The Project Gutenberg eBook of Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. V, No. XXIX., October, 1852

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Title: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. V, No. XXIX., October, 1852

Author: Various

Release date: May 26, 2014 [eBook #45765]

Language: English

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List of Contents (created by transcriber)

Monthly Record of Current Events
Editor's Table.
Editor's Easy Chair.
Editor's Drawer.
Literary Notices.
Comicalities, Original and Selected.
Autumn Fashions.

[Pg 577]

No. XXIX.—OCTOBER, 1852.—Vol. V.





How strongly associated in the minds of men, are the ideas of guilt and ruin, unspeakable and awful, with the names of Sodom and Gomorrah. The very words themselves seem deeply and indelibly imbued with a mysterious and dreadful meaning.

[1] Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1852, by Harper and Brothers, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New York.

The account given in the Sacred Scriptures of the destruction of these cities, and of the circumstances connected with it, has, perhaps, exercised a greater influence in modifying, or, rather, in forming, the conception which has been since entertained among mankind in respect to the character of God, than any other one portion of the sacred narrative. The thing that is most remarkable about it is, that while in the destruction of the cities we have a most appalling exhibition of the terrible energy with which God will punish confirmed and obdurate wickedness, we have in the attendant circumstances of the case, a still more striking illustration of the kind, and tender, and merciful regard with which he will protect, and encourage, and sustain those who are attempting, however feebly, to please him, and to do his will. We are told elsewhere in the Scriptures, didactically, that God is love, and also that he is a consuming fire. In this transaction we see the gentleness and the tenderness of his love, and the terrible severity of his retributive justice, displayed together. Let us examine the account somewhat in detail.

"And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous,

"I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know."—Gen. xviii. 20, 21.

There is a certain dramatic beauty in the manner in which the designs and intentions of Jehovah are represented in such cases as this, under the guise of words spoken. This rhetorical figure is adopted very frequently by the Hebrew writers, being far more spirited and graphic than the ordinary mode of narration, and more forcible in its effect upon common minds that are not accustomed to abstractions and generalizations. Thus, instead of saying, And God determined to create man, it is, And God said, I will make man. In the same manner, where a modern historian in speaking of the discovery of America would have written: Columbus, having learned that trunks of trees were brought by western winds to the shores of Europe, inferred that there was land in that direction, and resolved to go in search of it, a Hebrew writer would have said, And it was told to Columbus, that when western winds had long been blowing, trees were thrown up upon the European shores; and Columbus said, I will take vessels and men and go and search for the land whence these trees come.

The verses which we have quoted above, accordingly, though in form ascribing words to Jehovah, in reality are meant only to express, in a manner adapted to the conceptions of men, the cautious and deliberate character of the justice of God. "I have heard the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah, the cry of grievous violence and guilt, and I will go down and see if the real wickedness that reigns there, is as great as would seem to be denoted by the cry. And if not, I will know." In other words, God would not condemn hastily. He would not judge from appearances, since appearances might be fallacious. He would cautiously inquire into all the circumstances, and even in the case of wickedness so enormous as that of Sodom and Gomorrah, he would carefully ascertain whether there were any considerations that could extenuate or soften it. How happy would it be for mankind, if we all, in judging our neighbors, would follow the example of forbearance and caution here presented to us. It was undoubtedly with reference to its influence as an example for us, that the sacred writer has thus related the story.

In the same manner, how strikingly the narrative which is given of the earnest intercession made by Abraham, to save the cities, and of the apparent yielding of the Almighty Judge, again and again, to humble prayers in behalf of sinners, offered by a brother sinner, illustrates the long-suffering and the forbearance of God—his reluctance to punish, and his readiness to save. There is a special charm in the exhibition which is made of these divine attributes in this case, assuming the form as they do of a divine sympathy with the compassionate impulses of man. The great and almighty Judge allows himself to be led to deal mercifully with sinners through[Pg 578] the pity and the prayers of a brother sinner, deprecating the merited destruction. The intercession of Abraham was after all unavailing, for there were not ten righteous men to be found to fulfill the condition on which he had obtained the promise that the city should be spared. The narrative, however, of the intercession, the final result of it in the promise of God to spare the whole monstrous mass of wickedness, if only ten righteous men could be found in the city, and the measures which he adopted, when it was ascertained that there were not ten to be found, to warn and rescue all that there were, give to the whole story a great power in bringing home to the hearts of men, a sense of the compassion of God, and the regard which he feels for human sympathies and desires. There is no portion of the sacred Scriptures which has more encouraged and strengthened the spirit of prayer, than the narration of the circumstances that preceded the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.


Sodom and Gomorrah are described as the cities of the plain, and this plain is spoken of as the plain of Jordan. And yet the place where the cities are supposed to have stood, is near the southern end of the Dead Sea, while the Jordan empties into the northern end of it. If, therefore, the plain on which the cities stood was the plain of the Jordan, in the time of Lot, it would seem that the sea itself could not have existed then, but that the river must have continued its flow, beyond the point which now forms the southern termination of the sea. The sea as at present existing, is bounded on both sides by ranges of lofty and precipitous mountains, which lie parallel to each other, and extend north and south for several hundred miles. The space which lies between these ranges, forms a long and narrow ravine, very deeply depressed below the ordinary level of the earth's surface, as if it were an enormous crevasse, with the bed of it filled up to a certain level, in some places with water and in others with alluvial soil, either fertile or barren according to the geological structure of the different sections of it. This remarkable ravine divides itself naturally into five sections. The first, reckoning from north to south, contains the sources of the Jordan, and the lakes Merom and Tiberias. The second is the valley of the Jordan. Here the bottom of the ravine consists of a long and narrow plain of fertile land, with the river meandering through it. The third section is the bed of the Dead Sea. The waters here fill the whole breadth of the valley so completely, that in many places it is impossible to pass along the shore between the mountains and the sea. The water is deepest near the northern part of the sea, and grows more and more shallow toward the southern part, until at length the land rises above the level of the surface of the water, and then the bottom of the ravine presents again a plain of land, instead of a sheet of water. This is the fourth section. It extends, perhaps, a hundred miles, rising gradually all the way, and forming in summer the bed of a small stream which flows northward to the Dead Sea. This part of the great fissure is called the valley of Arabah.[2] At length the level of the bottom of the valley reaches its highest point, and the land descends again to the south, forming the fifth or southern-most section of the vast crevasse. The waters of the Red sea flow up some hundred miles into this section, forming the eastern one of the two forks into which that sea divides itself, at its northernmost extremity.

[2] Wadi Arabah.

It will be seen thus that it is at the Dead Sea that the depression of the valley is the greatest. In fact, the bed of the valley descends in both directions toward the Dead Sea for a hundred miles. Some writers have supposed that the whole of this depression was produced at the time of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and that previous to that time, the Jordan continued its course through the whole length of the valley to the Red Sea, being bordered throughout this whole distance by fertile plains extending on either hand from its banks to the base of the mountains; and that it was on this plain, near the place where now lies the southern extremity of the Dead Sea, that the cities Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboim, were built. In adopting this hypothesis we must suppose that the destruction of the cities was attended with some volcanic convulsion, by which all that part of the valley was sunk so far below its natural level that the river could no longer continue its course. The waters then, we must imagine, gradually filled up the deep bed so suddenly made for them, until the surface became so extended that the evaporation from it was equal to the supply from the river; and thus the sea was formed, and its size and configuration permanently determined.

Others supposed that the sea existed from the most ancient times substantially as at present, occupying the whole breadth of the valley, from side to side, though not extending so far to the southward as now. On this supposition the cities destroyed were situated on a fertile plain which then bordered the southern extremity of the sea, but which is now submerged by its waters. It is no longer possible to determine which of these hypotheses, if either, is correct. A much greater physical change is implied in the former than in the latter supposition, but perhaps the latter is not on that account any the less improbable. When the question is of an actual sinking of the earth, whether we suppose the causes to be miraculous or natural, it is as easy to conceive of a great subsidence, as of a small one. The enlargement of a sea, whether by the agency of an earthquake, or by the direct power of God, is as great a wonder as the creation of it would be.


The account given by the sacred writers of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is this. Lot was dwelling, at the time, in Sodom. He was warned by the messengers of God, that the city was to be destroyed, and was directed to[Pg 579] make his escape from it with all his family. This warning was given to Lot in the night. He went out immediately to the houses of his sons-in-law, to communicate the awful tidings to them and to summon them to flee. They however did not believe him. They ridiculed his fears and refused to accompany him in his flight. Lot returned to his house much troubled and perplexed. He could not go without his daughters, and his daughters could not go without their husbands. The two messengers urged him not to delay. They entreated him to take his daughters with him and go, before the fated hour should arrive. Finally they took him by the hand, and partly by persuasion and partly by force, they succeeded in bringing him out of the city. His wife and his daughters accompanied him. His sons-in-law, it seems, were left behind.


It was very early in the morning when Lot came forth from the city—not far from the break of day. As soon as he was without the walls, the messengers urged him not to tarry there or imagine that he was yet safe, but to press forward with all speed, until he reached the mountain. "Escape for thy life," said they "Look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain lest thou be consumed." Lot was, however, afraid to go into the mountains. They were wild and desolate. His wife and his daughters were with him and it was yet dark. To take so helpless a company into such solitudes at such a time, seemed awful to him, and he begged to be permitted to retire to Zoar. Zoar was a small town on the eastern side of the plain, just at the foot of the mountains, at a place where a lateral valley opened, through which a stream descended to the plain. Lot begged that he might be permitted to go to Zoar, and that that city might be spared. His prayer was granted. A promise was given him that Zoar should be saved, and he was directed to proceed thither without delay. He accordingly went eastward across the plain and reached Zoar, just as the sun was rising. His wife, instead of going diligently on with her husband, lingered and loitered on the way, and was lost. The words are, "She became a pillar of salt." Precisely what is intended by this expression is somewhat uncertain; at any rate she was destroyed, and Lot escaped with his daughters alone into Zoar. Immediately afterward Sodom and Gomorrah were overwhelmed. The description of the catastrophe is given in the following words:

"The Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven.

"And he overthrew those cities and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities and that which grew upon the ground.

"And Abraham got up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the Lord:

"And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah,[Pg 580] and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace."—Gen. xix. 24, 25, 27, 28.



There has been a great deal of philosophical speculation on the nature of the physical causes which were called into action in the destruction of these cities, and of the plain on which they stood. These speculations, however, are to be considered as ingenious and curious rather than useful, since they can not lead to any very tangible results. We can, in fact, know nothing positive of the phenomenon except what the sacred narrative records. And yet there is a certain propriety in making philosophical inquiries in respect to the nature even of miraculous effects, for we observe in respect to almost all of the miracles recorded in the Old Testament, that, though they transcend the power of nature, still, in character, they are always in a certain sense in harmony with it. Thus the plagues which were brought upon the Egyptians, in the time of Pharaoh, are the ordinary calamities to which the country was subject, following each other in a rapid and extraordinary succession, and developed in an aggravated and unusual form. The children of Israel, in their journeys through the desert, were fed miraculously on manna. There is a natural manna found in those regions as an ordinary production, from which undoubtedly the type and character of the miraculous supply were determined. The waters of the Red Sea were driven back at the time when the Israelites were to cross it, by the blowing of a strong east wind. The blowing of a wind has a natural tendency to drive back such waters, and to lay the shoals and shallows of a river bare. The effects produced in all these cases were far greater than the causes would naturally account for, but they were all, so to speak, in the same direction with the tendency of the causes. They transcended the ordinary course of nature; still, in character, they were in harmony with its laws. It is right and proper for us, therefore, where a miraculous effect is described, to look into the natural laws related to it, for the sake of observing whatever of analogy or conformity between the causes and effects may really appear.

With reference to such analogies, the character and the physical constitution of the gorge in which the Dead Sea lies, has excited great interest in every age. The valley has been generally considered as of volcanic formation, though it is somewhat doubtful how far it is strictly correct thus to characterize it, since no signs of lava or of extinct craters appear in any part of it. The whole region, however, is subject to earthquakes, and many substances that are usually considered as volcanic productions are found here and there along the valley, especially near the southern extremity of the Dead Sea. One of the most remarkable of these substances is bitumen, a hard and inflammable mineral which has been found, from time to time, in all ages, on the shores of the sea. Some writers have supposed that the "pits," which are referred to in the passage, "And the vale of Siddim was full of slime pits," were pits of liquified bitumen or asphaltum,—that the plain of Sodom was composed in a great degree of these and similar inflammable substances—that they were set on fire by lightning from heaven or by volcanic ignition from below, and that thus the plain itself on which the cities stood was consumed and destroyed. Others suppose that under the influence of some great volcanic convulsion, attended, as such convulsions often are, by thunderings and lightnings—the brimstone and fire out of heaven, referred to in the sacred record—a sinking, or subsidence of the land at the bottom of the valley, took place; and that the waters of the Jordan overflowed and filled the cavity, thus forming, or else greatly enlarging the Dead Sea. That the waters of the sea now flow where formerly a tract of fertile land extended, seems to be implied in the passage, Gen. xiv. 3, in which it is stated that certain kings assembled their forces, "in the vale of Siddim which is the Salt Sea." The meaning is undoubtedly as if the writer had said, The armies were gathered at a place which was then the vale of Siddim, but which is now the Salt Sea.


After the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the valley of the Dead Sea seemed to be forsaken of God, and to be abhorred and shunned by man, so that it remained for a great many centuries, the very type and symbol of solitude, desolation, and death. A few wild Arabs dwelt along its shores, building their rude and simple villages in the little dells that open among the mountains that border it, and feeding their camels on the scanty[Pg 581] herbage which grew in them. Now and then some party of Crusaders, or some solitary pilgrim travelers, descended the valley from the fords of the Jordan, till they reached the sea—or looked down upon it from some commanding position among the mountains, on the eastern or western sides—and caravans or beasts of burden were accustomed to go to its southern shores to procure salt for the people of the interior. Through these and other similar channels, vague and uncertain tidings of the deadly influences of the sea and of the awful solitude and desolation which reigned around it, came out, from time to time, to more frequented regions, whence they spread in strange and exaggerated rumors throughout the civilized world. It was said that the waters of the sea filled the gloomy valley which they occupied with influences so pestiferous and deadly that they were fatal to every species of life. No fish could swim in them, no plant could grow upon their shores. It was death for a man to bathe in them, or for a bird to fly over them; and even the breezes which blew from them toward the land, blighted and destroyed all the vegetation that they breathed upon. The surface and margin of the water, instead of being adorned with verdant islands, or fringed with the floating vegetation of other seas, was blackened with masses of bitumen, that were driven hither and thither by the winds, or was bordered with a pestiferous volcanic scum; while all the approaches to the shores in the valley below were filled with yawning pits of pitchy slime, which engulfed the traveler in their horrid depths, or destroyed his life by their poisonous and abominable exhalations. In a word, the valley of the Dead Sea was for two thousand years regarded as an accursed ground, from which the wrath of God, continually brooding over it, sternly excluded every living thing. Within the last half century, however, many scientific travelers have visited the spot, and have brought back to the civilized world more correct information in respect to the natural history of the valley.


One of the earliest of the scientific travelers, to whom we have alluded, was John Lewis Burckhardt, who spent several years, in the early part of the present century, in exploring the countries around the southeastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, under the auspices of a society established in London, called the Association for Promoting the Discovery of the Interior Parts of Africa. Burckhardt prepared himself for his work, by taking up his residence for several years in Aleppo, and in other Oriental cities, for the purpose of studying the Arabic language, and making himself perfectly familiar with the manners and customs of the people, so that in traveling through the countries which he was intending to explore, he might pass for a native, and thus be allowed to go where he pleased without molestation. He succeeded perfectly in attaining this object. He acquired the Arabic language, assumed the Arabic dress, and learned to accommodate himself, in all respects, to the manners and customs of the country. He thus passed without hindrance or suspicion where no known European or Christian would have been allowed to go.


Burckhardt explored the valley of Arabah, which extends from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea, forming, as has already been said, a southern continuation of the great Jordan gorge. He was, in fact, the first to bring the existence of this southern valley to the notice of the civilized world. The valley of the Jordan, as he describes it, widens about Jericho, where the hills which border it, join the chains of mountains which inclose the Dead Sea. At the southern extremity of the sea they again approach each other, leaving between them a valley or Ghor, similar in form to the northern Ghor, through which the Jordan flows; though the southern valley, from want of water, is a desert, while the Jordan and its tributaries make the other a fertile plain. In the southern Ghor, the rivulets which descend from the mountains are lost in the sand and gravel which form their beds, long before they reach the valley below. The valley itself, therefore, is entirely without water, and is, consequently, barren and desolate. The whole plain, as Burckhardt viewed it, presented the appearance of an expanse of shifting sands, the surface varied with innumerable undulations and low hills. A few trees grow here and there in the low places, and at the foot of the rocks which line the valley; but the depth of the sand, and the total want of water in the summer season,[Pg 582] preclude the growth of every species of herbage. A few Bedouin tribes encamp in the valley in the winter, when the streams from the mountains being full, a sufficient supply of water is produced to flow down into the valley, causing a few shrubs to grow, on which the sheep and goats can feed.

Burckhardt and his party were an hour and a half in crossing the valley. It was in the month of August that they made the tour, and they found the heat almost intolerable. There was not the slightest appearance of a road or of any other work of man at the place where they crossed it. Still they met with no difficulty in prosecuting their journey, for the sand, though deep, was firm, and the camels walked over it without sinking. In the various journeys which Burckhardt made in these solitary regions, he carefully noted all that he saw, and copious reports of his observations were afterward published by the society in whose service he was engaged. The only instrument which he had, however, for making observations, was a pocket compass, and this he was obliged to conceal in the most careful manner from his Arab attendants, for fear of betraying himself to them. If they had seen such an instrument in his possession, they would not only have suspected his true character, but would have believed the compass to be an instrument of magic, and would have been overwhelmed with superstitious horror at the sight of it. Accordingly, Burckhardt was compelled, not only to keep his compass in concealment, as he journeyed, but also to resort to a great variety of contrivances and devices to make observations with it without being seen. Sometimes, when riding on horseback, he would stop for a moment in the way, and watching an opportunity when the attention of his companions was turned in another direction, would hastily glance at his compass unseen, covering it, while he did so, beneath his wide Arabian cloak. When riding upon a camel he could not adopt this method, for a single camel in a caravan can not be induced to stop while the train is going on. To meet this emergency, the indefatigable traveler learned to dismount and mount again without arresting the progress of the animal. He would descend to the ground, and straying away for a moment into a copse of bushes, or behind some angle of a rock, would crouch down, take out his compass, ascertain the required bearing, make a note of it secretly in a little book which he carried for the purpose in the pocket of his vest, and then returning to the camel, would climb up to his seat and ride on as before.

It was by such means as these that the existence and the leading geographical features of the valley of Arabah were first made known to the Christian world.


Edward Robinson is a distinguished American philosopher and scholar, who has devoted a great deal of attention to the geography and history of Palestine, and whose researches and explorations have perhaps accomplished more in throwing light upon the subject, than those of any other person, whether of ancient or modern times. He has enjoyed very extraordinary facilities for accomplishing his work; for, in his character, and in the circumstances in which he has been placed, there have been combined, in a very remarkable degree, all the qualifications, and all the opportunities necessary for the successful prosecution of it. Having been devoted, during the greater portion of his life, to the pursuit of philological studies, he has acquired a very accurate knowledge of the languages, as well as of the manners and customs of the East; and, being endued by nature with a temperament in which great firmness and great steadiness of purpose are combined with a certain quiet and philosophical calmness and composure, and a quick and discriminating apprehension with caution, prudence, and practical good sense, he is very eminently qualified for the work of an Oriental explorer. In the year 1838, he made an extended tour, or, rather, series of tours, in the Holy Land, a very minute and interesting report of which he afterward gave to the world. He is now, in 1852, making a second journey there; and the Christian world are looking forward, with great interest, to the result of it.


During Robinson's first tour in Palestine, he made an excursion from Jerusalem to the western shores of the Dead Sea, where he visited a spot which is marked by a small tract of fertile ground, under the cliffs on the shore, known in ancient times as En-gedi, but called by the[Pg 583] Arabs of the present day Ain Jidy. From Jerusalem he traveled south to Hebron, and thence turning to the east, he traversed the mountains through a succession of wild and romantic passes which led him gradually toward the sea. The road conducted him at length into the desolate and rocky region called in ancient times the Wilderness of En-gedi, the place to which David retreated when pursued by the deadly hostility of Saul. It was here that the extraordinary occurrences took place that are narrated in 1 Sam. xxiv. David, in endeavoring to escape from his enemy, hid in a cave. Saul, in pursuing him, came to the same cave, and being wearied, lay down and went to sleep there. While he was asleep, David, coming out, secretly cut off the skirt of his robe, without attempting to do him any personal injury; thus showing conclusively that he bore him no ill-will. Robinson found the region full of caves, and the scenery corresponded, in all other respects, with the allusions made to it in the Scripture narrative.



As our traveler and his party journeyed on toward the sea, they found the country descending continually, and as they followed the road down the valleys and ravines through which it lay, they imagined that they had reached the level of the sea, long before they came in sight of its shores. At length, however, to their astonishment, they came suddenly out upon the brow of a mountain, from which they looked down into a deep and extended valley where the broad expanse of water lay, fifteen hundred feet below them. The surprise which they experienced at finding the sea at so much lower a level than their estimate made it, illustrates the singular accuracy of Robinson's ideas in respect to the topography of the country which he was exploring; for, if the Dead Sea had been really at the same level with the Mediterranean, as was then generally supposed to be the case, it would have presented itself to the party of travelers precisely as they had expected to find it. The unlooked for depth was owing to a very extraordinary depression of the valley, the existence and the measure of which has since been ascertained.

Robinson and his companions, from the summit of a small knoll which lay on one side of their path, looked down upon the vast gulf beneath them with emotions of wonder and awe. It was the Dead Sea which they saw extended before them. There it lay, filling the bottom of its vast chasm, and shut in on both sides by ranges of precipitous mountains, whose steep acclivities seemed sometimes to rise directly from the water, though here and there they receded a little from the shore, so as to leave a narrow beach beneath the rocks below. From the point where our observers stood the whole southern half of the sea was exposed to view. The northern part was partly concealed by a precipitous promontory, called Ras Mersed, which rose abruptly from the shore a little north of their position.

The southern part of the sea, as viewed from this point, was remarkable for the numerous shoals and sand bars which appeared projecting in many places from the shore, forming long and low points and peninsulas of sandy land. There was one very large and remarkable peninsula of higher land, in the southeast part of the sea. The position and configuration of this peninsula may be seen upon the map. It is formed in some respect like a human foot, with the heel toward the sea. Of course, the ankle of the foot is the isthmus which connects the peninsula with the main land. The length of this peninsula, from north to south, is five or six miles. Our observers, from their lofty position at En-gedi, looked down upon it, and could trace almost the whole of its outline. North of it, too, there was a valley, which opened up among the mountains to the eastward, called the Valley of Kerak. At the head of this valley, several miles from the shore of the sea, lies the town of Kerak, a place sometimes visited by pilgrims and travelers, who pass that way along a road which traverses that part of the country on a line parallel to the shore of the sea. The course of the valley was such that the position of our observers on the mountain at En-gedi commanded a full view of the whole extent of it. They could even see the town of Kerak, with its ancient castle on a rock—far up near the summit of the mountain. It is in the lower part of this valley, a little to the eastward of the isthmus which has been already described, that the town of[Pg 584] Zoar stood, as it is supposed, where Lot sought refuge at the time of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.


After remaining on the cliff about three quarters of an hour, to observe and to record every thing worthy of notice in the extended view before them, the party began to go down the pass to the shore. The descent was frightful, the pathway having been formed by zigzags down the cliff, the necessary width for the track having been obtained, sometimes by cutting into the face of the rock, and sometimes by means of rude walls built from below. As they looked back up the rocks after they had descended, it seemed impossible to them that any road could have been formed there—and yet so skillfully had the work been planned and executed, that the descent, though terrific, was accomplished without any serious difficulty. In fact, the road was so practicable, that loaded camels sometimes passed up and down. One of Mr. Robinson's companions had crossed the heights of Lebanon and the mountains of Persia, and he himself had traversed all the principal passes of the Alps, but neither of them had ever met with a pass so difficult and dangerous as this. The way was really dangerous as well as difficult. An Arab woman, not long before the time of Robinson's visit, in descending the road, had fallen off over the brink of the precipice to the rocks below. She was, of course, killed by the fall.


After descending for about three quarters of an hour, the party reached a sort of dell, where a copious and beautiful fountain, springing forth suddenly from a recess in the rock, formed at once an abundant stream, that flowed tumultuously down a narrow ravine toward the sea, still four hundred feet below. This fount was the Ain Jidy, the word Ain signifying fountain in the Arabic tongue. The meaning of the whole name is the fountain of the kid. The course of the stream in its descent from its source was hidden from view by a luxuriant thicket of trees and shrubs which grew along its bed, nourished by the fertilizing influence of the waters. The party halted at the spring, and pitched their tents, determining to make their encampment at this spot with a view of leaving their animals here and going down on foot to the shore below. They had originally intended not to go up the pass again, but to proceed to the northward along the shore of the sea, having been informed that they could do so. They now learned, however, that there was no practicable passage along the shore, and that they must reascend the mountain in order to continue their journey. They accordingly determined, for the purpose of saving the transportation of their baggage up and down, to encamp at the fountain.

While pitching their tents, an alarm was given, that some persons were coming down the pass, and, on looking upward, they saw at the turns of the zigzag, on the brow of the precipice far above, two or three men, mounted and armed with guns. The party were for a moment alarmed, supposing that the strangers might be robbers. Their true character, however, very soon appeared; for, as they drew near, they were found to be a troop of laboring peasants of the neighborhood, mounted on peaceful donkeys, and coming down to the shore in search of salt; and so the alarm ended in a laugh. The party of peasants stopped a short time at the fountain to rest, and then continued their descent to the shore. They gathered the salt, which they came to procure, on the margin of the sea; for the waters of the sea are so impregnated with saline solutions, that whenever pools of it are evaporated by the sun, along the shore, inflorescences and incrustations remain, which can be easily gathered. After a time, the train of donkeys, bearing their heavy burdens, went toiling up the steep ascent again, and disappeared.


After remaining for some time at the encampment, Robinson and his companions set out at five o'clock, to go down to the shore. The declivity was still steep, though less so than in the pass above. The ground was fertile, and bore many plants and trees, and the surface of it appeared to have been once terraced for tillage and gardens. At one place, near the foot of the descent, were the ruins of an ancient town. From the base of the declivity, there was a rich and fertile plain which lay sloping gradually nearly half a mile to the shore. The bed of the brook could be traced across this plain to the sea, though at the season of this visit, the waters which the fountain supplied, copious as they appeared where they first issued from the rock, were absorbed by the earth long before they reached the shore. The rivulet, therefore, of Ain Jidy is the most short-lived and transitory of streams. It breaks forth suddenly from the earth at its fountain, and then, after tumbling and foaming for a short distance over its rocky[Pg 585] bed, it descends again into the ground, disappearing as suddenly and mysteriously as it came into being.

The plain which this evanescent stream thus gave up its life to fertilize, was all under cultivation at the time that Robinson visited it, being divided into gardens, which belonged to a certain tribe of wandering Arabs. This tribe were, however, not now encamped here, but had gone away to a tract of ground belonging to them in another part of the country, having left only a few sentinels to watch the fruits that were growing in the gardens. Robinson and his party went across the plain, and finally came to the margin of the sea, approaching it at last over a bank of pebbles which lined the shore, and formed a sort of ridge of sand and shingle, six or eight feet higher than the level of the water. The slope of these pebbles, on the seaward side, was covered with saline incrustations.

The water had a greenish hue, and its surface was very brilliant. To the taste, the travelers found it intensely and intolerably salt, and far more nauseous than the waters of the ocean. The great quantity of saline matter, which it contains, makes it very dense, and, of course, very buoyant in respect to bodies floating in it. This property of the sea has been observed and commented upon by visitors in every age. Swimmers, and those who can not swim, as an ancient writer expressed it, are borne up by it alike. Robinson himself bathed in the sea, and though, as he says, he had never learned to swim, he found, that in this water he could sit, stand, lie, or float in any position without difficulty. The bottom was of clean sand and gravel, and the bathers found that the water shoaled very gradually as they receded from the shore, so that they were obliged to wade out many rods before it reached their shoulders. Its great density produced a peculiar effect in respect to the appearance that it presented to the eye, adding greatly to its brilliancy, and imparting a certain pearly richness and beauty to its reflections. The objects seen through it on the bottom appeared as if seen through oil.


After having spent some time in noting these general phenomena, Robinson, finding that the day was wearing away, called the attention of his party to the less entertaining but more important work of making the necessary scientific measurements and observations. He laid off a base line on the shore, fifteen hundred feet in length; and from the extremities of it, by means of a large and accurate compass, which he carried with him in all his travels for this express purpose, he took the bearings of all the principal points and headlands which could be seen around the sea, as well as of every mountain in view. By this means he secured the data for making an exact map of the sea, at least so far as these leading points are concerned; for, by the application of certain principles of trigonometry, it is very easy to ascertain the precise situation of any object whatever, provided its precise bearing from each of two separate stations, and also the precise distance between the two stations is known. Accordingly, by establishing two stations on the plain, and measuring the distance between them, and then taking the bearings of all important points on the shores of the sea, from both stations, the materials are secured for a correct map of it, in its general outline.

This work being accomplished, and the day being now fully spent, the party bade the shores of the sea farewell; and, weary with the fatigues and excitement of the day, they began, with slow and toilsome steps, to reascend the path toward their encampment by the fountain. They at length arrived at their tent, and spent the evening there to a late hour, in writing out their records of the observations which they had made, and of the adventures which they had met with during the day. From time to time, as the hours passed on, they looked out from their tent to survey the broad expanse of water now far below them. The day had been sultry and hot, but the evening was cool. The air was calm and still, and the moon rising behind the eastern mountains shone in upon their encampment, and cheered the solitude of the night, illuminating, at the same time, with her beams, the quiet and lonely surface of the sea.


At a subsequent period of his tour in the Holy Land, Robinson approached the Dead Sea again, near the southern extremity of it, and there examined and described a certain very remarkable geological formation, which is justly considered one of the greatest wonders of this most wonderful valley. It is called the Salt Mountain of Usdum. It is a lofty ridge that extends for a great distance along the shore of the sea, and consists of a solid mass of rock-salt. The situation of this mountain, as will be seen from the map, is on the southwestern shore of the sea. There is a narrow tract of low and level land between the mountain and the water. The road passes along this plain, close under the cliffs, giving the traveler a very convenient opportunity of examining the formation of the mountain as he journeys with his caravan slowly along.

The existence of such a mountain of salt was asserted by certain travelers many centuries ago, but the accounts which they gave of it were not generally believed, the spot being visited too seldom, and the accounts which were brought from it being too vague and imperfect to confirm sufficiently so extraordinary a story. Robinson, however, and other travelers who have, since his day, fully explored the locality, have found that the ancient tales were true. The ridge is very uneven and rugged, its summit and its sides having been furrowed by the rains which sometimes, though at very distant intervals, fall in this arid region. The height of the ridge is from one hundred to one hundred and fifty feet. The surface of the hill is generally covered, like that of other rocky ridges, with earth and marl, and sometimes with calcareous strata of various kinds, so that its true character is in some meas[Pg 586]ure concealed from ordinary and casual observers. The mass of salt, however, which underlies these superficial coverings, breaks out in various places along the line of the hills, and sometimes forms perpendicular precipices of pure crystalized fossil salt, forty or fifty feet high, and several hundred feet long. The traveler who beholds these crystaline cliffs is always greatly astonished at the spectacle, and can scarcely believe that the mountain is really what it seems, until he has gone repeatedly to the precipice and broken off a fragment from the face of it, to satisfy himself of the true character of the rock, by tasting the specimen.

The mountain extends for two or three miles along the shore, drawing nearer and nearer to it toward the south, until at last it approaches so closely to the margin of the sea, that the waters, when high, wash the foot of the precipice. Along the road which lies between the cliffs and the shore, and upon the beach, masses of salt are found, which, having been broken off from the heights above, have fallen down to the level land below, where they lie like common rocks upon the ground. Here and there ravines are found, forming little dells, down which small streams are constantly trickling; and, in some seasons of the year rains fall, and, dissolving small portions of the rock, flow with the solution into the sea below. Of course, what salt finds its way into the sea remains there forever, except so far as it is carried away by man—for the process of evaporation takes up the aqueous particles alone, from saline solutions. A very small annual addition is therefore sufficient to keep up the saltness of such a sea. It is supposed that this mountain is the source which furnishes the supply in this case. If so, the Dead Sea, geologically speaking, is simply an accumulation of the waters of the Jordan, formed in a deep depression of its valley, and made salt by impregnation from a range of soluble rocks, the base of which they lave.



At one point in the eastern face of the Usdum mountain, that is the face which is turned toward the sea, there is a cavern. This cavern seems to have been formed by a spring. A spring of water issuing from among soluble strata will, of course, always produce a cavern, as its waters must necessarily dissolve and wear away the substance of the rock, and so, in the process of ages, form an open recess leading into the heart of the mountain. The few European travelers who have ever passed the road that leads along the base of this mountain, have generally stopped to examine and explore this cavern. It is irregular in its form, but very considerable in extent. The mouth of it is ten or twelve feet high, and about the same in breadth. Robinson and his[Pg 587] party went into it with lights. They followed it for three or four hundred feet into the heart of the mountain, until at length they came to a place where it branched off into two small fissures, which could not be traced any farther. A small stream of water was trickling slowly along its bed in the floor of the cavern, which, as well as the walls and roof, were of solid salt. There were clear indications that the quantity of water flowing here varied greatly at different seasons; and the cavern itself was undoubtedly formed by the action of the stream.


When Robinson and his party came out from the cavern in the Salt Mountain, an incident occurred which illustrates so forcibly both the nature of Oriental traveling, and the manners and customs of the semi-savage tribes that roam about the shores of the Dead Sea, that it well deserves a place in this memoir. When they were about entering the cavern, a report came from some of the scouts, of whom it was always customary to have one or more ahead, when traveling on these expeditions, that a troop of riders were in sight, coming round the southern end of the sea. This report had been confirmed during the time that Robinson and his companions had been in the cave, and when they came out they found their camp in a state of great confusion and alarm. The strangers that were coming were supposed, from their numbers, and from the manner in which they were mounted, to be enemies or robbers. The Arab attendants of the party were greatly excited by this intelligence. They were getting their guns in readiness, and loading and priming them. A consultation was held, and it was determined by the party that they would not leave their encampment at the mouth of the cavern, since the position which they occupied there was such as to afford them a considerable advantage, as they judged, in the case of an attack. They accordingly began to strengthen themselves where they were with such means as they had at their command, and to make the best disposition they could of the animals and baggage, with a view to defending them. At the same time they sent forward an Arab chieftain of the party, to reconnoitre and learn more particularly the character of the enemy.

The messenger soon returned, bringing back a report which at once relieved their fears. The dreaded troop of marauders proved to be a flock of sheep, driven by a few men on donkeys. Of course, all alarm was at once dispelled, and the expedition immediately resumed its march, pursuing its way as before along the strand. But this was not the end of the affair, for the Arabs of Robinson's escort, finding that they were now the stronger party, at once assumed the character of robbers themselves, and began immediately to make preparations for plundering the strangers. The customs of the country as they understood the subject, fully justified them in doing so, and before Robinson was aware of their intentions, they galloped forward, and attacked the peaceful company of strangers, and began to take away from them every thing valuable on which they could lay their hands. One seized a pistol, another a cloak, and a third stores of provisions. Robinson and his companions hastened to the spot and arrested this proceeding, though they had great difficulty in doing it. The Arabs insisted that these men were their enemies, and that they had a right to rob them wherever they found them. To which Robinson replied, that that might perhaps be the law of the desert, but that while the Arabs were in his employ they must be content to submit to his orders. At length the stolen property was reluctantly restored, and the strangers went on their way. They proved to be a party in the service of a merchant of Gaza, a town on the Mediterranean coast, nearly opposite this part of the Dead Sea. This merchant had been to Kerak—the village which has already been mentioned as seen by our party from their position on the heights of Ain Jidy, at the head of the valley which opens on the eastern side of the sea beyond Zoar—and there he had purchased a flock of sheep, and was now driving them, with the assistance of some peasants whom he had hired for the purpose, home to Gaza.


As has already been stated, the water of the Dead Sea, though deep in the northern part, spreads out toward the southward over an immense region of flats and shallows, so that sometimes the water is only a few feet deep over an extent of many miles. There are, moreover, southward of the sea, vast tracts of low and sandy land, which are sometimes covered with water and sometimes bare, on account of the rising and falling of the sea, the level of which seems to vary many feet in different years and in different seasons, according to the state of the snows on Mount Lebanon and the quantity of water brought down by the Jordan and other streams. The shallowness of the water becomes very marked and apparent at the peninsula, and various rumors were brought to Europe, from time to time, in the middle ages, of a fording place there, by means of which caravans, when the water was low, could cross over from the eastern shore to the western, and thus save the long detour around the southern end of the sea. The most direct and tangible evidence in respect to this ford, was given by the two celebrated travelers, Irby and Mangles, who relate that in descending from Kerak to the peninsula, they fell in with a small company of Arabs that were going down to the sea—riding upon asses and other beasts of burden. The Arabs of this caravan said that they were going to cross the sea at the ford. The travelers did not actually see them make the passage, for they were themselves engaged in exploring the eastern and northern part of the peninsula at the time, and the caravan was thus hidden from view when they approached the water, by the high land intervening between them and the travelers. After a short time, however, the travelers came over to the western[Pg 588] side of the promontory, and there they saw the place of the ford indicated by boughs of trees set up in the water. The caravan had passed the ford, and were just emerging from the water on the western side of the sea. This evidence was considered as very direct and very conclusive, and yet other travelers who visited the same region, both before and afterward, could obtain no certain information in respect to the ford. Allusions to it exist in some very ancient records, and yet the Arabs themselves who live in the vicinity, when inquired of in respect to the subject, often denied the possibility of such a passage. The only way, apparently, of reconciling these seemingly contradictory accounts, is to suppose that the sea is subject to great changes of level, and that for certain periods, perhaps at distant intervals from each other, the water is so low that caravans can cross it—and that afterward it becomes again too deep to be passable, continuing so perhaps for a long series of years, so that the existence of the ford is for a time in some measure forgotten.



The information which the Christian world obtained in respect to the Dead Sea and the character of the country around it, was, after all, down to quite a late period, of a very vague and unsatisfactory character, being derived almost entirely from the reports of occasional travelers who approached the shores of it, from time to time, at certain points more accessible than others, but who remained at their places of observation for so brief a period, and were so restricted in respect to their means and facilities for properly examining the localities that they visited, that, notwithstanding all their efforts, the geography and natural history of the region were very imperfectly determined. Things continued in this state until the year 1847, when Lieutenant Lynch, of the United States naval service, made his celebrated expedition into the Holy Land, for the express purpose of exploring the River Jordan and the Dead Sea. We have already, in our article on the River Jordan, given an account of the landing of this party at the Bay of Acre, of their extraordinary journey across the country to the Sea of Galilee, and of their passage down the Jordan in the metallic boats, the Fanny Mason and the Fanny Skinner, which they had brought with them across to the Mediterranean. We now propose to narrate briefly the adventures which the intrepid explorer met with in his cruise around the Dead Sea. When he commenced the undertaking, it was considered both by himself and his companions, and also by his countrymen and friends at home, to be extremely doubtful whether he would be able to accomplish it. All previous attempts to navigate the sea had failed, and had proved fatal to their projectors. Some had been destroyed by the natives—others had sunk under the pestiferous effects of the climate. When, therefore, the boats of this party, heavily laden with their stores of provisions and their crews, came from the mouth of the Jordan out into the open sea, the hearts of the adventurous navigators were filled with many forebodings.


The party expected to spend several weeks upon the sea, and their plan was to establish fixed encampments from time to time on the shore, to be used as stations where they could keep the necessary stores and supplies, and from which they could make excursions over the whole surface of the sea. The first of these stations was to be at a place called the Fountain of Feshkah; a point on the western shore of the sea, about five miles from the mouth of the Jordan. The caravan which had accompanied the expedition along the bank while they had been descending the river, were to go around by land, and meet the boats at the place of rendezvous at night. Things being thus arranged, the land and water parties took leave of each other, and the boats pushed out upon the sea—turning to the westward and southward as soon as they had rounded the point of land which forms the termination of the bank of the river—and shaped their course in a direction toward the place of rendezvous. Their course led them across a wide bay, which forms the northwestern termination of the sea. There was a fresh northwestern wind blowing at the time, though they did not anticipate any inconvenience from it when they left the river. The force of the wind, however, rapidly increased, and the effects which it produced were far more serious than would have[Pg 589] resulted from a similar gale in any other sea. The weight of the water was so great, on account of the extraordinary quantity of saline matter which it held in solution, that the boats in encountering the waves, suffered the most tremendous concussions. The surface of the sea became one wide spread sheet of foaming brine, while the spray which dashed over upon the men, evaporating as it fell, covered their faces, their hands, and their clothes with encrustations of salt, producing, at the same time, prickling and painful sensations upon the skin, and inflammation and smarting in the eyes. The party, nevertheless, pushed boldly on for some time toward the west, in the hope of reaching the shore. The wind, however, being almost directly ahead, they made very little progress. They began to fear that they should be driven entirely out to the open sea, and at length, about the middle of the afternoon, when they had been for some hours in this dangerous situation, the gale increased to such a degree that the boats were in imminent danger of foundering. The officers were obliged to order their supplies of water to be thrown overboard, in order to lighten the burden. They gave up all hope of gaining the land; and, expecting to spend the night on the sea, they thought only of the means of saving themselves from sinking. At length, however, about six o'clock, the wind suddenly ceased, and the waves, on account of the great weight of the water, almost immediately went down. The voyagers now, though almost exhausted with their toils, had little difficulty in gaining the land.


It was, however, now dark, and Mr. Lynch felt much solicitude in respect to the difficulty of finding the place of rendezvous on the coast where the party in the boats were to meet the caravan. They rowed along the shore to the southward, looking out on all the cliffs and headlands for lights or other signals. They had an Arab chieftain on board as a guide, and on him the party had depended for direction to the place where the fountain of Feshkah was to be found. The Arab had, however, become so bewildered by the terror which the storm had inspired, or, perhaps, by the strange and unusual aspect which the land presented to him, as seen from the side toward the sea and in the night, that he seemed to be entirely lost. At length the boatmen saw the light of a fire on the beach to the southward of them. They discharged a gun as a signal, and pulled eagerly toward the fire. The light, however, soon disappeared. The men were then at a loss again, and while resting upon their oars, awaiting another signal, they suddenly saw flashes, and heard reports of guns and sounds of voices on the cliffs, not far from them, and immediately afterward heard other reports from a considerable distance back, at a place which they had passed in coming along the shore. These various and uncertain sounds quite embarrassed the boatmen. They might indicate an attack from some hostile force upon their friends on the land, or some stratagem, to draw the boats into an ambuscade. They, however, determined, at length, that they would, at all events, ascertain the truth; so closing in with the shore, they pulled along the beach, sounding as they proceeded. About eight o'clock they arrived at the place of rendezvous, where they found their friends awaiting them at the fountain. The shouts and signal-guns which they had heard had proceeded from two portions of the caravan that had become separated on the march, and were thus attempting to communicate with each other. The party in the boats were greatly relieved on reaching the land, for the whole scene through which they had passed in approaching it, had been one of the wildest and most exciting character. The sea itself, mysterious and unknown, the lonely and desolate coast, the dark and gloomy mountains, the human voices heard in shouts and outcries on the cliffs, with the flashes of the guns, and the reports reverberating along the shore, joined to the dread uncertainty which the boatmen felt in respect to what the end of the adventure was to be, combined to impress the minds of all the party with the most sublime and solemn emotions.

The boats, they found, for some reason or other, could not land at the place which had been chosen for the encampment, but were obliged to proceed about a mile to the southward, where, at length, they were safely drawn up upon the beach. Some Arabs were placed here to guard them, while the seamen were conducted to the camp, in order that they might enjoy a night of repose. The camp was pitched in a cane-brake, not far from the shore, the vegetation which covered the spot proving that there was nothing very specially deleterious in the atmosphere of the sea. In fact, during the remainder of the excursion, Mr. Lynch's party always found, in landing along the shores, that there was always abundance of vegetation whenever there was fresh water from the mountains to sustain it. The water of the sea seems to be itself too deeply impregnated with saline solutions to nourish vegetable life; but beyond the reach of the spray, which the wind drives only to a short distance from the margin of the shore, it exerts, apparently no perceptible influence on either plants or animals. Many animals were seen at different times in the vicinity of the sea, some on the land, and others flying freely over the water. The water itself, however, seemed to produce no living thing. Some few shells were found in two or three instances on the beach, but they were of such a character, and appeared under such circumstances as to lead to the supposition that they were brought down to the sea by the torrents from the mountains, or by the current of the Jordan.

The scene which presented itself to the party as the night came on at this their first encampment on the shore of the Dead Sea, was solemn and sublime. The dark and gloomy mountains, barren and desolate—their declivities fretted and[Pg 590] furrowed by the tooth of time, rose behind them in dismal grandeur; the waters of the sea lay reposing heavily in their vast caldron before them, covered with a leaden-colored mist; while the moon, which rose toward midnight above the mountains beyond, cast spectre-like shadows from the clouds over the broad and solemn expanse, in a wild and fantastic manner. Every thing seemed strange and unnatural, and wore an expression of unspeakable loneliness and desolation. And yet about midnight the death-like silence and repose which reigned around, was strangely broken by the distant tolling of a bell!

The tolling of the bell which the travelers heard, proceeded from the Convent of Mar Saba, a rude and lonely structure, situated in the middle of the desolate gorge which the brook Kedron forms in traversing the mountains that lie between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. The place of the convent was seven or eight miles from the shore where our travelers were encamped, but yet the tones of the bell, calling the monks to their devotions, made their way to the spot through the still evening air. The travelers felt cheered and encouraged in their solitude, by being thus connected again, even by so slender a bond as this, with the common family of man, from which they had seemed before to have undergone an absolute and total separation.


After remaining a day or two at Feshkah, and making various excursions across the sea and along the shores, from that station, for the purpose of measuring distances and taking soundings, the party broke up their encampment, and prepared to proceed to the southward. They made arrangements for taking every thing with them on board the boats, except a load from one single camel, which was to be sent along the shore. Their intention was to proceed to En-gedi, and to encamp there at the foot of the cliffs, on the little plain which Robinson had visited about ten years before. This encampment at En-gedi was to be a sort of permanent station for the party during all the time necessary for the survey of the middle and southern portions of the sea. It was a suitable spot for such a post, on account of its central position, and also on account of the abundant supply of fresh water which could be obtained there from the fountain. The company were obliged to hasten their departure from Feshkah; for the water of the fountain at the place of their first encampment was brackish and unfit for use, while the supply which they had brought from the Jordan was nearly exhausted. Their stock of provisions, too, was well-nigh spent, and Lieutenant Lynch felt a considerable degree of uneasiness in respect to the means of sufficiently replenishing it. He sent off detachments from his party to Hebron and to Jerusalem, to procure supplies, directing them to bring whatever they could procure to En-gedi. He also sent an Arab chieftain, named Akil, round to the eastern side of the sea, to Kerak, to purchase provisions there. The Arab, if successful, was to bring down his stores to the sea, at the peninsula, and at the proper time, Lieutenant Lynch was to send one of the boats across from En-gedi to receive them.

Things being thus arranged, the tents were struck, the boats pushed off from the land, while a train of Arabs attended by the loaded camel, took up their line of march along the beach. As they proceeded, the boats stopped from time to time, to note and to record every thing worthy of notice that appeared along the shore. They passed the mouth of the brook Kedron, a deep gorge, narrow at the base, and yawning wide at the summit. The sides of this frightful ravine were twelve hundred feet high. The bed of it was perfectly dry; the waters of the stream at this season of the year being wholly absorbed by the sands long before reaching the sea. They passed many caves, some opening into the face of the rock, far up the mountain sides, in positions wholly inaccessible. The shores were generally barren and desolate, consisting of dark brown mountains, which looked as if they had been scorched by fire, with a narrow beach equally dreary and desolate below. Here and there, however, little valleys opened, which sustained a scanty vegetation, and birds and other animals were occasionally seen. There seemed to be no vegetation, except at points where streams or springs of fresh water flowed down from the land.

The boats proceeded onward in this manner till night, and then rounding a point which was covered sparsely with bushes and trees, and with tufts of cane and grass, they came into a little bay which opened to a dell, fertilized by a fountain. The name of the fountain was Turabeh. Flowers were growing here, and certain fruits, the sight of which gladdened the eyes of our voyagers, though in any other situation they would have attracted little attention. The stream which sustained this vegetation was extremely small. The water trickled down from the spring so scantily that the Arabs were forced to dig holes in the sand, and wait for them to fill, in order to procure enough for drink. Still its influence was sufficient to clothe its narrow dell with something like verdure and fruitfulness. The little oasis had its inhabitants, too, as well as its plants and flowers. One of the party saw a duck at a little distance from the shore, and fired at her; though it might have been thought that no one could have had the heart to disturb even a duck in the possession of so solitary and humble a domain. In fact, it seems the sportsman must have had some misgivings, and was accordingly not very careful in his aim, for the bird was not harmed by the shot. She flew out to sea a little way, alarmed by the report, and then alighting on the glassy surface of the water, began to swim back again toward the shore, as if thinking it not possible that the strange intruders into her lonely home, whoever and whatever they might be, could really intend to do her any harm.

[Pg 591]


Soon after the party in the boats had landed, the camel with his attendants arrived, and they all encamped on this spot for the night. The scene which presented itself when the arrangements had been made for the night was, as usual in such cases, very solemn and impressive. The tents stood among the trees. The Arab watch-fires were burning. The boats were drawn up upon the shore. The dark and sombre mountains rose like a wall behind the encampment; while the smooth and placid sea was spread out before it, reflecting with a sort of metallic lustre the silver radiance of the moon. The stillness, too, which reigned around seemed strange and fearful, it was so absolute and profound.

In the morning, the party, after breakfasting under the trees on the shore, resumed their voyage. After proceeding a few miles along the coast, they saw an Arab on the beach. The Arab hailed the party, and they attempted to communicate with him, but could not understand what he said. At one place they stopped to examine a mass of ruins which they saw standing a short distance up the mountain side. The ruins proved to be the remains of a wall, built to defend the entrances to several caves which opened in the face of the precipice directly behind them. The caves were perfectly dry, and one of them was large enough to contain twenty or thirty men. There were openings cut from them through the rock to the air above, intended apparently to serve the purpose of chimneys. These caves were in the wilderness of En-gedi.

In fact, the boats were now drawing near to their place of destination. At noon they arrived at the spot, and the party landing, unloaded the boats and hauled them up upon the shore. They selected a spot for their encampment on the little plain at the foot of the cliffs, not far from the place where the stream descends to it from the mountain above. They found that the gardens and other marks of vegetation which Robinson had observed at the time of his visit, had disappeared; in other respects, every thing corresponded with his description. The water was gushing from the fountain as copiously as ever, and was disappearing as rapidly in the sands of its thirsty bed, after running its short and foaming course along its little dell. After a brief survey of the scene, the ground was marked out, the tents were pitched, and the stores deposited within them; the boats were hauled up and examined for repairs, and all the arrangements made for a permanent encampment; for this was to be the head-quarters of the expedition during all the remaining time that they were to spend upon the sea. They named it "Camp Washington."


The encampment thus established at En-gedi continued to be occupied as the head-quarters of our party for two or three weeks, during which time many expeditions were fitted out from it, for exploring the whole southern portion of the sea, and the country around. The engineer of the party measured a base line on the beach, and from the two stations at the extremities of it took the bearings of all the important points on the shores of the sea. He made the necessary astronomical observations also for determining the exact latitude and longitude of the camp. Parties were sent out, too, sometimes along the shores and up the mountains to collect plants and specimens, and at other times across to the eastern shore to measure the breadth of the sea, and to make soundings for determining the depth of it in every part. They preserved specimens and memorials of every thing. Even the mud and sand, and the cubical crystals of salt which their sounding apparatus brought up from the bottom of the sea, were put up in airtight vessels to be brought home for the inspection of naturalists and philosophers in America. Thus the whole party were constantly employed in the various labors incident to such an undertaking, meeting from time to time with strange and romantic adventures, and suffering on many occasions most excessively from exposure and fatigue.

One of the most remarkable of the expeditions which they made from their camp at En-gedi, was a cruise of four days in the southern portion of the sea, in the course of which they circumnavigated the whole southern shore. In following down the western coast in first commencing their voyage, they found the scenery much the same as it had been in the northern part of the sea, the coast being formed of bald and barren mountains, desolate and gloomy, with[Pg 592] a low, flat beach below, and sometimes a broad peninsula, or delta, formed, at the mouths of the ravines, by the detritus brought down from above. Farther south, however, the water became very shoal, so much so, that at last they could not approach the shore near enough to land, without wading for a great distance through water and mire. In fact, the line of demarkation between the land and the sea was often scarcely perceptible, the land consisting of low flats and slimy mud, coated with incrustations of salt, and sometimes with masses of drift-wood lying upon it, while the water was covered with a frothy scum, formed of salt and bitumen. Sometimes for miles the water was only one or two feet deep, and the men in such cases, leaving the boats, waded often to a great distance from them. Every night, of course, they stopped and encamped on the land.


The party suffered on some occasions most intensely from heat and thirst. Their supply of water was not abundant, and one of the principal sources of solicitude which the officers of the expedition felt throughout the cruise, was to find fountains where they could replenish their stores. One night they were reduced to the greatest extreme of misery from the influence of an intolerably hot and suffocating wind, which blew upon them from off the desert to the southward. It was the Sirocco. It gave them warning of its approach on the evening before by a thin purple haze which spread over the mountains a certain unnatural and lurid hue, that awakened a mysterious emotion of awe and terror. Something dreadful seemed to be portended by it. It might be a thunder-tempest; it might be an earthquake, or it might be some strange and nameless convulsion of nature incident to the dreadful region to which they had penetrated, but elsewhere unknown. The whole party were impressed with a sentiment of solemnity and awe, and deeming it best for them to get to the land as soon as possible, they took in sail, turned their boats' heads to the westward, and rowed toward the shore.

In a short time they were struck suddenly by a hot and suffocating hurricane, which blew directly against them, and, for a time, not only stopped their progress, but threatened to drive them out again to sea. The thermometer rose immediately to 105°. The oarsmen were obliged to shut their eyes to protect them from the fiery blast, and to pull, thus blinded, with all their strength to stem the waves. The men who steered the boats were unable, of course, thus to protect themselves, and their eyelids became dreadfully inflamed by the hot wind before they reached the land.

At length, to their great joy, they succeeded in getting to the shore. They landed at a most desolate and gloomy spot at the mouth of a dismal ravine; and the men, drawing the boats up on the beach, immediately began to seek, in various ways, some means of escape from the dreadful influences of the blast. Several went up the ravine in search of some place of retreat, or shelter. Others finding the glare of the sun upon the rocks insupportable, while they remained on the shore, returned to the boats and crouched down under the awnings. One of the officers put spectacles upon his eyes to protect them from the lurid and burning light, but the metal of the bows became so hot, that he was obliged to remove them. Every thing metallic, in fact, such as the arms, and even the buttons on the clothes of the men, were almost burning to the touch, and the wind, instead of bringing the usual refreshing influences of a breeze, was now the vehicle of heat, and blew hot and suffocating along the beach, as if coming from the mouth of an oven.

Intolerable as the influence was of this ill-fated blast, it increased in power, until it blew a gale. The distant mountains, seen across the surface of the sea, were curtained by mists of a purple and deadly hue. The sky above was covered with bronze-colored clouds, through which the declining sun shone, red and rayless, diffusing over the whole face of nature, instead of light, a sort of lurid and awful gloom.

The sun went down, and the shades of the evening came on, but the heat increased. The thermometer rose to 106°. The wind was like the blast of a furnace. The men, without pitching their tents or making any other preparations for the night, threw themselves down upon the ground, panting and exhausted, and oppressed with an intolerable thirst. They went continually to the "water breakers," in which their supplies of water were kept, and drank incessantly, but their thirst could not be assuaged.

Things continued in this state till midnight. The wind then went down, and very soon afterward a gentle breeze sprung up from the northward. The thermometer fell to 82°, and the Sirocco was over.


Mr. Lynch's party visited the salt mountain of Usdum, of which we have already spoken, and examined it throughout its whole extent, in a very careful and thorough manner. They found at one place, at the head of a deep and narrow chasm, a remarkable conformation of the salt rock, consisting of a tall cylindrical mass, standing out detached, as it were, from the mountain behind it, and appearing like an artificial column. It was in fact literally a pillar of salt. It was forty or fifty feet high, and was capped above with a layer of limestone, a portion perhaps of the once continuous calcareous stratum, which at some remote geological period had been deposited over the whole bed of salt. The appearance of the pillar was as if it were itself a portion of the salt mountain that had been left by the gradual disintegration and wearing away of the adjoining mass, having assumed and preserved its tall and columnar form, through the protecting influence of the cap of insoluble rock on its summit. The mass, though as seen in front it appeared to stand isolated and alone like a pillar, was connected with the precipice[Pg 593] behind it by a sort of buttress, by means of which some of the party climbed up to the top of the gigantic geological ruin, and standing upon the pinnacle, looked down upon their companions below, and upon the wide scene of desolation and death which was spread out before them.


As we have already mentioned, an Arab chieftain who accompanied the expedition, had been sent round to the eastern side of the sea to the town of Kerak, which was situated, as will be recollected, at the head of the valley beyond Zoar, to negotiate with the natives and to procure provisions, and a day had been appointed for him to come down to the shore, at a certain point on the peninsula, where a boat was to be sent to meet him. When the time arrived for fulfilling this appointment, Lieutenant Lynch organized a party for the excursion, and embarked for the eastern shore. On approaching the land at the appointed place of rendezvous, they saw an Arab lurking in the bushes, apparently watching for them, and soon afterward several more appeared. At first the voyagers doubted whether these were the friends whom they had come to meet or whether they were enemies lying in wait to entrap them. On approaching nearer to the beach, however, they soon recognized Akil. He seemed greatly rejoiced to see them. He informed them that he had been kindly received at Kerak, and he brought down an invitation to Lieutenant Lynch, from the chieftain that ruled there, to come up to the valley and make him a visit. After some hesitation, Lieutenant Lynch concluded to accept this invitation. He encamped, however, first on the shore for a day or two, to make the necessary explorations and surveys in the neighborhood. During this time he went out with two Arabs across the plain, to examine the supposed site of ancient Zoar. He found ruins of an ancient village there, and fragments of pottery, and other similar vestiges on the ground. At length, on the morning of the third day, leaving his boat in the care of a guard, he put himself and his party of attendants under Akil's guidance, and set out to ascend the valley. The party were fourteen in number. The sailors were mounted on mules. The officers rode on horseback. The cavalcade was escorted by a troop of twenty armed Arabs—twelve mounted and the rest on foot.

They found the valley which they had to ascend in going up to Kerak, a gloomy gorge, of the wildest and grandest character. The path was steep and very difficult, overhanging on one side a deep and yawning chasm, and being itself overhung on the other with beetling crags, blackened as if by fire, and presenting an aspect of unutterable and frightful desolation. To complete the sublimity of the scene, a terrific tempest of thunder, lightning, and rain swept over the valley while our party were ascending it, and soon filled the bottom of the gorge with a roaring and foaming torrent, which came down from the mountains and swept on toward the sea with a thundering sound. At length the party reached the brow of the table land, three thousand feet above the level of the sea, and came out under the walls of the town.

The town proved to be a dreary and comfortless collection of rude stone houses, without windows or chimneys, and blackened within with smoke. The inhabitants were squalid and miserable. Three-fourths of the people were nominally Christian. The visit of the Americans of course excited great interest. We have not time to detail the various adventures which the party met with in their intercourse with the inhabitants, or to describe the singular characters which they encountered and the extraordinary scenes through which they passed. They remained one night at Kerak, and then after experiencing considerable difficulty in escaping the importunities with which they were besieged by the chieftains for presents, they succeeded in getting away and in returning safely to their boat on the shore.


Our party, after having spent about three weeks in making these and similar excursions from their various encampments, during which time they had thoroughly explored the shores on every side, and sounded the depths of the water in every part, made all the necessary measurements and observations both mathematical and meteorological, collected specimens for fully illustrating the geology and natural history of the region, and carefully noted all the physical phenomena which they had observed, found that their work was done. At least all was done which could be accomplished at the sea itself. One thing only remained to be determined, and that was the measure of the depression of the sea. This could be positively and precisely ascertained only by the process of "leveling a line," as it is termed, across from the sea to the shores of the Mediterranean. This work they now prepared to undertake, making arrangements at the same time for taking their final leave of the dismal lake which they had been so long exploring.

It had been long supposed that the Dead Sea lay below the general level of the waters of the earth's surface, and various modes had been adopted for ascertaining the amount of the depression. The first attempt was made by two English philosophers in 1837. The method by which they attempted to measure the depression was by means of the boiling point of water. Water requires a greater or a less amount of heat to boil it according to the degree of pressure which it sustains upon its surface from the atmosphere—boiling with less heat on the tops of mountains where the air is rare, and requiring greater in the bottoms of mines, where the density and weight of the atmosphere is increased in proportion to the depth. Heights and depths, therefore, may be approximately measured by an observation of the degree of heat indicated by the thermometer in the locality in question, when water begins to boil. By[Pg 594] this test the English philosophers found the depression of the Dead Sea to be five hundred feet.

A short time after this experiment was performed a very careful observation was made by means of a barometer, which also, measuring, as it does, the density of the air, directly, may be made use of to ascertain heights and depths. It is, in fact, often thus employed to measure the heights of mountains. The result of observations with the barometer gave a depression to the surface of the sea of about six hundred feet.

A third method is by trigonometrical calculation. This mode is much more laborious and difficult than either of the other modes which we have alluded to, but it is more to be relied upon in its results. The data for a trigonometrical calculation are to be obtained by observing, in a very accurate manner, a series of angles of elevation and depression on a line between the points, the relative levels of which are to be obtained. Lieutenant Symonds, an officer of the English service, made such a survey with great care, a few years after the preceding experiments were performed. He carried a line across from the Mediterranean to the Dead Sea, connecting the two extremes of it by means of a series of vertical angles which he measured accurately, with instruments of the most exact construction. The result of the computation which he made from these data, was that the sea was depressed one thousand three hundred and twelve feet below the level of the Mediterranean.

The surprise which had been felt at the results of the experiments first mentioned, was greatly increased by the announcement of this result. No one was disposed really to question the accuracy of the engineer's measurements and calculations, but it seemed still almost incredible that a valley lying so near the open sea could be sunken so low beneath its level. There was one remaining mode of determining the question, and that was by carrying an actual level across the land, by means of leveling instruments, such as are used in the construction of railroads and canals. This would be, of course, a very laborious work, but there was a general desire among all who took an interest in the subject that it should be performed and Lieutenant Lynch determined to undertake it.

Accordingly, when the time arrived for leaving the shores of the sea, he organized a leveling party, furnishing them with the necessary instruments and with proper instructions, and commissioned them to perform this service. They began by scaling the face of the mountain which rose almost perpendicularly from the shore of the sea at the place of the last encampment. They then proceeded slowly along, meeting with various adventures, and encountering many difficulties, but persevering steadily with the work, until at last, in twenty-three days from the time of leaving the Dead Sea, they arrived on the shore of the Mediterranean at Jaffa. The result confirmed in a very accurate manner the calculations of Lieutenant Symonds, for the difference of level was found to be a little over thirteen hundred feet—almost precisely the same as Lieutenant Symonds had determined it. The question is, therefore, now definitely settled. The vast accumulation of waters lies so far below the general level of the earth's surface that, if named after the analogy of its mighty neighbor, it might well have been called the Subterranean Sea.


Lieutenant Lynch had great reason to congratulate himself on this successful result of his labors; for the work which he had undertaken was one not only of toil, exposure, and suffering, but also of great danger. He was warned by the fatal results which had almost invariably attended former attempts to explore these waters, that if he ventured to trust himself upon them, it was wholly uncertain whether he would ever return. He followed in a track which had led all who had preceded him in taking it, to destruction; and the only hope of safety and success which he could entertain in renewing an experiment which had so often failed before, was in the superior sagacity and forethought which he and his party could exercise in forming their plans, and in the greater energy and courage, and the higher powers of endurance, which they could bring into play in the execution of them. The event proved that he estimated correctly the resources which he had at his command.


Among the stories which were related to Mr. Lynch, when he was preparing at the Sea of[Pg 595] Galilee to commence his dangerous voyage, to discourage him from the undertaking, was that of the unfortunate Costigan. Costigan was an Irish gentleman who, some years before the period of Lieutenant Lynch's expedition, had undertaken to make a voyage on the Dead Sea, in a boat, with a single companion—a sailor whom he employed to accompany him, to row the boat, and to perform such other services as might be required. Costigan laid in a store of provisions and water, sufficient, as he judged, for the time that would be consumed in the excursion, and then taking his departure from a point on the shore near the mouth of the Jordan, he pushed out with his single oarsman over the waters of the sea.


About eight days afterward, an Arab woman, wandering along the shore near the place where these voyagers had embarked, found Costigan lying upon the ground there, in a dying condition, alone, and the boat at a little distance on the beach, stranded and abandoned. The woman took pity upon the sufferer, and calling some Arab men to the spot, she persuaded them to take him up, and carry him to Jericho. There they found the sailor, who, better able as it would seem to endure such hardships than his master, had had strength enough left, when the boat reached the land, to walk, and had, accordingly, made his way to Jericho, leaving his master on the shore while he went for succor. At Jericho Costigan revived a little, and was then taken to Jerusalem, where he was lodged in a convent, and every effort was made to save his life and to promote his recovery, but in vain. He died in two days, and was never able to give any account of the events of his voyage.

The sailor, however, when questioned in respect to the events of the cruise, gave an account of such of them as a mere sailor would be likely to remember. They moved, he said, in a zigzag direction on the lake, crossing and recrossing it a number of times. They sounded every day, and found the depth of the water in many places very great. The sufferings, the sailor said, which they both endured from the heat, were very great; and the labor of rowing was excessively exhausting. In three days, however, they succeeded in reaching the southern extremity of the sea, and then set out on their return. During all this time Costigan himself took his turn regularly at the oars, but on the sixth day the supply of water gave out, and then Costigan's strength entirely failed. On the seventh day, they had nothing to drink but the water of the sea. This only aggravated instead of relieving their thirst, and on the eighth day the sailor undertook to make coffee from the sea water, hoping, by this means, to disguise in some measure its nauseating and intolerable saltness. But all was in vain. No sustenance or strength could be obtained from such sources, and the sailor himself soon found his strength, too, entirely gone. All attempts at rowing were now, of course, entirely abandoned, and although the boat had nearly reached the land again, at the mouth of the Jordan, the ill fated navigators must have perished floating on the sea, had it not happened that a breeze sprung up just at this juncture—blowing toward the land. The sailor, though too much exhausted to row, contrived to raise the sail, and to guide the helm, so that the boat at length attained the shore. There he left his master, while he himself made his way to Jericho, as has been already described.

These and several other attempts somewhat similar in their nature and results, which had been made in previous years, made it evident to Lieutenant Lynch, when he embarked in his enterprise, that he was about to engage in a very dangerous undertaking. The arrangements and plans which he formed, however, were on a much greater scale and far more complete than those of any of his predecessors, and he was enabled to make a much more ample provision than they for all the various emergencies which might occur in the course of the expedition. By these means, and through the extraordinary courage, energy, and resolution displayed by himself and by the men under his command, the enterprise was conducted to a very successful result.


The true character and condition of the whole[Pg 596] valley of the Dead Sea having been thus fully ascertained, and all the secrets of its gloomiest recesses having been brought fully to light, it will probably now be left for centuries to come, to rest undisturbed in the dismal and death-like solitude which seems to be its peculiar and appropriate destiny. Curious travelers may, from time to time, look out over its waters from the mouth of the Jordan, or survey its broad expanse from the heights at En-gedi, or perhaps cruise along under the salt cliffs of Usdum, on its southeastern shore, in journeying to or from the Arabian deserts; but it will be long, probably, before any keel shall again indent its salt-encrusted sands, or disturb the repose of its ponderous waters. It is true that the emotion of awe which its gloomy and desolate scenery inspires has something in it of the sublime; and the religious associations connected with the past history of the sea, impart a certain dread solemnity to its grandeur, and make the spot a very attractive one to those who travel into distant climes from love of excitement and emotion. But the physical difficulties, dangers, exposures, and sufferings, which are unavoidably to be incurred in every attempt to explore a locality like this, are so formidable, and the hazard to life is so great, while the causes from which these evils and dangers flow lie so utterly beyond all possible or conceivable means of counteraction, that the vast pit will probably remain forever a memorial of the wrath and curse of God, and a scene of unrelieved and gloomy desolation.



Versailles. It was a beautiful morning in May, when we took the cars in Paris for a ride to Versailles, to visit this most renowned of all the voluptuous palaces of the French kings. Nature was decked in her most joyous robes. The birds of spring had returned, and, in their fragrant retreats of foliage and flowers, were filling the air with their happy warblings. In less than an hour we alighted at Versailles, which is about twelve miles from Paris.

When Henry IV., three hundred years ago, attained the sovereignty of France, an immense forest spread over the whole region now occupied by the princely residences of Versailles. For a hundred years this remained the hunting ground of the French monarchs. Lords and ladies, with packs of hounds in full chase of the frightened deer, like whirlwinds swept through the forests, and those dark solitudes resounded with the bugle notes of the huntsmen, and with the shouts of regal revelry. Two hundred years ago Louis XIII., in the midst of this forest, erected a beautiful pavilion, where, when weary with the chase, the princely retinue, following their king, might rest and feast, and with wine and wassail prolong their joy. The fundamental doctrine of political economy then was that people were made simply to earn money for kings to spend. The art of governing consisted simply in the art of keeping the people submissive while they earned as much as possible to administer to the voluptuous indulgences of their monarchs.

Louis XIV. ascended the throne. He loved sin and feared its consequences. He could not shut out reflection, and he dreaded death and the scenes which might ensue beyond the grave. Whenever he approached the windows of the grand saloon of his magnificent palace at St. Germain, far away, in the haze of the distant horizon, he discerned the massive towers of the church of St. Denis. In damp and gloomy vaults, beneath those walls, mouldered the ashes of the kings of France. The sepulchral object ever arrested the sight and tortured the mind of the royal debauchee. It unceasingly warned him of death, judgment, retribution. He could never walk the magnificent terrace of his palace, and look out upon the scene of loveliness spread through the valley below, but there rose before him, in sombre majesty, far away in the distance, the gloomy mausoleum awaiting his burial. When heated with wine and inflamed by passion he surrendered himself to dalliance with all forbidden pleasures, his tomb reproached him and warned him, and the troubled king could find no peace. At last he was unable to bear it any longer, and abandoning St. Germain, he lavished uncounted millions in rearing, for himself, his mistresses, and his courtiers, at Versailles, a palace, where the sepulchre would not gloomily loom up before their eyes. It is estimated that the almost incredible sum of two hundred millions of dollars were expended upon the buildings, the gardens, and the park. Thirty thousand soldiers, besides a large number of mechanics, were for a long time employed upon the works. A circuit of sixty miles inclosed the immense park, in the midst of which the palace was embowered. An elegant city rose around the royal residence, as by magic. Wealthy nobles reared their princely mansions, and a population of a hundred thousand thronged the gay streets of Versailles. Water was brought in aqueducts from a great distance, and with a perfectly lavish expenditure of money, to create fountains, cascades, and lakes. Forests, and groves, and lawns arose as by creative power, and even rocks were made of cement, and piled up in precipitous crags to give variety and picturesqueness to the scene. Versailles! It eclipsed Babylon in voluptuousness, extravagance, and sin. Millions toiled in ignorance and degradation from the cradle to the grave, to feed and clothe these proud patricians, and to fill to superfluity the measure of their indulgences. The poor peasant, with his merely animal wife and animal daughter, toiled in the ditch and in the field, through joyless years, while his king, beneath gilded ceilings, was feasting thousands of nobles, with the luxuries of all climes, from plate of gold.

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It is in vain to attempt a description of Versailles. The main palace contains five hundred rooms. We passed the long hours of a long day in rapidly passing through them. The mind becomes bewildered with the magnificence. Here is the chapel where an offended God was to be appeased by gilding his altar with gold, and where regal sinners cheaply purchased pardon for the past and indulgence for the future. It is one of the essentials of luxurious iniquity to be furnished with facile appliances to silence the reproaches of the soul; and nothing more effectually accomplishes this than a religion of mere ceremony. Upon this chapel Louis XIV. concentrated all the taste and grandeur of the age. It was an easy penance for a profligate life to expend millions, wrested from the toiling poor, to embellish an edifice consecrated to an insulted God. Before this gorgeous altar stood Maria Antoinette and Louis XVI., in consummation of that nuptial union which terminated in the most melancholy tragedy earth has ever known. The exquisite paintings, the rich carvings and gildings, the graceful spring of the arched ceiling, the statues of marble and bronze, the subdued light, which gently penetrates the apartment, through the stained glass, the organ in its tones so soft and rich and full, all conspire to awaken that luxury of poetic feeling which the human heart is so apt to mistake for the spirit of devotion—for love to God. "If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments."

But every spot in this sumptuous abode is so alive with the memories of other days, is so peopled with the spirits of the departed, that we linger and linger, as historical incidents of intensest interest crowd the mind.


"Voici la salle de l'Opéra," exclaims the guide, and he rattles off a voluble description, which falls upon your ear like the unintelligible[Pg 599] moaning of the wind, as, lost in reverie, you recall to mind the scenes which have transpired in the theatre of Versailles. Sinking down upon the cushioned sofa, where Maria Antoinette often reclined in her days of bridal beauty and ambition, the vision of private theatricals rises before you. The deserted stage is again peopled. The nobles of the Bourbon court, in all the regalia of aristocratic pomp and pride, crowd the brilliant theatre, blazing with the illumination of ten thousand waxen lights. Maria, the queen of France, enacts a tragedy, little dreaming that she is soon to take a part in a real tragedy, the recital of which will bring tears into the eyes of all generations. Maria performs her part upon the stage with triumphant success. The courtiers fill the house with tumultuous applause. Her husband loves not to see his wife a play-actress. He hisses. The wife is deaf to every sound but that one piercing note of reproach. In the midst of resounding triumph she retires overwhelmed with sorrow and tears.


Suddenly the vision changes. The dark hours of the monarchy have come. The people, ragged, beggared, desperate, have thundered at the doors of the palace, declaring that they will starve no longer to support kings and nobles in such splendor. Poor Maria, educated in the palace, is amazed that the people should be so unreasonable and so insolent. She had supposed that as the horse is made to bear his rider, and the cow to give milk to her owner, so the people were created to provide kings with luxury and splendor. But the maddened populace have lost all sense of mercy. They burn the chateaus of the nobles and hang their inmates at the lamp-posts. The high civil and military officers of the king rally at Versailles to protect the royal family. In this very theatre they hold a banquet to pledge to each other undying support. In the midst of their festivities, when chivalrous enthusiasm is at its height, the door opens, and Maria enters, pale, wan, and woe-stricken. The sight inflames the wine-excited enthusiasts to frenzy. The hall is filled with shoutings and with weeping; with acclamations and with oaths of allegiance. But we must no longer linger here. The hours are fast passing and there are hundreds of rooms, gorgeous with paintings and statues, and crowded with historical associations, yet to explore. We must not, however, forget to mention, in illustration of the atrocious extravagance of these kings, that the expense of every grand opera performed in that theatre was twenty-five thousand dollars.

