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BUCKINGHAM 
LIBRARY 




UNIVERSITY OF BUCKINGHAM 



8113273 



Familiar in their Mouths as HOUSEHOLD WOEDS. "-SHAKESPEARE. 



Journal 



CONDUCTED BY 



CHARLES DICKENS. 



VOLUME XVI. 



FROM JULY 4, 1857, TO DECEMBER 12, 1857. 

Being from No. 380 to No. 403, and also including the Extra Number and a 
half for Christmas. 





LONDON: 
OFFICE, 16, WELLINGTON STREET NOKTH. 

1857. 



..._ 



LONDON : 
BRADBURY AND EVANS, PRINTERS, WHITEFEIARS. 






1 

TAG* 

AGNES LBB . .36 
Algeria. Captain Doineau's Trial 
in 423 


CONTENTS, 

FiGB 

DATCHLEY Philharmonic, The . 213 
Debtor and Creditor . . . 525 
Debtors a Century Ago . . . 279 


HallsviUe ... 241 
Hamlet, A History of . . . 545 
Hamlet, The Original . . 372 


Allonby .... 361 


Debtor's Best Friend, The . . 279 


Hard Roads 534 


Amateur Philharmonic, The . 213 
American IndiansTravelling Ex- 
' press 367 


Debtors' Prison, A . . . . 421 
Delhi, The First Sack of . . 276 
Diarists 294 


Hazlitfs Works . . . .478 
Health and Habitation . . 194 
Healthy Year in London . . 193 


Auiphlett Love Match, The . . 173 
Amsterdam . . .400,446,501 
Apnrentiees, The Lazy Tour of 
thi Two Idle 313, 337, 361, 385, 409 
Art Treasures Exhibition, The 349 
Article Making .... 480 
At Home in Siam . . . . 481 
At the Coulisses in Paris . . 22 
Australia, Lost in the Bush . . 93 
Autobiography of a Mahomme- 
dan Gentleman . . . 490 

BADGERY, MRS. . . , 290 


Dictionnaire, Infernal . . 1 
Discursive Mind, A ... 477 
Disinfectants .... 9 
Disraeli, Mr. Isaac . . . 403 
Dissenters and Police in Prussia 171 
Doctor Conolly . . . . 518 
Doctor Garrick . . . .166 
Doctor Johnson . . . . 403 
Doctors' Bills . . . .25 
Doctoring by Lightning . . 450 
Doncaster Races .... 409 
Down among the Dutchmen 398, 446, 
501 


Helena Mathewson . . . 13 
Her Grace of the Hobnails . . 310 
Herrick's Julia . . . . 322 
Hint from Siam .... 202 
Horse Guards, An Application 
at the 239 
How the Writer was Despatch- 
boxed 239- 

IMMEASURABLE Wonder . . . 118 
Imprisonment for Debt a Cen- 
tury ago 279 
Inch by Inch Upward . . . 49 


Bangkok the Capital of Siam . 482 


Dryden, Mr 405 


India, Censorship of the Press . 293 


Battle, Trial by . . . . 488 
Behind the Scenes ... 22 
Beranger 185 
Best Man, The . . . .488 


Dubious Episodes in History . 404 
Duchess Fan in Norway . . 310 
Dudley. Sir Robert . . . . 83 
Dutch Manners . 398, 446, 501 


India, A Day with Nena Sahib . 458 
India, Lutfullah Khan's Life 
in 490 
India, The Furniture of a Rajah's 


Billiards in India . . .461 
Biography, The Pest of . . 73 
Black Act, A .... 293 
Boulogne Wood . . 89 
. Bourbon Paris, Photographed . 300 
Bradgate Hall 443 
Brave Coucou-Driver The . 265 


EDINBURGH Review ... 97 
Edmund Waller . 246, 402, 405 
Eleanor Clare's Journal for Ten 
Years . . 19Z, 232, 252, 271 
Elizabeth, Empress of Russia . 100 
Encumbered Estate . . . 81 


India, Wanderings in . . 457 
Indian Billiard-player . . 461 
Indian Cavalry . ... 154 
Indian Irregulars . . . 244 
Indian Mahommedans . . . 490 
Indian Recruits and Indian 
English .... 319- 


Brer oh of Promise, A . . 260 
Bride Chamber, Story of the . 386 
Brittany, Superstitions of . . 3 
Brother Mttller and his Orphan 
Work 433 
Burning and Burying . . . 22(j 
Burning the Dead in Siam . . 487 


Author. The . . . . 540 
English Witches . . .138 
Extract of Funeral Flowers . . 69 

FAIR Penitent, A . . . . 55 
Fair-time at Leipsic . . . 560 
Falling Leaves . . . . 354 
Faradism 451 


Indian Thugs ' . . . . 457 
Infant Orphan House, The . 433 
Invisible Ghosts . ... 109 
Irish Encumbered Estate . . 84 
Irregular Cavalry . . . . 244 
Irregular Cava'ry, Mutiny of . 154 

JAMES the First, Birth of . . 40S 


Calculation, Powers of . . . 141 
Calcutta .... 393 


First Sack of Delhi, The . . 276 


Japan, Roads in . . . . 534 


Canning Town, Health Report of 241 
Canton City . . . .376 
Captain Doineau . . . . 423 
Captain Snow's Voyage . . 418 
Carlisle . ... 314 


Forebodings of Thomas Raikes, 
Esquire 294 
Francis Wey, upon England . 540 
Frauds in Commerce . . . 444 


Journey in Search of Nothing . 217 
Judicial Duels . . . 489 
Junction Station, A ... 36ft 


Carnevale 407 
Carrock, The Idle Apprentices' 
Ascent of 316 
Cat's Grease 453 
Cattle Disease, The . . .163 
Celibacy, College Laws of . . 191 


for Murder .... 423 
French Cocou-Driver, The . . 265 
French Tavern Life . Ill, 207 
French War-Office in 1785 . 34 
Friends of the Patagonian . . 416 
Frogs 91 


Kerby Castle .... 444 
Killing Time 221 

LADY Jane Grey's Residence . 443 
Lamb's Works . . . . 478 
Lancaster ..... 367 


Charles Lamb's Works . . 478 
Charles the Second and the Oak 404 
Chips . . .34, 83, 162, 402, 536 
Christina, Queen of Sweden . . 156 
Cloister, A Voice from the . . 191 
Commercial Frauds . . . 444 


Funeral Flowers, Extract of . . 69 

GALVANISM 450 
Garrick, A Story of . . . . 166 
Gaston, the Little Wolf . . 28 


Lazy Tour of Two Idle Appren- 
tices . . 313, 337, 361, 385, 409 
Leaves of Plants . ... 354 
Leipsic Fair .... 560 
Letter- Writer, The New . . 205 
Light 463 


Common Lodging Houses' Act . 334 
Companionable Sparrow, A . 130 
Cooks, A School for . . 162 


General Board of Health, The . 193 
George Mttller . . . . 433 
George Pull the Potter 223 


Lightning Doctor .... 450 
Little Dorrit and the Edinburgh 


Crowded Dwellings' Act . . 333 
Crystals under the Microscope . 467 
Cumberland Doctor's Story, The 340 
Cumberland Village, A . 315, 338 
Curiosities of Literature, The . 403 
Curious Misprint in the Edin- 
burgh Review .... 97 


Ge >rge Stephenson . . . 50 
Giant Thor 283 
Great St. Leger, The . . . 411 
Green Frogs 91 
Gymnastics, Rational . . . 566 

HABITUJJS of Westminster . . 402 


Locomotive Engine, A Ride on . 553 
Londoners over the Border . 241 
Lord William Courtenay . . 523 
Lord W.Tyler .... 333 
Lost in the Bush . . . . 93 
Lucknow, A Traveller in . . 458 
Lunatics in Bethlehem ... 147 



iv CONTENTS. 


(AM 

Lunatics and Keepers at the 
i:. in - 410 


rioB 
Petty Larceny & Co., Messrs. . 444 
Philharmonic at Datchley, The . 213 
Photographecs .... 352 
Physical Training in Schools . 565 
Physiology, Teaching of . . 567 
Piccadilly and the Uaymarket . 264 
Piece of Work, A . . . . 564 
Polarisation 463 


PAOI 

Stephenson, George ... 50 
Stepping Stones . . . . 402 
Sticky toes 91 


Lunatics, Treatment of . . 518 
Lutfullah Khan . . . . 490 
Lyndon Hall. . . . 468,493 

MADEMOISELLE Gautier . . . 65 


Stretch of Memory, A . . . 402 
Sun-Horse, The . . . .556 
Superstitions and Traditions . 1 
Sweetest of Women, The . . 246 

TAVERNS, French . . Ill, 207 
Things within Dr. Conolly'a 
remembrance .... 518 
Thor and the Giants . . . 282 
Three Generations ... 59 
Thugs in India . . . . 457 
Thurtell the Murderer . . 262 
Touching (and Touched) Cha- 
racter, A 407 
Touching the Lord Hamlet . . 372 
Tracks in the Bush . . . . 93 
Trial by Battle .... 488 
Trial of Captain Doineau . . 423 
Twenty Shillings in the Pound . 444 
Two First-Class Passengers . . 430 
Two Janes, The .... 412 

UNIVERSITY Commission, The . 191 
Unprotected Fernalea in Norway 310 

VERY Black Act, A . . .293 
Village Life 218 
Voice from the Cloister, A . .191 

WALLER, Mr. Edmund . 246, 402, 405 
Wanderings in India . . 457,505 
Weare, The Murder of . . . 262 
Westdale Head . . . .285 
Westminster at Four o'Clock . 402 
Whirlwind at Calcutta . . 393 
Whirlwind, Riding the . . 553 
WhowasHe? 83 
Wigton, A Rainy Day at . .337 
Will's Coffee House . . . 404 
Winckler, Mr., The Calculator . 141 
Witches of England . . . 138 
Witches of Scotland ... 75 

YELLOW Tiger, The . . . 121 
Your Life or Your Likeness . 73 

POETRY. 
ANGELA .... 251 
Autumn 132 
Dead Past, A 108 
Dismal Pool, The ... 12 
First Snow on the Fell . . . 468 
George Levison; or, The School- 
fellows . . . . 562 


Manchester School of Art . . 349 
Marie Courtenay .... 523 
Marriage, A Breach of Pro- 
mise of 260 
Mary, Queen of Scots . . . 406 
Meaning Me, Sir? .... 6 
Microscopes , . 464 
Microscopic Preparations 132, 467 
Missionaries to Patagonia . . 416 
Mistakes in Speech . . . 204 
Monkey King . . . .438 
Monte Video, Voyage to . . . 419 
Mrs. Badgery . . . .289 
M tiller, and his Orphans . . 433 
Murrain, The .... 163 
Mutiny in India, A . . . . 154 
Mutiny, Sepoy Symbols of . . 228 
My Lost Home . . . . 529 
My Window 150 

NADIR Shah 276 
Nature's Greatness in Small 
Things 511 


Poor Tom. A City Weed . . 381 
Pope, Mr. Alexander . . .404 
Post Office, Calcutta . . . 396 
Post Office, The, and the Edin- 
burgh Review . . . . 98 
Potter, Ge >rge Pull, the . . 223 
Powers of Calculation . . . 141 
Prattleton's Mouday out . . 537 
Press in India, Tlie . . .293 
Press in Prussia, The . . . 170 
Prussian Clergy .... 169 
Prussian Police . ... 169 
Punch and Judy .... 477 

QOEEN'S Guest, The . . . 421 
Queeu's Revenge, The . . 156 

RACE Week at Doncaster . . 409 
Raikes' Diary . . . . 297 
Railway Passengers . . . 430 
Rational Gymnastics . . . 566 
Recruiting in India . . .319 
Remarkable Revolution . . . 100 
Retouching the Lord Hamlet . 545 
Riding the Whirlwind . . 553 
Rinderpest; or, Steppe-Murrain. 163 
Rogues' Walk 262 
Romantic Breach of Promise . 260 
Romeo, A Lady in Love with . 166 
Russian Revolution, A . . . 100 

SACHARIBSA. ..... 246 


Nena Sahlh, A Day with . . 458 
"Never Too Late to Learn" . 205 
New Colonists of Norfolk Island 467 
New Letter- Writer, The . . 205 
, Newton's (Sir Isaac) Pet Dog . 404 
Next Week 46 
Night Porter, The . . . 513 
Norfolk Island . . . . 476 
Norway, An English Youug 
Lady in 310 
Nothing, A Journey in Search of 217 
Number Five, Hanbury Terrace 568 

OLD Hawtrey 308 
One of Sir Hans Sloahe's Patients 536 
Opium (China) . . . .181 
Opium (India) . . . . 104 
Organic Cell, The . . .511 
Orpban-House on Ashley Down 433 
Oude, A Traveller iu . . . 458 
Our Family Picture . 303, 326, 3o5 
Our P's and Q's . . . . 204 
Over-Crowded Dwellings' Pre- 
ventive A ct . . . 334 

PATAGONIAN Missionary Society 416 
Patagonians, Friends of the . 416 
Paris, Behind the Scenes at the 
Opera 22 
Paris, in Time of the Bourbons 300 
Paris on London .... 540 
Pepys' Diary 295 

The Extra Christmas Number, THE P 
IN WOMEN, CHILDREN, 

CHAP. I. ' 
CHAP. II. ' 
CHAP. III.' 


Samuel Johnson . . . . 404 
Sand and Roses . . . .548 
Scandinavian God Thor, The . 282 
Scawfell 286 


School for Cooks, A . .162 
Scotland, Witches of . . . 75 
Sea- Worm, The .... 118 
Self made Potter, The . . . 223 
Sepoy Symbols of Mutiny . . 228 
Siam, A Hint from . . . . 202 
Siam. At Home In ... 481 
Sir Hans Sloane's, A Patient 
of ... 536 


S'-r Robert Dudley . . . . 83 
Six Old Men 886 
Suow Express, The . . . . 367 
Snow's, Captain, Voyage . . 418 
South Kensington Museum . 537 
Sparrows . . . . . . 130 


Leaf, The 227 


Sporting Andience, A . . . 412 
Sporting Gents . . .262,410 
St. Leger Kace, The . . .411 
Star of Bethlehem, The . . . 145 


My Sister 300 
Unopened Buds .... 36 
Wand of Light . . . . 397 


ERILS OF CERTAIN ENGLISH PRISONERS, AND THEIR TREASURE 
SILVER, AND JEWELS, will be found at the end of the Volume. 

FAQS 

PhR Island of Silver Store. .... 1 


i'he Raits on the River . p 


. 30 





"Familiar in their Mouths as HOUSEHOLD WORDS." 



- 380.] 



A WEEKLY JOURNAL. 
CONDUCTED BY CHARLES DICKENS. 

SATURDAY, JULY 4, 1857. 



( PKICE 2il. 
( STAMPED 3d. 



SUPERSTITIONS AND TEADITIONS. 



THE pedigree of Superstition is easily traced. 
She is the offspring of Ignorance and Fear, 
and has fully developed with her growth 
the qualities of both her parents. She has 
unfortunately been very long-lived, and it is 
almost a question, whether she will ever die, 
Tradition, her daughter (whose sire was 
Custom), sustaining her existence with a 
devotion more than commonly filial. Super- 
stition is a hag that always rides in darkness, 
but we occasionally, even now, get glimpses 
of her flight, and the time is not so very far 
gone by since she was a constant guest not 
only in pauperum taberuas (the habitation of 
k the poor), but regumque turres (in the 
palaces of kings also). Napoleon's Red Man, 
the Black Huntsman of Foutainebleau, the 
Spectre of the Tuileries, and other examples 
nearer home, demonstrate the great unwil- 
lingness of Superstition to shift her ground 
when once she gets into high places ; while 
there is scarcely any one we meet, of our 
own or of a lower degree, who has not some 
tradition to tell, in which an implicit belief 
in an inexplicable superstition is the unalter- 
able feature. I have myself a story of this 
kind to repeat, at no very distant day ; but 
in the meantime I confine the present sub- 
ject to certain details of belief and obser- 
vance. 

Let me begin with a singular account of a 
very curious people, the Aparctians, of whom 
I meet with a description in the Dictionnaire 
Infernal, of M. J. Colliu de Plancy, a some- 
what rare and rather remarkable volume. 
The Aparctians, as their name implies, 
inhabit the frozen north. They are trans- 
parent as crystal, and their feet are as sharp 
and narrow as skates, a peculiarity which 
enables them to get over the ground or 
rather the ice at a most tremendous pace. 
Their beards are long, but they wear them 
at the end of the nose instead of the chin, 
which makes it probable that they may be 
icicles. They have no tongue, but in its 
place they clatter musically with their teeth, 
which are not separated from each other, but 
form two solid pieces. They never go out of 
doors in the daytime (perhaps the icy caverns, 
in which they dwell, have no doors), and the 
perpetuation of their race is insured by 



drops of perspiration, which congeal and 
become Aparctians (a simple and natural 
process, when once the necessary perspiration 
is obtained). That all things in the habits of 
this people may be conformable, they worship 
a white bear. M. de Plancy's authority 
states, that they are not often met with, 
which is probable. 

From the Pole to the Equator is a long 
stride, but the local colour produces similar 
effects. What the Aparctians are to northern 
wanderers, the race called Tibalang are to 
the native inhabitants of Borneo and Suma- 
tra, with only the difference between a past 
and a present existence. The Tibalaugs are 
phantoms, which the aborigines believe they 
see hovering over the tops of certain very old 
trees, in which they are persuaded that the 
souls of their ancestors have taken up their 
abodes. .They describe them as of gigantic 
stature, with long hair, small feet, painted 
bodies, and outstretched wings of enormous 
size, not very unlike the Vampire bat, 
magnified by superstitious dread. 

But, there is 110 need to visit hyperborean 
regions, or to voyage between the tropics in 
search of the preternatural, when a steamer 
from Southampton can take us in twelve 
hours to the coast of Brittany ; where, if 
we carefully look up the traditions of the in- 
habitants, we may find the means of filling a 
tolerably large wallet with the materials 
which travellers are commonly said to dis- 
pense so freely. Abundant in all parts of 
the ancient Duchy, there is no district in 
which traditions are more deeply rooted than 
in the department of Finistere, so deeply, 
that it may be many years yet before they 
are dispersed by the railway whistle. In the 
cantons surrounding Morlaix, the popular 
belief is strong in a race of demons called 
Teus. They are of two kinds : one of them 
is called the Teus-ar-pouliet. and the other the 
Buguel Nos ; both are of a beneficent nature. 
The Teus-ar-pouliet usually presents himself 
under the form of a dog, a cow, or some other 
domestic animal, being I suppose unwil- 
ling to affright or astonish the natives by 
assuming a less familiar shape, though I must 
confess it would astonish me very much to 
see a cow attempt to iron my shirts, or sweep 
up the kitchen. Like Milton's lubber-fiend, 
however, or the Scottish brownie, this 



VOL. xvr. 



260 



2 [July 4, 1957.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



friendly spirit does all the household 
drudgery when everybody is gone to bed 
which is the reason, perhaps, why the Breton 
cottages are the dirtiest iu Europe. The 
services of the Buguel Nos, on the other 
hand, are rendered out of doors, and the 
shape in which he appears is human, with 
this peculiarity in his stature, which is 
gigantic, that it increases as lie approaches. 
He is only to be seen where cross-roads 
meet, between midnight and two in the 
morning. When the "belated peasant calls 
upon him for aid, he comes forth dressed 
in a long white mantle, which he throws 
over the suppliant ; who, safe beneath its 
fold?, listens to the terrific grating of the 
wheels of the Devil's chariot, as it crashes 
along the highway, to the accompaniment of 
fearful shrieks and dismal howls ; or, it may 
be that he hides from the Carriguel-ar-ancou, 
or death-cart, which is covered with white 
cloth and driven furiously by skeletons. 
Sometimes in lonely places, at the foot of 
some Menhir (the long, upright, Druidical 
stone), the peasant suddenly comes upon a 
party of those unearthly washerwomen, the 
Ar-cannercz-nos, or Singers of the Night; 
who compel him to assist them in wringing 
out their clothes, and woe betide him if he 
twists the linen differently from them, as at 
once they fall on him and break both his 
arms. This is not a country where Falstaff 
would have liked to be a night-walker ; for, 
even participation in the amusements of its 
goblins is compulsory. There is one par- 
ticular class of dwarfs, called Courils, or 
Poulpiquets, who inhabit the Dolmens (the 
Druidical stones arranged in tabular form), 
and whose pleasure it is to caper on the 
heath by moonlight, pounce upon the way- 
farer, and oblige him to join in their dance, 
never suffering him to stop until, overcome 
by fatigue, he falls to the ground a corpse. 
Less malevolent than the Courils, is a family 
of dwarfs, about a foot high, who roam 
through the vast caverns that lie beneath 
the ruins of the old castle of Morlaix, mak- 
ing music with their hammers on large 
copper basins. These dwarfs are gold-diggers, 
who spread their treasure in the sun to dry. 
The peasant who modestly extends his palm, 
receives from them a handful of the precious 
metal ; but he who provides himself with a 
sack, intending to fill it, is cruelly beaten and 
driven away. Treasure-trove in Brittany is 
surrounded by many uncertainties. In the 
district of Lesnaven, immense hoards are 
guarded by demons, who take the shape, 
sometimes of an old man or woman, some- 
times of a black poodle. Having discovered 
the locality which is equivalent to catching 
your hare you must silently make a deep 
hole in the ground ; the thunder will roar, 
the lightning will flash, meteors will shoot 
through the air ; and, amidst the riot of the 
discordant elements, you will hear the clank- 
ing of chains ; but, keep an undaunted heart, 



persevere in your toil, and you will at last be 
rewarded by discovering an enormous lump 
of gold, or silver. If you chance to utter a 
single exclamation while raising the treasure 
to the surface, it is all over with you : it sinks, 
;nid is seen no more. On Palm Sunday, 
during the singing of the Mass, the demons 
are forced to make an exhibition of their 
metallic wealth, though they artfully dis- 
guise its value under the appearance of 
leaves, stones, and bits of coal. But you. 
are perfectly up to this dodge ; and, if you can 
succeed in sprinkling these objects with holy 
water, or even in touching them with some 
other consecrated thing, they turn into gold, 
and you may fill your pockets as conscien- 
tiously as if you were a Royal British Bank 
director. . 

I know not whether the demon called Jan- 
gant-e-tan (John and his fire) be a treasure- 
fiend or not, but there is some probability in 
the belief that he delights in confounding 
treasure-seekers. It is his habit to turn out 
at night, and spreading forth the five fin- 
gers of his right hand, which blaze like 
torches, to whirl them round with incon- 
ceivable velocity, and run with all his 
speed, until he bogs the unhappy wretch who 
follows, and leaves him in utter darkness, 
amid screams of derisive laughter. 

In the neighbourhood of Plougasnou, there 
is still practised a species of divination, the 
future being predicted by weather-wise sor- 
cerers ; who interpret the motion of the 
sea and the rush of the waves as they break 
upon the shore. These diviners fall on 
their knees and worship the planet Venus 
when she rises. Others raise an altar in 
some lonely spot and place on it several 
small copper coins which, when the evening 
Mass is ended, they grind to dust. This pow- 
der, taken in a glass of wine, cider, or brandy, 
makes him who drinks it invincible in the 
wrestling-match or the race : it is just possible 
that the liquor alone might answer the same 
purpose. More poetical than dram- drinking 
is the custom of the maidens of Plougasnou. 
There is a small chapel in a field that over- 
looks the coast, whither they repair to hang 
up their shorn tresses, a sacrifice which they 
make in the hope of securing the safe return 
of a sailor lover or the recovery of some 
dear friend who is sick. A different custom 
prevails at Croizic where a high rock hangs 
over the shore, the approach to which is by a 
gentle grassy slope. The women of the 
country and the unmarried girls dress them- 
selves in all their bravery, and with their 
hair floating over their shoulders and adorned 
with freshly -gathered flowers, rush up the 
slope, and, stretching out their arms, raise 
their eyes to heaven, and sing in chorus : 

Sea-mew, s-c:i-inc\v ! 

Send back our husbands and lovers true. 

(Goelans, gn 

Ilame:ft.z-riou8 nog nmris ct nos auians.) 



Charles Dickens.] 



SUPERSTITIONS AND TRADITIONS. 



[July 4. 1857.: 3 



The sea-mew is a bird of good omen to 
the people on the coast of Morlaix. A small 
species called tarak, white, with red beak and 
feet, and a black spot on the head, appears in 
April and goes away in September. The 
period of its arrival is considered the com- 
mencement of the season of fine weather. 
Its perpetual cry is " Quit ! quit ! quit ! " 
the synonym in Bas-breton for " Go ! go ! 
go ! " The constant prayer of the women on 
these coasts is for the safety of their hus- 
bands : at Roscoff they have a practice of 
sweeping the chapel of the Holy Union after 
Mass, after which they kneel down and blow 
the dust in the direction the boats have gone, 
hoping by this means to ensure a favouring 

fale. In the little island of Sein, which is j 
ut the prolongation of Cape Raz, the doors 
of the cottages are never closed but when a 
tempest threatens. When the first whistling 
of the wind that announces the storm is 
heard, the girls and women cry : " Shut the 
doors quickly ! Listen to the Crierien, the 
whirlwind follows them ! " These Crierien 
are the shadows, the skeleton forms of ship- 
wrecked men, who, weary of being tossed to 
and fro in the stormy air, call earnestly for 
burial. At Guingamp, when the body of a 
drowned man cannot be found, a lighted taper 
!* fixed in a loaf of bread, which is then 
abandoned to the retreating current ; where 
the loaf stops, they expect to discover the 
body. 

No people are more superstitious than the 
Bretons in all that concerns the dead. In 
the district of St. Pol de Leon, if the in- 
habitants see a stranger treading on the 
graves in the churchyard, they call out : 
" Quitte a ha Jesse divan va anasun," literally : 
" Begone from above my dead ! " In the 
country round about Lesnaven they never 
sweep a house at night : not merely on account 
of the presumed services of the Buguel Nos, 
but because they believe that sweeping brings 
bad luck, and that the movement of the 
broom disturbs the dead who walk there. 
They say that on the eve of All Souls there 
are more dead assembled in every house 
than there are grains of sand on the sea- 
shore. To provide for their wants that night, 
they prepare quantities of pancakes. The 
presence of the unsepultured dead has its 
effect on the continuance of tempests. At 
Quimper they think that storms never sub- 
side till the bodies of those who have been 
drowned are cast on shore. On the chances 
of life and death, they believe that two 
ravens are attached to each house, and pre- 
dict the several issues. Birth and marriage 
have their superstitions as well as the closing 
scene. At Carnac, when a child is taken to 
be baptised, a bit of black bread is tied round 
its neck to prevent the spells that might 
otherwise be thrown upon it ; and at the 
christening festival a woman never allows 
her child to be handed across the table. 
For herself, when she leaves the church after ' 



marriage, it is the custom at the same place 
that she should be presented with a large 
branch of laurel, loaded with apples, and 
ornamented with ribbons ; at the end of the 
branch a live bird is fastened by a wedding 
favour, and on reaching the churchyard wall 
the ribbon is detached and the bird set at 
liberty. To remind a bride of her domestic 
duties, a distaff with some flax is presented 
to her on the same occasion, and she spins it 
off before she takes any share in the festivities 
of the day. At Scae'r two tapers are lighted at 
the moment the marriage ceremony ia ended : 
one of them is set before the husband, the 
other before the wife ; the taper that burns 
the palest, indicates which of the two is to 
die first. At Kerneval there is a very odd 
custom : the bride on the night of her wed- 
ding is supplied with nuts to amuse herself 
with during the hours of darkness ! While 
on the subject of marriage I may mention a 
very generally-received superstition which is 
not confined to Brittany. The choice of the 
fourth finger of the left hand for the wedding 
ring arose from the belief that a nerve pro- 
ceeded from it, which communicated directly 
with the heart. It was thought that the 
moment when the husband placed the ring 
on his bride's finger, was that which had the 
greatest influence on their after-lives. If 
the ring stopped on the finger before it 
reached the first joint, the wife would rule 
the roast ; but, if he passed it on at once to 
its right place the mastery remained with 
him. Some brides have been so impressed 
by this tradition that they have made it a 
point to crook their fourth finger at this 
part of the marriage ceremony, so that the 
ring shall stick in the way. 

In many parts of Brittany they keep a 
very watchful eye over the morals of the 
young women. The fountain of Bodilis, near 
Landividian, is famous as an ordeal to test 
propriety of conduct. The pin which fastens 
the habit-shirt is dropped into the water, 
and if it reaches the bottom with the point 
downwards, the girl is freed from all sus- 
picion ; if, on the contrary, it turns the other 
way and sinks head-foremost, her reputation 
is irretrievably damaged. The fountain of 
Baranton witnesses a more harmless experi- 
ment. It is one of those springs which boil 
up when a fragment of metal is thrown in, 
and the children are in the habit of gathering 
round its brink, and saying to it as they 
stoop over the water, "Smile, fountain of 
Baranton, and I will give you a pin ! " 
There is scarcely a fountain in Brittany that 
is not consecrated by some religious monu- 
ment. In times of great drought, the villagers 
go to them in procession to pray for rain. 
Such an occurrence took place as late as the 
month of August, eighteen hundred and 
thirty-five, when all the inhabitants of Kon- 
Kored (The Fairies' Valley), near Montfort, 
proceeded to a neighbouring fountain with 
banners and crosses, chanting canticles to 



4 [July 4. 1857.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[ConJucteJ by 



the music of the church-bells, and the curate, 
who headed the procession, blessed the spring, 
dipped in the holy-water brush, and sprinkled 
tlie water on the ground. What came of the 
ceremony is not recorded. 

Amongst the ordinary Breton superstitions, 
the following may be cited : He who eats 
the heart of an eel, warm from the body, is 
supposed to be at once endowed with the 
gift of prophecy. (If this were known on the 
turf, how many an eel-pieman might win the 
Derby !) A man whose hair curls naturally, 
is sure, they say, to be beloved by everybody 
(a very serviceable belief if the negroes could 
have, the benefit of it in the United States 
and elsewhere). Throughout Finistere the 
peasants make a point of not eating cabbage 
on Saint Stephen's day, because the proto- 
martyr is said to have concealed himself 
from his persecutoi-s in a field of cabbages. 
They suppo.se that if butter is offered to Saint 
Herve (whoever he may have been), their 
cattle are safe from wolves, because the saint, 
stricken with blindness, was once led about 
by a wolf: they also entertain the notion 
that foxes will never enter a henroost that 
is sprinkled with the water in which pig's 
chitterlings have been boiled ; but it is not 
set forth that any of the Breton saints were 
ever remarkably addicted to pig's chitter- 
lings, though, without doubt, some of them 
were. 

Divination, by all kinds of processes, is 
common in Brittany. It is accomplished 
by means of needles : Five-and-twenty 
new needles are put into a plate ; water 
is poured over them ; and, as many needles 
as cross each other, so many are the'diviner's 
enemies. To know how long a person will 
live, a fig-leaf is gathered, and the question 
asked is written with the finger upon it. If 
the leaf dries up quickly afterward, a 
speedy death ensues ; if slowly, then a 
long life. The mole, famous always for 
working in the dark, lends himself very much 
to the practice of divination, all sorts of sage 
conclusions being inferred from the aspect of 
his entrails. He is also considered in valuable 
as a remedy in many parts of France, where 
the use of the mole-fied hand (la main 
taupee), in which a live mole had been 
squeezed to death, is the medium resorted 
to : the slightest touch with this hand, while 
it is yet warm from contact with the animal, 
cures the toothache and also the colic. If the 
foot of a mole is wrapped in a laurel leaf 
and put into a horse's mouth, he imme- 
diately takes fright. There is a curious 
magnetic sympathy, apparently, between 
moles and horses, for if a black horse be 
sponged over with the water in which a mole 
has been boiled, the beast will immediately 
turn white. There is also an alleged sym- 
pathy between men and bees, and in some 
districts of Brittany it is believed that if the 
hard-working insects are not informed of the 
events which interest their masters, nothing 



goes right afterwards about the house. It 
is on this account that when any one in a 
family dies, the peasants fasten a bit of black 
cloth to the hive, or a bit of red if a marriage 
takes place. The French, as we know, are 
not first-rate sportsmen certain devices not 
commonly practised in England may there- 
fore be allowed them in the pursuit of game. 
Thus, in the Berrichon though George Sand 
says nothing about it some artful dodgers 
mix the juice of henbane with the blood of a 
leveret, and having anointed their gaiters 
therewith, expect that all the hares in the 
neighbourhood will be attracted towards the 
wearer of the gaiters. 

The kingfisher is held in great estimation 
in many parts of France, on account of cer- 
tain supposed qualities. It is considered to 
be a natural weathercock, which, when hung 
up by the beak, will turn its breast to the 
quarter whence the wind blows. The king- 
fisher is also said to be endowed with the 
precious gift of enriching its possessor, of 
preserving harmony in families, and of im- 
parting beauty to women who wear its 
feathers. The kingfisher's fame has travelled 
into Tartary, where the inhabitants almost 
adore the bird. They eagerly collect its 
plumage, and, throwing the feathers into a 
vase of water, preserve those that float, 
believing that it is quite sufficient for a 
woman to touch one of them to make her 
love the wearer. A Tartar, if he be fortu- 
nate enough to own a kingfisher, carefully 
preserves the beak, claws, and skin, when it 
dies, and puts them in a purse ; as long as 
he carries these relics on his person, he is 
secure against any misfortune. 

Some of the preceding superstitious have, 
probably, become merely traditional, and to 
the latter class we must assign the belief in 
the good traveller's walking-stick (le baton 
du bon voyageur), the wondrous properties of 
which, and the manner of its construction, 
are described as follows in the Secrets Mer- 
veilleux du Petit Albert : " Take," says the 
necromantic teacher, "a thick and straight 
branch of elder, and after extracting the 
pith, put a ferrule at one end. Then substi- 
tute for the pith the ej r es of a young wolf, 
the tongue and the heart of a dog, three green, 
lizards, and the hearts of three swallows, all 
of them reduced to powder by the heat of the 
sun" (a fragrant process) "between two 
papers sprinkled with saltpetre. On the top 
of this powder, place seven leaves of vervain, 
gathered on the eve of Saint John the Bap- 
tist, together with a stone of divers colours, 
which is found in the nest of the lapwing, 
and put whatever kind of knob to the stick 
that you fancy. You may then rest assured 
that this stick will not only preserve you 
from robbers, mad dogs, wild beasts, and dan- 
gers of all sorts, but also procure you a good 
supper and a night's lodging wherever you 
choose to stop." Such a walking-stick would 
have been of infinite service to the Galliciau 



. Dickens.] 



