled among the bottles and lost in reverie, saturated, it seems, with opium, and dreaming its dreams. This is Zobeide's doctor. He had evidently the elixir of life among those sweet potions, and has deeply drunk. Life he has preserved; but little else that is human remains, except the love that is stronger than life. For as he opens his vague eyes and beholds us, they kindle with an inward fire, as if they looked upon the Philosopher's Stone. That stone is in our purses; the old magician knows it, and he knows the charm to educe it. He opens a jar, and a dreamy odor penetrates our brains. It is distilled of flowers culled from the gardens of the Ganges: or is this delicate perfume preferable—this zatta, loved of poets and houris, which came to the doctor's grandfather from Bagdad?

Attar of roses did Golden Sleeve suggest? Here is the essence of that divinest distillation of the very heart of summer. But, O opulent Howadji! no thin, pale, Constantinople perfume is this, but the viscous richness of Indian roses. As many wide acres of bloom went to this jar as to any lyric of Hafiz. It lies as molten gold in the quaint glass vase. The magician holds it toward the Syrian sun, and the shadow of a smile darkens over his withered features. Then, drop by drop, as if he poured the last honey that should ever be hived from Hymettus, he suffers it to exude into the little vials. They are closely stopped, and sealed, and wrapped in cotton. And some wintry Christmas in the West the Howadji shall offer to a fairer than Zobeide those more than drops of diamond.

Nor this alone—but the cunning of Arabian art has sucked the secret of their sweetness from tea and coffee, from all the wild herbs of Syria, and from amber. In those small jars is stored the rich result of endless series of that summer luxuriance you saw in the vale of Zabulon. Sandal-wood to burn upon your nargileh, mystic bits to lay upon your tongue, so that the startled Bedoueen, as you pass into the bazaar, and breathe upon him in passing, dreams that you came from Paradise, and have been kissed by houris.

Was it not the magic to draw from your purse[Pg 760] the Philosopher's Stone? The court-physician of Zobeide, relapsing into reverie, smiles vaguely as he says salaam; as if the advantage were his—as if you were not bearing away with you in those odors the triumphs of the rarest alchemy.

Breathing fragrance, you enter a khan opening upon the bazaar, that of Assad Pacha, a stately and beautiful building, consisting of a lofty domed court, the dome supported by piers, with a gallery running quite around it. Private rooms for the choicest goods open out of the gallery. The court is full of various merchandise, and merchants from every region sit by their goods, and smoke placidly as they negotiate.

But we have received visits in our hotel from an Armenian merchant, young and comely—why not Khadra's cousin?—and he brought with him silks and stuffs at which all that was feminine in our nature swelled with delight. Tempted by his odors, we have come to his garden. The room is small and square, and rough-plastered. Upon the floor are strewn long deep boxes, and the comely young Armenian, in a flowing dark dress, reveals his treasures.

Scarfs, shawls, stuffs for dresses, morning gowns and vests, handkerchiefs, sashes, purses, and tobacco-bags are heaped in rich profusion. They are of the true Eastern richness, and in the true Eastern manner they rely upon that richness for their effect, and not upon their intrinsic tastefulness. The figures of the embroideries, for instance, are not gracefully designed, but the superb material suffices. They imply that there are none but beautiful women in the world, and that all women are brunettes. As the quiet merchant unfolds them, they have the mysterious charm of recalling all the beautiful brunettes who have reigned Zenobias, and Queens of Sheba, and Cleopatras, in the ruined realm of your past life.

But, Northerners and Westerners, we remember another beauty. We remember Palma Vecchio's golden-haired daughter, and the Venetian pictures, and the stories of angels with sunny locks, and the radiant Preziosa. The astute Armenian knows our thoughts. From the beginning was not the Oriental merchant a magician?

For while we sit smoking and delighted, the merchant, no less wily than the court-physician of Zobeide, opens the last box of all, and gradually unfolds the most beautiful garment the Howadji have ever seen. The coronation robes of emperors and kings, the most sumptuous costumes at court-festivals, all the elaboration of Western genius in the material and in the making of dresses, pale and disappear before the simple magnificence of this robe.

It is a bournouse or Oriental cloak, made of camel's hair and cloth of gold. The material secures that rich stiffness essential in a superb mantle, and the color is an azure turquoise, exquisite beyond words. The sleeves are cloth of gold, and the edges are wrought in gold, but with the most regal taste. It is the only object purely tasteful that we have seen. Nor is it of that negative safety of taste, which loves dark carriages and neutral tints in dress; but magnificent and imperial, like that of Rachel when she plays Thisbe, and nets her head with Venetian sequins. If the rest imply that all women are beautiful and brunettes, this proclaims the one superb Blonde, Queen of them all.

"Take that, Leisurlie, it was intended from the beginning of the world for an English beauty."

"Oh! Kooltooluk! there is not a woman in England who could wear it."

Through the dewy distances of memory, as you muse in the dim chamber upon all who might worthily wear the garment, passes a figure perfect as morning, crowned with youth, and robed in grace, for whose image Alpine snows were purer and Italian skies more soft. But even while you muse, it passes slowly away out of the golden gates of possibility into the wide impossible.

As we stroll leisurely homeward, it is early afternoon. But the shops are closed—strange silence and desertion reign in the Bazaars—a few dark turbaned Christians and Jews yet linger, and a few children play.

"They are gone to the cafés and gardens," says Golden Sleeve.

—And we follow them.


Among the characters distinguished for unbridled indulgence and fierce passions, who were, unfortunately, too frequently to be met with in Ireland in the last century, was one whose name attained so much celebrity as to become a proverb. "Tiger Roche," as he was called, was a native of Dublin, where he was born in the year 1729. He received the best education the metropolis could afford, and was instructed in all the accomplishments then deemed essential to the rank and character of a gentleman. So expert was he in the various acquirements of polite life, that at the age of sixteen he recommended himself to Lord Chesterfield, then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, who offered him, gratuitously, a commission in the army; but his friends having other views for him, they declined it. This seems to have been a serious misfortune to the young man, whose disposition and education strongly inclined him to a military life. His hopes were raised, and his vanity flattered, by the notice and offer of the viceroy; and in sullen resentment he absolutely refused to embark in any other profession his friends designed for him. He continued, therefore, for several years among the dissipated idlers of the metropolis, having no laudable pursuit to occupy his time, and led into all the outrages and excesses which then disgraced Dublin.

One night, in patrolling the city with his drunken associates, they attacked and killed a watch-man, who, with others, had attempted to quell a riot they had excited. He was, therefore, compelled to fly from Dublin. He made his way to Cork, where he lay concealed for some time, and[Pg 761] from thence escaped to the plantations in North America. When the war broke out between France and England, he entered as a volunteer in one of the provincial regiments, and distinguished himself in several engagements with the Indians in the interest of the French, during which he seems to have acquired those fierce and cruel qualities by which those tribes are distinguished.

He was now particularly noticed by his officers for the intrepidity and spirit he displayed, and was high in favor with Colonel Massy, his commander; but an accident occurred of so humiliating and degrading a nature, as to extinguish at once all his hopes of advancement. An officer of Massy's regiment was possessed of a very valuable fowling-piece which he highly prized. He missed it from his tent, and made diligent inquiry after it, but it was nowhere to be found. It was, however, reported that it was seen in the possession of Roche, and an order was made to examine his baggage. On searching among it the lost article was found. Roche declared that he had bought it from one Bourke, a countryman of his own, and a corporal in his regiment. Bourke was sent for and examined. He solemnly declared on oath that the statement of Roche was altogether false, and that he himself knew nothing at all of the transaction. Roche was now brought to a court-martial, and little appearing in his favor, he was convicted of the theft, and, as a lenient punishment, ordered to quit the service with every mark of disgrace and ignominy. Irritated with this treatment, Roche immediately challenged the officer who had prosecuted him. He refused, however, to meet him, on the pretext that he was a degraded man, and no longer entitled to the rank and consideration of a gentleman. Stung to madness, and no longer master of himself, he rushed to the parade, insulted the officer in the grossest terms, and then flew to the picket-guard, where he attacked the corporal with his naked sword, declaring his intention to kill him on the spot. The man with difficulty defended his life, till his companions sprung upon Roche and disarmed him. Though deprived of his weapon, he did not desist from his intention; crouching down like an Indian foe, he suddenly sprung, like Roderick Dhu, at his antagonist, and fastened on his throat with his teeth, and before he could be disengaged nearly strangled him, dragging away a mouthful of flesh, which, in the true Indian spirit, he afterward said was "the sweetest morsel he had ever tasted." From the fierce and savage character he displayed on this occasion, he obtained the appellation of "Tiger," an affix which was ever after joined to his name.

A few days after, the English army advanced to force the lines of Ticonderoga. Unfortunate Roche was left desolate and alone in the wilderness, an outcast from society, apparently abandoned by all the world. His resolution and fidelity to his cause, however, did not desert him. He pursued his way through the woods till he fell in with a party of friendly Indians, and by extraordinary exertions and forced marches, arrived at the fortress with his Indians, to join in the attack. He gave distinguished proofs of his courage and military abilities during that unfortunate affair, and received four dangerous wounds. He attracted the notice of General Abercrombie, the leader of the expedition; but the stain of robbery was upon him, and no services, however brilliant, could obliterate it.

From hence he made his way to New York, after suffering incredible afflictions from pain, poverty, and sickness. One man alone, Governor Rogers, pitied his case, and was not satisfied of his guilt. In the year 1785, Roche received from his friends in Ireland a reluctant supply of money, which enabled him to obtain a passage on board a vessel bound for England, where he arrived shortly afterward. He reserved part of his supply of money for the purchase of a commission, and hoped once more to ascend to that rank from which he had been, as he thought, unjustly degraded; but just as the purchase was about to be completed, a report of his theft in America reached the regiment, and the officers refused to serve with him. With great perseverance and determined resolution, he traced the origin of the report to a Captain Campbell, then residing at the British Coffee-house, in Charing-cross. He met him in the public room, taxed him with what he called a gross and false calumny, which the other retorted with great spirit. A duel immediately ensued, in which both were desperately wounded.

Roche now declared in all public places, and caused it to be every where known, that, as he could not obtain justice on the miscreant who had traduced his character in America, he would personally chastise every man in England who presumed to propagate the report. With this determination, he met one day, in the Green Park, his former colonel, Massy, and another officer, who had just returned home. He addressed them, and anxiously requested they would, as they might, remove the stain from his character. They treated his appeal with contempt, when he fiercely attacked them both. They immediately drew their swords, and disarmed him. A crowd of spectators assembled round, and being two to one they inflicted severe chastisement on Roche. Foiled in his attempt, he immediately determined to seek another occasion, and finding that one of them had departed for Chester, Roche set out after him with the indefatigable perseverance and pursuit of a bloodhound. Here Roche again sought him, and meeting him in the streets, again attacked him. Roche was, however, again defeated, and received a severe wound in the sword-arm, which long disabled him.

But that redress to his character now came accidentally and unexpectedly, which all his activity and perseverance could not obtain. Bourke, the corporal, was mortally wounded by a scalping party of Indians, and on his death-bed made a solemn confession that he himself had actually stolen the fowling-piece, and sold it to Roche, without informing him by what means he had[Pg 762] procured it, and that Roche had really purchased it without any suspicion of the theft. This declaration of the dying man was properly attested, and universally received, and restored the injured Roche at once to character and countenance. His former calumniators now vied with each other in friendly offers to serve him; and as a remuneration for the injustice and injury he had suffered, a lieutenancy in a newly-raised regiment was conferred upon him gratuitously. He soon returned to Dublin with considerable eclat; the reputation of the injuries he had sustained, the gallant part he had acted, and the romantic adventures he had encountered among the Indians, in the woods of America, were the subject of every conversation. Convivial parties were every where made for him. Wherever he appeared, he was the lion of the night. A handsome person, made still more attractive by the wounds he had received, a graceful form in the dance, in which he excelled, and the narrative of "his hair-breadth 'scapes," with which he was never too diffident to indulge the company, made him at this time "the observed of all observers" in the metropolis of Ireland.

But a service which he rendered the public in Dublin deservedly placed him very high in their esteem and good-will. It was at this time infested with those miscreants who were known by the names of "sweaters," or "pinkindindies," and every night some outrage was perpetrated on the peaceable and unoffending inhabitants. One evening late, an old gentleman with his son and daughter, were returning home from a friend's house, when they were attacked on Ormond-quay by a party of them. Roche, who was accidentally going the same way at the same time, heard the shrieks of a woman crying for assistance, and instantly rushed to the place. Here he did not hesitate singly to meet the whole party. He first rescued the young woman from the ruffian who held her, and then attacking the band, he desperately wounded some, and put the rest to flight. His spirited conduct on this occasion gained him a high and deserved reputation, and inspired others with resolution to follow his example. He formed a body, consisting of officers and others of his acquaintance, to patrol the dangerous streets of Dublin at night, and so gave that protection to the citizens which the miserable and decrepit watch were not able to afford.

But he was not fated long to preserve the high character he had acquired. His physical temperament, impossible to manage, and his moral perceptions, hard to regulate, were the sport of every contingency and vicissitude of fortune. The peace concluded in 1763 reduced the army, and he retired in indigent circumstances to London, where he soon lived beyond his income. In order to repair it, he paid his addresses to a Miss Pitt, who had a fortune of £4000. On the anticipation of this, he engaged in a career of extravagance that soon accumulated debts to a greater amount, and the marriage portion was insufficient to satisfy his creditors. He was arrested and cast into the prison of the King's Bench, where various detainers were laid upon him, and he was doomed to a confinement of hopeless termination. Here his mind appears to have been completely broken down, and the intrepid and daring courage, which had sustained him in so remarkable a manner through all the vicissitudes of his former life, seemed to be totally exhausted. He submitted to insults and indignities with patience, and seemed deprived not only of the capability to resent, but of the sensibility to feel them.

On one occasion he had a trifling dispute with a fellow-prisoner, who kicked him, and struck him a blow in the face. There was a time when his fiery spirit would not have been satisfied but with the blood of the offender. He now only turned aside and cried like a child. It happened that his countryman, Buck English, a personage of some notoriety, was confined at the same time in the Bench; with him also he had some dispute, and English, seizing a stick, flogged him in a savage manner. Roche made no attempt to retaliate or resist, but crouched under the punishment. But while he shrunk thus under the chastisement of men, he turned upon his wife, whom he treated with such cruelty, that she was compelled to separate from him, and abandon him to his fate.

At length, however, an act of grace liberated him from a confinement under which all his powers were fast sinking; and a small legacy, left him by a relation, enabled him once more to appear in the gay world. With his change of fortune a change of disposition came over him; and in proportion as he had shown an abject spirit in confinement, he now exhibited even a still more arrogant and irritable temper than he had ever before displayed. He was a constant frequenter of billiard tables, where he indulged in insufferable assumption, with sometimes a shrewd and keen remark. He was one day driving the balls about with the cue, and on some one expostulating with him that he was not playing himself, but hindering other gentlemen from their amusement; "Gentlemen!" said Roche, "why, sir, except you and I, and one or two more, there is not a gentleman in the room." His friend afterwards remarked that he had grossly offended a large company, and wondered some of them had not resented the affront. "Oh!" said Roche, "there was no fear of that. There was not a thief in the room that did not consider himself one of the two or three gentlemen I excepted!"

Again his fortune seemed in the ascendant, and the miserable, spiritless, flogged and degraded prisoner of the King's Bench, was called on to stand as candidate to represent Middlesex in Parliament. So high an opinion was entertained of his daring spirit, that it was thought by some of the popular party he might be of use in intimidating Colonel Luttrell, who was the declared opponent of Wilkes at that election. In April, 1769, he was put into nomination at Brentford by Mr. Jones, and seconded by Mr. Martin, two highly popular electors. He, however, disappointed his friends, and declined the poll, induced,[Pg 763] it was said, by promises of Luttrell's friends to provide for him. On this occasion he fought another duel with a Captain Flood, who had offended him in a coffee-house. He showed no deficiency of courage, but on the contrary even a larger proportion of spirit and generosity than had distinguished him at former periods.

Returning at this time one night to his apartments at Chelsea, he was attacked by two ruffians, who presented pistols to his breast. He sprang back, and drew his sword, when one of them fired at him, and the ball grazed his temple. He then attacked them both, pinned one to the wall, and the other fled. Roche secured his prisoner, and the other was apprehended next day. They were tried at the Old Bailey, and capitally convicted; but at the humane and earnest intercession of Roche, their punishment was mitigated to transportation.

All the fluctuations of this strange man's character seemed at length to settle into one unhappy state, from which he was unable ever again to raise himself. He met with a young person, walking with her mother in St. James's Park, and was struck with her appearance. He insinuated himself into their acquaintance, and the young lady formed for him a strong and uncontrollable attachment. She possessed a considerable fortune, of which Roche became the manager. His daily profusion and dissipation soon exhausted her property, and the mother and daughter were compelled to leave London, reduced to indigence and distress, in consequence of the debts in which he had involved them.

He was soon after appointed captain of a company of foot in the East India service, and embarked in the Vansittart, for India, in May, 1773. He had not been many days on board, when such was his impracticable temper that he fell out with all the passengers, and among the rest with a Captain Ferguson, who called him out as soon as they arrived at Madeira. Roche was again seized with a sudden and unaccountable fit of terror, and made submission. The arrogance and cowardice he displayed revolted the whole body of the passengers, and they unanimously made it a point that the captain should expel him from the table. He was driven, therefore, to the society of the common sailors and soldiers on board the ship. With them he endeavored to ingratiate himself, by mixing freely with them, and denouncing vengeance against every gentleman and officer on board the ship; but his threats were particularly directed against Ferguson, whom he considered the origin of the disgrace he suffered. On the arrival of the ship at the Cape, after all the passengers were disembarked, Roche came ashore, in the dusk of the evening, and was seen about the door of the house where Ferguson lodged. A message was conveyed to Ferguson, who went out, and was found soon afterward round the corner of the house, weltering in his blood, with nine deep wounds, all on his left side; and it was supposed they must have been there inflicted, because it was the unprotected side, and the attack was made when he was off his guard.

Suspicion immediately fixed on Roche as the murderer; he fled during the night, and took refuge among the Caffres. It was supposed that he ended his strange and eventful life soon after. The Cape was at that time a colony of the Dutch, who, vigilant and suspicious of strangers, suffered none to enter there, but merely to touch for provisions and pass on. The proceedings, therefore, of their colonial government were shut up in mystery. It was reported at the time, that Roche was demanded and given up to the authorities at the Cape, who caused him to be broken alive upon the wheel, according to the then Dutch criminal law of the Cape, which inflicted that punishment on the more atrocious murderers, and the uncertainty that hung about the circumstance assorted strangely with the wild character of the man.

It appears, however, he was tried by the Dutch authorities at the Cape, and acquitted. He then took a passage in a French vessel to Bombay; but the Vansittart, in which he had come from England to the Cape, had arrived in India before him; information had been given to the British authorities, charging Roche with Ferguson's murder; and Roche was arrested as soon as he landed. He urged his right to be discharged, or at least bailed, on the grounds that there was not sufficient evidence against him; that he had been already acquitted; and that as the offense, if any, was committed out of the British dominions, he could only be tried by special commission, and it was uncertain whether the Crown would issue one or not, or, if the Crown did grant a commission, when or where it would sit. He argued his own case with the skill of a practiced lawyer. The authorities, however, declined either to bail or discharge him, and he was kept in custody until he was sent a prisoner to England, to stand his trial.

An appeal of murder was brought against him, and a commission issued to try it. The case came on at the Old Bailey, in London, before Baron Burland, on the 11th December, 1775. The counsel for Roche declined in any way relying on the former acquittal at the Cape of Good Hope; and the case was again gone through. The fact of the killing was undisputed, but from the peculiar nature of the proceedings, there could not be, as in a common indictment for murder, a conviction for manslaughter; and the judge directed the jury, if they did not believe the killing to be malicious and deliberate, absolutely to acquit the prisoner. The jury brought in a verdict of acquittal.

The doubt about Roche's guilt arose on the following state of facts. On the evening of their arrival at the Cape, Ferguson and his friends were sitting at tea, at their lodgings, when a message was brought into the room; on hearing which Ferguson rose, went to his apartment, and, having put on his sword and taken a loaded cane in his hand, went out. A friend named Grant followed him, and found Roche and him at the side of the house, round a corner, and heard the clash of swords, but refused to interfere. It was[Pg 764] too dark to see what was occurring; but in a few moments he heard Roche going away, and Ferguson falling. Ferguson was carried in, and died immediately. All his wounds were on the left side. The most violent vindictive feelings had existed between them; and there was proof of Roche's having threatened "to shorten the race of the Fergusons." The message, in answer to which Ferguson went out, was differently stated, being, according to one account, "Mr. Mathews wants Mr. Ferguson," and to the other, "a gentleman wants Mr. Mathews." The case for the prosecution was, that this message was a trap to draw Ferguson out of the house, and that, on his going out, Roche attacked him; and this was confirmed by the improbability of Roche's going out for an innocent purpose, in a strange place, on the night of his landing, in the dark, and in the neighborhood of Ferguson's lodgings; and particularly by the wounds being on the left side, which they could not be if given in a fair fight with small swords. Roche's account was, that on the evening of his arrival he went out to see the town, accompanied by a boy, a slave of his host; that they were watched by some person till they came near Ferguson's, when that person disappeared, and immediately afterward, Roche was struck with a loaded stick on the head, knocked down, and his arm disabled; that afterward he succeeded in rising, and; perceiving Ferguson, drew his sword, and, after a struggle, in which he wished to avoid bloodshed, killed his assailant in self-defense. This was, to some extent, corroborated by the boy at the Dutch trial, and by a sailor in England, but both these witnesses were shaken a little in their testimony. According to this account, the message was a concerted signal to Ferguson, who had set a watch on Roche, intending to assassinate him. The locality of Ferguson's wounds was accounted for by his fighting both with cane and sword, using the former to parry. If the second version of the message was correct, it would strongly confirm this account. There was no proof that Ferguson knew any one named Mathews.

A writer of the last century, in speaking of the Irish character, concludes with the remark: "In short, if they are good, you will scarcely meet a better: if bad, you will seldom find a worse." These extremes were frequently mixed in the same person. Roche, at different periods, displayed them. At one time, an admirable spirit, great humanity, and unbounded generosity; at another, abject cowardice, ferocity, treachery, and brutal selfishness. The vicissitudes of his fortune were as variable as his character: at times he was exposed to the foulest charges, and narrowly escaped ignominious punishment; at others, he was the object of universal esteem and admiration.


Lawyers do not marry with the impulsiveness of poets. For they are a prudent class—mostly shrewd, practical men—any thing but dreamers; and though they may admire a handsome figure, and like a pretty face as other men do, they have not usually allowed those adventitious gifts of nature to divert their attention from the "main chance" in choosing a wife. Lawyers are, take them as a whole, a marrying class, and they not unfrequently enjoy that "lawyer's blessing," a large family. Take the Lord Chancellors, for instance. Lord Clarendon, Lords-Keeper Coventry, Lyttleton, Bridgeman, Judge Jeffries, Lord York, Lord Bathurst, Lord Loughborough, and Lord Erskine, were twice married; Lord Shaftesbury, Lord Maynard, and Lord Harcourt, were three times married. The wives whom they chose were usually heiresses, or rich widows; those who remained bachelors, or who married "for love," seem to have formed the exceptions. And yet, on the whole, the married life of the Lord Chancellors, judging from Lord Campbell's Lives, seems to have been comfortable and happy.

The great Lord Bacon, when a young man plodding at the bar, but with a very small practice, cast about his eyes among the desirable matches of the day, and selected the handsome widow of Sir William Hutton (nephew and heir of Lord Chancellor Hutton), who had a large fortune at her own disposal. But another legal gentleman had been beforehand with him; and when he proposed he was rejected. His favored rival was Sir Edward Coke, a crabbed widower, but attorney-general, rich and of large estate, as well as of large family. The widow who valued wealth as much as Bacon did, married the old man, running off with him, and entering into an irregular marriage, for which they were both prosecuted in the Ecclesiastical Court. Bacon had reason to rejoice at his escape, for the widow was of capricious and violent temper, and led Coke a most wretched life, refusing to take his name, separating from him, doing every thing to vex and annoy him, and teaching his child to rebel against him. Bacon was however shortly after consoled by a rich and handsome wife, in the daughter of Alderman Barnham, whom he married. But the marriage seems at best to have been one of convenience on his part. They did not live happily together; she never was a companion to him; and not long before his death, a final separation took place, and the great Lord Chancellor died without the consolations of female tenderness in his last moments. When the separation took place, "for great and just causes," as he expresses it in his will, he "utterly revoked" all testamentary dispositions in her favor. But she lost nothing by this, for his costly style of living during his official career left him without a penny, and he died insolvent.

Sir Thomas More, when twenty-one, married the eldest daughter of one "Maister Coult, a gentleman of Essex," a country girl, very ill-educated, but fair and well-formed. Erasmus says of the marriage—"He wedded a young girl of respectable family, but who had hitherto lived in the country with her parents and sisters; and was so uneducated, that he could mould her to his own tastes and manners. He caused her to[Pg 765] be instructed in letters; and she became a very skillful musician, which peculiarly pleased him." The union was a happy one, but short, the wife dying, and leaving behind her a son and three daughters; shortly after which, however, More married again, this time a widow named Alice Middleton, seven years older than himself, and not by any means handsome. Indeed, More indulged himself in a jest on her want of youth and beauty—"nec bella nec puella." He had first wooed her, it seems, for a friend, but ended by marrying her himself. Erasmus, who was often an inmate of the family, speaks of her as "a keen and watchful manager." "No husband," continues Erasmus, "ever gained so much obedience from a wife by authority and severity, as More won by gentleness and pleasantry. Though verging on old age, and not of a yielding temper, he prevailed on her to take lessons on the lute, the viol, the monochord, and the flute, which she daily practiced to him." Her ordinary and rather vulgar apprehension could not fathom the conscientious scruples of her husband in his refusal to take the oath dictated to him by Henry VIII.; and when he was at length cast by that bad monarch into the Tower, then the grave of so many royal victims, his wife strongly expostulated with him on his squeamishness. "How can a man," she said to him on one occasion, "taken for wise, like you, play the fool in this close filthy prison, when you might be abroad at your liberty, if you would but do as the bishops have done?" She dilated upon his fine house at Chelsea, his library, gallery, garden, and orchard, together with the company of his wife and children. But to all he opposed the mild force of his conscience and religious feelings. "Is not this house," he asked, "as nigh heaven as my own?" to which her contemptuous ejaculation was—"Tilly vally, tilly vally!" He persisted in his course, and was executed, after which we hear no more of his wife.

Among the few great lawyers who have married "for love," Hyde, Lord Clarendon, deserves a place. While yet a young man, he became desperately enamored of the daughter of Sir George Aycliffe, a Wiltshire gentleman of good family, though of small fortune. A marriage was the result, but the beautiful young wife died only six months after, of the malignant small-pox (then a frightful scourge in this country), and Hyde was for some time so inconsolable, that he could scarcely be restrained from throwing up his profession and going abroad. Two years after, however, he married again into a good family, his second wife being the daughter of Sir Thomas Aylesbury, Master of the Mint; and the marriage proved highly auspicious. This worthy lady was his companion in all his vicissitudes of fortune—lived with him for many years in exile—shared all his dangers and privations, when at times the parents could with difficulty provide food and raiment for their children; but the wife was yet preserved to see her husband Earl of Clarendon, Lord Chancellor and Prime Minister of England. As an instance of the straits to which the family was occasionally reduced, we may quote the following extract from a letter written by Hyde to a friend, when at Madrid in 1650, in which he says: "All our money is gone, and let me never prosper, if I know or can imagine how we can get bread a month longer;" and again, "Greater necessities are hardly felt by any men than we for the present undergo, such as have almost made me foolish. I have not for my life been able to supply the miserable distress of my poor wife."

Francis North, afterward Lord-Keeper Guildford, went about marrying in a business-like way. He was a reader at Lincoln's Inn, but much desired to wed, because he had "grown tired of dining in the hall, and eating a costelet and salad at Chateline's in the evening with a friend." Besides, he wished to mend his fortune in the most summary way. He first tried a rich, coquettish young widow, but she jilted him. Then he found out an alderman who was reputed to be rich, and had three marriageable daughters with a fortune of £6000 each. He made his approaches, was favorably received, and proceeded to broach the money question to the alderman. The sum named as the young lady's portion was £5000; but as North had set his heart on the £6000, he was disappointed, and at once took his leave. The alderman, running after him (at least so relates Lord Campbell), offered him to boot £500 on the birth of the first child. But North would not take a penny under the sum he had fixed upon, and the match fell through. At last he found a lady with £14,000, one of the daughters of the Earl of Devon, whom he courted in a business style, and ultimately married.

Judge Jeffries, when a dissolute youth, courted an heiress, and in spite of her father's interdict, the young lady encouraged Jeffries, and corresponded with him. The father fell upon a heap of love-letters which had passed between Jeffries and his daughter, and in a savage manner turned the young lady from his doors. She was suffering great distress in some house in Holborn, in which she had taken shelter, and where Jeffries sought her out. Perhaps his marrying her under such circumstances was the one generous act of that infamous man's life. She made him an excellent wife while she lived, but before she died, Jeffries was already courting another wife, and married her three months after; and in about three months after that, his new wife presented him with certain marital fruits rather prematurely. This woman caused much scandal during her life, and seems to have been as great a disgrace to the domestic conditions of life, as her husband was to the bench he occupied.

Neither Lord Somers nor Lord Thurlow were married—both having been disappointed in attachments in their younger years. The latter proposed to a young Lincolnshire lady, a Miss Gouch, but she protested "she would not have him—she was positively afraid of him;" so he forswore matrimony thenceforward. We do not[Pg 766] remember any other of the Lord Chancellors who have led a single life.

Strange that Lord Chancellor Eldon—a man of so much caution and worldly providence, should have been one of the few great lawyers who married "for love;" but it was so. His choice was nearly a penniless beauty, and he had nothing; she was only eighteen, and he twenty-one. Scott induced the fair damsel to elope with him; she stole away from her father's home by night, descending from her window by a ladder planted there by her impatient lover; they fled across the border, and got married at Blackshiels. The step was an important one for Scott—fraught with great consequences; for it diverted him from the church, for which he had been studying, and forced him to the bar, thus compelling him to enter upon a career which ended in the highest honors. William Scott, his elder brother, afterward Lord Stowell, helped the young couple on, and the young lawyer worked with a will. "I have married rashly," said he, in a letter to a friend, "and I have neither house nor home to offer to my wife; but it is my determination to work hard to provide for the woman I love, as soon as I can find the means of so doing." He was shortly after engaged by Sir Robert Chambers, as his deputy, to read lectures on law at Oxford; and in after years he used to relate the following story respecting his first appearance in the character of a lecturer. "The most awkward thing that ever occurred to me was this: immediately after I was married, I was appointed Deputy Professor of Law, at Oxford; and the law professor sent me the first lecture, which I had to read immediately to the students, and which I began without knowing a word that was in it. It was upon the statute of young men running away with maidens. Fancy me reading, with about one hundred and forty boys and young men giggling at the professor! Such a tittering audience no one ever had."

It remains for us to notice the wives of two other great lawyers, who, though not equal in rank to those we have named, were equal to any of them in professional merit, and in true nobility of character. We allude to the late Sir Samuel Romilly and Sir James Mackintosh, both of whom were blessed in their married state, and have left behind them memorials of the most touching kind in memory of their wives.

"For fifteen years," says Sir Samuel Romilly, writing in 1813, "my happiness has been the constant study of the most excellent of wives; a woman in whom a strong understanding, the noblest and most elevated sentiments, and the most courageous virtue, are united to the warmest affection, and to the utmost delicacy of mind and tenderness of heart; and all these intellectual perfections are graced and adorned by the most splendid beauty that human eyes ever beheld. She has borne to me seven children, who are living, and in all of whom I persuade myself that I discover the promise of them, one day, proving themselves not unworthy of such a mother."

The noble woman here referred to was Anne, the eldest daughter of Francis Garbett, Esq., of Knill Court, Herefordshire, whom Romilly married in January, 1798. He first accidentally met the young lady when on a visit to the Marquis of Lansdowne, at Bowood. He gives the following charming account of the circumstance in his diary: "The amiable disposition of Lord and Lady Lansdowne always renders the place delightful to their guests. To me, besides the enjoyment of the present moment, there is always added, when I am at Bowood, a thousand pleasing recollections of past times; of the happy days I have spent, of the various society of distinguished persons I have enjoyed, of the friendships I have formed here; and above all, that it was here that I first saw and became known to my dearest Anne. If I had not chanced to meet with her here, there is no probability that I should ever have seen her; for she had never been, nor was likely, unmarried, to have been in London. To what accidental causes are the most important occurrences of our lives sometimes to be traced! Some miles from Bowood is the form of a white horse, grotesquely cut out upon the downs, and forming a landmark to wide extent of country. To that object it is that I owe all the real happiness of my life. In the year 1796 I made a visit to Bowood. My dear Anne, who had been staying there some weeks, with her father and her sisters, was about to leave it. The day fixed for their departure was the eve of that on which I arrived; and if nothing had occurred to disappoint their purpose, I never should have seen her. But it happened that, on the preceding day, she was one of an equestrian party which was made to visit this curious object; she overheated herself by her ride; a violent cold and pain in her face was the consequence. Her father found it indispensably necessary to defer his and her journey for several days, and in the mean time I arrived. I saw in her the most beautiful and accomplished creature that ever blessed the sight and understanding of man—a most intelligent mind, an uncommonly correct judgment, a lively imagination, a cheerful disposition, a noble and generous way of thinking, an elevation and heroism of character, and a warmth and tenderness of affection, such as is rarely found even in her sex, were among her extraordinary endowments. I was captivated alike by the beauties of her person, and the charms of her mind. A mutual attachment was formed between us, which, at the end of a little more than a year, was consecrated by marriage. All the happiness I have known in her beloved society, all the many and exquisite enjoyments which my dear children have afforded me, even my extraordinary success in my profession, the labors of which, if my life had not been so cheered and exhilarated, I never could have undergone—all are to be traced to this trivial cause."

Lady Romilly died on the 29th of October, 1818, and the bereaved husband was unable to bear up under this terrible loss. The shock occasioned[Pg 767] by her death deprived him of his senses, and in his despair he committed the fatal act which laid him in the same grave with his devoted wife. In life they were united, and in death they would not be separated.

Mackintosh married when only a young man in great pecuniary straits. He was living in the family of Dr. Fraser, London, where Miss Catherine Stuart, a young Scotch lady, was a frequent visitor. She was distinguished by a rich fund of good sense, and an affectionate heart, rather than for her personal attractions. An affection sprang up between them, and they got privately married at Marylebone Church, on February 18th, 1789, greatly to the offense of the relatives of both parties.

When composing his Vindiciæ Gallicæ at Little Ealing, his wife sat by him in the room; he could tolerate no one else, and he required her to be perfectly quiet—not even to write or work—as the slightest movement disturbed him. In the evening, by way of recreation, he walked out with his wife, reading to her as he went along. This amiable wife died in 1797, when slowly recovering from the birth of a child, and she left three daughters behind her. Mackintosh thus spoke of his departed wife, in a letter to Dr. Parr, written shortly after his sad bereavement, and we do not remember ever to have met with a more beautiful testimony to a deceased wife than this is:

"In the state of deep, but quiet melancholy, which has succeeded to the first violent agitations of my sorrow, my greatest pleasure is to look back with gratitude and pious affection on the memory of my beloved wife; and my chief consolation is the soothing recollection of her virtues. Allow me, in justice to her memory, to tell you what she was, and what I owed her. I was guided in my choice only by the blind affection of my youth. I found an intelligent companion and a tender friend, a prudent monitress, the most faithful of wives, and a mother as tender as children ever had the misfortune to lose. I met a woman who, by the tender management of my weaknesses, gradually corrected the most pernicious of them. She became prudent from affection; and though of the most generous nature, she was taught frugality and economy by her love for me. During the most critical period of my life, she preserved order in my affairs, from the care of which she relieved me. She gently reclaimed me from dissipation; she propped my weak and irresolute nature; she urged my indolence to all the exertions that have been useful and creditable to me; and she was perpetually at hand to admonish my heedlessness or improvidence. To her I owe whatever I am; to her, whatever I shall be. In her solicitude for my interest, she never for a moment forgot my feelings, or my character. Even in her occasional resentment, for which I but too often gave her cause (would to God I could recall those moments), she had no sullenness nor acrimony. Her feelings were warm and impetuous, but she was placable, tender, and constant. Such was she whom I have lost; and I have lost her when her excellent natural sense was rapidly improving, after eight years of struggle and distress had bound us fast together, and moulded our tempers to each other,—when a knowledge of her worth had refined my youthful love into friendship, before age had deprived it of much of its original ardor. I lost her, alas! (the choice of my youth, the partner of my misfortunes) at a moment when I had the prospect of her sharing my better days. If I had lost the giddy and thoughtless companion of prosperity, the world could easily repair the loss; but I have lost the faithful and tender partner of my misfortunes, and my only consolation is in that Being, under whose severe, but paternal chastisement, I am bent down to the ground."

Mackintosh married, about a year after the death of his first wife, Catherine, the second daughter of John Allen, of Cresselly, Co. Pembroke. She was an amiable and accomplished woman, and greatly contributed to his happiness in after life. She died in 1830, at Chêne, near Geneva, after a short illness; and her husband, speaking of her afterward, "in the deep sincerity of deliberate conviction," calls her "an upright and pious woman, formed for devoted affection, who employed a strong understanding and resolute spirit in unwearied attempts to relieve every suffering under her view."


Previously to the year 1789, but at what precise date can not say, the city of Paris possessed as guardian of its safety, and chief minister of police, a man of rare talent and integrity. At the same period, the parish of St. Germais, in the quarter of the Rue St. Antoine, had for its curé a kind venerable old man, whose whole life was spent in doing good to both the souls and bodies of his fellow-creatures, and whose holy consistency and dignified courage caused him to be loved by the good, and respected by even the most abandoned characters. One cold dark winter's night, the bell at the old curé's door was rung loudly, and he, although in bed, immediately arose and opened the door, anticipating a summons to some sick or dying bed.

A personage, richly dressed, with his features partly concealed by a large false beard, stood outside. Addressing the curé in a courteous and graceful manner, he apologized for his unseasonable visit, which, as he said, the high reputation of monsieur had induced him to make.

"A great and terrible, but necessary and inevitable deed," he continued, "is to be done. Time presses; a soul about to pass into eternity implores your ministry. If you come you must allow your eyes to be bandaged, ask no questions, and consent to act simply as spiritual consoler of a dying woman. If you refuse to accompany me, no other priest can be admitted, and her spirit must pass alone."

After a moment of secret prayer, the curé answered, "I will go with you." Without asking any further explanation, he allowed his eyes to[Pg 768] be bandaged, and leaned on the arm of his suspicious visitor. They both got into a coach, whose windows were immediately covered by wooden shutters, and then they drove off rapidly. They seemed to go a long way, and make many doublings and turnings ere the coach drove under a wide archway and stopped.

During this time, not a single word had been exchanged between the travelers, and ere they got out the stranger assured himself that the bandage over his companion's eyes had not been displaced, and then taking the old man respectfully by the hand, he assisted him to alight and to ascend the wide steps of a staircase as far as the second story. A great door opened, as if of itself, and several thickly-carpeted rooms were traversed in silence. At length, another door was opened by the guide, and the curé felt his bandage removed. They were in a solemn-looking bed-chamber; near a bed, half-vailed by thick damask curtains, was a small table, supporting two wax lights, which feebly illuminated the cold death-like apartment. The stranger (he was the Duke de ——), then bowing to the curé, led him toward the bed, drew back the curtains, and said in a solemn tone:

"Minister of God, before you is a woman who has betrayed the blood of her ancestors, and whose doom is irrevocably fixed. She knows on what conditions an interview with you has been granted her; she knows too that all supplication would be useless. You know your duty, M. le Curé; I leave you to fulfill it, and will return to seek you in half an hour."

So saying he departed, and the agitated priest saw lying on the bed a young and beautiful girl, bathed in tears, battling with despair, and calling in her bitter agony for the comforts of religion. No investigation possible! for the unhappy creature declared herself bound by a terrible oath to conceal her name; besides, she knew not in what place she was.

"I am," she said, "the victim of a secret family tribunal, whose sentence is irrevocable! More, I can not tell. I forgive mine enemies, as I trust that God will forgive me. Pray for me!"

The minister of religion invoked the sublime promises of the gospel to soothe her troubled soul, and he succeeded. Her countenance, after a time, became composed, she clasped her hands in fervent prayer, and then extended them toward her consoler.

As she did so, the curé perceived that the sleeve of her robe was stained with blood.

"My child," said he, with a trembling voice, "what is this?"

"Father, it is the vein which they have already opened, and the bandage, no doubt, was carelessly put on."

At these words, a sudden thought struck the priest. He unrolled the dressing, allowed the blood to flow, steeped his handkerchief in it, then replaced the bandage, concealed the stained handkerchief within his vest, and whispered:

"Farewell, my daughter, take courage, and have confidence in God!"

The half-hour had expired, and the step of his terrible conductor was heard approaching.

"I am ready," said the curé, and having allowed his eyes to be covered, he took the arm of the Duke de ——, and left the awful room, praying meanwhile with secret fervor.

Arrived at the foot of the staircase, the old man, succeeded, without his guide's knowledge, in slightly displacing the thick bandage so as to admit a partial ray of lamp light. Finding himself in the carriage gateway, he managed to stumble and fall, with both hands forward toward a dark corner. The duke hastened to raise him, both resumed their places in the carriage, and, after repassing through the same tortuous route, the curé was set down in safety at his own door.

Without one moment's delay, he called his servant.

"Pierre," he said, "arm yourself with a stick, and give me your support; I must instantly go to the minister of police."

Soon afterward the official gate was opened to admit the well-known venerable pastor.

"Monseigneur," he said, addressing the minister, "a terrible deed will speedily be accomplished, if you are not in time to prevent it. Let your agents visit, before daybreak, every carriage gateway in Paris; in the inner angle of one of them will be found a blood-stained handkerchief. The blood is that of a young female, whose murder, already begun, has been miraculously suspended. Her family have condemned their victim to have her veins opened one by one, and thus to perish slowly in expiation of a fault, already more than punished by her mortal agony. Courage, my friend, you have already some hours. May God assist you—I can only pray."

That same morning, at eight o'clock, the minister of police entered the curé's room.

"My friend," said he, "I confess my inferiority, you are able to instruct me in expedients."

"Saved!" cried the old man, bursting into tears.

"Saved," said the minister, "and rescued from the power of her cruel relations. But the next time, dear abbé, that you want my assistance in a benevolent enterprise, I wish you would give me a little more time to accomplish it."

Within the next twenty-four hours, by an express order from the king, the Duke de —— and his accomplices were secretly removed from Paris, and conveyed out of the kingdom.

The young woman received all the care which her precarious state required; and when sufficiently recovered, retired to a quiet country village where the royal protection assured her safety. It is scarcely needful to say, that next to her Maker, the curé of St. Germais was the object of her deepest gratitude and filial love. During fifteen years, the holy man received from time to time the expression of her grateful affection; and at length, when himself, from extreme old age, on the brink of the grave, he received the intelligence that she had departed in peace.

Never until then, had a word of this mysterious[Pg 769] adventure passed the good curé's lips. On his deathbed, however, he confided the recital to a bishop, one of his particular friends; and from a relation of the latter, I myself heard it. This is the exact truth.


Travelers' tales have a peculiar reputation for the marvelous, and many travelers have been accused of fiction. Whether zoologists' tales are in all cases to be trusted, we have, now and then, a doubt. They are true in the main; but sometimes, possibly, the first narrator of an unusually good story has judiciously abstained from sifting it; and once in the Zoological Story-book, the pleasant tale has stood on its own merits, and been handled tenderly, as is the way with ornaments; no man too roughly scratching at them to find out of what materials they are composed.

Of course we accept legends as legends. It was once believed of crocodiles, that, after they had eaten a man comfortably, and left only his skull, at the sweet kernel of which—the brain—they could not get, their tears were shed over the bone until they softened it, and so the skull was opened, and the brain devoured. When that is told us as a legend, we say, certainly, it was a very quaint thing to believe of the tears of crocodiles. Then, travelers' tales of the proverbial kind are next of kin to legends. Here is a very marvelous one, and yet, let us be bold and say that we believe it. It is this. An Indian, having tamed a rattlesnake, carried it about in a box with him, and called it his great father. M. Pinnisance met with him as he was starting for his winter hunt, and saw him open the box-door and give the snake his liberty, telling it to be sure and come back to meet him, when he returned to the same spot next May. It was then October. M. Pinnisance laughed at the man, who immediately saw his way clearly to a speculation in rum, and betted two gallons that his snake would keep the appointment. The wager was made; the second week in May arrived; the Indian and the Frenchman were on the appointed spot. The great father was absent, and the Indian, having lost his wager, offered to repeat it, doubled, if the snake did not return within the next two days. That wager the Frenchman took and lost. The snake, who (had he speech) might have apologized for being rather behind his time, appeared, and crawled into his box. We believe this. Rattlesnakes are teachable; and, in this instance, the keeping of the appointment seems to us only an apparent wonder. Snakes are not given to travel in the winter, and the Indian's father, turned out of the box, made himself snug at no great distance from the place of his ejectment. Winter over, the Indian came back. His great father may have been dining heartily, and indisposed to stir; but, as he grew more brisk, the accustomed invocation of his little son became effectual, and brought the tame snake to the box as usual.

Disjonval knew a spider (such a spider was a person to know) who regularly placed himself upon the ceiling over a young lady's head whenever she played the harp, and followed her if she changed her position. The celebrated violinist, Berthome (it is our shame never to have heard of him), when a boy, saw a spider habitually come out to hear when he was practicing: this creature at last became familiar, and took a seat upon the desk. Lenz tells of a goose who followed a harp-player wherever he performed, probably to hiss him out of self-respect. Bingley tells of a pigeon in the neighborhood of a young lady who played brilliantly on the harpsichord; the pigeon did not greatly care about her playing, except when she played the song of "Speri si," from Handel's opera, Admetus: then it would come and sit by the window, testifying pleasure; when the song was over, it would fly back to its dovecote, for it had not learnt the art of clapping wings for an encore.

In the matter of experience, we can believe the story of a dog who either was not blessed with a love of music, or had a master given to the perpetration of atrocities against his canine ear; the dog whose peace was broken by his master's practice on the violin, took every opportunity to hide the stick. Plutarch's story of the mule we are at liberty, we hope, to set down in the list of pleasant fables. The mule laden with salt blundered, by chance, into a stream; on coming out it found its load to be so agreeably lightened, that it afterward made a point of taking a bath upon its travels. To cure it of this trick, the panniers were filled with sponge, and then when the mule came out of the water with the sponges saturated, it felt a load that it had reason to remember.

Dr. Pelican saw a party of rats around the bunghole of a cask of wine dipping their tails in and then licking them. Mr. Jesse tells of rats who performed a similar feat with an oil-bottle. But this is nothing in comparison with the acuteness of Degrandpre's monkey. Left with an open bottle of aniseed brandy, he sucked what he could from it with tongue and fingers, and then poured sand into the bottle till the rest ran over. Le Vaillant, the African traveler, had with him dogs and a monkey. When the monkey was weary he leapt on a dog's back for a ride. One dog on such occasions quietly stood still. The monkey, fearing to be left behind, would presently jump off and hasten to the caravan: the dog, with studious politeness, took good care to give him precedence. An elephant—we must at once append one tale about the elephant, whose great sagacity makes him the hero of a thousand and one—an elephant belonging to an officer in the Bengal army, was left during the long absence of his master to a keeper; who, as even elephant-ostlers will do, cheated him of his rations. When the master came back, the poor half-starved elephant testified the greatest joy, the keeper, in his master's presence, put, of course, the full allowance of food before the elephant, who immediately divided it into two parts, one representing his short commons, which he[Pg 770] devoured greedily; the other representing the amount to which he had been defrauded in his dinners, he left. The officer of course understood the hint, and the man confessed his breach of trust.

We must get rid of another story of an elephant; like the last, perfectly credible. Elephants have more sagacity than dogs, and of dogs few tales that are current are doubtful. This is the tale of an elephant in the Jardin des Plantes. A painter used to study from the animals in the garden, and was minded once to paint the elephant. But of course he must paint him in an attitude; and even the sagacity of an elephant failed to understand that the artist wished him to keep his mouth open, and hold up his trunk. The artist therefore got a little boy, and intrusted to his care a bag of apples, which he was to throw into the elephant's mouth one by one, obliging him in this way to keep his trunk uplifted. "The apples," says Mr. Broderip, "were numerous, but the painter was not a Landseer, and as he had not the faculty of seizing and transferring character with Edwin's magical power and rapidity, the task was tedious. By the master's directions, the boy occasionally deceived the elephant by a simulated chuck, and thus eked out the supply. Notwithstanding the just indignation of the balked expectant, his gourmandise checked his irritable impatience; and, keeping his eye on the still well-filled bag, he bore the repeated disappointment, crunching an apple, when it chanced to come, with apparent glee. At length the last apple was thrown and crunched, the empty bag was laid aside, and the elephant applied himself to his water-tank as if for the purpose of washing down his repast. A few more touches would have completed the picture, when an overwhelming douche from his well-adjusted trunk obliterated the design, and drenched the discomfited painter. Having, by this practical application of retributive justice, executed judgment on the instigator, the elephant, disdaining the boy, whom he regarded as the mere instrument of wrong, marched proudly round his inclosure, loudly trumpeting forth his triumph."

We have left that story in the pleasant words of its accomplished narrator. Mr. Thomson now shall tell us one in his way, which illustrates the faculty of imitation: "An oran-otan, brought up by Père Carbasson, became so fond of him, that wherever he went, it always seemed desirous of accompanying him; whenever, therefore, he had to perform the service of his church, he was under the necessity of shutting him up in a room. Once, however, the animal escaped, and followed the father to the church, where, silently mounting the sounding-board above the pulpit, he lay perfectly still till the sermon commenced. He then crept to the edge, and overlooking the preacher, imitated all his gestures in so grotesque a manner, that the whole congregation were unavoidably urged to laugh. The father, surprised and confounded at this ill-timed levity, severely rebuked their inattention. The reproof failed in its effect; the congregation still laughed, and the preacher, in the warmth of his zeal, redoubled his vociferations and actions; these the ape imitated so exactly, that the congregation could no longer restrain themselves, but burst out into a loud and continued laughter." Of course a friend stepped up to acquaint the preacher with the existence of a second person above the sounding-board, co-operating with him zealously. And of course the culprit was taken out by the servants of the church with a face expressive of insulted innocence.

There was a dog trained to run on errands for his master, who was trotting home one evening along a by-road, with a basket containing hot pies for his master's supper, when two highwaymen dogs burst out upon him, and while he dogfully fought one, the other burglariously broke into his basket. The dog who was waylaid saw instantly that fighting would not save the pies; the pies must go, and it resolved itself into a question who should eat them. He at once gave up his contest with the adversary; if the pies were to be eaten—among dogs, at least—his right was the best, so he immediately darted on the basket and devoured all that remained.

A story of an elephant again comes to the surface. At Macassar, an elephant-driver had a cocoa-nut given him, which he wantonly struck twice against the elephant's forehead to break it. The next day, they were passing by some cocoa-nuts in the street exposed for sale. The elephant took up one, and began to knock it on the driver's head; the result, unhappily, was fatal. Elephants commonly discriminate so well, as to apportion punishment to the offense against them: they are considerate, merciful, and magnanimous. Another story of an elephant, we think, occurs in one of Mr. Broderip's books. A visitor to an elephant at a fair, having given to him one by one a number of good ginger-bread nuts, thought it a good joke to end by giving him at once a bag full of the hottest kind. The elephant, distressed with pain, took bucket-full after bucket-full of water, and the joker, warned of his danger, had barely escaped over the threshold before the bucket was flung violently after his departing figure. A year afterward, the foolish fellow came again, with gingerbread in one pocket and hot spice in the other. He began with his donations of gingerbread, and then modestly substituted one hot nut. The moment it was tasted by the elephant, the offender was remembered, and caught up into the air by his clothes; his weight tore them, and he fell, leaving the elephant his tails and some part of his trousers. The animal putting them on the floor set his foot upon them, and having deliberately picked out of the pockets and eaten all the gingerbread that he considered orthodox, he trod upon the rest, and threw the tails away.

The Cape baboons appear to have a tact for battle, like the Caffres. Lieutenant Shipp headed twenty men, to recapture sundry coats and trowsers stolen by a Cape baboon. He made a circuit, to cut off the marauders from their caverns; they[Pg 771] observed him, and detaching a small troop, to guard the entrance, kept their posts. They could be seen collecting large stones, under the active superintendence of an old gray-headed baboon, who appeared to be issuing his orders as a general. The soldiers rushed to the attack, when down came an avalanche of enormous stones, and Britons left baboons the masters of the situation.

Of monkey-tricks, the Indians have an amusing fable. A man went on a journey with a monkey and a goat, and he took with him, for his refreshment, rice and curds. Arrived at a tank, the man resolved to bathe and dine. While he was in his bath, the monkey ate his dinner, and, having wiped his mouth and paws on the goat's beard, he left the goat to settle his account. When the man came out of the bath, and found his dinner gone, it was quite easy to see, by the goat's beard, who had stolen it.

The monkey was no ass. The sense of asses is not rated very high; but that is a mistake about them. They are shrewder people than we take them for, and kind-hearted as well. A poor higgler, living near Hawick, had an ass for his only companion and partner in the business. The higgler being palsied, was accustomed to assist himself often upon the road, by holding to the ass's tail. Once, on their travels, during a severe winter, man and ass were plunged into a snow-wreath, near Rule Water. After a hard struggle, the ass got out; but, knowing that his helpless master was still buried, he made his way to him, and placed himself so that his tail lay ready to his partner's hand. The higgler grasped it, and was dragged out to a place of safety. Zoologically speaking, it ought not to be thought disrespectful in a man to call his friend "an ass."

Elephants, again. They show their good taste, and are very fond of children. Dr. Darwin says: The keeper of an elephant, in his journey in India, sometimes leaves him fixed to the ground by a length of chain, while he goes into the woods to collect food for him; and, by way of reciprocal attention, asks the elephant to mind his child—a child unable to walk—while he is gone. The animal defends it; lets it creep about his legs; and, when it creeps to the extremity of the chain, he gently wraps his trunk about the infant's body, and brings it again into the middle of the circle.

And now we can not clear our minds of elephants without unburthening a story, which we have from a tale-teller with Indian experience, and which we imagine to be now first told in print. It causes us to feel that in a Parliament of animals, elephants would have divided in favor of a ten-hours' bill. There was a large ship's rudder to be floated; men were busy about it one evening, when a file of elephants were passing, on the way home from work, and it was proposed and carried that an elephant might as well save them their pains, and push the thing into the water for them. So an elephant was brought, and put his head down, and appeared to push with might, but not a beam stirred. Another was brought to help him, with the same result; and finally, as many elephants as the rudder would allow, seemed to be busy and did nothing. So the elephants went home. They had struck, and declined working but of business hours: Next morning, on the way to work, one elephant was again brought, and pushed the rudder down into the water, almost as a man might push a walking-stick.

Stories illustrative of the kindness, gratitude, and kindred feelings of which animals are capable, have no end; one follows on another; for in fact, the animals, bird, beast, and fish, are all good fellows, if you come to know them properly. A rat tamed by a prisoner at Genf slept in his bosom. Punished for some fault, it ran away, but its anger or its fear died and its love lived on: in a month it returned. The prisoner was released, and in the joy of liberty it did not come into his mind to take his old companion with him. The rat coiled itself up in some old clothes left by his friend, all that was left of him, abstained from food, and died in three days.

A surgeon at Dover saw in the streets a wounded terrier, and like a true man took it home with him, cured it in two days, and let it go. The terrier ran home, resolved to pay the doctor by installments. For many succeeding weeks he paid a daily visit to the surgery, wagged his tail violently for some minutes and departed. Tailwagging is dog's money, and when this dog thought that he had paid in his own coin a proper doctor's bill, the daily visit to the surgery was discontinued.


During my residence at London in the early part of 1848, I became acquainted with Count —— and his friend Del Uomo, both Italians. They had settled at London about two years previously, and were remarkable for the strength of attachment subsisting between them. I believe it was four years since they had left Lombardy, and they had clung together in exile closer than brothers. Del Uomo was several years the senior. His age might be about thirty; and a nobler looking Italian I never met with. There was a majesty in his fine manly form, and a dignity in his bearing, that impressed every body at first sight. His countenance was peculiarly handsome, yet shaded with an expression of habitual melancholy. His piercing black eyes, and long black hair, and flowing beard, added to the interest of his aspect. His influence over his young companion was most extraordinary. Count —— regarded him as friend, brother, father. Whatever Del Uomo did or said was right in his eyes; and yet on the vital subject of religion the two were diametrically opposed.

At the time in question, Italy was in a flame of war, and refugee Italians were hurrying from all parts of the world to fight in what they deemed a righteous cause. For reasons not necessary to be named, Count —— could not himself join his fellow-patriots; but his pen and his purse were devoted to the cause. Del Uomo, however, at once prepared to leave for the seat of war. "I[Pg 772] have a father, mother, and sisters," said he, "who are exposed to all the horrors of war, and for them, as well as for my poor bleeding country, my sword must be drawn." His friend was almost heartbroken to part with him, but there was no alternative. Well do I remember the morning when Del Uomo left London. Numbers of Italians assembled to bid him farewell, and the parting scene was deeply affecting. When I myself wrung his hand, and bade God speed him, I felt the subtle involuntary presentiment that he would be shot, and mentioned it to my friends at the time. Little, however, did I think in what manner he would meet his end.

Many months rolled on, with varying success to the arms of Italy. I frequently heard tidings of Del Uomo from his friend. The gallant fellow had obtained a commission in a regiment of cavalry, and was said to have distinguished himself in every action. Ere the close of the campaign, his regiment was almost annihilated, but he himself escaped, I believe, without a wound. Austria triumphed, and Italy was bound in chains heavier than ever.

One morning, Count —— received a parcel of letters from Italy, the perusal of which threw him into a state of distraction. It was two or three days ere I learned their full import—detailing the following intelligence of the betrayal of Del Uomo to his enemies, and his cruel death.

The parents and family of Del Uomo remained in Lombardy—he himself being in security in some other part of Italy. He was seized with an intense desire to see them once more, and at all hazards determined to indulge in this natural yearning. He had fought openly and manfully against the Austrians, and, however merciless they might be, he did not think they would have sufficient colorable excuse to put him to death, even if he were recognized and seized. Probably he was correct in this, but he had not reckoned on the depths of perfidy to which they would descend.

Hardly had he set foot in the Lombard territory, ere he was recognized by a creature of Austria, who instantly planned his destruction. Accosting Del Uomo, this spy inquired whether he were not about to visit such a town? (I believe, the very town where his parents dwelt.) The unsuspicious fellow replied in the affirmative. "Then," said the other, "would you do me the favor to deliver this letter to a friend of mine, there resident? I have no other opportunity to send it, and shall be infinitely obliged." Del Uomo, with his usual kindliness of disposition, instantly consented, and put the letter into his pocket, without even looking at the superscription. From that moment his doom was sealed, and he went as a victim to the slaughter.