There were two grand suites of apartments, one facing the gardens on the north, belonging to the king, the other facing the south, belonging to the queen. The king's apartments, vast in dimensions and with lofty ceilings decorated with the most exquisite and voluptuous paintings, are encrusted with marble and embellished with a profusion of the richest works of the pencil and the chisel. The queen's rooms are all tastefully draped in white, and glitter with gold. Upon this gorgeous couch of purple and of fine linen, she placed her aching head and aching heart, seeking in vain that repose which the defrauded peasants found, but which fled from the pillow of the queen. Let society be as corrupt as it may, in a nominally Christian land, no woman can be happy when she is but the prominent slave in the harem of her husband. The paramours of Louis XIV. and Louis XV. trod proudly the halls of Versailles; their favor was courted even more than that of their queen, and the neglected wife and mother knew well the secret passages through which her husband passed to the society of youth, and beauty, and infamy.

The statues and the paintings which adorn these rooms seem to have been inspired by that one all-powerful passion, which, properly regulated, fills the heart with joy, and which unregulated is the most direful source of wretchedness which can desolate human homes. It is said that art is in possession of a delicacy which rises above the instinctive modesty of ordinary life. France has adopted this philosophy, and it is undeniable that France, with all her refinement and politeness, has become an indelicate nation. The evidence is astounding and revolting. No gentleman, no lady, from other lands can long reside in Paris without being amazed at the scenes which Paris exhibits. The human frame in its nudity is so familiar to every eye, that it has lost all its sacredness. In all the places of public amusement, the almost undraped forms of living men and women pass before the spectators, and all the modesties of nature are profaned. The pen can not detail particulars, for we may not even record in America that which is done in France. The connection is plain. The effect comes legitimately from the cause. No lady can visit Versailles without having her sense of delicacy wounded. It is said that "to the pure all things are pure." But alas for humanity! a[Pg 600] fleeting thought will sully the soul. There is much, very much in France to admire. The cordiality and the courtesy of the French are worthy of all praise. But the delicacy of France has received a wound, deplorable in the extreme, and a wound from which it can not soon recover.


The grand banqueting room of Versailles is perhaps the most magnificent apartment in the world, extending along the whole central façade of the palace, and measuring 242 feet in length, 35 feet in width, and 43 feet in height. It is lighted by 17 large arched windows, with corresponding mirrors upon the opposite wall. The ceiling is painted with the most costly creations of art. Statues of Venus and Adonis, and of every form of male and female beauty, embellish the niches. Here Louis XIV. displayed all the grandeur of royalty, and this vast gallery was often filled to its utmost capacity with the brilliant throng of lords and ladies, whom the people here supported, Versailles was the Royal alms-house of the kingdom. The French Revolution, in its terrible reprisals, was caused by strong provocatives.

The cabinet of the king, a very beautiful room, is near. Here is a large round table in the centre of the saloon. History informs us that one day Louis XV. was sitting at this table, with a packet of letters before him. The petted favorite, Madame du Barri, came in, and suspecting that the package was from a rival, she snatched it from the king's hand. He rose indignantly, and pursued her. She ran around the table, chased by the angry monarch, till finding herself in danger of being caught, she threw the letters into the glowing fire of the grate. The fascinating and guilty beauty perished in the Revolution. She was condemned by the revolutionary tribunal. Her long hair was shorn, that the knife of the guillotine might more keenly cut its way. But clustering ringlets, in beautiful profusion, fell over her brow and temples, and vailing her voluptuous features reposed upon her bosom, from which the executioner had brutally torn the dress. The yells of the maddened populace, deriding her exposure and her agony of terror, filled the air. The drunken mob danced exultingly around the aristocratic courtesan as the cart dragged her to the block. But the shrieks of the appalled victim pierced through the uproar which surrounded her. "Life—life—life!" she screamed, frantic with fright; "O, save me, save me!" The mob laughed and shouted, and taunted her with coarse witticisms upon the soft pillow of the guillotine, upon which her head would soon repose. The coarse executioners, with rude violence, bound her graceful, struggling limbs to the plank, the slide fell, and her shrieks were hushed in death.

And here is the room in which her royal lover died. It was midnight, the 10th of May, 1774. The small-pox, in its most loathsome form, had swollen his frame into the mockery of humanity. The courtiers had fled in consternation from the monarch whom they hated and despised. In his gorgeous palace the king of thirty millions of people was left, to struggle with death, unpitied and alone. An old woman sat unconcerned in an adjoining room, waiting till he should be dead. Occasionally she rose and walked to his bedside to see if he still breathed, and, disappointed that he lived so long, returned again to her chair. A lamp flickers at the window, a signal to the courtiers, at a safe distance, that the king is not yet dead. They watch impatiently through the hours of the night the glimmer of that dim torch. Suddenly it is extinguished, and gladness fills all hearts.

"So live, that sinking in thy last long sleep,
Smiles may be thine, while all around thee weep."

And here is the gorgeous couch upon which the monarch who reared these walls expired. It was the 30th of August, 1715. The gray-haired king, emaciate with remorse and physical suffering, reclined upon the regal bed, whose velvet hangings were looped back with heavy tassels and ropes of gold. The vast apartment was thronged with princes and courtiers in the magnificent costume of the times. Ladies sunk upon their knees around the bed where the proudest monarch of France was painfully gasping in the agonies of death. His soul was harrowed with anguish, as he reflected upon the bitter past, and anticipated the dread future. Publicly he avowed with gushing tears his regret, in view of the scenes of guilt through which he had passed. "Gentlemen," said the dying king, in a faltering[Pg 601] voice to those around him, "I implore your pardon for the bad example I have set you. Forgive me. I trust that you will sometimes think of me when I am gone." Then exclaiming, "Oh, my God, come to my aid, and hasten to help me," he fell back insensible upon his pillow, and soon expired.

As he breathed his last, one of the high officers of the household approached the window of the state apartment, which opened upon the great balcony, and threw it back. A vast crowd was assembled in the court-yard below, awaiting the tidings which they knew could not long be delayed. Raising his truncheon above his head, he broke it in the centre, and throwing the pieces among the crowd exclaimed, with a loud and solemn voice, "The king is dead!" Then seizing another staff from an attendant, he waved it in the air, shouting joyfully, "Long live the king!" The dead king is instantly and forever forgotten. The living king, who alone had favors to confer, was welcomed to his throne by multitudinous shouts, echoing through the apartment of death.


But upon this balcony a scene of far greater moral sublimity has transpired. It was the morning of the 8th of October, 1789. The night had been black and stormy. The infuriated mob of Paris, drenched with rain, men, women, boys, drunken, ragged, starving, in countless thousands, had all the night long been howling around their watch-fires, ravenous for the life of the queen. Clouds, heavy with rain, were still driven violently through the stormy sky, and pools of water filled the vast court-yard of the palace. Muskets were continually discharged, and now and then the crash of a bullet through a window was heard. At last the mob, pressing the palace in an innumerable throng, with a roar which soon became simultaneous, like an uninterrupted peal of thunder, shouted, "The Queen! the Queen!" demanding that she should appear upon the balcony. With that heroic spirit which ever inspired her, she fearlessly stepped out of the low window, leading her children by her side. "Away with the children!" shouted thousands of voices. Even this maddened multitude had not the heart to massacre youth and innocence. Maria, whose whole soul was roused to meet the sublimity of the occasion, without the tremor of a nerve led back her children, and again appearing upon the balcony, folded her arms and raised her eyes to heaven, as if devoting herself a sacrifice to the wrath of her subjects. Even degraded souls could appreciate the heroism of such a deed. A murmur of admiration ensued, followed by a simultaneous shout, which pierced the skies, "Vive la Reine! Vive la Reine!"

And now we enter the chamber where Maria slept on that night—or rather where she did not sleep, but merely threw herself for a few moments upon her pillow, in the vain attempt to soothe her agitated spirit. The morning had nearly dawned ere she retired to her chamber. A dreadful clamor upon the stairs roused her. The mob had broken into the palace. The discharge of fire-arms and the clash of swords at her door, proclaimed that the desperadoes were struggling with her guard. At the same moment she heard the dying cry of her faithful sentinel, as he fell beneath the blows of the assassins, calling to her, "Fly! fly for your life!" She sprang from her bed, rushed to the private door which led to the king's apartment, and had but just time to close the door behind her, when the tumultuous assailants rushed into the room, and plunged their bayonets, with all the vigor of their brawny arms, into her bed. Unfortunately, Maria had escaped. Happy would it have been for the ill-fated queen had she died in that short agony. But she was reserved for a fate perhaps more dreadful than has ever befallen any other daughter of our race.

Poor Maria! fancy can not create so wild a dream of terror as was realized in her sad life. The annals of the world contain not another tragedy so mournful.

Every room we enter has its tale to tell. Providence deals strangely in compensations. The kings of France robbed the nation to rear for themselves these gorgeous palaces. And yet the poor unlettered peasant in his hut, was a stranger to those woes, which have ever held high carnival within these gilded walls. Few must have been the hours of happiness which have been[Pg 602] found in the Palace of Versailles. The paintings which adorn the saloons and galleries of this princely abode, are executed in the highest style of ancient and modern art. One is never weary of gazing upon them. Many of them leave an impression upon the mind which a lifetime can not obliterate. All the great events of France are here chronicled in that universal language which all nations can alike understand. David's magnificent painting of the Coronation of Napoleon attracts the special attention of every visitor. The artist has seized upon the moment when the Emperor is placing the crown upon the brow of Josephine. When the colossal work was finished, many criticisms were passed upon the composition, which met the Emperor's ear. Among other things, it was specially objected that it was not a picture of the coronation of Napoleon but of that of Josephine. When the great work was entirely completed, Napoleon appointed a day to inspect it in person, prior to its public exhibition. To confer honor upon the distinguished artist, he went in state, attended by a detachment of horse and a military band, accompanied by the Empress Josephine, the princes and princesses of the family, and the great officers of the crown.

Napoleon for a few moments contemplated the painting in thoughtful silence, and then, turning to the artist, said, "M. David, this is well—very well, indeed. The empress, my mother, the emperor, all are most appropriately placed. You have made me a French knight, and I am gratified that you have thus transmitted to future ages the proofs of affection I was desirous of testifying toward the empress." Josephine was at the time standing at his side, leaning upon his right arm. M. David stood at his left. After contemplating the picture again for a few moments in silence, he dropped the arm of the empress, advanced two steps, and turning to the painter, uncovered his head, and bowing to him profoundly, exclaimed, "M. David, I salute you!"

"Sire!" replied the painter, with admirable tact, "I receive the compliment of the emperor, in the name of all the artists in the empire, happy in being the individual one you deign to make the channel of such an honor."

When this painting was afterward removed to the Museum, the emperor wished to see it a second time. M. David, in consequence, attended in the hall of the Louvre, accompanied by all of his pupils. Napoleon on this occasion inquired of the illustrious painter who of his pupils had distinguished themselves in their art. Napoleon immediately conferred upon those young men the decoration of the Legion of Honor. He then said, "It is requisite that I should testify my satisfaction to the master of so many distinguished artists; therefore I promote you to be Officer of the Legion of Honor. M. Duroc, give a golden decoration to M. David." "Sire, I have none with me," answered the Grand Marshal. "No matter," replied the Emperor; "do not let this day pass without executing my order."

The King of Wirtemberg, himself quite an artist, visited the painting, and exceedingly admired it. As he contemplated the glow of light which irradiated the person of the Pope, he exclaimed, "I did not believe that your art could effect such wonders. White and black, in painting, afford but very weak resources. When you produced this you had no doubt a sunbeam upon your pencil!"

But we must no longer linger here. And yet how can we hurry along through the midst of this profusion of splendor and of beauty. Room after room opens before us, in endless succession, and the mind is bewildered with the opulence of art. In each room you wish to stop for hours, and yet you can stop but moments, for there are hundreds of these gorgeous saloons to pass through, and the gardens and the parks to be visited, the fountains and the groves, the rural palaces of the Great Trianon and the Little Trianon, and above all the Swiss village. The Historical Museum consists of a suite of eleven magnificent apartments, filled with the most costly paintings illustrating the principal events in the history of France up to the period of the revolution. You then enter a gallery, three hundred feet in length, filled with the busts, statues, and monumental effigies of the kings, queens, and illustrious personages of France. The Hall of the Crusades consists of a series of five splendid saloons in the Gothic style, filled with pictures relating to that strange period of the history of the world. But there seems to be no end to the artistic wonders here accumulated. The Grand Gallery of Battles is a room 393 feet in length, 43 in breadth, and the same in height. The vaulted ceiling is emblazoned with gold, and the walls are brilliant with the most costly productions of the pencil. One vast gallery contains more than three hundred colossal pictures, illustrating the military history of Napoleon. In one of the apartments, on the ground floor, are seen two superb carriages. One is that in which Charles X. rode to his coronation. It was built for that occasion, at an expense of one hundred thousand dollars. The resources of wealth and art were exhausted in the construction of this voluptuous and magnificent vehicle. The other was built expressly for the christening of the infant Duke of Bordeaux.

But let us enter the stables, for they also are palaces. The nobles of other lands have hardly been as sumptuously housed as were the horses of the kings of France. The Palace of Versailles is approached from the town by three grand avenues—the central one 800 feet broad. These avenues open into a large space called the Place of Arms. Flanking the main avenue, and facing the palace, were placed the Grand Stables, inclosed by handsome iron railings and lofty gate-ways, and ornamented with trophies and sculptures. These stables were appropriated to the carriages and the horses of the royal family. Here the king kept his stud of 1000 of the most magnificent steeds the empire could furnish. It must have been a brilliant spectacle, in the gala[Pg 603] days of Versailles, when lords and ladies, glittering in purple and gold, thronged these saloons, and mounted on horses and shouting in chariots, with waving plumes, and robes like banners fluttering in the air, swept as a vision of enchantment through the Eden-like drives which boundless opulence and the most highly cultivated taste had opened in the spacious parks of the palace. The poor peasant and pale artisan, whose toil supplied the means for this luxury, heard the shout, and saw the vision, and, ate their black bread, and looked upon the bare-footed daughter and the emaciate wife, and treasured up wrath. The fearful outrages of the French revolution, concentrated upon kings and nobles in the short space of a few years, were but the accumulated vengeance which had been gathering through ages of wrong and violence in the hearts of oppressed men. But those days of kingly grandeur have passed away from France forever. Versailles can never again be filled as it has been. It is no longer a regal palace. It is a museum of art, opened freely to all the people. No longer will the blooded Arabians of a proud monarch fill those stables. One has already been converted into cavalry barracks, and the other into an agricultural school. It is to be hoped that the soldiers will soon follow the horses, and that the sciences of peace will eject those of war.


What tongue can tell the heart-crushing dramas of real life which have been enacted in this palace. Its history is full of the revealings of the agonies of the soul. Love, in all its delirium of passion, of hopelessness, of jealousy, and of remorse, has here rioted, causing the virtuous to fall and weep tears of blood, the vicious to become demoniac in reckless self-abandonment. After years of soul-harrowing pleasure and sin, the Duchesse de la Vallière, with pallid cheek, and withered charms, and exhausted vivacity, retired from these sumptuous halls and from her heartless, selfish, discarding betrayer, to seek in the glooms of a convent that peace which the guilty love of a king could never confer upon her heart. For thirty years, clothed in sackcloth, she mourned and prayed, till the midnight tollings of the convent bell consigned her emaciate frame to the tomb.

Madame Montespan, a lady of noble rank, beautiful and brilliant, abandoning her husband, willingly threw herself into the arms of the proud, mean, self-worshiping monarch. The patient, gentle, pious, martyr wife of Louis XIV. looked silently on, and saw Madame Montespan become the mother of the children of the king. But Madame Montespan's cheek also, in time, became pale with jealousy and sorrow, as another love attracted the vagrant desires of the royal debauchee. He sent a messenger to inform the ruined, woe-stricken, frantic woman, that her presence was no longer desired, that she was but a supernumerary in the palace, that she must retire. With insult almost incredible he informed the unhappy woman, that as the children to whom she had given birth were his own they might be received and honored in the palace, but that as she had been only his mistress, it was not decorous that she should longer be seen there. The discarded favorite, in the delirium of her indignation and her agony, seized a dessert knife upon the table, and rushing upon her beautiful boy, the little Count of Toulouse, whom the king held by the hand, shrieked out, "I will leave the palace, but first I will bury this knife in the heart of that child." With difficulty the frantic woman was seized and bound, and the affrighted child torn from her grasp. And here we stand in the very saloon in which this tragedy occurred. The room is deserted and still. The summer's sun sleeps placidly upon the polished floor. But far away in other worlds the perfidious lover and his victim have met before a tribunal, where justice can not be warded off, by sceptre or by crown. Madame Maintenon, whom the king gained by a private marriage, which he afterward was meanly ashamed to acknowledge, succeeded Madame Montespan in the evanescent love of the king.

The fate of this proud beauty, once one of the most envied and admired of the gilded throng, which crowded Versailles, was indeed peculiar.[Pg 604] Upon her dying bed, in accordance with the gloomy superstitions of the times, she bequeathed her body to the family tomb, her heart to the convent of La Flèche, and her entrails to the priory of St. Menoux. A village surgeon performed the duty of separating from the body those organs, which were to be conveyed as sacred relics to the cloister. The heart, inclosed in a leaden case, was forwarded to La Flèche. The intestines were taken out and placed in a small trunk. The trunk was intrusted to the care of a peasant, who was directed to convey them to St. Menoux. The porter, having completed half of his journey, sat down under a tree to rest. His curiosity was excited to ascertain the contents of the box. Astonished at the sight, he thought that some comrade was trifling with him, desiring to make merry at his expense. He therefore emptied the trunk into a ditch beside which he sat. Just at that moment, a lad who was herding swine drove them toward him. Groveling in the mire they approached the remains and instantly devoured them! She had bequeathed the sacred relics as a legacy to the church, to be approached with reverence through all coming time. The filthiest animals in the world rooted them into the mire and ate them, devouring a portion of the remains of one of the proudest beauties who ever reigned in an imperial palace.


It has often been said that the French revolution merely overthrew a Bourbon to place[Pg 605] upon the throne a Bonaparte. But Napoleon, a democratic king, with all the energy of his impassioned nature consulting for the interests of the people of France, was as different in his character, and in the great objects of his ambition, and his life, from the old feudal monarchs, as is light from darkness. The following was the ordinary routine of life, day after day, and year after year, with Louis XIV., in the palace of Versailles.

At eight o'clock in the morning two servants carefully entered the chamber of the king. One, if the weather was cold or damp, brought dry wood to kindle a cheerful blaze upon the hearth, while the other opened the shutters, carried away the collation of soup, roasted chicken, bread, wine, and water, which had been placed, the night before, at the side of the royal couch, that the king might find a repast at hand in case he should require refreshment during the night. The valet de chambre then entered and stood silently and reverently at the side of the bed for one half hour. He then awoke the monarch, and immediately passed into an ante-room to communicate the important intelligence that the king no longer slept. Upon receiving this announcement an attendant threw open the double portals of a wide door, when the dauphin and his two sons, the brother of the king, and the Duke of Chartres, who awaited the signal, entered, and approaching the bed with the utmost solemnity of etiquette, inquired how his majesty had passed the night. After the interval of a moment the Duke du Maine, the Count de Toulouse, the first lord of the bed-chamber, and the grand master of the robes entered the apartment, and with military precision took their station by the side of the couch of recumbent royalty. Immediately there followed another procession of officers bearing the regal vestments. Fagon, the head physician, and Telier, the head surgeon, completed the train.

The head valet de chambre then poured upon the hands of the king a few drops of spirits of wine, holding beneath them a plate of enameled silver, and the first lord of the bed-chamber presented to the monarch, who was ever very punctilious in his devotions, the holy water, with which the king made the sign of the cross upon his head and his breast. Thus purified and sanctified he repeated a short prayer, which the church had taught him, and then rose in his bed. A noble lord then approached and presented to him a collection of wigs from which he selected the one which he intended to wear that day, and having condescended to place it, with his own royal hands upon his head, he slipped his arms into the sleeves of a rich dressing-gown, which the head valet de chambre held ready for him. Then reclining again upon his pillow, he thrust one foot out from the bed clothes. The valet de chambre reverently received the sacred extremity, and drew over it a silk stocking. The other limb was similarly presented and dressed, when slippers of embroidered velvet were placed upon the royal feet. The king then devoutly crossing himself with holy water, with great dignity moved from his bed and seated himself in a large arm-chair, placed at the fire-side. The king then announced that he was prepared to receive the First Entrée. None but the especial favorites of the monarch were honored with an audience so confidential. These privileged persons were to enjoy the ecstatic happiness of witnessing the awful ceremony of shaving the king. One attendant prepared the water and held the basin. Another religiously lathered the royal chin, and removed the sacred beard, and with soft sponges, saturated with wine and water, washed the parts which had been operated upon and soothed them with silken towels.

And now the master of the robes approaches to dress the king. At the same moment the monarch announces that he is ready for his Grand Entrée. The principal attendants of royalty, accompanied by several valets de chambre and door keepers of the cabinet, immediately took their stations at the entrance of the apartment. Princes often sighed in vain for the honor of an admission to the Grand Entrée. The greatest precautions were observed that no unprivileged person should intrude. As each individual presented himself at the door, his name was whispered to the first lord of the bed chamber, who repeated it to the king. If the monarch made no reply the visitor was admitted. The duke in attendance marshaled the newcomers to their several places, that they might not approach too near the presence of His Majesty. Princes of the highest rank, and statesmen of the most exalted station were subjected alike to these humiliating ceremonials. The king, the meanwhile, regardless of his guests, was occupied in being dressed. A valet of the wardrobe delivered to a gentleman of the chamber the garters, which he in turn presented to the monarch. Inexorable etiquette would allow the king to clasp his garters in the morning, but not to unclasp them at night. It was the exclusive privilege of the head valet de chambre to unclasp that of the right leg, while an attendant of inferior rank might remove the other. One attendant put on the shoes, another fastened the diamond buckles. Two pages, gorgeously dressed in crimson velvet, overlaid with gold and silver lace, received the slippers as they were taken from the king's feet.

The breakfast followed. Two officers entered; one with bread on an enameled salver, the other with a folded napkin between two silver plates. At the same time the royal cup bearers presented to the first lord a golden vase, into which he poured a small quantity of wine and water, which was tasted by a second cup bearer to insure that there was no poison in the beverage. The vase was then rinsed, and being again filled, was presented to the king upon a golden saucer. The dauphin, as soon as the king had drank, giving his hat and gloves to the first lord in waiting, took the napkin and presented it to the monarch to wipe his lips. The frugal repast was soon finished. The king then laid aside his dressing-gown, while two attendants drew off his night[Pg 606] shirt, one taking the left sleeve and the other the right. The monarch then drew from his neck the casket of sacred relics, with which he ever slept. It was passed from the hands of one officer to that of another, and then deposited in the king's closet, where it was carefully guarded. The royal shirt, in the mean time, had been thoroughly warmed at the fire. It was placed in the hands of the first lord, he presented it to the dauphin, and he, laying aside his hat and gloves, approached and presented it to the king. Each garment was thus ceremoniously presented. The royal sword, the vest, and the blue ribbon were brought forward. A nobleman of high rank was honored in the privilege of putting on the vest, another buckled on the sword, another placed over the shoulders of the monarch a scarf, to which was attached the cross of the Holy Ghost in diamonds, and the cross of St. Louis. The grand master of the robes presented to the king his cravat of rich lace, while a favorite courtier folded it around his neck. Two handkerchiefs of most costly embroidery and richly perfumed were then placed before his majesty, on an enameled saucer, and his toilet was completed.

The king then returned to his bedside. Obsequious attendants spread before him two soft cushions of crimson velvet. In all the pride of ostentatious humility he kneeled upon these, and repeated his prayers, while the bishops and cardinals in his suit, with suppressed voice, uttered responses. But our readers will be weary of the recital of the routine of the day. From his chamber the king went to his cabinet, where, with a few privileged ones, he decided upon the plans or amusements of the day. He then attended mass in the chapel. At one o'clock he dined alone, in all the dignity of unapproachable majesty. The ceremony at the dinner table was no less punctilious and ridiculous than at the toilet. After dinner he fed his dogs, and amused himself in playing with them. He then, in the presence of a number of courtiers, changed his dress, and leaving the palace by a private staircase, proceeded to his carriage, which awaited him in the marble court-yard. Returning from his drive, he again changed his dress, and visited the apartments of Madame Maintenon, where he remained until 10 o'clock, the hour of supper. The supper was the great event of the day. Six noblemen stationed themselves at each end of the table to wait upon the king. Whenever he raised his cup, the cup bearer exclaimed aloud to all the company, "drink for the king." After supper he held a short ceremonial audience with members of the royal family, and at midnight went again to feed his dogs. He then retired, surrounded by puerilities of ceremony too tedious to be read.


Such was the character of one of the most majestic kings of the Bourbon race. France wearied with them, drove them from the throne, and placed Napoleon there, a man of energy, of intellect, and of action; toiling, night and day, to promote the prosperity of France in all its varied interests. The monarchs of Europe, with their united millions, combined and chained the democratic king to the rock of St. Helena, and replaced the Bourbon. But the end is not even yet. In view of the wretched life of Louis XIV., Madame Maintenon exclaimed: "Could you but form an idea of what kingly life is! Those who occupy thrones are the most unfortunate in the world."

On one occasion Louis gave a grand entertainment in the magnificent banqueting-room of the palace. Seventy-five thousand dollars were expended in loading the tables with every luxury. After the feast the gaming tables were spread. Gold and silver ornaments, jewels and precious stones, glittered on every side. For these treasures thus profusely spread, the courtiers of both sexes gambled without incurring any risk.

As the visitor leaves the palace for the gardens and the park, he enters a labyrinth of enchantment, to which there is apparently no end. Groves, lawns, parterres of flowers, fountains, basins, cascades, lakes, shrubbery, forests, avenues, and serpentine paths bewilder him with their profusion and their opulence of beauty. It is in vain to begin to describe these works. There is the Terrace of the Chateau, the Parterre of Water with its miniature lakes and twenty-four magnificent groups of statuary. Now you approach the Parterre of the South, embellished[Pg 607] with colossal vases in bronze; again you saunter through the Parterre of the North, with antique statues in marble, with its group of Tritons and Sirens, with its basins and its gorgeous flower beds. Your steps are invited to the Baths of Diana, to the Grove of the Arch of Triumph, to the Grove of the Three Crowns, to the Basin of the Dragon, and to the magnificent Basin of Neptune, with its wilderness of sculpture and its fantastic jets from which a deluge of water may be thrown. The Basin of Latona presents a group consisting of Latona, with Apollo and Diana. The goddess has implored the vengeance of Jupiter against the peasants of Libya, who had refused her water. Jupiter has transformed the peasants, some half and others entirely, into frogs or tortoises, and they are surrounding Latona and throwing water upon her in liquid arches of beautiful effect. The Fountain of Fame and the Fountain of the Star are neatly represented in the accompanying cuts.



The Parterre of the North, which is represented in the illustration, on page 808, extends in front of the northern wing of the palace, the apartments on the second floor of which are occupied by the king. This parterre is approached by descending a flight of steps constructed of white marble. Fourteen magnificent bronze vases crown the terraced wall which separate these walks of regal luxury from the Parterre d'Eau, which is spread out in front of the palace. Statues and vases of exquisite workmanship crowd the grounds; most of the statues tending to inflame a voluptuous taste. The beautiful flower beds, filled with such a variety of plants and shrubs, as always to present an aspect of gorgeous bloom, are ornamented with two smaller fountains, called the Basins of the Crown, and one large fountain, called the Fountain of the Pyramid. The two smaller basins or fountains are so named from the chiseled groups of Tritons and Sirens supporting crowns of laurel, from the midst of which issue, in graceful curves, columns of water. The Pyramid consists of several round basins rising one above another in a pyramidal form, supported by statues of lead. The water issues from many jets and flows beau[Pg 608]tifully over the rims of the basins. Just below the Fountain of the Pyramid are the Baths of Diana, which are not represented in this illustration. This basin is embellished with finely executed statuary, representing Diana and her nymphs, in voluptuous attitudes, enjoying the luxury of the bath.


Directly in front of the palace is the Terrace of the Chateaux, embellished with walks, shrubbery, flowers, basins, fountains, and colossal statues in bronze. Connected with this is the Parterre of Water, with two splendid fountains, ever replenishing two large oblong basins filled with golden fishes. Groups of statuary enrich the landscape. From the centre of each of the basins rise jets of water. These grounds lie spread out before the magnificent banqueting hall of the palace. It is difficult to imagine a scene more beautiful than is thus presented to the eye. Let the reader recur to the plan of Versailles, and contemplate the vast expanse of lawn, forest, garden, grove, fountain, lake, walks, and avenues which are spread before him over a space of thirty-two thousand acres. From the Parterre of Water a flight of massive white steps conducts to the Fountain of Latona.


At the extremity of the park is a beautiful palace called the Grand Trianon. It was built by Louis XIV. for Madame Maintenon. This edifice, spacious and aristocratic as it is in all its appliances, possesses the charm of beauty rather than that of grandeur. It seems constructed for an attractive home of opulence and taste. It was a favorite retreat of the Bourbons, from the pomp and ceremony of Versailles. This was also one of the favorite resorts of Napoleon when he sought a few hours of repose from the cares of empire. That he might reach it without loss of time, he constructed a direct road from thence to St. Cloud.

The Little Trianon, however, with its surroundings, constitutes to many minds the most attractive spot in this region of attractions. It is a beautiful house, about eighty feet square, erected by Louis XV. for the hapless Madame du Barri. It is constructed in the style of a Roman pavilion, and surrounded with gardens ornamented in the highest attainments of French and English art. Temples, cottages, groves, lawns, crags, fountains, lakes, cascades, embellish the grounds and present a scene of peaceful beauty which the garden of Eden could hardly have surpassed. This was the favorite abode of Maria Antoinette. She called it her home. In the quietude of this miniature palace, she loved to disembarrass herself of the restraints of regal life; and in the society of congenial friends, and in the privacy of her own rural walks to forget that she was an envied, hated queen. But even here the monotony of life wearied her, and deeply regretting that she had not formed in early youth intellectual tastes, she once sadly exclaimed to her companions, "What a resource, amidst the casualties of life, is to be found in a well cultivated mind. One can then be one's[Pg 609] own companion, and find society in one's own thoughts." There is a beautiful sheet of water in the centre of the romantic, deeply wooded grounds of the Little Trianon, upon the green shores of which Maria, for pastime, erected a beautiful Swiss village, with its picturesque inn, its farm house and cow sheds, and its mill.


Here the regal votaries of pleasure, satiated with the gayeties of Paris, weary of the splendors and the etiquette of the Tuileries and Versailles, endeavored to step from the palace to the cottage, and in the humble employments of the humblest life, to alleviate the monotony of an existence devoted only to pleasure. They played that they were peasants, put on the garb of peasants, and engaged heartily in the employments of peasants. King Louis was the inn-keeper, and Maria Antoinette, with her sleeves tucked up and her apron bound around her, the inn-keeper's pretty and energetic wife. She courtesied humbly to the guests, whom her husband received at the door, spread the table, for them, and placed before them the fresh butter which, in the dairy, she had churned with her own hands. A noble duke kept the shop and sold the groceries. A graceful, high-born duchess was Betty, the maid of the inn. A marquis, who proudly traced his lineage through many centuries, was the miller, grinding the wheat for the evening meal.

The sun was just sinking beneath the horizon, on a calm, warm, beautiful afternoon, when we sauntered through this picturesque, lovely, silent, deserted village. It was all in perfect repair! The green lawn was of velvet softness. The trees and shrubbery were in full leaf. Innumerable birds filled the air with their warblings, and the chirp of the insect, the rustling of the leaves, the sighing of the wind, the ripple of the streamlet, and the silence of all human voices, so deep, so solemn, left an impress upon the mind never to be forgotten. How terrible the fate of those who once made these scenes resound with the voice of gayety. Some were burned in their chateaux, or massacred in the streets. Some died miserably on pallets of straw in dungeons dark, and wet, and cold. Some were dragged by a deriding mob to the guillotine to bleed beneath its keen knife. And some, in beggary and wretchedness, wandered through weary years, in foreign lands, envying the fate of those who had found a more speedy death. The palace of Versailles! It is a monument of oppression and pride. It will be well for the rulers of Europe to heed its monitory voice. The thoughtful American will return from the inspection of its grandeur, admiring, more profoundly than ever before, the beautiful simplicity of his own land. He will more highly prize those noble institutions of freedom and of popular rights which open before every citizen an unobstructed avenue to wealth and power, encouraging every man to industry, and securing to every man the possession of what he earns. The glory of America consists not in the pride of palaces and the pomp of armies, but in the tasteful homes of a virtuous, intelligent, and happy people.




Impartial History, without a dissenting voice, must award the responsibility of the rupture of the peace of Amiens to the government of Great Britain. Napoleon had nothing to hope for from war, and every thing to fear. The only way in which he could even approach his formidable enemy, was by crossing the sea, and invading England. He acknowledged, and the world knew, that such an enterprise was an act of perfect desperation, for England was the undisputed mistress of the seas, and no naval power could stand before her ships. The voice of poetry was the voice of truth—

"Britannia needs no bulwarks, to frown along the steep,
Her march is on the mountain-wave; her home is on the deep."

England, with her invincible navy, could assail France in every quarter. She could sweep the merchant ships of the infant Republic from the ocean, and appropriate to herself the commerce of all climes. Thus war proffered to England[Pg 610] security and wealth. It promised the commercial ruin of a dreaded rival, whose rapid strides toward opulence and power had excited the most intense alarm. The temptation thus presented to the British cabinet to renew the war was powerful in the extreme. It required more virtue than ordinarily falls to the lot of cabinets, to resist. Unhappily for suffering humanity, England yielded to the temptation. She refused to fulfil the stipulations of a treaty solemnly ratified, retained possession of Malta, in violation of her plighted faith, and renewed the assault upon France.

In a communication which Napoleon made to the legislative bodies just before the rupture, he said: "Two parties contend in England for the possession of power. One has concluded a peace. The other cherishes implacable hatred against France. Hence arises this fluctuation in councils and in measures, and this attitude, at one time pacific and again menacing. While this strife continues, there are measures which prudence demands of the government of the Republic. Five hundred thousand men ought to be, and will be, ready to defend our country, and to avenge insult. Strange necessity, which wicked passions impose upon two nations, who should be, by the same interests and the same desires, devoted to peace. But let us hope for the best; and believe that we shall yet hear from the cabinet of England the councils of wisdom and the voice of humanity." Says Alison, the most eloquent, able, and impartial of those English historians who, with patriotic zeal, have advocated the cause of their own country, "Upon coolly reviewing the circumstances under which the conflict was renewed, it is impossible to deny that the British government manifested a feverish anxiety to come to a rupture, and that, so far as the transactions between the two countries are concerned, they were the aggressors."


When Mr. Fox was in Paris, he was one day, with Napoleon and several other gentlemen, in the gallery of the Louvre, looking at a magnificent globe, of unusual magnitude, which had been deposited in the museum. Some one remarked upon the very small space which the island of Great Britain seemed to occupy. "Yes," said Mr. Fox, as he approached the globe, and attempted to encircle it in his extended arms, "England is a small island, but with her power she girdles the world." This was not an empty boast. Her possessions were every where. In Spain, in the Mediterranean, in the East Indies and West Indies, in Asia, Africa, and America, and over innumerable islands of the ocean, she extended her sceptre. Rome, in her proudest day of grandeur, never swayed such power. To Napoleon, consequently, it seemed but mere trifling for this England to complain that the infant republic of France, struggling against the hostile monarchies of Europe, was endangering the world by her ambition, because she had obtained an influence in Piedmont, in the Cisalpine Republic, in the feeble Duchy of Parma, and had obtained the island of Elba for a colony. To the arguments and remonstrances of Napoleon, England could make no reply but by the broadsides of her ships. "You are seated," said England, "upon the throne of the exiled Bourbons." "And your king," Napoleon replies, "is on the throne of the exiled Stuarts." "But the First Consul of France is also President of the Cisalpine Republic," England rejoins. "And the King of England," Napoleon adds, "is also Elector of Hanover." "Your troops are in Switzerland," England continues. "And yours," Napoleon replies, "are in Spain, having fortified[Pg 611] themselves upon the rock of Gibraltar." "You are ambitious, and are trying to establish foreign colonies," England rejoins. "But you," Napoleon replies, "have ten colonies where we have one." "We believe," England says, "that you desire to appropriate to yourself Egypt." "You have," Napoleon retorts, "appropriated to yourself India." Indignantly England exclaims, "Nelson, bring on the fleet! Wellington, head the army! This man must be put down. His ambition endangers the liberties of the world. Historians of England! inform the nations that the usurper Bonaparte, by his arrogance and aggression, is deluging the Continent with blood."

Immediately upon the withdrawal of the British embassador from Paris, and even before the departure of the French minister from London, England, without any public declaration of hostilities, commenced her assaults upon France. The merchant ships of the Republic, unsuspicious of danger, freighted with treasure, were seized, even in the harbors of England, and wherever they could be found, by the vigilant and almost omnipresent navy of the Queen of the Seas. Two French ships of war were attacked and captured. These disastrous tidings were the first intimation that Napoleon received that the war was renewed. The indignation of the First Consul was thoroughly aroused. The retaliating blow he struck, though merited, yet terrible, was characteristic of the man. At midnight he summoned to his presence the minister of police, and ordered the immediate arrest of every Englishman in France, between the ages of eighteen and fifty. These were all to be detained as hostages for the prisoners England had captured upon the seas. The tidings of this decree rolled a billow of woe over the peaceful homes of England; for there were thousands of travelers upon the continent, unapprehensive of danger, supposing that war would be declared before hostilities would be resumed. These were the first-fruits of that terrific conflict into which the world again was plunged. No tongue can tell the anguish thus caused in thousands of homes. Most of the travelers were gentlemen of culture and refinement—husbands, fathers, sons, brothers—who were visiting the continent for pleasure. During twelve weary years these hapless men lingered in exile. Many died and moldered to the dust in France. Children grew to manhood strangers to their imprisoned fathers, knowing not even whether they were living or dead. Wives and daughters, in desolated homes, through lingering years of suspense and agony, sank in despair into the grave. The hulks of England were also filled with the husbands and fathers of France, and beggary and starvation reigned in a thousand cottages, clustered in the valleys and along the shores of the republic, where peace and contentment might have dwelt, but for this horrible and iniquitous strife. As in all such cases, the woes fell mainly upon the innocent, upon those homes where matrons and maidens wept away years of agony. The imagination is appalled in contemplating this melancholy addition to the ordinary miseries of war. William Pitt, whose genius inspired this strife, was a man of gigantic intellect, of gigantic energy. But he was an entire stranger to all those kindly sensibilities which add lustre to human nature. He was neither a father nor a husband, and no emotions of gentleness, of tenderness, of affection, ever ruffled the calm, cold, icy surface of his soul.

The order to seize all the English in France, was thus announced in the Moniteur: "The government of the Republic, having heard read, by the Minister of Marine and Colonies, a dispatch from the maritime prefect at Brest, announcing that two English frigates had taken two merchant vessels in the bay of Audrieu, without any previous declaration of war, and in manifest violation of the law of nations:

"All the English, from the ages of 18 to 60, or holding any commission from his Britannic Majesty, who are at present in France, shall immediately be constituted prisoners of war, to answer for those citizens of the Republic who may have been arrested and made prisoners by the vessels or subjects of his Britannic Majesty previous to any declaration of hostilities.

(Signed) "Bonaparte."

Napoleon treated the captives whom he had taken with great humanity, holding as prisoners of war only those who were in the military service, while the rest were detained in fortified places on their parole, with much personal liberty. The English held the French prisoners in floating hulks, crowded together in a state of inconceivable suffering. Napoleon at times felt that, for the protection of the French captives in England, he ought to retaliate, by visiting similar inflictions upon the English prisoners in France. It was not an easy question for a humane man to settle. But instinctive kindness prevailed, and Napoleon spared the unhappy victims who were in his power. The cabinet of St. James's remonstrated energetically against Napoleon's capture of peaceful travelers upon the land. Napoleon replied, "You have seized unsuspecting voyagers upon the sea." England rejoined, "It is customary to capture every thing we can find, upon the ocean, belonging to an enemy, and therefore it is right." Napoleon answered, "I will make it customary to do the same thing upon the land, and then that also will be right." There the argument ended. But the poor captives were still pining away in the hulks of England, or wandering in sorrow around the fortresses of France. Napoleon proposed to exchange the travelers he had taken upon the land for the voyagers the English had taken upon the sea; but the cabinet of St. James, asserting that such an exchange would sanction the validity of their capture, refused the humane proposal, and heartlessly left the captives of the two nations to their terrible fate. Napoleon assured the detained of his sympathy, but informed them that their destiny was entirely in the hands of their own government, and to that alone they must appeal.

Such is war, even when conducted by two na[Pg 612]tions as enlightened and humane as England and France. Such is that horrible system of retaliation which war necessarily engenders. This system of reprisals, visiting upon the innocent the crimes of the guilty, is the fruit which ever ripens when war buds and blossoms. Napoleon had received a terrific blow. With instinctive and stupendous power he returned it. Both nations were now exasperated to the highest degree. The most extraordinary vigor was infused into the deadly strife. The power and the genius of France were concentrated in the ruler whom the almost unanimous voice of France had elevated to the supreme power. Consequently, the war assumed the aspect of an assault upon an individual man. France was quite unprepared for this sudden resumption of hostilities. Napoleon had needed all the resources of the state for his great works of internal improvement. Large numbers of troops had been disbanded, and the army was on a peace establishment.


All France was however roused by the sleepless energy of Napoleon. The Electorate of Hanover was one of the European possessions of the King of England. Ten days had not elapsed, after the first broadside from the British ships had been heard, ere a French army of twenty thousand men invaded Hanover, captured its army of 16,000 troops, with 400 pieces of cannon, 30,000 muskets, and 3500 superb horses, and took entire possession of the province. The King of England was deeply agitated when he received the tidings of this sudden loss of his patrimonial dominions.

The First Consul immediately sent new offers of peace to England, stating that in the conquest of Hanover, "he had only in view to obtain pledges for the evacuation of Malta, and to secure the execution of the treaty of Amiens." The British minister coldly replied that his sovereign would appeal for aid to the German empire. "If a general peace is ever concluded," said Napoleon often, "then only shall I be able to show myself such as I am, and become the moderator of Europe. France is enabled, by her high civilization, and the absence of all aristocracy, to moderate the extreme demands of the two principles which divide the world, by placing herself between them; thus preventing a general conflagration, of which none of us can see the end, or guess the issue. For this I want ten years of peace, and the English oligarchy will not allow it." Napoleon was forced into war by the English. The allied monarchs of Europe were roused to combine against him. This compelled France to become a camp, and forced Napoleon to assume the dictatorship. The width of the Atlantic ocean alone has saved the United States from the assaults of a similar combination.

It had ever been one of Napoleon's favorite projects to multiply colonies, that he might promote the maritime prosperity of France. With this object in view, he had purchased Louisiana of Spain. It was his intention to cherish, with the utmost care, upon the fertile banks of the Mississippi, a French colony. This territory, so valuable to France, was now at the mercy of England, and would be immediately captured. Without loss of time, Napoleon sold it to the United States. It was a severe sacrifice for him to make, but cruel necessity demanded it.

The French were every where exposed to the ravages of the British navy. Blow after blow fell upon France with fearful vigor, as her cities were bombarded, her colonies captured, and her commerce annihilated. The superiority of the English, upon the sea, was so decisive, that wherever the British flag appeared vic[Pg 613]tory was almost invariably her own. But England was inapproachable. Guarded by her navy, she reposed in her beautiful island in peace, while she rained down destruction upon her foes in all quarters of the globe. "It is an awful temerity, my lord," said Napoleon to the British embassador, "to attempt the invasion of England." But desperate as Napoleon acknowledged the undertaking to be, there was nothing else which he could even attempt. And he embarked in this enterprise with energy so extraordinary, with foresight so penetrating, with sagacity so conspicuous, that the world looked upon his majestic movements with amazement, and all England was aroused to a sense of fearful peril. The most gigantic preparations were immediately made upon the shores of the channel for the invasion of England. An army of three hundred thousand men, as by magic, sprung into being. All France was aroused to activity. Two thousand gun-boats were speedily built and collected at Boulogne, to convey across the narrow strait a hundred and fifty thousand troops, ten thousand horses, and four thousand pieces of cannon. All the foundries of France were in full blast, constructing mortars, howitzers, and artillery, of the largest calibre. Every province of the republic was aroused and inspirited by the almost superhuman energies of the mind of the First Consul. He attended to the minutest particulars of all the arrangements. While believing that destiny controls all things, he seemed to leave nothing for destiny to control. Every possible contingency was foreseen, and guarded against. The national enthusiasm was so great, the conviction was so unanimous that there remained for France no alternative but, by force, to repel aggression, that Napoleon proudly formed a legion of the Vendean royalists, all composed, both officers and soldiers, of those who, but a few months before, had been fighting against the republic. It was a sublime assertion of his confidence in the attachment of United France. To meet the enormous expenses which this new war involved, it was necessary to impose a heavy tax upon the people. This was not only borne cheerfully, but, from all parts of the republic, rich presents flowed into the treasury, tokens of the affection of France for the First Consul, and of the deep conviction of the community of the righteousness of the cause in which they were engaged. One of the departments of the state built and equipped a frigate, and sent it to Boulogne as a free-gift. The impulse was electric. All over France the whole people rose, and vied with each other in their offerings of good-will. Small towns gave flat-bottomed boats, larger towns, frigates, and the more important cities, ships-of-the-line. Paris gave a ship of 120 guns, Lyons one of 100, Bordeaux an 84, and Marseilles a 74. Even the Italian Republic, as a token of its gratitude, sent one million of dollars to build two ships: one to be called the President, and the other the Italian Republic. All the mercantile houses and public bodies made liberal presents. The Senate gave for its donation a ship of 120 guns. These free-gifts amounted to over ten millions of dollars. Napoleon established himself at Boulogne, where he spent much of his time, carefully studying the features of the coast, the varying phenomena of the sea, and organizing, in all its parts, the desperate enterprise he contemplated. The most rigid economy, by Napoleon's sleepless vigilance, was infused into every contract, and the strictest order pervaded the national finances. It was impossible that strife so deadly should rage between England and France, and not involve the rest of the continent. Under these circumstances Alexander of Russia, entered a remonstrance against again enkindling the horrid flames of war throughout Europe, and offered his mediation. Napoleon promptly replied: "I am ready to refer the question to the arbitration of the Emperor Alexander, and will pledge myself by a bond, to submit to the award, whatever it may be." England declined the pacific offer. The Cabinet of Russia then made some proposals for the termination of hostilities. Napoleon replied: "I am still ready to accept the personal arbitration of the Czar himself; for that monarch's regard to his reputation will render him just. But I am not willing to submit to a negotiation conducted by the Russian Cabinet, in a manner not at all friendly to France." He concluded with the following characteristic words: "The First Consul has done every thing to preserve peace. His efforts have been vain. He could not refrain from seeing that war was the decree of destiny. He will make war; and he will not flinch before a proud nation, capable for twenty years of making all the powers of the earth bow before it."

Napoleon now resolved to visit Belgium and the departments of the Rhine. Josephine accompanied him. He was hailed with transport wherever he appeared, and royal honors were showered upon him. Every where his presence drew forth manifestations of attachment to his person, hatred for the English, and zeal to combat the determined foes of France. But wherever Napoleon went, his scrutinizing attention was directed to the dock-yards, the magazines, the supplies, and the various resources and capabilities of the country. Every hour was an hour of toil—for toil seemed to be his only pleasure. From this brief tour Napoleon returned to Boulogne.

The Straits of Calais, which Napoleon contemplated crossing, notwithstanding the immense preponderance of the British navy filling the channel, is about thirty miles in width. There were four contingencies which seemed to render the project not impossible. In summer, there are frequent calms, in the channel, of forty-eight hours' duration. During this calm, the English ships-of-the-line would be compelled to lie motionless. The flat-bottomed boats of Napoleon, impelled by strong rowers might then pass even in sight of the enemy's squadron. In the winter, there were frequently dense fogs, unaccompanied by any wind. Favored by the obscurity and the calm, a passage might then[Pg 614] be practicable. There was still a third chance more favorable than either. There were not unfrequently tempests, so violent, that the English squadron would be compelled to leave the channel, and stand out to sea. Seizing the moment when the tempest subsided, the French flotilla might perhaps cross the Straits before the squadron could return. A fourth chance offered. It was, by skillful combinations to concentrate suddenly in the channel a strong French squadron, and to push the flotilla across under the protection of its guns. For three years, Napoleon consecrated his untiring energies to the perfection of all the mechanism of this Herculean enterprise. Yet no one was more fully alive than himself to the tremendous hazards to be encountered. It is impossible now to tell what would have been the result of a conflict between the English squadron and those innumerable gun-boats, manned by one hundred and fifty thousand men, surrounding in swarms every ship-of-the-line, piercing them in every direction with their guns, and sweeping their decks with a perfect hail-storm of bullets, while, in their turn, they were run down by the large ships, dashing, in full sail, through their midst, sinking some in their crushing onset, and blowing others out of the water with their tremendous broadsides. Said Admiral Decris, a man disposed to magnify difficulties, "by sacrificing 100 gun-boats, and 10,000 men, it is not improbable that we may repel the assault of the enemy's squadron, and cross the Straits." "One loses," said Napoleon, "that number in battle every day. And what battle ever promised the results which a landing in England authorizes us to hope for!"


The amount of business now resting upon the mind of Napoleon, seems incredible. He was personally attending to all the complicated diplomacy of Europe. Spain was professing friendship and alliance, and yet treacherously engaged in acts of hostility. Charles III., perhaps the most contemptible monarch who ever wore a crown, was then upon the throne of Spain. His wife was a shameless libertine. Her paramour, Godoy, called the Prince of Peace, a weak-minded, conceited, worn-out debauchee, governed the degraded empire. Napoleon remonstrated against the perfidy of Spain, and the wrongs France was receiving at her hands. The miserable Godoy returned an answer, mean-spirited, hypocritical, and sycophantic. Napoleon sternly shook his head, and ominously exclaimed, "All this will yet end in a clap of thunder."

In the midst of these scenes, Napoleon was continually displaying those generous and magnanimous traits of character which were the enthusiastic love of all who knew him. On one occasion, a young English sailor had escaped from imprisonment in the interior of France, and had succeeded in reaching the coast near Boulogne. Secretly he had constructed a little skiff of the branches and the bark of trees, as fragile as the ark of bullrushes. Upon this frail float, which would scarcely buoy up his body, he was about to venture out upon the stormy channel, with the chance of being picked up by some English cruiser. Napoleon, informed of the desperate project of the young man who was arrested in the attempt, was struck with admiration in view of the fearless enterprise, and ordered the prisoner to be brought before him.

"Did you really intend," inquired Napoleon, "to brave the terrors of the ocean in so frail a skiff?"

[Pg 615]

"If you will but grant me permission," said the young man, "I will embark immediately."

"You must, doubtless, then, have some mistress to revisit, since you are so desirous to return to your country?"

"I wish," replied the noble sailor, "to see my mother. She is aged, poor, and infirm."

The heart of Napoleon was touched. "You shall see her," he energetically replied; "and present to her from me this purse of gold. She must be no common mother, who can have trained up so affectionate and dutiful a son."

He immediately gave orders that the young sailor should be furnished with every comfort, and sent in a cruiser, with a flag of truce, to the first British vessel which could be found. When one thinks of the moral sublimity of the meeting of the English and French ships under these circumstances, with the white flag of humanity and peace fluttering in the breeze, one can not but mourn with more intensity over the horrid barbarity and brutality of savage war. Perhaps in the next interview between these two ships, they fought for hours, hurling bullets and balls through the quivering nerves and lacerated sinews, and mangled frames of brothers, husbands, and fathers.

Napoleon's labors at this time in the cabinet were so enormous, dictating to his agents in all parts of France, and to his embassadors, all over Europe, that he kept three secretaries constantly employed. One of these young men, who was lodged and boarded in the palace, received a salary of 1200 dollars a year. Unfortunately, however, he had become deeply involved in debt, and was incessantly harassed by the importunities of his creditors. Knowing Napoleon's strong disapprobation of all irregularities, he feared utter ruin should the knowledge of the facts reach his ears. One morning, after having passed a sleepless night, he rose at the early hour of five, and sought refuge from his distraction in commencing work in the cabinet. But Napoleon, who had already been at work for some time, in passing the door of the cabinet to go to his bath, heard the young man humming a tune.

Opening the door, he looked in upon his young secretary, and said, with a smile of satisfaction, "What! so early at your desk! Why, this is very exemplary. We ought to be well satisfied with such service. What salary have you?"

"Twelve hundred dollars, sire," was the reply.

"Indeed," said Napoleon, "that for one of your age is very handsome. And, in addition, I think you have your board and lodging?"

"I have, sire?"

"Well, I do not wonder that you sing. You must be a very happy man."

"Alas, sire," he replied, "I ought to be, but I am not."

"And why not?"

"Because, sire," he replied, "I have too many English tormenting me. I have also an aged father, who is almost blind, and a sister who is not yet married, dependent upon me for support."

"But, sir," Napoleon rejoined, "in supporting your father and your sister, you do only that which every good son should do. But what have you to do with the English?"

"They are those," the young man answered, "who have loaned me money, which I am not able to repay. All those who are in debt call their creditors the English."

"Enough! enough! I understand you. You are in debt then. And how is it that with such a salary, you run into debt? I wish to have no man about my person who has recourse to the gold of the English. From this hour you will receive your dismission. Adieu, sir!" Saying this, Napoleon left the room, and returned to his chamber. The young man was stupefied with despair.

But a few moments elapsed when an aid entered and gave him a note, saying, "It is from Napoleon." Trembling with agitation, and not doubting that it confirmed his dismissal, he opened it and read:

"I have wished to dismiss you from my cabinet, for you deserve it; but I have thought of your aged and blind father, and of your young sister; and, for their sake, I pardon you. And, since they are the ones who must most suffer from your misconduct, I send you, with leave of absence for one day only, the sum of two thousand dollars. With this sum disembarrass yourself immediately of all the English who trouble you. And hereafter conduct yourself in such a manner as not to fall into their power. Should you fail in this, I shall give you leave of absence, without permission to return."

Upon the bleak cliff of Boulogne, swept by the storm and the rain, Napoleon had a little hut erected for himself. Often, leaving the palace of St. Cloud by night, after having spent a toilsome day in the cares of state, he passed, with almost the rapidity of the wind, over the intervening space of 180 miles. Arriving about the middle of the next day, apparently unconscious of fatigue, he examined every thing before he allowed himself a moment of sleep. The English exerted all their energies to impede the progress of the majestic enterprise. Their cruisers incessantly hovering around, kept up an almost uninterrupted fire upon the works. Their shells, passing over the cliff, exploded in the harbor and in the crowded camps. The laborers, inspired by the presence of Napoleon, continued proudly their toil, singing as they worked, while the balls of the English were flying around them. For their protection, Napoleon finally constructed large batteries, which would throw twenty-four pound shot three miles, and thus kept the English ships at that distance. It would, however, require a volume to describe the magnitude of the works constructed at Boulogne. Napoleon was indefatigable in his exertions to promote the health and the comfort of the soldiers. They were all well paid, warmly clothed, fed with an abundance of nutritious[Pg 616] food, and their camp, divided into quarters traversed by long streets, presented the cheerful aspect of a neat, thriving, well ordered city. The soldiers, thus protected, enjoyed perfect health, and, full of confidence in the enterprise for which they were preparing, hailed their beloved leader with the most enthusiastic acclamations, whenever he appeared.


Spacious as were the quays erected at Boulogne, it was not possible to range all the vessels alongside. They were consequently ranged nine deep, the first only touching the quays. A horse, with a band passing round him, was raised, by means of a yard, transmitted nine times from yard to yard, as he was borne aloft in the air, and in about two minutes was deposited in the ninth vessel. By constant repetition, the embarkation and disembarkation was accomplished with almost inconceivable promptness and precision. In all weather, in summer and winter, unless it blew a gale, the boats went out to man[œuvre in the presence of the enemy. The exercise of landing from the boats along the cliff was almost daily performed. The men first swept the shore by a steady fire of artillery from the boats, and then, approaching the beach, landed men, horses, and cannon. There was not an accident which could happen in landing on an enemies' coast, except the fire from hostile batteries, which was not thus provided against, and often braved. In all these exciting scenes, the First Consul was every where present. The soldiers saw him now on horseback upon the cliff, gazing proudly upon their heroic exertions; again he was galloping over the hard smooth sands of the beach, and again on board of one of the gun-boats going out to try her powers in a skirmish with one of the British cruisers. Frequently he persisted in braving serious danger, and at one time, when visiting the anchorage in a violent gale, the boat was swamped near the shore. The sailors threw themselves into the sea, and bore him safely through the billows to the land. It is not strange that those who have seen the kings of France squandering the revenues of the realm to minister to their own voluptuousness and debauchery, should have regarded Napoleon as belonging to a different race. One day, when the atmosphere was peculiarly clear, Napoleon, upon the cliffs of Boulogne, saw dimly, in the distant horizon, the outline of the English shore. Roused by the sight, he wrote thus to Cambèceres: "From the heights of Ambleteuse, I have seen this day the coast of England, as one sees the heights of Calvary from the Tuileries. We could distinguish the houses and the bustle. It is a ditch that shall be leaped when one is daring enough to try."

Napoleon, though one of the most bold of men in his conceptions, was also the most cautious and prudent in their execution. He had made, in his own mind, arrangements, unrevealed to any one, suddenly to concentrate in the channel the whole French squadron, which, in the harbors of Toulon, Ferrol, and La Rochelle, had been thoroughly equipped, to act in unexpected concert with the vast flotilla. "Eight hours of night," said he, "favorable for us, will now decide the fate of the world."

England, surprised at the magnitude of these preparations, began to be seriously alarmed. She had imagined her ocean-engirdled isle to be in a state of perfect security. Now she learned that within thirty miles of her coast an army of 150,000 most highly-disciplined troops was assembled, that more than two thousand gun-boats were prepared to transport this host, with ten thousand horses, and four thousand pieces of cannon, across the channel, and that Napoleon, who had already proved himself to be the greatest military genius of any age, was to head this army on its march to London. The idea of 150,000 men, led by Bonaparte, was enough to make even the most powerful nation shudder. The British naval officers almost unanimously[Pg 617] expressed the opinion, that it was impossible to be secure against a descent on the English coast by the French, under favor of a fog, a calm, or a long winter's night. The debates in Parliament as to the means of resisting the danger, were anxious and stormy. A vote was passed authorizing the ministers to summon all Englishmen, between the ages of 17 and 55, to arms. In every country town the whole male population were seen every morning exercising for war. The aged King George III. reviewed these raw troops, accompanied by the excited Bourbon princes, who wished to recover by the force of the arms of foreigners, that throne from which they had been ejected by the will of the people. From the Isle of Wight to the mouth of the Thames, a system of signals was arranged to give the alarm. Beacon fires were to blaze at night upon every headland, upon the slightest intimation of danger. Carriages were constructed for the rapid conveyance of troops to any threatened point. Mothers and maidens, in beautiful happy England, placed their heads upon their pillows in terror, for the blood-hounds of war were unleashed, and England had unleashed them. She suffered bitterly for the crime. She suffers still in that enormous burden of taxes which the ensuing years of war and woe have bequeathed to her children.

The infamous George Cadoudal, already implicated in the infernal machine, was still in London, living with other French refugees, in a state of opulence, from the money furnished by the British government. The Count d'Artois, subsequently Charles X., and his son, the Duke de Berri, with other persons prominent in the Bourbon interests, were associated with this brawny assassin in the attempts, by any means, fair or foul, to crush Napoleon. The English government supplied them liberally with money; asking no questions, for conscience sake, respecting the manner in which they would employ it. Innumerable conspiracies were formed for the assassination of Napoleon, more than thirty of which were detected by the police. Napoleon at last became exceedingly exasperated. He felt that England was ignominiously supplying those with funds whom she knew to be aiming at his assassination. He was indignant that the Bourbon princes should assume, that he, elected to the chief magistracy of France by the unanimous voice of the nation, was to be treated as a dog—to be shot in a ditch. "If this game is continued," said he, one day, "I will teach those Bourbons a lesson which they will not soon forget."

A conspiracy was now organized in London, by Count d'Artois and others of the French emigrants, upon a gigantic scale. Count de Lisle, afterward Louis XVIII., was then residing at Warsaw. The plot was communicated to him; but he repulsed it. The plan involved the expenditure of millions, which were furnished by the British government. Mr. Hammond, under secretary of state at London, and the English ministers at Hesse, at Stuttgard, and at Bavaria, all upon the confines of France, were in intimate communication with the disaffected in France, endeavoring to excite civil war. Three prominent French emigrants, the Princes of Condé, grandfather, son, and grandson, were then in the service and pay of Great Britain, with arms in their hands against their country, and ready to obey any call for active service. The grandson, the Duke d'Enghien, was in the duchy of Baden, awaiting on the banks of the Rhine, the signal for his march into France; and attracted to the village of Ettenheim, by his attachment for a young lady there, a Princess de Rohan. The plan of the conspirators was this: A band of a hundred resolute men, headed by the daring and indomitable George Cadoudal, were to be introduced stealthily into France to waylay Napoleon when passing to Malmaison, disperse his guard, consisting of some ten outriders, and kill him upon the spot. The conspirators flattered themselves that this would not be considered assassination, but a battle. Having thus disposed of the First Consul, the next question was, how, in the midst of the confusion that would ensue, to regain for the Bourbons and their partisans their lost power. To do this, it was necessary to secure the co-operation of the army.

In nothing is the infirmity of our nature more conspicuous, than in the petty jealousies which so often rankle in the bosoms of great men. General Moreau had looked with an envious eye upon the gigantic strides of General Bonaparte to power. His wife, a weak, vain, envious woman, could not endure the thought that General Moreau should be only the second man in the empire; and she exerted all her influence over her vacillating and unstable husband, to convince him that the conqueror of Hohenlinden was entitled to the highest gifts France had to confer. One day, by accident, she was detained a few moments in the ante-chamber of Josephine. Her indignation was extreme. General Moreau was in a mood of mind to yield to the influence of these reproaches. As an indication of his displeasure, he allowed himself to repel the favors which the First Consul showered upon him. He at last was guilty of the impropriety of refusing to attend the First Consul at a review. In consequence, he was omitted in an invitation to a banquet, which Napoleon gave on the anniversary of the republic. Thus coldness increased to hostility. Moreau, with bitter feelings, withdrew to his estate at Grosbois, where, in the enjoyment of opulence, he watched with an evil eye, the movements of one whom he had the vanity to think his rival.

Under these circumstances, it was not thought difficult to win over Moreau, and through him the army. Then, at the very moment when Napoleon had been butchered on his drive to Malmaison, the loyalists all over France were to rise; the emigrant Bourbons, with arms and money, supplied by England, in their hands, were to rush over the frontier; the British navy[Pg 618] and army were to be ready with their powerful co-operation; and the Bourbon dynasty was to be re-established. Such was this famous conspiracy of the Bourbons.


But in this plan there was a serious difficulty. Moreau prided himself upon being a very decided republican; and had denounced even the consulate for life, as tending to the establishment of royalty. Still it was hoped that the jealousy of his disposition would induce him to engage in any plot for the overthrow of the First Consul. General Pichegru, a man illustrious in rank and talent, a warm advocate of the Bourbons, and alike influential with monarchists and republicans, had escaped from the wilds of Sinamary, where he had been banished by the Directory, and was then residing in London. Pichegru was drawn into the conspiracy, and employed to confer with Moreau. Matters being thus arranged, Cadoudal, with a band of bold and desperate men, armed to the teeth, and with an ample supply of funds, which had been obtained from the English treasury, set out from London for Paris. Upon the coast of Normandy, upon the side of a precipitous craggy cliff, ever washed by the ocean, there was a secret passage formed, by a cleft in the rock, known only to smugglers. Through the cleft, two or three hundred feet in depth, a rope-ladder could be let down to the surface of the sea. The smugglers thus scaled the precipice, bearing heavy burdens upon their shoulders. Cadoudal[Pg 619] had found out this path, and easily purchased its use. To facilitate communication with Paris, a chain of lodging-places had been established, in solitary farm-houses, and in the castles of loyalist nobles; so that the conspirators could pass from the cliff of Biville to Paris without exposure to the public roads, or to any inn. Captain Wright, an officer in the English navy, a bold and skillful seaman, took the conspirators on board his vessel, and secretly landed them at the foot of this cliff. Cautiously, Cadoudal, with some of his trusty followers, crept along, from shelter to shelter, until he reached the suburbs of Paris. From his lurking place he dispatched emissaries, bought by his abundance of gold, to different parts of France, to prepare the royalists to rise. Much to his disappointment, he found Napoleon almost universally popular, and the loyalists themselves settling down in contentment under his efficient government. Even the priests were attached to the First Consul, for he had rescued them from the most unrelenting persecution. In the course of two months of incessant exertions, Cadoudal was able to collect but about thirty men, who, by liberal pay, were willing to run the risk of trying to restore the Bourbons. While Cadoudal was thus employed with the royalists, Pichegru and his agents were sounding Moreau and the republicans. General Lajolais, a former officer of Moreau, was easily gained over. He drew from Moreau a confession of his wounded feelings, and of his desire to see the consular government overthrown in almost any way. Lajolais did not reveal to the illustrious general the details of the conspiracy, but hastening to London, by the circuitous route of Hamburg, to avoid detection, told his credulous employers that Moreau was ready to take any part in the enterprise. At the conferences now held in London, by this band of conspirators, plotting assassination, the Count d'Artois had the criminal folly to preside—the future monarch of France guiding the deliberations of a band of assassins. When Lajolais reported that Moreau was ready to join Pichegru the moment he should appear, Charles, then Count d'Artois, exclaimed with delight, "Ah! let but our two generals agree together, and I shall speedily be restored to France!" It was arranged that Pichegru, Rivière, and one of the Polignacs, with others of the conspirators, should immediately join George Cadoudal, and, as soon as every thing was ripe, Charles and his son, the Duke of Berri, were to land in France, and take their share in the infamous project. Pichegru and his party embarked on board the vessel of Captain Wright, and were landed, in the darkness of the night, beneath the cliff of Biville. These illustrious assassins climbed the smugglers' rope, and skulking from lurking-place to lurking-place, joined the desperado, George Cadoudal, in the suburbs of Paris. Moreau made an appointment to meet Pichegru by night upon the boulevard de la Madelaine.

It was a dark and cold night, in the month of January, 1804, when these two illustrious generals, the conqueror of Holland and the hero of Hohenlinden, approached, and, by a preconcerted signal, recognized each other. Years had elapsed since they had stood side by side as soldiers in the army of the Rhine. Both were embarrassed, for neither of these once honorable men was accustomed to deeds of darkness. They had hardly exchanged salutations, when George Cadoudal appeared, he having planned the meeting, and being determined to know its result. Moreau, disgusted with the idea of having any association with such a man, was angry in being subjected to such an interview; and appointing another meeting with Pichegru at his own house, abruptly retired. They soon met, and had a long and serious conference. Moreau was perfectly willing to conspire for the overthrow of the consular government, but insisted that the supreme power should be placed in his own hands, and not in the hands of the Bourbons. Pichegru was grievously disappointed at the result of this interview. He remarked to the confidant who conducted him to Moreau's house, and thence back to his retreat, "And this man too has ambition, and wishes to take his turn in governing France. Poor creature! he could not govern her for four-and-twenty hours." When Cadoudal was informed of the result of the interview, he impetuously exclaimed, "If we must needs have any usurper, I should infinitely prefer Napoleon to this brainless and heartless Moreau!" The conspirators were now almost in a state of despair. They found, to their surprise, in entire contradiction to the views which had been so confidently proclaimed in England, that Napoleon was admired and beloved by nearly all the French nation; and that it was impossible to organize even a respectable party in opposition to him.


Various circumstances now led the First Consul to suspect that some serious plot was in progress. The three English ministers at Hesse, Wirtemberg, and Bavaria, were found actively employed in endeavoring to foment intrigues in France. The minister at Bavaria, Mr. Drake, had, as he supposed, bribed a Frenchman to act as his spy. This Frenchman carried all Drake's letters to Napoleon, and received from the First Consul drafts of the answers to be returned. In this curious correspondence Drake remarks in one of his letters, "All plots against the First Consul must be forwarded; for it is a matter of right little consequence by whom the animal be stricken down, provided you are all in the hunt." Napoleon caused these letters to be deposited in the senate, and to be exhibited to the diplomatists of all nations, who chose to see them. Some spies had also been arrested by the police, and condemned to be shot. One, on his way to execution, declared that he had important information to give. He was one of the band of George Cadoudal, and confessed the whole plot. Other conspirators were soon arrested. Among them M. Lozier, a man of education and polished manners, declared that Moreau had sent to the royalist conspirators in London, one of his officers, offering to head a movement in behalf of the Bourbons, and to influence the army to co-op[Pg 620]erate in that movement. When the conspirators, relying upon this promise, had reached Paris, he continued, Moreau took a different turn, and demanded that he himself should be made the successor of the First Consul. When first intimation of Moreau's guilt was communicated to Napoleon, it was with difficulty that he could credit it. The First Consul immediately convened a secret council of his ministers. They met in the Tuileries at night. Moreau was a formidable opponent even for Napoleon to attack. He was enthusiastically admired by the army, and his numerous and powerful friends would aver that he was the victim of the jealousy of the French Consul. It was suggested by some of the council that it would be good policy not to touch Moreau. Napoleon remarked, "they will say that I am afraid of Moreau. That shall not be said. I have been one of the most merciful of men; but, if necessary, I will be one of the most terrible. I will strike Moreau as I would strike any one else, as he has entered into a conspiracy, odious alike for its objects and for the connections which it presumes." It was decided that Moreau should be immediately arrested. Cambacères, a profound lawyer, declared that the ordinary tribunals were not sufficient to meet this case, and urged that Moreau should be tried by a court martial, composed of the most eminent military officers, a course which would have been in entire accordance with existing laws. Napoleon opposed the proposition. "It would be said," he remarked, "that I had punished Moreau, by causing him, under the[Pg 621] form of law, to be condemned by my own partisans." Early in the morning, Moreau was arrested and conducted to the Temple. Excitement spread rapidly through Paris. The friends of Moreau declared that there was no conspiracy, that neither George Cadoudal nor Pichegru were in France, that the whole story was an entire fabrication to enable the First Consul to get rid of a dangerous rival. Napoleon was extremely sensitive respecting his reputation. It was the great object of his ambition to enthrone himself in the hearts of the French people as a great benefactor. He was deeply wounded by these cruel taunts. "It is indeed hard," said he, "to be exposed to plots the most atrocious, and then to be accused of being the inventor of those plots; to be charged with jealousy, when the vilest jealousy pursues me; to be accused of attempts upon the life of another, when the most desperate attacks are aimed at my own." All the enthusiasm of his impetuous nature was now aroused to drag the whole plot to light in defense of his honor. He was extremely indignant against the royalists. He had not overturned the throne of the Bourbons. He had found it overturned, France in anarchy, and the royalists in exile and beggary. He had been the generous benefactor of these royalists, and had done every thing in his power to render them service. In defiance of deeply-rooted popular prejudices, and in opposition to the remonstrances of his friends, he had recalled the exiled emigrants, restored to them, as far as possible their confiscated estates, conferred upon them important trusts, and had even lavished upon them so many favors as to have drawn upon himself the accusation of meditating the restoration of the Bourbons. In return for such services they were endeavoring to blow him up with infernal machines, and to butcher him on the highway. As for Moreau, he regarded him simply with pity, and wished only to place upon his head the burden of a pardon. The most energetic measures were now adopted to search out the conspirators in their lurking places. Every day new arrests were made. Two of the conspirators made full confessions. They declared that the highest nobles of the Bourbon Court were involved in the plot, and that a distinguished Bourbon prince was near at hand, ready to place himself at the head of the royalists as soon as Napoleon should be slain.

The first Consul, exasperated to the highest degree, exclaimed, "These Bourbons fancy that they may shed my blood like that of some wild animal. And yet my blood is quite as precious as theirs. I will repay them the alarm with which they seek to inspire me. I pardon Moreau the weakness and the errors to which he is urged by a stupid jealousy. But I will pitilessly shoot the very first of these princes who shall fall into my hands. I will teach them with what sort of a man they have to deal."

Fresh arrests were still daily made, and the confessions of the prisoners all established the point that there was a young prince who occasionally appeared in their councils, who was treated with the greatest consideration, and who was to head the movement. Still Cadoudal, Pichegru, and other prominent leaders of the conspiracy, eluded detection. As there was ample evidence that these men were in Paris, a law was passed by the Legislative Assembly, without opposition, that any person who should shelter them should be punished by death, and that whosoever should be aware of their hiding-place, and yet fail to expose them, should be punished with six years imprisonment. A strict guard was also placed, for several days, at the gates of Paris, allowing no one to leave, and with orders to shoot any person who should attempt to scale the wall. Pichegru, Cadoudal, and the other prominent conspirators were now in a state of terrible perplexity. They wandered by night from house to house, often paying one or two thousand dollars for the shelter of a few hours. One evening Pichegru, in a state of despair, seized a pistol and was about to shoot himself through the head, when he was prevented by a friend. On another occasion, with the boldness of desperation, he went to the house of M. Marbois, one of the ministers of Napoleon, and implored shelter. Marbois, knowing the noble character of the master whom he served, with grief, but without hesitancy, allowed his old companion the temporary shelter of his roof, and did not betray him. He subsequently informed the First Consul of what he had done. Napoleon, with characteristic magnanimity, replied to this avowal in a letter expressive of his high admiration of his generosity, in affording shelter, under such circumstances, to one, who though an outlaw, had been his friend.

At length Pichegru was betrayed. He was asleep at night. His sword and loaded pistols were by his side, ready for desperate defense. The gendarmes cautiously entered his room, and sprang upon his bed. He was a powerful man, and he struggled with herculean but unavailing efforts. He was, however, speedily overpowered, bound, and conducted to the Temple. Soon after, George Cadoudal was arrested. He was in a cabriolet. A police officer seized the bridle of the horse. Cadoudal drew a pistol, and shot him dead upon the spot. He then leaped from the cabriolet, and severely wounded another officer who attempted to seize him. He made the utmost efforts to escape on foot under cover of the darkness of the night; but, surrounded by the crowd, he was soon captured. This desperado appeared perfectly calm and self-possessed before his examiners. There were upon his person a dagger, pistols, and twelve thousand dollars in gold and in bank notes. Boldly he avowed his object of attacking the First Consul, and proudly declared that he was acting in co-operation with the Bourbon princes.

The certainty of the conspiracy was now established, and the senate transmitted a letter of congratulation to the First Consul upon his escape. In his reply, Napoleon remarked, "I[Pg 622] have long since renounced the hope of enjoying the pleasures of private life. All my days are occupied in fulfilling the duties which my fate and the will of the French people have imposed upon me. Heaven will watch over France and defeat the plots of the wicked. The citizens may be without alarm; my life will last as long as it will be useful to the nation. But I wish the French people to understand, that existence, without their confidence and affection, would afford me no consolation, and would, as regards them, have no beneficial objects."

Napoleon sincerely pitied Moreau and Pichegru, and wished to save them from the ignominious death they merited. He sent a messenger to Moreau assuring him that a frank confession should secure his pardon and restoration to favor. But it was far more easy for Napoleon to forgive than for the proud Moreau to accept his forgiveness. With profound sympathy Napoleon contemplated the position of Pichegru. As he thought of this illustrious general, condemned and executed like a felon, he exclaimed to M. Real, "What an end for the conqueror of Holland! But the men of the Revolution must not thus destroy each other. I have long thought about forming a colony at Cayenne. Pichegru was exiled thither, and knows the place well; and of all our generals, he is best calculated to form an extensive establishment there. Go and visit him in his prison, and tell him that I pardon him; that it is not toward him or Moreau, or men like them that I am inclined to be severe. Ask him how many men, and what amount of money he would require for founding a colony in Cayenne, and I will supply him, that he may go thither and re-establish his reputation in rendering a great service to France." Pichegru was so much affected by this magnanimity of the man whose death he had been plotting, that he bowed his head and wept convulsively. The illustrious man was conquered.