SUPERSTITIONS AND TRADITIONS. 



[July 4, For.] 5 



beggar, of whom the SieurBoguet (an old ac- 
quaintance of ours) tells a singular story in his 
Treatise on Sorcerers. This beggar was the ! 
proprietor of one of those Imps called the Cam- 
biou (or Devil's-brat) the natural child of! 
those two very agreeable demons, the Incubus : 
and the Succubus acreature of extraordinary j 
weight that always drains its nurses dry and 
never, by any chance, gets fat. The beggar, 
with the imp in his arms, made his appear- 
ance one day in a certain town in Gallicia, 
and seemed so much encumbered by his 
^charge, in endeavouring to ford a deep stream 
which ran through the place, that a gentleman 
on horseback, who was passing by, took com- 
passion on him and offered to convey the 
child across. He accordingly set it on his 
horse and plunged into the stream ; but the 
little demon was so heavy that the animal 
sank and the cavalier had to swim for his 
life. A short time afterwards, the beggar, 
who had run away on witnessing this catas- 
trophe was captured, and he acknowledged 
that the child was a Cambion, and had been 
very useful to him in his calling, and turned 
people's minds towards alms-givings. What 
became of the Cambion is not stated, but I 
believe the beggar was burnt. These heavy 
little devils are the same as the German 
"Wechselkinder, the changelings of the old 
English ballad. 

The mention of almsgiving recalls a some- 
what ludicrous story of modern date, where a 
most inopportune miracle was wrought. The 
well-known French missionary, Father Bri- 
daine, was always poor, for the simple reason 
that he gave away everything he had. One 
evening lie asked for a night's lodging of the 
curate of a village through which he passed, 
and the worthy man having only one bed, 
shared it with him. At daybreak Father 
Bridaine rose, according to custom, and went 
to say his prayers at the neighbouring church. 
Returning from this sacred duty he met a 
beggar, who asked an alms. " Alas, my 
friend, I have nothing ! " said the good 
priest, mechanically putting his hand in his 
breeches pocket, where, to his astonishment, 
he found something hard wrapped up in 
paper, which he knew he had not left there. 
He hastily opened the paper, and seeing four 
crowns in it, cried out that it was a miracle ! 
He gave the money to the beggar, and has- 
tened into the church to return thanks to 
God. The curate soon after arrived there, 
and Father Bridaine related the miracle with 
the greatest unction ; the curate turned pale, 
put his hand in his pocket, and in an instant 
perceived that Father Bridaine, in getting 
up in the dark, had taken the wrong pair of 
breeches ; he had performed a miracle with 
the curate's crowns ! 

At a period rather more remote, Saint 
Antide, Bishop of Besangon, was one day 
walking in the fields, when he met with a 
very thin, uly devii, who boasted to the 
bishop that he had just been committing 



some sad mischief in one of the churches at 
Rome. 

"Come here, you slave of Satan," ex- 
claimed Saint Antide, " and kneel down ! " 

The demon obeyed, placed himself on all- 
fours, and the saint, getting astride on his 
back, ordered him to fly off immediately to 
Rome. Arrived there, the bishop put every- 
thing to rights in the dilapidated church, and 
then returned to his diocese by the same 
conveyance : not forgetting, however, as he 
dismounted, to bestow a hearty kick on the 
demon, which sent him howling back to the 
unblissful regions. 

There are many similar stories related 
of demons who have been serviceable to 
mortal masters ; generally speaking, how- 
ever, against the grain. Of the most 
usual kind was the Familiar, who was 
always at hand. Bodin relates that about 
two years before lie published his De- 
monomania (4to, Paris, 1587), there was 
a nobleman at Villars-Costerets, who had 
one of these imps confined in a ring, 
which he had at his command, to do what he 
pleased with, and treat exactly like a slave ; 
having bought it at a very high price from a 
Spaniard. But, the nobleman, as commonly 
happened, came to grief through this Fami- 
liar, for the spirit was possessed with an in- 
vincible habit of telling lies, and on one occa- 
sion, being very much enraged, the nobleman 
threw his ring into the fire, thinking thereby* 
to burn the demon ; it was, however, the 
creature's native element, it released him 
from thraldom, and the demon thereupon, 
tormented his former master, until he drove 
him mad. The witch's Familiar was almost 
invariably a toad, but a frog was made to 
figure in that capacity only a few years ago 
with very fatal consequences. The history of 
the occurrence is a sad example of the effects 
of superstitious fear. It happened in the 
commune of Bussy-en-Oth, in the department 
of the Aube, in France, in the year eighteen 
hundred and forty-one. A young man of that 
village had been passing the day enjoying the 
very French amusement of fishing for frogs. 
He had caught a great many, and placed 
them alive in a bag. On his way home he 
saw a peasant walking slowly on the road 
before him, the large half-open pocket of 
whose waistcoat invited the fisherman to 
the perpetration of a practical joke. Ac- 
cordingly, as he passed the peasant, he 
managed, unperceived, to slip one of the 
frogs into his pocket. The peasant unsus- 
pectingly walked on, reached his cottage, 
and, tired with the labours of the da} 7 , soon 
afterwards went to rest, throwing his clothes 
as usual on his bed. In the middle of the 
night, Jacquemin that was the peasant's 
name was awakened by feeling something 
cold crawling over his face, and uttering 
indistinct cries ; it was, of course, the frog 
that had crept out of Jacquemin's pocket, and 
had paused on its journey to croak. Jacque- 



4. 18*7-] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



min, who was of an exceedingly timorous 
nature, lay as still as death till his nocturnal 
visitor departed, nothing doubting that he 
Lad been visited by a spirit. 

The man's character for simplicity was so 
generally known that people were always 
playing tricks upon him, and on the very 
next morning after the preceding visitation 
one of his friends came into his cott;igo, 
and told him that his old uncle, who fired 
at Sens, had just died, and advised him to 
set oft' and claim his share of the inheritance. 
Jacquemin, on hearing this news, made no 
more ado, but at once set out with his wife 
for Sens, distant eight leagues from where 
he lived. Arrived at the house of the sup- 
posed deceased, the first person he saw was 
his uncle sitting in his arm-chair. Any- 
body else would have perceived that he had 
been duped, but this poor fellow, firmly 
believing that his uncle was dead, was seized 
with sudden terror, and dragging his wife 
out of the house, set off again to Bussy, 
without giving time for a word of explana- 
tion. In the meantime the frog had not 
abandoned his cottage, but had taken refuge 
in a hole in the flooring, from whence, 
every now and then it uttered dismal croaks. 
Jacquemin, convinced that he had seen his 
uncle's ghost, fancied that these noises were 
made by the spirit, and the agony he un- 
derwent became insupportable. A prey to the 
direst fear, Jacquemin, at last, hung himself 
one morning in his hayloft. On the follow- 
ing day, his wife, despairing for the loss of 
her husband, threw herself into a pond, and 
was found drowned, a double suicide caused 
by an imbecile superstition. 



MEANING ME, SIR ? 

IT is not only Scrub, in the comedy, who says, 
" I believe they talked of me, for they laughed 
constiHiedly." Scrub in the club says the 
same ; and in the drawing-room ; ay, and in 
the church. There is nowhere where Scrub 



confer on her the inestimable honour of bear- 
ing his name. A happy escape for Eve's 
daughter, as you will find if you peruse the 
following lines, which I hope will be seri- 
ously laid to heart by any of her numerous 
sisters who are about to marry Scrubs. 

Delamour Wormwood, the chief of this 
distinguished family, was engaged to Phillis 
Daisy field, with his own entire approbation. 
She was the gentlest and simplest of her sex ; 
very beautiful and very young ; never 
laughed unnecessarily, though she had the 
reddest lips and whitest teeth in the world ; 
and, therefore, Delamour never suspected she 
was talking disrespectfully of him. And, 
indeed, she was so tender-hearted, and so 
modest, and believing, she never spoke dis- 
respectfully of anybody. She thought Dela- 
mour very handsome, and in this she was not 
altogether mistaken; she believed a great 
part of the vows of attachment he made to 
her, and in this she was ridiculously wrong, 
for among the vows was one of complete 
confidence and unbounded trust. As he said 
the words he watched tlie expression of her 
face, 

" You don't believe me," he said. 
" Oh, yes, I do. What interest can you 
have in saying so, if you don't feel so 1 " 

" But your eyes are inexpressive, your 
mouth is closed, your cheeks are neither 
flushed nor pale. I should like to see you 
more agitated." 

" Oh, so I should be," said the innocent 
Phillis, " if I did not believe you. But as 
it is, why should I change my ordinary 
looks ? " 

" Well, there may be something in that," 
said Delamour ; but, still he was not perfectly 
pleased with the gentle Phillis's self-posses- 
sion. 

Phillis lived with her aunt at Thistledale, 
in Hertfordshire, and had only a brother who 
could have any right to interfere with her 
proceedings. He was a gallant lieutenant in 
the Blazing Hussars, and was stationed so far 



isn't perpetually on the watch, for the faint- away that it had not been thought worth 



eat sound of laughter, in order to show his 
logical sharpness and prove that he, Scrub, is 
the subject of conversation. Nor does it 
need laughter to attract his notice. Hissing 
would do just as well. Even silence has its 
Btings. " They must be thinking of me," he 
thinks, " they say so little." " They must be 
trying to spite me, they look so happy." 
" She must be utterly forgetful of me, she 
smiles so sweetly." Scrub, in short, is a dis- 
gusting fellow, whom all of us meet fifty 
times a day apt to take offence at imaginary 
neglect, attributing false motives to the most 
reasonable actions ; egotistic, exacting, self- 
tormenting a prose Othello, whose lago is 
his own insufferable vanity, which makes him 
the victim of jealousy and suspicion, and 
who is only prevented from having a real 
Desdemona by never havi-.ig had manly con- 
fidence enough in any of Eve's daughters to 



while to ask his consent to his sister's becom- 
ing Mrs. Wormwood. Besides, he was soon 
coming home, and the wedding was not in- 
tended for at least a year. 

Delamour, radiant with delight, got into- 
the railway-carriage to visit Mrs. Ogleton. 
This was the name of Phillis's aunt ; and as- 
the train stopped at Neddithorpe, the enrap- 
tured lover stepped upon the platform and 
ordered a fly for Thistledale. While he 
waited for the vehicle, he walked to and 
fro in deep meditation on his own perfec- 
tions, and took no notice of two other gentle- 
men who had apparently arrived by the same 
train : two pleasant-visaged, loud-voiced, 
military-looking men, swinging their canes 
or switching their lower integuments, as is 
the habit of English cavaliers. 

" Ha, ha ! " laughed one, continuing a con- 
versation which had been interrupted by the 



Charles 



MEANING ME, SIR ? 



[July 4, 13->7.] 7 



arrival ; " I never saw such a spoony-looking 
snob in all my life." 

" A regular pump," replied the other. 

Delamour's attention was attracted. 
" Spoony ! " he thought, " snob pump ! 
What are the fellows talking of? " 

"And yet I believe the booby thinks he 
has made a conquest of one of tiie prettiest 
girls in Herts ! " continued the first speaker. 
To wbich the other, who was not eloquent, 
said only, " Ha, ha ! what a muff ! " 

" Oh, by George, this won't do," thought 
Delaruour. " I'll let the puppies know I 
overhear them." So saying, he coughed so loud 
a cough that it sounded something like a crow 
of detiance, and looked at the vinconscious 
speakers as if he wished to assault them 
on the spot. A policeman, however, came 
out from the booking-office and changed the 
current of his thoughts. 

" I advise you to be on your guard, gentle- 
men," said the policeman addressing the two 
young men who had excited Delamour's 
wrath ; " one of the London swell-mob came 
by the last train, and is perhaps lurking 
about still." 

The friends instinctively looked at the only 
other person on the platform ; but, seeing 
only a very good-looking, well-dressed gen- 
tleman, they resumed their conversation, 
after thanking the policeman for his warning. 
The look was not thrown away on the irri- 
tated Delamour. He vented his rage on 
the policeman. 

"Why didn't you give the notice also to 
me ? " he inquired in a very bitter tone. " I 
believe," he added when the two companions 
had come within ear-shot, " that the swell- 
mob frequently go in couples," so saying he 
fixed his ferocious eyes on the countenances 
of the friends, " and generally pretend to be 
military men." 

" You seem to be up to their dodges pretty 
well," said the guardian of the laws, who was 
offended at the tone and manner of Worm- 
wood's address. " You can, perhaps, be on 
your guard against them, without telling, as 
you're so up to their tricks." And pulling 
from his breast-pocket a half sheet of paper, 
he began to read it with great attention, 
casting angry glances from time to time on 
the indignant Delamour. His patience could 
stand it no longer. He went up to the man 
and said, " You insolent caitiff ! How dare 
you insult me by such conduct ? How dare 
you think me a thief I " 

" I don't, sir, leastways, I never told you 
so ; " said the man, amazed. 

" Arn't you reading a description of a 
swell-mob man, in that extract from the Hue 
and Cry 1 " continued Delamour, " measuring 
my features, noting the colour of my eyes, 
the length of my hair 1 I will report you to 
your superiors you shall be turned out of 
your corps if it costs me a thousand 
pounds " 

" I say, saw, what has the man done 1 " 



said one of the gentlemen, arrested by the 
noise. 

"Copying the example of gross impertinence 
set him by you and your friend," replied 
Wormwood. 

The fine manner of the gay stranger in- 
stantly disappeared. He spoke plainly, and 
like a man. " You are either under a great 
mistake," he said, " or are desirous of picking 
a quarrel with people who never offended 
you. I desire to know what is the meaning 
of your language." 

" Didn't you call me a pump, a few minutes 
ago, a spoony snob, a muft' ? " 

" I hadn't the honour of being aware of 
such an individual's existence," replied the 
gentleman, "and certainly never honoured 
you by making you the subject of my conver- 
sation." 

" Then I'm exceedingly sorry if, in the 
heat of the moment " 

"There is no need of sorrow," said the 
stranger, smiling, " and still less for heat. I 
should be inclined to be more exacting if I 
thought you were a gentleman ; but, after 
your altercation with the policeman, I take 
no notice of what you say. Good morning." 

" Here's the paper I was reading, sir," 
said the policeman, " my instructions for the 
luggage- van by next train. And now what 
have you got to say ? " 

Delamour wjis in such fierce wrath at the 
two young officers who had just stepped into 
their fly, that he could say nothing to the 
triumphant constable. 

" Who are those vulgar fellows in the car- 
riage 1 " he cried, hoping to be overheard by 
the objects of his question. " If I knew the 
coxcombs' names, they should answer for 
their behaviour." 

" They're Captain Harleigh and another 
officer of the Queen's Blazers. You can 
find 'em at the barracks, easy," said the 
policeman, with a malicious grin. " But I 
advise you to be quiet if you want to keep 
a whole bone in your body." 

Delamour gulped the information, and the 
insult. The name of the Queen's Blazers 
had struck him dumb. Phillis's brother was 
a lieutenant in that ferocious regiment, and 
if he was told of his absurd behaviour, of his 
quickness in taking offence, his ungovernable 
temper, what would he say ? In perfect 
silence he took his seat in the fly when it 
drew up, and placed half-a-sovereign in the 
policeman's hand. With a cautious look to 
see that his inspector was not on the watch, 
the policeman pocketed the money, and said, 
as the fly moved off, " Don't be afraid. I 
won't tell the captain where you be gone, or 
you'd get as good a kicking as e'er you had 
in your life." 

If a look could have strangled the good- 
natured policeman, B 30 would have been a 
dead man. As ib was, it was a murderous 
glance thrown away, and Delamour pursued 
his way through country lanes and wreathing 



8 



>' 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conctnctrd 



hedgerows, towards the residence of his So saying she threw away the crook and took 
ch.'irining Phillis. the wreath from her little straw-hat; "and 

\V hen he arrived at the Hall, he expected now," she continued, taking his arm and 
to find her on the lawii. "When he was turning homeward, "I will be as steady and 
ushered into the house, he expected to find sensible as you please. Let us go in and see 
her in the drawing-room. Mrs. Ogleton had my aunt." 

gone out, he was told, and Miss Phillis also ; Delamour brooded over the previous part 
but they had both left word they would soon - of the conversation. He didn't like the allu- 
be back. j sion to Strephon, nor the rapture about pipes 

' Was I expected at this hour, do you and singing. 



know ? " said Delamour to the footman. 
That functionary was new to the establish- 



ment, and was not acquainted with Mr. 



Wormwood's person. 

" Didn't a letter come this morning 
post ? " he inquired ; " from London pink 
envelope red seal coat of arms ? " 



" The girl can't be altogether devoted to 
me, or she wouldn't talk such nonsense about 
dancing with shepherds on the grass. I am 



" Yes," replied the man ; " from the hair- 
dresser wasn't it ? " he inquired, a little 
doubtful, but not very, as to whether Mr. 
Truefit's representative stood before him. 

" What do you mean ? " exclaimed Dela- 



no shepherd, and she knows that very well." 
by | The aunt received them at the door. 

"The post," she said to Phillis, "has just 
brought me a letter from your brother. He 



mour, " you insulting scoundrel ! I'm Mr. 



Wormwood, and wrote to announce 
arrival." 



" I humbly beg your pardon, sir ; but Miss 
Pliillis didn't mention nobody but the barber, 
and of course, sir, you see but I'm very 
sorry, I assure you, sir, and I hope you won't 
allude to the mistake." 

Delamour left the house and pursued his 
way through the park. At the side of an 
ornamental sheet of water, beyond a rising 
knoll, he saw his adored Phillis. She had a 
crook in her hand and a round hat on her 
head, tastefully ornamented with flowers of 
her own gathering. A close-fitting dress 
revealed the matchless symmetry of her 



my at once ! " 

"He promises to be here to-morrow," said 



has been unexpectedly ordered to join his 
head-quarters, at Neddithorpe, and arrived 
there last night." 

" Oh ! 
Phillis. 
come to see us 1 Oh ! let us go to see him 



I'm so delighted ! " exclaimed 
Dear Edward ! when does he 



Mrs. Ogleton in a cold tone, " and I should 
like to see Mr. Wormwood for a few minutes 
alone." 

Mr. Wormwood had just resolved to ask 
Phillis why she was in such rapture about 
the return of her brother. Wasn't he, her 
lover, by her side 1 and yet she wished to 
start away from him ! But he followed Mrs. 
Ogleton into the drawing-room, and Phillis 
saw, there was something wrong, but could 
not tell what. 

" The letter from Edward Daisyfield," 
began the lady, " is exceedingly unpleasant. 



re; her petticoats were very short, and | He tells me that he has long promised the 



her feet the smallest and prettiest in the 
world. The shepherdess smiled when she 
saw her lover, and blushed at being detected 
in her festival attire. 

" It is so pleasant to watch the sheep ! " she 
paid. " Oh ! how I wish I had lived in the 
days of rustic simplicities, when everybody 
was so kind and innocent. It must have 
been charming to fold in the flock when the 
hot sun began to descend, and then to assem- 
ble for a dance upon the grass no etiquette, 
no drawing-room false refinement." 

"And Strephon ?" inquired Delamour with 
a cloud beginning to darken his brow. 

" Oh ! he would have been some gentle 
villager, some neighbouring farmer's son, 
soft-voiced and musical ; for, of course, he 
would have sung, and played delightfully on 
his oaten reed." 

" You know, I suppose, Miss Daisyfield, 
that I neither play nor sing ; and, to tell _you 
the truth, 
either.* 1 



I despise any one who does 



" But I am only painting a fancy scene," 
replied Phillis, alarmed at the sharpness of 
his tone. "You didn't think I was iserious, 
Delamour ? I was a kind of actress for the 
lime, and thought I would speak in character." 



hand of his sister to one of his brother officers, 
and he has received with great disapprobation 
my announcement of your engagement." 

" Indeed ? " said Delamour, " and why ? 
What has he or any popinjay in the Blazers 
to say against me ? " 

" Oh, nothing against you," replied the 
lady ; " for he never heard of you before. 
All he says is, he prefers Captain Belford, and 
refuses his consent to your suit." 

"And does Phillis agree with him?" 
inquired Mr. Wormwood. 

" I have this moment got the letter," 
replied the lady, "and she knows nothing 
about it. I have given my approval, you are 
aware, Mr. Wormwood ; but the decision, I 
suppose, will lie with Phillis herself." 

"It is a little too late, I should think, to 
make it a matter of choice," said Delamour 
bitterly. " I have announced my approaching 
marriage to all my friends, and I won't be 
made a fool of, by either brother or sister. 
Why, the world would laugh at me, and I 
am not a man to be laughed at with 
impunity." 

" I never heard of Captain Belford," said 
Phillis, when she was informed of her bro- 
ther's epistle. " I will have nothing to say 



Dliorles Jlicier.t.] 



DISINFECTANTS. 



(.July 4. 1357.] 



to him, and I'm sure, Edward only requires 
to know you as well as I do, to see that I 
can never be happy with any one else." 

" Dearest girl ! you make me happier than 
ever I was before." 

" You are always so kind and trusting " 
continued Phillis, and Delamour looked 
searchiugly in her face 

" You are so eeuerous and open and unsus- 
picious " 

A cloud darkened on the lover's brow 

" And I'm sure you'll be great friends with 
Edward, and indeed with all the Blazers, for 
he says they are the most gentlemanly fellows 
in the world. It will be so pleasant when he 
brings some of them here ! " 

" I trust lie won't, for a more disgusting set 

of snobs and puppies but, pray, excuse 

me, dearest Phillis, your assurance of affec- 
tion is all I require, and I laugh at the 
pretentious of a whole regiment of Belfords ; 
so let them come whenever they like." 

He was delighted with the transparent 
truth and simplicity of his artless Phillis, 
and took his way to London more satisfied 
with her (and himself) than ever. But on 
reflection and he took three days at least to 
reflect he perceived, that he must come to 
an understanding with his rival. 

It was necessary for his self-respect that he 
should show that gentleman how thoroughly 
he despised him, and accordingly he wrote 
an insulting letter to the distinguished Bla- 
zer, and was about to send it to the post, 
when his servant entered with a card, and 
said, '' the gentleman is in the hall." 

Delamour looked at the card, and saw 
printed thereon the name of " Captain Bel- 
ford." 

" Show him in," he said, and prepared for 
battle. There was no battle in the face or 
manner of his visitor, however. Fair, honest, 
happy-looking, as becomes perfect health 
and three-aud-twenty years of age, the 
captain smiled graciously as he entered. 

" You are surprised to see me here, Mr. 
Wormwood," he said ; " but the fact is, I 
think it right to come to an explanation." 

"Exactly what I wished, sir," said Dela- 
mour, biting his lips. 

."My friend, Ned Daisyfield," he con- 
tinued, "is too flattering in his estimate 
of my merits. He wished me, of 
course, you know, to offer my hand to his 
sister. He introduced me to her two days 
ago. A charming girl, I confess very pure, 
very beautiful, and as her aunt is rich, I 
believe, an heiress, if she pleases the old 
lady in the choice of a husband. I dare 
say time and assiduity, with the favour of 
her brother, might enable me to make an 
impression on her heart ; but I am not 
going to try I resign all claim into your 



his surprise, the visitor was gone. " Before 
I had time to call him to order for his 
behaviour at Neddithorpe, for he is Harleigh's 
companion," he muttered ; " and yet he is 
a fine fellow open noble and very hand- 
some. Why has he surrendered his chance 
of Phillis ? He admires her beauty, her 
character, and knows she is to have a 

fortune How kind ! But is it not rather 

strange ? Why is he so absurdly friendly ? 
Ah ! " And here for an hour he sank into a 
he have heard any- 
Is there a vulgar 



tit of musing. " Can 
thing about Phillis ? 



Strephon after all, with his disgusting pipe 1 
I don't like this." And he smiled as he 
went out perhaps he laughed when he 
reached the street. " He rejects her. There 
must be a reason" And here he mused 



.At the end of three hours' meditation, he 
packed up all his traps, supplied himself with 
circular notes, took out his passport, and 
went, sulking, gloomy, and quarrelling, 
through France and Italy for three years. 
At the end of that time he came home. 
On landing at Southampton he saw a face 
he knew. Curiosity as to what had be- 
come of Phillis, induced him to speak. He 
went up and held out his hand. " Captain 
Belford," he said. " I fear you have for- 
gotten me." 

" Oh, not at all," replied the gentleman ; 
"you are Mr. Wormwood, but I am not 
Captain Belford; I am Ned Daisyfield, Phillis's 
brother. I called on you, and pretended to 
be Belford ; it was only to try you, for Phillis 
had written you were of a sour, suspicious 
disposition ; but she didn't wish to offend 
her aunt, who supported your cause. The 
bait took. You thought something must be 
wrong, some trick intended against your- 
self, and gave poor Phillis up, without 
condescending to assign any reason. Charley 
Belford stept in. In a fortnight Phillis was 
quite reconciled to my choice. They 



have 
-and 



been married more than two years- 

I have the honour to wish you a remarkably 

good day." 

DISINFECTANTS. 



AFTER all, in many of our modern social im- 
provements, we do but go back to the wisdom 
of our ancestors : we do not deserve the whole 
merit of invention. In certain sanitary prac- 
tices, for instance, the ancients were farther 
advanced than we are at present infinitely 
farther than we have been until quite lately. 
Take the questions of ventilation and disin- 
fection, as treated of in Dr. Angus Smith's 
careful and comprehensive paper, published in 
the Journal of the Society of Arts ; and let us 
see how far we have gone beyond or lagged 



hands, and trust sincerely you will make [ behind the sanitary expedients which were 
her happy, for no one can deserve it more. I fashionable when the Pyramids were being 
Good morning." ! built, and Penelope was weaving her bevvil- 

Before Delamour could recover from j dering web ; or, later, when Coustantine sat 



1 [July 4. is-.! 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



on the throne of the she-wolf's sons, and the 
greatest empire that the world has ever seen 



was beginning to break beneath its own 
enormous weight. 

In mi early period of the eastern empire 
the Justinian code provided for the complete 
ventilation of the fine new city of Constanti- 
nople, by ordering that no one should stop 
the view, in any manner, of the windows 
looking towards the sea, and that the mini- 
mum width of the streets should not be less 
than twelve feet. In Rome, the minimum 
was five feet a law which the authorities 
were not able to improve, owing to the land- 
lords, whose private vested interests jostled 
public advantage out of the way. But, the 
perfect sewerage of Koine, being one of the 
most important disinfecting conditions of a 
city, made up for this want of afreer circulation 
of air. Her cloacae are marvels to the present 
day, and the duty of keeping them cleansed 
and in good repair was a grave state matter, 
delegated to the prastor as one of his most 
important functions. Jerusalem even had 
her streets swept daily, though in no time 
has the Hebrew been remarkable for a fana- 
tical attention to cleanliness, either of person 
or of dwelling. But, the world went back in 



kreosote, using this last also for skin diseases 
in cattle, for which it has been found valu- 
able. Another mode of using kreosote may 
be seen in the circumstance that hams were 
hung up on the roof, and apparently smoked. 
Sulphur was one of the most valued disin- 
fectants iu Greece and Italy. When Ulysses 
killed the suitors, after putting matters in 
order, he called for sulphur to sulphurise the 
place by burning the sulphur, and so causing 
acid fumigations. It was also a sacred 
method of purification, and its name in Greek 
signifies divine. It was burnt in lustrations, 
as a religious ceremony ; and the shepherds 
yearly purified their nocks with it. The 
Italians have re-discovered its use in their 
vineyards, as a cure for the oidium at least, 
as a check and preventive, if not wholly a 
cure. Bitters, also, were used to preserve 
new wines, much in the same way as we use 
hops. Honey, again, for purposes where we 
use sugar, and sometimes for preserving spe- 
cimens, as we would now employ spirits of 
wine. Thus, a centaur which was born in 
Thessaly, but which, unfortunately for man- 
kind, died the day after its birth, was sent, 
preserved in honey, to a museum in Egypt. 
That centaur would be worth finding, in this 



this common sense of the streets ; and, in age of the Feejee mermaid and the woolly 
spite of the example and experience of the horse. Fire was another great purifier. In. 
past, it was only in the twelfth century that times of plague or general distemper, fire, 
the first pavements were laid, by Philip accompanied with perfumes, flowers, vinegar, 
Augustus, in Paris. Heaven knows how long j aromatic substances, pepper, mustard, &c., 
the mother-city of la belle France would i was used in the streets as a disinfectant. We 
have yet remained ungarmshed with paving- have all read of its value in our own Great 
stones, had not the royal nose been one day i Plague. But, in ancient times purification by 
unpleasantly assaulted during a ride taken ' fire had a literal as well as a moral sense, and 
through the streets ; when the filth stirred meant something more real and living than 
up by the hoofs of the cavalcade bore such j what the same words mean used now as a 
pungent evidence to the need of improve- mere forgotten sign. Water waa also much 
ment that a ray of light penetrated the ' relied on as a means of purification ; and our 
kingly brain, and pavements were the result, far-away progenitors knew how to check 
Yet matters went on so slowly, even after ' epidemic disease by closing the windows 
this initiation, that so late as last century looking towards the infected quarter, and 



there was a riot in Paris because of the accu- 
mulation of filth and refuse in certain quar- 
ters, which the authorities did not care to 
remove. Things are mending now ; and 
Paris, with her streets washed and brushed 
every day, like a dainty lady's face, is one of 
the cleanest, if one of the least efficiently 
drained, cities of the civilised world ; while 
London is fidgetting so feverishly over her 
sanitary short-comings, that surely all must 
soon be put to rights there, from the great 
central river sewer to the smallest drains of 
the outcast courts. 

But our business is with positive rather 
than with r lative disinfectants. Besides ven- 



tilation and 



sewerage 



the ancients knew 



various chemical agents of purification which 
we have i-e-discovered in quite late times. 
The natron or nitre, with which the Egyp- 
tians washed the bodies they were about to 
embalm, was our modern caustic soda ; their 



opening those with the contrary aspect. They 
knew, also, the use of anaesthetics, and could 
perform painless extraction of teeth by means 
of white hellebore. In the fifteenth century, 
too, Philip Bersaldo speaks of amputation 
without pain as an idea and practice of 
common use. This, though beside the general 
purport of our paper, is a fact too curious to 
be omitted. 

The modern history of disinfectants began 
in the seventeenth century ; but it was only 
in seventeen hundred and thirty-two that 
Dr. Petit made the first notable experiment 
in antiseptics ; using small pieces of mutton 
to try how long each special antiseptic pre- 
served a piece untainted. His conclusions 
were, that astringents were the best, their 
action being similar to that of drying. Sir 
John Pringle followed in the same track. 
His antiseptic panaceas were salts, and the 
astringent gummy and resinous parts of vege- 



oil of cedar was turpentine ; they distilled tables and fermenting liquors. Dr. Mac- 
both pitch and tar, and cured toothache with bride, after him, speaks of acids as the long- 



Charles Dickens.] 



DISINFECTANTS. 



[July 4, 1357-] 11 



prescribed antiseptic agents ; even when con- 
siderably diluted, still powerful. He adds 
the following substances to his list. Alkalies 
and salts ; gum-resins, such as myrrh-assa- 
foetida, aloes, and terra japonica ; decoctions 
of Virginian snake-root, pepper, ginger, 
saffron, sage, mint, contrayerva root, valerian, 
rhubarb, angelica, senna, common worm-' 
wood ; and to some extent, mustard, celery, 
carrots, turnips, garlic, onions, cabbage, cole- 
wort, and horseradish. Lime, he says, pre- 
vents, but does not remove putrefaction ; 
while astringent mineral acids, and ardent 
spirits, " not only absorb the matter from the 
putrescent substance, but likewise crisp up 
its fibres, and thereby render it so hard and 
durable, that no change of combination will 
take place for many years." Molasses closes 
this list of Dr. Macbride, drawn out in the 
latter half of the eighteenth century. In 
seventeen hundred and seventy-three, Guyton 
Morveau proposed fumigating hospitals with 
muriatic acid vapours ; and in seventeen 
hundred and eighty, Dr. Carmichael Smyth 
used nitrous fumes at Winchester, and in the 
Fleet, without giving the French chymist the 
credit of that rediscovery of antique wisdom, 
namely, acid fumigation. Parliament, in 
eighteen hundred and two, voted five thou- 
sand pounds to Dr. Smyth ; and poor Guy- 
ton Morveau was horribly disgusted, both at 
the theft and its unjust reward. As well he 
might be. In seventeen hundred and seventy- 
one and seventeen hundred and seventy-two, 
Fourcroy discovered the properties of chlorine 
as a fumigating agent ; and Dr. Cruikshank 
introduced the application of it to us in 
England. " All these acids," says Dr. Angus 
Smith, " are very violent, and fitted only for 
extreme cases, which ought not to be allowed 
to occur. Chlorine may be excepted ; it may 
be used with advantage in minute quantities, 
at least for a limited period. When applied to 
centres of putridity, the great objection to it 
is, that it destroys the ammonia, sending 
off the nitrogen as a not very pure gas*. 
It soon acquires much moisture, loses its 
power, and gives a very unpleasant odour to 
the hand when touched. Its destruction of 
manures is, however, the principal objection 
to it." 

" Chlorine acts by uniting with hydrogen, 
acids by uniting with the compounds of 
hydrogen water and ammonia. Chlorine 
decomposes the sulphur and phosphorous com- 
pounds of hydrogen. It will even dissolve 
a piece of flesh, so as to form a transparent 
liquid." 

Oxygen has a double action : the first is to 
cause putrefaction, the second oxidation or 
disinfection. In soldering preserved meats 
in air-tight vessels, not a trace of air must be 
left behind ; and one bubble of oxygen in 
grape-juice ready to ferment, will originate 
that process through the whole quantity. 
Hildeubrand found that meat in a vessel of 
oxygen, putrified in eleven hours. Sweeny 



preserved meat in water by first boiling out 
the air, cooling it, covering it with a stratum 
of oil to keep out the air, and adding iron 
filings to absorb what might have been 
allowed to enter. Meat preserved thus 
remained sweet seven months. Leuch added 
a covering of oil also, but used unboiled 
water and sulphur, instead of iron. His 
process kept the meat sweet for only two 
months. The Damaras of South Africa cut 
their meat into strips, and dry it in the sun ; 
for simple dryness arrests decay and prevents 
infection. So does intense cold. As for the 
first method, Dr. Henry disinfected the 
clothes of fever patients by baking them. 
But to return to our oxygen. 