No sooner had he embraced his family than the bloodhounds of Austria were on his track, and to his amazement, he was seized, and accused of being engaged in a traitorous design. He indignantly denied it. "I fought in open battle against you, man to man, sword to sword," replied he; "but the war is over, and never since have I done aught against Austria." He was searched, and the letter given him to deliver found in his pocket. It was opened, and proved to be a treasonable correspondence addressed to one known as a conspirator. Vain all explanation of the manner in which it came into his possession—vain all the frantic prayers for mercy by his agonized family. The ruthless Austrians only required a fair-seeming pretext to put so distinguished an enemy to death, and here it was. Whether the general in command did or did not believe Del Uomo guilty, admits of some doubt; but that mattered not, so far as his doom was concerned. Little respite—no mercy. He was condemned to be shot on the spot. The priest, his confessor, was so satisfied of his innocency, that he even knelt to the Austrian general, imploring pardon, or at least a respite till the truth could be investigated; but the general only answered, "He dies!"

Del Uomo behaved like a Christian and a hero. He prayed fervently to God to receive his soul. Death he feared not in itself, but the bitterness of such a death as this to his poor family was indeed an awful trial. He was led out to the fatal spot, and there he embraced his relatives for the last time. He gave his watch to his father, his handkerchief to a sister, and bequeathed other little mementoes to his friends. His poor mother swooned away, but his father and one or two sisters stood by him till all was over. They offered to bind his eyes, but he refused. "No," said he, "I am not afraid to look upon death. I will enter eternity with open eyes." And he looked his farewell at his friends, at the glorious orb of day, at the landscape, at the soil of Italy, so soon to be watered with his blood; then he drew himself to his full height, bared his breast, and, with flashing eyes, cried, "Fire, soldiers! Long live Italy!" Nine balls pierced him, and he ceased to breathe. Peace to the memory of Del Uomo!


He stood upon the summit of a mount,
Waving a wand above his head uplifted;
And smote the ground, whence gushed, as from a fount,
A sparkling stream, with magic virtues gifted.
It fill'd the air with music as it leapt,
Merrily bounding over hill and hollow;
And swiftly to the distant plain it swept,
Gurgling a challenge to the birds to follow.
Onward and onward, parting as it ran
A thousand streamlets from the parent river,
It roll'd among the farthest haunts of man,
Wooing the sunlight on its breast to quiver
Where'er it flow'd, it fed the desert earth
With wholesome aliment, its seeds to nourish;
Quickening its treasures into rapid birth,
And bidding golden harvests spring and flourish.
Fair thriving cities rising on its banks,
Gather'd the noble, and enrich'd the humble;
Throng'd with the happy in their various ranks,
They rear'd proud domes that ages scarce could crumble
The Great Magician from his lofty height
Beheld the world, with boundless plenty teeming,
And his eye kindled with a sense of might,
Proudly, yet softly, at the prospect gleaming.
"I've wrought," he cried, "rich blessings for mankind
I've thrill'd with happiness the hearts of mourners;
And Fame will waft upon her wings of wind
The deeds of Peace to earth's remotest corners!"

[Pg 773]


Some few years ago, there resided in Long Acre an eccentric old Jew, named Jacob Benjamin: he kept a seed shop, in which he likewise carried on—not a common thing, we believe, in London—the sale of meal, and had risen from the lowest dregs of poverty, by industry and self-denial, till he grew to be an affluent tradesman. He was, indeed, a rich man; for as he had neither wife nor child to spend his money, nor kith nor kin to borrow it of him, he had a great deal more than he knew what to do with. Lavish it on himself he could not, for his early habits stuck to him, and his wants were few. He was always clean and decent in his dress, but he had no taste for elegance or splendor in any form, nor had even the pleasures of the table any charms for him; so that, though he was no miser, his money kept on accumulating, while it occurred to him now and then to wonder what he should do with it hereafter. One would think he need not have wondered long, when there were so many people suffering from the want of what he abounded in; but Mr. Benjamin, honest man, had his crotchets like other folks. In the first place, he had less sympathy with poverty than might have been expected, considering how poor he had once been himself; but he had a theory, just in the main, though by no means without its exceptions—that the indigent have generally themselves to thank for their privations. Judging from his own experience, he believed that there was bread for every body that would take the trouble of earning it; and as he had had little difficulty in resisting temptation himself, and was not philosopher enough to allow for the varieties of human character, he had small compassion for those who injured their prospects by yielding to it. Then he had found, on more than one occasion, that even to the apparently well-doing, assistance was not always serviceable. Endeavor was relaxed, and gratuities, once received, were looked for again. Doubtless, part of this evil result was to be sought in Mr. Benjamin's own defective mode of proceeding; but I repeat, he was no philosopher, and in matters of this sort he did not see much farther than his nose, which was, however, a very long one.

To public charities he sometimes subscribed liberally; but his hand was frequently withheld by a doubt regarding the judicious expenditure of the funds, and this doubt was especially fortified after chancing to see one day, as he was passing the Crown and Anchor Tavern, a concourse of gentlemen turn out, with very flushed faces, who had been dining together for the benefit of some savages in the Southern Pacific Ocean, accused of devouring human flesh—a practice so abhorrent to Mr. Benjamin, that he had subscribed for their conversion. But failing to perceive the connection betwixt the dinner and that desirable consummation, his name appeared henceforth less frequently in printed lists, and he felt more uncertain than before as to what branch of unknown posterity he should bequeath his fortune.

In the mean time, he kept on the even tenor of his way, standing behind his counter, and serving his customers, assisted by a young woman called Leah Leet, who acted as his shop-woman, and in whom, on the whole, he felt more interest than in any body else in the world, insomuch that it even sometimes glanced across his mind, whether he should not make her the heiress of all his wealth. He never, however, gave her the least reason to expect such a thing, being himself incapable of conceiving that, if he entertained the notion, he ought to prepare her by education for the good fortune that awaited her. But he neither perceived this necessity, nor, if he had, would he have liked to lose the services of a person he had been so long accustomed to.

At length, one day a new idea struck him. He had been reading the story of his namesake, Benjamin, in the Old Testament, and the question occurred to him, how many among his purchasers of the poorer class—and all who came to his shop personally were of that class—would bring back a piece of money they might find among their meal, and he thought he should like to try a few of them that were his regular customers. The experiment would amuse his mind, and the money he might lose by it he did not care for. So he began with shillings, slipping one among the flour before he handed it to the purchaser. But the shillings never came back—perhaps people did not think so small a sum worth returning; so he went on to half-crowns and crowns, and now and then, in very particular cases, he even ventured a guinea; but it was always with the same luck, and the longer he tried, the more he distrusted there being any honesty in the world, and the more disposed he felt to leave all his money to Leah Leet, who had lived with him so long, and to his belief, had never wronged him of a penny.

"What's this you have put into the gruel, Mary?" said a pale, sickly-looking man, one evening, taking something out of his mouth, which he held toward the feeble gleams emitted by a farthing rush-light standing on the mantle-piece.

"What is it, father?" inquired a young girl, approaching him. "Isn't the gruel good?"

"It's good enough," replied the man; "but here's something in it: it's a shilling, I believe."

"It's a guinea, I declare!" exclaimed the girl, as she took the coin from him and examined it nearer the light.

"A guinea!" repeated the man; "well, that's the first bit of luck I've had these seven years or more. It never could have come when we wanted it worse. Show it us here, Mary."

"But it's not ours, father," said Mary. "I paid away the last shilling we had for the meal, and here's the change."

"God has sent it us, girl! He saw our distress, and He sent it us in His mercy!" said the man, grasping the piece of gold with his thin, bony fingers.

"It must be Mr. Benjamin's," returned she.[Pg 774] "He must have dropped it into the meal-tub that stands by the counter."

"How do you know that?" inquired the man with an impatient tone and a half-angry glance. "How can you tell how it came into the gruel? Perhaps it was lying at the bottom of the basin, or at the bottom of the sauce-pan. Most likely it was."

"Oh, no, father," said Mary: "it is long since we had a guinea."

"A guinea that we knew of; but I've had plenty in my time, and how do you know this is not one we had overlooked?"

"We've wanted a guinea too much to overlook one," answered she. "But never mind, father; eat your gruel, and don't think of it: your cheeks are getting quite red with talking so, and you won't be able to sleep when you go to bed."

"I don't expect to sleep," said the man, peevishly; "I never do sleep."

"I think you will, after that nice gruel!" said Mary, throwing her arms round his neck, and tenderly kissing his cheek.

"And a guinea in it to give it a relish, too!" returned the father, with a faint smile and an expression of archness, betokening an inner nature very different from the exterior which sorrow and poverty had encrusted on it.

His daughter then proposed that he should go to bed; and having assisted him to undress, and arranged her little household matters, she retired behind a tattered, drab-colored curtain which shaded her own mattress, and laid herself down to rest.

The apartment in which this little scene occurred, was in the attic story of a mean house, situated in one of the narrow courts or alleys betwixt the Strand and Drury-lane. The furniture it contained was of the poorest description; the cracked window-panes were coated with dust; and the scanty fire in the grate, although the evening was cold enough to make a large one desirable—all combined to testify to the poverty of the inhabitants. It was a sorry retreat for declining years and sickness, and a sad and cheerless home for the fresh cheek and glad hopes of youth; and all the worse, that neither father nor daughter was "to the manner born;" for poor John Glegg had, as he said, had plenty of guineas in his time; at least, what should have been plenty, had they been wisely husbanded. But John, to describe the thing as he saw it himself, had always "had luck against him." It did not signify what he undertook, his undertakings invariably turned out ill.

He was born in Scotland, and had passed a great portion of his life there; but, unfortunately for him, he had no Scotch blood in his veins, or he might have been blessed with some small modicum of the caution for which that nation is said to be distinguished. His father had been a cooper, and when quite a young man, John had succeeded to a well-established business in Aberdeen. His principal commerce consisted in furnishing the retail-dealers with casks, wherein to pack their dried fish; but partly from good-nature, and partly from indolence, he allowed them to run such long accounts, that they were apt to overlook the debt altogether in their calculations, and to take refuge in bankruptcy when the demand was pressed and the supply of goods withheld—his negligence thus proving, in its results, as injurious to them as to himself. Five hundred pounds embarked in a scheme projected by a too sanguine friend, for establishing a local newspaper, which "died ere it was born;" and a fire, occurring at a time that John had omitted to renew his insurance, had seriously damaged his resources, when some matter of business having taken him to the Isle of Man, he was agreeably surprised to find that his branch of trade, which had of late years been alarmingly declining in Aberdeen, was there in the most flourishing condition. Delighted with the prospect this state of affairs opened, and eager to quit the spot where misfortune had so unrelentingly pursued him, John, having first secured a house at Ramsay, returned to fetch his wife, children, and merchandise, to this new home. Having freighted a small vessel for their conveyance, he expected to be deposited at his own door; but he had unhappily forgotten to ascertain the character of the captain, who, under pretense that, if he entered the harbor, he should probably be wind-bound for several weeks, persuaded them to go ashore in a small boat, promising to lie-to till they had landed their goods; but the boat had no sooner returned to the ship, than, spreading his sails to the wind, he was soon out of sight, leaving John and his family on the beach, with—to recur to his own phraseology—"nothing but what they stood up in."

Having with some difficulty found shelter for the night, they proceeded on the following morning in a boat to Ramsay; but here it was found that, owing to some informality, the people who had possession of the house refused to give it up, and the wanderers were obliged to take refuge in an inn. The next thing was to pursue, and recover the lost goods; but some weeks elapsed before an opportunity of doing so could be found; and at length, when John did reach Liverpool, the captain had left it, carrying away with him a considerable share of the property. With the remainder, John, after many expenses and delays, returned to the island, and resumed his business. But he soon discovered to his cost, that the calculations he had made were quite fallacious, owing to his having neglected to inquire whether the late prosperous season had been a normal or an exceptional one. Unfortunately, it was the latter; and several very unfavorable ones that succeeded reduced the family to great distress, and finally to utter ruin.

Relinquishing his shop and his goods to his creditors, John Glegg, heart-sick and weary, sought a refuge in London—a proceeding to which he was urged by no prudential motives, but rather by the desire to fly as far as possible from the scenes of his vexations and disappointments, and because he had heard that the metropolis was a place in which a man might conceal[Pg 775] his poverty, and suffer and starve at his ease, untroubled by impertinent curiosity or officious benevolence; and, above all, believing it to be the spot where he was least likely to fall in with any of his former acquaintance.

But here a new calamity awaited him, worse than all the rest. A fever broke out in the closely-populated neighborhood in which they had fixed their abode, and first two of his three children took it, and died; and then himself and his wife—rendered meet subjects for infection by anxiety of mind and poor living—were attacked with the disease. He recovered; at least he survived, though with an enfeebled constitution, but he lost his wife, a wise and patient woman, who had been his comforter and sustainer through all his misfortunes—misfortunes which, after vainly endeavoring to avert, she supported with heroic and uncomplaining fortitude; but dying, she left him a precious legacy in Mary, who, with a fine nature, and the benefit of her mother's precept and example, had been to him ever since a treasure of filial duty and tenderness.

A faint light dawned through the dirty window on the morning succeeding the little event with which we opened our story, when Mary rose softly from her humble couch, and stepping lightly to where her father's clothes lay on a chair, at the foot of his bed, she put her hand into his waistcoat-pocket, and, extracting therefrom the guinea which had been found in the gruel the preceding evening, she transferred it to her own. She then dressed herself, and having ascertained that her father still slept, she quietly left the room. The hour was yet so early, and the streets so deserted, that Mary almost trembled to find herself in them alone; but she was anxious to do what she considered her duty without the pain of contention. John Glegg was naturally an honest and well-intentioned man, but the weakness that had blasted his life adhered to him still. They were doubtless in terrible need of the guinea, and since it was not by any means certain that the real owner would be found, he saw no great harm in appropriating it; but Mary wasted no casuistry on the matter. That the money was not legitimately theirs, and that they had no right to retain it, was all she saw; and so seeing, she acted unhesitatingly on her convictions.

She had bought the meal at Mr. Benjamin's, because her father complained of the quality of that she procured in the smaller shops, and on this occasion he had served her himself. From the earliness of the hour, however, though the shop was open, he was not in it when she arrived on her errand of restitution; but addressing Leah Leet, who was dusting the counter, she mentioned the circumstance, and tendered the guinea; which the other took and dropped into the till, without acknowledgment or remark. Now Mary had not restored the money with any view to praise or reward: the thought of either had not occurred to her; but she was, nevertheless, pained by the dry, cold, thankless manner with which the restitution was accepted, and she felt that a little civility would not have been out of place on such an occasion.

She was thinking of this on her way back, when she observed Mr. Benjamin on the opposite side of the street. The fact was, that he did not sleep at the shop, but in one of the suburbs of the metropolis, and he was now proceeding from his residence to Long Acre. When he caught her eye, he was standing still on the pavement, and looking, as it appeared, at her, so she dropped him a courtesy, and walked forward; while the old man said to himself: "That's the girl that got the guinea in her meal yesterday. I wonder if she has been to return it!"

It was Mary's pure, innocent, but dejected countenance, that had induced him to make her the subject of one of his most costly experiments. He thought if there was such a thing as honesty in the world, that it would find a fit refuge in that young bosom; and the early hour, and the direction in which she was coming, led him to hope that he might sing Eureka at last. When he entered the shop, Leah stood behind the counter, as usual, looking very staid and demure; but all she said was, "Good-morning;" and when he inquired if any body had been there, she quietly answered: "No; nobody."

Mr. Benjamin was confirmed in his axiom; but he consoled himself with the idea, that as the girl was doubtless very poor, the guinea might be of some use to her. In the mean time, Mary was boiling the gruel for her father's breakfast, the only food she could afford him, till she got a few shillings that were owing to her for needle-work.

"Well, father, dear, how are you this morning?"

"I scarce know, Mary. I've been dreaming, and it was so like reality, that I can hardly believe yet it was a dream;" and his eyes wandered over the room, as if looking for something.

"What is it, father? Do you want your breakfast? It will be ready in five minutes."

"I've been dreaming of a roast fowl and a glass of Scotch ale, Mary. I thought you came in with the fowl, and a bottle in your hand, and said: 'See, father, this is what I've bought with the guinea we found in the meal!'"

"But I couldn't do that, father, you know. It wouldn't have been honest to spend other people's money."

"Nonsense!" answered John. "Whose money is it, I should like to know? What belongs to no one, we may as well claim as any body else."

"But it must belong to somebody; and, as I knew it was not ours, I've carried it back to Mr. Benjamin."

"You have?" said Glegg, sitting up in bed.

"Yes, I have, father. Don't be angry. I'm sure you won't when you think better of it."

But John was very angry indeed. He was dreadfully disappointed at losing the delicacies that his sick appetite hungered for, and which, he fancied, would do more to restore him than all[Pg 776] the doctors' stuff in London; and, so far, he was perhaps right. He bitterly reproached Mary for want of sympathy with his sufferings, and was peevish and cross all day. At night, however, his better nature regained the ascendant; and when he saw the poor girl wipe the tears from her eyes, as her nimble needle flew through the seams of a shirt she was making for a cheap warehouse in the Strand, his heart relented, and, holding out his hand, he drew her fondly toward him.

"You're right, Mary," he said, "and I'm wrong; but I'm not myself with this long illness, and I often think if I had good food I should get well, and be able to do something for myself. It falls hard upon you, my girl: and often when I see you slaving to support my useless life, I wish I was dead and out of the way; and then you could do very well for yourself, and I think that pretty face of yours would get you a husband perhaps." And Mary flung her arms about his neck, and told him how willing she was to work for him, and how forlorn she should be without him, and desired she might never hear any more of such wicked wishes. Still, she had an ardent desire to give him the fowl and the ale he had longed for, for his next Sunday's dinner; but, alas!—she could not compass it. But on that very Sunday, the one that succeeded these little events, Leah Leet appeared with a smart new bonnet and gown, at a tea-party given by Mr. Benjamin to three or four of his intimate friends. He was in the habit of giving such small inexpensive entertainments, and he made it a point to invite Leah; partly because she made the tea for him, and partly because he wished to keep her out of other society, lest she should get married and leave him—a thing he much deprecated on all accounts. She was accustomed to his business, he was accustomed to her, and, above all, she was so honest!

But there are various kinds of honesty. Mary Glegg's was of the pure sort; it was such as nature and her mother had instilled into her; it was the honesty of high principle. But Leah was honest, because she had been taught that honesty is the best policy; and as she had her living to earn, it was extremely necessary that she should be guided by the axiom, or she might come to poverty and want bread, like others she saw, who lost good situations from failing in this particular.

Now, after all, this is but a sandy foundation for honesty; because a person who is not actuated by a higher motive, will naturally have no objection to a little peculation in a safe way—that is, when they think there is no possible chance of being found out. In short, such honesty is but a counterfeit, and, like all counterfeits, it will not stand the wear and tear of the genuine article. Such, however, was Leah's, who had been bred up by worldly-wise teachers, who neither taught nor knew any better. Entirely ignorant of Mr. Benjamin's eccentric method of seeking what, two thousand years ago, Diogenes thought it worth while to look for with a lantern, she considered that the guinea brought back by Mary was a waif, which might be appropriated without the smallest danger of being called to account for it. It had probably, she thought, been dropped into the meal-tub by some careless customer, who would not know how he had lost it; and, even if it were her master's, he must also be quite ignorant of the accident that had placed it where it was found. The girl was a stranger in the shop; she had never been there till the day before, and might never be there again; and, if she were, it was not likely she would speak to Mr. Benjamin. So there could be no risk, as far as she could see; and the money came just apropos to purchase some new attire that the change of season rendered desirable.

Many of us now alive can remember the beginning of what is called the sanitary movement, previous to which era, as nothing was said about the wretched dwellings of the poor, nobody thought of them, nor were the ill consequences of their dirty, crowded rooms, and bad ventilation at all appreciated. At length the idea struck somebody, who wrote a pamphlet about it, which the public did not read; but as the author sent it to the newspaper editors, they borrowed the hint, and took up the subject, the importance of which, by slow degrees, penetrated the London mind. Now, among the sources of wealth possessed by Mr. Benjamin were a great many houses, which, by having money at his command, he had bought cheap from those who could not afford to wait; and many of these were situated in squalid neighborhoods, and were inhabited by miserably poor people; but as these people did not fall under his eye, he had never thought of them—he had only thought of their rents, which he received with more or less regularity through the hands of his agent. The sums due, however, were often deficient, for sometimes the tenants were unable to pay them, because they were so sick they could not work; and sometimes they died, leaving nothing behind them to seize for their debts. Mr. Benjamin had looked upon this evil as irremediable; but when he heard of the sanitary movement, it occurred to him, that if he did something toward rendering his property more eligible and wholesome, he might let his rooms to a better class of tenants, and that greater certainty of payment, together with a little higher rent, would remunerate him for the expense of the cleaning and repairs. The idea being agreeable both to his love of gain and his benevolence, he summoned his builder, and proposed that he should accompany him over these tenements, in order that they might agree as to what should be done, and calculate the outlay; and the house inhabited by Glegg and his daughter happening to be one of them, the old gentleman, in the natural course of events, found himself paying an unexpected visit to the unconscious subject of his last experiment; for the last it was, and so it was likely to remain, though three months had elapsed since he made it; but its ill success had discouraged him. There was something about[Pg 777] Mary that so evidently distinguished her from his usual customers; she looked so innocent, so modest, and withal so pretty, that he thought if he failed with her, he was not likely to succeed with any body else.

"Who lives in the attics?" he inquired of Mr. Harker, the builder, as they were ascending the stairs.

"There's a widow, and her daughter, and son-in-law, with three children, in the back-room," answered Mr. Harker. "I believe the women go out charring, and the man's a bricklayer. In the front, there's a man called Glegg and his daughter. I fancy they're people that have been better off at some time of their lives. He has been a tradesman—a cooper, he tells me; but things went badly with him; and since he came here, his wife died of the fever, and he's been so weakly ever since he had it, that he can earn nothing. His daughter lives by her needle."

Mary was out; she had gone to take home some work, in hopes of getting immediate payment for it. A couple of shillings would purchase them coal and food, and they were much in need of both. John was sitting by the scanty fire, with his daughter's shawl over his shoulders, looking wan, wasted, and desponding,

"Mr. Benjamin, the landlord, Mr. Glegg," said Harker.

John knew they owed a little rent, and was afraid they had come to demand it. "I'm sorry my daughter's out, gentlemen," he said. "Will you be pleased to take a chair."

"Mr. Benjamin is going round his property," said Harker. "He is proposing to make a few repairs, and do a little painting and whitewashing, to make the rooms more airy and comfortable."

"That will be a good thing, sir," answered Glegg—"a very good thing; for I believe it is the closeness of the place that makes us country folks ill when we come to London. I'm sure I've never had a day's health since I've lived here."

"You've been very unlucky, indeed, Mr. Glegg," said Harker. "But you know, if we lay out money, we shall look for a return. We must raise your rent."

"Ah, sir, I suppose so," answered John, with a sigh; "and how we're to pay it, I don't know. If I could only get well, I shouldn't mind; for I'd rather break stones on the road, or sweep a crossing, than see my poor girl slaving from morning to night for such a pittance."

"If we were to throw down this partition, and open another window here," said Harker to Mr. Benjamin, "it would make a comfortable apartment of it. There would be room, then, for a bed in the recess."

Mr. Benjamin, however, was at that moment engaged in the contemplation of an ill-painted portrait of a girl, that was attached by a pin over the chimney-piece. It was without a frame, for the respectable gilt one that had formerly encircled it, had been taken off, and sold to buy bread. Nothing could be coarser than the execution of the thing, but as is not unfrequently the case with such productions, the likeness was striking; and Mr. Benjamin, being now in the habit of seeing Mary, who bought all the meal they used at his shop, recognized it at once.

"That's your daughter, is it?" he said.

"Yes, sir; she's often at your place for meal; and if it wasn't too great a liberty, I would ask you, sir, if you thought you could help her to some sort of employment that's better than sewing; for it's a hard life, sir, in this close place for a young creature that was brought up in the free country air; not that Mary minds work, but the worst is, there's so little to be got by the needle, and it's such close confinement."

Mr. Benjamin's mind, during this address of poor Glegg's, was running on his guinea. He felt a distrust of her honesty—or rather of the honesty of both father and daughter; and yet, being far from a hard-hearted person, their evident distress and the man's sickness disposed him to make allowance for them. "They couldn't know that the money belonged to me," thought he; adding aloud: "Have you no friends here in London?"

"No, sir, none. I was unfortunate in business in the country, and came here hoping for better luck; but sickness overtook us, and we've never been able to do any good. But, Mary, my daughter, doesn't want for education, sir; and a more honest girl never lived!"

"Honest, is she?" said Mr. Benjamin, looking Glegg in the face.

"I'll answer for her, sir," answered John, who thought the old gentleman was going to assist her to a situation. "You'll excuse me mentioning it, sir; but perhaps it isn't every body, distressed as we were, that would have carried back that money she found in the meal: but Mary would do it, even when I said perhaps it wasn't yours, and that nobody might know whose it was; which was very wrong of me, no doubt; but one's mind gets weakened by illness and want, and I couldn't help thinking of the food it would buy us; but Mary wouldn't hear of it. I'm sure you might trust Mary with untold gold, sir; and it would be a real charity to help her to a situation, if you knew of such a thing."

Little deemed Leah that morning, as she handed Mary her quart of meal and the change for her hard-earned shilling, that she had spoiled her own fortunes, and that she would, ere night, be called upon to abdicate her stool behind the counter in favor of that humble customer; and yet so it was. Mr. Benjamin could not forgive her dereliction from honesty; and the more he had trusted her, the greater was the shock to his confidence. Moreover, his short-sighted views of human nature, and his incapacity for comprehending its infinite shades and varieties, caused him to extend his ill opinion further than the delinquent merited. In spite of her protestations, he could not believe that this was her first misdemeanor; but concluded that, like many other people in the world, she had only been[Pg 778] reputed honest because she had not been found out. Leah soon found herself in the very dilemma she had deprecated, and the apprehension of which had kept her so long practically honest—without a situation, and with a damaged character.

As Mary understood book-keeping, the duties of her new office were soon learned; and the only evil attending it was, that she could not take care of her father. But determined not to lose her, Mr. Benjamin found means to reconcile the difficulty by giving them a room behind the shop, where they lived very comfortably, till Glegg, recovering some portion of health, was able to work a little at his trade.

In process of time, however, as infirmity began to disable Mr. Benjamin for the daily walk from his residence to his shop, he left the whole management of the business to the father and daughter, receiving every shilling of the profits, except the moderate salaries he gave them, which were sufficient to furnish them with all the necessaries of life, though nothing beyond. But when the old gentleman died, and his will was opened, it was found that he had left every thing he possessed to Mary Glegg; except one guinea, which, without alleging any reason, he bequeathed to Leah Leet.


"Time and chance," as King Solomon says, "happen to all;" and this is peculiarly the case in the matter of fame and reputation. Many who have done much, and have enjoyed a fine prospect of a name that should survive them, have scarcely earned an epitaph; while others, by a mere accident, have rolled luxuriously down to posterity, like a fly on the chariot-wheels of another's reputation. "The historic muse" is a very careless jade, and many names with which she has undertaken to march down to latest times, have been lost by the way, like the stones in the legend that fell through the devil's apron when he was carrying them to build one of his bridges. The chiffonniers of literature pick up these histories from time to time; sometimes they are valuable, sometimes only curious. Mademoiselle de Gournay's story is a curiosity.

Marie de Jars, Demoiselle de Gournay, was born at Paris in 1566. She was of a noble and ancient family; her father, at his death, left what in those days was a handsome fortune; but Mademoiselle de Gournay, his widow, had an unfortunate mania for building, which devoured it. When she took her place beside her husband in his grave, she left little but mortgages behind her.

Judging from the portraits prefixed to her works, Marie de Jars must in her youth have possessed some personal attractions, in spite of her detractors: her figure was of middle height, her face rather round than oval, but with a pleasing expression, and adorned with a pair of large black eyes and a pretty little mouth. Her own account of herself, in a copy of verses, addressed to her friend Mademoiselle de Ragny, is, that she was of a very lively and obliging disposition. That she was obliging and kind-hearted, many circumstances of her life could prove; but for liveliness, we are inclined to think that she flattered herself: nothing can be further removed from liveliness than her works—they are pompously serious.

Her father died when she was very young, leaving five children: two elder and two younger than Marie. The eldest daughter married; the son entered the army; and Marie, the eldest of the remaining three, seems to have been left pretty much to follow her own devices. From her earliest years she had a passion for reading, and showed a wonderful sagacity in the choice of books: her favorites were Amyot, Ronsard, and Montaigne; to these authors she afterward added Racan. She was so faithfully exclusive in her taste, that she never cared to read any others. It was in 1580 that Montaigne published the two first volumes of his Essays. Marie de Jars was scarcely fourteen when they fell accidentally in her way, and her admiration amounted to enthusiasm: she sent a friend to tell Montaigne, who was then in Paris, how much she admired him, and the esteem in which she held his book. This proceeding from so young a person, who was moreover "fort demoiselle," flattered Montaigne very sensibly. He went the very next day to pay a visit to Mademoiselle de Gournay: her conversation and enthusiasm won the heart of the philosopher. In their first interview Montaigne offered her the affection of a father for a daughter and Mademoiselle de Gournay proudly assumed the title of the adopted daughter of Montaigne; and in a letter addressed to him, which is still to be seen, she says, "that she feels as proud of that title as she should be to be called the mother of the Muses themselves." This friendship never failed or diminished; it was the best thing Marie ever achieved in this life, and is her chief claim on the sympathy and interest of posterity. But Marie de Jars became possessed by the demon of wishing to become a distinguished woman on her own account. To accomplish this, she set to work to learn Greek and Latin, and though she brought more zeal than method to her studies, she worked with so much perseverance as to obtain a good insight into both languages.

Montaigne, in the next edition of his Essays, added the following passage to the seventeenth chapter of the second book: "I have taken a delight to publish in many places the hopes I have of Marie de Gournay de Jars, my adopted daughter, beloved by me with more than a paternal love, and treasured up in my solitude and retirement as one of the best parts of my own being. I have no regard to any thing in this world but to her. If a man may presage from her youth, her soul will one day be capable of very great things; and, among others, of that perfection of friendship of which we do not read that any of her sex could yet arrive at; the sincerity and solidity of her manners are already sufficient for it; her affection toward me more than superabundant, and such as that there is nothing more[Pg 779] to be wished, if not that the apprehension she has of my end from the five-and-fifty years I had reached when she knew me, might not so much afflict her.

"The judgment she made of my first Essays, being a woman so young, and in this age, and alone in her order, place, and the notable vehemence with which she loved and desired me, upon the sole esteem she had of me before ever she saw my face, are things very worthy of consideration."

Any woman might justly have been proud of such a tribute, and one feels to like Montaigne himself all the better for it. In 1588 Montaigne went with Mademoiselle de Gournay and her mother to their château at Gournay-sur-Aronde, and spent some time with them.

In the year following she published her first book, calling it "Proumenoir de M. de Montaigne." She dedicated it to him, and sent a copy to him at Bordeaux, where he was then residing. That must have been a very proud day for Marie! This "Proumenoir" was not, as its title might suggest, any account of Montaigne, or relics of his conversation, but only a rambling Arabian story, which if gracefully told by Marie herself, might perhaps have been interesting during the course of a walk, but which, set down upon paper, is insipid to a degree, and of an interminable length. Montaigne is answerable for the sin of having encouraged her to write it, thus adding to the weary array of books that nobody is able to read.

At her mother's death, Mademoiselle de Gournay did something much better: she took charge of her younger brother and sister, and administered the affairs of the family (which, as we have said, Madame de Gournay had left in great embarrassment) with so much discretion and judgment, that she redeemed all the mortgages, paid off all the debts, and was in possession of about two thousand pounds in money.

Montaigne died in 1592, at Bordeaux. Enthusiastic and devoted, Mademoiselle de Gournay set off as soon as she was informed of it, and, providing herself with passes, crossed almost the whole kingdom of France alone, to visit his widow and daughter, to console them as best she might—and to weep with them the loss they had sustained.

Madame de Montaigne gave her the Essays, enriched with notes in her husband's hand-writing, in order that she might prepare a new and complete edition of them. This was a labor of love to Marie: she revised all the proofs, which were executed with so much correctness, that she is well entitled to call it, as she does, "le bon et vieux exemplaire." It remains to this day the principal edition as regards authenticity of text, and one of the handsomest as regards typography. It appeared in 1595 (Paris, Abel Langlier). Mademoiselle de Gournay wrote a preface, which is not without eloquence. She vigorously repels all the objections that had been raised against the work, and alludes to her adoption by Montaigne with genuine feeling. We translate the passage: "Reader, having the desire to make the best of myself to thee, I adorn myself with the noble title of this adoption. I have no other ornament, and I have a good right to call him my true father, from whom all that is good or noble in my soul proceeds. The parent to whom I owe my being, and whom my evil fortune snatched from me in my infancy, was an excellent father, and a most virtuous and clever man—and he would have felt less jealousy in seeing the second to whom I gave this title of father, than he would have felt pride in seeing the manner of man he was." The good lady's style is of the most intractable to render into common language.

With Montaigne's death, the whole course of Mademoiselle de Gournay's life seemed to be arrested. Henceforth all her strength and enthusiasm were expended in keeping herself exactly where he had left her. She resolutely set her face against all the improvements and innovations which were every day being brought into the French language, which was making rapid progress; but Mademoiselle de Gournay believed that she had seen the end of all perfection when Montaigne died. Not only in her style of writing, but also in her mode of living, she remained obstinately stereotyped after the fashion of the sixteenth century, during the first half of the seventeenth. While still young, she became a whimsical relic of a by-gone mode—a caricature out of date. She resided in Paris, where there was at that time a mania for playing practical jokes; and Mademoiselle de Gournay, with her pedantry and peculiarities, was considered as lawful game; many unworthy tricks were played upon her by persons who, nevertheless, dreaded the explosions of her wrath on discovery, which on such occasions were of an emphatic simplicity of speech, startling to modern ears. The word "hoaxing" was not then invented, but the thing itself was well understood. A forged letter was written, purporting to come from King James the First of England, requesting Mademoiselle de Gournay to send him her portrait and her life. She fell into the snare, and sat for her picture, and spent six weeks in writing her memoirs, which she actually sent to England—where, of course, no one knew what to make of them. But when Marshal Lavardin, who was the French embassador in England, returned to Paris, the parties who forged the letter did not fail to tell Mademoiselle de Gournay that the King of England had spoken most highly of her to the embassador, and had shown him her autograph, which occupied a distinguished place in his cabinet. As M. de Lavardin died almost directly after his return, Mademoiselle de Gournay ran no risk of being undeceived.

For a short time she abandoned literature and the belles-lettres to plunge into alchemy, for which she had a mania. Her friends remonstrated in vain; they told her how many other people alchemy had ruined, but she not the less persisted in flinging the remains of her fortune into the crucible. Like all who have been bewitched by this science, Marie fancied that her[Pg 780] experiments were arrested by poverty at the moment of success. She retrenched in every way; in food, in clothing; reduced herself to barest necessaries; and sat constantly with the bellows in her hand, hanging over the smoke of her furnace. Of course, no gold rewarded her research, and she was at length absolutely obliged to abandon her laboratory, and betake herself afresh to literature. As generous in adversity as she had been in prosperity, Mademoiselle de Gournay was not hindered by her poverty from adopting an orphan child, the daughter of Jamyn, the poet, and friend of Ronsard. In the society of this young girl, and of a cat which she celebrated in verse, Marie de Gournay allowed every thing in the world to change and progress as they might, fully persuaded that the glory of French literature had died with her adopted father, and that she had had the honor of burying it.

This cat deserves a special mention, as it was a very noticeable animal in its day. It rejoiced in the name of Piallion, and during the twelve years it lived with Mademoiselle de Gournay, it never once quitted the apartments of its mistress to run with other cats upon the roofs and gutters of the neighboring houses; it was, in all respects, discreet and dignified, as became a cat of quality, and above all, as became the cat of such a mistress as Mademoiselle de Gournay. If Mademoiselle de Gournay had been young and handsome, Piallion would, no doubt, have been as celebrated as Leslie's sparrow; as it was, however, it only shared in the satires and caricatures that were made upon its mistress. When Mademoiselle de Gournay renounced alchemy, and began again to busy herself in literature, she unfortunately mixed herself up in some controversy of the day where the Jesuits were in question; we forget what side she took, but she brought down upon herself much abuse and scandal; among other things, she was accused of having led an irregular life, and being even then, "une femme galante!" This charge distressed her greatly, and she appealed to a friend to write her vindication. He told her by way of consolation, that if she would publish her portrait, it would be more effectual than a dozen vindications! Poor Mademoiselle de Gournay had long since lost whatever good looks she had possessed in early life, and her alchemical pursuits had added at least ten years to her appearance.

In the midst of all the disagreeable circumstances of her lot, she was not without some consolation. She kept up her relation with the family of Montaigne, and went on a visit to them in Guyenne, where she remained fifteen months. In all her distress, Mademoiselle Montaigne and her daughter, Mademoiselle de Gamaches, never deserted her. There is a touching passage in one of her works, in which the name of the "bonne amye" is mentioned. There is little doubt but that it refers to one of these ladies; it is as follows:

"If my condition be somewhat better than could have been expected, from the miserable remnant of fortune that remained to me after the quittance of all my debts, liabilities, and losses, it is the assistance of a good friend, who took pleasure to see me keep up a decent appearance, which is the cause of it."

Mademoiselle de Gournay also brightened the dull realities of her existence with brilliant ideas of the fame she was laying up for herself with posterity—hopes which neither Mademoiselle Jamyn nor Piallion were likely to damp. In 1626, she published a collection of her works, in prose and verse, which she entitled "L'Ombre de Mademoiselle de Gournay," and sat in her retirement expecting the rebound of the sensation she had no doubt of producing throughout Europe.

The book was written in imitation of Montaigne's "Essays"—all manner of subjects treated of, without any regard to order or arrangement; long dissertations, rambling from topic to topic in every chapter, without any rule but her own caprice. It may be imagined what advantage such a work would give to those disposed to find matter for ridicule; the spirit of mystification and love of hoaxing were not extinct. There was a pitiless clique of idle men attached to the Court, and circulating in society, who were always on the watch for victims, at whose expense they might make good stories, or whom they might make the subjects of a practical jest. Mademoiselle de Gournay had fallen into their snares years before, and she seemed a still more tempting victim now. A regular conspiracy of wicked wits was formed against the poor old woman, who was then not much under sixty years of age. Her vanity had grown to enormous magnitude; her credulity was in proportion; while her power of swallowing and digesting any flattery, however gross, was something fabulous. No tribute that could be offered exceeded her notion of her own deserts. She certainly offered fair game for ridicule, and she was not spared.

Louis the Thirteenth, who labored under the royal malady of ennui, enjoyed the accounts of the mystifications that were constantly put upon the poor old lady.

They told her (and she believed them) that there was nothing talked about at Court but her book; and that his Majesty, Louis the Thirteenth, was her warm admirer. Mademoiselle de Gournay not unnaturally expected that some solid proof of the royal admiration would follow; but nothing came. Louis, well content to be amused by absurd stories about her, never dreamed of rewarding her for them. She was made to believe that her portrait adorned the galleries of Brussels and Antwerp; that in Holland her works had been published with complimentary prefaces; that, in Italy, Cæsar Carpaccio and Charles Pinto had celebrated her genius in their own tongue, and spread the glory of her name from one end of the peninsula to the other; and that no well-educated person in Europe was ignorant of her name and works. Marie de Gournay, after having been adopted by Montaigne, found all these marvels quite probable and easy[Pg 781] of belief. These splendid visions of fame and success were quite as good as reality; they gilded her poverty, and invested her privations with a dignity more than regal. Among many other mystifications played off upon her, there was one which has since, in different forms, made the plot of farces and vaudevilles without number; but it was for the behoof of Mademoiselle de Gournay that it was originally made and invented. The poet Racan, whose works were some of the few Mademoiselle de Gournay condescended to read, had received a copy of "L'Ombre," and prepared to pay her a visit to return thanks. It must be borne in mind that they had never seen each other; the conspirators chanced to hear of his intentions. Such a fine occasion was not to be neglected; having ascertained the time appointed for the interview they took care to be beforehand. The first who presented himself was the Chevalier de Bresire; he caused himself to be announced by Mademoiselle Jamyn (the orphan she had adopted; now her friend and companion), as M. Racan. He was clever and agreeable, and flattered Mademoiselle de Gournay with so much grace, that she was enchanted with him. He had scarcely departed, when M. Yvrande arrived: "Announce M. Racan," said he to Mademoiselle Jamyn.

"M. Racan has only this moment left us."

"Some vile trick!" said he, with indignation.

Mademoiselle de Gournay, seeing a young man, still handsomer and more agreeable than the other, and whose compliments were still more poetical, was easily pacified, and received him graciously. A few moments after he had left, the poet himself made his appearance. He was absent, nervous, shabbily dressed, awkward, and had, moreover, a ridiculous pronunciation. He called himself "Lacan."

The old lady was now out of all patience.

"Must I, then, see nothing but Racans all the days of my life!" she exclaimed, and taking off her slipper, she flung it at his head, abusing him vehemently for daring to impose upon her; and drove him out of the house.

Of course this story was much too good not to have a great success; it circulated not only through the Court, but all over Paris, and came at last to the ears of poor Mademoiselle de Gournay herself, who could not be consoled, as it revealed all the tricks to which she had been a victim. The illusions thus rudely destroyed were far more precious than the philosopher's stone she had so vainly sought, and involved a disappointment infinitely more painful. Who can help sympathizing with the poor woman, who thus saw all her fairy treasures resolved into their intrinsic worthlessness?

However, good came out of evil. Cardinal Richelieu—who had been especially delighted with the story of the three Racans, and was never weary of hearing it repeated—took the fancy of wishing to see her that he might try to make a good story out of her himself. He sent for her, and indulged in some very clumsy pleasantry, of which he had the grace to feel afterward ashamed. Willing to make her some amends, he settled a pension upon her, in order that for the rest of her days, she, and her friend, and her cat, might live on something better than dry bread.

Under the influence of this gleam of sunshine, Mademoiselle de Gournay edited another edition of Montaigne's work, with an abridgment of her former preface. She also published a fresh work of her own, entitled, "Avis et Présens de Mademoiselle de Gournay," which had a moderate success. Another edition of "L'Ombre" was also called for. All this, in some measure, consoled her for past humiliations.

Her prosperity lasted until the death of Cardinal Richelieu. Mademoiselle de Gournay, then in extreme old age, still survived him. When the list of pensions granted by the Cardinal was submitted to the king, her name caught his eye. Louis the Thirteenth—who might have had some grateful recollection of the many hearty laughs his royalty had enjoyed at her expense—declared that the Cardinal must have been mad to grant such a woman a pension, and ordered it to be suppressed! Mademoiselle de Gournay passed the few remaining years of her life in a state of poverty painful to reflect upon. She died somewhere about 1646, at the age of eighty.

Poor as she was, she made her will as became a person of her birth. She bequeathed her clothes to Mademoiselle Jamyn, who, old and infirm, survived her; a few books she left to different friends; and a curious old Map of the World, to the poet Gombauld—a personage as eccentric as herself, and one who lived and died in still greater penury, but who valued her legacy, and transmitted it to his heirs as the most precious treasure in the world.


Thomas Wright, of Manchester, is a worn but not a weary man of sixty-three, who has for forty-seven years been weekly servant in a large iron foundry, of which he is now the foreman. His daily work begins at five o'clock in the morning, and closes at six in the evening; for forty-seven years he has worked through twelve hours daily, to support himself and those depending on him. Those depending on him are not few; he has had nineteen children; and at some periods there have been grandchildren looking to him for bread. His income never has attained two hundred pounds a year. This is a life of toil. Exeter Hall might plead for him as a man taxed beyond the standard limit; but he had bread to earn, and knew that he had need to work for it: he did work with great zeal and great efficiency, obtaining very high respect and confidence from his employers. A man so laboring, and leading in his home an exemplary, pious life, might be entitled to go to bed betimes, and rest in peace between these days of industry and natural fatigue. What could a man do, in the little leisure left by so much unremitting work? Poor as he was—toiling as he did, a modest man of humble origin, with no power[Pg 782] in the world to aid him but the wonderful spiritual power of an earnest will—Thomas Wright has found means, in his little intervals of leisure, to lead back, with a gentle hand, three hundred convicted criminals to virtue; to wipe the blot from their names and the blight from their prospects; to place them in honest homes, supported by an honest livelihood.

Fourteen years ago Mr. Wright visited, one Sunday, the New Bailey Prison, at Manchester, and took an earnest interest in what he saw. He knew that, with the stain of jail upon them, the unhappy prisoners, after release, would seek in vain for occupation; and that society would shut the door of reformation on them, and compel them, if they would not starve, to walk on in the ways of crime. The jail-mark branding them as dangerous, men buttoned up their pockets when they pleaded for a second trial of their honesty, and left them helpless. Then, Thomas Wright resolved, in his own honest heart, that he would visit in the prisons, and become a friend to those who had no helper.

The chaplain of the New Bailey, Mr. Bagshawe, recognized in the beginning the true practical benevolence of the simple-minded visitor. On his second visit a convict was pointed out, on whom Mr. Wright might test his power. It was certain power. From the vantage-ground of a comparative equality of station, he pleaded with his fellow workman for the wisdom of a virtuous and honest life. Heaven does, and Earth should, wipe out of account repented evil. Words warm from the heart, backed with a deep and contagious sense in the hearer of the high-minded virtue shown by his companion, were not uttered, like lip-sympathy, in vain. Then Thomas Wright engaged to help his friend, to get employment for him; and, if necessary, to be surety with his own goods for his honorable conduct. He fulfilled his pledge; and that man has been ever since, a prosperous laborer, and an upright member of society.

So the work began. So earnest, so humble; yet, like other earnest, humble efforts, with a blessing of prosperity upon it. In this way, during the last fourteen years, by this one man, working in the leisure of a twelve hours' daily toil, hundreds have been restored to peace. He has sent husbands repentant to their wives; he has restored fathers to the fatherless. Without incurring debt, supporting a large family on little gains, he has contrived to spare out of his little; contenting himself with a bare existence, that he might have clothes to give and bits of money, where they were required to reinstate an outcast in society.

Mr. Wright is a dissenter—free, of course, from bigotry; for bigotry can never co-exist with charity so genuine. Although a dissenter working spiritually in the prison, he never comes into jarring contact with the chaplain. He makes a point of kindling in his outcast friends a religious feeling; but that is not sectarian; he speaks only the largest sentiments of Christianity, and asks only that they attend, once every week, a place of worship, leaving them to choose what church or chapel it may be. And, in the chapel he himself attends, wherever his eye turns, he can see decent families who stand by his means there; men whom he has rescued from the vilest courses, kneeling modestly beside their children and their wives. Are not these families substantial prayers?

Very humbly all this has been done. In behalf of each outcast in turn, Mr. Wright has pleaded with his own employer, or with others, in a plain, manly way. Many now work under himself, in his own place of occupation; his word and guarantees having been sufficient recommendation. Elsewhere, he has, when rebuffed, persevered from place to place, offering and laying down his own earnings as guarantee; clothing and assisting the repentant unemployed convict out of his own means, as far as possible; speaking words, or writing letters, with a patient zeal, to reconcile to him his honest relatives, or to restore lost friends. Bare sustenance for his own body by day, that he might screw out of himself little funds in aid of his good deeds—and four hours' sleep at night, after his hard work, that he might screw out of his bed more time for his devoted labor—these tell their tale upon the body of the man, who still works daily twelve hours for his family, and six or eight hours for his race. He is now sixty-three years old, and working forward on his course worn, but unwearied.

No plaudits have been in his ear, and he has sought none. Of his labor, the success was the reward. Some ladies joined; and working quietly, as he does, in an under-current of society, after a while, he had from them the aid of a small charitable fund, to draw upon occasionally in the interest of the poor friends for whom he struggled. Prison Inspectors found him out, and praised him in reports. At first there were a few words, and a note told of "this benevolent individual. His simple, unostentatious, but earnest and successful labors on behalf of discharged prisoners are above all praise." After a few years, the reports grew in their enthusiasm, and strung together illustrations of the work that has been done so quietly. Let us quote from this source one or two examples:

"Five years ago I was," owns a certain G.J., "in the New Bailey, convicted of felony, and sentenced to four months' imprisonment. When I was discharged from prison, I could get no employment. I went to my old employer, to ask him to take me again. He said, I need not apply to him, for if he could get me transported he would; so I could get no work until I met with Mr. Wright, who got me employed in a place, where I remained some time, and have been in employment ever since. I am now engaged as a screw-cutter—a business I was obliged to learn—and am earning nineteen shillings and twopence a week. I have a wife and four children, and but for Mr. Wright, I should have been a lost man."

Others tell how they were saved by the timely[Pg 783] supplies of Mr. Wright's money, which "kept their heads above water" till they obtained the trust of an employer. Another, after telling his career, adds: "I am now, consequently, in very comfortable circumstances; I am more comfortable now than ever I was in my life; I wish every poor man was as comfortable as I am. I am free from tippling, and cursing, and swearing; have peace of mind, and no quarreling at home as there used to be. I dare say I was as wicked a man as any in Manchester. I thought if I could once get settled under such a gentleman as Mr. Wright, I would not abuse my opportunity, and all I expected I have received. I have got Bibles, hymn-book, prayer-book, and tracts; and those things I never had in my house since I have been married before. My wife is delighted. My boy goes to school, and my girl also."

Were the spirit of Mr. Wright diffused more generally through society, the number of fallen men—who, being restored with all due prudence to a generous confidence, "would not abuse their opportunity"—would tell decidedly on the statistics of our criminal courts and prisons. To labor as Mr. Wright has done, must be the prerogative of few, though all the indolent may note, by way of spur, how much a man, even like Thomas Wright, poor, humble, scantily instructed, may beget of good out of an earnest will.


The curate and his daughter sat before the fire. Both had been for some time silent, for the father had fallen into that listless dreaminess to which nothing is so conducive as gazing on the glowing caverns in the coals, and pretty little Faith cared not to disturb a rest that he was not likely to be long suffered to enjoy unmolested. And so the flamelets rose and sank, lighting their thoughtful faces, and glittering on the gold-embossed backs of the treasured volumes on the shelves—the curate's most constant friends. Twilight saddened into night. Up from behind the gray church tower came the moon. But still not a word broke the silence in the parsonage parlor. The gaunt arms of the trees waved drearily without. A streak of white moonshine crept across the carpet like a silver snake. Still he gazed fixedly on the bright pagoda 'mid the flame: it totters, but before it falls we will track his wandering musings for a moment. All men, he thinks, have as children gazed on the burning coals, and fashioned castles, figures, mountains in them, but though the elements are all the same, no two men ever have presented to them exactly the same position or difficulty in life, and so only general rules of conduct can be laid down; but yet—the minaret crumbles to nothing, and changes to a strange fantastic face, then into something like a funeral plume; his dreams are all dispersed; the pensive damsel looks up hurriedly, for high above the muttering wind, fierce as the summons at the gates of Cawdor, he hears a knocking loud and long.

It was a farmer's boy from the village. His message was soon told. A poor man had been seized with sudden illness at the wayside public-house, and the clergyman's presence was required immediately. He lingered to tell Faith not to wait up for him, then rose without a murmur, and prepared for his long dreary walk. A moment after he was crossing the neatly-kept garden, where the hydrangeas showed like piles of skulls in the pale moonshine, and the chestnut leaves were falling thick and fast. Then out into the deep-rutted road, through miry lanes, across stark scraps of common, and paths covered with fern and marsh-mallow, till at last the glimmering candle in the hostelry window came in sight, and he stood under the creaking signboard of the White Horse. The inn was of the humblest description, and the room into which he was shown very wretched indeed. The plaster had peeled off the walls in great odd shapes, like the countries on a map; the shutters had as many cracks as an ill-fitting dissecting puzzle; the flooring was damp and broken, there was a tracery of spiders' webs about the bed-furniture, and the only sounds were the groans of the occupant of the bed, and the drowsy ticking of the death-watch. Thinking he was asleep, the curate prepared to sit down and wait for him to wake of himself, but the noise of a drinking-song, shouted by some laborers in the bar, startled him from his uneasy slumber, and when Mr. F. next looked up, the ghastly face of the sick man confronted his own—an eery nightmare face, such as meets one in the outlines of Retzsch, or peering out of the goblin scenes and witches' caves of Peter Breughel. But if the face was terrible, the voice that asked him "Why he came!" and bade him take away the light that glared and hurt his eyes, was more unearthly still. But when he recognized him as the clergyman, his manner altered. In a comparatively tranquil state he listened to the minister's earnest warnings and blessed consolations; then suddenly the pain seized him; he screamed and groaned awhile in wild delirium; a deep calm followed. Raising himself in the bed, he drew a roll of torn and discolored papers from under the pillow, and put it into the curate's hand. His senses never returned. A few more throbbings and struggles—a wandering of the eyes about the room, first to the ceiling, where the death-watch ticked on drearily, then to the Arcadian scene on the tattered patchwork counterpane—a clutching at the bed-clothes—a shuddering—a film—and then—death!

The curate did not sleep that night until he had read the stranger's diary to an end. It began thus:

"August 3d.—Brian Marcliffe came to me again; the same odd, mysterious air that I have noticed so long. What can it mean? He can not have found—But no, it's worse than useless having dark forebodings. I shall soon be able to put the sea between me and this cursed golden inferno, Brazil, and with my darling Bertha forget all these fears in the paradise of full purses—England.

"August 4th.—I met him by chance again,[Pg 784] coming from the overseer's. Confound it, how demon-like he looked! I will speak to him myself, rather than be in suspense much longer. I should then know the worst, at least.

"August 5th.—Ruin! The worst has come. He does know all about my being behindhand in my accounts, and hints—I can't write down what. Bertha will never marry him but as the only chance of saving me from exposure. Can he be devil enough to propose it?

"August 20th.—Am I the same man I was a month ago! Farewell forever, land of diamonds, slaves, and late summers. Farewell lust of gold and dread of disgrace. It is over, I hope, forever. My Bertha—my own now—is sleeping like a lily near me, and the only sound is the splashing of the sea that is bearing me every moment further from my fear. But stay; what have I left behind me! What is there in that glen of mimosas? A rotting corpse. What in men's mouths? The name of murderer. Pray God it be not. Let me think.

"On the Monday when I was leaving the office, Brian came again, and asked me to go as far as old Olivenza's coffee plantation. I said I would come, and we set out an hour past sunset. It was a beautiful evening; the skies as pure as the robe of seraphim; the clouds like curls of incense, now hiding, now revealing the dazzling glory of the rising moon—all, save one black streak right across her face, like a spread eagle. Well, we had nearly got to the plantation before Brian spoke; but I saw he was preparing something by the villainous look of his eyes. He began:

"'So, Reuben Darke, you have considered my proposition, and agree, of course?'

"I believe I professed ignorance of it; for, indeed, he had never said any thing definite.

"'The consequences of opposition are as terrible as they are inevitable,' said he, threateningly.

"'You can not stoop to such vileness—to such wrong. You know that I am striving for a great end—that I will make restitution full and ample if I live to reach England.'

"This was the sense of what I said, but his answer was clearly prepared long before he knew what I should urge. It came gnashing through his closed teeth like the hiss of an adder.

"'I must do my duty. It is my place to overlook the accounts of all the clerks. You will show me your books to-morrow.'

"He turned away. I prayed he might not speak again, for his voice stirred up a feeling I had never known before; but my bad angel, I suppose, brought him back. I scarcely recollect what he said. I have a vague notion of hearing him mention Bertha's name with some cursed plan that was to give her up to him forever, and then he would, 'for the sake of old friendship, deal as gently as he possibly could with me.' Those words I remember well, and those were the last he ever spoke to me. I dread to think they were his last on earth. The feeling I had wrestled against mastered me now. I could restrain myself no longer, and struck at him with a knife. He clutched my left hand in his teeth like a tiger-cat. For a second we were grappling together for life or death, but he had no chance against me; and when I had breath to look at him next, he was lying on his back, the hands that he had tried to parry my blows with cut and bleeding, and red stains on the broad mimosa leaves around. Oh, God! what a reproach there was in all the calm and silence of the night! How the deep quiet of the sky spoke to my heart, so troubled, dark, and guilty! As on the first dread day by sin polluted, the voice of God in Eden drove Adam forth abashed, so spoke the still small voice of holy Nature with more than earthquake tones to me, and straight I fled away.

"My Bertha does not know the whole. She only knows that Brian had me in his power, owing to some money transactions. If she did know it, my conscience tells me she would not now be sleeping here. There—all will be well in England. Pray Heaven we get there safe. I will go up on deck a few minutes. Writing it down has brought the whole affair so fresh before me, that it is useless trying to sleep in this fever. But yet I am glad it is written.

"October 15th.—We entered the Channel this afternoon. It is my wife's birthday; she took it as a happy omen, and seemed so pleased with the glitter and joyance of the busy river, that for a whole hour—the first since I left Rio—the dreadful secret hidden 'mid those leaves was absent from my mind.

"October 16th.—The first news that meets me on entering London is, that my uncle has died suddenly, and left all his affairs frightfully embarrassed. My chief dependence was on him. This is a sad beginning; indeed, I feel that 'all these things are against me.'"

Several pages were here torn from the unfortunate Darke's manuscript; and in the succeeding ones the entries were scanty, and with long intervals between each other. They detailed the sufferings of the writer and his wife on their arrival in London; his repeated efforts to obtain employment, and the difficulties he met with, owing to his uncle's death, and his own inability to refer any one to the directors of the mine at Rio. For more than a year (judging from the dates, by no means regularly affixed) he appeared to have struggled on thus, until, when his hopes were fast sinking, and his health rapidly giving way under this succession of disappointments, he obtained a situation on a recently-opened line of railway in the north, through the interest of an old schoolfellow, whom he accidentally met, and who retained in manhood schoolboy heart enough to show gratitude for many kindnesses in olden days. The language was strangely impassioned and earnest in which he expressed his joy at this change of fortune; and the full-hearted thankfulness with which he described telling his wife the good news, seemed to prove that affliction had exerted a calming and blessed influence on his passion-tossed mind. But the clergyman could not help noticing that the spirit pervading the latter part of the diary was strangely different[Pg 785] from that which animated the commencement, it being written apparently with the firm conviction of an inevitable destiny hanging over the writer; and this, like the shadow of an unseen cloud in a fair picture, gave a sombre meaning to his self-communings.

After briefly mentioning the fact of his taking up his abode with Bertha and one little child at the cottage provided by the company, and that he had heard by chance that his enemy was still alive, he proceeded:

"I like this new home much. It is a tiny, sheltered cottage, with beehives in the garden, and honeysuckles peeping in at the lattice, nestling innocently among the pine-trees, like a fairy islet. The railway runs for about a mile parallel with the canal, and the two modes of traveling contrast curiously. The former with all its brightness, freshness, and precision; the latter a very sluggard. I often have long talks with Huntly, my assistant here, and try to make him see the change it will work; but he is not over shrewd; or, rather, fate did not give him a bookworm uncle like it did me, and so reasoning is hard work to him; it always is to the untaught. The canal is picturesque certainly. Let me try a description. The surface of the water is overlaid with weeds rank and luxuriant, save where the passage of a boat has preserved a trench, stagnant, and cold, and deep. There is not a human habitation near except ours. Scarcely any paths, the thickets are so tangled. This does not read an inviting account, I know, but there is a charm to me in the leaves of myriad shapes, in fern, and moss, and rush, in every silvan nook and glittering hedgerow—above all, in the dark slumberous pines, those giant sentinels round our dear home. Bertha smiled quite like her old self when she saw it. Oh, how, in all the wreck of this last year, has her love upheld me! always lightening, never adding to our weight of grief. She has, indeed, been faithful, true, and beautiful—like the Indian tree, that has its flower and fragrance best by night. I can not explain why it is that my love seems to grow each hour, but with a kind of tremble in its intensity, as though there were a separation coming. Perhaps it is only the result of the change in my fortunes.