But Napoleon was much annoyed in not being able to lay hold upon one of those Bourbon princes who had so long been conspiring against his life, and inciting others to perils from which they themselves escaped. One morning in his study he inquired of Talleyrand and Fouché respecting the place of residence of the various members of the Bourbon family. He was told in reply that Louis XVIII. and the Duke d'Angouléme lived in Warsaw; the Count d'Artois and the Duke de Berri in London, where also were the Princes of Condé with the exception of the Duke d'Enghien, the most enterprising of them all, who lived at Ettenheim near Strasburg. It was in this vicinity that the British ministers Taylor, Smith, and Drake had been busying themselves in fomenting intrigues. The idea instantly flashed into the mind of the First Consul that the Duke d'Enghien was thus lurking near the frontier of France to take part in the conspiracy. He immediately sent an officer to Ettenheim to make inquiries respecting the Prince. The officer returned with the report that the Duke d'Enghien was living there with a Princess of Rohan, to whom he was warmly attached. He was often absent from Ettenheim, and occasionally went in disguise to Strasburg. He was in the pay of the British government, a soldier against his own country, and had received orders from the British Cabinet to repair to the banks of the Rhine, to be ready to take advantage of any favorable opportunity which might be presented to invade France.

On the very morning in which this report reached Paris, a deposition was presented to Napoleon, made by the servant of George Cadoudal, in which he stated that a prince was at the head of the conspiracy, that he believed this Prince to be in France, as he had often seen at the house of Cadoudal a well dressed man, of distinguished manners, whom all seemed to treat with profound respect. This man, thought Napoleon, must certainly be the Duke d'Enghien, and his interviews with the conspirators will account for his frequent absence from Ettenheim. Another very singular circumstance greatly strengthened this conclusion. There was a Marquis de Thumery in the suite of the Duke d'Enghien. The German officer, who repeated this fact, mispronounced the word so that it sounded like Dumuner, a distinguished advocate of the Bourbons. The officer sent by Napoleon to make inquiries, consequently reported that General Dumuner was with the Duke d'Enghien. All was now plain to the excited mind of the First Consul. The Duke d'Enghien was in the conspiracy. With General Dumuner and an army of emigrants he was to march into France, by Strasburg, as soon as the death of the First Consul was secured; while the Count d'Artois. aided by England, would approach from London.

A council was immediately called, to decide what should be done. The ministers were divided in opinion. Some urged sending a secret force to arrest the Duke, with all his papers and accomplices, and bring them to Paris. Cambacères, apprehensive of the effect that such a violation of the German territory might produce in Europe, opposed the measure. Napoleon replied to him kindly, but firmly, "I know your motive for speaking thus—your devotion to me, I thank you for it. But I will not allow myself to be put to death without resistance. I will make those people tremble, and teach them to keep quiet for the time to come."

Orders were immediately given for three hundred dragoons to repair to the banks of the Rhine, cross the river, dash forward to Ettenheim, surround the town, arrest the Prince and all his retinue, and carry them to Strasburg. As soon as the arrest was made, Colonel Caulaincourt was directed to hasten to the Grand-duke of Baden, with an apology from the First Consul for violating his territory, stating that the gathering of the hostile emigrants so near the frontiers of France, authorized the French government to protect itself, and that the necessity for prompt and immediate action rendered it impossible to adopt more tardy measures. The duke[Pg 623] of Baden expressed his satisfaction with the apology.

On the 15th of March, 1804, the detachment of dragoons set out, and proceeded with such rapidity as to surround the town before the Duke could receive any notice of their approach. He was arrested in his bed, and hurried, but partially clothed, into a carriage, and conveyed with the utmost speed to Strasburg. He was from thence taken to the Castle of Vincennes, in the vicinity of Paris. A military commission was formed composed of the colonels of the garrison, with General Hullin as President. The Prince was brought before the Commission. He was calm and haughty, for he had no apprehension of the fate which awaited him. He was accused of high treason, in having sought to excite civil war, and in bearing arms against France. To arraign him upon this charge was to condemn him, for of this crime he was clearly guilty. Though he denied all knowledge of the plot in question, boldly and rather defiantly he avowed that he had borne arms against France, and that he was on the banks of the Rhine for the purpose of serving against her again. "I esteem," said he, "General Bonaparte as a great man, but being myself a prince of the house of Bourbon, I have vowed against him eternal hatred." "A Condé," he added, "can never re-enter France but with arms in his hands. My birth, my opinions render me for ever the enemy of your government." By the laws of the Republic, for a Frenchman to serve against France was a capital offense. Napoleon, however, would not have enforced this law in the case of the Duke, had he not fully believed that he was implicated in the conspiracy, and that it was necessary, to secure himself from assassination, that he should strike terror into the hearts of the Bourbons. The Prince implored permission to see the First Consul. The court refused this request, which, if granted would undoubtedly have saved his life. Napoleon also commissioned M. Real to proceed to Vincennes, and examine the prisoner. Had M. Real arrived in season to see the Duke, he would have made a report of facts which would have rescued the Prince from his tragical fate; but, exhausted by the fatigue of several days and nights, he had retired to rest, and had given directions to his servants to permit him to sleep undisturbed. The order of the First Consul was, consequently, not placed in his hands until five o'clock in the morning. It was then too late. The court sorrowfully pronounced sentence of death. By torch light the unfortunate Prince was led down the winding staircase, which led into a fosse of the chateau. There he saw through the gray mist of the morning, a file of soldiers drawn up for his execution. Calmly he cut off a lock of his hair, and, taking his watch from his pocket, requested an officer to solicit Josephine to present those tokens of his love to the Princess de Rohan. Turning to the soldiers he said, "I die for my King and for France;" and giving the command to fire, he fell, pierced by seven balls.

While these scenes were transpiring, Napoleon was in a state of intense excitement. He retired to the seclusion of Malmaison, and for hours, communing with no one, paced his apartment with a countenance expressive of the most unwavering determination. It is said that Josephine pleaded with him for the life of the Prince, and he replied "Josephine, you are a woman, and know not the necessities of political life." As pensive and thoughtful he walked his room, he was heard in low tones to repeat to himself the most celebrated verses of the French poets upon the subject of clemency. This seemed to indicate that his thoughts were turned to the nobleness of pardon. He however remained unrelenting. He was deeply indignant that the monarchs of Europe should assume that he was an upstart, whom any one might shoot in the street. He resolved to strike a blow which should send consternation to the hearts of his enemies, a blow so sudden, so energetic, so terrible as to teach them that he would pay as little regard for their blood, as they manifested for his. The object at which he aimed was fully accomplished. Says Thiers "It is not much to the credit of human nature to be obliged to confess, that the terror inspired by the First Consul acted effectually upon the Bourbon Princes and the emigrants. They no longer felt themselves secure, now that even the German territory had proved no safeguard to the unfortunate Duke d'Enghien; and thenceforth conspiracies of that kind ceased." There are many indications that Napoleon subsequently deplored the tragical fate of the Prince. It subsequently appeared that the mysterious stranger to whom the prisoners so often alluded, was Pichegru. When this fact was communicated to Napoleon, he was deeply moved and musing long and painfully, gave utterance to an exclamation of grief, that he had consented to the seizure of the unhappy Prince.

He, however, took the whole responsibility of his execution upon himself. In his testament at St. Helena, he wrote, "I arrested the Duke d'Enghien because that measure was necessary to the security, the interest, and the honor of the French people, when the Count d'Artois maintained, on his own admission, sixty assassins. In similar circumstances I would do the same." The spirit is saddened in recording these terrible deeds of violence and of blood. It was a period of anarchy, of revolution, of conspiracies, of war. Fleets were bombarding cities, and tens of thousands were falling in a day upon a single field of battle. Human life was considered of but little value. Bloody retaliations and reprisals were sanctified by the laws of contending nations. Surrounded by those influences, nurtured from infancy in the minds of them, provoked beyond endurance by the aristocratic arrogance which regarded the elected sovereign of France as an usurper beyond the pale of law, it is only surprising that Napoleon could have passed through a career so wonderful and so full of temptations, with a character so[Pg 624] seldom sullied by blemishes of despotic injustice.

This execution of a prince of the blood royal sent a thrill of indignation through all the courts of Europe. The French embassadors were treated in many instances with coldness amounting to insult. The Emperor Alexander sent a remonstrance to the First Consul. He thus provoked a terrible reply from the man who could hurl a sentence like a bomb-shell. The young monarch of Russia was seated upon the blood-stained throne, from which the daggers of assassins had removed his father. And yet, not one of these assassins had been punished. With crushing irony, Napoleon remarked, "France has acted, as Russia under similar circumstances would have done; for had she been informed that the assassins of Paul were assembled at a day's march from her frontier, would she not, at all hazards, have seized upon them there?" This was not one of these soft answers which turn away wrath. It stung Alexander to the quick.

Absorbed by these cares, Napoleon had but little time to think of the imprisoned conspirators awaiting their trial. Pichegru, hearing no further mention of the First Consul's proposal, and informed of the execution of the Duke d'Enghien, gave himself up for lost. His proud spirit could not endure the thought of a public trial and an ignominious punishment. One night, after having read a treatise of Seneca upon suicide, he laid aside his book, and by means of his silk-cravat, and a wooden-peg, which he used as a tourniquet, he strangled himself. His keepers found him in the morning dead upon his bed.

The trial of the other conspirators soon came on. Moreau, respecting whom great interest was excited, as one of the most illustrious of the Republican generals, was sentenced to two years imprisonment. Napoleon immediately pardoned him, and granted him permission to retire to America. As that unfortunate general wished to dispose of his estate, Napoleon gave orders for it to be purchased at the highest price. He also paid the expenses of his journey to Barcelona, preparatory to his embarkation for the new world. George Cadoudal, Polignac, Revière, and several others, were condemned to death. There was something in the firm and determined energy of Cadoudal which singularly interested the mind of the First Consul. He wished to save him. "There is one man," said Napoleon, "among the conspirators whom I regret—that is George Cadoudal. His mind is of the right stamp. In my hands, he would have done great things. I appreciate all the firmness of his character, and I would have given it a right direction. I made Real say to him, that if he would attach himself to me, I would not only pardon him, but would give him a regiment. What do I say? I would have made him one of my aides-de-camp. Such a step would have excited a great clamor; but I should not have cared for it. Cadoudal refused every thing. He is a bar of iron. What can I now do? He must undergo his fate; for such a man is too dangerous in a party. It is a necessity of my situation."

The evening before his execution, Cadoudal desired the jailer to bring him a bottle of excellent wine. Upon tasting the contents of the bottle brought, and finding it of an inferior quality, he complained, stating that it was not such wine as he desired. The jailer brutally replied, "It is good enough for such a miscreant as you." Cadoudal, with perfect deliberation and composure, corked up the bottle, and, with his herculean arm hurled it at the head of the jailer, with an aim so well directed that he fell helpless at his feet. The next day, with several of the conspirators, he was executed.

Josephine, who was ever to Napoleon a ministering angel of mercy, was visited by the wife of Polignac, who, with tears of anguish, entreated Josephine's intercession in behalf of her condemned husband. Her tender heart was deeply moved by a wife's delirious agony, and she hastened to plead for the life of the conspirator. Napoleon, endeavoring to conceal the struggle of his heart beneath a severe exterior, replied, "Josephine, you still interest yourself for my enemies. They are all of them as imprudent as they are guilty. If I do not teach them a lesson they will begin again, and will be the cause of new victims." Thus repulsed, Josephine, almost in despair, retired. But she knew that Napoleon was soon to pass through one of the galleries of the chateau. Calling Madame Polignac, she hastened with her to the gallery, and they both threw themselves in tears before Napoleon. He for a moment glanced sternly at Josephine, as if to reproach her for the trial to which she had exposed him. But his yielding heart could not withstand this appeal. Taking the hand of Madame Polignac, he said, "I am surprised in finding, in a plot against my life, Armand Polignac, the companion of my boyhood at the military school. I will, however, grant his pardon to the tears of his wife. I only hope that this act of weakness on my part may not encourage fresh acts of imprudence. Those princes, madame, are most deeply culpable who thus compromise the lives of their faithful servants without partaking their perils."

General Lajolais had been condemned to death. He had an only daughter, fourteen years of age, who was remarkably beautiful. The poor child was in a state of fearful agony in view of the fate of her father. One morning, without communicating her intentions to any one, she set out alone and on foot, for St. Cloud. Presenting herself before the gate of the palace, by her youth, her beauty, her tears, and her woe, she persuaded the keeper, a kind-hearted man, to introduce her to the apartment of Josephine and Hortense. Napoleon had said to Josephine that she must not any more expose him to the pain of seeing the relatives of the condemned; that if any petitions were to be offered, they must be presented in writing. Josephine and Hortense were, however, so deeply moved by the anguish[Pg 625] of the distracted child, that they contrived to introduce her to the presence of Napoleon as he was passing through one of the apartments of the palace, accompanied by several of his ministers. The fragile child, in a delirium of emotion, rushed before him, precipitated herself at his feet, and exclaimed, "Pardon, sire! pardon for my father!"

Napoleon, surprised at this sudden apparition, exclaimed in displeasure, "I have said that I wish for no such scenes. Who has dared to introduce you here, in disregard of my prohibition? Leave me, miss!" So saying, he turned to pass from her.

But the child threw her arms around his knees, and with her eyes suffused with tears, and agony depicted in every feature of her beautiful upturned face, exclaimed, "Pardon! pardon! pardon! it is for my father!"

"And who is your father?" said Napoleon, kindly. "Who are you?"

"I am Miss Lajolais," she replied, "and my father is doomed to die." Napoleon hesitated for a moment; and then exclaimed, "Ah, miss, but this is the second time in which your father has conspired against the state. I can do nothing for you!"

"Alas, sire!" the poor child exclaimed, with great simplicity, "I know it: but the first time, papa was innocent; and to-day I do not ask for justice—I implore pardon, pardon for him!"

Napoleon was deeply moved. His lip trembled, tears filled his eyes, and, taking the little hand of the child in both of his own, he tenderly pressed it, and said:

"Well, my child! yes! For your sake, I will forgive your father. This is enough. Now rise and leave me."

At these words the suppliant fainted, and fell lifeless upon the floor. She was conveyed to the apartment of Josephine, where she soon revived, and, though in a state of extreme exhaustion, proceeded immediately to Paris. M. Lavalette, then aid-de-camp of Napoleon, and his wife, accompanied her to the prison of the Conciergerie, with the joyful tidings. When she arrived in the gloomy cell where her father was immured, she threw herself upon his neck, and her convulsive sobbings, for a time, stifled all possible powers of utterance. Suddenly, her frame became convulsed, her eyes fixed, and she fell in entire unconsciousness into the arms of Madame Lavalette. When she revived, reason had fled, and the affectionate daughter was a hopeless maniac!

Napoleon, in the evening, was informed of this new calamity. He dropped his head in silence, mused painfully, brushed a tear from his eye, and was heard to murmur, in a low tone of voice, "Poor child! poor child!—a father who has such a daughter is still more culpable. I will take care of her and of her mother."

Six others of the conspirators also soon received a pardon. Such was the termination of the Bourbon conspiracy for the assassination of Napoleon.


About the end of the eighteenth century, whenever any student of the Marischal College, Aberdeen, incurred the displeasure of the humbler citizens, he was assailed with the question, "Who murdered Downie?" Reply and rejoinder generally brought on a collision between "town and gown;" although the young gentlemen were accused of what was chronologically impossible. People have a right to be angry at being stigmatized as murderers, when their accusers have probability on their side; but the "taking off" of Downie occurred when the gownsmen, so maligned, were in swaddling clothes.

But there was a time, when to be branded as an accomplice in the slaughter of Richard Downie, made the blood run to the cheek of many a youth, and sent him home to his books, thoughtful and subdued. Downie was sacrist or janitor at Marischal College. One of his duties consisted in securing the gate by a certain hour; previous to which all the students had to assemble in the common hall, where a Latin prayer was delivered by the principal. Whether, in discharging this function, Downie was more rigid than his predecessor in office, or whether he became stricter in the performance of it at one time than another, can not now be ascertained; but there can be no doubt that he closed the gate with austere punctuality, and that those who were not in the common hall within a minute of the prescribed time, were shut out, and were afterward reprimanded and fined by the principal and professors. The students became irritated at this strictness, and took every petty means of annoying the sacrist; he, in his turn, applied the screw at other points of academic routine, and a fierce war soon began to rage between the collegians and the humble functionary. Downie took care that in all his proceedings he kept within the strict letter of the law; but his opponents were not so careful, and the decisions of the rulers were uniformly against them, and in favor of Downie. Reprimands and fines having failed in producing due subordination, rustication, suspension, and even the extreme sentence of expulsion had to be put in force; and, in the end, law and order prevailed. But a secret and deadly grudge continued to be entertained against Downie. Various schemes of revenge were thought of.

Downie was, in common with teachers and taught, enjoying the leisure of the short New Year's vacation—the pleasure being no doubt greatly enhanced by the annoyances to which he had been subjected during the recent bickerings—when, as he was one evening seated with his family in his official residence at the gate, a messenger informed him that a gentleman at a neighboring hotel wished to speak with him. Downie obeyed the summons, and was ushered from one room into another, till at length he found himself in a large apartment hung with black, and lighted by a solitary candle. After waiting for some time in this strange[Pg 626] place, about fifty figures also dressed in black, and with black masks on their faces, presented themselves. They arranged themselves in the form of a Court, and Downie, pale with terror, was given to understand that he was about to be put on his trial.

A judge took his seat on the bench; a clerk and public prosecutor sat below; a jury was empanelled in front; and witnesses and spectators stood around. Downie at first set down the whole affair as a joke; but the proceedings were conducted with such persistent gravity, that, in spite of himself, he began to believe in the genuine mission of the awful tribunal. The clerk read an indictment, charging him with conspiring against the liberties of the students; witnesses were examined in due form, the public prosecutor addressed the jury; and the judge summed up.

"Gentlemen," said Downie, "the joke has been carried far enough—it is getting late, and my wife and family will be getting anxious about me. If I have been too strict with you in time past, I am sorry for it, and I assure you I will take more care in future."

"Gentlemen of the jury," said the judge, without paying the slightest attention to this appeal, "consider your verdict; and, if you wish to retire, do so."

The jury retired. During their absence the most profound silence was observed; and except renewing the solitary candle that burnt beside the judge, there was not the slightest movement.

The jury returned, and recorded a verdict of Guilty.

The judge solemnly assumed a huge black cap, and addressed the prisoner.

"Richard Downie! The jury have unanimously found you guilty of conspiring against the just liberty and immunities of the students of Marischal College. You have wantonly provoked and insulted those inoffensive lieges for some months, and your punishment will assuredly be condign. You must prepare for death. In fifteen minutes the sentence of the Court will be carried into effect."

The judge placed his watch on the bench. A block, an ax, and a bag of sawdust were brought into the Centre of the room. A figure more terrible than any that had yet appeared came forward, and prepared to act the part of doomster.

It was now past midnight, there was no sound audible save the ominous ticking of the judge's watch. Downie became more and more alarmed.

"For any sake, gentlemen," said the terrified man, "let me home. I promise that you never again shall have cause for complaint."

"Richard Downie," remarked the judge, "you are vainly wasting the few moments that are left you on earth. You are in the hands of those who must have your life. No human power can save you. Attempt to utter one cry, and you are seized, and your doom completed before you can utter another. Every one here present has sworn a solemn oath never to reveal the proceedings of this night; they are known to none but ourselves; and when the object for which we have met is accomplished, we shall disperse unknown to any one. Prepare, then, for death; other five minutes will be allowed, but no more."

The unfortunate man in an agony of deadly terror raved and shrieked for mercy: but the avengers paid no heed to his cries. His fevered, trembling lips then moved as if in silent prayer; for he felt that the brief space between him and eternity was but as a few more tickings of that ominous watch.

"Now!" exclaimed the judge.

Four persons stepped forward and seized Downie, on whose features a cold, clammy sweat had burst forth. They bared his neck, and made him kneel before the block.

"Strike!" exclaimed the judge.

The executioner struck the ax on the floor; an assistant on the opposite side lifted at the same moment a wet towel, and struck it across the neck of the recumbent criminal. A loud laugh announced that the joke had at last come to an end.

But Downie responded not to the uproarious merriment—they laughed again—but still he moved not—they lifted him, and Downie was dead!

Fright had killed him as effectually as if the ax of a real headsman had severed his head from his body.

It was a tragedy to all. The medical students tried to open a vein, but all was over; and the conspirators had now to bethink themselves of safety. They now in reality swore an oath among themselves; and the affrighted young men, carrying their disguises with them, left the body of Downie lying in the hotel. One of their number told the landlord that their entertainment was not yet quite over, and that they did not wish the individual that was left in the room to be disturbed for some hours. This was to give them all time to make their escape.

Next morning the body was found. Judicial inquiry was instituted, but no satisfactory result could be arrived at. The corpse of poor Downie exhibited no mark of violence internal or external. The ill-will between him and the students was known: it was also known that the students had hired apartments in the hotel for a theatrical representation—that Downie had been sent for by them; but beyond this, nothing was known. No noise had been heard, and no proof of murder could be adduced. Of two hundred students at the college, who could point out the guilty or suspected fifty? Moreover, the students were scattered over the city, and the magistrates themselves had many of their own families among the number, and it was not desirable to go into the affair too minutely. Downie's widow and family were provided for, and his slaughter remained a mystery; until, about fifteen years after its occurrence, a gentleman on his death-bed disclosed the whole particulars, and avowed himself to have belonged to the obnoxious class of students who murdered Downie.

[Pg 627]


I have been married seven weeks. * * * I do not rave in girlish fashion about my perfect happiness—I do not even say I love my husband. Such words imply a separate existence—a gift consciously bestowed on one being from another. I feel not thus: my husband is to me as my own soul.

[3] By the Authoress of "Olive," "The Ogilvies," and "The Head of the Family," three charming works, recently published by Harper and Brothers.

Long, very long, it is since I first knew this. Gradually, not suddenly, the great mystery of love overshadowed me, until at last I found out the truth, that I was my own no more. All the world's beauty I saw through his eyes—all the world's goodness and greatness came reflected through his noble heart. In his presence I was as a child: I forgot myself, my own existence, hopes, and aims. Every where—at all times and all places—his power was upon me. He seemed to absorb and inhale my whole soul into his, until I became like a cloud melting away in sunshine, and vanishing from the face of heaven.

All this reads very wild and mad; but, oh! Laurence—Laurence! none would marvel at it who had once looked on thee! Not that he is a perfect Apollo—this worshiped husband of mine: you may meet a score far handsomer. But who cares? Not I! All that is grand, all that is beautiful, all that makes a man look godlike through the inward shining of his godlike soul—I see in my Laurence. His eyes, soft, yet proud—his wavy hair—his hand that I sit and clasp—his strong arm that I lean on—all compose an image wherein I see no flaw. Nay, I could scarce believe in any beauty that bore no likeness to Laurence.

Thus is my husband—what am I? His wife—and no more. Every thing in me is only a reflection of him. Sometimes I even marvel that he loved me, so unworthy as I seem: yet, when heaven rained on me the rich blessing of his love, my thirsty soul drank it in, and I felt that had it never come, for lack of it I must have died. I did almost die, for the joy was long in coming. Though—as I know now—he loved me well and dearly; yet for some reason or other he would not tell me so. The vail might never have fallen from our hearts, save for one blessed chance. I will relate it. I love to dream over that brief hour, to which my whole existence can never show a parallel.

We were walking all together—my sisters, Laurence Shelmerdine, and I—when there came on an August thunder-storm. Our danger was great, for we were in the midst of a wood. My sisters fled; but I, being weak and ill—alas! my heart was breaking quietly, though he knew it not—I had no strength to fly. He was too kind to forsake me: so we staid in an open space of the wood, I clinging to his arm, and thinking—God forgive me!—that if I could only die then, close to him, encompassed by his gentle care, it would be so happy—happier far than my life was then. What he thought, I knew not. He spoke in hurried, broken words, and turned his face from me all the while.

It grew dark, like night, and there came flash after flash, peal after peal. I could not stand—I leaned against his arm. At last there shone all around us a frightful glare, as if the whole wood were in flames—a crash of boughs—a roar above, as though the heavens were falling—then, silence.

Death had passed close by us, and smote us not—and Death was the precursor of Love.

We looked at one another, Laurence and I: then, with a great cry, our hearts—long-tortured—sprang together. There never can be such a meeting, save that of two parted ones, who meet in heaven. No words were spoken, save a murmur—"Adelaide!" "Laurence!"—but we knew that between us two there was but one soul. We stood there—all the while the storm lasted. He sheltered me in his arms, and I felt neither the thunder nor the rain. I feared not life nor death, for I now knew that in either I should never be divided from him.

* * * Ours was a brief engagement. Laurence wished it so; and I disputed not—I never disputed with him in any thing. Besides, I was not happy at home—my sisters did not understand him. They jested with me because he was grave and reserved—even subject to moody fits sometimes. They said, "I should have a great deal to put up with; but it was worth while, for Mr. Shelmerdine's grand estate atoned for all." My Laurence! as if I had ever thought whether he were rich or poor! I smiled, too, at my sisters' jests about his melancholy, and the possibility of his being "a bandit in disguise." None truly knew him—none but I! Yet I was half afraid of him at times; but that was only from the intensity of my love. I never asked him of his for me—how it grew—or why he had so long concealed it; enough for me that it was there. Yet it was always calm: he never showed any passionate emotion, save one night—the night before our wedding day.

I went with him to the gate myself, walking in the moonlight under the holly trees. I trembled a little; but I was happy—very happy. He held me long in his arms ere he would part with me—the last brief parting ere we would have no need to part any more. I said, looking up from his face unto the stars, "Laurence, in our full joy, let us thank God, and pray Him to bless us."

His heart seemed bursting: he bowed his proud head, dropped it down upon my shoulder, and cried, "Nay, rather pray Him to forgive me. Adelaide, I am not worthy of happiness—I am not worthy of you."

He, to talk in this way! and about me! but I answered him soothingly, so that he might feel how dear was my love—how entire my trust.

He said, at last, half mournfully, "You are content to take me then, just as I am; to forgive my past—to bear with my present—to give[Pg 628] hope to my future. Will you do this, my love, my Adelaide?"

I answered, solemnly, "I will." Then, for the first time, I dared to lift my arms to his neck; and as he stooped I kissed his forehead. It was the seal of this my promise—which may God give me strength to keep evermore!

We were laughing to-day—Laurence and I—about first loves. It was scarcely a subject for mirth; but one of his bachelor friends had been telling us of a new-married couple, who, in some comical fashion, mutually made the discovery of each other's "first loves." I said to my husband, smiling happily, "that he need have no such fear." And I repeated, half in sport, the lines—

"'He was her own, her ocean treasure, cast
Like a rich wreck—her first love, and her last.'

So it was with your poor Adelaide." Touched by the thought, my gayety melted almost into tears. But I laughed them off, and added, "Come, Laurence, confess the same. You never, never loved any one but me?"

He looked pained, said coldly, "I believe I have not given cause—" then stopped. How I trembled; but I went up to him, and whispered, "Laurence, dearest, forgive me." He looked at me a moment, then caught me passionately to his breast. I wept there a little—my heart was so full. Yet I could not help again murmuring that question—"You love me? you do love me?"

"I love you as I never before loved woman. I swear this in the sight of heaven. Believe it, my wife!" was his vehement answer. I hated myself for having so tried him. My dear, my noble husband! I was mad to have a moment's doubt of thee.

* * * Nearly a year married, and it seems a brief day: yet it seems, also, like a lifetime—as if I had never known any other. My Laurence! daily I grow closer to him—heart to heart. I understand him better—if possible, I love him more: not with the wild worship of my girlhood, but with something dearer—more home-like. I would not have him an "angel," if I could. I know all his little faults and weaknesses quite well—I do not shut my eyes on any of them; but I gaze openly at them, and love them down. There is love enough in my heart to fill up all chasms—to remove all stumbling-blocks from our path. Ours is truly a wedded life: not two jarring lives, but an harmonious and complete one.

I have taken a long journey, and am somewhat dreary at being away, even for three days, from my pleasant home. But Laurence was obliged to go, and I would not let him go alone; though, from tender fear, he urged me to stay. So kind and thoughtful he was too. Because his engagements here would keep him much from me, he made me take likewise my sister Louisa. She is a good girl, and a dear girl; but I miss Laurence; I did especially in my walk to-day, through a lovely, wooded country and a sweet little village. I was thinking of him all the time; so much so, that I quite started when I heard one of the village children shouted after as "Laurence."

Very foolish it is of me—a loving weakness I have not yet got over—but I never hear the name my husband bears without a pleasant thrill; I never even see it written up in the street without turning again to look at it. So, unconsciously, I turned to the little rosy urchin, whom his grandam honored by the name of "Laurence."

A pretty, sturdy boy, of five or six years old—a child to glad any mother. I wondered had he a mother! I staid and asked.—I always notice children now. Oh! wonderful, solemn mystery sleeping at my heart, my hope—my joy—my prayer! I think, with tears, how I may one day watch the gambols of a boy like this; and how, looking down in his little face, I may see therein my Laurence's eyes. For the sake of this future—which God grant!—I went and kissed the little fellow who chanced to bear my husband's name. I asked the old woman about the boy's mother. "Dead! dead five years." And his father? A sneer—a muttered curse—bitter words about "poor folk" and "gentle-folk." Alas! alas! I saw it all. Poor, beautiful, unhappy child!

My heart was so pained, that I could not tell the little incident to Laurence. Even when my sister began to talk of it, I asked her to cease. But I pondered over it the more. I think, if I am strong enough, I will go and see the poor little fellow again to-morrow. One might do some good—who knows?

To-morrow has come—to-morrow has gone. What a gulf lies between that yesterday and its to-morrow!

* * * Louisa and I walked to the village—she very much against her will. "It was wrong and foolish," she said; "one should not meddle with vice." And she looked prudent and stern. I tried to speak of the innocent child—of the poor dead mother; and the shadow of motherhood over my own soul taught me compassion towards both. At last, when Louisa was half angry, I said I would go for I had a secret reason which she did not know.—Thank heaven those words were put into my lips.

So, we went. My little beauty of a boy was not there; and I had the curiosity to approach the cottage where his grandmother lived. It stood in a garden, with a high hedge around. I heard a child's laugh, and could not forbear peeping through. There was my little favorite, held aloft in the arms of a man, who stood half hidden behind a tree.

"He looks like a gentleman: perhaps it is the wretch of a father!" whispered Louisa. "Sister, we ought to come away." And she walked forward indignantly.

But I still staid—still looked. Despite my[Pg 629] horror of the crime, I felt a sort of attraction: it was some sign of grace in the man that he should at least acknowledge and show kindness to his child. And the miserable mother! I, a happy wife, could have wept to think of her. I wondered, did he think of her, too? He might; for, though the boy laughed and chattered, lavishing on him all those pet diminutives which children make out of the sweet word "father," I did not hear this father answer by a single word.

Louisa came to hurry me away. "Hush!" I said: "one moment and I will go."

The little one had ceased chattering: the father put it down, and came forth from his covert.

Heaven it was my husband!

* * * I think I should then have fallen down dead, save for one thing—I turned and met my sister's eyes. They were full of horror—indignation—pity. She, too, had seen.

Like lightning there flashed across me all the future: my father's wrath—the world's mockery—his shame.

I said—and I had strength to say it quite calmly—"Louisa, you have guessed our secret; but keep it—promise!"

She looked aghast—confounded.

"You see," I went on, and I actually smiled, "you see, I know all about it, and so does Laurence. It is—a friend's child."

May heaven forgive me for that lie I told: it was to save my husband's honor.

Day after day, week after week, goes by, and yet I live—live, and living, keep the horrible secret in my soul. It must remain there buried forever, now.

It so chanced; that after that hour I did not see my husband for some weeks: Louisa and I were hastily summoned home. So I had time to think what I was to do.

I knew all now—all the mystery of his fits of gloom—his secret sufferings. It was remorse, perpetual remorse. No marvel! And for a moment my stern heart said, "Let it be so." I, too, was wronged. Why did he marry me, and hide all this? O vile! O cruel! Then the light broke on me: his long struggle against his love—his terror of winning mine. But he did love me: half-maddening as I was, I grasped at that. Whatever blackness was on the past, he loved me now—he had sworn it—"more than he ever loved woman."

I was yet young: I knew little of the wickedness of the world; but I had heard of that mad passion of a moment, which may seize on a heart not wholly vile, and afterward a whole lifetime of remorse works out the expiation. Six years ago! he must have been then a mere boy. If he had thus erred in youth, I, who knew his nature, knew how awful must have been the repentance of his manhood. On any humbled sinner I would have mercy—how much rather must I have mercy on my husband?

I had mercy. Some, stern in virtue, may condemn me—but God knoweth all.

He is—I believe it in my soul—he is a good man now, and striving more and more after good. I will help him—I will save him. Never shall he know that secret, which out of pride or bitterness might drive him back from virtue, or make him feel shame before me.

I took my resolution—I have fulfilled it. I have met him again, as a faithful wife should meet her husband: no word, no look, betrays, or shall betray, what I know. All our outward life goes on as before: his tenderness for me is constant—overflowing. But oh! the agony, worse than death, of knowing my idol fallen—that where I once worshiped, I can only pity, weep, and pray.

He told me yesterday he did not feel like the same man that he was before his marriage. He said I was his good angel: that through me he became calmer, happier every day. It was true: I read the change in his face. Others read it too. Even his aged mother told me, with tears, how much good I had done to Laurence. For this, thank God!

My husband! my husband! At times I could almost think this horror was some delirious dream, cast it all to the winds, and worship him as of old. I do feel, as I ought, deep tenderness—compassion. No, no! let me not deceive myself: I love him; in defiance of all I love him, and shall do evermore.

Sometimes his olden sufferings come over him, and then I, knowing the whole truth, feel my very soul moved within me. If he had only told me all: if I could now lay my heart open before him, with all its love and pardon; if he would let me comfort him, and speak of hope, of heaven's mercy—of atonement, even on earth. But I dare not—I dare not.

Since, from this silence which he has seen fit to keep, I must not share the struggle, but must stay afar off—then, like the prophet who knelt on the rock, supplicating for Israel in the battle, let my hands fall not, nor my prayer cease, until heaven sendeth the victory.

Nearer and nearer comes the hour which will be to me one of a double life, or of death. Sometimes, remembering all I have lately suffered, there comes to me a heavy foreboding. What, if I, so young, to whom, one little year ago, life seemed an opening paradise—what, if I should die—die and leave him, and he never know how deeply I have loved—how much I have forgiven?

Yes; he might know, and bitterly. Should Louisa tell. But I will prevent that.

In my husband's absence, I have sat up half the night writing; that, in case of my death, he may be made acquainted with the whole truth, and hear it from me alone. I have poured out all my sufferings—all my tenderness: I have implored him, for the love of heaven, for the love of me, that he would in every way atone for the past, and lead for the future a righteous life;[Pg 630] that his sin may be forgiven, and that, after death, we may meet in joy evermore.

I have been to church with Laurence—for the last time, as I think. We knelt together, and took the sacrament. His face was grave, but peaceful. When we came home, we sat in our beautiful little rose-garden: he, looking so content—even happy; so tender over me—so full of hope for the future. How should this be, if he had on his soul that awful sin? All seemed a delusion of my own creating: I doubted even the evidence of my own senses. I longed to throw myself on his bosom, and tell him all. But then, from some inexplicable cause, the olden cloud came over him; I read in his face, or thought I read, the torturing remorse which at once repelled me from him, and yet drew me again, with a compassion that was almost stronger than love.

I thought I would try to say, in some passing way, words that, should I die, might afterward comfort him, by telling him how his misery had wrung my heart, and how I did not scorn him, not even for his sin.

"Laurence," I said, very softly, "I wish that you and I had known one another all our lives—from the time we were little children."

"Oh! that we had! then I had been a better and a happier man, my Adelaide!" was his answer.

"We will not talk of that. Please God, we may live a long and worthy life together; but if not—"

He looked at me with fear. "What is that you say? Adelaide, you are not going to die? you, whom I love, whom I have made happy, you have no cause to die."

Oh, agony! he thought of the one who had cause—to whose shame and misery death was better than life. Poor wretch! she, too, might have loved him. Down, wife's jealousy! down, woman's pride! It was long, long ago. She is dead; and he—Oh! my husband! may God forgive me according as I pardon you!

I said to him once more, putting my arm round his neck, leaning so that he could only hear, not see me. "Laurence, if I should die, remember how happy we have been, and how dearly we have loved one another. Think of nothing sad or painful; think only that, living or dying, I loved you as I have loved none else in the world. And so, whatever chances, be content."

He seemed afraid to speak more, lest I should be agitated; but as he kissed me, I felt on my cheek tears—tears that my own eyes, long sealed by misery, had no power to shed.

* * * I have done all I wished to do. I have set my house in order. Now, whichever way God wills the event, I am prepared. Life is not to me what it once was: yet, for Laurence's sake, and for one besides—Ah! now I dimly guess what that poor mother felt, who, dying, left her child to the mercy of the bitter world. But, heaven's will be done. I shall write here no more—perhaps forever.

* * * It is all past and gone. I have been a mother—alas! have been; but I never knew it. I woke out of a long blank dream—a delirium of many weeks—to find the blessing had come, and been taken away. One only giveth—ONE only taketh. Amen!

For seven days, as they tell me, my babe lay by my side—its tiny hands touched mine—it slept at my breast. But I remember nothing—nothing! I was quite mad all the while. And then—it died—and I have no little face to dream of—no memory of the sweetness that has been. it is all to me as if I had never seen my child.

If I had only had my senses for one day—one hour: if I could but have seen Laurence when they gave him his baby boy. Bitterly he grieves, his mother says, because he has no heir.

* * * My first waking fear was horrible. Had I betrayed any thing during my delirium? I think not. Louisa says I lay all the time silent, dull, and did not even notice my husband, though he bent over me like one distracted. Poor Laurence! I see him but little now: they will not suffer me. It is perhaps well: I could not bear his grief and my own too: I might not be able to keep my secret safe.

I went yesterday to look at the tiny mound—all that is left to me of my dream of motherhood. Such a happy dream as it was, too! How it comforted me, many a time: how I used to sit and think of my darling that was to come: to picture it lying in my arms—playing at my feet—growing in beauty—a boy, a youth, a man! And this—this is all—this little grave.

Perhaps I may never have another child. If so, all the deep love which nature teaches, and which nature has even now awakened in my heart, must find no object, and droop and wither away, or be changed into repining. No! please God, that last shall never be: I will not embitter the blessings I have, by mourning over those denied.

But I must love something, in the way that I would have loved my child. I have lost my babe; some babe may have lost a mother. A thought comes—I shudder—I tremble—yet I follow it. I will pause a little, and then—

In Mr. Shelmerdine's absence, I have accomplished my plan. I have contrived to visit the place where lives that hapless child—my husband's child.

I do believe my love to Laurence must be such as never before was borne to man by woman. It draws me even toward this little one: forgetting all wife-like pride, I seem to yearn over the boy. But is this strange? In my first girlish dreams, many a time I have taken a book he had touched—a flower he had gathered—hid it from my sisters, kissed it, and wept over it for days. It was folly; but it only showed how precious I held every thing belonging to him. And should I not hold precious what is half himself—his own son?

I will go and see the child to-morrow.

[Pg 631]

Weeks have passed, and yet I have had no strength to tell what that to-morrow brought. Strange book of human fate! each leaf closed until the appointed time—if we could but turn it, and read. Yet it is best not.

I went to the cottage—alone, of course. I asked the old woman to let me come in and rest, for I was a stranger, weak and tired. She did so kindly, remembering, perhaps, how I had once noticed the boy. He was her grandson she told me—her daughter's child.

Her daughter! And this old creature was a coarse, rough-spoken woman—a laborer's wife. Laurence Shelmerdine—the elegant—the refined—what madness must have possessed him!

"She died very young, then, your daughter?" I found courage to say.

"Ay, ay; in a few months after the boy's birth. She was but a weakly thing at best, and she had troubles enow."

Quickly came the blood to my heart—to my cheek—in bitter, bitter shame. Not for myself, but for him. I shrank like a guilty thing before that mother's eye. I dared not ask—what I longed to hear—concerning the poor girl, and her sad history.

"Is the child like her?" was all I could say, looking to where the little one was playing, at the far end of the garden. I was glad not to see him nearer. "Was his mother as beautiful as he?"

"Ay, a good-looking lass enough; but the little lad's like his father, who was a gentleman born: though Laurence had better ha' been a plowman's son. A bad business Bess made of it. To this day I dunnot know her right name, nor little Laurence's there; and so I canna make his father own him. He ought, for the lad's growing up as grand a gentleman as himself: he'll never do to live with poor folk like granny."

"Alas!" I cried, forgetting all but my compassion; "then how will the child bear his lot of shame!"

"Shame!" and the old woman came up fiercely to me. "You'd better mind your own business: my Bess was as good as you."

I trembled violently, but could not speak. The woman went on:

"I dunnot care if I blab it all out, though Bess begged me not. She was a fool, and the young fellow something worse. His father tried—may-be he wished to try, too—but they couldna undo what had been done. My girl was safe married to him, and the little lad's a gentleman's lawful son."

Oh! joy beyond belief! Oh! bursting blessed tears! My Laurence! my Laurence!

* * * I have no clear recollection of any thing more, save that I suppose the woman thought me mad, and fled out of the cottage. My first consciousness is of finding myself quite alone, with the door open, and a child looking in at me in wonderment, but with a gentleness such as I have seen my husband wear. No marvel I had loved that childish face: it was such as might have been his when he was a boy.

I cried, tremulously, "Laurence! little Laurence!" He came to me, smiling and pleased. One faint struggle I had—forgive me, poor dead girl!—and then I took the child in my arms, and kissed him as though I had been his mother For thy sake—for thy sake—my husband!

I understood all the past now. The wild, boyish passion, making an ideal out of a poor village girl—the unequal union—the dream fading into common day—coarseness creating repulsion—the sting of one folly which had marred a lifetime—dread of the world, self-reproach, and shame—all these excuses I could find: and yet Laurence had acted ill. And when the end came: no wonder that remorse pursued him, for he had broken a girl's heart. She might, she must, have loved him. I wept for her—I, who so passionately loved him too.

He was wrong, also, grievously wrong, in not acknowledging the child. Yet there might have been reasons. His father ruled with an iron hand; and, then, when he died, Laurence had just known me. Alas! I weave all coverings to hide his fault. But surely this strong, faithful love was implanted in my heart for good. It shall not fail him now: it shall encompass him with arms of peace: it shall stand between him and the bitter past: it shall lead him on to a worthy and happy future.

There is one thing which he must do: I will strengthen him to do it. Yet, when I tell him all, how will he meet it? No matter; I must do right. I have walked through this cloud of misery—shall my courage fail me now?

He came home, nor knew that I had been away. Something oppressed him: his old grief perhaps. My beloved! I have a balm even for that, now.

* * * I told him the story, as it were in a parable, not of myself, but of another—a friend I had. His color came and went—his hands trembled in my hold. I hid nothing: I told of the wife's first horrible fear—of her misery—and the red flush mounted to his very brow. I could have fallen at his feet, and prayed forgiveness; but I dared not yet. At last I spoke of the end, still using the feigned names I had used all along.

He said, hoarsely, "Do you think the wife—a good and pure woman—would forgive all this?"

"Forgive! Oh! Laurence—Laurence!" and I clung to him and wept.

A doubt seemed to strike him. "Adelaide—tell me—"

"I have told. Husband, forgive me! I know all, and still I love you—I love you!"

I did not say, I pardon. I would not let him think that I felt I had need to pardon.

Laurence sank down at my feet, hid his face on my knees, and wept.

* * * The tale of his youth was as I guessed. He told it me the same night, when we sat in the twilight gloom. I was glad of this—that[Pg 632] not even his wife's eyes might scan too closely the pang it cost him to reveal these long-past days. But all the while he spoke my head was on his breast, that he might feel I held my place there still, and that no error, no grief, no shame, could change my love for him, nor make me doubt his own, which I had won.

My task is accomplished. I rested not, day or night, until the right was done. Why should he fear the world's sneer, when his wife stands by him—his wife, who most of all might be thought to shrink from this confession that must be made? But I have given him comfort—ay, courage. I have urged him to do his duty, which is one with mine.

My husband has acknowledged his first marriage, and taken home his son. His mother, though shocked and bewildered at first, rejoiced when she saw the beautiful boy—worthy to be the heir of the Shelmerdines. All are happy in the thought. And I—

I go, but always secretly, to the small daisy-mound. My own lost one! my babe, whose face I never saw! If I have no child on earth, I know there is a little angel waiting me in heaven.

Let no one say I am not happy, as happy as one can be in this world: never was any woman more blessed than I am in my husband and my son—mine. I took him as such: I will fulfill the pledge while I live.

* * * The other day, our little Laurence did something wrong. He rarely does so—he is his father's own child for gentleness and generosity. But here he was in error: he quarreled with his Aunt Louisa, and refused to be friends. Louisa was not right either: she does not half love the boy.

I took my son on my lap, and tried to show him the holiness and beauty of returning good for evil, of forgetting unkindness, of pardoning sin. He listened, as he always listens to me. After a while, when his heart was softened, I made him kneel down beside me, saying the prayer—"Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us."

Little Laurence stole away, repentant and good. I sat thoughtful: I did not notice that behind me had stood my Laurence—my husband. He came and knelt where his boy had knelt. Like a child, he laid his head on my shoulder, and blessed me, in broken words. The sweetest of all were:

"My wife! my wife who has saved her husband!"



A military friend of mine, who died of fever, in Greece, a few years ago, one day related to me the first affair in which he had been engaged. His recital made such an impression upon me that I wrote it down from memory as soon as I had leisure. Here it is:

"I joined my regiment on the 4th of September, in the evening. I found my colonel at the bivouac. He received me at first very bluntly; but when he had read my letter of recommendation from General B——, he altered his manner. and addressed some civil words to me.

"I was presented by him to my captain, who had that instant returned from reconnoitering the movements of the enemy. This captain, though I had scarce time to observe him, was a tall, sunburnt man, of harsh and repulsive aspect. He had been a private soldier, and had gained his epaulets and his cross of the Legion on the field of battle. His voice, which was hoarse and weak, contrasted oddly with his almost gigantic height. They told me afterward that he owed his strange voice to a ball which had cut his windpipe across at the battle of Jena.

"On learning that I had come from the military school of Fontainebleau, he made a grimace, and said, 'My lieutenant was killed yesterday'—I understood what he would have added: 'It is you that should take his place, but you are not fit.' An angry retort was on my lips, but I contained myself.

"The moon rose behind the redoubt of Cheverino, situated about two gun-shots from our bivouac. It was large and red, as usual at first rising. But this evening the moon seemed to me of extraordinary size. For an instant the redoubt stood out from the dark night against the broad red disc of the moon. It looked like the cone of a volcano at the moment of an eruption.

"An old soldier, near whom I stood, remarked upon the color of the moon—'She is very red,' said he, 'it is a sign that it will cost us dear to take it—this famous redoubt!' I have always been superstitious, and this augury, especially at this moment, affected me considerably.

"I went to rest, but could not sleep. I rose, and walked about for some time in the dark, looking at the immense line of watch-fires which covered the heights about the village of Cheverino.

"When I found the cold, keen night-air had sufficiently cooled my blood, I went back to the fire; I wrapped myself carefully in my cloak, and shut my eyes, hoping not to open them again before daylight. But sleep fled my eyelids. My thoughts unconsciously assumed a gloomy aspect. I reflected that I had not a single friend among the hundred thousand men who covered this plain. If I were wounded, I would be carried to an hospital, and treated without respect, by perhaps ignorant surgeons. All that I had heard of surgical operations came into my mind. My heart beat with violence, and mechanically I placed, as a kind of cuirass, the handkerchief and the portfolio which I had with me, about my breast. Fatigue overwhelmed me; I grew sleepier each instant; but some unlucky thought suddenly flashed upon my mind, and I woke up again with a start.

"But fatigue prevailed, and when the drums beat to arms, they awoke me from a sound sleep.[Pg 633] We were put in battle array, and challenged the enemy, then we piled arms, and all said we were going to have a quiet day.

"About three o'clock, an aid-de-camp galloped up, bringing an order. We stood to our arms again; our sharpshooters spread themselves over the plain; we followed them slowly, and in about twenty minutes we saw the advanced posts of the Russians turning back and entering within the redoubt.

"A battery of artillery had established itself on our right, another on our left, but both were well in advance of us. They began a brisk fire upon the enemy, who replied vigorously, and the redoubt of Cheverino was very soon hid under a thick cloud of smoke.

"Our regiment was almost secure against the fire of the Russians by a rising-ground in our front. Their bullets—a rare thing for us—(for their gunners fired more accurately than ours) went over our heads, or at most covered us with earth and little stones.

"As soon as the order to advance had been given us, my captain eyed me with a look which obliged me, two or three times, to pass my hand over my young mustache with as unconcerned an air as I could. Indeed, I was not frightened, and the only fear I had was, lest any one about me should imagine I was afraid. These inoffensive bullets of the Russians still continued to preserve my heroic calmness. My self-esteem whispered to me that I ran a real danger, and that I was under the fire of a battery. I was delighted at feeling myself so much at my ease, and I thought of the pleasure with which I should relate the capture of the redoubt of Cheverino, in the salon of Madame de B——, in the Rue de Provence.

"The colonel passed before our company; he said to me, 'Well, sir! you are soon going to make your début.'

"I smiled, with a martial air, brushing at the same time the sleeve of my coat, upon which a bullet, that had fallen about thirty paces from me, had sent a little dust.

"It seemed that the Russians had perceived the bad success of their firing, for they replaced their cannon with howitzers, which could better reach us in the hollow where we were posted. Suddenly a stunning blow knocked off my shako, and a ball killed the man behind me.

"'I congratulate you,' said the captain to me, as I put on my shako again, 'you are safe for the day.' I knew of the military superstition, which holds that the axiom non bis in idem has its application on the field of battle as well as in the court of justice. I put on my shako somewhat haughtily. 'This causes one to salute without ceremony,' said I, as gayly as I could. This wretched pleasantry, under the circumstances, seemed excellent. 'I wish you joy,' replied the captain, 'you will not be hit again, and you will command a company this night; for I feel sure that the furnace is heated for me. Every time that I have been wounded, the officer behind me has received some mortal ball, and,' he added, in a low tone, and as if ashamed of what he was about to say, 'their names always began with a P.'

"I felt stout-hearted now; many people would have done as I did; many would, like myself, have been struck with these prophetic words. Conscript as I was, I felt that I could confide my sentiments to no one, and that I ought only to appear coolly intrepid.

"At the lapse of about half an hour the fire of the Russians sensibly diminished; and then we sallied from our cover, to march upon the redoubt.

"Our regiment was composed of three battalions. The second was ordered to turn the redoubt on the side of the defile; the two others were ordered to make the assault. I belonged to the third battalion.

"In moving out from behind the shoulder of the rising ground which had hitherto protected us, we were met by volleys of musketry, which, however, did little execution among our ranks. The whistling of the bullets surprised me; I frequently turned my head, and thus excited considerable pleasantry among those of my comrades who were more familiar than myself with this kind of music. Taking all things, said I to myself, a battle is not so terrible a thing after all.

"We advanced at a running pace, preceded by the skirmishers. All at once the Russians set up three hurras—three distinct hurras; then they remained silent, and entirely ceased firing. 'I don't like this quiet,' said my captain, 'it bodes us no good.' I found our people becoming rather blustering, and I could not help at the moment contrasting their noisy exclamations with the imposing silence of the enemy.

"We soon reached the foot of the redoubt, the palisades of which had been broken and the earth scattered by our cannon-balls. The soldiers rushed over the ruins, with cries of Vive l'Empereur! louder than one could have expected of men who had already been shouting so much.

"I raised my eyes, and never shall I forget the scene which I saw before me. The greater part of the smoke had risen, and hung, suspended like a canopy, twenty feet above the redoubt. Beyond a bluish vapor, we could see behind their half-destroyed parapet the Russian grenadiers, with muskets raised, immovable as statues. I think I still see each soldier, his left eye fixed on us, his right hidden behind his musket. In an embrasure, some feet from us, a man, holding a match, stood beside a cannon.

"I shuddered, and I thought that my last hour was come. 'Now the dance is about to begin!' said my captain. 'Good-night!' These were the last words I heard him speak.

"A roll of drums resounded through the redoubt. I saw them lower their muskets. I shut my eyes, and then I heard a terrific discharge, followed by cries and groans. I opened my eyes again, surprised to find myself still unharmed. The redoubt was again enveloped in[Pg 634] smoke. I was surrounded by dead and wounded. My captain lay stretched at my feet. His head was pounded by a bullet, and I was spattered with his blood and his brains. Of all my company, there remained alive only six men besides myself.

"A moment of stupor succeeded to this carnage. The colonel, putting his hat on the point of his sword, clambered up the parapet the first, crying Vive l'Empereur! and he was soon followed by the survivors. I have no distinct recollection of what occurred. We entered the redoubt, I don't know how. We fought, man to man, amid a smoke so thick that we could scarcely see each other. I must have struck like the rest, for I found my sabre all bloody. At last I heard the cry of 'Victory!' and, the smoke diminishing, I saw that blood and dead bodies almost covered the ground of the redoubt. The cannons were almost buried under the heaps of corpses. About two hundred men standing, in French uniforms, were grouped without order, some charging their pieces, others wiping their bayonets. Eleven Russian prisoners stood by them.

"The colonel lay stretched, all bloody, upon a broken wagon, near the defile. Some soldiers pressed round him. I approached. 'Who is the senior captain?' he asked of a sergeant. The sergeant shrugged his shoulders in a most expressive manner. 'And the senior lieutenant?' 'This officer who arrived to-day!' said the sergeant, calmly. The colonel smiled sadly. 'Come, sir,' said he to me, 'you command in chief. You must at once fortify the redoubt, and barricade the defile with wagons, for the enemy is in force; but General C—— will support you.' 'Colonel,' said I to him, 'you are seriously wounded.' 'F——, my dear fellow, but the redoubt is taken.'"


There is no faculty so inexplicable as memory. It is not merely that its powers vary so much in different individuals, but that every one has found their own liable to the most unaccountable changes and chances. Why vivid impressions should appear to become utterly obliterated, and then suddenly spring to light, as if by the wand of a magician, without the slightest effort of our own, is a mystery which no metaphysician has ever been able to explain. We all have experience of this, when we have striven in vain to recollect a name, a quotation, or a tune, and find it present itself unbidden, it may be, at a considerable interval of time, when the thoughts are engaged on another subject. We all know the uneasy feeling with which we search for the missing article, and the relief when it suddenly flashes across the mind, and when, as if traced by invisible ink, it comes out unexpectedly, bright and clear.

It is most happily ordered, that pleasing sensations are recalled with far greater vividness than those of a distressing nature. A charming scene which we loved to contemplate, a perfume which we have inhaled, an air to which we have listened, can all be reverted to with a degree of pleasure not far short of that which we experienced in the actual enjoyment; but bodily pain, which, during its continuance, occasions sensations more absorbing than any thing else, can not be recalled with the same vividness. It is remembered in a general way as a great evil, but we do not recall the suffering so as to communicate the sensation of the reality. In fact, we remember the pain, but we recollect the pleasure—for the difference between remembrance and recollection is distinct. We may remember a friend, whose person we have forgotten, but we can not have forgotten the appearance of one whom we recollect. Surely a benevolent Providence can be traced in the provision which enables us to enjoy the sensations again which gave pleasure, but which does not oblige us to feel those which gave pain. The memory of the aged, which is so impaired by years, is generally clear as to the most pleasurable period of existence, and faint and uncertain as to that which has brought the infirmities and "ills which flesh is heir to;" and the recollection of schoolboy days, with what keen delight are all their merry pranks and innocent pleasures recalled, while the drudgery of learning and the discipline of rules, once considered so irksome, fill but a faint outline in the retrospective picture; the impressions of joy and gayety rest on the mind, while those which are felt in the first moments of some great calamity are so blunted by its stunning effect, that they can not be accurately recalled. Indeed, it frequently happens that the memory loses every trace of a sudden misfortune, while it retains all the events which have preceded it.

Of such paramount importance is a retentive memory considered, that the improvement of the faculty by constant exercise is the first object in education, and artificial aids for its advantage have been invented. So essential did the ancients regard its vigor for any work of imagination, that "they described the muses as the daughters of memory." Though a retentive memory may be found where there is no genius, yet genius, though sometimes, is rarely deficient in this most valuable gift. There are so many examples of its great power in men of transcendent abilities, that every one can name a host. Some of these examples would appear incredible, had they not been given on unquestionable authority. Themistocles, we are told, could call by their names every citizen of Athens, though they amounted to twenty thousand. Cyrus knew the name of every soldier in his army. Hortentius, after attending a public sale for the day, gave an account in the evening of every article which had been sold, the prices, and the names of the purchasers. On comparing it with that taken at the sale by the notary, it was found to agree as exactly with it as if it had been a copy. "Memory Corner Thompson," so called from the extraordinary power which he possessed, drew, in the space of twenty-two hours, a correct[Pg 635] plan of the parish of St. James's, Westminster, with parts of the parishes of St. Marylebone, St. Ann, and St. Martin. In this were included all the squares, streets, courts, lanes, alleys, markets, and all other entries; every church, chapel, and public building; all stables and yards; all the public-houses and corners of streets, with every pump, post, tree, house, bow-window; all the minutiæ about St. James's Palace; this he did in the presence of two gentlemen, without any plan or notes of reference, but solely from his memory. He afterward completed the plans of other parishes. A house being named in any public street, he could tell the trade of the shop, either on the right or left hand. He could from memory furnish an inventory of every thing contained in any house where he was intimate, from the garret to the cellar.

The extraordinary powers of calculation entirely from memory are very surprising. The mathematician Wallis, in bed, and in the dark, extracted the cube root from a number consisting of thirty figures. George III. had a memory remarkably retentive. He is said never to have forgotten the face he had once seen, or the name once heard. Carolan's memory was remarkably quick and retentive. On one occasion, he met a celebrated musician at the house of an Irish nobleman. He challenged him to a trial of musical skill. The musician played the fifth Concerto of Vivaldi on his violin, to which Carolan, who had never heard it, listened with deep attention. When it was finished, he took his harp, and played the Concerto from beginning to end, without missing a single note. An instance of great memory is related of La Motte, who was invited by Voltaire, then a young man, to hear a tragedy which he had just finished. La Motte listened with great attention, and was delighted with it. However, he said he had one fault to find with it. On being urged by Voltaire to say what that was, he replied, that he regretted that any part of it should have been borrowed. Voltaire, chagrined and incredulous, requested that he would point this out. He named the second scene of the fourth act, saying, that, when he had met with it, it had struck him so much, that he took the trouble of transmitting it to memory. He then recited the scene, just as Voltaire had read it, with the animation which showed how much it pleased him. Voltaire, utterly confounded, remained silent; the friends who were present looked at each other in amazement; a few moments of embarrassment and dismay ensued. La Motte at length broke the silence: "Make yourself easy, sir," said he, "the scene belongs to no one but you. I was so charmed by its beauty that I could not resist the temptation of committing it to memory."

It is not uncommon to find the memory retentive on some subjects, yet extremely defective on others. The remarkable powers of some are limited to dates and names. A lady with whom we were acquainted could tell the number of stairs contained in each flight in the houses of all her acquaintance, but her memory was not particularly retentive in any thing else. In the notice of the death of Miss Addison, daughter of the celebrated Addison, which took place in 1797, it is stated, that "she inherited her father's memory, but none of the discriminating powers of his understanding; with the retentive faculties of Jedediah Buxton, she was a perfect imbecile. She could go on in any part of her father's works, and repeat the whole, but was incapable of speaking or writing an intelligible sentence." Cases of occasional forgetfulness on matters of interest to the mind are among the strange caprices of memory. When Dr. Priestley was preparing the dissertations prefixed to his "Harmony of the Gospels," he had taken great pains to inform himself on a subject which had been under discussion, relative to the Jewish passover. He transcribed the result of his researches, and laid the paper aside. His attention being called to something else, a fortnight elapsed before the subject again occurred to his mind. The same pains were taken which he had bestowed on it before. The fruits of his labor were again written out. So completely had he forgotten that he had before copied out exactly the same paragraphs and reflections, that it was only when he found the papers on which he had transcribed them that it was recalled to his recollection. At times he has read his own published writings without recognizing them.

John Hunter's memory once failed him. When he was in the house of a friend, he totally forgot where he was, in whose house, in what room, or in what street, or where he lived himself. He was conscious of this failure, and tried to restore his recollection by looking out of the window to ascertain where he was, but to no purpose. After some time, recollection gradually returned. It is well known that a young man of great ability, and for whom his friends looked for the most brilliant success, totally forgot what he had been about to say, when making his first, and, as it proved, his only parliamentary speech. He tried to resume the thread of his argument, but all was a cheerless blank—he came to a dead stop; and thus his parliamentary career ended: he never attempted to address the house again. An actor, who was performing in a play which had a great run, all at once forgot a speech which he had to make. "How," said he, when he got behind the scenes, and offered, as he thought, a very sufficient excuse, "how could it be expected that I should remember it forever. Haven't I repeated it every night for the last thirty nights!"

We are told in the "Psychological Magazine," that many cases have occurred in which persons have forgotten their own names. On one occasion, a gentleman had to turn to his companion, when about to leave his name at a door where they called to visit, to ask him what it was, so completely and suddenly had he forgotten it. After severe attacks of illness and great hardship, loss of memory is not infrequent. Some who recovered from the plague at Athens, as[Pg 636] Thucydides relates, had lost their memories so entirely that no friend, no relation, nothing connected with their personal identity, was remembered. It is said, that, among those who had escaped with life the disasters of the memorable campaign in Russia, and the disease which was so fatal to the troops at Wilna, there were some who had utterly lost their memory—who preserved not the faintest recollection of country, home, or friends. The fond associations of other days had left nothing but a dreary blank.

As the body has been made the vehicle for the exercise of the faculties of the mind, and as they are united in some mysterious manner, we find injuries to the one often hurtful, and sometimes fatal to the other. Mental shocks frequently impede, or in some cases utterly put an end to that exercise which the union of body and mind produces. The memory is often disturbed or upset by some injury to the brain. A fall, a sudden blow, or disease, may obliterate all recollection. We have heard of those who have suffered from such who have forgotten every friend and relation, and never knew the face of one belonging to them again. But the effects are sometimes very strange and partial, and totally beyond our comprehension. The functions of the memory, in some cases, are suspended for a time, but, on recovery, take up at the very point where they were deprived of their power. Dr. Abercrombie was acquainted with a lady who had an apoplectic seizure while at cards. From Thursday evening till Sunday morning she was quite unconscious. At length she spoke, and the first words she uttered were, "What is trump?" Beattie mentions a gentleman who had a similar attack, in the year 1761, from which he recovered, but all recollection of the four years previous to the attack was gone, while all that had happened in the preceding years was accurately recollected. He had to refer to the public journals of the forgotten years, in which he had taken great interest at the time, for information about the passing events of those years, and read the details with great satisfaction and surprise. By a fall from his horse, a gentleman, who was an admirable scholar, received a severe hurt on the head. He recovered, but his learning was gone, and he had actually to commence his education again by the very first step, the learning of the alphabet. A less unfortunate scholar, meeting with a similar accident, lost none of his acquirements but his Greek; but it was irrevocably lost. A strange caprice of memory is recorded in the case of Dr. Broussannet. An accident which befell him brought on an attack of apoplexy. When he recovered, he had utterly lost the power of pronouncing or writing proper names, or any substantive, while his memory supplied adjectives in profusion, by the application of which he distinguished whatever he wished to mention. In speaking of any one, he would designate him by calling him after the shape or color for which he was remarkable. If his hair was red, he called him "red;" if above the usual height, he named him "tall;" if he wanted his hat, he asked for his "black;" if his "blue" or "brown" was required, it was a coat of the color that he called for. The same mode of mentioning plants was that which he made use of. As he was a good botanist, he was well acquainted with a vast number, but he could never call them by their names.

Mr. Millingen quotes from Salmuth an account of a man who could pronounce words, though he had forgotten how to write them; and of another, who could only recollect the first syllable of the words he used. Some have confused substantives altogether, calling their watch a hat, and ordering up paper when they wanted coals; others have transposed the letters of the words which they intended to use. A musician, laboring under the partial loss of memory, was known to call his flute a tufle, thus employing every letter in the right word. Curious anagrams, it is stated, have been made in this way, and innumerable names for persons and things invented. An extraordinary case of periodic recollection had occurred in an old man, who had forgotten all the events of his former life, unless they were recalled to his memory by some occurrence; yet every night he regularly recollected some one particular circumstance of his early days. There are, indeed, very extraordinary cases of a sudden rush of recollections. A gentleman with whom we are acquainted, mentioned that at one time he was in imminent danger of being drowned, and that in the brief space of some moments all the events of his life were vividly recalled. There have been similar instances; indeed, were we to transcribe one-third of the remarkable cases of the caprice of memory, we should far exceed our limits. Some very wonderful details are given of those which have been known to occur in the somnambulist state. Dr. Dyce of Aberdeen describes the case of a girl who was subject to such attacks. During these, she would converse with the bystanders, answering their questions. Once she went through the whole of the baptismal service of the Church of England. On awakening, she had no recollection of what had occurred in her state of somnambulism, but, on falling into it again, she would talk over all that had passed and been said while it continued. During one of these paroxysms, she was taken to church, where she appeared to attend to the service with great devotion. She was much affected by the sermon, and shed tears at one passage. When restored to the waking state, she had not the faintest recollection whatever of the circumstance; but, in the following paroxysm, her recollection of the whole matter was most accurate; her account of it was as vivid as possible. Not only did she describe every thing, but she gave the subject of the sermon, repeating verbatim the passage at which she had wept. Thus she appeared endowed with two memories—one for the walking state, and the other for that mysterious sleep.

There are some very affecting cases of the[Pg 637] partial loss of memory from sudden misfortune and from untoward accidents. The day was fixed for the marriage of a young clergyman and one to whom he was most tenderly attached. Two days before the appointed time, he went out with a young friend, who was going to shoot. The gun went off accidentally. He instantly fell, and it was found that part of the charge had lodged in his forehead. For some days his life was despaired of; but at the end of that time he was pronounced out of danger. The happiness, however, which had hung on his existence was forever gone. She who had watched by him night and day had a trial more bitter than his death: he was deranged; his memory retained nothing but the idea of his approaching marriage. Every recollection, every thought was absorbed in that one idea. His whole conversation related to the preparations. He never would speak on any other subject. It was always within two days of the happy time. Thus years and years went over. Youth passed, and still two days more would wed him to her who was fondly loved as ever. And thus he reached his eightieth year, and sunk into the grave.

It has sometimes happened that the recollection of a sudden calamity has been lost in the very shock which it has produced. A curate of St. Sulpice, never weary of doing good, practiced the most rigid self-denial, that he might have the means of serving others. He adopted an English orphan boy, who repaid his kindness with a fond affection, which increased every year—in short, they loved like a father and a son. The poor boy was an apt scholar, and his protector took special delight in teaching him. But his predominant taste was for music, for which he evinced the enthusiasm that ever marks genius. His taste was cultivated, for many of those whom the curate instructed were the sons of artists, and were themselves well skilled in the delightful art, and he got them to give lessons to his protégé. He soon excelled upon the harp, and his voice, though not powerful, was capable of all those touching modulations which find their way to the heart. Accompanied by the chords, which he so well knew how to waken, more enchanting melody could scarcely be heard; and the poor curate found no more delightful relaxation than listening to his music; and the kind old man felt pride as well as delight in the progress of his son, as he always called the young musician. But peace and harmony was sadly interrupted. The attachment of the curate to the Archbishop of Arles was the cause of his being thrown into confinement with him in the convent of the Carmelites. His poor son pined to share the prison of one so much beloved—the one in whom all his feelings of affection and gratitude centred. At length his entreaties succeeded, and the pupil and his preceptor were together again. But even this melancholy companionship was to be rent asunder. The convent was attacked. The particulars of the massacre of the 2d of September, 1792, are too well known to need repetition. Some sought concealment among the branches of the trees into which they had climbed; but pikes and bullets soon reached them. The archbishop, attended by thirty of the clergy, went with steady steps up to the altar in the chapel at the end of the garden. It was there that these martyrs were sacrificed, as it has been beautifully told by Mr. Alison, with eyes raised to the image of their crucified Redeemer, and offering a prayer for their cruel assassins. Poor Capdeville, the good curate, it is said, recited at this awful moment the prayers of persons in the last agonies. The youth flew about the house in a state of bewildered distraction, seeking for his benefactor; at one moment bursting into an agony of tears, and then uttering the wildest lamentations; then, brushing away his tears, he would listen for some sound which might direct him to the spot where he might find his father. Some of the neighbors, who had been led by compassion to the melancholy scene, tried to induce the boy to escape, but he pursued his way wildly, till he found his benefactor. Nothing could persuade him to leave him. He appeared riveted to the spot, and refused to quit his side. But soon after the murder of the archbishop, the death-blow was aimed at Capdeville. He cast a last look, full of compassion and tenderness, on the beloved boy, and expired. Even as he lay, with his head resting on the step of the altar, it seemed as if he still observed his favorite with looks of kindness. The poor child's mind was quite upset. He would not believe him dead. He insisted that he slept. He forgot the scene of carnage by which he was surrounded. He sat by the bleeding corpse for three hours, expecting every moment that he would awaken. He rushed for his harp, and, returning to his patron's side, he played those plaintive airs in which he had taken especial delight. At length, worn out by watching for the moment of his awaking, he fell into a profound sleep, and the compassionate people about him bore him away and laid him on a bed. The sleep, or, more properly speaking, the stupor, continued for forty-eight hours. It was thought that when consciousness returned he might be somewhat composed; but his senses were never restored. As his affliction met with great commiseration, and as he was perfectly harmless, he was allowed the free range of the house. He would remain, as it were, in abstracted thought, pacing silently along the apartments, till the clock struck three; then he would bound away and fetch his harp, and, leaning against the fragments of the altar, he would play the tunes his preceptor had loved to hear. There was a touching expression of anxious hope in his countenance, but, when hours passed on, it was gradually succeeded by utter sadness. It was observed that at the hour of six he ceased to play, and slowly moving, he would say, "Not yet, not yet; but he will soon speak to his child;" and then he would throw himself on his knees, and appear for a while rapt in devotion, and, heaving a sigh as he rose, he would glide softly about, as if fearing to disturb his friend, whom[Pg 638] he thought was sleeping; and then he would again fall into a state of abstraction till the next day. How it happened that there was such regularity in the time of his commencing and ceasing to play, has not been suggested. It may have been that the exact time of his last interview with his friend was impressed upon his mind, or it may have been, which seems to us most likely, that these were the hours in which the poor curate was in the habit of seeking the relaxation of music to soothe and elevate his spirit after the labors of the day. Every one pitied the poor demented boy, and could not see unmoved how he clung to affection and to hope, though bereft of reason and of recollection.



CHAPTER XX.—A New Lodger.

The long vacation saunters on toward term-time, like an idle river very leisurely strolling down a flat country to the sea. Mr. Guppy saunters along with it congenially. He has blunted the blade of his penknife, and broken the point off, by sticking that instrument into his desk in every direction. Not that he bears the desk any ill-will, but he must do something; and it must be something of an unexciting nature, which will lay neither his physical nor his intellectual energies under too heavy contribution. He finds that nothing agrees with him so well, as to make little gyrations on one leg of his stool, and stab his desk, and gape.

[4] Continued from the September Number.

Kenge and Carboy are out of town, and the articled clerk has taken out a shooting license and gone down to his father's, and Mr. Guppy's two fellow stipendiaries are away on leave. Mr. Guppy, and Mr. Richard Carstone divide the dignity of the office. But Mr. Carstone is for the time being established in Kenge's room, whereat Mr. Guppy chafes. So exceedingly, that he with biting sarcasm informs his mother, in the confidential moments when he sups with her off a lobster and lettuce, in the Old Street Road, that he is afraid the office is hardly good enough for swells, and that if he had known there was a swell coming, he would have got it painted.

Mr. Guppy suspects every body who enters on the occupation of a stool in Kenge and Carboy's office, of entertaining, as a matter of course, sinister designs upon him. He is clear that every such person wants to depose him. If he be ever asked how, why, when, or wherefore, he shuts up one eye and shakes his head. On the strength of these profound views, he in the most ingenious manner takes infinite pains to counterplot, when there is no plot; and plays the deepest games of chess without any adversary.

It is a source of much gratification to Mr. Guppy, therefore, to find the new comer constantly poring over the papers in Jarndyce and Jarndyce; for he well knows that nothing but confusion and failure can come of that. His satisfaction communicates itself to a third saunterer through the long vacation in Kenge and Carboy's office; to wit, Young Smallweed.

Whether Young Smallweed (metaphorically called Small and eke Chick Weed, as it were jocularly to express a fledgling), was ever a boy, is much doubted in Lincoln's Inn. He is now something under fifteen, and an old limb of the law. He is facetiously understood to entertain a passion for a lady at a cigar shop, in the neighborhood of Chancery Lane; and for her sake to have broken off a contract with another lady, to whom he had been engaged some years. He is a town-made article, of small stature and weazen features; but may be perceived from a considerable distance by means of his very tall hat. To become a Guppy is the object of his ambition. He dresses at that gentleman (by whom he is patronized), talks at him, walks at him, founds himself entirely on him. He is honored with Mr. Guppy's particular confidence; and occasionally advises him, from the deep wells of his experience, on difficult points in private life.

Mr. Guppy has been lolling out of window all the morning, after trying all the stools in succession, and finding none of them easy, and after several times putting his head into the iron safe with a notion of cooling it. Mr. Smallweed has been twice dispatched for effervescent drinks, and has twice mixed them in the two official tumblers and stirred them up with the ruler. Mr. Guppy propounds, for Mr. Smallweed's consideration, the paradox that the more you drink the thirstier you are; and reclines his head upon the window-sill in a state of hopeless languor.

While thus looking out into the shade of Old Square, Lincoln's Inn, surveying the intolerable bricks and mortar, Mr. Guppy becomes conscious of a manly whisker emerging from the cloistered walk below, and turning itself up in the direction of his face. At the same time, a low whistle is wafted through the Inn, and a suppressed voice cries, "Hip! Guppy!"

"Why, you don't mean it?" says Mr. Guppy, aroused. "Small! Here's Jobling!" Small's head looks out of window too, and nods to Jobling.

"Where have you sprung up from?" inquires Mr. Guppy.

"From the Market Gardens down by Deptford. I can't stand it any longer. I must enlist. I say! I wish you'd lend me half-a-crown. Upon my soul I'm hungry."

Jobling looks hungry, and also has the appearance of having run to seed in the Market Gardens down by Deptford.

"I say! Just throw out half-a-crown, if you have got one to spare. I want to get some dinner."

"Will you come and dine with me?" says Mr. Guppy, throwing out the coin, which Mr. Jobling catches neatly.

"How long should I have to hold out?" says Jobling.

"Not half an hour. I am only waiting here,[Pg 639] till the enemy goes," returns Mr. Guppy, butting inward with his head.

"What enemy?"

"A new one. Going to be articled. Will you wait?"

"Can you give a fellow any thing to read in the mean time?" says Mr. Jobling.