" Air being the initial cause of putrefac- 
tion," we are quoting Dr. Smith, " it would 
seem strange to class it among disinfectants, 
but in some respects it is the greatest of all. 
Its first action is mechanical, as in natural 
or artificial ventilation. It is known that 
the worst plagues have arisen in great calms ; 
crowded rooms and unchanged air increase 
almost every disease, whilst ventilation has 
a contrary effect. The action of the air on 
putrid matter is too slow for many of the 
wants of civilisation, and hence the need of 
an artificial disinfectant. But, Nature her- 
self has a mode of hastening it by giving an 
increased power to it under the influence of 
porous bodies. The porous body most in use 
is the soil, which is a powerful disinfecting 
agent : so much so that putrid matter, when 
completely absorbed by it, unless in exces- 
sive quantities, entirely loses its smell, and 
water drained from the soil at a sufficient 
depth is found to have lost all its organic 
matter ; so thoroughly has it been disinfected. 
In doing this, oxygen is absorbed ; and it 
will be found that water containing decom- 
posing organic matter, has its oxygen re- 
moved, serving frequently as a useful index 
to the state of the decompositions going for- 
ward." 

The soil, by virtue of its porosity, presses 
gases into smaller space than they occupy 
under ordinary atmospheric pressure, and 
thus mechanically compels combination. But 
for this power, the soil of towns would be 
one mass of corruption ; whereas, the water 
from the soil of towns is much valued, 
even when too impure for drinking. " This 
is caused by the formation of nitric acid, 
which is the result of purification, and not 
only so, but a reservoir of air or oxygen, 
wherewith to purify still more." This puri- 
fying power of percolation is the reason why 
the Thames " is not intolerable ;" were it not 
for this, that river would indeed be the great 
River of Death to London. The reason, also, 
why charcoal is so valuable as a disinfecting 
agent, is, that being one of the most porous 
bodies, it absorbs impure gases and oxidises 
them. But, it does not preserve organic sub- 
stances. Mr. Condy lias applied condensed 
oxygen as a disinfecting agt:nt, and French 



12 [July 1,:,. 71 



HOUSEHOLD WOEDS. 



[Conducted by 



a&atorui&ta have begun to use sulpliate of 
soda tor the same purpose, with success, 
especially when mixed with kreosote. Alka- 
line salts are rather antiseptic than disin- 
fectant ; metallic salts are disinfectant. Lead, 
;'.i>fiiie, mercury (as corrosive sublimate), are 
singularly useful. Sulphate of iron, too, has 
wonderful disinfecting properties, "as wonder- 
ful as it used to have when it figured in the 
world as the powder of sympathy." Cay- 
Lussac aud Mr. Young recommend the 
chloride of manganese, " the waste product 
of the manufacture of chlorine ;" but Dr. 
Smith shows that this is a harmful and 
dangerous application, substituting chloride 
of zinc as one of the best disinfecting salts 
known. But, we must give a word to his 
own discovery the disinfecting agent known 
as McDougall's Disinfecting Powder. 

Finding that magnesia was the best base 
to use in the disinfection of manures, as 
the only one which gave an insoluble animo- 
uiacal salt, and preserved the ammonia at 
the same time ; finding, also, that of all acids 
sulphur was the best, equal at least iu power 
to chlorine, without the destructive property 
of chlorine namely, the decomposing of 
ammonia Dr. Smith combined magnesia and 
sulphurous acid, and found the effect as a 
disinfecting and deodorising agent as efficient 
as he could desire, save iu one particular a 
slight remaining smell. He therefore added 
to the sulphite about five per cent, of phenic 
acid (got from coal-tar), and with these com- 
binations obtained a perfect disinfecting 
powder. It has been tried at the Manchester 
cavalry barracks, sprinkled on the floor of 
the stable, with the bedding laid over it ; it 
was used on board the transport-ships carry- 
ing troop horses to the Crimea ; and it has 
been found specially valuable in certain large 
stables of private owners. 

In consequence of powdering the floor with it 
almost daily, the manure becomes thoroughly mixed 
with the disinfectant. The results are remarkable. 
The manure does not heat or ferment, as in other 
cases, so that there is no fear of loss by ammoniacal 
gas:, or by putrid vapours. The liquid which flows 
from it is without smell. From the arrest of decay, 
flics do not come around it in numbers, and the horses 
also are preserved from flics, a state which has a very 
favourable effect upon them. Mr. Murray, who has 
always four or iive dozen of the most valuable horses 
on hand, says that headache has disappeared from his 
stables; and of lung disease, which was formerly com- 
mon, he has not had an instance. The horses are 
healthier and in better spirits, whilst a good deal of 
straw is saved. They breathe air without either 
ammonia, which hurts the eyes of those who enter, or 
of putrid matter; the whiteness of the powder makes 
the stable appear as if constantly newly whitewashed. 
A curious circumstance is said by most of those who 
use it to occur. The stable is cooler, not only to the 
feeling, r.s we might suppose, by removing animal 
matter, but to the thermometer. I have not made 
the observations myself, but they are to be relied on, 
and to the feeling the change is distinct. The removal 
of heat I ascribe to the fact that the animal matter has 



censed to oxidise. The slow combustion or putre- 
faction produces heat in the manure, probably also iu 
the atmosphere itself, where the vapours are mixed 
with the oxygen. The oxidation and putrefaction are 
simultaneously arrested. It might be said that since 
decomposition is arrested, the manure is made unlit 
for plants ; besides, it is known that liquids from tar 
jiut a stop to vegetable life as they do to animal. But 
Mr. Murray found that after having sold his manure 
of one year with the powder in it, he was offered 
double for it next year. It is therefore established 
that a just medium has been attained, the preservation 
of the manure on one side, and the health of the plant 
on the other. 

The great object to be attained is the 
disinfection of town sewage. Last year the 
little town of Leek was attacked by an 
epidemic. A council of medical men decided 
on trying this McDougall's disinfecting 
powder. It was tried, and the following are 
the results communicated by Mr. Dale, town 
surveyor. 

Its use was most efficient in staying the plague ; 
never was the intimate connection between foul cess- 
pools, &c , and disease more strikingly demonstrated. 
The fever and putrid sore throats prevailed most iu 
the neighbourhoods nearest to the open sewers and 
cesspools. On using the disinfecting powder, the 
offensive smells were perfectly removed, and the 
abatement of the disease immediately followed. 
There were no new cases, and those under treatment 
at the time assumed a much milder form. We ex- 
hausted a small stock of disinfecting powder on the 
third of January. In the course of a few weeks, when 
the cesspools began again to give off offensive smells, 
the disease broke out a second time, when the authori- 
ties ordered a further supply, and upon using it as 
before, the disease agaiu assumed a milder form and 
eventually disappeared. 



THE DISMAL POOL. 

IT lies in deepest forest gloom, 

Where huge trees push the sun away, 

And tall weeds catch each struggling beam- 
That through the branches peers its way. 

It sleeps in bed of flinty rocks 

Whose shatter' d foreheads shrink from light, 
And scowl from out their dusky home 

With frown that makes a blacker night. 

It dwells cncinctured from the view, 
And stamp' d as with a brand of doom, 

As hated as a spot accursed 
Aud shiiun'd as is a plague-fill d toinb. 

It seems a haunt where Horror sils, 

And fixes deep her ebon rule; 
And men have named it, passing by 

With bated breath, The Dismal Pool. 

A. wondrous sorrow seems to rest 

Upon the almost stirless trees; 
And listless as the eye of death 

The livid lake looks up to these. 

And never at the morning's birth 

The sweet lark soars this lake above;. 

Isor children come with matin glee 
To read their mirror'd smiles of love. 



Charles Dlcieas.] 



HELENA MATHEWSON. 



[July 4, 1&.7.J 13 



And never in the sunny noon 

The small flics skim its leaden breast ; 

Nor ever 'mid those death-bound leaves 
The \voodguest hums herself to rest. 

And nowhere through the lanky grass 
Beams out the violet's tender eye ; 

Nor lily pale upon the bank 

Bends down to see its beauty die. 

But all is rough, and all is still, 
And all is night that diniiueth day, 

And all is Upas deathfulness, 
That saps the spirit's life away. 

01), why, when all the earth is glad, 
And every lake is fringed with bloom, 

Hast tliou been chosen, Dismal Pool, 
To be the only home of gloom ? 

"f is surely from some primal curse 

Thou liest thus so deep away ; 
Unvisited of tnoon by night, 

Unvisited of sun by day. 

Or are thy waters human tears 

That flow in secret evermore ? 
And are those traces human steps 

That, like mine own, have press'd thy shore ? 

But wherefore have I hither come ? 

And wherefore am I tarrying still 
Where loathsome things of fear and doubt 

Sink on. my heart their pinioiis chill ? 

Already droops my soul of Youth 
Within this deadly atmosphere ; 
And o'er the morning's hills of gold 
Are clinging shadows dense and drear. 

Fast fades the past, where life was peace; 

Dim grow the future's gates of bliss ; 
Ah ! luckless oue, if all thy days 

Shall be a present like to this ! 

O, burial-place of every love ! 

Dread catacomb of faith and joy ! 
Come, Hope, to lead me from this spot, 

Thou wast my angel when a boy ! 



HELENA MATHEWSON. 

CHAPTER THE FIRST. 

MY father was rector of Licliendale, a 
little, grey-walled town, of which few but 
north-country people have ever heard. My 
mother died when I was quite a child, 
leaving me little Helena, as I was always 
called with no other companions than my 
two brothers, Paul arid Lawrence, and our 
faithful, old nurse, Hannah. My eldest 
brother, Paul, was grave and moody ; 
and Lawrence and I, who were warm 
allies, were nearly always quarrelling with 
him. Lawrence could not bear to hear 
what Paul so firmly maintained ; that un- 
less Helena were a better girl, and more 
careful over her spelling, she would be 
burnt alive after she died. Not seeing the 
inconsistency of this terrible threat, 
and, fearing from Paul's authoritative tone, 



that he had the power to execute it, 
Lawrence would take up my cause with 
fiery zeal, and often cudgelled Paul into 
granting me a milder sentence. We used to 
take our lesson-books into the study every 
morning; and, while I learnt my spelling, 
my brothers read and construed with my 
father. 

But Paul soon grew too old for mere 
home-schooling ; and, after much secrecy and 
mysterious preparation, he was sent to the 
grammar-school at Sawbridge. Lawrie and 
I made merry over his departure. We had 
wilder games than ever in. the garden and 
woods, and got into twice as many scrapes 
as before ; so that sometimes even Hannah 
lost all patience with us, and dragged us 
little trembling culprits before my father, 
who lifted his kind eyes from his book, and 
tried, with but little success, to look dis- 
pleased. 

Those happy days passed too quickly, 
Lawrence went to school; and, after two or 
three years there, to Rome. He had always 
said he would be an artist ; and he did not 
flinch from his plan as he grew out of child- 
hood, but adhered to it so steadily that at 
length my father consented to his going to 
Italy to study. He was very young to be 
sent so far alone ; but my father had lived 
for so long in Lichendale, that he seemed to 
have forgotten how full of danger and 
temptation a city like Borne would be to 
one eager and reckless as Lawrence. 

Poor Lawrie ! I remember our last parting 
well. He was so glad to be going to Italy, so 
sorry to leave Lichendale, and so charmed with 
the unusual hurry and bustle, and his suddenly 
acquired importance, that smiles and tears 
chased each other away in quick succession 
from his face. I can see now his lust, sad 
look, as the mail-coach, which had stopped 
for him at our gate, drove off; and I remem- 
ber turning out of the sunny garden into the 
house, and running upstairs that I might 
sob undisturbed in some quiet hiding-place. 
But Paul, who had come over for the day 
to say good bye to Lawrence, soon dis- 
covered me ; and, instead of trying to com- 
fort me, talked in a slow, measured moan 
of the wickedness of my grief, and of 
his belief that despondency was a child of 
the devil. 

Lawrence's letters were frequent and affec- 
tionate, and at first almost homesick. The 
pleasures of Borne were great, he wrote, 
but still he loved Lichendale and Helena, 
far, far more dearly than ever, and often 
longed to come back. Gradually, however, 
another tone crept into them. There were 
fewer allusions to home, aud to the time 
when he should return to us ; but, instead, 
the thin blue sheets were covered with ac- 
counts of the grand English families that 
! he met, whose patronage seemed to intoxi- 
cate him, and of beautiful ladies, whom, I 
[feared, he liked better than, little Helena, 



14 



.1SS7.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



if they were really as lovely as he described 
them. Sir Edward Stamford, the owner of 
Lichendale Hall, and who would have been 
the great man of our neighbourhood had he 
ever visited it, was one of the acquaintance 
of whom we heard most. My father regretted 
this much ; for reports had travelled home 
that the life Sir Edward led abroad was wild 
and dissipated ; and those who recollected 
him at Liehendale, in the old Baronet's time, 
declared that he had been always self-willed 
and passionate. 

Lawrence had been absent six years. I was 
grown into a tall, shy girl of sixteen ; and 
Paul, after a successful career at Cambridge, 
was on the eve of being ordained. Surely, 
Lawrence would soon come back, I thought. 
My father also longed for his return, and 
wrote to urge him to leave Home, at least for 
a while. We were full of glad expectation. 
My father counted the weeks that would 
elapse before his return, and I counted the 
days and hours, which I thought would never 



Before that day came a more terrible a 
more suddenly terrible one. A letter came 
for my father from Italy, but not directed 
in Lawrence's hand. I took it into my father's 
study myself, and watched him as he read 
it. He seemed to dread evil. He broke the 
seal slowly, and paused before he dared to 
glance at the contents. I was so frightened 
and impatient that I could have torn it open, 
had it been bound with iron, and my father's 
delay was dreadful to me. One look at his face, 
as he stared in horror at the short, Italian 
sentence, confirmed my worst fears, and I did 
not need to hear the word " Dead ! " rise 
slowly to his lips, to strike the awful cer- 
tainty through me, that Lawrence affec- 
tionate, wilful Lawrence would never come 
back to us. I did not scream or faint. I 
felt the longing that I have had from child- 
hood, whenever I have been unhappy or 
terror-stricken, to creep away with my grief 
and hide ; but I could not leave my father, 
pale and ghastly as he looked. Thank God ! 
I did not. For years he had had symptoms 
of heart-disease. I clung to him in silence, 
thinking that it was only his great mental 
pain that made him so deadly still and 
white. I chafed and kissed his hands ; and, 
in grief for his grief, almost forgot my 
own. " Paul send for him ! " he sighed. 
I left the room, wrote a short note to sum- 
mon him, and then hastened back to the 
study, for I began to fear my father was 
ill. 

In those few minutes Death had entered, 
and claimed his victim. What a night of 
misery I passed ! I longed to die. Why 
was I spared ? spared to pain and mourning 
and craving grief? 

CHAPTER THE SECOND. 

NEARLY two years passed, and I still 
lived at the dear old rectory. Sir Edward 



Stamford, the patron of the living of Lichen- 
dale, had written to offer it to Paul when he 
heard of my father's death. The letter was 
kind, and full of polite regrets that they 
should most probably never meet, as he 
intended to remain always abroad. There 
was no mention of Lawrence in it ; which I 
thought strange. My brother hesitated 
for some time before accepting a living 
from one whom he chose to call a sinner 
in the sight of the Lord ; but his affection 
for Lichendale ; for its grand, old parish 
chui'ch, and the sober, godly towns-people, 
overcame these scruples, and he settled 
down into my father's place, if not to fulfil 
its duties as mildly, at any rate with as 
rigid conscientiousness and self-denial. Han- 
nah had left us, to live with some orphan 
nieces of hers in another town ; so I was 
Paul's little housekeepei-, as I had latterly 
been my father's. There were none of the 
few families of our own rank in Lichendale 
that I much liked, or with whom I kept up 
any great intimacy, so that I often felt sadly 
lonely. Paul loved me in his grave way, 
but he seemed to think that any unnecessary 
display of affection was harmful, and I can- 
not remember his ever petting or caressing 
me. Still, after the first great grief for 
Lawrie and my father had been softened by 
time, I was happy in a sort of quiet, listless 
way. The country round Lichendale was 
beautiful. On one side, was the park, with 
the Hall peering through the trees ; and, on 
the other, the red sands which the tide 
rarely covered, stretching away to the silver 
sea-line. I used to take long walks by 
myself on these sands, or in the woods. I 
did not read much ; for the only books that 
Paul allowed me were what I did not care 
for ; either abstruse treatises on religion, or 
biographies, in which the history of the 
man was made subservient to all manner of 
doleful morals, and melancholy hints to 
sinners. We lived very simply. Lawrence 
had left many debts in Rome ; and, to pay 
these, it was necessary for a few years to give 
up many luxuries, and to part with one of 
our trusty old servants. So I found some 
pleasant occupation in little household 
duties. 

This was my life when I was eighteen ; 
and it was then that Sir Edward Stamford 
suddenly returned to Lichendale. He was 
brought by the report of an approaching dis- 
solution of Parliament, people said ; for, they 
whispered, he meant to stand for Lichendale, 
to turn out the present sleepy old member. 
Lichendale is one of the smallest borough- 
towns in England ; but, at the passing of the 
Reform Bill, everybody thought it likely to 
become a populous seaport. There weiv 
rumours of docks to be built, and new lines of 
traffic to be opened ; and the old inhabitants, 
terrified at the prospect of these changes, 
swore vengeance against the different com- 
panies that were to effect them ; but, as time 



Charles Dickens.] 



HELENA MATHEWSON. 



[July 4, 1357.] 15 



wore on, and year after year the sea gradually 
receded from the town, these projects had to 



Lichendale was doomed to sink into a quiet, 
decaying town ; instead of rising to any great 
maritime importance, and they almost ques- 
tioned the necessity of its being represented. 



often, as if you felt no shame in his death ; 
but when you grow older, you will feel as I 
do, and shudder when you remember that 
he was a duellist." 

Poor dead Lawrie ! I felt as if it was 
some great moral want in me that prevented 
my blaming him as Paul did. To Paul a 



The constituency was small and tractable, ; duel was murder in its most cold and wilful 
with but vague political notions. Colonel ! form. He seemed to forget the temptations 
Peterson had been elected more on account to which Lawrence had been exposed, and 



of his high character as a squire and country 
gentleman, than for anything else ; and even 



the fact that he was the challenged not 
the challenger ; nay, sometimes it seemed 



though Sir Edward should enter the lists, ' as if he forgot that it was his own brother 



with his brilliant talents and strong opinions, 



whom he so 



relentlessly condemned. '. 
as 



yet it would be doubtful, unless his character could only pity Lawrie goaded as I felt 
could bear comparison with the honest old he must have been, by false shame, and not 



colonel's, whether he would succeed in his 

attempt to wrest the borough from his hands. 

On the afternoon of the day which followed 



by any unforgiving passion to that last 
act which he had expiated with his life. 
But Paul, as I have said, felt differently. 



Sir Edward's return, Paul bade me get ready It hurt his pride of goodness that 



to go and call with him at the Hall. I dared 
not disobey ; yet the thoughts of venturing, 
even with my brother's protection, within 
that terribly grand house and encountering 
its master, made me feel shy and frightened. 



brother should have died such a death. 



his 
He 



hushed it up as much as he could ; not- 
withstanding, the report spread through 
Lichendale that " young Mathewson had died 
far away across seas in a murdering-match ; " 



But our walk through the park, with our and deep words of wrath against his mur- 
feet sinking deep into the mossy, daisy-spotted ' derer were mingled with regrets for my 



grass, and the sea-wind making a low, surging 
sound in the dark pine trees round us, 
freshened me up, and gave me a merry 



father ; whose death, it was known, had been 
caused by the sudden sorrow. With whom 
Lawrence had fought, we did not know. No 



courage. I danced along, laughing at the ' details had been given in the letter which my 
notion of my going like a grand dame to father had received ; and Paul would never 
call on the lord of the manor in the after- make inquiries, either as to the cause of the 
noon, I who had spent the morning in duel, or the name of the challenger ; so that 
mending stockings, and shelling peas. At : the suspicions which rested, with but little 
another time, Paul would have reproved me ; ground, on a French artist were never con- 
for my wild spirits ; but he was now busy j tinned. " Vengeance is mine ; I will repay, 
turning over and over and perfecting the ! saith the Lord," Paul would repeat to him- 
speech of welcome and thanks with which I self, half aloud, whenever people talked of 



he meant to greet his patron. We reached 
the great portico. I had once been shown 
over the Hall by a cross old housekeeper, but 
I had never before called there, or leisurely 
examined any of the beautiful rooms ; so 
that I was quite delighted that Sir Edward 
delayed coming to us, and left me time to 
look at all the curiosities with which the 
spacious ante-room was filled. Sir Edward 
kept us waiting a long time ; and when he at 
length entered, he looked pre-occupied and 
somewhat constrained. He was about thirty, 
to all appearance ; tall and firmly built, with 
a face passion-worn and pale, yet strangely 
attractive. He hardly raised his eyes to our 
faces as he approached us; but once, when the 
conversation flagged and he turned them 
full on me, I quailed beneath their steady, 
lustrous gaze. 

" Paul," I said, as we walked home, " I did 
so wish you would have asked Sir Edward 
about Lawrie. He might have remem- 
bered much to tell us if you had but begun 
the subject, which perhaps he did not like to 



introduce himself." 

" I could not mention 



his name to a 



stranger : it would not be right in me, if I 
could. You talk about Lawrence freely and 



the chance of discovering the unknown mur- 
derer ; as if it gave him a kind of grim plea- 
sure to remember into what Almighty hands 
he had yielded his cause. Surely, I thought, 
the Creator in his great goodness judges more 
mercifully than men judge." 

CHAPTER THE THIRD. 

THE morning after our call, Paul was out, 
and I had gone up-stairs to get my hat for a 
stroll, when Jane came panting up the stairs, 
breathless with astonishment, for " Sir Ed- 
ward was in the parlour!" What could he 
want ? 

" Did you tell him Mr. Paul was out, 
Jane?" 

" Yes, Miss Helen ; but he asked if you 
were in the house, and he corned in almost 
afore I'd time to answer yes." 

He must have called on some urgent busi- 
ness, I thought ; and I hurried down to him. 
His ride through the fresh morning air had 
flushed his cheeks, and he looked very hand- 
some. His half-haughty, half-careless bear- 
ing impressed me as something strange and 
striking ; it was so different from Paul's grave, 
alow manner. 

" You must not think me au impertinent 



16 [July 4, 1S57.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



intruder, Miss Mathewson," he said, as I' "I met him many times," said Sir Edward, 
entered ; "I bring my excuse in my pocket," in a low, indistinct voice, starting from his 
and he tossed a note on to the table. " It is reverie. Hiseyes were fastened on me full of 
to bog you and your brother to dine with me pity, I fancied ; but I dared hardly meet them, 
to-morrow. I wrote it for the chance of lie said little more, and soon went away, 
your being out. There seems but little pro-: Oh ! he, too, thinks like Paul, that Lawrence 
spect of a dissolution, and time hangs heavily has sinned deeply, and would avoid the sub- 
on my hands ; so, if you and Mr. Mathewson ject, I thought to myself, as I pondered over 
will give me the pleasure of your society for i the visit ; and I wondered if Sir Edward dis- 
to-morrow evening at least, I shall be quite ) liked me for mentioning Lawrence so shame- 
delighted." i lessly. 

CHAPTER THE FOURTH." 

SIR EDWARD was like a flash of lightning 



I felt that I ought to respond to this in- 
vitation with some very civil thanks ; but j 

the thought that came uppermost in my ; striking across my quiet path. Everything 
miud was of surprise at Sir Edward's want I in rny daily life lost its brightness. We saw a 
of occupation. ! good deal of him, and soon I began to feel those 

" All your tenants would be so glad to see ' days which passed without meeting him, 
you," I said, hesitatingly ; " if you have so j long and dreary. Each day I liked his face 



much spare time, I mean.' 



better ; and the look of passion, that I had 



"Do you think they would 1" replied Sir at lirst noticed in it, seemed, by degrees, to 
Edward, looking surprised at my daring to give place to one of gentleness and kindness. 



hint at his neglect of duty as a landlord, 
have always transacted business with them 
through my agent. Still, perhaps, they might 



Gradually, too, tales of recent kind deeds 
amongst his tenantry, took the place of the 
reports which had been rife in Lichendale 



care to see me, though I can't say the anxiety j before his return, of his dissipation at Borne, 
to meet is mutual. The farmers round Lichen- : I sometimes wondered if my few words were 
dale must be a very dull set of people. Can the cause of his kindly intercourse with the 
you tell me what character I bear here, Miss poor people ; but I checked myself quickly 
Mathewson 1 You must know my tenants in this presumptuous supposition, and attri- 
well. Do those in the town, for instance, bated the change to his natural good feel- 
hold me very low in their righteous estima- ing. At any rate, it could hardly be to curry 
tion, pray ] Have reports unfavourable to favour with his constituents ; for, all chance 
me travelled from Italy 1 " he said, with a of a speedy dissolution of Parliament seemed 
bitterness which a smile faintly concealed. ; past. 

" I do riot know if they love you at present ; ! He seemed, to my astonishment, to care to 
for it is difficult to love those one never sees. talk to me even more than to Paul, whose pre- 
No ! no ! I don't mean that," I added quickly, ' judice against him never quite wore off. Paul 
thinking of Lawrie ; " but it would be difficult ; if ever I ventured to express any of my 



for them to love one who has left them, 
and shown no interest in their welfare. I 
know that they are a good and grateful set of 
people, and that you might easily win their 
affection I am sure." 

" I was thinking of their good esteem 
merely as regarded the probabilities of my 



boundless admiration for Sir Edward's wit or 
genius checked me, and reminded me of all 
we had heard against his character. 

" I can believe him passionate, Paul ; but 
surely he is nothing worse." 

" Passion is a fearful thing, Helena," Paul 
would reply ; "and I believe Sir Edward to 



being elected, if there should be a dissolution," j be selfish more from habit than dispositioi 
said Sir Edward, earnestly ; " but you make j perhaps ; but still inexcusably selfish." 
me feel ashamed of myself. I ought to con- 1 "He has had no motive for self-denial, 
sider it more as a proof of my having been i most likely," I urged. 

a good landlord to them, and less as a means j One beautiful evening it was then the 
of my own success in life. I shall take your i month of June I set out to walk by a short 
hint ; meanwhile. I am confoundedly disap- cut through the park, to see a woman who 
pointed at Parliament having settled down j was ill, and to whom I was taking some 
again so quietly. I had quite worked myself | things. I hurried along ; for I was late. Paul 



up into a fever of imagination, at the thoughts 
of iny contesting the election with Colonel 
Peterson." 

" You left Borne on purpose to stand for 
Lichemiale, did you not ?" 



had set out some time before to the church, 
where there was service that evening, and I 
knew he would be vexed if I were not in time 
for it. I had got into a way of always looking 

evening, 



out for Sir Edward ; and, that 

; Yes," said Sir Edward, musingly, and his although I had to walk quickly, I could 
face brightened with some unspoken, sunny : not refrain from stopping every now and 
recollection of the Eternal City. j then to see if he was in sight. I met the 

" Did you know my brother Lawrence | curate hastening to the church. I quickened 
there?" I asked quickly, for 1 was afraid of my steps, and determined not to stop again 
my courage failing me if I did not grasp at till I reached the cottage. Nothing stiirtios 
the first opportunity of asking the question one so much as the sudden fulfilment of sunx; 
which Paul had ao strongly discountenanced, present dream that hope has conjured up. 



Charles Dicken*. I 



HELENA MATHEWSON. 



[July 4.! as;.] 17 



And, as I walked along, fancying what I should 
do and say if Sir Edward were to appear, I 
was startled by the well-known canter of his 
horse. My heart beat wildly. I thought it 
would have burst. The hoofs struck louder 
and louder on the grass, as the horse bounded 
towards me, but 1 did not turn round again. 
I longed to see if it really were Sir Edward, 
or whether I was mistaken ; but I felt that 
I was scarlet, and I bent my head under my 
lint, and tried to hide my blushes. Sir 
Edward sprang from his horse, and stopped 
me. 1 do not know now exactly what he 
said. Even then I caught at its meaning 
from his face rather than heard his words ; 
for my brain reeled the trees seemed to 
rock, and the. light to quiver and fade before 
my eyes. Faint and dizzy, I thought I must 
have fallen to the ground at his feet ; but 
Sir Edward saw how white I grew, and 
passed his strong arm round me. I think 
he did not dislike my weakness ; for as we 
stood there, he told me how, from his first 
look at my face he had liked me, and cared 
to see me again, and that he now loved 
me dearly, and wanted me to promise to 
be his wife. It was strange to me, and 
yet very sweet, to be spoken to with such 
loving tenderness. It brought back to 
my mind the days when I had my father 
and Lawrence to caress me ; and, mistily, 
there uprose a dim remembrance of one, 
holding me tight in her dying grasp, pressing 
long, soft kisses on the little cheek she had 
wetted with her tears ; for, with such gentle 
words and ways as a mother might use to a 
frightened child, did Sir Edward strive to 
soothe me, till my faintiiess passed, and he 
had gained my answer. 

The church bells stopped. 

" I must go, Sir Edward, or Paul will be 
so vexed ?" 

" You shall neither go to church, nor call 
me Sir Edward," he said, smiling ; and detain- 
ing me with playful force, he made me 
sit down on a low ledge of rock that 
pierced the grass close by,^ cushioned with 
soft, purple thyme, and golden-starred money- 
wort. "Helena," he continued, his eyes 
pleading more earnestly than his words, 
" can you forgive the wild, wicked youth 
that I have spent 1 Will you strive to forget 
what I have been, and learn to think of me 
only as I now am : pardoning all that I have 
done wrong for the sake of my true, deep 
love?" 

I did not answer. I hardly heard his last 
words. A sudden doubt had filled my mind, 
that cast a dark shadow across the sunshine 
of my happiness. 

" When you ask me to be your wife, Sir 
Edward," I said, trying not to dread his 
answer, "do you remember the shame that 
Paul says attaches to our name 1 Do you 
remember that my youngest brother died in 
a duel?" 

Sir Edward started. 



"Those are your brother's rigid no- 
tions, Helena very orthodox no doubt 
but they are not mine. In this peaceful place, 
perhaps, duelling seems a terrible thing ; but 
it is nonsense, of Mr. Mathewson to talk of 
it so. No stain inflated on your name from 
that though if it did still I would marry 
you." 

"I have always thought Paul judged Lawrie 
too harshly," I said, "and I am glad you 
think the same. Did you first like my face 
because it reminded you of Lawrence's, Sir 
Edward?" 

Sir Edward answered me with a gay laugh ; 
but his voice trembled. 

I wished the church bells to ring again, 
with their peaceful, booming sound. There 
seemed something half unholy in the light, 
careless way in which he had spoken of duel- 
ling ; although intended to quiet my 
doubts. It felt to me yes ! I am sure that 
it is not my present fancy it felt to me at 
that moment, as if Lawrence stood unseen 
between me and Sir Edward. The wind, 
chill and damp, rustled through the trees, 
with a dreary, shuddering sound. Sir Edward 
rose, and walked apart for a few minutes. 

" Go home, dear little Helena," he said, at 
length ; " I shall come and see your brother 
to-morrow." 

I got home quickly, and sat iu the twilight 
waiting lor Paul. 

. CHAPTER THE FIFTH. 

I HAD half feared that Paul might refuse 
his consent to our engagement ; but I was 
mistaken. His opinion of Sir Edward had 
that very day been greatly improved by some- 
thing he had heard in the town some kind 
or honourable deed, I forget exactly what ; 
and, with many admonitions as to my future 
conduct, and not a few reproofs for past mis- 
demeanours, he gave a slow, solemn consent. 

The few weeks of my engagement were 
perfect happiness to me. Before, I had had 
no one to sympathise with me in all my daily 
joys and sorrows, or in my deeper feelings ; 
but, now, Edward would listen with un- 
tiring patience and ready sympathy to any- 
thing that came into my head. Only about 
Lawrence I never talked to him. Paul's opi- 
nions although I could not accept them had 
yet sufficient power, by their firm persistency, 
to shake my confidence in my own ; and I 
dreaded lest Edward's pride should ever 
turn and rebel at the remembrance of what 
Paul called our tarnished name, and felt glad 
that Sir Edward himself never alluded to the 
subject, of which I feared to remind him. 
Paul's grave, sullen manners hardly vexed 
me now ; for I knew it was but to bear with 
them for an hour or so, and that in the next 
Edward would be at my side. He awoke my 
interest in a thousand new things. To be 
his fit companion, I felt I must read books 
which I had never even seen, and these he 
gladly lent me from the library at the Hall. 



18 Uuly -t. is-,:. 1 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted &T 



One day wlieu I was there, and he was hunting 
up some volume for me, my eye was attracted 
to a drawer which was partly open. I looked 
into it. It was full of beautiful gems, deli- 
cate enamels, and mosaics, that he had 
brought from Italy ; and, in the furthest 
corner, glittering in the darkness, lay some 
quaintly carved pistols. 

"Shut that drawer, Helena!" said Sir 
Edward, fiercely, turning round suddenly, 
and set-ing where I stood. 

I obeyed, and laughingly asked if it was a 
second Blue Beard's cupboard. But I got no 
answer, and when I looked round, Sir Edward 
was fixedly watching me, all colour gone from 
his cheeks all tenderness from his eyes. 

Did you again stand between and part us, 
Lawrence ? 

Edward had promised to walk with me 
on the sands, on the evening of the day 
but one before that fixed for my wedding. I 
was punctual to my appointment. The stable 
clock at the Hall rung out eight as I reached 
the bridge which, crossing the river, leads 
into the park, and which was our usual 
trysting-place ; but no Edward was there. 
I waited till nine o'clock, and then, frightened 
at his not coming, ran to the Hall with beat- 
ing heart and dark misgivings. 

Sir Edward was in the library, but very busy, 
the servant said, in answer to iny inquiry. 
He could not be too busy to see me, I 
thought, so I heeded not what else the man 
said, but went quickly to the library. 

" Colonel Peterson is dead ! " said Sir Ed- 
ward eagerly when I burst into the room, 
" I am sorry I have broken my appointment, 
but these gentlemen," and he bowed to two 
whom I recognised as leading people in our 
little town, " have already honoured me with 
a request that I shall supply his place. You 
had better go home now."'' 

I felt sad as I walked home. It was 
wrong, however, I knew, to mind that Sir 
Edward seemed engrossed in this sudden 
prospect of entering the political field, where 
he longed to distinguish himself ; and I 
made many resolutions not to think of my 
own claims, or to mind how I, for a while, 
might be discarded. 