"March 10th.—Two years ago I should have laughed had any one told me that a dream would give me a second thought, much less that I should sit down to write what I remember of one; but I must write down last night's, nevertheless. I thought that it was a clear moonlight night, and that I rose as usual to signal to the latest luggage train. I had got to the accustomed place, and stood waiting a long time. For days, for months; I knew this, because the trees were budding when I began my watch—were bare as winter when, with a roar and quaking all around, the night train came. At first I held a lantern in my hand, to signal all was well. Strange as it may appear, I felt no weariness, for I was fixed as by a wizard's rod. It passed at length; but not, thank God! as it has ever passed before; for from the carriage window, like a mask, glared Marcliffe's vengeful face. I said I held a light; but, as the smoke and iron hurtled by, the lamp was dashed to atoms, and in my outstretched hand I grasped a knife! There was a yell of demons in my ear, with Brian's jeering laugh above it all. I moaned awhile in horror, and woke to find my Bertha's eyes on mine. She has been soothing and kind as mercy to me all the day, and I, alas! wayward, almost cruel. I saw it pained her, but I could not help it. Oh, would that this world had no concealments, no divisions, no estrangement of hearts! I dread the night; there is something tells me it will come again, for when I took the Bible down to read, it opened at the words:

"'I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.'

"A thrill went through me as I read. It sounded like a death-knell.

"The next day.—As I foresaw it came again last night; the same in every terrible particular, and with the same consolation on awaking. But what I have seen to-day gives it a meaning that I tremble at. Huntly returned from D——. He brought a birthday present for little Harry; it happened to be wrapped in an old newspaper. As it was opened, I saw his name, and a moment after read this:

"'Next of Kin.—If any child or children of the late Ehud Marcliffe, Gentleman, of Cranholm Manse, who died September 5, 18—, be yet surviving, it is desired that he or they will forthwith put themselves in communication with Messrs. Faulk and Lockerby, Solicitors, D——.'

"This leaves me no hope; and knowing, as I do, the unfaltering steadfastness of his hate I feel the days of this security and peace are numbered....

"A whole month has gone since I opened this last. There is no fear now. He is dead. But how? The eye that reads this record alone will know. That fatal Thursday went by, a phantasm of dark thoughts; and then I lay down, as usual, for a couple of hours before going to watch. I did this, for there was a kind of instinct in me (the feeling deserves no higher name) which made me go about my avocations in the accustomed way, and seem as little disturbed as possible. I lay down, and in my dream, as distinct as ever it passed by day, for the third time that awful freight swept like a whirlwind by. I awoke. It wanted only three minutes to the hour when the night-train usually passed. I staggered to the door, but, instead of coming out into the light, an inky shadow lay across the road. It was a car left by Huntly's carelessness on the up-rail. I stood like one of stone, thinking of the tranquil happiness of the last months, of Bertha's smile, and Harry's baby laugh—of all the sun and pleasure of our home, and how this precious fabric, wove by love, was to be rent and torn; and how one word from him would[Pg 786] ruin all, and send my wife and child to poverty again. And that man's life was in my hand. Well may we daily pray against temptation.

"A white cloud curled up above the pines.

"There was no delay. I caught up the lantern, and ran down the line. A throbbing, like the workings of a giant's pulse, smote my ear. I reached the signal-post, and laid my hand upon the bell. But there was no time for thought.

"The murmur deepened to a roar. The clouds of steam rose high above the pines, and, girt about with wreathing vapor, the iron outline, with its blood-red lamps and Hecla glow beneath, came on.

"My eyes were strangely keen, for at that distance I could discern a man leaning out of the nearest window. I knew who it must be, and almost expecting to see the last dreadful particular fulfilled, held out my hand—the sign that all was safe. The driver signaled that he understood, and quickened pace. I shut my eyes when it drew near, but, as it passed, distinctly heard my name called thrice.

"There was a moment that seemed never-ending. Then a clatter as of a hundred anvil strokes, a rush of snow-white steam, a shower of red-hot ashes scattered far, the hum of voices, and the clanging of the bell. Then, and not till then, I ventured to look up and hurry to the spot. The train, a series of shapeless wrecks, luggage-vans, trucks, carriages in wild confusion, lay across the road; live coals from the engine-fire were hissing in the black canal stream; the guard was bleeding and crushed beneath a wheel; twining wreaths of white steam, like spirits, melted into air above. Huntly was stooping over a begrimed corpse. The glare of the lantern, as it flashed upon the face, showed every omen true. It was Marcliffe.

"I can bear to chronicle my own temptations, yielding, guilt, but not to write down the separation that I dreaded most, and tried to avert, alas! so fatally. It is indeed a lesson of the nothingness of man's subtlest plans to avoid the penalty his crimes call down. How vain have all my efforts been to preserve our hearth inviolate, to keep our home in blessed security. Indeed, that night God's peace and favor 'departed from the threshold of the house' forever."

The misfortune alluded to was thus briefly mentioned at the end of the newspaper report of the accident, inclosed with the other papers of the dead man:

"We are sorry to say that the wife of the station-keeper, Darke, whose dangerous state we noticed a week ago, expired last night, after giving birth to a child, still-born."

With the sentence given above Darke's diary closed. Here and there the curate read a verse of a psalm, or a heart-broken ejaculation, but no continued narrative of his after-sufferings. From what he could glean, it appeared that he was put on his trial on the charge of manslaughter, and acquitted, but that he had lost his situation in consequence of the want of presence of mind he had evinced; after, it seemed, that he had led a miserable vagrant life, earning just enough by chance-work to support himself and his little Harry, the constant attendant of his wanderings. The boy was at the inn on the night of the father's wretched death, though the landlady's kindness removed him from the sight of the troublous parting. An asylum was soon found for him by my friend's kindness, and when I was at the parsonage last Christmas, as I read the history of his father's fitful life, the unconscious son sat by with little Faith, gazing with his large melancholy eyes at the strange faces in the fire.


Thirty leagues from Carlstad, and not far from the borders of the Klar, upon the shores of the lake Rada, rises a little hamlet named St. John, the most smiling village of Scandinavia. Its wooden houses, mirrored in the translucent waters, stand in bold relief against a background of extensive forests. For a space of twenty leagues round, Nature has blessed the generous soil with abundant harvests, filled the lake with fish, and the woods with game. The inhabitants of St. John are rich, without exception; each year they make a profit of their harvests, and bury beneath their hearthstones an addition to their little fortunes.

In 1816, there lived at St. John a young man of twenty years of age, named Daniel Tissjoebergist. A fortunate youth he thought himself, for he possessed two farms; and was affianced to a pretty young girl, named Raghilda, celebrated through all the province of Wermeland for her shapely figure, her little feet, her blue eyes, and fair skin, besides a certain caprice of character that her beauty rendered excusable.

The daughter of a forester, and completely spoiled by her father, who yielded to all her whims, Raghilda was at the same time the torment and the happiness of her affianced lover. If he climbed the heights, and gathered the most beautiful mountain flowers as a tribute to her charms, that very day the fantastic beauty would be seized with a severe headache, and have quite a horror of perfumes. Did he bring her game from the forest, she "could not comprehend," she would say, "how any man could leave a pretty young girl to go and kill the poor hares." One day he procured, at great expense, an assortment of necklaces and gold rings from Europe. He expected this time, at any rate, to be recompensed for his pains; but Raghilda merely declared that she much preferred to these rich presents the heavy silver ornaments that decorate Norwegian females. But she, nevertheless, took care to adorn herself with the despised gifts, to the intense envy of the other young girls her companions.

According to universal Wermeland usage, Raghilda kept bees. From morning to evening she tended her hives, and the insects knew her so well, that her presence did not scare them in the least, but they hummed and buzzed around her without testifying either fright or anger.

[Pg 787] Daniel, as our readers may imagine, never visited his mistress without busying himself among her bees. One day he took it into his head that a high wall, standing just before the hives, deprived them in part of the heat of the sun, and compelled the insects to fly too high to gain the plain, and collect their store of perfumed honey. He proposed to Raghilda to diminish the height of the offending wall by some feet. At first the young girl would not entertain the idea, merely because it came from her lover; but she at length ceded to his reasonings, and the wall was diminished in height.

For several weeks Daniel and Raghilda congratulated themselves on the steps they had taken. The full heat of the sun marvelously quickened the eggs of the queen-bee, without reckoning that the journey of the little workers was shortened by one-half. But, alas! one fatal morning, when the young girl placed herself at her window to say good-day to her dear hives, she beheld them overturned, crushed, deserted. The honeycombs were broken all to pieces, and the ground was strewed with the bodies of the unfortunate insects. Upon Daniel's arrival, he found his lovely Raghilda weeping despairingly in the midst of the melancholy ruins.

The latter had thought of nothing beyond the loss of her bees, her own sorrow, and, above all, of her discontent with Daniel, and his pernicious advice concerning the wall. Her lover, on the contrary, vowed vengeance against the spoiler.

"I am," said he, "the involuntary cause of your unhappiness, Raghilda, and to me it belongs to avenge you. These traces of steps are no human footmarks, but the impressions of a bear's paw. I shall take my gun, fasten on my skidars, and never return until I have killed the brigand."

Raghilda was too sorrowful for the loss of her bees, and too furious against Daniel for his imprudent advice about taking down the wall, to make any reply, or even turn her head for a parting glance. Her lover left her thus, and hastened, his heart full of rage, to take his wooden skates, called skidars in Norway, and set forth in quest of the bear.

Tissjoebergist could not have proceeded far without this singular chaussure. These skidars are of unequal size; that which is fastened by the leathern straps to the left leg is from nine to twelve feet long, while to the right they do not give more than six or seven. This inequality procures ease to the hunter when he wishes to turn round on broken ground; permitting him to lean with all his weight upon the shorter skate, fabricated of solid materials. The skidars are about two inches in width, weigh from ten to fifteen pounds, and terminate in highly raised points, in order to avoid the obstacles that they might encounter. The wearer slides with one, and sustains himself with the other. The sole is covered with a sea-calf's skin, with the hair outside; this precaution hinders retrograde movements. When the hunter is compelled to surmount difficult heights, he does not lift his foot, but proceeds nearly as we do upon the skates of our country. He holds a stick in each hand, to expedite or retard his course, and carries his weapons in a shoulder-belt. Upon even ground, it is easy to progress with the skidars, and a man can accomplish forty leagues in twelve hours. But, in the midst of a country like Wermeland, alternately wooded, flat, mountainous, and marshy, strewed with rocks and fallen trees, the use of these skates requires much courage, address, and, above all, presence of mind. Daniel, habituated to their use from infancy, skated with prodigious hardihood and celerity. Quick as thought, he would now descend the almost perpendicular face of a mountain, then surmount a precipice, or clamber the steep sides of a ravine. A slight movement of his body sufficed to avoid the branches of trees, and a zigzag to steer clear of the rocks strewn upon his path. His ardent eye sought in the distance for the enemy he pursued, or searched the soil for traces of the brute's paws. But all his researches were fruitless.

After three fatiguing days, passed without repose or slumber, and almost without food, he returned to St. John, in a state more easy to comprehend than describe. Raghilda, during these three days, had caused the wall to be built up again, and was now occupied in arranging the new hives with which Aulic-Finn, Daniel's rival, had presented her, after having filled them with bees by a process equally hardy and ingenious. There was, in consequence of this, so violent a quarrel between the engaged lovers, that Tissjoebergist returned to Raghilda the ring which she had given him one evening during a solitary promenade on the umbrageous banks of the lake Rada. The young girl took the ring, and threw it with a gesture of contempt among the bee-hives.

"There!" said she, "the bear may have it. He will not fail to come, for he knows that he may ravage my hives with impunity."

Tissjoebergist assembled his friends, and informed them of the affront that he had received. Though a few were secretly pleased with the humiliation of one whose manly beauty, address, courage, and good fortune had often been the subject of envy, they all declared that they would, the very next day, undertake a general skali, that is to say, a grande battue.

Eight days from the time of this declaration, more than a thousand hunters formed themselves into an immense semicircle, inclosing a space of from five to six leagues. The other half-circle was represented by a wide and deep pond, over which it was impossible for their prey to escape by swimming. Daniel directed the skali with remarkable intelligence. By his orders, signals, repeated from mouth to mouth, caused the hunters to close up little by little, while a select band beat the bushes.

They continued to advance in this way for several hours, without discovering any thing save troops of hares and other small game, that escaped between the legs of the hunters. These they did not attempt to molest, for they looked only for the animal whose death Daniel had[Pg 788] sworn to compass. Suddenly they heard a low cry, and a gigantic bear, that had been hidden behind a rock, abruptly rose, and stalked toward Tissjoebergist. The youth took aim at the terrible beast, and pulled the trigger of his musket. It missed fire. The bear seized his weapon with his powerful paws, twisted it like a wand, broke it, and overturned Daniel in the mud. All this passed with the rapidity of lightning. The monster then took to flight, being hit in the shoulder by a ball from Aulic-Finn; and the hunters saw him climb the hill, after which he disappeared in the forest. Daniel, foaming with rage, pursued him thither at the head of his friends, but in vain. Again the young man returned to St. John without the vengeance he desired; well-nigh heartbroken with shame and disappointment.

Raghilda welcomed Aulic-Finn most cordially, and there was a report current in the village, that she had picked up the discarded ring from among the hives, to place it on the finger of Tissjoebergist's rival. This the young girls whispered among each other so loud, that Daniel could not avoid overhearing them, though he did not comprehend the full purport of their words. Nor were the young men behind-hand in their comments. There are never wanting unkind hands to strike deeper the thorns that rankle in our hearts.

In place of consoling himself by drinking and feasting among his companions, as is the custom in those parts after a hunt, successful or otherwise, the unfortunate lover now resolved to have recourse to the gall. This is a stratagem which will be best explained by an account of Daniel's preparations on the occasion.

He took a cow from his stables, tied a rope to her horns, and dragged her along with so much violence, that her lowings resounded through the forest. Toward nightfall he arrived with the poor beast near a sort of scaffolding constructed in the thickest part of the wood, between three or four trees, and about thirty feet from the ground. Having tied the cow firmly by the rope to the roots of an old and strong stump, he mounted the scaffolding and awaited the issue.

The first night the lowings of the cow were the only sounds that broke the melancholy silence of the forest. It was the same the next day, and the next. The fourth night, after a long struggle with the drowsiness occasioned by the intense cold, for the young hunter's provision of eau-de-vie had long been exhausted, nature overcame him, and he slept.

Then a huge bear raised his head from behind the scaffolding, and having cautiously peered around him, crept toward the cow, seized her between his paws, and broke the rope that held her. He turned his big pointed face toward the slumbering hunter, and giving him an ironical glance, disappeared with his shuddering prey into the depths of the forest.

An hour afterward, Daniel awoke. The sun had risen, and even in that shady place there was light enough to distinguish the objects around. He looked over the edge of the scaffolding, and beheld the rope severed, and the cow gone. Sliding down, he marked the humid earth covered with the impressions of the bear's claws. At this sight he thought he should have gone mad.

He waited until nightfall before he re-entered the village, and then, creeping to his house without detection, he took a large knife, which he placed in his belt, unfastened a dog that was chained in the yard, and retook the road to the forest. The season was the beginning of November, the snow had fallen in abundance, and it froze hard. Tissjoebergist skated along on the sparkling ice, preceded by his dog, who, from time to time halted, and smelt around him. But these investigations led to no result, and the animal continued his way. Cold tears fell down Daniel's cheeks, and were quickly congealed into icicles. For one moment he paused, took his musket from the shoulder-belt in which he carried it, pressed the cold barrel against his forehead, and asked himself, whether it would not be better to put an end to his disappointment and his shame together. As he cast a last despairing glance behind him, he perceived that his dog had stopped, and was gazing immovably at a small opening in some underwood, which was discovered to him by the lurid rays of the aurora borealis. A feeble hope dawned in Daniel's sick heart; he advanced, and plainly saw a slight hollow in the snow, undisturbed every where else.

The young man's heart beat violently. There, doubtless, lay his enemy, gorged with the abundant meal furnished by the cow. The hunter strode on. The hole was not more than two feet in diameter, and the bear might be distinctly perceived squatting in the niche at about five feet of depth. The noise of the hunter's approach disturbed the animal. He stirred, opened his heavy eyelids, and saw Daniel. He was about to rush out, but a blow with the butt-end of the musket drove him back to his hole with a large wound in his eye, that streamed with blood. Another bound, and the bear was free. He stood erect, face to face with the young hunter, looked upon him for a few seconds with the horrible smile peculiar to these animals when in anger, and precipitated himself upon his enemy. The dog did not allow his master to be attacked with impunity, and a mélée ensued that covered the snow with blood. Daniel, seized by the shoulders, and retained in the monster's clutches, had the presence of mind to throw away his musket and have recourse to his knife, with which he made three large wounds in his adversary's side. Then he seized him by the ears, and, ably seconded by his dog, forced him to let go his hold. The bear, enfeebled by loss of blood, yielded the victory, and flew with so much swiftness, that the dog, who immediately put himself upon his track, was obliged to renounce the hope of overtaking him. The faithful animal returned to his master, whom he found insensible, his face torn to ribbons, his breast lacerated, and his shoulders covered with large wounds. Some peasants happening to pass that way raised the unhappy young[Pg 789] man in their arms, and brought him to St. John, where he long lay between life and death. He would rather have been left to die, for life was become insupportable. Bears could not be mentioned before him without his detecting lurking smiles in the faces of his associates. To crown all, the approaching marriage of Raghilda and Aulic-Finn was no longer a mystery. Daniel had partly lost the use of his right arm, and a bite inflicted by the bear upon his nose had ruined the noble and regular features of the poor youth, and given him a countenance nearly as frightful as that of his adversary. He fell into a profound melancholy, sold his two farms and all his land, quitted Wermeland, sojourned about two months at Carlstad, and finally disappeared altogether from Scandinavia.

During this period, some hunters who were exploring the banks of the Klar, found, near the parish of Tima, a one-eyed bear, pierced with three strokes of a poniard, and in a dying condition. They took him without resistance, dressed his wounds, and carried him to a neighboring village. There they hired a light cart, placed him upon it, and took him along with them.

The recovery of their patient was more rapid than they had dared to hope. When the convalescent animal began to gain his strength, he was inclosed in a large cage, conveniently furnished with iron bars. As he was of gigantic stature, and possessed a magnificent coat, he proved a very lucrative acquisition as a show to the gaping multitude, and soon made the fortune of the cornac who bought him.

It was thus that the wild inhabitant of the forests of Wermeland became a cosmopolitan, and traversed Norway, Sweden, Germany and Prussia. In course of time he arrived in France, where his enormous proportions, savage mien, and thick fur, procured him the honor of being bought, for 360 francs, by M. Frederic Cuvier. He was brought in his cage to the habitation prepared for him in the Jardin des Plantes. There he was released from his narrow prison, and respired once more the fresh breeze.

This first sensation exhausted, he slowly explored his new abode. It was a species of cellar open to the air, twenty-five feet by thirty, and twenty feet in depth. Its walls were of smooth stone, that left no hold for the claws of its Scandinavian tenant. At one end was a kind of den, furnished with iron bars, that vividly recalled his first cage, and at the other a supply of water that fell into a trough of blue stone. In the middle stood a tree despoiled of its leaves and bark, upon which the little boys that had crowded round were continually throwing morsels of bread and apple-cores tied to long strings, crying, at the same time, "Martin! Martin!"

The bear disdainfully eyed the bread and the apple-cores, uttered a furious bellow, and embracing the trunk of the tree endeavored to overthrow it; but it stood the shock well, and did not even stagger. The cries were repeated, accompanied by insolent roars of laughter.

For the first few days the new-comer remained disdainfully squatted in his den. They might throw him cakes as they pleased, he did not even look at them. If some blackguard occasionally resorted to stones, it merely excited a jerking movement of the animal's paws, and a display of his white teeth. But, at the end of a week, he began, not without some false shame, to glance out of the corner of his eye at the tempting morsels of cake or tartlets that lay around him.

At length he furtively laid his paw upon one of the nice-looking bits, drew it toward him, slily dispatched it, and acknowledged that the Parisian pastry-cooks understood their business. The next day the stoic became an epicure, and collected the morsels that were thrown to him. A little time afterward, he remarked a dog sitting upon his hind legs, and agitating his fore-paws, to the great delight of the children, who lavished cakes upon the clever beast. A venal thought entered the mind of the bear. He imitated the cur, and begged.

The degraded savage now hesitated at nothing. He climbed the tree as the last bear had done, danced, saluted, imitated death, and performed, for the least bribe of bread or fruit, the most ridiculous grimaces. The fame of his gentleness spread through all Paris. Nothing was talked of but Martin, his intelligence and docility. His reputation circulated through the departments, and foreign journals quoted anecdotes of his sagacity.

For about ten years Martin feasted in peace, and enjoyed all the advantages of his servile submission. One beautiful summer afternoon, he was lying in the shade, nonchalantly digesting his food, when he happened to glance at the crowd that surrounded the pit. Suddenly he rose with a terrible bound, and rushed toward a shabbily-dressed man, whose visage was horribly cicatrized, and who leaned upon a knotty stick as he gazed down at the bear. The animal growled, writhed, opened his muzzle, and exhibited the most frightful evidences of anger. The man was not more placable; he brandished his stick with curses and menaces.

"I recognize thee," he cried in a strange tongue; "thou art the cause of my shame, my wounds, and my misery. It is thou that hast robbed me of happiness, and made me a wretched crippled-mendicant. It shall not be said that I died without revenge."

The bear, by his cries of rage, testified equally that he had recognized his enemy, and held himself in a posture of defiance.

The stranger drew from his pocket a large sharp-pointed knife, calculated, with a frightful sang froid, the leap that he would have to take, and jumped into the pit, brandishing his weapon. Unfortunately, on reaching the ground, he sprained his foot against one of the stones that paved the pit, and which had got displaced. The crowd beheld him fall, and then saw the bear rush upon him, avoid the knife, and, keeping his victim down, play with his head as if it had been a ball, knocking it backward and forward between his paws. Lastly, the incensed animal placed himself upon the breast of the stranger, and stifled[Pg 790] him, with every sign of hideous and ferocious triumph. All this passed in less time than we have taken to describe it. The keepers ran to the rescue, and obliged the bear to retire into his iron-grated den. The animal peaceably obeyed, with the visible satisfaction of a satiated vengeance. When they came to raise the man, they found that he was dead.

With the Parisians, every stranger is an Englishman. The report soon spread, confirmed by the journals, that Martin's victim was what they then called an insulaire. Few persons knew that Martin had killed his ancient adversary, the unfortunate Daniel Tissjoebergist.

The following day the bear mounted the tree, excelled himself, picked up the morsels of galette that were thrown down by his admirers, basked in the sun's rays, and regarded with his one small ferocious eye the spot where, the evening before, he had accomplished his long meditated revenge.


Half a mile from the southern wall of the city, on the brink of the ravine of Oreto, stands a church dedicated to the Holy Ghost, concerning which the Latin fathers have not failed to record, that on the day on which the first stone of it was laid, in the twelfth century, the sun was darkened by an eclipse. On one side of it are the precipice and the river, on the other the plain extending to the city, which in the present day is in great part encumbered with walls and gardens; while a square inclosure of moderate size, shaded by dusky cypresses, honey-combed with tombs, and adorned with urns and sepulchral monuments, surrounds the church.

This is now a public cemetery, laid out toward the end of the eighteenth century, and fearfully filled in three weeks by the dire pestilence which devastated Sicily in 1837. On the Tuesday, at the hour of vespers, religion and custom crowded this then cheerful plain, carpeted with the flowers of spring, with citizens wending their way toward the church. Divided into numerous groups, they walked, sat in clusters, spread the tables, or danced upon the grass; and, whether it were a defect or a merit of the Sicilian character, threw off for the moment, the recollection of their sufferings, when the followers of the justiciary suddenly appeared among them, and every bosom was thrilled with a shudder of disgust. The strangers came, with their usual insolent demeanor, as they said, to maintain tranquillity; and for this purpose they mingled in the groups, joined in the dances, and familiarly accosted the women, pressing the hand of one, taking unwarranted liberties with others; addressing indecent words and gestures to those more distant, until some temperately admonished them to depart, in God's-name, without insulting the women, and others murmured angrily; but the hot-blooded youths raised their voices so fiercely that the soldiers said one to another, "These insolent paterini must be armed that they dare thus to answer," and replied to them with the most offensive insults, insisting, with great insolence, on searching them for arms, and even here and there striking them with sticks or thongs. Every heart already throbbed fiercely on either side, when a young woman of singular beauty and of modest and dignified deportment, appeared with her husband and relations, bending their steps toward the church. Drouet, a Frenchman, impelled either by insolence or license, approached her as if to examine her for concealed weapons; seized her and searched her bosom. She fell fainting into her husband's arms, who, in a voice almost choked with rage, exclaimed, "Death, death to the French!" At that moment a youth burst from the crowd which had gathered round them, sprang upon Drouet, disarmed and slew him; and probably at the same moment paid the penalty of his own life, leaving his name unknown, and the mystery forever unsolved, whether it were love for the injured woman, the impulse of a generous heart, or the more exalted flame of patriotism, that prompted him thus to give the signal of deliverance. Noble examples have a power far beyond that of argument or eloquence to rouse the people—and the abject slaves awoke at length from their long bondage. "Death, death to the French!" they cried; and the cry, say the historians of the time, re-echoed like the voice of God through the whole country, and found an answer in every heart. Above the corpse of Drouet were heaped those of victims slain on either side; the crowd expanded itself, closed in, and swayed hither and thither in wild confusion; the Sicilians, with sticks, stones, and knives, rushed with desperate ferocity upon their fully-armed opponents; they sought for them and hunted them down; fearful tragedies were enacted amid the preparations for festivity, and the overthrown tables were drenched in blood. The people displayed their strength, and conquered. The struggle was brief, and great the slaughter of the Sicilians; but of the French there were two hundred—and two hundred fell.

Breathless, covered with blood, brandishing the plundered weapons, and proclaiming the insult and its vengeance, the insurgents rushed toward the tranquil city. "Death to the French!" they shouted, and as many as they found were put to the sword. The example, the words, the contagion of passion, in an instant aroused the whole people. In the heat of the tumult, Roger Mastrangelo, a nobleman, was chosen, or constituted himself their leader. The multitude continued to increase; dividing into troops they scoured the streets, burst open doors, searched every nook, every hiding-place, and shouting "Death to the French!" smote them and slew them, while those too distant to strike added to the tumult by their applause. On the outbreak of this sudden uproar the justiciary had taken refuge in his strong palace; the next moment it was surrounded by an enraged multitude, crying aloud for his death; they demolished the defenses, and rushed furiously in, but the justiciary escaped them; favored by the confusion and the closing darkness, he succeeded, though wounded in the face, in mounting his horse unobserved,[Pg 791] with only two attendants, and fled with all speed. Meanwhile the slaughter continued with increased ferocity, even the darkness of night failed to arrest it, and it was resumed on the morrow more furiously than ever; nor did it cease at length because the thirst for vengeance was slaked, but because victims were wanting to appease it. Two thousand French perished in this first outbreak. Even Christian burial was denied them, but pits were afterward dug to receive their despised remains; and tradition still points out a column surmounted by an iron cross, raised by compassionate piety on one of those spots, probably long after the perpetration of the deed of vengeance. Tradition, moreover, relates that the sound of a word, like the Shibboleth of the Hebrews, was the cruel test by which the French were distinguished in the massacre; and that, if there were found a suspicious or unknown person, he was compelled, with a sword to his throat, to pronounce the word ciciri, and the slightest foreign accent was the signal of his death. Forgetful of their own character, and as if stricken by fate, the gallant warriors of France neither fled, nor united, nor defended themselves; they unsheathed their swords, and presented them to their assailants, imploring, as if in emulation of each other, to be the first to die; of one common soldier only is it recorded, that having concealed himself behind a wainscot, and being dislodged at the sword's point, he resolved not to die unavenged, and springing with a wild cry upon the ranks of his enemies, slew three of them before he himself perished. The insurgents broke into the convents of the Minorites and Preaching Friars, and slaughtered all the monks whom they recognized as French. Even the altars afforded no protection; tears and prayers were alike unheeded; neither old men, women, nor infants, were spared; the ruthless avengers of the ruthless massacre of Agosta swore to root out the seed of the French oppressors throughout the whole of Sicily; and this vow they cruelly fulfilled, slaughtering infants at their mothers' breast, and after them the mothers themselves, nor sparing even pregnant women, but, with a horrible refinement of cruelty, ripping up the bodies of Sicilian women who were with child by French husbands, and dashing against the stones the fruit of the mingled blood of the oppressors and the oppressed. This general massacre of all who spoke the same language, and these heinous acts of cruelty, have caused the Sicilian Vespers to be classed among the most infamous of national crimes. But these fill a vast volume, and in it all nations have inscribed horrors of a similar, and sometimes of a blacker dye; nations often more civilized, and in times less rude, and not only in the assertion of their liberty or against foreign tyrants, but in the delirium of civil or religious partisanship, against fellow-citizens, against brothers, against innocent and helpless beings, whom they destroyed by thousands, sweeping away whole populations. Therefore I do not blush for my country at the remembrance of the vespers, but bewail the dire necessity which drove Sicily to such extremities.


In one of Steele's papers in the "Guardian" is the following passage: "I observe the sole reason alleged for the destruction of frogs, is because they are like toads. Yet amidst all the misfortunes of these unfriended creatures, it is some happiness that we have not yet taken a fancy to eat them; for should our countrymen refine upon the French never so little, it is not to be conceived to what unheard-of torments owls, cats, and frogs may be yet reserved."

That frogs constituted the chief diet of Frenchmen was, a few years ago, as popular and beloved an article of belief among British lads, as that one Englishman was equal to three of the said frog-consumers. More extended intercourse has, however, shown us that frogs do not constitute the entire food of our Gallic neighbors, and taught them that we do not all wear top-boots, and subsist solely on beef-steaks. As, however, frogs do form a dainty dish, I will give what the Yankees term a "few notions consarning them and their fixings."

Happening to be in Germany in 1846, I was desirous of getting some insight into the manners and customs of these inhabitants of the ponds, and, after much observation, arrived at the same conclusion concerning them as the master of one of Her Majesty's ships did respecting the subjects of the Imaun of Muscat. Being compelled to record categorically a reply to the inquiry, "What are the manners and customs of the inhabitants?" he wrote, "Manners they have none, and their customs, are very beastly." So of these frogs, say I.

My knowledge of their vicinity was based upon auricular confession. Night after night the most infernal din of croaking bore testimony to the fact that they were unburdening their consciences, and I determined to try if I could not unburden their bodies of their batrachian souls altogether. However, before I detail my proceedings, I have a word to say with reference to their croaking.

Horace bears expressive testimony to the disgust he felt at it, when, after a heavy supper to help him on his way to Brundusium, he exclaimed

——"Mali culices, ranæque palustres Avertunt somnos."

So loud and continuous is their song, especially in the breeding season, that in the former good old times of France, when nobles were nobles, and lived in their magnificent chateaus scattered throughout the country, the peasants were employed during the whole night in beating the ponds within ear-shot of the chateaus, with boughs of trees, to prevent the slumbers of the lords and ladies being broken by their paludine neighbors. This croaking is produced by the air being driven from the lungs into the puffed-out cavity of the mouth, or into certain guttural sacculi, which are developed very largely in the males. They can produce this noise under water as well as on land.

In the male frog there are fissures at the corners of the mouth for admitting the external protrusion[Pg 792] of the vocal sacculi. These sacculi they invariably protrude in their struggles to escape when held by the hind legs. Under these circumstances they are also capable of uttering a peculiar shrill cry of distress, differing completely from their ordinary croak.

Having obtained a land net, I cautiously approached the pond, which I knew must abound with them, from the concerts nightly held there, and without allowing the shadow to fall on the water, or making the slightest noise; yet the moment I showed myself, every individual who happened to be above water jumped off his perch, and was out of sight in an instant. I tried every means to catch them, but in vain. At last I borrowed from some boys a long tube of wood, with a small hole smoothly and equally bored through the centre, which they used to shoot small birds about the hedges. Armed with some arrows made of sharp tin nails, tipped with cotton wool, I ensconced myself in a bush, and waited quietly for my prey. In a few moments, the frogs, one by one, began to poke their noses out of the water. I selected the finest, and by dint of a good shot, I succeeded in fixing an arrow in his head. In the course of the afternoon I bagged several of the patriarchs of the pond, some of them as large as the largest English toad. Upon being struck with the arrow, they nearly all protruded their sacculi from each side of the mouth, in the manner above narrated.

These frogs are not often used for the table in Germany, but in France they are considered a luxury, as any bon vivant ordering a dish of them at the "Trois Frères" at Paris may, by the long price, speedily ascertain. Not wishing to try such an expensive experiment in gastronomy, I went to the large market in the Faubourg St. Germain, and inquired for frogs. I was referred to a stately-looking dame at a fish-stall, who produced a box nearly full of them, huddling and crawling about, and occasionally croaking as though aware of the fate to which they were destined. The price fixed was two a penny, and having ordered a dish to be prepared, the Dame de la Halle dived her hand in among them, and having secured her victim by the hind legs, she severed him in twain with a sharp knife, the legs, minus skin, still struggling, were placed on a dish; and the head, with the fore-legs affixed, retained life and motion, and performed such motions that the operation became painful to look at. These legs were afterward cooked at the restaurateur's, being served up fried in bread crumbs, as larks are in England: and most excellent eating they were, tasting more like the delicate flesh of the rabbit than any thing else I can think of.

I afterward tried a dish of the common English frog, but their flesh is not so white nor so tender as that of their French brothers.

The old fish-wife of whom I bought these frogs, informed me that she had a man regularly in her employ to catch them. He went out every evening at dusk to the ponds, in the neighborhood of Paris, with a lantern and a long stick, to the end of which was attached a piece of red cloth. The frogs were attracted by the light to the place where the fisherman stood. He then lightly dropped his cloth on the surface of the water; the frogs imagining that some dainty morsel was placed before them, eagerly snapped at it, and their teeth becoming entangled, they became an easy prey, destined for to-morrow's market, and the tender mercies of the fish-woman.

I subsequently brought over several dozen of these frogs alive to England, some of them are still, I believe, living in the Ward's botanical cases of those to whom I presented them, the rest were turned out in a pond, where I fear they have been devoured by the gourmand English ducks, the rightful occupants of the pond.

The edible frog (rana esculenta) is brought from the country, in quantities of from thirty to forty thousand at a time, to Vienna, and sold to great dealers, who have conservatories for them, which are large holes four or five feet deep, dug in the ground, the mouth covered with a board, and in severe weather with straw. In these conservatories, even during a hard frost, the frogs never become quite torpid, they get together in heaps one upon another instinctively, and thereby prevent the evaporation of their humidity, for no water is ever put to them.

In Vienna, in 1793, there were only three dealers, who supplied the market with frogs ready skinned and prepared for the cook.

There is another species of frog common on the Continent, which is turned to a useful account as a barometer. It is the rana arborea, of which many specimens are to be seen in the Zoological Gardens. It has the property, like the chameleon, of adapting its color to the substance on which it may be placed: it especially inhabits trees, and when among the foliage, is of a brilliant green; when on the ground, or on the branches of trees, the color is brown. They are thus used as prognosticators. Two or three are placed in a tall glass jar, with three or four inches of water at the bottom, and a small ladder reaching to the top of the jar. On the approach of dry weather the frogs mount the ladder to the very top, but when rain may be expected, they not only make a peculiar singing noise, but descend into the water. Small frogs are a trilling bait for pike and perch, and this reminds me of an incident which I saw. A fine perch was found floating dead, on the top of the water in a pond, in one of the gardens at Oxford; upon examination, it was found to be very thin, and apparently starved to death, some devotee to the gentle art had been the unconscious cause of the sad fate of this poor fish, for a hook was found firmly fixed in his upper jaw, the shock of which projected so far beyond his mouth, that his efforts to obtain food must have been useless, the hook always projecting forward, kept him at a tantalizing distance from the desired morsel. The fish has been dried, and is now preserved with the hook fixed in his mouth.

But fishes, which, like perch, are provided with sharp prickles, occasionally cause the death of[Pg 793] those creatures that feed upon them. A king-fisher was brought to me in the summer of 1848, by a boy who had found it dead on the banks of the river Cherwell, near Oxford, no shot, or other marks of injury were found on it, the feathers being perfectly smooth, dry, and unstained; what then was the cause of death?—upon a careful examination, I found the end of a small fish's tail protruding from one of the corners of its mouth, I endeavored to drag it out, but in vain, it was firmly fixed. By dissection, I found, that the fish in question was one of the tribe of small fish which abound in shallow water, and are called in Oxford, the bull's head, or miller's thumb. It has a strong prickle, nearly a quarter of an inch long, with very sharp and firm end, projecting on each side of its gills. The fish had, in its struggles, protruded its prickles, which, sticking in his enemy's œsophagus, had effectually stopped up the entrance, pressing on the wind-pipe, and thus caused its death.



The next morning Harley appeared at breakfast. He was in gay spirits, and conversed more freely with Violante than he had yet done. He seemed to amuse himself by attacking all she said, and provoking her to argument. Violante was naturally a very earnest person; whether grave or gay, she spoke with her heart on her lips, and her soul in her eyes. She did not yet comprehend the light vein of Harley's irony; so she grew piqued and chafed; and she was so lovely in anger; it so brightened her beauty and animated her words, that no wonder Harley thus maliciously teased her. But what, perhaps, she liked still less than the teasing—though she could not tell why—was the kind of familiarity that Harley assumed with her—a familiarity as if he had known her all her life—that of a good-humored elder brother, or bachelor uncle. To Helen, on the contrary, when he did not address her apart, his manner was more respectful. He did not call her by her Christian name, as he did Violante, but "Miss Digby," and softened his tone and inclined his head when he spoke to her. Nor did he presume to jest at the very few and brief sentences he drew from Helen; but rather listened to them with deference, and invariably honored them with approval. After breakfast he asked Violante to play or sing; and when she frankly owned how little she had cultivated those accomplishments, he persuaded Helen to sit down to the piano, and stood by her side while she did so, turning over the leaves of her music-book with the ready devotion of an admiring amateur. Helen always played well, but less well than usual that day, for her generous nature felt abashed. It was as if she was showing off to mortify Violante. But Violante, on the other hand, was so passionately fond of music that she had no feeling left for the sense of her own inferiority. Yet she sighed when Helen rose, and Harley thanked her for the delight she had given him.

The day was fine. Lady Lansmere proposed to walk in the garden. While the ladies went up-stairs for their shawls and bonnets, Harley lighted his cigar, and stept from the window upon the lawn. Lady Lansmere joined him before the girls came out.

"Harley," said she, taking his arm, "what a charming companion you have introduced to us! I never met with any that both pleased and delighted me like this dear Violante. Most girls who possess some power of conversation, and who have dared to think for themselves, are so pedantic, or so masculine; but she is always so simple, and always still the girl. Ah, Harley!"

"Why that sigh, my dear mother?"

"I was thinking how exactly she would have suited you—how proud I should have been of such a daughter-in-law—and how happy you would have been with such a wife."

Harley started. "Tut," said he, peevishly, "she is a mere child; you forget my years."

"Why," said Lady Lansmere, surprised, "Helen is quite as young as Violante."

"In dates—yes. But Helen's character is so staid; what it is now it will be ever; and Helen, from gratitude, respect, or pity, condescends to accept the ruins of my heart; while this bright Italian has the soul of a Juliet, and would expect in a husband all the passion of a Romeo. Nay, mother, hush. Do you forget that I am engaged—and of my own free will and choice? Poor dear Helen! Apropos, have you spoken to my father, as you undertook to do?"

"Not yet. I must seize the right moment. You know that my lord requires management."

"My dear mother, that female notion of managing us, men, costs you, ladies, a great waste of time, and occasions us a great deal of sorrow. Men are easily managed by plain truth. We are brought up to respect it, strange as it may seem to you!"

Lady Lansmere smiled with the air of superior wisdom, and the experience of an accomplished wife. "Leave it to me, Harley; and rely on my lord's consent."

Harley knew that Lady Lansmere always succeeded in obtaining her way with his father; and he felt that the Earl might naturally be disappointed in such an alliance, and, without due propitiation, evince that disappointment in his manner to Helen. Harley was bound to save her from all chance of such humiliation. He did not wish her to think that she was not welcomed into his family; therefore he said, "I resign myself to your promise and your diplomacy. Meanwhile, as you love me, be kind to my betrothed."

"Am I not so?"

"Hem. Are you as kind as if she were the great heiress you believe Violante to be?"

"Is it," answered Lady Lansmere, evading the question—"is it because one is an heiress and the other is not that you make so marked a difference in your manner to the two; treating[Pg 794] Violante as a spoiled child, and Miss Digby as—"

"The destined wife of Lord L'Estrange, and the daughter-in-law of Lady Lansmere—yes."

The Countess suppressed an impatient exclamation that rose to her lips, for Harley's brow wore that serious aspect which it rarely assumed save when he was in those moods in which men must be soothed, not resisted. And after a pause he went on—"I am going to leave you to-day. I have engaged apartments at the Clarendon. I intend to gratify your wish, so often expressed, that I should enjoy what are called the pleasures of my rank, and the privileges of single-blessedness—celebrate my adieu to celibacy, and blaze once more, with the splendor of a setting sun, upon Hyde Park and May Fair."

"You are a positive enigma. Leave our house, just when you are betrothed to its inmate! Is that the natural conduct of a lover?"

"How can your woman eyes be so dull, and your woman heart so obtuse?" answered Harley, half-laughing, half-scolding. "Can you not guess that I wish that Helen and myself should both lose the association of mere ward and guardian; that the very familiarity of our intercourse under the same roof almost forbids us to be lovers; that we lose the joy to meet, and the pang to part. Don't you remember the story of the Frenchman, who for twenty years loved a lady, and never missed passing his evenings at her house. She became a widow. 'I wish you joy,' cried his friend; 'you may now marry the woman you have so long adored.' 'Alas,' said the poor Frenchman, profoundly dejected; 'and if so, where shall I spend my evenings?'"

Here Violante and Helen were seen in the garden, walking affectionately, arm in arm.

"I don't perceive the point of your witty, heartless anecdote," said Lady Lansmere, obstinately. "Settle that, however, with Miss Digby. But, to leave the very day after your friend's daughter comes as a guest!—what will she think of it?"

Lord L'Estrange looked steadfastly at his mother. "Does it matter much what she thinks of me?—of a man engaged to another; and old enough to be—"

"I wish to Heaven you would not talk of your age, Harley; it is a reflection upon mine; and I never saw you look so well nor so handsome." With that she drew him on toward the young ladies; and, taking Helen's arm, asked her, aside, "if she knew that Lord L'Estrange had engaged rooms at the Clarendon; and if she understood why?" As, while she said this she moved on, Harley was left by Violante's side.

"You will be very dull here, I fear, my poor child," said he.

"Dull! But why will you call me child? Am I so very—very childlike?"

"Certainly, you are to me—a mere infant. Have I not seen you one; have I not held you in my arms?"

Violante.—"But that was a long time ago!"

Harley.—"True. But if years have not stood still for you, they have not been stationary for me. There is the same difference between us now that there was then. And, therefore, permit me still to call you child, and as child to treat you!"

Violante.—"I will do no such thing. Do you know that I always thought I was good-tempered till this morning."

Harley.—"And what undeceived you? Did you break your doll?"

Violante (with an indignant flash from her dark eyes).—"There!—again!—you delight in provoking me!"

Harley.—"It was the doll, then. Don't cry; I will get you another."

Violante plucked her arm from him, and walked away toward the Countess in speechless scorn. Harley's brow contracted, in thought and in gloom. He stood still for a moment or so, and then joined the ladies.

"I am trespassing sadly on your morning; but I wait for a visitor whom I sent to before you were up. He is to be here at twelve. With your permission, I will dine with you to-morrow, and you will invite him to meet me."

"Certainly. And who is your friend? I guess—the young author?"

"Leonard Fairfield," cried Violante, who had conquered, or felt ashamed of her short-lived anger.

"Fairfield!" repeated Lady Lansmere. "I thought, Harley, you said the name was Oran."

"He has assumed the latter name. He is the son of Mark Fairfield, who married an Avenel. Did you recognize no family likeness?—none in those eyes—mother?" said Harley, sinking his voice into a whisper.

"No," answered the Countess, falteringly.

Harley, observing that Violante was now speaking to Helen about Leonard, and that neither was listening to him, resumed in the same low tone. "And his mother—Nora's sister—shrank from seeing me! That is the reason why I wished you not to call. She has not told the young man why she shrank from seeing me; nor have I explained it to him as yet. Perhaps I never shall."

"Indeed, dearest Harley," said the Countess, with great gentleness, "I wish you too much to forget the folly—well, I will not say that word—the sorrows of your boyhood, not to hope that you will rather strive against such painful memories than renew them by unnecessary confidence to any one: least of all to the relation of—"

"Enough! don't name her; the very name pains me. As to the confidence, there are but two persons in the world to whom I ever bare the old wounds—yourself and Egerton. Let this pass. Ha!—a ring at the bell—that is he!"


Leonard entered on the scene, and joined the party in the garden. The Countess, perhaps to please her son, was more than civil—she was[Pg 795] markedly kind to him. She noticed him more attentively than she had hitherto done; and, with all her prejudices of birth, was struck to find the son of Mark Fairfield, the carpenter, so thoroughly the gentleman. He might not have the exact tone and phrase by which Convention stereotypes those born and schooled in a certain world; but the aristocrats of Nature can dispense with such trite minutiæ. And Leonard had lived, of late, at least, in the best society that exists, for the polish of language and the refinement of manners—the society in which the most graceful ideas are clothed in the most graceful forms—the society which really, though indirectly, gives the law to courts—the society of the most classic authors, in the various ages in which literature has flowered forth from civilization. And if there was something in the exquisite sweetness of Leonard's voice, look, and manner, which the Countess acknowledged to attain that perfection in high breeding, which, under the name of "suavity," steals its way into the heart, so her interest in him was aroused by a certain subdued melancholy which is rarely without distinction, and never without charm. He and Helen exchanged but few words. There was but one occasion in which they could have spoken apart, and Helen herself contrived to elude it. His face brightened at Lady Lansmere's cordial invitation, and he glanced at Helen as he accepted it; but her eyes did not meet his own.

"And now," said Harley, whistling to Nero, whom his ward was silently caressing, "I must take Leonard away. Adieu! all of you, till to-morrow at dinner. Miss Violante, is the doll to have blue or black eyes?"

Violante turned her own black eyes in mute appeal to Lady Lansmere, and nestled to that lady's side as if in refuge from unworthy insult.


"Let the carriage go to the Clarendon," said Harley to his servant; "I and Mr. Oran will walk to town. Leonard, I think you would rejoice at an occasion to serve your old friends, Dr. Riccabocca and his daughter?"

"Serve them! O yes." And there instantly occurred to Leonard the recollection of Violante's words when on leaving his quiet village he had sighed to part from all those he loved; and the little dark-eyed girl had said, proudly, yet consolingly, "But to serve those you love!" He turned to L'Estrange with beaming, inquisitive eyes.

"I said to our friend," resumed Harley, "that I would vouch for your honor as my own. I am about to prove my words, and to confide the secrets which your penetration has indeed divined;—our friend is not what he seems." Harley then briefly related to Leonard the particulars of the exile's history, the rank he had held in his native land, the manner in which, partly through the misrepresentations of a kinsman he had trusted, partly through the influence of a wife he had loved, he had been driven into schemes which he believed bounded to the emancipation of Italy from a foreign yoke by the united exertions of her best and bravest sons.

"A noble ambition," interrupted Leonard, manfully. "And pardon me, my lord, I should not have thought that you would speak of it in a tone that implies blame."

"The ambition in itself was noble," answered Harley. "But the cause to which it was devoted became defiled in its dark channel through Secret Societies. It is the misfortune of all miscellaneous political combinations, that with the purest motives of their more generous members are ever mixed the most sordid interests, and the fiercest passions of mean confederates. When these combinations act openly, and in daylight, under the eye of Public Opinion, the healthier elements usually prevail; where they are shrouded in mystery—where they are subjected to no censor in the discussion of the impartial and dispassionate—where chiefs working in the dark exact blind obedience, and every man who is at war with law is at once admitted as a friend of freedom—the history of the world tells us that patriotism soon passes away. Where all is in public, public virtue, by the natural sympathies of the common mind, and by the wholesome control of shame, is likely to obtain ascendency; where all is in private, and shame is but for him who refuses the abnegation of his conscience, each man seeks the indulgence of his private vice. And hence, in Secret Societies (from which may yet proceed great danger to all Europe), we find but foul and hateful Eleusinia, affording pretexts to the ambition of the great, to the license of the penniless, to the passions of the revengeful, to the anarchy of the ignorant. In a word, the societies of these Italian Carbonari did but engender schemes in which the abler chiefs disguised new forms of despotism, and in which the revolutionary many looked forward to the overthrow of all the institutions that stand between Law and Chaos. Naturally, therefore" (added L'Estrange, dryly), "when their schemes were detected, and the conspiracy foiled, it was for the silly honest men entrapped into the league to suffer—the leaders turned king's evidence, and the common mercenaries became—banditti." Harley then proceeded to state that it was just when the soi-disant Riccabocca had discovered the true nature and ulterior views of the conspirators he had joined, and actually withdrawn from their councils, that he was denounced by the kinsman who had duped him into the enterprise, and who now profited by his treason. Harley next spoke of the packet dispatched by Riccabocca's dying wife, as it was supposed to Mrs. Bertram; and of the hopes he founded on the contents of that packet, if discovered. He then referred to the design which had brought Peschiera to England—a design which that personage had avowed with such effrontery to his companions at Vienna, that he had publicly laid wagers on his success.

"But these men can know nothing of England—of the safety of English laws," said Leonard,[Pg 796] naturally. "We take it for granted that Riccabocca, if I am still so to call him, refuses his consent to the marriage between his daughter and his foe. Where, then, the danger? This Count, even if Violante were not under your mother's roof, could not get an opportunity to see her. He could not attack the house and carry her off like a feudal baron in the middle ages."

"All this is very true," answered Harley. "Yet I have found through life that we can not estimate danger by external circumstances, but by the character of those from whom it is threatened. This Count is a man of singular audacity, of no mean natural talents—talents practiced in every art of duplicity and intrigue; one of those men whose boast it is that they succeed in whatever they undertake; and he is, here, urged on the one hand by all that can whet the avarice, and on the other by all that can give invention to despair. Therefore, though I can not guess what plan he may possibly adopt, I never doubt that some plan, formed with cunning and pursued with daring, will be embraced the moment he discovers Violante's retreat, unless, indeed, we can forestall all peril by the restoration of her father, and the detection of the fraud and falsehood to which Peschiera owes the fortune he appropriates. Thus, while we must prosecute to the utmost our inquiries for the missing documents, so it should be our care to possess ourselves, if possible, of such knowledge of the Count's machinations as may enable us to defeat them. Now, it was with satisfaction that I learned in Germany that Peschiera's sister was in London. I know enough both of his disposition and of the intimacy between himself and this lady, to make me think it probable he will seek to make her his instrument, should he require one. Peschiera (as you may suppose by his audacious wager) is not one of those secret villains who would cut off their right hand if it could betray the knowledge of what was done by the left—rather one of those self-confident, vaunting knaves, of high animal spirits, and conscience so obtuse that it clouds their intellect—who must have some one to whom they can boast of their abilities and confide their projects. And Peschiera has done all he can to render this poor woman so wholly dependent on him, as to be his slave and his tool. But I have learned certain traits in her character that show it to be impressionable to good, and with tendencies to honor. Peschiera had taken advantage of the admiration she excited some years ago, in a rich young Englishman, to entice this admirer into gambling, and sought to make his sister both a decoy and an instrument in his designs of plunder. She did not encourage the addresses of our countryman, but she warned him of the snare laid for him, and entreated him to leave the place lest her brother should discover and punish her honesty. The Englishman told me this himself. In fine, my hope of detaching this poor lady from Peschiera's interests, and inducing her to forewarn us of his purpose, consists but in the innocent, and, I hope, laudable artifice, of redeeming herself—of appealing to, and calling into disused exercise, the better springs of her nature."

Leonard listened with admiration and some surprise to the singularly subtle and sagacious insight into character which Harley evinced in the brief clear strokes by which he had thus depicted Peschiera and Beatrice, and was struck by the boldness with which Harley rested a whole system of action upon a few deductions drawn from his reasonings on human motive and characteristic bias. Leonard had not expected to find so much practical acuteness in a man who, however accomplished, usually seemed indifferent, dreamy, and abstracted to the ordinary things of life. But Harley L'Estrange was one of those whose powers lie dormant till circumstance applies to them all they need for activity—the stimulant of a motive.

Harley resumed: "After a conversation I had with the lady last night, it occurred to me that in this part of our diplomacy you could render us essential service. Madame di Negra—such is the sister's name—has conceived an admiration for your genius, and a strong desire to know you personally. I have promised to present you to her; and I shall do so after a preliminary caution. The lady is very handsome, and very fascinating. It is possible that your heart and your senses may not be proof against her attractions."

"Oh, do not fear that!" exclaimed Leonard, with a tone of conviction so earnest that Harley smiled.

"Forewarned is not always forearmed against the might of Beauty, my dear Leonard; so I can not at once accept your assurance. But listen to me: Watch yourself narrowly, and if you find that you are likely to be captivated, promise, on your honor, to retreat at once from the field. I have no right, for the sake of another, to expose you to danger; and Madame di Negra, whatever may be her good qualities, is the last person I should wish to see you in love with."

"In love with her! Impossible!"

"Impossible is a strong word," returned Harley; "still, I own fairly (and this belief also warrants me in trusting you to her fascinations) that I do think, as far as one man can judge of another, that she is not the woman to attract you; and, if filled by one pure and generous object in your intercourse with her, you will see her with purged eyes. Still I claim your promise as one of honor."

"I give it," said Leonard, positively. "But how can I serve Riccabocca? How aid in—"

"Thus," interrupted Harley: "The spell of your writings is, that, unconsciously to ourselves they make us better and nobler. And your writings are but the impressions struck off from your mind. Your conversation, when you are roused, has the same effect. And as you grow more familiar with Madame di Negra, I wish you to speak of your boyhood, your youth. Describe the exile as you have seen him—so touching amidst his foibles, so grand amidst the petty privations[Pg 797] of his fallen fortunes, so benevolent while poring over his hateful Machiavel, so stingless in his wisdom of the serpent, so playfully astute in his innocence of the dove—I leave the picture to your knowledge of humor and pathos. Describe Violante brooding over her Italian poets, and filled with dreams of her father-land; describe her with all the flashes of her princely nature, shining forth through humble circumstance and obscure position; awaken in your listener compassion, respect, admiration for her kindred exiles—and I think our work is done. She will recognize evidently those whom her brother seeks. She will question you closely where you met with them—where they now are. Protect that secret: say at once that it is not your own. Against your descriptions and the feelings they excite, she will not be guarded as against mine. And there are other reasons why your influence over this woman of mixed nature may be more direct and effectual than my own."

"Nay, I can not conceive that."

"Believe it, without asking me to explain," answered Harley.

For he did not judge it necessary to say to Leonard, "I am high-born and wealthy—you a peasant's son, and living by your exertions. This woman is ambitious and distressed. She might have projects on me that would counteract mine on her. You she would but listen to, and receive, through the sentiments of good or of poetical that are in her—you she would have no interest to subjugate, no motive to ensnare."

"And now," said Harley, turning the subject, "I have another object in view. This foolish sage friend of ours, in his bewilderment and fears, has sought to save Violante from one rogue by promising her hand to a man who, unless my instincts deceive me, I suspect much disposed to be another. Sacrifice such exuberance of life and spirit to that bloodless heart, to that cold and earthward intellect! By Heavens, it shall not be!"

"But whom can the exile possibly have seen of birth and fortunes to render him a fitting spouse for his daughter? Whom, my lord, except yourself?"

"Me!" exclaimed Harley, angrily, and changing color. "I worthy of such a creature? I—with my habits! I—silken egotist that I am! And you, a poet, to form such an estimate of one who might be the queen of a poet's dream!"

"My lord, when we sate the other night round Riccabocca's hearth—when I heard her speak, and observed you listen, I said to myself, from such knowledge of human nature as comes, we know not how, to us poets—I said, 'Harley L'Estrange has looked long and wistfully on the heavens, and he now hears the murmur of the wings that can waft him toward them.' And then I sighed, for I thought how the world rules us all in spite of ourselves. And I said, 'What pity for both, that the exile's daughter is not the worldly equal of the peer's son!' And you, too, sighed, as I thus thought; and I fancied that, while you listened to the music of the wing, you felt the iron of the chain. But the exile's daughter is your equal in birth, and you are hers in heart and in soul."

"My poor Leonard, you rave," answered Harley, calmly. "And if Violante is not to be some young prince's bride, she should be some young poet's."

"Poet's! Oh, no!" said Leonard, with a gentle laugh. "Poets need repose where they love!"

Harley was struck by the answer, and mused over it in silence. "I comprehend," thought he; "it is a new light that dawns on me. What is needed by the man whose whole life is one strain after glory—whose soul sinks, in fatigue, to the companionship of earth—is not the love of a nature like his own. He is right—it is repose! While I, it is true! Boy that he is, his intuitions are wiser than all my experience! It is excitement—energy—elevation, that Love should bestow on me. But I have chosen; and, at least, with Helen my life will be calm, and my hearth sacred. Let the rest sleep in the same grave as my youth."

"But," said Leonard, wishing kindly to arouse his noble friend from a reverie which he felt was mournful, though he did not divine its true cause—"but you have not yet told me the name of the Signora's suitor. May I know?"

"Probably one you never heard of. Randal Leslie—a placeman. You refused a place; you were right."

"Randal Leslie? Heaven forbid!" cried Leonard, revealing his surprise at the name.

"Amen! But what do you know of him?"

Leonard related the story of Burley's pamphlet.

Harley seemed delighted to hear his suspicions of Randal confirmed. "The paltry pretender! and yet I fancied that he might be formidable! However we must dismiss him for the present; we are approaching Madame di Negra's house. Prepare yourself, and remember your promise!"