Smallweed suggests the Law List. But Mr. Jobling declares, with much earnestness, that he "can't stand it."

"You shall have the paper," says Mr. Guppy. "He shall bring it down. But you had better not be seen about here. Sit on our staircase and read. It's a quiet place."

Jobling nods intelligence and acquiescence. The sagacious Smallweed supplies him with the newspaper; and occasionally drops his eye upon him from the landing as a precaution against his becoming disgusted with waiting, and making an untimely departure. At last the enemy retreats, and then Smallweed fetches Mr. Jobling up.

"Well, and how are you?" says Mr. Guppy, shaking hands with him.

"So, so. How are you?"

Mr. Guppy replying that he is not much to boast of, Mr. Jobling ventures on the question, "How is she?" This Mr. Guppy resents as a liberty; retorting, "Jobling, there are chords in the human mind—" Jobling begs pardon.

"Any subject but that!" says Mr. Guppy, with a gloomy enjoyment of his injury. "For there are chords, Jobling—"

Mr. Jobling begs pardon again.

During this short colloquy, the active Smallweed, who is of the dinner party, has written in legal characters on a slip of paper, "Return immediately." This notification to all whom it may concern, he inserts in the letter-box; and then putting on the tall hat, at the angle of inclination at which Mr. Guppy wears his, informs his patron that they may now make themselves scarce.

Accordingly they betake themselves to a neighboring dining-house, of the class known among its frequenters by the denomination Slap-Bang, where the waitress, a bouncing young female of forty, is supposed to have made some impression on the susceptible Smallweed; of whom it may be remarked that he is a weird changeling, to whom years are nothing. He stands precociously possessed of centuries of owlish wisdom. If he ever lay in a cradle, it seems as if he must have lain there in a tail-coat. He has an old, old eye, has Smallweed; and he drinks, and smokes, in a monkeyish way; and his neck is stiff in his collar; and he is never to be taken in; and he knows all about it, whatever it is. In short, in his bringing up, he has been so nursed by Law and Equity that he has become a kind of fossil Imp, to account for whose terrestrial existence it is reported at the public offices that his father was John Doe, and his mother the only female member of the Roe family; also that his first long-clothes were made from a blue bag.

Into the Dining House, unaffected by the seductive show in the window, of artificially whitened cauliflowers and poultry, verdant baskets of peas, coolly blooming cucumbers, and joints ready for the spit, Mr. Smallweed leads the way. They know him there, and defer to him. He has his favorite box, he bespeaks all the papers, he is down upon bald patriarchs, who keep them more than ten minutes afterward. It is of no use trying him with any thing less than a full-sized "bread," or proposing to him any joint in cut, unless it is in the very best cut. In the matter of gravy he is adamant.

Conscious of his elfin power, and submitting to his dread experience, Mr. Guppy consults him in the choice of that day's banquet; turning an appealing look toward him as the waitress repeats the catalogue of viands, and saying "What do you take, Chick?" Chick, out of the profundity of his artfulness, preferring "veal and ham and French beans—And don't you forget the stuffing, Polly," (with an unearthly cock of his venerable eye); Mr. Guppy and Mr. Jobling give the like order. Three pint pots of half-and-half are super-added. Quickly the waitress returns, bearing what is apparently a model of the tower of Babel, but what is really a pile of plates and flat tin dish-covers. Mr. Smallweed, approving of what is set before him, conveys intelligent benignity into his ancient eye, and winks upon her. Then, amid a constant coming in, and going out, and running about, and a clatter of crockery, and a rumbling up and down of the machine which brings the nice cuts from the kitchen, and a shrill crying for more nice cuts down the speaking-pipe, and a shrill reckoning of the cost of nice cuts that have been disposed of, and a general flush and steam of hot joints, cut and uncut, and a considerably heated atmosphere in which the soiled knives and table-cloths seem to break out spontaneously into eruptions of grease and blotches of beer, the legal triumvirate appease their appetites.

Mr. Jobling is buttoned up closer than mere adornment might require. His hat presents at the rims a peculiar appearance of a glistening nature, as if it had been a favorite snail-promenade. The same phenomenon is visible on some parts of his coat, and particularly at the seams. He has the faded appearance of a gentleman in embarrassed circumstances; even his light whiskers droop with something of a shabby air.

His appetite is so vigorous, that it suggests spare living for some little time back. He makes such a speedy end of his plate of veal and ham, bringing it to a close while his companions are yet midway in theirs, that Mr. Guppy proposes another. "Thank you, Guppy," says Mr. Jobling, "I really don't know but what I will take another."

Another being brought, he falls to with great good-will.

Mr. Guppy takes silent notice of him at intervals, until he is half way through this second plate and stops to take an enjoying pull at his[Pg 640] pint pot of half-and-half (also renewed), and stretches out his legs and rubs his hands. Beholding him in which glow of contentment, Mr. Guppy says:

"You are a man again, Tony!"


"Well, not quite, yet," says Mr. Jobling. "Say, just born."

"Will you take any other vegetables? Grass? Peas? Summer cabbage?"

"Thank you, Guppy," says Mr. Jobling. "I really don't know but what I will take summer cabbage."

Order given; with the sarcastic addition (from Mr. Smallweed) of "Without slugs, Polly!" And cabbage produced.

"I am growing up, Guppy," says Mr. Jobling, plying his knife and fork with a relishing steadiness.

"Glad to hear it."

"In fact, I have just turned into my teens," says Mr. Jobling.

He says no more until he has performed his task, which he achieves as Messrs. Guppy and Smallweed finish theirs; thus getting over the ground in excellent style, and beating those two gentlemen easily by a veal and ham and a cabbage.

"Now, Small," says Mr. Guppy, "what would you recommend about pastry?"

"Marrow puddings," says Mr. Smallweed instantly.

"Ay, ay!" cries Mr. Jobling, with an arch look. "You're there, are you? Thank you, Guppy, I don't know but what I will take a marrow pudding."

Three marrow puddings being produced, Mr. Jobling adds, in a pleasant humor, that he is coming of age fast. To these succeed, by command of Mr. Smallweed, "three Cheshires;" and to those, "three small rums." This apex of the entertainment happily reached, Mr. Jobling puts up his legs on the carpeted seat (having his own side of the box to himself), leans against the wall, and says, "I am grown up, now, Guppy. I have arrived at maturity."

"What do you think, now," says Mr. Guppy, "about—you don't mind Smallweed?"

"Not the least in the world. I have the pleasure of drinking his good health."

"Sir, to you!" says Mr. Smallweed.

[Pg 641]

"I was saying, what do you think now," pursues Mr. Guppy, "of enlisting?"

"Why, what I may think after dinner," returns Mr. Jobling, "is one thing, my dear Guppy, and what I may think before dinner is another thing. Still, even after dinner, I ask myself the question, What am I to do? How am I to live? Ill fo manger, you know," says Mr. Jobling, pronouncing that word as if he meant a necessary fixture in an English stable. "Ill fo manger. That's the French saying, and mangering is as necessary to me as it is to a Frenchman. Or more so."

Mr. Smallweed is decidedly of opinion "much more so."

"If any man had told me," pursues Jobling, "even so lately as when you and I had the frisk down in Lincolnshire, Guppy, and drove over to see that house at Castle Wold—"

Mr. Smallweed corrects him: "Chesney Wold."

"Chesney Wold. (I thank my honorable friend for that cheer.) If any man had told me, then, that I should be as hard up at the present time as I literally find myself, I should have—well, I should have pitched into him," says Mr. Jobling, taking a little rum-and-water with an air of desperate resignation; "I should have let fly at his head."

"Still, Tony, you were on the wrong side of the post then," remonstrates Mr. Guppy. "You were talking about nothing else in the gig."

"Guppy," says Mr. Jobling, "I will not deny it. I was on the wrong side of the post. But I trusted to things coming round."

That very popular trust in flat things coming round! Not in their being beaten round, or worked round, but in their "coming" round! As though a lunatic should trust in the world's "coming" triangular!

"I had confident expectations that things would come round and be all square," says Mr. Jobling, with some vagueness of expression, and perhaps of meaning, too. "But I was disappointed. They never did. And when it came to creditors making rows at the office, and to people that the office dealt with making complaints about dirty trifles of borrowed money, why there was an end of that connection. And of any new professional connection, too; for if I was to give a reference to-morrow, it would be mentioned, and would sew me up. Then, what's a fellow to do? I have been keeping out of the way, and living cheap, down about the market-gardens; but what's the use of living cheap when you have got no money? You might as well live dear."

"Better," Mr. Smallweed thinks.

"Certainly. It's the fashionable way; and fashion and whiskers have been my weaknesses, and I don't care who knows it," says Mr. Jobling. "They are great weaknesses—Damme, sir, they are great. Well!" proceeds Mr. Jobling, after a defiant visit to his rum-and-water, "what can a fellow do, I ask you, but enlist?"

Mr. Guppy comes more fully into the conversation, to state what, in his opinion, a fellow can do. His manner is the gravely impressive manner of a man who has not committed himself in life, otherwise than as he has become the victim of a tender sorrow of the heart.

"Jobling," says Mr. Guppy, "myself and our mutual friend Smallweed—"

(Mr. Smallweed modestly observes, "Gentlemen both!" and drinks.)

"Have had a little conversation on this matter more than once, since you—"

"Say, got the sack!" cries Mr. Jobling, bitterly. "Say it, Guppy. You mean it."

"N-o-o! Left the Inn," Mr. Smallweed delicately suggests.

"Since you left the Inn, Jobling," says Mr. Guppy; "and I have mentioned, to our mutual friend Smallweed, a plan I have lately thought of proposing. You know Snagsby, the stationer?"

"I know there is such a stationer," returns Mr. Jobling. "He was not ours, and I am not acquainted with him."

"He is ours, Jobling, and I am acquainted with him," Mr. Guppy retorts. "Well, sir! I have lately become better acquainted with him, through some accidental circumstances that have made me a visitor of his in private life. Those circumstances it is not necessary to offer in argument. They may—or they may not—have some reference to a subject, which may—or may not—have cast its shadow on my existence."

As it is Mr. Guppy's perplexing way, with boastful misery to tempt his particular friends into this subject, and the moment they touch it, to turn on them with that trenchant severity about the chords in the human mind; both Mr. Jobling and Mr. Smallweed decline the pitfall, by remaining silent.

"Such things may be," repeats Mr. Guppy, "or they may not be. They are no part of the case. It is enough to mention, that both Mr. and Mrs. Snagsby are very willing to oblige me; and that Snagsby has, in busy times, a good deal of copying work to give out. He has all Tulkinghorn's, and an excellent business besides. I believe, if our mutual friend Smallweed were put into the box, he could prove this?"

Mr. Smallweed nods, and appears greedy to be sworn.

"Now, gentlemen of the jury," says Mr. Guppy, "—I mean, now Jobling—you may say this is a poor prospect of a living. Granted. But it's better than nothing, and better than enlistment. You want time. There must be time for these late affairs to blow over. You might live through it on much worse terms than by writing for Snagsby."

Mr. Jobling is about to interrupt, when the sagacious Smallweed checks him with a dry cough, and the words, "Hem! Shakspeare!"

"There are two branches to this subject, Jobling," says Mr. Guppy. "That is the first. I come to the second. You know Krook, the Chancellor, across the lane. Come, Jobling," says Mr. Guppy, in his encouraging cross-examination[Pg 642] tone, "I think you know Krook, the Chancellor, across the lane?"

"I know him by sight," says Mr. Jobling.

"You know him by sight. Very well. And you know little Flite?"

"Every body knows her," says Mr. Jobling.

"Every body knows her. Very well. Now it has been one of my duties of late, to pay Flite a certain weekly allowance, deducting from it the amount of her weekly rent: which I have paid (in consequence of instructions I have received) to Krook himself, regularly, in her presence. This has brought me into communication with Krook, and into a knowledge of his house and his habits. I know he has a room to let. You may live there, at a very low charge, under any name you like; as quietly as if you were a hundred miles off. He'll ask no questions; and would accept you as a tenant, at a word from me—before the clock strikes, if you chose. And I'll tell you another thing, Jobling," says Mr. Guppy, who has suddenly lowered his voice, and become familiar again, "he's an extraordinary old chap—always rummaging among a litter of papers, and grubbing away at teaching himself to read and write; without getting on a bit, as it seems to me. He is a most extraordinary old chap, sir. I don't know but what it might be worth a fellow's while to look him up a bit."

"You don't mean—?" Mr. Jobling begins.

"I mean," returns Mr. Guppy, shrugging his shoulders with becoming modesty, "that I can't make him out. I appeal to our mutual friend Smallweed, whether he has or has not heard me remark, that I can't make him out."

Mr. Smallweed bears the concise testimony, "A few!"

"I have seen something of the profession, and something of life, Tony," says Mr. Guppy, "and it's seldom I can't make a man out more or less. But such an old card as this; so deep, so sly, and secret (though I don't believe he is ever sober;) I never came across. Now, he must be precious old, you know, and he has not a soul about him, and he is reported to be immensely rich; and whether he is a smuggler, or a receiver, or an unlicensed pawnbroker, or a money-lender—all of which I have thought likely at different times—it might pay you to knock up a sort of knowledge of him. I don't see why you shouldn't go in for it when every thing else suits."

Mr. Jobling, Mr. Guppy, and Mr. Smallweed, all lean their elbows on the table, and their chins upon their hands, and look at the ceiling. After a time, they all drink, slowly lean back, put their hands in their pockets, and look at one another.

"If I had the energy I once possessed, Tony!" says Mr. Guppy with a sigh. "But there are chords in the human mind—"

Expressing the remainder of the desolate sentiment in rum and water, Mr. Guppy concludes by resigning the adventure to Tony Jobling, and informing him that, during the vacation and while things are slack, his purse, "as far as three or four or even five pound goes," will be at his disposal. "For never shall it be said," Mr. Guppy adds with emphasis, "that William Guppy turned his back upon his friend!"

The latter part of the proposal is so directly to the purpose, that Mr. Jobling says with emotion, "Guppy, my trump, your fist!" Mr. Guppy presents it, saying, "Jobling, my boy, there it is!" Mr. Jobling returns. "Guppy, we have been pals now for some years!" Mr. Guppy replies, "Jobling, we have." They then shake hands, and Mr. Jobling adds in a feeling manner, "Thank you, Guppy, I don't know but what I will take another glass for old acquaintance sake."

"Krook's last lodger died there," observes Mr. Guppy, in an incidental way.

"Did he though!" says Mr. Jobling.

"There was a verdict. Accidental death. You don't mind that?"

"No," says Mr. Jobling, "I don't mind it; but he might as well have died somewhere else. It's devilish odd that he need go and die at my place!" Mr. Jobling quite resents this liberty; several times returning to it with such remarks as, "There are places enough to die in, I should think!" or, "He wouldn't have liked my dying at his place, I dare say!"

However, the compact being virtually made, Mr. Guppy proposes to dispatch the trusty Smallweed to ascertain if Mr. Krook is at home, as in that case they may complete the negotiation without delay. Mr. Jobling approving, Smallweed puts himself under the tall hat and conveys it out of the dining-rooms in the Guppy manner. He soon returns with the intelligence that Mr. Krook is at home, and that he has seen him through the shop-door, sitting in his back premises, sleeping, "like one o'clock."

"Then I'll pay," says Mr. Guppy, "and we'll go and see him. Small, what will it be?"

Mr. Smallweed, compelling the attendance of the waitress with one hitch of his eyelash, instantly replies as follows: "Four veals and hams is three and four potatoes is three and four and one summer cabbage is three and six and three marrows is four and six and six breads is five and three Cheshires is five and three and four pints of half-and-half is six and three and four small rums is eight and three and three Pollys is eight and six. Eight and six in half a sovereign, Polly, and eighteen-pence out!"

Not at all excited by these stupendous calculations, Smallweed dismisses his friends, with a cool nod, and remains behind to take a little admiring notice of Polly, as opportunity may serve, and to read the daily papers: which are so very large in proportion to himself, shorn of his hat, that when he holds up The Times to run his eye over the columns, he seems to have retired for the night, and to have disappeared under the bedclothes.

Mr. Guppy and Mr. Jobling repair to the rag and bottle shop, where they find Krook still sleeping like one o'clock; that is to say, breathing stertorously with his chin upon his breast, and quite insensible to any external sounds, or even[Pg 643] to gentle shaking. On the table beside him, among the usual lumber, stand an empty gin bottle and glass. The unwholesome air is so stained with this liquor, that even the green eyes of the cat upon her shelf, as they open and shut and glimmer on the visitors, look drunk.

"Hold up here!" says Mr. Guppy, giving the relaxed figure of the old man another shake. "Mr. Krook! Halloa, sir!"

But it would seem as easy to wake a bundle of old clothes, with a spirituous heat smouldering in it. "Did you ever see such a stupor as he falls into, between drink and sleep?" says Mr. Guppy.

"If this is his regular sleep," returns Jobling, rather alarmed, "it'll last a long time one of these days, I am thinking."

"It's always more like a fit than a nap," says Mr. Guppy, shaking him again. "Halloa, your lordship! Why he might be robbed, fifty times over! Open your eyes!"

After much ado, he opens them, but without appearing to see his visitors, or any other objects. Though he crosses one leg on another, and folds his hands, and several times closes and opens his parched lips, he seems to all intents and purposes as insensible as before.

"He is alive at any rate," says Mr. Guppy. "How are you, my Lord Chancellor. I have brought a friend of mine, sir, on a little matter of business."

The old man still sits, often smacking his dry lips, without the least consciousness. After some minutes, he makes an attempt to rise. They help him up, and he staggers against the wall, and stares at them.

"How do you do, Mr. Krook?" says Mr. Guppy, in some discomfiture. "How do you do sir? You are looking charming, Mr. Krook. I hope you are pretty well?"

The old man, in aiming a purposeless blow at Mr. Guppy, or at nothing, feebly swings himself round, and comes with his face against the wall. So he remains for a minute or two, heaped up against it; and then staggers down the shop to the front door. The air, the movement in the court, the lapse of time, or the combination of these things, recovers him. He comes back pretty steadily, adjusting his fur cap on his head, and looking keenly at them.

"Your servant, gentlemen; I've been dozing. Hi! I am hard to wake, odd times."

"Rather so, indeed, sir," responds Mr. Guppy.

"What? You've been a-trying to do it, have you?" says the suspicious Krook.

"Only a little," Mr. Guppy explains.

The old man's eye resting on the empty bottle, he takes it up, examines it, and slowly tilts it upside down.

"I say!" he cries, like the Hobgoblin in the story. "Somebody's been making free here!"

"I assure you we found it so," says Mr. Guppy. "Would you allow me to get it filled for you?"

"Yes, certainly I would!" cries Krook, in high glee. "Certainly I would! Don't mention it! Get it filled next door—Sol's Arms—the Lord Chancellor's fourteenpenny. Bless you, they know me!"

He so presses the empty bottle upon Mr. Guppy, that that gentleman, with a nod to his friend, accepts the trust, and hurries out and hurries in again with the bottle filled. The old man receives it in his arms like a beloved grandchild, and pats it tenderly.

"But, I say!" he whispers, with his eye screwed up, after tasting it, "this ain't the Lord Chancellor's fourteenpenny. This is eighteen-penny!"

"I thought you might like that better," says Mr. Guppy.

"You're a nobleman, sir," returns Krook, with another taste—and his hot breath seems to come toward them like a flame. "You're a baron of the land."

Taking advantage of this auspicious moment, Mr. Guppy presents his friend under the impromptu name of Mr. Weevle, and states the object of their visit. Krook, with his bottle under his arm (he never gets beyond a certain point of either drunkenness or sobriety), takes time to survey his proposed lodger, and seems to approve of him. "You'd like to see the room, young man?" he says. "Ah! It's a good room! Been whitewashed. Been cleaned down with soft soap and soda. Hi! It's worth twice the rent; letting alone my company when you want it, and such a cat to keep the mice away."

Commending the room after this manner, the old man takes them up-stairs, where indeed they do find it cleaner than it used to be, and also containing some old articles of furniture which he has dug up from his inexhaustible stores. The terms are easily concluded—for the Lord Chancellor can not be hard on Mr. Guppy, associated as he is with Kenge and Carboy, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, and other famous claims on his professional consideration—and it is agreed that Mr. Weevle shall take possession on the morrow.

Mr. Weevle and Mr. Guppy then repair to Cook's Court, Cursitor Street, where the personal introduction of the former to Mr. Snagsby is effected, and (more important) the vote and interest of Mrs. Snagsby are secured. They then report progress to the eminent Smallweed, waiting at the office in his tall hat for that purpose, and separate; Mr. Guppy explaining that he would terminate his little entertainment by standing treat at the play, but that there are chords in the human mind which would render it a hollow mockery.

On the morrow, in the dusk of evening, Mr. Weevle modestly appears at Krook's, by no means incommoded with luggage, and establishes himself in his new lodging; where the two eyes in the shutters stare at him in his sleep, as if they were full of wonder. On the following day Mr. Weevle, who is a handy good-for-nothing kind of young fellow, borrows a needle and thread of[Pg 644] Miss Flite, and a hammer of his landlord, and goes to work devising apologies for window-curtains, and knocking up apologies for shelves, and hanging up his two tea-cups, milk-pot, and crockery sundries on a pennyworth of little hooks, like a shipwrecked sailor making the best of it.

But what Mr. Weevle prizes most, of all his few possessions (next after his light whiskers, for which he has an attachment that only whiskers can awaken in the breast of man), is a choice collection of copper-plate impressions from that truly national work, The Divinities of Albion, or Galaxy Gallery of British Beauty, representing ladies of title and fashion in every variety of smirk that art, combined with capital, is capable of producing. With these magnificent portraits, unworthily confined in a band-box during his seclusion among the market-gardens, he decorates his apartment; and as the Galaxy Gallery of British Beauty wears every variety of fancy-dress, plays every variety of musical instrument, fondles every variety of dog, ogles every variety of prospect, and is backed up by every variety of flower-pot and balustrade, the result is very imposing.

But fashion is Mr. Weevle's, as it was Tony Jobling's weakness. To borrow yesterday's paper from the Sols' Arms of an evening, and read about the brilliant and distinguished meteors that are shooting across the fashionable sky in every direction, is unspeakable consolation to him. To know what member of what brilliant and distinguished circle accomplished the brilliant and distinguished feat of joining it yesterday, or contemplates the no less brilliant and distinguished feat of leaving it to-morrow, gives him a thrill of joy. To be informed what the Galaxy Gallery of British Beauty is about and means to be about, and what Galaxy marriages are on the tapis, and what Galaxy rumors are in circulation, is to become acquainted with the most glorious destinies of mankind. Mr. Weevle reverts from this intelligence, to the Galaxy portraits implicated; and seems to know the originals, and to be known of them.

For the rest he is a quiet lodger, full of handy shifts and devices as before mentioned, able to cook and clean for himself as well as to carpenter, and developing social inclinations after the shades of evening have fallen on the court. At those times, when he is not visited by Mr. Guppy, or by a small light in his likeness quenched in a dark hat, he comes out of his dull room—where he has inherited the deal wilderness of desk bespattered with a rain of ink—and talks to Krook, or is "very free," as they call it in the court, commendingly, with any one disposed for conversation. Wherefore, Mrs. Piper, who leads the court, is impelled to offer two remarks to Mrs. Perkins: Firstly, that if her Johnny was to have whiskers, she could wish 'em to be identically like that young man's; and secondly, Mark my words, Mrs. Perkins, ma'am, and don't you be surprised, Lord bless you, if that young man comes in at last for old Krook's money!

CHAPTER XXI.—The Smallweed Family.

In a rather ill-favored and ill-savored neighborhood, though one of its rising grounds bears the name of Mount Pleasant, the Elfin Smallweed, christened Bartholomew, and known on the domestic hearth as Bart, passes that limited portion of his time on which the office and its contingencies have no claim. He dwells in a little narrow street, always solitary, shady, and sad, closely bricked in on all sides like a tomb, but where there yet lingers the stump of an old forest tree, whose flavor is about as fresh and natural as the Smallweed smack of youth.

There has been only one child in the Smallweed family for several generations. Little old men and women there have been, but no child, until Mr. Smallweed's grandmother, now living, became weak in her intellect, and fell (for the first time) into a childish state. With such infantine graces as a total want of observation, memory, understanding and interest, and an eternal disposition to fall asleep over the fire and into it, Mr. Smallweed's grandmother has undoubtedly brightened the family.

Mr. Smallweed's grandfather is likewise of the party. He is in a helpless condition as to his lower, and nearly so as to his upper limbs; but his mind is unimpaired. It holds, as well as it ever held, the first four rules of arithmetic, and a certain small collection of the hardest facts. In respect of ideality, reverence, wonder, and other such phrenological attributes, it is no worse off than it used to be. Every thing that Mr. Smallweed's grandfather ever put away in his mind was a grub at first, and is a grub at last. In all his life he has never bred a single butterfly.

The father of this pleasant grandfather of the neighborhood of Mount Pleasant was a horny-skinned, two-legged, money-getting species of spider, who spun webs to catch unwary flies, and retired into holes until they were entrapped. The name of this old pagan's God was Compound Interest. He lived for it, married it, died of it. Meeting with a heavy loss in an honest little enterprise in which all the loss was intended to have been on the other side, he broke something—something necessary to his existence; therefore it couldn't have been his heart—and made an end of his career. As his character was not good; and he had been bred at a Charity School, in a complete course, according to question and answer, of those ancient people the Amorites and Hittites; he was frequently quoted as an example of the failure of education.

His spirit shone through his son, to whom he had always preached of "going out," early in life, and whom he made a clerk in a sharp scrivener's office at twelve years old. There, the young gentleman improved his mind, which was of a lean and anxious character; and, developing the family gifts, gradually elevated himself into the discounting profession. Going out early in life and marrying late, as his father had done before him, he too begat a lean and anxious-minded son; who, in his turn, going out early in life[Pg 645] and marrying late, became the father of Bartholomew and Judith Smallweed, twins. During the whole time consumed in the slow growth of this family tree, the house of Smallweed, always early to go out and late to marry, has strengthened itself in its practical character, has discarded all amusements, discountenanced all story-books, fairy tales, fictions, and fables, and banished all levities whatsoever. Hence the gratifying fact, that it has had no child born to it; and that the complete little men and women whom it has produced, have been observed to bear a likeness to old monkeys with something depressing on their minds.

At the present time, in the dark little parlor certain feet below the level of the street—a grim, hard, uncouth parlor, only ornamented with the coarsest of baize table-covers, and the hardest of sheet iron tea-trays, and offering in its decorative character no bad allegorical representation of Grandfather Smallweed's mind—seated in two black horsehair porter's chairs, one on each side of the fire-place, the superannuated Mr. and Mrs. Smallweed wile away the rosy hours. On the stove are a couple of trivets for the pots and kettles which it is Grandfather Smallweed's usual occupation to watch, and projecting from the chimney-piece between them is a sort of brass gallows for roasting, which he also superintends when it is in action. Under the venerable Mr. Smallweed's seat, and guarded by his spindle legs, is a drawer in his chair, reported to contain property to a fabulous amount. Beside him is a spare cushion, with which he is always provided, in order that he may have something to throw at the venerable partner of his respected age when ever she makes an allusion to money—a subject on which he is particularly sensitive.

"And where's Bart?" Grandfather Smallweed inquires of Judy, Bart's twin-sister.

"He an't come in yet," says Judy.

"It's his tea-time, isn't it?"


"How much do you mean to say it wants then?"

"Ten minutes."


"Ten minutes."—(Loud on the part of Judy.)


[Pg 646]

"Ho!" says Grandfather Smallweed. "Ten minutes."

Grandmother Smallweed, who has been mumbling and shaking her head at the trevets, hearing figures mentioned, connects them with money, and screeches, like a horrible old parrot without any plumage, "Ten ten-pound notes!"

Grandfather Smallweed immediately throws the cushion at her.

"Drat you, be quiet!" says the old man.

The effect of this act of jaculation is twofold. It not only doubles up Mrs. Smallweed's head against the side of her porter's chair, and causes her to present, when extricated by her grand-daughter, a highly unbecoming state of cap, but the necessary exertion recoils on Mr. Smallweed himself, whom it throws back into his porter's chair, like a broken puppet. The excellent old gentleman being, at these times, a mere clothes-bag with a black skull-cap on the top of it, does not present a very animated appearance until he has undergone the two operations at the hands of his grand-daughter, of being shaken up like a great bottle, and poked and punched like a great bolster. Some indication of a neck being developed in him by these means, he and the sharer of his life's evening again sit fronting one another in their two porter's chairs, like a couple of sentinels long forgotten on their post by the Black Sergeant Death.

Judy the twin is worthy company for these associates. She is so indubitably sister to Mr. Smallweed the younger, that the two kneaded into one would hardly make a young person of average proportions; while she so happily exemplifies the before-mentioned family likeness to the monkey tribe, that, attired in a spangled robe and cap, she might walk about the table-land on the top of a barrel-organ without exciting much remark as an unusual specimen. Under existing circumstances, however, she is dressed in a plain, spare gown of brown stuff.

Judy never owned a doll, never heard of Cinderella, never played at any game. She once or twice fell into children's company when she was about ten years old, but the children couldn't get on with Judy, and Judy couldn't get on with them. She seemed like an animal of another species, and there was instinctive repugnance on both sides. It is very doubtful whether Judy knows how to laugh. She has so rarely seen the thing done, that the probabilities are strong the other way. Of any thing like a youthful laugh, she certainly can have no conception. If she were to try one, she would find her teeth in her way; modeling that action of her face, as she has unconsciously modeled all its other expressions, on her pattern of sordid age. Such is Judy.

And her twin brother couldn't wind up a top for his life. He knows no more of Jack the Giant Killer, or of Sinbad the Sailor, than he knows of the people in the stars. He could as soon play at leap-frog, or at cricket, as change into a cricket or a frog himself. But he is so much the better off than his sister, that on his narrow world of fact an opening has dawned, into such broader regions as lie within the ken of Mr. Guppy. Hence, his admiration and his emulation of that shining enchanter.

Judy, with a gong-like clash and clatter, sets one of the sheet-iron tea-trays on the table, and arranges cups and saucers. The bread she puts on in an iron basket; and the butter (and not much of it) in a small pewter plate. Grandfather Smallweed looks hard after the tea as it is served out, and asks Judy where the girl is?

"Charley, do you mean?" says Judy.

"Hey?" from Grandfather Smallweed.

"Charley, do you mean?"

This touches a spring in Grandmother Smallweed who, chuckling, as usual, at the trevets, cries—"Over the water! Charley over the water, Charley over the water, over the water to Charley, Charley over the water, over the water to Charley!" and becomes quite energetic about it. Grandfather looks at the cushion, but has not sufficiently recovered his late exertion.

"Ha!" he says, when there is silence—"if that's her name. She eats a deal. It would be better to allow her for her keep."

Judy, with her brother's wink, shakes her head, and purses up her mouth into No, without saying it.

"No?" returns the old man. "Why not?"

"She'd want sixpence a-day, and we can do it for less," says Judy.


Judy answers with a nod of deepest meaning; and calls, as she scrapes the butter on the loaf with every precaution against waste, and cuts it into slices, "You Charley, where are you?" Timidly obedient to the summons, a little girl in a rough apron and a large bonnet, with her hands covered with soap and water, and a scrubbing brush in one of them, appears, and courtesies.

"What work are you about now?" says Judy, making an ancient snap at her, like a very sharp old beldame.

"I'm a cleaning the up-stairs back room, miss," replies Charley.

"Mind you do it thoroughly, and don't loiter. Shirking won't do for me. Make haste! Go along!" cries Judy, with a stamp upon the ground. "You girls are more trouble than you're worth, by half."

On this severe matron, as she returns to her task of scraping the butter and cutting the bread, falls the shadow of her brother, looking in at the window. For whom, knife and loaf in hand, she opens the street door.

"Ay, ay, Bart!" says Grandfather Smallweed. "Here you are, hey?"

"Here I am," says Bart.

"Been along with your friend again, Bart?"

Small nods.

"Dining at his expense, Bart?"

Small nods again.

"That's right. Live at his expense as much as you can, and take warning by his foolish ex[Pg 647]ample. That's the use of such a friend. The only use you can put him to," says the venerable sage.

His grandson without receiving this good counsel as dutifully as he might, honors it with all such acceptance as may lie in a slight wink and a nod, and takes a chair at the tea-table. The four old faces then hover over tea-cups, like a company of ghastly cherubim; Mrs. Smallweed perpetually twitching her head and chattering at the trevets, and Mr. Smallweed requiring to be repeatedly shaken up like a large black draught.

"Yes, yes," says the good old gentleman, reverting to his lesson of wisdom. "That's such advice as your father would have given you, Bart. You never saw your father. More's the pity. He was my true son." Whether it is intended to be conveyed that he was particularly pleasant to look at, on that account, does not appear.

"He was my true son," repeats the old gentleman, folding his bread and butter on his knee; "a good accountant, and died fifteen years ago."

Mrs. Smallweed, following her usual instinct, breaks out with "Fifteen hundred pound. Fifteen hundred pound in a black box, fifteen hundred pound locked up, fifteen hundred pound put away and hid!" Her worthy husband, setting aside his bread and butter, immediately discharges the cushion at her, crushes her against the side of her chair, and falls back in his own overpowered. His appearance, after visiting Mrs. Smallweed with one of these admonitions, is particularly impressive and not wholly prepossessing: firstly, because the exertion generally twists his black skull-cap over one eye and gives him an air of goblin rakishness; secondly, because he mutters violent imprecations against Mrs. Smallweed; and thirdly, because the contrast between those powerful expressions and his powerless figure is suggestive of a baleful old malignant, who would be very wicked if he could. All this, however, is so common in the Smallweed family circle, that it produces no impression. The old gentleman is merely shaken, and has his internal feathers beaten up; the cushion is restored to its usual place beside him; and the old lady, perhaps with her cap adjusted, and perhaps not, is planted in her chair again, ready to be bowled down like a ninepin.

Some time elapses, in the present instance, before the old gentleman is sufficiently cool to resume his discourse; and even then he mixes it up with several edifying expletives addressed to the unconscious partner of his bosom, who holds communication with nothing on earth but the trevets. As thus:

"If your father, Bart, had lived longer, he might have been worth a deal of money—you brimstone chatterer!—but just as he was beginning to build up the house that he had been making the foundations for, through many a year—you jade of a magpie, jackdaw, and poll-parrot, what do you mean!—he took ill and died of a low fever, always being a sparing and a spare man, full of business care—I should like to throw a cat at you instead of a cushion, and I will, too, if you make such a confounded fool of yourself!—and your mother, who was a prudent woman, as dry as a chip, just dwindled away like touchwood after you and Judy were born. You are an old pig. You are a brimstone pig. You're a head of swine!"

Judy, not interested in what she has often heard, begins to collect in a basin various tributary streams of tea, from the bottoms of cups and saucers and from the bottom of the teapot, for the little charwoman's evening meal. In like manner she gets together, in the iron bread-basket, as many outside fragments and worn-down heels of loaves as the rigid economy of the house has left in existence.

"But your father and me were partners, Bart," says the old gentleman; "and when I am gone, you and Judy will have all there is. It's rare for you both, that you went out early in life—Judy to the flower business, and you to the law. You won't want to spend it. You'll get your living without it, and put more to it. When I am gone, Judy will go back to the flower business, and you'll still stick to the law."

One might infer, from Judy's appearance, that her business rather lay with the thorns than the flowers; but she has, in her time, been apprenticed to the art and mystery of artificial flower-making. A close observer might perhaps detect both in her eye and her brother's, when their venerable grandsire anticipates his being gone, some little impatience to know when he may be going, and some resentful opinion that it is time he went.

"Now, if every body has done," says Judy, completing her preparations, "I'll have that girl into her tea. She would never leave off, if she took it by herself in the kitchen."

Charley is accordingly introduced, and, under a heavy fire of eyes, sits down to her basin and a Druidical ruin of bread and butter. In the active superintendence of this young person, Judy Smallweed appears to attain a perfectly geological age, and to date from the remotest periods. Her systematic manner of flying at her, and pouncing on her, with or without pretense, whether or no, is wonderful; evincing an accomplishment in the art of girl-driving, seldom reached by the oldest practitioners.

"Now, don't stare about you all the afternoon," cries Judy, shaking her head and stamping her foot, as she happens to catch the glance which has been previously sounding the basin of tea, "but take your victuals and get back to your work."

"Yes, miss," says Charley.

"Don't say yes," returns Miss Smallweed, "for I know what you girls are. Do it without saying it, and then I may begin to believe you."

Charley swallows a great gulp of tea in token of submission, and so disperses the Druidical ruins that Miss Smallweed charges her not to gormandize, which "in you girls," she observes, is disgusting. Charley might find some more[Pg 648] difficulty in meeting her views on the general subject of girls, but for a knock at the door.

"See who it is, and don't chew when you open it!" cries Judy.

The object of her attentions withdrawing for the purpose, Miss Smallweed takes that opportunity of jumbling the remainder of the bread and butter together, and launching two or three dirty tea-cups into the ebb-tide of the basin of tea; as a hint that she considers the eating and drinking terminated.

"Now! Who is it, and what's wanted?" says the snappish Judy.

It is one "Mr. George," it appears. Without other announcement or ceremony, Mr. George walks in.

"Whew!" says Mr. George. "You are hot here. Always a fire, eh? Well! Perhaps you do right to get used to one." Mr. George makes the latter remark to himself, as he nods to Grandfather Smallweed.

"Ho! It's you!" cries the old gentleman. "How de do? How de do?"

"Middling," replies Mr. George, taking a chair. "Your grand-daughter I have had the honor of seeing before; my service to you, miss."

"This is my grandson," says Grandfather Smallweed. "You han't seen him before. He is in the law, and not much at home."

"My service to him, too! He is like his sister. He is very like his sister. He is devilish like his sister," says Mr. George, laying a great and not altogether complimentary stress on his last adjective.

"And how does the world use you, Mr. George?" Grandfather Smallweed inquires, slowly rubbing his legs.

"Pretty much as usual. Like a football."

He is a swarthy browned man of fifty; stoutly built, and good-looking; with crisp dark hair, bright eyes, and a broad chest. His sinewy and powerful hands, as sunburnt as his face, have evidently been used to a pretty rough life. What is curious about him is, that he sits forward on his chair as if he were, from long habit, allowing space for some dress or accoutrements that he has altogether laid aside. His step, too, is measured and heavy, and would go well with a weighty clash and jingle of spurs. He is close-shaved now, but his mouth is set as if his upper lip had been for years familiar with a great mustache; and his manner of occasionally laying the open palm of his broad brown hand upon it, is to the same effect. Altogether, one might guess Mr. George to have been a trooper once upon a time.

A special contrast Mr. George makes to the Smallweed family. Trooper was never yet billeted upon a household more unlike him. It is a broad-sword to an oyster-knife. His developed figure, and their stunted forms; his large manner filling any amount of room, and their little narrow pinched ways; his sounding voice, and their sharp spare tones, are in the strongest and the strangest opposition. As he sits in the middle of the grim parlor, leaning a little forward, with his hands upon his thighs, and his elbows squared, he looks as though, if he remained there long, he would absorb into himself the whole family and the whole four-roomed house, extra little back-kitchen and all.

"Do you rub your legs to rub life into 'em?" he asks of Grandfather Smallweed, after looking round the room.

"Why, it's partly a habit, Mr. George, and—yes—it partly helps the circulation," he replies.

"The cir-cu-la-tion!" repeats Mr. George, folding his arms upon his chest, and seeming to become two sizes larger. "Not much of that, I should think."

"Truly, I'm old, Mr. George," says Grandfather Smallweed. "But I can carry my years. I'm older than her," nodding at his wife, "and see what she is!—You're a brimstone chatterer!" with a sudden revival of his late hostility.

"Unlucky old soul!" says Mr. George, turning his head in that direction. "Don't scold the old lady. Look at her here, with her poor cap half off her head, and her poor chair all in a muddle. Hold up, ma'am. That's better. There we are! Think of your mother, Mr. Smallweed," says Mr. George, coming back to his seat from assisting her, "if your wife an't enough."

"I suppose you were an excellent son, Mr. George," the old man hints, with a leer.

The color of George's face rather deepens, as he replies: "Why no. I wasn't."

"I am astonished at it."

"So am I. I ought to have been a good son, and I think I meant to have been one. But I wasn't. I was a thundering bad son, that's the long and the short of it, and never was a credit to any body."

"Surprising!" cries the old man.

"However," Mr. George resumes, "the less said about it, the better now. Come! You know the agreement. Always a pipe out of the two months' interest! (Bosh! It's all correct. You needn't be afraid to order the pipe. Here's the new bill, and here's the two months' interest-money, and a devil-and-all of a scrape it is to get it together in my business.")

Mr. George sits, with his arms folded, consuming the family and the parlor, while Grandfather Smallweed is assisted by Judy to two black leathern cases out of a locked bureau; in one of which he secures the document he has just received, and from the other takes another similar document which he hands to Mr. George, who twists it up for a pipe-light. As the old man inspects, through his glasses, every up-stroke and down-stroke of both documents, before he releases them from their leathern prison; and as he counts the money three times over, and requires Judy to say every word she utters at least twice, and is as tremulously slow of speech and action as it is possible to be; this business is a long time in progress. When it is quite concluded, and not before, he disengages his ravenous eyes and fingers from it, and answers Mr. George's[Pg 649] last remark by saying, "Afraid to order the pipe? We are not so mercenary as that, sir. Judy, see directly to the pipe and the glass of cold brandy and water for Mr. George."

The sportive twins, who have been looking straight before them all this time, except when they have been engrossed by the black leathern cases, retire together, generally disdainful of the visitor, but leaving him to the old man, as two young cubs might leave a traveler to the parental bear.

"And there you sit, I suppose, all the day long, eh?" says Mr. George, with folded arms.

"Just so, just so," the old man nods.

"And don't you occupy yourself at all?"

"I watch the fire—and the boiling and the roasting—"

"When there is any," says Mr. George, with great expression.

"Just so. When there is any."

"Don't you read, or get read to?"

The old man shakes his head with sharp, sly triumph. "No, no. We have never been readers in our family. It don't pay. Stuff. Idleness. Folly. No, no!"

"There's not much to choose between your two states," says the visitor, in a key too low for the old man's dull hearing, as he looks from him to the old woman and back again. "I say!" in a louder voice.

"I hear you."

"You'll sell me up at last I suppose, when I am a day in arrear."

"My dear friend!" cries Grandfather Smallweed, stretching out both hands to embrace him. "Never! Never, my dear friend! But my friend in the city that I got to lend you the money—he might!"

"O! you can't answer for him?" says Mr. George; finishing the inquiry, in his lower key, with the words "you lying old rascal!"

"My dear friend, he is not to be depended on. I wouldn't trust him. He will have his bond, my dear friend."

"Devil doubt him," says Mr. George. Charley appearing with a tray, on which are the pipe, a small paper of tobacco, and the brandy and water, he asked her, "How do you come here! you haven't got the family face."

"I goes out to work, sir," returns Charley.

The trooper (if trooper he be or have been) takes her bonnet off, with a light touch for so strong a hand, and pats her on the head. "You give the house almost a wholesome look. It wants a bit of youth as much as it wants fresh air." Then he dismisses her, lights his pipe, and drinks to Mr. Smallweed's friend in the city—the one solitary flight of that esteemed old gentleman's imagination.

"So you think he might be hard upon me, eh?"

"I think he might—I am afraid he would. I have known him do it," says Grandfather Smallweed, incautiously, "twenty times."

Incautiously, because his stricken better-half, who has been dozing over the fire for some time, is instantly aroused and jabbers. "Twenty thousand pounds, twenty twenty-pound notes in a money-box, twenty guineas, twenty million twenty per cent., twenty—" and is then cut short by the flying cushion, which the visitor, to whom this singular experiment appears to be a novelty, snatches from her face, as it crushes her in the usual manner.

"You're a brimstone idiot. You're a scorpion—a brimstone scorpion! You're a sweltering toad. You're a chattering, clattering, broom-stick witch, that ought to be burnt!" gasps the old man, prostrate in his chair. "My dear friend, will you shake me up a little?"

Mr. George, who has been looking first at one of them and then at the other, as if he were demented, takes his venerable acquaintance by the throat on receiving this request, and dragging him upright in his chair as easily as if he were a doll, appears in two minds whether or no to shake all future power of cushioning out of him, and shake him into his grave. Resisting the temptation, but agitating him violently enough to make his head roll like a harlequin's, he puts him smartly down in his chair again, and adjusts his skull cap with such a rub, that the old man winks with both eyes for a minute afterward.

"O Lord!" says Mr. Smallweed. "That'll do. Thank you, my dear friend, that'll do. O dear me, I'm out of breath. O Lord!" And Mr. Smallweed says it, not without evident apprehensions of his dear friend, who still stands over him looming larger than ever.

The alarming presence, however, gradually subsides into its chair, and falls to smoking in long puffs; consoling itself with the philosophical reflection, "The name of your friend in the city begins with a D, comrade, and you're about right respecting the bond."

"Did you speak, Mr. George?" inquires the old man.

The trooper shakes his head; and leaning forward with his right elbow on his right knee and his pipe supported in that hand, while his other hand, resting on his left leg, squares his left elbow in a martial manner, continues to smoke. Meanwhile he looks at Mr. Smallweed with grave attention, and now and then fans the cloud of smoke away, in order that he may see him the more clearly.

"I take it," he says, making just as much and as little change in his position as will enable him to reach the glass to his lips, with a round, full action, "that I am the only man alive (or dead either), that gets the value of a pipe out of you?"

"Well!" returns the old man, "it's true that I don't see company, Mr. George, and that I don't treat. I can't afford to do it. But as you, in your pleasant way, made your pipe a condition—"

"Why, it's not for the value of it; that's no great thing. It was a fancy to get it out of you. To have something in for my money."

"Ha! You're prudent, prudent, sir!" cries Grandfather Smallweed, rubbing his legs.

[Pg 650]

"Very. I always was." Puff. "It's a sure sign of my prudence, that I ever found the way here." Puff. "Also, that I am what I am." Puff. "I am well known to be prudent," says Mr. George, composedly smoking. "I rose in life, that way."

"Don't be down-hearted, sir. You may rise yet."

Mr. George laughs and drinks.

"Ha'n't you no relations now," asks Grandfather Smallweed, with a twinkle in his eyes, "who would pay off this little principal, or who would lend you a good name or two that I could persuade my friend in the city to make you a further advance upon? Two good names would be sufficient for my friend in the city. Ha'n't you no such relations, Mr. George?"

Mr. George, still composedly smoking, replies, "If I had, I shouldn't trouble them. I have been trouble enough to my belongings in my day. It may be a very good sort of penitence in a vagabond, who has wasted the best time of his life, to go back then to decent people that he never was a credit to, and live upon them; but it's not my sort. The best kind of amends then, for having gone away, is to keep away, in my opinion."

"But, natural affection, Mr. George," hints Grandfather Smallweed.

"For two good names, hey?" says Mr. George, shaking his head, and still composedly smoking. "No. That's not my sort, either."

Grandfather Smallweed has been gradually sliding down in his chair since his last adjustment, and is now a bundle of clothes, with a voice in it calling for Judy. That Houri appearing, shakes him up in the usual manner, and is charged by the old gentleman to remain near him. For he seems chary of putting his visitor to the trouble of repeating his late attentions.

"Ha!" he observes, when he is in trim again. "If you could have traced out the Captain, Mr. George, it would have been the making of you. If, when you first came here, in consequence of our advertisements in the newspapers—when I say 'our,' I'm alluding to the advertisements of my friend in the city, and one or two others who embark their capital in the same way, and are so friendly toward me as sometimes to give me a lift with my little pittance—if, at that time, you could have helped us, Mr. George, it would have been the making of you."

"I was willing enough to be 'made,' as you call it," says Mr. George, smoking not quite so placidly as before, for since the entrance of Judy he has been in some measure disturbed by a fascination, not of the admiring kind, which obliges him to look at her as she stands by her grandfather's chair; "but, on the whole, I am glad I wasn't now."

"Why, Mr. George? In the name of—of Brimstone, why?" says Grandfather Smallweed, with a plain appearance of exasperation. (Brimstone apparently suggested by his eye lighting on Mrs. Smallweed in her slumber).

"For two reasons, comrade."

"And what two reasons, Mr. George? In the name of the—"

"Of our friend in the city?" suggests Mr. George, composedly drinking.

"Ay, if you like. What two reasons?"

"In the first place," returns Mr. George; but still looking at Judy, as if, she being so old and so like her grandfather, it is indifferent which of the two he addresses; "you gentlemen took me in. You advertised that Mr. Hawdon (Captain Hawdon, if you hold to the saying, Once a captain always a captain) was to hear of something to his advantage."

"Well?" returns the old man, shrilly and sharply.

"Well!" says Mr. George, smoking on. "It wouldn't have been much to his advantage to have been clapped into prison by the whole bill and judgment trade of London."

"How do you know that? Some of his rich relations might have paid his debts, or compounded for 'em. Beside, he had taken us in. He owed us immense sums, all round. I would sooner have strangled him than had no return. If I sit here thinking of him," snarls the old man, holding up his impotent ten fingers, "I want to strangle him now." And in a sudden access of fury he throws the cushion at the unoffending Mrs. Smallweed, but it passes harmlessly on one side of her chair.

"I don't need to be told," returns the trooper, taking his pipe from his lips for a moment, and carrying his eyes back from following the progress of the cushion to the pipe-bowl, which is burning low, "that he carried on heavily and went to ruin. I have been at his right hand many a day, when he was charging upon ruin full-gallop. I was with him, when he was sick and well, rich and poor. I laid this hand upon him, after he had run through every thing and broken down every thing beneath him—when he held a pistol to his head."

"I wish he had let it off!" says the benevolent old man, "and blown his head into as many pieces as he owed pounds!"

"That would have been a smash indeed," returns the trooper, coolly; "any way, he had been young, hopeful, and handsome in the days gone by; and I am glad I never found him, when he was neither, to lead to a result so much to his advantage. That's reason number one."

"I hope number two's as good?" says the old man.

"Why, no. It's more of a selfish reason. If I had found him, I must have gone to the other world to look. He was there."

"How do you know he was there?"

"He wasn't here."

"How do you know he wasn't here?"

"Don't lose your temper as well as your money," says Mr. George, calmly knocking the ashes out of his pipe. "He was drowned long before. I am convinced of it. He went over a ship's side. Whether intentionally or accident[Pg 651]ally, I don't know. Perhaps your friend in the city does. Do you know what that tune is, Mr. Smallweed?" he adds, after breaking off to whistle one, accompanied on the table with the empty pipe.

"Tune!" replies the old man. "No. We never have tunes here."

"That's the Dead March in Saul. They bury soldiers to it; so it's the natural end of the subject. Now, if your pretty grand-daughter—excuse me, miss—will condescend to take care of this pipe for two months, we shall save the cost of one, next time. Good evening, Mr. Smallweed!"

"My dear friend!" The old man gives him both his hands.

"So you think your friend in the city will be hard upon me, if I fail in a payment?" says the trooper, looking down upon him like a giant.

"My dear friend, I am afraid he will," returns the old man looking up at him like a pigmy.

Mr. George laughs; and with a glance at Mr. Smallweed, and a parting salutation to the scornful Judy, strides out of the parlor, clashing imaginary sabres and other metallic appurtenances as he goes.

"You're a damned rogue," says the old gentleman, making a hideous grimace at the door as he shuts it. "But I'll lime you, you dog, I'll lime you!"

After this amiable remark, his spirit soars into those enchanting regions of reflection which its education and pursuits have opened to it; and again he and Mrs. Smallweed wile away the rosy hours, two unrelieved sentinels forgotten as aforesaid by the Black Sergeant.

While the twain are faithful to their post, Mr. George strides through the streets with a massive kind of swagger and a grave enough face. It is eight o'clock now, and the day is fast drawing in. He stops hard by Waterloo Bridge, and reads a playbill; decides to go to Astley's Theatre. Being there, is much delighted with the horses and the feats of strength; looks at the weapons with a critical eye; disapproves of the combats, as giving evidences of unskillful swordmanship; but is touched home by the sentiments. In the last scene, when the Emperor of Tartary gets up into a cart and condescends to bless the united lovers, by hovering over them with the Union-Jack, his eye-lashes are moistened with emotion.

The theatre over, Mr. George comes across the water again, and makes his way to that curious region lying about the Haymarket and Leicester Square, which is a centre of attraction to indifferent foreign hotels and indifferent foreigners, racket-courts, fighting-men, swordsmen, foot-guards, old china, gaming houses, exhibitions, and a large medley of shabbiness and shrinking out of sight. Penetrating to the heart of this region, he arrives, by a court and a long whitewashed passage, at a great brick building, composed of bare walls, floor, roof-rafters, and skylights; on the front of which, if it can be said to have any front, is painted George's Shooting Gallery, &c.

Into George's Shooting Gallery, &c., he goes; and in it there are gas-lights (partly turned off now), and two whitened targets for rifle-shooting, and archery accommodation, and fencing appliances, and all necessaries for the British art of boxing. None of these sports or exercises are being pursued in George's Shooting Gallery to-night; which is so devoid of company, that a little grotesque man, with a large head, has it all to himself, and lies asleep upon the floor.

The little man is dressed something like a gunsmith, in a green baize apron and cap; and his face and hands are dirty with gunpowder, and begrimed with the loading of guns. As he lies in the light, before a glaring white target, the black upon him shines again. Not far off, is the strong, rough, primitive table, with a vice upon it, at which he has been working. He is a little man with a face all crushed together, who appears, from a certain blue and speckled appearance that one of his cheeks presents, to have blown up, in the way of business, at some odd time or times.

"Phil!" says the trooper, in a quiet voice.

"All right!" cries Phil, scrambling up.

"Any thing been doing?"

"Flat as ever so much swipes," says Phil. "Five dozen rifle and a dozen pistol. As to aim!" Phil gives a howl at the recollection.

"Shut up shop, Phil!"

As Phil moves about to execute this order, it appears that he is lame, though able to move very quickly. On the speckled side of his face he has no eyebrow, and on the other side he has a bushy black one, which want of uniformity gives him a very singular and rather sinister appearance. Every thing seems to have happened to his hands that could possibly take place, consistently with the retention of all the fingers; for they are notched, and seamed, and crumpled all over. He appears to be very strong, and lifts heavy benches about as if he had no idea what weight was. He has a curious way of limping round the gallery with his shoulder against the wall, and tacking off at objects he wants to lay hold of, instead of going straight to them, which has left a smear all round the four walls, conventionally called "Phil's mark."

This custodian of George's Gallery in George's absence concludes his proceedings, when he has locked the great doors, and turned out all the lights but one, which he leaves to glimmer, by dragging out from a wooden cabin in a corner two mattresses and bedding. These being drawn to opposite ends of the gallery, the trooper makes his own bed, and Phil makes his.

"Phil!" says the master, walking toward him without his coat and waistcoat, and looking more soldierly than ever in his braces, "You were found in a doorway, weren't you?"

"Gutter," says Phil. "Watchman tumbled over me."

"Then, vagabondizing came natural to you, from the beginning."

"As nat'ral as possible," says Phil.

[Pg 652]


"Good-night, guv'ner."

Phil can not even go straight to bed, but finds it necessary to shoulder round two sides of the gallery, and then tack off at his mattress. The trooper, after taking a turn or two in the rifle-distance, and looking up at the moon, now shining through the skylights, strides to his own mattress by a shorter route, and goes to bed too.


Allegory looks pretty cool in Lincoln's Inn Fields, though the evening is hot; for, both Mr. Tulkinghorn's windows are wide open, and the room is lofty, gusty, and gloomy. These may not be desirable characteristics when November comes with fog and sleet, or January with ice and snow; but they have their merits in the sultry long vacation weather. They enable Allegory, though it has cheeks like peaches, and knees like bunches of blossoms, and rosy swellings for calves to its legs and muscles to its arms, to look tolerably cool to-night.

Plenty of dust comes in at Mr. Tulkinghorn's windows, and plenty more has generated among his furniture and papers. It lies thick every where. When a breeze from the country that has lost its way, takes fright, and makes a blind hurry to rush out again, it flings as much dust in the eyes of Allegory as the law—or Mr. Tulkinghorn, one of its trustiest representatives—may scatter, on occasion, in the eyes of the laity.

In his lowering magazine of dust, the universal article into which his papers and himself, and all his clients, and all things of earth, animate and inanimate, are resolving, Mr. Tulkinghorn sits at one of the open windows, enjoying a bottle of old port. For, though a hard-grained man, close, dry, and silent, he can enjoy old wine with the best. He has a priceless bin of port in some artful cellar under the Fields, which is one of his many secrets. When he dines alone in chambers, as he has dined to-day, and has his bit of fish and his steak or chicken brought in from the coffee-house, he descends with a candle to the echoing regions below the deserted mansion, and, heralded by a remote reverberation of thundering doors, comes gravely back, encircled by an earthly atmosphere, and carrying a bottle from which he pours a radiant nectar, two score and ten years old, that blushes in the glass to find itself so famous, and fills the whole room with the fragrance of southern grapes.

Mr. Tulkinghorn, sitting in the twilight by the open window, enjoys his wine. As if it whispered to him of its fifty years of silence and seclusion, it shuts him up the closer. More impenetrable than ever, he sits, and drinks, and mellows as it were in secrecy; pondering, at that twilight hour, on all the mysteries he knows, associated with darkening woods in the country, and vast blank shut-up houses in town; and perhaps sparing a thought or two for himself, and his family history, and his money, and his will—all a mystery to every one—and that one bachelor friend of his, a man of the same mould, and a lawyer too, who lived the same kind of life until he was seventy-five years old, and then, suddenly conceiving (as it is supposed) an impression that it was too monotonous, gave his gold watch to his hair-dresser one summer evening, and walked leisurely home to the Temple, and hanged himself.

But Mr. Tulkinghorn is not alone to-night, to ponder at his usual length. Seated at the same table, though with his chair modestly and uncomfortably drawn a little away from it, sits a bald, mild, shining man, who coughs respectfully behind his hand when the lawyer bids him fill his glass.

"Now, Snagsby," says Mr. Tulkinghorn, "to go over this odd story again."

"If you please, sir."

"You told me, when you were so good as to step round here, last night—"

"For which I must ask you to excuse me if it was a liberty, sir; but I remembered that you had taken a sort of an interest in that person, and I thought it possible that you might—just—wish—to—"

Mr. Tulkinghorn is not the man to help him to any conclusion, or to admit any thing as to any possibility concerning himself. So Mr. Snagsby trails off into saying, with an awkward cough, "I must ask you to excuse the liberty, sir, I am sure."

"Not at all," says Mr. Tulkinghorn. "You told me, Snagsby, that you put on your hat and came round without mentioning your intention to your wife. That was prudent, I think, because it's not a matter of such importance that it requires to be mentioned."

"Well, sir," returns Mr. Snagsby, "you see my little woman is—not to put too fine a point upon it—inquisitive. She's inquisitive. Poor little thing, she's liable to spasms, and it's good for her to have her mind employed. In consequence of which, she employs it—I should say upon every individual thing she can lay hold of, whether it concerns her or not—especially not. My little woman has a very active mind, sir."

Mr. Snagsby drinks, and murmurs with an admiring cough behind his hand. "Dear me, very fine wine indeed!"

"Therefore you kept your visit to yourself, last night?" says Mr. Tulkinghorn. "And to-night, too?"

"Yes, sir, and to-night, too. My little woman is at present in—not to put too fine a point upon it—in a pious state, or in what she considers such, and attends the Evening Exertions (which is the name they go by) of a reverend party of the name of Chadband. He has a great deal of eloquence at his command, undoubtedly, but I am not quite favorable to his style myself. That's neither here nor there. My little woman being engaged in that way, made it easier for me to step round in a quiet manner."

Mr. Tulkinghorn assents. "Fill your glass, Snagsby."

"Thank you, sir, I am sure," returns the sta[Pg 653]tioner, with his cough of deference. "This is wonderfully fine wine, sir!"

"It is a rare wine now," says Mr. Tulkinghorn. "It is fifty years old."

"Is it indeed, sir? But I am not surprised to hear it, I am sure. It might be—any age almost." After rendering this general tribute to the port, Mr. Snagsby in his modesty coughs an apology behind his hand for drinking any thing so precious.

"Will you run over, once again, what the boy said?" asks Mr. Tulkinghorn, putting his hands into the pockets of his rusty smallclothes, and leaning quietly back in his chair.

"With pleasure, sir."

Then, with fidelity, though with some prolixity, the law stationer repeats Joe's statement made to the assembled guests at his house. On coming to the end of his narrative, he gives a great start, and breaks off with—"Dear me, sir, I wasn't aware there was any other gentleman present!"

Mr. Snagsby is dismayed to see, standing with an attentive face between himself and the lawyer, at a little distance from the table, a person with a hat and stick in his hand, who was not there when he himself came in, and has not since entered by the door or by either of the windows. There is a press in the room, but its hinges have not creaked, nor has a step been audible upon the floor. Yet this third person stands there, with his attentive face, and his hat and stick in his hands, and his hands behind him, a composed and quiet listener. He is a steady-looking, sharp-eyed man in black, of about the middle age. Except that he looks at Mr. Snagsby as if he were going to take his portrait, there is nothing remarkable about him at first sight but his ghostly manner of appearing.

"Don't mind this gentleman," says Mr. Tulkinghorn, in his quiet way. "This is only Mr. Bucket."

"O indeed, sir?" returns the stationer, expressing by a cough that he is quite in the dark as to who Mr. Bucket may be.

"I wanted him to hear this story," says the lawyer, "because I have half a mind (for a reason) to know more of it, and he is very intelligent in such things. What do you say to this, Bucket?"

"It's very plain, sir. Since our people have moved this boy on, and he's not to be found on his old lay, if Mr. Snagsby don't object to go down with me to Tom-all-Alone's and point him out, we can have him here in less than a couple of hours' time. I can do it without Mr. Snagsby, of course; but this is the shortest way."

"Mr. Bucket is a detective officer, Snagsby," says the lawyer in explanation.

"Is he indeed, sir?" says Mr. Snagsby, with a strong tendency in his clump of hair to stand on end.

"And if you have no real objection to accompany Mr. Bucket to the place in question," pursues the lawyer, "I shall feel obliged to you if you will do so."

In a moment's hesitation on the part of Mr. Snagsby, Bucket dips down to the bottom of his mind.

"Don't you be afraid of hurting the boy," he says. "You won't do that. It's all right as far as the boy's concerned. We shall only bring him here to ask him a question or so I want to put to him, and he'll be paid for his trouble, and sent away again. It'll be a good job for him. I promise you, as a man, that you shall see the boy sent away all right. Don't you be afraid of hurting him; you an't going to do that."

"Very well, Mr. Tulkinghorn!" cries Mr. Snagsby, cheerfully, and reassured, "since that's the case—"

"Yes! and lookee here, Mr. Snagsby," resumes Bucket, taking him aside by the arm, tapping him familiarly on the breast, and speaking in a confidential tone. "You're a man of the world, you know, and a man of business, and a man of sense. That's what you are."

"I am sure I am much obliged to you for your good opinion," returns the stationer, with his cough of modesty, "but—"

"That's what you are, you know," says Bucket. "Now it an't necessary to say to a man like you, engaged in your business, which is a business of trust, and requires a person to be wide awake and have his senses about him, and his head screwed on right (I had an uncle in your business once)—it an't necessary to say to a man like you, that it's the best and wisest way to keep little matters like this quiet. Don't you see? Quiet!"

"Certainly, certainly," returns the stationer.

"I don't mind telling you," says Bucket, with an engaging appearance of frankness, "that, as far as I can understand it, there seems to be a doubt whether this dead person wasn't entitled to a little property, and whether this female hasn't been up to some games respecting that property, don't you see!"

"O!" says Mr. Snagsby, but not appearing to see quite distinctly.

"Now, what you want," pursues Bucket, again tapping Mr. Snagsby on the breast in a comfortable and soothing manner, "is, that every person should have their rights according to justice. That's what you want."

"To be sure," returns Mr. Snagsby, with a nod.

"On account of which, and at the same time to oblige a—do you call it, in your business, customer or client? I forget how my uncle used to call it."

"Why, I generally say customer, myself," replies Mr. Snagsby.

"You're right!" returns Mr. Bucket, shaking hands with him quite affectionately—"on account of which, and at the same time to oblige a real good customer, you mean to go down with me, in confidence, to Tom-all-Alone's, and to keep the whole thing quiet ever afterward and never men[Pg 654]tion it to any one. That's about your intentions, if I understand you?"

"You are right, sir. You are right," says Mr. Snagsby.

"Then here's your hat," returns his new friend, quite as intimate with it as if he had made it; "and if you're ready, I am."

They leave Mr. Tulkinghorn, without a ruffle on the surface of his unfathomable depths, drinking his old wine; and go down into the streets.

"You don't happen to know a very good sort of person of the name of Gridley, do you?" says Bucket, in friendly converse as they descend the stairs.

"No," says Mr. Snagsby, considering, "I don't know any body of that name. Why?"

"Nothing particular," says Bucket; "only, having allowed his temper to get a little the better of him, and having been threatening some respectable people, he is keeping out of the way of a warrant I have got against him—which it's a pity that a man of sense should do."

As they walk along, Mr. Snagsby observes, as a novelty, that however quick their pace may be, his companion still seems in some undefinable manner to lurk and lounge; also, that whenever he is going to turn to the right or left, he pretends to have a fixed purpose in his mind of going straight ahead, and wheels off, sharply, at the very last moment. Now and then, when they pass a police constable on his beat, Mr. Snagsby notices that both the constable and his guide fall into a deep abstraction as they come toward each other, and appear entirely to overlook each other, and to gaze into space. In a few instances Mr. Bucket, coming behind some under-sized young man with a shining hat on, and his sleek hair twisted into one flat curl on each side of his head, almost without glancing at him touches him with his stick; upon which the young man, looking round, instantly evaporates. For the most part Mr. Bucket notices things in general, with a face as unchanging as the great mourning ring on his little finger, or the brooch, composed of not much diamond and a good deal of setting, which he wears in his shirt.

When they come at last to Tom-all-Alone's, Mr. Bucket stops for a moment at the corner, and takes a lighted bull's-eye from the constable on duty there, who then accompanies him with his own particular bull's-eye at his waist. Between his two conductors, Mr. Snagsby passes along the middle of a villainous street, undrained, unventilated, deep in black mud and corrupt water—though the roads are dry elsewhere—and reeking with such smells and sights that he, who has lived in London all his life, can scarce believe his senses. Branching from this street and its heaps of ruins, are other streets and courts so infamous that Mr. Snagsby sickens in body and mind, and feels as if he were going, every moment deeper down, into the infernal gulf.

"Draw off a bit here, Mr. Snagsby," says Bucket, as a kind of shabby palanquin is borne toward them, surrounded by a noisy crowd. "Here's the fever coming up the street."

As the unseen wretch goes by, the crowd, leaving that object of attraction, hovers round the three visitors, like a dream of horrible faces, and fades away up alleys and into ruins, and behind walls; and with occasional cries and shrill whistles of warning, thenceforth flits about them until they leave the place.

"Are those the fever-houses, Darby?" Mr Bucket coolly asks, as he turns his bull's-eye on a line of stinking ruins.

Darby replies that "all them are," and further that in all, for months and months, the people "have been down by dozens," and have been carried out, dead and dying "like sheep with the rot." Bucket observing to Mr. Snagsby as they go on again, that he looks a little poorly, Mr. Snagsby answers that he feels as if he couldn't breathe the dreadful air.

There is inquiry made, at various houses, for a boy named Jo. As few people are known in Tom-all-Alone's by any Christian sign, there is much reference to Mr. Snagsby whether he means Carrots, or the Colonel, or Gallows, or Young Chisel, or Terrier Tip, or Lanky, or the Brick. Mr. Snagsby describes over and over again. There are conflicting opinions respecting the original of his picture. Some think it must be Carrots; some say the Brick. The Colonel is produced, but is not at all near the thing. Whenever Mr. Snagsby and his conductors are stationary, the crowd flows round, and from its squalid depths obsequious advice heaves up to Mr. Bucket. Whenever they move, and the angry bull's-eyes glare, it fades away, and flits about them up the alleys, and in the ruins, and behind the walls, as before.

At last there is a lair found out where Toughy, or the Tough Subject, lays him down at night; and it is thought that the Tough Subject may be Jo. Comparison of notes between Mr. Snagsby and the proprietress of the house—a drunken, fiery face tied up in a black bundle, and flaring out of a heap of rags on the floor of a dog-hutch, which is her private apartment—leads to the establishment of this conclusion. Toughy has gone to the Doctor's to get a bottle of stuff for a sick woman, but will be here anon.

"And who have we got here to-night?" says Mr. Bucket, opening another door, and glaring in with his bull's-eye. "Two drunken men, eh? And two women? The men are sound enough," turning back each sleeper's arm from his face to look at him. "Are these your good men, my dears?"

"Yes, sir," returns one of the women. "They are our husbands."

"Brickmakers, eh?"

"Yes, sir."

"What are you doing here? You don't belong to London."

"No, sir. We belong to Hertfordshire."

"Whereabouts in Hertfordshire?"

"Saint Albans."

"Come up on the tramp?"

"We walked up yesterday. There's no work down with us at present; but we have done[Pg 655] no good by coming here, and shall do none, I expect."

"That's not the way to do much good," says Mr. Bucket, turning his head in the direction of the unconscious figures on the ground.

"It an't, indeed," replies the woman with a sigh. "Jenny and me knows it full well."

The room, though two or three feet higher than the door, is so low that the head of the tallest of the visitors would touch the blackened ceiling if he stood upright. It is offensive to every sense; even the gross candle burns pale and sickly in the polluted air. There are a couple of benches, and a higher bench by way of table. The men lie asleep where they stumbled down, but the women sit by the candle. Lying in the arms of the woman who has spoken, is a very young child.

"Why, what age do you call that little creature?" says Bucket. "It looks as if it was born yesterday." He is not at all rough about it; and as he turns his light gently on the infant, Mr. Snagsby is strangely reminded of another infant, encircled with light, that he has seen in pictures.

"He is not three weeks old yet, sir," says the woman.

"Is he your child?"


The other woman, who was bending over it when they came in, stoops down again, and kisses it as it lies asleep.

"You seem as fond of it as if you were the mother yourself," says Mr. Bucket.

"I was the mother of one like it, master, and it died."

"Ah Jenny, Jenny!" says the other woman to her; "better so. Much better to think of dead than alive, Jenny! Much better!"

"Why, you an't such an unnatural woman, I hope," returns Bucket, sternly, "as to wish your own child dead?"

"God knows you are right, master," she returns. "I am not. I'd stand between it and death, with my own life if I could, as true as any pretty lady."

"Then don't talk in that wrong manner," says Mr. Bucket, mollified again. "Why do you do it?"

"It's brought into my head, master," returns the woman, her eyes filling with tears, "when I look down at the child lying so. If it was never to wake no more, you'd think me mad, I should take on so. I know that very well. I was with Jenny when she lost hers—warn't I Jenny?—and I know how she grieved. But look round you, at this place. Look at them;" glancing at the sleepers on the ground. "Look at the boy you're waiting for, who's gone out to do me a good turn. Think of the children that your business lays with often and often, and that you see grow up!"

"Well, well," says Mr. Bucket, "you train him respectable, and he'll be a comfort to you, and look after you in your old age, you know."

"I mean to try hard," she answers, wiping her eyes. "But I have been a thinking, being over-tired to-night, and not well with the ague, of all the many things that'll come in his way. My master will be against it, and he'll be beat, and see me beat, and made to fear his home, and perhaps to stray wild. If I work for him ever so much, and ever so hard, there's no one to help me; and if he should be turned bad, 'spite of all I could do, and the time should come when I should sit by him in his sleep, made hard and changed, an't it likely I should think of him as he lies in my lap now, and wish he had died as Jenny's child died."

"There, there!" says Jenny. "Liz, you're tired and ill. Let me take him."

In doing so she displaces the mother's dress, but quickly readjusts it over the wounded and bruised bosom where the baby has been lying.

"It's my dead child," says Jenny, walking up and down as she nurses, "that makes me love this child so dear, and it's my dead child that makes her love it so dear too, as even to think of its being taken away from her now. While she thinks that, I think what fortune would I give to have my darling back. But we mean the same thing, if we knew how to say it, us two mothers does in our poor hearts!"

As Mr. Snagsby blows his nose, and coughs his cough of sympathy, a step is heard without. Mr. Bucket throws his light into the doorway, and says to Mr. Snagsby, "Now, what do you say to Toughy? Will he do?"

"That's Jo!" says Mr. Snagsby.

Jo stands amazed in the disc of light, like a ragged figure in a magic lantern, trembling to think that he has offended against the law in not having moved on far enough. Mr. Snagsby, however, giving him the consolatory assurance, "It's only a job you will be paid for, Jo," he recovers; and, on being taken outside by Mr. Bucket for a little private confabulation, tells his tale satisfactorily, though out of breath.

"I have squared it with the lad," says Mr. Bucket, returning, "and it's all right. Now, Mr. Snagsby, we're ready for you."

First, Jo has to complete his errand of good-nature by handing over the physic he has been to get, which he delivers with the laconic verbal direction that "it's to be all took d'rectly." Secondly Mr. Snagsby has to lay upon the table half-a-crown, his usual panacea for an immense variety of afflictions. Thirdly, Mr. Bucket has to take Jo by the arm a little above the elbow and walk him on before him: without which observance, neither the Tough Subject nor any other subject could be professionally conducted to Lincoln's Inn Fields. These arrangements completed, they give the women good-night, and come out once more into black and foul Tom-all-Alone's.

By the noisome ways through which they descended into that pit, they gradually emerge from it; the crowd flitting, and whistling, and skulking about them, until they come to the verge, where restoration of the bull's-eyes is made to Darby. Here the crowd, like a concourse of imprisoned demons turns back, yelling and is seen[Pg 656] no more. Through the clearer and fresher streets, never so clear and fresh to Mr. Snagsby's mind as now, they walk and ride, until they come to Mr. Tulkinghorn's gate.

As they ascend the dim stairs (Mr. Tulkinghorn's chambers being on the first floor), Mr. Bucket mentions that he has the key of the outer door in his pocket, and that there is no need to ring. For a man so expert in most things of that kind, Bucket takes time to open the door, and makes some noise too. It may be that he sounds a note of preparation.

Howbeit, they come at last into the hall, where a lamp is burning, and so into Mr. Tulkinghorn's usual room—the room where he drank his old wine to-night. He is not there, but his two old-fashioned candlesticks are; and the room is tolerably light.

Mr. Bucket, still having his professional hold of Jo, and appearing to Mr. Snagsby to possess an unlimited number of eyes, makes a little way into this room, when Jo starts, and stops.

"What's the matter?" says Bucket in a whisper.

"There she is!" cries Jo.


"The lady!"

A female figure, closely vailed, stands in the middle of the room, where the light falls upon it. It is quite still, and silent. The front of the figure is toward them, but it takes no notice of their entrance, and remains like a statue.

"Now, tell me," says Bucket aloud, "how you know that to be the lady."

"I know the wale," replies Jo, staring, "and the bonnet, and the gownd."

"Be quite sure of what you say, Tough," returns Bucket, narrowly observant of him. "Look again."

"I am a-looking as hard as ever I can look," says Jo, with starting eyes, "and that there's the wale, the bonnet, and the gownd."

"What about those rings you told me of?" asks Bucket.

"A sparkling all over here," says Jo, rubbing the fingers of his left hand on the knuckles of his right, without taking his eyes from the figure.

The figure removes the right hand glove, and shows the hand.

"Now, what do you say to that?" asks Bucket.

Jo shakes his head. "Not rings a bit like them. Not a hand like that."

"What are you talking of?" says Bucket; evidently pleased though, and well pleased too.

"Hand was a deal whiter, a deal delicater, and a deal smaller," returns Jo.

"Why, you'll tell me I'm my own mother, next," says Mr. Bucket. "Do you recollect the lady's voice?"