Our marriage was put off. Sir Edward 
was fully occupied with the chances of 
his election. Paul went up to London, 
and I begged him not to hasten home ; for I 
determined to conquer the old feeling of lone- 
liness which was creeping over me, and not 
to own its power by requiring him as a com- 
panion. Two or three days after he had left 
me, I was sitting in the evening reading in 
the drawing-room. The morning of that day 
had been sunny and bright; but, in the evening, 
a heavy, grey mist had closed round the dale, 
and sad feelings of depression had come over 
me. Edward had been only once to see me 
in my solitude ; and, in that short visit, he had 
seemed abstracted and half-longing to be 
gone. I knew that, fair as his chance was, 



there was yet need for exertion, as two other 
candidates had corne forward. I knew that he 
was much occupied ; still it was difficult to 
keep my resolution of not minding how much 
he might seem to neglect me. The wind and 
rain sounded so dreary, and my heart was so 
heavy, that at length 1 buried my face in my 
hands and sobbed. 

CHAPTER THE SIXTH. 

A RING at the door startled me. I wiped 
away my tears. It must be Edward. How 
hasty and unjust I had been ! I rose to meet 
him, but instead of Edward I saw Paul. 
" Helena," he said, " before I had even 
time to exclaim at his sudden appearance, or 
almost to notice his wet, disordered dress, " I 
have heard some dreadful news in London, 
and I have hastened straight home to tell 
you it to warn and save you." 

" Oh ! tell me quickly, Paul," I gasped ; 
" what is it ? Do not stop to break it 
to me, but tell me. Anything is better than 
suspense." 

" Bear it bravely then, Helena," he said ; 
but he himself was pale and trembling, and 
as he continued, his voice sunk to a low, 
hoarse whisper, " Sir Edward Stamford is 
Lawrence's murderer." 

I uttered a fierce contradiction ; and I felt, 
defiantly indignant. 

"Alas, Helena!" said Paul, "the 
person who told me a Signer Corti 
stood beside Lawrence as his second in the 
duel ; but had promised him, as he lay dying,, 
never to reveal by whose hand he fell ; for 
the challenge had been tauntingly given, and 
the offence pitilessly avenged. The quarrel 
arose about some girl they both admired 
a Miss Graham and Lawrence knew, I sup- 
pose, what shame would clog his adver- 
sary's steps were his crime known." 

" Yes, Lawrence's generosity would be true 
till death," I broke in, " but, oh ! that man 
must be deceiving us ; it cannot be Sir 
Edward who has done this cruel deed." 

"He showed me the letter, Helena, in 
which Lawrence asked him to be his second, 
and in which Sir Edward's name was men- 
tioned. Nay, he had even the pistols with 
him in London, which had been Sir Edward's, 
and bore his crest and initials, for they had 
changed weapons before fighting. Lawrence's 
must be in Sir Edward's possession, no doubt ; 
they were that clumsy old pair that my 
father had mended up for him. 

" 1 have seen them," I said. Alas ! I could 
no longer doubt Paul's statement ; for, with 
fearful distinctness, the scene in the Hall- 
library flashed back upon my mind the open 
drawer, the bright pistols, Sir Edward's face, 
rigid arid white with alarm -and I wondered 
how even my trustful love could have blinded 
me to the truth for so long. 

" Corti would never have broken his pro- 
mise, Helena, if it had not been necessary to 
do so, to save you from marrying your 



Cileries Dicker*.! 



HELENA MATHEWSON. 



[July 4, 1357.] 



brother's murderer. Report had told him 
what you were about to do." 

" ' To save me from it,' Paul," I exolaimed, 
" what do you mean 'I " 

" Is it possible, you misunderstand me 1 ' 
he said. " I mean that your duty and your 
natural affection ought to strengthen you 
to renounce Sir Edward. I can hardly 
believe that you will find it a difficult task,' 
he added, bitterly, " not to love your brother's 
murderer." 

" I cannot take back my love, Paul. I 
never gave it for any definite reason ; it 
was sent like some blessed instinct, and now, 
though I shudder to think what he is, I cannot 
cannot part from Edward. It may be 
wicked and unnatural of me ; but I cannot ! " 
Paul groaned aloud with horror. " Why did 
I ever allow this engagement ? " he mut- 
tered to himself. 

" Only think of the terrible remorse he 
must have suffered, dear Paul," I pleaded, 
trying to be calm. 

" I cannot count, Helena, his so cruelly de- 
ceiving you, as remorse. No : you must and 
shall break off this engagement. His guilt 
has cancelled any promise you can have 
made him." 

"I am stronger -hearted than I seem," 
I said : " and, although the whole world cry 
out and condemn me, I will stand by him, 
comforting him, and strengthening him to a 
right repentance. I know you can tear and 
keep me away now ; but, when I am of age, 
I will spring free from you and return to Sir 
Edward." 

I stood there firm and resolute. A deep 
pain was at my heart, and terror struggled 
with my love ; but still it lived imperiously 
strong, bound up, as it seemed, with my life. 
Paul was silent. 

" Good night," I said, and moved towards 
the door. 

He detained me by the arm. 
" Hear ! " he said, and his voice was 
cruelly calm, " the determination to 
which your obstinacy forces me ; and from 
which no earthly power shall make me 
flinch. If you persist in your refusal to 
break off with Sir Edward, I will make 
known his guilt in every home around. No 
child but shall point at him, and cry, 
' Murderer ! ' no mother but shall pray that 
her daughter may not live to love like you. 
Dp yoa think, Helena, that the people of 
Lichendale will then choose him, his name 
blood-stained and blackened, for their repre- 
sentative 1 They will not they shall not 
if my words have power to move them. Mur- 
derer deceiver as he is, what should it 
matter to him who has lost heaven, if this 
chance of earthly success escape him ? I 
place it in your power to prevent this : make 
your choice." 

CHAPTER THE SEVENTH. 

I STAGGERED up to my own room, and 



threw myself on the bed. I lay sobbing in 
th-e darkness till Paul heard me, and came 
to me. I would not listen to him ; but turned 
away with angry dread. When he had left 
uie, I rose from my bed, went to the open 
window, and, leaning out, strove to see 
through black vacancy the Hall, where Sir 
Edward was sleeping, ignorant of my wild 
despair. The night-air cooled my burning 
cheeks, and the peaceful silence, only broken 
by the roar of the distant tkie, stilled my 
passionate grief. I knelt down and prayed. I 
prayed th?,t my love might be unselfish, and 
that I might, if necessary, be strong enough 
to sacrifice my own happiness to his. 

Slowly but surely the conviction stole upon 
me that, to do right, I must give him up. 
I tried to resist it. I grappled with it ; but 
in vain. It mastered me. The impetuosity of 
his love had been trampled down by his 
ambition. I did not love him the less for this. 
It merely made me long that, when his ambi- 
tion was gratified, I might be taught how to 
win back his first great love. Paul had acted 
with cruel and unerring foresight, when 
he had made the alternative of my re- 
fusing to give up Sir Edward the almost 
certain loss of his election, and he had rightly 
guessed the conclusion I should work out 
in my own mind. For I felt that Sir 
Edward, triumphant in his election, and 
carried by it into new scenes and society, 
would soon forget me, and any pain resigning 
me might at first cost him. 

The dawn crept slowly on, and the great 
white lilies, that I had planted out in the 
garden to make it gay for Paul when I 
should be gone, grew into distinctness, point- 
ing with their golden fingers towards 
heaven. I still knelt by the window, praying 
that I might not shrink from the sacrifice. 

What Sir Edward answered, when Paul 
wrote to him to tell him of my determination 
to break off' the engagement, I was never 
told exactly ; but I fancy his reply consisted 
chiefly of thanks for the assurance, which I 
had made Paul promise to give, that his 
secret should not escape through us. I had 
asked Paul to write, because I could not 
have borne to do so without giving any 
explanation, and the only true one would 
nave bound Sir Edward in honour to 
lold to his engagement. 

For several days after that terrible night 
I lay in a death-like stupor. The nierry 
church-bells woke me from it. 

" Is it my wedding-day to-day ? " I asked, 
as I sickened back into half-conscious- 
ness. 

" Oh, Miss Helena ! " said Jane, who had 
watched with Paul by me, "I am right glad 
;o hear your voice again. It's no wedding. 
The bells are ringing for Sir Edward Sir 
Edward, Miss." tihe guessed rightly that 
name would rouse me. " He's won the 
election, and he's given the ringers a power 
o' money." 



20 [July 4, 1857.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



by 



A flood of recollection was let loose. It draw us closer together than I could once 

wa- all too true ! I turned ray face to the have deemed possible; and I strove my 

wall I wept bitter tears. "Oh! that I had utmost to hold fast what I had gained by 

& mother to comfort me." them. 



CHAPTER THE EIGHTH. 

THREE years passed. As soon as I re- 
covered from my illness I resumed my house- 
hold duties. 1 even went out in the town, 
after I heard of Sir Edward's departure for 
London ; for I knew that the longer it was 
deferred the more painful would it be to me 
to revisit the places which his presence had 
made so dear. I strove hard to conquer my 
grief. In the daytime, by constant occupa- 
tion, to which I forced myself, I contrived 
to drive it from me ; but, at night, when I 
was alone, it sprang from its hiding-place, 
like some horrid spectre, and stared me in 
the face with relentless eyes. Sir Edward 
seldom came to Lichendale, and, during these 
rare visits, I never left the house. His career 
in public was brilliant. Had I not paid for it 
dearly ? Even in his absence he continued 
to do much good amongst his poorer tenants; 
and if ever, by chance, they forgot my past 
history and in my visits named him to me, it 
was with love and respect for his character. 
Jf, instead of receiving this approbation, he 
had been branded and condemned by the 
world, would he not have sunk in his own 
self-respect, and have verified the unjustly 
harsh opinion of the public 1 
* My love for him never wavered. The recol- 
lection of those few happy weeks when I 
had been his, gradually became more and 
more dream-like ; but my love continued 
unquenched. For many months Paul and 
3 led a life of silent antagonism. Although 
I tried to forgive, I could not forget what 
he had done, and I do not think I considered 
enough how little he had ever understood, 
or even been capable of understanding, 
my devotion to Sir Edward, or how much 
ol his childish experiences had been calcu- 
lated to increase his naturally harsh, unfor- 
giving disposition. Hannah, loving Lawrence 
the most for his little winsome, sportful 
ways, had often unknowingly checked Paul's 
affectionate impulses. Once as I watched him 
reading, and noticed the lines of care and 
thought deepening on his face, I was startled 
into a painful consciousness of what a love- 
less life we led ; only brother and sister to 
each other as we were. I was humbled by 
my sorrow, and I did not repress the thought 
that perhaps it was my fault for always 
striving and chafing against his will, instead 
of showing him a loving submission. With a 
sudden impulse I sprang up, and flung my 
inns round his neck. "1 do love you, Paul," 
I murmured, " I really do." I feared he 
might put me coldly from him. I felt half 
ashamed that I had not restrained myself; 
but his low, " God bless you for this, 
Helena," dispelled all doubts, and thrilled 
me with joy. Those few words seemed to 



CHAPTER THE NINTH. 

ONE day I was returning slowly home, 
after a morning spent at the school, when I 
saw the doctor rush past me without a not 
or word of recognition. A servant followed 
him, hot and out of breath. I glanced at the 
livery it was Sir Edward's ! 

" Who is ill at the Hall ? " I asked. The 
man, a stranger to me, stared at me ; for, I 
suppose, I looked wild and eager. 

" Sir Edward," he said, " he's got a fever. 
I told him last night he had better have 
the doctor, but he wouldn't listen to me, 
and now he'll want the doctor and the parson 
both." 

Terror seemed to give me strength. I got 
to the Hall without stopping to think. I 
opened a side-door that I knew was left 
unlocked, and sprang up the wide stairs, and 
on on into Sir Edward's presence. A wild, 
ringing laugh greeted me 

" Ha ! Helena ! " he screamed in his deli- 
rium, " is that you ? and where is Lawrence 'I 
poor, bleeding Lawrence ! " His eyes glared 
with fever. 

Paul stood at the bedside ; brought there, 
faco to face with his enemy, by a summons 
which he had not dared to disobey a sum- 
mons to give spiritual peace and comfort to 
one, who, the messenger had said, lay at the 
point of death. He saw me as I entered ; 
but he did not send me away. The past was 
forgotten in that awful present. 

Long, weary days of watching followed. 
Out-of-doors, I remember, everything was so 
bright and joyous in the summer-weather. 
All day the belling of the deer, and the low, 
sweet notes of birds calling to each other, 
came floating through the open window into 
the darkened room ; and I could hear 1 , too, 
the people passing through the park laughing 
gaily in the sunshine. It seemed as if the 
full measure of my misery, beneath the 
weight of which I thought my heart must 
surely break, were but a little drop of sor- 
row in the great stream of glad life, that 
eddied sparkling on, untroubled, unpitying. 
It was terrible to see Sir Edward suffer, and 
to be able to give him no relief: to hear 
him shriek in his delirium like cue tor- 
mented, and have no power to soothe. Law- 
rence's death-scene seemed to haunt him like 
a ghastly vision. He mentioned his name 
perpetually, in rapid, incoherent sentences, 
that were sometimes half-Italian, and of which 
I could only guess the sad meaning. Often 
his voice sank to a low moaning for Helena ; 
but, when I came forward and spoke to him 
hoping that as at fii-st he would recognise me 
he shrunk shuddering away with shut eyes, 
seeing in rne only my likeness to Lawrence ; 
whose face, as he last looked upon it, was 



Chatlct : 



HELENA MATHEWSON. 



[July 4. 135;.] 21 



not, I think, more white and wild than mine 
became in those hours of misery. 

It was during the second night of our 
watching that the physician, tor whom Paul 
had telegraphed from London, arrived. I 
heard the hoarse grating of the carriage- 
wheels over the gravel. I knew that he was 
come, and with him, I hardly doubted, relief 
for Sir Edward. He came up-stairs immedi- 
ately, and entered the room with a quiet, 
cautious tread. I could hardly bear the sus- 
pense of those moments. I crept out into the 
dark ante-room, and stood there straining with 
expectation, and vainly trying to forget that it 
was for a verdict of life or death that I 
waited. Sir Edward's great dog left the side 
of the door, where he had lain ever since his 
master had been taken ill, and came to me 
Avith a strange, piteous whine. 

At length the physician left the patient's 
room, and Paul followed him, pressing him 
for an opinion. They did not see me standing 
there in the faint moonlight, and I was 
too anxious, too eager, to move ; so they 
spoke out the cruel truth plainly, and I 
drank in their words as some poor creature 
mad with thirst, might snatch and swallow 
poison. 

" Did you say there was no hope ] " said 
Paul. My breath came and went quick. 

"Not a shadow," the physician replied; 
" I do not see a chance of recovery with that 
pulse, and T am not apt to give up a case. 
You haven't gained much by bringing me 
down here, you see," he added, lightly, as he 
and Paul passed on into the gallery. 

I tried to go towards the room ; but my 
strength failed. I sank to the ground like 
one paralysed. As I crouched there, iu the 
darkness, I heard my name loaded with 
reproaches. In delirious anguish my faith- 
lessness was denounced ior killing its victim, 
and, in that manner, avenging Lawrence. 
These reproaches had enough of terrible sense 
in them to sound more than mere raving.*. 
But, through the tumult of my grief, holy 
words of promise rose to my remembrance 
"Ask, and it shall be given uuto you." I 
raised my hands in an agony of supplication, 
and prayed for Edward's recovery with 
intense longing. 

I do not know why I longed for it so ear- 
nestly, remembering always as I did that 
when he got well I must leave him. I sup- 
pose I had unconsciously some expectation 
that, if lie lived, he would in some way learn 
how true I had been to him ; and, before death, 
give me one word or look of gratitude. I 
rose, strengthened and comforted, and went 
to him. 

The crisis of the fever passed. Sir Ed ward's 
strength had been spent iu the fury of his 
delirium, and he lay prostrate and weak as a 
little child ; but he lived, my prayers were 
heard. Death had hovered very near ; 
but at His commands, he spread his black 
pinions and fled. I w.atcliec.1 on day and night 



by Sir Edward till he was out of danger, and 
his consciousness returned. Then Paul bade 
me go home, and there was a gentle pity in 
his voice that filled my heart with a ne'.v 
hope. 

He still stayed at the Hall, nursing Sir 
Edward. Twice or three times every day 
he sent me short bulletins ; and, on the expec- 
tation of these, I seemed to live. Each day Sir 
Edward was getting better. Each day I felt 
sure that Paul's heart was softening towards 
him, arid yearning more and more to proffer 
forgiveness. One day (it was more than a 
week after the crisis) Paul's note was longer 
than it had ever been before. 

" I have told Sir Edward evcrj'thing my threat 
which Heaven has taught me to repent, and your sacri- 
fice. His joy when I told him why you had parted 
from him, was so great that I was quite afraid lest its 
effects should throw him back. I must tell you what 
be says ; for, at present it would be dangerous for him 
to see you. He declares, that I was quite deceived in 
thinking that he felt no remorse iu meeting us ; and 
that it was only from a strong desire to make every 
reparation in his power, that, by giving me this living, 
he insured our home so near bis. He says, that ha 
bad a shuddering reluctance to meet those whom be 
bad so deeply injured ; but that, directly be bad seen 
you, be felt it impossible to stop his intercourse with 
us. lie blames himself bitterly for the sorrow he has 
caused you by the cowardly concealment of his crime 
when be engaged himself to you. When he heard of 
your determination to part from him, he naturally con- 
cluded that it resulted from indignation at his conduct, 
with which I had told him we were acquainted. But 
he now knows how it all was. He says, that ever since 
then be has been making most earnest efforts to 
subdue the passionate heat of temper which drovo 
him to bis crime ; but that he bad determined not to 
plead for your forgiveness till be could prove, by bis 
having conquered his evil disposition, that be bad 
striven hard to earn it. These are nearly bis words. 
I believe that he meant to have seen you, to tell you 
all this himself, during this visit to Licbendale; and 
that bis anxiety as to your answer, in great measure, 
brought on the fever. His repentance has been bitter}, 
but a clay of gladness has dawned. Yours, P. M." 

My tears fell fast and thick as I finished 
this letter, but through them I saw- 
Lawrence's eyes shining from his portrait 
on the wall, bright and glad, and it 
seemed to me as if his spirit spoke through 
them, rejoicing with me, and sanctioning my 
perfect happiness. 

" Helena," said Sir Edward to me the 
other day, " miserable as those three years 
were, even if it were possible, I would 
not have them undone. They taught 
me how previous you were ; and, in striving 
to win you back, my love for you helped 
me to overcome evil in many a fierce 
conflict." 

" That time has done us all good," I said. 
" It made Paul and me love each other, as we 
should never otherwise have done. I see 
now how sorrow is sent with divinely mer- 
ciful purposes." 



22 [July 4, 1S57J 



HOUSEHOLD WOHDS. 



[Conducted 



"O baby, baby," said Edward, catching 
up our little girl from the floor, " we will 
never let you marry such a wicked man as 
Sir Edward Stamford, though mamma has 
done ao, will we ? " 



AT THE COULISSES IN PAEIS. 



THE features of this region of enchantment 
are pretty much the same all the world over, 
excepting always the tawdry efforts of pro- 
vincial theatriculism, sure and fatal a waken er 
from all romantic notions. In the wide 
domain of the great metropolitan boards 
there are no such jarring associations. 
The colouring, seen afar off through the 
misty haze always floating over the par- 
terre, is softened away into a golden vision ; 
while all other stage trickeries become in- 
vested with a certain dignity that forbids 
any degrading ideas. It is one magnificent 
sham, in which all believers coming to wor- 
ship have unbounded faith, and would grieve 
to be awakened from their delusion. Espe- 
cially is there a certain grandeur in the 
aspect of a great Paris opera-house, very in- 
spiring; even to blaze habitues, when impe- 
rial visitors are expected to occupy the grand 
loge on the left, and the stalls below are 
crowded to the full, and the balcony tiers are 
peopled with noble ladies, round whom float 
clouds of snowy muslin all so many pictures 
in gorgeous gold and crimson setting. For 
everywhere is there gold and crimson golden 
shields and garlands on this same rich crim- 
son ground. There is a flood of white sub- 
dued light from lustres diffusing everything. 
The grand army in the orchestra, ranged 
in many long files behind each other, are 
arrayed in gala costume white ties and 
evening garments to do honour to the 
august presence on the left, soon expected to 
be here. By-and-by, a rustle and general 
flutter running round, and upturning effaces in 
the parterre, betoken that beneath the golden 
crown and bee sprinkled draperies of the grand 
loge visitors have arrived, and are bestowing 
themselves in their places. Those who sit 
opposite can discern, through the open door, 
the tall figure of a Cent Garde, keeping watch 
and ward in the corridor. After an instant's 
further delay, the chef appears suddenly in 
the orchestra a man with high bald crown 
and spectacles. He opens his music hastily, 
and, looking around him, lifts his baton in 
the air. Then, one, two, three, and from a 
lone, mysterious corner rises the subdued 
tremolo of the drum. An exalting, soul- 
stirring moment that, if it be the first night 
of a new opera M. Verdi's Vfipres, say in 
which the Parisian public takes exceeding 
delight. 

Supposing it now to have reached the end 
of the opening act, and that the parties who 
purvey that ingenious sheet, L'Entreacte, the 
evening journals, and lorgnettes, are all busy 



with their callings, the curious stranger, 
looking about him, will note that m;my are 
deep in those evening papers, and that many 
more seats are void, and garnished round 
curiously with a ligature formed of a white 
handkerchief. This is but a sign that the 
absence of the late occupant is only tempo- 
rary, and that he will shortly return and 
resume his rights. But he will likewise be 
attracted by a door towards the right of the 
orchestra opening every now and then, and 
swinging to behind men of all ages and quali- 
ties. That swinging door, he will be told, 
leads to the mystic regions of the Coulisses. 
Those gentlemen have perpetual entr6e be- 
hind the scenes ; and it is by them, most 
likely, that the white mementoes have been 
left on the parterre seats. 

Behind that awful door, sits always a stern 
Cerberus stern, that is, to all who come 
without just title of entry, but otherwise 
endowed with persuasive and insinuating 
manners. He has come in contact with so 
many ranks and characters, that he has 
grown- in some sort to be a man of the world. 
But, in matters connected with duty he is 
utterly inflexible. To those whose names are 
wanting on the little roll that hangs before 
him, neither prayers, nor soothing persuasion, 
nor gold itself, can open the passage. That 
man is known to be incorruptible. M. Cer- 
berus is not to be seduced. 

Supposing, however, the stranger to have 
cemented friendly relations with one of the 
orchestra, or that M. le Directeur has kindly 
furnished him with a passeport, and the door 
has swung-to behind him, he will find him- 
self, after a few steps forward, in a very 
strange and novel scene. To say nothing of 
the mysteries overhead the pulleys and 
cordage, like the rigging of a great ship, the 
ponderous bits of scenic furniture descending 
slowly, the figures seen high in the air, walking 
across frail bridges he will be more puzzled 
with the stranger scene going on below. 
Here is a flood of people newly entered by 
that same swinging door, who are now busy 
seeking out their own friends and familiars. 
Great toppling structures are being moved 
forward by strong arms to the front. Here 
are singers walking to and fro, ch.iunting 
their parts softly to themselves ; ballerinas 
disporting fancifully, for practice sake, in the 
centre of the stage ; captains of firemen, 
with their lieutenants and subordinates, pry- 
ing curiously into out-of-the-way corners 
and by places ; M. le Directeur himself, 
walking up and down thoughtfully in charm- 
ing spirits if the house be crowded to incon- 
venience. There must be added to this, a 
perfect Babel of many tongues, of words of 
command, angry chiding, and inextinguish- 
able laughter, from the lively groups scat- 
tered over the stage. In the midst of 
all this, a voice is heard sounding clear 
above the storm, "Clear the stage, messieurs 
et mesdames ! the curtain is about to rise." 



Charles Dickene.] 



AT THE COULISSES IN PARIS. 



[July 4, 1357.1 23 



Clouds of muslin float away airily to the side. ! 
Gradually the little groups are broken up, j 
and a stream of habitues begins to flow j 
steadily through the swinging door. There j 
are signs of life to be seen in the prompter's 
little music-book opening, as it were, of 
itself. The chef re-appears in his place, and 
all is ready for the opening of act the 
second. 

There are, however, certain risks and ills 
which inexperienced Coulisse visitors are in 
some measure heir to. It is not universally 
known that there are huge balance-weights 
swinging over-head, by way of counter- 
poise, the cords of which have been known 
to give way, and the weights to come crash- 
ing down with terrific effect. Now and then 
cords and blocks drop from above, with a 
stray man occasionally. Sometimes a trap 
will open suddenly at the feet of a curious 
observer, and, if he be tempted to look down 
and see what may be coming next, he may 
perhaps find himself a cheval on some con- 
struction, and borne aloft to the clouds 
thus, for once in his life, realising his 
apotheosis. The toe of a pirouetting danseuse 
has, before now, done grievous mischief to a 
bystander's physiognomy. To such pitfalls 
are the unthinking exposed. Therefore has 
it been held that the foremost portion of the 
stage namely that nearest to the curtain 
is the most secure, and furthest removed 
from peril. 

Far behind, beyond even the remotest flat, 
may be noted two other doors, each leading 
to more regions of mystery. Thus is there 
mystery within mystery wheels within 
wheels. One of these opens into the dancers' 
hall and tiring-rooms, the other into that 
set apart for the singers. Once on a time, 
this singers' room was a glittering salon in 
the famous Hotel de Clioiseul, and still shows 
the rich white and gold adornments of that 
decorative age. At present it is a bald and 
desolate-looking apartment, its only furniture 
being a single pianoforte and a few benches. 
For, hither resort, each in their turn, the 
leading artistes to make their early ^pe- 
titions of the new opera, the maestro himself 
presiding. But, in the other salle that on 
the right the proceedings are of a more stir- 
ring and enlivening quality. It is always bril- 
liantly illuminated and garnished plentifully 
with handsome looking-glasses reaching to 
the floor. Here congregate the dansenses 
and their intimates in noisy groups. Ambas- 
sadors, ministers, peers, deputies, and marshals 
of France are to be seen here, night after night; 
Veteran Bugeaud, on one of his short Alge- 
rian furloughs, came often too. Very motley 
and diverse are the occupations of all present. 
Some are busy putting a last finish to their 
toilette, while many more are clustered round 
an ancient and generous friend affectionately 
known as papa who is distributing bon- 
bons and other sweet confection. Others, 
again, whose turn to go on will come round 



presently, are hard at work practising steps, 
putting themselves, as their phrase runs, en 
train. For this purpose specially, are fixed 
before the looking-glasses, at a convenient 
height from the ground, certain smooth 
blocks of wood. To such elevation will the 
conscientious danseuse raise her foot, and 
keep it there poised for many minutes. This 
process secures proper flexibility for what 
may be termed the pair of compasses 
manoeuvre. After a fair allowance of this 
exercise, mademoiselle takes in her own 
hands a coquettish little watering-pot, 
and, with abundance of graces, proceeds 
to sprinkle a small circle in front of 
the glass. Wrapt admirers look on in 
ecstasy, mademoiselle's own particular wor- 
shipper holding the sacred watering-pot. 
Then follows a series of bold springs entre- 
chats, as they are called and other light 
gymnastics, until Monsieur 1'Avertisseur 
there is no such degraded being as a call- 
boy until Monsieur 1'Avertisseur draws 
near and informs mademoiselle that her hour 
has come ; thereupon, mademoiselle delicately 
withdraws certain preservatives against dust 
and other foreign matter inimical to the 
tint of delicate silken hose and in an instant 
has substituted new bright satin shoes for 
the more elderly ones in which she has been 
practising. The worshipper is privileged to 
stand by, and looks on reverently at this 
toilette. 

Here, too, come the first-class artistes, in 
the broad daylight, to rehearse and receive in- 
struction in their distinct specialities ; for, 
there is a reign of terrible drudgery at those 
glittering Coulisses, side by side with that 
other reign of spangles and enchantment. 
All day long, there is a treadmill turning, 
which is worked wearily by the lofty and 
lowly of the profession. All must bend 
to this stern training regimen, and Pale 
Mattre-de-danse as surely as Pallida Mors 
stamps his impartial foot alike before the 
premidre of the ballerinas as before the 
humblest supernumerary coryphee. For these 
there is no private salle : it is a stern law 
that all their repetitions shall take place on 
the stage itself, to the bald accompaniment of 
a single violin. Very dreary, and at the 
same time very curious, are the scenes at 
this ballet rehearsal, in dull theatrical day- 
light, if only from the strange contrast to be 
seen there. Some ladies arrive magnificently, 
in their carriages drawn by English horses, 
and superbly habited in costly finery, while 
near them stands a young creature in mean, 
shabby garments, who has had to trudge it 
from some remote quartier. The stranger 
who is prying curiously about, will take note 
of their bonnets lying together upon the 
table one, an exquisite little construction, 
elegance itself, from the atelier of the imperial 
modiste ; the other, a faded, flattened thing 
beaten out of all shape, and washed in many 
a deluge of rain. Yet does mademoiselle 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[July 4, ISi/.] 



4 her humble sister with singular grace 
and kindness, and suffer herself to be ad- 
i the same easy terms. Further, if 
the poor superuumoraire has met with some 
grievous accident, or has {'alien sick and is 
thus hindered from supporting her large 
family, mademoiselle has been often known 
to take up the case with a sort of furore, 
going round among her brother and sister 
artistes, gathering moneys for the distress, >d, 
A (iash of piety, too, occasionally seasons the 
light manners of the Coulisses, most of the 
young ladies attending mass regularly every 
Sunday, and being otherwise devout. They 
may be found burning their votive candles 
be'lbre Our Lady's altar, in the hope of de- 
liverance from some little trouble. They are 
P. to little pilgrimages to holy places, 
and pray earnestly, poor souls ! too often, it 
is to be feared, that some erratic lover may 
be given back to them. 

Returning again to this day rehearsal, 
which may be likened to a sort of bivouac, 
the contemplative stranger will find many 
more subjects for his recreation. Looking 
round him, he will discover some seated in 
remote corners, deep in Sue or Paul de Kock, 
thus diligently improving their spare minutes ; 
some others are keeping close to maternal 
shelter ; while many more are reposing their 
weary limbs on sofas. 

Discipline is very strictly enforced in all 
stage business. During rep6tition a certain 
amount of toleration is extended to mirth 
and high spirits ; but, once the lamps are 
lighted and the audience gathered in front, 
any inattention or levity is visited with 
severe penalties in the shape of heavy fines. 
Mademoiselle is often disagreeably surprised, 
when betaking herself to the treasurer's 
office, at finding the week's salary 
sadly reduced by these. Oftentimes a 
note arrives from a lady, stating that she is 
stricken with sudden indisposition, and is 
consequently obliged to forego the pleasure 
of assisting at the evening's performance. 
This ought to be enough for the direction, 
who should have sympathy for the fair 
sufferer ; but the direction has little faith, 
being a dull sort of body much given to 
doubting, and so sends off suspiciously to 
know if mademoiselle be really at home and 
coniined to her room. For the poor con- 
valescent ha.'J been known to muster strength 
:ient for a little dinner at the Freres 
Provincanx <<r Maison Dore, and have occa- 
sionally been seen, when actually thought to 
be in extremis, sitting in a stall at the Fran- 
cais, arrayed in toilette most ublouissante. 
But, though unreasonably sceptical at times, 
the direction has still bowels for its Hock of 
bom! ikic sick and wounded. Fractures and 
ins attendant on miscalculated pirouettes, 
accidents from falling scenery, with other! 



mishaps, are sure to make up a full morning's 
list of casualties. Medical officers, therefore, 
attached to the establishment, receive their 
list every morning, and set forth upon tiieir 
rounds, visiting impartially the highest man- 
sarde and stately premier. A wise and 
humane dispensation this, and, in the end, 
profitable to the direction. 

The popular refection behind the scenes is 
the simple, old-established drink known as 
eau sucree, or else a little Madeira wine and 
water, or, for those who have demi voltes 
and such trying exercise before them, some 
very strong cold soup, held to be the best 
restorative of all. The danseuse usually has 
her maid, her sister, or mother, waiting at 
the side-scene, and holding for her a 
handkerchief and cloak, wilh a cup of the 
cold soup elixir. The tried campaigner of 
the ball season also knows the efficacy of 
this strengthening extract. Often does 
some figurante, after lavishing her set round 
of smiles upon parterre and stalls, fall 
trembling into her mother's arms at the 
wing with a deep cry of pain. " O, mother ! 
how T suffer!" Then, after a little of the 
panacea and a few moments' rest, she goes 
forth again full of nods and becks and 
wreathed smiles, and all the world theatrical 
holds unanimously that never was mademoi- 
selle in more bewitching or inhetter verve than 
to-night. A common ill to which the danseuse 
is subject, is a sort of chronic inflammation of 
the nostrils, which obliges the mouth to be 
kept open for the sake of taking breath, and 
is found very distressing. This is the b3te 
noir of the ballet, for which, as yet, there 
has been no cure discovered beyond time and 
patience. 

AVe have taken but a glimpse at tins 
Coulisses : hardly sufficient perhaps for those 
who, being men of Bohemia, wish to go deep 
into the subject. For such readers, have !><>> :i 
lately written certain voluminous chronicles, 
records of managerial life and troubles, with 
which the Parisian market has been inun- 
dated, and which set forth minutely, many 
curious details. 



Nearly ready, price Five Shillings iim 1 . Sixpence, neatly 
bound in cloth, 

THE FIFTEENTH VOLUME 

or 

HOUSEHOLD WORDS, 

Coiit-uuiii" the Numbers issued between tlio Third of 
January and the Twenty-seventh of June of tiie present 
year. 



Just published, in Two Volumes, post 8vo, price Oae 
GtdnM, 

THE DEAD SECRET. 

BY WILIUE COLLINS. 
Bradbury aud Evans, Whitetriarg. 



/ of Translating Articles from HOUSEHOLD WOUDS is reservedly the -Authors. 



S ottizUd at tLe Office, No. 16. WeUinzio Street Xr.:tli, StiauO. riinteJ by :). st , TnOtefriaw, tondon. 



"Familiar in their Mouths as HOUSEHOLD WORDS." 



HOUSEHOLD WOKDS. 

A WEEKLY JOURNAL, 
CONDUCTED BY CHARLES DICKENS. 



- 381.] 



SATURDAY, JULY 11, 1857. 



PniCB 3d. 
STAMPED 3,?. 



DOCTOES' BILLS. 