Some days have passed by. Leonard and Beatrice di Negra have already made friends. Harley is satisfied with his young friend's report. He himself has been actively occupied. He has sought, but hitherto in vain, all trace of Mrs. Bertram; he has put that investigation into the hands of his lawyer, and his lawyer has not been more fortunate than himself. Moreover, Harley has blazed forth again in the London world, and promises again de faire fureur; but he has always found time to spend some hours in the twenty-four at his father's house. He has continued much the same tone with Violante, and she begins to accustom herself to it, and reply saucily. His calm courtship to Helen flows on in silence. Leonard, too, has been a frequent guest at the Lansmeres': all welcome and like him there. Peschiera has not evinced any sign of the deadly machinations ascribed to him. He goes less into the drawing-room world: he meets[Pg 798] Lord L'Estrange there; and brilliant and handsome though Peschiera be, Lord L'Estrange, like Rob Roy Mac-Gregor, is "on his native heath," and has the decided advantage over the foreigner. Peschiera, however, shines in the clubs, and plays high. Still scarcely an evening passes in which he and Baron Levy do not meet.

Audley Egerton has been intensely occupied with affairs. Only seen once by Harley. Harley then was about to deliver himself of his sentiments respecting Randal Leslie, and to communicate the story of Burley and the pamphlet. Egerton stopped him short.

"My dear Harley, don't try to set me against this young man. I wish to hear nothing in his disfavor. In the first place, it would not alter the line of conduct I mean to adopt with regard to him. He is my wife's kinsman; I charged myself with his career, as a wish of hers, and therefore as a duty to myself. In attaching him so young to my own fate, I drew him necessarily away from the professions in which his industry and talents (for he has both in no common degree) would have secured his fortunes; therefore, be he bad, be he good, I shall try to provide for him as I best can; and, moreover, cold as I am to him, and worldly though perhaps he be, I have somehow or other conceived an interest in him—a liking to him. He has been under my roof, he is dependent on me; he has been docile and prudent, and I am a lone, childless man; therefore, spare him, since in so doing you spare me; and ah, Harley, I have so many cares on me now, that—"

"O, say no more, my dear, dear Audley," cried the generous friend; "how little people know you!"

Audley's hand trembled. Certainly his nerves began to show wear and tear.

Meanwhile the object of this dialogue—the type of perverted intellect—of mind without heart—of knowledge which had no aim but power—was in a state of anxious perturbed gloom. He did not know whether wholly to believe Levy's assurance of his patron's ruin. He could not believe it when he saw that great house in Grosvenor-square, its hall crowded with lackeys, its sideboard blazing with plate; when no dun was ever seen in the ante-chamber; when not a tradesman was ever known to call twice for a bill. He hinted to Levy the doubts all these phenomena suggested to him; but the Baron only smiled ominously, and said—

"True, the tradesmen are always paid; but the how is the question! Randal, mon cher, you are too innocent. I have but two pieces of advice to suggest, in the shape of two proverbs—'Wise rats run from a falling house,' and 'Make hay while the sun shines.' Apropos, Mr. Avenel likes you greatly, and has been talking of the borough of Lansmere for you. He has contrived to get together a great interest there.' Make much of him."

Randal had indeed been to Mrs. Avenel's soirée dansante, and called twice and found her at home, and been very bland and civil, and admired the children. She had two, a boy and a girl, very like their father, with open faces as bold as brass. And as all this had won Mrs. Avenel's good graces, so it had propitiated her husband's. Avenel was shrewd enough to see how clever Randal was. He called him "smart," and said, "he would have got on in America," which was the highest praise Dick Avenel ever accorded to any man. But Dick himself looked a little care-worn; and this was the first year in which he had murmured at the bills of his wife's dressmaker, and said with an oath, that "there was such a thing as going too much ahead."

Randal had visited Dr. Riccabocca, had found Violante flown. True to his promise to Harley, the Italian refused to say where, and suggested, as was agreed, that for the present it would be more prudent if Randal suspended his visits to himself. Leslie, not liking this proposition, attempted to make himself still necessary, by working on Riccabocca's fears as to that espionage on his retreat, which had been among the reasons that had hurried the sage into offering Randal Violante's hand. But Riccabocca had already learned that the fancied spy was but his neighbor Leonard; and, without so saying, he cleverly contrived to make the supposition of such espionage an additional reason for the cessation of Leslie's visits. Randal, then, in his own artful, quiet, roundabout way, had sought to find out if any communication had passed between L'Estrange and Riccabocca. Brooding over Harley's words to him, he suspected there had been such communication, with his usual penetrating astuteness. Riccabocca, here, was less on his guard, and rather parried the sidelong questions than denied their inferences.

Randal began already to surmise the truth. Where was it likely Violante should go but to the Lansmeres'? This confirmed his idea of Harley's pretensions to her hand. With such a rival what chance had he? Randal never doubted for a moment that the pupil of Machiavel would "throw him over," if such an alliance to his daughter really presented itself. The schemer at once discarded from his project all further aim on Violante; either she would be poor, and he would not have her; or she would be rich, and her father would give her to another. As his heart had never been touched by the fair Italian, so the moment her inheritance became more than doubtful, it gave him no pang to lose her; but he did feel very sore and resentful at the thought of being supplanted by Lord L'Estrange, the man who had insulted him.

Neither, as yet, had Randal made any way in his designs on Frank. For several days Madame di Negra had not been at home, either to himself or young Hazeldean; and Frank, though very unhappy, was piqued and angry; and Randal suspected, and suspected, and suspected, he knew not exactly what, but that the devil was not so kind to him there as that father of lies ought to have been to a son so dutiful. Yet, with all these discouragements,[Pg 799] there was in Randal Leslie so dogged and determined a conviction of his own success—there was so great a tenacity of purpose under obstacles, and so vigilant an eye upon all chances that could be turned to his favor, that he never once abandoned hope, nor did more than change the details in his main schemes. Out of calculations apparently the most far-fetched and improbable, he had constructed a patient policy, to which he obstinately clung. How far his reasonings and patience served to his ends, remains yet to be seen. But could our contempt for the baseness of Randal himself be separated from the faculties which he elaborately degraded to the service of that baseness, one might allow there was something one could scarcely despise in this still self-reliance, this inflexible resolve. Had such qualities, aided as they were by abilities of no ordinary acuteness, been applied to objects commonly honest, one would have backed Randal Leslie against any fifty picked prizemen from the colleges. But there are judges of weight and metal, who do that now, especially Baron Levy, who says to himself as he eyes that pale face all intellect, and that spare form all nerve, "That is a man who must make way in life; he is worth helping."

By the words "worth helping," Baron Levy meant "worth getting into my power, that he may help me."


But Parliament had met. Events that belong to history had contributed yet more to weaken the administration. Randal Leslie's interest became absorbed in politics; for the stake to him was his whole political career. Should Audley lose office, and for good, Audley could aid him no more; but to abandon his patron, as Levy recommended, and pin himself, in the hope of a seat in Parliament, to a stranger—an obscure stranger, like Dick Avenel—that was a policy not to be adopted at a breath. Meanwhile, almost every night, when the House met, that pale face and spare form, which Levy so identified with shrewdness and energy, might be seen among the benches appropriated to those more select strangers who obtained the Speaker's order of admission. There Randal heard the great men of that day, and with the half contemptuous surprise at their fame, which is common enough among clever, well-educated young men, who know not what it is to speak in the House of Commons. He heard much slovenly English, much trite reasoning, some eloquent thoughts, and close argument, often delivered in a jerking tone of voice (popularly called the parliamentary twang), and often accompanied by gesticulations that would have shocked the manager of a provincial theatre. He thought how much better than these great dons (with but one or two exceptions) he himself could speak—with what more refined logic—with what more polished periods—how much more like Cicero and Burke! Very probably he might have so spoken, and for that very reason have made that deadest of all dead failures—an excellent spoken essay. One thing, however, he was obliged to own, viz., that in a popular representative assembly it is not precisely knowledge that is power, or if knowledge, it is but the knowledge of that particular assembly, and what will best take with it;—passion, invective, sarcasm, bold declamation, shrewd common sense, the readiness so rarely found in a very profound mind—he owned that all these were the qualities that told; when a man who exhibited nothing but "knowledge," in the ordinary sense of the word, stood in imminent chance of being coughed down.

There at his left—last but one in the row of the ministerial chiefs—Randal watched Audley Egerton, his arms folded on his breast, his hat drawn over his brows, his eyes fixed with steady courage on whatever speaker in the Opposition held possession of the floor. And twice Randal heard Egerton speak, and marveled much at the effect that minister produced. For of those qualities enumerated above, and which Randal had observed to be most sure of success, Audley Egerton only exhibited to a marked degree—the common sense, and the readiness. And yet, though but little applauded by noisy cheers, no speaker seemed more to satisfy friends, and command respect from foes. The true secret was this, which Randal might well not divine, since that young person, despite his ancient birth, his Eton rearing, and his refined air, was not one of Nature's gentlemen;—the true secret was, that Audley Egerton moved, looked, and spoke, like a thorough gentleman of England. A gentleman of more than average talents and of long experience, speaking his sincere opinions—not a rhetorician aiming at effect. Moreover, Egerton was a consummate man of the world. He said, with nervous simplicity, what his party desired to be said, and put what his opponents felt to be the strong points of the case. Calm and decorous, yet spirited and energetic, with little variety of tone, and action subdued and rare, but yet signalized by earnest vigor, Audley Egerton impressed the understanding of the dullest, and pleased the taste of the most fastidious.

But once, when allusions were made to a certain popular question, on which the premier had announced his resolution to refuse all concession, and on the expediency of which it was announced that the cabinet was nevertheless divided—and when such allusions were coupled with direct appeals to Mr. Egerton, as "the enlightened member of a great commercial constituency," and with a flattering doubt that "that right honorable gentleman, member for that great city, identified with the cause of the Burgher class, could be so far behind the spirit of the age as his official chief,"—Randal observed that Egerton drew his hat still more closely over his brows and turned to whisper with one of his colleagues. He could not be got up to speak.

That evening Randal walked home with Egerton, and intimated his surprise that the minister had declined what seemed to him a good occasion[Pg 800] for one of those brief, weighty replies by which Audley was chiefly distinguished, an occasion to which he had been loudly invited by the "hears" of the House.

"Leslie," answered the statesman briefly, "I owe all my success in Parliament to this rule—I have never spoken against my convictions. I intend to abide by it to the last."

"But if the question at issue comes before the House you will vote against it?"

"Certainly, I vote as a member of the cabinet. But since I am not leader and mouthpiece of the party, I retain the privilege to speak as an individual."

"Ah, my dear Mr. Egerton," exclaimed Randal, "forgive me. But this question, right or wrong, has got such hold of the public mind. So little, if conceded in time, would give content; and it is so clear (if I may judge by the talk I hear every where I go) that, by refusing all concession, the government must fall, that I wish—"

"So do I wish," interrupted Egerton, with a gloomy impatient sigh—"so do I wish! But what avails it? If my advice had been taken but three weeks ago—now it is too late—we could have doubled the rock; we refused, we must split upon it."

This speech was so unlike the discreet and reserved minister, that Randal gathered courage to proceed with an idea that had occurred to his own sagacity. And before I state it, I must add that Egerton had of late shown much more personal kindness to his protégé; that, whether his spirits were broken, or that at last, close and compact as his nature of bronze was, he felt the imperious want to groan aloud in some loving ear, the stern Audley seemed tamed and softened. So Randal went on.

"May I say what I have heard expressed with regard to you and your position—in the streets—in the clubs?"

"Yes, it is in the streets and the clubs, that statesmen should go to school. Say on."

"Well, then, I have heard it made a matter of wonder why you, and one or two others I will not name, do not at once retire from the ministry, and on the avowed ground that you side with the public feeling on this irresistible question."


"It is clear that in so doing you would become the most popular man in the country—clear that you would be summoned back to power on the shoulders of the people. No new cabinet could be formed without you, and your station in it would perhaps be higher, for life, than that which you may now retain but for a few weeks longer. Has not this ever occurred to you?"

"Never," said Audley, with dry composure.

Amazed at such obtuseness, Randal exclaimed, "Is it possible! And yet, forgive me if I say I think you are ambitious and love power."

"No man more ambitious; and if by power you mean office, it has grown the habit of my life, and I shall not know how to do without it."

"And how, then, has what seems to me so obvious never occurred to you?"

"Because you are young, and therefore I forgive you; but not the gossips who could wonder why Audley Egerton refused to betray the friends of his whole career, and to profit by the treason."

"But one should love one's country before a party."

"No doubt of that; and the first interest of a country is the honor of its public men."

"But men may leave their party without dishonor!"

"Who doubts that? Do you suppose that if I were an ordinary independent member of Parliament, loaded with no obligations, charged with no trust, I could hesitate for a moment what course to pursue? Oh, that I were but the member for ——! Oh! that I had the full right to be a free agent! But if a member of a cabinet, a chief in whom thousands confide, because he is outvoted in a council of his colleagues, suddenly retires, and by so doing breaks up the whole party whose confidence he has enjoyed, whose rewards he has reaped, to whom he owes the very position which he employs to their ruin—own that though his choice may be honest, it is one which requires all the consolations of conscience."

"But you will have those consolations. And," added Randal energetically, "the gain to your career will be immense!"

"That is precisely what it can not be," answered Egerton, gloomily. "I grant that I may, if I choose, resign office with the present government, and so at once destroy that government; for my resignation on such ground would suffice to do it. I grant this; but for that very reason I could not the next day take office with another administration. I could not accept wages for desertion. No gentleman could! And, therefore—" Audley stopped short, and he buttoned his coat over his broad breast. The action was significant: it said that the man's mind was made up.

In fact, whether Audley Egerton was right or wrong in his theory depends upon much subtler, and perhaps loftier views in the casuistry of political duties, than it was in his character to take. And I guard myself from saying any thing in praise or disfavor of his notions, or implying that he is a fit or unfit example in a parallel case. I am but describing the man as he was, and as a man like him would inevitably be, under the influences in which he lived, and in that peculiar world of which he was so emphatically a member. "Ce n'est pas moi qui parle, c'est Marc Aurèle."

He speaks, not I.

Randal had no time for further discussion They now reached Egerton's house, and the minister, taking the chamber candlestick from his servant's hand, nodded a silent good-night to Leslie, and with a jaded look retired to his room. [Pg 801]


But not on the threatened question was that eventful campaign of Party decided. The government fell less in battle than skirmish. It was one fatal Monday—a dull question of finance and figures. Prosy and few were the speakers. All the government silent, save the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and another business-like personage connected with the Board of Trade, whom the House would hardly condescend to hear. The House was in no mood to think of facts and figures. Early in the evening, between nine and ten, the Speaker's sonorous voice sounded, "Strangers must withdraw!" And Randal, anxious and foreboding, descended from his seat, and went out of the fatal doors. He turned to take a last glance at Audley Egerton. The whipper-in was whispering to Audley; and the minister pushed back his hat from his brows, and glanced round the house, and up into the galleries, as if to calculate rapidly the relative numbers of the two armies in the field; then he smiled bitterly, and threw himself back into his seat. That smile long haunted Leslie.

Among the strangers thus banished with Randal, while the division was being taken, were many young men, like himself, connected with the administration—some by blood, some by place. Hearts beat loud in the swarming lobbies. Ominous mournful whispers were exchanged. "They say the government will have a majority of ten." "No; I hear they will certainly be beaten." "H—— says by fifty." "I don't believe it," said a Lord of the Bedchamber; "it's impossible. I left government members dining at the 'Travelers.'" "No one thought the division would be so early." "A trick of the Whigs—shameful." "Wonder some one was not set up to talk for time; very odd P—— did not speak; however, he is so cursedly rich, he does not care whether he is out or in." "Yes; and Audley Egerton, too, just such another; glad, no doubt, to be set free to look after his property; very different tactics if we had men to whom office was as necessary as it is—to me!" said a candid, young placeman. Suddenly the silent Leslie felt a friendly grasp on his arm. He turned, and saw Levy.

"Did I not tell you?" said the Baron, with an exulting smile.

"You are sure, then, that the government will be outvoted?"

"I spent the morning in going over the list of members with a parliamentary client of mine, who knows them all as a shepherd does his sheep. Majority for the Opposition at least twenty-five."

"And in that case, must the government resign, sir?" asked the candid young placeman, who had been listening to the smart well-dressed Baron, "his soul planted in his ears."

"Of course, sir," replied the Baron, blandly, and offering his snuff-box (true Louis Quinze, with a miniature of Madame de Pompadour, set in pearls). "You are a friend to the present ministers? You could not wish them to be mean enough to stay in?" Randal drew aside the Baron.

"If Audley's affairs are as you state, what can he do?"

"I shall ask him that question to-morrow," answered the Baron, with a look of visible hate. "And I have come here just to see how he bears the prospect before him."

"You will not discover that in his face. And those absurd scruples of his! If he had but gone out in time—to come in again with the New Men!"

"Oh, of course, our Right Honorable is too punctilious for that!" answered the Baron, sneering.

Suddenly the doors opened—in rushed the breathless expectants. "What are the numbers? What is the division!"

"Majority against ministers," said a member of Opposition, peeling an orange, "twenty-nine."

The Baron, too, had a Speaker's order; and he came into the House with Randal, and sate by his side. But, to their disgust, some member was talking about the other motions before the House.

"What! has nothing been said as to the division?" asked the Baron of a young county member, who was talking to some non-parliamentary friend in the bench before Levy. The county member was one of the Baron's pet eldest sons—had dined often with Levy—was under "obligations" to him. The young legislator looked very much ashamed of Levy's friendly pat on his shoulder, and answered hurriedly, "Oh, yes; H—— asked, 'if, after such an expression of the House, it was the intention of ministers to retain their places, and carry on the business of the government?'"

"Just like H——! Very inquisitive mind! And what was the answer he got?"

"None," said the county member; and returned in haste to his proper seat in the body of the House.

"There comes Egerton," said the Baron. And, indeed, as most of the members were now leaving the House, to talk over affairs at clubs or in saloons, and spread through town the great tidings, Audley Egerton's tall head was seen towering above the rest. And Levy turned away disappointed. For not only was the minister's handsome face, though pale, serene and cheerful, but there was an obvious courtesy, a marked respect, in the mode in which that rough assembly made way for the fallen minister as he passed through the jostling crowd. And the frank urbane nobleman, who afterward, from the force, not of talent, but of character, became the leader in the House, pressed the hand of his old opponent, as they met in the throng near the doors, and said aloud, "I shall not be a proud man if ever I live to have office; but I shall be proud if ever I leave it with as little to be said against me as your bitterest opponents can say against you, Egerton."

"I wonder," exclaimed the Baron, aloud, and leaning over the partition that divided him from the throng below, so that his voice reached Egerton—and[Pg 802] there was a cry from formal, indignant members, "Order in the strangers' gallery!"—"I wonder what Lord L'Estrange will say!"

Audley lifted his dark brows, surveyed the Baron for an instant with flashing eyes, then walked down the narrow defile between the last benches, and vanished from the scene in which, alas! so few of the most admired performers leave more than an actor's short-lived name!


Baron Levy did not execute his threat of calling on Egerton the next morning. Perhaps he shrank from again meeting the flash of those indignant eyes. And, indeed, Egerton was too busied all the forenoon to see any one not upon public affairs, except Harley, who hastened to console or cheer him. When the House met, it was announced that the ministers had resigned, only holding their offices till their successors were appointed. But already there was some reaction in their favor; and when it became generally known that the new administration was to be formed of men, few, indeed, of whom had ever before held office—that common superstition in the public mind, that government is like a trade, in which a regular apprenticeship must be served, began to prevail; and the talk at the clubs was, that the new men could not stand; that the former ministry, with some modification, would be back in a month. Perhaps that, too, might be a reason why Baron Levy thought it prudent not prematurely to offer vindictive condolences to Mr. Egerton. Randal spent part of his morning in inquiries, as to what gentleman in his situation meant to do with regard to their places; he heard with great satisfaction that very few intended to volunteer retirement from their desks. As Randal himself had observed to Egerton, "their country before their party!"

Randal's place was of great moment to him; its duties were easy, its salary amply sufficient for his wants, and defrayed such expenses as were bestowed on the education of Oliver and his sister. For I am bound to do justice to this young man—indifferent as he was toward his species in general, the ties of family were strong with him; and he stinted himself in many temptations most alluring to his age, in the endeavor to raise the dull honest Oliver and the loose-haired pretty Juliet somewhat more to his own level of culture and refinement. Men essentially griping and unscrupulous, often do make the care for their family an apology for their sins against the world. Even Richard III., if the chroniclers are to be trusted, excused the murder of his nephews by his passionate affection for his son. With the loss of that place, Randal lost all means of support, save what Audley could give him; and if Audley were in truth ruined? Moreover, Randal had already established at the office a reputation for ability and industry. It was a career in which, if he abstained from party politics, he might rise to a fair station and to a considerable income. Therefore, much contented with what he learned as to the general determination of his fellow officials, a determination warranted by ordinary precedent in such cases, Randal dined at a club with good relish, and much Christian resignation for the reverse of his patron, and then walked to Grosvenor-square, on the chance of finding Audley within. Learning that he was so, from the porter who opened the door, Randal entered the library. Three gentlemen were seated there with Egerton: one of the three was Lord L'Estrange; the other two were members of the really defunct, though nominally still existing, government. He was about to withdraw from intruding on this conclave, when Egerton said to him gently, "Come in, Leslie; I was just speaking about yourself."

"About me, sir?"

"Yes; about you and the place you hold. I had asked Sir —— (pointing to a fellow minister) whether I might not, with propriety, request your chief to leave some note of his opinion of your talents, which I know is high, and which might serve you with his successor."

"Oh, sir, at such a time to think of me!" exclaimed Randal, and he was genuinely touched.

"But," resumed Audley with his usual dryness, "Sir ——, to my surprise, thinks that it would better become you that you should resign. Unless his reasons, which he has not stated, are very strong, such would not be my advice."

"My reasons," said Sir ——, with official formality, "are simply these: I have a nephew in a similar situation; he will resign, as a matter of course. Every one in the public offices whose relatives and near connections hold high appointments in the government, will do so. I do not think Mr. Leslie will like to feel himself a solitary exception."

"Mr. Leslie is no relation of mine—not even a near connection," answered Egerton.

"But his name is so associated with your own—he has resided so long in your house—is so well known in society (and don't think I compliment when I add, that we hope so well of him), that I can't think it worth his while to keep this paltry place, which incapacitates him too from a seat in parliament."

Sir —— was one of those terribly rich men, to whom all considerations of mere bread and cheese are paltry. But I must add, that he supposed Egerton to be still wealthier than himself, and sure to provide handsomely for Randal, whom Sir —— rather liked than not; and, for Randal's own sake, Sir —— thought it would lower him in the estimation of Egerton himself, despite that gentleman's advocacy, if he did not follow the example of his avowed and notorious patron.

"You see, Leslie," said Egerton, checking Randal's meditated reply, "that nothing can be said against your honor if you stay where you are; it is a mere question of expediency; I will judge that for you; keep your place."

Unhappily the other member of the government, who had hitherto been silent, was a literary man. Unhappily, while this talk had proceeded,[Pg 803] he had placed his hand upon Randal Leslie's celebrated pamphlet, which lay on the library table; and, turning over the leaves, the whole spirit and matter of that masterly composition in defense of the administration (a composition steeped in all the essence of party) recurred to his too faithful recollection. He, too, liked Randal; he did more—he admired the author of that striking and effective pamphlet. And, therefore, rousing himself from the sublime indifference he had before felt for the fate of a subaltern, he said with a bland and complimentary smile, "No; the writer of this most able publication is no ordinary placeman. His opinions here are too vigorously stated; this fine irony on the very person who in all probability will be the chief in his office, has excited too lively an attention, to allow him the sedet eternumque sedebit on an official stool. Ha, ha! this is so good! Read it, L'Estrange. What say you?"

Harley glanced over the page pointed out to him. The original was in one of Burley's broad, coarse, but telling burlesques, strained fine through Randal's more polished satire. It was capital. Harley smiled, and lifted his eyes to Randal. The unlucky plagiarist's face was flushed—the beads stood on his brow. Harley was a good hater; he loved too warmly not to err on the opposite side; but he was one of those men who forget hate when its object is distressed and humbled. He put down the pamphlet and said, "I am no politician; but Egerton is so well known to be fastidious and over scrupulous in all points of official etiquette, that Mr. Leslie can not follow a safer counselor."

"Read that yourself, Egerton," said Sir ——; and he pushed the pamphlet to Audley.

Now Egerton had a dim recollection that that pamphlet was unlucky; but he had skimmed over its contents hastily, and at that moment had forgotten all about it. He took up the too famous work with a reluctant hand, but he read attentively the passages pointed out to him, and then said, gravely and sadly,

"Mr. Leslie, I retract my advice. I believe Sir —— is right; that the nobleman here so keenly satirized will be chief in your office. I doubt whether he will not compel your dismissal; at all events, he could scarcely be expected to promote your advancement. Under the circumstances, I fear you have no option as a—" Egerton paused a moment, and, with a sigh that appeared to settle the question, concluded with—"as a gentleman."

Never did Jack Cade, never did Wat Tyler, feel a more deadly hate to that word "gentleman," than the well-born Leslie felt then; but he bowed his head, and answered with his usual presence of mind—

"You utter my own sentiment."

"You think we are right, Harley?" asked Egerton, with an irresolution that surprised all present.

"I think," answered Harley, with a compassion for Randal that was almost over generous, and yet with an équivoque on the words despite the compassion—"I think whoever has served Audley Egerton never yet has been a loser by it; and if Mr. Leslie wrote this pamphlet, he must have well served Audley Egerton. If he undergoes the penalty, we may safely trust to Egerton for the compensation."

"My compensation has long since been made," answered Randal, with grace; "and that Mr. Egerton could thus have cared for my fortunes, at an hour so occupied, is a thought of pride which—"

"Enough, Leslie! enough!" interrupted Egerton, rising and pressing his protégé's hands. "See me before you go to bed."

Then the two other ministers rose also, and shook hands with Leslie, and told him he had done the right thing, and that they hoped soon to see him in parliament; and hinted smilingly, that the next administration did not promise to be very long-lived; and one asked him to dinner, and the other to spend a week at his country seat. And amidst these congratulations at the stroke that left him penniless, the distinguished pamphleteer left the room. How he cursed big John Burley!


It was past midnight when Audley Egerton summoned Randal. The statesman was then alone, seated before his great desk, with its manifold compartments, and engaged on the task of transferring various papers and letters, some to the waste-basket, some to the flames, some to two great iron chests with patent locks that stood open-mouthed, at his feet. Strong, stern, and grim they looked, silently receiving the relics of power departed; strong, stern, and grim as the grave. Audley lifted his eyes at Randal's entrance, signed to him to take a chair, continued his task for a few moments, and then turning round, as if with an effort he plucked himself from his master passion—Public Life—he said, with deliberate tones—

"I know not, Randal Leslie, whether you thought me needlessly cautious, or wantonly unkind, when I told you never to expect from me more than such advance to your career as my then position could effect—never to expect from my liberality in life, nor from my testament in death—an addition to your private fortunes. I see by your gesture what would be your reply, and I thank you for it. I now tell you, as yet in confidence, though before long it can be no secret to the world, that my pecuniary affairs have been so neglected by me, in my devotion to those of the state, that I am somewhat like the man who portioned out his capital at so much a day, calculating to live just long enough to make it last. Unfortunately he lived too long." Audley smiled—but the smile was cold as a sunbeam upon ice—and went on with the same firm, unfaltering accents: "The prospects that face me I am prepared for; they do not take me by surprise. I knew long since how this would end, if[Pg 804] I survived the loss of office. I knew it before you came to me, and therefore I spoke to you as I did, judging it manful and right to guard you against hopes which you might otherwise have naturally entertained. On this head I need say no more. It may excite your surprise, possibly your blame, that I, esteemed methodical and practical enough in the affairs of the state, should be so imprudent as to my own."

"Oh, sir! you owe no account to me."

"To you, at least, as much as to any one. I am a solitary man; my few relations need nothing from me. I had a right to spend what I possessed as I pleased, and if I have spent it recklessly as regards myself, I have not spent it ill in its effect on others. It has been my object for many years to have no Private Life—to dispense with its sorrows, joys, affection; and as to its duties, they did not exist for me. I have said." Mechanically, as he ended, the minister's hand closed the lid of one of the iron boxes, and on the closed lid he rested his firm foot. "But now," he resumed, "I have failed to advance your career. True, I warned you that you drew into a lottery; but you had more chance of a prize than a blank. A blank, however, it has turned out, and the question becomes grave—What are you to do?"

Here, seeing that Egerton came to a full pause, Randal answered readily:

"Still, sir, to go by your advice."

"My advice," said Audley, with a softened look, "would perhaps be rude and unpalatable. I would rather place before you an option. On the one hand, recommence life again. I told you that I would keep your name on your college books. You can return—you can take your degree—after that, you can go to the bar—you have just the talents calculated to succeed in that profession. Success will be slow, it is true; but, with perseverance, it will be sure. And, believe me, Leslie, Ambition is only sweet while it is but the loftier name for Hope. Who would care for a fox's brush, if it had not been rendered a prize by the excitement of the chase?"

"Oxford—again! It is a long step back in life," said Randal, drearily; and little heeding Egerton's unusual indulgence of illustration. "A long step back—and to what? To a profession in which one never begins to rise till one's hair is gray! Besides, how live in the mean while?"

"Do not let that thought disturb you. The modest income that suffices for a student at the bar, I trust, at least, to insure you from the wrecks of my fortune."

"Ah, sir, I would not burthen you further. What right have I to such kindness, save my name of Leslie?" And in spite of himself, as Randal concluded, a tone of bitterness, that betrayed reproach, broke forth. Egerton was too much the man of the world not to comprehend the reproach, and not to pardon it.

"Certainly," he answered, calmly, "as a Leslie you are entitled to my consideration, and would have been entitled perhaps to more, had I not so explicitly warned you to the contrary But the bar does not seem to please you?"

"What is the alternative, sir? Let me decide when I hear it," answered Randal, sullenly. He began to lose respect for the man who owned he could do so little for him, and who evidently recommended him to shift for himself.

If one could have pierced into Egerton's gloomy heart as he noted the young man's change of tone, it may be a doubt whether one would have seen there, pain or pleasure—pain, for merely from the force of habit he had begun to like Randal—or pleasure, at the thought that he might have reason to withdraw that liking. So lone and stoical had grown the man who had made it his object to have no private life. Revealing, however, neither pleasure or pain, but with the composed calmness of a judge upon the bench, Egerton replied:

"The alternative is, to continue in the course you have begun, and still to rely on me."

"Sir, my dear Mr. Egerton," exclaimed Randal, regaining all his usual tenderness of look and voice, "rely on you! But that is all I ask! Only—"

"Only, you would say, I am going out of power, and you don't see the chance of my return?"

"I did not mean that."

"Permit me to suppose that you did; very true; but the party I belong to is as sure of return as the pendulum of that clock is sure to obey the mechanism that moves it from left to right. Our successors profess to come in upon a popular question. All administrations who do that are necessarily short-lived. Either they do not go far enough to please present supporters, or they go so far as to arm new enemies in the rivals who outbid them with the people. 'Tis the history of all revolutions, and of all reforms. Our own administration in reality is destroyed for having passed what was called a popular measure a year ago, which lost us half our friends, and refusing to propose another popular measure this year, in the which we are outstripped by the men who hallooed us on the last. Therefore, whatever our successors do, we shall, by the law of reaction, have another experiment of power afforded to ourselves. It is but a question of time; you can wait for it; whether I can is uncertain. But if I die before that day arrives, I have influence enough still left with those who will come in, to obtain a promise of a better provision for you than that which you have lost. The promises of public men are proverbially uncertain. But I shall intrust your cause to a man who never failed a friend, and whose rank will enable him to see that justice is done to you—I speak of Lord L'Estrange."

"Oh, not him; he is unjust to me; he dislikes me; he—"

"May dislike you (he has his whims), but he loves me; and though for no other human being but you would I ask Harley L'Estrange a favor[Pg 805] yet for you I will," said Egerton, betraying, for the first time in that dialogue, a visible emotion—"for you, a Leslie, a kinsman, however remote, to the wife, from whom I received my fortune! And despite all my cautions, it is possible that in wasting that fortune I may have wronged you. Enough: You have now before you the two options, much as you had at first; but you have at present more experience to aid you in your choice. You are a man, and with more brains than most men; think over it well, and decide for yourself. Now to bed, and postpone thought till the morrow. Poor Randal, you look pale!"

Audley, as he said the last words, put his hand on Randal's shoulder, almost with a father's gentleness; and then suddenly drawing himself up, as the hard inflexible expression, stamped on that face by years, returned, he moved away and resettled to Public Life and the iron-box.


Early the next day Randal Leslie was in the luxurious business-room of Baron Levy. How unlike the cold Doric simplicity of the statesman's library! Axminster carpets three inches thick, portières à la Française before the doors; Parisian bronzes on the chimney-piece; and all the receptacles that lined the room, and contained title-deeds, and post-obits, and bills, and promises to pay, and lawyer-like japan boxes, with many a noble name written thereon in large white capitals—"making ruin pompous"—all these sepulchres of departed patrimonies veneered in rosewood that gleamed with French polish, and blazed with ormolu. There was a coquetry, an air of petit maître, so diffused over the whole room, that you could not for the life of you recollect that you were with a usurer. Plutus wore the aspect of his enemy Cupid, and how realize your idea of Harpagon in that Baron, with his easy French "Mon cher," and his white warm hands that pressed yours so genially, and his dress so exquisite, even at the earliest morn? No man ever yet saw that Baron in a dressing-gown and slippers? As one fancies some feudal baron of old (not half so terrible) everlastingly clad in mail, so all one's notions of this grand marauder of civilization were inseparably associated with varnished boots, and a camelia in the button-hole.

"And this is all that he does for you!" cried the Baron, pressing together the points of his ten taper fingers. "Had he but let you conclude your career at Oxford, I have heard enough of your scholarship to know that you would have taken high honors—been secure of a fellowship—have betaken yourself with content to a slow and laborious profession—and prepared yourself to die on the woolsack."

"He proposes to me now to return to Oxford," said Randal. "It is not too late!"

"Yes it is," said the Baron. "Neither individuals nor nations ever go back of their own accord. There must be an earthquake before a river recedes to its source."

"You speak well," answered Randal, "and I cannot gainsay you. But now!"

"Ah, the now is the grand question in life—the then is obsolete, gone by—out of fashion; and now, mon cher, you come to ask my advice."

"No, Baron; I come to ask your explanation."

"Of what?"

"I want to know why you spoke to me of Mr. Egerton's ruin; why you spoke to me of the lands to be sold by Mr. Thornhill; and why you spoke to me of Count Peschiera. You touched on each of those points within ten minutes—you omitted to indicate what link can connect them."

"By Jove," said the Baron, rising, and with more admiration in his face than you could have conceived that face so smiling and so cynical could exhibit—"by Jove, Randal Leslie, but your shrewdness is wonderful. You really are the first young man of your day; and I will 'help you,' as I helped Audley Egerton. Perhaps you will be more grateful."

Randal thought of Egerton's ruin. The parallel implied by the Baron did not suggest to him the rare enthusiasm of gratitude. However, he merely said, "Pray, proceed—I listen to you with interest."

"As for politics, then," said the Baron, "we will discuss that topic later. I am waiting myself to see how these new men get on. The first consideration is for your private fortunes. You should buy this ancient Leslie property—Rood and Dulmansberry—only £20,000 down; the rest may remain on mortgage forever—or at least till I find you a rich wife—as, in fact, I did for Egerton. Thornhill wants the twenty thousand now—wants them very much."

"And where," said Randal, with an iron smile, "are the £20,000 you ascribe to me to come from?"

"Ten thousand shall come to you the day Count Peschiera marries the daughter of his kinsman with your help and aid—the remaining ten thousand I will lend you. No scruple—I shall hazard nothing—the estates will bear that additional burden. What say you—shall it be so?"

"Ten thousand pounds from Count Peschiera!" said Randal, breathing hard. "You can not be serious? Such a sum—for what?—for a mere piece of information? How otherwise can I aid him? There must be a trick and deception intended here."

"My dear fellow," answered Levy, "I will give you a hint. There is such a thing in life as being over suspicious. If you have a fault, it is that. The information you allude to is, of course, the first assistance you are to give. Perhaps more may be needed—perhaps not. Of that you will judge yourself, since the £10,000 are contingent on the marriage aforesaid."

"Over suspicious or not," answered Randal, "the amount of the sum is too improbable, and the security too bad, for me to listen to this proposition, even if I could descend to—"

"Stop, mon cher. Business first—scruples afterward. The security, too, bad—what security?"

[Pg 806] "The word of Count di Peschiera."

"He has nothing to do with it—he need know nothing about it. 'Tis my word you doubt. I am your security."

Randal thought of that dry witticism in Gibbon, "Abu Rafe says he will be witness for this fact, but who will be witness for Abu Rafe?" but he remained silent, only, fixing on Levy those dark, observant eyes, with their contracted, wary pupils.

"The fact is simply this," resumed Levy: "Count di Peschiera has promised to pay his sister a dowry of £20,000, in case he has the money to spare. He can only have it to spare by the marriage we are discussing. On my part, as I manage his affairs in England for him, I have promised that, for the said sum of £20,000, I will guarantee the expenses in the way of that marriage, and settle with Madame di Negra. Now, though Peschiera is a very liberal, warm-hearted fellow, I don't say that he would have named so large a sum for his sister's dowry, if, in strict truth, he did not owe it to her. It is the amount of her own fortune, which, by some arrangements with her late husband not exactly legal, he possessed himself of. If Madame di Negra went to law with him for it, she could get it back. I have explained this to him; and, in short, you now understand why the sum is thus assessed. But I have bought up Madame di Negra's debts. I have bought up young Hazeldean's (for we must make a match between these two a part of our arrangements). I shall present to Peschiera, and to these excellent young persons, an account that will absorb the whole £20,000. That sum will come into my hands. If I settle the claims against them for half the money, which, making myself the sole creditor, I have the right to do, the moiety will remain. And if I choose to give it to you, in return for the services which provide Peschiera with a princely fortune—discharge the debts of his sister—and secure her a husband in my promising young client, Mr. Hazeldean, that is my look-out—all parties are satisfied, and no one need ever be the wiser. The sum is large, no doubt; it answers to me to give it to you; does it answer to you to receive it?"

Randal was greatly agitated; but, vile as he was, and systematically as in thought he had brought himself to regard others merely as they could be made subservient to his own interest, still, with all who have not hardened themselves in actual crime, there is a wide distinction between the thought and the act; and though, in the exercise of ingenuity and cunning, he would have had few scruples in that moral swindling which is mildly called "outwitting another," yet thus nakedly and openly to accept a bribe for a deed of treachery toward the poor Italian who had so generously trusted him—he recoiled. He was nerving himself to refuse, when Levy, opening his pocket-book, glanced over the memoranda therein, and said, as to himself, "Rood Manor—Dulmansberry, sold to the Thornhills by Sir Gilbert Leslie, knight of the shire; estimated present net rental £2250, 7s. It is the greatest bargain I ever knew. And with this estate in hand, and your talents, Leslie, I don't see why you should not rise higher than Audley Egerton. He was poorer than you once!"

The old Leslie lands—a positive stake in the country—the restoration of the fallen family; and, on the other hand, either long drudgery at the bar—a scanty allowance on Egerton's bounty—his sister wasting her youth at slovenly, dismal Rood—Oliver debased into a boor!—or a mendicant's dependence on the contemptuous pity of Harley L'Estrange—Harley who had refused his hand to him—Harley who perhaps would become the husband of Violante! Rage seized him as these contrasting pictures rose before his view. He walked to and fro in disorder, striving to re-collect his thoughts, and reduce himself from the passions of the human heart into the mere mechanism of calculating intellect. "I can not conceive," said he, abruptly, "why you should tempt me thus—what interest is it to you?"

Baron Levy smiled, and put up his pocket-book. He saw from that moment that the victory was gained.

"My dear boy," said he, with the most agreeable bonhomie, "it is very natural that you should think a man would have a personal interest in whatever he does for another. I believe that view of human nature is called utilitarian philosophy, and is much in fashion at present. Let me try and explain to you. In this affair I shan't injure myself. True, you will say, if I settle claims, which amount to £20,000, for £10,000, I might put the surplus into my own pocket instead of yours. Agreed. But I shall not get the £20,000, nor repay myself Madame di Negra's debts (whatever I may do as to Hazeldean's), unless the Count gets this heiress. You can help in this. I want you; and I don't think I could get you by a less offer than I make. I shall soon pay myself back the £10,000 if the Count gets hold of the lady and her fortune. Brief—I see my way here to my own interests. Do you want more reasons—you shall have them. I am now a very rich man. How have I become so? Through attaching myself from the first to persons of expectations, whether from fortune or talent. I have made connections in society, and society has enriched me. I have still a passion for making money. Que voulez vous? It is my profession, my hobby. It will be useful to me in a thousand ways, to secure as a friend a young man who will have influence with other young men, heirs to something better than Rood Hall. You may succeed in public life. A man in public life may attain to the knowledge of state secrets that are very profitable to one who dabbles a little in the Funds. We can perhaps hereafter do business together that may put yourself in a way of clearing off all mortgages on these estates—on the encumbered possession of which I shall soon congratulate you. You see I am frank; 'tis the only way of coming to the point with so clever[Pg 807] a fellow as you. And now, since the less we rake up the mud in the pond from which we have resolved to drink, the better, let us dismiss all other thoughts but that of securing our end. Will you tell Peschiera where the young lady is, or shall I? Better do it yourself; reason enough for it, that he has confided to you his hope, and asked you to help him; why should not you? Not a word to him about our little arrangement; he need never know it. You need never be troubled." Levy rang the bell: "Order my carriage round."

Randal made no objection. He was deathlike pale, but there was a sinister expression of firmness on his thin bloodless lips.

"The next point," Levy resumed, "is to hasten the match between Frank and the fair widow. How does that stand!"

"She will not see me, nor receive him."

"Oh, learn why! And if you find on either side there is a hitch, just let me know; I will soon remove it."

"Has Hazeldean consented to the post-obit?"

"Not yet; I have not pressed it; I wait the right moment, if necessary."

"It will be necessary."

"Ah, you wish it. It shall be so."

Randal Leslie again paced the room, and after a silent self-commune, came up close to the Baron, and said,

"Look you, sir, I am poor and ambitious; you have tempted me at the right moment, and with the right inducement. I succumb. But what guarantee have I that this money will be paid—these estates made mine upon the condition stipulated?"

"Before any thing is settled," replied the Baron, "go and ask my character of any of our young friends, Borrowell, Spendquick—whom you please; you will hear me abused, of course; but they will all say this of me, that when I pass my word I keep it; if I say, 'Mon cher, you shall have the money,' a man has it; if I say, 'I renew your bill for six months,' it is renewed. 'Tis my way of doing business. In all cases my word is my bond. In this case, where no writing can pass between us, my only bond must be my word. Go, then, make your mind clear as to your security, and come here and dine at eight. We will call on Peschiera afterward."

"Yes," said Randal, "I will at all events take the day to consider. Meanwhile I say this, I do not disguise from myself the nature of the proposed transaction, but what I have once resolved I go through with. My sole vindication to myself is, that if I play here with a false die, it will be for a stake so grand, as, once won, the magnitude of the prize will cancel the ignominy of the play. It is not this sum of money for which I sell myself—it is for what that sum will aid me to achieve. And in the marriage of young Hazeldean with the Italian woman, I have another, and it may be a large interest. I have slept on it lately—I wake to it now. Insure that marriage, obtain the post-obit from Hazeldean, and whatever the issue of the more direct scheme for which you seek my services, rely on my gratitude, and believe that you will have put me in the way to render gratitude of avail. At eight I will be with you."

Randal left the room.

The Baron sat thoughtful. "It is true," said he to himself, "this young man is the next of kin to the Hazeldean estate, if Frank displease his father sufficiently to lose his inheritance; that must be the clever boy's design. Well, in the long-run, I should make as much, or more, out of him than out of the spendthrift Frank. Frank's faults are those of youth. He will reform and retrench. But this man! No, I shall have him for life. And should he fail in this project, and have but this encumbered property—a landed proprietor mortgaged up to his ears—why, he is my slave, and I can foreclose when I wish, or if he prove useless;—no, I risk nothing. And if I did—if I lost ten thousand pounds—what then? I can afford it for revenge!—afford it for the luxury of leaving Audley Egerton alone with penury and ruin, deserted, in his hour of need, by the pensioner of his bounty—as he will be by the last friend of his youth—when it so pleases me—me whom he has called 'scoundrel!' and whom he—"

Levy's soliloquy halted there, for the servant entered to announce the carriage. And the Baron hurried his hand over his features, as if to sweep away all trace of the passions that distorted their smiling effrontery. And so, as he took up his cane and gloves, and glanced at the glass, the face of the fashionable usurer was once more as varnished as his boots.


When a clever man resolves on a villainous action, he hastens, by the exercise of his cleverness, to get rid of the sense of his villainy. With more than his usual alertness, Randal employed the next hour or two in ascertaining how far Baron Levy merited the character he boasted, and how far his word might be his bond. He repaired to young men whom he esteemed better judges on these points than Spendquick and Borrowell—young men who resembled the Merry Monarch, inasmuch as

"They never said a foolish thing,
And never did a wise one."

There are many such young men about town—sharp and able in all affairs except their own. No one knows the world better, nor judges of character mere truly, than your half-beggared roué. From all these, Baron Levy obtained much the same testimonials: he was ridiculed as a would-be dandy, but respected as a very responsible man of business, and rather liked as a friendly accommodating species of the Sir Epicure Mammon, who very often did what were thought handsome, liberal things; and, "in short," said one of these experienced referees, "he is the best fellow going—for a money-lender! You may always rely on what he promises, and he is generally[Pg 808] very forbearing and indulgent to us of good society! perhaps for the same reason that our tailors are;—to send one of us to prison would hurt his custom. His foible is to be thought a gentleman. I believe, much as I suppose he loves money, he would give up half his fortune rather than do any thing for which we could cut him. He allows a pension of three hundred a year to Lord S——. True; he was his man of business for twenty years, and, before then, S—— was rather a prudent fellow, and had fifteen thousand a year. He has helped on, too, many a clever young man;—the best boroughmonger you ever knew. He likes having friends in Parliament. In fact, of course he is a rogue; but if one wants a rogue, one can't find a pleasanter. I should like to see him on the French stage—a prosperous Macaire; Le Maître could hit him off to the life."

From information in these more fashionable quarters, gleaned with his usual tact, Randal turned to a source less elevated, but to which he attached more importance. Dick Avenel associated with the Baron—Dick Avenel must be in his clutches. Now Randal did justice to that gentleman's practical shrewdness. Moreover, Avenel was by profession a man of business. He must know more of Levy than these men of pleasure could; and, as he was a plain-spoken person, and evidently honest, in the ordinary acceptation of the word, Randal did not doubt that out of Dick Avenel he should get the truth.

On arriving in Eton-square, and asking for Mr. Avenel, Randal was at once ushered into the drawing-room. The apartment was not in such good solid mercantile taste as had characterized Avenel's more humble bachelor's residence at Screwstown. The taste now was the Honorable Mrs. Avenel's; and, truth to say, no taste could be worse. Furniture of all epochs heterogeneously clumped together;—here a sofa à la renaissance in Gobelin—there a rosewood Console from Gillow—a tall mock-Elizabethan chair in black oak, by the side of a modern Florentine table of mosaic marbles. All kinds of colors in the room, and all at war with each other. Very bad copies of the best-known pictures in the world, in the most gaudy frames, and impudently labeled by the names of their murdered originals—"Raffaele," "Corregio," "Titian," "Sebastian del Piombo." Nevertheless, there had been plenty of money spent, and there was plenty to show for it. Mrs. Avenel was seated on her sofa à la renaissance, with one of her children at her feet, who was employed in reading a new Annual in crimson silk binding. Mrs. Avenel was in an attitude as if sitting for her portrait.

Polite society is most capricious in its adoptions or rejections. You see many a very vulgar person firmly established in the beau monde; others, with very good pretensions as to birth, fortune, &c., either rigorously excluded, or only permitted a peep over the pales. The Honorable Mrs. Avenel belonged to families unquestionably noble both by her own descent and by her first marriage; and if poverty had kept her down in her earlier career, she now, at least, did not want wealth to back her pretensions. Nevertheless, all the dispensers of fashion concurred in refusing their support to the Honorable Mrs. Avenel. One might suppose it was solely on account of her plebeian husband; but indeed it was not so. Many a woman of high family can marry a low-born man not so presentable as Avenel, and, by the help of big money, get the fine world at her feet. But Mrs. Avenel had not that art. She was still a very handsome, showy woman; and as for dress, no duchess could be more extravagant. Yet these very circumstances had perhaps gone against her ambition; for your quiet, little plain woman, provoking no envy, slips into the coteries, when a handsome, flaunting lady—whom, once seen in your drawing-room, can be no more overlooked than a scarlet poppy amidst a violet bed—is pretty sure to be weeded out as ruthlessly as a poppy would be in a similar position.

Mr. Avenel was sitting by the fire, rather moodily, his hands in his pockets, and whistling to himself. To say truth, that active mind of his was very much bored in London, at least during the forepart of the day. He hailed Randal's entrance with a smile of relief, and rising and posting himself before the fire—a coat tail under each arm—he scarcely allowed Randal to shake hands with Mrs. Avenel, and pat the child on the head, murmuring, "Beautiful creature." (Randal was ever civil to children—that sort of wolf in sheep's clothing always is—don't be taken in, O you foolish young mothers!) Dick, I say, scarcely allowed his visitor these preliminary courtesies, before he plunged far beyond depth of both wife and child, into the political ocean "Things now were coming right—a vile oligarchy was to be destroyed. British respectability and British talent were to have fair play." To have heard him you would have thought the day fixed for the millennium! "And what is more," said Avenel, bringing down the fist of his right hand upon the palm of his left, "if there is to be a new parliament, we must have new men—not worn out old brooms that never sweep clean, but men who understand how to govern the country, sir. I intend to come in myself!"

"Yes," said Mrs. Avenel, hooking in a word at last, "I am sure, Mr. Leslie, you will think I did right. I persuaded Mr. Avenel that, with his talents and property, he ought, for the sake of his country, to make a sacrifice; and then you know his opinions now are all the fashion, Mr. Leslie: formerly they would have been called shocking and—vulgar."

Thus saying she looked with fond pride at Dick's comely face, which at that moment, however, was all scowl and frown. I must do justice to Mrs. Avenel; she was a weak silly woman in some things, and a cunning one in others, but she was a good wife as wives go. Scotch women generally are.


[Pg 809]


CHAPTER V.—A Morning Adventure.

Although the morning was raw, and although the fog still seemed heavy—I say, seemed, for the windows were so encrusted with dirt, that they would have made Midsummer sunshine dim—I was sufficiently forewarned of the discomfort within doors at that early hour, and sufficiently curious about London, to think it a good idea on the part of Miss Jellyby when she proposed that we should go out for a walk.

"Ma won't be down for ever so long," she said, "and then it's a chance if breakfast's ready for an hour afterward, they dawdle so. As to Pa, he gets what he can, and goes to the office. He never has what you would call a regular breakfast. Priscilla leaves him out the loaf and some milk, when there is any, over night. Sometimes there isn't any milk, and sometimes the cat drinks it. But I'm afraid you must be tired, Miss Summerson; and perhaps you would rather go to bed."

"I am not at all tired, my dear," said I, "and would much prefer to go out."

"If you're sure you would," returned Miss Jellyby, "I'll get my things on."

Ada said she would go, too, and was soon astir. I made a proposal to Peepy, in default of being able to do any thing better for him, that he should let me wash him, and afterward lay him down on my bed again. To this he submitted with the best grace possible; staring at me during the whole operation, as if he never had been, and never could again be so astonished in his life—looking very miserable also, certainly, but making no complaint, and going snugly to sleep as soon as it was over. At first I was in two minds about taking such a liberty, but I soon reflected that nobody in the house was likely to notice it.

What with the bustle of dispatching Peepy, and the bustle of getting myself ready, and helping Ada, I was soon quite in a glow. We found Miss Jellyby trying to warm herself at the fire in the writing-room, which Priscilla was then lighting with a smutty parlor candlestick—throwing the candle in to make it burn better. Every thing was just as we had left it last night, and was evidently intended to remain so. Below stairs the dinner-cloth had not been taken away, but had been left ready for breakfast. Crumbs, dust, and waste paper were all over the house. Some pewter-pots and a milk-can hung on the area railings; the door stood open; and we met the cook round the corner coming out of a public house, wiping her mouth. She mentioned, as she passed us, that she had just been to see what o'clock it was.

But before we met the cook, we met Richard, who was dancing up and down Thavies Inn to warm his feet. He was agreeably surprised to see us stirring so soon, and said he would gladly share our walk. So he took care of Ada, and Miss Jellyby and I went first. I may mention that Miss Jellyby had relapsed into her sulky manner, and that I really should not have thought she liked me much, unless she had told me so.

"Where would you wish to go?" she asked.

"Any where, my dear," I replied.

"Any where's nowhere," said Miss Jellyby, stopping perversely.

"Let us go somewhere at any rate," said I.

She then walked me on very fast.

"I don't care!" she said. "Now, you are my witness, Miss Summerson, I say I don't care—but if he was to come to our house, with his great, shining, lumpy forehead, night after night till he was as old as Methuselah, I wouldn't have any thing to say to him. Such Asses as he and Ma make of themselves!"

"My dear!" I remonstrated, in allusion to the epithet, and the vigorous emphasis Miss Jellyby set upon it. "Your duty as a child—"

"O! don't talk of duty as a child, Miss Summerson; where's Ma's duty as a parent? All made over to the public and Africa, I suppose! Then let the public and Africa show duty as a child; it's much more their affair than mine. You are shocked, I dare say! Very well, so am I shocked, too; so we are both shocked, and there's an end of it!"

She walked me on faster yet.

"But for all that, I say again, he may come, and come, and come, and I won't have any thing to say to him. I can't bear him. If there's any stuff in the world that I hate and detest, it's the stuff he and Ma talk. I wonder the very paving stones opposite our house can have the patience to stay there, and be a witness of such inconsistencies and contradictions as all that sounding nonsense, and Ma's management!"

I could not but understand her to refer to Mr. Quale, the young gentleman who had appeared after dinner yesterday. I was saved the disagreeable necessity of pursuing the subject, by Richard and Ada coming up at a round pace, laughing, and asking us if we meant to run a race? Thus interrupted, Miss Jellyby became silent, and walked moodily on at my side; while I admired the long successions and varieties of streets, the quantity of people already going to and fro, the number of vehicles passing and repassing, the busy preparations in the setting forth of shop windows and the sweeping out of shops, and the extraordinary creatures in rags, secretly groping among the swept-out rubbish for pins and other refuse.

"So, cousin," said the cheerful voice of Richard to Ada, behind me. "We are never to get out of Chancery! We have come by another way to our place of meeting yesterday, and—by the Great Seal, here's the old lady again!"

Truly, there she was, immediately in front of us, courtesying and smiling, and saying, with her yesterday's air of patronage:

"The wards in Jarndyce! Ve-ry happy, I am sure!"

[Pg 810] "You are out early, ma'am," said I, as she courtesied to me.

"Ye-es! I usually walk here early. Before the Court sits. It's retired. I collect my thoughts here for the business of the day," said the old lady, mincingly. "The business of the day requires a great deal of thought. Chancery justice is so ve-ry difficult to follow."

"Who's this, Miss Summerson?" whispered Miss Jellyby, drawing my arm tighter through her own.

The little old lady's hearing was remarkably quick. She answered for herself directly.

"A suitor, my child. At your service. I have the honor to attend court regularly. With my documents. Have I the pleasure of addressing another of the youthful parties in Jarndyce?" said the old lady, recovering herself, with her head on one side, from a very low courtesy.

Richard, anxious to atone for his thoughtlessness of yesterday, good-naturedly explained that Miss Jellyby was not connected with the suit.

"Ha!" said the old lady. "She does not expect a judgment? She will still grow old. But not so old. O dear, no! This is the garden of Lincoln's Inn. I call it my garden. It is quite a bower in the summer-time. Where the birds sing melodiously. I pass the greater part of the long vacation here. In contemplation. You find the long vacation exceedingly long, don't you?"

We said yes, as she seemed to expect us to say so.

"When the leaves are falling from the trees, and there are no more flowers in bloom to make up into nosegays for the Lord Chancellor's court," said the old lady, "the vacation is fulfilled; and the Sixth Seal, mentioned in the Revelations, again prevails. Pray come and see my lodging. It will be a good omen for me. Youth, and hope, and beauty are very seldom there. It is a long, long time since I had a visit from either."

She had taken my hand, and, leading me and Miss Jellyby away, beckoned Richard and Ada to come too. I did not know how to excuse myself, and looked to Richard for aid. As he was half amused and half curious, and all in doubt how to get rid of the old lady without offense, she continued to lead us away, and he and Ada continued to follow; our strange conductress informing us all the time, with much smiling condescension, that she lived close by.

It was quite true, as it soon appeared. She lived so close by, that we had not time to have done humoring her for a few moments, before she was at home. Slipping us out at a little side gate, the old lady stopped most unexpectedly in a narrow back street, part of some courts and lanes immediately outside the wall of the inn, and said, "This is my lodging. Pray walk up!"

She had stopped at a shop, over which was written, Krook, Rag and Bottle Warehouse. Also, in long thin letters, Krook, Dealer in Marine Stores. In one part of the window was a picture of a red paper mill, at which a cart was unloading a quantity of sacks of old rags. In another, was the inscription, Bones Bought. In another, Kitchen-Stuff Bought. In another, Old Iron Bought. In another, Waste Paper Bought. In another, Ladies' and Gentlemen's Wardrobes Bought. Every thing seemed to be bought, and nothing to be sold there. In all parts of the window, were quantities of dirty bottles: blacking bottles, medicine bottles, ginger-beer and soda-water bottles, pickle bottles, wine bottles, ink bottles: I am reminded by mentioning the latter, that the shop had, in several little particulars, the air of being in a legal neighborhood, and of being, as it were, a dirty hanger-on and disowned relation of the law. There were a great many ink bottles. There was a little tottering bench of shabby old volumes, outside the door, labeled, "Law Books, all at 9d." Some of the inscriptions I have enumerated were written in law-hand, like the papers I had seen in Kenge and Carboy's office, and the letters I had so long received from the firm. Among them was one, in the same writing, having nothing to do with the business of the shop, but announcing that a respectable man aged forty-five wanted engrossing or copying to execute with neatness and dispatch: Address to Nemo, care of Mr. Krook within. There were several second-hand bags, blue and red, hanging up. A little way within the shop door, lay heaps of old crackled parchment scrolls, and discolored and dog's-eared law-papers. I could have fancied that all the rusty keys, of which there must have been hundreds huddled together as old iron, had once belonged to doors of rooms or strong chests in lawyers' offices. The litter of rags tumbled partly into and partly out of a one-legged wooden scale, hanging without any counterpoise from a beam, might have been counselors' bands and gowns torn up. One had only to fancy, as Richard whispered to Ada and me while we all stood looking in, that yonder bones in a corner, piled together and picked very clean, were the bones of clients, to make the picture complete.

As it was still foggy and dark, and as the shop was blinded besides by the wall of Lincoln's Inn, intercepting the light within a couple of yards, we should not have seen so much but for a lighted lantern that an old man in spectacles and a hairy cap was carrying about in the shop. Turning toward the door, he now caught sight of us. He was short, cadaverous, and withered; with his head sunk sideways between his shoulders, and the breath issuing in visible smoke from his mouth, as if he were on fire within. His throat, chin, and eyebrows, were so frosted with white hairs, and so gnarled with veins and puckered skin, that he looked, from his breast upward, like some old root in a fall of snow.