"I think I does?" says Jo.

The figure speaks. "Was it at all like this. I will speak as long as you like if you are not sure. Was it this voice, or at all like this voice?"

Jo looks aghast at Mr. Bucket. "Not a bit!"

"Then, what," retorts that worthy, pointing to the figure, "did you say it was the lady for?"

"Cos," says Jo, with a perplexed stare, but without being at all shaken in his certainty, "Cos that there's the wale, the bonnet, and the gownd. It is her and it an't her. It an't her hand, nor yet her rings, nor yet her woice. But that there's the wale, the bonnet, and the gownd, and they're wore the same way wot she wore 'em, and its her height wot she wos, and she give me a sov'ring and hooked it."

"Well!" says Mr. Bucket, slightly, "we haven't got much good out of you. But, however, here's five shillings for you. Take care how you spend it, and don't get yourself into trouble." Bucket stealthily tells the coins from one hand into the other like counters—which is a way he has, his principal use of them being in these games of skill—and then puts them, in a little pile, into the boy's hand, and takes him out to the door; leaving Mr. Snagsby, not by any means comfortable under these mysterious circumstances, alone with the vailed figure. But on Mr. Tulkinghorn's coming into the room, the vail is raised, and a sufficiently good-looking Frenchwoman is revealed, though her expression is something of the intensest.

"Thank you, Mademoiselle Hortense," says Mr. Tulkinghorn, with his usual equanimity. "I will give you no further trouble about this little wager."

"You will do me the kindness to remember, sir, that I am not at present placed?" said Mademoiselle.

"Certainly, certainly!"

"And to confer upon me the favor of your distinguished recommendation?"

"By all means, Mademoiselle Hortense."

"A word from Mr. Tulkinghorn is so powerful."—"It shall not be wanting, Mademoiselle."—"Receive the assurance of my devoted gratitude dear sir."—"Good-night." Mademoiselle goes out with an air of native gentility; and Mr. Bucket, to whom it is, on an emergency, as natural to be groom of the ceremonies as it is to be any thing else, shows her down stairs, not without gallantry.

"Well, Bucket?" quoth Mr. Tulkinghorn on his return.

"It's all squared, you see, as I squared it myself, sir. There an't a doubt that it was the other one with this one's dress on. The boy was exact respecting colors and every thing. Mr. Snagsby, I promised you, as a man, that he should be sent away all right. Don't say it wasn't done!"

"You have kept your word, sir," returns the stationer; "and if I can be of no further use, Mr. Tulkinghorn, I think, as my little woman will be getting anxious—"

"Thank you, Snagsby, no further use," says Mr. Tulkinghorn. "I am quite indebted to you for the trouble you have taken already."

"Not at all, sir. I wish you good-night."

"You see, Mr. Snagsby," says Mr. Bucket,[Pg 657] accompanying him to the door, and shaking hands with him over and over again, "what I like in you, is, that you're a man it's of no use pumping; that's what you are. When you know you have done a right thing, you put it away, and it's done with and gone, and there's an end of it. That's what you do."

"That is certainly what I endeavor to do, sir," returns Mr. Snagsby.

"No, you don't do yourself justice. It an't what you endeavor to do," says Mr. Bucket, shaking hands with him and blessing him in the tenderest manner, "it's what you do. That's what I estimate in a man in your way of business."

Mr. Snagsby makes a suitable response; and goes homeward so confused by the events of the evening, that he is doubtful of his being awake and out—doubtful of the reality of the streets through which he goes—doubtful of the reality of the moon that shines above him. He is presently reassured on these subjects, by the unchallengeable reality of Mrs. Snagsby, sitting up with her head in a perfect beehive of curl-papers and nightcap; who has dispatched Guster to the police station with official intelligence of her husband's being made away with, and who, within the last two hours, has passed through every stage of swooning with the greatest decorum. But, as the little woman feelingly says, many thanks she gets for it!


We people in this western world, have, in our time, not less than those who went before us, been witnesses of many acts of eccentric and exaggerated faith. We have seen this virtue dressed in many a guise, tricked out in many a hue. We have seen it in the meanest and the highest.

But what is cold, dwarfed, European faith, when compared with the huge monstrous faith of the barbarous land of the sun? The two will no more bear comparison than will the Surrey Hills compare with the Himalayas, or the Thames and the Garonne bear being mentioned beside the Ganges and the Burrumpootra. The scenes I am about to relate are not selected for their rarity or for any peculiarity about them; they may be met with at any of the many festivals, or Poojahs, throughout India proper.

The village at which the festival I witnessed was held, was not very far distant from one of the leading cities of Bengal, a city numbering possibly half a million of inhabitants, with a highly populous country round about it for many a league. The reader will, therefore, readily imagine the crowding and rushing which took place from all sides, to witness the festival of a deity in whom all believed, for, away from the south, there are comparatively but few of any other faith than Hindooism.

It was high noon when I arrived on the ground in my palanquin; and by favor of the friendship of the British collector of Howdahpore I was admitted within the most privileged circle, and took up my stand beneath the pleasant shade of a wide-spreading Jambo tree. I had time and opportunity to note the place and the people; for the sacred operations had not as yet commenced. The spot we were assembled in was in an extensive valley lightly wooded at intervals, and commanding a picturesque view of a rather wide river which flowed on to Howdahpore, and was now busy with many boats loaded with passengers. On the river bank nearest to us, a number of bamboo and leaf sheds had been hastily erected, in which carousals and amusements of various kinds were in progress or preparation. Flowers decorated the ample doorways, and hung festooned from many a roof; while high above, wooing in vain a passing breeze and brightly glaring in the noon-day tropic sun, gay streamers drooped in burning listlessness. From the topmost summits of some of the loftiest trees—and they are lofty here—long tapering poles extended other flags and strips of colored cloth. In cool, shady nooks, where clumps of spreading jungle kindly grew, at other times the haunts of fiercest tigers, or worse, of cruel Thugs, small knots of Hindoo families of rank were grouped in silent watchfulness. The lordly Zemindar of the district; the exacting Tulukdhar, the terror of village ryots; the grinding Putindhar: all these were there in eastern feudal pomp.

Far as the eye could reach, the rich green valley teemed with human life. Thousands on thousands flocked from many a point, and pressed to where the gaudy flags and beating drums told of the approaching Poojah. The steady hum of the vast multitude seemed like the ocean's fall on some far distant shore. Grief, joy, pain, pleasure, prayers and songs, blended with howling madness, or cries of devotees, in one strange, stormy discord; the heat and glare, the many new and striking garbs, the sea of dusky visages and brightly glaring eyes, mixed with the varied gorgeous foliage, and flinging into contrast the lovely gentleness of distant hills and woods, made up a whole not easy to forget, yet difficult to paint.

But my attention was before long directed to some preparations in progress not far from where I stood. I had observed several huge poles standing at a great height, with ropes and some apparatus attached to them, the use of which I knew from report alone. Here I now remarked a great deal of bustling activity; a number of attendants were beating back the crowd in order to clear a space around one of the loftiest of the poles I have mentioned. This was a work of much difficulty, for the mob was both excited and dense. At length, however, they succeeded in the task, and finding the ground before me pretty clear, I advanced close to the scene of action. Round about the pole were a number of Fakirs or Ascetics, a sort of self-mutilated hermits, who hope and firmly believe that, by distorting their limbs into all sorts of impossible positions and shapes, they have insured the favor of some unpronounceable di[Pg 658]vinity, and with that a ready and certain passport to some future state about which they have not the most remote idea, which renders their devotion the more praiseworthy.

There was one miserable object, with his long matted locks of dirty red streaming over his shoulders, and one withered arm and hand held blighted high above his head, immovable. It had been forced into that unnatural position years ago, and what was then an act of free-will, was now a matter of necessity; the arm would no longer return to its true position, but pointed in its thin and bony haggardness to heaven. Another dark-eyed, dark-haired ascetic had held his hands for years so firmly clasped together, that the long talon-like nails were to be seen growing through the palms of his hands and appearing at the back. Some I saw with thick rope actually threaded through their flesh quite round their bodies, many times in bleeding coils; more than one young woman was there with her neck and shoulders thickly studded over with sharp short needles stuck firmly in the flesh. One man, a young man, too, had forced a sort of spear right through the fleshy part of his foot, with the thick wooden handle downward, on which he walked, quite indifferent to any sort of inconvenience. There was no lack of others, all self-tortured, maimed, and trussed, and skewered, as though about to be spitted and put down to the fire.

The object which all by one consent agreed to gaze at, was a young and pretty-looking girl, almost a child in manner, who sat upon the ground so sadly, yet so calm and almost happy, that I could not persuade myself one so young and gentle was about to be barbarously tortured. Yet so it was. It appeared that her husband had, months since, gone upon some distant, dangerous journey; that being long absent, and rumors raised in the native bazaar of his death, she, the anxious wife, had vowed to Siva, the protector of life, to undergo self-torture on his next festival if her loved husband's life should be spared. He had returned, and now, mighty in faith and love, this simple-minded, single-hearted creature gave up herself to pain such as the stoutest of our sex or race might shrink from. She sat looking fondly on her little infant as it lay asleep in the arms of an old nurse, all unconscious of the mother's sacrifice, and turning her eyes from that to her husband, who stood near in a wild, excited state, she gave the signal that she was ready. The stout-limbed, burly-bodied husband rushed like a tiger at such of the crowd as attempted to press too near the sacrificial girl: he had a staff in his hand, and with it played such a tune on bare and turbaned heads and ebony shoulders, as brought down many an angry malediction on the player. The nurse with the infant moved further away among the crowd of admiring spectators. Two or three persons, men and women, pressed forward to adjust the horrid-looking hooks. Was it possible, I thought, that those huge instruments of torture, heavy enough to hold an elephant, were to be forced into the flesh of that gentle girl! I felt sick as I saw the poor child stretched upon her face, and first one and then the other of those ugly, crooked pieces of iron forced slowly through the flesh and below the muscles of her back. They lifted her up, and as I watched her, I saw big drops of perspiration starting from her forehead; her small eyes seemed closed at first, and, for the moment, I fancied she had fainted; but as they raised her to her feet, and then quickly drew her up in the air high above us, hanging by those two horrid hooks, I saw her looking down quite placidly. She sought her husband out, and seeing him watching her eagerly, gave him a smile, and, waving her little hands, drew from her bosom small pieces of the sacred cocoa-nut and flung them amid the gazing crowd. To scramble for and obtain one of these precious fragments was deemed a fortunate thing, for they were supposed to contain all sorts of charmed powers.

And now the Poojah was fairly commenced. The ropes which carried the iron hooks were so arranged, that by pulling one end—which passed over the top of the pole—it swung round a plate of iron which set in motion the other rope holding the hooks and the living operator. Two men seized on this rope, and soon the poor girl was in rapid flight over the heads of the crowd, who cheered her on by a variety of wild cries, and shouts, and songs. Not that she seemed to need encouragement; her eyes were still bent toward her husband; I almost fancied she smiled as she caught his eye. There was no sign of pain, or shrinking, or yielding: she bore it as many a hero of the old world would have been proud to have done, scattering beneath her flowers and fruit among the busy throng.

I felt as though a heavy weight were off my mind when I perceived the whirling motion of the ropes first to slacken, and then to cease, and finally the girl, all bleeding, relieved from the cruel torture. They laid her on a mat beneath some shady trees: the women gave her a draught of cool water in a cocoa-nut shell. But her thoughts were not upon herself: she looked anxiously around, and could not be satisfied until her husband sat beside her, and their little swarthy infant was placed within her arms. The only care her deep and open wounds received was to have them rubbed with a little turmeric powder, and covered with the fresh tender leaf of a banana.

Leaving this family group, I turned back to watch the further proceedings around the huge pole, where there was once more a great bustle and pressing among the crowd. This time the operator, or sufferer, whichever would be the most fitting term, was a man of middle age, and of the lowest ranks of the laboring class. He appeared to be perfectly indifferent to any thing like suffering, as the two operators seized the flesh of his back, and another roughly thrust through it two hooks. In another minute he was whirling through the air as rapidly as the attendants could force him; still he seemed[Pg 659] anxious to travel faster, and by signs and cries urged them to increased speed. The mob was delighted with this exhibition of perfect endurance and enthusiasm, and testified their approbation in a variety of modes. This man remained swinging for fully twenty minutes, at the end of which time he was released: somewhat less excited, I fancied, than when he was first hoisted in the air. I failed to learn his story, but it had reference, beyond a doubt, to some escape from danger, real or imaginary, and, of course, imputed to the direct interposition of the powerful Siva, or some equally efficacious deputy. The medical treatment of this devotee was on the ruder scale, and would have shocked the feelings and science of some of our army surgeons, to say nothing of civil practitioners. The root of turmeric was again employed, in fine powder, but placed in the wounds most hastily, and, by way of forcing it thoroughly in, some one stood on his back, and trod in the powder with his heel.

I saw one other man hoisted up. He had taken the vow in order to save the life of a much-loved sister's child; and as he swung round and round in stoical indifference, the sister, a young creature with her little infant, sat looking at him as if she would willingly have borne the suffering in his stead. Doubtless there was a love linking these poor creatures together in their ignorance; which, mighty as it was, would have done honor to any highly-gifted dwellers in the west. And, it must be remembered, their sacrifice was for the past; it was one of gratitude, and not of hope or fear for the future. Their prayers had been heard; and, although they knew not of that undying Providence which had listened to their voice and spared the young child's life, they turned to such stone and wooden deities as their forefathers had set up, and devoutly kept their vow.

There were other victims yet to be self-offered; but I had had enough, and the heat, and the noise, and the many strange effluvia were growing so rank and overpowering, that I prepared to retreat. As I returned through the dense crowd which made way for me, I perceived an aged woman preparing for a swing as stoically as any of the younger devotees who had gone before her. A tall, powerful-looking man was standing by her side, watching the preparations with considerable interest. He was her son; and, as I learnt, the cause of her present appearance in public. It had been some seven or eight years previously that the vow had been made to the stone deity; which, as they believed, had acted as a miracle and saved his life. It would have been fulfilled at once, but first poverty, and then ill-health, had stood in the way of its performance; and now, after this long lapse being able to pay the necessary fees to the priests, she had left her distant home to carry out the never-to-be-forgotten vow. As I moved away in the distance, I heard the shouts of the enraptured multitude raised in honor of the old lady's fortitude; cry after cry floated on the breeze, and died away in the din of drums, and pipes, and bells.

For miles the country round about was covered with festivity and uproar. Hundreds of fanatic companies were reveling in religious festive rites. In one leaf and bamboo shed, larger than the rest, I noticed, as I looked in unperceived, the young self-offered wife of that day, as gay and unconcerned by pain as any of the party; I might have fancied she had but just been married, instead of hanging in the air upon cruel hooks.


Genius—talent, whatever its extent—can not always count upon popularity. Susceptibility of the highest conceptions, of the most sublime creations, frequently fails in securing the attention of the multitude. How to attain this most coveted point? It would be difficult to arrive at any precise conclusion, from the fact that it applies to matters totally differing from each other; it is, however, perhaps possible to define the aggregation of qualities required to move the public in masses, by calling it sympathetic wonderment, and its originality is one of its absolute conditions. Many names, doubtless, recall talents of the first order, and personalities of the highest value; yet, notwithstanding their having been duly appreciated by the intelligent and enlightened classes, they have not always called forth those outbursts of enthusiasm, which were manifested toward the truly prodigious artist who is the object of this notice.

Nicolo Paganini, the most extraordinary musical genius of the 19th century, was born at Genoa, on the 18th of February, 1784. His father, Antoine Paganini, a commercial broker, or simple post clerk, according to some biographers, was passionately fond of music, and played upon the mandoline. His penetration soon discovered the aptitude of his son for this art, and he resolved that study should develope it. His excessive severity had probably led to contrary results to those he expected, had not the younger Paganini been endowed with the firm determination of becoming an artist. From the age of six years he was a musician, and played the violin. The ill treatment to which he was subjected during this period of his youth, appears to have exercised a fatal influence over his nervous and delicate constitution. From his first attempts he was imbued with the disposition to execute feats of strength and agility upon his instrument; and his instinct urged him to attempt the most extraordinary things.

His father's lessons soon became useless, and Servetto, a musician of the theatre, at Genoa, became his teacher; but even he was not possessed of sufficient ability to benefit this predestined artist. Paganini received his instructions for a short period only, and he was placed under Giacomo Costa, director of music, and principal violinist of the churches of Genoa, under whose care he progressed rapidly. He had now attained his eighth year, when he wrote his Sonata,[Pg 660] which he unfortunately took no care of, and has been lost among many other of his productions.

Having reached his ninth year, the young virtuoso appeared in public, for the first time, in a performance at the large theatre of his native town; and this extraordinary child played variations of his own composition on the French air, la Carmagnole, amid the frenzied acclamations of an enthusiastic audience. About this period of his life the father was advised, by judicious friends, to place the boy under good masters of the violin and composition; and he shortly after took him to Parma, where Alexander Rolla then resided, so celebrated for his performance as conductor of the orchestra, and composer. Paganini was now twelve years of age. The following anecdote, related by M. Schottky, and which Paganini published in a Vienna journal, furnishes interesting details of the master's first interview with the young artist: "On arriving at Rolla's house," he said, "we found him ill, and in bed. His wife conducted us into a room adjoining the one where the sick man lay, in order to concert with her husband, who, it appeared, was not at all disposed to receive us. Perceiving upon the table of the chamber into which we were ushered, a violin, and the last concerto of Rolla, I took up the violin, and played the piece at first sight. Surprised at what he heard, the composer inquired the name of the virtuoso he had just heard. When he heard the virtuoso was only a mere lad, he would not give credence to the fact unless by ocular demonstration. Thus satisfied, he told me, that he could teach me nothing, and recommended me to take lessons on composition from Paër." Even now, Paganini was occupied in discovering new effects on his instrument. It was, however, only after his return to Genoa, that Paganini wrote his first compositions for the violin. This music was so difficult that he was obliged to study it himself with increasing perseverance, and to make constant efforts to solve problems unknown to all other violinists.

Quitting Parma, at the commencement of 1797, Paganini made his first professional tour, with his father, of all the principal towns in Lombardy, and commenced a matchless reputation. On his return to Genoa, and after having in solitude made the efforts necessary for the development of his talent, he began to feel the weight of the chain by which he was held by his father, and determined to release himself from the ill treatment to which he was still subjected under the paternal roof. A favorable opportunity alone was required to favor his design. This soon presented itself. The fête of St. Martin was celebrated annually at Lucca by a musical festival, to which persons flocked from every part of Italy. As this period approached, Paganini entreated his father to permit him to attend it, accompanied by his elder brother. His demand was at first met with a peremptory refusal; but the solicitations of the son, and the prayers of the mother, finally prevailed, and the heart of the young artist, at liberty for the first time, bounded with joy, and he set out agitated by dreams of success and happiness. At Lucca he was received with enthusiasm. Encouraged by this propitious début, he visited Pisa, and some other towns, in all of which his success was unequivocal. Paganini had not yet attained his fifteenth year. This is not the age of prudence. His moral education, besides, had been grossly neglected, and the severity which assailed his more youthful years, was not calculated to awaken him to the dangers of a free life: and he formed dangerous connections. Paganini, in this manner, frequently lost the produce of several concerts in one night, and was consequently often in a state of great embarrassment, and frequently reduced to part with his violin. In this condition he found himself at Leghorn, and was indebted to the kindness of a French merchant (M. Livron), a distinguished amateur, for the loan of a violin, an excellent Guarneri. When the concert had concluded, Paganini brought it back to its owner, when this gentleman exclaimed, "Never will I profane strings which your fingers have touched! that instrument is now yours." This is the violin Paganini since used in all his concerts.

Adventures of every kind signalize this period of Paganini's early days; the enthusiasm of art, love, and gaming, divided his time, despite the warnings of a delicate constitution, which proclaimed the necessity of great care. Heedless of every thing, he continued his career of dissipation, until the prostration of his faculties forced a respite. He would then lie by for several weeks, in a state of absolute repose, until, with energies refreshed, he recommenced his artistic career and wandering life. It was to be feared that this dissolute life would, ultimately, deprive the world of his marvelous talent, when an unforeseen and important circumstance, related by himself, ended his fatal passion for gaming.

"I shall never forget," he said, "that I, one day, placed myself in a position which was to decide my future. The Prince of —— had, for some time, coveted the possession of my violin—the only one I possessed at that period, and which I still have. He, on one particular occasion, was extremely anxious that I should mention the sum for which I would dispose of it; but, not wishing to part with my instrument, I declared I would not sell it for 250 gold Napoleons. Some time after, the prince said to me that I was, doubtless, only in jest in asking such a sum, but that he would be willing to give me 2,000 francs. I was, at this moment, in the greatest want of money to meet a debt of honor I had incurred at play, and I was almost tempted to accept the proffered amount, when I received an invitation to a party that evening at a friend's house. All my capital consisted of thirty francs, as I had disposed of all my jewels, watch, rings, and brooches, &c., I resolved on risking this last resource; and, if fortune proved fickle, to sell my violin to the prince and proceed to St. Petersburg, without instrument or luggage, with the view of re-establishing my affairs; my thirty francs were reduced to three, when, suddenly,[Pg 661] my fortune took a sudden turn; and, with the small remains of my capital, I won 160 francs. This amount saved my violin, and completely set me up. From that day I abjured gaming—to which I had sacrificed a part of my youth—convinced that a gamester is an object of contempt to all well-regulated minds."

Although he was still in the full prime of youth, Paganini devoted his talent steadily to success and profit, when, in one of those hallucinations to which all great artists are subject, the violin lost its attractions in his eyes. A lady of rank having fallen desperately in love with him, and reciprocated by him, he withdrew with her to an estate she possessed in Tuscany. This lady played the guitar, and Paganini imbibed a taste for the instrument, and applied himself as sedulously to its practice as he had formerly done with the violin. He soon discovered new resources; and during a period of three years, he divided all the energies of his mind between its study, and agricultural pursuits, for which the lady's estate afforded him ample opportunities. But Paganini's former penchant for the violin returned, and he decided on resuming his travels. On his return to Genoa, in 1804, he occupied himself solely with composition. It appears, too, that at this period he gave instruction on the violin to Catherine Calcagno, born at Genoa, in 1797, who, at the age of fifteen, astounded Italy by the boldness of her style; all traces of her seem lost after 1816. Toward the middle of 1805, Paganini left Genoa, to undertake a new tour in Italy. The first town he visited was Lucca, the scene of his first successes. Here he again created so great a sensation by the concerto he performed at a nocturnal festival, in a convent chapel, that the monks were obliged to leave their stalls, in order to repress the applause which burst forth, despite the sanctity of the place. He was then twenty-one years of age. The principality of Lucca and Piombino had been organized in the month of March, of the same year, in favor of the Princess Eliza, sister of Napoleon, and the wife of Prince Bacciochi. The court had fixed its residence in the town of Lucca. The great reputation of the violinist induced the princess to offer him the posts of director of her private music, and conductor of the Opera orchestra, which he accepted. The princess, who had appreciated the originality of his talent, excited him to extend his discoveries of novel effects upon his instrument. To convince him of the interest he had inspired her with, she granted him the grade of captain in the Royal Gendarmerie, so that he might be admitted with his brilliant costume at all the great court receptions. Seeking to vary the effect of his instrument at the court concerts, he removed the second and third strings, and composed a dialogue sonata for the first and fourth strings. He has related this circumstance himself nearly in the same terms:

"At Lucca I directed the orchestra when the reigning family honored the Opera with their presence. I was often also called upon to play at court: and then, fortnightly, I organized concerts, and announced to the court a novelty under the title of Scène amoureuse. Curiosity rose to the highest pitch; but the surprise of all present at court was extreme, when I entered the saloon with a violin with only two strings. I had only retained the first and the fourth. The former was to express the sentiments of a young girl; the other was to express the passionate language of a lover. I had composed a kind of dialogue, in which the most tender accents followed the outbursts of jealousy. At one time, chords representing most tender appeals; at another, plaintive reproaches, cries of joy and anger, felicity and pain. Then followed the reconciliation; and the lovers, more persuaded than ever, executed a pas de deux, which terminated in a brilliant coda. This novelty was eminently successful. The Princess Eliza lauded me to the skies; and said to me, in the most gracious manner possible, 'You have just performed impossibilities—would not a single string suffice for your talent?' I promised to make the attempt. This idea delighted me; and, some weeks after, I composed my military sonata, entitled Napoleon, which I performed on the 25th of August, before a numerous and brilliant court. Its success far surpassed my expectations. My predilection for the G string dates from this period."

In the summer of 1808, Paganini obtained leave to travel, and quitted Lucca, never more to return. As the sister of Napoleon had become Grand Duchess of Tuscany, she fixed her residence at Florence, with all her court, and where the great artist retained his position. He went to Leghorn, where, seven years previously, he had met with so much success. He has related, with much humor, a series of tribulations which happened to him upon the occasion of his first concert there. "A nail," he said, "had run into my heel, and I came on limping, at which the audience laughed. At the moment I was about to commence my concerto, the candles of my desk fell out. (Another laugh.) At the end of the first few bars of the solo, my first string broke, which increased the hilarity of the audience; but I played the piece on the three strings—the grins quickly changed into acclamations of applause." This broken string frequently occurred afterward; and Paganini has been accused of using it as a means of success, having previously practiced upon the three strings, pieces which appear to require the use of the first string.

From Leghorn he went to Turin, where Paganini was first attacked with the bowel complaint, which subsequently so debilitated his health, as frequently to cause long interruptions to his travels, and his series of concerts.

Being at Milan in the spring of 1813, he witnessed, at the theatre of La Scala, the ballet of Il noce di Benevento (the Drowned One of Benevento). It was from this ballet Paganini took the theme of his celebrated variations, le Streghe (the Witches), from the air being that to which witches appeared. Here he was again seized[Pg 662] with a return of his former malady, and several months elapsed before he could appear in public. It was only on the 29th of October following, he was enabled to give his first concert, exciting a sensation which the journals of Italy and Germany made known to the whole world.

In the month of October, 1814, he went to Bologna, when he saw Rossini for the first time, and commenced a friendship which became strengthened at Rome in 1817, and at Paris in 1831.

In the year 1817, he arrived at Rome, and found Rossini there busy in producing his Cenerentola. Several concerts he gave here during the Carnival excited the greatest enthusiasm. From this time, Paganini formed the project of leaving Italy to visit the principal cities in Germany and France; and in the year 1819, he arrived at Naples. It is a very remarkable circumstance, that he appeared here in a manner unworthy of his great name; for, instead of giving his first concerts at St. Carlo, he modestly commenced at the theatre of the Fondo.

On his arrival at Naples, Paganini found several artists indisposed toward him. They doubted the reality of the prodigies attributed to him, and awaited a failure. To put his talent to the test, the young composer, Danna, was engaged, recently from the Conservatory, to write a quartet, containing every species of difficulty, convinced that the great violinist would not vanquish them. He was, therefore, invited to a musical re-union, where the piece was immediately given to him to play at first sight. Understanding the snare that was laid for him, he merely glanced at it, and played it as if he had been familiar with it. Amazed and confounded at what they had heard, the highest approbation was awarded to him, and he was proclaimed a miracle.

It was during this sojourn at Naples that Paganini met with one of the most singular adventures of his extraordinary life. An alarming relapse of his malady took place; and, satisfied that any current of air was injurious to him, he took an apartment in the part of the town called Petrajo under Saint Elme; but meeting here that which he most sought to avoid, and his health daily becoming worse, it was reported that he was consumptive. At Naples, the opinion prevails that consumption is contagious. His landlord, alarmed at having in his house one who was supposed to be dying of this malady, had the inhumanity to turn him into the street, with all he possessed. Fortunately, the violoncellist, Ciandelli, the friend of Paganini, happened to be passing, and, incensed at the act of cruelty he was witness to, and which might have proved fatal to the great artist, belabored the barbarian unmercifully with a stick he carried, and then had his friend conveyed to a comfortable lodging, where every attention was paid to him.

Between 1820 and 1828, he visited Milan, Rome, Naples, and Trieste, and on the 2d of March, 1828, he proceeded to Vienna.

On the 29th of March, the first concert of this artist threw the Viennese population into an indescribable paroxysm of enthusiasm. "The first note he played on his Guarneri" (says M. Schilling, in his poetical style, in his Lexique Universel de Musique)—indeed, from his first step into the room—his reputation was decided in Germany. The Vienna journals were unlimited in hyperbolical expressions of admiration; and all admitted his performance to be incomparable. Verses appeared in every publication—medals were struck—the name of Paganini engrossing all; and, as M. Schottky remarks, every thing was à la Paganini. Cooks designated certain productions after him; and any extraordinary stroke of billiards was compared to a bow movement of the artist. His portrait appeared on snuff-boxes and cigar-cases; his bust surmounted the walking-sticks of the fashionable men. After a concert given for the benefit of the poor, the magistrate of Vienna presented to Paganini the large gold medal of St. Salvator, and the emperor conferred upon him the title of virtuoso of his private band.

After an uninterrupted series of triumphs, during three years, the celebrated artist arrived at Paris, and gave his first concert at the Opera, the 9th of March, 1831. His studies for the violin, which had been published there for some time—a species of enigma which had perplexed every violinist—the European fame of the artist—his travels and triumphs—raised the curiosity of the artists and the public. It were impossible to describe the enthusiasm his first concert created—it was universal frenzy. The same enthusiasm prevailed during his entire stay in Paris.

Toward the middle of May he left this city and proceeded to London—where he was expected with the utmost impatience, but not with that artistic and perceptive interest with which he had been received at Paris.

After an absence of six years, Paganini again set foot on his native soil. The wealth he had amassed in his European tour, placed him in a position of great independence; and among the various properties he purchased, was a charming country-house in the environs of Parma, called la Villa Gajona—here he decided on residing.

In 1836, speculators induced him to lend the aid of his name and talent for establishing a casino, of which music was the pretext, but gambling the real object. This establishment, which was situate in the most fashionable locality of Paris, was opened with considerable splendor at the end of November, 1837, under the name of Casino Paganini; but the government refused to authorize its opening as a gambling-house, and the speculators were reduced to give concerts, which far exceeded the expenses of the undertaking. The declension of his health was manifest, and his wasted strength precluded the possibility of his playing at the casino. A lawsuit was commenced against him,[Pg 663] which he lost; and the judges, without having heard his defense, condemned him to pay 50,000f. to the creditors of the speculation, and he was deprived of his liberty until that amount was paid.

When this decision was pronounced, Paganini was dying—his malady, which was phthisis of the larynx, had increased since the commencement of 1839. The medical men advised him to proceed to Marseilles, the climate of which they considered favorable to his health. He followed this advice, and traveled by slow stages to the southern extremity. Despite his extreme weakness, he went to hear a requiem, by Cherubini, for male voices; finally, on the 21st of June, he attended in one of the churches at Marseilles, to take part in a solemn mass, by Beethoven. However, the love of change, inherent in all valetudinarians, induced him to return to Genoa by sea, fully impressed the voyage would recruit his health. Vain hope! In the commencement of October of the same year, he wrote from his native city to M. Galafre, a painter, an esteemed friend: "Being in much worse health than I was at Marseilles, I have resolved on passing the winter at Nice." Nice was destined to be his last abode. The progress of his malady was rapid—his voice became almost extinct, and dreadful fits of coughing, which daily became more frequent, and, finally, reduced him to a shadow. The sinking of his features, a certain token of approaching death, was visible in his face. An Italian writer has furnished us with a most touching description of his last moments, in the following terms:

"On the last night of his existence, he appeared unusually tranquil—he had slept a little: when he awoke, he requested that the curtains of his bed should be drawn aside to contemplate the moon, which, at its full, was advancing calmly in the immensity of the pure heavens. At this solemn hour, he seemed desirous to return to Nature all the soft sensations which he was then possessed of; stretching forth his hand toward his enchanted violin—to the faithful companion of his travels—to the magician which had robbed care of its stings—he sent to heaven, with its last sounds, the last sigh of a life which had been all melody."

The great artist expired on the 27th of May, 1840, at the age of 56, leaving to his only son, Achille, an immense fortune, and the title of Baron, which had been conceded him in Germany. All had not ended with the man whose life was as extraordinary as his talent. Whether from the effect of certain popular rumors, or whether from Paganini having died without receiving the last rites of his church, he had left doubts of his faith; his remains were refused interment in consecrated ground by the Bishop of Nice. Vainly did his friends solicit permission to celebrate a solemn service for his eternal rest; the bishop remained inexorable, but proffered an authentic act of decease, with permission to remove the body wheresoever they pleased. This was not accepted, and the matter was brought before the tribunals. All this time, the body was remaining in one of the rooms of the hospital at Nice; it was afterward removed by sea from the lazaretto of Villa Franca, near that city, to a country spot named Polcevera, near Genoa, which belonged to the inheritance of the illustrious artist. At length, the friends of the deceased obtained permission from the bishop of Parma to bring the body into the Duchy, to remove it to the Villa Gajona, and to inter it in the village church. This funeral homage was rendered to the remains of this celebrated man, in the month of May, 1845, but without pomp, in conformity with the orders which had emanated from the government.

By his will, made on the 27th of April, 1837, and opened the 1st of June, 1840, Paganini left to his son, legitimized by deeds of law, a fortune estimated at two millions (£80,000 sterling), out of which two legacies were to be paid, of fifty and sixty thousand francs, to his two sisters, leaving to the mother of his son, Achille, an annuity of 1,200 francs. Independently of his wealth, Paganini possessed a collection of valuable instruments; his large Guarneri, the only instrument which accompanied him in his travels, he bequeathed to the town of Genoa, not being desirous that an artist should possess it after him.


Number Nineteen in our street is a gloomy house, with a blistered door and a cavernous step; with a hungry area and a desolate frontage. The windows are like prison-slips, only a trifle darker, and a good deal dirtier, and the kitchen-offices might stand proxies for the Black Hole of Calcutta, barring the company and the warmth. For as to company, black beetles, mice, and red ants, are all that are ever seen of animated nature there, and the thermometer rarely stands above freezing-point. Number Nineteen is a lodging-house, kept by a poor old maid, whose only friend is her cat, and whose only heirs will be the parish. With the outward world, excepting such as slowly filter through the rusty opening of the blistered door, Miss Rebecca Spong has long ceased to have dealings. She hangs a certain piece of card-board, with "Lodgings to Let," printed in school-girl print, unconscious of straight lines, across it; and this act of public notification, coupled with anxious peepings over the blinds of the parlor front, is all the intercourse which she and the world of men hold together. Every now and then, indeed, a mangy cab may be seen driving up to her worn-out step; and dingy individuals, of the kind who travel about with small square boxes, covered with marbled paper, and secured with knotted cords of different sizes, may be witnessed taking possession of Nineteen, in a melancholy and mysterious way. But even these visitations, unsatisfactory as most lodging-house keepers would consider them, are few and far between; for somehow the people who come and go never seem to have any friends or re[Pg 664]lations whereby Miss Spong may improve her "connection." You never see the postman stop at that desolate door; you never hear a visitor's knock on that rusty lion's head; no unnecessary traffic of social life ever takes place behind those dusty blinds; it might be the home of a select party of Trappists, or the favorite hiding-place of coiners, for all the sunshine of external humanity that is suffered to enter those interior recesses. If a murder had been committed in every room, from the attics to the cellar, a heavier spell of solitude and desolation could not rest on its floors.

One dreary afternoon in November, a cab stopped at Number Nineteen. It was a railway cab, less worn and ghastly than those vehicles in general, but not bringing much evidence of gayety or wealth for all that. Its inmates were a widow and a boy of about fifteen; and all the possessions they had with them were contained in one trunk of very moderate dimensions, a cage with a canary-bird twittering inside, some pots of flowers, and a little white rabbit, one of the comical "lop-eared" kind. There was something very touching in these evidences of the fresh country life which they had left for the dull atmosphere and steaming fogs of the metropolis. They told a sad tale of old associations broken, and old loves forsworn; of days of comfort and prosperity exchanged for the dreariness of poverty; and freedom, love, and happiness, all snapped asunder for the leaden chain of suffering to be forged instead. One could not help thinking of all those two hapless people must have gone through before they could have summoned courage to leave their own dear village, where they had lived so many years in that local honorableness of the clergyman's family; throwing themselves out of the society which knew and loved them, that they might enter a harsh world, where they must make their own position, and earn their own living, unaided by sympathy, honor, or affection. They looked as if they themselves thought something of this, too, when they took possession of the desolate second floor; and the widow sat down near her son, and taking his hand in hers, gave vent to a flood of tears, which ended by unmanning the boy as well. And then they shut up the window carefully, and nothing more was seen of them that night.

Mrs. Lawson, the widow, was a mild, lady-like person, whose face bore the marks of recent affliction, and whose whole appearance and manners were those of a loving, gentle, unenergetic, and helpless woman, whom sorrow could well crush beyond all power of resistance. The boy was a tall, thin youth, with a hectic flush and a hollow cough, eyes bright and restless, and as manifestly nervous as his mother was the reverse in temperament—anxious and restless, and continually taxing his strength beyond its power, making himself seriously ill in his endeavors to save his beloved mother some small trouble. They seemed to be very tenderly attached one to the other, and to supply to each all that was wanting in each: the mother's gentleness soothing down her boy's excitability, and the boy's nervousness rousing the mother to exertion. They were interesting people—so lonely, apparently so unfit to "rough it," in the world; the mother so gentle in temper, and the son so frail in constitution—two people who ought to have been protected from all ill and all cares, yet who had such a bitter cup to empty, such a harsh fate to fulfill.

They were very poor. The mother used to go out with a small basket on her arm, which could hold but scanty supplies for two full-grown people. Yet this was the only store they had; for no baker, no butcher, no milkman, grocer, or poulterer, ever stopped at the area gate of Miss Rebecca Spong; no purveyor of higher grade than a cat's-meat-man was ever seen to hand provisions into the depths of Number Nineteen's darkness. The old maid herself was poor; and she, too, used to do her marketing on the basket principle; carrying home, generally at night, odd scraps from the open stalls in Tottenham Court Road, which she had picked up as bargains, and dividing equally between herself and her fagged servant-of-all-work the wretched meal which would not have been too ample for one. She therefore could not help her lodgers, and they all scrambled on over the desolate places of poverty as they best might. In general, tea, sugar, bread, a little rice, a little coffee as a change, a scrap of butter which no cow that ever yielded milk would have acknowledged—these were the usual items of Mrs. Lawson's marketing, on which she and her young son were to be nourished. And on such poor fare as this was that pale boy expected to become a hearty man? The mother could not, did not expect it. Else why were the tears in her eyes so often as she returned? and why did she hang over her son, and caress him fondly, as if in deprecation, when she brought him his wretched meal, seeming to lament, to blame herself, too, that she had not been able to provide him any thing better? Poor things! poor things!

Mrs. Lawson seemed at last to get some employment. She had been seeking for it long—to judge by her frequent absences from home, and the weary look of disappointment she wore when she returned. But at last the opening was found, and she set to work in earnest. She used to go out early in the morning, and not return until late in the evening, and then she looked pale and tired, as one whose energies had been overtasked all the day; but she had found no gold-mine. The scanty meals were even scantier than before, and her shabby mourning was getting shabbier and duller. She was evidently hard-worked for very little pay; and their condition was not improved, only sustained by her exertions. Things seemed to be very bad with them altogether, and with little hope of amendment; for poor Mrs. Lawson had been "brought up as a lady," and so was doubly incapable—by education as well as by temperament—of gaining her own living. She was now employed as[Pg 665] daily governess in the family of a city tradesman—people, who though they were kindly-natured enough, had as much as they could do in keeping their own fortunes afloat without giving any substantial aid to others, and who had therefore engaged her at the lowest possible salary, such as was barely sufficient to keep her and her son from absolute want.

The boy had long been very busy. He used to sit by the window all the day, earnestly employed with paper and scissors; and I wondered what fascinating occupation he had found to chain him for so many hours by those chinks and draughts; for he was usually enveloped in shawls, and blankets were hung about his chair, and every tender precaution taken that he should not increase his sickness by exposure even to the ordinary changes in the temperature of a dwelling-room. But now, in spite of his terrible cough, in spite of his hurried breathing, he used to sit for hours on hours by the dusky window, cutting and cutting at that eternal paper, as if his very life depended on his task. But he used to gather up the cuttings carefully, and hide all out of sight before his mother came home—sometimes nearly caught before quite prepared, when he used to show as much trepidation as if committing a crime.

This went on for some time, and at last he went out. It was fortunately a fine day—a clear, cold, January day; but he had no sooner breathed the brisk frosty air than a terrible fit of coughing seemed to threaten his frail existence. He did not turn back though; and I watched him slowly pass down the street, holding on by the rails, and every now and then stopping to take breath. I saw a policeman speak to him in a grave, compassionating way, as if—seeing that he was so young and feeble, and so much a stranger, that he was asking his way to Oxford-street, while going in a totally contrary direction—he was advising him to go home, and to let some one else do his business—his father perhaps; but the boy only smiled, and shook his head in a hopeful way; and so he went from my sight, though not from my thoughts.

This continued daily, sometimes Herbert bringing home a small quantity of money, sometimes only disappointment; and these were terrible trials! At last, the mother was made acquainted with her son's new mode of life, by the treasured 5s. which the poor boy thrust into her hand one evening, with a strange shy pride that brought all the blood into his face, while he kissed her with impetuosity to smother her reproaches. She asked him how he had got so much money—so much! and then he told her how, self-taught, he had learned to cut out figures—dogs and landscapes—in colored paper, which he had taken to the bazaars and stationers' shops, and there disposed of—for a mere trifle truly. "For this kind of thing is not fashionable, mother, though I think the Queen likes them," he said; "and of course, if not fashionable, I could not get very much for them." So he contented himself, and consoled her, for the small payment of sixpence or a shilling, which perhaps was all he could earn by three or four days' work.

The mother gently blamed him for his imprudence in exposing himself as he had done to the wet and cold—and, alas! these had told sadly on his weakened frame; but Herbert was so happy to-night, that she could not damp his pleasure, even for maternal love; so she reserved the lecture which must be given until to-morrow. And then his out-door expeditions were peremptorily forbidden; and Miss Spong was called up to strengthen the prohibition—which she did effectually by offering, in her little, quick, nervous way, to take Herbert's cuttings to the shops herself, and thus to spare him the necessity of doing so. Poor Mrs. Lawson went up to the little woman, and kissed her cheek like a sister, as she spoke; while Miss Spong, so utterly unused as she had been for years to the smallest demonstration of affection, looked at first bewildered and aghast, and finally sank down on the chair in a childish fit of crying. I can not say how much the sight of that poor little old maid's tears affected me! They seemed to speak of such long years of heart-loneliness—such loving impulses strangled by the chill hand of solitude—such weary familiarity with that deadness of life wherein no sympathy is bestowed, no love awakened—that I felt as one witnessing a dead man recalled to life, after all that made life pleasant had fled. What a sorrowful house that Number Nineteen was! From the desolate servant-of-all-work at her first place from the Foundling, to the half-starved German in the attics, every inmate of the house seemed to have nothing but the bitter bread of affliction to eat—nothing but the salt waters of despair to drink.

And now began another epoch in the Lawson history, which shed a sad but most beautiful light over the fading day of that young life.

A girl of about fourteen—she might have been a year or so younger—was once sent from one of the stationer's shops to conclude some bargain with the sick paper-cutter. I saw her slender figure bound up the desolate steps with the light tread of youth, as if she had been a divine being entering the home of human sorrow. She was one of those saintly children who are sometimes seen blooming like white roses, unstained by time or by contact. Her hair hung down her neck in long, loose curls, among which the sunlight seemed to have fairly lost itself, they were so golden bright; her eyes were large, and of that deep, dark gray which is so much more beautiful, because so much more intellectual, than any other color eyes can take; her lips were fresh and youthful; and her figure had all that girlish grace of fourteen which combines the unconscious innocence of the child with the exquisite modesty of the maiden. She soon became the daily visitor of the Lawsons—pupil to Herbert.

The paper-cutting was not wholly laid aside though; in the early morning, and in the even[Pg 666]ing, and often late into the night, the thin, wan fingers were busy about their task; but the middle of the day was snatched like an hour of sleep in the midst of pain—garnered up like a fountain of sweet waters in the wilderness; for then it was that little Jessie came for her Latin lesson, which she used to learn so well, and take such pleasure in, and be doubly diligent about, because poor Herbert Lawson was ill, and vexation would do him harm. Does it seem strange that a stationer's daughter should be so lovely, and should learn Latin? And there those two children used to sit for three dear hours of the day; she, leaning over her book, her sweet young face bent on her task with a look of earnest intellectuality in it, that made her like some sainted maid of olden time; and he watching her every movement, and listening to every syllable, with a rapt interest such as only very early youth can feel. How happy he used to look! How his face would lighten up, as if an angel's wing had swept over it, when the two gentle taps at the door heralded young Jessie! How his boyish reverence, mixed with boyish care, gave his wasted features an expression almost unearthly, as he hung over her so protectingly, so tenderly, so adoringly! It was so different from a man's love! There was something so exquisitely pure and spiritual in it—something so reverential and so chivalrous—it would have been almost a sin to have had that love grow out into a man's strong passion! The flowers she brought him—and seldom did a day pass without a fresh supply of violets, and, when the weather was warmer, of primroses and cowslips, from her gentle hand—all these were cherished more than gold would have been cherished; the books she lent him were never from his side; if she touched one of the paltry ornaments on the chimney-piece, that ornament was transferred to his own private table; and the chair she used was always kept apart, and sacred to her return.

It was very beautiful to watch all these manifestations: for I did watch them, first from my own window, then in the house, in the midst of the lonely family, comforting when I could not aid, and sharing in the griefs I could not lessen. Under the new influence, the boy gained such loveliness and spiritualism, that his face had an angelic character, which, though it made young Jessie feel a strange kind of loving awe for the sick boy, betokened to me, and to his mother, that his end was not far off.

He was now too weak to sit up, excepting for a small part of the day; and I feared that he would soon become too weak to teach, even in his gentle way, and with such a gentle pupil. But the Latin exercises still held their place; the books lying on the sofa instead of on the table, and Jessie sitting by him on a stool, where he could overlook her as she read: this was all the change; unless, indeed, that Jessie read aloud more than formerly, and not always out of a Latin book. Sometimes it was poetry, and sometimes it was the Bible that she read to him; and then he used to stop her, and pour forth such eloquent, such rapturous remarks on what he had heard, that Jessie used to sit and watch him like a young angel holding converse with a spirit. She was beginning to love him very deeply in her innocent, girlish, unconscious way; and I used to see her bounding step grow sad and heavy as, day by day, her brother-like tutor seemed to be sinking from earth so fast.

Thus passed the winter, poor Mrs. Lawson toiling painfully at her task, and Herbert falling into death in his; but with such happiness in his heart as made his sufferings divine delights, and his weakness, the holy strength of heaven.

He could do but little at his paper-cutting now, but still he persevered; and his toil was well repaid, too, when he gave his mother the scanty payment which he received at the end of the week, and felt that he had done his best—that he had helped her forward—that he was no longer an idler supported by her sorrow—but that he had braced the burden of labor on to his own shoulders also, weak as they were, and had taken his place, though dying, among the manful workers of the world. Jessie brought a small weekly contribution also, neatly sealed up in fair white paper; and of these crumpled scraps Herbert used to cut angels and cherubs' heads, which he would sit and look at for hours together; and then he would pray as if in a trance—so earnest and heartfelt was it—while tears of love, not grief, would stream down his face, as his lips moved in blessings on that young maiden child.

It came at last. He had fought against it long and bravely; but death is a hard adversary, and can not be withstood, even by the strongest. It came, stealing over him like an evening cloud over a star—leaving him still beautiful, while blotting out his light—softening and purifying, while slowly obliterating his place. Day by day, his weakness increased; day by day, his pale hands grew paler, and his hollow cheek more wan. But the love in his boy's heart hung about his sick bed as flowers that have an eternal fragrance from their birth.

Jessie was ever a daily visitor, though no longer now a scholar; and her presence had all the effect of religion on the boy—he was so calm, and still, and holy, while she was there. When she was gone, he was sometimes restless, though never peevish; but he would get nervous, and unable to fix his mind on any thing, his sick head turning incessantly to the window, as if vainly watching for a shadowy hope, and his thin fingers plucking ceaselessly at his bedclothes, in restless, weary, unsoothed sorrow. While she sat by him, her voice sounding like low music in his ears, and her hands wandering about him in a thousand offices of gentle comforting, he was like a child sinking softly to sleep—a soul striving upward to its home, beckoned on by the hands of the holier sister before it.

And thus he died—in the bright spring-time of the year, in the bright spring-time of his life. Love had been the cradle song of his infancy, love was the requiem of his youth. His was no[Pg 667] romantic fable, no heroic epic; adventures, passions, fame, made up none of its incidents; it was simply the history of a boy's manful struggling against fate—of the quiet heroism of endurance, compensated by inward satisfaction, if not by actual happiness.

True, his career was in the low-lying paths of humanity; but it was none the less beautiful and pure, for it is not deeds, it is their spirit, which makes men noble, or leaves them stained. Had Herbert Lawson been a warrior, statesman, hero, philosopher, he would have shown no other nature than that which gladdened the heart of his widowed mother, and proved a life's instruction to Jessie Hamilton, in his small deeds of love and untaught words of faith in the solitude of that lodging-house. Brave, pure, noble then, his sphere only would have been enlarged, and with his sphere the weight and power of his character; but the spirit would have been the same, and in the dying child it was as beautiful as it would have been in the renowned philosopher.

We have given this simple story—simple in all its bearings—as an instance of how much real heroism is daily enacted, how much true morality daily cherished, under the most unfavorable conditions. A widow and her young son cast on the world without sufficient means of living—a brave boy battling against poverty and sickness combined, and doing his small endeavor with manful constancy—a dying youth, whose whole soul is penetrated with love, as with a divine song; all these are elements of true human interest, and these are circumstances to be found in every street of a crowded city. And to such as these is the divine mission of brotherly charity required; for though poverty may not be relieved by reason of our inability, suffering may always be lightened by our sympathy. It takes but a word of love, a glance of pity, a gentle kiss of affection—it takes but an hour of our day, a prayer at night, and we may walk through the sick world and the sorrowful as angels dropping balm and comfort on the wounded. The cup of such human love as this poured freely out will prove in truth "twice blessed," returning back to our hearts the peace we have shed on others. Alas! alas! how thick the harvest and how few the reapers!


One can not help taking an interest in great men. Even their pettiest foibles—their most ordinary actions—their by-play—their jokes—are eagerly commemorated. Their haunts—their homes—the apartments in which they have studied—their style of dress—and, above all, their familiar conversation, are treasured up in books, and fascinate all readers. Trifles help to decipher the character of a man, often more than his greatest actions. What is a man's daily life—his private conversations—his familiar deportment? These, though they make but a small figure in his history, are often the most characteristic and genuine things in a man's life. With what interest do we think of blind, glorious John Milton, when writing Paradise Lost, sitting at "the old organ behind the faded green hangings," his dimmed eyes rolling in vain to find the day; of Richardson, in his back-shop, writing Pamela; of Cowper and his tame hares; of Byron and Newstead Abbey; of Burns, in his humble cottage home; of Voltaire, in his retreat of Ferney, by the shores of Lake Leman; of Sir Walter Scott, in his study at Abbotsford; of Dr. Johnson, in his retreat in Bolt Court; of Shakspeare, and the woods of Charlecote; of Pope, and his house at Twickenham; of Swift, and his living at Laracor. We are never tired of reading of such things, identified as they are with genius, and consecrated by their association with the names of great men.

We take an interest in even smaller things. Everybody remembers Goldsmith's bloom-colored coat; George Fox's "leathern hull;" Milton's garb of coarse gray; Magliabecchi's great brown vest down to his knees, his broad-brimmed hat, and patched black mantle, and his cravat full of snuff-droppings; Pope's velvet cap, tye-wig, and sword; and Buffon, with his hair in curl-papers while sitting at his desk. We curiously remember Oliver Cromwell's warts; Wilks's squint; Scott's limp; Byron's club-foot; Pope's little crooked figure, like a note of interrogation; Johnson's rotundity and rheum; Charles Lamb's spindle-shanks in gaiters; and all manner of personal peculiarities of distinguished men.

The appetites, tastes, idiosyncracies, prejudices, foibles, and follies of great men, are well known. Perhaps we think too much of them; but we take interest in all that concerns them, even the pettiest details. It is often these that give an interest to their written life. What were Boswell's Johnson, that best of biographies, were it wanting in its gossip and small talk?

An interesting chapter might be written about the weaknesses of great men. For instance, they have been very notorious for their strange fits of abstraction. The anecdote of Archimedes will be remembered, who rushed through the streets of Syracuse al fresco, crying Eureka! and at the taking of the city was killed by a soldier, while tracing geometrical lines on sand. Socrates, when filled with some idea, would stand for hours fixed like a statue. It is recorded of him that he stood amidst the soldiers in the camp at Potidea, in rooted abstraction, listening to his "prophetic or supernatural voice." Democritus shut himself up for days together in a little apartment in his garden. Dante was subject to fits of abstraction, in which he often quite forgot himself. One day, he found an interesting book, which he had long sought for, in a druggist's shop at Sienna, and sat reading there till night came on.

Bude, whom Erasmus called the wonder of France, was a thoroughly absent man. One day his domestics broke into his study with the intelligence that his house was on fire. "Go inform my wife," said he; "you know I do not interfere in household affairs!" Scaliger only slept[Pg 668] for a few hours at a time, and passed whole days without thinking of food. Sully, when his mind was occupied with plans of reform, displayed extraordinary fits of forgetfulness. One day, in winter, when on his way to church, he observed, "How very cold it is to-day!" "Not more cold than usual," said one of his attendants. "Then I must have the ague," said Sully. "Is it not more probable that you are too scantily dressed?" he was asked. On lifting his tunic the secret was at once discovered. He had forgotten all his under clothing but his breeches!

Mrs. Bray tells a somewhat familiar story of the painter Stothard. When invited on one occasion to dine with the poet Rogers, on reaching the house in St. James's Place, he complained of cold, and, chancing to place his hand on his neck, he found he had forgotten to put on his cravat, when he hastily returned home to complete his attire.

Buffon was very fond of dress. He assumed the air of the grand signeur; sported jewels and finery; wore rich lace and velvets; and was curled and scented to excess—wearing his hair en papillotte while at his studies. Pope, too, was a little dandy in a bag-wig and a sword; and his crooked figure enveloped in fashionable garments, gave him the look of an over-dressed monkey. Voltaire, also, was fond of magnificent attire, and usually dressed in an absurd manner. Diderot once traveled from St. Petersburg to Paris in his morning-gown and nightcap; and in this guise promenaded the streets and public places of the towns on his route. He was often taken for a madman. While composing his works, he used to walk about at a rapid pace, making huge strides, and sometimes throwing his wig in the air when he had struck out a happy idea. One day, a friend found him in tears—"Good heavens!" he exclaimed, "what is the matter?" "I am weeping," answered Diderot, "at a story that I have just composed!"

Young, the poet, composed his Night Thoughts with a skull before him, in which he would sometimes place a lighted candle; and he occasionally sought his sepulchral inspiration by wandering among the tombs at midnight. Mrs. Radcliffe courted the horrors with which she filled her gloomy romances, by supping on half-raw beefsteaks, plentifully garnished with onions. Dryden used to take physic before setting himself to compose a new piece. Kant, the German philosopher, while lecturing, had the habit of fixing his attention upon one of his auditors who wore a garment without a button in a particular place. One day, the student had the button sewed on. Kant, on commencing his lecture, fixed his eyes on the usual place. The button was there! Fancy the consternation of the philosopher, whose ideas had become associated with that buttonless garment. His lecture that day was detestable: he was quite unhinged by the circumstance.

Too many authors have been fond of the bottle. Rabelais said, "Eating and drinking are my true sources of inspiration. See this bottle! It is my true and only Helicon, my cabalistic fountain, my sole enthusiasm. Drinking, I deliberate; and deliberating, I drink." Ennius, Eschylus, and Cato, all got their inspiration while drinking. Mezerai had always a large bottle of wine beside him, among his books. He drank of it at each page that he wrote. He turned the night into day; and never composed except by lamp-light, even in the day time. All his windows were darkened; and it was no unusual thing for him to show a friend to the door with a lamp, though outside it was broad daylight! On the contrary, Varillas, the historian, never wrote except at full mid-day. His ideas, he imagined, grew and declined with the sun's light.

Sir William Blackstone is said to have composed his Commentaries with a bottle of wine on the table, from which he drank largely at intervals: and Addison, while composing, used to pace to and fro the long drawing-room of Holland House, with a glass of sherry at each end, and rewarded himself by drinking one in case of a felicitous inspiration.

While Goldsmith wrote his Vicar of Wakefield, he kept drinking at Madeira, "to drown care," for the duns were upon him. When Johnson called to relieve him, he sent away the bottle, and took the manuscript to the bookseller, bringing back some money to the author. Goldsmith's first use of the money was, to call in the landlady to have a glass of punch with him. Goldie was guilty of very strange tricks. He once broke his shin by exhibiting to the company how much better he could jump over a stick than puppets.

The intemperance of poets is but too painfully illustrated in the lives of Parnell, Otway, Sheffield, Savage, Churchill, Prior, Dryden, Cowley, Burns, Coleridge, Lamb, and others. There is nothing more painful in Burns's letters, than those in which he confesses his contrition after his drunken bouts, and vows amendment for the future. His letter to Mrs. Dunlop on this subject will be remembered. Lamb, too, in a letter to Mr. Carey, painted next morning in vivid terrors. Byron says—

Get very drunk; and when
You wake with headache, you shall see what then.

Here is Lamb's graphic picture: "I protest," said he, to Mr. Carey, the translator of Dante; "I know not in what words to invest my sense of the shameful violation of hospitality which I was guilty of on that fatal Wednesday. Let it be blotted from the calendar. Had it been committed at a layman's house—say a merchant's, or a manufacturer's, or a cheesemonger's, or a greengrocer's—or, to go higher, a barrister's, a member of parliament's, a rich banker's, I should have felt alleviation—a drop of self-pity. But to be seen deliberately to go out of the house of a clergyman, drunk!... With feverish eyes on the succeeding dawn, I opened upon the faint light, enough to distinguish, in a strange chamber, not immediately to be recognized, garters, hose, waistcoat, neckerchief, arranged in dreadful order and proportion, which I knew[Pg 669] was not mine own! 'Tis the common symptom, on awaking, I judge my last night's condition from. A tolerable scattering on the floor I hail as being too probably my own, and if the candlestick be not removed, I assail myself. But this finical arrangement—this finding every thing in the morning in exact diametrical rectitude, torments me. By whom was I divested? burning blushes! not by the fair hand of nymphs—the Buffian graces! Remote whispers suggested that I coached it home in triumph. Far be that from waking pride in me, for I was unconscious of the locomotion. That a young Newton accompanied a reprobate old Telemachus; that, Trojan-like, he bore his charge upon his shoulders, while the wretched incubus, in glimmering sense, hiccoughed drunken snatches of flying on the bat's wings after sunset.... Occasion led me through Great Russell-street, yesterday: I gazed at the great knocker. My feeble hands in vain essayed to lift it. I dreaded that Argus Portitor, who doubtless lanterned me out on that prodigious night. I called the Elginian marbles; they were cold to my suit. I shall never again, I said, on the wide gates unfolding, say, without fear of thrusting back, in a light but a peremptory air, 'I am going to Mr. Cary's.'"

Lamb was also a great smoker at one period of his life. But he determined to give it up, as he found it led to drinking—to "drinking egg-flip hot, at the Salutation"—so he wrote his "Farewell to Tobacco," and gave it up—returning to it again, but finally abandoning it. In a letter to Wordsworth, he said: "Tobacco has been my evening comfort and my morning curse for these five years; and you know how difficult it is from refraining to pick one's lips even, when it has become a habit. I have had it in my head to write this poem [Farewell to Tobacco] these two years; but tobacco stood in its own light, when it gave me headaches that prevented my singing its praises."

Once, in the height of Lamb's smoking fever, he was puffing the smoke of strong, coarse tobacco from a clay pipe, in the company of Dr. Parr, who whiffed only the finest weed, when the latter, addressing Lamb, asked: "Dear me, sir, how is it that you have acquired so prodigious a smoking power?" "I have acquired it," answered Lamb, "by toiling after it, as some men toil after virtue."

It was from frequenting the society of Dr. Parr, that Robert Hall, the famous preacher, when at Cambridge, acquired the habit of smoking. He smoked in self-defense. Some one asked him why he had commenced such an odious habit. "Oh," said Hall, "I am qualifying myself for the society of a Doctor of Divinity; and this (holding up the pipe) is the test of my admission." A friend found him busy with his pipe one day, blowing huge clouds of smoke. "Ah," said the new comer, "I find you again at your old idol." "Yes," said Hall, "burning it!" But his friends were anxious that he should give up the practice, and one of them presented him with Adam Clarke's pamphlet on The Use and Abuse of Tobacco, to read. He read the pamphlet, and returned it to the lender saying, as if to preclude discussion—"Thank you, sir, for Adam Clarke's pamphlet. I can't refute his arguments, and I can't give up smoking."

Among other smokers of distinction, may be named the poet Milton, whose nightcap was a pipe of tobacco and a glass of pure water. But he was exceedingly moderate in the indulgence of this "vice." Sir Walter Raleigh, who introduced the use of this weed into England, smoked frequently; and the anecdote of his servant, who emptied a bucket of water on him, thinking he was on fire, because he saw the smoke issuing from his mouth, is very well known. Many other poets and literary men have smoked. Carlyle, at this day, blows a tremendous cloud.

Southey's indulgence at bed-time, was a glass of hot rum punch, enriched with a little black current jelly. Byron wrote under the influence of gin and water. Coleridge took immoderate quantities of opium. Gluck, the musical composer, wrote with a bottle of Champagne beside him—Sacchini, when his wife was by his side, and his numerous cats gamboling about him.

Other authors have found relaxation in other ways. Thus Daguesseau, when he wanted relaxation from the study of jurisprudence and history, betook himself to a pair of compasses and a book of mathematics. Richelieu amused himself by playing with cats, and studying their tricks. Cowper had his tame hares. Sir Walter Scott was always attended by his favorite dogs. Professor Wilson, at this day, is famous for his terriers.

Alfieri, like Luther and Milton, found the greatest solace and inspiration in music. "Nothing," said he, "so moves my heart, and soul and intellect, and rouses my very faculties, like music—and especially the music of woman's voice. Almost all my tragedies have been conceived under the immediate emotion caused by music." Voltaire took pleasure in the Opera, (not so Thomas Carlyle, as you may have seen), and there dictated some of his most brilliant letters.

But the foibles of men of genius are endless; and would be a curious subject for some Disraeli, in a future volume of the Curiosities of Literature, to depict at length, if the subject be indeed worth the required amount of pains and labor.


BOOK XII.—Initial Chapter.

"Again," quoth my father—"Again behold us! We who greeted the commencement of your narrative, who absented ourselves in the mid course, when we could but obstruct the current of events, and jostle personages more important—we now gather round the close. Still, as the chorus to the drama, we circle round the [Pg 670]altar with the solemn but dubious chant which prepares the audience for the completion of the appointed destinies; though still, ourselves, unaware how the skein is to be unraveled, and where the shears are to descend."

[5] Continued from the September Number.

So there they stood, the Family of Caxton—all grouping round me—all eager officiously to question—some over-anxious prematurely to criticise.

"Violante can't have voluntarily gone off with that horrid Count," said my mother; "but perhaps she was deceived, like Eugenia by Mr. Bellamy, in the novel of 'Camilla.'"

"Ha!" said my father, "and in that case it is time yet to steal a hint from Clarissa Harlowe, and make Violante die less of a broken heart than a sullied honor. She is one of those girls who ought to be killed! Ostendent omnia letum—all things about her forebode an early tomb!"

"Dear, dear!" cried Mrs. Caxton, "I hope not—poor thing!"

"Pooh, brother," said the Captain, "we have had enough of the tomb in the history of poor Nora. The whole story grows out of a grave, and to a grave it must return:—if, Pisistratus, you must kill somebody, kill Levy."

"Or the Count," said my mother, with unusual truculence.

"Or Randal Leslie," said Squills. "I should like to have a post-mortem cast of his head—it would be an instructive study."

Here there was a general confusion of tongues, all present conspiring to bewilder the unfortunate author with their various and discordant counsels how to wind up his story and dispose of his characters.

"Silence!" cried Pisistratus, clapping his hands to both ears. "I can no more alter the fate allotted to each of the personages whom you honor with your interest than I can change your own; like you, they must go where events lead them, urged on by their own characters and the agencies of others. Providence so pervadingly governs the universe, that you can not strike it even out of a book. The author may beget a character, but the moment the character comes into action, it escapes from his hands—plays its own part, and fulfills its own inevitable doom."

"Besides," said Mr. Squills, "it is easy to see, from the phrenological development of the organs in those several heads which Pisistratus has allowed us to examine, that we have seen no creations of mere fiction, but living persons, whose true history has set in movement their various bumps of Amativeness, Constructiveness, Acquisitiveness, Ideality, Wonder, Comparison, &c. They must act and they must end, according to the influences of their crania. Thus we find in Randal Leslie the predominant organs of Constructiveness, Secretiveness, Comparison, and Eventuality—while Benevolence, Conscientiousness, Adhesiveness, are utterly nil. Now, to divine how such a man must end, we must first see what is the general composition of the society in which he moves—in short, what other gases are brought into contact with his phlogiston. As to Leonard, and Harley, and Audley Egerton, surveying them phrenologically, I should say that—"

"Hush!" said my father. "Pisistratus has dipped his pen in the ink, and it seems to me easier for the wisest man that ever lived to account for what others have done, than to predict what they should do. Phrenologists discovered that Mr. Thurtell had a very fine organ of Conscientiousness, yet, somehow or other, that erring personage contrived to knock the brains out of his friend's organ of Individuality. Therefore I rise to propose a Resolution—that this meeting be adjourned till Pisistratus has completed his narrative: and we shall then have the satisfaction of knowing that it ought, according to every principle of nature, science, and art, to have been completed differently. Why should we deprive ourselves of that pleasure?"

"I second the motion," said the Captain, "but if Levy be not hanged, I shall say that there is an end of all poetical justice."

"Take care of poor Helen," said Blanche, tenderly; "not that I would have you forget Violante."

"Pish! and sit down, or they shall both die old maids."

Frightened at that threat, Blanche, with a deprecating look, drew her stool quietly near me, as if to place her two protégés in an atmosphere mesmerised to matrimonial attractions; and my mother set hard to work—at a new frock for the baby. Unsoftened by these undue female influences, Pisistratus wrote on at the dictation of the relentless Fates. His pen was of iron, and his heart was of granite. He was as insensible to the existence of wife and baby as if he had never paid a house bill, nor rushed from a nursery at the sound of an infant squall. O blessed privilege of Authorship!

"O testudinis aureæ
Dulcem quæ strepitum, Pieri, temperas!
O mutis quoque piscibus
Donatura cycni, si libeat, sonum!"


It is necessary to go somewhat back in the course of this narrative, and account to the reader for the disappearance of Violante.

It may be remembered that Peschiera, scared by the sudden approach of Lord L'Estrange, had little time for farther words to the young Italian, than those which expressed his intention to renew the conference, and press for her decision. But, the next day, when he re-entered the garden, secretly and stealthily as before, Violante did not appear. And after watching round the precincts till dusk, the Count retreated with an indignant conviction that his arts had failed to enlist on his side, either the heart or the imagination of his intended victim. He began now to revolve, and to discuss with Levy, the possibilities of one of those bold and violent measures, which were favored by his reckless daring, and desperate condition. But Levy treated with such just ridicule[Pg 671] any suggestion to abstract Violante by force from Lord Lansmere's house—so scouted the notions of nocturnal assault, with the devices of scaling windows and rope-ladders—that the Count reluctantly abandoned that romance of villainy so unsuited to our sober capital, and which would no doubt have terminated in his capture by the police, with the prospect of committal to the House of Correction.

Levy himself found his invention at fault, and Randal Leslie was called into consultation. The usurer had contrived that Randal's schemes of fortune and advancement were so based upon Levy's aid and connivance, that the young man, with all his desire rather to make instruments of other men, than to be himself their instrument, found his superior intellect as completely a slave to Levy's more experienced craft, as ever subtle Genius of air was subject to the vulgar Sorcerer of earth.

His acquisition of the ancestral acres—his anticipated seat in parliament—his chance of ousting Frank from the heritage of Hazeldean—were all as strings that pulled him to and fro, like a puppet in the sleek filbert-nailed fingers of the smiling showman, who could exhibit him to the admiration of a crowd, or cast him away into dust and lumber.

Randal gnawed his lip in the sullen wrath of a man who bides his hour of future emancipation, and lent his brain to the hire of the present servitude, in mechanical acquiescence. The inherent superiority of the profound young schemer became instantly apparent over the courage of Peschiera and the practiced wit of the Baron.

"Your sister," said Randal to the former, "must be the active agent in the first and most difficult part of your enterprise. Violante can not be taken by force from Lord Lansmere's—she must be induced to leave it with her own consent. A female is needed here. Woman can best decoy woman."

"Admirably said," quoth the Count; "but Beatrice has grown restive, and though her dowry and therefore her very marriage with that excellent young Hazeldean, depend on my own alliance with my fair kinswoman, she has grown so indifferent to my success that I dare not reckon on her aid. Between you and me, though she was once very eager to be married, she now seems to shrink from the notion; and I have no other hold over her."

"Has she not seen some one, and lately, whom she prefers to poor Frank?"

"I suspect that she has; but I know not whom, unless it be that detested L'Estrange."

"Ah—well, well. Interfere with her no farther yourself, but have all in readiness to quit England, as you had before proposed, as soon as Violante be in your power."

"All is in readiness," said the Count. "Levy has agreed to purchase a famous sailing vessel of one of his clients. I have engaged a score or so of determined outcasts, accustomed to the sea—Genoese, Corsicans, Sardinians—ex-Carbonari of the best sort—no silly patriots, but liberal cosmopolitans, who have iron at the disposal of any man's gold. I have a priest to perform the nuptial service, and deaf to any fair lady's 'No.' Once at sea, and wherever I land, Violante will lean on my arm as Countess of Peschiera."

"But Violante," said Randal, doggedly, determined not to yield to the disgust with which the Count's audacious cynicism filled even him—"but Violante can not be removed in broad daylight at once to such a vessel, nor from a quarter so populous as that in which your sister resides."

"I have thought of that too," said the Count; "my emissaries have found me a house close by the river, and safe for our purpose as the dungeons of Venice."

"I wish not to know all this," answered Randal, quickly; "you will instruct Madame di Negra where to take Violante—my task limits itself to the fair inventions that belong to intellect; what belongs to force, is not in my province. I will go at once to your sister, whom I think I can influence more effectually than you can; though later, I may give you a hint to guard against the chance of her remorse. Meanwhile as, the moment Violante disappears, suspicion would fall upon you, show yourself constantly in public surrounded by your friends. Be able to account for every hour of your time—"

"An alibi?" interrupted the ci-devant solicitor.

"Exactly so, Baron. Complete the purchase of the vessel, and let the Count man it as he proposes. I will communicate with you both as soon as I can put you into action. To-day I shall have much to do; it will be done."

As Randal left the room, Levy followed him.

"What you propose to do will be well done, no doubt," quoth the usurer, linking his arm in Randal's; "but take care that you don't get yourself into a scrape, so as to damage your character. I have great hopes of you in public life; and in public life character is necessary—that is, so far as honor is concerned."

"I damage my character! and for a Count Peschiera!" said Randal, opening his eyes. "I! What do you take me for?"

The Baron let go his hold.

"This boy ought to rise very high," said he to himself, as he turned back to the Count.


Randal's acute faculty of comprehension had long since surmised the truth that Beatrice's views and temper of mind had been strangely and suddenly altered by some such revolution as passion only can effect; that pique or disappointment had mingled with the motive which had induced her to accept the hand of his rash young kinsman; and that instead of the resigned indifference with which she might at one time have contemplated any marriage that could free her from a position that perpetually galled her pride, it was now with a repugnance, visible to Randal's keen eye, that she shrank from the performance of that pledge which Frank had so dearly bought. The temp[Pg 672]tations which the Count could hold out to her, to become his accomplice in designs of which the fraud and perfidy would revolt her better nature, had ceased to be of avail. A dowry had grown valueless, since it would but hasten the nuptials from which she recoiled. Randal felt that he could not secure her aid, except by working on a passion so turbulent as to confound her judgment. Such a passion he recognized in jealousy. He had once doubted if Harley were the object of her love; yet, after all, was it not probable? He knew, at least, of no one else to suspect. If so, he had but to whisper, "Violante is your rival. Violante removed, your beauty may find its natural effect; if not, you are an Italian, and you will be at least avenged." He saw still more reason to suppose that Lord L'Estrange was indeed the one by whom he could rule Beatrice, since, the last time he had seen her, she had questioned him with much eagerness as to the family of Lord Lansmere, especially as to the female part of it. Randal had then judged it prudent to avoid speaking of Violante, and feigned ignorance; but promised to ascertain all particulars by the time he next saw the Marchesa. It was the warmth with which she had thanked him that had set his busy mind at work to conjecture the cause of her curiosity so earnestly aroused, and to ascribe that cause to jealousy. If Harley loved Violante (as Randal himself had before supposed), the little of passion that the young man admitted to himself was enlisted in aid of Peschiera's schemes. For though Randal did not love Violante, he cordially disliked L'Estrange, and would have gone as far to render that dislike vindictive, as a cold reasoner, intent upon worldly fortunes, will ever suffer mere hate to influence him.

"At the worst," thought Randal, "if it be not Harley, touch the chord of jealousy, and its vibration will direct me right."

Thus soliloquizing, he arrived at Madame di Negra's.

Now, in reality, the Marchesa's inquiries as to Lord Lansmere's family had their source in the misguided, restless, despairing interest with which she still clung to the image of the young poet, whom Randal had no reason to suspect. That interest had become yet more keen from the impatient misery she had felt ever since she had plighted herself to another. A wild hope that she might yet escape—a vague regretful thought that she had been too hasty in dismissing Leonard from her presence—that she ought rather to have courted his friendship, and contended against her unknown rival, at times drew her wayward mind wholly from the future to which she had consigned herself. And, to do her justice, though her sense of duty was so defective, and the principles which should have guided her conduct were so lost to her sight, still her feelings toward the generous Hazeldean were not so hard and blunted, but what her own ingratitude added to her torment; and it seemed as if the sole atonement she could make to him was to find an excuse to withdraw her promise, and save him from herself. She had caused Leonard's steps to be watched; she had found that he visited at Lord Lansmere's; that he had gone there often, and staid there long. She had learned in the neighborhood that Lady Lansmere had one or two young female guests staying with her. Surely this was the attraction—here was the rival!

Randal found Beatrice in a state of mind that favored his purpose. And first turning his conversation on Harley, and noting that her countenance did not change, by little and little he drew forth her secret.

Then, said Randal, gravely, "If one whom you honor with a tender thought, visits at Lord Lansmere's house, you have, indeed, cause to fear for yourself, to hope for your brother's success in the object which has brought him to England—for a girl of surpassing beauty is a guest in Lord Lansmere's house; and I will now tell you that that girl is she whom Count Peschiera would make his bride."

As Randal thus spoke, and saw how his listener's brow darkened and her eye flashed, he felt that his accomplice was secured. Violante! Had not Leonard spoken of Violante, and with such praise? Had not his boyhood been passed under her eyes? Who but Violante could be the rival? Beatrice's abrupt exclamations after a moment's pause, revealed to Randal the advantage he had gained. And partly by rousing her jealousy into revenge—partly by flattering her love with assurances that, if Violante were fairly removed from England, were the wife of Count Peschiera—it would be impossible that Leonard could remain insensible to her own attractions—that he, Randal, would undertake to free her honorably from her engagement to Frank Hazeldean, and obtain from her brother the acquittal of the debt which had first fettered her hand to that confiding suitor—he did not quit the Marchesa until she had not only promised to do all that Randal might suggest, but impetuously urged him to mature his plans, and hasten the hour to accomplish them. Randal then walked some minutes musing and slow along the streets, revolving the next meshes in his elaborate and most subtle web. And here his craft luminously devised its master-piece.