WHEN a young gentleman who lias no in- 
capacity for the enjoyment of baked meats 
and pastry, being tried with beef can eat 
none, being tried with tin-key turns against 
poultry, chokes in the struggle to get pud- 
ding down, and even lets a strawberry lie 
whole in his month because he cannot 
make up his mind to swallow it, there is a 
question that may reasonably occur to his 
Mends, Can he be hungry ? We are good 
friends of the medical profession, and we 
have now at our elbow a pile of Parliamen- 
tary bills that have been introduced by one at 
a time or two at a time just now trial is 
being made with two at a time under the 
belief that each may be the bill beginning, 
"Whereas it is expedient to amend the laws 
relating to the medical pi-ofession," which 
the medical profession says it wants. The 
profession cries, or is said to cry, " Beef ! " 
gets beef, and declares it too tough or too 
tender, too dry or too juicy. Away it goes. 
The profession cries or is said to cry 
" Pudding ! " and is offered a great choice of 
puddings, but eats none. The profession 
only wants a bit of cheese, but there is no 
cheese that is the cheese. Yet the profes- 
sion, though it can eat nothing, really seems 
to feel uneasy in the stomach. As friends, 
we suggest that, perhaps the sense is one, not 
of a void to be filled, but of a weight to be 
thrown off. The similitude is less agreeable 
than apt. We take another. 

A young lady, tending to be buxom, feels 
a difficulty in getting on, complains of 
cold at the extremities, looks blue in the 
face, and calls iu a variety of surgeons and 
physicians. The young lady's name is Miss 
Hygeia. One adviser prescribes blisters to 
the right leg, another prescribes blisters to 
the left leg ; various cunning surgeons even 
suggest odd morsels of amputation here and 
there, and there is no potion that is not to be 
found in U\e prescriptions laid upon the 
table for her benefit, upon the table of 
the House of Commons. The young lady is 
the medical profession. Some very ordinary 
persons, who are not cunning at all, don't see 
any use in blistering her legs cauterising 
by law the medical corporations or in 
shaving her head, and cupping her behind 



the brain taking the strength, by law, out 
of the universities ; and think it a wise 
instinct that keeps her from the swallowing 
of any legal potion. It is, they say, a pure 
case of tight lacing. Cut her stays. 

While we write, two rival dockets of 
opinion and advice upon her case medical 
bills are before the public. In each, the 
advice is to put her in some sort of irons, 
dose, and bandage her ; in neither is it re- 
commended that her chest be cut loose, and 
allowed to work as it can work if left to 
nature. A woman can live without being 
fixed in a machine that shall inflate her 
lungs for her, push up her diaphragm, and 
regulate the rise and fall of every rib. So 
can a profession ; though the legislators for 
physician, surgeon, and apothecary don't 
appear to think so. Of the two courses of 
treatment proposed in the case of Hygeia 
(the one by Mr. Headlam, the other by Lord 
Elcho), one involves more cramping and 
dosing than the other, and is, therefore, by so 
much worse than the other. If either be 
adopted, we shall presently have reason to 
show why one should be taken and the other 
left. But we have, in the first place, our 
own counsel to give. Undoubtedly Hygeia 
is blue in the face ; she does find some diffi- 
culty in getting on, she is very much starved 
at the extremities, and is weaker than she 
ought to be about the head. Something must 
be done for her ; but what ? We say, do 
not dose, bleed, blister, amputate, or bandage : 
simply, Cut her stays. 

Setting aside metaphor, let us ask what is 
the main thing proposed by the law-makers ? 
or the bill-makers : they never get so far as 
to the making of a law. " For the good of the 
public," one bill declares itself to be. " For 
the good of the profession, I am," says 
another. 

Here is one that was introduced by Mr. 
Warburton, Mr. Wakley, and Mr. Hawes, in 
the year eighteen hundred and forty, whereas 
and because it was " expedient that all male 
persons practising medicine in the United 
Kingdom should be registered ; and that 
all properly educated medical practitioners 
should be encouraged to exercise their pro- 
fession, in all or any of its branches in what- 
soever parts of the British," et coetera. The 
bill set up a machinery of registrars and 



VOL. 5 VI. 



381 



26 [July 11, 1SI>7.] 



HOUSEHOLD WOEDS. 



[Conducted by 



sub-registrars, and proposed taxing the doc- 
tors for the means of paying its expenses. It 
proposed to get up a medical council for 
each of the three parts of the United King- 
dom ; in each council there were to be thirty- 
six men ; in each thirty-six there were to be 
four-and-twenty representatives chosen by 
universal suffrage of the registered practi- 
tioners, c., &c. ; also there was to be a 
general election of six every year, &c., &c. 
There was to be a medical senate, as there 
is a clerical senate (a senate among senates), 
and then there was to be a new college of 
medicine. We need not go into details. 
It is not at all surprising to us, that the 
medical profession could not make up its 
mind that this was the bill of bills. 

In the year following, Mr. Hawes, Mr. 
E\vart, and Mr. Button introduced this bill 
again, with variations of detail ; the chief 
variation being the extinction of the idea of 
another college. There was to be general 
registration. Bolus and Scalpel were to take 
out annual certificates, and pay for them. 
There was to be a Scotch council, an Irish 
council, and an English council, of twenty in 
each, the members elected by ballot. They 
were to form a lower house ; and there was 
to be formed of its select men an upper 
house or medical senate. The profession natu- 
rally did not care greatly to be bothered with 
the addition of this new machinery to the 
clogs already tied about its body. 

We jump to the years forty-four and forty- 
five, during which Sir James Graham was 
engaged in compounding a pill for the doc- 
tors. Forty-five was a great year for 
measures and amended measures. Sir James, 
in a second version of a former device of his 
own, proposed a new council of health, with 
one of Her Majesty's principal Secretaries of 
State for president, the medical Eegius Pro- 
fessor, and certain other persons for the 
members. The council was to see that a 
register was kept, to see that examinations 
were of the right sort, and to protect as 
well as meddle with existing medical cor- 
porations, leaving them their monopolies to 
all intents and purposes intact. This bill 
was taken into a committee room, whence it 
emerged with a new royal college of general 
practitioners fastened to its tail. Lut the 
profession didn't really care about state 
councils and royal colleges. The bill was 
torn down; and, in the succeeding year, a new 
bill was pasted over it by Mr. Wakley and Mr. 
Warburton. This bill aimed simply at secur- 
ing registration. It went into committee and 
came out an amended bill; of which the pur- 
port was that all qualified surgeons were to 
be compelled to take in, as a sort of annual, 
price five shillings, their marriage lines to 
the profession whereto they were joined, and 
be able to prove by them, and by them only, 
that they were wedded to it lawfully. The 
doctors didn't care very much about these 
marriage lines. They were proposed to them 



again in the year following, with the addi- 
tion of some machinery for enabling a " said 
Secretary of State" to secure uniformity of 
qualification among doctors. The profession 
didn't believe in this bill either. We break 
off the catalogue and come at once to the 
time present, which begins last year. 

Mr. Headlam introduced last year a new 
medical bill, which suffered metamorphosis 
in a committee of the House of Commons. 
This year the metamorphosed bill appears in 
the House under Lord Elcho's guardianship, 
and the unaltered bill also appears in the 
House, it being again brought forward by 
Mr. Headlam. 

Before we describe the substance of the two 
new propositions, we must state one very 
essential fact ; because, in the different modes 
of dealing with this fact, there lies the real 
difference between the spirit of the one bill and 
the spirit of the other. There are two sets of 
examining bodies in Great Britain, first, the 
corporations of physicians, of surgeons, and of 
apothecaries ; second, the sevei-al universities. 
The universities can grant degrees, of which 
some do and some do not convey the right 
of practice, and some give the right of prac- 
tising only within a given area. The general 
spirit of Mr. Headlam's bill is to protect the 
corporations and keep down the universities ; 
the general spirit of the other bill is to pro- 
tect the universities and keep down some, at 
least, of the corporations. Each, at the same 
time, sets up a medical council and a scheme 
of registration. 

So we have in the new bills a strong 
family likeness to the whole gallery of their 
predecessors. Medical reform is still held 
to be the destroying of something that does 
exist and the creating of something that does 
not exist. As commonly proposed, it is the 
destruction of some bit of life and the creation 
of some bit of machinery in place of it. 

But the thing really wanted is more ful- 
ness of life and less restriction.^ While the 
bandaging of the afflicted profession has been 
discussed year after year in Parliament, 
the afflicted profession itself, restive or in- 
different about every such proposal, has been 
developing fast, and working its way nobly 
forward to a higher life. Except the London 
College of Physicians, there is scarcely a 
medical examining body in the kingdom that 
has not made more or less rapid advance in 
its demands on the wit of candidates for its 
approval; and in the very front of this great 
forward movement there now stands the 
University of London. It is, we think, 
simply absurd to propose the delivery of this 
young giant of a calling, tied and bound, into 
the hands of any single state council, or of 
any corporation. To deliver up the profes- 
sion of physic in England as serf to the 
London College of Physicians one conse- 
quence of Mr. Headlam's propositions is of 
all conceivable mistakes the worst. That 
body includes many very able men ; but, as a 



Charles l)ickens.J 



DOCTOES' BILLS. 



[July 11,1357.] 2V 



body, is so starved by the legal fiction that 
its F.B.C.P.s are the Few Really Competent 
Persons practising medicine in the metro- 
polis, that there is not a more decrepit cor- 
poration to be found in the three kingdoms. 
Some little time ago, when a medical journal 
said that a certain physician of mark had 
applied for and obtained the fellowship of 
the London College, that physician thought 
it due to his credit to write to the medical 
journal and explain that he did not ask the 
college to give ; but that on the part of the 
college he was asked to take. The college 
has nothing to rely upon but the prestige of 
an old name and a reputation bolstered up 
by law. It is as dead as the dead tongue in 
which it carries on the farce of an exami- 
nation with its candidates. Nothing short 
of the abandoning of its monopolies will 
bring its blood again into free circulation. 
Corporations could work under the defence 
of monopolies in those old days when men 
worked under the defence of helmet, breast- 
plate, gauntlet, greaves, and buckler. Now-a- 
days, there are many fragments of old charter 
still in use, that are fit only to be exhibited at 
Manchester in the same cases with the old 
armour and firelocks of three centuries ago. 

We are persuaded that what the medical 
profession really wants in this age of its most 
rapid progress, is a complete abandonment 
of the dead principle of protection, and the 
admission of free trade throughout its bor- 
ders. The article to be produced as all the 
bill-makers protest is a well-educated prac- 
titioner of medicine. We are more likely to 
get this when there are fifty licensing bodies, 
all dependent for their life on their good re- 
putation and competing for precedence of 
credit, than when there is one central council 
managing everything, and there are one or 
two fat corporations undertaking to do all 
the work in a sweet concord with the deni- 
zens of Downing Street. 

It is said that we have here a special case 
to which it is not possible to apply the prin- 
ciple of competition. That licensing bodies 
have a tendency to underbid each other, and 
to' pass incompetent men for the sake of 
pocketing their fees. The plan was tried by 
one or two bodies, and was found so ruinous 
so perfectly analogous to the killing of the 
goose which laid the golden eggs that the 
utmost paius were taken to give publicity to 
the fact of its utter abandonment. 

London corporations sometimes sneer at 
the Scotch universities. A London practi- 
tioner is often heard to say that a St. An- 
drew's degree is good for nothing. But we 
find, on inquiry, that only last May, of fifty- 
seven candidates for the M.D. of St. An- 
drew's, fourteen were rejected ; and that, of 
the fourteen, all but one had obtained licences 
and diplomas of other privileged corporations, 
chiefly in England. English general practi- 
tioners every year show in many cases that 
they are not up to the St. Andrew's mark, 



whatever that may be. There is another fact. 
Public opinion in the profession does not 
regard a degree obtained at St. Andrew's 
University as, by itself, a complete title to 
practise physic. The consequence is that 
during the last eleven years, five hundred 
and seventy-three persons have obtained that 
degree at Aberdeen ; and, in this number, 
there were only thirty-four who so much as 
applied for a diploma without being already 
furnished with another licence : while, even, 
of the thirty-four, there can be no doubt that 
the greater number afterwards presented 
themselves elsewhere for examination. Does 
this look as if medical licensing bodies 
thought it worth while to underbid each 
other, or as if medical men found their 
account in getting a small licence to practise 
on the easiest terms and in the cheapest 
market ? 

Our belief is, that the thing really wanted 
by the medical profession, is permission to 
take freely its own manner of growth. Let 
no establishment, whether an old guild or a 
new university, claim any title to respect 
that it cannot make good, and let the lead be 
taken by whatever body can command it 
best. Let there be no licensing to practice 
within so many miles of Charing Cross, and 
not beyond. Within reasonable bounds let 
all licensing bodies have full play for their 
best energies, and let a man declared com- 
petent to physic his neighbour on one side of 
the Tweed, physic him also on the other side. 
Let no institution have about itself an atmo- 
sphere poisonous to men licensed by any rival 
body. Let every licence be a licence, full and 
frank ; only, whenever a man practises, let it 
be known whence his licence comes, and how 
much it is worth. Experience of late years 
has clearly shown that the tendency of com- 
petition among licensing bodies is to increase 
the strictness of the test applied to candi- 
dates, it being felt that this determines, "more 
than anything, the value of the licence and 
the degree of respect paid to the body giving 
it. Now, what do the manufacturers of parlia- 
mentary bills for the doctors usually want ? 

They want a public registration of all qua- 
lified practitioners, and a uniform standard 
of qualification, generally determined by 
some sort of professional Privy Council, Par- 
liament, or House of Convocation. 

There can be no harm in an official register. 
Private enterprise has indeed already fur- 
nished two medical directories, published 
annually, and containing the names and quali- 
fications of all legal practitioners of medi- 
cine. Jealousy and self-interest keep watch, 
over the accuracy of these volumes ; they 
are cheap, and a patient who may happen 
to know so little about his medical adviser as 
to wish to look his name out in a dictionary, 
may as well, we think, turn to a cheap 
medical directory managed by private enter- 
prise under the corrective influence of com- 
petition, as to a dear article of the same sort 



28 [July 11, 1857.] 



HOUSEHOLD WOEDS. 



[Conducted 



compiled hi an ostentatious, cumbrous way 
by the official medical council, and one of her 
Majesty's principal Secretaries of State. The 
register, we may be sure, will not be the 
more popular for being a blue book instead 
of a red book. But, we do not dwell upon 
that point. A trustworthy medical directory 
is a good thing, and such a work may need an 
Act of Parliament for its production or it 
may not. 

The next is the troublesome point uni- 
formity of test. That notion is, we are 
convinced, moonshine. To have uniformity 
of test in examinations, one must have uni- 
formity of brains in all examiners, and 
uniformity of ready wit in all the candidates. 
On the whole, upto a certain point, the tougher 
the examination has been the more it is 
worth ; but the best parts of a man's skill are 
those that cannot be brought out except by 
one examiner out of a thousand in the way oi 
catechism. Comparative ignorance with tact, 
may find its use among the sick more surely 
than dull knowledge that does not give heed 
to the mere instincts of quick wit. There 
are not two practitioners in Britain uniformly 



say, and if they, or either of them, be pro- 
;eeded with in Parliament, we shall proceed 
io the discussion of them in this journal also. 
But if they be dropped, we shall save our ink 
and paper. 

GASTON, THE LITTLE WOLF. 

IN eighteen hundred and twenty-four art 
old lady named Madame de Sariac, living in 
Gascony, had one of those nursery fights 
with her grandson aged seven, which at the 
time are treated as eternal sins, and after- 
wards regarded as prospective virtues. Younr* 
master had been required to kneel and 
demand pardon for some misdeed : young 
master refused. Backing into a corner, he 
doubled his little fists, and in a voice of 
infantine thunder exclaimed, " Touch me if 
you dare ! " Old grandmamma Sariac was 
fain to leave her rebellious descendant to his 
own devices : which rebellious descendant 
was Gaston de Eaousset-Boulbon, the Little 
Wolf of that Gascon household. On another 
occasion the Little Wolf, offended by Baptiste, 
ordered Baptiste out of the house. The old 



qualified ; and we believe that the differences servant, not taking the dismissal of a baby 
between mind and mind, after examination has 



beenpassed, are so great, as to reduce to insig- 
nificance the value of a few questions, more or 
less, in the preliminary test. A physician 
who has obtained his degrees with honours 
recognised as honours by his own fraternity, 
may be content with the seal thus set on his 



preliminary studies, and thenceforward prac- I between him and me ! 



much to heart, remained ; and the next 
morning performs his services as usual. 
Little Wolf, furious, appeals to grandmamma. 
Grandmamma, indignant at this baby invasion 
of her authority, upholds Baptiste. 

" Very well ! " lisps Little Wolf in an 
agony of passion, "then you must choose 



tise as if all the ends of study were achieved. 



True to his word 



If he stays I go." 
the young autocrat 



His friend, who narrowly escaped rejection at disappeared that very night, and was only 



the easiest examining board to which he could 
apply for a diploma, may have been ad- 
monished of his slender competence in know- 
ledge, and impelled to study as he works on 



recovered when he had wandered three good 
leagues away on the Toulouse road. Another 
time also he started off. This was when M. le 
Comte de Eaousset-Boulbon, senior, came to 



in the world. In five years the position of j take him to the Jesuits' College at Fribourg ; 
the two men is reversed. By the preliminary ! and papa Boulbon was a man so cold, so 
test in medicine, as in all other walks of life, j stern, so severe, that even the Little Wolf 
the subsequent career can seldom be deter- j was daunted, and preferred the woods and 



mined. 

We do not believe, then, that it matters 
a jot to the profession or the public whether 
there be ten or a hundred licensing bodies 
in Great Britain to whom students may 
apply for leave to practise medicine, so 



hunger to that iron face and icy heart. 
This time he was two nights in the forest ; 
but the old count caught him at last, and 
hauled him off to Fribourg. 

The Jesuits received him kindly, and 
educated him judiciously. He had been 



long as it is made certain by the course eight years at the college, and had never re- 
of past experience, and by the increasing ceived a punishment in any shape, when, one 



height of the ground taken by its practi- 
tioners on behalf of physic and surgery, that 
nobody will get a legal qualification who 
has not spent several years in a fixed course 
of training for his work, and who has not satis- 
fied certain examiners. Of these examiners, 
the easiest we know, measure their candidates 
by as high a standard as a Secretary of State 
would find it prudent or just to assign as a 
minimum. 

Thus far we have expressed our opinion of 
the bills usually framed relative to doctors. 



day he was seventeen now the reverend 
father ordered him to kneel during the even- 
ing lesson, as expiation of some collegiate 
offence of which he had been guilty. 

" I will only kneel before GOD," be said to- 
the father Gralic6. 

" You must obey, or leave the college : '* 
answered the father. 

" My choice is made ;" replied Gaston, and 
he left the college that very evening. 

A short time after this he came of age. 
His father called him into his study, and 



Of the two doctors' bills introduced during 1 in the presence of a notary, gave him up 
the present session we have sundry things to ! all the accounts of his minority, putting 



Charles Dickens.] 



GASTON THE LITTLE WOLF. 



[July 11, 1S57.] 29 



him in immediate possession of the fortune 
devolving on him through his mother, and 
taking his receipt with the terrible formality 
and automaton-like stolidity of his character. 
Gaston remained a short time with his father 
after this ; but the severe rule of the old 
royalist was not much to his taste ; and, in a 
few months, the young Count de Eaousset- 
Boulbon, handsome, ardent, rich, accom- 
plished and generous, found himself in 
the full flood of Parisian temptation and 



Parisian 
wearing 



excess, 
off the 



He 
thin 



was not 
lacker of 



long in 
modesty 



and humility with which his collegiate edu- 
cation might have covered his natural impe- 
tuosity ; not long either in forsaking the 



he had to take to various unpoetical means of 
earning a simple subsistence. At last, wearied 
with his position, and having in him a far 
nobler character and larger nature than the 
life of the Boulevards could satisfy, he re- 
solved on going to Algeria ; there to settle 
and colonise on a grand scale. Gaston de 
Baousset could do nothing in miniature. 
His father died about this time, and the 
additional portion which came into his hands 
helped him on wonderfully in Algeria. 

His life was by no means dull or unin- 
teresting there. He made himself renowned 
as one of the most daring sportsmen of the 
colony ; he performed many brilliant actions 
as a military volunteer ; and he kept a kind 



white flag, in allegiance to which he had ; of open house for all who cared to accept his 
been brought up, for the tricolor and the faith almost regal hospitality. He also wrote a 



of la jeune .France. A year of Parisian life 
sent him down to his father's house a very 
different being to what he was even when he 



political pamphlet, which attracted consider- 
able notice, and procured him the favour of 
the new governor of Algeria, the Due 



left it. From the royalist school-boy had d'Aumale. All was going on merrily, when 
emerged the republican dandy. Papa [the revolution of Eighteen hundred and 
Boulbon was horrified. After dinner, while forty-eight broke out ; and Gaston de 
Gaston smoked his cigar on the terrace, he Eaousset, like many others, was crushed 
said to his wife (Gaston's mother-in-law ; his and ruined by the blow. But Gaston 



own mother had died when he was an infant) : 
" Madam, it will be painful to me to dispute 
with my son ; impossible to support his oppo- 
sition. You see him ! He returns to us 
from Paris with a beard, and a cigar between 
his lips. Let the cigar pass : but tell him, I 
pray you, madam, that it does not become a 



was none the less a republican because the 
republic had destroyed his fortunes. He 
was not one to hunt with the hounds for the 
moment of their success, unless he could join 
heartily in the game ; and his speeches to 
the electors of the Bouches des Bh6ne, and 
of Yaucluse, his articles in the journal which 



man of his birth to wear a beard like a mou- | he edited for more than a year, his whole 



jik, and that I shall be obliged to him if he 
will make a sacrifice of it to my wishes." 
Gaston's beard was a very fine one : he 



conduct and language bound him publicly to 
the cause of liberty, though he made but 
little personal gain out of his advocacy. For, 



was proud of it, and it added not a little j he failed at the general elections, and he 
to his beauty ; but the old man was not one | failed at the election for the Legislative 
to say nay to. Gaston yielded ; and, the next ' Assembly. Disgusted at his non-success, he 



morning, appeared with a smooth chin. 

" Monsieur," said the count to him, " I 
thank you for your deference to my wishes." 

A few days after this, he said again to his 
wife : " Madam, I authorise you to tell my 
son, that he may let his beard grow again. 
After duly considering the matter, I do not 
see any objections to it." 

Gaston, charmed, locked up his razors ; but 
the old man soon grew disgusted and impa- 



quitted Paris and France for the golden land 
of California. 

He sailed from Southampton on the 
seventeenth of May in the Avon, going as a 
steerage passenger among sailors and ser- 
vants. It was a hard trial for his pride ; also 
for one of his luxurious habits ; but the other 
French gentlemen on board soon found out 
his real value, and, steerage passenger as 
he was, he associated with the cabiu pas- 



tient at the unseemly stubble that necessarily sengers as their equal : which assuredly he 



prefaced the full-grown beard. 



was, and somewhat their superior. At San 



" Madam," he said, one evening, " decidedly \ Francisco he turned fisherman and fish sales- 
a beard does not become Gaston. I pray you, man ; then he was a lighterman, woi-king hard 



tell him to shave it off again.' 

For all answer to this request, Gastou 
went up stairs, packed up his trunks, and 
started that night for Paris. The father and 
son never met again. 

Eeturned to Paris, Gaston plunged with 
even fiercer passion and more reckless 
licence, into the dissipations and vices of his 
class ; realising in himself all the mad extra- 
vagances which Leon Gozlan, Balzac, Kock, 
and others, have described as belonging to 
the " lion " of the nineteenth century. Of 



from morning to night, in lading and unlading 
ships ; and lastly, he went oif to Los Angeles 
and San Diego to buy cows, for the purpose 
of reselling them at an enormous profit at 
San Francisco. He made the journey many 
times ; once striking off on a solitaiy voyage 
of discovery. But his cow-selling ended 
disastrously, though it gave him a clear 
knowledge of the country, and enabled him 
to mature the great project he had con- 
ceived. The weakness of the Mexican govern- 
ment, and the hatred of the people for the 



course, his fortune was soon dissipated, and Americans, gave him the idea of forming a 



SO [July 11. issr. 



HOUSEHOLD WOKDS. 



[Conducted by 



Sonora, "a valiant French barrier," which 
should both protect Mexico against the 
United States, and form the nucleus of an 
important French colony. Mr. Dillon, the 
French consul at San Francisco, was con- 
sulted on this project. He entered into it 
warmly ; gave M. de Raousset letters of 
introduction to leading people, able to help 
him ; and, our hero left for Mexico, to lay his 
plans before the house of Jeker, Torre, and 
Company, bankers. 

This was the project proposed : The mines 
of Arizona, which had been abandoned for 
a long while, owing to the terrible neighbour- 
hood of the Apaches Indians, were known as 
the richest and most easily worked in all So- 
nora. The Mexican govei'nnient was to grant 
these mines to Raousset, and he was to free 
them from the Indians, develop their resources, 
and make them the nucleus of French emi- 
gration. In about two months' time, the 
Restauradora company was formed, and a 
formal concession of the land was made to it 
by General Arista, president of the Mexican 
republic. Two mouths after, Raousset signed 
a private treaty with the directors of the 
company engaging to land at once at Guay- 
mas, in Sonora, with a hundred and fifty 
armed men under military organisation, to 
explore and take possession of Arizona and 
her mines ; the society undertaking the cost 
of the expedition, sending ammunition and 
provision to Guaymas, and to Saric, half 
way between Guaymas and Arizona. For 
his share, Raousset was to have the half of 
the land, the mines, and the places already 
found and to be found. M. Aguilar, governor 
of Sonora ; and M. Levasseur, French minister 
at Mexico, were members of the Restaura- 
dora Society ; famished with powerful let- 
ters of introduction and protection, notably 
to General Blanco, military chief of Sonora ; 
our hero and his little band disembarked at 
Guaymas, in June, eighteen hundred and 
fifty-two. 

Immediately on landing, he wrote to 
General Blanco, who had been apprised be- 
forehand by M. Levasseur of the expedition. 
The general feigned astonishment, ignorance, 
and hesitation ; and commanded Raousset 
to wait inactive at Guaymas until he had 
made up his mind what he should do with 
him and his followers. The minister remon- 
strated ; Raousset complained ; the general 
was firm. For, a rival company had been 
formed in Mexico to dispute the possession of 
Arizona with the Restauradora Society ; and 
Blanco and the leading men of Guaymas be- 
longed to it. After a month spent in inaction, 
luxury, and rapid demoralisation of the 
whole band, Raousset went alone to Her- 
mosillo, where his volunteers were to join 
him. But his troops fell into disputations 
and anarchy by the way ; and Raousset had 
to gallop back to near Guaymas, to rally, rate, 
and reform them. At Hermosillo he made 
an example of some of the ringleaders, whom 



he dismissed with contempt, and the little 
band fell again quietly under his control. On 
the fifteenth of August they arrived at the 
Pueblo di Santa Anna, en route to Saric, 
where food and stores awaited them ; and 
there Raousset received a notice signed by 
Blanco, and addressed to the department, which 
"required the French to renounce their nation- 
ality ; or, in case of refusal, they were to be 
forced to re-embark." M. de Raousset re- 
fused to obey this dictum, or to accept the 
alternative ; and he and his men pushed on 
to Saric, where two dragoons brought them 
the general's final and irrevocable decision : 
that they must either become Mexican 
soldiers without pay as such they might 
claim the mines ; or they might be still 
Frenchmen, but then strangers, and incapable 
of possessing land, according to the ancient 
law of Mexico ; or they might reduce their 
band to fifty men, under a responsible 
Mexican chief, in which case they might 
march at once to Arizona, and take posses- 
sion of the mines in the name and for the 
service of the Restauradora Company. 
Raousset assembled his men, read them the 
conditions of the general, and asked what 
course they would take ? They unanimously 
refused Blanco's proposition, and determined 
on continuing the expedition according to the 
terms of the agreement made with the Res- 
tauradora Company. The prefect of Altar, 
under whose jurisdiction Saric was included, 
next forbade further march, or future posses- 
sion to these armed French immigrants ; 
and Colonel Gimenez not only added insult 
to his compatriot's breach of faith, but even 
wrote privately to Lenoir, Raousset's senior 
lieutenant, to urge him to seize the command 
of the troop, and deliver them over to the 
Mexican authorities. Lenoir gave the letter 
to Raousset, who read it aloud to the band ; 
and they, for all answer, cried " To arms ! " 
with more vigour than prudence. Raousset 
restrained them for the moment ; but further 
correspondence with the Mexicans having 
proved to him that nothing was to be got by 
patience or by parley, he declared war. On 
the twenty-third of September, he and his 
men quitted Saric, and marched back on 
Hermosillo, stopping for a week at La Made- 
laine, then in all the gaiety and joyousness of 
her fete-time. At La Madelaine was a young 
girl, fair as a Saxon, tall, proud, and beauti- 
ful. Some one at her father's attacked the 
character of Raousset. She defended him, 
although her father, being one of the princi- 
pal authorities of Sonora, was officially Ins 
enemy. An old lady said satirically ; '' My 
dear Autonia, are you seriously in love with 
this pirate chief 1 " 

"Yes," answered Antonia, rising and 
draping herself in her rebozo, "I do love this 
pirate, as you call him. Yes ; I love him ! " 

The next evening Antonia, in the sight of 
six thousand people, went to the pirate- 
count's camp, and into the tent. 



Ciarle Dickens.] 



STICKYTOES. 



[July 11, 1857.] 31 



In eight days Hermosillo was readied ; 
and in an hour after the preliminary parley 
with Novai'a, the temporary prefect, the 
French with a severe loss of officers and 
men were masters of the town, and the war 
was fairly begun. As the Northern Sono- 
rians hated the present government and 
favoured the French immigration, it seemed 
as if it would be the signal for a general revolt. 
Perhaps it would have decided the question 
had Raousset been enabled to follow up the 
advantage he had gained ; but, unfortunately 
for him, he fell sick immediately after the 
battle, and, more dead than alive, was carried 
back to Guaymas by his men, utterly demo- 
ralised by the want of their leader and the 
loss of their officers. A short distance from 
Guaymas a messenger fromM.Calvo,a French 
merchant, prayed de Raousset not to advance 
further ; but to see the general and to patch 
up some kind of treaty which should prevent 
further bloodshed. Raousset was march- 
ing on Guaymas, and would have surely taken 
it, even in the present enfeebled state of his 
band, as it was totally undefended and un- 
protected. Eaousset obeyed the suggestion ; 
but no good came of it ; and, in the evening, 
his sickness increased, so that for three weeks 
he was insensible, and hovering between life 
and death. When he recovered he found that 
the company had treated with General 
Blanco, and had accepted forty thousand 
piastres for the evacuation of Souora. 

As soon as he was able Eaousset went to 
San Francisco to organise another expedition ; 
and at this moment Walker, the Fillibuster, 
offered him the command of his troops in 
Lower California, which offer he refused. 
Arista now gave up the presidency of the 
Mexican re public, which Santa Anna assumed. 
The Frenchman believed in Santa Anna, and 
hoped as much as he believed. But the two 
men quarrelled in their interviews ; and 
de Eaousset in revenge entered into a plot 
against Santa Anna, which was discovered ; 
the plotter himself receiving timely intima- 
tion of his betrayal, and so able to escape the 
doom which else would have overtaken him 
then. He returned to San Francisco ; still 
with Sonora, the mines of Arizona and 
Antonia in his head, and he worked at his 
plan so well that in the middle of May, 
eighteen hundred and fifty- four, he sailed for 
Guaymas, prepared to take his own course 
for weal or woe. He began his journey 
by garotting the American captain, who 
wished to delay the start owing to the ter- 
rible weather ; and, on the twenty-eighth of 
June, he landed at Guaymas. His first 
measures were abortive ; but his presence 
excited the French soldiers and emigrants in 
the town to the last degree. Mexican folly 
and insolence were not wanting to exaspe- 
rate this French pride and rapacity, and 
soon a struggle between the two parties 
was inevitable. Fights in different parts of 
the town inflamed the bad blood already 



roused ; and, when a body of armed Indians 
and a large number of troops from the inte- 
rior arrived to strengthen the Mexicans, all 
hope of peace was at an end. The French 
soldiers clamoured for war ; for a sudden 
onset and the leadership of the count ; 
Raousset nothing loth urged on the 
scheme, of which he undertook both the 
responsibility and the command. After 
three hours' hard fighting the insurgents laid 
down their arms ; Raousset broke his sword, 
and was conducted as a prisoner to the con- 
sul's house. It had been a combat between 
four hundred on the insurgents' side and eigh- 
teen hundred on the Mexican. Ten days after 
Raousset was tried and condemned, and, two 
days aftev, was executed. He refused to allow 
his eyes to be bandaged, and met his death 
with a calm, grave courage that had some- 
thing truly heroic in it. He fell at the first 
vollej', and the Sonorians lamented him as 
the fallen defender of their independence. 
Here were grand talents and a rich nature 
lost, which under more favourable circum- 
stances might have revolutionised a hemi- 
sphere. His biographer, Henry de la Made- 
lene, calls him a " Cortes slain at the outset ;" 
and a second Cortes he might, indeed, have 
proved, had he known the material out of 
which man fashions success. 



STICKYTOES. 



IN these latter days, a radical revolution 
has broken out in the kingdom of Petland. 
The lowest membei's of zoological society 
have risen to the highest dignities. Sea- 
anemones, and others of equally doubtful 
position, assume to be regarded as domestic 
pets. The aquavivaria, marine and fresh, 
have introduced a host of aspirants after 
the daily smiles and tenderness of ladies ; 
and there are symptoms that even invisible 
pets, curious and choice animalcules, rotifers, 
and vorticellse, will, before long, be tended, 
fed, and cherished, as rustic adornments in 
our homes of taste. "Liberty, fraternity, 
equality !" is the unanimous cry of multitudes 
of oppressed candidates for admission to 
our drawing-rooms. " A fair stage, and no 
favour ! " shout an ark-full of dumb but 
noisy animals. "No close boroughs, for 
proud, exclusive, long-eared rabbits ! down 
with aristocratic Italian greyhounds, King 
Charles's spaniels, and Angora cats ! Abo- 
lish the privileged monopoly of canaries, 
guinea-pigs, piping bulfinches, and your 
petitioners, the entire roll-call of living things 
created, the united body of members entered 
on the list of Cuvier's Zoology, will ever 
pray. Justice to flying things ; justice to 
swimming things ; justice to all !" 