"Hi, hi!" said the old man, coming to the door. "Have you any thing to sell?"

We naturally drew back and glanced at our conductress, who had been trying to open the house door with a key she had taken from her pocket, and to whom Richard now said, that, as we had had the pleasure of seeing where she[Pg 811] lived, we would leave her, being pressed for time. But she was not to be so easily left. She became so fantastically and pressingly earnest in her entreaties that we would walk up, and see her apartment for an instant; and was so bent, in her harmless way, on leading me in, as part of the good omen she desired; that I (whatever the others might do) saw nothing for it but to comply. I suppose we were all more or less curious;—at any rate, when the old man added his persuasions to hers, and said, "Ay, ay! Please her! It won't take a minute! Come in, come in! Come in through the shop, if t'other door's out of order!" we all went in, stimulated by Richard's laughing encouragement, and relying on his protection.

"My landlord, Krook!" said the little old lady, condescending to him from her lofty station, as she presented him to us. "He is called among the neighbors the Lord Chancellor. His shop is called the Court of Chancery. He is a very eccentric person. He is very odd. Oh, I assure you he is very odd!"

She shook her head a great many times, and tapped her forehead with her finger, to express to us that we must have the goodness to excuse him, "For he is a little—you know!—M—!" said the old lady, with great stateliness. The old man overheard, and laughed.

"It's true enough," he said, going before us with the lantern, "that they call me the Lord Chancellor, and call my shop Chancery. And why do you think they call me the Lord Chancellor, and my shop Chancery?"

"I don't know, I am sure!" said Richard, rather carelessly.

"You see," said the old man, stopping and turning round, "they—Hi! Here's lovely hair! I have got three sacks of ladies' hair below, but none so beautiful and fine as this. What color, and what texture!"

"That'll do, my good friend!" said Richard, strongly disapproving of his having drawn one of Ada's tresses through his yellow hand. "You can admire as the rest of us do, without taking that liberty."

The old man darted at him a sudden look, which even called my attention from Ada, who, startled and blushing, was so remarkably beautiful that she seemed to fix the wondering attention of the little old lady herself. But as Ada interposed, and laughingly said she could only feel proud of such genuine admiration, Mr. Krook shrunk into his former self as suddenly as he had leaped out of it.

"You see I have so many things here," he resumed, holding up the lantern, "of so many kinds, and all, as the neighbors think (but they know nothing), wasting away and going to rack and ruin, that that's why they have given me and my place a christening. And I have so many old parchmentses and papers in my stock. And I have a liking for rust and must and cobwebs. And all's fish that comes to my net. And I can't abear to part with any thing I once lay hold of (or so my neighbors think, but what do they know?) or to alter any thing, or to have any sweeping, nor scouring, nor cleaning, nor repairing going on about me. That's the way I've got the ill name of Chancery, I don't mind. I go to see my noble and learned brother pretty well every day, when he sits in the Inn. He don't notice me, but I notice him. There's no great odds betwixt us. We both grub on in a muddle. Hi, Lady Jane!"

A large gray cat leaped from some neighboring shelf on his shoulder, and startled us all.

"Hi! Show 'em how you can scratch. Hi! Tear, my lady!" said her master.

The cat leaped down, and ripped at a bundle of rags with her tigerish claws, with a sound that it set my teeth on edge to hear.

"She'd do as much for any one I was to set her on," said the old man. "I deal in cat-skins among other general matters, and hers was offered to me. It's a very fine skin, as you may see, but I didn't have it stripped off! That warn't like Chancery practice though, says you."

He had by this time led us across the shop, and now opened a door in the back part of it, leading to the house-entry. As he stood with his hand upon the lock, the old lady graciously observed to him before passing out:

"That will do, Krook. You mean well, but are tiresome. My young friends are pressed for time. I have none to spare myself, having to attend court very soon. My young friends are the wards in Jarndyce."

"Jarndyce!" said the old man, with a start.

"Jarndyce and Jarndyce. The great suit, Krook," returned his lodger.

"Hi!" exclaimed the old man, in a tone of thoughtful amazement, and with a wider stare than before. "Think of it!"

He seemed so rapt all in a moment, and looked so curiously at us, that Richard said:

"Why, you appear to trouble yourself a good deal about the causes before your noble and learned brother, the other Chancellor!"

"Yes," said the old man, abstractedly. "Sure! Your name now will be—"

"Richard Carstone."

"Carstone," he repeated, slowly checking off that name upon his forefinger; and each of the others he went on to mention, upon a separate finger. "Yes. There was the name of Barbary, and the name of Clare, and the name of Dedlock, too, I think."

"He knows as much of the cause as the real salaried Chancellor!" said Richard, quite astonished, to Ada and me.

"Ay!" said the old man, coming slowly out of his abstraction. "Yes! Tom Jarndyce—you'll excuse me, being related; but he was never known about court by any other name, and was as well known there, as—she is now;" nodding slightly at his lodger; "Tom Jarndyce was often in here. He got into a restless habit of strolling about when the cause was on, or expected, talking to the little shopkeepers, and telling 'em to[Pg 812] keep out of Chancery, whatever they did. 'For,' says he, 'it's being ground to bits in a slow mill; it's being roasted at a slow fire; it's being stung to death by single bees; it's being drowned by drops; it's going mad by grains.' He was as near making away with himself, just where the young lady stands, as near could be."

We listened with horror.

"He come in at the door," said the old man, slowly pointing an imaginary track along the shop, "on the day he did it—the whole neighborhood had said for months before, that he would do it, of a certainty, sooner or later—he come in at the door that day, and walked along there, and sat himself on a bench that stood there, and asked me (you'll judge I was a mortal sight younger then) to fetch him a pint of wine. 'For,' says he, 'Krook, I am much depressed; my cause is on again, and I think I'm nearer Judgment than I ever was.' I hadn't a mind to leave him alone; and I persuaded him to go to the tavern over the way there, t'other side my lane (I mean Chancery-lane); and I followed and looked in at the window, and saw him, comfortable as I thought, in the arm-chair by the fire, and company with him. I hadn't hardly got back here, when I heard a shot go echoing and rattling right away into the inn. I ran out—neighbors ran out—twenty of us cried at once, 'Tom Jarndyce!'"

The old man stopped, looked hard at us, looked down into the lantern, blew the light out, and shut the lantern up.

"We were right, I needn't tell the present hearers. Hi! To be sure, how the neighborhood poured into court that afternoon while the cause was on! How my noble and learned brother, and all the rest of 'em, grubbed and muddled away as usual, and tried to look as if they hadn't heard a word of the last fact in the case; or as if they had—O dear me! nothing at all to do with it, if they had heard of it by any chance!"

Ada's color had entirely left her, and Richard was scarcely less pale. Nor could I wonder, judging even from my emotions, and I was no party in the suit, that to hearts so untried and fresh, it was a shock to come into the inheritance of a protracted misery, attended in the minds of many people with such dreadful recollections. I had another uneasiness, in the application of the painful story to the poor half-witted creature who had brought us there; but, to my surprise, she seemed perfectly unconscious of that, and only led the way up-stairs again; informing us, with the toleration of a superior creature for the infirmities of a common mortal, that her landlord was "a little—M—, you know!"

She lived at the top of the house, in a pretty large room, from which she had a glimpse of Lincoln's Inn Hall. This seemed to have been her principal inducement, originally, for taking up her residence there. She could look at it, she said, in the night: especially in the moonshine. Her room was clean, but very, very bare. I noticed the scantiest necessaries in the way of furniture; a few old prints from books, of Chancellors and barristers, wafered against the wall; and some half-dozen reticules and work-bags, "containing documents," as she informed us. There were neither coals nor ashes in the grate, and I saw no articles of clothing any where, nor any kind of food. Upon a shelf in an open cupboard were a plate or two, a cup or two, and so forth; but all dry and empty. There was a more affecting meaning in her pinched appearance, I thought, as I looked round, than I had understood before.

"Extremely honored, I am sure," said our poor hostess, with the greatest suavity, "by this visit from the wards in Jarndyce. And very much indebted for the omen. It is a retired situation. Considering, I am limited as to situation. In consequence of the necessity of attending on the Chancellor. I have lived here many years. I pass my days in court; my evenings and my nights here. I find the nights long, for I sleep but little, and think much. That is, of course, unavoidable; being in Chancery. I am sorry I can not offer chocolate. I expect a judgment shortly, and shall then place my establishment on a superior footing. At present, I don't mind confessing to the wards in Jarndyce (in strict confidence), that I sometimes find it difficult to keep up a genteel appearance. I have felt the cold here. I have felt something sharper than cold. It matters very little. Pray excuse the introduction of such mean topics."

She partly drew aside the curtain of the long, low garret-window, and called our attention to a number of bird-cages hanging there: some, containing several birds. There were larks, linnets, and goldfinches—I should think at least twenty.

"I began to keep the little creatures," she said, "with an object that the wards will readily comprehend. With the intention of restoring them to liberty. When my judgment should be given. Ye-es! They die in prison, though. Their lives, poor silly things, are so short in comparison with Chancery proceedings, that, one by one, the whole collection has died over and over again. I doubt, do you know, whether one of these, though they are all young, will live to be free! Ve-ry mortifying, is it not?"

Although she sometimes asked a question, she never seemed to expect a reply; but rambled on as if she were in the habit of doing so, when no one but herself was present.

"Indeed," she pursued, "I positively doubt sometimes, I do assure you, whether while matters are still unsettled, and the sixth or Great Seal still prevails, I may not one day be found lying stark and senseless here, as I have found so many birds!"

Richard, answering what he saw in Ada's compassionate eyes, took the opportunity of laying some money, softly and unobserved, on the chimney-piece. We all drew nearer to the cages, feigning to examine the birds.

"I can't allow them to sing much," said the little old lady, "for (you'll think this curious) I[Pg 813] had my mind confused by the idea that they are singing, while I am following the arguments in court. And my mind requires to be so very clear, you know! Another time, I'll tell you their names. Not at present. On a day of such good omen, they shall sing as much as they like. In honor of youth," a smile and curtsey; "hope," a smile and curtsey; "and beauty," a smile and curtsey. "There! We'll let in the full light."

The birds began to stir and chirp.

"I can not admit the air freely," said the little old lady; the room was close, and would have been the better for it; "because the cat you saw down stairs—called Lady Jane—is greedy for their lives. She crouches on the parapet outside, for hours and hours. I have discovered," whispering mysteriously, "that her natural cruelty is sharpened by a jealous fear of their regaining their liberty. In consequence of the judgment I expect being shortly given. She is sly, and full of malice. I half believe, sometimes, that she is no cat, but the wolf of the old saying. It is so very difficult to keep her from the door."

Some neighboring bells reminding the poor soul that it was half-past nine, did more for us in the way of bringing our visit to an end, than we could easily have done for ourselves. She hurriedly took up her little bag of documents, which she had laid upon the table on coming in, and asked if we were also going into court? On our answering no, and that we would on no account detain her, she opened the door to attend us down stairs.

"With such an omen, it is even more necessary than usual that I should be there before the Chancellor comes in," said she, "for he might mention my case the first thing. I have a presentiment that he will mention it the first thing this morning."

She stopped to tell us, in a whisper, as we were going down, that the whole house was filled with strange lumber which her landlord had bought piecemeal, and had no wish to sell—in consequence of being a little—M—. This was on the first floor. But she had made a previous stoppage on the second floor, and had silently pointed at a dark door there.

"The only other lodger," she now whispered, in explanation; "a law-writer. The children in the lanes here say he has sold himself to the[Pg 814] devil. I don't know what he can have done with the money. Hush!"

She appeared to mistrust that the lodger might hear her, even there; and repeating "Hush!" went before us on tiptoe, as though even the sound of her footsteps might reveal to him what she had said.

Passing through the shop on our way out, as we had passed through it on our way in, we found the old man storing a quantity of packets of waste paper, in a kind of well in the floor. He seemed to be working hard, with the perspiration standing on his forehead, and had a piece of chalk by him; with which, as he put each separate package or bundle down, he made a crooked mark on the paneling of the wall.

Richard and Ada, and Miss Jellyby, and the little old lady had gone by him, and I was going, when he touched me on the arm to stay me, and chalked the letter J upon the wall—in a very curious manner, beginning with the end of the letter and shaping it backward. It was a capital letter, not a printed one, but just such a letter as any clerk in Messrs. Kenge and Carboy's office would have made.

"Can you read it?" he asked me, with a keen glance.

"Surely," said I. "It's very plain."

"What is it?"


With another glance at me, and a glance at the door, he rubbed it out, and turned an a in its place (not a capital letter this time), and said, "What's that?"

I told him. He then rubbed that out, and turned the letter r, and asked me the same question. He went on quickly, until he had formed, in the same curious manner, beginning at the ends and bottoms of the letters, the word Jarndyce, without once leaving two letters on the wall together.

"What does that spell?" he asked me.

When I told him, he laughed. In the same odd way, yet with the same rapidity, he then produced singly, and rubbed out singly, the letters forming the words Bleak House. These, in some astonishment, I also read; and he laughed again.

"Hi!" said the old man, laying aside the chalk, "I have a turn for copying from memory, you see, miss, though I can neither read nor write."


He looked so disagreeable, and his cat looked so wickedly at me, as if I were a blood-relation of the birds up-stairs, that I was quite relieved by Richard's appearing at the door and saying:

"Miss Summerson, I hope you are not bargaining for the sale of your hair. Don't be tempted. Three sacks below are quite enough for Mr. Krook!"

I lost no time in wishing Mr. Krook good-morning, and joining my friends outside, where we parted with the little old lady, who gave us her blessing with great ceremony, and renewed her assurance of yesterday in reference to her intention of settling estates on Ada and me. Before we finally turned out of those lanes, we looked back, and saw Mr. Krook standing at his shop-door, in his spectacles, looking after us, with his cat upon his shoulder, and her tail sticking up on one side of his hairy cap, like a tall feather.

"Quite an adventure for a morning in London!" said Richard, with a sigh. "Ah, cousin, cousin, it's a weary word this Chancery."

"It is to me, and has been ever since I can remember," returned Ada. "I am grieved that I should be the enemy—as I suppose I am—of a great number of relations and others; and that they should be my enemies—as I suppose they are; and that we should all be ruining one another, without knowing how or why, and be in constant doubt and discord all our lives. It seems very strange, as there must be right somewhere, that an honest judge in real earnest has not been able to find out through all these years where it is."

"Ah, cousin!" said Richard. "Strange, indeed! all this wasteful, wanton chess-playing is very strange. To see that composed Court yesterday jogging on so serenely, and to think of the wretchedness of the pieces on the board, gave me the headache and the heartache both together. My head ached with wondering how it happened, if men were neither fools nor rascals; and my heart ached to think they could possibly be either. But at all events, Ada—I may call you Ada?"

"Of course you may, cousin Richard."

"At all events, Ada, Chancery will work none of its bad influence on us. We have happily been brought together, thanks to our good kinsman, and it can't divide us now!"

"Never, I hope, cousin Richard!" said Ada, gently.

Miss Jellyby gave my arm a squeeze, and me a very significant look. I smiled in return, and we made the rest of the way back very pleasantly.

In half an hour after our arrival, Mrs. Jellyby appeared; and in the course of an hour the various things necessary for breakfast straggled one by one into the dining-room. I do not doubt that Mrs. Jellyby had gone to bed, and got up in the usual manner, but she presented no appearance of having changed her dress. She was greatly occupied during breakfast; for the morning's post brought a heavy correspondence relative to Borrioboola-Gha, which would occasion her (she said) to pass a busy day. The children tumbled about, and notched memoranda of their accidents in their legs, which were perfect little calendars of distress; and Peepy was lost for an hour and a half, and brought home from Newgate market by a policeman. The equable manner in which Mrs. Jellyby sustained both his absence, and his restoration to the family circle, surprised us all.

She was by that time perseveringly dictating to Caddy, and Caddy was fast relapsing into the inky condition in which we had found her. At one o'clock an open carriage arrived for us, and a cart for our luggage. Mrs. Jellyby charged us with many remembrances to her good friend, Mr.[Pg 815] Jarndyce; Caddy left her desk to see us depart, kissed me in the passage, and stood, biting her pen, and sobbing on the steps; Peepy, I am happy to say, was asleep, and spared the pain of separation (I was not without misgivings that he had gone to Newgate market in search of me); and all the other children got up behind the barouche and fell off, and we saw them, with great concern, scattered over the surface of Thavies Inn, as we rolled out of its precincts.

CHAPTER VI.—Quite at Home.

The day had brightened very much, and still brightened as we went westward. We went our way through the sunshine and the fresh air, wondering more and more at the extent of the streets, the brilliancy of the shops, the great traffic, and the crowds of people whom the pleasanter weather seemed to have brought out like many-colored flowers. By-and-by we began to leave the wonderful city, and to proceed through suburbs which, of themselves, would have made a pretty large town, in my eyes; and at last we got into a real country road again, with wind-mills, rick-yards, milestones, farmers' wagons, scents of old hay, swinging signs, and horse-troughs: trees, fields, and hedge-rows. It was delightful to see the green landscape before us, and the immense metropolis behind; and when a wagon with a train of beautiful horses, furnished with red trappings and clear-sounding bells, came by us with its music, I believe we could all three have sung to the bells, so cheerful were the influences around.

"The whole road has been reminding me of my namesake, Whittington," said Richard, "and that wagon is the finishing touch. Halloa! what's the matter?"

We had stopped, and the wagon had stopped, too. Its music changed as the horses came to a stand, and subsided to a gentle tinkling, except when a horse tossed his head, or shook himself, and sprinkled off a little shower of bell-ringing.

"Our postillion is looking after the wagoner," said Richard; "and the wagoner is coming back after us. Good-day, friend!" The wagoner was at our coach-door. "Why, here's an extraordinary thing!" added Richard, looking closely at the man. "He has got your name, Ada, in his hat!"

He had all our names in his hat. Tucked within the band, were three small notes; one, addressed to Ada; one, to Richard, one, to me. These the wagoner delivered to each of us respectively, reading the name aloud first. In answer to Richard's inquiry from whom they came, he briefly answered, "Master, sir, if you please;" and, putting on his hat again (which was like a soft bowl), cracked his whip, re-awakened his music, and went melodiously away.

"Is that Mr. Jarndyce's wagon?" said Richard, calling to our post-boy.

"Yes, sir," he replied. "Going to London."

We opened the notes. Each was a counterpart of the other, and contained these words, in a solid, plain hand:

"I look forward, my dear, to our meeting easily, and without constraint on either side. I therefore have to propose that we meet as old friends, and take the past for granted. It will be a relief to you possibly, and to me certainly, and so my love to you.

John Jarndyce."

I had, perhaps, less reason to be surprised than either of my companions, having never yet enjoyed an opportunity of thanking one who had been my benefactor and sole earthly dependence through so many years. I had not considered how I could thank him, my gratitude lying too deep in my heart for that; but I now began to consider how I could meet him without thanking him, and felt it would be very difficult indeed.

The notes revived, in Richard and Ada, a general impression that they both had, without quite knowing how they came by it, that their cousin, Jarndyce, could never bear acknowledgments for any kindness he performed, and that, sooner than receive any, he would resort to the most singular expedients and evasions, or would even run away. Ada dimly remembered to have heard her mother tell, when she was a very little child, that he had once done her an act of uncommon generosity, and that on her going to his house to thank him, he happened to see her through a window coming to the door, and immediately escaped by the back gate, and was not heard of for three months. This discourse led to a great deal more on the same theme, and indeed it lasted us all day, and we talked of scarcely any thing else. If we did, by any chance, diverge into another subject, we soon returned to this; and wondered what the house would be like, and when we should get there, and whether we should see Mr. Jarndyce as soon as we arrived, or after a delay, and what he would say to us, and what we should say to him. All of which we wondered about, over and over again.

The roads were very heavy for the horses, but the pathway was generally good; so we alighted and walked up all the hills, and liked it so well that we prolonged our walk on the level ground when we got to the top. At Barnet there were other horses waiting for us; but as they had only just been fed, we had to wait for them, too, and got a long fresh walk, over a common and an old battle-field, before the carriage came up. These delays so protracted the journey, that the short day was spent, and the long night had closed in, before we came to Saint Albans; near to which town Bleak House was, we knew.

By that time we were so anxious and nervous, that even Richard confessed, as we rattled over the stones of the old street, to feeling an irrational desire to drive back again. As to Ada and me, whom he had wrapped up with great care, the night being sharp and frosty, we trembled from head to foot. When we turned out of the town, round a corner, and Richard told us that the post-boy, who had for a long time sympathized with our heightened expectation, was looking back and nodding, we both stood up in the carriage[Pg 816] (Richard holding Ada, lest she should be jolted down), and gazed round upon the open country and the starlight night, for our destination. There was a light sparkling on the top of a hill before us, and the driver, pointing to it with his whip and crying, "That's Bleak House!" put his horses into a canter, and took us forward at such a rate, up-hill though it was, that the wheels sent the road-drift flying about our heads like spray from a water-mill. Presently we lost the light, presently saw it, presently lost it, presently saw it, and turned into an avenue of trees, and cantered up toward where it was beaming brightly. It was in a window of what seemed to be an old-fashioned house, with three peaks in the roof in front, and a circular sweep leading to the porch. A bell was rung as we drew up, and amidst the sound of its deep voice in the still air, and the distant barking of some dogs, and a gush of light from the opened door, and the smoking and steaming of the heated horses, and the quickened beating of our own hearts, we alighted in no inconsiderable confusion.

"Ada, my love, Esther, my dear, you are welcome. I rejoice to see you! Rick, if I had a hand to spare at present, I would give it you!"

The gentleman who said these words in a clear, bright, hospitable voice, had one of his arms round Ada's waist, and the other round mine, and kissed us both in a fatherly way, and bore us across the hall into a ruddy little room, all in a glow with a blazing fire. Here he kissed us again, and, opening his arms, made us sit down side-by-side, on a sofa ready drawn out near the hearth. I felt that if we had been at all demonstrative, he would have run away in a moment.

"Now, Rick," said he, "I have a hand at liberty. A word in earnest is as good as a speech. I am heartily glad to see you. You are at home. Warm yourself!"

Richard shook him by both hands with an intuitive mixture of respect and frankness, and only saying (though with an earnestness that rather alarmed me, I was so afraid of Mr. Jarndyce's suddenly disappearing), "You are very kind, sir! We are very much obliged to you!" laid aside his hat and coat, and came up to the fire.

"And how did you like the ride? And how did you like Mrs. Jellyby, my dear?" said Mr. Jarndyce to Ada.

While Ada was speaking to him in reply, I glanced (I need not say with how much interest) at his face. It was a handsome, lively, quick face, full of change and motion; and his hair was a silvered iron-gray. I took him to be nearer sixty than fifty, but he was upright, hearty, and robust. From the moment of his first speaking to us, his voice had connected itself with an association in my mind that I could not define; but now, all at once, a something sudden in his, manner, and a pleasant expression in his eyes, recalled the gentleman in the stage-coach, six years ago, on the memorable day of my journey to Reading. I was certain it was he. I never was so frightened in my life as when I made the discovery, for he caught my glance, and appearing to read my thoughts, gave such a look at the door that I thought we had lost him.

However, I am happy to say that he remained where he was, and asked me what I thought of Mrs. Jellyby.

"She exerts herself very much for Africa, sir," I said.

"Nobly!" returned Mr. Jarndyce. "But you answer like Ada," whom I had not heard. "You all think something else, I see."

"We rather thought," said I, glancing at Richard and Ada, who entreated me with their eyes to speak, "that perhaps she was a little unmindful of her home."

"Floored!" cried Mr. Jarndyce.

I was rather alarmed again.

"Well! I want to know your real thoughts, my dear. I may have sent you there on purpose."

"We thought that, perhaps," said I, hesitating, "it is right to begin with the obligations of home, sir; and that, perhaps, while those are overlooked and neglected, no other duties can possibly be substituted for them?"

"The little Jellybys," said Richard, coming to my relief, "are really—I can't help expressing myself strongly, sir—in a devil of a state."

"She means well," said Mr. Jarndyce, hastily. "The wind's in the east."

"It was in the north, sir, as we came down," observed Richard.

"My dear Rick," said Mr. Jarndyce, poking the fire; "I'll take an oath it's either in the east, or going to be. I am always conscious of an uncomfortable sensation now and then when the wind is blowing in the east."

"Rheumatism, sir?" said Richard.

"I dare say it is, Rick. I believe it is. And so the little Jell—I had my doubts about 'em—are in a—oh, Lord, yes, it's easterly!" said Mr. Jarndyce.

He had taken two or three undecided turns up and down while uttering these broken sentences, retaining the poker in one hand and rubbing his hair with the other, with a good-natured vexation, at once so whimsical and so lovable, that I am sure we were more delighted with him than we could possibly have expressed in any words. He gave an arm to Ada and an arm to me, and bidding Richard bring a candle, was leading the way out, when he suddenly turned us all back again.

"Those little Jellybys. Couldn't you—didn't you—now, if it had rained sugar-plums, or three-cornered raspberry tarts, or any thing of that sort!" said Mr. Jarndyce.

"O cousin—!" Ada hastily began.

"Good, my pretty pet. I like cousin. Cousin John, perhaps, is better."

"Then, cousin John!—" Ada laughingly began again.

"Ha, ha! Very good indeed!" said Mr. Jarndyce, with great enjoyment. "Sounds uncommonly natural. Yes, my dear?"

[Pg 817] "It did better than that. It rained Esther."

"Ay?" said Mr. Jarndyce. "What did Esther do?"

"Why, cousin John," said Ada, clasping her hands upon his arm, and shaking her head at me across him—for I wanted her to be quiet: "Esther was their friend directly. Esther nursed them, coaxed them to sleep, washed and dressed them, told them stories, kept them quiet, bought them keepsakes."—My dear girl! I had only gone out with Peepy, after he was found, and given him a little, tiny horse!—"and, cousin John, she softened poor Caroline, the eldest one, so much, and was so thoughtful for me and so amiable!—No, no, I won't be contradicted, Esther dear! You know, you know, it's true!"

The warm-hearted darling leaned across her cousin John, and kissed me; and then, looking up in his face, boldly said, "At all events, cousin John, I will thank you for the companion you have given me." I felt as if she challenged him to run away. But he didn't.

"Where did you say the wind was, Rick?" asked Mr. Jarndyce.

"In the north, as we came down, sir."

"You are right. There's no east in it. A mistake of mine. Come girls, come and see your home!"

It was one of those delightfully irregular houses where you go up and down steps, out of one room into another, and where you come upon more rooms when you think you have seen all there are, and where there is a bountiful provision of little halls and passages, and where you find still older cottage-rooms in unexpected places, with lattice windows and green growth pressing through them. Mine, which we entered first, was of this kind, with an up-and-down roof, that had more corners in it than I ever counted afterward, and a chimney (there was a wood-fire on the hearth) paved all round with pure white tiles, in every one of which a bright miniature of the fire was blazing. Out of this room, you went down two steps, into a charming little sitting-room, looking down upon a flower-garden, which room was henceforth to belong to Ada and me. Out of this you went up three steps, into Ada's bed-room, which had a fine broad window, commanding a beautiful view (we saw a great expanse of darkness lying underneath the stars), to which there was a hollow window-seat, in which, with a spring-lock, three dear Adas might have been lost at once. Out of this room, you passed into a little gallery, with which the other best rooms (only two) communicated, and so, by a little staircase of shallow steps, with a great number of corner stairs in it, considering its length, down into the hall. But if, instead of going out at Ada's door, you came back into my room, and went out at the door by which you had entered it, and turned up a few crooked steps that branched off in an unexpected manner from the stairs, you lost yourself in passages, with mangles in them, and three-cornered tables, and a Native-Hindoo chair, which was also a sofa, a box, and a bedstead, and looked, in every form, something between a bamboo skeleton and a great bird-cage, and had been brought from India nobody knew by whom, or when. From these, you came on Richard's room, which was part library, part sitting-room, part bed-room, and seemed indeed a comfortable compound of many rooms. Out of that, you went straight, with a little interval of passage, to the plain room where Mr. Jarndyce slept, all the year round, with his window open, his bedstead, without any furniture, standing in the middle of the floor for more air, and his cold-bath gaping for him in a smaller room adjoining. Out of that, you came into another passage, where there were back-stairs, and where you could hear the horses being rubbed down, outside the stable, and being told to Hold up, and Get over, as they slipped about very much on the uneven stones. Or you might, if you came out at another door (every room had at least two doors), go straight down to the hall again by half-a-dozen steps and a low archway, wondering how you got back there, or had ever got out of it.

The furniture, old-fashioned rather than old, like the house, was as pleasantly irregular. Ada's sleeping-room was all flowers—in chintz and paper; in velvet, in needle-work, in the brocade of two stiff courtly chairs, which stood, each attended by a little page of a stool for greater state, on either side of the fire-place. Our sitting-room was green; and had, framed and glazed, upon the walls, numbers of surprising and surprised birds, staring out of pictures at a real trout in a case, as brown and shining as if it had been served with gravy; at the death of Captain Cook; and at the whole process of preparing tea in China, as depicted by Chinese artists. In my room there were oval engravings of the months—ladies hay-making, in short waists, and large hats tied under the chin, for June—smooth-legged noblemen, pointing, with cocked-hats, to village steeples, for October. Half-length portraits, in crayons, abounded all through the house; but were so dispersed that I found the brother of a youthful officer of mine in the china-closet, and the gray old age of my pretty young bride, with a flower in her boddice, in the breakfast-room. As substitutes, I had four angels, of Queen Anne's reign, taking a complacent gentleman to heaven, in festoons, with some difficulty; and a composition in needle-work, representing fruit, a kettle, and an alphabet. All the movables, from the wardrobes to the chairs and tables, hangings, glasses, even to the pincushions and scent-bottles on the dressing-tables, displayed the same quaint variety. They agreed in nothing but their perfect neatness, their display of the whitest linen, and their storing-up, wheresoever the existence of a drawer, small or large, rendered it possible, of quantities of rose-leaves and sweet lavender. Such, with its illuminated windows, softened here and there by shadows of curtains, shining out upon the starlight night; with its light, and warmth, and comfort; with its hospitable jingle, at a distance,[Pg 818] of preparations for dinner; with the face of its generous master brightening every thing we saw; and just wind enough without to sound a low accompaniment to every thing we heard; were our first impressions of Bleak House.

"I am glad you like it," said Mr. Jarndyce, when he had brought us round again to Ada's sitting-room. "It makes no pretensions; but it is a comfortable little place, I hope, and will be more so with such bright young looks in it. You have barely half an hour before dinner. There's no one here but the finest creature upon earth—a child."

"More children, Esther!" said Ada.

"I don't mean literally a child," pursued Mr. Jarndyce; "not a child in years. He is grown up—he is at least as old as I am—but in simplicity, and freshness, and enthusiasm, and a fine guileless inaptitude for all worldly affairs, he is a perfect child."

We felt that he must be very interesting.

"He knows Mrs. Jellyby," said Mr. Jarndyce. "He is a musical man; an Amateur, but might have been a Professional. He is an Artist, too; an Amateur, but might have been a Professional. He is a man of attainments and of captivating manners. He has been unfortunate in his affairs, and unfortunate in his pursuits, and unfortunate in his family; but he don't care—he's a child!"

"Did you imply that he has children of his own, sir?" inquired Richard.

"Yes, Rick! Half-a-dozen. More! Nearer a dozen, I should think. But he has never looked after them. How could he? He wanted somebody to look after him. He is a child, you know!" said Mr. Jarndyce.

"And have the children looked after themselves at all, sir?" inquired Richard.

"Why, just as you may suppose," said Mr. Jarndyce: his countenance suddenly falling. "It is said that the children of the very poor are not brought up, but dragged up. Harold Skimpole's children have tumbled up somehow or other.—The wind's getting round again, I am afraid. I feel it rather!"

Richard observed that the situation was exposed on a sharp night.

"It is exposed," said Mr. Jarndyce. "No doubt that's the cause. Bleak House has an exposed sound. But you are coming my way. Come along!"

Our luggage having arrived, and being all at hand, I was dressed in a few minutes, and engaged in putting my worldly goods away, when a maid (not the one in attendance upon Ada, but another whom I had not seen) brought a basket into my room, with two bunches of keys in it, all labeled.

"For you, miss, if you please," said she.

"For me?" said I.

"The housekeeping keys, miss."

I showed my surprise; for she added, with some little surprise on her own part: "I was told to bring them as soon as you was alone, miss. Miss Summerson, if I don't deceive myself?"

"Yes," said I. "That is my name."

"The large bunch is the housekeeping, and the little bunch is the cellars, miss. Any time you was pleased to appoint to-morrow morning, I was to show you the presses and things they belong to."

I said I would be ready at half-past six; and, after she was gone, stood looking at the basket, quite lost in the magnitude of my trust. Ada found me thus; and had such a delightful confidence in me when I showed her the keys, and told her about them, that it would have been insensibility and ingratitude not to feel encouraged. I knew, to be sure, that it was the dear girl's kindness; but I liked to be so pleasantly cheated.

When we went down stairs, we were presented to Mr. Skimpole, who was standing before the fire, telling Richard how fond he used to be, in his school-time, of football. He was a little bright creature, with a rather large head; but a delicate face, and a sweet voice, and there was a perfect charm in him. All he said was so free from effort and spontaneous, and was said with such a captivating gayety, that it was fascinating to hear him talk. Being of a more slender figure than Mr. Jarndyce, and having a richer complexion, with browner hair, he looked younger. Indeed, he had more the appearance, in all respects, of a damaged young man, than a well-preserved elderly one. There was an easy negligence in his manner, and even in his dress (his hair carelessly disposed, and his neck-kerchief loose and flowing, as I have seen artists paint their own portraits), which I could not separate from the idea of a romantic youth who had undergone some unique process of depreciation. It struck me as being not at all like the manner or appearance of a man who had advanced in life, by the usual road of years, cares, and experiences.

I gathered from the conversation, that Mr. Skimpole had been educated for the medical profession, and had once lived, in his professional capacity, in the household of a German prince. He told us, however, that as he had always been a mere child in point of weights and measures, and had never known any thing about them (except that they disgusted him), he had never been able to prescribe with the requisite accuracy of detail. In fact, he said, he had no head for detail. And he told us, with great humor, that when he was wanted to bleed the prince, or physic any of his people, he was generally found lying on his back in bed, reading the newspapers, or making fancy-sketches in pencil, and couldn't come. The prince, at last, objecting to this, "in which," said Mr. Skimpole, in the frankest manner, "he was perfectly right," the engagement terminated; and Mr. Skimpole having (as he added with delightful gayety) "nothing to live upon but love, fell in love, and married, and surrounded himself with rosy cheeks." His good friend Jarndyce and some other of his good friends then helped him, in quicker or slower succession, to several openings in life; but to no purpose, for he must confess to two of the oddest infirmities[Pg 819] in the world: one was, that he had no idea of time; the other, that he had no idea of money. In consequence of which, he never kept an appointment, never could transact any business, and never knew the value of any thing! Well! So he had got on in life, and here he was! He was very fond of reading the papers, very fond of making fancy-sketches with a pencil, very fond of nature, very fond of art. All he asked of society was, to let him live. That wasn't much. His wants were few. Give him the papers, conversation, music, mutton, coffee, landscape, fruit in season, a few sheets of Bristol-board, and a little claret, and he asked no more. He was a mere child in the world, but he didn't cry for the moon. He said to the world, "Go your several ways in peace! Wear red coats, blue coats, lawn-sleeves, put pens behind your ears, wear aprons; go after glory, holiness, commerce, trade, any object you prefer; only—let Harold Skimpole live!"

All this, and a great deal more, he told us, not only with the utmost brilliancy and enjoyment, but with a certain vivacious candor—speaking of himself as if he were not at all his own affair, as if Skimpole were a third person, as if he knew that Skimpole had his singularities, but still had his claims too, which were the general business of the community, and must not be slighted. He was quite enchanting. If I felt at all confused at that early time, in endeavoring to reconcile any thing he said with any thing I had thought about the duties and accountabilities of life (which I am far from sure of), I was confused by not exactly understanding why he was free of them. That he was free of them, I scarcely doubted; he was so very clear about it himself.

"I covet nothing," said Mr. Skimpole, in the same light way. "Possession is nothing to me. Here is my friend Jarndyce's excellent house. I feel obliged to him for possessing it. I can sketch it, and alter it. I can set it to music. When I am here, I have sufficient possession of it, and have neither trouble, cost, nor responsibility. My steward's name, in short, is Jarndyce, and he can't cheat me. We have been mentioning Mrs. Jellyby. There is a bright-eyed woman, of a strong will and immense power of business-detail, who throws herself into objects with surprising ardor! I don't regret that I have not a strong will and an immense power of business-detail, to throw myself into objects with surprising ardor. I can admire her without envy. I can sympathize with the objects. I can dream of them. I can lie down on the grass in fine weather—and float along an African river, embracing all the natives I meet, as sensible of the deep silence, and sketching the dense overhanging tropical growth as accurately, as if I were there. I don't know that it's of any direct use my doing so, but it's all I can do, and I do it thoroughly. Then, for heaven's sake, having Harold Skimpole, a confiding child, petitioning you, the world, an agglomeration of practical people of business habits, to let him live and admire the human family, do it somehow or other, like good souls, and suffer him to ride his rocking-horse!"

It was plain enough that Mr. Jarndyce had not been neglectful of the adjuration. Mr. Skimpole's general position there would have rendered it so, without the addition of what he presently said.

"It's only you, the generous creatures, whom I envy," said Mr. Skimpole, addressing us, his new friends, in an impersonal manner. "I envy you your power of doing what you do. It is what I should revel in, myself. I don't feel any vulgar gratitude to you. I almost feel as if you ought to be grateful to me, for giving you the opportunity of enjoying the luxury of generosity. I know you like it. For any thing I can tell, I may have come into the world expressly for the purpose of increasing your stock of happiness. I may have been born to be a benefactor to you, by sometimes giving you an opportunity of assisting me in my little perplexities. Why should I regret my incapacity for details and worldly affairs, when it leads to such pleasant consequences? I don't regret it therefore."

Of all his playful speeches (playful, yet always fully meaning what they expressed) none seemed to be more to the taste of Mr. Jarndyce than this. I had often new temptations, afterward, to wonder whether it was really singular, or only singular to me, that he, who was probably the most grateful of mankind upon the least occasion, should so desire to escape the gratitude of others.

We were all enchanted. I felt it a merited tribute to the engaging qualities of Ada and Richard, that Mr. Skimpole, seeing them for the first time, should be so unreserved, and should lay himself out to be so exquisitely agreeable. They (and especially Richard) were naturally pleased for similar reasons, and considered it no common privilege to be so freely confided in by such an attractive man. The more we listened, the more gayly Mr. Skimpole talked. And what with his fine hilarious manner, and his engaging candor, and his genial way of lightly tossing his own weaknesses about, as if he had said, "I am a child, you know! You are designing people compared with me;" (he really made me consider myself in that light); "but I am gay and innocent; forget your worldly arts and play with me!"—the effect was absolutely dazzling.

He was so full of feeling too, and had such a delicate sentiment for what was beautiful or tender, that he could have won a heart by that alone. In the evening when I was preparing to make tea, and Ada was touching the piano in the adjoining room, and softly humming a tune to her cousin Richard, which they had happened to mention, he came and sat down on the sofa near me, and so spoke of Ada that I almost loved him.

"She is like the morning," he said. "With that golden hair, those blue eyes, and that fresh bloom on her cheek, she is like the summer morning. The birds here will mistake her for it. We will not call such a lovely young creature as[Pg 820] that, who is a joy to all mankind, an orphan. She is the child of the universe."

Mr. Jarndyce, I found, was standing near us, with his hands behind him, and an attentive smile upon his face.

"The universe," he observed, "makes rather an indifferent parent, I am afraid."

"O! I don't know!" cried Mr. Skimpole, buoyantly.

"I think I do know," said Mr. Jarndyce.

"Well!" cried Mr. Skimpole, "you know the world (which in your sense is the universe), and I know nothing of it, so you shall have your way. But if I had mine," glancing at the cousins, "there should be no brambles of sordid realities in such a path as that. It should be strewn with roses; it should lie through bowers, where there was no spring, autumn, nor winter, but perpetual summer. Age or change should never wither it. The base word money should never be breathed near it!"

Mr. Jarndyce patted him on the head with a smile, as if he had been really a child; and passing a step or two on, and stopping a moment, glanced at the young cousins. His look was thoughtful, but had a benignant expression in it which I often (how often!) saw again: which has long been engraven on my heart. The room in which they were, communicating with that in which he stood, was only lighted by the fire. Ada sat at the piano; Richard stood beside her, bending down. Upon the wall, their shadows blended together, surrounded by strange forms, not without a ghostly motion caught from the unsteady fire, though reflected from motionless objects. Ada touched the notes so softly, and sang so low, that the wind, sighing away to the distant hills, was as audible as the music. The mystery of the future, and the little clew afforded to it by the voice of the present, seemed expressed in the whole picture.

But it is not to recall this fancy, well as I remember it, that I recall the scene. First, I was not quite unconscious of the contrast, in respect of meaning and intention, between the silent look directed that way, and the flow of words that had preceded it. Secondly, though Mr. Jarndyce's glance, as he withdrew it, rested for but a moment on me, I felt as if, in that moment, he confided to me—and knew that he confided to me, and that I received the confidence—his hope that Ada and Richard might one day enter on a dearer relationship.

Mr. Skimpole could play on the piano, and the violoncello; and he was a composer—had composed half an opera once, but got tired of it—and played what he composed, with taste. After tea we had quite a little concert, in which Richard—who was enthralled by Ada's singing, and told me that she seemed to know all the songs that ever were written—and Mr. Jarndyce, and I, were the audience. After a little while I missed, first Mr. Skimpole, and afterward Richard; and while I was thinking how could Richard stay away so long, and lose so much, the maid who had given me the keys looked in at the door, saying, "If you please, miss, could you spare a minute?"

When I was shut out with her in the hall, she said, holding up her hands, "Oh, if you please, miss, Mr. Carstone says would you come up-stairs to Mr. Skimpole's room. He has been took miss!"

"Took?" said I.

"Took, miss. Sudden," said the maid.

I was apprehensive that his illness might be of a dangerous kind; but, of course, I begged her to be quiet and not disturb any one; and collected myself, as I followed her quickly up-stairs, sufficiently to consider what were the best remedies to be applied if it should prove to be a fit. She threw open a door, and I went into a chamber; where, to my unspeakable surprise, instead of finding Mr. Skimpole stretched upon the bed, or prostrate on the floor, I found him standing before the fire smiling at Richard, while Richard, with a face of great embarrassment, looked at a person on a sofa, in a white great coat, with smooth hair upon his head and not much of it, which he was wiping smoother, and making less of, with a pocket-handkerchief.

"Miss Summerson," said Richard, hurriedly, "I am glad you are come. You will be able to advise us. Our friend, Mr. Skimpole—don't be alarmed!—is arrested for debt."

"And, really, my dear Miss Summerson," said Mr. Skimpole, with his agreeable candor, "I never was in a situation, in which that excellent sense, and quiet habit of method and usefulness, which any body must observe in you who has the happiness of being a quarter of an hour in your society, was more needed."

The person on the sofa, who appeared to have a cold in his head, gave such a very loud snort, that he startled me.

"Are you arrested for much, sir?" I inquired of Mr. Skimpole.

"My dear Miss Summerson," said he, shaking his head pleasantly, "I don't know. Some pounds, odd shillings, and halfpence, I think, were mentioned.

"It's twenty-four pound, sixteen and seven pence ha'penny," observed the stranger. "That's wot it is."

"And it sounds—somehow it sounds," said Mr. Skimpole, "like a small sum?"

The strange man said nothing, but made an other snort. It was such a powerful one, that it seemed quite to lift him up out of his seat.

"Mr. Skimpole," said Richard to me, "has a delicacy in applying to my cousin Jarndyce, because he has lately—I think, sir, I understood you that you had lately—"

"Oh, yes!" returned Mr. Skimpole, smiling. "Though I forgot how much it was, and when it was. Jarndyce would readily do it again; but I have the epicure-like feeling that I would prefer a novelty in help; that I would rather," and he looked at Richard and me, "develop generosity in a new soil, and in a new form of flower."

[Pg 821] "What do you think will be best, Miss Summerson?" said Richard, aside.

I ventured to inquire generally, before replying, what would happen if the money were not produced.

"Jail," said the strange man, coolly putting his handkerchief into his hat, which was on the floor at his feet. "Or Coavinses."

"May I ask, sir, what is—"

"Coavinses?" said the strange man. "A 'ouse."

Richard and I looked at one another again. It was a most singular thing that the arrest was our embarrassment, and not Mr. Skimpole's. He observed us with a genial interest; but there seemed, if I may venture on such a contradiction nothing selfish in it. He had entirely washed his hands of the difficulty, and it had become ours.

"I thought," he suggested, as if good-naturedly to help us out, "that, being parties in a Chancery suit concerning (as people say) a large amount of property, Mr. Richard, or his beautiful cousin, or both, could sign something, or make over something, or give some sort of undertaking, or pledge, or bond? I don't know what the business name of it may be, but I suppose there is some instrument within their power that would settle this?"

"Not a bit on it," said the strange man.

"Really," returned Mr. Skimpole; "that seems odd, now, to one who is no judge of these things!"

"Odd or even," said the stranger, gruffly, "I tell you, not a bit on it!"

"Keep your temper, my good fellow, keep your temper!" Mr. Skimpole gently reasoned with him, as he made a little drawing of his head on the fly-leaf of a book. "Don't be ruffled by your occupation. We can separate you from your office; we can separate the individual from the pursuit. We are not so prejudiced as to suppose that in private life you are otherwise than a very estimable man, with a great deal of poetry in your nature, of which you may not be conscious."

[Pg 822] The stranger only answered with another violent snort; whether in acceptance of the poetry-tribute, or in disdainful rejection of it, he did not express to me.

"Now, my dear Miss Summerson, and my dear Mr. Richard," said Mr. Skimpole, gayly, innocently, and confidingly, as he looked at his drawing with his head on one side; "here you see me utterly incapable of helping myself, and entirely in your hands! I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free. Mankind will surely not deny to Harold Skimpole what it concedes to the butterflies!"

"My dear Miss Summerson," said Richard, in a whisper, "I have ten pounds that I received from Mr. Kenge. I must try what that will do."

I possessed fifteen pounds, odd shillings, which I had saved from my quarterly allowance during several years. I had always thought that some accident might happen which would throw me, suddenly, without any relation or any property, on the world; and had always tried to keep some little money by me, that I might not be quite penniless. I told Richard of my having this little store, and having no present need of it; and I asked him delicately to inform Mr. Skimpole, while I should be gone to fetch it, that we would have the pleasure of paying his debt.

When I came back, Mr. Skimpole kissed my hand, and seemed quite touched. Not on his own account (I was again aware of that perplexing and extraordinary contradiction), but on ours; as if personal considerations were impossible with him, and the contemplation of our happiness alone affected him. Richard, begging me, for the greater grace of the transaction, as he said, to settle with Coavinses (as Mr. Skimpole now jocularly called him), I counted out the money and received the necessary acknowledgment. This, too, delighted Mr. Skimpole.


His compliments were so delicately administered, that I blushed less than I might have done; and settled with the stranger in the white coat, without making any mistakes. He put the money in his pocket, and shortly said, "Well then, I'll wish you a good-evening, miss."

"My friend," said Mr. Skimpole; standing with his back to the fire, after giving up the sketch when it was half finished, "I should like to ask you something without offense."

I think the reply was, "Cut away, then!"

"Did you know this morning, now, that you were coming out on this errand?" said Mr. Skimpole.

"Know'd it yes'day aft'noon at tea time," said Coavinses.

"It didn't affect your appetite? Didn't make you at all uneasy?"

"Not a bit," said Coavinses. "I know'd if you wos missed to-day, you wouldn't be missed to-morrow. A day makes no such odds."

"But when you came down here," proceeded Mr. Skimpole, "it was a fine day. The sun was shining, the wind was blowing, the lights and shadows were passing across the fields, the birds were singing."

"Nobody said they warn't, in my hearing," returned Coavinses.

"No," observed Mr. Skimpole. "But what did you think upon the road?"

"Wot do you mean?" growled Coavinses, with an appearance of strong resentment. "Think! I've got enough to do, and little enough to get for it, without thinking. Thinking!" (with profound contempt.)

"Then you didn't think, at all events," proceeded Mr. Skimpole, "to this effect. 'Harold Skimpole loves to see the sun shine; loves to hear the wind blow; loves to watch the changing lights and shadows; loves to hear the birds, those choristers in Nature's great cathedral. And does it seem to me that I am about to deprive Harold Skimpole of his share in such possessions, which are his only birthright!' You thought nothing to that effect?"

"I—certainly—did—not," said Coavinses, whose doggedness in utterly renouncing the idea was of that intense kind, that he could only give adequate expression to it by putting a long interval between each word, and accompanying the last with a jerk that might have dislocated his neck.

"Very odd and very curious, the mental process is, in you men of business!" said Mr. Skimpole, thoughtfully. "Thank you, my friend. Good-night."

As our absence had been long enough already, to seem strange down stairs, I returned at once, and found Ada sitting at work by the fireside talking to her cousin John. Mr. Skimpole presently appeared, and Richard shortly after him. I was sufficiently engaged, during the remainder of the evening, in taking my first lesson in backgammon from Mr. Jarndyce, who was very fond of the game, and from whom I wished of course to learn it as quickly as I could, in order that I might be of the very small use of being able to play when he had no better adversary. But I thought, occasionally when Mr. Skimpole played some fragments of his own compositions; or when, both at the piano and the violoncello, and at our table, he preserved, with an absence of all effort, his delightful spirits and his easy flow of conversation; that Richard and I seemed to retain the transferred impression of having been arrested since dinner, and that it was very curious altogether.

It was late before we separated: for when Ada was going at eleven o'clock, Mr. Skimpole went to the piano, and rattled, hilariously, that the best of all ways, to lengthen our days, was to steal a few hours from Night, my dear! It was past twelve before he took his candle and his radiant face out of the room; and I think he might have kept us there, if he had seen fit, until daybreak. Ada and Richard were lingering for a few moments by the fire, wondering whether Mrs. Jellyby had yet finished her dictation for the day, when Mr. Jarndyce, who had been out of the room, returned.

[Pg 823] "Oh, dear me, what's this, what's this?" he said, rubbing his head and walking about with his good-humored vexation. "What's this, they tell me? Rick, my boy, Esther, my dear, what have you been doing? Why did you do it? How could you do it? How much apiece was it?—The wind's round again. I feel it all over me!"

We neither of us quite knew what to answer.

"Come, Rick, come! I must settle this before I sleep. How much are you out of pocket? You two made the money up you know! Why did you? How could you?—O Lord, yes, it's due east—must be!"

"Really, sir," said Richard, "I don't think it would be honorable in me to tell you. Mr. Skimpole relied upon us—"

"Lord bless you, my dear boy! He relies upon every body!" said Mr. Jarndyce, giving his head a great rub, and stopping short.

"Indeed, sir?"

"Every body! And he'll be in the same scrape again, next week!" said Mr. Jarndyce, walking again at a great pace, with a candle in his hand that had gone out. "He's always in the same scrape. He was born in the same scrape. I verily believe that the announcement in the newspapers when his mother was confined, was 'On Tuesday last, at her residence in Botheration Buildings, Mrs. Skimpole of a son in difficulties.'"

Richard laughed heartily, but added, "Still, sir, I don't want to shake his confidence, or to break his confidence; and if I submit to your better knowledge again, that I ought to keep his secret, I hope you will consider before you press me any more. Of course, if you do press me, sir, I shall know I am wrong, and will tell you."

"Well!" cried Mr. Jarndyce, stopping again, and making several absent endeavors to put his candlestick in his pocket. "I—here! Take it away, my dear. I don't know what I am about with it; it's all the wind—invariably has that effect—I won't press you, Rick; you may be right. But, really—to get hold of you and Esther—and to squeeze you like a couple of tender young Saint Michael's oranges!—It'll blow a gale in the course of the night!"

He was now alternately putting his hands into his pockets, as if he were going to keep them there a long time; and taking them out again, and vehemently rubbing them all over his head.

I ventured to take this opportunity of hinting that Mr. Skimpole, being in all such matters quite a child—

"Eh, my dear?" said Mr. Jarndyce catching at the word.

"—Being quite a child, sir," said I, "and so different from other people—"

"You are right!" said Mr. Jarndyce, brightening. "Your woman's wit hits the mark. He is a child—an absolute child. I told you he was a child, you know, when I first mentioned him."

"Certainly! certainly!" we said.

"And he is a child. Now isn't he?" asked Mr. Jarndyce, brightening more and more.

He was indeed, we said.

"When you come to think of it, it's the height of childishness in you—I mean me—" said Mr. Jarndyce, "to regard him for a moment as a man. You can't make him responsible. The idea of Harold Skimpole with designs or plans, or knowledge of consequences! Ha, ha, ha!"

It was so delicious to see the clouds about his face clearing, and to see him so heartily pleased, and to know, as it was impossible not to know, that the source of his pleasure was the goodness which was tortured by condemning, or mistrusting, or secretly accusing any one, that I saw the tears in Ada's eyes while she echoed his laugh, and felt them in my own.

"Why, what a cod's head and shoulders I am," said Mr. Jarndyce, "to require reminding of it! The whole business shows the child from beginning to end. Nobody but a child would have thought of singling you two out for parties in the affair! Nobody but a child would have thought of your having the money! If it had been a thousand pounds, it would have been just the same!" said Mr. Jarndyce, with his whole face in a glow.

We all confirmed it from our night's experience.

"To be sure, to be sure!" said Mr. Jarndyce. "However, Rick, Esther, and you too, Ada, for I don't know that even your little purse is safe from his inexperience—I must have a promise all round, that nothing of this sort shall ever be done anymore. No advances! Not even sixpences."

We all promised faithfully; Richard, with a merry glance at me, touching his pocket, as if to remind me that there was no danger of our transgressing.

"As to Skimpole," said Mr. Jarndyce, "a habitable doll's house, with good board, and a few tin people to get into debt with and borrow money of, would set the boy up in life. He is in a child's sleep by this time, I suppose; it's time I should take my craftier head to my more worldly pillow. Good-night, my dears. God bless you!"

He peeped in again, with a smiling face, before we had lighted our candles, and said, "O! I have been looking at the weather-cock. I find it was a false alarm about the wind. It's in the south!" And went away, singing to himself.

Ada and I agreed, as we talked together for a little while up-stairs, that this caprice about the wind was a fiction; and that he used the pretense to account for any disappointment he could not conceal, rather than he would blame the real cause of it, or disparage or depreciate any one. We thought this very characteristic of his eccentric gentleness; and of the difference between him and those petulant people who make the weather and the winds (particularly that unlucky wind which he had chosen for such a different purpose) the stalking-horse of their splenetic and gloomy humors.

Indeed, so much affection for him had been added in this one evening to my gratitude, that I hoped I already began to understand him through that mingled feeling. Any seeming inconsistencies in Mr. Skimpole, or in Mrs. Jellyby, I could[Pg 824] not expect to be able to reconcile; having so little experience or practical knowledge. Neither did I try; for my thoughts were busy when I was alone, with Ada and Richard, and with the confidence I had seemed to receive concerning them. My fancy, made a little wild by the wind perhaps, would not consent to be all unselfish either, though I would have persuaded it to be so if I could. It wandered back to my godmother's house, and came along the intervening track, raising up shadowy speculations which had sometimes trembled there in the dark, as to what knowledge Mr. Jarndyce had of my earliest history—even as to the possibility of his being my father—though that idle dream was quite gone now.

It was all gone now, I remembered, getting up from the fire. It was not for me to muse over bygones, but to act with a cheerful spirit and a grateful heart. So I said to myself, "Esther, Esther, Esther! Duty, my dear!" and gave my little basket of housekeeping keys such a shake, that they sounded like little bells, and rang me hopefully to bed.

CHAPTER VII.—The Ghost's Walk.

While Esther sleeps, and while Esther wakes, it is still wet weather down at the place in Lincolnshire. The rain is ever falling, drip, drip, drip, by day and night, upon the broad flag terrace-pavement, The Ghost's Walk. The weather is so very bad, down in Lincolnshire, that the liveliest imagination can scarcely apprehend its ever being fine again. Not that there is any superabundant life of imagination on the spot, for Sir Leicester is not here (and, truly, even if he were, would not do much for it in that particular), but is in Paris with my Lady; and solitude, with dusky wings, sits brooding upon Chesney Wold.

There may be some notions of fancy among the lower animals at Chesney Wold. The horses in the stables—the long stables in a barren, red-brick court-yard, where there is a great bell in a turret, and a clock with a large face, which the pigeons who live near it, and who love to perch upon its shoulders, seem to be always consulting—they may contemplate some mental pictures of fine weather, on occasions, and may be better artists at them than the grooms. The old roan, so famous for cross-country work, turning his large eyeball to the grated window near his rack, may remember the fresh leaves that glisten there at other times, and the scents that stream in, and may have a fine run with the hounds, while the human helper, clearing out the next stall, never stirs beyond his pitchfork and birch-broom. The gray, whose place is opposite the door, and who, with an impatient rattle of his halter, pricks his ears, and turns his head so wistfully when it is opened, and to whom the opener says, "Woa gray, then, steady! Noabody wants you to-day!" may know it quite as well as the man. The whole seemingly monotonous and uncompanionable half-dozen, stabled together, may pass the long wet hours, when the door is shut, in livelier communication than is held in the servants' hall, or at the Dedlock Arms; or may even beguile the time by improving (perhaps corrupting) the pony in the loose box in the corner.

So the mastiff, dozing in his kennel, in the court-yard, with his large head on his paws, may think of the hot sunshine, when the shadows of the stable-buildings tire his patience out by changing, and leave him, at one time of the day, no broader refuge than the shadow of his own house, where he sits on end, panting and growling short, and very much wanting something to worry, besides himself and chain. So now, half-waking and all-winking, he may recall the house full of company, the coach-houses full of vehicles, the stables full of horses, and the outbuildings full of attendants upon horses, until he is undecided about the present, and comes forth to see how it is. Then, with an impatient shake of himself, he may growl, in the spirit, "Rain, rain, rain! Nothing but rain—and no family here!" as he goes in again, and lies down with a gloomy yawn.

So with the dogs in the kennel-buildings across the park, who have their restless fits, and whose doleful voices, when the wind has been very obstinate, have even made it known in the house itself: up-stairs, down stairs, and in my lady's chamber. They may hunt the whole country-side, while the rain-drops are pattering round their inactivity. So the rabbits with their self-betraying tails, frisking in and out of holes at roots of trees, may be lively with ideas of the breezy days when their ears are blown about, or of those seasons of interest when there are sweet young plants to gnaw. The turkey in the poultry-yard, always troubled with a class-grievance (probably Christmas), may be reminiscent of that summer morning wrongfully taken from him, when he got into the lane among the felled trees, where there was a barn and barley. The discontented goose, who stoops to pass under the old gateway, twenty feet high, may gabble out, if we only knew it, a waddling preference for weather when the gateway casts its shadow on the ground.

Be this as it may, there is not much fancy otherwise stirring at Chesney Wold. If there be a little at any odd moment, it goes, like a little noise in that old echoing place, a long way, and usually leads off to ghosts and mystery.