It was necessary, during any interval that might elapse between Violante's disappearance and her departure from England, in order to divert suspicion from Peschiera (who might otherwise be detained), that some cause for her voluntary absence from Lord Lansmere's should be at least assignable; it was still more necessary that Randal himself should stand wholly clear from any surmise that he could have connived at the Count's designs, even should their actual perpetrator be discovered or conjectured. To effect these objects, Randal hastened to Norwood, and obtained an interview with Riccabocca. In seeming agitation and alarm, he informed the exile that he had reason to know that Peschiera had succeeded in obtaining a secret interview with Violante, and he feared had made[Pg 673] a certain favorable impression on her mind; and, speaking as if with the jealousy of a lover, he entreated Riccabocca to authorize Randal's direct proposals to Violante, and to require her consent to their immediate nuptials.

The poor Italian was confounded with the intelligence conveyed to him; and his almost superstitious fears of his brilliant enemy, conjoined with his opinion of the susceptibility to outward attractions common to all the female sex, made him not only implicitly credit, but even exaggerate, the dangers that Randal intimated. The idea of his daughter's marriage with Randal, toward which he had lately cooled, he now gratefully welcomed. But his first natural suggestion was to go, or send, for Violante, and bring her to his own house. This, however, Randal artfully opposed.

"Alas! I know," said he, "that Peschiera has discovered your retreat; and surely she would be far less safe here than where she is now!"

"But, diavolo! you say that man has seen her where she is now, in spite of all Lady Lansmere's promises and Harley's precautions."

"True. Of this Peschiera boasted to me. He effected it not, of course, openly, but in some disguise. I am sufficiently, however, in his confidence—(any man may be that with so audacious a braggart)—to deter him from renewing his attempt for some days. Meanwhile, I or yourself will have discovered some surer home than this, to which you can remove, and then will be the proper time to take back your daughter. Meanwhile, if you will send by me a letter to enjoin her to receive me as her future bridegroom, it will necessarily divert all thought at once from the Count; I shall be able to detect, by the manner in which she receives me, how far the Count has overstated the effect he pretends to have produced. You can give me also a letter to Lady Lansmere, to prevent your daughter coming hither. O, sir, do not reason with me. Have indulgence for my lover's fears. Believe that I advise for the best. Have I not the keenest interest to do so?"

Like many a man who is wise enough with pen and paper before him, and plenty of time wherewith to get up his wisdom, Riccabocca was flurried, nervous, and confused when that wisdom was called upon for any ready exertion. From the tree of knowledge he had taken grafts enough to serve for a forest; but the whole forest could not spare him a handy walking-stick. That great folio of the dead Machiavel lay useless before him—the living Machiavel of daily life stood all puissant by his side. The Sage was as supple to the Schemer as the Clairvoyant is to the Mesmerist. And the lean, slight fingers of Randal actually dictated almost the very words that Riccabocca wrote to his child and her hostess.

The philosopher would like to have to consult his wife; but he was ashamed to confess that weakness. Suddenly he remembered Harley, and said as Randal took up the letters which Riccabocca had indited,

"There—that will give us time; and I will send to Lord L'Estrange, and talk to him."

"My noble friend," replied Randal, mournfully, "may I intreat you not to see Lord L'Estrange until at least I have pleaded my cause to your daughter—until, indeed, she is no longer under his father's roof."

"And why?"

"Because I presume that you are sincere when you deign to receive me as a son-in-law, and because I am sure that Lord L'Estrange would hear with distaste of your disposition in my favor. Am I not right?"

Riccabocca was silent.

"And though the arguments would fail with a man of your honor and discernment, they might have more effect on the young mind of your child. Think, I beseech you, the more she is set against me, the more accessible she may be to the arts of Peschiera. Speak not, therefore, I implore you, to Lord L'Estrange till Violante has accepted my hand, or at least until she is again under your charge; otherwise take back your letter—it would be of no avail."

"Perhaps you are right. Certainly Lord L'Estrange is prejudiced against you; or rather, he thinks too much of what I have been—too little of what I am."

"Who can see you, and not do so? I pardon him." After kissing the hand which the exile modestly sought to withdraw from the act of homage, Randal pocketed the letters; and, as if struggling with emotion, rushed from the house.

Now, O curious reader, if thou wilt heedfully observe to what uses Randal Leslie put these letters—what speedy and direct results he drew forth from devices which would seem to an honest, simple understanding the most roundabout, wire-drawn wastes of invention—I almost fear that in thine admiration for his cleverness, thou mayest half forget thy contempt for his knavery.

But when the head is very full, it does not do to have the heart very empty; there is such a thing as being topheavy!


Helen and Violante had been conversing together, and Helen had obeyed her guardian's injunction, and spoken, though briefly, of her positive engagement to Harley. However much Violante had been prepared for the confidence, however clearly she had divined that engagement, however before persuaded that the dream of her childhood was fled forever, still the positive truth, coming from Helen's own lips, was attended with that anguish which proves how impossible it is to prepare the human heart for the final verdict which slays its future. She did not, however, betray her emotion to Ellen's artless eyes; sorrow, deep-seated, is seldom self-betrayed. But, after a little while, she crept away; and, forgetful of Peschiera, of all things that could threaten danger (what danger could harm[Pg 674] her more!), she glided from the house, and went her desolate way under the leafless wintry trees. Ever and anon she paused—ever and anon she murmured the same words: "If she loved him, I could be consoled; but she does not! or how could she have spoken to me so calmly! how could her very looks have been so sad! Heartless—heartless!"

Then there came on her a vehement resentment against poor Helen, that almost took the character of scorn or hate—its excess startled herself. "Am I grown so mean?" she said; and tears, that humbled her, rushed to her eyes. "Can so short a time alter one thus? Impossible!"

Randal Leslie rang at the front gate, inquired for Violante, and, catching sight of her form as he walked toward the house, advanced boldly and openly. His voice startled her as she leant against one of the dreary trees, still muttering to herself—forlorn. "I have a letter to you from your father, Signorina," said Randal. "But, before I give it to your hands, some explanation is necessary. Condescend, then, to hear me." Violante shook her head impatiently, and stretched forth her hand for the letter. Randal observed her countenance with his keen, cold, searching eye; but he still withheld the letter, and continued, after a pause:

"I know that you were born to princely fortunes; and the excuse for my addressing you now is, that your birthright is lost to you, at least, unless you can consent to a union with the man who has despoiled you of your heritage—a union which your father would deem dishonor to yourself and him. Signorina, I might have presumed to love you; but I should not have named that love, had your father not encouraged me by his assent to my suit."

Violante turned to the speaker her face eloquent with haughty surprise. Randal met the gaze unmoved. He continued, without warmth, and in the tone of one who reasons calmly, rather than of one who feels acutely:

"The man of whom I spoke is in pursuit of you. I have cause to believe that this person has already intruded himself upon you. Ah! your countenance owns it; you have seen Peschiera? This house is, then, less safe than your father deemed it. No house is safe for you but a husband's. I offer to you my name—it is a gentleman's; my fortune, which is small; the participation in my hopes of the future, which are large. I place now your father's letter in your hand, and await your answer." Randal bowed slightly, gave the letter to Violante, and retired a few paces.

It was not his object to conciliate Violante's affection, but rather to excite her repugnance, or, at least, her terror—we must wait to discover why; so he stood apart, seemingly in a kind of self-confident indifference, while the girl read the following letter:

"My child, receive with favor Mr. Leslie. He has my consent to address you as a suitor. Circumstances, of which it is needless now to inform you, render it essential to my very peace and happiness that your marriage should be immediate. In a word, I have given my promise to Mr. Leslie, and I confidently leave it to the daughter of my house to redeem the pledge of her anxious and tender father."

The letter dropped from Violante's hand. Randal approached, and restored it to her. Their eyes met. Violante recoiled.

"I can not marry you," said she, passively.

"Indeed?" answered Randal, drily. "Is it because you can not love me?"


"I did not expect that you would, and I still persist in my suit. I have promised to your father that I would not recede before your first unconsidered refusal."

"I will go to my father at once."

"Does he request you to do so in his letter? Look again. Pardon me, but he foresaw your impetuosity; and I have another note for Lady Lansmere, in which he begs her ladyship not to sanction your return to him (should you so wish) until he come or send for you himself. He will do so whenever your word has redeemed his own."

"And do you dare to talk to me thus, and yet pretend to love me?"

Randal smiled ironically.

"I pretend but to wed you. Love is a subject on which I might have spoken formerly, or may speak hereafter. I give you some little time to consider. When I next call, it will be to fix the day for our wedding."


"You will be, then, the first daughter of your house who disobeyed a father; and you will have this additional crime, that you disobeyed him in his sorrow, his exile, and his fall."

Violante wrung her hands.

"Is there no choice—no escape?"

"I see none for either. Listen to me. I might have loved you, it is true; but it is not for my happiness to marry one who dislikes me, nor for my ambition to connect myself with one whose poverty is greater than my own. I marry but to keep my plighted faith with your father, and to save you from a villain you would hate more than myself, and from whom no walls are a barrier, no laws a defense. One person, indeed, might, perhaps, have preserved you from the misery you seem to anticipate with me; that person might defeat the plans of your father's foe—effect, it might be, terms which could revoke his banishment, and restore his honors; that person is—"

"Lord L'Estrange?"

"Lord L'Estrange!" repeated Randal, sharply, and watching her pale parted lips and her changing color; "Lord L'Estrange! What could he do? Why did you name him?"

Violante turned aside. "He saved my father once," said she, feelingly.

"And has interfered, and trifled, and promised, Heaven knows what, ever since—yet to what[Pg 675] end? Pooh! The person I speak of your father would not consent to see—would not believe if he saw her; yet she is generous, noble—could sympathize with you both. She is the sister of your father's enemy—the Marchesa di Negra. I am convinced that she has great influence with her brother—that she has known enough of his secrets to awe him into renouncing all designs on yourself; but it is idle now to speak of her."

"No, no," exclaimed Violante. "Tell me where she lives—I will see her."

"Pardon me, I can not obey you; and, indeed, her own pride is now aroused by your father's unfortunate prejudices against her. It is too late to count upon her aid. You turn from me—my presence is unwelcome. I rid you of it now. But welcome or unwelcome, later you must endure it—and for life."

Randal again bowed with formal ceremony, walked toward the house, and asked for Lady Lansmere. The Countess was at home. Randal delivered Riccabocca's note, which was very short, implying that he feared Peschiera had discovered his retreat—and requesting Lady Lansmere to retain Violante, whatever her own desire, till her ladyship heard from him again.

The Countess read, and her lip curled in disdain. "Strange!" said she, half to herself.

"Strange!" said Randal, "that a man like your correspondent should fear one like the Count di Peschiera. Is that it?"

"Sir," said the Countess, a little surprised—"strange that any man should fear another in a country like ours!"

"I don't know," said Randal, with his low, soft laugh; "I fear many men, and I know many who ought to fear me; yet at every turn of the street one meets a policeman!"

"Yes," said Lady Lansmere. "But to suppose that this profligate foreigner could carry away a girl like Violante, against her will—a man she has never seen, and whom she must have been taught to hate!"

"Be on your guard, nevertheless, I pray you, madam: where there's a will there's a way."

Randal took his leave, and returned to Madame di Negra's. He staid with her an hour, revisited the Count, and then strolled to Limmer's.

"Randal," said the Squire, who looked pale and worn, but who scorned to confess the weakness with which he still grieved and yearned for his rebellious son: "Randal, you have nothing now to do in London; can you come and stay with me, and take to farming? I remember that you showed a good deal of sound knowledge about thin sowing."

"My dear sir, I will come to you as soon as the general election is over."

"What the deuce have you got to do with the general election?"

"Mr. Egerton has some wish that I should enter Parliament; indeed, negotiations for that purpose are now on foot."

The Squire shook his head. "I don't like my half-brother's politics."

"I shall be quite independent of them," cried Randal, loftily; "that independence is the condition for which I stipulate."

"Glad to hear it; and if you do come into Parliament, I hope you'll not turn your back on the land?"

"Turn my back on the land!" cried Randal, with devout horror. "Oh, sir, I am not so unnatural!"

"That's the right way to put it," quoth the credulous Squire; "it is unnatural! It is turning one's back on one's own mother! The land is a mother—"

"To those who live by her, certainly—a mother," said Randal, gravely. "And though, indeed, my father starves by her rather than lives, and Rood Hall is not like Hazeldean, still—I—"

"Hold your tongue," interrupted the Squire; "I want to talk to you. Your grandmother was a Hazeldean."

"Her picture is in the drawing-room at Rood. People think me very like her!"

"Indeed!" said the Squire. "The Hazeldeans are generally inclined to be stout and rosy, which you are certainly not. But no fault of yours. We are all as Heaven made us! However, to the point. I am going to alter my will—(said with a choking gulp.) This is the rough draft for the lawyers to work upon."

"Pray—pray, sir, do not speak to me on such a subject. I can not bear to contemplate even the possibility of—of—"

"My death! Ha, ha! Nonsense. My own son calculated on the date of it by the insurance tables. Ha, ha, ha. A very fashionable son—Eh! Ha, ha!"

"Poor Frank, do not let him suffer for a momentary forgetfulness of right feeling. When he comes to be married to that foreign lady, and be a father himself, he—"

"Father himself!" burst forth the Squire. "Father to a swarm of sallow-faced Popish tadpoles! No foreign frogs shall hop about my grave in Hazeldean church-yard. No, no. But you need not look so reproachful—I am not going to disinherit Frank."

"Of course not," said Randal, with a bitter curve in the lip that rebelled against the joyous smile which he sought to impose on it.

"No—I shall leave him the life-interest in the greater part of the property; but if he marry a foreigner, her children will not succeed—you will stand after him in that case. But—(now, don't interrupt me)—but Frank looks as if he would live longer than you—so small thanks to me for my good intentions, you may say. I mean to do more for you than a mere barren place in the entail. What do you say to marrying?"

"Just as you please," said Randal, meekly.

"Good! There's Miss Stick-to-rights disengaged—great heiress. Her lands run on to Rood. At one time I thought of her for that graceless puppy of mine. But I can manage more easily to make up the match for you. There's a mortgage on the property; Old Stick-to-rights would[Pg 676] be very glad to pay it off. I'll pay it out of the Hazeldean estate, and give up the Right of Way into the bargain. You understand. So come down as soon as you can, and court the young lady yourself."

Randal expressed his thanks with much grateful eloquence; and he then delicately insinuated, that if the Squire ever did mean to bestow upon him any pecuniary favors (always without injury to Frank), it would gratify him more to win back some portions of the old estate of Rood, than to have all the acres of the Stick-to-rights, however free from any other encumbrance than the amiable heiress.

The Squire listened to Randal with benignant attention. This wish the country gentleman could well understand and sympathize with. He promised to inquire into the matter, and to see what could be done with old Thornhill.

Randal here let out that Mr. Thornhill was about to dispose of a large slice of the ancient Leslie estate through Levy, and that he, Randal, could thus get it at a more moderate price than would be natural if Mr. Thornhill knew that his neighbor the Squire would bid for the purchase.

"Better say nothing about it either to Levy or Thornhill."

"Right," said the Squire; "no proprietor likes to sell to another proprietor, in the same shire, as largely acred as himself; it spoils the balance of power. See to the business yourself; and if I can help you with the purchase—(after that boy is married—I can attend to nothing before)—why, I will."

Randal now went to Egerton's. The statesman was in his parlor, settling the accounts of his house-steward, and giving brief orders for the reduction of his establishment to that of an ordinary private gentleman.

"I may go abroad if I lose my election," said Egerton, condescending to assign to his servant a reason for his economy; "and if I do not lose it, still, now I am out of office, I shall live much in private."

"Do I disturb you, sir?" said Randal, entering.

"No—I have just done." The house-steward withdrew, much surprised and disgusted, and meditating the resignation of his own office—in order, not like Egerton, to save, but to spend. The house-steward had private dealings with Baron Levy, and was in fact the veritable X. Y. of the Times, for whom Dick Avenel had been mistaken. He invested his wages and perquisites in the discount of bills; and it was part of his own money that had (though unknown to himself) swelled the last £5000 which Egerton had borrowed from Levy.

"I have settled with our committee; and, with Lord Lansmere's consent," said Egerton, briefly, "you will stand for the borough as we proposed, in conjunction with myself. And should any accident happen to me—that is, should I vacate this seat from any cause, you may succeed to it—very shortly perhaps. Ingratiate yourself with the electors, and speak at the public-houses for both of us. I shall stand on my dignity, and leave the work of the election to you. No thanks—you know how I hate thanks. Good-night."

"I never stood so near to fortune and to power," said Randal, as he slowly undressed. "And I owe it but to knowledge—knowledge of men—life—of all that books can teach us."

So his slight thin fingers dropped the extinguisher on the candle, and the prosperous Schemer laid himself down to rest in the dark. Shutters closed, curtains down—never was rest more quiet, never was room more dark!

That evening Harley had dined at his father's He spoke much to Helen—scarcely at all to Violante. But it so happened that when later, and a little while before he took his leave, Helen, at his request, was playing a favorite air of his; Lady Lansmere, who had been seated between him and Violante, left the room, and Violante turned quickly toward Harley.

"Do you know the Marchesa di Negra?" she asked, in a hurried voice.

"A little. Why do you ask?"

"That is my secret," answered Violante, trying to smile, with her old frank, childlike archness. "But, tell me, do you think better of her than of her brother?"

"Certainly. I believe her heart to be good, and that she is not without generous qualities."

"Can you not induce my father to see her? Would you not counsel him to do so?"

"Any wish of yours is a law to me," answered Harley, gallantly. "You wish your father to see her? I will try and persuade him to do so. Now, in return, confide to me your secret. What is your object?"

"Leave to return to my Italy. I care not for honors—for rank; and even my father has ceased to regret their loss. But the land, the native land—Oh, to see it once more! Oh, to die there!"

"Die! You children have so lately left heaven, that ye talk as if ye could return there, without passing through the gates of sorrow, infirmity, and age! But I thought you were content with England. Why so eager to leave it? Violante, you are unkind to us!—to Helen, who already loves you so well!"

As Harley spoke, Helen rose from the piano, and, approaching Violante, placed her hand caressingly on the Italian's shoulder. Violante shivered, and shrunk away. The eyes both of Harley and Helen followed her. Harley's eyes were very grave and thoughtful.

"Is she not changed—your friend?" said he, looking down.

"Yes, lately—much changed. I fear there is something on her mind—I know not what."

"Ah!" muttered Harley, "it may be so; but at your age and hers, nothing rests on the mind long. Observe, I say the mind—the heart is more tenacious."

Helen sighed softly, but deeply.

"And therefore," continued Harley, half to himself, "we can detect when something is on[Pg 677] the mind—some care, some fear, some trouble. But when the heart closes over its own more passionate sorrow, who can discover! who conjecture! Yet you at least, my pure, candid Helen—you might subject mind and heart alike to the fabled window of glass."

"O, no!" cried Helen involuntarily.

"O, yes! Do not let me think that you have one secret I may not know, or one sorrow I may not share. For, in our relationship—that would be deceit."

He pressed her hand with more than usual tenderness as he spoke, and shortly afterward left the house.

And all that night Helen felt like a guilty thing—more wretched even than Violante.


Early the next morning, while Violante was still in her room, a letter addressed to her came by the Post. The direction was in a strange hand. She opened it, and read in Italian what is thus translated:

"I would gladly see you, but I can not call openly at the house in which you live. Perhaps I may have it in my power to arrange family dissensions—to repair any wrongs your father may have sustained. Perhaps I may be enabled to render yourself an essential service. But for all this, it is necessary that we should meet, and confer frankly. Meanwhile time presses—delay is forbidden. Will you meet me, an hour after noon, in the lane, just outside the private gate of your gardens. I shall be alone; and you can not fear to meet one of your own sex, and a kinswoman. Ah, I so desire to see you! Come, I beseech you.


Violante read, and her decision was taken. She was naturally fearless, and there was little that she would not have braved for the chance of serving her father. And now all peril seemed slight in comparison with that which awaited her in Randal's suit, backed by her father's approval. Randal had said that Madame di Negra alone could aid her in escape from himself. Harley had said that Madame di Negra had generous qualities; and who but Madame di Negra would write herself a kinswoman, and sign herself "Beatrice?"

A little before the appointed hour, she stole unobserved through the trees, opened the little gate, and found herself in the quiet solitary lane. In a few minutes, a female figure came up, with a quick light step; and, throwing aside her vail, said, with a sort of wild, suppressed energy, "It is you! I was truly told. Beautiful!—beautiful! And, oh! what youth and what bloom!"

The voice dropped mournfully; and Violante, surprised by the tone, and blushing under the praise, remained a moment silent; then she said, with some hesitation—

"You are, I presume, the Marchesa di Negra? And I have heard of you enough to induce me to trust you."

"Of me! From whom?" asked Beatrice, almost fiercely.

"From Mr. Leslie, and—and—"

"Go on—why falter?"

"From Lord L'Estrange."

"From no one else?"

"Not that I remember."

Beatrice sighed heavily, and let fall her vail. Some foot-passengers now came up the lane; and seeing two ladies, of mien so remarkable, turned round, and gazed curiously.

"We can not talk here," said Beatrice impatiently; "and I have so much to say—so much to know. Trust me yet more; it is for yourself I speak. My carriage waits yonder. Come home with me—I will not detain you an hour; and I will bring you back."

This proposition startled Violante. She retreated toward the gate, with a gesture of dissent. Beatrice laid her hand on the girl's arm, and again lifting her vail, gazed at her with a look, half of scorn, half of admiration.

"I, too, would once have recoiled from one step beyond the formal line by which the world divides liberty from woman. Now—see how bold I am. Child, child, do not trifle with your destiny. You may never again have the same occasion offered to you. It is not only to meet you that I am here; I must know something of you—something of your heart. Why shrink?—is not the heart pure?"

Violante made no answer; but her smile, so sweet and so lofty, humbled the questioner it rebuked.

"I may restore to Italy your father," said Beatrice, with an altered voice. "Come!"

Violante approached, but still hesitatingly.

"Not by union with your brother?"

"You dread that so much, then?"

"Dread it? No! Why should I dread what is in my power to reject. But if you can really restore my father, and by nobler means, you may save me for—"

Violante stopped abruptly; the Marchesa's eyes sparkled.

"Save you for—ah! I can guess what you leave unsaid. But come, come—more strangers—see; you shall tell me all at my own house. And if you can make one sacrifice, why, I will save you all else. Come, or farewell forever!"

Violante placed her hand in Beatrice's, with a frank confidence that brought the accusing blood into the Marchesa's cheek.

"We are women both," said Violante; "we descend from the same noble house; we have knelt alike to the same Virgin Mother; why should I not believe and trust you?"

"Why not?" muttered Beatrice feebly; and she moved on, with her head bowed on her breast, and all the pride of her step was gone.

They reached a carriage that stood by the angle of the road. Beatrice spake a word apart to the driver, who was an Italian, in the pay of the Count the man nodded, and opened the carriage door. The ladies entered. Beatrice pulled down[Pg 678] the blinds; the man remounted his box, and drove on rapidly.

Beatrice, leaning back, groaned aloud. Violante drew nearer to her side. "Are you in pain?" said she, with her tender, melodious voice; "or can I serve you as you would serve me?"

"Child, give me your hand, and be silent while I look at you. Was I ever so fair as this? Never! And what deeps—what deeps roll between her and me!"

She said this as of some one absent, and again sank into silence; but continued still to gaze on Violante, whose eyes, vailed by their long fringes, drooped beneath the gaze.

Suddenly Beatrice started, exclaiming, "No, it shall not be!" and placed her hand on the check-string.

"What shall not be?" asked Violante, surprised by the cry and the action. Beatrice paused—her breast heaved visibly under her dress.

"Stay," she said, slowly. "As you say, we are both women of the same noble house; you would reject the suit of my brother, yet you have seen him; his the form to please the eye—his the arts that allure the fancy. He offers to you rank, wealth, your father's pardon and recall. If I could remove the objections which your father entertains—prove that the Count has less wronged him than he deems, would you still reject the rank, and the wealth, and the hand of Giulio Franzini?"

"Oh, yes, yes, were his hand a king's!"

"Still, then, as woman to woman—both, as you say, akin, and sprung from the same lineage—still, then, answer me—answer me, for you speak to one who has loved—Is it not that you love another? Speak."

"I do not know. Nay, not love—it was a romance; it is a thing impossible. Do not question—I can not answer." And the broken words were choked by sudden tears.

Beatrice's face grew hard and pitiless. Again she lowered her vail, and withdrew her hand from the check-string; but the coachman had felt the touch, and halted. "Drive on," said Beatrice, "as you were directed."

Both were now long silent—Violante with great difficulty recovering from her emotion, Beatrice breathing hard, and her arms folded firmly across her breast.

Meanwhile the carriage had entered London—it passed the quarter in which Madame di Negra's house was situated—it rolled fast over a bridge—it whirled through a broad thoroughfare, then through defiles of lanes, with tall, blank, dreary houses on either side. On it went, and on, till Violante suddenly took alarm. "Do you live so far?" she said, drawing up the blind, and gazing in dismay on the strange ignoble suburb. "I shall be missed already. Oh, let us turn back, I beseech you."

"We are nearly there now. The driver has taken this road in order to avoid those streets in which we might have been seen together—perhaps by my brother himself. Listen to me, and talk of—of the lover whom you rightly associate with a vain romance. 'Impossible'—yes, it is impossible!"

Violante clasped her hands before her eyes, and bowed down her head. "Why are you so cruel?" said she. "This is not what you promised! How are you to serve my father—how restore him to his country? This is what you promised."

"If you consent to one sacrifice, I will fulfill that promise. We are arrived."

The carriage stopped before a tall dull house, divided from other houses by a high wall that appeared to inclose a yard, and standing at the end of a narrow lane, which was bounded on the one side by the Thames. In that quarter the river was crowded with gloomy, dark-looking vessels and craft, all lying lifeless under the wintry sky.

The driver dismounted and rang the bell. Two swarthy Italian faces presented themselves at the threshold.

Beatrice descended lightly, and gave her hand to Violante. "Now, here we shall be secure," said she; "and here a few minutes may suffice to decide your fate."

As the door closed on Violante—who, now waking to suspicion, to alarm, looked fearfully round the dark and dismal hall—Beatrice turned; "Let the carriage wait."

The Italian who received the order bowed and smiled; but when the two ladies had ascended the stairs, he re-opened the street-door and said to the driver, "Back to the Count, and say 'all is safe.'"

The carriage drove off. The man who had given this order barred and locked the door, and, taking with him the huge key, plunged into the mystic recesses of the basement and disappeared. The hall, thus left solitary, had the grim aspect of a prison; the strong door sheeted with iron—the rugged stone stairs, lighted by a high window grimed with the dust of years, and jealously barred—and the walls themselves abutting out rudely here and there, as if against violence even from within.


It was, as we have seen, without taking counsel of the faithful Jemima that the sage recluse of Norwood had yielded to his own fears, and Randal's subtle suggestions, in the concise and arbitrary letter which he had written to Violante but at night, when church-yards give up the dead, and conjugal hearts the secrets hid by day from each other, the wise man informed his wife of the step he had taken. And Jemima then—who held English notions, very different from those which prevail in Italy, as to the right of fathers to dispose of their daughters without reference to inclination or repugnance, and who had an instinctive antipathy to Randal—so sensibly, yet so mildly, represented to the pupil of Machiavel that he had not gone exactly the right way to work, if he feared that the handsome Count[Pg 679] had made some impression on Violante, and if he wished her to turn with favor to the suitor he recommended—that so abrupt a command could only chill the heart, revolt the will, and even give to the audacious Peschiera some romantic attraction which he had not before possessed—as effectually to destroy Riccabocca's sleep that night. And the next day he sent Giacomo to Lady Lansmere's with a very kind letter to Violante, and a note to the hostess, praying the latter to bring his daughter to Norwood for a few hours, as he much wished to converse with both. It was on Giacomo's arrival at Knightsbridge that Violante's absence was discovered. Lady Lansmere, ever proudly careful of the world and its gossip, kept Giacomo from betraying his excitement to her servants, and stated throughout the decorous household that the young lady had informed her she was going to visit some friends that morning, and had no doubt gone through the garden-gate, since it was found open; the way was more quiet there than by the high-road, and her friends might have therefore walked to meet her by the lane. Lady Lansmere observed that her only surprise was that Violante had gone earlier than she had expected. Having said this with a composure that compelled belief, Lady Lansmere ordered the carriage, and, taking Giacomo with her, drove at once to consult her son.

Harley's quick intellect had scarcely recovered from the shock upon his emotions, before Randal Leslie was announced.

"Ah," said Lady Lansmere, "Mr. Leslie may know something. He came to her yesterday with a note from her father. Pray let him enter."

The Austrian Prince approached Harley. "I will wait in the next room." he whispered. "You may want me, if you have cause to suspect Peschiera in all this."

Lady Lansmere was pleased with the Prince's delicacy, and, glancing at Leonard, said "Perhaps you too, sir, may kindly aid us, if you would retire with the Prince. Mr. Leslie may be disinclined to speak of affairs like these, except to Harley and myself."

"True, madam; but beware of Mr. Leslie."

As the door at one end of the room closed on the Prince and Leonard, Randal entered at the other, seemingly much agitated.

"I have just been to your house, Lady Lansmere. I heard you were here; pardon me if I have followed you. I had called at Knightsbridge to see Violante—learned that she had left you. I implore you to tell me how or wherefore. I have the right to ask: her father has promised me her hand."

Harley's falcon eye had brightened up at Randal's entrance. It watched steadily the young man's face. It was clouded for a moment by his knitted brows at Randal's closing words. But he left it to Lady Lansmere to reply and explain. This the Countess did briefly.

Randal clasped his hands. "And she not gone to her father's? Are you sure of that?"

"Her father's servant has just come from Norwood."

"Oh, I am to blame for this! It is my rash suit—her fear of it—her aversion. I see it all!" Randal's voice was hollow with remorse and despair. "To save her from Peschiera, her father insisted on her immediate marriage with myself. His orders were too abrupt, my own wooing too unwelcome. I know her high spirit; she has fled to escape from me. But whither, if not to Norwood?—oh, whither? What other friends has she—what relations?"

"You throw a new light on this mystery," said Lady Lansmere: "perhaps she may have gone to her father's after all, and the servant may have crossed, but missed her on the way. I will drive to Norwood at once."

"Do so—do; but if she be not there, be careful not to alarm Riccabocca with the news of her disappearance. Caution Giacomo not to do so. He would only suspect Peschiera, and be hurried to some act of violence."

"Do not you, then, suspect Peschiera, Mr. Leslie?" asked Harley suddenly.

"Ha! is it possible? Yet, no. I called on him this morning with Frank Hazeldean, who is to marry his sister. I was with him till I went on to Knightsbridge, at the very time of Violante's disappearance. He could not then have been a party to it."

"You saw Violante yesterday. Did you speak to her of Madame di Negra?" asked Harley, suddenly recalling the questions respecting the Marchesa which Violante had addressed to him.

In spite of himself, Randal felt that he changed countenance. "Of Madame di Negra? I do not think so. Yet I might. Oh, yes, I remember now. She asked me the Marchesa's address; I would not give it."

"The address is easily found. Can she have gone to the Marchesa's house?"

"I will run there and see," cried Randal, starting up.

"And I with you. Stay, my dear mother. Proceed, as you propose, to Norwood, and take Mr. Leslie's advice. Spare our friend the news of his daughter's loss—if lost she be—till she is restored to him. He can be of no use meanwhile. Let Giacomo rest here; I may want him."

Harley then passed into the next room, and entreated the Prince and Leonard to await his return, and allow Giacomo to stay in the same room.

He then went quickly back to Randal. Whatever might be his fears or emotions, Harley felt that he had need of all his coolness of judgment and presence of mind. The occasion made abrupt demand upon powers which had slept since boyhood, but which now woke with a vigor that would have made even Randal tremble, could he have detected the wit, the courage, the electric energies, masked under that tranquil self-possession. Lord L'Estrange and Randal soon reached the Marchesa's house, and learned that she had been out since morning in one of Count Peschiera's[Pg 680] carriages. Randal stole an alarmed glance at Harley's face. Harley did not seem to notice it.

"Now, Mr. Leslie, what do you advise next?"

"I am at a loss. Ah, perhaps, afraid of her father—knowing how despotic is his belief in paternal rights, and how tenacious he is of his word once passed, as it has been to me, she may have resolved to take refuge in the country—perhaps at the Casino, or at Mrs. Dale's, or Mrs. Hazeldean's. I will hasten to inquire at the coach-office. Meanwhile, you—"

"Never mind me, Mr. Leslie. Do as you please. But, if your surmises be just, you must have been a very rude wooer to the high-born lady you aspired to win."

"Not so; but perhaps an unwelcome one. If she has indeed fled from me, need I say that my suit will be withdrawn at once? I am not a selfish lover, Lord L'Estrange."

"Nor I a vindictive man. Yet, could I discover who has conspired against this lady, a guest under my father's roof, I would crush him into the mire as easily as I set my foot upon this glove. Good-day to you, Mr. Leslie."

Randal stood still for a few moments as Harley strided on; then his lip sneered as it muttered—"Insolent! He loves her. Well, I am avenged already."


Harley went straight to Peschiera's hotel. He was told that the Count had walked out with Mr. Frank Hazeldean and some other gentlemen who had breakfasted with him. He had left word, in case any one called, that he had gone to Tattersall's to look at some horses that were for sale. To Tattersall's went Harley. The Count was in the yard leaning against a pillar, and surrounded by fashionable friends. Lord L'Estrange paused, and, with a heroic effort at self-mastery, repressed his rage. "I may lose all if I show that I suspect him; and yet I must insult and fight him rather than leave his movements free. Ah, is that young Hazeldean? A thought strikes me!" Frank was standing apart from the group round the Count, and looking very absent and very sad. Harley touched him on the shoulder, and drew him aside unobserved by the Count.

"Mr. Hazeldean, your uncle Egerton is my dearest friend. Will you be a friend to me? I want you."

"My lord—"

"Follow me. Do not let Count Peschiera see us talking together."

Harley quitted the yard, and entered St. James's Park by the little gate close by. In a very few words he informed Frank of Violante's disappearance, and of his reasons for suspecting the Count. Frank's first sentiment was that of indignant disbelief that the brother of Beatrice could be so vile; but as he gradually called to mind the cynical and corrupt vein of the Count's familiar conversation—the hints to Peschiera's prejudice that had been dropped by Beatrice herself—and the general character for brilliant and daring profligacy which even the admirers of the Count ascribed to him—Frank was compelled to reluctant acquiescence in Harley's suspicions; and he said, with an earnest gravity very rare to him—"Believe me, Lord L'Estrange, if I can assist you in defeating a base and mercenary design against this poor young lady, you have but to show me how. One thing is clear—Peschiera was not personally engaged in this abduction, since I have been with him all day; and—now I think of it—I begin to hope that you wrong him; for he has invited a large party of us to make an excursion with him to Boulogne next week, in order to try his yacht; which he could scarcely do, if—"

"Yacht, at this time of the year! a man who habitually resides at Vienna—a yacht!"

"Spendquick sells it a bargain on account of the time of year and other reasons; and the Count proposes to spend next summer in cruising about the Ionian Isles. He has some property on those Isles, which he has never yet visited."

"How long is it since he bought this yacht?"

"Why, I am not sure that it is already bought—that is, paid for. Levy was to meet Spendquick this very morning to arrange the matter. Spendquick complains that Levy screws him."

"My dear Mr. Hazeldean, you are guiding me through the maze. Where shall I find Lord Spendquick?"

"At this hour, probably, in bed. Here is his card."

"Thanks. And where lies the vessel?"

"It was off Blackwall the other day. I went to see it—'The Flying Dutchman'—a fine vessel, and carries guns."

"Enough. Now, heed me. There can be no immediate danger to Violante, so long as Peschiera does not meet her—so long as we know his movements. You are about to marry his sister. Avail yourself of that privilege to keep close by his side. Refuse to be shaken off. Make what excuses for the present your invention suggests. I will give you an excuse. Be anxious and uneasy to know where you can find Madame di Negra."

"Madame di Negra?" cried Frank. "What of her? Is she not in Curzon-street?"

"No; she has gone out in one of the Count's carriages. In all probability the driver of that carriage, or some servant in attendance on it, will come to the Count in the course of the day; and, in order to get rid of you, the Count will tell you to see this servant, and ascertain yourself that his sister is safe. Pretend to believe what the man says, but make him come to your lodgings on pretense of writing there a letter for the Marchesa. Once at your lodgings, and he will be safe; for I shall see that the officers of justice secure him. The moment he is there, send an express for me to my hotel."

"But," said Frank, a little bewildered, "if I go to my lodging, how can I watch the Count?"

"It will not then be necessary. Only get him[Pg 681] to accompany you to your lodgings, and part with him at the door."

"Stop, stop—you can not suspect Madame di Negra of connivance in a scheme so infamous. Pardon me, Lord L'Estrange; I can not act in this matter—can not even hear you, except as your foe, if you insinuate a word against the honor of the woman I love."

"Brave gentleman, your hand. It is Madame di Negra I would save, as well as my friend's young child. Think but of her, while you act as I intreat, and all will go well. I confide in you. Now, return to the Count."

Frank walked back to join Peschiera, and his brow was thoughtful, and his lips closed firmly. Harley had that gift which belongs to the genius of Action. He inspired others with the light of his own spirit and the force of his own will. Harley then hastened to Lord Spendquick, remained with that young gentleman some minutes, then repaired to his hotel, where Leonard, the Prince, and Giacomo still awaited him.

"Come with me, both of you. You, too, Giacomo. I must now see the police. We may then divide upon separate missions."

"Oh, my dear lord," cried Leonard, "you must have had good news. You seem cheerful and sanguine."

"Seem! Nay, I am so! If I once paused to despond—even to doubt—I should go mad. A foe to baffle, and an angel to save! Whose spirits would not rise high—whose wits would not move quick to the warm pulse of his heart?"


Twilight was dark in the room to which Beatrice had conducted Violante. A great change had come over Beatrice. Humble and weeping, she knelt beside Violante, hiding her face, and imploring pardon. And Violante, striving to resist the terror for which she now saw such cause as no woman-heart can defy, still sought to soothe, and still sweetly assured forgiveness.

Beatrice had learned—after quick and fierce questions, that at last compelled the answers that cleared away every doubt—that her jealousy had been groundless—that she had no rival in Violante. From that moment, the passions that had made her the tool of guilt abruptly vanished, and her conscience startled her with the magnitude of her treachery. Perhaps had Violante's heart been wholly free, or she had been of that mere commonplace, girlish character which women like Beatrice are apt to despise, the Marchesa's affection for Peschiera, and her dread of him, might have made her try to persuade her young kinswoman at least to receive the Count's visit—at least to suffer him to make his own excuses, and plead his own cause. But there had been a loftiness of spirit in which Violante had first defied the Marchesa's questions, followed by such generous, exquisite sweetness, when the girl perceived how that wild heart was stung and maddened, and such purity of mournful candor when she had overcome her own virgin bashfulness sufficiently to undeceive the error she detected, and confess where her own affections were placed, that Beatrice bowed before her as mariner of old to some fair saint that had allayed the storm.

"I have deceived you!" she cried through her sobs; "but I will now save you at any cost. Had you been as I deemed—the rival who had despoiled all the hopes of my future life—I would, without remorse, have been the accomplice I am pledged to be. But now, you!—oh, you—so good and so noble—you can never be the bride of Peschiera. Nay, start not: he shall renounce his designs forever, or I will go myself to our Emperor, and expose the dark secrets of his life. Return with me quick to the home from which I ensnared you."

Beatrice's hand was on the door while she spoke. Suddenly her face fell—her lips grew white; the door was locked from without. She called—no one answered; the bell-pull in the room gave no sound; the windows were high and barred—they did not look on the river, nor the street, but on a close, gloomy, silent yard—high blank walls all around it—no one to hear the cry of distress, rang it ever so loud and sharp.

Beatrice divined that she herself had been no less ensnared than her companion; that Peschiera, distrustful of her firmness in evil, had precluded her from the power of reparation. She was in a house only tenanted by his hirelings. Not a hope to save Violante, from a fate that now appalled her, seemed to remain. Thus, in incoherent self-reproaches and frenzied tears, Beatrice knelt beside her victim, communicating more and more the terrors that she felt, as the hours rolled on, and the room darkened, till it was only by the dull lamp which gleamed through the grimy windows from the yard without, that each saw the face of the other.

Night came on; they heard a clock from some distant church strike the hours. The dim fire had long since burnt out, and the air became intensely cold. No one broke upon their solitude—not a voice was heard in the house. They felt neither cold nor hunger—they felt but the solitude and the silence, and the dread of something that was to come.

At length, about midnight, a bell rang at the street door; then there was the quick sound of steps—of sullen bolts withdrawn—of low, murmured voices. Light streamed through the chinks of the door to the apartment—the door itself opened. Two Italians bearing tapers entered, and the Count di Peschiera followed.

Beatrice sprang up, and rushed toward her brother. He placed his hand gently on her lips, and motioned to the Italians to withdraw. They placed the lights on the table, and vanished without a word.

Peschiera then, putting aside his sister, approached Violante.

"Fair kinswoman," said he, with an air of easy but resolute assurance, "there are things which no man can excuse and no woman can pardon, unless that love, which is beyond all[Pg 682] laws, suggests excuse for the one, and obtains pardon for the other. In a word, I have sworn to win you, and I have had no opportunities to woo. Fear not; the worst that can befall you is to be my bride. Stand aside, my sister, stand aside."

"Giulio, no! Giulio Franzini, I stand between you and her: you shall strike me to the earth before you can touch even the hem of her robe."

"What, my sister!—you turn against me?"

"And unless you instantly retire and leave her free, I will unmask you to the Emperor."

"Too late, mon enfant! You will sail with us. The effects you may need for the voyage are already on board. You will be witness to our marriage, and by a holy son of the Church. Then tell the Emperor what you will."

With a light and sudden exertion of his strength, the Count put away Beatrice, and fell on his knee before Violante, who, drawn to her full height, death-like pale, but untrembling, regarded him with unutterable disdain.

"You scorn me now," said he, throwing into his features an expression of humility and admiration, "and I can not wonder at it. But, believe me, that until the scorn yield to a kinder sentiment, I will take no advantage of the power I have gained over your fate."

"Power!" said Violante, haughtily. "You have ensnared me into this house—you have gained the power of a day; but the power over my fate—no!"

"You mean that your friends have discovered your disappearance, and are on your track. Fair one, I provide against your friends, and I defy all the laws and police of England. The vessel that will bear you from these shores waits in the river hard by. Beatrice, I warn you—be still—unhand me. In that vessel will be a priest who shall join our hands, but not before you will recognize the truth, that she who flies with Giulio Peschiera must become his wife, or quit him as the disgrace of her house, and the scorn of her sex."

"Oh, villain! villain!" cried Beatrice.

"Peste, my sister, gentler words. You, too, would marry. I tell no tales of you. Signorina, I grieve to threaten force. Give me your hand; we must be gone."

Violante eluded the clasp that would have profaned her, and darting across the room, opened the door, and closed it hastily behind her. Beatrice clung firmly to the Count to detain him from pursuit. But just without the door, close, as if listening to what passed within, stood a man wrapped from head to foot in a large boat cloak. The ray of the lamp that beamed on the man, gleamed on the barrel of a pistol which he held in his right hand.

"Hist!" whispered the man in English; and passing his arm round her—"in this house you are in that ruffian's power; out of it, safe. Ah! I am by your side—I, Violante!"

The voice thrilled to Violante's heart. She started—looked up, but nothing was seen of the man's face, what with the hat and cloak, save a mass of raven curls and a beard of the same hue.

The Count now threw open the door, dragging after him his sister, who still clung round him.

"Ha—that is well!" he cried to the man in Italian. "Bear the lady after me, gently; but if she attempt to cry out—why, force enough to silence her, not more. As for you, Beatrice, traitress that you are, I could strike you to the earth—but—no, this suffices." He caught his sister in his arms as he spoke, and, regardless of her cries and struggles, sprang down the stairs.

The hall was crowded with fierce swarthy men. The Count turned to one of them, and whispered; in an instant the Marchesa was seized and gagged. The Count cast a look over his shoulder; Violante was close behind, supported by the man to whom Peschiera had consigned her, and who was pointing to Beatrice, and appeared warning Violante against resistance. Violante was silent, and seemed resigned. Peschiera smiled cynically, and, preceded by some of his hirelings, who held torches, descended a few steps that led to an abrupt landing-place between the hall and the basement story. There, a small door stood open, and the river flowed close by. A boat was moored on the bank, round which grouped four men, who had the air of foreign sailors. At the appearance of Peschiera, three of these men sprang into the boat and got ready their oars. The fourth carefully readjusted a plank thrown from the boat to the wharf, and offered his arm obsequiously to Peschiera. The Count was the first to enter, and, humming a gay opera air, took his place by the helm. The two females were next lifted in, and Violante felt her hand pressed almost convulsively by the man who stood by the plank. The rest followed, and in another minute the boat bounded swiftly over the waves toward a vessel that lay several furlongs adown the river, and apart from all the meaner craft that crowded the stream. The stars struggled pale through the foggy atmosphere; not a word was heard within the boat—no sound save the regular splash of the oars. The Count paused from his lively tune, and gathering round him the ample folds of his fur pelisse, seemed absorbed in thought. Even by the imperfect light of the stars, Peschiera's face wore an air of sovereign triumph. The result had justified that careless and insolent confidence in himself and in fortune, which was the most prominent feature in the character of the man who, both bravo and gamester, had played against the world, with his rapier in one hand, and cogged dice in the other. Violante, once in a vessel filled by his own men, was irretrievably in his power. Even her father must feel grateful to learn that the captive of Peschiera had saved name and repute in becoming Peschiera's wife. Even the pride of sex in Violante herself must induce her to confirm what Peschiera, of course, intended to state, viz., that she was a willing partner in a bridegroom's schemes of flight toward the altar, rather than the poor vic[Pg 683]tim of a betrayer, and receiving his hand but from his mercy. He saw his fortune secured, his success envied, his very character rehabilitated by his splendid nuptials. Ambition began to mingle with his dreams of pleasure and pomp. What post in the Court or the State too high for the aspirations of one who had evinced the most incontestable talent for active life—the talent to succeed in all that the will had undertaken? Thus mused the Count, half forgetful of the present, and absorbed in the golden future, till he was aroused by a loud hail from the vessel, and the bustle on board the boat, as the sailors caught at the rope flung forth to them. He then rose and moved toward Violante. But the man who was still in charge of her passed the Count lightly, half leading, half carrying, his passive prisoner. "Pardon, Excellency," said the man in Italian, "but the boat is crowded, and rocks so much that your aid would but disturb our footing." Before Peschiera could reply, Violante was already on the steps of the vessel, and the Count paused till, with elated smile, he saw her safely standing on the deck. Beatrice followed, and then Peschiera himself; but when the Italians in his train also thronged toward the sides of the boat, two of the sailors got before them, and let go the rope, while the other two plied their oars vigorously, and pulled back toward shore. The Italians burst into an amazed and indignant volley of execrations. "Silence," said the sailor who had stood by the plank, "we obey orders. If you are not quiet, we shall upset the boat. We can swim; Heaven and Monsignore San Giacomo pity you if you can not."

Meanwhile, as Peschiera leapt upon deck, a flood of light poured upon him from lifted torches. That light streamed full on the face and form of a man of commanding stature, whose arm was around Violante, and whose dark eyes flashed upon the Count more luminously than the torches. On one side this man stood the Austrian Prince; on the other side (a cloak, and a profusion of false dark locks, at his feet) stood Lord L'Estrange, his arms folded, and his lips curved by a smile in which the ironical humor native to the man was tempered with a calm and supreme disdain. The Count strove to speak, but his voice faltered. All around him looked ominous and hostile. He saw many Italian faces, but they scowled at him with vindictive hate; in the rear were English mariners, peering curiously over the shoulders of the foreigners, and with a broad grin on their open countenances. Suddenly, as the Count thus stood perplexed, cowering, stupefied, there burst from all the Italians present a hoot of unutterable scorn—"Il traditore! il traditore!"—(the traitor! the traitor!)

The Count was brave, and at the cry he lifted his head with a certain majesty.

At that moment Harley, raising his hand as if to silence the hoot, came forth from the group by which he had been hitherto standing, and toward him the Count advanced with a bold stride.

"What trick is this?" he said in French, fiercely. "I divine that it is you whom I can single out for explanation and atonement."

"Pardieu, Monsieur le Comte," answered Harley in the same language, which lends itself so well to polished sarcasm and high bred enmity—"let us distinguish. Explanation should come from me, I allow; but atonement I have the honor to resign to yourself. This vessel—"

"Is mine!" cried the Count. "Those men, who insult me, should be in my pay."

"The men in your pay, Monsieur le Comte, are on shore drinking success to your voyage. But, anxious still to procure you the gratification of being among your own countrymen, those whom I have taken into my pay are still better Italians than the pirates whose place they supply; perhaps not such good sailors; but then I have taken the liberty to add to the equipment of a vessel, which has cost me too much to risk lightly, some stout English seamen, who are mariners more practiced than even your pirates. Your grand mistake, Monsieur le Comte, is in thinking that the 'Flying Dutchman' is yours. With many apologies for interfering with your intention to purchase it, I beg to inform you that Lord Spendquick has kindly sold it to me. Nevertheless, Monsieur le Comte, for the next few weeks I place it—men and all—at your service."

Peschiera smiled scornfully

"I thank your lordship; but since I presume that I shall no longer have the traveling companion who alone could make the voyage attractive, I shall return to shore, and will simply request you to inform me at what hour you can receive the friend whom I shall depute to discuss that part of the question yet untouched, and to arrange that the atonement, whether it be due from me or yourself, may be rendered as satisfactory as you have condescended to make the explanation."

"Let not that vex you, Monsieur le Comte—the atonement is, in much, made already; so anxious have I been to forestall all that your nice sense of honor would induce so complete a gentleman to desire. You have ensnared a young heiress, it is true; but you see that it was only to restore her to the arms of her father. You have juggled an illustrious kinsman out of his heritage; but you have voluntarily come on board this vessel, first, to enable his highness, the Prince ——, of whose rank at the Austrian Court you are fully aware, to state to your Emperor that he himself has been witness of the manner in which you interpreted his Imperial Majesty's assent to your nuptials with a child of one of the first subjects in his Italian realm; and next, to commence, by a penitential excursion to the seas of the Baltic, the sentence of banishment which I have no doubt will accompany the same act that restores to the chief of your house his lands and his honors."

The Count started.

"That restoration," said the Austrian Prince, who had advanced to Harley's side, "I already guarantee. Disgrace that you are, Giulio Fran[Pg 684]zini, to the nobles of the Empire, I will not leave my royal master till his hand strike your name from the roll. I have here your own letters, to prove that your kinsman was duped by yourself into the revolt which you would have headed as a Catiline, if it had not better suited your nature to betray it as a Judas. In ten days from this time, these letters will be laid before the Emperor and his Council."

"Are you satisfied Monsieur le Comte," said Harley, "with your atonement so far? if not, I have procured you the occasion to render it yet more complete. Before you stands the kinsman you have wronged. He knows now, that though for a while, you ruined his fortunes, you failed to sully his hearth. His heart can grant you pardon, and hereafter his hand may give you alms. Kneel then, Giulio Franzini—kneel, baffled bravo—kneel, ruined gamester—kneel, miserable out-cast—at the feet of Alphonso, Prince of Monteleone and Duke of Serrano."

The above dialogue had been in French, which only a few of the Italians present understood, and that imperfectly; but at the name with which Harley concluded his address to the Count a simultaneous cry from those Italians broke forth.

"Alphonso the Good!—Alphonso the Good! Viva—viva—the good Duke of Serrano!"

And, forgetful even of the Count, they crowded round the tall form of Riccabocca, striving who should first kiss his hand—the very hem of his garments.

Riccabocca's eyes overflowed. The gaunt exile seemed transfigured into another and more kingly man. An inexpressible dignity invested him. He stretched forth his arms, as if to bless his countrymen. Even that rude cry, from humble men, exiles like himself, consoled him for years of banishment and penury.

"Thanks, thanks," he continued; "thanks. Some day or other, you will all perhaps return with me to the beloved Land!"

The Austrian Prince bowed his head, as if in assent to the prayer.

"Giulio Franzini," said the Duke of Serrano—for so we may now call the threadbare recluse of the Casino—"had this last villainous design of yours been allowed by Providence, think you that there is one spot on earth on which the ravisher could have been saved from a father's arm? But now, Heaven has been more kind. In this hour let me imitate its mercy," and with relaxing brow the Duke mildly drew near to his guilty kinsman.

From the moment the Austrian Prince had addressed him, the Count had preserved a profound silence, showing neither repentance nor shame. Gathering himself up, he had stood firm, glaring round him like one at bay. But as the Duke now approached, he waved his hand, and exclaimed, "Back, pedant, back; you have not triumphed yet. And you, prating German, tell your tales to our Emperor. I shall be by his throne to answer—if, indeed, you escape from the meeting to which I will force you by the way." He spoke, and made a rush toward the side of the vessel. But Harley's quick wit had foreseen the Count's intention, and Harley's quick eye had given the signal by which it was frustrated. Seized in the gripe of his own watchful and indignant countrymen, just as he was about to plunge into the stream, Peschiera was dragged back—pinioned down. Then the expression of his whole countenance changed; the desperate violence of the inborn gladiator broke forth. His great strength enabled him to break loose more than once, to dash more than one man to the floor of the deck; but at length, overpowered by numbers, though still struggling—all dignity, all attempt at presence of mind gone, uttering curses the most plebeian, gnashing his teeth, and foaming at the mouth, nothing seemed left of the brilliant Lothario but the coarse fury of the fierce natural man.

Then, still preserving that air and tone of exquisite imperturbable irony which might have graced the marquis of the old French regime, and which the highest comedian might have sighed to imitate in vain, Harley bowed low to the storming Count.

"Adieu, Monsieur le Comte—adieu! I am rejoiced to see that you are so well provided with furs. You will need them for your voyage; it is a very cold one at this time of the year. The vessel which you have honored me by entering is bound to Norway. The Italians who accompany you were sent by yourself into exile, and, in return, they now kindly promise to enliven you with their society, whenever you feel somewhat tired of your own. Conduct the Count to his cabin. Gently there, gently. Adieu, Monsieur le Comte, adieu! et bon voyage."

Harley turned lightly on his heel, as Peschiera, in spite of his struggles, was now fairly carried down to the cabin.

"A trick for the trickster," said L'Estrange to the Austrian Prince. "The revenge of a farce on the would-be tragedian."

"More than that—he is ruined."

"And ridiculous," quoth Harley. "I should like to see his look when they land him in Norway." Harley then passed toward the centre of the vessel, by which, hitherto partially concealed by the sailors, who were now busily occupied, stood Beatrice; Frank Hazeldean, who had first received her on entering the vessel, standing by her side; and Leonard, a little apart from the two, in quiet observation of all that had passed around him. Beatrice appeared but little to heed Frank; her dark eyes were lifted to the dim starry skies, and her lips were moving as if in prayer; yet her young lover was speaking to her in great emotion, low and rapidly.

"No, no—do not think for a moment that we suspect you, Beatrice. I will answer for your honor with my life. Oh, why will you turn from me—why will you not speak?"

"A moment later," said Beatrice softly. "Give me one moment yet." She passed slowly[Pg 685] and faltering toward Leonard—placed her hand that trembled, on his arm—and led him aside to the verge of the vessel. Frank, startled by her movement, made a step as if to follow, and then stopped short, and looked on, but with a clouded and doubtful countenance. Harley's smile had gone, and his eye was also watchful.

It was but a few words that Beatrice spoke—it was but by a sentence or so that Leonard answered; and then Beatrice extended her hand, which the young poet bent over, and kissed in silence. She lingered an instant; and even by the star-light, Harley noted the blush that overspread her face. The blush faded as Beatrice returned to Frank. Lord L'Estrange would have retired—she signed to him to stay.

"My lord," she said very firmly, "I can not accuse you of harshness to my sinful and unhappy brother. His offense might perhaps deserve a heavier punishment than that which you inflict with such playful scorn. But whatever his penance, contempt now, or poverty later, I feel that his sister should be by his side to share it. I am not innocent, if he be guilty; and, wreck though he be, nothing else on this dark sea of life is now left to me to cling to. Hush, my lord! I shall not leave this vessel. All that I entreat of you is, to order your men to respect my brother, since a woman will be by his side."

"But, Marchesa, this can not be; and—"

"Beatrice, Beatrice—and me!—our betrothal? Do you forgot me?"' cried Frank in reproachful agony.

"No, young and too noble lover; I shall remember you ever in my prayers. But listen. I have been deceived—hurried on, I might say—by others, but also, and far more, by my own mad and blinded heart—deceived, hurried on, to wrong you and to belie myself. My shame burns into me when I think that I could have inflicted on you the just anger of your family—linked you to my own ruined fortunes, my own tarnished name—my own—"

"Your own generous, loving heart!—that is all I asked!" cried Frank. "Cease, cease—that heart is mine still!"

Tears gushed from the Italian's eyes.

"Englishman, I never loved you; this heart was dead to you, and it will be dead to all else forever. Farewell! You will forget me sooner than you think for—sooner than I shall forget you—as a friend, as a brother—if brothers had natures as tender and as kind as yours! Now, my lord, will you give me your arm? I would join the Count."

"Stay—one word, madam," said Frank, very pale, and through his set teeth, but calmly, and with a pride on his brow which had never before dignified its careless, open expression—"one word. I may not be worthy of you in any thing else—but an honest love, that never doubted, never suspected—that would have clung to you though all the world were against; such a love makes the meanest man of worth. One word, frank and open. By all that you hold most sacred in your creed, did you speak the truth when you said that you never loved me?"

Beatrice bent down her head; she was abashed before this manly nature that she had so deceived, and perhaps till then undervalued.

"Pardon, pardon," she said, in reluctant accents, half-choked by the rising of a sob.

At her hesitation Frank's face lighted as if with sudden hope. She raised her eyes, and saw the change in him, then glanced where Leonard stood, mournful and motionless. She shivered, and added, firmly—

"Yes—pardon; for I spoke the truth; and I had no heart to give. It might have been as wax to another—it was of granite to you." She paused, and muttered inly—"Granite, and—broken!"

Frank said not a word more. He stood rooted to the spot, not even gazing after Beatrice as she passed away leaning on the arm of Lord L'Estrange. He then walked resolutely away, and watched the boat that the men were now lowering from the side of the vessel. Beatrice stopped when she came near the place where Violante stood, answering in agitated whispers her father's anxious questions. As she stopped, she leaned more heavily upon Harley. "It is your arm that trembles now, Lord L'Estrange," said she, with a mournful smile, and, quitting him before he could answer, she bowed down her head meekly before Violante. "You have pardoned me already," she said, in a tone that reached only the girl's ear, "and my last words shall not be of the past. I see your future spread bright before me under those steadfast stars. Love still; hope and trust. These are the last words of her who will soon die to the world. Fair maid, they are prophetic!"

Violante shrank back to her father's breast, and there hid her glowing face, resigning her hand to Beatrice, who pressed it to her bosom. The Marchesa then came back to Harley, and disappeared with him in the interior of the vessel.

When Harley reappeared on deck, he seemed, much flurried and disturbed. He kept aloof from the Duke and Violante, and was the last to enter the boat, that was now lowered into the water.

As he and his companions reached the land, they saw the vessel in movement, and gliding slowly down the river.

"Courage, Leonard, courage!" murmured Harley. "You grieve, and nobly. But you have shunned the worst and most vulgar deceit in civilized life; you have not simulated love. Better that yon poor lady should be, awhile, the sufferer from a harsh truth, than the eternal martyr of a flattering lie! Alas, my Leonard, with the love of the poet's dream are linked only the Graces; with the love of the human heart come the awful Fates!"

"My lord, poets do not dream when they love. You will learn how the feelings are deep in proportion as the fancies are vivid, when you read[Pg 686] that confession of genius and woe which I have left in your hands."

Leonard turned away. Harley's gaze followed him with inquiring interest, and suddenly encountered the soft, dark grateful eyes of Violante. "The Fates, the Fates!" murmured Harley.



The rat is one of the most despised and tormented of created animals; he has many enemies and very few friends; wherever he appears his life is in danger from men, dogs, cats, owls, &c., who will have no mercy on him. These perpetual persecutions oblige him to be wary in his movements, and call for a large amount of cunning and sagacity on his part, which give his little sharp face a peculiarly knowing and wide-awake appearance, which the most superficial observer must have noticed. Though, poor creature, he is hated and killed by man, his sworn foe, yet he is to that same ungrateful race a most useful servant, in the humble capacity of scavenger; for wherever man settles his habitation, even in the most remote parts of the earth, there, as if by magic, appear our friends the rats. He quietly takes possession of the out-houses, drains, &c., and occupies himself by devouring the refuse and filth thrown away from the dwelling of his master (under whose floor, as well as roof, he lives); this refuse, if left to decay, would engender fever, malaria, and all kinds of horrors, to the destruction of the children of the family, were it not for the unremitting exertions of the rats to get rid of it, in a way no doubt agreeable to themselves, namely, by eating it.

The rat is admirably armed and equipped for the peculiar mode of life which he is ordained to lead. He has formidable weapons in the shape of four small, long, and very sharp teeth, two of which are fixed in the upper and two in the under jaw. These are formed in the shape of a wedge, and by the following wonderful provision of Nature, have always a fine, sharp, cutting edge. On examining them carefully, we find that the inner part is of a soft, ivory-like composition, which may be easily worn away, whereas the outside is composed of a glass-like enamel, which is excessively hard. The upper teeth work exactly into the under, so that the centres of the opposed teeth meet exactly in the act of gnawing; the soft part is thus being perpetually worn away, while the hard part keeps a sharp, chisel-like edge; at the same time the teeth grow up from the bottom, so that as they wear away a fresh supply is ready. The consequence of this arrangement is, that, if one of the teeth be removed, either by accident or on purpose, the opposed tooth will continue to grow upward; and, as there is nothing to grind it away, will project from the mouth and be turned upon itself; or, if it be an under-tooth, it will even run into the skull above.

There is a curious, but little known fact, which well illustrates the ravages which the rats can inflict on a hard substance with these little sharp teeth. Many of the elephant's tusks imported into London for the use of the ivory ornament makers, are observed to have their surfaces grooved into small furrows of unequal depths, as though cut out by a very sharp-edged instrument. Surely no man would have taken the trouble to do this, for what would be the profit of his labor? The rats, however, are at the bottom of the secret, or else, clever fellows as they are, they would not have used their chisel-like teeth with such effect. They have found out the tusks which contain the most gelatine or animal glue, a sweet and delicious morsel for the rat's dainty palate; and having gnawed away as much as suited their purpose, have left the rest for the ivory-cutter—he, for his part, is neither unable nor unwilling to profit by the fact marked out by the rat's teeth. The ivory that contains a large amount of gelatine is softer and more elastic than that which does not; and as elasticity is the thing most needful for billiard balls, he chooses this rat-marked ivory, and turns it into the beautiful elastic billiard balls we see on the slate tables in St. James's-street. The elasticity of some of these is so great, that if struck down forcibly on a hard pavement, they will rebound into the hand to the height of three or four feet.

Rats have a remarkable instinct for finding out where there is any thing good for food; and it has been often a subject of wonder, how they manage to get on board ships laden with sugar and other attractive cargoes. This mystery has, however, been cleared up, for they have been seen to come off shore to the ship by means of the rope by which she is moored to the quay, although at some distance from the shore. By the same means they will leave the ship when she comes into port, if they find their quarters filling, or filled with water; hence the saying, that "rats always leave a sinking ship" is perfectly true. If, however, the ship be water-tight, they will continue breeding to an enormous extent. M. de St. Pierre informs us, that on the return of the "Valiant" man-of-war from the Havana, in the year 1766, its rats had increased to such a degree, that they destroyed a hundred weight of biscuit daily. The ship was at length smoked between decks in order to suffocate them; and six hampers were for some time filled every day with the rats that had thus been killed.

There is a curious instance of rats losing their lives in quest of food, which has been kindly communicated to me by a friend. When the atmospheric pump was in use at the terminus of the Croydon railway, hundreds of rats lost their lives daily. The unscientific creatures used in the night to get into the large iron tube, by exhausting the air from which the railway carriages were put in motion, their object being to lick off the grease from the leather valve, which the engineers of the line were so anxious to keep airtight. As soon as the air-pump was put to work for the first morning-train, there was no resisting, and out they were sucked all dead corpses!

[Pg 687]

The rat, though naturally a savage creature, is, by dint of kindness, capable of being tamed and being made obedient to the will of man. Some of the Japanese tame rats, and teach them to perform many entertaining tricks, and thus instructed they are exhibited as a show for the diversion of the populace.

A gentleman traveling through Mecklenburg, about forty years ago, was witness to a very singular circumstance in the post-house at New Hargard. After dinner, the landlord placed on the floor a large dish of soup, and gave a loud whistle. Immediately there came into the room a mastiff, a fine Angora cat, an old raven, and a remarkably large rat, with a bell about its neck. They all four went to the dish, and, without disturbing each other, fed together, after which the dog, cat, and rat lay before the fire, while the raven hopped about the room. The landlord, after accounting for the familiarity which existed among these animals, informed his guest that the rat was the most useful of the four, for the noise he made had completely freed the house from the other rats and mice with which it had previously been infested.

But capacity for becoming tame and accustomed to the presence of man is not confined to the "foreigneer" rats, for, from the following story, it appears that the rats of England are equally susceptible of kindness. A worthy whip-maker, who worked hard at his trade to support a large family, had prepared a number of strips of leather, by well oiling and greasing them. He carefully laid them by in a box, but, strange to say, they disappeared one by one; nobody knew any thing about them, nobody had touched them.

However, one day, as he was sitting at work in his shop, a large black rat, of the original British species, slyly poked his head up out of a hole in the corner of the room, and deliberately took a survey of the whole place. Seeing all quiet, out he came, and ran straight to the box wherein were kept the favorite leather strips. In he dived, and quickly reappeared, carrying in his mouth the most dainty morsel he could find. Off he ran to his hole, and quickly vanished. Having thus found out the thief, the saddler determined to catch him; he accordingly propped up a sieve by a stick, and put a bait underneath; in a few minutes out came the rat again, smelling the inviting toasted cheese, and forthwith attacked it. The moment he began nibbling at the bait, down came the sieve, and he became a prisoner. Now, thought he, "my life depends upon my behavior when this horrid sieve is lifted up by that two-legged wretch with the apron on, who so kindly cuts the greasy thongs for me every day: he has a good-natured looking face, and I don't think he wants to kill me. I know what I will do."

The saddler' at length lifted up the sieve, being armed with a stick ready to kill Mr. Rat when he rushed out. What was his astonishment to see that the rat remained perfectly quiet, and, after a few moments, to walk quietly up on his arm, and look up in his face, as much as to say, "I am a poor innocent rat, and if your wife will lock up all the good things in the cupboard, why I must eat your nicely prepared thongs; rats must live as well as saddlers." The man then said, "Tom, I was going to kill you, but now I won't; let us be friends. I'll put you some bread and butter every day if you won't take my thongs and wax, and leave the shopman's breakfast alone; but I am afraid you will come out once too often; there are lots of dogs and cats about who won't be so kind to you as I am; you may go now."

He then put him down, and Mr. Rat leisurely retreated to his hole. For a long time afterward he found his breakfast regularly placed for him at the mouth of his hole, in return for which he, as in duty bound, became quite tame, running about the shop, and inquisitively turning over every thing on the bench at which his protector was at work. He would even accompany him into the stables when he went to feed the pony, and pick up the corn as it fell from the manger, keeping, however, a respectful distance from the pony's legs. His chief delight was to bask in the warm window sill, stretching his full length to the mid-day sun. This unfortunate, though agreeable habit, proved his destruction, for one very hot day, as he lay at his ease taking his siesta, the dog belonging to the bird-shop opposite espied him afar off, and instantly dashed at him through the window. The poor rat, who was asleep at the time, awoke, alas! too late to save his life. The cruel dog caught him, and took him into the road, where a few sharp squeezes and shakings soon finished him. The fatal deed being done, the murderous dog left his bleeding victim in the dusty road, and with ears and tail erect, walked away as though proud of his performance. The dog's master, knowing the history of the rat, had him stuffed, and his impaled skin, with a silver chain round the neck, forms to this day a handsome addition to the shop-front of the bird-shop in Brompton.

There is a curious fact connected with the habits of the rat, which warrants a closer observation on the part of those who have the opportunity, it is the emigration of rats. It appears that rats, like many birds, fish, &c., are influenced to change their abode by want of food; by necessity of change of temperature; by want of a place for incubation, where they may obtain food for their young; and, lastly, by their fear of man.

A Spanish merchant had forestalled the market of Barcelona filberts on speculation some years ago. He filled his warehouse with sacks of them, and refused to sell them to the retail-dealers, but at such a price as they could not afford to give. Thinking, however, that they would be obliged to submit to his demand, rather than not procure them for sale, he persisted in exacting his original price, and thus lost nearly all his treasure; for he was informed by an early rising friend, that he had seen, just before sun[Pg 688]rise, an army of rats quitting the warehouse. He immediately went to examine his sacks, and found them gnawed in various places, and emptied of above half their contents, and empty shells of filberts strewed over the floor.

Pennant relates a story of a burglarious grand-larceny troop of rats, which nearly frightened a young lady out of her wits, by mistaking her chimney for one leading to a cheese-room. She was suddenly wakened by a tremendous clatter in her bed-chamber, and on looking up saw a terrific troop of rats running about in wild disorder. She had presence of mind enough to throw her candlestick at them (timor arma ministral) and to her great joy she found that they speedily departed by the way which they had entered her apartment, leaving only a cloud of soot over the room.

Forty years ago, the house of a surgeon in Swansea was greatly infested with rats, and he completely got rid of them by burning off all the hair from one of them which he had caught alive, and then allowing it to return to its hole. It was said that he never afterward saw a rat on his premises, except the burnt sufferer, which on the following day returned, and was caught in the same trap from which he had been but just set at liberty. I suppose that in their "Advertiser," the description of a ghost, and a notice of haunted premises was given, which caused the whole colony so unanimously to decamp.


One Ephraim Bridgman, who died in 1783, had for many years farmed a large quantity of land in the neighborhood of Lavenham or Lanham (the name is spelt both ways), a small market-town about twelve miles south of Bury St. Edmunds. He was also land agent as well as tenant to a noble lord possessing much property thereabouts, and appears to have been a very fast man for those times, as, although he kept up appearances to the last, his only child and heir, Mark Bridgman, found on looking closely into his deceased father's affairs, that were every body paid, he himself would be left little better than a pauper. Still, if the noble landlord could be induced to give a very long day for the heavy balance due to him—not only for arrears of rent, but moneys received on his lordship's account—Mark, who was a prudent energetic young man, nothing doubted of pulling through without much difficulty—the farm being low rented and the agency lucrative. This desirable object, however, proved exceedingly difficult of attainment, and after a protracted and fruitless negotiation, by letter, with Messrs. Winstanley, of Lincoln's-Inn-Fields, London, his lordship's solicitors, the young farmer determined, as a last resource, on a journey to town, in the vague hope that on a personal interview he should find those gentlemen not quite such square, hard, rigid persons as their written communications indicated them to be. Delusive hope! They were precisely as stiff, formal, accurate, and unvarying as their letters. "The exact balance due to his lordship," said Winstanley, senior, "is, as previously stated, £2103 14s. 6d., which sum, secured by warrant of attorney, must be paid as follows: one half in eight, and the remaining moiety in sixteen months from the present time." Mark Bridgman was in despair: taking into account other liabilities that would be falling due, compliance with such terms was, he felt, merely deferring the evil day, and he was silently and moodily revolving in his mind whether it might not be better to give up the game at once rather than engage in a prolonged, and almost inevitably disastrous struggle, when another person entered the office and entered into conversation with the solicitor. At first the young man did not appear to heed—perhaps did not hear what was said—but after a while one of the clerks noticed that his attention was suddenly and keenly aroused, and that he eagerly devoured every word that passed between the new comer and Mr. Winstanley. At length the lawyer, as if to terminate the interview, said, as he replaced a newspaper—The Public Advertiser—an underlined notice in which had formed the subject of his colloquy with the stranger, upon a side table, by which sat Mark Bridgman. "You desire us then, Mr. Evans, to continue this advertisement for some time longer?" Mr. Evans replied, "Certainly, six months longer, if necessary." He then bade the lawyers "good-day," and left the office.

"Well, what do you say, Mr. Bridgman!" asked Mr. Winstanley, as soon as the door had closed. "Are you ready to accept his lordship's very lenient proposal?"

"Yes," was the quick reply. "Let the document be prepared at once, and I will execute it before I leave." This was done, and Mark Bridgman hurried off, evidently, it was afterward remembered, in a high state of flurry and excitement. He had also, they found, taken the newspaper with him—by inadvertence, the solicitor supposed, of course.

Within a week of this time, the good folk of Lavenham—especially its womankind—were thrown into a ferment of wonder, indignation, and bewilderment! Rachel Merton, the orphan dressmaking girl, who had been engaged to, and about to marry Richard Green, the farrier and blacksmith—and that a match far beyond what she had any right to expect, for all her pretty face and pert airs, was positively being courted by Bridgman, young, handsome, rich, Mark Bridgman of Red Lodge (the embarrassed state of the gentleman-farmer's affairs was entirely unsuspected in Lavenham); ay, and by way of marriage, too—openly—respectfully, deferentially—as if he, not Rachel Merton, were the favored and honored party! What on earth, every body asked, was the world coming to?—a question most difficult of solution; but all doubt with respect to the bonâ fide nature of Mark Bridgman's intentions toward the fortu[Pg 689]nate dressmaker was soon at an end; he and Rachel being duly pronounced man and wife at the parish church within little more than a fortnight of the commencement of his strange and hasty wooing! All Lavenham agreed that Rachel Merton had shamefully jilted poor Green, and yet it may be doubted if there were many of them that, similarly tempted, would not have done the same. A pretty orphan girl, hitherto barely earning a subsistence by her needle, and about to throw herself away upon a coarse, repulsive person, but one degree higher than herself in the social scale—entreated by the handsomest young man about Lavenham to be his wife, and the mistress of Red Lodge, with nobody knows how many servants, dependents, laborers!—the offer was irresistible! It was also quite natural that the jilted blacksmith should fiercely resent—as he did—his sweetheart's faithless conduct; and the assault which his angry excitement induced him to commit upon his successful rival a few days previous to the wedding, was far too severely punished, every body admitted, by the chastisement inflicted by Mark Bridgman upon his comparatively weak and powerless assailant.