At the next election of a fashionable pet, I . 
have a candidate of my own to propose. 
Ladies and gentlemen, I beg to present to 
your notice the Honourable Mr. Verdant 
Stickytoes, of ancient lineage, accustomed to 



32 



". I 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



public speaking in a clear flute-like voice, 
which you may distinctly hear further off than 
I dare state, and which has earned for him, 
from ill-natured auditors, the nickname of 
roquet, cur-dog, or barker. But, as every 
village dame thinks the mew of her own pro- 
per cat melodious ; as every proprietor of a 
husky-voiced dog considers that hoarse dog's 
bark equal to the finest tenor voice ; why may 
I not rank the cry of my prot6ge to be equal 
in tone to the sweetest flageolet 1 

My first acquaintance with him happened 
thus : Walking in the environs of Padua one 
blazing September afternoon, while wonder- 
ing whether Portia had ever strolled in that 
direction, my eye was caught by the leaf of a 
plane-tree, whose yellowness betrayed the 
approach of autumn. In the middle of that 
leaf was a bright green spot, in which, on 
close inspection, might be detected something 
of a human shape, squatting close, with eyes, 
hands, arms, and legs, of tiny and imp-like 
symmetry. It was a miniature of Nicholas 
Senior, after he has put on his pea-green 
suit, which he keeps in his wardrobe for 
state occasions. It was Puck crouching iow, 
to catch the fairies at some forbidden frolic 
that would get them a good scolding from 
their Queen, Titania. I seized the little 
demon, plane-leaf and all, wrapped him 
well in a lawn handkerchief, put him in 
my pocket, and stalked back to the city, to 
examine the piisoner in the presence of wit- 
nesses. When the court of inquiry was 
formally opened, though the handkerchief 
was all. right, Mr. Verdant Sticky toes was 
gone. 

Padua and its arcaded streets were neai-ly 
forgotten ; I was crossing a vast tract of 
fertile country in the north of France, which, 
long after the foundation of Padua, was 
nothing more than a tidal estuary, but is now 
good dry solid land, selling at a high price 
per acre. In a pond, in this consolidated 
estuary, I again beheld Mr. Verdant taking 
a bath, which is rather contrary to his daily 
habits. This time I captured and kept 
him. Safe imprisoned in a crystal cage, with 
evei'y comfort except liberty, he was ex- 
hibited to numerous wondering Frenchmen, 
who were astonished to learn that the Sticky- 
toes family were settled in the neighbour- 
hood. Since that date, lettres de cachet have 
been issued against many innocent members 
of the race by parties desirous of possessing 
specimens of hyla viridis, or rana arborea, or 
rainette, or graisset, or tree-frog, or grenouille 
de St. Martin, all which are aliases adopted 
by these slippery gentlemen. 

Hyla is derived from the Greek word 
C U\T), a wood, and is appropriately given to 
that branch of the frog family which are 
adepts in climbing. The English popular 
mind is acquainted only with frogs that swim 
in the water or leap over the grass ; but the 
hylic are gifted with the faculty of mounting, 
which they accomplish by means of an expan- 



sion of the skin, forming a moist disk, at the 
tip of each toe, on the hind feet as well as on 
the fore, evidently acting as a sucker, like 
the round bits of wet leather at the end of a 
string with which school-boys delight to 
carry stones. It is this peculiarity which 
distinguishes them from frogs proper and 
from toads in general, enabling them to 
adhere and hang even to the underside of 
leaves. Hylse are aquatic in their habits 
only at certain seasons. They are oviparous, 
tailless quadrupeds, whose reproduction, and 
the growth of whose tadpoles, accord exactly 
with those of the grand assemblage of toads 
and frogs. When their spawn is once de- 
posited, they betake themselves to the culti- 
vated uplands, catching their prey amongst 
the growing corn. The greater part of my 
summer captures have been made in hawthorn 
hedges, where the Messieurs Stickytoes hop 
from twig to twig in chase of the gnats, with 
the ease of a tomtit in a lilac bush. In fact, 
they are fond of air and sunshine, and warmth. 
Their bold leaps resemble those of the flying 
squirrel ; they have no fear of consequences 
when they dart from a branch. An insect 
passes within vaulting range ; they spring at 
it into mid air, and a clutch at a leaf with a 
single hand, or even a finger or two, is suffi- 
cient to uphold them. 

In captivity, they jump with equal expert- 
ness and grace if a bluebottle is introduced 
within their crystal prison. Their diet 
appears to be living insects exclusively ; 
some books talk of feeding them on bread 
and milk, but I have seen no symptom that 
they would accept such an Arcadian re- 
gimen. Hence, they are useful friends and 
neighbours in a country plagued with insect 
vermin. If St. Patrick had been lord of an 
island swarming with mosquitos and blowflies, 
he would have welcomed tree-frogs, and made 
them comfortable at home, instead of banish- 
ing them from his realms. They do no harm, 
if they do no good, even supposing that you 
neither eat them nor amuse yourself with 
their antics ; but you may do both profitably. 
The hyloe fill a respectable and useful position 
in the world, and have no right to be spoken 
of with disparagement. Jumpers you may 
style them if you like, but I cannot agree to 
call them reptiles. An open attack is not a 
crawling surprise. They do not appear to 
exercise on their victims any of the terror 
or fascination attributed to snakes ; on the 
contrary, they manifest a certain forbearance 
and dry humour. The flies seem to have no 
instinctive dread of the owner of the mouth 
tli at is soon to entomb them. A bluebottle 
will walk up the inclined plane of a hyla's 
back, settling on the tip of his nose as a con- 
venient point whence to enjoy the pi-ospect. 
Stickytoes remains politely immovable, 
showing no outwai'd symptom of the tick- 
ling he must have felt on his skin, but 
simply rolling his prominent eyes at the un- 
invited visitor. The fly soon starts off for an 



Charles Dickens.] 



STICK YTOES. 



[July 1), 185 7-i 33 



excursion in the air ; but, when he has risen 
to the altitude of an inch or two, Mr. Verdant 
cuts a violent caper, and catches the flutterei 
on the wing. It" the frog is large and the fly 
little, it is gone without further ceremony ; 
but if the fly is nearly as big as the frog, its 
struggles are wrestled with by the conqueror's 
fore-paws, which push it down the wide-open 
throat, much as a clown in a pantomime 
conti-ives to swallow his string of stolen 
sausages. 

Poor Mr. Verdant is often kidnapped by 
continental savans, in preference to his rela- 
tions the Browns, for the purpose of serving 
in electrical experiments, or as a living hygro- 
meter or hygroscope, in which latter capa- 
cities I have no faith in him. He is also 
employed by microscopists, to show the 
circulation of the blood in the web of his 
foot ; philosophers (whose blood must be as 
cold as a frog's) also indicate the cruel means 
by which the same wonderful spectacle may 
be beheld in his tongue. The latter sight will 
certainly not be enjoyed by any one who is 
weak enough to feel a tenderness for the 
brute creation. The former method (by dis- 
tending the web) merely causes the creature 
temporary inconvenience and slight pain, if 
any. But the readiest way of contemplating 
the magnificent phenomenon of the circula- 
tion of the blood made visible, which has 
been compared to the sudden animation of a 
geographical map, by their proper motions 
being imparted to all the rivers delineated 
upon it, from their fountains to their embou- 
chures, with their tributaries and affluents, 
is to submit the tail of a tadpole to the 
microscope. After you have gazed your fill, 
you may return him to his native element, 
when he will swim away as if nothing had 
happened. Even if you despise the life of a 
tadpole, and leave him to die of drought on 
the slip of glass, at least you do not torture 
him. True, you can't have tadpoles to 
exhibit, as you can frogs, at all times of the 
year ; but you might kindly profit by the 
opportunities of April and May. You can 
surely spare Mr. Verdant Stickytoes and his 
dusky fraternity all unnecessary stretchings 
on the rack, by studying circulation less after 
the Abyssinian method, in the tails of tad- 
poles, the gills of young newts, and the yolk- 
bags of new-born fishes. 

The genus, of which Mr. Verdant may be 
taken as the type, has its representatives in 
almost every warm and temperate country of 
the globe. In the Keptile House of the Eegent's 
Park Gardens, a Hyla from New Zealand 
may be seen reposing side by side with some 
of our present friends from the Pas-de- 
Calais. A humpty one is found in the isle of 
Lemnos ; another in Surinam. America has 
a considerable variety of tree-frogs ; milky- 
white, red, and orange-yellow. None of these 
Stickytoes are superior, or equal, to our own 
Hyla viridis in their saltatory performances. 

Hyla viridis is bright green on the back and 



all the upper part of its body, and white 
beneath, which portion is entirely covered 
with little tubercles. In the males, the 
throat is brownish, of different degrees of 
depth, especially in spring, while that of the 
ladies always remains white and delicate, as 
beseems their sex. Their bright eyes have 
oblong pupils with orange irides. They are 
said not to propagate till they are four years 
of age : in which case they must be long-lived 
creatures, barring accidents. They have good 
reasons for avoiding pools of water ; because 
water is the resort of ducks, who would 
swallow a party of Verdants, whole and 
entire, with as much ease as a cabman would 
engulph a dozen Milton oysters. One indi- 
vidual is recorded to have lived eight years 
in a jar of water covered with a net. During 
summer, they gave him fresh grass, with 
flies and gnats for food. In winter, he was 
kept in a hothouse, secure from chilly 
weather. He was supplied with hay slightly 
moistened, and the few flies that could be 
found for him, which he awaited open- 
mouthed, and seized with surprising address. 
Late in the autumn he grumbled evidently 
at the rise in the price of flies and spiders, 
which grew scarcer every day ; and when he 
could only get an insect once a week or so, 
he grew visibly thinner and weaker. Never- 
theless, with the return of spring and its 
winged game, he soon recovered. This Sticky- 
toes used to croak in his glassy prison, and 
was now and then indulged with an exit from 
his jar and a jump about the room. And 
so he led his damp and contemplative 
existence, till in his eighth winter, no flies 
being obtainable for love or money, he lan- 
guished and died. 

Our own Verdants, kept in a warm parlour 
all winter, had not the strength left to bear a 
voyage across the Channel, except one ; who 
languished for a time, refusing meal-worms 
and such food as could be got for him ; but 
who now thrives a prosperous frog in the 
Eeptile House of the Zoological Gardens. 
He and his companions had remained 
wide awake from October till April, 
when they ought to have been asleep : de- 
vouring flies greedily whenever flies were 
forthcoming. Other Verdants, wintered in a 
cool cellar, returned to the realms of light in 
much better condition, Hence it appears that 
animals, naturally falling torpid from cold, 
dissipate but little of their substance, and 
have no need of food ; while, if excited by 
the stimulus of heat to frequent breathing 
and exercise, they require more nourishment 
than is to be found at that time of year. It is 
only another proof of the harmony of Nature's 
operations. In the Eeptile House, the Sticky- 
toes are supplied with mealworms, which 
are to be had at all times of the year. 

The voice of the Hyla viridis, when heard 
in a room, is something astounding in respect 
to loudness, as coming from so small a crea- 
ture. The captive vocalist may sometimes 



34 [July ii, is: 7.3 



HOUSEHOLD WOEDS. 



[Conducted by 



be excited to perform by a noise having a' 
slight resemblance to his own melodious 
i u. One of my tree-frogs commenced his 
song in answer to the sound of a carpenter's 
saw, who was fitting a new shelf into a closet. 
The experiment was repeated with gratifying 
success. The voice is not emitted so much 
from the lungs as from the pouch of skin 
beneath the chin, which is swollen out into 
enormous balloon-like proportions. The bal- 
loon, in fact, fulfils the office of the bag in a 
bag-pipe, or the bellows in an organ. It must 
have been the sight of the Hyla croaking 
whieh suggested to ./Esop his fable of the 
proud frog swelling himself out to the size of 
the bull. In fact, the fable is not a pure inven- 
tion utterly devoid of foundation in nature. 

Professor Forbes admits the Hyla viridis 
as a member of the British Fauna. There is 
so little difference between the climate of our 
southern counties and that of the haunts of 
my Verdauts, that it would be surprising if 
they were not to be found in England, as in 
France, in greater actual numbers than the 
human natives suspect. When Great Britain 
and the continent of Europe were one, tree- 
frogs would naturally abound in Kent and 
Hampshire, as well as in Pas-de-Calais and 
Somme. The slight separation caused by the 
Straits of Dover would simply fix the terres- 
trial inhabitants on the spot where they 
happened to be at the time. 

The establishment of a colony of tree- 
frogs in an English park is an enterprise in 
which there would seem to be no difficulty 
wherever there was a sufficiency of bushes for 
cover and hunting-ground, and stagnant 
water for breeding, with a fair amount of 
summer warmth. In France, the late severe 
winters have not diminished the number of 
the Verdants. la captivity, the grand desi- 
deratum is live flies, of which we have often i 
many more than enough. I should like to j 
offer a prize for the best cage for tree-frogs j 
contrived on the principle of their being self- 
supplied with prey a sort of fly-trap, in short. 
There must be holes through which flies of 
various sizes, from a green-bottle downwards, 
may find an easy entrance, without allowing 
any exit on the part of the frogs. A blue- 
bottle is as big as an infant Verdant, and 
where that could get in, the frogling could 
get out. There must be the means of luring 
in the insect poultry in such abundance that 
froggy may live like an independent gentle- 
man, with enough for himself, and something 
to give away amongst his indigent neighbours. 
Such a mode of thinning the summer plague 
of flies would be much more humane than 
the atrocious system of converting flies into 
Stickytoes by means of glutinous sheets of 
paper, sold in the streets under the name of 
" Catch 'em alive ! " The commissariat is the 
principal difficulty in domesticating Mr. 
Verdant. He is very fond of spiders ; but 
what properly regulated house will own to 
harbouring them ? Several were collected in 



a paper-bag for some tree-frogs which are 
thriving pretty well in a small Fernery, and 
into this they were put, bag and all. Next 
morning two of the frogs were found like 
gluttons as they are when tried with 
spider-diet, inside the bag without a ves- 
tige of the spiders to be seen. 

With being made torpid in winter (per- 
haps by burying them alive in a bottle), we 
may succeed in making Stickytoes an estab- 
lished pet, as his prettiness and oddity 
deserve that he should be made. 



CHIP. 

THE FRENCH WAR-OFFICE IN SEVENTEEN 
HUNDRED AND EIGHTY-FIVE. 

THE encouraging notion first sent abroad 
by the great Napoleon, that every soldier 
carries a baton de marechal in his knapsack, 
has a less figurative signification than would 
at first sight appear. It is true that the pro- 
portion of the marshals to the body of the 
army in the ratio of about a dozen to some 
half a million render it highly probable 
that the private will have to bear about this 
ideal baton to the end of his days. He him- 
self well knows that there is but slender 
prospect of the tempting bauble ever leaving 
that corner of his knapsack, and taking ap- 
preciable shape. But he knows, besides, that 
be carries in that same store of his other 
more tangible badges of distinction, such as 
the sous-officier's golden epaulette, the laced 
hat of the General of Division, and the Grand 
Cross of the Legion of Honour. These are 
prizes all within his grasp for which the 
marechal's baton stands but as a figure. 

In our own army, on the other hand, it la 
an old complaint, of which men are almost 
weary, that such glittering trophies may be 
looked for in vain among the soldiers' fur- 
niture. Not even in that metaphorical shape 
of the phantom marshal's baton, which 
would be some poor encouragement. This 

frievance is now in process of being re- 
ressed ; but it is certain that until the date 
of this Napoleonic saying, the French army, 
under Bourbon handling, was in more cruel 
plight than ever were British forces in the 
worst days of Crimean confusion. Had but 
Egalite", or other obstructive of those times, 
prayed for a commission of enquiry into the 
management of the war-office, what marvel- 
lous disclosures would have been sent forth ! 
The famous Livre Rouge, with its crimson 
type and list of mysterious pensions, could 
scarcely have caused more astonishment. The 
world the .reforming world especially is 
apt to forget this fact when it points so tri- 
umphantly to the perfect arrangement of 
our allies to their smooth roads to pro- 
motion, to their ingenious fashions of cook- 
ing, hutting, and the like ; and, above all, 
to the pleasing addition to the soldiers' 
necessaries before - mentioned, the baton 
in nubibus, carried about in the knapsack. 



Charles Dickena.1 



CHIP. 



[July 11,135;.] 35 



Until the date of the Revolution and 
the military dictatorship, such things were 
not heard of. On the contrary, every- 
thing military seemed to be utterly sunk in 
corruption, and the prey of a gigantic jobbing 
system. The broad features of this fatal 
mismanagement are tolerably well known to 
the world ; but, from a tell-tale Army List 
issued from the office of M. le Mar6chal de 
Segur, Minister of War, in the year seven- 
teen hundred and eighty-five, only four years 
before the Eevolution, a few significant facts 
may be gleaned. What would seem at first 
only a barren catalogue of names, becomes, 
for us, a Blue-book impeachment, as it were, 
of those days. For, through the pages of 
this little volume the truth slips out acci- 
dentally, and lets us officially into the secrets 
of the whole system. The very first glance 
at its crowded pages discovers a strange prin- 
ciple in their distribution of military honours 
and rewards. 

In each regiment are to be found between 
seventy and eighty officers. Of these, some five 
or six on an average bear titles, or at least 
enjoy the Corinthian prefix " de," before their 
names. This proves the aristocratic element 
to have been slender indeed in the French 
army, somewhere in the proportion of one to 
about fifteen or sixteen. Turning then to the 
higher grades those including the marshals 
of France, generals, and brigadiers which 
make an overgrown total of nearly thirteen 
hundred and thirty it would be expected 
that the greater half at least would fall to 
the share of the untitled many. Twelve 
hundred such appointments would be the 
proper proportion. On the contrary, we find 
no less than nine hundred and twenty filled 
by dukes, barons, marquises, and other 
gentles with the privileged "de;" and the 
miserable dole of scarcely four hundred 
reserved " pour eucourager les autres " 
namely, those fifteen or sixteen thousand 
officers who practically worked the French 
army. No wonder then that when the hour 
of trial arrived, the army was found to fail in 
its duty. 

Another significant token of decay meets 
us in the costly institution known as" Maison 
du Roi," or Royal Guard. In this choice 
corps which was intended as provision for 
poorer scions of the aristocracy it was con- 
trived that there should be an officer to about 
every three men. Which arrangement, how- 
ever convenient as a mode of provision, could 
scarcely have contributed to the efficiency 
of the army. Very stately is the enumera- 
tion of the various divisions and subdivisions 
of this body leading off with the Scotch 
companies, in whose ranks, as was to be , 
expected, not a Scot was to be found. Next 
came the " Hundred Swiss," precursors of 
the giants in sky-blue, and bright cuirasses, 
who now watch over the person of Napoleon 
the Third. After these we find the Garde de ' 
Porte, or door-guard, of royal Louis ; the j 



guard of the H6tel du Roi ; gendarmerie of 
numerous denominations ; light horse ; and 
the Gardes Franchises, of questionable noto- 
riety, who abandoned their king in his 
extremity ; next follow the Swiss Guard, the 
valiant Swiss, whose bright scarlet uniforms 
on that fatal tenth of August, was the mark 
for many a bullet. More ingenious denomi- 
nations follow, such as the Scotch gendar- 
merie, and, curious to say, the English ! 
raised, it seems, so far back as the year six- 
teen hundred and sixty-seven. The queeix 
had her gendarmes ; so, too, had his high- 
ness the Dauphin ; so had Monsieur, the 
King's brother, and the Count d'Artois. 
Monsieur is also provided with a body-guard 
of his own, to say nothing of his Swiss guard 
and his door-guard. The Count d'Artois 
must likewise have his Swiss-guard, his 
body-guard, and his door-guard ; which 
filled up, with tolerable completeness, the 
roll of this Maison du Roi. 

Pluralism was another plague-spot in the 
system. The kingdom was at that time par- 
celled out into a number of small govern- 
ments, all which became so much " provi^- 
sion " for favourite commanders. The Comte 
de Rochambeau, who conducted the war in 
America, found time, perhaps when abroad 
in that country, to fill the offices of chief- 
governor of the Boulonnois, governor of Ville- 
franche, and Commander-in-chief of Picardy, 
besides keeping a few spare moments for the 
duties of the colonelcy of the Auvergne regi- 
ment. But, he pales his ineffectual fires 
before the star of Baron Besenval, the Swiss 
legionary ; " an amiable sybarite," as he ig 
described in a strange pamphlet of the time, 
" possessed of very little esprit ; but who has 
raised himself above his fellows by making 
good use of his eyes and ears. His handsome 
person was of some service to him at court, 
and his ample fortune furnished him with 
the means of shining there." This favoured 
soldier of fortune enjoyed the following high 
commands. He was sub-governor of Hugu- 
nau, in Alsace ; sub-governor of the Cham- 
pagne and Brie district ; sub-governor of the 
province of Nivernois ; and sub-governor of 
Berri ; here were sub-governorships in 
plenty. But, there was more to come. 
He was commander-in-chief of Tournois ; 
command er-in-chief of the city of Paris ; and 
lastly, lieutenant-colonel of the Swiss-guards ! 
This was a strange gathering of high offices in 
the person of one man ; a simple colonel. It 
would be thought that the care of a single 
province would be sufficient to give full em- 
ployment to any mortal with ordinary capa- 
cities. Still, he and his major, Baron Bach- 
mann, proved themselves not unworthy of 
such high distinction, and did good service 
when the day of trial came round. 

Another abuse was the accumulating 
of great offices in the hands of children 
of tender years, of boys at school, and of 
young men wholly unequal to the duties, 



36 [J"iy 11, i 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[ConducteJ by 



Tims the Due de Richelieu the " vainqueur 
tie Mahon," as they were foud of calling him, 
in glorification of that diminutive victory, 
was appointed colonel of the Bearne regi- 
ment at the age of twenty-two ; while the 
Due de Broglie was similarly "provided for," 
at the earlier age of sixteen. But the Due 
de Mouchy was even luckier in his genera- 
tion. He found himself military governor of 
the town, castle, and parks of Versailles and 
Marly, at the capable age of five years ! 
Another marshal became colonel at nineteen; 
while the Mar6chal de Castries rejoiced in 
the important posts of king's lieutenant in 
Languedoc, and governor of Montpellier and 
Cette, when only thirteen years old. 

This glance at the pages of this official 
handbook helps us to some knowledge of the 
way they were ordering matters military in 
France, j ust before the great crash came. 



UNOPENED BUDS. 

A SHAPE of beauty beyond man's device, 

Which held a precious life with us begun, 
Light feet at rest, like streamlets chain'd with ice, 

And folded hands whose little work is done, 
Make this poor hamlet sacred to our grief: 

Pass'd is the soul, which was of nobler worth, 
Like fire from glowworm, tint from wither'd leaf, 

Perfume from fallen flower, or daylight from the 
earth. 

Star, faded from our sky elsewhere to shine, 

Whose beam to bless us for a while was given ; 
Little white hand, a few times clasp'd in mine, 

Sweet face, whose light is now return'd to heaven. 
With empty arms, I linger where thou liest, 

And pluck half-open'd flowers as types of thee, 
And think that angels, amid joys the highest, 

Are happier for thy love, which still they share 
with me. 

AGNES LEE. 

CHAPTER THE FIRST. 

MRS. WARREN was a charming woman as 
like the popular notion of a perfect angel as 
anybody could hope to find, if they took the 
longest summer day for the search. She was 
an Irishwoman, the widow of an English 
gentleman of large fortune, who had left her 
endowed with an ample jointure and a hand- 
some manor-house in Staffordshire. She was 
young, bright, fascinating, and thoroughly 
good-natured ; she enjoyed nothing so much 
as making people happy, and would sacrifice 
her own pleasure or convenience even, for an 
entire stranger, provided the necessities of 
the case had been brought before her with 
sufficient eloquence or emphasis. She did 
everything in the easiest and most graceful 
manner, and had the virtue of forgetting all 
about it herself, as soon as the occasion had 
passed away. She was devoted to her friends, 
and loved them dearly, so long as they were 
there to assist themselves ; but, if they went 
away, she never thought of them till the next 



time she saw them, when she was again as 
fond of them as ever. With all her gene- 
rosity, however, her tradespeople complained 
that she did not pay her bills ; that she did 
very shabby things, and that she drove 
dreadfully hard bargains. A poor woman 
whom she had employed to do some plain 
work, declared contemptuously that she 
would sooner work for Jews than for cha- 
ritable ladies : they screwed down so in the 
price, and kept folks waiting so long for their 
money. 

It was not difficult for Mrs. Warren to be 
an angel : she had no domestic discipline to 
test her virtues too severely, nor to ruffle the 
bird of paradise beauty of her wings. Hus- 
bands are daily stumbling-blocks in the path 
of female perfection ; they have the faculty 
of taking the shine out of the most dazzling 
appearances. It is easier to be an angel than 
to be an average good woman under domestic 
difficulties. 

Mrs. Huxley was the wife of the hard- 
working clergyman in whose parish Mrs. 
Warren's manor-house was situated. She 
had a cross husband, who did not adore 
her, but who (chiefly from the force of habit) 
found fault with everything she did ; nothing 
but the purest gold could have stood the 
constant outpouring of so much sulphuric 
acid. Yet Mrs. Huxley went on in the even, 
tenor of her way, struggling with straitened 
means, delicate health, recurring washing- 
days, and her husband's temper. Her eco- 
nomical feebleness, and the difficulties of 
keeping her weekly bills in a state of 
liquidation, were greatly complicated in con- 
sequence of all the poor people in the parish 
coming to her as to a sort of earthly Provi- 
dence, to supply all they lacked in the shape 
of food, physic, raiment, and good advice* 
Strangers said that Mrs. Huxley looked fret- 
ful, and that it was a pity a clergyman's wife 
should have such unattractive manners ; that 
it must be a trial to such a pleasant genial 
man as her husband to have a partner so 
unlike himself, and all that. The recording 
angel might have given a different verdict ; 
the poor of her parish knew her value. 

The family at the Rectory consisted of one 
daughter, named Miriam, and an orphan 
niece of Mr. Huxley's, whom they had 
adopted. Mr. Huxley had made many diffi- 
culties when this plan was first proposed. Ho 
objected to the expense, and wished the girl 
to be sent as an articled pupil to some cheap 
school, where she might qualify herself to be- 
come a nursery governess, or to wait on young 
ladies. This he said on the plea that, as they 
would not be able to give her any fortune, it 
would be cruel to give her a taste for comforts, 
she could not hereafter expect ; that it was best 
to accustom her betimes to the hardships of 
her lot. Mrs. Huxley did not often contradict 
her husband ; but, on this occasion, she exerted 
her powers of speech ; she was a mother, and, 
acted as she would have wished another to 



Charles Dickens.] 



AGNES LEE. 



(July 11, 1857.1 37 



act by her own Miriam. Mr. Huxley gra- 
ciously allowed himself to be persuaded, and 
Agnes Lee, the child of his favourite sister, 
was adopted into the Eectory nursery on a 
perfect equality with her cousin. It somehow 
got to be reported abroad, that Mrs. Huxley 
had greatly opposed her husband's generosity, 
and had wished the little orphan to be sent 
to the workhouse. 

The two children grew up together, and 
were as fond of each other as sisters usually 
are ; but Agnes Lee had the strongest will 
and the most energy. So it was she who 
settled the plays and polity of doll-land, and 
who took the lead in all matters of " books, 
and work, and needle-play." Agnes was 
twelve, and Miriam fourteen, when the fasci- 
nating Mrs. Warren came to live at the 
Great House. 

She took up the Eectory people most 
warmly, and threw herself with* enthusiasm 
into all manner of benevolent schemes for 
the benefit of the parish. To the two girls 
she seemed like a good fairy. She had them 
constantly to her beautiful house, she gave 
them lessons in singing, and taught them to 
dance ; her French maid manufactured their 
bonnets and dresses ; she lavished gifts upon 
them, she made pets of them, and was never 
weary of inventing schemes for giving them 
pleasure. It was delightful to see their en- 
joyment and to receive their gratitude, and 
she never suspected the delicate unobtrusive 
care with which poor cold, stiff, Mrs. Huxley 
contrived that the two girls should never 
fall too heavily upon the hands of their beau- 
tiful patroness. She also tried to inspire 
them with a portion of her own reserve ; but 
that was not so easy. Miriam a mild, shy, 
undemonstrative girl felt an admiration of 
Mrs. Warren that approached to idolatry. It 
took the place of a first love. Mrs. Warreti 
liked the excitement of being loved with 
enthusiasm ; but she never calculated the 
responsibility it brought along with it, 
and omitted nothing that could stimulate 
Miriam's passionate attachment. Agnes was 
less impressionable. She had a precocious 
amount of common sense, and Mrs. Warren's 
fascinations did not take too much hold upon 
her. The Hector was almost as much be- 
witched as his daughter by the fair widow. 
She talked gaily to him, and obliged him to 
rub up his ancient gallantry, which had fallen 
into rusty disuse. She dressed all the children 
of his school in green gowns and red ribbons. 
She subscribed a painted window to the 
church. She talked over two refractory 
churchwardens, who had been the torment of 
his life : above all, she admired his sermons ; 
and, as she was in correspondence with a lord 
bishop, he had sanguine hopes that her admi- 
ration might lead to something better. Mrs. 
Huxley was the only person who refused to 
be charmed. She did not contradict the 
raptures expressed by her husband and 
daughter, but she heard them in. silence. 



When Miriam was sixteen, she fell into 
delicate health ; a slight accident developed 
a spinal affection. A London physician, 
who with his wife was on a short visit to 
Mrs. Warren, saw Miriam at her request, 
and gave little hope that she would ever be 
anything but a life-long invalid. She was 
ordered to keep as much as possible in 
a recumbent position. Mrs. Warren was 
on the point t of departing for London. 
Nothing could exceed her sympathy and 
generosity. At first she declared she would 
postpone her journey, to assist Mrs. Huxley 
to nurse her sweet Miriam ; but she easily 
gave up that idea when Mrs. Huxley de- 
clared, rather dryly, " that there was not the 
least occasion ; for, as the case was likely to 
be tedious, it was better to begin as they 
could go on." Mrs. Warren, however, loaded 
Miriam with presents. She made Miriam 
promise to write to her all she read and 
thought ; and, for this purpose, she gave her 
a supply of fairy-like paper and a gold pen. 
Miriam, on her side, promised to write twice 
a-week at least, and to tell Mrs. Warren 
everything that could amuse her. Mrs. 
Warren gave orders to her gardener to sup- 
ply the Rectory with fruit, flowers, and 
vegetables ; but either Mrs. Warren's direc- 
tions were not clear, or the gardener did not 
choose to act upon them. He charged for 
everything that he sent down, and gave as his 
reason that his mistress paid him no wages 
in her absence, but let him pick up what he 
could. 

After Mrs. Warren's departure, she wrote 
for a month ; after that, her letters ceased. 
Newspapers supplied their place ; and, it 
appeared from the notices of fashionable 
life, that Mrs. Warren had taktn her 
place amongst the gayest. At last the news- 
papers ceased ; the last that came contained 
the announcement that Mrs. Warren had left 
town for Paris. After this, no more news 
reached the Eectory. The Manor House re- 
mained shut up, and the lodge-keeper said 
" that the Missis was spending the winter at 
Bath." 

At first Miriam wrote in all the enthusiasm, 
and good faith of youthful adoration. Mrs. 
Warren had begged she would not count 
with her letter for letter, but have trust in 
her unalterable attachment, &c., &c. ; and 
Miriam went on writing, long after all answers 
had ceased. Everything earthly has its 
limit ; and, when reciprocity is all on 
one side, the term is reached rather earlier 
than it might otherwise have been. Poor 
Miriam lay oil her couch, and went through 
all the heart sickening process of disen- 
chantment about the friendship which she 
had made the light of her life. She 
rejoiced moodily in her physical sufferings,, 
and hoped that she should soon die, as she 
could not endure such misery long. The 
young believe in the eternity of all they feeL 

She was roused from this sorrow of sen- 



38 [July 11. 13i7.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



lC< nductei by 



timent by a real affliction. Scarlet fever 
broke out in the parish. Air. Huxley caught 
it, and died, after a fortnight's illness. A 
life insurance for a thousand pounds, and a 
few hundreds painfully saved and laid by in 
the Bank of England, was all the provision 
that remained to his family. 

A fortnight after the funei-al, Mrs. Huxley 
and Agnes were sitting sadly before the fire, 
which had burned low, on a dull, chill 
November evening. Miriam lay on her 
couch, and could scarcely be discerned in the 
deepening shadow. The dusk was gathering 
thick, the curtains were not drawn ; both 
without and within, the world looked equally 
desolate to these three women. The silence 
was broken only by the sighs of poor Mrs. 
Huxley ; the dull firelight showed her 
widow's cap, and the glaze of tears upon 
her pale clay-like cheeks. At length Agnes 
roused herself. She had taken the lead in 
the house since the family troubles, and now 
moved briskly about the room, endeavouring 
to impart something like comfort. She re- 
plenished the fire, trimmed the lamp ; and 
made the old servant bring in tea. 

.Agnes threw in an extra spoonful of green, 
spread a tempting slice of toast, and placed 
a small table between Mrs. Huxley and 
Miriam, who both began insensibly to be 
influenced by the change she had produced. 
When tea was over, they became almost 
cheerful. After tea, Mrs. Huxley took out 
her knitting, and Agnes brought out her 
work-basket. 

" Now listen, dear aunt ; for I have schemed 
a scheme, which only needs your approval." 

" That will go a very little way towards 
doing good," sighed Mrs. Huxley. 

" Oh, !t will go further than you think ! " 
said Agnes, cheerfully. " I was up at the 
Green this morning, and I heard that Sam 
Blacksmith is going to leave his cottage for 
another that is nearer to his smithy. It 
struck nie that the one he is leaving would 
just suit you, and Miriam, and old Mary. 
There is a garden ; and the cottage in your 
hands will be charming. This furniture will 
look to moi*e advantage there than it does 
here ; and, when I have seen you comfortably 
settled, I shall leave you, to seek my for- 
tune." 

" My dear, you are so rash, and you talk so 
fast, I don't hear one word you say," said 
Mrs. Huxley, querulously. 

" I was talking, aunt, about a cottage I had 
seen this morning/' said Agnes, gently. " I 
thought it would just suit us." 

"I am sure I shall not like it. It will 
have stone floors, which will not do for 
Miriam. You talk so wildly of going to seek 
your fortune. I am sure I don't know what is 
to become of us. You are so sanguine : no 
good ever comes of it. You were all so set 
up with Mrs. Warren, and you see what came 
of it." 

" Well, aunt, iny belief is, that Mrs. War- 



ren would be as good as ever, if she only saw 
us ; but she cannot recollect people out of 
sight." 

"She loves flattery, and she likes fresh 
people," said Miriam, bitterly. 

Agnes went to the piano, and began to play 
some old hymn tunes very softly. 

"Agnes, my dear, I cannot bear music. 
Do come back and sit still," said her aunt. 

The next morning Agnes persuaded her 
aunt to go with her to the Green, to look at 
the cottage ; and, after some objections, Mrs. 
Huxley agreed that it might be made to do. 

Whilst making arrangements for the re- 
moval, Agnes thought seriously how she was 
to obtain a situation of some kind, and 
anxiously examined what she was qualified 
to undertake. She knew that she had only 
herself to depend upon. A few days after- 
wards the postman brought a letter with a 
foreign postmark. It was Mrs. Warren's 
handwriting. Agnes bounded with it into 
the parlour, exclaiming, " See ! who was right 
about Mrs. Warren 1 It is for you." 