It has rained so hard and rained so long, down in Lincolnshire, that Mrs. Rouncewell, the old housekeeper at Chesney Wold, has several times taken off her spectacles and cleaned them, to make certain that the drops were not upon the glasses. Mrs. Rouncewell might have been sufficiently assured by hearing the rain, but that she is rather deaf, which nothing will induce her to believe. She is a fine old lady, handsome, stately, wonderfully neat, and has such a back, and such a stomacher, that if her stays should turn out when she dies to have been a broad old-fashioned family fire-grate, nobody who knows her would have cause to be surprised. Weather affects Mrs. Rouncewell little. The house is there in all weathers, and the house, as she expresses it, "is[Pg 825] what she looks at." She sits in her room (in a side passage on the ground floor, with an arched window commanding a smooth quadrangle, adorned at regular intervals with smooth round trees and smooth round blocks of stone, as if the trees were going to play at bowls with the stones), and the whole house reposes on her mind. She can open it on occasion, and be busy and fluttered; but it is shut-up now, and lies on the breadth of Mrs. Rouncewell's iron-bound bosom, in a majestic sleep.

It is the next difficult thing to an impossibility to imagine Chesney Wold without Mrs. Rouncewell, but she has only been here fifty years. Ask her how long, this rainy day, and she shall answer, "fifty year three months and a fortnight, by the blessing of Heaven, if I live 'till Tuesday." Mr. Rouncewell died some time before the decease of the pretty fashion of pig-tails, and modestly hid his own (if he took it with him) in a corner of the church-yard in the park, near the mouldy porch. He was born in the market town, and so was his young widow. Her progress in the family began in the time of the last Sir Leicester, and originated in the still-room.

The present representative of the Dedlocks is an excellent master. He supposes all his dependents to be utterly bereft of individual characters, intentions, or opinions, and is persuaded that he was born to supersede the necessity of their having any. If he were to make a discovery to the contrary, he would be simply stunned—would never recover himself, most likely, except to gasp and die. But he is an excellent master still, holding it a part of his state to be so. He has a great liking for Mrs. Rouncewell; he says she is a most respectable, creditable woman. He always shakes hands with her, when he comes down to Chesney Wold, and when he goes away; and if he were very ill, or if he were knocked down by accident, or run over, or placed in any situation expressive of a Dedlock at a disadvantage, he would say if he could speak, "Leave me, and send Mrs. Rouncewell here!" feeling his dignity, at such a pass, safer with her than with any body else.

Mrs. Rouncewell has known trouble. She has had two sons, of whom the younger ran wild, and went for a soldier, and never came back. Even to this hour, Mrs. Rouncewell's calm hands lose their composure when she speaks of him, and unfolding themselves from her stomacher, hover about her in an agitated manner, as she says, what a likely lad, what a fine lad, what a gay, good-humored, clever lad he was! Her second son would have been provided for at Chesney Wold, and would have been made steward in due season; but he took, when he was a schoolboy, to constructing steam-engines out of sauce-pans, and setting birds to draw their own water, with the least possible amount of labor; so assisting them with artful contrivance of hydraulic pressure, that a thirsty canary had only, in a literal sense, to put his shoulder to the wheel, and the job was done. This propensity gave Mrs. Rouncewell great uneasiness. She felt it with a mother's anguish, to be a move in the Wat Tyler direction: well knowing that Sir Leicester had that general impression of an aptitude for any art to which smoke and a tall chimney might be considered essential. But the doomed young rebel (otherwise a mild youth, and very persevering), showing no sign of grace as he got older, but, on the contrary, constructing a model of a power-loom, she was fain, with many tears, to mention his backslidings to the baronet. "Mrs. Rouncewell," said Sir Leicester, "I can never consent to argue, as you know, with any one on any subject. You had better get rid of your boy, you had better get him into some Works. The iron country farther north is, I suppose, the congenial direction for a boy with these tendencies." Farther north he went, and farther north he grew up; and if Sir Leicester Dedlock ever saw him, when he came to Chesney Wold to visit his mother, or ever thought of him afterward, it is certain that he only regarded him as one of a body of some odd thousand conspirators, swarthy and grim, who were in the habit of turning out by torch-light, two or three nights in the week, for unlawful purposes.

Nevertheless Mrs. Rouncewell's son has, in the course of nature and art, grown up, and established himself, and married, and called unto him Mrs. Rouncewell's grandson: who, being out of his apprenticeship, and home from a journey in far countries, whither he was sent to enlarge his knowledge and complete his preparation for the venture of this life, stands leaning against the chimney-piece this very day, in Mrs. Rouncewell's room at Chesney Wold.

"And, again and again, I am glad to see you, Watt! And, once again, I am glad to see you, Watt!" says Mrs. Rouncewell. "You are a fine young fellow. You are like your poor uncle George. Ah!" Mrs. Rouncewell's hands unquiet, as usual, on this reference.

"They say I am like my father, grandmother."

"Like him, also, my dear—but most like your poor uncle George! And your dear father." Mrs. Rouncewell folds her hands again. "He is well?"

"Thriving, grandmother, in every way."

"I am thankful!" Mrs. Rouncewell is fond of her son, but has a plaintive feeling toward him—much as if he were a very honorable soldier, who had gone over to the enemy.

"He is quite happy?" says she.


"I am thankful! So, he has brought you up to follow in his ways, and has sent you into foreign countries and the like? Well, he knows best. There may be a world beyond Chesney Wold that I don't understand. Though I am not young, either. And I have seen a quantity of good company too!"

"Grandmother," says the young man, changing the subject, "what a very pretty girl that was, I found with you just now. You called her Rosa?"

[Pg 826] "Yes, child. She is daughter of a widow in the village. Maids are so hard to teach, nowadays, that I have put her about me young. She's an apt scholar, and will do well. She shows the house already, very pretty. She lives with me, at my table here."

"I hope I have not driven her away?"

"She supposes we have family affairs to speak about, I dare say. She is very modest. It is a fine quality in a young woman. And scarcer," says Mrs. Rouncewell, expanding her stomacher to its utmost limits, "than it formerly was!"

The young man inclines his head, in acknowledgment of the precepts of experience. Mrs. Rouncewell listens.

"Wheels!" says she. They have long been audible to the younger ears of her companion. "What wheels on such a day as this, for gracious sake?"

After a short interval, a tap at the door. "Come in!" A dark-eyed, dark-haired, shy, village beauty comes in—so fresh in her rosy and yet delicate bloom, that the drops of rain, which have beaten on her hair, look like the dew upon a flower fresh-gathered.

"What company is this, Rosa?" says Mrs. Rouncewell.

"It's two young men in a gig, ma'am, who want to see the house—yes, and if you please, I told them so!" in quick reply to a gesture of dissent from the housekeeper. "I went to the half-door, and told them it was the wrong day, and the wrong hour; but the young man who was driving took off his hat in the wet, and begged me to bring this card to you."

"Read it, my dear Watt," said the housekeeper.

Rosa is so shy as she gives it to him, that they drop it between them, and almost knock their foreheads together as they pick it up. Rosa is shyer than before.

"Mr. Guppy," is all the information the card yields.

"Guppy!" repeats Mrs. Rouncewell. "Mr. Guppy! Nonsense, I never heard of him!"

"If you please, he told me that!" says Rosa. "But he said that he and the other young gentleman came from London only last night by the mail, on business at the magistrates' meeting ten miles off, this morning; and that as their business was soon over, and they had heard a great deal said of Chesney Wold, and really didn't know what to do with themselves, they had come through the wet to see it. They are lawyers. He says he is not in Mr. Tulkinghorn's office, but is sure he may make use of Mr. Tulkinghorn's name, if necessary." Finding, now she leaves off, that she has been making quite a long speech, Rosa is shyer than ever.

Now, Mr. Tulkinghorn is, in a manner, part and parcel of the place; and, besides, is supposed to have made Mrs. Rouncewell's will. The old lady relaxes, consents to the admission of the visitors as a favor, and dismisses Rosa. The grandson, however, being smitten by a sudden wish to see the house himself, proposes to join the party. The grandmother, who is pleased that he should have that interest, accompanies him—though, to do him justice, he is exceedingly unwilling to trouble her.

"Much obliged to you, ma'am!" says Mr. Guppy, divesting himself of his wet dreadnought in the hall. "Us London lawyers don't often get an out; and when we do, we like to make the most of it, you know."

The old housekeeper, with a gracious severity of deportment, waves her hand toward the great staircase. Mr. Guppy and his friend follow Rosa, Mrs. Rouncewell and her grandson follow them, a young gardener goes before to open the shutters.

As is usually the case with people who go over houses, Mr. Guppy and his friend are dead beat before they have well begun. They straggle about in wrong places, look at wrong things, don't care for the right things, gape when more rooms are opened, exhibit profound depression of spirits, and are clearly knocked up. In each successive chamber that they enter, Mrs. Rouncewell, who is as upright as the house itself, rests apart in a window-seat, or other such nook, and listens with stately approval to Rosa's exposition. Her grandson is so attentive to it, that Rosa is shyer than ever—and prettier. Thus they pass on from room to room, raising the pictured Dedlocks for a few brief minutes as the young gardener admits the light, and reconsigning them to their graves as he shuts it out again. It appears to the afflicted Mr. Guppy and his inconsolable friend, that there is no end to the Dedlocks, whose family-greatness seems to consist in their never having done any thing to distinguish themselves, for seven hundred years.

Even the long drawing-room of Chesney Wold can not revive Mr. Guppy's spirits. He is so low that he droops on the threshold, and has hardly strength of mind to enter. But a portrait over the chimney-piece, painted by the fashionable artist of the day, acts upon him like a charm. He recovers in a moment. He stares at it with uncommon interest; he seems to be fixed and fascinated by it.

"Dear me!" says Mr. Guppy. "Who's that?"

"The picture over the fire-place," says Rosa, "is the portrait of the present Lady Dedlock. It is considered a perfect likeness, and the best work of the master."

"'Blest!" says Mr. Guppy, staring in a kind of dismay at his friend, "if I can ever have seen her. Yet I know her! Has the picture been engraved, miss?"

"The picture has never been engraved. Sir Leicester has always refused permission."

"Well!" says Mr. Guppy, in a low voice, "I'll be shot if it an't very curious how well I know that picture! So that's Lady Dedlock, is it?"

"The picture on the right is the present Sir Leicester Dedlock. The picture on the left is his father, the late Sir Leicester."

Mr. Guppy has no eyes for either of these magnates. "It's unaccountable to me," he says, still[Pg 827] staring at the portrait, "how well I know that picture! I'm dashed!" adds Mr. Guppy, looking round, "if I don't think I must have had a dream of that picture, you know!"

As no one present takes any especial interest in Mr. Guppy's dreams, the probability is not pursued. But he still remains so absorbed by the portrait, that he stands immovable before it until the young gardener has closed the shutters; when he comes out of the room in a dazed state, that is an odd though a sufficient substitute for interest, and follows into the succeeding rooms with a confused stare, as if he were looking every where for Lady Dedlock again.

He sees no more of her. He sees her rooms, which are the last shown, as being very elegant, and he looks out of the windows from which she looked out, not long ago, upon the weather that bored her to death. All things have an end—even houses that people take infinite pains to see, and are tired of before they begin to see them. He has come to the end of the sight, and the fresh village beauty to the end of her description; which is always this:

"The terrace below is much admired. It is called, from an old story in the family, The Ghost's Walk."

"No?" says Mr. Guppy, greedily curious; "what's the story, miss? Is it any thing about a picture?"

"Pray tell us the story," says Watt, in a half whisper.

"I don't know it, sir." Rosa is shyer than ever.

"It is not related to visitors; it is almost forgotten," says the housekeeper, advancing, "It has never been more than a family anecdote."

"You'll excuse my asking again if it has any thing to do with a picture, ma'am," observes Mr. Guppy, "because I do assure you that the more I think of that picture the better I know it, without knowing how I know it!"

The story has nothing to do with a picture; the housekeeper can guarantee that. Mr. Guppy is obliged to her for the information; and is moreover, generally obliged. He retires with his friend, guided down another staircase by the young gardener; and presently is heard to drive away. It is now dusk. Mrs. Rouncewell can trust to the discretion of her two young hearers, and may tell them how the terrace came to have that ghostly name. She seats herself in a large chair by the fast-darkening window, and tells them:

"In the wicked days, my dears, of King Charles the First—I mean, of course, in the wicked days of the rebels who leagued themselves against that excellent King—Sir Morbury Dedlock was the owner of Chesney Wold. Whether there was any account of a ghost in the family before those days, I can't say. I should think it very likely indeed."

Mrs. Rouncewell holds this opinion, because she considers that a family of such antiquity and importance has a right to a ghost. She regards a ghost as one of the privileges of the upper classes; a genteel distinction to which the common people have no claim.

"Sir Morbury Dedlock," says Mrs. Rouncewell, "was, I have no occasion to say, on the side of the blessed martyr. But it is supposed that his lady, who had none of the family blood in her veins, favored the bad cause. It is said that she had relations among King Charles's enemies; that she was in correspondence with them; and that she gave them information. When any of the country gentlemen who followed His Majesty's cause met here, it is said that my lady was always nearer to the door of their council-room than they supposed. Do you hear a sound like a footstep passing along the terrace, Watt?"

Rosa draws nearer to the housekeeper.

"I hear the rain-drip on the stones," replies the young man, "and I hear a curious echo—I suppose an echo—which is very like a halting step."

The housekeeper gravely nods and continues.

"Partly on account of this division between them, and partly on other accounts, Sir Morbury and his lady led a troubled life. She was a lady of a haughty temper. They were not well suited to each other in age or character, and they had no children to moderate between them. After her favorite brother, a young gentleman, was killed in the civil wars (by Sir Morbury's near kinsman), her feeling was so violent that she hated the race into which she had married. When the Dedlocks were about to ride out from Chesney Wold in the King's cause, she is supposed to have more than once stolen down into the stables in the dead of night, and lamed their horses; and the story is, that once, at such an hour, her husband saw her gliding down the stairs, and followed her into the stall where his own favorite horse stood. There he seized her by the wrist; and in a struggle or in a fall, or through the horse being frightened and lashing out, she was lamed in the hip, and from that hour began to pine away."

The housekeeper has dropped her voice to little more than a whisper.

"She had been a lady of a handsome figure and a noble carriage. She never complained of the change; she never spoke to any one of being crippled, or of being in pain; but, day by day, she tried to walk upon the terrace; and, with the help of a stick, and with the help of the stone balustrade, went up and down, up and down, up and down, in sun and shadow, with greater difficulty every day. At last, one afternoon, her husband (to whom she had never, on any persuasion, opened her lips since that night), standing at the great south window, saw her drop upon the pavement. He hastened down to raise her, but she repulsed him as he bent over her, and looking at him fixedly and coldly, said, 'I will die here, where I have walked. And I will walk here, though I am in my grave. I will walk here until the pride of this house is humbled. And when[Pg 828] calamity, or when disgrace is coming to it, let the Dedlocks listen for my step!'"

Watt looks at Rosa. Rosa, in the deepening gloom, looks down upon the ground, half frightened, and half shy.

"There and then she died. And from those days," says Mrs. Rouncewell, "the name has come down—The Ghost's Walk. If the tread is an echo, it is an echo that is only heard after dark, and is often unheard for a long while together. But it comes back, from time to time; and so sure as there is sickness or death in the family, it will be heard then."

"—And disgrace, grandmother—" says Watt.

"Disgrace never comes to Chesney Wold," returns the housekeeper.

Her grandson apologizes, with "True. True."

"That is the story. Whatever the sound is, it is a worrying sound," says Mrs. Rouncewell, getting up from her chair, "and what is to be noticed in it is, that it must be heard. My lady, who is afraid of nothing, admits that when it is there, it must be heard. You can not shut it out. Watt, there is a tall French clock behind you (placed there, a' purpose) that has a loud beat when it is in motion, and can play music. You understand how those things are managed?"

"Pretty well, grandmother, I think."

"Set it a-going."

Watt sets it a-going—music and all.

"Now, come hither," says the housekeeper. "Hither, child, toward my lady's pillow. I am not sure that it is dark enough yet, but listen! Can you hear the sound upon the terrace, through the music, and the beat, and every thing?"

"I certainly can!"

"So my lady says."



To provide resources for the invalids of the Russian army, great care is taken; and in addition to more fixed estimates, the emperor makes extraordinary exertions, by balls, and lotteries, and masquerades, of a charitable nature, to augment the ways and means of the veterans who have been disabled in his service. Sometimes the ball, the lottery, and the masquerade are all combined in one festive display. Of course, such displays take place in winter, which is the St. Petersburg season. It is not two years since I was present on one of these occasions, round which the emperor threw all the attractions of his gorgeous court. And, as the festivities were for the especial benefit of the military invalids, I may be excused for lingering for awhile on the details which I witnessed. Besides, often as the emperor, who is the real commander-in-chief of all the Russian forces, has been described, the subject is far from being picked to the bone; and what I saw of him it will gratify the curiosity of the reader to learn.

It is the military frequenters, with their prodigious variety of costumes, who give so much splendor to the celebrated masquerades of St. Petersburg. These are conducted on the model of the still more celebrated masquerades of old, in Venice. The approximation is the less complete, of course, because the climate is so different. Open-air assemblies, for pleasure's sake, are out of the question, in a northern winter. The merry-makers would have little else to do but rub each other's noses with snow, to prevent their falling off gradually after they had been bleached by the leprous-looking frost-bite. There are nights when it is hardly an exaggeration to say that, if a person spits out, it is a pellet of ice which rattles against the ground. The sudden transition from such a winter to the intense heat of the Petersburg summer is one among several conditions which render a residence in that capital so unfriendly to the health of foreigners, unless they come in the plastic time of childhood, and grow, with many precautions, acclimatized.

The place of assembly for these great festive or charitable demonstrations (the only kind of "demonstration," except such as are military, which can be seen in Russia) is not unworthy of its purposes. It is probably the finest of its kind in Europe or in the world, and is called the "Hall of Nobility"—Salle de Noblesse—a vast edifice, capable of receiving seven thousand guests, supported inside by splendid scagliola columns, richly decorated, skillfully laid out, distributed into a vast pit for dancing, with circumambient galleries and balconies, with retiring or withdrawing apartments for the emperor and his court, and with general refreshment-rooms in the outer circuit. This scene is lit up by clusters of wax-lights the beams of which are multiplied by crystal pendants; while the wax-lights themselves are many thousands in number, more numerous, in fact, than the stars visible to the naked eye on a bright frosty night.

A great masquerade ball for the benefit of the invalids, in such a place, with the additional attraction of the promised presence of the Emperor Nicholas, was irresistible. I determined to go, and my determination was the more natural inasmuch as I happened to possess a free ticket. On entering, I was struck by the novel and somewhat grotesque feature imparted to the scene by the lottery prizes, which had lain there "on view" for some days previously. I found a crowd which was afterward estimated at seven thousand; but, I dare say, it numbered five or six only.

Perfectly lost in the vastness of the place, the multitude assembled, and the grotesque horror of beautiful forms without human faces, I sat down for awhile, near the orchestra. The benches, on one of which I was, rose here in successive tiers, from the vast, pit-like saloon to the surrounding gallery, which was overhung by another gallery, and abutted upon several splendid refreshment-rooms. Before and below, the crowd was particularly dense around a little rostrum, on which a glass wheel and several officials who plied it, stood together. The press, the throng, the hustling, the jostling, the redness of[Pg 829] faces where they could be seen, and the activity of elbows where they could be insidiously inserted, were raging around. A similar apparatus, besieged by similar votaries, stood at the other three corners of the saloon. In the ancillary apartments there were more of these shrines of gambling; a gambling in which only one class was sure to win, a class unvexed by the excitement of the game, the invalided veterans, the brave old disabled soldiers of the empire. For their sakes was all this gorgeous commotion; for their sakes this splendid mob bustled about the "Ailetpii Allegri;" that is, the wheels of fortune, the lottery stands, the stalls of fate. All round these, and between them, circulated the pervading immensity of the masquerade.

Tired of this part of the scene, I asked the person next me, in what part of the room the emperor was. I had already seen Alexander, the crown prince, or, as he is called, the Grand Duc Héritier, walking about with a lady on his arm, his handsome open countenance radiant with the smiles that are so easily lit there.

"The emperor," said the person whom I had asked, "passed this way about a quarter of an hour since, and must be somewhere yonder," and he pointed to the end of the saloon, opposite the orchestra.

I arose, ascended the flights of stairs that conducted to the Boulevard-like gallery, and I began to thread my way behind the scagliola columns. Beyond these, across the width of the corridor, arose the wall which was the running boundary of the corridor on the other side; and into this wall were let tall mirrors, which multiplied every particular of the confused and shifting splendor of the rooms.

When I reached the further end of the gallery, a spectacle was offered to me, which arrested all my attention. I must premise, that when the emperor attends these festivities, or others of a like nature, he evinces certain likings, feelings, tastes. He is not entirely indifferent as to what his subjects may do. If there be one thing more than another which he abhors, it is that in these scenes of familiar relaxation, in which he mingles to unbend his own mind, while contributing indirectly a new interest to the revels of others, he should be saluted as emperor, or beset by the unmannerly siege of a universal stare. It is strictly understood, or, as the fashionable jargon is, de rigueur, that he is present as any other stranger, not to be noted, not to be quoted, quite incognitus. Here he comes, like any one else, to amuse himself, to forget imperial cares for a brief moment. Nothing pleases him more than to let him pass. Can he not be as any other of the countless visitors, who engage in the intricate tactics of these grave and sober saturnalia—this game of small mystery—this strategic maze of hushed frolic—these profound combinations of grown-up gentlemen and ladies at hide-and-seek?

I had easily figured to myself, that it was easier for the emperor to let people know that such was his wish, than for others to affect an unconsciousness which they did not feel, or an indifference which they felt still less. I had guessed that, in such scenes, his desire to be allowed to move about unnoticed, was difficult to be reduced to perfect practice. But I was far indeed from being prepared for what I beheld.

Sauntering idly along, I became conscious, not of a start among the throng—not of any exclamation—not even of any particular hush, but of an indefinable sensation around me. Crowds have their general physiognomies like individuals. This sensation was as perceptible as a change of countenance, and as silent. I looked up, and in the midst of a vacant place, from which every one had shrunk back, as from a plague-stricken spot, or a haunted floor, or a "fairy-ring," about ten yards onward and facing me, I saw the emperor (his head bare), standing alone, with his back against the opposite wall. I had often seen him before in the streets, but never with so good an opportunity of noting his physiognomy, deportment, figure, and whole appearance.

"Now," said I to myself, "let me realize this with accuracy. It is not so much the Sovereign of Russia whom you see there, as it is Russia itself—a power—a sway, in a single person. He is the only surviving instance or ensample of types, such as loomed before the minds of the prophets of God aforetime, and have been thought worthy to be the themes of their awful predictions. This is Cyrus, or the second Cæsar; this a mystic statue—not that of which the head was of fine gold, but the breast and the arms of silver, and the belly and the thighs of brass, and the legs of iron; the feet part of iron, and part of clay."

Not such; yet assuredly such like.

I forgot every thing around me, except that great mighty figure towering aloft. It were useless to describe very particularly the present Emperor "of all the Russias." People in England still remember him, as he was when he visited us in his magnificent youth. Years have indeed made some change. His hair is thin, which was then so abundant. Public care has written some lines on a face, far more commanding, though perhaps less haughty, and certainly less blooming than in those days. But he has still the same marvelous width of chest and shoulder, the same royal-looking height, the same large open blue eye, full of authority and instinct with mind; a forehead which is even broader and loftier than of old, and which never yet belonged to one whose mental powers were not extraordinary; and that statuesque set of the head, which, if it wore no crown, would yet make you know it for the head of some mighty king.

"They would have proclaimed him," said I to myself, "on their shields, in the days of Attila, or of Clovis."

On the present occasion, the emperor was standing alone, as I have said; his back resting against the wall, and a crowd of the most persistent gazers around. He looked vexed—even melancholy. They would not grant him this casual moment of amusement untormented. He had the air of one at bay. He faced the crowd[Pg 830] full, and wherever his glance fell, I could see all eyes sink before it immediately. It rested a moment on myself. I had often heard, and often read, that it was difficult to return his look; and why I know not. It is but an eye; yet, whether it was the involuntary sympathy I felt for a king thus bayed in his moments of relaxation, or whether it was that in his piercing glance, there is an expression as if he were about to address you, and thus to make you the object of universal notice, or whatever else it may be, I too dropped my looks to the ground.

A couple of masks approached him as if to speak; he turned full upon them, to give the opportunity; their hearts failed them at once, and with a low courtesy, they shrank back again.

I saw him again several times during the evening, once walking with a lady (deeply masked, if I remember). His dress was that of a general officer, and he wore a lofty hussar's cap, with a single tall feather at its side. It made his stature seem still more colossal.

As I was defiling through the crowd, I felt shortly afterward a sharp blow on my elbow. Turning, I saw a mask, who, looking at me for a moment, retreated. I followed till my guide had sat down in a place where there was room for two, making me to understand that I was to occupy the vacant spot. I considered her figure for a moment, and then feeling perfectly sure that it was not that of an acquaintance, I declined. Without any answer, I strolled my way. Having seen what a masquerade was at the "Nobles' Hall," I soon afterward left the rooms altogether, hoping sincerely that the proceeds might be ample, for the sake of the veteran invalids; and meditating much on the Czar, whom I had had so good an opportunity of seeing, and whom these veterans regarded as by right divine their perpetual "Generalissimo."


At the top of Farringdon-street in the city of London, once adorned by the Fleet Prison, and by a diabolical jumble of nuisances in the middle of the road called Fleet Market, is a broad new thoroughfare in a state of transition. A few years hence, and we of the present generation will find it not an easy task to recall, in the thriving street which will arise upon this spot, the wooden barriers and hoardings—the passages that lead to nothing—the glimpses of obscene Field-lane and Saffron-hill—the mounds of earth, old bricks, and oyster-shells—the arched foundations of unbuilt houses—the backs of miserable tenements with patched windows—the odds and ends of fever-stricken courts and alleys—which are the present features of the place. Not less perplexing do I find it now, to reckon how many years have passed since I traversed these by-ways one night before they were laid bare, to find out the first Ragged School.

If I say it is ten years ago, I leave a handsome margin. The discovery was then newly made, that to talk soundingly in parliament, and cheer for Church and State, or to consecrate and confirm without end, or to perorate to any extent in a thousand market-places about all the ordinary topics of patriotic songs and sentiments, was merely to embellish England on a great scale with whited sepulchres, while there was, in every corner of the land where its people were closely accumulated, profound ignorance and perfect barbarism. It was also newly discovered, that out of these noxious sinks where they were born to perish, and where the general ruin was hatching day and night, the people would not come to be improved. The gulf between them and all wholesome humanity had swollen to such a depth and breadth, that they were separated from it as by impassable seas or deserts; and so they lived, and so they died: an always-increasing band of outlaws in body and soul, against whom it were to suppose the reversal of all laws, human and divine, to believe that society could at last prevail.

In this condition of things, a few unaccredited messengers of Christianity, whom no bishop had ever heard of, and no government-office porter had ever seen, resolved to go to the miserable wretches who had lost the way to them; and to set up places of instruction in their own degraded haunts. I found my first Ragged School, in an obscure place called West-street, Saffron-hill, pitifully struggling for life, under every disadvantage. It had no means, it had no suitable rooms, it derived no power or protection from being recognized by any authority, it attracted within its wretched walls a fluctuating swarm of faces—young in years but youthful in nothing else—that scowled Hope out of countenance. It was held in a low-roofed den, in a sickening atmosphere, in the midst of taint, and dirt, and pestilence: with all the deadly sins let loose, howling and shrieking at the doors. Zeal did not supply the place of method and training; the teachers knew little of their office; the pupils, with an evil sharpness, found them out, got the better of them, derided them, made blasphemous answers to scriptural questions, sang, fought, danced, robbed each other; seemed possessed by legions of devils. The place was stormed and carried, over and over again; the lights were blown out, the books strewn in the gutters, and the female scholars carried off triumphantly to their old wickedness. With no strength in it but its purpose, the school stood it all out and made its way. Some two years since, I found it, one of many such, in a large, convenient loft in this transition part of Farringdon-street—quiet and orderly, full, lighted with gas, well white-washed, numerously attended, and thoroughly established.

The number of houseless creatures who resorted to it, and who were necessarily turned out when it closed, to hide where they could in heaps of moral and physical pollution, filled the managers with pity. To relieve some of the more constant and deserving scholars, they rented a wretched house, where a few common beds—a dozen or a dozen-and-a-half perhaps—were made[Pg 831] upon the floors. This was the Ragged School Dormitory; and when I found the school in Farringdon-street, I found the dormitory in a court hard by, which in the time of the cholera had acquired a dismal fame. The dormitory was, in all respects, save as a small beginning, a very discouraging institution. The air was bad; the dark and ruinous building, with its small close rooms, was quite unsuited to the purpose; and a general supervision of the scattered sleepers was impossible. I had great doubts at the time whether, excepting that they found a crazy shelter for their heads, they were better than in the streets.

Having heard, in the course of last month, that this dormitory (there are others elsewhere) had grown as the school had grown, I went the other night to make another visit to it. I found the school in the same place, still advancing. It was now an Industrial School too; and besides the men and boys who were learning—some, aptly enough; some, with painful difficulty; some, sluggishly and wearily; some, not at all—to read, and write, and cipher; there were two groups, one of shoemakers, and one (in a gallery) of tailors, working with great industry and satisfaction, Each was taught and superintended by a regular workman engaged for the purpose, who delivered out the necessary means and implements. All were employed in mending, either their own dilapidated clothes or shoes, or the dilapidated clothes or shoes of some of the other pupils. They were of all ages, from young boys to old men. They were quiet, and intent upon their work. Some of them were almost as unused to it as I should have shown myself to be if I had tried my hand, but all were deeply interested and profoundly anxious to do it somehow or other. They presented a very remarkable instance of the general desire there is, after all, even in the vagabond breast, to know something useful. One shock-headed man, when he had mended his own scrap of a coat, drew it on with such an air of satisfaction, and put himself to so much inconvenience to look at the elbow he had darned, that I thought a new coat (and the mind could not imagine a period when that coat of his was new!) would not have pleased him better. In the other part of the school, where each class was partitioned off by screens adjusted like the boxes in a coffee-room, was some very good writing, and some singing of the multiplication-table—the latter, on a principle much too juvenile and innocent for some of the singers. There was also a ciphering-class, where a young pupil teacher out of the streets, who refreshed himself by spitting every half-minute, had written a legible sum in compound addition, on a broken slate, and was walking backward and forward before it, as he worked it, for the instruction of his class, in this way:

Now then! Look here, all on you! Seven and five, how many?

Sharp Boy (in no particular clothes).—Twelve!

Pupil Teacher.—Twelve—and eight?

Dull Young Man (with water on the brain).—Forty-five!

Sharp Boy.—Twenty!

Pupil Teacher.—Twenty. You're right. And nine?

Dull Young Man (after great consideration).—Twenty-nine!

Pupil Teacher.—Twenty-nine it is. And nine!

Reckless Guesser.—Seventy-four!

Pupil Teacher (drawing nine strokes).—How can that be? Here's nine on 'em! Look! Twenty-nine, and one's thirty, and one's thirty-one, and one's thirty-two, and one's thirty-three, and one's thirty-four, and one's thirty-five, and one's thirty-six, and one's thirty-seven, and one's what?

Reckless Guesser.—Four-and-two-pence farden!

Dull Young Man (who had been absorbed in the demonstration).—Thirty-eight!

Pupil Teacher (restraining sharp boy's ardor).—Of course it is! Thirty-eight pence. There they are! (writing 38 in slate-corner.) Now what do you make of thirty-eight pence? Thirty-eight pence, how much? (Dull young man slowly considers and gives it up, under a week.) How much, you? (to sleepy boy, who stares and says nothing.) How much, you?

Sharp Boy.—Three-and-twopence!

Pupil Teacher.—Three-and-twopence. How do I put down three-and-twopence?

Sharp Boy.—You puts down the two, and you carries the three.

Pupil Teacher.—Very good. Where do I carry the three?

Reckless Guesser.—T'other side the slate!

Sharp Boy.—You carries him to the next column on the left hand, and adds him on!

Pupil Teacher.—And adds him on! and eight and three's eleven, and eight's nineteen, and seven's what?

—And so on.

The best and most spirited teacher was a young man, himself reclaimed through the agency of this school from the lowest depths of misery and debasement, whom the committee were about to send out to Australia. He appeared quite to deserve the interest they took in him, and his appearance and manner were a strong testimony to the merits of the establishment.

All this was not the dormitory, but it was the preparation for it. No man or boy is admitted to the dormitory, unless he is a regular attendant at the school, and unless he has been in the school two hours before the time of opening the dormitory. If there be reason to suppose that he can get any work to do and will not do it, he is admitted no more, and his place is assigned to some other candidate for the nightly refuge: of whom there are always plenty. There is very little to tempt the idle and profligate. A scanty supper and a scanty breakfast, each of six ounces of bread and nothing else (this quantity is less than the present penny-loaf), would scarcely be regarded by Mr. Chadwick himself as a festive or uproarious entertainment.

[Pg 832] I found the Dormitory below the School: with its bare walls and rafters, and bare floor, the building looked rather like an extensive coach-house, well lighted with gas. A wooden gallery had been recently erected on three sides of it; and, abutting from the centre of the wall on the fourth side, was a kind of glazed meat-safe, accessible by a ladder; in which the presiding officer is posted every night, and all night. In the centre of the room, which was very cool, and perfectly sweet, stood a small fixed stove; on two sides, there were windows; on all sides, simple means of admitting fresh air, and releasing foul air. The ventilation of the place, devised by Doctor Arnott, and particularly the expedient for relieving the sleepers in the galleries from receiving the breath of the sleepers below, is a wonder of simplicity, cheapness, efficiency, and practical good sense. If it had cost five or ten thousand pounds, it would have been famous.

The whole floor of the building, with the exception of a few narrow pathways, was partitioned off into wooden troughs, or shallow boxes without lids—not unlike the fittings in the shop of a dealer in corn and flour, and seeds. The galleries were parceled out in this same way. Some of these berths were very short—for boys; some, longer—for men. The largest were of very contracted limits; all were composed of the bare boards; each was furnished only with one coarse rug, rolled up. In the brick pathways were iron gratings communicating with trapped drains, enabling the entire surface of these sleeping-places to be soused and flooded with water every morning. The floor of the galleries was cased with zinc, and fitted with gutters and escape-pipes, for the same reason. A supply of water, both for drinking and for washing, and some tin vessels for either purpose, were at hand. A little shed, used by one of the industrial classes, for the chopping up of fire-wood, did not occupy the whole of the spare space in that corner; and the remainder was devoted to some excellent baths, available also as washing troughs, in order that those who have any rags of linen may clean them once a week. In aid of this object, a drying-closet, charged with hot-air, was about to be erected in the wood-chopping shed. All these appliances were constructed in the simplest manner, with the commonest means, in the narrowest space, at the lowest cost; but were perfectly adapted to their respective purposes.

I had scarcely made the round of the Dormitory, and looked at all these things, when a moving of feet overhead announced that the School was breaking up for the night. It was succeeded by profound silence, and then by a hymn, sung in a subdued tone, and in very good time and tune, by the learners we had lately seen. Separated from their miserable bodies, the effect of their voices, united in this strain, was infinitely solemn. It was as if their souls were singing—as if the outward differences that parted us had fallen away, and the time was come when all the perverted good that was in them, or that ever might have been in them, arose imploringly to Heaven.

The baker who had brought the bread, and who leaned against a pillar while the singing was in progress, meditating in his way, whatever his way was, now shouldered his basket and retired. The two half-starved attendants (rewarded with a double portion for their pains) heaped the six-ounce loaves into other baskets, and made ready to distribute them. The night-officer arrived, mounted to his meat-safe, unlocked it, hung up his hat, and prepared to spend the evening. I found him to be a very respectable-looking person in black, with a wife and family; engaged in an office all day, and passing his spare time here, from half-past nine every night to six every morning, for a pound a week. He had carried the post against two hundred competitors.

The door was now opened, and the men and boys who were to pass that night in the Dormitory, in number one hundred and sixty-seven (including a man for whom there was no trough, but who was allowed to rest in the seat by the stove, once occupied by the night-officer before the meat-safe was), came in. They passed to their different sleeping-places, quietly and in good order. Every one sat down in his own crib, where he became presented in a curiously fore-shortened manner; and those who had shoes took them off, and placed them in the adjoining path. There were, in the assembly, thieves, cadgers, trampers, vagrants, common outcasts of all sorts. In casual wards and many other Refuges, they would have been very difficult to deal with; but they were restrained here by the law of kindness, and had long since arrived at the knowledge that those who gave them that shelter could have no possible inducement save to do them good. Neighbors spoke little together—they were almost as uncompanionable as mad people—but every body took his small loaf when the baskets went round, with a thankfulness more or less cheerful, and immediately ate it up.

There was some excitement in consequence of one man being missing; "the lame old man." Every body had seen the lame old man up-stairs asleep, but he had unaccountably disappeared. What he had been doing with himself was a mystery, but, when the inquiry was at its height, he came shuffling and tumbling in, with his palsied head hanging on his breast—an emaciated drunkard, once a compositor, dying of starvation and decay. He was so near death, that he could not be kept there, lest he should die in the night; and, while it was under deliberation what to do with him, and while his dull lips tried to shape out answers to what was said to him, he was held up by two men. Beside this wreck, but all unconnected with it and with the whole world, was an orphan boy with burning cheeks and great gaunt eager eyes, who was in pressing peril of death too, and who had no possession under the broad sky but a bottle of physic and a scrap of writing. He brought both from the[Pg 833] house-surgeon of a Hospital that was too full to admit him, and stood, giddily staggering in one of the little pathways, while the Chief Samaritan read, in hasty characters underlined, how momentous his necessities were. He held the bottle of physic in his claw of a hand, and stood, apparently unconscious of it, staggering, and staring with his bright glazed eyes; a creature, surely, as forlorn and desolate as Mother Earth can have supported on her breast that night. He was gently taken away, along with the dying man, to the workhouse; and he passed into the darkness with his physic-bottle as if he were going into his grave.

The bread eaten to the last crumb; and some drinking of water and washing in water having taken place, with very little stir or noise indeed; preparations were made for passing the night. Some, took off their rags of smock frocks; some, their rags of coats or jackets, and spread them out within their narrow bounds for beds; designing to lie upon them, and use their rugs as a covering. Some, sat up, pondering, on the edges of their troughs; others, who were very tired, rested their unkempt heads upon their hands and their elbows on their knees, and dozed. When there were no more who desired to drink or wash, and all were in their places, the night officer, standing below the meat-safe, read a short evening service, including perhaps as inappropriate a prayer as could possibly be read (as though the Lord's Prayer stood in need of it by way of Rider), and a portion of a chapter from the New Testament. Then, they all sang the Evening Hymn, and then they all lay down to sleep.

It was an awful thing, looking round upon those one hundred and sixty-seven representatives of many thousands, to reflect that a Government, unable, with the least regard to truth, to plead ignorance of the existence of such a place, should proceed as if the sleepers never were to wake again. I do not hesitate to say—why should I, for I know it to be true!—that an annual sum of money, contemptible in amount as compared with any charges upon any list, freely granted in behalf of these Schools, and shackled with no preposterous Red Tape conditions, would relieve the prisons, diminish county rates, clear loads of shame and guilt out of the streets, recruit the army and navy, waft to new countries fleets full of useful labor, for which their inhabitants would be thankful and beholden to us. It is no depreciation of the devoted people whom I found presiding here, to add, that with such assistance as a trained knowledge of the business of instruction, and a sound system adjusted to the peculiar difficulties and conditions of this sphere of action, their usefulness could be increased fifty-fold in a few months.

My Lords and Gentlemen, can you, at the present time, consider this at last, and agree to do some little easy thing! Dearly beloved brethren elsewhere, do you know that between Gorham controversies, and Pusey controversies, and Newman controversies, and twenty other edifying controversies, a certain large class of minds in the community is gradually being driven out of all religion? Would it be well, do you think, to come out of the controversies for a little while, and be simply Apostolic thus low down?


The following passage from a letter is amusing, as well as instructive:

"Trifles are said to amuse weak minds, and probably by a similar process of reasoning, they may be said to annoy great minds. The extreme susceptibility of the President respecting any attempt to turn either his person or policy into ridicule has been frequently noticed, and this excessive susceptibility has gradually attained an intensity which gives it the air of absolute monomania. The police have peremptory orders to ravage any shop in which any work or engraving is to be found in any way reflecting upon that prominent feature in the Presidental visage which has secured for him the time-honored title of 'Noscitur a naso.' Any semblance of a caricature on the Presidental proboscis exposes the unfortunate possessor (as George Robins would have said) to the persecution of the police. A short time past Paris was inundated with a ludicrous counterfeit portrait of the President's features, which were fashioned into a crockery tobacco-pot. The resemblance was so striking, and yet so irresistibly ludicrous withal—for you know there is but one step from the sublime to the ridiculous—that these tobacco-pots were eagerly purchased, and the designer made a small fortune in his way. The police have of late busily occupied themselves in hunting out the purchasers of these crockery caricatures, which are seized and broken without mitigation or remorse. The crockery shops have been ransacked, and whenever any have been found the shopkeepers have been exposed to considerable annoyance and persecution. Some weeks since two girls were condemned to fine and imprisonment for having openly declared that they never could fall in love with Louis Napoleon. But the Prince now appears disposed to carry the matter still further; for it is alleged that rather sharp notes have been sent to Belgium by the Minister of Foreign Affairs with respect to a masquerade which took place at Ghent in the latter part of the Carnival. Some young men, it appears, promenaded through the streets, a man on a horse, wearing a dress to represent the President of the Republic, and with a gigantic false nose. This man carried in his hand a whip with which he struck from time to time a set of puppets which he carried in his hand—the puppets, each of which had a lock on his mouth, being intended to represent the French Senators and Deputies. The Belgian government is said to have replied that it disapproved of the parody, and offered to dismiss the commissary of police who did not fulfill his duty by preventing it. But the French government not considering this satisfaction sufficient, requires, it is said, the dismissal of the governor, who was on the balcony when the masquerade passed."

[Pg 834]

Monthly Record of Current Events.


In Congress, during the past month, debate has turned mainly on topics connected with the approaching Presidential contest. In the Senate, the resolutions upon the subject of non-intervention have been still further discussed, but no vote has been taken upon them. On the 18th of March, Senator Jones, of Tennessee, replied at length to the speeches of Senators Cass and Seward upon this subject—seeking to establish, by copious citation of authorities, that it had never been the policy of this country to take any part whatever in the affairs of other nations, and urging the importance of still adhering to this course. He was opposed to protesting against the violation of international law by Russia, unless we were prepared to enforce that protest by war. Senator Cass rejoined, defending his positions from the assault of Senator Jones. On the 22d, Senator Soulé, of Louisiana, spoke upon the subject. Whatever might be the fate of the resolutions, he said, their discussion had given the country a chance of expressing its sympathy with the oppressed and down-trodden nations of the earth. He then entered upon a historical argument of some length to show that the neutrality advocated and enforced by Washington, during the war between England and France, was simply a matter of necessity—a temporary measure, which the exigencies of the time demanded; and that it was not regarded by Washington as a permanent rule for the action of this country. And further, even if this were not so, and if Washington had really set forth the doctrine, that this country must always remain indifferent to the movements of other nations, Senator Soulé urged, our national growth and progress would render it obsolete. The policy of this nation could not remain the same from century to century; it must change with changing circumstances, and keep pace with the rapid increase of our national population and power. Upon the conclusion of his remarks, the subject was again postponed. On the 26th, a message from the President announced that certain papers, connected with the prosecution of Mexican claims, which had been placed on file in the State Department, had been abstracted therefrom; and asking for the adoption of measures for the better protection of public documents and papers. On the 19th, Senator Cass made a statement of his views on the Wilmot Proviso, in reply to some remarks in a published letter from Senator Davis, of Mississippi. He denied the right of Congress to impose upon a territorial government any restriction in regard to its legislation upon slavery, claiming for the Legislature the right to establish or prohibit slavery, as it may see fit. He also justified the first settlers of California in the steps they took for the establishment of a government, and complained that many gentlemen at the South did not make a just and proper allowance for the sentiments of the North concerning slavery. In the House of Representatives, the proceedings have been wholly unimportant. A bill to supply deficiencies in the appropriations for the last fiscal year, has been made the occasion for discussing the prospects of political parties, and the relative claims of various candidates for the Presidency. On the 10th of March, Mr. Richardson, of Illinois, spoke in defense of Senator Douglass, from imputations made upon his political course; and Mr. Breckenridge, of Kentucky, vindicated General Butler from similar censure. On the 18th, Mr. Marshall, of Kentucky, defended President Fillmore against various assailants, and the discussion was pursued from day to day.

Political Conventions have been held in several States during the month. In Louisiana, the Whigs held one at Baton Rouge on the 16th of March, at which resolutions were adopted in favor of nominating Mr. Fillmore for President, and Mr. Crittenden for Vice-President—declaring the unabated devotion of the people of the State to the Union—demanding the protection of Government for the commerce, agriculture, and manufactures of the country—affirming the mission of this Republic to be, "not to propagate our opinions, or impose on other countries our form of government, by artifice or force, but to teach by example, and show by our success, moderation, and justice, the blessings of self-government, and the advantages of free institutions;"—sustaining the Compromise measures, and pledging the Whigs of the State to support the nominee of the National Convention. The Democratic State Convention declared its preference for General Cass, as the Presidential candidate, by a vote of 101, to 72 for Judge Douglass.——In Virginia, a Democratic Convention assembled at Richmond on the 24th of March: a good deal of difficulty was experienced in effecting an organization. On the third day of the session, resolutions were adopted, affirming the resolutions of 1798-9; denouncing a protective tariff and a division of the public lands among the States; and re-affirming the Baltimore platform. They also resolved to appoint four delegates from each Congressional District to the Baltimore National Convention, who shall in that body sustain the two-thirds rule, and be untrammeled in their choice of a candidate for the Presidency, but vote for such a one as can command the greatest strength with the Democracy, and whose principles are known to conform most strictly to the cardinal tenets of the Democratic faith.——In Pennsylvania, a Whig State Convention met at Harrisburgh, on the 24th. Resolutions were adopted, expressing a desire to act in harmony with the Whig party throughout the Union, declaring in favor of a protective tariff, proclaiming devotion to the Constitution and the Union, commending the administration of President Fillmore, and nominating General Scott unanimously as the Whig candidate for the Presidency. A resolution was also adopted, expressing regret at the illness of Mr. Clay.——The Legislature of Mississippi adjourned on the 16th of March. No United States Senator was chosen for the full term, to commence at the close of the present Congress. In both Houses a bill was rejected which proposed to provide for the payment of the bonds of the State issued on account of the Planters' Bank, but both Houses passed a bill, which has become a law, submitting the question of their payment to a vote of the people. The bill for districting the State, for the election of five members of Congress, was lost, from disagreement between the two Houses—both being willing to pass the bill, but they could not agree as to the composition of the districts.——In Alabama, a Southern Rights State Convention met on the 4th. Only a small portion of the State was represented. Resolutions were adopted in favor of maintaining the separate organization of the Southern Rights party, but acquiescing in the decision of the Southern States against secession for the present.——A message from Governor Bigler, of Pennsylvania, in regard to the debt of that State, states[Pg 835] that there is now due and unpaid two millions four hundred and ninety-one thousand two hundred and fifty-five dollars of the bonds of the Commonwealth, bearing an interest of six per cent., and a balance of near one hundred thousand dollars due to domestic creditors, bearing a like interest, besides one million three hundred and ninety thousand dollars, at five per cent.; over two millions will fall due in 1853, and about three millions in 1854. He recommends that the matured bonds, and such as may fall due during the year, be canceled by the negotiation of a loan, and that bonds of the Commonwealth be issued, reimbursable at the expiration of ten or fifteen years, at a rate of interest not exceeding five per cent., with interest certificates attached, or in the usual form, as may be deemed proper.

Mr. Webster happening to visit Trenton, N.J., to take part in a legal argument, was received by the Legislature of the State, on the 26th of March. He was welcomed in a highly eulogistic speech, to which he replied briefly, paying a high compliment to the gallant devotion of New Jersey to the cause of the country during the Revolution, and expressing his thanks for the distinguished attentions which had been shown to him. Senator Stockton, who happened to be present, spoke in terms of high admiration of Mr. Webster, commending his political course, and alluding incidentally to various topics of public interest.——Hon. Jeremiah Morrow, a distinguished citizen of Ohio, died on the 25th of March, at the advanced age of 73. He was a member of the Territorial Legislature of Ohio in 1800, a member of the Convention to form a State Constitution in 1802, the first member of Congress from that State, afterward Senator and then Governor, serving in the latter capacity two terms, and then returning to Congress. He was a man of ability, influence, and marked integrity.——A serious accident happened in the East River, near New York, on the 26th of March. M. Maillefert, a French scientific gentleman, had been for some time engaged in blasting under water the rocks forming the whirlpool known as Hell-gate, by lowering upon the rock very heavy charges of powder, and exploding them by a galvanic battery. On this occasion, through some misunderstanding, the wrong wire was put into his hands, and he exploded a canister lying in a boat and containing sixty or seventy pounds of gunpowder. Three men were killed, and two or three others, including M. Maillefert himself, were seriously injured.——Ninety of the Americans, captured in Cuba and released by the Queen of Spain, reached New York on the 13th of March.——An extract of a private letter from Mr. Clay has been published, in which he declares his preference for Mr. Fillmore as the Whig candidate for the Presidency, on the ground that he has administered the executive government with signal success and ability. Either Gen. Scott or Mr. Webster, he says, "might possibly administer the government as well as Mr. Fillmore has done. But neither of them has been tried." Mr. Fillmore has been tried, and Mr. Clay thinks that "prudence and wisdom should restrain us from making any change without necessity."——Seven vessels of war are fitting out at New York to join the squadron in the East India seas. It is stated that in connection with other duties, Commodore Perry, the commander of this squadron, is to be instructed to make commercial arrangements with Japan, and for the better treatment of shipwrecked American sailors, who have been heretofore barbarously treated by the Japanese in several instances; and possibly may be required to make reclamations for injuries and losses heretofore sustained by American citizens. Japan has now no treaty with any Christian government except Holland.

From California we have intelligence to the 1st of March. The steamship North America running from Panama to San Francisco, went ashore on the 28th of February, about seventy miles south of Acapulco. The vessel is a total loss; she had over 750 passengers, all of whom were saved.——Both political parties in California had chosen delegates to the National Conventions. No further injury had been sustained from attacks of the Indians, and in the southern part of the State every thing was quiet. Mr. Bartlett, of the Boundary Commission, had reached San Francisco, after a very severe journey across the desert. A bill was pending in the Legislature authorizing the call of a State Convention to revise the Constitution, and the project of dividing the State continued also to be pressed. Crime had increased considerably in San Francisco, and the Vigilance Committee had again been organized. The anniversary of Washington's birthday was celebrated at that city with great spirit. Col. Berzenczey, who came to the United States in Kossuth's suite had arrived at San Francisco on his way to Chinese Tartary, which he intends to explore in order to discover, if possible, the origin of the Magyar race: it has been stated that a tribe of Magyars still exists in some part of that vast and unknown region. The United States sloop of war St. Mary's had reached San Francisco, under orders to take on board and return to their homes a number of shipwrecked Japanese. From the mines the news is not important. Owing to lack of rain the labors of the miners had been less productive than usual. Rich quartz veins continue to be found, and very extensive preparations are being made for working them. The whole amount of gold exported from San Francisco during the year ending December 31, 1851, was $34,492,633. Judge Tefft, with three other persons, was drowned, while attempting to land from the Ohio at San Luis Obispo, in a small boat—the surf being high.


We have news from the City of Mexico to the 28th of February. Both Houses of Congress had voted the suppression of the justices of the peace, but the Government had refused its sanction to the act. It is stated that claims to the amount of twenty or thirty millions of dollars will be brought against the United States, under the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, for outrages committed by Indians and invaders on the frontier. The administration of Gen. Arista is losing strength, and rumors were current of new plans of revolution of which Santa Anna is at the head.

Intelligence from the Rio Grande fully confirms the defeat of Caravajal and the suppression of the insurrectionary movement in that quarter. On the 21st of February that chief led his forces, consisting of about 300 men to the attack on Camargo, when he was met by about 250 Mexican cavalry. The latter charged upon him three times, when the force under his command broke in confusion and fled across the river. His loss is stated at between thirty and sixty. This ends the revolutionary attempt in Northern Mexico.——Serious annoyance is experienced from the ravages of the Indians in that quarter. On the evening of the 21st a party of sixteen attacked a party of Americans and Mexicans near San Antonio, and killed several of the latter. About two hundred of them were encamped at Lake Espantoza, near the junction of the Leona and Nueces rivers.[Pg 836] On the 16th, a party of dragoons attacked a body of Indians near Belleville, and dispersed them after killing four.


We have at length reliable news of decisive events on the Rio de la Plata. Rosas has been routed by Urquiza, and has fled to England. The control of the whole country, therefore, passes into new hands. From Buenos Ayres our intelligence is to the 3d of February. The passage of the Parana by the liberating army under Gen. Urquiza, commenced on the 22d of December, and was accomplished on the 8th of January. His force consisting of 28,000 men, with 50,000 horses, and 50 pieces of artillery, was brought together on the Diamanté, one of the strongest points upon the river, and he was at once joined by the citizens of the whole province of Santa Fé, and by 4000 troops of Rosas. The Governor of the Province fled toward Buenos Ayres. On the 10th of January the inhabitants of San Nicolao, the frontier town of the province of Buenos Ayres, pronounced against Rosas, and repelled an attack made upon them by a large cavalry force stationed near them. On the 15th Gen. Urquiza passed the frontier, with his whole army; and in a march of twelve days obtained possession of the entire northern part of the province, driving out all the cavalry of Rosas, which had been detached for its defense. On the 29th of January, his advanced guard reached the Rio Conchas, within six leagues of Buenos Ayres, having forced General Pacheco to retreat across that river with the small force remaining of those with whom he had gone to the defense of the province. Rosas had divided his force into three parts—one division of 4000 under Echaqué, another of 3500 under Mancilla, and the third of 5800 under Pacheco. This disposition of them rendered it easy for Urquiza to attack and defeat them separately. On the 27th of January Rosas set out for Santos Lugares, where his main force had been collected. A general engagement at once took place along the whole line of defense, which lasted for several hours, and resulted in the total defeat of the forces of Rosas, General Urquiza remaining master of the field. Rosas immediately fled on board a British vessel in the harbor of Buenos Ayres, with the intention of proceeding to England at the earliest opportunity. He had been engaged for some weeks in securing large amounts of treasure, in apparent preparation for such a flight. General Urquiza immediately followed up his victory by investing the city of Buenos Ayres. Deprived of its governor, of course it could make no long defense, and steps had already been taken to organize a constitutional government under the new auspices. The intelligence of the fall of Rosas had created the liveliest satisfaction in England, and was followed by an immediate and very considerable rise in the market value of Buenos Ayres bonds. This change in the political prospects of that portion of South America, it is believed, will lead to a largely increased emigration thither from the southern parts of Europe. The government of Rosas has been for many years an object of terror and distrust in Buenos Ayres, and has greatly retarded the industry and progress of the country. It has at last been overthrown—not by the intervention of foreign states, but by the independent exertions of the people themselves. General Urquiza, the successful soldier, seems disposed to use his power so as to promote the best interests of the country, and under his guidance a new organization of the several states may be expected.——The Congress of Venezuela was still in session on the 10th of March. The affairs of the country were highly prosperous.——The revolted convicts at the Straits of Magellan had been seized by the British war steamer Virago, and taken heavily ironed to Valparaiso. There were in all 350, of whom 180 were taken from the British brig Eliza Cornish, which they had seized:—the rest had taken the American bark Florida, but were afterward subdued by a counter-plot on board, and were delivered up. The officers of the Cornish had been shot in cold blood by the miscreants, who were guilty of shocking barbarities. They were landed at Valparaiso, February 25, and delivered over to the authorities.——In Peru an expedition had been organized by General Flores, against Ecuador. It is said he has enlisted two or three thousand men, and sent out four or five vessels loaded with men and munitions, for an attack on the city of Guayaquil. Great excitement prevailed at the latter place, where preparations had been made to give the invaders a warm reception.——Panama papers record the successful result of an expedition to the reputed gold placers on the coast of Choco, in the southern part of the kingdom of New Grenada, about 150 miles south of Panama. About 1500 ounces of pure gold dust were exhibited in the latter city, as the first-fruits of the enterprise. There seems to be no doubt of the existence of the oro in that vicinity in large quantities.


The political intelligence of the month has little interest. The Derby Ministry still retains office, but without any definite announcement of the line of policy it intends to pursue. On the evening of February 27, the Earl of Derby made a statement of the reasons which had induced him to take office. With regard to the intentions of the new ministry, he said he should seek to maintain peace with foreign nations by calm and conciliatory conduct, and by strict adherence to the obligations of treaties. He was for rigidly respecting the right of every nation, great and small, to govern themselves in their own way. So far as the national defenses were concerned, he thought the preparations wisely made by his predecessor should be continued, so as to screen the country from the possibility of invasion. As regarded refugees, while England was the natural refuge of all political exiles, it was the duty of the latter not to abuse her hospitality; and the government was bound to keep watch of them, and warn their governments of any steps they might take hostile to their peace. With regard to financial measures, although he avowed his belief that a revision of the existing system was desirable, he was aware that it could only be effected by reference to the clearly expressed wish of the people. So large a question could only be dealt with by a government strong in popular confidence, and not by one called suddenly to office. He did not know whether he had a majority in that House; he knew he was in a minority in the other—but he had not felt that the public interest would be consulted by a dissolution at this period of the year and in this condition of the world. Government would have to appeal to the forbearance of its adversaries and to the patience of its supporters, but he had too much confidence in the good sense of the House of Commons to believe that it would unnecessarily take up subjects of controversy while there were legal and social reforms for which the country was anxious. In reference to the measures introduced by the late government, he said that he was most desirous to crush corruption to the utmost of his power, but that, as regarded the proposed reform bill, he should not follow it up, and he warned his hearers, especially members of the House of Commons, against the danger of perpetually unsettling everything, and settling[Pg 837] nothing. He did not contend that the system established in 1831 was perfect, or did not require amendment, but he wished to be sure that a proposed remedy would not aggravate the evils complained of. As regarded education, the feelings of all classes had united in the conviction that the more you educated the safer was the country; but he was opposed to the mere acquisition of secular knowledge, dissociated from the culture of the soul. And although he looked on all engaged in education as his fellow-laborers, his chief reliance would be on the parochial clergy. This explanation on the part of the new ministry has not been received as sufficiently explicit to be satisfactory, and it meets, therefore, with very warm hostility. Lord John Russell, in announcing his own retirement, took occasion to say that, for the future, he should think it his duty to oppose, out of office, as he had opposed in office, any restoration of the duty on corn, whether under the name of protection or of revenue;—that he should support an extension of the suffrage to those who are fit to exercise the franchise for the welfare of the country; and that he should use the little influence he might possess for the maintenance of the blessings of peace.—Parliament, after these explanations, adjourned until the 12th of March.—Mr. Disraeli, the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, has issued a brief address to his constituents, stating that on the 12th of March he should ask for a re-election. The first duty of the new administration, he said, would be to provide for the ordinary exigencies of the government; but at no distant period they hoped to establish a policy in conformity with the principles which in opposition they had felt it their duty to maintain. "We shall endeavor," he adds, "to terminate that strife of classes which of late years has exercised so pernicious an influence over the welfare of this kingdom; to accomplish those remedial measures which great productive interests, suffering from unequal taxation, have a right to demand from a just government; to cultivate friendly relations with all foreign powers, and secure honorable peace; to uphold in their spirit, as well as in their form, our political institutions; and to increase the efficiency, as well as maintain the rights, of our national and Protestant church." Other members of the government had issued similar addresses to their respective constituencies, and several of them had already been re-elected.—At a subsequent session, the ministry intimated that they would no longer resist the demand of the country for a dissolution.