The morning after the return of the newly-married couple to Red Lodge from a brief wedding trip, a newspaper which the bridegroom had recently ordered to be regularly supplied was placed upon the table. He himself was busy with breakfast, and his wife, after a while, opened it, and ran her eye carelessly over its columns. Suddenly an exclamation of extreme surprise escaped her, followed by—"Goodness gracious, my dear Mark, do look here!" Mark did look, and read an advertisement aloud, to the effect that "If Rachel Edwards, formerly of Bath, who, in 1762, married John Merton, bandmaster of the 29th Regiment of Infantry, and afterward kept a school in Manchester, or any lineal descendant of hers, would apply to Messrs. Winstanley, solicitors, Lincoln's-Inn-Fields, they would hear of something greatly to their advantage." "Why, dear Mark," said the pretty bride, as her husband ceased reading, "my mother's maiden name was Rachel Edwards, and I am, as you know, her only surviving child!" "God bless me, to be sure! I remember now hearing your father speak of it. What can this great advantage be, I wonder? I tell you what we'll do, love," the husband added, "you would like to see London, I know. We'll start by coach to-night, and I'll call upon these lawyers, and find out what it all means." This proposition was, of course, gladly acceded to. They were gone about a fortnight, and on their return it became known that Mark Bridgman had come into possession of £12,000 in right of his wife, who was entitled to that sum by the will of her mother's maiden sister, Mary Edwards, of Bath. The bride appears not to have had the slightest suspicion that her husband had been influenced by any other motive than her personal charms in marrying her—a pleasant illusion which, to do him justice, his unvarying tenderness toward her through life, confirmed and strengthened; but others, unblinded by vanity, naturally surmised the truth. Richard Green, especially, as fully believed that he had been deliberately, and with malice prepense, tricked out of £12,000, as of the girl herself; and this conviction, there can be no doubt, greatly increased and inflamed his rage against Mark Bridgman—so much so that it became at last the sole thought and purpose of his life, as to how he might safely and effectually avenge himself of the man who was flaunting it so bravely in the world, while he—poor duped and despised castaway—was falling lower and lower in the world every day he lived. This was the natural consequence of his increasingly dissolute and idle habits. It was not long before an execution for rent swept away his scanty stock in trade, and he thenceforth became a ragged, vagabond hanger-on about the place—seldom at work, and as often as possible drunk; during which fits of intemperance his constant theme was the bitter hatred he nourished toward Bridgman, and his determination, even if he swung for it, of being one day signally avenged. Mark Bridgman was often warned to be on his guard against the venomous malignity of Green; but this counsel he seems to have spurned, or treated with contempt.

While the vengeful blacksmith was thus falling into utter vagabondism, all was sunshine at Red Lodge. Mark Bridgman really loved his pretty and gentle, if vain-minded wife—a love deepened by gratitude, that through her means he had been saved from insolvency and ruin; and barely a twelvemonth of wedded life had passed, when the birth of a son completed their happiness. This child (for nearly three years it did not appear likely there would be any other) soon came to be the idol of its parents—of its father, even more than of its mother. It was very singularly marked, with two strawberries, exceedingly distinct, on its left arm, and one, less vivid, on its right. There are two fairs held annually at Lavenham, and one of these—when little Mark was between three and four years old—Mr. Bridgman came in from Red Lodge to attend, accompanied by his wife, son, and a woman-servant of the name of Sarah Hollins. Toward evening, Mrs. Bridgman went out shopping, escorted by her husband, leave having been previously given Hollins to take the child through the pleasure—that is the booth and show part of the fair; but with strict orders not to be absent more than an hour from the inn where her master and mistress were putting up. In little more than the specified time the woman returned, but without the child; she had suddenly missed him, about half an hour before, while looking on at some street-tumbling, and had vainly sought him through the town since. The woman's tidings excited great alarm; Mr. Bridgman himself instantly hurried off, and hired messengers were, one after another, dispatched by the mother in quest of the missing child. As hour after hour flew by without result, extrava[Pg 690]gant rewards, which set hundreds of persons in motion, were offered by the distracted parents; but all to no purpose. Day dawned, and as yet not a gleam of intelligence had been obtained of the lost one. At length some one suggested that inquiry should be made after Richard Green. This was promptly carried into effect, and it was ascertained that he had not been home during the night. Further investigation left no room for doubt that he had suddenly quitted Lavenham; and thus a new and fearful light was thrown upon the boy's disappearance. It was conjectured that the blacksmith must have gone to London; and Mr. Bridgman immediately set off thither, and placed himself in communication with the authorities of Bow Street. Every possible exertion was used during several weeks to discover the child, or Green, without success, and the bereaved father returned to his home a harassed, spirit-broken man. During his absence his wife had been prematurely confined of another son, and this new gift of God seemed, after a while, to partially fill the aching void in the mother's heart; but the sadness and gloom which had settled upon the mind of her husband was not perceptibly lightened thereby. "If I knew Mark was dead," he once remarked to the rector of Lavenham, by whom he was often visited, "I should resign myself to his loss, and soon shake off this heavy grief. But that, my dear sir, which weighs me down—is in fact slowly but surely killing me—is a terrible conviction and presentiment that Green, in order fully to work out his devilish vengeance, will studiously pervert the nature of the child—lead him into evil, abandoned courses—and that I shall one day see him—but I will not tell you my dreams," he added, after stopping abruptly, and painfully shuddering, as if some frightful spectre passed before his eyes. "They are, I trust, mere fancies; and yet—but let us change the subject."

This morbidly-dejected state of mind was aggravated by the morose, grasping disposition—so entirely different from what Mr. Bridgman had fondly prophesied of Mark—manifested in greater strength with every succeeding year by his son Andrew, a strangely unlovable and gloomy-tempered boy, as if the anxiety and trouble of the time during which he had been hurried into the world had been impressed upon his temperament and character. It may be, too, that he felt irritated at, and jealous of his father's ceaseless repinings for the loss of his eldest son, who, if recovered, would certainly monopolize the lion's share of the now large family property—but not one whit too large in his—Andrew Bridgman's—opinion for himself alone.

The young man had not very long to wait for it. He had just passed his twentieth year when his father died at the early age of forty-seven The last wandering thoughts of the dying parent reverted to the lost child. "Hither Mark," he faintly murmured, as the hushed mourners round his bed watched with mute awe the last flutterings of departing life; "hither: hold me tightly by the hand, or you may lose yourself in this dark, dark wood." These were his last words. On the will being opened, it was found that the whole of his estate, real and personal, had been bequeathed to his son Andrew, charged only with an annuity of £500 to his mother, during life. But, should Mark be found, the property was to be his, similarly charged with respect to Mrs. Bridgman, and £100 yearly to his brother Andrew, also for life, in addition.

On the evening of the tenth day after his father's funeral, young Mr. Bridgman sat up till a late hour examining various papers and accounts connected with his inheritance, and after retiring to bed, the exciting nature of his recent occupation hindered him from sleeping. While thus lying awake, his quick ear caught a sound as of some one breaking into the house through one of the lower casements. He rose cautiously, went out on the landing, and soon satisfied himself that his suspicion was a correct one. The object of the burglars was, he surmised, the plate in the house of which there was an unusually large quantity, both his father and grandfather having expended much money in that article of luxury. Andrew Bridgman was any thing but a timid person—indeed, considering that six men altogether slept in the house, there was but little cause for fear—and he softly returned to his bedroom, unlocked a mahogany case, took out, loaded and primed, two pistols, and next roused the gardener and groom, whom he bade noiselessly follow him. The burglars—three in number, as it proved—had already reached and opened the plate-closet. One of them was standing within it, and the others just without. "Hallo! rascals," shouted Andrew Bridgman, from the top of a flight of stairs, "what are you doing there?"

The startled and terrified thieves glanced hurriedly round, and the two outermost fled instantly along the passage pursued by the two servants, one of whom had armed himself with a sharp-pointed kitchen knife. The other was not so fortunate. He had not regained the threshold of the closet when Andrew Bridgman fired. The bullet crashed through the wretched man's brain, and he fell forward, stone-dead, upon his face. The two others escaped—one of them after a severe struggle with the knife-armed groom.

It was sometime before the uproar in the now thoroughly-alarmed household had subsided; but at length the screaming females were pacified, and those who had got up, persuaded to go to bed again. The corpse of the slain burglar was removed to an out-house, and Andrew Bridgman returned to his bedroom. Presently there was a tap at the door. It was Sarah Hollins. "I am come to tell you something," said the now aged woman, with a significant look. "The person you have shot is the Richard Green you have so often heard of."

The young man, Hollins afterward said, seemed much startled by this news, and his countenance flushed and paled in quick succession.[Pg 691] "Are you quite sure this is true?" he at last said.

"Quite; though he's so altered that, except, Missus, I don't know any body else in the house that is likely to recognize him. Shall I tell her?"

"No, no, not on any account. It would only recall unpleasant events, and that quite uselessly. Be sure not to mention your suspicion—your belief, to a soul."

"Suspicion! belief!" echoed the woman. "It is a certainty. But, of course, as you wish it, I shall hold my tongue."

So audacious an attempt created a considerable stir in the locality, and four days after its occurrence a message was sent to Red Lodge from Bury St. Edmunds, that two men, supposed to be the escaped burglars, were there in custody, and requesting Mr. Bridgman's and the servants' attendance on the morrow, with a view to their identification. Andrew Bridgman, the gardener, and groom, of course, obeyed the summons, and the prisoners were brought into the justice-room before them. One was a fellow of about forty, a brutal-visaged, low-browed, sinister-looking rascal, with the additional ornament of a but partially closed hare-lip. He was unhesitatingly sworn to by both men. The other, upon whom, from the instant he entered, Andrew Bridgman had gazed with eager, almost, it seemed, trembling curiosity, was a well-grown young man of, it might be, three or four and twenty, with a quick, mild, almost timid, unquiet, troubled look, and features originally comely and pleasing, there could be no doubt, but now smirched and blotted into ill favor by excess, and other evil habits. He gave the name of "Robert Williams."

Andrew Bridgman, recalled to himself by the magistrate's voice, hastily said "that he did not recognize this prisoner as one of the burglars. Indeed," he added, with a swift but meaning look at the two servants, "I am pretty sure he was not one of them." The groom and gardener, influenced no doubt by their master's manner, also appeared doubtful as to whether Robert Williams was one of the housebreakers. "But if he be," hesitated the groom, hardly knowing whether he did right or wrong, "there must be some smartish wounds on his arms, for I hit him there sharply with the knife several times."

The downcast head of the youthful burglar was suddenly raised at these words, and he said, quickly, while a red flush passed over his pallid features, "Not me, not me—look, my arm-sleeves have no holes—no—"

"You may have obtained another jacket," interrupted the magistrate. "We must see your arms."

An expression of hopeless despair settled upon the prisoner's face; he again hung down his head in shame, and allowed the constables to quietly strip off his jacket. Andrew Bridgman, who had gone to some distance, returned while this was going on, and watched for what might next disclose itself with tenfold curiosity and eagerness. "There are stabs enough here, sure enough," exclaimed a constable, as he turned up the shirt-sleeve on the prisoner's left arm. There were, indeed; and in addition to them, natural marks of two strawberries were distinctly visible. The countenance of Andrew Bridgman grew ashy pale, as his straining eyes glared upon the prisoner's naked arm. The next moment he wrenched himself away, as with an effort, from the sight, and staggered to an open window—sick, dizzy, fainting, it was at the time believed, from the closeness of the atmosphere in the crowded room. Was it not rather that he had recognized his long-lost brother—the true heir to the bulk of his deceased father's wealth, against whom, he might have thought, an indictment would scarcely lie for feloniously entering his own house! He said nothing, however, and the two prisoners were fully committed for trial.

Mr. Prince went down "special" to Bury, at the next assize, to defend a gentleman accused of a grave offense, but the grand jury having ignored the bill, he would probably have returned at once, had not an attorney brought him a brief, very heavily marked, in defense of "Robert Williams." "Strangely enough, too," remarked the attorney, as he was about to go away, "the funds for the defense have been supplied by Mr. Andrew Bridgman, whose house the prisoner is accused of having burglariously entered. But this is confidential, as he is very solicitous that his oddly-generous action should not be known." There was, however, no valid defense. The ill-favored accomplice, why, I know not, had been admitted king's evidence by the counsel for the crown, and there was no resisting the accumulated evidence. The prisoner was found guilty, and sentenced to be hanged. "I never intended," he said, after the verdict was returned; and there was a tone of dejected patience in his voice that affected one strangely, "I never intended to commit violence against any one in the house, and but that my uncle—he that was shot—said repeatedly that he knew a secret concerning Mr. Bridgman (he didn't know, I am sure, that he was dead) which would prevent us from being prosecuted if we were caught, I should not have been persuaded to go with him. It was my first offense—in—in housebreaking, I mean."

I had, and indeed have, some relatives in Mildenhall, in the same county, whom, at the termination of the Bury assize, I got leave to visit for a few days. While there, it came to my knowledge that Mr. Andrew Bridgman, whom I had seen in court, was moving heaven and earth to procure a commutation of the convict's sentence to transportation for life. His zealous efforts were unsuccessful; and the Saturday County Journal announced that Robert Williams, the burglar, would suffer, with four others, on the following Tuesday morning. I reached Bury on the Monday evening, with the intention of proceeding by the London night coach, but there was no place vacant. The next morning I could only have ridden outside, and as, besides being intensely cold, it was snowing furiously, I determined on postponing my depart[Pg 692]ure till the evening, and secured an inside place for that purpose. I greatly abhor spectacles of the kind, and yet, from mere idleness and curiosity, I suffered myself to be drawn into the human stream flowing toward "Hang Fair," and once jammed in with the crowd in front of the place of execution, egress was, I found, impossible. After waiting a considerable time, the death-bell suddenly tolled, and the terrible procession appeared—five human beings about to be suffocated by human hands, for offenses against property!—the dreadful and deliberate sacrifice preluded and accompanied by sonorous sentences from the Gospel of mercy and compassion! Hardly daring to look up, I saw little of what passed on the scaffold, yet one furtive, quickly-withdrawn glance, showed me the sufferer in whom I took most interest. He was white as if already coffined, and the unquiet glare of his eyes was, I noticed, terribly anxious! I did not again look up—I could not; and the surging murmur of the crowd, as it swayed to and fro, the near whisperings of ribald tongues, and the measured, mocking tones of the minister, promising eternal life through the mercy of the most high God, to wretches whom the justice of man denied a few more days or years of mortal existence—were becoming momently more and more oppressive, when a dull, heavy sound boomed through the air; the crowd swayed violently from side to side, and the simultaneous expiration of many pent-up breaths testified that all was over, and to the relief experienced by the coarsest natures at the consummation of a deed too frightful for humanity to contemplate. It was some time before the mass of spectators began to thoroughly separate, and they were still standing in large clusters, spite of the bitter, falling weather, when a carriage, furiously driven, with the body of a female, who was screaming vehemently and waving a white handkerchief, projected half out of one of the windows, was seen approaching by the London Road. The thought appeared to strike every one that a respite or reprieve had come for one or more of the prisoners, and hundreds of eyes were instantly turned toward the scaffold, only to see that if so it had arrived too late. The carriage stopped at the gate of the building. A lady dressed in deep mourning, was hastily assisted out by a young man with her, similarly attired, and they both disappeared within the jail. After some parleying, I ascertained that I had sufficient influence to obtain admission, and a few moments afterward I found myself in the press-room. The young man—Mr. Andrew Bridgman—was there, and the lady, who had fallen fainting upon one of the benches, was his mother. The attendants were administering restoratives to her, without effect, till an inner door opened, and the under-sheriff, by whom she was personally known, entered; when she started up and interrogated, with the mute agony of her wet, yet gleaming eyes, the dismayed and distressed official. "Let me entreat you, my dear madam," he faltered, "to retire. This is a most painful—fright—"

"No—no, the truth!—the truth!" shrieked the unfortunate lady, wildly clasping her hands, "I shall bear that best!"

"Then I grieve to say," replied the under-sheriff, "that the marks you describe—two on the left, and one on the right arm, are distinctly visible."

A piercing scream, broken by the words, "My son!—oh God!—my son!" burst from the wretched mother's lips, and she fell heavily, and without sense or motion, upon the stone floor. While the under-sheriff and others raised and ministered to her, I glanced at Mr. Andrew Bridgman. He was as white as the lime-washed wall against which he stood, and the fire that burned in his dark eyes was kindled—it was plain to me—by remorse and horror, not by grief alone.

The cause of the sudden appearance of the mother and son at the closing scene of this sad drama was afterward thus explained:—Andrew Bridgman, from the moment that all hope of procuring a commutation of the sentence on the so-called Robert Williams had ceased, became exceedingly nervous and agitated, and his discomposure seemed to but augment as the time yet to elapse before the execution of the sentence passed away. At length, unable longer to endure the goadings of a tortured conscience, he suddenly burst into the room where his mother sat at breakfast, on the very morning his brother was to die, with an open letter in his hand, by which he pretended to have just heard that Robert Williams was the long-lost Mark Bridgman! The sequel has been already told.

The conviction rapidly spread that Andrew Bridgman had been from the first aware that the youthful burglar was his own brother; and he found it necessary to leave the country. He turned his inheritance into money, and embarked for Charleston, America, in the bark Cleopatra, from Liverpool. When off the Scilly Islands, the Cleopatra was chased by a French privateer. She escaped; but one of the few shots fired at her from the privateer was fatal to the life of Andrew Bridgman. He was almost literally cut in two, and expired instantaneously. Some friends to whom I have related this story deem his death an accident; others, a judgment: I incline, I must confess, to the last opinion. The wealth with which he embarked was restored to Mrs. Bridgman, who soon afterward removed to London, where she lived many years—sad ones, no doubt, but mitigated and rendered endurable by the soothing balm of a clear conscience. At her decease, not very many years ago, the whole of her property was found to be bequeathed to various charitable institutions of the metropolis.

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Monthly Record of Current Events


Congress adjourned, sine die, on the 31st of August. During the last month of its session several important public laws were passed, and various subjects of public interest were discussed at length. Substantial amendments to the Postage Law have been adopted, by which the rates of postage upon printed matter sent by mail, have been greatly reduced. The new law takes effect on the 30th of September. After that date each newspaper, periodical, or other printed sheet not exceeding three ounces in weight, will be sent to any part of the United States for one cent—one cent additional being charged for each additional ounce or fraction but when the postage is paid yearly or quarterly, in advance, at the office where the paper is mailed or delivered, one half of these rates only will be charged. Newspapers and periodicals weighing not over an ounce and a half, when circulated within the State where they are published, will pay only half these rates. Small newspapers and periodicals published once a month or oftener, and pamphlets of not more than sixteen pages each, when sent in single packages weighing at least eight ounces, to one address, and prepaid by affixing postage-stamps thereto, are to be charged only half a cent for each ounce. The postage on all transient matter must be prepaid by stamps or otherwise, or double the rates first mentioned will be charged. Books weighing not over four pounds may be sent by mail at one cent an ounce for all distances under 3000 miles, and at two cents an ounce for all distances over 3000 miles, to which fifty per cent. will be added if not prepaid. Publishers of periodicals and newspapers are to receive their exchanges free of postage; and weekly newspapers may also be sent to subscribers free within the county where they are published. These are the essential provisions of the new law: others are appended requiring the printed papers to be sent open, without any other communications upon them than the address, and without any other inclosures.——A bill was also passed, making large appropriations for the improvement of rivers and harbors in various sections of the country: the vote upon it in the Senate was 35 yeas and 23 nays: in the House of Representatives it was passed by the casting vote of the Speaker, there being 69 votes for and 69 votes against it. Bills were also passed providing measures of greater security for steamboat navigation, by requiring various precautions on the part of owners: granting to the State of Michigan land to aid the construction of a ship canal around the Sault St. Marie, and granting lands to the States of Arkansas and Missouri, to aid in the construction of railroads within those States: establishing a trimonthly mail between New Orleans and Vera Cruz: and making appropriations for the various branches of the public service. The whole number of public acts passed during the session was 64; of private acts 52: of joint resolutions 17. The French Spoliation bill, the bill granting public lands to the several States, and several other measures of importance, upon which extended debate had been had, were postponed until the next session.

On the 10th of August, the President transmitted a message to Congress, communicating to that body all the documents relating to the dispute concerning the Fisheries on the British Colonial coast. In the Senate, on the 12th, Mr. Soule of Louisiana, spoke in very warm censure of the proceedings of the English government, and criticising the measures of the Administration as deficient in energy and determination. He deprecated any negotiations with Great Britain on the subject, so long as any part of her fleet should be in those waters, and predicted the speedy separation of the Colonies from the British empire. Mr. Butler of South Carolina, as well as several other Senators, expressed their earnest hopes that the difficulty would be satisfactorily adjusted, and at their suggestion the debate was postponed until the 14th, when Mr. Seward made an extended and elaborate speech, setting forth the whole history of our negotiations with England upon the Fisheries, showing that England has presented no new claims, and that she has not indicated any purpose to use force or menaces in support of pretensions she has hitherto urged, and vindicating the President and Secretary of State from the attacks made upon them.——On the 16th, while the bill appropriating lands for the construction of a ship canal around the Falls of St. Mary was under discussion, Mr. Cass supported it on the ground of its being essential to the defenses of the country in time of war, and took occasion to say he would have no objection to the annexation of Canada and the acquisition of Cuba, if these objects could be accomplished without a war. Mr. Douglas spoke also in favor of the grant for the work, not as a necessary means of defense, but for the purpose of augmenting the value of the public lands lying further to the west: he said that he would not vote a donation of money for such a purpose, but would support a bill granting public lands. A motion to substitute $400,000, instead of land, was rejected by a vote of 21 to 32: and the bill was passed in its original form.——On the 17th, a message was received from the President, in reply to a resolution offered a day or two previously by Senator Seward, inquiring whether any proposition had been made to the United States by the King of the Sandwich Islands, to transfer the sovereignty of those islands to the United States. The President declines to communicate any information on the subject, since to do so would be incompatible with the public interest. Mr. Seward then offered a resolution providing for the appointment of a Commissioner, to inquire into the expediency of opening negotiations upon that subject. The resolution and the message was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.——On the 23d, while the River and Harbor Bill was under debate, Senator Douglas offered a resolution giving the States power to levy tonnage duties upon their commerce, for the purpose of carrying on works of internal improvement. He supported this proposition at length. Mr. Cass opposed it on the ground that the duties thus levied would in fact be paid by the agricultural consumers. Mr. Smith of Connecticut opposed it, because it would throw the whole burden of these duties upon the farmers of the West. The amendment was rejected by 17 to 25.

On the 28th, in reply to a resolution, a Message was received from the President, transmitting sundry documents relating to the right of foreign nations to take guano from the Lobos islands, off the coast of Peru. On the 2d of June, Captain Jewett wrote[Pg 694] to Mr. Webster, inquiring whether these islands were the possession of any single power, or whether they were open to the commerce of the world. Mr. Webster replied that the islands were uninhabited, that they had never been enumerated among the possessions or dependencies of any of the South American states, and that citizens of the United States would be protected in removing the valuable deposits upon them. At the same time the Secretary of the Navy ordered a vessel of war to be dispatched for the protection of American vessels engaged in this traffic. Under these assurances Captain Jewett and his associates fitted out some twenty vessels which were immediately dispatched to the islands in question. Mr. Webster's letter to Captain Jewett, meantime, having accidentally been made public, the Peruvian Minister, Senor Osma, in three successive notes, represented to the Government that the Lobos islands were dependencies of Peru, and that the United States could have no rightful claim to remove their valuable deposits. Mr. Webster replied to this claim on the 21st of August, by an elaborate argument showing that Peru had hitherto, by repeated acts, sustained the position that the islands do not belong to any of the South American states. They lie about thirty miles from the shore, and are uninhabited and uninhabitable. Citizens of the United States have visited them in pursuit of seals for half a century; and no complaint was made of this until 1833, when Peru issued a decree forbidding foreigners from visiting them for any such purpose. The United States Chargé at Lima immediately remonstrated against this decree, and requested its modification, so far as to permit citizens of the United States to continue pursuits in which they had been engaged for so many years. No reply was made to this remonstrance, and the citizens of the United States continued their avocations without any further interruption. Mr. Webster insists, therefore, that while these islands lie in the open ocean, so far from the coast of Peru as not to belong to that country by the law of proximity or adjacent position, the Government of Peru has not exercised any such acts of absolute sovereignty and ownership over them as to give to her a right to their exclusive possession as against the United States and their citizens by the law of indisputable possession. The Government of the United States is, however, disposed to give due consideration to all the facts of the case, and the President will therefore give such orders to the naval forces on that coast as will prevent collision until the case can be examined.

An important report was made in the Senate, on the 30th of August, by Mr. Mason, of Virginia, from the Committee on Foreign Relations, upon the subject of the right of way across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, granted to Don Jose de Garay, in March, 1842, by Santa Anna, then vested with supreme power as President of Mexico. The report, after mentioning this grant, and the stipulation contained in it that he, as well as any private individual or company succeeding him, native or foreign, should be protected in undisturbed enjoyment of all the concessions granted, states that on the 9th of February, 1843, a decree was issued by General Bravo, who had succeeded to the Presidency, recognizing and affirming this grant, and directing the departments of Oaxaca and Vera Cruz to put Garay in possession of the lands ceded to him by its provisions. On the 6th of October, 1843, Santa Anna, being restored to power, issued a further decree, directing the departments to furnish 300 convicts to be employed on the work; and by another decree of December 28, 1843, the time for commencing it was extended a year—until July 1, 1845. In November, 1846, General Salas, having, by the course of revolution, become invested with supreme power as Dictator, promulgated a decree, extending the time still further, namely, until November 5, 1848; and the work was actually commenced prior to that date. This is the history of the grant so long as it remained in the hands of Garay. During the year 1846 various contracts were entered into by which he transferred the grant, with all its rights and privileges, to Messrs. Manning and Mackintosh, subjects of Great Britain: and on the 28th of September, 1848, these contracts were formally recognized and consummated at the city of Mexico. On the 5th of February, 1848, this grant was assigned to Peter A. Hargous, a citizen of the United States, who subsequently entered into a contract to assign the same to certain citizens of New Orleans, on terms intended to secure the capital necessary to execute the work. In December, 1850, a party of engineers was sent out by the American assignees, to complete the necessary surveys—who continued so employed until the month of June following, when they were ordered by the Mexican government to discontinue the work and leave the country—a law having been passed by the Mexican Congress, and approved by the President, May 22, 1851, declaring the Garay grant to be null and void. Upon this statement of facts concerning the origin and history of the grant, the Report proceeds to show that its validity had been repeatedly recognized by the Mexican government. In 1846, President Herrera issued orders to prevent cutting mahogany from these lands. In 1847, while the treaty of peace was under discussion, Mr. Trist, by direction of our Government, offered a large sum for the right of way across the Isthmus; and was answered that "Mexico could not treat of this subject because she had, several years before, made a grant to one of her own citizens, who had transferred his right, by authorization of the Mexican government, to English subjects, of whose right Mexico could not dispose." After the assignment of the grant to American citizens, moreover, the Mexican government issued orders to the Governors of the Departments, directing them to afford all needed aid to the engineers, who were accordingly sent, the ports thrown open for their supplies, and over a hundred thousand dollars was expended upon the work. Negotiations for a treaty of protection to the workmen were also opened, and the draft of a Convention was concluded at Mexico, in June, 1850, and sent to the United States. Certain modifications being suggested at Washington, this draft was returned to our Minister in Mexico and a new Convention was signed January 28, 1851, with the approval of President Herrera. This convention was ratified by the Senate of the United States, and returned to Mexico, and finally rejected by the Mexican Congress, in April, 1852.—It is not pretended that this rejection of the Convention affects in the slightest degree the validity of the grant. The sole ground upon which its annulment is claimed, is, that the decree of Salas of November, 1846, extending the time for commencing the work, was null and void, inasmuch as he held the supreme power by usurpation, or that he transcended his powers. "Respect for the Mexican Government alone," says the Report, "restrains the Committee from treating of this position in the terms it deserves." The government of Salas was acknowledged and submitted to by the people of Mexico:—his decrees, this one included, were submitted to the Congress—and not one of them was ever approved by Congress, nor was[Pg 695] his authority ever questioned at any other time, or in reference to any other decree. "The doctrine that the Government de facto is the Government responsible, has been fully recognized by Mexico herself, in the case of the Dictatorship of Salas, as of those who preceded him. It is a principle of universal law governing the intercourse of nations, with each other and with individuals, and this Government can not, nor ought not, treat with indifference a departure from it by Mexico in the present instance." The report concludes by referring to the unfriendly feeling which the proceedings of Mexico indicate toward the United States, and by recommending the adoption of the following resolutions:

"Resolved, As the judgment of the Senate, that in the present posture of the question on the grant of a right of way through the territory of Mexico at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, conceded by that Republic to one of its citizens, and now the property of citizens of the United States, as the same is presented by the correspondence and documents accompanying the Message of the President, it is not compatible with the dignity of this Government to prosecute the subject further by negotiation.

"Second, Should the Government of Mexico propose a renewal of such negotiations, it should be acceded to only upon distinct propositions from Mexico, not inconsistent with the demands made by this Government in reference to said grant.

"Third, That the Government of the United States stands committed to all its citizens to protect them in their rights abroad, as well as at home, within the sphere of its jurisdiction; and should Mexico, within a reasonable time, fail to reconsider her position concerning this grant, it will then become the duty of this Government to review all existing relations with that Republic, and to adopt such measures as will revive the honor of the country and the rights of its citizens."

In Louisiana a new Constitution has been prepared by a State Convention, which introduces several new features of importance into the fundamental law of that state. The right of suffrage and of eligibility to office has been considerably enlarged. Every free, white male citizen of the United States, over twenty-one years of age, who has resided in the State a year, and in the parish six months previous to the election, is a qualified voter; and every qualified voter is eligible to either branch of the Legislature. The Legislature is to hold annual sessions—elections being held biennially.—The Judges of the Supreme Court and of all the inferior courts are made elective;—the Supreme Court is to consist of a Chief Justice and four associates—their term of office to be ten years. The credit of the State may be pledged for corporations formed for the purpose of making internal improvements within the State, by subscriptions of Stock, or by loans to the extent of one-fifth of the capital. All Corporations with banking or discounting privileges are prohibited, as are all special laws for creating Corporations. Banking and discounting associations may be created either by general or special laws—but ample security must be required for the redemption of their notes in specie. The Constitution may be amended by the concurrence of two-thirds of the members elected to both Houses, and a ratification of the people at the next election, by a vote on every proposed amendment taken separately. The new Constitution is to be submitted to the vote of the people on the first Tuesday of November.

A dreadful steamboat catastrophe occurred on Lake Erie on the 19th of August. The steam-propeller Ogdensburgh ran into the steamer Atlantic, striking her just forward of the wheel-house, and injuring her so seriously that, after going a mile or two toward the shore, she sunk. The propeller, not understanding the full damage of the collision, and anxious for her own safety, did not go to the rescue of her passengers until half an hour after the accident. More than a hundred persons lost their lives, the greater portion of them being Norwegian emigrants huddled together on the forward deck, and unable, through their ignorance of English, to avail themselves of the means of safety suggested. Very conflicting statements in regard to the cause of the collision have been published;—the night was not very dark, both vessels had signal lights and a watch on deck. The matter is undergoing judicial investigation.——On the Hudson River still another accident occurred on the 4th of September. As the steamer Reindeer lay at the wharf at Bristol landing, about forty miles below Albany, one of her connection pipes burst, and twenty-seven persons, mainly those in the after-cabin, were killed—fifty more being considerably injured.——A National Convention of the Free-Soil party was held at Pittsburgh on the 11th of August, at which John P. Hale, of New Hampshire, was nominated for President, and George W. Julian, of Indiana, for Vice-President, as the candidates of that party.——A meeting of delegates is to be held at Macon, Georgia, on the 20th of October, for the purpose of calling an Agricultural Congress of the Slaveholding States—the chief objects of which are declared to be to develope the resources, combine the energies, and promote the prosperity of the Southern States, and to cultivate the aptitudes of the negro race for civilization; so that when slavery shall have fulfilled its mission, a system may be authorized which shall relieve the race from its servitude, without sinking it to the condition of the free negroes at the North and in the West Indies.

From California we have intelligence to the 1st of August. The intelligence is without any feature of special novelty. The mining prospects continue to be good, and very large amounts of gold continue to be procured. The whole amount shipped from California during the past year was over sixty-six millions of dollars. The miners in every section of the gold districts continue to receive abundant returns for their labor.——Every mail brings a deplorable list of casualties and crimes in various parts of the State, the details of which it is unnecessary here to repeat. Nearly all of the outrages occur in the more distant and thinly-settled sections of the country; and in most cases the perpetration of crime is followed by the speedy, and often the lawless infliction of chastisement.——The celebration of the Fourth of July at San Francisco was marked by the attendance in procession of a large body of Chinese, who bore richly-decorated banners, got up in the style of their own country. The Chinese continued to arrive in the country in great numbers, nearly four thousand having reached San Francisco within a fortnight. The hostility of the miners toward them was abating. The arrival of emigrants from all quarters continued to be very great, 22,000 having landed between June 1st and July 9th. Difficulties have arisen in the San Joaquin district between the American miners and a party of French and Spaniards, who were thought to have trespassed upon private rights: serious collisions were apprehended at one time, but a better state of feeling has been induced. It was currently reported that fresh movements were on foot for the conquest and annexation of Southern California.

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In Oregon, it is stated, valuable coal-mines have been discovered near St. Helens, on the Columbia river. The vein has been opened, and promises to be very extensive;—it is about two and a half feet thick, and has been traced for half a mile. The coal is remarkably pure. Other mines have been discovered in the vicinity, but they have not yet been explored.——The agricultural prospects of the territory were very good. The population is stated at 20,000, and is said to be rapidly increasing. A special session of the Legislature had been called by Governor Gaines for July 29th. The gold mines in the Southern part of the territory continued to yield fair returns. Complaints are made by recently arrived emigrants of ill-treatment received at the hands of the Mormons during their passage through the Salt Lake country.

From the extreme North West—the British possessions near Lake Winnipeg—accounts of very disastrous floods have been received. The settlement established by the Earl of Selkirk in 1812, which had grown into considerable importance as a point from which supplies were furnished to the Fur Companies of that region, and which contained about ten thousand inhabitants, had been nearly destroyed by freshets in the Red River of the North, which began on the 5th of May, and reached their height about the 20th. Dwellings, crops, and nearly all the products of twenty-five years' labor have been swept away: the damage is estimated at about a million of dollars.


From the Argentine Republic we have intelligence of fresh political disturbances, indicating at least the temporary failure of the new and moderate system introduced by Urquiza after the defeat and expulsion of Rosas. The Convention from the several provinces summoned by Urquiza, met at San Nicholas—ten of the thirteen provinces being represented by their governors, and adopted a Constitution for the federation. It provided for abolishing the transit duties, and for the assembling of a Congress at Santa Fé, which was to consist of two delegates from each province, to be selected by the popular vote, to be untrammeled by instructions, and the minority to conform to the decision of the majority, without dissent or protest. In order to defray the national expenses, the provinces agreed to contribute in proportion to the product of their foreign Custom-houses, and that the permanent establishment of the duties shall be fixed by Congress. To secure the internal order and peace of the republic, the provinces engage to combine their efforts in preventing open hostilities or putting down armed insurrections, and the better to promote these objects, General Urquiza was recognized as General-in-chief of the armies of the Confederation, with the title of Provisional Director of the Argentine Confederation. In the Chambers of Buenos Ayres, very warm opposition was manifested to this Convention: bitter and violent debates took place, and the popular clamor became so high that the Governor Lopez resigned his office; whereupon General Urquiza dissolved the Chambers, and took the supreme power into his own hands. In a communication sent by his order to the British Chargé, he states that the anarchy into which the province was thrown, compelled him to take this step, and declares that he shall not extend the authority with which he is vested beyond the time and the measures necessary for the re-establishment of order in the province. He also issued a brief address to the Governors of the provinces of the Confederation, declaring that he should use the power they had conferred upon him in rendering effective the sovereign will of the nation, in repelling foreign aggressions, and in restraining the machinations of those who might seek to awaken the passions which had so often brought disaster upon them. He promised that, with their assistance, the Argentine people should be presented before the world constituted, organized, and happy. "My political programme," he adds, "which is founded on the principles of order, fraternity, and oblivion of all the past—and all the acts of my public life, are the guarantee that I give you of the promise which I have just made, and, with it you may rest assured, that when the National Congress has sanctioned the Constitution of the State, and the confederated communities have entered into the constitutional path, I will deliver up to it the deposit you have confided to me, with a tranquil conscience, and without fearing the verdict of public opinion, or the judgment of posterity." After the dissolution of the Chambers there were some symptoms of rebellion, but this proclamation restored order, and was well received. He ordered all the printing offices to be closed for a few days, and banished five of the leading opposition representatives from the country. The provisional government had been temporarily reinstalled: and in this position affairs were awaiting the meeting of Congress, which was to take place in August.——In Brazil, important steps have been taken toward commencing works of internal improvement. A company has been empowered to construct railways from Rio Janeiro to several towns in the interior, and an agreement is in progress between the Imperial Government and a private company for the regular navigation, by steamboats, of the Amazon. The public revenue of Brazil continued to increase. A project for granting government credit to aid in purchasing steamers to cruise against African slave-traders, was under discussion in the Chambers, with a fair prospect of its passage.——From Ecuador, we learn that the expedition planned and led by General Flores against Guyaquil, has been defeated and dispersed. The troops comprising it, consisting of Chilians and Americans, and numbering about nine hundred, deserted Flores, and went over to General Urbina, the President of Ecuador, to whom the six vessels of the expedition were also given up. General Flores himself escaped to Tumbez. From the partial narrative of an officer engaged in the expedition, which is the only account of it yet published, the army of Flores seems to have been singularly deficient in energy, discretion, and valor. One of the vessels was blown up on the 3d of July, by the discharge of a pistol by one of the men, who were drunk in the cabin: about thirty lives were lost by this casualty.——In Chili, Congress was in session at our latest date, July 1st. Bills were under discussion to levy a direct tax on all property in cities and towns for municipal purposes: subjecting all schools to the control of the parish priests; and providing for the maintenance of the clergy. The telegraph from Valparaiso to Lima was in operation, and another line was projected to Copiapo—which is at the head of the province whose silver deposits have yielded so abundantly of late: it is said that the export from that province for the year will amount to six millions of dollars. Coal, said to be very little inferior to the best English coal, is found at Talcahuana. Labor and the necessaries of life were very high at Valparaiso.——From Montevideo, accounts to the 5th of June, state that the ratification of the Brazilian treaties puts an end to all fear of another foreign war. The principal clauses of the Convention agreed upon are the abandonment of the line of fron[Pg 697]tier which the treaties of October, 1851, conceded to Brazil, and the cession of the right of free navigation on Lake Merim to the Oriental flag.


The Mexican Republic is again agitated by threatening insurrections in various quarters, which the central government finds itself powerless to quell. In Mazatlan and Guadalajara strong bodies of insurgents, supported by the National Guard, have maintained themselves against the government, which opposes them by decrees and commercial regulations instead of troops. Upon the frontier the ravages of the Indians continue to be most destructive. The government has invited proposals for the construction of a road across the isthmus of Tehuantepec, and seems determined to resist the demands of the United States for the recognition of the Garay grant. The Mexican papers contain copious accounts of local disturbances and insurrections, the details of which it is needless here to repeat. The condition of the country is difficult and precarious in the extreme. Rumors have been circulated of endeavors to secure the intervention of England and France, in order to give greater strength and stability to the government, and enable it to resist encroachments constantly apprehended from the United States: but there is no reason to believe they have as yet proved successful.


The colonial government of Cuba has discovered new and formidable conspiracies against the Spanish authority in that island, and has made numerous arrests of suspected parties. During the months of June and July several numbers were clandestinely published and widely circulated, of a paper called The Voice of the People, the object of which was to arouse the Cubans to resistance of the Spanish rule. For some time the efforts of the authorities to detect its editors, or the place of its publication, were ineffectual: but both were finally betrayed by parties who had become acquainted with them. The principal editor, however, had previously escaped to the United States. Nearly all engaged upon it, so far as known, were either native Cubans or Spaniards. The cholera was very prevalent and destructive at Havana, at our latest dates.


Parliament has been still farther prorogued until the 18th of October, when, it is announced, it will positively meet for the dispatch of business. With the close of the elections, political discussion seems to have been for the time suspended. There is great difficulty in deciding upon the party complexion of the new House of Commons, owing to the mixed character of the contest. The most disinterested authorities, however, seem to warrant the belief that of the whole number of seats (658), 314 are filled by Ministerialists, 25 by Free Trade Conservatives, 186 by Whigs proper, 53 by Radical reformers, 57 Irish members, and 13 Independents, while there are 10 vacancies. Upon the question of Protection, the Ministry seems to be in a hopeless minority; while upon other subjects, their majority is not large enough to be very reliable.——The Queen left London on the 9th of August, for Belgium: she returned on the 17th.——The dispute with the United States concerning the Fisheries, has engrossed a good deal of public discussion in England—the greatest variety of views, of course, prevailing. The general current of opinion seemed to be, that, although a strict construction of treaties would sustain the course pursued by the English government, yet the fact that the rights claimed had lain in abeyance for many years, required a more considerate course of proceeding, and some longer notice of an intended change to the American parties interested. The latest advices represent that a mutual understanding had been had, which would obviate all present difficulty, and lead to the peaceful adjustment of the dispute. As to its basis or general tenor we have no intelligence sufficiently authentic to warrant publication here.——Kossuth had reached London, where he was living in privacy. The English government is reported to have given Austria satisfactory assurances that all due measures of precaution would be taken to prevent his presence in England from disturbing the friendly relations of the two countries.——News of fresh defeats continues to arrive from the Cape of Good Hope. The natives not only keep the military at bay, but have in several instances acted with success on the offensive.——Emigration to Australia is still on the increase. No fewer than 117 ships and vessels were entered outwards in Great Britain at one time, of which 73 were loading at London alone.——Active measures were in progress for enrolments under the new Militia Act.——The first column of the new Crystal Palace was erected at Sydenham on the 5th of August, with becoming ceremonies. A large company was present, and speeches were made by several distinguished persons.


Since the adjournment of the Legislative Assembly, events in France have had less than usual interest. The President left Paris on the 17th of July, to celebrate the opening of the railway between Paris and Strasbourg, which is now completed. He was received with eclat, reviewed the troops, and went to Baden-Baden, his main object being, according to rumor, to arrange for a matrimonial alliance with a daughter of Prince Gustave de Vasa. He returned to Paris on the 24th, where he had a military reception, generally described as lacking enthusiasm.——A change has been made in the Ministry by the appointment of M. Achille Fould, Minister of State, in place of M. Casabianca. M. de Cormenin, the well known pamphleteer, M. Giraud, and M. Persil have also become Members of the Council of State, in place of Maillard, Cornudet, and Reverchon, resigned.——M. Odillon Barrot, declines to be a candidate for the Assembly, asking, in his letter, what he can have to do with public affairs, "now that on the ruins of the constitutional and Parliamentary Government of his country, the most absolute power that exists in the world is establishing itself, not as a transient or a casual dictatorship but as a permanent Government, when the mendacious forms of universal suffrage and popular election serve only to secure the return of candidates designated by the Administration, and have only been preserved to give a false air of liberty to the sad and humiliating reality of despotism."——A decree has been issued authorizing to return immediately to France the ex-representatives Creton, Duvergier, Thiers, Chambolle, Remusat, Lasteyrie, Laidet, and Thouret. Another decree removes the interdiction of January 10, to reside in France, against Renaud, Signard, Joly, Theodore Bac, Belin, Besse, Milloste, ex-representatives of the Mountain.——The municipal elections that have recently been held are marked by the failure of voters to attend the polls. Upon an average not one-fourth of the legal ballots have been cast; and this proves to be the case in those departments where a second election was ordered expressly to supply the defect in the first. This very general absence from the polls is noted as a significant indication of the little interest felt in the new government by the mass of the people.——[Pg 698]The London Chronicle has published the text of a treaty alleged to have been signed on the 20th of May, by the sovereigns of Austria, Russia, and Prussia, in regard to the present and prospective condition of the French government. The contracting parties declared that, although they would respect the rule of Louis Napoleon as a temporary government, they would not recognize any French dynasty except the House of Bourbon, and that they would reserve to themselves, in case of opportunity, the right to aid the restoration of the representative of the elder branch of that family. The authenticity of the document has been generally discredited, and, indeed, denied by Austrian official journals.——Addresses have been freely circulated throughout France urging the President to restore the Empire. They are issued under the special direction of the authorities of the departments, who are appointed by the President; and yet it is represented that they are by no means numerously signed, and that but a small proportion of them are decidedly and frankly Imperialist.——The 15th of August, Napoleon's birthday, was signalized by fêtes of extraordinary magnitude and splendor. The most elaborate and protracted preparations had been made for it; thousands and tens of thousands came in from all sections of the country to witness the display; and the occasion was one of unwonted brilliancy and splendor. Grand exhibitions of the military, fireworks, scenes and shows skillfully calculated to recall the memory and the glory of Napoleon, and a great ball at St. Cloud signalized the occasion. The people of Paris had been invited by official proclamation to illuminate their houses; but the noticeably sparse compliance with the request is remarked as more truly indicative of the sentiments of the people, than the elaborate exhibitions arranged by the government.——The anniversary of the taking of the Bastile on the 14th of July, an occasion often commemorated by assembled thousands, and with great eclat, was celebrated this year by the deposit of a single crown on the railings of the column, performed by a lady; the symbol was instantly removed, and the lady and her husband were arrested.——Marshal Excelmans, a soldier of the Empire, specially attached to Murat, and a witness of the disaster of Waterloo, was killed in Paris by a fall from his horse, on the 21st of July. His funeral was numerously attended. Count D'Orsay, noted in the circles of fashion, and distinguished also for literary and artistic abilities, died on the 4th of August.

From Italy there is little intelligence beyond that of a system of wholesale arrests of suspected persons. At Venice, Mantua, and other cities, great numbers of influential persons have been thrown into prison, mainly in the hope, as is believed, that they may be induced or forced to reveal suspected conspiracies. Warm disputes have occurred at Rome between the French and Roman soldiers. The mother of Mazzini died of apoplexy, at Genoa, on the 9th of August; her funeral was attended by a very large concourse of people.——In Piedmont the Government has resolved to resist and punish the abuse of the right of petition against the marriage bill, which, it is alleged, is made the pretext for agitating the country. Several instances of severity toward the press have occurred.——In Naples, Mr. Hamilton, an English Protestant, relying on an article in the treaty of 1845, set up a school in 1848, for the education of Swiss and English children. By degrees, Government influence was used to drive away his pupils. The Police have now forcibly closed the school. Sir William Temple was informed of the act, but it is not known what course the British Government will pursue.

In Austria the most marked event of the month was the Emperor's return to Vienna, after his tour through Hungary, where he is represented to have been received with the general enthusiasm of the people. The liberal papers allege that much of the cordiality with which he was greeted in the Hungarian portion of his dominions, was prearranged. and that the real sentiments of the people were in no wise indicated by it. He reached Vienna on the 14th of August, and had a magnificent reception. He was to leave on the 16th for Ischl.——The budget for the year shows a deficit of over fifty-five millions of florins.

In Switzerland nothing of special interest has occurred. The National Council, after three days' debate, has rejected a petition presented by conservatives of the Canton of Fribourg, praying for an alteration of the Cantonal Constitution, by a vote of 79 to 18. It was regarded as an attempt to renew the troubles of the Sonderbund, under the guise of reforming the Constitution. At the same sitting, on the 5th of August, the Council decided upon remitting to the Cantons the remainder of the debt created by the troubles of 1847. The money is to be applied to the completion of certain scholastic institutions, or to the extinction of pauperism, or to the construction of railways, common roads and canals, subject to the approbation of the Federal Executive. It is stated that the Prussian Minister at the Helvetic confederation, has formally demanded the re-establishment of the ancient political relations with Prussia in the Canton of Neufchatel. The Grand Council of that Canton, on the 30th of July, decreed the suppression of a society of the partisans of Prussia by 69 votes to 11.

From Belgium intelligence has been received that a convention has been concluded between the Belgian and Dutch governments for the amalgamation of the railways of the two countries. The great trunk line beginning at Antwerp will be continued to Rotterdam, and so be put into communication with the whole of the Netherlands. It is stated, upon good authority, that the Bavarian government has engaged to pay 1,400,000 florins to the administration of the Palatinate Railway, on condition that the latter shall undertake to execute the works on the line from Ludwigshafen to Wissemburg speedily. This is the point to which the Strasburg Railway is to be continued beyond the French frontier.——A change has occurred in the Belgian Ministry. The commercial regulations between France and Belgium are placed under the régime of the common law, the treaty of 1845 not having been renewed.

From Turkey we learn that Mr. Marsh, the American Minister, left Constantinople on the 30th of July for Athens, whither he goes to investigate the circumstances attending the arrest and imprisonment of the American missionary, Dr. King. Previous to leaving he had an audience with the Sultan.——Numerous and very destructive fires have recently occurred in Constantinople—two or three thousand houses having been burned.——Fresh and interesting discoveries are said to have been made at Nineveh by M. Place, the French Consul at Mosul; he is said to have found a series of paintings upon marble in vermillion and marine blue.——Steam navigation has lately increased greatly at Constantinople. More than twenty steamers now ply daily in the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmora. It is said that a Russian company is about to be formed, which will have twenty vessels to run in opposition to these now established.

[Pg 699]

Editor's Table.

The Sabbath presents the most purely religious, and, at the same time, the least sectarian of all moral questions. It has, however, been generally regarded under two aspects, and defended on two distinct if not opposing grounds. One of these may be called the Scriptural or theological, the other the physical or secular. One class of advocates would lay the greatest stress on its divine appointment, the other upon its worldly advantages. One would magnify its ecclesiastical, the other its political and social importance. Without entering at length upon either of these arguments, in our present editorial musings, it is enough for us to state that those who would defend it as a permanent divine institution, rely mainly on the remarkable passage in Genesis announcing the divine rest from creation, and the sanctification of the seventh period of time, the Fourth Commandment as confirmatory of the same, and the early and continued example of the primitive Christian church, as evidence of a divinely-authorized change from the seventh day of the Jewish calendar to that on which Christ rose from the dead.

The other argument, which may be denominated the physical or secular, is a great favorite with writers and speakers of a certain class, who would be thought to be friends of the observance of the Sabbath, and all moral institutions connected with it, and yet would prefer to advocate them on grounds less strictly religious. These dwell much on the physical advantages of a day of rest. They enter into calculations respecting the maximum time of human and animal exertion, and the minimum period of relaxation required to counterbalance its effects upon the physical system. It is with them mainly a problem of political economy,—a question of production,—of prices,—of the increase or diminution of individual or national wealth. In these respects the value of the Sabbath is carefully measured by statistical tables. Figures "which can not lie" prove it to be a very useful institution, and the divine wisdom is greatly lauded in the contrivance of such an admirable means for preserving a healthful equilibrium in the industrial and business world.

We would, however, by no means speak slightingly of such supposed ends, or of such an argument in support of them. "Does God take care for oxen?" The language of the Apostle is not an ironical negative, as some might suppose, but an a fortiori argument to show his higher care for man, and above all, for man's spiritual well-being. We may rationally suppose that higher purposes are harmoniously conjoined with lower in the divine mind. It is not unworthy of the author of the universe to have established such a harmony between the physical and the spiritual worlds. The Bible plainly speaks of things which "have the promise both of this life and of that which is to come," and among these the right observance of the Sabbath would doubtless hold a distinguished place. It is the great connecting bond between the political and the religious, between social virtue and the individual devoutness, between the kingdom of nature and the kingdom of grace,—in short, between all secular and all spiritual moralities. We can not well conceive of either squalid poverty or debasing vice in a community distinguished for its intelligent reverence of the Sabbath. Such reverence, however, could not well exist or long be maintained, where the secular utilities, true and valuable as they may be, are the only or even the chief motives appealed to. The temporal loses not only its moral excellence, but its power even for temporal good, when wholly severed from the spiritual.

Neither is there sufficient support for sabbatical institutions in the merely merciful idea of bodily relaxation. We are still in the region of secular benevolence, and without some influence from a higher world of motive and feeling, the sacred idea of rest will inevitably degenerate, and give place to its demoralizing counterfeits—idleness—dissipation—and vice. Thus could it be shown, that even for the best secular ends, a Sabbath divested of the religious element would be far worse that unintermitted labor.

But we would hasten to another and a third view, which may be characterized as being more catholic, or rather less sectarian, than the first, and, at the same time, more spiritual, or less secular, than the second. To firm believers in the positive divine institution of the Sabbath (among whom we have no hesitation in avowing ourselves) the merely worldly argument would appear, sometimes, to betray, rather than support, the very cause it professes to advocate. On the other hand, there are, doubtless, many inquiring minds to whom the Scriptural argument seems more or less defective, but who would, nevertheless, accept a more elevated and more religious view than the one we have denominated the physical or the secular. There are good men, very good men, and honest believers, too, in the written revelation, who have a prejudice against any thing positively outward and ritual in religion, on the ground of its savoring too much of what they deem the obsolete Jewish economy. There are others who do not so accept the plenary inspiration of the Scriptures, that they would regard as conclusive any merely exegetical or traditionary argument. There are those, again, who wholly reject the authority of the commonly-received revelation. There are men who go farther than this—pantheists,—scientific theists, who recognize only an impersonal Power and Wisdom—men on the very verge of atheism, and some beyond all limits that the most tender charity can regard as separating us from that doleful region. And yet among them all—may we not say it without giving just offense to the strictest believer—among them all there may be sober men, thinking men, deeply serious men, for whom it is possible, and, if possible, most desirable, to frame an argument for a Sabbath that may steer clear of the apparent difficulties in the one view, and the really lowering and unspiritualizing tendency of the other.

Let those, then, who feel strong in that position, ground their reverence for the Sabbath in a positively revealed divine appointment. Among them would we class ourselves, even while endeavoring so to widen the platform as to embrace as many others as possible. Let those, again, who can take no higher view than that derived from its physical benefits, hold fast to such a faith. Frail as the plank may seem, it may deliver them from the shipwreck of total unbelief. The view indeed is a low one, and yet, if honestly held, may conduct the mind to a higher estimate. It is something,—it is much,—to believe truly that in the physical arrangements of the world, God has shown this kind care for our material well-being. If the soul is not utterly buried in earthliness, the thought of such a concern for the body must tend, at[Pg 700] least, to the higher idea of a still higher concern for the blessedness of our spiritual nature.

Now it is in this thought we find that third view of the Sabbath which must have an interest, we would charitably hope, for all the classes that have been mentioned. Many believe that we need a day for special religious worship; others hold to the necessity of a day of bodily rest. But do we not all—whatever may be our creed, our belief or our unbelief—need a day, an oft-recurring day, of serious thought? Whatever may be our faith, or want of faith, every man who has not wholly sunk down into the mere animal nature, needs periods, oft-recurring and stated periods, in which he shall yield his whole soul to the questions—- What am I? Where am I? Whence came I? Why am I here? What have I to do? How am I doing it? Whither am I going? The tremendous interest of these questions is not to be measured by the excess or deficiency of our creeds, unless it be that the very lack of belief invests them with a more immeasurable importance, or that each presents a more serious problem for serious minds, until we come down to that "horror of great darkness," the death of all faith in a supernatural or truly spiritual world.

Take the man who calls himself the liberal or free-thinking Christian. We have no objection to the title, or want of charity toward him who assumes it. He needs a Sabbath for intense thought, not so much on the argumentative evidence of particular dogmas, as on the great yet simple questions, whether the liberality of his opinions, and the few difficulties they present to his own mind, may not be evidence of their having no foundation in any wide system of eternal truth,—whether a religious creed that has no profound awe for the soul, no fearful apprehensions, no deep moral anxieties, no absorbing interest in a life to come, does not, from the very fact of such deficiency, prove itself a contradiction and a lie. So too the man who is but beginning to doubt the full inspiration of the Scriptures needs a period of most earnest meditation on the risk he may be running of giving up an only guide, whose place can never be made good by any thing in nature, philosophy, or science. The professed infidel needs a Sabbath, an oft-recurring Sabbath, of serious thought on that question of questions—Has God indeed ever spoken to man, or spoken at all, except through physical laws?—Has the awful stillness of nature been ever broken by a true voice from a true supernatural world?—And the atheist, too,—has he no need of a Sabbath, a frequent day of thought and thoughtfulness, in which he may call up and spread before his mind, in all their fearful importance, the sombre articles of his own dark creed? For creed indeed he has, unsurpassed in solemnity by that of any religionist. It has been quite common to deny the possibility of atheism, but the history of the world and of the church is showing that it is the only legitimate antagonism to a true belief in positive revelation. The shallow sciolist may not perceive it, and yet this is the dark conclusion in which some of his favorite speculations must inevitably terminate. There is no man, therefore, who has a stronger demand upon our most tender charity than the atheist. No belief presents greater difficulties, and yet there is no one to which the thinking mind is more strongly impelled, when it has once learned to distrust the lamp of revelation, and to see only shadows and spectres in that "light shining in a dark place, and to which we do well to take heed, until the day dawn and the eternal day star arise in our souls."

No man, then, we repeat it, stands more in want of a Sabbath than the atheist. No man has greater need of some such seasons in which he may perhaps find a cure for his dreadful spiritual blindness by giving himself up to all the terrific consequences of his gloomy creed. Let him devote one day in seven to the sober contemplation of a universe without a God, without a providence, without prayer, without a moral government,—religion, reverence, and worship forever dead and gone,—buried with them in their graves all that was most touching in poetry, beautiful in art, elevating in science, or sublime in philosophy,—all moral distinctions perished, of course, except those base counterfeits which resolve themselves into the pursuit of physical pleasure, or the avoidance of physical pain. Let him think of worlds on worlds teeming with life, yet all surrendered to the wheels of a blind and inexorable nature crushing on eternally with her mindless laws,—revolving in her slow but endlessly-recurring cycles,—making every seeming advance but the forerunner of the direst catastrophes of ruin,—or else in an apparent endless progression ever sacrificing individual parts and individual personalities to soulless wholes, yet furnishing to our philosophy no satisfactory ground on which to decide the question, whether the eternal drama in its most universal estimate is any more likely to be one of happiness than of intense and hopeless misery. Let the atheist, and the unbeliever who is on the road to atheism, fix his mind on thoughts like these until he begins to have some conception of what it is to be "without God and without hope in the world." Let him dwell on this sad orphanage, until in the intolerable loneliness of his spirit he is driven for shelter to the idea of a personal law-making, law-executing Deity, and is forced to admit that no doctrine of moral retribution, however stern, no creed, even of the most gloomy and fanatical religionist, ever presented so many difficulties as a rejection of those ideas on which all religion is founded.

Again, we need seasons of thought and thoughtfulness, not only on the ground that they are rational and demanded by the dignity of our rational nature, but because, moreover, they constitute the true rest of the soul. It is a gross and pernicious error that would make the idea of rest, especially spiritual rest, the same with that of indolence and passivity. It is as false as it would be in physics to confound rest with inertia. The former is the opposite of motion simply, the latter the negation of strength and force. Rest is equilibrium, a duality of forces;—indolence the loss of the soul's balance, and the consequent prostration of its power. Rest is refreshing; renewing, strengthening, recuperative;—indolence the generator of a greater and still greater lassitude. Rest is a positive,—indolence a negative state. Rest is resistance (re-sto), recovery, internal energy,—indolence a base and effeminate yielding, ever followed by a loss of spiritual vitality.

It is in the light of such a contrast we see how very different a thing is this true rest of the soul from that dissipation, or vacancy of all thought, with which some would confound it. Else it would not be held out to us, in the Scriptures, as the peculiar bliss, or blessedness, of the heavenly world. The idea this sweet and holy word presents to the contemplative mind is, indeed, the opposite of a busy, bustling, restless progress, the highest conception of which is an ever lasting movement of the intellect adding fact to fact, each as unsatisfactory as the preceding, and never bringing the soul nearer to any perfect quietude; but then, on the other hand, it is not the vacant passivity of which the transcendental Buddhist dreams, any more than the indolent lassitude of the[Pg 701] Epicurean paradise. It is a contemplative energy, finding repose in itself, and deriving sustaining strength from its calm upward gaze upon the highest and most invigorating truth. In such an upward rather than onward movement is found the proper end and highest value of the Christian Sabbath.

Suave tempus consecratum
Spiritus ad requiem.

It is the nature of this elevated communion to strengthen instead of wearying the soul, and hence to impart to it a new energy for the performance of the duties of life.

We would confidently test the truth of these positions by an appeal to practical experience. There is exhibited now and then, a vast deal of sentimental philanthropy in decrying what are called the religious abuses of the Sabbath. It proceeds generally from those who would confine themselves to the physical or purely secular view. Great stress is laid on mere bodily relaxation. Utter vacancy, too, of mind, or what is worse, mere pleasure-seeking is held forth as the source of refreshment from past labors, and of recovered strength for those to come. The toil-worn mechanic is invited to the place of popular amusement, or to convey himself and his family to some scene of rural enchantment and festivity. We are pointed for appropriate examples to the parks of London, and the boulevards of Paris. The Sabbath, they say, is a noble institution; but then there should be great care to guard against the perversions of Pharisaic or Puritanical bigotry. It may be well to give a part of the day to the services of religion; but then, the purest religion consists in admiring God's works in the natural world; and the poor laborer who can take his wife and children on a ride to Bloomingdale, or indulges them with a walk in the Elysian Fields, is performing a more acceptable service than he who makes the Sabbath a weariness by confining himself to his own dwelling, or spending any considerable part of it within the still more gloomy walls of some religious conventicle.

We would not impeach the motives or the philanthropy of those who talk in this style. Doubtless they are sincere; for there is certainly an extreme plausibility in such a view of the matter, especially as respects that class who have no other day of relaxation. There are parts of the picture, too, to which the sternest Sabbatarian would take no objection, if in any way they could be practically separated from the rest. Pure air is certainly favorable, not only to the physical, but to the moral health. The observation of nature, to say the least, is not opposed to devotion, although it requires some previous devotion to make that observation what it ought to be, or to prevent its being consistent with the most profane and godless state of the mind and heart. Where these can be enjoyed without danger of perverted example, or other evils, which, in respect to our crowded city population are almost inseparable from such indulgence, he must be a bigot indeed who would deny them to the poor, or regard them as a desecration of the Sabbath.

But there is another side to this picture, and other truths having a bearing upon the argument, in support of which we might let go all a priori reasoning, and appeal directly to facts of observation. We will not take an extreme case, or rather, what is well known to be a common case with the Sabbath haunters of Hoboken and other rural purlieus. We will not take the intemperate, the gambling, or the debauched. Let two sober and industrious families be selected from the ranks of the laboring poor. One man devotes the day to pleasant rural excursions with his wife and children. We would not pass upon him a sanctimonious censure, although we might doubt the philosophy as well as the piety of his course. He has abstained from intoxicating drinks, from the lower sensual indulgences, from profane and vicious company. But he has sought simply relaxation for the body, and the negative pleasure of vacancy or of passive musing for the mind. The other pater-familias would, indeed, desire pure air for himself and little ones, purer air than can be obtained in the confined and populous street, and under other circumstances he would, doubtless, freely indulge in such a luxury; but then he knows there is a higher atmosphere still—a spiritual atmosphere—and that this, above all others, is the day in which he is to breathe its purity, and inhale a new inspiration from its invigorating life. He kneels with his children around the morning household altar—he goes with them to the Sabbath-school and to church—the remainder of the day is spent in devotion or meditation—and the evening, perhaps, is given to the social prayer-meeting. Oh, the gloomy drudgery! some would be ready to exclaim. We would not deny that there might be excess even here; but can we hesitate in deciding which of these two families will proceed to their weekly toil on Monday morning with more invigoration of spirit—ay, and of body, too, derived from the soul's refreshment? To which has the day been the truest Sabbath, the most real test? In deciding this question, we need only advert to our former analysis. There has been, in the one case, an utter mistaking of the true idea of rest. Experience has shown, and ever will show, that all mere pleasure-seeking, for its own sake, all vacancy or passivity of soul, ever exhausts, ever dissipates, and, in the end, renders both mind and body less fitted for the rugged duties of life than continued labor itself. In the train of these evils come also satiety, disappointment, a sense of personal degradation that no philosophy can wholly separate from idle enjoyment; and all these combined produce that aversion to regular labor, which is so often to be observed as the result of an ill-spent Sabbath. The body, it is true, belonging as it does wholly to the world of material nature, needs the repose of passivity; but the spirit can never indulge itself long in conscious indolence without risking the loss of spiritual power as well as moral dignity. Its true rest—we can not too often repeat it—is not the rest of inertia, but that which comes from an intercommuning with a higher world of thought and a higher sphere of spiritual life. This it finds in those great truths Christianity has brought down to us, and by the weekly exhibition of which, more than any thing else, our modern world is distinguished from the ancient.

The picture we have presented of the Sabbath-keeping laborer is no rare or fancy sketch. The socialist, indeed, ignores his existence. Such writers as Fourier, and Prudhom, and Louis Blanc, and Victor Hugo, and Martineau, know nothing about him. They see, and are determined to see, in the condition of the poor only a physical degradation, from which their own earthy and earthly-minded philosophy can alone relieve him. Nothing is more wholly inconceivable to a philanthropist of this class than what Chalmers styles "the charm of intercourse" with the lowly pious, or the moral sublime of that character—the Christian poor man. And yet it is neither rare nor strange. We make bold to affirm that it may be realized in almost every church in our city.

In this thought, too, do we find the surest test of[Pg 702] all true social reforms. A dislike of the Sabbath, and especially of its religious observance, is an indication of their character that can not be mistaken. It is the Ithuriel's spear to detect every species of spurious philanthropy. We would not impeach the benevolent sincerity of these warm advocates of socialism. We would commend their zeal to the imitation of our Christian churches. But still it is for us a sufficient objection to the phalanx and the social commune that they know no Sabbath. Periods of festivity and relaxation they acknowledge, but no fixed days of holy spiritual rest, of serious thought, of soul-expanding and soul-invigorating meditation on the great things of another life. Radical as they boast to be, they present no recognition of that most radical truth, the ground of all real reforms, and so full of encouragement to the real reformer, that physical depression can not possibly continue for any length of time where there has been a true spiritual elevation—or, in other words, that this world can only be lifted from its sunken, miry social degradation by keeping strong and firmly fastened every chain that binds it to the world above.

To these ends it is not enough that each one should determine for himself the portion and proportion of his own Sabbatical times. "Six days shalt thou labor; but the seventh is the Sabbath of the Lord." We urge it not as Scriptural proof—which would be contrary to the leading design and method of our argument—but as illustrative of the importance of one recurring period for all, and of the benefits to be derived from a community of act and feeling in its observance. We need all the strength that can come from a common prejudice, if any should choose so to call it, in favor of certain stated and well-known times. In distinction from the profanity that would utterly deny a Sabbath, there is a false hyper-spiritualism that would make all seasons, all places, and all acts, alike holy—or, in its sentimental cant, every day a Sabbath, every work a worship, and every feeling a prayer. Now, besides destroying the radical sense of the word holy, this is in opposition alike to Scripture and to human experience. Both teach us that there must be (at least in our present state) alternations of the holy and the common, the spiritual and the worldly, and that each interest is periled, as well by their false fusion, as by that destruction of the true analogy which would cause the one to be out of all proportion to the other. A stated period, too, is required to give intensity to thought and warmth to devotion. The greatest pleasure of a truly devout mind, is in the idea of contemporary communion with others, and nothing is more repugnant to it than a proud reliance upon its own individual spirituality.

To give the day, then, all its rightful power over the soul, there is needed that hallowed character which can only come from what may be called a sacred conventionality. Every one who has been brought up in a religious community must feel the force of this, even if he does not understand its philosophy. In consequence of it, the Sabbath seems to differ, physically, as well as morally, from all other days. In its deep religiousness every thing puts on a changed appearance. Nature reposes in the embrace of a heavenly quietude. There seems to be a different air, a different sky; the clouds are more serene; the sun shines with a more placid glory. There is a holiness in the trees, in the waters, in the everlasting hills, such as the mind associates with no other period. Thousands have felt it, but never was it better described than in the lines of Leyden:

With silent awe I hail the sacred morn,
That scarcely wakes while all the fields are still;
A soothing calm on every breeze is borne,
A graver murmur echoes from the hill,
And softer sings the linnet from the thorn,
The sky-lark warbles in a tone less shrill—
Hail light serene! hail sacred Sabbath morn!

Or in those verses of Graham, which, if an imitation, are certainly an improvement—especially in the moral conception which forms the close of his entrancing picture:

Calmness seems throned on yon unmoving cloud,
The black-bird's note comes mellower from the dale;
And sweeter from the sky the gladsome lark
Warbles his heaven-tuned song; the lulling brook
Murmurs more gently down the deep-sunk glen;
While from yon lowly roof whose curling smoke
O'ermounts the mist, is heard at intervals
The voice of psalms, the simple song of praise.

Editor's Easy Chair.



The small town of Landeck, in the Vorarlberg, is surrounded by mountains, which take exceedingly picturesque forms from their peculiar geological structure. I can not stop in my tale to enter into any details regarding the geology of the country; but I remember once talking to Buckland about it, when I met him with Professor Sedgwick at the English Cambridge, some two or three-and-twenty years ago. Poor Buckland has, I hear, since fallen into indifferent health; but at the period I speak of he was full of life and energy, and one of the most entertaining men I ever met. Our acquaintance was of no long duration; for I was hurrying through that part of the world with great rapidity, and had hardly time to accomplish all that I proposed. I saw a great deal of him, however, and heard a great deal of him then, and once afterward; and there was a certain sort of enthusiastic simplicity about him, not uncommon in men of science, which made him the subject of many good stories, whether true or false I will not pretend to say. His fondness for every thing connected with the subject of Natural history amounted to a complete passion; and he was not at all scrupulous, they said, as to whom it was exercised upon. I heard a laughable anecdote illustrative of this propensity. There had been, shortly before, a great meeting at Oxford of scientific men, and of those fashionable hangers-on upon the skirts of science, who feeling themselves but so many units in the mass of the beau monde, seek to gain a little extrinsic brilliancy from stars and comets, strata, atoms, and machinery. Buckland asked a good number of the most distinguished of all classes to dine with him on one of the days of this scientific fair. During the morning he delivered a lecture in his lecture-room before all his friends upon Comparative Anatomy—showed the relation between existing and extinct species of animals—exhibited several very perfect specimens of fossil saurians—dissected a very fine alligator sent to him from the Mississippi—washed his hands—walked his friends about Oxford, and went home to dinner. His house and all his establishment were in good style and taste. His guests congregated; the dinner table looked splendid, with glass, china, and plate, and the meal commenced with excellent soup.

"How do you like that soup?" asked the Doctor, after having finished his own plate, addressing a famous gourmand of the day.

"Very good, indeed," answered the other; "Tur[Pg 703]tle, is it not? I only ask because I did not find any green fat."

The Doctor shook his head.

"I think it has somewhat of a musky taste," said another; "not unpleasant, but peculiar."

"All alligators have," replied Buckland. "The Cayman peculiarly so. The fellow whom I dissected this morning, and whom you have just been eating—"

There was a general rout of the whole guests. Every one turned pale. Half-a-dozen started up from table. Two or three ran out of the room and vomited; and only those who had stout stomachs remained to the close of an excellent entertainment.

"See what imagination is," said Buckland. "If I had told them it was turtle, or terrapin, or birds'-nest soup—salt water amphibia or fresh, or the gluten of a fish from the maw of a sea bird, they would have pronounced it excellent, and their digestion been none the worse. Such is prejudice."

"But was it really an alligator?" asked a lady.

"As good a calf's head as ever wore a coronet," answered Buckland.

The worthy Doctor, however, was sometimes the object, as well as the practicer of jokes and hoaxes. I remember hearing him make a long descriptive speech regarding some curious ancient remains which had been displayed to him by Mr. B——, who was neither more nor less than a notorious charlatan. They consisted in conical excavations, at the bottom of which were found various nondescript implements, which passed with the worthy Doctor as curious relics of an almost primæval age. One third of the room at least was in a laugh during the whole time; for the tricks of the impostor who had deceived the professor—very similar to those of Doctor Dousterswivel—had been completely exposed about a year before at Lewis, in Sussex; and witty Barham, the well-known Tom Ingoldsby, handed about the room some satirical verses struck off upon the occasion. Indeed, though eminent as a geologist and palæontologist, Buckland went out of his depth when he dabbled in antiquarian science. But with a weakness common to many Englishmen of letters, he aimed greatly at universality; and in the same day I have heard him deliver a long disquisition upon the piercing of stone walls by a peculiar sort of snail, and a regular oration upon the spontaneous combustion of pigeons' dung.

The celebrated Whewell, whom I met at the same time, was another who aimed at universal knowledge, but with better success. There was no subject could be started which he was not prepared to discuss on the instant, and I heard of an attempt made to puzzle him, which recoiled with a severe rap upon the perpetrators thereof. Four young but somewhat distinguished men determined to put Whewell's readiness at all points to the test the first time they should meet him together, by starting some subject agreed upon between them, the most unlikely for a clergyman and a mathematician to have studied. The subject selected, after much deliberation, was Chinese musical instruments. The last edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica was obtained, and studied diligently; and then Whewell was invited to dinner. Music, musical instruments, Chinese musical instruments, were soon under discussion. Whewell was perfectly prepared, entered into all the most minute details, and gave the most finished description of every instrument, from a Mandarin gong to a one-stringed lute. At length, however, the young men thought they had caught him at fault. He differed from the Encyclopædia, and the statements of that great work were immediately thrown in his teeth.

"I know that it is so put down," answered Whewell, quietly; "but it will be altered in the next edition. When I wrote that article, I was not sufficiently informed upon the instrument in question."

English Universities are often very severely handled by would-be reformers. But one thing is perfectly certain, whatever may be the faults in their constitution, they have produced, and do still produce, men of deeper, more extensive, and more varied information than any similar institutions in the world. Too much license, indeed, is sometimes allowed to the young men, and sometimes, especially in former ages, this has produced very sad and fatal results. At a small supper party, to which I was invited at St. John's College, during my visit to Cambridge, a little story of College life in former times was related, which made a deep impression upon me.

Two young men, the narrator said, matriculated in the same year at one of the colleges—I think it was at St. John's itself; but am not quite sure. The one was a somewhat fiery, passionate youth, of the name of Elliot: the other grave, and somewhat stern; but frank, and no way sullen. His name was Bailey. As so frequently happens with men of very dissimilar character, a great intimacy sprang up between them. They were sworn friends and companions; and during the long vacation of the second year, Bailey spent a great portion of his time at the house of Elliot's mother. In those days, before liberal notions began to prevail, this was considered as an honor; for Bailey was a man of aristocratic birth, and Elliot a plebeian. There was a great attraction in the house, however; for besides his mother, a sickly and infirm woman, Elliot's family comprised a sister, "the cynosure of neighboring eyes."

After their return to College, in one of their drinking bouts, then but too common, a quarrel took place among a number of the College youths: the officers of the University interfered, and one of them received a dangerous blow from Bailey, which put his life in jeopardy. It was judged necessary for him to fly immediately, and at the entreaty of his friend he sought an asylum in the house of Elliot's mother. After the lapse of several days, the wounded officer of the College was pronounced out of danger, and Elliot set out to inform his friend of the good tidings. Precaution, however, was still necessary, as the college officers were still in pursuit; and he went alone, and on horseback, by night, with pistols at his saddle bow, as was then customary. The distance he had to ride was some two-and-thirty miles and he arrived about midnight.

Like all young men of his temperament, Elliot was fond of dreaming dreams. He had remarked the admiration of his friend for his sister, to whom he was devotedly attached, and her evident love for him, and he had built up a little castle in the air in regard to their union, and her elevation to station and fortune. As he approached the house, no windows showed a light but those of his sister's room, and putting the horse in the stable himself, he took the pistols from the holsters, approached the house, and quietly opened the door. A great oak staircase, leading from the hall to the rooms above, was immediately within sight with the top landing, on the right of which lay his mother's chamber, and on the left that of his sister. The young man's first and natural impulse was to look up; but what was his surprise, indignation, and horror, when he beheld the door of his sister's room quietly open, and the figure of Bailey glide out upon the landing. For a moment there was a terrible struggle within him; but he restrained himself, and in as[Pg 704] calm a tone as he could assume, said, "Come down—I want to speak with you."