Miriam turned aside her head. Mrs. 
Huxley put on her spectacles ; and, after 
turning the letter over half-a-dozen times, 
opened it. A bank-note for twenty pounds 
fell out. The letter was written in the kind- 
est tone. She had just seen .the mention of 
Mr. Huxley's death, and wrote on the spur of 
the moment. She was full of self-reproach 
for her neglect ; begged them to believe she 
loved them as much as ever ; spoke of Miriam 
with great kindness, but without any spe- 
ciality ; begged to be informed of their plans 
for the future ; and, in a hasty postscript, 
said, that the enclosure was towards erecting 
a tablet to the memory of her dear friend, or 
for any other purpose they preferred. 

Nothing could be kinder or more delicate ; 
but Miriam was nearly choked with bitter feel- 
ings. The letter showed her how completely 
she had faded away from Mrs. Warren's 
affection. She vehemently urged her mother 
and cousin to send back the money. 

Agnes undertook to answer the letter; 
which she did with great judgment. Even 
Miriam was satisfied. She mentioned her 
own desire to find a situation as prepara- 
tory governess, and asked Mrs. Warren 
if she had it in her power to recommend 
her. 

As soon as could reasonably be expected, 
the answer came, addressed to Mrs. Huxley, 
begging that Agnes might at once join the 
writer in Paris, where, she had not the least 
doubt, she would be able to place her ad- 
vantageously. Minute directions were given 
for the journey. On arriving in Paris, Agues 
was to proceed at once to the Hotel Ray- 
mond, where Mrs. Warren was staying. 

" How kind ! how very kind ! " exclaimed 
Agnes. " You see her heart is in the right 
place after all ! " 

" It is certainly very kind ; but I do not 
like you to take so long a journey alone, you 



Char'ei Dickens.] 



AGNES LEE. 



[July 11, 1337J 39 



are too young. I cannot feel it either right 
or prudent," said Mrs. Huxley. 

" My dear Agnes," said Miriam, "you shall 
not be trusted to the mercy of that woman. 
She cares for nothing but excitement. She 
has no notion of obligation, and will be as 
likely as not to have left Paris by the time 
you arrive, if the fancy has taken her for 
visiting Egypt or Mexico. I know what she 
is, and you shall not go." 

"My dear aunt, as I am to make my own 
way in the world, the sooner I begin the 
better. I am to take charge of others, and I 
must learn to take care of myself. My dear 
Miriam, you are unjust. I place very little 
dependence on the stability of Mrs. Warren's 
emotions ; but she always likes people when 
they are with her. It is an opening I am 
not likely to have again, and the sooner I 
avail myself of it the better." 

"Agnes, be warned, I entreat you. No 
good will ever come out of that woman's 
random benefits. They are no better than 
snares. Have nothing to do with her." 

Agnes would not be warned. She wished 
to go out into the world, to make her own 
way. She had no fears for herself. She 
argued and persuaded, and at last her aunt 
consented. Miriam was over-ruled, and a 
grateful acceptance was written to Mrs. 
Warren, fixing that day three weeks for her 
departure. 

" The die is cast now ! " said Agnes, when 
she returned from carrying the letter to the 
post, "I wonder what my future lot will 
be!" 

CHAPTER THE SECOND. 

THE diligence rolled heavily into the Court 
of the Messageries Royal in Paris, towards 
the middle of a keen bright day in the last 
week of December. A fair, elegant English 
girl, in deep mourning, looked anxiously out 
of the window of the coupe, in search of some 
one to claim her. 

" Is there any one waiting for you, Ma'm- 
selle 1 " asked the good-natured conductor. 
" Will it please you to alight 1 " 

" I see no one," said Agnes, who was 
bewildered with the noise and bustle. "I 
must have a coach to go to this address, 
please." 

" Mrs. Warren, Hotel Eaymond," read the 
conductor, looking at her keenly. "You 
want to go there, do you 1 Well, I will see. 
Your friends ought not to have left you to 
arrive alone. But the English are so droll ! " 

In a few minutes he returned. 

" Now, Ma'mselle, here is a coach. The 
driver is my friend ; he will see you safe. 
You may trust him. I would go with you 
myself, but " 

"You have been very kind to me," said 
Agnes, gratefully. Her command of French 
was very limited, and she said this in Eng- 
lish ; but the look that accompanied it spoke 
the language which needs no interpreter. 



" Pardon. No thanks ; it is my duty. 
Ma'mselle is too generous ! There is no 
occasion." And the gallant conductor put 
back the five-franc piece that Agnes tendered 
with some embarrassment ; for, during the 
journey he had shown her kindness that she 
felt could not be repaid in money. She took 
from her purse a half-crown piece English 
money. This the conductor put into his left 
waistcoat-pocket, as he said "for a remem- 
brance of Ma'mselle." 

The hackney-coach soon arrived at Ray- 
mond's. A grand-lpoking servant came to 
the door of the coach, and inquired her plea- 
sure, with an elaborate politeness that would 
have been overwhelming at any other time ; 
but Agnes scarcely noticed him. She eagerly 
handed him Mrs. Warren's card ; but what 
little French she could command had entirely 
departed, and she could not utter a word. 
The garon took the card, looked at it with 
a slight gesture of surprise, and returned to 
the house. In the meantime the coachman 
dismounted, took down the modest luggage, 
and demanded his fare. Agnes alighted, 
gave the man what he asked, and he had just 
driven away, when the garon returned, 
accompanied by another. 

" Ma'mselle is under a meestake," said the 
new comer, who evidently believed that he 
spoke English like a native. "Madame 
Warren is no more here she departed two 
days since for Marseilles." 

Agnes looked stupidly at him. She had 
heard what he said perfectly, and she was 
quite calm ; but it was the calmness that 
makes the heart stand still, and turns the life 
within to stone. 

" She told me to come here. She knew I 
was to come." Agnes spoke with stiffened 
lips and a voice that did net seem her own. 

" She may have left some message some 
letter for Ma'mselle," suggested the first 
garon. " I will inquire." 

Agues sat down upon her trunk. She felt 
convinced that Mrs. Warren had gone and 
left no directions about her. She had just 
five francs and half a guinea left of money. 
Her position presented itself to her with 
perfect lucidity ; but she felt no alarm, 
only a horrible stillness and paralysis of all 
emotion. 

The garc,on returned : he had a letter in 
his hand. Madame Warren had departed 
for Marseilles, en route for Sicily. She had 
left no message or direction. That letter had 
arrived a few hours after her departure, but 
they did not know where to forward it. 

Agnes looked at the letter. It was her 
own, stating the time she would arrive in 
Paris, and requesting to be met. She gave 
it back to the gargon without speaking, and 
rested her head dreamily and wearily upon 
her hand. 

The sight of a young and extremely pretty 
English girl in deep mourning and sitting 
upon her trunk, had by this time attracted 



40 [July II, 1857.1 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[.Conducted by 



a group of curious spectators. The fate of 
Agnes Lee was trembling in the balance. 
Already, a man, no longer young, who had 
lost his front teeth, and who looked as if he 
had no bones in his body, and a woman with 
a hard, insolent, determined face, varnished 
with cajolery, approached her. The woman 
addressed her in passably good English, but 
Agnes seemed not to hear. At this crisis a 
grave, middle-aged man made his way from 
the street. He looked round with surprise 
at the persons crowding in the court, and his 
eye fell on Agnes. He went up to her. The 
man 'and woman both shrank back from his 
glance. 

"What is the meaning of all this, my 
child ? How came you here, and what do 
you want 1 " 

He spoke with a certain benevolent auste- 
rity. His tone roused Agnes ; she looked up 
and passed her hand in a bewildered way 
over her forehead ; but she could not recol- 
lect or explain her story. Mechanically she 
gave him Mrs. Warren's letter directing her 
to the Hotel Eaymond, and looked acutely at 
him as his eye glanced over it. 

" My poor child, you cannot remain here. 
They ought not to have left you here for 
a moment. You must come in and speak 
to my wife. We will see what can be 
done." 

The loiterers dispersed the new-comer 
was the proprietor of the hotel. Desiring a 
porter to take up her trunk, he led her into 
a private office, where a pleasant looking 
woman of about forty sat at a desk sur- 
rounded by account-books and ledgers. She 
looked up from her writing as they entered. 
He spoke to her in a low voice, and gave her 
the letter to read. 

" Mais c'est une infamie ! " said she, vehe- 
mently, when she had read it. You have 
done well to bring her in it was worthy of 
you, my friend. Heavens ! she is stupefied 
with cold and fear ! " 

Agnes stood still, apparently unconscious 
of what was passing ; she heard, but she 
could give no sign. At length sight and 
sound became confused, and she fell. 

When she recovered, she was lying in bed, 
and a pleasant - looking nurse was sitting 
beside her, dressed in a tall white Normandy 
cap and striped jacket. She nodded and 
smiled, and showed her white teeth, when 
Agnes opened her eyes, shook her head, and 
jabbered something that Agues could not com- 
prehend. The girl felt too weak and too 
dreamy to attempt to unravel the mystery 
of where she was and how she came 
there. In a short time, the lady she had 
seen sitting in the office amongst the day- 
books and ledgers came in. She laid her 
hand gently on her forehead, saying, in a 
cheerful voice, " You are better now. You 
are with friends. You shall tell us your 
story when you are stronger. You must not 
agitate yourself." 



Agnes endeavoured to rise, but sank 
back ; the long journey and the severe 
shock she had received had made her 
seriously ill. The doctor who had been called 
to revive her from her long trance-like swoon 
ordered the profouudest quiet, and, thanks to 
the Samaritan kindness of her new friends, 
Agnes was enabled to follow the doctor's 
directions : for two days she lay in a delight- 
ful state of repose, between waking and 
dreaming. Everything she needed was brought 
to her, as by some friendly magic, at pre- 
cisely the right moment. On the third day 
she felt almost well, and expressed a wish to 
get up and dress. Her hostess took her down 
to a pleasant parlour beyond the office. There 
were books, and prints, and newspapers ; she 
was desired to amuse herself, and not to 
trouble her head with any anxiety about the 
future : she was a visitor. 

M. Eaymond, the proprietor, came in. 
Agnes had not seen him since the day he 
brought her into his house. He was a grave 
sensible man. To him she told her whole 
story, and gave him Mrs. Warren's letters 
to read. " My good young lady," said he, as 
he returned them, "we have only a little 
strength, and should not waste it in super- 
fluities ; we need it all to do our simple duty. 
This lady was too fond of the luxury of doing 
good, as it is called ; but I cannot under- 
stand her thoughtlessness. There must be 
some mistake ; though, after incurring the 
responsibility of sending for you, no mistake 
ought to have been possible." 

Agnes tried to express all the gratitude 
she felt ; but M. Eaymond interrupted her. 
She was far from realising all the danger 
she had escaped ; she knew it in after years. 
" I shall write home," she said ; " my aunt 
and cousin will be anxious until they hear." 

"Let them be uneasy a little longer, till 
you can tell them something definite about 
your prospects. Anything you could say now 
would only alarm them." 

Two days afterwards M. Eaymond came 
to her and said, " Do not think we want to 
get rid of you ; but, if it suits you, I have 
heard of a situation. Madame Tremordyn 
wants a companion a young lady who will 
be to her as like a daughter as can be 
got for money. She is a good woman, but 
proud and peculiar ; and, so long as her sou 
does not fall in love with you, she will treat 
you well The son is with his regiment in 
Algiers just now ; so you are safe. I will take 
you to her this afternoon." 

They went accordingly. Madame Tre- 
mordyn an old Breton lady, stately with 
grey hair and flashing dark grey eyes, 
dressed in stiff black silk received her with 
stately urbanity, explained the duties of her 
situation, and expressed her wish that Agnes 
should engage with her. The salary was 
liberal, and Agues thankfully accepted the 
offer. It was settled that she should come 
the next morning. " Eecollect your home ia 



Charle Dickens.] 



AGNES LEE. 



[July 11, 1357.] 41 



with us," said M. Raymond. " Corae back to 
us if 3'ou are unhappy." 

That night Agnes wrote to her aunt the 
history of all that had befallen her, and the 
friends who had been raised up to her, and 
the home that had offered in a land of 
strangers. But, with all this cause for thank- 
fulness, Agnes cried herself to sleep that 
night. She realised for the first time that 
she was alone in her life, and belonged to 
uobody. 

CHAPTER THE THIRD. 

ALL who have had to live under the dynasty 
of a peculiar temper, know that it can neither 
be defined nor calculated upon. It is the 
knot in the wood that prevents the material 
from ever being turned to any good account. 
Madame Tremordyn always declared that she 
was the least exacting person in existence ; 
and, so long as Agnes was always in the 
room with her, always on the alert watch- 
ing her eye for anything she might need 
so long Madame was quite satisfied. 
Madame Tremordyn had a passion for every- 
thing English. She would be read aloud 
to at all hours of the day or night. Agnes 
slept upon a bed in her room, whence she 
might be roused, if Madame Tremordyn 
herself could not rest ; and woe to Agnes 
if her attention flagged, and if she did 
not seem to feel interest and enjoyment 
in whatever the book in hand might be 
whether it were the History of Miss Betty 
Thoughtless, or the Economy of Human Life. 
Madame Tremordyn took the life of Agnes, 
and crumbled it away : she used it up like 
a choice condiment, to give a flavour to 
her own. 

Yet, with all this exigence, Agnes was 
nothing to Madame Tremordyn, who consi- 
dered her much as she did the gown she wore, 
or the dinner she ate. She was one of the many 
comforts with which she had surrounded 
herself ; she gave Agnes no more regard or 
confidence, notwithstanding their close inter- 
course, than she granted to her arm-chair, or 
to the little dog that stood on its hind legs. 
Yet, Agnes had no material hardship to 
complain of ; she, only felt as if the breath 
were being drawn out of her, and she were 
slowly suffocating. But where else could she 
go ] what could she do ? At length, Ma- 
dame Tremordyn fell really ill, and required 
constant nursing and tending. Agnes had 
sleepless nights, as well as watchful days, but 
it was a more defined state of existence. 
Agnes was a capital nurse ; the old lady 
was human, after all, and was touched by 
skill and kindness. She declared that Agnes 
seemed to nurse her as if she liked it. 

Henceforth Agnes had not to live in 
a state of moral starvation. The old lady 
treated her like a human being, and really 
felt an interest in her. She asked her 
questions about home, and about her aunt 
and cousin ; also, she told Agnes about her- 



self, about her son, and about her late hus- 
band. She spoke of her own affairs and of 
her own experiences. It was egotism cer- 
tainly ; but egotism that asks for sympathy 
is the one touch of nature which makes the 
whole world kin. Agnes grew less unhappy 
as she felt she became more necessary to the 
strange exacting old woman with whom her 
lot was cast. She had the pleasure of sending 
remittances to her aunt and cousin proofs 
of her material well-being ; and she always 
wrote cheerfully to them. Occasionally, but 
very rarely, she was allowed to go and visit 
her friends the Raymonds. 

No news ever came of Mrs. Warren. She 
might have been a myth ; so completely 
had she passed away. There had been an 
admixture of accident in her neglect ; but it 
was accident that rather aggravated than 
excused her conduct. The day after she 
wrote so warmly to Agnes to come to her 
in Paris, Sir Edward Destrayes came 
to her, and entreated her to go to his 
mother, who was ill ; and Mrs. Warren was 
her most intimate friend : indeed, they were 
strangers in Paris, and Mrs. Warren was 
nearly the only person they knew. Lady 
Destrayes was ordered to the South of France 
would dear, kind Mrs. Warren go with 
her 1 It would be the greatest kindness in 
the world ! Mrs. Warren spoke French so 
beautifully, and neither mother nor son spoke 
it at all. Sir Edward Destrayes was some 
years younger than Mrs. Warren. The world, 
if it had been ill-natured, might have said he 
was a mere boy to her ; nevertheless, Mrs. 
Warren was in love with him, and she 
hoped it was nothing but his bash- 
fulness that hindered him from declaring 
himself in love with her. Gladly would she 
have agreed to the proposed journey; but 
there was that invitation to Agnes. 
She must await her answer. Agnes, as 
we have seen, accepted the offer, which Mrs. 
Warren felt to be provoking enough Lady 
Destrayes needed her so much ! What was 
to be done ? A certain Madame de Brissac, 
to whom she confided her dilemma, offered to 
take Agnes into her own nursery (without 
salary) until a better place could be found. 
Mrs. Warren was enchanted : nothing coiild 
be better. She wrote a note to Agnes, 
telling her she had found her a situation 
with Madame de Brissac ; where she hoped 
she would be happy, and enclosed her some 
money, along with Madame de Brissac's 
address. The preparations for departure were 
hurried ; for the party set out some days 
earlier than was intended. Agnes and her 
concerns passed entirely from Mrs. Warren's 
mind. Six weeks afterwards, searching her 
portfolio, a letter fell out with the seal 
unbroken; it was her own letter to Agnes. 
The sight of it turned her sick. She did 
not dare to think of what might have hap- 
pened. She sat for a few moments stupified, 
and then hastily flung the accusing letter into 



42 [July 11,1857.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



the fire, without a thought for the money in- 
side. She tried not to think of Agnes. She 
did not dare to write to Mrs. Huxley to 
inquire what had become of her. Mrs. 
Huxley and Miriam never heard from her 
again ; the Manor House was sold, and Mrs. 
Warren passed away like a dream. Mean- 
time she married Sir Edward Destrayes 
against his mother's wishes. It is to be 
presumed that he did not find her the angel 
she was reputed to be ; for, at the end of a 
year, they separated. She always got on 
better alone ; but, as she had married without 
settlement, she had not the wherewith to be 
so much of an angel in her latter days as in 
the beginning. 

Agnes wondered and speculated what could 
have become of her. Madame Trernordyn 
grimly smiled, and said nobody ever made 
such mischief in life as those who did at once 
too much and too little. "If you begin an act 
of benevolence, you are no longer free to lay 
it down in the middle. So, my dear, don't go 
off into benevolence. You never know where 
it will lead you." 

When Agnes had been with Madame 
Tremordyn a little more than a year, 
Madame Tremordyn's son came kome from 
Africa. He was a handsome, soldierly 
young man ; but grave and melancholy ; 
poetical, dreamy, gentle as a woman ; but 
proud and sensitive. Agnes was nineteen, 
extremely lovely, with golden hair, blue eyes, 
and a delicate wild-rose complexion ; a little 
too firmly set in figure for her height, but that 
seemed characteristic. She had learned to be 
self-reliant, and had been obliged to keep all 
her thoughts and emotions to herself. At 
first Madame Tremordyn was proud to show 
off her son. She insisted that Agnes should 
admire him, and was never weary of talking 
about him. Agnes had been trained to be a 
good listener. Madame li ked her son to sit with 
her, and he showed himself remarkably trac- 
table a model for sons. He did not seem to 
care in the least for going out. He preferred 
sitting and watching Agnes listening to 
her as she read whilst he pretended to be 
writing or reading. In a little while Madame 
Tremordyn opened her eyes to the fact that 
her son was in love with Agnes Agnes, a 
portionless orphan, with few friends and 
no connexions. But Agnes was a mortal 
maiden, and she loved M. Achille Tremor- 
dyu, who might have aspired to the hand of 
an heiress with a shield full of quarteriugs. 

M. Achille Tremordyn opened his heart to 
his mother, and begged her blessing and 
consent to his marrying Agnes. Madame 
Tremordyn was very indignant. She accused 
Agnes of the blackest ingratitude, and 
desired her son, if he valued her blessing in 
the least, not to think of her, but dutifully 
to turn his eyes to the young lady she destined 
for him, and with whose parents she had, 
indeed, opened a negociatiou. M. Achille 
declared that he would have his own way ; 



Agnes only wept. The storm of dame Tre- 
mordyu's wrath fell heaviest upon her, she 
being the weakest, and best able to hear it 
without reply. The result was, that Agues 
was sent away in disgrace. 

The Raymonds gladly received her, and 
entered warmly into her case. Madame 
Raymond declared it was unheard-of bar- 
barism and pride, and that the old lady 
would find it come home to her. M. Achille 
Tremordyn left home to join his regi- 
ment, first having had an interview with 
Agnes. He vowed eternal constancy, and all 
the passionate things that to lovers make 
the world, for the time being, look like 
enchantment. It was the first ray of 
romance that had gilded Agnes's life. She 
loved as she did everything else, thoroughly, 
stedfastly, and with her whole heart ; but 
refused to marry, or to hold a correspondence 
with her lover, until his mother gave her 
consent. She would, however, wait, even if 
it were for life. 

After her son was gone, Madame Tre- 
mordyn felt very cross and miserable. She 
did not, for one moment, believe she had 
done wrong ; but it was very provoking that 
neither her son nor Agnes could be made to 
confess that she had done right. 

Agnes remained with the Raymonds, 
wrapped round with a sense of happiness she 
had never known before. She assisted Ma- 
dame Raymond to keep the books ; for they 
would not hear of her leaving them. Madame 
Tremordyn felt herself aggrieved. She had 
engaged a young person in the room of 
Agnes, with whom no man was likely to be 
attracted ; but, unluckily, Madame Tremor- 
dyn found her as unpleasant and unattractive 
as the rest of the world did. She missed 
Agnes sorely. At length she fairly fretted 
and fumed herself into a nervous fever. 
Mademoiselle Bichat, her companion, became 
doubly insupportable. Madame wrote a note 
to Agnes, reproaching her with cruelty for 
leaving her, and bidding her come back. 
She signed herself The Mother of Achille. 
There was nothing for it but to go ; and 
Agnes went, hoping that the difficulties 
that lay between her and happiness were 
soluble, and had begun to melt away. The 
demoiselle Bichat was discarded, and Agnes 
re-installed in her old place. The old lady 
was not the least more amiable or reasonable 
for being ill. She talked incessantly about 
her son, and reproached Agnes with having 
stolen his heart away from her, his mother ; 
yet, with curious contradiction, she loved 
Agnes all the more for the very attachment 
she so bitterly deprecated. If Agnes could 
only have loved him in a humble, despairing 
way, she would have been allowed to be 
miserable to her heart's content. But to be 
loved in return ! To aspire to marry him ! 
That was the offence. 

Two years passed over. At the end of 
them Achille returned on sick-leave. He 



Charles Dickens.] 



AGNES LEE. 



[July 11, 1337.] 43 



had had a fever, which had left him in a low, 
desponding state. Madame Tremordyn would 
not spare Agues, she could not do without 
her. She told her she would never consent 
to her marriage with her sou, and that she 
must submit to her lot like a Christian, and 
nurse Achille like a sister ; which she had no 
objection to consider her. The sight of 
Achille, gaunt and worn with illness, made 
Agnes thankful to stop on any terms. 

Achille was greatly changed ; he was 
irritable, nervous, and full of strange fancies. 
He clung to Agnes as a child to its mother. 
Her calm and tender gentleness soothed him, 
and she could rouse him from the fits of 
gloom and depression to which he was sub- 
ject. His mother lamented over the wreck 
he had become ; but the love of Agnes be- 
came stronger and deeper. The nature of it 
had changed, but his need of her had a more 
touching charm than when, in his brilliant 
days, she had looked up to him as a some- 
thing more than mortal, and wondered, in 
her humility, what he saw in her to attract 
him. Gradually he seemed to recover his 
health. The shadow that lay upon him was 
lifted off, and he became like his old self. 
He was not, however, able to return to the 
army. He retired, with the grade of captain 
and the decoration of the Legion of Honour. 

Madame Tremordyu's fortune was small, 
and consisted in a life-rent. There would 
be little or nothing at her death for her 
son. It was necessary he should find 
some employment. Through the influence 
of some relatives, he obtained a situation in 
the Customs. The salary was modest, but it 
was enough to live upon in tolerable com- 
fort. He again announced to his mother his 
intention of marrying Agnes ; ;md, this 
time, he met with no opposition it would 
have been useless. Agnes was presented to 
friends and relatives of the clan Tremordyn 
as the betrothed of Achille. It was half 
settled that Agnes should pay a visit to her 
aunt and cousin whom she had not seen for 
near four years ; but Mrs. Tremordyn fell ill, 
and could not spare her. The visit was post- 
poned till she could go with her husband; and, 
in the meanwhile, letters of love and congra- 
tulation came from them. The whole Tre- 
mordyn tribe expressed their gracious appro- 
bation of the young English girl their kinsman 
had chosen, and made liberal offerings of 
marriage gifts. The good Raymonds furnished 
the trousseau, and Agnes could scarcely 
believe in the happiness that arose upon her 
life. Once or twice she perceived a strange- 
ness in Achille. It was no coldness or estrange- 
ment, for he could not bear her out of his 
sight. He was quite well in health, and, at 
times, in extravagantly good spirits. Yet he 
was unlike himself: he appeared conscious 
that she perceived something, and was rest- 
less and annoyed if she looked at him. The 
peculiarity passed off, and she tried to think 
it was her own fancy. 



The wedding-clay came. The wedding 
guests were assembled in Madame Eay- 
mond's best salon ; for Agnes was their 
adopted daughter, and was to be married 
from their house. Neither Achille nor his 
mother had arrived. Agnes, looking lovely 
in her white dress and veil, sat in her room 
until she should be summoned. The time 
passed on some of the guests looked at their 
watches a carriage drove up. Madame 
Tremordyn, dressed magnificently, but look- 
ing pale and terror-stricken, came into the 
room, her usual stately step was now tottering 
and eager. 

"Is my son, is Achille here?" she asked 
in an imperious but hollow voice. 

No one replied. A thrill of undefined terror 
passed through all assembled. 

" Is he here, I ask 1 He left home two 
hours ago." 

"He has not been here. We have not seen 
him," replied the eldest member of the family. 
" Calm yourself, my cousin, doubtless he will 
be here soon." 

There was an uneasy silence, broken by the 
rustling of dresses, and the restless moving of 
people afraid to stir ; feeling, as it were 
under a spell. The eldest kinsman spoke 
again. 

" Let some one go in search of him." 

Three or four rose at this suggestion. 
Madame Tremordyn bowed her head, and 
said " Go ! " It was all she had the force to 
articulate. The guests who remained looked 
at each other with gloomy forebodings, and 
knew not what to do. At last the door 
opened and Agnes entered. A large shawl 
was wrapped over her bridal dress, but she 
was without either veil or ornaments ; her 
face was pale, her eyes dilated. 

" What is all this ? Let me know the 
worst what has happened 1 " She looked 
from one to the other, but none answered her. 
She went up to Madame Tremordyn, and 
said, " Tell me, mother." 

But, Madame Tremordyn put her aside, 
and said : 

"You are the cause of whatever ill has 
befallen him." 

A murmur rose from the company ; but the 
poor mother looked so stricken and miserable 
that no one had the heart to blame her un- 
reason. Everybody felt the position too irk- 
some to endure longer ; and, one after another, 
they glided noiselessly away ; leaving only 
Agnes, Madame Tremordyn, and the good 
Raymonds. The hours passed on, and still no 
tidings. The suspense became intolerable. 
M.Raymond went out to seek for information, 
and also to put the police in motion. Agnes, 
who had sat all this while still and calm, 
without uttering a word or shedding a tear, 
rose and beckoned Madame Raymond to 
come out of hearing. 

" I must change this dress and go home 
with her ; we must be at home when he is 
brought back." 



44 (July 11, 1867.1 



HOUSEHOLD WOEDS. 



[Con.luctea 



"But you cannot go there my child it 
would be unheard of." 

" They will both need me there is no one 
who can fill my place let me go." 

She spoke gently, but resolutely. Madame 
Raymond saw that it was no case for remon- 
strance. In a few moments Agnes returned 
in her walking-dress. She laid her hand on 
Madame Tremordyn, and said : 

"Let us go home." 

The poor mother, looking ten years older 
than on the previous day, rose, and leaning 
upon Agnes walked feebly to the door. 
Madame Raymond supported her on the 
other side ; she would have gone with them, 
but Agnes shook her head and kissed her 
silently. Arrived at home Agnes resumed 
her old position. She busied herself about 
Madame Tremordyn. She made her take 
some nourishment, chafed her hands and 
feet, and tried to keep some warmth and life 
within her ; but little speech passed between 
them. 

The weary hours passed on, and no tidings; 
About midnight a strangely sounding footstep 
was heard upon the stair. The door of the 
room opened, and Achille, with his dress dis- 
ordered and torn, and covered with mud, 
stood before them. He stopped short at see- 
ing them, and evidently did not recognise 
them. He did not speak. There was a wild 
glare in his eye, he was quite mad. 

Madame Tremordyn, in extreme terror, 
shrank back in her arm-chair, trying to hide 
herself. Agnes placed herself before her ; 
looking steadily at Achille, she said quietly, 

" Make no noise, your mother is ill." 

He sat down slowly, and with apparent 
-eluctance, upon the chair she indicated. 
She kept her eye fixed upon him, and he 
moved uneasily under its influence. It was 
like being with an uncaged wild beast ; and, 
what was to be the end, she did not know. 
At length he rose stealthily and backed j 
towards the door, which remained open, i 
The instant he gained the landing-place j 
he sprang down stairs with a yell. The j 
house door was closed with violence, and he 
was heard running furiously up the street ; i 
his yells and shouts ringing through the air. ' 
.Agnes drew a deep breath, and turned to , 
Madame Tremordyn, who lay back in her 
chair speechless ; her face was dreadfully ! 
distorted. She had been struck with para- 
lysis. 

CHAPTER THE FOURTH. 

AGNES roused the domestics for medical 
assistance, and got Madame Tremordyn to 
bed, as speedily as possible. Her strength 
and calmness seemed little less than super- 
natural. The medical man remained in 
attendance the rest of the night ; but no 
change for the better took place. Madame 
Tremordyn lay still speechless, distorted, 
yet not altogether insensible, as might be 
seen by her eyes, which followed Agnes 



wistfully. No tidings came of Achille, until 
the next day at noon, when Mrs. Tremordyn's 
kinsman came with the news that Achille 
had been conveyed to the Bicetre, a furious 
maniac. He spoke low, but Mrs. Tremordyn 
heard him ; a gleam of terrible anguish shone 
from her eyes, but she was powerless to 
move. 

" We must leave him there," said the kins- 
man. " He will be better attended to than 
he could be elsewhere. I will make in- 
quiries to-morrow about him, and send you 
tidings. The physician says it has been com- 
ing on for some time. How fortunate, dear 
girl, that it was before the marriage instead 
of after : what a frightful fate you have 
escaped ! " 

" Do you think so ? " said Agnes, sadly. " I 
must regret it always ; for, if I had been his 
wife I should have had the right to be with 
him ill or well." 

" You could do him no good. I doubt 
whether he would know you ; but you are 
romantic." 

Day after day passed slowly on without any 
change. The accounts of Achille were that he 
continued dangerous and ungovernable ; that 
his was one of the worst cases in the house. 
Mrs. Tremordyn lay helpless and speech- 
less. The guests who had assembled at 
the ill-omened wedding, had departed to 
their different abodes ; most of them had 
come up from distant parts of the country for 
the occasion ; none of them resided perma- 
nently in Paris. The old kinsman alone re- 
mained until Madame Tremordyn's state 
declared itself one way or other. 

One night, about a fortnight after her 
seizure, Madame Tremordyn recovered her 
speech so far as to be intelligible. She 
spoke lucidly to Agnes, who was watching 
beside her, and began to give her some 
directions about her affairs ; but her mind 
was too much weakened. She blessed 
her for all her attention and goodness ; 
bade her be the good angel of her son ; 
and, while speaking, a stupor benumbed her, 
and she never awoke from it. 

The kinsman assumed the direction of 
affairs, took possession of her effects, broke 
up her establishment, made Agnes a present, 
and a handsome speech, and evidently con- 
sidered her connection with the family at an 
end. Agnes went back to the Raymonds to 
consider what she would do. 

The first thing needful, was to recruit 
her strength. She felt bitterly the severance 
of the tie between her and the rest of Achille 's 
family. They had made up their minds that 
he was never to get better ; but, to her, the 
idea of leaving him to. his fate was too pain- 
ful to contemplate. As soon as she had suf- 
ficiently recovered she asked M. Raymond 
to take her to the Bicetre. There she had 
an interview with the head physician ; Avho 
said that Achille's case, if not hopeless, would 
be of long duration. Agues entreated to be 



Charles Dieiene.] 



AGNES LEE. 



[July 11, 1857-1 45 



allowed to see him of course she was A year passed, and Agnes made a 
refused ; but her importunity was not to formal demand to have Achille discharged 
be put by ; and, at last, she was conducted from the hospital, and given over to her care, 
to his cell. He received her calmly, and There were many difficulties raised, and a 
declared he knew she would come, and that great deal of opposition. M. Achille Tre- 
he had been expecting her since the day niordyn was not recovered ; he was liable to 
before. He seemed quite rational and col- a dangerous outbreak at any moment ; it was 
lected, and entreated her to take him away not a fit charge for a young woman, and 
as it drove him mad to be there. The physi- much besides ; but Agnes was gifted with 
cian spoke, but Achille did not heed him. the power of bearing down all opposition. 
He kept his eyes fixed on Agnes, with a She argued and entreated, and finally pre- 
look of touching entreaty. Agnes looked vailed. 

wistfully at the physician, who said to Great was the astonishment of Monsieur 
Achille, " It depends entirely on yourself. J Raymond, to see her thus accompanied, 
You shall go the moment you render it drive up to his door : that of Madame 
possible for us to send you away." j Raymond, of course was not less, but 

Achille put his hand to his forehead, as [ the surprise of both reached its height, 
though endeavouring to follow out an idea. ! when Agnes gravely, and without any 
At last he said, " I understand. I will | embarrassment requested him to come 
obey." with them to the Mairie to see her married. 

He gravely kissed Agnes's hand, and Achille stood by, perfectly calm, but 
attended her to the door of the cell, as the imprisoned madness lurked in his 
though it had been a drawing-room. eyes, and looked out us on the watch to 

" You have wonderful power over that spring forth. He spoke, however, with grave 
patient, Mademoiselle," said the physician, and graceful courtesy, and said that M. and 



"are you accustomed to mad persons 1 " 

Agnes shook her head. 

" Although he looks so quiet now, I would 
not be left alone with him for a thousand 
pounds," said he. 