The advent of the Protective Ministry has called into new life the Anti-Corn Law League at Manchester. A meeting of the League was held on the 2d of March, at which resolutions were adopted reorganizing the association, and taking measures to urge upon their friends throughout the kingdom, not to return members in favor of restoring the duties on corn; it was also resolved to petition the Queen for an immediate dissolution of Parliament in order that the question of Free Trade might be decided by a prompt appeal to the people. Mr. Cobden was present, and made a long speech vindicating the operation of the existing system, and resisting the policy of allowing the Ministry to strengthen themselves for the restoration of the protective system. He wished the friends of cheap bread to unite in order to drive the government into one of three courses—either to recant forever the principle of protection, resign their seats, or dissolve Parliament. It was within their power to compel one or the other of these steps to be taken. A very large subscription was immediately raised to defray the expenses of the projected agitation.

The Earl of Derby, on taking office, tendered to Mr. Layard a continuance in office as Under Secretary of State. The offer, however, was declined.——Ireland lost two of its most celebrated men on the 26th of February—Thomas Moore, the sweetest and best of her poets, and Archbishop Murray, the mildest and best of the prelates of the Roman Catholic Church in that country. Moore was in his 72d year, the Archbishop in his 83d year. Moore died at his cottage at Sloperton, near Devizes. For several years he had been alive only in the body. Like Sir Walter Scott and Southey, the tenacity of physical existence outlived the term of the mind. He was buried, according to his long-ago expressed wish, in the quiet church-yard of the village where he died. Sir Herbert Jenner Fust, Dean of Arches, and long connected with law proceedings and law literature, died on the 20th February, in the 76th year of his age.


The elections for members of the Legislative corps were held throughout France on the 29th of February, and resulted in the success of the Government candidate in nearly every instance. Gen. Cavaignac and Carnot are the only Opposition candidates of any prominence who have been elected. What course they will pursue is still a matter of conjecture. It is clear, however, that such a thing as an opposition party in the Legislature will scarcely exist.

The President continues the issue of decrees for the government of France. They embrace, of course, the entire scope of legislation, as the country for the present has no other source of law. One of the most important of these decrees is that authorizing the establishment of Mortgage Banks, the object of which is to enable owners of real estate to borrow on mortgage, and repay the loans by means of long annuities; that is, in addition to the interest the borrower is obliged to pay annually say one per cent. as a sinking fund, which will extinguish the debt in forty years. The banks are to loan on double real estate security. They are allowed to issue notes or bonds. They are not to require more than five per cent. interest, nor more than two nor less than one per cent. as a sinking fund. An article in the Moniteur followed the publication of this decree for the purpose of explaining its provisions, from which it appears that there are $160,000,000 of mortgaged debts in France, paying, inclusive of various expenses, an average interest of eight per cent., and that these debts are increasing at the rate of $12,000,000 yearly. It is claimed that the new law will remedy this state of things, and Germany is pointed to in proof of the beneficial effects of mortgage societies.——Another financial decree directs that the holders of five per cent. government funds will receive hereafter only four and a half per cent. or the principal at par value, at their option. The effect of this change will be to reduce the annual interest on the national debt, by about three and a half millions of dollars. The holders of these securities of course complain of it as an unjust reduction of their incomes.——Another decree directs the entire organization of the College of France to be put under the immediate control of the President, until the law for its permanent establishment shall have been prepared. New officers have been appointed throughout—a number of the most distinguished scholars of France being superseded.——It has also been decreed that judicial officers shall be disqualified at seventy years of age. By this means the President secures the displacement of a large number of judges, whose seats he[Pg 838] will fill with persons more acceptable to himself.——It is decided that M. Billault is to be President of the Legislative corps.——Several distinguished Frenchmen have died during the month. Marshal Marmont, Duke of Ragusa, the last of the Marshals of Napoleon, died at Venice on the 2d of March. He received his highest military title on the battle field of Wagram. He forsook Napoleon's cause when Napoleon was falling, held high offices under the restoration, and has lived in exile since 1830. Having forsaken Napoleon in 1814, and opposed the revolution of July, his name was erased from the list of Marshals by Louis Philippe's Government, and a black vail drawn over his portrait in the Hall of the Marshals at the Tuileries.——Armand Marrast, who acquired distinction as editor of the National and by his close connection with the provisional government of 1848, died March 10.——The President has offered a prize of fifty thousand francs in favor of the author of the discovery which shall render the pile of Volta applicable with economy, whether to industrial operations, as a source of heat, or to illumination, or to chemistry, or to mechanics, or to practical medicine. Scientific men of all nations are admitted to compete for the prize. The competition shall remain open for the space of five years.——He has also presented to M. Leon Foucault, the young savant of Paris, distinguished for his works on electricity and light, and especially for the experiment with the pendulum illustrative of the earth's rotary motion, the sum of ten thousand francs.

On the 21st of March, the President reviewed the troops, and bestowed upon them the medal, instituted by the confiscation of the Orleans estates. In the speech which he made to them upon the occasion, he said, his object in instituting this medal was to make some more adequate compensation for the services of the army, than they usually received. It secures to each soldier, who shall have it, an annuity of 100 francs for life; the sum is small, but the evidence of merit, which the medal carries with it, adds to its value. He urges them to receive it as an encouragement to maintain intact their military spirit. "Wear it," he says, "as a proof of my solicitude for your interest, and my affection for that great military family of which I am proud to be the head, because you are its glorious children."

The demands of France upon Belgium were mentioned in our last Record. It is stated that they have been boldly met and repelled. The King of Belgium at once made an appeal to England and the Continental courts, and he has received from all the European Powers the most positive assurance that they will not suffer any aggressive step whatever of Louis Napoleon against Belgium. The French Cabinet had required the Belgian Government to remove the Lion which had been placed on the field of Waterloo; but that demand was refused. It is said, upon reliable authority, that the "decree" for annexing Belgium to France had been prepared and even sent to the Moniteur for publication; and was only withdrawn in consequence of the strenuous opposition of those who have more prudence than the President, and who fortunately possess some influence over him.

The Paris correspondence of the London Morning Chronicle, furnishes the details of a diplomatic correspondence between the principal Continental Powers, which has decided interest and importance. It is stated that, on the 7th of February, Prince Schwarzenberg addressed a note to the representatives of Austria at St. Petersburg and Berlin, in which he urged that the object of the Northern Powers ought now to be to put down all that remained of constitutional government on the continent of Europe; and that for this purpose they ought to insist on the representative form of government being abolished in all the States where it was still tolerated, and more especially in Piedmont and in Greece. He further declared that Louis Napoleon, by his coup d'état of the 2d of December, which, while it put an end to constitutional government, restored military government in France, had merited the applause of all the Northern Powers, and he suggested that they ought to concur in giving him their united and cordial support, even to the exclusion of both branches of the House of Bourbon, because none of the members of that illustrious House could reascend the throne without according representative government in some shape. The representatives of Austria at Berlin and St. Petersburg having been directed to communicate this dispatch to the governments to which they were accredited, did so, but the manner in which the communication was received by the two Powers was very different. The Prussian government at once declared that it strongly disapproved of the suggestion of the Austrian government, and that, as it looked upon a certain degree of constitutional freedom as necessary in the present state of Europe, it highly disapproved of the attempt of Louis Napoleon to establish a military despotism. The Russian Czar, who sets up as the arbiter of all that is done to Germany, gave a very characteristic answer to both Powers. He recommended to the Austrian government not to be so enthusiastic in its admiration of Louis Napoleon, and to the Prussian government, not to be so determined in its hostility to that personage; and thus, says the writer, the affair for the present rests.

Concerning the Swiss question, we have more authentic intelligence. The French diplomatic agent at Berne had delivered to the Federal Authorities a note, dated January 25th, containing an explicit demand from Louis Napoleon, "That the formal promise be made to me that all the expulsions of refugees which I may ask be accorded to me, without any examination as to what category the French political refugees affected by this measure belong; and, in addition, that the orders of the central power be executed according to terms prescribed in advance, without being mitigated or wholly disregarded by the cantonal authorities, as I can prove, by examples, has been done in previous instances. The French embassador only is in a condition to know the individuals whose former connections and present relations render impossible the prolongation of their stay in the territory of the Helvetic Confederation; as also those who can be tolerated provisionally, if their future conduct renders them worthy of this tolerance. The first should depart from the moment that I have designated them by name. The others should be told that they can continue to reside in Switzerland only on condition that they give no reason for complaint." It seems scarcely possible that so peremptory and insulting a demand should have been made, even by the French autocrat, upon any independent power; but the text of the letter is given. Austria also made a similar requisition; and the Assemblée Nationale says that the Cabinet of Vienna distinctly announced to the Federal Council its intention to occupy the canton of Ticino with Austrian troops, unless the demands for the expulsion of certain refugees were complied with, and guarantees given for preventing their return, as well as the renewal of conspiracies against the peace of Lombardy. Prince Schwarzenberg sent instructions to M. Hubner, the Austrian embassador at Paris, to propose to the French government[Pg 839] a simultaneous action in the same views, and the occupation of Geneva and the canton of Vaud by the French troops. The government of Louis Napoleon declined to co-operate with Austria in invading the Swiss territory; and Austria was also persuaded to desist from this enterprise. The firm attitude of the cabinets of London and Berlin, backed perhaps by the counsels of Russia, is supposed to have procured this result. But no sooner was the project of the joint violation of the neutral territory baffled, than a new scheme was adopted by the two conspiring Powers, which threatens to be equally ruinous to Switzerland. The French and Austrian governments have entered into a convention for the commercial blockade of that country. In order to carry this into effect Piedmont must be forced to join the league and stop her frontier against Swiss commerce. In the way of such a result stand the government of Sardinia and British influence at the court of Turin. How much these will avail remains to be seen. Subsequent advices state that Switzerland had acceded to all the President's requisitions—they having been repeated in less offensive terms.

From Germany there is no news of interest. The Emperor of Austria left Vienna, February 25th, for Trieste and Venice, to meet the Grand Prince of Prussia. The Second Chamber of Wurtemberg, in its sitting of the 26th, adopted, by 54 votes to 32, resolutions, declaring that the fundamental rights proclaimed by the National Assembly of Frankfort continue to have legal force in the kingdom, and can only be abolished in the form presented by the Constitution. The Chamber rejected, by 66 votes to 20, a resolution protesting against certain measures of the Germanic Diet; and it rejected, by 48 votes to 38, a motion relative to the dissolution of the Chamber in 1850. M. de Plessen, after these votes, made a declaration, in the name of the Government, that the Chamber would probably be dissolved.

In Spain it is said that the Government is about to reinforce the garrisons of Cuba and Porto Rico by an addition of three or four thousand men. General Concha has been recalled from the Governorship of Cuba; his successor, Gen. Caredo, was to sail from Cadiz on the 20th of March. Extensive changes were taking place in all departments of the public service.


From Turkey we learn that Reschid Pasha, whose dismissal was noted in our last, has been received to favor again, and restored to office. The Sultan has lately shown his magnanimity to rebels against his authority, by bestowing upon Aziz Bey and his brother Ahmed Bey, rebel Kurdish chiefs, near Bagdad, conquered by the Sultan, and brought to Constantinople six months ago, a pension of three thousand piastres a month. This clemency to political offenders is said to be common with the Turkish Sovereign. The Turkish Government has recently forbidden the loan of money to farmers at more than eight per cent. interest: it also forbids the payment of all engagements hitherto made at higher rates. A third bridge has just been finished across the Golden Horn. A splendid ball was given at the close of the Carnival by the British Embassador, at which about eight hundred persons were present.

In Persia the recently dismissed Grand Vizier, Mirza-Taghi-Khan, has been put to death, by having his veins opened in a bath, and his treasures have been seized by the Shah.

From India we have news of further difficulties between the English and the Burmese. Previous advices stated that Commodore Lambert had complained to the King of Ava of the conduct of the Governor of Rangoon in refusing compliance with certain demands of reparation for injuries sustained by the British. The King professed a ready submission to the Commodore's requisitions, but his sincerity was doubted, and Commodore Lambert consequently resolved to remain with his squadron, for some days longer, in order to test the truth of his suspicions. Scarcely had the new Governor or Viceroy been placed in authority, than he commenced a series of annoyances against all British subjects, which rendered it imperative on the part of Commodore Lambert to seek an interview with him, which was not only refused, but all communication between the shore and fleet strictly prohibited. In this war-like aspect of affairs many of the British took refuge on board the English vessels, while those who remained behind desirous of securing their property, were cast into prison. The fleet remained at anchor for twenty-four hours on the opposite side of the river, when intimation was received from the Viceroy that he would fire on the squadron should the Commodore attempt to move down the river. On the 10th of January the Fox was towed down, and anchored within a few hundred yards of the stockade erected by the Viceroy, when the steamer having returned to bring away with her a Burmese man-of-war, was fired on, which was immediately returned with great vigor. The enemy dispersed after some three of them were slain. The squadron then proceeded on its course, and the river ports of Burmah were proclaimed to be in a state of blockade. Commodore Lambert then proceeded to Calcutta for further instructions. Another campaign was therefore deemed unavoidable, which, it was supposed, could not be commenced before October.

Editor's Table.

Credulity and skepticism are often, in fact, but different aspects of one and the same state of mind. No man is more credulous than the infidel in respect to all that would make against the truth of Christianity. Hindoo legends, Chinese chronologies, unmeaning Egyptian hieroglyphics, are suffered at once to outweigh the clearest declarations of that volume which alone sheds light on history, and solves the otherwise inexplicable problem of our humanity.

Nowhere is this remark more strikingly exemplified than in the pretensions of what may be called the pseudo-spiritualism of the day. Men whose credulity can not digest the supernatural of the Bible are most remarkably easy of belief in respect to spiritual rappings, and spiritual table-liftings, and spiritual communications in Hebrew translated into ungrammatical and false-spelled English. Prophecy and inspiration are irrational; the belief in a Divine regenerating influence on the human soul is superstitious and fanatical; but clairvoyance and clairvoyant prevision, and mental alchemy are embraced without difficulty, by the professors of this more transcendent faith. They see and feel nothing of that[Pg 840] grandeur of conception, that holy seriousness, that impressive truthfulness of style, that superhuman elevation above all that associates itself with the absurd, the grotesque, the low, and the malignant—in a word, those traits which every where characterize the miraculous of the Scriptures, and have ever awed the most thoughtful into a recognition of its reality. And yet some of these lecturers and professors have even the impudence to baptize their naturalistic jargon with the name of spiritualism, and while treating the human soul with less reverence than is justly due to the lowest form even of vegetable life, dare to talk of the moral uses of their pretended science, as though it had any more place for the word and the idea than might be found in the jerking automaton of the toy-shop.

Sometimes the pretense can be characterized by no milder term than mocking blasphemy. One of these impostors, who has made some noise lately, is said to have accurately foretold the words and ideas of a discourse which was to be delivered by another person on a subsequent day. It was no hypothetical prediction, grounded on a scientific calculation of assumed causes and effects, but, in fact, a clairvoyant prevision, not from any Divine impression (an idea which this blasphemous pretender is known wholly to deride), but from a transcendent subjective state of his natural intelligence. And yet some who are known to believe only in an ideal Christ, and an ideal resurrection, are not ashamed to signify a half assent to this monstrous assertion of one of the highest conceivable attributes of the Almighty. Every one who thinks at all must see that here there is no possible middle ground. It is this claim, awfully profane and daring as it is, or a downright imposture.

There is nothing derogatory to the human mind in the belief of the marvelous. In fact, such belief is an element of its higher life. The wonder is, that there is not more of it. But no degree of evidence can justify us in giving credence to the absurd. The ridiculous is ever proof of the presence of falsehood. The higher we rise in the scale of truth, the more do we find ourselves ascending into a region of seriousness. An impression of a sterner reality, of a deeper interest, of more dread importance, of a more solemn consistency, accompanies every genuine advance. Truth, as it grows purer and clearer, is ever found to be more and more a fearful thing—joyful, indeed, and soul-inspiring, yet finding the very fullness and solidity of its joy in that graver element which gives it its highest and most real interest for the human soul. A faith that has no awe proves itself a delusion. A religion that has no fear, or is not deeply solemn, is a contradiction in terms. For the absurd and the ridiculous even pure falsehood is too stern a thing. They have their existence only in that grotesque mixture of truth and error, in which the distortion of the one concealing the malignity of the other gives birth to all revolting and ludicrous monstrosities.

We need no better test. Apply it to the supernatural of the Scriptures, and it furnishes one of the strongest evidences of their truth. So serious a book can not be a lie. Bring to this criterion the modern charlatanry, which so wantonly assumes the name of faith, "obtruding itself with its fleshly mind" into the domain of the true supernatural, and yet denying the supernatural—bring it to this criterion, we say, and it is at once shown to be "earthly, sensual, devilish"—a grotesque reflection of some of the worst things of this world thrown back in lurid distortion from the darkness visible of the Satanic realms. But even this may be assigning to it too high a rank. The position can not be charged with irrationality which assumes that the "mocking fiend" may sometimes be permitted to practice his jugglings on those rash fools, who would venture too near to his domain of falsehood. But in most of the modern cases of this kind, we are beginning to have little doubt that sheer imposture is the predominant if not the only element.

On the outward evidence, however, we can not at present dwell, since it is with the reasoning of these charlatans we design that our brief strictures shall be mainly occupied. In this, too, we find the proof of falsehood. For we return again to our text—the marvelous may be believed, the absurd no amount of evidence can prove. And here some thoughts suggest themselves to which we must give expression. What amount of solid thinking, what discrimination of ideas, what right knowledge of words, what degree of logical training, which, although not the discoverer of truth, is the surest guard against error—in a word, what amount of general, solid, mental culture must there be in an age distinguished for the extensive circulation and approbation of such works as Davis's Revelations of Nature, and Davis's Great Harmonia, and Dodd's Psychology, &c., &c.? Could it have been so when Butler wrote his immortal Analogy; or, farther back, when Howe preached his Living Temple as evening lectures to a country congregation, and Baxter's tracts were found in every hamlet in England? Could it have been so in our own land, when Edwards preached his deep theology to plain men in plain New England villages? The marvelous, we may well suppose, would have had no lack of believers in those days. But would such absurdities in reasoning have ever gained currency in those thinking though little scientific periods? With all our talk of science, and progress, and universities, and common schools, and the schoolmaster being abroad in the land, there must be, somewhere, something wrong in our most modern ideas and modern modes of education. Is not the physical element too predominant, and is it not to the common smatterings in this department that such a pretended spiritualism, yet real materialism, is directly to be traced? A superficial sciolism, extensive enough in its facts, but utterly hollow in its philosophy, is the food with which the common mind is every where crammed even to satiety, while there is such a serious lack of the logical, the theological, the Biblical, the classical, the historical—in short, of those elements which must furnish the foundation of all right thinking, and without which other knowledge is more likely to lead to error than to truth.

But we can at present only hint at this. In respect to the reasonings of these scientific discoverers (as they claim to be), we may say that their fallacies get currency from this very cause, namely, the general want of discrimination in respect to the true bounds of fundamental ideas, and that abuse of language which is the necessary result. If the consequences were not so serious, nothing could be more amusing than their pretensions, or their method. They would have us believe that they are the martyrs—Galileos—Bacons—Harveys, all of them. Each one is a suffering Servetus, while all the bigotry of the theological world, with all its inquisitorial priests and furious Calvins, is ever ready to crush their new science, and give the crown of martyrdom to its devoted teachers.

They have, too, the sagacity to perceive that audiences, in general, love to be addressed in the technics of a scientific style, whether rightly used or not. The vender of quack medicines has discovered[Pg 841] the same secret; and hence he, too, has his array of causes and effects, and fluids, and mediums, and counteracting forces, and grand systems of circulation, and positive and negative states. To be thus addressed raises the hearer or reader at once in his own estimation, and thus prepares him, sometimes, for the reception of almost any kind of nonsense. He acquires, too, an interest in these high matters; and if not himself an actual martyr to science, becomes at least a sympathizer with those who are doomed to all this infamous persecution.

The usual course has now become so stereotyped, that one who has attended a number of lectures of this kind, will be able to predict the general method of remark quite as well as Davis is said to have foretold that of Dr. Bushnell. He will be certain of the very places where the peculiar and most original cant of the school will be sure to come in. He will know just when and where to look out for Galileo and the priests, and the Puritans and the Quakers, and Fulton and the steam-engine. He anticipates precisely the spot where the lecturer will tell us how Bacon "used up" the Stagyrite, and how wonderfully knowledge has grown since that remarkable event, and how all previous progress was preparatory to this new science, which it has been reserved for our bold martyr not only to discover in its elements, but to present full formed and full grown to his astonished hearers,—and which, moreover, he generously offers to teach to private classes (the ladies to be by themselves) at the exceedingly reasonable rate of ten dollars per course.

Sometimes the whole of this scientific claptrap will consist of the dextrous use of some one long new-coined term, very much like those that are invented for the venders of soaps and perfumes to express the psychology of their most ingenious and philosophical compounds. The lecturer has discovered a new word, and it stands to him in place of a mine of thought. In Martinus Scriblerus we read of a project to banish metaphysics out of Spain. It was to be done by forbidding the use of the compounds and decompounds of the substantive verb. "Take away from the scholastic metaphysician," says this ingenious reformer, "his ens, his entitas, his essentia, &c., and there is an end of him." So also we have known lectures, and even books, on some of these new psychologies from which the abstraction of a single term would cause the whole to collapse. And yet to the quackish lecturer it is the key to unlock all his scientific treasures. He has somehow picked up a word, and he is deluding himself, and trying to delude others, into the notion that he has really caught an idea. The connection of soul and body is no longer a mystery. Science has at length dragged it out of its dark retreat. Nothing can be simpler than the explanation at length afforded of the fact which had so long baffled all inquiry. It is wholly owing to the nervo-vital fluid. But how is this? Is this connecting medium mind, or matter, or a compound of both, or a tertium quid? If it is either the first or the second, the mystery is just where it was before. If it be said that it is the last (the only answer which does not at once annihilate itself), the further query arises—How is that to be a medium which needs itself a medium, or rather two other distinct media, to serve as connecting links between it and the two worlds it would unite? Or is it a bridge without an abutment on either shore?

But what are all such difficulties to our modern Galileo, or to his scientific audience? It is the nervo-vital fluid, whether or no. There is a charming philosophy in the very sound, and it is impossible that so good a term should not mean something. It is an admirable word—a most euphonic word—and since the parts are certainly significant, there can be no reason why the whole compound should not be so likewise.

Another of these magic words is electricity. It is getting to be the universal solvent for all scientific difficulties. It is life, it is gravitation, it is attraction, it is generation, it is creation, it is development, it is law, it is sensation, it is thought, it is every thing. "Give me a place to put my lever," said Archimedes, "and I will move the world!" Give us electricity and nervo-vital fluids, say our biologists, and we will explain the mystery of all organizations, from the animalcule to the universe!

We repeat it, The downright impositions in respect to facts, are not so insulting to an audience, as the quackish reasoning which is often presented by way of explanation. To state an example: One of the most common performances of these mountebanks consists in the pretended control of one mind or one person over the senses, the actions, the volitions, and even the moral states of another. The performance is generally contemptible enough in itself, but it is rendered still more so when our man of science undertakes, as he generally does, to explain to his audience the profound rationale of his proceedings. The lecturer most modestly and reverently disclaims for himself the possession of supernatural powers. It is all science—all strictly in accordance with "natural laws" and performed on the most rational and scientific principles. He had broken no law of mind or matter, as he would make perfectly level to the understandings of his most respectable auditory. The grand agent in the whole process was electricity, or the nervo-vital fluid. By means of this, the mind of the operator was transferred to the soul of the subject, and hence it is perfectly plain that the emotions and mental exercises of the one become the emotions and mental exercises of the other. A terrific scene was fancied (in the case which we have now in mind it was a picture of serpents), and the patient was thrown into a state of most agitating fright. Now that an impostor, or a juggler, might deceive the senses of an audience, is nothing incredible, and implies nothing derogatory to their intelligence. That some physical effect may have been produced on the nervous system of some peculiarly sensitive subject, is by no means beyond belief; or that in some way, explicable or inexplicable, the agitation and convulsion may have had a real existence. So far it may have been wholly false, or partly false and partly real. Again, whether there may or may not be unknown fluids through which one mind or one body affects another, is not the question. If it were so, it would only be analogous to the ordinary modes of mediate communication by air, and light, and sound, and would be liable in kind, if not in degree, to the same imperfections. Still would it be true, whatever the media, ordinary or extraordinary, that only as mind is communicated to mind as it really is, can one affect the emotions, and exercises, and states of the other. There may be less, there never can be more, in the effect than in the cause.

Here, then, is the palpable absurdity, which should bring a blush of shame upon every audience, and every individual calling himself rational, who is for a moment affected by it. The mind of the operator, it is maintained, is, for the time being, the mind of the patient. It has taken possession of his thinking and feeling province. This is the philosophy that Aristotle never knew, and of which even Bacon hardly had a glimpse. Let us test it. As the lecturer is a very frank and fearless man, he invites the fullest examination, not only of his facts, but of his reasoning. Some one may, therefore, be supposed[Pg 842] to present the following or similar questions: You willed, did you, the scene and the state of mind which produced these alarming results? Exactly so. Was it, then, a simple volition of the effect, as an effect (if such a thing were possible), or accompanied in your own mind, by a conception of the scene presented? Certainly, replies the triumphant lecturer, the whole rationale, as you have been told, consisted in throwing my mind into that of the subject. He thought what I thought—he felt what I felt. Very well. But were you frightened at the snakes? Did terror constitute any part of the exercises of your own mind? This is a puzzler, but there is an apparent way of surmounting the difficulty. The patient, it may be said, believes in the reality of the scene presented, while the operator does not. But this only suggests a still greater absurdity. This belief, or non-belief, is certainly a very important part of the mental and emotional state. How comes one of the most essential ingredients to be left behind in the psychological transfer? Does the operator will it thus to be? We have never heard any such thing alleged; but if it were so, it would only be the crowning folly of this superlatively foolish process—this very lunacy of nonsense. Such volition itself would then become a part of the mental state, and must pass over to the patient along with the other thoughts and emotions, and with all the absurdity involved in it, or require another volition to keep it back, and still another volition for this, and so on, ad infinitum. Have any of our readers ever seen a foolish dog running round and round after his own tail, and ever jerking it away just when he seemed to himself to be on the point of catching it? Nothing can furnish a better illustration of the exceeding folly that has often in this way been presented as profound and scientific reasoning to what have been styled enlightened and respectable audiences.

There is another fallacy running through all these pretended sciences—from phrenology and phreno-mesmerism to the most stupid exhibitions that have been ever given, under the names of "electrical psychology" and "mental alchemy." It is that view which, in effect, wholly denies any thing like a spiritual unity to the human soul, making it a series of separate impulses, or, like the keys of a piano, each when struck from without giving an isolated sound. Let one be touched, the machine lifts up its hand, and is supposed to pray. Strike another, and it blasphemes. And so, by turns, it hates and loves, and fears and trusts—not different objects, which would be perfectly consistent with a spiritual unity, in which the whole moral and intellectual state is represented in every exercise, but the same objects, and with transitions so sudden as to be almost simultaneous. We might, in a similar way, expose the absurd reasoning contained in all this, but we would rather dwell at present on the moral aspect of the case—the shocking irreverence it manifests toward the human soul, making its faith, its reason, its love, its conscience, as worthless as the lowest bodily appetites—sinking it, indeed, below the dignity of respectable organic or inorganic matter, with which such tricks can not be played, and reducing all that have heretofore been regarded as the highest moral truths to the rank of physical phenomena.

In some former remarks of our Editorial Table, there was an allusion to the revolting claim clairvoyance makes to meddle with the soul's sacred individuality. The thought is applicable to all those kindred pretensions which are now so rife. Their tendency is to destroy all reverence for our own spirituality, and with it all reverence for the truly spiritual every-where. If this be true of what is called biology and mental alchemy, in a still more impressive sense may it be charged upon that other compound of blasphemy and Satanic mummery, which has grown directly out of them. We allude to the pretense of holding intercourse with departed spirits through mesmerized mediums, or what are usually called spiritual rappings. The first class of performances are an insult to the human intelligence; this is a moral outrage upon the most tender, the most solemn, the most religious feelings of our nature. The one is a profane trifling with all that is most sacred in life—the other is a violation of the grave, and of all beyond, of which it is the appointed vail. It is hard to write or speak with calmness here. The mischief done and doing in this direction, defies all proper estimate. These proceedings are sending lunatics to our asylums, but this is by no means the sorest evil that may be laid to their charge. It is the soul-hardening familiarity they are every where producing with the most awful subjects that can be offered for human contemplation. Such an effect, too, in relation to the spirit of man must soon be followed by a similar one in respect to the still more tremendous idea of Deity. To use a strange but most expressive term, first employed by De Quincey (although applied to a different subject) we know of nothing in human experience that threatens to be so utterly de-religionizing—in other words, so fatally destructive of all that reverence for the spiritual, that awe of the unseen, that tender emotion, as well as solemn interest, which connect themselves with the idea of the other life, and without which religion itself, in any form, can have no deep or permanent hold upon the mind. We find it difficult to conceive how any man possessed of the smallest share of these holy sympathies, can bring himself to give any countenance whatever to such practices. We appeal to those who have lost the nearest relatives—a parent, a brother, a sister, a dear departed child—how should every right feeling of the soul revolt against the thought of holding intercourse with them, even though it were possible, through such means? Who that has a Christian heart would not prefer the silence of the grave to the thought of the dear departed one in the midst of such imaginings, and such scenic associations as are connected with the usual performances of this kind? Through that silence of the grave the voice of faith may be heard speaking to us in the language of revelation—He is not dead but sleepeth. Blessed word,—so utterly unknown to all previous philosophy—never heard in any other revelation than that of the gospel! They are not dead but sleep. "They enter into peace," says the prophet. And then the precious and consoling addition—They sleep in Jesus. Surely the term thus employed can imply no cessation of consciousness, no torpor of the higher and better faculties of the soul; but it does denote, beyond all doubt, a state of rest, of calmness, of security, of undisturbed and beatific vision—a state far removed from all resemblance to this bustling life—a state in all respects the opposite of that which fancy pictures as belonging to the scenes presented in the manifestations of spiritual rappings, and spiritual table-liftings, and, in a word, those spiritual pantomimes, which seem to be becoming more and more extravagant and grotesque in proportion to the infidel credulity with which they are received.

Such are every where the scriptural ideas in respect to the condition of the pious dead, and from the other class we seek not to draw that vail which it has thrown over them. Nothing shows more strikingly the extreme secularity of the age in which we[Pg 843] live than the disposition, even among many who are professedly religious, to look upon the other world as only a continuation of the activities of the present; but we affirm with all boldness, that such a view receives no support from the Bible. Rest, security, calmness, peace, removal from all agitation, from all excitement, from all commingling in the scenes of this busy, restless, probationary life—these are the thoughts which are suggested by its parables, its metaphors, its visions, its direct and positive assertions. Especially clear and prominent is the idea of entire separation from the present world. They have "entered into rest"—they are in "Abraham's bosom"—they are "with Christ in Paradise." To the same effect would the spiritually-minded reader interpret certain phrases employed in the Older Scriptures. They are in "the secret of his pavilion," in the "hiding-place of his tabernacle"—they abide "under the shadow of the Almighty." Such expressions may have a meaning in connection with this life; but their fullest import is only brought out when their consoling assurances are referred to the state of the departed in the spirit-world.

And here the thought most naturally suggests itself—How striking the difference between the sensual obtrusiveness, the impious pretensions, the profane curiosity exhibited in connection with this modern charlatanry, and what may be called the solemn reserve of the Holy Scriptures. The Bible never condescends to gratify our curiosity respecting what may be called the physiology, or physical theory of the other life. On the other hand, the moral effect is ever kept in view, and to this, in all its communications, it ever aims at giving the deepest intensity. In the light of this thought let any one contrast the sublime vision of Eliphaz (Job iv.) with any of these modern spiritual manifestations. The vail is for a moment withdrawn. A light just gleams upon us from the spirit-world, not to show us things within, but to cast its moral irradiation upon things without. The formless form, the silence, and the voice leave all things physical, or psychological as much unknown as before; but how deep the moral impression! There are no disclosures of the scenery or topography of the unseen state; no announcement of "great truths about to break forth;" nothing said of "throwing down barriers between the two worlds." But instead of this, a most solemn declaration of a Divine moral government, and a moral retribution, to which all that is physical, or physiological, or psychological even, is intended ever to be kept subservient.

Thus it is throughout the Bible. Paul had visions of the third Heavens. Christ descended into Hades, and rose again; but he has told us nothing of the state or doings of departed spirits. Where the sacred penmen draw back, and scarce afford a hint, except as to the certainty of retribution in another world, modern mystics, modern impostors have given us volumes.

Fools rashly venture in
Where angels dare not tread.

And so, too, in respect to death itself. The impostor Davis profanely assumes to describe the process of the elimination of the spirit from the struggling body, and some have pronounced the unfeeling caricature worthy of the genius of Dante or of Milton. But with what solemn reserve does the Scripture cast a vail over this dread event, and reveal to us only its moral consequences. It is a going down into a "Valley of Shadows," and all that the believer is allowed to know of it is, that in that Valley there is one to take him by the hand, one who will walk with him through its darkness, and "whose rod and staff shall comfort him" through all that dreary way. To this correspond the terms expressive of the idea in primitive languages. It is a going into Hades, the Invisible, the Unknown, not in the sense of any doubt, implied as to the real existence of a spirit world (for men have never been without a distinct belief in this, as matter of fact), but unknown as to its physical states and modes of being. In the Hebrew it is Beth Olam, the Hidden House (imperfectly rendered the long home, Eccles. xii.), where the souls of the dead take no part in things that are done beneath the sun." The living go to them, but they come not back any more to us. And what right-feeling heart would have it otherwise. They are

Not dead, but parted from their house of clay.

They still dwell, too, in our memories; they are enshrined in our hearts. Who would not trust them to the Scripture promises of rest and peace, rather than imagine them as subject to the unrest, and sharing in the agitating and tumultuous scenes of this pseudo-spiritualism. The believer in rappings charges his opponent with a Sadducean lack of faith. But we would take issue with him on the term. The naturalistic spirit-hunter is a stranger to the idea. With him it is only the sensualism and sensual scenes of this earth carried into a supposed spiritual world. It is a faith which has no trust, no patient waiting. It is not "the evidence of things unseen." It is not "the substance of things hoped for." It is rank materialism, after all. It is, moreover, essentially irreligious. As far as it extends, it threatens, to an awful degree, to de-religionize the human soul—not only to take away all true spirituality of view, but to render men incapable of those ideas, on which alone a right religious belief can be founded.

We hope our readers will not think that we have indulged in a train of thought too serious or sombre for the pages of a literary Monthly Magazine. It is directly forced upon us by our subject, if we would treat it as it deserves to be treated; and our only apology for choosing such a theme, is found in the fact that it is connected with one of the most wide-spread and mischievous delusions of the day. We should indeed think that we had discharged a most important editorial duty, could we only convey to the many thousands of our readers our deep impression, not only of the falsehood and wickedness of these "lying wonders," but also of the immense moral evil of which they threaten to be the cause.

Editor's Easy Chair.

The Spring hangs fire, like a rusty match-lock; and even as we write—though the almanac tells stories of "pleasant showers about this time"—the snow-flakes are dappling the distant roofs, and shivering under a northern wind. The early-trout fishers upon the south-shore of the Island, are bandaged in pea-coats, and the song-making blue-birds twitter most scattered and sorry orisons.

It is a singular circumstance—and one of which the meteorologic men must give us the resolution—that the seasons of the Eastern and Western Continents balance themselves so accurately as they do. Thus, the severe winter which, leaning from the Arctic Circle, has touched our Continent with an icy right hand, has kindled with a warm left, the north of Europe into a premature Spring. The journalists tell us of flowers blooming in Norway, through all the latter half of February; and the winter in Paris has proved as sham a winter, as their Republic is sham republic.

[Pg 844] Is there any tide of atmosphere which makes flux and reflux of cold—kindred to the sweep of the ocean? And may not that Northern Centre, which geographers call the Pole, have such influence on the atmospheric currents, as the moon is said to have upon the sea?

Poor Sir John, meantime, shivering in the Northern Regions, or—what is far more probable—sealed up in some icy shroud, that keeps his body whole, and that will not break or burst until the mountains melt—is not forgotten. Even now the British Admiralty are fitting out another expedition, to flounder for a season among the icebergs, and bring back its story of Polar nights, and harsh Arctic music.

A little bit of early romance, associated with the great navigator, has latterly found its way into the journals, and added new zest to the talk of his unknown fate. Lady Franklin was, it appears, in her youthful days, endowed with the same poet-soul—which now inspires her courage, and which then inspired her muse. Among other rhymed thoughts which she put in print, were some wild, weird verses about the Northern realms, and the bold navigators who periled life and fortune among the Polar mountains. The verses caught the eye and the sympathies of Sir John Franklin. He traced them to their source, and finding the heart of the lady as true and brave, as her verse was clear and sound, he challenged her love, and won such wife as became the solace of his quieter days, and the world-known mourner of his fate.

Domestic talk plays around the topic of the coming Presidential campaign, and not a dinner of the whole Lenten season but has turned its chat upon this hinge. And it is not a little curious to observe how the names of the prospective Presidents narrow down, as the time approaches, to some two or three focal ones, toward which converge all the rays of calumny and of laudation. Yet in this free speech—thanks to our privilege—we offer a most happy contrast to that poor shadow of a Republic, which is now thriving in embroidered Paris coats, and whose history is written under the ban of Censors. It is amusing to recall now the speeches of those earnest French Republicans, who, in the debates of 1848, objected so strongly to any scheme of representation which should bear that strong federal taint that belonged to our system. "It is an off-shoot," said they, "of British and lordly birth, and can not agree with the nobler freedom which we have established, and which has crowned our Revolution."

May God, in his own good time, help the French—if they will not help themselves—and give them no worse a ruler, than the poorest of our present candidates!

Some little time ago we indulged in a pleasant strain of self-gratulation, that the extraordinary woman, Lola Montes—danseuse, diplomate, widow, wife, femme entretenue—should have met with the humblest welcome upon American shores, and by such welcome given a lift to our sense of propriety. It would seem, however, that the welcome was only stayed, and not abandoned. The cordial reception which our national representatives have given the Bavarian Countess, was indeed a matter to be looked for. Proprieties of life do not rule high under the Congressional atmosphere; nor is Washington the moving centre of much Christian enterprise—either missionary or other. But that Boston, our staid rival, should have shown the danseuse the honor of Educational Committees, and given her speech in French and Latin of the blooming Boston girls, is a thing as strange as it was unexpected. We observe, however, that the officer in attendance upon Lola, pleads simple courtesy as a warrant for his introduction, and regrets that newspaper inquiry and comment should make known to his pupil-protégées the real character of the lady introduced. It certainly is unfortunate—but still more unfortunate, that the character of any visitor should not be proof against inquiry.

Lola, it seems, resents highly any imputation upon her good name, and demands proof of her losses.

Her indignation is adroit, and reminds us of a certain old "nut for the lawyers," which once went the round of the almanacs:

"Will Brown, a noted toper, being out of funds, and put to his wits, entered the beer-shop, and called for four two-penny loaves of bread. After ruminating awhile, with the loaves under his arm, he proposed to exchange a couple of the loaves for a mug of ale. Bruin of the bar assented to the bargain. Will quietly disposed of his ale, and again proposed a further exchange of the remaining loaves, for a second mug of the malt liquor.

"Will quietly discharged his duty toward the second tankard, and as quietly moved toward the door. Bruin claimed pay. Will alleged that he had paid in two-penny loaves. Bruin demanded pay for the bread; but Will, very imperturbably swore that he did not keep the bread, and challenged poor Bruin to prove his indebtedness."

Jenny Lind has latterly slipped from the public eye into the shades of her newly-found domestic life. Rumor, however, tells the story of one last appearance, during the Spring, when all the world will be curious to see how she wears her bridal state, and to take fuller glimpse of the man, who has won her benevolent heart. Can the married world explain to us, how it is that matrimony seems to dull the edge of triumph, and to round a grave over maiden glory? Why is Madame Goldschmidt so much less than Jenny Lind? Simply in this way: she who has conquered the world by song and goodness, has herself been conquered; and the conqueror, if rumor tells a fair story, is no better, or worthier, or stronger than the average of men. The conclusion, then, is inevitable, that she, having yielded, is, in some qualities of head or heart—even less than he; and so reduced to the standard of our dull every-day mortality.

Rumor says again, that the songstress, after a visit only to her own shores, is to return to the pleasant town of Northampton for a home. The decision, if real, does credit to our lady's love of the picturesque; for surely a more sightly town lies no where in our western world, than that mass of meadow and sweeping hill which lies grouped under the shoulder of Holyoke.

With the spring-time, the city authorities are brushing the pavements—very daintily—for the summer's campaign. Mr. Russ is blockading the great thoroughfare, for a new fragment of his granite road; and "May movings," on the very day this shall come to the eye of our reader, will be disturbing the whole quiet of the metropolis. High rents are making the sad burden of many a master of a household; and a city paper has indulged in philosophical speculations upon the influence of this rise in rent upon the matrimonial alliance. The matter is not without its salient points for reflection. Young ladies, whose extravagance in dress is promoting high prices of all[Pg 845] sorts, must remember that they are thereby cheapening their chances of a home and a husband. The good old times, when a thousand or two thousand a year were reckoned sufficient income for a city man to marry upon, and to bring up such family as Providence vouchsafed him, are fast falling into the wake of years.

A wife and a home are becoming great luxuries—not so much measured by peace as by pence.

Would it not be well for domestically inclined clerks—whose rental does not run to a large figure—to organize (in the way of the Building Associations) cheap Marriage Associations? We do not feel competent to suggest the details of such a plan, but throw out the hint for younger men to act upon.

It is pleasant to fancy the "Special Notices" of the Tribune newspaper lit up with such sparkling inducements for bachelors as these:

The Bloomer Marriage Association will hold its regular meeting on Friday at half past seven. Those who appreciate the advantages of a good wife, at small cost, with reliable men for trustees, will not fail to attend. The stock is now nearly all taken. A few shares are left. Several new names of modest and marriageable young ladies—also two thriving widows with small families—are registered upon the books of the Association. Every information supplied.

Jedediah Ruletheroost, Secretary.

Cheap Wives for poor and deserving young men. The Caroline Fry Marriage Association is the best and oldest of similar organizations. Hundreds of young men are now in the enjoyment of estimable partners for life, and all the endearments of the domestic circle through the agency of this Association. Shares are still to be sold, and the surplus of capital already amounts to the incredible sum of fourteen thousand dollars.

Particular attention paid to proper matching of temperaments. Only two unfortunate marriages have thus far been contracted under the auspices of this Association. The best of medical advisers.

Remember the number, 220 Broadway.

Silas Widders, Secretary.

English Punch is busy nowadays in twisting the Jew locks of the new leader in the House of Commons. The personal peculiarities of Mr. Disraeli make him an easy subject for the artists of Fleet-street. We shall expect, however, to see some rare debates led off by the accomplished Hebrew. Disraeli has his weaknesses of manner and of action; but he is a keen talker, and can make such show of brilliant repartee as will terribly irk the leaders of the Left.

The Earl of Derby, notwithstanding his fine and gentlemanly bearing, comes in for his share of the Punch caricature. Few British statesmen are so accomplished and graceful speakers as the Earl of Derby; and, with the burden of the Government upon his shoulders, to spur his efforts, we shall confidently look for such strong pleading, as will surpass any thing yet heard from Lord Stanley.

French talk is tired of political prognostic, and has yielded itself, with characteristic indolence and insouciance, to the gayeties of the mi-caréme. Balls have broken the solemnities of Lent, and a new drama of the younger Dumas, which turns upon the life and fortunes of a courtisane of the last century, seems to chime with the humor of the time.

The broidered coats are thickening under imperial auspices; and Napoleon is winning a host of firm supporters among the broidering girls of Nancy and of the metropolis. The Americans, it would seem, are doing their part toward the festivities of the season; and forget Lent and Republic, in the hilarity of balls and routs. An American club, holding its meetings in the old saloon of Frascati, is among the on dits of the winter.

A proposition for shaving the beards of judges and advocates, has wakened the apprehensions of all the benchers; and, in defense of their old-time prerogatives, the subjects of the proposed edict have brought to light an old pleading for their hirsute fancies, which may well have its place.

The shaved chin is an incongruity as connected with the toga; the beard, on the contrary, is in perfect keeping. If it had not existed by a wise provision of Providence, it must have been invented. What more imposing spectacle than a court rendering a solemn decree, in the presence of both chambers—and what measure of authority would not the white beard of the judge give to the sentence he pronounces!

If then, you have a real care for your dignity, oh magistrates, curb not the flowing beard, but rather tempt its honors, with all the aids of art. And if the eccentric sallies of some brother gownsman, or some naïve testimony of an unkempt witness, put your gravity in peril, you can laugh—in your beard. Thus nature will have her rights, and your dignity rest unmolested.

We commend these opinions to their honors of the New York Bench; only adding, that such aldermanic judges as are proof against wit—as they are proof against sense, might yet value the beard to hide their blushes.

All European travelers know the value and the awkwardness of passports, and the importance of securing them en regle.

The Count B——, wishing latterly to pass into Austria with a domestic and a favorite horse, sent to the legation for the necessary papers, charging his secretary to see that all was in order.

"As to the domestic," said the official, "he will have a separate passport; but there are some formalities as to the horse; we must have a perfect description of him, to insert in the passport of his owner."

"Very good," said the secretary, "I will send the groom with it."

The embassador proceeded to fill up the passport: "We, Envoy Extraordinary, &c., invite the civil and military authorities to allow M. le Comte, with his horse, to pass, and in case of need, to render all possible aid and assistance to ——"

Here occurred a blank, in view of the fact that the applicant might possess either wife or family. The good embassador (whom it is reasonable to suppose a bachelor) reckoning the horse equivalent to one or the other—filled up the blank with the word "them."

The signature being appended, the task of filling up the description was left to the attaché.

In due time the groom arrived. The sub-officia copied faithfully the description of the count's gelding.

Age—three years and a half.
Height—fourteen hands.
Hair—dark sorrel.
Forehead—spotted with white.
Eyes—very lively.
[Pg 846]Nose—broad nostrils.
Mouth—A little hard.
Beard—none (the count was a veritable Turk).
Private marks—ears very long; small star branded on the left thigh.

In course of time the count departed, his passport in the guardianship of his accomplished secretary.

The frontier officers are not, travelers will remember, either very brilliant men, or very witty men. They have a dull eye for a joke.

The count's passport was scrutinized severely; the description did not accord accurately, in the opinion of the sergent of police, with the actual man. The sergent pulled his mustache, looked wise—and put Monsieur le Comte under arrest. The story about the horse was a poor story. The sergent was not to be outwitted in that fashion.

The consequence was a detention under guard for four days, until the necessary explanations could be returned from Paris, and the sergent be fully persuaded that the description attached to the count's horse, and not to some dangerous political refugee.

Under the head of "Touching Matrimonial Confidence," a French provincial paper gives the following: A certain Gazette of Auvergne published, a few days since, this notice (not unknown to our newspaper annals):

"No person will give credit to the woman Ursula-Veronica-Anastasia-Cunegonde Piot—my wife, as I shall pay no debts of her contracting."

The same Gazette published, a few days after, the following rejoinder (which we commend to all wives similarly situated):

"Monsieur Jerome Barnabas, my husband, could have spared himself the trouble of his late notice.

"It is not to be supposed that I could get credit on his account; for, since he pays no debts of his own, nobody would count on him to pay any debts of mine.

"Femme Barnabas—nee Piot."

We should not be greatly surprised if the precedent here afforded, should lead to a new column of city advertisements.

Apropos of the late balls in Paris, a very good story is told of a bouncing student at law (with rooms and ménage in the quarter of the Pantheon), who recently made his débût, under the auspices of his father, at a ball of the Chaussée d'Antin.

His father, a stout provincial, but bolstered into importance by a fat vineyard, and wine cellars to match, insisted upon introducing his son to the high life of the capital. The son declined, urging that he did not dance (the truth being that his familiarity was only with the exceptional dances of the Chaumière and such grisette quarters).

"Mon Dieu—not dance!" said the old gentleman.

"Oui—after a fashion, but in a way not appreciated, I fear, in such salons."

The old gentleman chuckled over his son's modesty—he could imagine it nothing else—and insisted upon the venture. The student was a guest; but determined to keep by the wall, as a spectator of the refined gallopades of the quarter d'Antin. The first look, however, at the salon polka plunged him into a profound reverie. Was it indeed true that he was in the elegant saloon of the Marquise M——? thought he, gaining courage.

It was his method precisely—the very dance that Amy had taught him—practiced with all their picturesque temerity. Sure of his power, and using all the art of the Mabile, he gave himself up to two hours of most exhilarating pastime.

"They have calumniated the beau monde," mused he in leaving. "I find it very entertaining. Our dances are not only understood, but cultivated—practiced; and, ma foi, I rather prefer handling these countesses, to those very greedy grisettes."

Our brave student at law might possibly find his paces as well understood, in some American saloons as in those of the Chausée d'Antin!

We close our long chat for the month with a little whimsicality of travel, which comes to us in the letter of a friend.

Major M'Gowd was of Irish extraction (which he denied)—had been in the English service (which he boasted), and is, or was two years ago, serving under the Austrian flag.

He was not a profound man; but, as majors go, a very good sort of major, and great disciplinarian—as the following will show:

You have seen the Austrian troops in review, and must have noticed the curious way in which their cloaks are carried around their necks, making the poor fellows look like the Vauxhall showman, looking out from the folds of a gigantic anaconda.

On one occasion, the major, being officer of the day, observed a soldier with his cloak lying loosely upon his arm.

"Where's your cloak, rascal?" was the major's peremptory demand.

"Here, sir," was the reply.

"What's the use of a cloak if it's not rolled up?" thundered the major; and the poor scamp was sent to the lock-up.

Thus much for the major's discipline. But like most old officers of no great depth of brain, the major had his standard joke, which had gone the rounds of a hundred mess-tables. Latterly, however, he had grown coy of a repetition, and seems to cherish a suspicion that he has not cut so good a figure in the story as he once imagined.

A little after-dinner mellowness, however, is sure to bring the major to his trump card, and in knowledge of this, Ned and myself (who had never heard his story), one day tempted the major's appetite with some very generous Tokay.

Major M'Gowd bore up, as most old officers are able to do, to a very late hour, and it was not till eleven that he seemed fairly kindled.

"Well, major, now for the story," said we.

"Ah, boys, it won't do" (the major looked smilingly through his glass), "it was really too bad."

"Out with it, major," and after as much refusing and urging as would seat half the girls in New York at the piano, the old gentleman opened:

"It's too bad, boys; it was the most cutting, sarcastic thing that perhaps ever was heard. You see, I was stationed at Uxbridge; you know Uxbridge, p'raps—situated on a hill. I was captain, then; young and foolish—very foolish. I wrote poetry. I couldn't do it now. I never have since; I wish I hadn't then. For, do you see, it was the most cruel, cutting thing—"

The major emptied his glass.

"Go on, major," said Ned, filling for him again.

"Ah, boys—sad work—it cut him down. I was young, as I said—stationed at Uxbridge—only a captain then, and wrote poetry. It was there the thing happened. It's not modest to say it, but really, a more cutting thing—fill up your glasses, my boys.

[Pg 847] "I became acquainted with a family of the name of Porter—friends of the colonel; pray remember the name—Porter. There was a daughter, Miss Porter. Keep the name in mind, if you please. Uxbridge, as you know, is situated on a hill. About fifteen miles away was stationed another regiment. Now, a young officer of this regiment was very attentive to Miss Porter; don't forget the name, I beg of you.

"He was only a lieutenant, a second son—nothing but his pay to live on; and the old people did not fancy his attentions, being, as I said, second son, lieutenant; which was very sensible in them.

"They gave him a hint or two, which he didn't take. Finally they applied to me, Captain M'Gowd, at that time, begging me to use my influence in the matter. I had not the pleasure of acquaintance with the lieutenant; though, apart from his being second son, lieutenant, small pay, &c., I knew nothing in the world against the poor fellow.

"The more's the pity, boys; as I had no right to address him directly on the subject, I determined to hit him off in a few lines of poetry—those fatal, sarcastic lines!" sighed the major, finishing his glass.

"I had the reputation of being witty, and a poet; and though I say it myself—was uncommonly severe.

"They commenced in this way," (the major threw himself into attitude.)

"The other day to Uxbridge town—

"You recollect the circumstance—I was at Uxbridge—young and foolish—had made the acquaintance of the Porters (remember the name)—young lieutenant was attentive to Miss Porter (lively girl was Mary Jane); poor, second son, not agreeable to old people, who, as I told you, called on me to settle the matter. So I wrote the lines—terribly sarcastic:

"The other day to Uxbridge town—

now you're coming to it—

"A major (he was lieutenant, you know) of dragoons (he was in the infantry) came down (Uxbridge is on a hill). It was a very sarcastic thing, you see.

"The other day to Uxbridge town
A major of dragoons came down—

now for the point, my boys,

"The reason why he came down here
'Twas said he had—

You remember the name—Porter, and how I was at Uxbridge, situated on a hill, was Captain M'Gowd, then—young lieutenant, &c., devilish severe verses—but now mind—here they are:

"The other day to Uxbridge town
A major of dragoons came down,
The reason why he came down here
'Twas said he had a love (remember the name) for—Beer!"

If you have never heard a maudlin, mess-table story, told over the sixth bottle, you have at the least, read one.

Editor's Drawer.

The readers of the "Drawer" will be amused with a forcible picture, which we find in our collection, of the ups-and-downs of a strolling player's life. One would think such things enough to deter young men and women from entering upon so thorny a profession. "In one of the writer's professional excursions," runs our extract, "his manager finds himself in a woeful predicament. His pieces will not 'draw' in the quiet New England village where he had temporarily 'set up shop;' he and his company are literally starving; the men moodily pacing the stage; the women, who had kept up their spirits to the last, sitting silent and sorrowful; and the children, little sufferers! actually crying for food.

"I saw all this," says the manager, "and I began to feel very suicidal. It was night, and I looked about for a rope. At length I spied just what I wanted. A rope dangled at the prompt-side, and near a steep flight of stairs which led to a dressing room. 'That's it!' said I, with gloomy satisfaction: 'I'll mount those stairs, noose myself, and drop quietly off in the night; but first let me see whether it is firmly fastened or no.'

"I accordingly approached, gave a pull at the rope, when 'whish! whish!' I found I had set the rain a-going. And now a thought struck me. I leaped, danced, and shouted madly for joy.

"'Where did you get your liquor from?' shouted the 'walking-gentleman' of the company.

"'He's gone mad!' said Mrs. ——, principal lady-actress of the corps. 'Poor fellow!—hunger has made him a maniac. Heaven shield us from a like fate!'

"'Hunger!' shouted I, 'we shall be hungry no more! Here's food from above (which was literally true), manna in the wilderness, and all that sort of thing. We'll feed on rain; we'll feed on rain!'

"I seized a hatchet, and mounting by a ladder, soon brought the rain-box tumbling to the ground.

"My meaning was now understood. An end of the box was pried off, and full a bushel of dried beans and peas were poured out, to the delight of all. Some were stewed immediately, and although rather hard, I never relished any thing more. But while the operation of cooking was going on below, we amused ourselves with parching some beans upon the sheet-iron—the 'thunder' of the theatre—set over an old furnace, and heated by rosin from the lightning-bellows.

"So we fed upon rain, cooked by thunder-and-lightning!"

There is nothing in the history of Irving's "Strolling Player" more characteristic of his class than the foregoing; and there is a verisimilitude about the story which does not permit us to doubt its authenticity. It is too natural not to be true.

Think of a patent-medicine vender rising at the head of his table, where were assembled some score or two of his customers, and proposing such a toast as the following:

"Gentlemen: allow me to propose you a sentiment. When I mention Health, you will all admit that I allude to the greatest of sublunary blessings. I am sure then that you will agree with me that we are all more or less interested in the toast that I am about to prescribe. I give you, gentlemen,

"Physic, and much good may it do us!"

This sentiment is "drunk with all the honors," when a professional Gallenic vocalist favors the company with the annexed song:

"A bumper of Febrifuge fill, fill for me,
Give those who prefer it, Black Draught;
But whatever the dose a strong one it must be,
Though our last dose to-night shall be quaffed.
And while influenza attacks high and low,
And man's queerest feelings oppress him,
Mouth-making, nose-holding, round, round let I go,
Drink our Physic and Founder—ugh, bless him."

The reader may have heard a good deal from the poets concerning "The Language of Flowers;" but here is quite a new dialect of that description, in the shape of mottos for different fruits and vegetables in different months: [Pg 848]

Motto for the Lilac in April: "Give me leave."
For the Rose in June: "Well, I'm blowed!"
For the Asparagus in July: "Cut and come again."
For the Marrowfat Pea in August: "Shell out!"
For the Apple in September: "Go it, my Pippins!"
For the Cabbage in December: "My heart is sound: my heart is my own."

Now that "shads is come;" now that lamb has arrived, and green peas may soon be looked for; now that asparagus is coming in, and poultry is going out, listen to the Song of the Turkey, no longer seen hanging by the legs in the market, and rejoice with him at his emancipation:

"The season of Turkeys is over!
The time of our danger is past:
'Tis the turn of the wild-duck and plover,
But the Turkey is safe, boys, at last!

"Then hobble and gobble, we'll sing, boys,
No longer we've reason to fear;
Who knows what a twelvemonth will bring, boys,
Let's trust to the chance of the year!

"The oyster in vain now may mock us,
Its sauce we can proudly disdain;
No sausages vulgar shall shock us,
We are free, we are free from their chain!

"Then hobble and gobble, we'll sing, boys,
No longer we've reason to fear;
Who knows what a twelvemonth will bring, boys.
Let's trust to the chance of the year!

"What matters to you and to me, boys,
That one whom we treasured when young,
With a ticket, "Two dollars! look here!" boys,
In a poulterer's window was hung!

"Then hobble and gobble, we'll sing, boys,
No longer we've reason to fear;
Who knows what a twelvemonth will bring, boys,
Let's trust to the chance of the year!

"Then mourn not for friends that are eaten,
A drum-stick for care and regret!
Enough that, the future to sweeten,
Our lives are not forfeited yet!

"Then hobble and gobble, we'll sing, boys,
No longer we've reason to fear;
Who knows what a twelvemonth will bring, boys,
Let's trust to the chance of the year!"