Without the slightest hesitation or embarrassment, Bailey came down, and followed him out into an avenue of trees which led up to the house. The only question he asked was—"Is the man dead?"

"Come on, and I will tell you," answered the other; and when they had got some hundred yards from the house, he suddenly turned, and struck Bailey a violent blow on the face, exclaiming, "Villain and scoundrel! give me instant satisfaction for what you have done this night. There's a pistol.—No words; for by —— either you or I do not quit this ground alive!"

Bailey attempted to speak; but the other would not hear him, and struck him again with the butt end of the pistol. The young man's blood was roused. He snatched the weapon from his hand, and retired a few paces into the full moonlight. Elliot gave the words, "One, two, three," and the two pistols were fired almost at the same moment.

The next morning, at an early hour, Mrs. Elliot, now very ill, said to her daughter, who had been watching by her bedside all night, "I wish, my dear child, you would send some one to Mr. Bailey, to say I desire to speak with him. After what passed between us three the day before yesterday, I am sure he will willingly relieve a mother's anxiety, and let me see you united to him before I die. It must be very speedy, Emma; for my hours are drawing to a close, and I fear can not even be protracted till your dear brother can be sent for."

Emma Elliot gazed at her mother for a moment with tearful eyes, and then answered, as calmly as she could, "I can call him myself, mamma. He sleeps in my old room now, since the wind blew down the chimney of that he had formerly."

"No, send one of the servants," said her mother; and in a few minutes after, Mr. Bailey was in the room. He was a man of a kind heart, and generous feelings, and but the slightest shade of hesitation in the world was visible in the consent he gave to an immediate union with Emma Elliot; but both she and her mother remarked that he was deadly pale.

The laws of England were not so strict in those times as they are now in regard to marriage. The clergyman's house was not more than a stone's throw from the dwelling, and the priest was instantly summoned and came.

"It is strange," he said. "Mr. Bailey," just before the ceremony. "As I walked up the avenue, I saw a great pool of blood."

"Nothing else?" asked Mr. Bailey, with a strange and bewildered look.

"There were poachers out last night," said the old housekeeper, who had been brought into the room as one of the witnesses; "for I heard two shots very close to the house."

Never was a joyful ceremony more melancholy—in the presence of the dying—with the memory of the dead. After it was over, one little circumstance after another occurred to arouse fears and suspicions. A strange, hired horse was found in the stable. Then came the news from Cambridge that young Elliot had set out the night before, no one knew whither. Then two pistols were found in the grass by the side of the avenue. Then drops of blood, and staggering steps were traced across the grass court to a small shrubbery which led to the back of the house, and there the dead body of the son and brother was found, lying on its face, as if he had fallen forward in attempting to reach a door in the rear of the building.

Mrs. Elliot died that night, without having heard of her son's fate. Investigations followed: every inquiry was made; and a coroner's jury was summoned. They returned what is called an open verdict, and the matter passed away from the minds of the general public.

But there was one who remembered it. There was one upon whose mind it wore and fretted like rust upon a keen sword blade. His home was bright and cheerful; his wife was fond, faithful, and lovely; beautiful children grew up around his path like flowers; riches were his, and worldly honors fell thick upon him; but day by day he grew sterner and more sad; day by day the cloud and the shadow encompassed him more densely. Of his children he was passionately fond; and his wife—oh, how terribly he loved her! Happy for him, she was not like many women—like too many—whom affection spoils, whom tenderness hardens, who learn to exact in proportion to that which is given, and who, when the utmost is done, still, "like the horse-leeches' daughter, cry 'more, more!'" He adored, he idolized her. Her lightest wish, her idlest fancy—her caprices, if she had any—were all gratified as soon as they were formed. Opposition to her will seemed to him an offense, and disobedience to her lightest command by any of her household, was immediately checked or punished. Was he making retribution?—Was he trying to atone?—Was he seeking to compensate for a great injury? God only knows. But happy, happy for him that Emma Bailey was not like other women; that spoiling could not spoil her: that indulgence had no debasing effect.

Still he grew more sad. It might be that every time he held her to his heart, he remembered that he had slain her brother. It might be, that when she gazed into his eyes, with looks of undiminished love and confidence, he felt that there was a dark secret hidden beneath the vail through which he fancied she saw him, which, could she have beheld it, would have turned all that passionate affection to bitterness and hate. It might be that he knew he was deceiving—the saddest, darkest, most despairing consciousness that can overload the heart of man.

At length, a time came, when confidence—if ever confidence was to be given upon this earth—was necessary upon his part. He was struck with fever. He had over-exerted himself in some works of humanity among his poorer neighbors. It was a sickly season. God had given one of those general warnings, which he sometimes addresses to nations and to worlds—warnings, trumpet-tongued; but against which men close their ears. He fell sick—very sick. The strength of the strong man was gone: the stout heart beat feebly though quick: the energies of the powerful brain were at an end; and wild fancies, and chaotic memories reveled in delirious pranks, where reason had once reigned supreme. He spoke strange words in his wanderings; but Emma sat by his bedside night and day, gazing upon his wan, pale face and glazed eye, smoothing his hot pillow, holding his clammy hand, moistening his parched lip. Sometimes overpowered with weariness, a moment's slumber blessed her away from care; and then, when the critical sleep came, how she watched, and wept, and prayed!

He woke at length. A nurse and physician were in the room; and the first said he looked much better; the second said he hoped the crisis was past. But the husband beckoned the wife to him, and she kneeled beside him, and threw her arms over him, and leaned her head with its balmy tresses upon his aching bosom.

[Pg 705]

"I have something to tell you," he said, in a faint voice. "It will be forth. It has torn and rent me for many a year. Now, that the presence of God is near to me, it must be spoken. Bring your ear nearer to me, my Emma."

She obeyed; and he whispered to her earnestly for a few moments. None saw what passed upon her countenance; for it was partly hidden on the clothes of the bed, partly concealed by her beautiful arm. None heard the words he uttered in that low, murmuring tone. But suddenly, his wife started up with a look of horror indescribable. She had wedded the slayer of her brother. She had clasped the hand which had shed her kindred blood. She had loved, and caressed, and clasped with eager passion the man who had destroyed the cradle-fellow of her youth—she had borne him children!

One look of horror, and one long, piercing shriek, and she fell senseless upon the floor at the bedside. They took her up: they sprinkled water in her face; they bathed her temple with essences; and gradually light came back into her eyes. Then they turned toward the bed. What was it they saw there? He had seen the look. He had heard the shriek. He had beheld the last ray of hope depart. The knell of earthly happiness had rung. The gates of another world stood open, near at hand; and he had passed through to that place where all tears are wiped from all eyes. There was nothing but clay left behind.

Such was one of the tales told across the College table; and yet it was not a very sad or solemn place; and many a lighter and a gayer anecdote served to cheer up the heart after such sad pictures. There was a great deal of originality, too, at the table, which amused, if it did not interest. There was Doctor W—— there, who afterward became headmaster of a celebrated public school, and who was in reality a very eccentric man always affecting a most commonplace exterior. The most extraordinary, however, was Mr. R——, celebrated for occupying many hours every morning in shaving himself, an operation, all the accidents of which we generally, in this country, avoid by the precaution of trusting it to others. The process, however, of Mr. R—— who never confided in a barber, was this. He lathered and shaved one side of his face: then read a passage of Thucydides. Then he lathered and shaved the other side, read another passage, and then began again; and so on ad infinitum, or until somebody came in and dragged him out. His notions, however, were more extraordinary even than his habits. He used to contend, and did that night, that man having been created immortal, and having only lost his immortality by the knowledge of good and evil, it was in reality only the fear engendered by that knowledge which caused him to decay, or die. In vain gray hairs, a shriveled skin, defaulting teeth, warned him of the fragility of himself and his hypothesis: he still maintained dogmatically, that unless man were fool enough to be afraid, there would be no occasion for him to die at all. He actually carried his doctrine to the grave with him; for during another visit to Cambridge, many years after, I heard the close of his strange history. Feeling himself somewhat feeble, he went, several years after I saw him, to reside at Richmond, near London, where "the air is delicate." There a chronic disease under which he had been long laboring, assumed a serious form; and his friends and relations persuaded him to send for a physician. The physician giving no heed to his notions regarding corporeal immortality, prescribed for him sagely, but without effect. The disease went on undiminished, and it became necessary to inform him that his life was drawing to an end.

"Fiddlestick's ends," said Mr. R——. "Life has no end, but in consequence of fear. I am not the least afraid in the world; and hang me if I die, in spite of you all. Give me my coat and hat, John. I will go out and take a walk."

"By no means," cried the doctor. "You will only hasten the catastrophe, my dear sir, before any of your affairs are settled."

"Why, sir, you have hardly been able to walk across the room for this fortnight. You will never get half way up the hill;" said his faithful servant.

"Sir, you are at this moment in a dying state," said the provoked doctor.

"I will soon show you," cried Mr. R——; and walking to the door in his dressing gown, without his hat, down the stairs he went, and out into the busy streets of Richmond. For a hundred yards he tottered on; but then he fell upon the pavement, and was carried into a pastry-cook's store, where he expired without uttering one word, even in defense of his favorite theory.

The small town of Landeck, in the Vorarlberg, is surrounded by mountains, which—

I am afraid they are too high for me to get over in the short space which remains of this sheet, though I have written as small as possible, in order to leave myself room to conclude the tale of the Bride of Landeck. I must therefore put it off until I can find time to write you another epistle, in which I trust to be able to conclude all I have to say upon the subject; and in the mean time, with many thanks for your polite attention in printing these gossiping letters, I must beg you to believe me,

Your faithful servant,


Editor's Drawer.

Perhaps no two of the "Mysteries of Science," as they are sometimes called, excite more interest among all classes of curiosity-mongers, than the Balloon and the Diving-bell. They are the very antipodes of each other, and yet the interest felt in each partakes of a very kindred character. To descend to the bottom of the sea, "where never plummet sounded;" to sink quietly and solemnly down into the chambers of the Great Deep; to see the "sea-fan" wave its delicate wings, and the coral groves, inhabited by the beautiful mer-men and maidens, who take their pastime therein; to gloat over rich argosies, the treasures of gold and silver, that brighten the caverns of the deep; to watch the deep, deep green waves of softened light that come shimmering and trembling down the dense watery walls—these make up much of the Poetry of the Diving-bell, of which all imaginative people are enamored, and which is not without a certain influence upon all sorts and conditions of men.

On the other hand, to rise suddenly above the earth; to look down upon the gradually lessening crowds and vanishing cities beneath; to glance over the tops of mountains upon the vast inland plains, sprinkled with villages and towns; to sail on and on, exhausting horizon after horizon; to look down upon even the clouds of heaven, and thunder-storms and rainbows rolling and flashing beneath your feet, and upon glimpses of the heaving bosom of the "Great and wide Sea"—these, again, are the elements of the aeronaut, that may well be termed the "Poetry of Ballooning."

[Pg 706]

But leaving the "Poetry of the Diving-bell" for another "Drawer," let us narrate an incident which we find in one of its compartments, or, rather, the synopsis of an incident, reduced from a more voluminous account, given at the time by a London writer of rare and varied accomplishments. It may, indeed, be termed, from the scanty materials preserved from the original record, a "Memory of Ballooning."

Mr. Green, the great London aeronaut, who has ascended some hundred and fifty times from Vauxhall Gardens, London; who has taken his air-journeys at all times of the day and night; who has sailed over a continent with passengers in his frail bark, when it was so dark, that, according to the testimony of one of his fellow-voyagers, it seemed as though the balloon was making its noiseless way through a mass of impenetrable black marble—this same Mr. Green—to come back from our long sentence—once gave out, by hand-bills and the public prints, that on a certain afternoon in July, he would ascend from Vauxhall Gardens, London, at four o'clock in the afternoon, with a distinguished lady and gentleman, who had volunteered to accompany him on that occasion.

The day and the hour at length arrived. The spacious inclosures of the Garden were crowded with an excited multitude, awaiting with the utmost impatience for the tossing, rolling globe to mount up and be lost in the blue creation that spread out far above the giant city, pavilioned by its clouds of smoke. But the hour passed by, and the "distinguished lady and gentleman" came not.

"It's an 'oax!" exclaimed hundreds, simultaneously among the crowd: "There isn't no sich persons."

Mr. Green assured them of his good faith; read the letter that he had received from "the parties," and his answer: but still the "madness of the people" increased, and still the "distinguished lady and gentleman" came not. Matters were growing more and more serious, and a "row" seemed inevitable.

At this crisis of affairs, a solemn-visaged man, dressed in black, with a white neckcloth, stepped forth from the dense crowd, to the edge of the boundary which inclosed the balloon, and beckoning to Mr. Green, said, in a very modest manner, and in a low tone:

"I will go with you, sir, with pleasure; I should be glad to go. I wish to escape, for a while, at least, from this infernal noisy town."

The aeronaut was only too glad to accept the proposition, as some sort of salvo to his disappointed auditory, whose denunciatory vociferations were increasing every moment.

Mr. Green, standing up in the car of his tossing and impatient vessel, now announced, that "a gentleman present, in the kindest manner, had volunteered to make the ascent with him," and that the "monster-balloon" would at once depart for the vague regions of the upper air.

This announcement was hailed with acclamations by the assembled multitudes; and giving some necessary orders to his assistants, who had become fatigued with holding the groaning ropes that had until now confined the "monster" to the earth, the balloon was liberated, and rose slowly and majestically over the vast crowd of spectators and the wilderness of brick and mortar, and towers and steeples, and spacious parks, that lay spread out below, and gradually melted into the celestial blue.

What followed is best represented by the partially remembered words of the aeronaut himself, as shadowed forth in the memorandum already referred to.

"As we rose above the metropolis, and its mighty mass began to melt into indistinctness, my companion, whose bearing and manner had hitherto most favorably impressed me, began to manifest symptoms of great uneasiness. As we were passing over Hanwell, dimly seen among the extended suburbs of the great city, his anxiety seemed to increase in an extraordinary degree. Pointing, with trembling finger, in that immediate direction, he said:

"'Can they see us from THERE? can they reach us in any way? can they telegraph us?—CAN they, I say?'

"Surprised at the excitement, and at the abrupt alarm of one who had been so remarkably cool and self-possessed at starting, I replied:

"'Certainly not, my dear sir; we are half a mile from the earth, at least.'

"'Ah, ha! then I am safe! they can't catch me now! I escaped from them only this morning!'

"With a vague sense of some impending evil, I asked:

"'Escaped!—how!—from where?'

"'From the lunatic asylum! They thought I was crazed, and sent me there to be confined. Crazed! Why, there's not a man in London so sane as I am, and they knew it. It was a trick, sir—a trick! A trick to get my estate! But I'll be even with 'em! I'll show 'em! I'll thwart em!'

"Good Heavens! I was now a mile from the earth, with a madman for my companion!—in a frail vessel, where the utmost caution and coolness were necessary, and where the least irregularity or carelessness would send us, through the intervening space with the speed of thought, to lie, crushed and bleeding masses of unrecognizable humanity, upon the earth.

"But I had not long to think of even this apparently inevitable fate; for my companion had seized upon the sand-bags, and, one after another, was throwing them over the side of the car.

"'Hold! rash man!' I exclaimed: 'what would you do? You are endangering both our lives!'

"All this time the balloon was ascending with such rapidity, that the rush of the air through the net-work was like the wild whistling of the wind in the cordage of a ship under bare poles, in a gale at sea.

"'What do I do?' repeated the madman; 'I am getting away! I am going to the moon!—I am going to the moon!—ha! ha! They can't catch us in the moon!'

"He had exhausted nearly all the ballast except what was under or near me, and we were rising at such an astounding speed that I expected every moment that the balloon would burst from the increasing expansion, when I observed him loosening his garments and taking off his coat.

"'It's two hundred thousand miles now to the moon!' said he, 'and we must throw over some more ballast or we shan't be home till morning.'

"So saying he tore off his coat and threw it over—next his waistcoat—and was fumbling at his pantaloons, evidently for a similar purpose. But a new thought seemed to strike him:

"'Two are too many for this little balloon,' he said; 'she's going too slow! We shall not reach the moon before morning at this rate. Get out of this!'

"I was wholly unnerved. I could have calmed the fears, or reasoned down the apprehensions of a reasonable companion; but my present compagnon du voyage 'lacked discourse of reason' as much as the brute that perisheth, and remonstrance was of no avail.

[Pg 707]

"'Get out of this!' he repeated, in tones strangely piercing, in the hush of the upper air; and thereupon I felt myself seized by a grasp, so often superhumanly powerful in madmen, and found myself suddenly poised over the side of the tilting car, and heard the hum of the tortured gas in its silken prison above us:

"'Good-night!' said the infuriated wretch; 'you'll hear from me by telegraph from the moon! They can't catch me now! Ha! ha!—not now! not now!'"

It was but a dream of an aeronaut, reader, after all, on the night before his ascension; and this sketch is but a dream of that dream; for it is from memory, and not "from the record."

As the fall rains may be expected, as the almanacs predict, "about these days" of autumn, we put on early record, for the next month, the fact, that umbrellas are not protected by the laws of the United States. They are not property, save that of the man of whom you buy them. They constitute an article which, by the morality of society, you may steal from friend or foe, and which, for the same reason, you should not lend to either. The coolest thing—the most doubly-iced impudence—we ever heard of, was in the case of a man who borrowed a new silk umbrella of a town-neighbor, which, as a matter of course, he forgot to return. One morning, in a heavy rain, he called on his neighbor for it. He found him on the steps, going out with the borrowed umbrella. He met him with that peculiar smile that one man gives another who suddenly claims his umbrella on a wet day, and said:

"Where are you going, Mr. B——?"

"I came for my umbrella," was the brief reply.

"But don't you see I am going out with it at this moment? It's a very nasty morning."

"Going out with my umbrella! What am I to do, I should like to know?"

"Do?—do as I did—borrow one!" said the borrower, as he walked away, leaving the lender well-nigh paralyzed at the great height of his neighbor's impudence.

A church is the place, of a rainy Sunday, where many indifferent and valuable "exchanges" are made, in the article of umbrellas. Perhaps many of our readers will remember the remark made at the close of morning service, on a drizzly Sabbath, by a pious brother:

"My friends, there was taken from this place of worship this morning a large black silk-umbrella, nearly new; and in place of it was left a small blue cotton umbrella, much tattered and worn, and of a coarse texture. The black silk umbrella was undoubtedly taken by mistake, but such mistakes are getting a leetle too common!"[6]

[6] "Ollapodiana;" Knickerbocker Magazine.

As we shall very soon have a new President coming into office for a new four-year's lease of care and "glory," we venture to insinuate what he may expect from the throngs of office-seekers by whom he will be surrounded; and we shall take but a single instance out of many hundreds that might be offered. A man writing from Washington at the coming in of our last National Chief Magistrate, gave this graphic sketch of a "Sucker" office-seeker:

Dickens might draw some laughable sketches, or caricatures, from the live specimens of office-seekers now on hand here. The new President has just advised them all to go home and leave their papers behind them; and such a scattering you never saw! One fellow came here from Illinois, and was introduced to a wag who, he was told, had "great influence at court," and who, although destitute of any such pretensions, kept up the delusion for the sake of the joke. The "Sucker" addressed the man of influence something in this wise:

"Now, stranger, look at them papers. Them names is the first in our whole town. There's Deacon Styles—there ain't no piouser man in all the county; and then there's Rogers, our shoemaker—he made them boots I got on, and a better pair never tramped over these diggins. You wouldn't think them soles had walked over more than three hundred miles of Hoosier mud, but they hev though, and are sound yet. Every body in our town knows John Rogers. Just you go to Illinois, and ax about me. You'll find how I stand. Then you ask Jim Turner, our constable—he knows me; ask him what I did for the party. He'll tell you I was a screamer at the polls—nothing else. Now, I've come all the way from Illinois, and a-foot too, most of the way, to see if I can have justice. They even told me to take a town-office to—hum! but I must have something that pays aforehand—such as them 'char-gees,' as they call 'em. I hain't got only seven dollars left, and I can't wait. Jist git me one o' them 'char-gees,' will ye? Them'll do. Tell the old man how it is; he'll do it. Fact is, he must! I've airnt the office, and no mistake!"

Doubtless he had "airnt" it; few persons who go to Washington and wait for an office, but earn their office, whether they obtain it or not.

It is Horace Walpole, in his egotistical but very amusing correspondence, who narrates the following amusing anecdote:

"I must add a curious story, which I believe will surprise your Italian surgeons as much as it has amazed the faculty here. A sailor who had broken his leg was advised to communicate his case to the Royal Society. The account he gave was, that having fallen from the top of the mast and fractured his leg, he had dressed it with nothing but tar and oakum, and yet in three days was able to walk as well as before the accident. The story at first appeared quite incredible, as no such efficacious qualities were known in tar, and still less in oakum; nor was a poor sailor to be credited on his own bare assertion of so wonderful a cure. The society very reasonably demanded a fuller relation, and, I suppose, the corroboration of evidence. Many doubted whether the leg had been really broken. That part of the story had been amply verified. Still it was difficult to believe that the man had made use of no other applications than tar and oakum; and how they should cure a broken leg in three days, even if they could cure it at all, was a matter of the utmost wonder. Several letters passed between the society and the patient, who persevered in the most solemn asseverations of having used no other remedies, and it does appear beyond a doubt that the man speaks truth. It is a little uncharitable, but I fear there are surgeons who might not like this abbreviation of attendance and expense; but, on the other hand, you will be charmed with the plain, honest simplicity of the sailor. In a postscript to his last letter, he added these words:

"I forgot to tell your honors that the leg was a wooden one!"

There was great delicacy in the manner in which a foreigner, having a friend hung in this country, broke the intelligence to his relations on the other side of the water. He wrote as follows:

[Pg 708]

"Your brother had been addressing a large meeting of citizens, who had manifested the deepest interest in him, when the platform upon which he stood, being, as was subsequently ascertained, very insecure, gave way, owing to which, he fell and broke his neck!"

If you will take a bank-note, and while you are folding it up according to direction, peruse the following lines, you will arrive at their meaning, with no little admiration for the writer's cleverness:

"I will tell you a plan for gaining wealth,
Better than banking, trading or leases;
Take a bank-note and fold it up,
And then you will find your wealth in-creases.
"This wonderful plan, without danger or loss,
Keeps your cash in your hands, and with nothing to trouble it,
And every time that you fold it across,
'Tis plain as the light of the day that you double it."

If your "Editor's Drawer," writes a correspondent, is not already full, you may think the inclosed, although an old story, worthy of being squeezed in.

"Soon after the close of the American Revolution, a deputation of Indian chiefs having some business to transact with the Governor, were invited to dine with some of the officials in Philadelphia. During the repast, the eyes of a young chief were attracted to a castor of mustard, having in it a spoon ready for use. Tempted by its bright color, he gently drew it toward him, and soon had a brimming spoonful in his mouth. Instantly detecting his mistake, he nevertheless had the fortitude to swallow it, although it forced the tears from his eyes.

"A chief opposite, at the table, who had observed the consequence, but not the cause, asked him 'What he was crying for?' He replied that he was 'thinking of his father, who was killed in battle.' Soon after, the questioner himself, prompted by curiosity, made the same experiment, with the same result, and in turn was asked by the younger Sachem 'What he was crying for?' 'Because you were not killed when your father was,' was the prompt reply."

Old Matthews, the most comic of all modern comic raconteurs, when in this country used to relate the following illustration of the manner in which the cool assumption of a "flunkey" was rebuked by an eccentric English original, one Lord Eardley, whose especial antipathy was, to have his servants of the class called "fine gentlemen:"

"During breakfast one day, Lord Eardley was informed that a person had applied for a footman's place, then vacant. He was ordered into the room, and a double refined specimen of the genus so detested by his lordship made his appearance. The manner of the man was extremely affected and consequential, and it was evident that my lord understood him at a glance; moreover, it was as evident he determined to lower him a little.

"'Well, my good fellow,' said he, 'you want a lackey's place, do you?'

"'I came about an upper footman's situation, my lord,' said the gentleman, bridling up his head.

"'Oh, do ye, do ye?' replied Lord Eardley; 'I keep no upper servants; all alike, all alike here.'

"'Indeed, my lord!' exclaimed this upper footman, with an air of shocked dignity. 'What department then am I to consider myself expected to fill?'

"'Department! department!' quoth my lord, in a tone like inquiry.

"'In what capacity, my lord?'

"My lord repeated the word capacity, as if not understanding its application to the present subject.

"'I mean, my lord,' explained the man, 'what shall I be expected to do, if I take the situation?'

"'Oh, you mean if you take the place. I understand you now,' rejoined my lord; 'why, you're to do every thing but sweep the chimneys and clean the pig-sties, and those I do myself.'

"The gentleman stared, scarcely knowing what to make of this, and seemed to wish himself out of the room; he, however, grinned a ghastly smile, and, after a short pause, inquired what salary his lordship gave!

"'Salary, salary?' reiterated his incorrigible lord ship, 'don't know the word, don't know the word, my good man.'

"Again the gentleman explained; 'I mean what wages?'

"'Oh, wages,' echoed my lord; 'what d'ye ask? what d'ye ask?'

"Trip regained his self-possession at this question, which looked like business, and considering for a few moments, answered—first stipulating to be found in hair-powder, and (on state occasions) silk stockings, and gloves, bags and bouquets—that he should expect thirty pounds a year.

"'How much, how much?' demanded my lord rapidly.

"'Thirty pounds, my lord.'

"'Thirty pounds!' exclaimed Lord Eardley, in affected amazement; 'make it guineas, and I'll live with YOU;' then ringing the bell, said to the servant who answered it, 'Let out this gentleman, he's too good for me;' and then turning to Matthews, who was much amused, said, as the man made his exit, 'Conceited, impudent, scoundrel! Soon sent him off, soon sent him off, Master Matthews.'"

As specimens of the retort courteous and the retort uncourteous, observe the two which ensue:

"Two of the guests at a public dinner having got into an altercation, one of them, a blustering vulgarian, vociferated: 'Sir, you're no gentleman!' 'Sir,' said his opponent, in a calm voice, 'you are no judge!'"

Talleyrand, being questioned on one occasion by a man who squinted awfully, with several importunate questions, concerning his leg, recently broken, replied:

"It is quite crooked—as you see!"

If you have ever been a pic-nicking, reader, you will appreciate the annoyances set forth in these lively lines by a modern poet. We went on one of these excursions in August, not many years ago, and while addressing some words that we intended should be very agreeable, to a charming young lady in black, seated by our side, on the bank of a pleasant lake, in the upper region of the Ramapo mountains, a huge garter-snake crept forth at our feet, hissing at our intrusion upon his domain! How the young lady did scamper!—and how we did the same thing, for that matter! But we must not forget the lines we were speaking of:

Half-starved with hunger, parched with thirst,
All haste to spread the dishes,
When lo! we find the soda burst,
Amid the loaves and fishes;
Over the pie, a sudden sop,
The grasshoppers are skipping,
Each roll's a sponge, each loaf a mop,
And all the meat is dripping.
[Pg 709]
Bristling with broken glass you find
Some cakes among the bottles,
Which those may eat, who do not mind
Excoriated throttles:
The biscuits now are wiped and dried,
When shrilly voices utter:
"Look! look! a toad has got astride
Our only plate of butter!"
Your solids in a liquid state,
Your cooling liquids heated,
And every promised joy by Fate
Most fatally defeated:
All, save the serving-men, are soured,
They smirk, the cunning sinners!
Having, before they came, devoured
Most comfortable dinners.
Still you assume, in very spite,
A grim and gloomy gladness;
Pretend to laugh—affect delight—
And scorn all show of sadness
While thus you smile, but storm within,
A storm without comes faster,
And down descends in deafening din
A deluge of disaster!
So, friend, if you are sick of Home,
Wanting a new sensation,
And sigh for the unwonted ease
Of un-accommodation;
If you would taste, as amateur,
And vagabond beginner,
The painful pleasures of the poor,
Get up a Pic-Nic Dinner!

There is a good deal of talk, in these latter days, about the article of guano: the right of discovery of the islands where it is obtained, and the like. We remember to have heard something about the discovery and occupation of the first of these islands, that of Ichaboe, which made us "laugh consumedly;" and we have been thinking that a thorough exploration of the Lobos islands might result in a similar discomfiture to the "grasping Britishers."

It seems that a party of Englishmen, claiming to have discovered the island of Ichaboe, landed from a British vessel upon that "rich" coast, and appreciating the great agricultural value of its minerals, walked up toward the top of the heap, to crow on their own dung-hill, and take possession of it in the name of Her Majesty the Queen, with the usual form of breaking a bottle of Madeira, and other the like observances. While they were thus taking possession, however, one of the party, more adventurous than the rest, made his way to the farther slope of a higher eminence, and saw, to his utter discomfiture and consternation, a Bangor schooner rocking in a little cove of the island, a parcel of Yankees digging into its sides, and loading the vessel, and a weazen-faced man administering the temperance-pledge to a group of the natives on a side-hill near by!

He went back to his party, reported what he had seen, and the ceremony of taking possession, in the name of Her Majesty, of an uninhabited island, was very suddenly interrupted and altogether done away with.

The readers of "The Drawer," who may have noticed the numerous signs of Ladies' Schools which may be seen in the suburban streets and thoroughfares of our Atlantic cities, will find the following experience of a Frenchman in London not a little amusing:

"Sare, I shall tell you my impressions when I am come first from Paris to London. De English ladies, I say to myself, must be de most best educate women in de whole world. Dere is schools for dem every wheres—in a hole and in a corner. Let me take some walks in de Fauxbourgs, and what do I see all around myself? When I look dis way I see on a white house's front a large bord, with some gilded letters, which say, 'Seminary for Young Ladies.' When I look dat way at a big red house, I see anoder bord which say, 'Establishment for Young Ladies,' by Miss Someones. And when I look up at a little house, at a little window, over a barber-shop, I read on a paper, 'Ladies' School.' Den I see 'Prospect House,' and 'Grove House,' and de 'Manor House,' so many I can not call dem names, and also all schools for de young females. Day-schools besides. Yes; and in my walks always I meet some schools of Young Ladies, eight, nine, ten times in one day, making dere promenades, two and two and two. Den I come home to my lodging's door, and below de knocker I see one letter. I open it, and I find 'Prospectus of a Lady School.' By-and-by I say to my landlady, 'Where is your oldest of daughters, which used to bring to me my breakfast?' and she tell me, 'She is gone out a governess!' Next she notice me I must quit my apartement. 'What for?' I say: 'what have I dones? Do I not pay you all right, like a weekly man of honor?' 'O certainly, Mounseer,' she say, 'you are a gentleman, quite polite, and no mistakes, but I wants my whole of my house to myselfs for to set him up for a Lady School!' Noting but Ladies' Schools—and de widow of de butcher have one more over de street. 'Bless my soul and my body!' I say to myself, 'dere must be nobody borned in London except leetil girls!'"

Here is a very beautiful thought of that strange compound of Scotch shrewdness, strong common sense, and German mysticism, or un-common sense—Thomas Carlyle:

"When I gaze into the stars, they look down upon me with pity from their serene and silent spaces, like eyes glistening with tears over the little lot of man. Thousands of generations, all as noisy as our own, have been swallowed up of Time, and there remains no record of them any more: yet Arcturus and Orion, Sirius and the Pleiades are still shining in their courses, clear and young, as when the shepherd first noted them in the plain of Shinar! 'What shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue!'"

There is probably not another word in the English language that can be worse "twisted" than that which composes the burden of the ensuing lines:

Write we know is written right,
When we see it written write:
But when we see it written wright,
We know 'tis not then written right;
For write, to have it written right,
Must not be written right nor wright,
Nor yet should it be written rite,
But WRITE—for so 'tis written right.

We commend the following to the scores of dashing "spirited" belles who have just returned disappointed from "the Springs," Newport, and other fashionable resorts. The writer is describing a dashing female character, whose "mission" she considered it to be, to take the world and admiration "by storm:"

"With all her blaze of notoriety, did any body esteem her particularly? Was there any one man upon earth who on his pillow could say, 'What a lovely angel is Fanny Wilding!' Had she ever refused an offer of marriage? No; for nobody ever had made her one. She was like a fine fire-work, entertaining to look at, but dangerous to come near to: her bouncing and cracking in the open air gave a lus[Pg 710]tre to surrounding objects, but there was not a human being who could be tempted to take the dangerous exhibition into his own house! That was a thing not to be thought of for a moment."

"In your Magazine for July," writes a city correspondent, "I notice in the 'Editor's Drawer,' an allusion to and quotation from 'The Execution of Montrose,' the author of which you state is unknown or not named. You seem not to be aware that this is one of Aytoun's Ballads, which, with others, was published in London, under the title of 'Lays of the Cavaliers.' But why did you not give the most beautiful verse:

'He is coming! He is coming!
Like a bridegroom from his room,
Came the hero from his prison,
To the scaffold and the doom.
There was glory on his forehead,
There was lustre in his eye,
And he never went to battle
More proudly than to die!'

"I quote only from memory, but the original has 'walked to battle'—is not 'went' a better word? The book is full of gems: let me give you one more, which would make a fine subject for an artist. It is from 'Edinburgh after Flodden;' when Randolph Murray returns from the battle, to announce to the old burghers their sad defeat:

'They knew so sad a messenger,
Some ghastly news must bring;
And all of them were fathers,
And their sons were with the King.'"

"How do you spell Feladelfy?" asked a small city grocer of his partner one day, as he was sprinkling sand upon a letter which he was about to dispatch to the "City of Brotherly Love."

"Why, Fel-a, Fela, del, Feladel, fy—Feladelfy."

"Then I've got it right," said the partner (in ignorance as well as in business), "I thought I might have made a mistake!"

Dickens, in a passage of his Travels in Italy, describes an embarrassing position, and a pursuit of knowledge under difficulties that would have discouraged most learners: "There was a traveling party on board our steamer, of whom one member was very ill in the cabin next to mine, and being ill was cross, and therefore declined to give up the dictionary, which he kept under his pillow; thereby obliging his companions to come down to him constantly, to ask what was the Italian for a lump of sugar, a glass of brandy-and-water, 'what's o'clock?' and so forth; which he always insisted on looking out himself, with his own sea-sick eyes, declining to trust the book to any man alive. Ignorance was scarcely 'bliss' in this case, however much folly there might have been in being 'wise.'"


On the 25th December, 1840, when the excitement in diplomatic circles upon the subject of the so-called Eastern question was at its height, an English friend dined with Sir Hamilton Seymour and Lady Seymour, in Brussels. Seymour's note of invitation ran "Will you and your wife come and eat a turkey with us." The dinner was a very good one, but there was no turkey; and on the following day our friend sent him the lines below:

"On the notorious breach of political faith committed by Sir G. Hamilton Seymour, G.C.H., &c., &c., &c. Her Britannic Majesty's Minister Plenipotentiary at the Court of Belgium, on the 25th December, 1840.

"Most perfidious, most base of all living ministers,
You deserve to fall back to the rank of plain Misters,
Your star taken off, and your chain only serving
To fetter your ankles selon your deserving.
Don't think that my charge is some trumpery matter
Of court etiquette. It is greater, and fatter;
Fit cause throughout Europe to spread conflagration,
Set King against Kaiser, and nation 'gainst nation.
'Tis a fraud diplomatic—a protocol broken—
The breach of a treaty both written and spoken—
A matter too bad for e'en Thiers' digestion—
The loss of an empire, the great Eastern question!
In vain would you move my ambition or pity—
In vain do you offer the province or city—
Neither Bordeaux nor Xeres, nor eke all Champagne,
Can make me forgetful of promises vain.
Such pitiful make-weights I send to perdition;
'Twas Turkey you promised—at least a partition.
'Twas Turkey you promised—you've broken your word.
'Twas Turkey you promised: and where is the bird?"

Seymour's answer the same day:

"Of eastern affairs most infernally sick,
No wonder I failed to my promise to stick.
With the subject of Turkey officially cramm'd,
If Turkey I dined on, I swore I'd be d—d.
But at least, my good friend, and the thought should bring peace,
If I gave you no Turkey, I gave you no Greece (grease)."

It is related of ex-President Tyler, that from the time of his election to the Vice-Presidency until the death of General Harrison, he kept no carriage on account of the insufficiency of his salary. When, however, he found himself accidentally elevated to the chief Magistracy, the former difficulty being removed, he at once determined to set up an equipage. He accordingly bought a pair of horses, and engaged a coachman, and then began to look about for a vehicle. Hearing of one for sale which belonged to a gentleman residing in Washington, and which had only been driven a few times, the President went to look at it. Upon examination he was perfectly satisfied with it himself, but still he thought it more prudent, before purchasing it, to take the opinion of his Hibernian coachman upon it. Pat reported that it was "jist the thing for his honor."

"But," said Mr. Tyler, "do you think it would be altogether proper for the President of the United States to drive a second-hand carriage?"

"And why not?" answered the Jehu; "sure and ye're only a second-hand president!"

We have seen many lazy men (and women, too, for that matter) in our day and generation, but we do think that a little the laziest individual we ever did meet, is a certain bald-headed, oldish gentleman, who lives somewhere in Fourteenth-street near the Fifth Avenue. Standing the other day with a friend, at the southeast corner of Broadway and Union-square, waiting for a Fourth Avenue omnibus, upward bound, we noticed the subject of this paragraph crossing the street, with his arm in a sling. Turning to our companion, who was well acquainted with him, we asked,

"Why, what in the world has happened to Mr. ----'s arm?"

"Oh, nothing at all," was the reply, "he only wears it in a sling, because he is too lazy to swing it!"

The following commencement to a legal document, to which our attention was once called in a business-matter is curious enough. The parties[Pg 711] mentioned were English people, the names not being uncommon on the other side of the water:

"James Elder, the younger, in right of Elizabeth Husband, his wife, &c., &c."

Henry Erskine is reputed to have been quite as clever a man as his more famous brother. His wit was ready, pungent, and at times somewhat bitter. Another brother, Lord Buchan, as is well known, was pompous, conceited, and ineffably stupid. Upon one occasion, having purchased a new estate in a very picturesque section of the country, he took his brother Henry down to see it. When they arrived at the park gate, Lord Buchan, climbing upon the gate-post, commenced a vehement and florid discourse upon the beauty of the surrounding scenery. After a while his language became so hyperbolical and his gesticulations so violent that Henry, being tired of so extravagant a performance, called out to him, "I say, Buchan, if your gate was as high as your style (stile), and you were to happen to fall, you would most certainly break your neck!"

One evening Henry Erskine accompanied the notorious Duchess of Gordon, and her daughter, a sweet girl, who afterward became the Marchioness of Abercorn, to the Opera. At the close of the performance, the duchess's carriage was sought for in vain—the coachman had failed to return for them. No other carriage was to be found, and there was no alternative for the ladies but to walk home in their laced and be-spangled evening dresses. A few minutes after they had started, the duchess, turning to Erskine, said,

"Harry, my dear, what must any one take us for, who should meet us walking the streets at this hour of the night in Opera costume?"

"Your grace would undoubtedly be taken for what you are, and your daughter for what she is not," was the caustic reply.

A lady, who had a propensity for Newport last summer, but who found it very difficult to induce her husband to take her there, called upon the eminent Doctor Francis, of Bond-street, for the purpose of procuring his certificate of the importance of sea-bathing for the preservation of her health.

"Are you ill, madam?" asked the doctor.

"Not at all, doctor," the lady answered, "but I am afraid that I shall become so, in this extremely hot weather, unless I have the opportunity to bathe in the sea, and thus preserve my health."

"Very well, madam," replied the doctor, "if you are sure that you can not keep without pickling, the sooner you start for Newport the better, and I shall have much pleasure in giving you my certificate to that effect."

The following inscription upon a tombstone is to be found in Mechlem church-yard, in England. The poet evidently was of the opinion that so long as he made use of the proper verb, what part of it he employed was of very little consequence:

Long time she strove with sorrow and with care,
Died like a man, and like a Christian bear!

There once lived in Scotland a man named John Ford, who abused and maltreated his wife in every possible way. Poor Mrs. Ford, in consequence of injuries to which she was subjected, finally died. Soon after his wife's decease, John came to the sexton of the kirk and expressed a desire to have an epitaph written for the "puir body." "Ye're the mon to do it, Maister Sexton, and an ye'll write one, I'll gie ye a guinea," said the bereaved widower. The sexton was somewhat surprised at the request, and so stated to the petitioner. He said that it was well known that Mrs. Ford's matrimonial life had been any thing but a happy one, and if he wrote any thing, his conscience would only permit him to write the truth. John told him to write exactly what he pleased—that decency required some inscription over the "gudewife's" grave, and that he'd "gie the guinea" for whatever the sexton saw fit to compose. Upon these conditions, the man of the spade finally consented to invoke his muse, and it was agreed that Johnny should call the next evening to receive the epitaph. Accordingly at the appointed time, the following composition was placed in his hands and met with his unbounded approval:

Here lies the body of Mary Ford,
We hope her soul is with the Lord,
But if for Tophet she's changed this life,
Better be there than John Ford's wife.

The only known house-settlement of Gipsies in the world is in Scotland, not very far from Edinburgh. When Sir Walter Scott was a young man he was sent down from the capital to the "Egyptian village" for the purpose of collecting the rents. He was directed upon his arrival to report himself to a certain person whose address was given him and then to follow in all respects this person's instructions. He accordingly upon reaching his destination, at once sent his letter of introduction to the place indicated, and was soon afterward waited upon by the individual to whom he was recommended. The advice which he then received was, to let his presence in the village be known, but to remain at home and by no means attempt to collect any of the rents by calling at the houses. This advice he followed for three days, during which time only two of the gipsies called and paid. After this he was advised to return to Edinburgh, leaving word at the settlement that he had gone back to town where he would be happy to see any of the tenants. In less than a week nearly all made their appearance and paid what they owed. They were unwilling to do under the slightest semblance of coercion what they cheerfully did voluntarily.

The first public recognition of the gipsies as a people in England, is in a proclamation of Queen Elizabeth, in which she directs all sheriffs and magistrates to "aid, counsel, and assist our loving cousin John, Prince of Thebes and of Upper Egypt, in apprehending and punishing certain of his subjects guilty of divers crimes and misdemeanors."

Hogg, the Ettrick shepherd, was an eccentric genius. He was once dining at a table where he was seated next to a daughter of Sir William Drysdale. His companion was a charming young lady—unaffected, affable, and yet withal gifted with considerable shrewdness and cleverness. To some remark which he made, she replied, "You're a funny man, Mr. Hogg," to which he instantly rejoined, "And ye, a nice lassie, Miss Drysdale. Nearly all girls are like a bundle of pens, cut by the same machine—ye're not of the bundle."

We have a friend who knew Hogg well. Our friend once arranged a party for an excursion to Lake St. Mary's, and it was proposed to stop at Hogg's house on the way, and take him up. Before they reached it, however, they saw a man fishing in the "Yarrow," not very far from the high-road. The[Pg 712] fisherman the moment that he noticed a carriage full of people whose attention was apparently attracted to himself, gathered up his rod and line and began to run in an opposite direction as fast as his legs could carry him. Our friend descended from the carriage, and shouted after him at the top of his voice. But it was of no use—the fugitive never stopped until he reached an elevated spot of ground, when he turned round to watch the movements of the intruders. Recognizing our friend, he laughingly returned his greeting, and, approaching him, said—we translate his Scotch dialect into the vernacular—"Why, S——, my boy, how are you? Do you know, I took you for some of those rascally tourists, who come down upon me in swarms, like the locusts of Egypt, and eat me out of house and home." His fears removed, he accompanied the party to the lake, and they had a merry day of it.

Hogg's egotism and conceit were very amusing. Witness the following extract from his "Familiar anecdotes of Sir Walter Scott."

"One of Sir Walter's representatives has taken it upon him to assert, that Sir Walter held me in the lowest contempt! He never was further wrong in his life, but Sir Walter would have been still further wrong, if he had done so. Of that, posterity will judge."

There are many engraved portraits of Lord Byron afloat, but it is said that none of them resemble him. A friend of ours, who knew him intimately, assures us that the face of the Macedonian monarch in Paul Veronese's celebrated picture of "Alexander in the tent of Darius" at Venice, is the exact image of his lordship. Standing before it one day with a lady, he mentioned the extraordinary likeness to her in English, when the cicerone who accompanied them, said, "Ah, sir, I see that you knew my old master well. Many a time since his death have I stood and gazed upon that face which recalled his own so strongly to my recollection."

By-the-by, the history of this picture is rather curious.

The artist, whose real name was Paul Caliari, was invited by a hospitable family to spend some time with them at their villa, on the banks of the Brenta. While in the house his habits were exceedingly peculiar. He remained in his room the greater part of the time, and refused to allow any one to enter it on any pretext. The maid was not even permitted to make his bed—and every morning she found the sweepings of the room at the door, whence she was at liberty to remove them. One day the painter suddenly disappeared. The door of the room was found open. The sheets were gone from the bed. The frightened servant reported to the master that they had been stolen. A search was instituted. In one corner of the room was found a large roll of canvas. Upon opening it, it proved to be a magnificent picture—the famous "Alexander in the tent of Darius." Upon close inspection, it was discovered that it was painted upon the sheets of the bed! The artist had left it as a present to the family, and had taken this curious method of evincing his gratitude.

Most travelers in Italy make a pilgrimage to the tomb of Juliet, at Verona. Verona and Shakspeare are, of course, inseparable; but when you are on the spot, little can be found to identify the creations of the poet. We have no more traces of Valentine and Proteus at Verona, than we possess of Launce and his dog at Milan. The Montecchi belonged to the Ghibellines; and as they joined with the Capelletti in expelling Azo di Ferrara (shortly previous to 1207), it is probable that both were of the same party. The laconic mention of their families, which Dante places in the mouth of Sordello, proves their celebrity

"O Alberto tedesco, ch' abbandoni
Costei ch' è fatta indomita e selveggia,
E dovresti inforcar li suoi arcioni;
Giusto guidicio dalle stelle coggia
Sovra 'l tuo sangue, e sia nuovo e asserto,
Tal che 'l tuo successor temenza n' aggia:
Ch' avete, tu e 'l tuo padre, sofferto
Per cupidigia di costá distretti,
Che 'l giardin dell' 'mperio sia diserto.
Vieni a veder Montecchi e Capuletti,
Monaldi e Filippeschi, nom senza cura,
Color giá tristi, e costor con sospetti."

Purgatorio VI. 97, 109

"O Austrian Albert! who desertest her,
(Ungovernable now and savage grown),
When most she needed pressing with the spur—
May on thy race Heaven's righteous judgment fall;
And be it signally and plainly shown,
With terror thy successor to appal!
Since by thy lust yon distant lands to gain,
Thou and thy sire have suffered wild to run
What was the garden of thy fair domain.
Come see the Capulets and Montagues—
Monaldi—Filippeschi, reckless one!
These now in fear—already wretched those."

Wright's Dante.

But the tragic history of Romeo and Juliet can not be traced higher in writing than the age of Lungi di Porto; and as this novelist of the 16th century has borrowed the principal incident of the plot from a Greek romance, it is probable that the whole is an amplification of some legendary story. The Casa de Capelletti, now an inn for vetturini, may possibly have been the dwelling of the family; but since that circumstance, if established, would only prove that the house had a house, it does not carry us much further in the argument. With respect to the tomb of Juliet, it certainly was shown in the last century, before "the barbarian Sacchespir" became known to the Italians. The popularity of the novel would sufficiently account for the localization of the tradition, as has already been the case with many objects described by Sir Walter Scott. That tomb, however, has long since been destroyed; but the present one, recently erected in the garden of the Orfanotrofio, does just as well. It is of a reddish marble, and, before it was promoted to its present honor, was used as a watering trough. Maria Louisa got a bit of it, which she caused to be divided into the gems of a very elegant necklace and bracelets, and many other sentimental young and elderly ladies have followed her example.

At the extremity of the Piazzetta in Venice are the two granite columns, the one surmounted by the lion of St. Mark, the other by St. Theodore. The lion is somewhat remarkable, as having been the first victim, as far as objects of art are concerned, of the French revolution. From the book which he holds, the words of the Gospel were effaced, and "Droits de l'homme et du citoyen" ("rights of man and of the citizen") substituted in their stead. Upon this change a gondolier remarked that St. Mark, like all the rest of the world, had been compelled to turn over a new leaf. The lion was afterward removed to the Invalides at Paris, but was restored after the fall of the capital.

The capitals of the columns speak their Byzantine origin. Three were brought from Constantinople. One sunk into the ooze as they were landing it; the other two were safely landed on the shore; but, as[Pg 713] the story goes, there they lay; no one could raise them. Sebastiano Ziani, 1172-1180, having offered as a reward that he who should succeed should not lack any "grazia onesta," a certain Lombard, yclept Nicolo Barattiero, or Nick the Blackleg, offered his services; and, by the device or contrivance of wetting the ropes, which contracted as they dried, he placed the columns on their pedestals. Nicolo was now entitled to claim his guerdon: and what did he ask? That games of chance, prohibited elsewhere by the wisdom of the law, might be played with full impunity between the columns. The concession once made could not be revoked; but what did the wise legislature? They enacted that the public executions, which had hitherto taken place at the San Giovanni Bragola, should be inflicted in the privileged gambling spot, by which means the space "between the columns" became so ill-omened, that even crossing it was thought to be a sure prognostication, foretelling how the unlucky wight who had ventured upon the fated pavement, would, in due time be suspended at a competent height above the forbidden ground.

Literary Notices.

Parisian Sights and French Principles, seen through American Spectacles, Illustrated (published by Harper and Brothers), is the title of one of the most graphic descriptions of life in the French metropolis which have yet been given by any English or American traveler. The author blends reflection and narrative in a very effective manner, depicting the prominent features of French society with a vivid pencil, and deducing the inferences suggested by his varied experience. Short of a personal visit to the great focus of European fashion, there is no way in which one can obtain such a mass of information on the subject, and in so agreeable a manner, as by dipping into this lively volume.

The Blithedale Romance, by Nathaniel Hawthorne (published by Ticknor, Reed and Fields), in point of artistic construction is not equal to the "Scarlet Letter," nor the "House of Seven Gables." As a whole, it leaves an unsatisfied and painful impression, as if the author had failed to embody his own ideal in the development of the story. It contains many isolated passages of great vigor, and occasionally some of remarkable sweetness. In his pictures of natural scenery, Mr. Hawthorne often draws from the life, and always reproduces the landscape with startling fidelity. The characters in the story are intended to be repulsive; they illustrate the dark side of human nature; and no reader can recall their memory without a feeling of sepulchral gloom.

The Discarded Daughter, by Mrs. Emma D. E. N. Southworth. (Published by A. Hart.) The author of this novel possesses a singularly vivid imagination, and a rare command of picturesque expression. She evinces originality, depth and fervor of feeling, vigor of thought, and dramatic skill; but so blended with glaring faults, that the severest critic would be her best friend. In the construction of her plots, she has no regard for probability: nature is violated at every step; impossible people are brought into impossible situations; every thing is colored so highly that the eye is dazzled; there is no repose, no perspective, none of the healthy freshness of life; we are removed from the pure sunshine and the forest shade into an intolerable glare of gas-light; truth is sacrificed to melo-dramatic effect; and the denouement is produced by ghastly contrivances that vie in extravagance with Mrs. Radcliffe's most superfine horrors. With the constant effort to surprise, the language becomes inflated, and at the same time is often careless to a degree, which occasions the most ludicrous sense of incongruity. It is a pity to see so much power as this lady evidently is endowed with, so egregiously wasted. Let her curb her fiery Pegasus with unrelenting hand—let her consult the truthfulness of nature, rather than yield to a rage for effect—let her tame the genial impetuosity of her pen by a due reverence for classical taste and common sense—and she will yet attain a rank worthy of her fine faculties, from which she has hitherto been precluded by her outrages on the proprieties of fictitious composition.

The Mormons, or Latter-day Saints, by Lieut. J. W. Gunnison. (Published by Lippincott, Grambo, and Co.) The author of this little work has succeeded in the difficult task of doing justice to a new religious sect. Residing for several months in the Great Salt Lake Valley, as a member of the United States Exploring Expedition, and looking upon the singular condition of society that came under his notice with an eye of philosophical curiosity, he had a rare opportunity for studying the history, opinions, and customs of the remarkable people, whose rapid progress is among the note-worthy events of the age. His book contains a lucid description of the country inhabited by the Mormons, a statement of their religious faith and social principles, and a succinct narrative of the origin and development of the sect. Without aiming to excite prejudice against the Mormons, he keeps nothing back, which is essential to a correct view of their position, as respects either belief or practice. His disclosures in regard to the prevalence of polygamy among the "Latter-Day Saints," so called, are of the most explicit character, showing that a plurality of wives is adopted, as a part of their social economy, from a sense of religious duty. The view presented of their theology furnishes the materials for an interesting chapter on the history of mental delusions. We have no doubt that this book will be widely read, and, in the hands of the intelligent and reflecting thinker, will prove fruitful in valuable suggestions.

Harper and Brothers have published a new edition of Cicero's Tusculan Disputations, with English Notes by Charles Anthon, LL.D. In preparing this edition, use has been made of the text and notes of Tischer, with occasional reference to the commentaries of Wolf, Moser, and Kühner. Both in the text and notes, however, the erudite Editor has relied on his own judgment, not slavishly adhering to any authority, but freely consulting the suggestions of the most eminent philologists from the time of Bentley to our own days. The work is a model for a college text-book. In the careful supervision which it has received at the hands of Dr. Anthon, he has added to the many valuable services that identify his name with the progress of classical learning in this country.

Derby and Miller have issued a new edition of Sargent's Life of Henry Clay, revised and brought down to the death of the illustrious statesman, by Horace Greely. The leading incidents in Mr.[Pg 714] Clay's life are here described in a lively and flowing narrative; his public career is fully exhibited; copious extracts are given from his speeches and letters; and the whole biography is executed with manifest ability, and as great a degree of impartiality as could be demanded, with the decided personal predilections of both author and editor. The proceedings in Congress on the announcement of Mr. Clay's decease, which are given at length, form a very interesting portion of the volume.

Stray Meditations, or Voices of the Heart, by Joseph P. Thompson. (Published by A. S. Barnes and Co.) A collection of fugitive pieces, some of which have already appeared in the columns of various religious journals. They are of a grave, meditative character, deeply tinged with personal feeling—of an elevated devotional spirit—giving a highly favorable impression of the author as a man of great earnestness of purpose, and usually expressed in choice and vigorous language. Mr. Thompson has happily avoided the dangers incident to this style of composition. His volume breathes an air of soft and pious sentiment, but betrays no weak effeminacy; it unvails the most private emotions of the heart, but can not be charged with egotism; and appeals to the most awful sanctions of religion, without indulging in dogmatic severity. As a companion in hours of retirement and thoughtfulness, it can not fail to be welcome to the religious reader.

Anna Hammer, translated from the German of Temme, by Alfred H. Guernsey, is a good specimen of the contemporary popular fiction of German literature. Its author, Temme, is a man of ability; he writes, however, more from the heart than the head; drawing the materials of romance from the sufferings of his country. He took an active part in the late German revolutionary movements, and his political feelings tincture his writings. The present work gives a vivid picture of the interior of German life, and is filled with passages of exciting interest. The translation, by an accomplished scholar of this city, every where shows conscientious fidelity, and is in pure and idiomatic English.

An Olio of Domestic Verses, by Emily Judson. This volume composes a collection of the earlier poetry of Mrs. Judson, with several pieces of a more recent date. It shows a rich poetical temperament, a graceful fancy, and a natural ease of versification, which, with more familiar practice and a higher degree of artistic culture, would have given the authoress an eminent rank among the native poets of this country. The admirers of her sweet and brilliant productions, in another line, will find much to justify the enthusiasm with which they greeted the writings of Fanny Forester. Many of these little poems have already been the rounds of the newspapers, where they have won lively applause. (Published by Lewis Colby.)

The Third Volume of Chambers' edition of The Life and Works of Robert Burns (republished by Harper and Brothers), is replete with various interest. No admirer of the immortal peasant-bard should be without this excellent tribute to his genius.

The Master-Builder, by Day Kellogg Lee. (Published by Redfield.) A story of purely American origin, drawn from the experience of actual life, and containing several happy delineations of character. It describes the fortunes of one who by industry and enterprise, guided by strong native intelligence, rose to honor and prosperity, in the exercise of a useful mechanical vocation. The author frequently shows uncommon powers of description; he is a watchful observer of life and manners; is not without insight into the mysteries of human passion; and, if he could check his tendency to indulge in affectations of language, expressing himself with straight-forward simplicity, he might gain an enviable distinction as a writer.

A. S. Barnes and Co., have issued a new volume of Professor Bartlett's Elements of Natural Philosophy, containing treatises on Acoustics and Optics. The principles of these sciences are explained with clearness and elegance, the views of the best recent writers being embodied in the work, and accompanied with a variety of apposite illustrations. The portion relating to sound, based on the admirable monograph of Sir John Herschel, will be found to possess much popular interest, in spite of its scientific rigidity of expression, explaining, as it does, the mutual relations of mathematics and music.

Upjohn's Rural Architecture (published by G. P. Putnam), forms a useful book of reference for parish-committees, or whoever is intrusted with the charge of erecting new churches, parsonages, or school-houses, more particularly in the country. It gives a number of estimates and specifications, with ample directions for practical use.

The Dodd Family Abroad, by Charles Lever. One of the most piquant productions of this side-splitting author is now publishing in numbers by Harper and Brothers. Whoever wishes to be forced into a laugh, in defiance of all sorts of lugubrious fancies, should not fail to read this rich outpouring of genuine Irish humor.

The Old Engagement, by Julia Day, is a brilliant story of English society, reprinted from the London edition by James Munroe and Co.

Single Blessedness, is the title of an appeal in favor of unmarried ladies and gentlemen. An incoherent rhapsody, aiming at every thing and hitting nothing. (C. S. Francis and Co.)

Lydia; a Woman's Book, by Mrs. Newton Cropland, is the title of a popular English work, remarkable for its natural character-drawing, reprinted by Ticknor, Reed, and Fields.

J. D. B. De Bow, Professor of Political Economy in the University of Louisiana, New Orleans, has in press, and will issue in a few days, a work of which we have been permitted to see the sheets, in three large octavo volumes, small and neat print, entitled, Industrial Resources, Statistics, etc., of the Southern and Western States, with Statistics of the Home and Foreign Trade of the Union, and the Results of the Census of 1850. The work will be a valuable addition to the library of the merchant, manufacturer, planter, and statesman, and the public have every guarantee of its ability in the active and intelligent services rendered by Professor De Bow to the Industrial Interests of the country, for many years past, in the pages of his invaluable and widely circulated Review.

The following pensions have recently been granted by the British Government in consideration of services in literature or science. To Mrs. Jameson, £100 for her literary merits; to Mr. James Silk Buckingham, £200 for literary merits and useful travels in various countries; Mr. Robert Torrens, F.R.S., £200 for his valuable contributions to the science of political philosophy; to Professor John Wilson, of the University of Edinburgh (Christopher North of "Blackwood"), £300 for his eminent literary merits; to Mrs. Reid, the widow of Dr. James Reid, Professor of Ecclesiastical and[Pg 715] Civil History in the University of Glasgow, £50, and £50 to his family, in consideration of Dr. Reid's valuable contributions to literature; to Mrs. Macarthur, widow of Dr. Alexander Macarthur, Superintendent of Model Schools, and Inspector of Irish National Schools, £50; to Mr. John Britton, £75; to Mr. Hinds, the astronomer, £200; to Dr. Mantell, the geologist, £100; and to Mr. Ronalds, of the Kew Observatory, £75.

A bibliographical work on theology and kindred subjects, Cyclopædia Bibliographica, is being published in London, which will be a useful index to general theological literature. In the first volume the arrangement of authors and works is alphabetical; in the second, a catalogue raisonnée of all departments of theology under commonplaces in scientific order will be presented. Of special value to theological students, this "Cyclopædia" will also prove an important contribution to general literature.

Mr. Stiles's Austria in 1848 has been republished in London. The Athenæum says, "it may be recommended as a plain, continuous, and conscientious narrative to all those who would like to have the events to which it refers brought before them in the compass of one book, so as to be saved the trouble of turning over many."

During the recent discussion among the London booksellers regarding the discount on new books, Mr. William Longman stated that the publishing firm of which he is a partner had long been anxious to publish a new edition of Johnson's English Dictionary, that they were willing to pay almost any sum for the literary labor, but that they had not succeeded in procuring a man fully qualified as editor. "The want, however, has been supplied, and the boon has been conferred," says a London journal, "not by an English, but by an American lexicographer, who has produced a Dictionary suitable to the present state of our common language. This is Dr. Goodrich's octavo edition of Webster's Dictionary, which is published at a price which places it within the reach of all the classes to whom it is indispensable; and whether in the school or the counting-house, the library or the parlor, we are confident that this work will be found of the highest value."

M. Guizot is about to bring out a History of the Republic in England, and of the Times of Cromwell; and he has allowed some of the Paris journals to give a foretaste of it by the publication of a long extract under the title, "Cromwell sera-t-il roi?"

The Glasgow Citizen mentions that an interesting relic of Robert Burns, the poet, is at present for sale at a booksellers in that city. It is a manuscript of the poet, a fasciculus of ten leaves, written on both sides, containing The Vision, as originally composed, The Lass of Ballochmyle, My Nannie O, and others of his most popular songs. The manuscript was sent by Burns to Mrs. General Stewart, of Stair, when he expected to have to go to the West Indies.

General Görgey's Memoir of the Hungarian Campaign is translated, and will be shortly published. So stringent is the prohibition against this book in Austria, that Prince Windischgrätz, who asked for special permission to purchase a copy, has received a positive refusal.

Dr. Hanna, the editor of the Biography of Dr. Chalmers, is engaged in the preparation of a Selection from the Correspondence for early publication.

"It will be pleasant news to our readers," says the London Leader, "to hear that Macaulay has finished two more volumes of his History, which may be expected early next season. A more restricted circle will also be glad to hear that Gervinus is busy with a new work, the History of the South American Republics."

Lamartine's sixth volume, of the Histoire de la Restauration, seems by far the most excellent in composition. It embraces the period from the execution of Labédoyère to the death of Napoleon at St. Helena. The narrative is full, yet rapid; and the volume contains, among other things, a most curious and interesting paper hitherto unpublished, written by Louis XVIII., giving a private history of the agitations of a change of Ministry.

A list has been published in the French papers of the Professors of the University of Paris who have either been deposed, or have resigned since the 2d of December. Some of the names best known in literature and science to foreign countries are in the list. At the Collége de France, MM. Michelet, Professor of History and Ethics; Quinet, Professor of Germanic Literature; Mikiewicz, of Sclavonic Literature; M. Barthélemy Saint-Hilaire, Professor of Greek and Roman Philosophy. At the Sorbonne, M. Jules Simon, Interior Professor of the History of Ancient Philosophy, has been superseded; and M. Cousin, Titular Professor of that chair, has retired. M. Villemain, Professor of French Eloquence; M. Pouillet, Professor of Physics; Cauchy, of Mathematical Astronomy, have refused the oath of allegiance to the President. At the School of Medicine, M. Chomel, Professor of Clinical Medicine, has resigned. At the Ecole Normale, MM. Jules Simon, and Vacherot, Professors of Philosophy, and M. Magy, Superintendent, have refused the oath. Lists are also given of the démissionnaires in the various colleges of Paris. These announcements may have historical as well as biographical interest in after days of French revolutions.

French literature and literary men are beginning to adjust themselves to the new condition of things, and if the Legislative tongue and the Journalistic pen are obliged to submit to restraints, the historian, the novelist, the political economist, and the political philosopher are allowed pretty full swing. A great noise has been made about Victor Hugo's exile, but it seems that he has permission to return, of which he refuses to avail himself, and is settling down in cheap and healthful Jersey. His expulsion, or exile, or voluntary removal, may be a loss to Parisian society, but will probably be a gain to French literature. Proudhon, just released from prison, is taking pen in hand, a sadder and a wiser man; for his approaching book is to demonstrate, in his own peculiar fashion, the theorem which events have been reciting to France, namely, that its government is not to be conclusively a republic of any set kind, but to belong to him or them whom Providence may have endowed with force and cunning enough to grasp and retain it. Heinrich Heine himself, not paralyzed by his frightful illness, works an hour or two daily at a book which will be one of his most interesting—pictures of Parisian men and things, to which he is to prefix a sketch of Parisian society since the Revolution of 1848. Michelet, in rural solitude, is employed upon[Pg 716] his History of the Revolution, while Louis Blanc, in London, has just published a new volume of his. Barante has brought forth another portion of his pictorially unpicturesque History of the National Convention; Lamartine another of his History of the Restoration. The astute Guizot fights shy of the history of his own country, and is contributing to some of the chief Paris periodicals fragments on the men and times of the "Great Rebellion" in England. One that is forthcoming is to be entitled, "Cromwell—shall he be King?" which, being translated, means: Louis Napoleon—shall he be Emperor? His old rival, Thiers, is adding another literary association to the many that connect themselves with the Lake of Geneva, and is delighting the good people of that region by his lavish expenditure of Napoleons and general affability.

A translation into French of the works of Saint Theresa is about to be published; it has been made by a Jesuit. The saint's writings are much admired by her own church; but from the little we know of them, we should think them too rhapsodical and mystical for the public.

Madame George Sand has addressed a furious letter to a Belgian newspaper, indignantly denying that, as asserted by it, she is in receipt of a pension, or has accepted any money whatever from the present government. Even, she says, if her political opinions permitted her to receive the bounty of Louis Bonaparte, she should think it dishonorable to take it when there are so many of her literary brethren who have greater need of it.

Buffon's mansion and grounds at Montbard, in Burgundy, are advertised for sale. In the grounds is an ancient tower of great height, commanding a view for miles around of a beautiful and mountainous country. It was in a room, in the highest part of this tower, that the great naturalist wrote the history which has immortalized his name. It is known that he was accustomed to write in full dress, but, by a striking contradiction, nothing could be more simple than his lofty study; it was a vast apartment with an arched roof, painted entirely green, and the only furniture it contained consisted of a plain wood table and an old arm-chair. The labor which that room witnessed was immense—as Buffon wrote his works over and over again, until he got them to his taste. The "Epoques de la Nature," for example, were written not fewer than eighteen times. He always began his day's work in the tower between five and six o'clock in the morning, and when he required to reflect on any matter he used to walk about his garden.

The French journals report the death of the distinguished artist, Tony Johannot, and also of Count D'Orsay, who in the later period of his life displayed considerable artistic talent and taste both as a painter and sculptor. But he is more generally known, and will be longer remembered, as a man of fashion, and of public notoriety from his alliance with the Blessington family, the circumstances of which are so well known, and have been recalled at present by the public journals at such length, as to render it needless for us to enlarge upon the subject. Having shown kindness and hospitality to Louis Napoleon when an exile in London, the Prince President was not ungrateful to his former friend, and he has latterly enjoyed the office of Directeur des Beaux Arts, with a handsome salary, and maintained a prominent position in the Court of the Elysée.

General Gourgaud, the aid-de-camp of Napoleon, and one of his companions at St. Helena, who has recently died at an advanced age, was an author as well as a soldier, having written what he called a refutation of Count Ségur's "History of the Russian Campaign," and having got into a pamphlet dispute with Sir Walter Scott, respecting some of the latter's statements in his "History of Napoleon." With Ségur he fought a duel to support his allegations, and with Sir Walter was very near fighting another. Scott, it may be remembered, showed him up most unmercifully, and made known that, notwithstanding all his professed zeal for Napoleon, there were documents in the English War-Office, written by him at St. Helena, which proved him to have been not one of the most faithful of servants.

The third centenary commemoration of the treaty of Passau was celebrated on the 2d of August in Darmstadt, and in connection with it Dr. Zimmerman, a divine of some celebrity, intends to revise and complete an entire edition of the works of Martin Luther, to be ready for publication on the 26th of September, 1855, the three hundredth anniversary of the "religious peace" established by Charles V.

In German literature of late, there have been very few publications worth announcing. Two works recently published, however, deserve a passing mention. The first is a volume attributed by vague rumor to Schelling, upon what authority we can not say, and bearing this comprehensive title, Ueber den Geist und sein Verhältniss in der Natur—running rapidly through the whole circle of the sciences physical and social; the second is a history of German Philosophy since Kant, by Fortlage of Jena—Genetische Geschichie der Philosophie seit Kant. He is a popular expositor, and as his work embraces Kant, Jacobi, Fichte, Schelling, Oken, Steffens, Carus, Schleiermacher, Hegel, Weisse, Fries, Herbart, Beneke, Reinhold, Trendelenburg, &c., it will be interesting to students of that vast logomachy named German Philosophy.

In science we have to note one or two decidedly interesting publications. A massive, cheap, and popular exposition of the Animal Kingdom, by Vogt, under the title of Zoologische Briefe—the numerous woodcuts to which, though very rude, are well drawn and useful as diagrams: Vortisch Die Jüngste Katastrophe des Erdballs, and Lotze Medicinische Psychologie oder Physiologie der Seele will attract two very different classes of students. While the lovers of German Belles Lettres will learn with tepid satisfaction that a new work is about to appear from the converted Countess Hahn-Hahn, under the mystical title of Die Liebhaber des Kreuzes, and a novel also by L. Muhlbach (wife of Theodore Mundt) upon Frederick the Great, called Berlin und Sans Souci, which Carlyle is not very likely to consult for his delineation of the Military Poetaster.

Norway has been deprived of one of her most learned historians, Dr. Niels Wulfsberg, formerly Chief Keeper of the Archives of the Kingdom. The doctor was in the sixty-seventh year of his age. Dr. Wulfsberg was the founder of the two earliest daily papers ever published: the Mergenbladet ("Morning Journal") and the Fider ("Times"); both of which still exist—one under its original title, and the other under that of the Rigstidenden ("Journal of the Kingdom").

[Pg 717]

Comicalities, Original and Selected.


Shrine of the mighty! can it be
That this is all remains of thee?

Giaour, 106.

But in thy lineaments I trace
What time shall strengthen, nor efface.

Giaour, 192.

[Pg 718]


Small Juvenile (with an eye to the Reward for killing Dogs).—"Doggy, doggy, Here's a Rat! Catch him—Stu-boy!"


[Pg 719]

Autumn Fashions.

Figures 1 and 2.—Walking and Home Toilet.

Our report for October varies but little from that of September, style and texture being similar. In the above engraving we give representations of very elegant modes of toilet for the promenade and the parlor. The figure with the bonnet shows a promenade toilet. Bonnet of lisse crape and tulle puffed. It is covered with white lace, reaching beyond the edge of the brim, falling in front, after what is called the Mary Stuart style. The brim inside is trimmed on the one hand with a tuft of roses mixed up with narrow white blondes; and on the other it has a feather of graduated shades, which is placed outside and then turns over the edge and comes inside near the cheek; strings of white gauze ribbon.

Barege dress, trimmed with taffeta ribbons and fringes bordering the trimmings. Body lapping over, the right on the left, having a flat lapel parallel to the edge. The body is gathered at the waist, on the shoulders, and at the bottom of the back. A No. 22 ribbon forms a waistband, and ties on the left side at the bottom of the lapels. This ribbon matches that used for the trimming of the dress. The sleeve is composed of four frills one over the other. The skirt, which is very full, has seven graduated flounces. All are bordered with a narrow fringe. The lapel of the body, the frills of the sleeves, and flounces of the skirts are ornamented with ribbons; those on the body are No. 9, those on the skirt No. 12. On the lapels and sleeves the No. 9 ribbons are placed at intervals of three inches. On the flounces the No. 12 ribbons, 2¾ inches wide, are placed further apart. The white lace which replaces the habit-shirt follows the outline of the body. The under-sleeve is composed of a large bouillonné of thin muslin, tight at the wrist, but falling full over it in the shape of a bell. Two rows of lace fall on the hand.

The other figure represents a Home Toilet. Taffeta redingote with moire bands; the moire trimmings are edged on each side with a taffeta biais, rather under half an inch wide, and which stands in relief. The joining of the biais and the moire is concealed by a braid about the width of a lace. A moire band with its edges trimmed with biais follows the outline of the body. Three inches wide at top, it narrows to half the width at the waist, and is then continued about 2½ inches wide on the lappet. The skirt is trimmed with five moire bands with biais at their edges. These bands are of graduated width; the top one is 8 inches from the waist, and two inches wide. The interval between each one and the next is 4 inches; the lowest band, which is 4 inches wide, is placed 2 inches from the bottom of the skirt. On the body there are[Pg 720] two rows of moire and three on each band of the skirt. These gradually diverge toward the bottom. These last form a width of apron of 32 inches. (The posture of this figure masks the right side of the skirt, and consequently only the middle row and that on the left side are to be seen.) The sleeves, half wide, are terminated by a cuff turned up with moire and a biais on the edge. A row of white lace follows the outline of the body. We see the chemisette composed of a row of lace, an insertion, and round plaits from top to bottom of thin muslin. A muslin bouillon plaits. All the fullness is thrown behind, beginning at the side trimming. The sleeve is open behind, ornamented with buttons, and then edged with guipure. A cardinal collar of Venice guipure falls on the neck. The under sleeves are composed of two rows of white guipure following the outline of the sleeve.

Figure 3.—Girl's Toilet.

Fig. 3 represents a pretty toilet for a girl from nine to eleven years of age. Hair parted down the middle and rolled in plaits at the sides. Frock of white muslin. Short sleeves, body low. Six small-pointed flounces on the skirt. A wide pink silk ribbon passed under the sleeve, is tied at the top in a large bow, so that the sleeve is drawn together in it, and leaves the shoulder visible. A plain band runs along the top of the body, which is plaited lengthwise, in very small plaits.

Fig. 4 represents a graceful cap for the parlor. It is made of guipure, ornamented with apple blossoms, and having wide pale-green silk ribbon bows and streamers.

This is a pleasant season for traveling, after the equinoctial storms have passed by. Appropriate dresses are very desirable. None is more so than the foulard dress of a dark color, with branches of foliage and large bouquets of flowers. The same may be said of valencia and poplin de laine, either with Albanese stripes on a plain ground, or a large plaid pattern. A traveling dress should be made like a morning gown, but not exactly; for strings are put in underneath, both before and behind, for the purpose of drawing it, so as to form a pretty plaited body when they are pulled tight. Over the gathers either a ribbon or a band with a buckle must be added. The body may be either low or high, with a small collar having two rows of cambric plaited very fine, or with a jaconet collar having open plaits, or again with a Charles V. collar, made of frieze well starched and lustred. The under sleeves should be always in harmony with the collar.

Figure 4.—Cap.

The bonnet is made half of straw, half of taffeta. The brim is straw veined with black or mixed with aloes, and the crown has a soft top of ruffled taffeta, with a bow of ribbon. On this capote, it is indispensable to put a Cambrai lace vail, that lace being at once substantial, light, and rich in pattern.

As to the feet they are provided with boots of bronze leather, and having low heels and button-holes in vandykes.

The gloves are Swedish leather, dark color, as for instance Russia leather, iron-gray, maroon, or olive.

The traveling corset, called the nonchalante, is an article every way worthy of the name. From its extreme elasticity and clever combination it yields to every motion of the body, and supports it without the least compression or inconvenience. This corset is therefore extremely agreeable for travels.

As a general rule, round waists are daily gaining ground; but you must not confound round waists with short waists: for the former, the dressmaker ought, on the contrary, to endeavor to make the sides as long as possible, and merely suppress the point in front.

Vests are still worn, but only to accompany linen and lace waistcoats. The under-sleeves are always wide and floating; the wrists are ornamented with ribbon bracelets matching the colors of the dress.

Boots and shoes are both in very good wear. The shoe is more suitable for the carriage than for walking. Boots of bronze leather, and of a soft light color, are much sought after by the more elegant ladies. These boots have low heels, and are fastened with enamel buttons of the same color as the material of the boots.

Transcriber's Notes:

Punctuation and spelling were made consistent when a predominant preference was found in this book; otherwise they were not changed.

Simple typographical and spelling errors were corrected.