Somewhat curious, if true, is an anecdote which is declared to be authentic, and which we find among the disjecta membra of our ollapodrida:

Lieutenant Montgomery had seen much military service. The wars, however, were over; and he had nothing in the world to do but to lounge about, as best he could, on his half-pay. One day he was "taking his ease in his inn," when he observed a stranger, who was evidently a foreigner, gazing intently at him. The lieutenant appeared not to notice him, but shifted his position. After a short time the stranger shifted his position also, and still stared with unblemished, unabated gaze.

This was too much for Montgomery. He rose, and approaching his scrutinizing intruder, said:

"Do you know me, sir?"

"I think I do," answered the foreigner. (He was a Frenchman.)

"Have we ever met before?" continued Montgomery.

"I will not swear for it; but if we have—and I am almost sure we have," said the stranger, "you have a sabre-cut, a deep one, on your right wrist."

"I have," said Montgomery, turning back his sleeve, and displaying a very broad and ugly scar. "I didn't get this for nothing, for the brave fellow who made me a present of it I repaid with a gash across the skull!"

The Frenchman bent down his head, parted his hair with his hands, and said:

"You did: you may look at the receipt."

The next moment they were in each other's arms.

Now this story seems a little problematical; and yet it is vouched for on what ought to be considered reliable authority. In short, it is true in every respect.

Some ambitious juvenile once sung, with an aspiration "peculiar to our institutions,"

"I wish I was the President
Of these United States,
I never would do nothing
But swing on all the gates."

He little knew the miseries, the ennui, the mental dyspepsia, which afflicts the wretch who has nothing to do. One of these unhappy mortals it is, who says, in the bitterness of his spirit:

"Sir, I have no books, and no internal resources. I can not draw, and if I could, there's nothing that I want to sketch. I don't play the flute, and if I did there's nobody that I should like to have listen to me. I never wrote a tragedy, but I think I am in that state of mind in which tragedies are written. Any thing lighter is out of the question. I whistle four hours a day, yawn five, smoke six, and sleep the rest of the twenty-four, with a running accompaniment of swearing to all these occupations except the last, and I'm not quite sure that I don't sometimes swear in my dreams.

"In one word, sir, I'm getting desperate, for the want of something to do."

There is a good deal of humor in the sudden contrast of sentiment and language exhibited in the verses below. They purport to be the tragi-comical tale of a deserted sailor-wife, who, with a baby in her arms, comes often to a rock that overlooks the main, to catch, if possible, a glimpse of a returning sail. At length, in despair, she throws her infant into the sea:

"A gush of tears fell fast and warm,
As she cried, with dread emotion,
Rest, baby! rest that fairy form
Beneath the rush of ocean;
'Tis calmer than the world's rude storm,
And kinder—I've a notion!
"Now oft the simple country folk
To this sad spot repair,
When wearied with their weekly yoke,
They steal an hour from care;
And they that have a pipe to smoke,
They go and smoke it there!

"When soon a little pearly bark
Skims o'er the level brine,
Whose sails, when it is not too dark,
With misty brightness shine:
Though they who these strange visions mark
Have sharper eyes than mine!

"And, beauteous as the morn, is seen
A baby on the prow,
Deck'd in a robe of silver sheen,
With corals round his brow—
A style of head-dress not, I ween,
Much worn by babies now!"

What somebody of the transcendental school of these latter days calls the "element of unexpectedness," is very forcibly exemplified by the writer from whom we have quoted.

We have often laughed over the following scene, but couldn't tell where it is recorded to save our reputation for "general knowledge." All that we do know is, that it is a clever sketch by a clever writer[Pg 849] whoever he may be. The scene is a military station; and it should be premised that a certain surly, ill-tempered major, whose wife and sister are in the habit of visiting him at the barracks, gives orders, out of spite to subordinate officers, whose families have hitherto enjoyed the same privilege, that "no females are to be allowed in barracks after tattoo, under any pretense whatever:"

"It so happened that the morning after this announcement appeared in the order-book, an old lieutenant, who might have been the major's grandfather, and whom we used to call "The General," on account of his age and gray hairs, was the officer on duty. To the sergeant of the guard "the General" gave the necessary orders, with strict injunctions to have them obeyed to the letter.

"Shortly after tattoo, sundry ladies, as usual, presented themselves at the barrack-gate, and were, of course, refused admission; when, to the surprise of the sentinel on duty, the major's lady and sister-in-law made their appearance, and walked boldly to the wicket, with the intention of entering as usual. To their utter astonishment, the sentry refused them permission to pass. The sergeant was called, but that worthy was quite as much of a precisian as the ladies, and his conscience would not permit him to let them in.

"'Do you know who we are, sir?' asked the major's lady, with much asperity of voice and manner.

"'Oh, sartingly; I knows your ladyships wery well.'

"'And pray, what do you mean, sir, by this insolence?'

"'I means no imperance whatsomdever, marm; but my orders is partickler, to let no female ladies into this here barracks a'ter tattoo, upon no account whatever; and I means for to obey my orders without no mistake.'

"'Then you have the effrontery, do you, to refuse admittance to the lady of your commanding officer?' screamed the Honorable Mrs. Snooks.

"'And her sister!' joined in the second lady.

"'Most sartingly, marm,' replied the non-commissioned officer, with profound gravity: 'I knows my duty, marm.'

"'Good gracious, what assurance!' exclaimed both ladies in a breath.

"'No insurance at all, marm: if your ladyships was princesses, you couldn't come in after tattoo; my orders is partikler!'

"'Don't you know, stupid, that these orders can not be intended to apply to us?'

"'I doesn't know nuffin about that, my lady: all I know is, that orders is orders, and must be obeyed.'


"'Imperance or no imperance, I must do my duty; and I can tell your ladyships if my superior officers was for to give me orders not to let in the major himself, I would be obligated for to keep him off at the p'int of the bay'net!'

"The officer of the guard was sent for, and the officer of the guard sent for the orderly-book, which, by the light of the guard-room lantern, was exhibited to the ladies by 'the General,' in justification of his apparent rudeness."

It might, doubtless, have been added, that the effect of such a lesson upon the major, was of a salutary nature; for the chalice was commended to his own lips, which he had prepared for others, in downright earnest.

These lines, from the pen of a Southern poet, are very tender and touching. They were printed some ten years since:

"My little girl sleeps on my arm all night,
And seldom stirs, save when, with playful wile,
I bid her rise and place her lips to mine,
Which in her sleep she does. And sometimes then,
Half-muttered in her slumbers, she affirms
Her love for me is boundless. And I take
The little bud and close her in my arms;
Assure her by my action—for my lips
Yield me no utterance then—that in my heart
She is the treasured jewel. Tenderly,
Hour after hour, without desire of sleep,
I watch above that large amount of hope,
Until the stars wane, and the yellow morn
Walks forth into the night."

In the final disposition of his characters, Dickens excels any living author. There is no confusion—no infringement of the natural. In "Barnaby Rudge," for example, the old lethargic inn-keeper, Willett, retiring in his dotage, and with his ruling passion strong upon him, scoring up vast imaginary sums to imaginary customers, and the lament of the elder Weller at the death of good old Master Humphrey, are not only characteristic, they are perfect specimens of their kind. "And the sweet old creetur," says the elder Weller "has bolted. Him as had no wice, and was so free from temper that an infant might ha' drove 'im, has been took at last with that ere unawoidable fit of the staggers, as we must all come to, and gone off his feed forever!" "I see him," continues the old stage-coach driver, "I see him gettin' every journey more and more groggy. I says to Samivel, says I, 'Samivel, my boy, the Gray's a-going at the knees;' and now my predilection is fatally werified; and him as I could never do enough to serve or to show my likin' for, is up the great uniwersal spout o' natur'!"

It is poor Tom Hood, if we have not forgotten, who describes a species of "Statistical Fellows" as

——"A prying, spying, inquisitive clan,
Who jot down the laboring classes' riches,
And after poking in pot and pan,
And routing garments in want of stitches,
Have ascertained that a working man
Wears a pair and a half of average breeches!"

Of this kind was the "Scientific Ass-sociate" mentioned in the "Table Talk of the late John Boyle." The Professor is setting forth one of his "various important matters connected with every-day life." The learned gentleman spoke of shaving as follows:

"The mode of shaving differs in different individuals. Some are very close shavers; others are greater adepts at cutting unpleasant acquaintances than themselves. It is, however, most important that the art of shaving should be reduced to a nicety, so that a man can cut his beard with the same facility as he could cut his stick. It is also of consequence that an accurate calculation should be made of the number of shaving brushes and the number of half pounds of soap used in the course of the year by respectable shavers, for I have observed that some of them are very badly off for soap. There is also a very great variation in the price of labor. Some barbers undertake to shave well for threepence; others charge a much higher sum. This is probably the effect of competition; and I must say, that the Government deserves well of the country for not encouraging any monopoly. At the same time there is a looseness in the details of the profession, which I should like to see corrected. An accurate register ought to be kept of the number of individuals who shave themselves, and of those who shave daily, every other[Pg 850] day, and once a week only. We can hardly contemplate the immense benefits which science would reap, if such matters as these were properly attended to!"

Who has not seen just such statistics as these dwelt upon with unction by your thorough "statist?"

Never forget this "Receipt of Domestic Economy." When you have paid a bill, always take, and keep, a receipt of the same:

"O, fling not the receipt away,
Given by one who trusted thee;
Mistakes will happen every day.
However honest folks may be;
And sad it is, oh, twice to pay,
So cast not thy receipt away!

"Ah, yes; if e'er in future hours,
When we this bill have all forgot,
They send it in again! ye powers!
And swear that we have paid it not;
How sweet to know, on such a day,
We've never cast receipts away!"

The following is one of the pen-and-ink portraits that have found their way into the "Drawer." The sitter was a subject of our own Gotham.

"He was a Scotchman by birth, and had, without exception, the ugliest face I ever saw on a man's shoulders, or a monkey's either, for that matter. But by a perversity of taste, not unusual in the world, the man made a complete hobby of his 'mug,' homely as it was; and was full of the conceit that on fit occasions he could summon to it a look of terrible and dignified sarcasm, that was more efficacious than words or blows. He was rather insolent in his deportment, and was consequently continually getting into scrapes with some one or other, in which he invariably got the worst of it; because instead of lifting his hand, and giving blow for blow, he always trusted to the efficacy of his look. His various little mishaps he used to relate to his fellow-boarders at meal-times, always concluding his narrations with, 'But didn't I give the dirty rapscallions one o' my looks?' And then twisting his 'ugly mug' into a shape impossible to be described, he fancied he had convinced his hearers that his antagonists, whoever they were, would be in no hurry to meddle with him again!

"The last time I saw him, he was giving an account of an insult he had received the night before at some porter-house in the neighborhood, where a little fellow, who was a perfect stranger to him, had insisted upon drinking at his expense, and who, when he refused to pay for the liquor, had not only abused him most shamefully with his tongue, but had actually kicked him.

"'Kick you!' exclaimed a fellow-boarder.

"'Yes!' said he, growing warm with the recital; 'he kicked me here!' and he laid his hand on that portion of his valorous person that had come in contact with the stranger's boot.

"'And what did you say to that?' asked a second listener.

"'What did I say to it?' he replied, as if astonished that any body should be ignorant of his invariable rejoinder to similar assaults. 'What did I say? I said nothing at all. The kick was but a soft one, and the fellow that gave it a wee bit of a 'jink-ma-doddy,' that I could have throttled with one hand on the spot. But I just contented myself with giving him one of my looks!'

"Here Sawney 'defined his position' to the company, by giving them one of his awful glances. But this time he managed to convey an expression of ugliness and comicality so far beyond any thing he had ever called up before, that the inference was irresistible that the kick he had received must have been a good deal harder than he was willing to acknowledge."

Any man or woman walking up or down the sunny side of Broadway, on a pleasant summer day, will see various little bipeds, with thin legs, faded countenances, and jaded air, flourishing little canes, who may, perhaps, bring to mind the following lines:

"Some say there's nothing made in vain,
While others the reverse maintain,
And prove it, very handy,
By citing animals like these—
Musquitoes, bed-bugs, crickets, fleas,
And, worse than all—a dandy!"

But Nature, as the poet adds, "never made a dandy;" he was cast in a fictitious mould altogether.

There is something not over-complimentary to us, magazine-editors, in the remonstrance which "Chawls Yellowplush" makes to his employer against his discharging him from his employ, because he has ascertained that he writes in magazines, and other periodicals:

"'Sir,' says I, claspink my 'ands, and bursting into tears, 'do not, for Eving's sake, do not think of anythink of the sort, or drive me from your service, because I have been fool enough to write in magazeens! Glans but one moment at your honor's plate; every spoon is as bright as a mirror; condescend to igsamine your shoos; your honor may see reflected in them the faces of every one in the company. If occasionally I've forgot the footman in the lit'ry man, and committed to paper my remindicences of fashionable life, it was from a sinsear desire to do good and promote nollitch; and I apeal to your honor—I lay my hand on my busm, and in the face of this honorable company, beg you to say—when you rung your bell, who came to you first? When you stopt out till mornink, who sat up for you? When you was ill, who forgot the nat'ral dignities of his station, and answered the two-pair bell? Oh, sir,' says I, 'I knows what's what: don't send me away! I know them lit'ry chaps, and, bleave me, I'd rather be a footman. The work is not so hard—the pay is better—the vittels incompyrably shuperiour. I've but to clean my things, run my errints, you put clothes on my back, and meat in my mouth.'"

This was written by one who was himself, in his own person, an admirable illustration of what success and honor a true literary man is capable of achieving; but Yellowplush's "lit'ry men" were of a different calibre.

The learned "science-women" of the day, the "deep, deep-blue stockings" of the time, are fairly hit off in the ensuing satirical sonnet:

I idolize the Ladies! They are fairies,
That spiritualize this world of ours;
From heavenly hot-beds most delightful flowers,
Or choice cream-cheeses from celestial dairies,
But learning, in its barbarous seminaries,
Gives the dear creatures many wretched hours,
And on their gossamer intellect sternly showers
Science, with all its horrid accessaries.
Now, seriously, the only things, I think,
In which young ladies should instructed be,
Are—stocking-mending, love, and cookery!—
Accomplishments that very soon will sink,
Since Fluxions now, and Sanscrit conversation,
Always form part of female education!

Something good in the way of inculcation may be[Pg 851] educed from this rather biting sonnet. If woman so far forgets her "mission," as it is common to term it nowadays, as to choose those accomplishments whose only recommendation is that they are "the vogue," in preference to acquisitions which will fit her to be a better wife and mother, she becomes a fair subject for the shafts of the satirical censor.

The following bit of gossip is especially "Frenchy," and will remind the readers of "The Drawer" of the man described by the late Robert C. Sands, who sued for damages in a case of breach-of-promise of marriage. He was offered two hundred dollars to heal his breaking heart. "Two hundred dollars!" he exclaimed; "two hundred dollars for ruined hopes—for blighted affection—for a wretched existence—a blasted life! Two hundred dollars! for all this!! No—never! Make it three hundred, and it's a bargain!" But to the French story:

"A couple very well known in Paris are at present arranging terms of separation, to avoid the scandal of a judicial divorce. A friend has been employed by the husband to negotiate the matter. The latest mission was in relation to a valuable ring given to the husband by one of the then sovereigns of Europe, and which he wished to retain. For this he would make a certain much-desired concession, The friend made the demand—

"What!" said the indignant wife, "do you venture to charge yourself with such a mission to me! Can you believe that I could tear myself from a gift which alone recalls to me the day when my husband loved me? No: this ring is my only souvenir of a happiness, now, alas! forever departed! 'Tis all that I now possess of a once-fond husband!"

Here she threw herself upon a fauteuil, and covered her face with her hands.

But the husband's friend insisted. The lady supplicated—grew desperate—threatened to submit to a public divorce, as a lesser evil than parting with that cherished ring—and at last confessed that she had—sold the ring six months before!

Wasn't that a climax?

A very quaint and pretty scrap of verse is this, from the old German:

"Should you meet my true love,
Say, I greet her well;
Should she ask you how I fare,
Say, she best can tell.

"Should she ask if I am sick,
Say, I died of sorrow;
Should she then begin to weep,
Say, I'll come to-morrow!"

It has been thought strange, that when a malefactor is executed at "The Tombs," that curiosity should be excited to know how the unfortunate wretch behaved at the last, and at the same time great anxiety is manifested to obtain the slightest relic connected with his ignominious death. This propensity is well hit off in the following episode in the life of "A Criminal Curiosity-Hunter." A friend visits him, and he thus describes the interview:

"He received me with extreme urbanity, and asked me to sit down in an old-fashioned arm-chair. I did so.

"'I suppose, sir,' said he, with an air of suppressed triumph, 'that you have no idea that you are now sitting in a very remarkable chair!'

"I assured him that I was totally unconscious of the fact.

"'Let me tell you, then,' said he, 'that it was in that chair that Fauntleroy, the banker, who was hanged for forgery, was sitting when he was arrested!'


"'Fact, sir! I gave ten guineas for it! I thought, also, to have obtained the night-cap in which he slept the night before his execution, but another collector was beforehand with me, and bribed the turnkey to steal it for him.'

"'I had no idea,' I said, 'that there could be any competition for such an article.'

"'Ah, sir!' said he, with a deep sigh, 'you don't know the value of these interesting relics. I have been upward of thirty years a collector of them. When a man devotes himself to a great object, he must go to it heart and soul. I have spared neither time nor money in my pursuit; and since I became a collector I have attended the execution of every noted malefactor throughout the kingdom.'

"Perceiving that my attention was drawn to a common rope which served as a bell-pull, he said to me:

"'I see you are remarking my bell-cord; that is the identical rope, sir, which hanged Bellingham, who murdered Mr. Perceval in the House of Commons. I offered any sum for the one in which Thistlewood ended his life, to match it, but I was disappointed.... The Whigs, sir, have swept away all our good old English customs, and deprived us of our national recreations. I remember, sir, when Monday was called 'hanging-day' at the Old Bailey; on that morning a man might be certain of seeing three or four criminals swung off before breakfast.'"

The criminal curiosity-hunter now takes his friend into an adjoining room, where he shows him his general museum of curiosities, comprising relics of every grade of crime, from murder to petty larceny; among them a door-mat made of oakum picked by a "lady"-culprit while in the penitentiary; a short clay-pipe, once in the possession of Burke, the wholesale murderer; and the fork belonging to the knife with which some German had cut his wife's and children's throats!

"Misery," it is said, "loves company." What a juvenile "company," when the last thaw came—(and so many came, after what was supposed to be the last snow, this season, that it would be difficult to count them)—what a juvenile company, we say, there was, to lament with the skate-vender who poured out his griefs in the following affecting parody upon the late Thomas Moore's lines, "I never loved a dear gazelle," &c.:

"I never wrote up 'Skates to sell,'
Trusting to fickle Nature's law,
But—when I advertised them well,
And puffed them—it was sure to thaw.
Yes; it was ever thus—the Fates
Seem adverse to the trade in skates.

"If a large lot I chanced to buy,
Thinking 'twas likely still to freeze
Up the thermometer would fly,
All in a day, some ten degrees.
Their presence in my window-pane,
Turns ice to mud, and snow to rain."

But, after all, our skate-vender has no great need of fear. We have had deep snows in April, and May may bring him his season yet: for what says the Almanac of past years? Why, that

"Monday, fourth of May,
Was a very snowy day!"

[Pg 852]

Literary Notices.

Austria in 1848 and '49, by W.H. Stiles (Harper and Brothers). This work, in two octavo volumes, by the late Chargé d'Affaires of the United States, at the Court of Vienna, furnishes the most complete history that has yet appeared of the political affairs of Hungary, with ample and accurate details of the late disastrous revolutionary struggle. From his diplomatic position at Vienna, Mr. Stiles had rare opportunities for observation, of which he has availed himself in a manner that is highly creditable to his acuteness and good sense. He has evidently made a diligent study of his subject in all its bearings; the best authorities have been faithfully consulted; conflicting views have been cautiously weighed; but his final conclusions are derived from the free exercise of his own judgment. Hence his work is quite free from the spirit of partisanship. It is critical in its tone, rather than dogmatic. Aiming at entire impartiality, it may seem too moderate in its statements to satisfy the advocates of extreme views on either side. Mr. Stiles shows an ardent attachment to the principles of liberty; he is thoroughly imbued with the spirit of American institutions; but he has no sympathy with the Communism or Red Republicanism of Europe. An admirer of the heroic enthusiasm of Kossuth, he displays no wish to conceal the defects of his character. He is opposed, with strong conviction, to the interference of America in the affairs of Hungary. At the same time he deprecates the tyranny of which she has been the victim, and presents a candid and intelligent view of the nature of her recent struggle. His volume contains many felicitous portraitures of the leading actors on both sides. A number of valuable and interesting documents, illustrative of the Revolutionary movement, are preserved in the Appendix.

The following description of the Seressâners, a portion of Jellachich's troops, presents a favorable specimen of the picturesque style in which the author often temperately indulges:

"Seressâners are the wild border soldiers from Montenegro, and bearing a stronger resemblance to the Indians of the North American forests than to the ordinary troops of the European continent. The frame of such a borderer seems to be nothing but sinew and muscle; and with ease, nay, without appearing to be at all affected by them, he endures hardships and fatigues to which the most seasoned soldiers are scarcely equal. A piece of oaten bread and a dram of sklikowitz (plum brandy) suffice him, on an emergency, a whole day, and with that refreshment alone will march on untired, alike in the most scorching heat and the most furious snow-storm; and when night comes, he desires no other couch than the bare ground, no other roof than the open sky. Their costume is most peculiar, as well as picturesque. There is something half Albanian in some portions of the dress—in the leggings and full trowsers fastened at the knee, and in the heavily gold-embroidered crimson jacket. But that which gives decided character and striking originality to these sons of war is the cloak. Over these giant frames hangs a mantle of scarlet cloth, fastened tightly at the throat; below this, on the breast, depends the clasp of the jacket, a large silver egg, made so as to open and serve as a cup. In the loose girdle are to be seen the richly-mounted pistols and glittering kandjar—Turkish arms chiefly; for every Seressâner is held, by old tradition, to have won his first weapon from the Turk. The mantle has a cape, cut somewhat in the shape of a bat's wing, but which, joined together by hooks and eyes, forms a sharp pointed hood, resembling those of the Venetian marinari, but higher and more peaked. Over the crimson cap, confined by a gold band upon the brow, falling with a gold tassel on the shoulder, rises this red hood, usually overshadowing such a countenance as a Murillo or a Vandyke would delight to portray. The brilliant rays of the long dark eye repose beneath a thick fringe of sable lashes; but you feel that, if awakened, they must flash forth in fire. The brow, the mouth, and the nose are all essentially noble features; and over all is spread a skin of such clear olive-brown, that you are inclined to think you have a Bedouin before you."

Our readers will remember the controversy which has recently produced some excitement in London, with regard to a person claiming to be a Hungarian baroness, employed in the political service of Kossuth. The following curious anecdote sets that question at rest, while it explains the romantic manner in which Mr. Stiles was put in possession of the dispatch from Kossuth, requesting his intervention with the Imperial Government:

"On the night of the 2d December, 1848, when all communication between Hungary and Austria had ceased, large armies on either side guarding their respective frontiers, the author was seated in the office of the Legation of the United States at Vienna, when his servant introduced a young female, who desired, as she said, to see him at once upon urgent business. She was a most beautiful and graceful creature, and, though attired in the dress of a peasant, the grace and elegance of her manner, the fluency and correctness of her French, at once denoted that she was nearer a princess than a peasant. She sat and conversed for some time before she ventured to communicate the object of her visit. As soon as the author perceived that in the exercise of the utmost caution she desired only to convince herself that she was not in error as to the individual she sought, he told her that, upon the honor of a gentle man, she might rest assured that the individual she saw before her was the diplomatic agent of the United States at the court of Vienna. Upon that assurance, she immediately said, 'Then, sir, I am the bearer of a communication to you.' She then asked, 'Have you a servant, sir, in whom you can rely, who can go with me into the street for a few moments?' The author replied that he had no servant in whom he could rely, that he feared they were all in the pay of the police, but that he had a private secretary in whom he reposed confidence, and who could accompany her. The secretary was immediately called, they descended together into the street, and in a few moments returned, bearing with them the rack of a wagon. This rack, which is a fixture attached either to the fore or back part of a peasant's wagon, and intended to hold hay for the horses during a journey, was composed of small slats, about two inches wide and about the eighth of an inch thick, crossing each other at equal distances, constituted a semicircular net-work. As all these slats, wherever they crossed, were fastened together with either wooden or iron bolts, with our unskillful hands an hour nearly was consumed before we could get the rack in pieces. When this was accomplished, we saw nothing before us but a pile of slats; but the fair courier, taking them up one by one, and examining them very minutely, at length selected a piece, exclaiming, 'This is it!' The slat selected resembled the others so completely, that the most rigid observer, unapprised[Pg 853] of the fact, could not have detected the slightest difference between them; but, by the aid of a penknife, to separate its parts, this slat was found to be composed of two pieces, hollowed out in the middle, and affording space enough to hold a folded letter. In this space had been conveyed, with a secrecy which enabled it to pass the severe scrutiny of the Austrian sentinels, the communication addressed to the author by Louis Kossuth.

"The mysterious personage, as intrepid as she was fair, who undertook the conveyance of this dispatch, at night, alone and unprotected, in an open peasant's wagon, in a dreadful snow-storm, through the midst of the Austrian army, when detection would have been certain death, was (as M. Pulszky has just informed the author) then a single lady, has since married, and is now the Countess Motesiczky.

"The statement, therefore, of a person assuming the title of Baroness de Beck, and who, in a work upon the Hungarian war, published in England about two years ago, claiming for herself the credit of having been the bearer of the dispatch referred to, is altogether without foundation. This authoress, whose character, as well as untimely and remarkable death, was involved in so much mystery, and excited for a time so much discussion in Europe, was (as M. Pulszky represents) the servant of the Countess Motesiczky, and thus became possessed of a knowledge of the incident above detailed."

Stringer and Townsend have issued the fourth edition of Frank Forester's Field Sports of the United States, by Henry William Herbert, with several additions and new pictorial illustrations. One need not be a practical sportsman in order to enjoy, with keen zest, the racy descriptions of silvan life which flow so charmingly from the practiced pen of this accomplished "Forester." In the woods, he is every where at home. He not only knows how to bag his game, but he studies all their habits as a book, and never leaves them till they have fulfilled their destiny on the table of the epicure. Writing, in a great measure, from personal experience, his style has all the freshness of a mountain breeze. With a quick eye for the picturesque, he paints the scenery of our American sporting grounds, with admirable truthfulness and spirit. He has made free use in these volumes of the works of distinguished naturalists, Audubon, Giraud, Wilson, Godman and others, and has been equally happy in his borrowings and in his own productions. We recommend his manual to all who cherish a taste for rural life. To sportsmen, of course, we need say nothing of its merits.

The Golden Christmas, by W. Gilmore Simms is the title of a slight story, presenting many vivid sketches of social life on a Southern plantation. In its execution, it is more careless than the usual writings of the author, but its ease and vivacity will make it a favorite with indulgent readers in search merely of amusement. Its prevailing tone is "genial and gentle, tender and tolerant, not strategetical and tragical." (Published by Walker, Richards, and Co. Charleston, S.C.)

Falkenburgh is a recent novel by the author of "Mildred Vernon," which is well worth reading, for its piquant delineations of character, apart from the current interest of the plot, which is one of great power and intensity. The scene is laid in the picturesque regions of the Rhine, and suggests many delightful pictures to the rare descriptive talents of the writer. (Harper and Brothers.)

A new work of fiction by Caroline Chesebro, entitled Isa, A Pilgrimage, is issued by J.S. Redfield, in the style of simple elegance which distinguishes his recent publications. This is a more ambitious effort than the former productions of the authoress, displaying a deeper power of reflection, a greater intensity of passion, and a more complete mastery of terse and pointed expression. On the whole, we regard it as a successful specimen of a quite difficult species of composition. Without the aid of a variety of incident or character, with scarcely a sufficient number of events to give a fluent movement to the plot, and with very inconsiderable reference to external nature, the story turns on the development of an abnormal spiritual experience, showing the perils of entire freedom of thought in a powerful, original mind, during the state of intellectual transition between attachment to tradition and the supremacy of individual conviction. The scene is laid in the interior world—the world of consciousness, of reflection, of passion. In this twilight region, so often peopled with monstrous shapes, and spectral phantasms, the author treads with great firmness of step. With rare subtlety of discrimination, she brings hidden springs of action to light, untwisting the tangled webs of experience, and revealing with painful minuteness, some of the darkest and most fearful depths of the human heart. The characters of Isa and Stuart, the leading personages of the story, certainly display uncommon insight and originality. They stand out from the canvas in gloomy, portentous distinctness, with barely light enough thrown upon them to enable us to recognize their weird, mysterious features. For our own part, we should prefer to meet this writer, whose rare gifts we cordially acknowledge, in a more sunny atmosphere; but we are bound to do justice to the depth and vigor of the present too sombre creation.

The Howadji in Syria, by George W. Curtis (Harper and Brothers). Another fragrant record of Oriental life by the delightful pen which dropped spices and honey so luxuriantly in the unmatched Nile Notes of a Howadji. This volume is written in a more subdued strain—the radiant Oriental splendors gleam less dazzlingly, as the traveler approaches the West—the pictures of gorgeous beauty are softened down to a milder tone—and as the pinnacles of the Holy City appear in view, a "dim religious light" tempers the glowing imaginative sensuosity which revels in the glorious enchantments of the sunny Nile. As a descriptive writer, the Howadji has few equals in modern literature. He is indebted for his success to his exquisite perceptions of external nature, combined with a fancy fertile in charming images, and a vein of subtle reflection, which often gives an unexpected depth to his pictures, in the midst of what may at first seem to be only the flashes of a brilliant rainbow coloring. His notices of facts have the accuracy of a gazetteer. They are sharp, firm, well-defined, and singularly expressive. The most prosaic writer could not give a more faithful daguerreotype copy of Eastern scenery. Read his account of the Camel, in the description of his passage across the Desert from Cairo to Jerusalem. The ugly beast is made as familiar to the eye as the horses in a Broadway omnibus. A few authentic touches give a more vivid impression of this unwieldy "ship of the desert" than the labored details of natural history. But this fidelity to nature is by no means the ultimate aim of the Howadji. It is only the condition of a higher sweep. It serves as the foundation of a series of delicious prose poems, sparkling with beauty, electric with emotion, and seductive to the ear by their liquid melody of expression. The Howadji is no less loyal to feeling than he is faithful to nature. With not the faintest trace of sentimentalism, he is[Pg 854] not ashamed of the eye and the soul susceptible to all beautiful influences. He writes out his experience with a cordial frankness that disarms prejudice. This union of imagination and fact in the writings of the Howadji must always give a charm to his personal narratives. No one can listen to the relation of his unique adventures without delight. How far his admirable success in this line of composition would insure his success in a purely imaginative work, we do not venture to predict. We trust he will yet give us an opportunity to decide the experiment.

A Commentary on the Book of Proverbs, by Moses Stuart. In a characteristic Preface to this volume, which is the last that came from the press previous to the lamented death of the author, Professor Stuart maintains that the Book of Proverbs was not wholly composed by Solomon, but that it consists of a selection of the proverbial sayings that were current among the wise men of the Hebrew nation. These were digested and arranged by Solomon, and received his sanction by passing through his hands. Most of the maxims are the offspring of sound common sense, of much experience, and of acute discrimination. They present a vivid picture of the internal Hebrew man—of his genius, feelings, morals, industry, social condition, and, indeed, of the whole state of the Hebrews, and their rank among the society of nations. The commentary by Professor Stuart is adapted to beginners in the Hebrew study, giving minute attention to all the philological difficulties, whether in form, idiom, or syntax. It exhibits a profusion of grammatical and exegetical learning, a devoted study of the original text, and considerable analytic acumen. (Published by M.W. Dodd.)

The Story of a Soul, by Henry W. Parker, is the title of an anniversary Poem, read before a literary society of Hamilton College, devoted to a retrospect of the supposed experience of a soul, and of the progress of society during the nineteenth century. It shows a lively imagination, a familiar acquaintance with human nature, and an uncommon fluency of expression. The alternation in the poem of grave reflections on the spiritual life, and touches of sarcastic humor on the current events of the day, gives a lively air to the composition, and well sustains the interest of the reader. (Sold by Evans and Brittan.)

Lippincott, Grambo, and Co. have commenced the publication of a series of Cabinet Histories, embracing a volume for each State in the Union. The work is intrusted to the charge of T.S. Arthur, and W.H. Carpenter, whose names may be taken as a guarantee that their task will be performed with exactness and fidelity, and that no sectarian, sectional, or party feelings will bias their judgment, or lead them to violate the integrity of history. It is intended to present a brief narrative of the domestic policy of each State; and, at the same time, to give a peculiar prominence to the personal history of the people, illustrating the progressive development of the social state from the rude forest life of the earlier day to the present condition of refinement and prosperity. The design of the series is excellent. If ably carried out, as we have no doubt it will be, it must prove an important contribution to the interests of popular education. We have already received the Histories of Kentucky and of Georgia, which are executed in a manner that furnishes the highest promise for the future volumes of the series. The style is marked by rare simplicity and clearness. The facts are well arranged, and apparently based on authentic evidence. A fine portrait of the veteran pioneer, Daniel Boone, embellishes the History of Kentucky.

The translation of Mosheim's Commentaries on the State of Christianity before the Age of Constantine, by James Murdock, D.D., is a valuable contribution to the literature of Ecclesiastical History. This work is well known to the students of theology as one of great learning and research, and has not been superseded by the more elaborate and ambitious productions of a later period. Dr. Murdock's name is a sufficient assurance of the fidelity of the translation. (Published by S. Converse.)

A new edition of Madame Pulszky's delightful Tales and Traditions of Hungary has been issued by J.S. Redfield. They are full to overflowing of the genuine Magyar spirit, presenting a series of rich and beautiful portraitures of the old Hungarian life. In the prevailing interest which is now attached to the country of Kossuth, this volume can not fail to find a welcome reception with the American public.

Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers, by William Edmondstone Aytoun. The brave martial spirit of these poems of the olden time is finely sustained by the ringing melody of their rhythm. Combining a fervent admiration of the Cavaliers with a devout hatred of the Covenanters, the author has embodied his political feelings in resonant strains. The neat edition of his volume brought out by Redfield will make him better known in this country.

Harper and Brothers have published Notes on the Book of Revelation, by Rev. Albert Barnes, forming the eleventh volume of Barnes's Notes on the New Testament. The character of this popular commentary is too well known to require any critical remarks. In the preface to the present volume, the author makes some interesting statements with regard to the progress of the work from its commencement to its completion. It was begun more than twenty years ago. It was intended only to comprise brief and simple Notes on the Gospels, for the use of Bible classes and Sunday-school teachers. Contrary to the original plan of the author, his Notes have been extended to eleven volumes, and embrace the whole of the New Testament. They have been written entirely in the early hours of the morning, before nine o'clock, the rest of the day having been invariably devoted to other pursuits. In studying the Apocalypse, without any pre-conceived theory as to its plan, Mr. Barnes discovered that the series of events recorded by Gibbon bore a singular correspondence to the series of symbols made use of by the sacred writer. This fact presents a point of literary curiosity which we apprehend has escaped the notice of previous writers. The remarks upon it by Mr. Barnes are quite to the purpose: "The symbols were such as it might be supposed would be used, on the supposition that they were intended to refer to these events; and the language of Mr. Gibbon was often such as he would have used, on the supposition that he had designed to prepare a commentary on the symbols employed by John. It was such, in fact, that, if it had been found in a Christian writer, professedly writing a commentary on the book of Revelation, it would have been regarded by infidels as a designed attempt to force history to utter a language that should conform to a pre-determined theory in expounding a book full of symbols. So remarkable have these coincidences appeared to me in the course of this exposition, that it has almost seemed as if he had designed to write a commentary on some portions of this book, and I have found it difficult to doubt that that distinguished historian was raised up by an overruling Providence to make a record of those events which would ever afterward be regarded as an impartial and unprejudiced statement of the evidences of the fulfillment of[Pg 855] prophecy. The historian of the 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire' had no belief in the divine origin of Christianity, but he brought to the performance of his work learning and talent such as few Christian scholars have possessed. He is always patient in his investigations; learned and scholar-like in his references; comprehensive in his groupings, and sufficiently minute in his details; unbiased in his statements of facts, and usually cool and candid in his estimates of the causes of the events which he records; and, excepting his philosophical speculations, and his sneers at every thing, he has probably written the most candid and impartial history of the times that succeeded the introduction of Christianity, that the world possesses, and even after all that has been written since his time, his work contains the best ecclesiastical history that is to be found. Whatever use of it can be made in explaining and confirming the prophecies, will be regarded by the world as impartial and fair, for it is a result which he least of all contemplated, that he would ever be regarded as an expounder of the prophecies in the Bible, or be referred to as vindicating their truth."

Romanism at Home, by Kirwan, is a controversial work against the Roman Catholic Church, in a series of Letters to the Hon. Chief Justice Taney. Bold, vehement, and enthusiastic—of a stringent polemical tone—and abounding in striking local and personal details—it is adapted to make a strong impression, and can not fail to be extensively read. (Harper and Brothers.)

Lord Cockburn's Life of Francis Jeffrey is welcomed by the London Press as one of the most charming books of the season. The Correspondence is spoken of as being singularly delightful. "The generous humanity," says the Athenæum, "the genial good-will, the ever-recurring play of the noblest affections of the heart endear to us the writer of these letters, and claim the sympathies of all who are alive to what is beautiful in human nature. They exhibit much of the vivacity and freshness of Walpole, combined with the literary grace of Chesterfield and the sweet tenderness of Cowper. In their union of emotional feeling with refined sense and bright conception, their character is almost poetical. They are revelations of Jeffrey's heart as well as of his head, and will make him known and loved by countless readers. His fascination as friend and companion can be easily understood after reading these effusions of a mind whose genial feeling could not be stifled or depressed by forensic or literary toil, or by the snows of age."

The ninth and tenth volumes of Mr. Grote's History of Greece are now out. They bring down the history from the period of the culmination of the Spartan supremacy, to the accession of Philip of Macedon. "A very remarkable thing about these two volumes," says the Leader, "is the amount of political teaching they contain, adapted to the present hour. The volumes are, we may say, pervaded with a lesson of contrast between the results of a government founded on despotism, and those of a government founded on free speech. Invariably in Greece, where free speech was permitted, and democratic spirit prevailed, the developments of society were better, greater, and more orderly, than where matters were managed by long continuations of military despotism, or occasional coups d'état." Three or four volumes more will conclude this great work.

Mr. Gladstone has published the third volume of his translation of Farini's History of the Roman State. This volume carries on the story from the flight of the Pope, to the landing of General Oudinot at Civita Vecchia. "The narrative is interesting," says the Leader, "but, like the two previous volumes, narrow and peevish in its spirit. One regrets more than ever, on reading these volumes, that Margaret Fuller's History of the Italian Movement has been lost to the world; it would have told the story of the Roman Republic in so different a spirit from that of the crabbed Farini, who, though he writes well enough, is precisely one of those men who would act like vinegar in any cause, souring all, and helping nothing. By-the-by, Saffi, Mazzini's young and gifted colleague in the Triumvirate (one of the few men of whom even Farini speaks well, and who is precisely the man to win golden opinions from all sorts of people, and what is more, to deserve them), is writing a History of the Roman Revolution of 1848-49. We believe part of it is already written, if not published by the Italian press of Switzerland."

Mr. Moxon has called in the Shelley Papers, in two volumes, published in January last, it having been discovered that the whole work was a collection of ingenious forgeries, deceiving alike publisher, editor, and public. The first suspicion raised of their genuineness was by a correspondent of the Literary Gazette drawing attention to the singular identity of whole paragraphs of some of the letters, with an article in the Quarterly on "Fine Arts in Florence" in 1840, and contemporaneously, Mr. Palgrave discovered the embodiment of a whole article of his father's, contributed to the Edinburgh Review. This led to further examination and strict inquiry, and there appears at the present time, says the London journals, but little reason to doubt that the letters which were purchased at auctions for high prices can be traced to the "George Gordon Byron, Esq.," whose projected publication in England, some years since, of some alleged secret unpublished papers of Lord Byron was prohibited.

We believe it has not yet been stated, with reference to these forgeries, that they were made, not to impose on autograph collectors, for which purpose their value, in relation to the time and pains spent in their fabrication, would offer no inducement; but they were produced to authenticate a new memoir of Lord Byron, but this publication having failed, and the author falling into distress, was compelled to part with his alleged "original MSS."

The London Critic says that the Messrs. "Routledge have presented to the British lovers of poetry the collected works of James Russell Lowell, one of the foremost in local fame of the poets of America, but who is less known in England than some of his brethren of lesser merit. This reprint, at a trifling price, will, we trust, introduce him to the better acquaintance of our readers, who can not but be pleased with the vivid imagination, the fruitful fancy, the exquisite transcripts of nature, and the lofty sentiment that pervades his productions."

We learn from the Athenæum that Margaret Fuller, on the eve of that visit to the Continent which was to prove so eventful and disastrous, left in the hands of a friend in London a sealed packet, containing, it is understood, the journals which she kept during her stay in England. Margaret Fuller contemplated at that time a return to England at no very distant date; and the deposit of these papers was accompanied by an injunction that the packet should then[Pg 856] be restored with unbroken seal into her own hands. The papers are likely to be of great interest, and were doubtless intended for publication; but the writer had peremptorily reserved the right of revision to herself, and forbidden the breaking of the seals, on a supposition which fate has now made impossible. The equity of the case under such circumstances demands only a reference to Margaret Fuller's literary executors.

Lord John Russell is engaged in the preparation of a Life of Charles James Fox. The materials, collected by Lord Holland and by Mr. Allen, have been long since placed at his lordship's disposal, and the work might have been ready but for the public duties which occupy so much of his attention and time.

At a recent sale of books in London a few rarities were brought to the hammer. "The Bokes of Solomon," printed by W. Copland, 1551, a very rare little volume, sold for 26l.; a copy of Coverdale's Bible, the edition of 1560, but imperfect, sold for 31l.; a manuscript book of "Hours," with miniatures very prettily painted, sold for 19l. As if to prove that the days of bibliomania are not yet quite gone—a copy of "Barnes's History of Edward III.," which in ordinary condition is worth about 10s., sold for the large sum of 9l. 10s., simply because it happened to be in "choice old blue morocco, the sides and back richly tooled."

The election to the vacant chair of Greek in the University of Edinburgh which took place on the 2d of March, was contested with uncommon zeal. Up to a late period it seemed undecided which of the many able candidates for the office would win—but at last the choice lay between Dr. William Smith, Dr. Schmitz, Prof. Blackie, Prof. Macdowall, and Mr. Price. The election was ultimately decided by the Lord Provost giving a casting vote in favor of Prof. Blackie. In this gentleman the University has secured a man of genius, energy, and kindly feeling—and one well able to maintain its character for classical learning.

Mr. Dickens's Bleak House is producing quite a marked sensation in Germany. Half a dozen publishers at least announced the work several weeks since, and on the 30th of March the first number of Bleak House was to appear in half a dozen German translations. It remains to be seen what the German translators will do with the Court of Chancery and its technicalities.

There are now about five or six various translations of Macaulay's 'History of England' published in Germany. The number is likely to be increased by another translation, for which a Brunswick book-seller has engaged the name of Herr Beseler the Schleswig-Holstein politician of the year 1848.

Barante has published his third volume of the Histoire de la Convention Rationale, which comes down to the epoch of Carrier, at Nantes.

Pierre Leroux, who is now an exile in London, is about to deliver a course of lectures on the History of Socialism. Pierre Leroux has not only the necessary erudition for the task, he has also the prestige of having intimately known the modern Socialists.

The works of Chamfort are collected into one octavo volume, with a preliminary essay by Arsene Houssaye. These writings abound in anecdotes, and sharp sentences, picturesque, ear-catching, brief, and suggestive phrases.

George Sand has made another unsuccessful dramatic experiment, Pandolphe en vacances, which distresses the admirers of her genius, who desire to see her renounce a stage to which that genius is clearly not adapted, in spite of Le Champi and Claudie.

In the Revue des Deux Mondes is commenced a skillful translation of Mrs. Norton's beautiful novel, Stuart of Dunleath, by Emile Forgues; and an intimation is given of this vein being actively worked.

No small sensation has been caused in Paris by the discovery of the extraordinary forgeries of the Shelley letters. The fact is, that the system of forging letters and manuscripts of distinguished personages is carried on to a large extent in that city: indeed it is as much a regular branch of business as the manufacture of pictures by the great masters is in Italy. In Germany similar frauds are practiced with great success. Only a little while ago a gentleman purchased several letters purporting to be written by Luther, every one of which it now appears is a forgery. In Italy the same system is carried on.

The literary remains of the late Anselm Feuerbach, the most learned of the professors of criminal jurisprudence in Germany, are about to be edited by his son, L. Feuerbach, and published by C. Wigand, of Leipzig.

King Max of Bavaria has given a commission to M. Halbig, the sculptor of Munich, to model from the life a bust of Schelling, the well-known German philosophical writer.

The admirers of German literature will be glad to learn that an attempt has been made in Germany to register the enormous number of books and pamphlets which the Germans themselves have published on their two great poets, Goethe and Schiller. A catalogue of the Goethe literature in Germany, from the year 1793 to 1851, has been published by Balde, at Cassel, and in London by Messrs. Williams and Norgate. The Schiller literature, from 1781 to 1851, is likewise announced by the same firm.

The literary remains of the late Count Platen-Hallermunde, author of The Tower with Seven Gates, The Romantic Œdipus, The Fateful Fork, and other works, which will always stand pre-eminent in German literature, as well as the poet's correspondence with Count Fugger, are now in the hands of Dr. Minkvitz, who is preparing them for publication.

The first volume of The Lives of the Sovereigns of Russia, from Rurik to Nicholas, is announced as nearly ready in London. It is to be completed in three volumes, and to be printed uniformly with Miss Strickland's Queens of England, with illustrations. The author, who is not unknown to fame, truly remarks, "It is a singular fact that there is no such work at present in the English language, and that we know, perhaps, less of "Russia and the Russians," than we do of some of the distant tribes of India. It does appear, therefore, that there is a blank in our historical library which requires filling up; such a publication, consequently, may be deemed a desideratum in English literature."

[Pg 857]

Three Leaves from Punch.

First Aristocratic Butcher-Boy.—"Hullo, Bill. Don't mean to say yer've come down to a Pony?"

Second Ditto Ditto.—"Not dezactly! Our Cart is only gone a-paintin'."

[Pg 858]

Omnibus Driver.—"Reely, now! and so the 'lectric fluid takes a message between Dover and Calis. (Inquiringly) Pray, Sir, wot's it like? Is it any thing like beer, for example?"

Flunkey.—"Apollo? Hah! I dessay it's very cheap, but it ain't my Ideer of a Good Figger!"

[Pg 859]

Ellen.—"Oh, don't tease me to-day, Charley; I'm not at all well!"

Charley.—"I tell you what it is, Cousin—the fact is, You are in Love! Now, you take the advice of a fellow who has seen a good deal of that sort of thing, and don't give way to it!"

Mrs. Smith.—"Is Mrs. Brown in?"

Jane.—"No, Mem, she's not at Home."

Little Girl.—"Oh! what a horrid Story, Jane! Mar's in the Kitchen, helping Cook!"

[Pg 860]


The Penalty of buying cheap clothes, is the same as that of going to law, the certainty of losing your suit, and having to pay for it.

The Penalty of marrying is a mother-in-law.

The Penalty of remaining single, is having no one who "cares a button" for you, as is abundantly proved by the state of your shirts.

The Penalty of thin shoes, is a cold.

The Penalty of a pretty cook, is an empty larder.

The Penalty of stopping in Paris, is being shot.

The Penalty of tight boots, is corns.

The Penalty of having a haunch of venison sent to you, is inviting a dozen friends to come and eat it.

The Penalty of popularity, is envy.

The Penalty of a baby, is sleepless nights.

The Penalty of interfering between man and wife, is abuse, frequently accompanied with blows, from both.

The Penalty of a Godfather, is a silver knife, fork, and spoon.

The Penalty of kissing a baby, is half-a-crown (five shillings, if you are liberal) to the nurse.

The Penalty of a public dinner, is bad wine.

The Penalty of a legacy, or a fortune, is the sudden discovery of a host of poor relations you never dreamt of, and of a number of debts you had quite forgotten.

The Penalty of lending, is—with a book or an umbrella, the certain loss of it; with your name to a bill, the sure payment of it; and with a horse, the lamest chance of ever seeing it back again sound.

The Penalty of being a witness, is to be abused by the lawyers, snubbed by the judge, and laughed at by the spectators; besides having the general state of your wardrobe described in the papers next morning.

Awful Contortion of the Face produced by the constant Use of an Eye-glass.


"Shall I 'old your 'Orse, Sir?"

[Pg 861]


I am the original of the "Portrait of a Gentleman," in the Exhibition of last year. I had my likeness taken, because I had a great admiration for the original. I thought my face handsome, and my figure noble, if not elegant—I believed that I had a remarkably grand head. I prided myself on my eyes, not only on account of their color, which I took for a deep gray, but also for a lustre which I fancied them to emit, which I supposed was the fire of genius. I was persuaded that I had a Roman nose and a finely chiseled mouth. Sometimes I thought I resembled Byron, at others Shelley. It is true I could not conceal from myself that my proportions were rather massive than lofty, and that my legs were somewhat curved; but I imagined that these peculiarities imparted a stalwart manliness to my bearing. While sitting to the artist I composed my countenance into the most dignified and intellectual expression of which it was capable. I was represented in full dress, and I thought I presented the appearance of an Apollo—perhaps a little too much developed—got up for an evening party. I was anxious that the public should share my gratification, and had the portrait sent to the Exhibition, where it appeared on the Catalogue as the "Portrait of a Gentleman." As soon as the Exhibition was opened I went there, and stationed myself before my picture; a crowd was gathered around. I thought, at first, that they were admiring it as much as I did. I listened to their criticisms, and was undeceived. "'Portrait of a Gentleman!'" said one, "Portrait of a Snob!" and passed on. I was indignant. "What could possess that fellow; with his unmeaning face, fat paunch, and bandy legs, to have his picture taken?" inquired another. My head swam, I thought I should have fainted. "Vulgarity personified;" "What a silly simper upon the face;" "What a self-satisfied smirk about the mouth," remarked a second, third, and fourth, as they cast their eyes upon the picture. "The head is like a dumpling," said a phrenological-looking visitor. "Why does he show that fat hand so conspicuously?" asked a sixth. I was represented standing with one leg crossed before the other, my hand resting upon a book—which attitude I thought harmonized with my remarkably intellectual countenance. "The figure would pass for Sancho Panza, but the face is too stupid," said a seventh. By this time I was almost stupefied with humiliation; but the worst was yet to come. Among those who were contemplating the portrait was a lady—the loveliest, I think, I ever saw. "Poor fellow!" said she, at last, with a sigh, "how dreadful it must be for him to have those horrid green eyes!" I could bear no more. I rushed from the Exhibition, and slunk to my rooms. What I suffered that night I can not describe. But the next day I recovered my senses; sent for my picture from the Exhibition; and am now reconciled to the fact that I am a very ugly-featured, bandy-legged punchy little fellow, not the least in the world like an Apollo.

Noble Lord.—"Here's this confounded Newspaper speaking the Truth again. Ah! They manage these things better in France."

[Pg 862]


[Pg 863]

Spring Fashions.

Figures 1 and 2.—Ball and Visiting Toilet.

May is here with its bursting buds and early flowers, but its fickleness overmatches that of its imitator, Fashion, and foils all her attempts at adaptation of costume for the carriage or the promenade. To-day the sun smiles as in leafy June; to-morrow cold, gray clouds lower upon the brow of the firmament, and chilling winds chase the zephyrs back to the orange groves of the South. To-day a light dress is seasonable; to-morrow a cloak might not be uncomfortable. It is difficult for the modiste to designate the best costume for promenade; and to avoid error, we will confine our report to fashion in the parlor, drawing-room, and saloon.

Fig. 1 represents a pretty Dinner or Visiting Toilet. The head-dress is composed of blonde, ribbon and white satin, velvet ribbon and white feathers, and is worn very backward on the head. The blonde forms a round with scalloped edge, covered with figures. It is gathered in the middle, and the gathers are concealed under a cross bow formed of two loops of velvet and two of white satin, two long ends of white ribbon (about fifteen inches) hang down behind. On each side there are two white feathers. The upper one is laid backward, and the lower one comes forward. From between the two proceed two velvet bows and a loose end. This little Pompadour cap is the same on both sides. The ribbons of the crown are No. 12; those of the sides No. 3. Dress of moire antique, ornamented with narrow velvet ribbons, about three-eighths of an inch wide. Body plain, high, opening in front, edged with two narrow velvets, the first three-eighths of an inch wide. The opening is confined by five moire bands, each with a bow of the same. The sleeves, rather short, are bordered with five velvet ribbons. The skirt is trimmed with two series of velvets. The first begins six inches from the bottom, and is composed of twenty rows. The second begins six inches above the other, and contains fifteen. The rest of the skirt is plain. The under-sleeves and habit-shirt are lace.

Fig. 2 is an elegant Ball Toilet. Hair waved and ornamented with a crown of small parti-colored tulips; it inclines to the Mary Stuart form on the[Pg 864] head, and increases in size toward the bottom. Dress of taffeta with tulle tunic and bertha. The body is ornamented with a bertha, open in front, round behind; this bertha, of tulle in small puffs, is trimmed with clouded Pompadour white ribbon, No. 9. They are placed in such a manner as to inclose the bertha as if in a ring. The tulle skirt is also tucked up and held by Pompadour ribbons, No. 16, which are set as if they raised it and held it in long loops. At the waist, these ribbons are plaited in with the plaits of the skirt. The tulle skirt is puffed in very small puffs. In the middle of the body are placed bows of Pompadour ribbon, No. 9. On the left side there is a beautiful fall of tulips with foliage; the silk skirt is studded with bows of Pompadour ribbon, No. 12.

Fig. 3.—Visiting Dress.

Fig. 3 represent a beautiful Home or Visiting Toilet. Velvet vest and skirt; waistcoat, watered silk. The waistcoat reaches high, and is buttoned from top to bottom. The vest sits close behind and is open in front; it has a lapel turning up from the bottom, and trimmed with a plaid satin ribbon, having a velvet stripe in it. The sleeve is short, and ends in a plaid cuff, open at the sides. The edges of the lapel and the cuff are bound with a narrow black velvet. The skirt is trimmed with three rows of plaid ribbon, No. 22; the lowest is placed two inches from the edge. The second and third are at intervals of four inches from each other. A black velvet, No. 2, is laid about half an inch from each side of the ribbon. The collar is cambric, turning down flat, rounded at bottom. Under the collar a narrow black satin cravat is worn. The cambric under-sleeves are plaited small, and form a puff, confined by a narrow plain wristband, and terminated at the hand by a plain open manchette, rounded off at the corners, and held together by two jewel buttons connected with a chain. This sleeve is very much like the sleeves of a gentleman's shirt. A Matilda cap, of blonde. It is set very backward on the head; the crown is very small, and is drawn by a white watered ribbon, which is tied on one side, where it hangs in two ends. A branch of moss roses springs out of the knot. The band of the cap, which is made of indented blonde, is gathered, but short in front, whereas behind it is gathered and long.

Fig. 4.—Ball Toilet.

Figure 4 represents a portion of an elegant Ball Dress. Coiffure: hair in bandeaux, wreath of roses, small bunches of grapes, and satin ribbons with gold figures. Under-dress, white satin; the outer one with two tulle skirts, embroidered in spots with silk, and trimmed with ribbons. The satin body is rather low in front, and inclining to the V shape; the tulle body is open in front down to the waist; it is confined by four small cords of silk and gold, which are tied in the middle, and terminate in small silk and gold tassels. The lower one goes round the waist, like a sash, and the two tassels fall at unequal distances rather low down the skirt. The tulle body is gathered at the waist, in front, and at the bottom of the back. It is also gathered in the shoulder seam. Two ribbons are sewed on the edge of the body, the second disappears in the gathers. The satin sleeves are even and short; those of tulle are open at the side and held by a knotted cord. The large tulle skirt is trimmed at bottom with five ribbons. The first is gathered at the waist and arranged so as to drape in front and reach down lower at the sides. The bottom of the tunic is trimmed with three ribbons.

Caps.—Those which are composed of English point-lace, Valenciennes, or Mechlin, are principally decorated with long streamers, or narrow ribbons, about two inches wide, forming a mass of petit coques, the ends of which being frisotés, droop in a similar way to the gerbés. Sometimes these narrow ribbons are colored and intermixed with various shades, which gives them the name of the touffes à la jardinière. Pretty ones are formed of Brussels point, and decorated with bunches of narrow gauze ribbon, green, pink, blue, white, brown, yellow, &c., twisted so as to form clusters upon each side of the bands. The little caps of the present day are mostly made in a slight point just over the forehead, where it comes a little forward, and rises upon each side just over the temples. These caps are made rather long at the ears.

Head-Dresses.—Several very charming ones are now worn, formed of black lace, and ornamented upon the side with clusters of black velvet ribbon, richly broché in gold, and having long drooping ends floating over the neck. We have also remarked several very piquant coiffures in velvet, decorated with gold sequins, so much in fashion now; while others of a lighter description are of tulle, embroidered with gold, and interlaced with chains of sequins, falling upon each side of the neck, and decidedly making the most aristocratic head-dress of the season. The wreaths of flowers now intended for our young élégantes, are also extremely pretty, some being formed of small bell-flowers, which droop in a single row, quite over the top of the forehead, while others have long sprays falling over the back part of the head, having a very novel effect.


[1] The crime of breaking into a building in such a way is called burglary, and it is punished very severely among all civilized nations.

[2] The docket is the list of cases.

[3] This fact is corroborated by authentic documents. France in 1801, the second year of Napoleon's consulship, with 34,000,000 of inhabitants, condemned to death 882. England, with but sixteen millions, executed the same year 3,400. In the year 1811, after Napoleon had reigned ten years, France, with a population of 42,000,000, condemned but 392. England, with 17,000,000, condemned 4,400.—See Situation of England, by M. Montveran.

[4] During the revolution, a beautiful opera girl, of licentious character, was conveyed in most imposing ceremonial to the church of Notre Dame. There she was elevated upon an altar, and presented to the thronged assemblage as the Goddess of Reason. "Mortals!" said Chaumette, "cease to tremble before the powerless thunders of a God whom your fears have created. There is no God. Henceforth worship none but Reason. Here I offer you its noblest and purest image. Worship only such divinities as this." The whole assemblage bowed in adoration, and then retired to indulge in scenes which the pen refuses to record.

[5] From "The Howadji in Syria," by George William Curtis, Author of "Nile Notes." Just published by Harper and Brothers.

[6] Continued from the April Number.

[7] Continued from the April Number.

Transcriber's Notes:

For the music piece in pg 721, a link named [Listen] is provided to access a midi file.

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. "beehives" and "bee-hives");
- any other inconsistent spellings (e.g. "Bedoueen" and "Bedouin").

Pg 780, word "not" removed (is [not] mentioned).

Pg 793, word "have" removed (who have [have] dared to think).

Pg 828, sentence "(TO BE CONTINUED.)" added at the end of article.

Pg 813, three occurrences of word "courtesy" changed into "curtsey" (a smile and curtsey)