During their ride home, Agues never spoke ; 



Madame Raymond must perceive that Agnes 
was his good angel who had procured his 
deliverance, and that it was necessary she 
should give him the right to remain with 
her and protect her. He could not leave her 
it was necessary to fulfil their old contract. 



she was maturing a plan in her mind. She : He said this in a subdued, measured way ; 
asked the Raymonds to procure her some ' but with a suppressed impatience, as if a 
out-of-door teaching. They entreated her very little opposition would make him break 
to remain with them as their daughter, ! out into violence. M. Raymond took her 
and to live with them ; but she steadily re- 1 apart, and represented everything that 



fused their kindness, and they were obliged to 
desist. They procured her some pupils, whom 
she was to instruct in music, drawing, and 
English. She still further distressed the 
Raymonds by withdrawing from their house, 
and establishing herself in a modest lodging 
near the Bicetre ; she attended her pupils, 



common sense and friendship could suggest. 
Agnes was immovable. Her sole reply was, 
" He will never get well there ; if he comes to 
me I will cure him." In the end, M. Ray- 
mond had to give way as the doctors had 
done. He and Madame Raymond went 
with them to the Mairie, and saw them 



and visited Achille whenever the autbori- 1 married. 
ties permitted. As for Achille, from the They went home with them afterwards., 
first day she came, a great change had come | Agnes had arranged her modest manage 
over him. He was still mad, but seemed | with cheerfulness and good taste. A sensible 
by superhuman effort, to control all out- j good-looking, middle-aged woman was the 
ward manifestations of his madness. His ! only domestic. 



delusions were as grave as ever, some- 
times he was betrayed into speaking of them, 
and he never renounced them but all his 
actions were sane and collected. If Agnes 
were a day beyond her time he grew restless 



'I have known her long," said Agnes,, 
" she lived with Madame Tremordyn in 
Normandie, and she knew Achille as a boy,, 
and is quite willing to share my task." 

I believe you are a rational lunatic, 



and desponding. In her personal habits | Agnes," said M. Raymond. " However, if you 
Agnes exercised an almost sordid parsi- fail, you will come to us at once." 
mony she laid by nearly the whole of her They remained to partake of an English 
earnings her clientele increased she had I tea which Agnes had got up, Achille per- 
rnore work than she could do. Her story formed his part, as host, with simple dig- 
excited interest wherever it was known, and nity. M. Raymond was almost re-assured, 
her own manners and appearance confirmed j Nevertheless he led her aside, and said, "My 
it. She received many handsome presents, ! dear girl, I stand here as your father. Are 
and was in the receipt of a comfortable '< you sure you are not afraid to remain witk 
income : still she confined herself to the barest ' this man ? " 

necessaries of life. The Raymonds seldom " Afraid ? oh, no. How can one feel afraid 
saw her, and they were hurt that she took of a person we love ?" said she, looking up 
them so little into her confidence. I at him with a smile. And then she tried to 



46 [July 11, 13S7.J 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



utter her thanks for all his goodness to her ; 
but her voice choked, and she burst into 



to others, not the love they give us, that fills 
our heart. 



tears. Six years after marriage Achille Tre- 

" There, there, my child, do not agitate ' mordyn died. He expressed eloquently and 
yourself. You know we look on you as our j even tenderly his sense of all he owed to his 
daughter we love you." j wife, and his high opinion of her many 

And tears dropped upon the golden curls as ] virtues, and regretted all she had suffered for 
he kissed them. Poor Madame Raymond ' him. It was not the farewell that a woman 
sobbed audibly, as she held Agnes in her j and a wife would wish for; but she loved 
arms, and would not let her go. Achille stood him, and did not cavil at his words, 
by, looking on. After his death she went to live near the 

' Why do you weep ? " he asked, gently ; Raymonds. She still continued to teach, 
" are you afraid that I shall hurt your friend ? ; though no longer from necessity ; but, 
You need not fear, she is my one blessing: after she had somewhat recovered from 



I will make her great I will ! ' 

He seemed to recollect himself, 



stopped, drawing himself up haughtily. 
Agnes disengaged herself gently from the 
embrace of Madame Raymond, and Achille 



the blankness which had fallen on her life, 
and she devoted herself to finding out friendless 



young girls, and providing them with homes 
and the means of gaining a living. For this 
purpose she worked, and to it she devoted 



attended them courteously to their coach. I all her earnings : recollecting the aunt who 
There was a dangerous glare in his eyes had adopted her when she arrived in Paris, 
when he came back. "Now Agnes, those and found herself abandoned. The good 
people are gone. They shall never come "" 
back. If they had stayed a moment longer 
I would have killed them ! " 



Raymonds left her a fortune, with which she 
built a house, and was the mother in it ; and 
many were the daughters who had cause to 
After that evening, the Raymonds did not bless her. She lived to an advanced age, and 

(* 1 1 ttri L .i O 7 



see Agnes for many months. Whatever were 
the secrets of her home, no eye saw them ; she 
struggled with her lot alone. She attended 
her pxipils regularly, and none of them saw 
any signs of weakness or anxiety. Her face 
was stern and grave 



died quite recently. 



NEXT WEEK. 



I WILL begin next week. I am quite re- 
but her duties were [ solved upon it. Whatever inducements to 
punctually fulfilled, and no plea of illness further delay may offer themselves, I will 
or complaint, of any kind, escaped her. j not listen to them. No. If I am alive and 
It was understood that her husband was in good health, let what will happen, I have 
an invalid, and that she did not go into com- fully made my mind up that I will begin that 



pany that was all the world knew of her 
affairs. 

The old servant died, and her place was 
never filled up. Agnes went to market and 
managed all her household affairs before she 



five-act comedy next week. 

Such is my fixed detei'mination. I 
have the story of my comedy all settled in 
my mind. I have, and have had for some 
years, the characters and incidents, even to 



went to her pupils. Her husband was j the minutest details, clearly arranged ; all 
seen sometimes working in the garden or j that is wanting is for me to sit down and, 
sitting if the weather was warm in the with what powers of language I possess, to 
sunny arbour, shaded with climbing plants ; put my work on paper. I know that I have 
but, he never left the house except with his ' a ready market for it when completed, and 
wife. j so, once for all, I am resolved to set to work 

-At the end of three years, the hope 
to which Agnes had clung with such 
passionate steadfastness was fulfilled. Her 
husband entirely recovered his reason ; 



in earnest at it next week. 

Why shouldn't I ? For years I have been 
panting after litei'ary fame, and have felt 



son ; sure my true vocation is dramatic author- 
but, in this hope realised there was ship. Here is an opportunity too long 
mixed a great despair. With recovered : neglected, which, if now seized upon, may 
sanity came the consciousness of all that his \ (should I not say must ?) accomplish all my 
wife had done for him, and he had not wishes. I know my comedy will be a great 
breadth of magnanimity to accept it. It may ' success. I have few rivals to contend against 
be thnt the habits of rule and self-reliance now that original works of standard merit 
which had been forced upon her by her are so very rare. In fact all leads me to 
position did not exactly suit the changed j believe that I may, if I choose, at once attain 
position of things people must brave the ! a very high rank amongst living dramatists, 
defects of their qualities. This trial was the I Why should I then delay my triumph ? 
hardest she had endured ; but she hid suffer- Why, indeed ! I will begin next week. 



ing bravely. Her husband respected her 
honoured her was always gentle and cour- 



And now, with every possible encourage- 
ment to do so, with nothing upon earth to 



teous did everything except love her ; dissuade me from it, I have no doubt the 
but she loved him, and it is more blessed to reader fully believes I mean to keep my 
give than to receive. It is the love we give resolution. And so I do, I pledge my word, 



Charles fl lekene.] 



NEXT WEEK. 



[July 11, 1857.] 47 



most positively. And yet experience is a 
cruel teacher. Even now, determined as I 
feel upon a course of action, a fear will arise. ! 
No matter. Listen, reader, to a few past ; 
experiences of next week. 

When quite a youth, I spent two years in [ 
making up my mind that I would commence 
the study of the French language next 
week. My fate had placed me as junior 
clerk in the counting-house of a London mer- 
chant who had extensive dealings with 
Parisian houses. Here, by my industry and 
application (for do not let anyone suppose by 
the confession I am about to make that I 
lack either of those qxialities), I had become 
a great favourite with my employer. There 
seemed every certainty of my ultimate pro- 
motion to a much better position in the 
office. One thing alone stood in my way ; it 
was my ignorance of French, and consequent 
inability to manage the continental corre- 
spondence. No sooner did this fact dawn 
upon me than, with the promptness of deter- 
mination upon which I pride myself, I firmly 
resolved to commence taking lessons in 
French. I would begin next week. There 
was no hurry, to be sure, for there was no 
immediate prospect of a change, and I, of 
course, could not expect advancement till a 
vacancy arose. Still, it was only prudent to 
be prepared for anything that might occur. 
So I would not delay. I would begin next 
week. 

Never was I more serious in making a 
resolution not even now about my five-act 
comedy than I was then, and yet the next 
week, and the next, and many next weeks, 
passed, and I had not begun my French. It 
was not that I had forgotten my determi- 
nation. By no means. But something or 
other always happened nothing of conse- 
quence, it is true, mere trifles generally 
which called for my attention. Well, it was 
no great matter after all. What could a few 
days signify 1 I would get these little matters 
off my mind first, and then I would begin in 
earnest. And so a month or two slipped by, 
and all at once it struck me that I was no 
nearer beginning than I was when first I 
made my resolution. Should I commence 
that moment 1 No, no ! I laughed at my 
own suggestion of such precipitate haste. 
Had I not strength of mind enough to trust 
my determination ? Besides, the prospect of 
a vacancy was as remote as ever. I would 
though, positively and without fail, begin 
next week. It was nearly two years after 
this that the long-looked for vacancy did 
actually occur ; and what made the matter 
more provoking was the fact that I really 
did and do still believe that the following 
week I absolutely should have set to work 
preparing myself for it. 

A kind old aunt of mine resided once near 
Islington. It was a long way from my 
lodgings on the Surrey side, it is true ; but 
the old lady had always been so kind to me 



when I used to go, a mere child, to stay a 
week with her ; I had such grateful reminis- 
cences of the toffee, hardbake, and the innu- 
merable other unwholesome delights she used 
to treat me with, to say nothing of the toys 
with which I always came home loaded, that 
I felt bound in common gratitude to show 
her some attention now that I had arrived 
at man's estate and had discarded Albert 
rock for Albert neck-ties, had done with tops 
and marbles, and confined my kite-flying to 
the somewhat costly mode of raising ready 
money, which goes by that name in the City. 
Besides, I really loved her for her own sake, 
for with all her curious whims and fancies 
she was a good, warm-hearted creature, and 
I knew that a visit from me would be hailed 
by the good old lady with delight. I made 
my mind up I would go and spend a day with 
her. When 1 Well, next week. Some few 
months back I heard my poor old aunt was 
dead. I never had accomplished my intended 
trip to Islington, and I found the little pro- 
perty she left behind, even the gold watch 
she always used to say was to be mine, and 
used to let me have to play with when a 
baby, had been bequeathed to strangers. I 
did not care so very much about the mere 
pecuniary loss ; but it did grieve me to the 
heart to think she had conceived that I her 
favourite nephew had deserted her ; and 
ceased to care for her ; which, on my word, 
I never did. I had put off my visit time 
after time, ever resolving firmly that it 
should be paid next week until at last a 
week came when for my poor old aunt there 
was no next. 

In almost every circumstance of life next 
week has been my rock-ahead. I am fond 
of the arts, and yet for six whole years I 
lived in London without seeing a single 
exhibition of the Royal Academy pictures 
(by the bye I am told there are some 
capital pictures to be seen this year. I 
have not been yet, but am going next 
week). Yet every year did I resolve that 
I would not run the risk of missing them 
again ; how was it then that passing through 
Trafalgar Square, at least three times a week, 
separated only by a flight of steps, a stone 
wall, and a charge of one shilling, stealing, 
from these great works of art how was it I 
say that for six successive years I did miss 
seeing them ? Simply because I meant to 
go next week, and I continued meaning to do 
so, until I passed again and found the exhi- 
bition over. 

I am a Londoner by birth, yet have I never 
seen Saint Paul's. That is to say, as yet I 
have not seen those portions of it which form 
one of the London sights that country 
visitors get over ere they have been twenty- 
four hours in the great metropolis. Its glo- 
rious outline as viewed from the river, with 
its magnificent dome looking like the Impe- 
rial crown upon the head of London, I have 
seen, of course. And the interior at least 



48 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[July 11, 1857-J 



BO much of it as is devoted to the purposes 
of worship, I have seeu often. But the show- 
part the whispering-gallery, the stone-gal- 
lery, the golden gallery, clock and bell, geo- 
metrical staircase, lauthorn, ball, and so forth, 
I have never seen, nor am I likely to see, un- 
til well, yes, I think (and I have thought 
for many years), I'll have a look at them next 
week. 

Is it not so with most things which we 
think we can do at any time we put them 
off unconsciously, until at last we never do 
them. At any rate, such is the case with 
me. I remember that when the Eoyal 
Italian Opera was in the very height of its 
first glories at Covent Garden 1 had the 
entr6e for one whole season. Upon the 
opening night, they played an opera which I 
had seen so often that I did not much care 
about going. I would wait for the produc- 
tion of that great work of which I had 
heard so much, and which was to be repre- 
sented for the first time in London, in a night 
or two. Then I quite resolved that nothing 
short of my being laid upon a bed of sick- 
ness should prevent my going. Well, the 
great work was produced. I certainly should 
like to go ; but, after all, the piece must have 
a good, long run, and there would be plenty 
of other opportunities of my hearing it. I 
Avould go next week. Need I say after the 
utterance of these fatal words, I did not go 
at all. The season had passed away with 
what marvellous rapidity it seemed to have 
flown \vhen over ? and I had never visited 
the opera once. 

And as that opera season was to me, so is 
the season of no end of human lives. Who 
amongst us is not conscious of this same pro- 
pensity for putting off until next week things 
that could be (it may be that can only be) 
done now ? Who amongst us can look back 
upon his past experience without feeling how 
much more he might have done, how much 
more useful he might have been, both to 
himself and others, had he never reckoned on 
next week? 

I have had money owing to me which I 
might have received on application, but not 
being in absolute and immediate want of it, 
I have delayed applying for it. Next week 
would be quite time enough for me. Months 
afterwards I was in want of it, and did apply. 
My debtor had two days before been made a 
bankrupt. 

I am a married man, and father of a family. 
Lucky it is for me (I say it advisedly, the 
sneers and sarcasms of misogamist bachelors 
to the contrary notwithstanding), lucky it is 
for me that lovely woman has the privilege 
of fixing the happy day. Had it been left to 
me, I fear I should have put our wedding 
off until next week, and lived and died a 
bachelor. 



The chances I have had of literary employ- 
ment upon various newspapers, magazines 
and other periodicals, I will not here enume- 
rate. The reader would no doubt attribute 
it to vanity were I to do so. Enough that 
almost every chance has been neglected. Not 
wilfully, by any means. I like the work, and 
like the proceeds of it too. In fact, I have 
been now for a great length of time fully 
determined to contribute regularly to several 
publications. But alas ! my determination 
always has been to commence next week, 
until too often I have found the opportunity 
had passed and others filled the place I might 
have held. How it is that the present article 
came to be written now, instead of being put 
off to that terrible next week of mine, I 
cannot say. However, here it is. Once 
begun, I have but little difficulty in pro- 
ceeding, but oh ! the struggle to begin ! 

Enough of these confessions of my past 
short-comings ; for the future I must really 
make an effort to turn over a new leaf. First 
there is my five-act comedy, I have already 
mentioned. Suppose I were to set to work 
upon it now, this very day 

No ; not to day. But, next week, I really 
do mean, as I have said, to begin in earnest 
at it. Next week, too, I commence to get up 
early in the morning, to keep a diary, to 
make a point of walking four miles daily 
before breakfast, to put five shillings weekly 
in the Savings' Bank (which, I have just read 
in the statistics column of a penny paper, will 
amount to something fabulous in the course 
of years). Next week, too, I intend to begin 
a regular course of study in a few things, no 
matter what, in which I am deficient. But, 
I will say no more about my good inten- 
tions, lest the reader should imagine by their 
number that I shall never carry them into 
effect. I will, though, I am determined. 

True it is, I have been quite as positively 
determined ever since I can remember. True 
it is, too, my positive determinations as yet 
have come to nothing. No matter. This 
time I am resolved. I will begin Next 
Week. 



Now ready, price Five Shillings and Sixpence, neatly 
bound in cloth, 

THE FIFTEENTH VOLUME 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS, 

Containing the Numbers issued between the Third of 
January and the Twenty-seventh of June of the prcseiit 
year. 



Just published, in Two Volumes, post Svo, price One. 
Guinea, 

THE DEAD SECRET. 

BY WILKIE COLLINS. 
Bradbury and Evans, Whitcfriars. 



The Eight of Translating Articles from HOUSEHOLD "WonDS is reserved by the Authors- 



f nblijhtd at the Office, No. 16. Wel!into Street North, St.ard. Tiinte: by BSABBUKT t EvAas, Whitefriars, London. 



"Familiar in their Mouths as HOUSEHOLD WORDS." 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 

A WEEKLY JOURNAL, 
CONDUCTED BY CHARLES DICKENS. 



382.] 



SATURDAY, JULY 18, 1857. 



fPBICB Id. 

\ STAMPED 3d. 



INCH BY INCH UPWAED. 



AMONG the ashes and slag of a poor colliery 
village, near Newcastle-ou-Tyne, in the un- 
plastered room with a clay floor and garret 
roof that was the entire home of the family 
to which he was born, there came into the 
world, on a June day, seventy-six years ago, 
one of its best benefactors. The village is 
named Wylam. The family occupying, in 
the year seventeen hundred and eighty-one, 
one of the four labourers' apartments con- 
tained in the cottage known as High Street 
House was that of Eobert Stepheuson and 
his wife, Mabel, their only child being a two- 
year old boy, named James ; when on the 
ninth of June, in the year just named, a 
second son was born to them, whom they 
called George. That was George Stephen- 
son, the founder of the railway system. 

The family continued to increase ; and, by 
the time when George was twelve years old he 
had three brothers and two sisters. He grew 
up in war times when bread was very dear, 
and it was bitterly difficult for working men 
to earn more than would keep body and 
soul together. His father, known as old 
Bob by the neighbours, was a fireman to the 
pumping-engine at the Wylam colliery, earn- 
ing not more than twelve shillings a-week. 



pleasure in telling wonderful stories to the 
children who gathered about his engine-fire of 
evenings. About his engine-fire also, tame 
robins would gather for the crumbs he 
spared out of his scanty dinner for he was 
a man who loved all kinds of animals, and he 
would give no better treat to his child 
George, than to hold him up that he might 
look at the young blackbirds in their nest. 
The mother, Mabel, was a delicate and nerv- 
ous woman ; who, though troubled with what 
neighbours called the rising of the vapours, 
had some qualities that won their admiration. 
A surviving neighbour, who looks back upon 
the couple, says of them, that " they had very 
little to come and go upon. They were honest 
folk, but sore haudden doon in the world." 

Little George carried his father's dinner to 
the engine, helped to tug about and nurse 
the children younger than himself and to keep 
them out of the way of the horses drawing 
chaldron waggons on the wooden tramroadj 



that ran close before the threshold of the 
cottage door. If the rising of the vapours 
had made Mabel a Pythoness, she might 
have discovered, as she stood at the door, 
lines of fate in the two wooden couplets on 
the road. But, they only warned her of 
danger threatening her children while at play. 

Twelve shillings a-week when times are 
hard, will not go far towards the support 
of a father, a mother, and a lapful of 
little children. The coal at Wylam was 
worked out, and old Bob's engine, which had 
" stood till she grew fearsome to look at," 
was pulled down. The poor family then 
followed the work to Dewley Burn ; where 
Robert Stephenson waited as* fireman on a 
newer engine, and set up his household in a 
one-roomed cottage near the centre of a 
group of little collier's huts that stand on the 
edge of a rift, bridged over here and there, 
because there runs along its bottom a small, 
babbling stream. Little George Geordie 
Steevie was then eight years old. Of course 
he had not been to school ; but he was strong, 
nimble of body and of wit, and eager to begin 
the business of bread-winning with the least 
possible delay. In a neighbouring farm- 
house lived Grace Ainslie, a widow, whose 
cows had the right to graze along the waggon 
road. The post of keeping them out of the 
way of the waggons, and preventing them 
from trespassing on other persons' liberties 
was given to George. He was to have a 
shilling a week, and his duty was to include 
barring the gates at night after the waggons 
had all passed. 

That was the beginning of George Stephen- 
son's career, and from it he pushed forward 
his fortune inch by inch upward. Of course 
he had certain peculiar abilities ; but many 
may have them, yet few do good with them. 
George Stephenson made his own fortune, 
and also added largely to the wealth and 
general well-being of society. Our purpose 
is following the details published recently 
by MR. SMILES in a most faithful and elabo- 
rate biography to show how a man may get 
up the hill Difficulty who is content to mount 
by short firm steps, keeping his eyes well 
upon the ground that happens to lie next 
before his feet. 

As watcher of Grace Ainslie's cows, the 
'work of little Geordie Steevie gave him 



VOL. XVI. 



382 



60 [July 18. 1SS7.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



time for play. He became an authority on 
birds' nests, made whistles of reeds and 
straws ; ;iud, with Tom Tholoway his chosen 
playmate, had especial pleasure in the build- 
ing of little clay engines with the soil of 
Dewley Bog : hemlock stalks being used to 
represent steam-pipes and other apparatus. 
Any child, whose father's work was to at- 
tend an engine, would have played at engines ; 
but, in the case of George Stephenson, it is, 
nevertheless, a pleasure to the fancy to 
dwell on the fact that, as a child, he made j 
mud-engines and not mud-pies, when playing i 
in the dirt. When his legs were long enough 1 
to carry him across the little furrows, little j 
George was promoted to the business of 
leading horses at the plough, and was trusted 
also to hoe turnips and to do other farm- 
work at the advanced wages of two shillings 
a-week. But, his brother James two years 
his senior was then earning three shillings 
a-week as corf-bitter or picker at the colliery ; 
that is to say, he helped to pick out of the ; 
coal, stones, bats and dross. Upon that neat | 
inch of progress, little George fixed his atten- 
tion. Having made it good, he tried for- 
ward till he secured another inch, and 
received four shillings a week as driver of the 
gin-horse. In that capacity he was employed 
at the Hade Callerton Colliery, two miles 
from Dewley Burn, whither he went early of 
mornings and whence he returned late of 
evenings, "a grit, bare-legged laddie, very 
quick-witted and full of fun and tricks." He 
bred rabbits. He knew all the nests 
between Black Callerton and Dewley ; 
brought home young birds when they were 
old enough ; fed them, and tamed them. One 
of his tame blackbirds flew all day in and out 
of and about the cottage, roosting at night on 
the bedhead ; but she disappeared during the 
summer months, to do her proper duty as a 
bird, duly returning in the winter. 

As driver of the gin-horse, Geordie Steevie 
fixed his eye upon the post of assistant-fire- 
man to his father at the Dewley engine. At 
the early age of fourteen, he got that promo- 
tion, and his wages became six shillings a- 
week. He was then so young that he used 
to hide when the owner of the colliery came 
round, lest he should think him too small for 
his place. 

The coal at Dewley Burn was worked 
out ; and the Stephensons again moved 
to Jolly's Close, a little row of cottages 
shut in between steep banks. The family 
v,,is now helped by the earnings of the 
children ; and, out of the united incomes of its 
members, made thirty-five shillings or two 
pounds a-week. But, the boys, as they grew 
older, grew hungrier, and the war with 
Napoleon was then raising the price of wheat 
from fifty-four shillings to one hundred and 
thirty shillings a quarter. It was still hard 
to live. George, at fifteen years old a big 
aud bony boy was promoted to the fail, 
office of fireman at a new working, the Mid- 



mill winning, where he had a young friend, 
named Bill Coe, for his mate. But the Mid- 
mill engine was a very little one, and the 
nominal increase of dignity was not attended 
\vilh increase of wages. George's ambition 
was to attain rank as soon as possible as a 
full workman, and to earn as good wages as 
those his father had : twelve shillings a-week. 
He was steady, sober, indefatigable in his 
work, ready of wit, and physically strong. 
It was a great pleasure to him to compete 
with his associates in lifting heavy weights, 
throwing the hammer, and putting the stone. 
He once lifted as much as sixty stone. Mid- 
mill pit being closed, George and his friend 
Coe were sent to work another pumping 
engine, fixed near Throchley Bridge. While 
there, his work was adjudged worthy of a 
man's hire. One Saturday evening, the fore- 
man paid him twelve shillings for a week's 
work, and told him that he was, from that 
date, advanced. When he came out, he told 
his fellow-workmen his good fortune, and 
declared in triumph : " Now I am a made 
man for life." 

He had reached inch by inch the natural 
object of a boy's ambition ; to be man enough 
to do what he has seen done by his father. 
But he was man enough for more than that. 
By natural ability joined to unflagging 
industry he still won his way slowly up ; 
and, at the age of seventeen, worked in a 
new pit at the same engine with his father ; 
the son taking the higher place as engine- 
man, and Old Bob being still a fireman as 
he had been from the first. 

It was the duty of the engine-man to 
watch the engine, to correct a certain class 
of hitches in its working, and, when anything 
was wrong that he could not put right, to send 
word to the chief engineer. George Stephen- 
son fell in love with his engine, and was 
never tired of watching it. In leisure hours, 
when his companions went to their sports, 
he took his machine to pieces, cleaned every 
part of it, and put it together again. Tims, 
he not only kept it in admirable working 
order, but became intimately acquainted with 
all its parts and knew their use. He acquired 
credit for devotion to his work, and really 
was devoted to it ; at the same time he 
acquired a kind of knowledge that would 
help him to get an inch higher in the world. 

But, there was another kind of knowledge 
necessary. At the age of eighteen he could 
not read ; he could not write his name. His 
father had been too poor to afford any school- 
ing to the children. He was then getting 
his friend Coe to teach him the mystery of 
brakeing, that he might, when opportunity 
occurred, advance to the post of brakes- 
man next above that which he held. He 
became curious also to know definitely 
something about the famous engines that 
were in those days planned by Watt and 
Bolton. The desire for knowledge taught him. 
the necessity of learning to read books. 



Chulei Dickene.] 



INCH BY INCH UPWARD. 



[July IS, 1357.] 51 



The brave young man resolved therefore 
to learn his letters and make pot-hooks 
at a night-school among a few colliers' sons, 
who paid threepence a-week each to a poor 
teacher at Welbottle. At the age of nine- 
teen, he could write his name. A night- 
school was set up by a Scotchman within a 
few minutes' walk of Jolly's Close ; and to 
this, George Stephenson removed himself. 
The Scotchman had much credit for his 
mastery of arithmetic. He knew as far as 
reduction. George fastened upon arithmetic 
with an especial zeal, and was more apt than 
any other pupil for the study. In no very 
long time he had worked out all that could 
be yielded to him by the dominie. While 
thus engaged, the young man was getting 
lessons from his friend Coe in brakeing ; and, 
with Coe's help, persisting in them against 
dogged opposition from some of the old hands. 
At the age of twenty, being perfectly steady 
and trustworthy as a workman, he obtained 
the place of brakesman at the Dolly Pit, 
Black Callerton ; with wages varying from 
seventeen and sixpence to a pound a-week. 
But, wheat then cost nearly six pounds the 
quarter. 

George was ambitious to save a guinea or 
two, because he was in love with something 
better able to return his good-will than a 
steam-engine. In leisure hours he turned 
his mechanical dexterity to the business of 
mending the shoes of his fellow-work- 
men, and advanced from mending to the 
making both of shoes and lasts. This addi- 
tion to his daily twelve hours' labour at the 
colliery, made some little addition to his 
weekly earnings. It enabled him to save his 
first guinea, and encouraged him to think the 
more of marrying Fanny Henderson, a pretty 
servant in a neighbouring farm-house; sweet- 
tempered, sensible, and good. He once had 
shoes of hers to mend, and, as he carried j 
them to her one Sunday evening with a j 
friend he could not help pulling them out of | 
his pocket every now and then to admire them 
because they were hers, and to bid his com- 
panion observe what a capital job he had 
made of them. 

George Stephenson still enjoyed exercise 
in feats of agility and strength ; still spent a 
part of each idle afternoon on the pay 
Saturday in taking his engine to pieces; 
cleaning it and pondering over the uses and 
values of its parts. He was a model work- 
man in the eyes of his employers ; never 
missing a day's wages through idleness or 
indiscretion ; spending none of his evenings 
in public-houses, avoiding the dog-fights 
and cock-fights, and man-fights in which 
pitmen delighted. Once, indeed, being in- 
sulted by Ned Nelson, the bully of the pit, 
young Stephenson disdained to quail before 
him, though he was a great fighter, and a 
man with whom it was considered danger- 
ous to quarrel. Nelson challenged him to 
a pitched battle, and the challenge was 



accepted. Everybody said Stephenson would 
be killed. The young men and boys came 
round him with awe, to ask whether it was 
true that he was "goin' to feight Nelson." 
" Aye," he said, " never fear for me, I'll feight 
him." Nelson went off work to go into 
training. Stephenson worked on as usual ; 
went from a day's labour to the field of 
battle and on the appointed evening, and, 
with his strong muscle and hard bone put 
down the bully, as he never for a moment 
doubted that he would. 

As a brakesman, George Stephenson 
had been removed to Willington Ballast 
Quay, when, at the age of twenty-one he 
signed his name in the register of Newburn 
Church as the husband of Fanny Henderson j 
and, seating her behind him on a pillion 
upon a stout farm-horse borrowed from her 
sister's master, with the sister as bridesmaid 
and a friend as bridesman, he went first to 
his father and mother who were growing 
old, and struggling against poverty in Jolly's 
Close and, having paid his duty as a son to 
them, jolted across country, and through the 
streets of Newcastle, upon a ride homeward 
of fifteen miles. An upper room in a small 
cottage at Wellington Quay was the home to 
which George took his bride. Thirteen 
months afterwards, his only son, Robert, was 
born there. The exercise of his mechanical 
skill, prompted sometimes by bold specula- 
tions of his own, amused the young husband 
and the wife doubtless of an evening. 
He was at work on the problem of Perpetual 
Motion. He had acquired reputation as a 
shoemaker. Accident gave rise to a yet 
more profitable exercise of ingenuity. Alarm 
of a chimney on fire caused his room to be 
one day flooded with soot and water by good- 
natured friends. His most valuable piece of 
furniture, the clock, was seriously injured. 
He could not afibrd to send it to a clock- 
maker, and resolved to try his own hand 
on the works ; took them to pieces, studied 
them, and so put them together as to cure 
his clock in a way marvellous to all the 
village. He was soon asked to cure a neigh- 
bour's clock, and gradually made his title 
good to great fame as a clock-curer through- 
out the district. 

After having lived three years as brakes- 
man at Willington Quay, George Stephenson 
removed to Killingworth, where he was made 
brakesman at the West Moor Colliery. From 
the high ground of Killingworth, the spires of 
Newcastle, seven miles distant, are visible- 
weather and smoke permitting. At Killing- 
worth, when they had been but two or three 
years married, George Stephenson's wife, 
Fanny, died. Soon after her death, leaving 
his little boy in charge of a neighbour, he 
marched on foot into Scotland ; for, he had 
been invited by the owners of a colliery near 
Montrose to superintend the working of one 
of Bolton and Watt's engines. For this work 
he received rather high wages ; and, after a 



52 



HOUSEHOLD WOEDS. 



year's absence, he marched back again, ou 
foot, to Killmgworth, with twenty-eight 
pounds in his pocket. During his absence a 
bad accident had happened to his father. 
The steam-blast had been inadvertently let 
iu upon him when he was inside an engine. 
It struck him in the face, and blinded him 
for the remainder of his life. George coming 
home from Scotland, paid the old man's 
debts, removed his parents to a comfortable 
cottage near his own place of work at Kil- 
lingworth for he was again taken on as 
brakesman at the West Moor Pit and 
worked for them during the remainder of 
their lives. At this time there was dis- 
tress and riot among labourers. George 
was drawn for the militia, and spent the 
remainder of his savings on the payment of 
a substitute. He was so much disabled in 
fortune that he thought of emigrating to 
America, as one of his sisters was then doing 
in company with her husband, but happily 
for his own country he could not raise 
money enough to take him out of it. To a 
friend he afterwards said of his sorrow at 
this time, " You know the road from my 
house at the West Moor to Killingworth. I 
remember, when I went along that road, I 
wept bitterly, for I knew not where my lot 
would be cast." 

It was a slight advance in independence, 
although no advance in fortune, when Ste- 
pheuson, at the age of twenty-seven, joined 
two other brakesmen in taking a small 
contract under the lessees for brakeing the 
engines at the West Moor pit. The profits 
did not always bring him in a pound a-week. 
His little son, Robert, was growing up, and 
he was bent firmly on giving him what he 
himself had lacked : the utmost attainable 
benefit of education in his boyhood. There- 
fore George spent his nights in mending 
clocks and watches for his neighbours 
mended and made shoes, cut out lasts, even 
cut out the pitmen's clothes for their wives 
to make up, arid worked at their embroidery 
He turned every spare minute to account 
and so wrung, from a stubborn fortune, powei 
to give the first rudiments of education to 
his son. 

At last there came a day when all the 
cleaning and dissecting of his engines turnec 
to profit, and the clock-doctor won the more 
important character of engine-doctor. He 
had on various occasions suggested to th 
owners small contrivances which had savei 
wear and tear of material, or otherwise im 
proved the working of his pit. When 
was twenty-nine years old, a new pit was 
sunk at Killingworth now known as th 
Killingworth High Pit over which a New 
comen engine was fixed for the purpose o 
pumping water from the shaft. For some 
reason the engine failed ; as one of the work 
men engaged on it tells the case, " sh 
couldn't keep her jack-head in water ; all th 
engine-men in the neighbourhood were tried 



is well as Crowther of the Ouseburn, but 
hey were clean bet." The engine pumped 
o no purpose for nearly twelve months. 
Stephenson had observed, when he saw it 
milt, that if there was much water in the 
mine, that engine wouldn't keep it under, but 
o the opinion of a common brakesman no 
iced had been paid. He used often to inquire- 
as to " how she was getting on," and the 
answer always was, that the men were still 
drowned out. One Saturday afternoon, George 
went to the High Pit, and made a close 
xamination of the whole machine. Kit 
EEeppel, sinker at the pit, said to him when 
le had done, 

" Weel, George, what do you mak' o' her ? 
Do you think you could do anything to im- 
prove her 1 " 

" Man," said George, " I could alter her 
and make her draw. In a week's time from 
this I could send you to the bottom." 

The conversation was reported to Ealph 
Dods, the head viewer. George was known 
;o be an ingenious and determined fellow : 
and, as Dods said, " the engineers hereabouts are 
all bet." The brakesman, therefore, was at 
once allowed to try his skill : he could not 
make matters worse than they were, and he 
might mend them. He was set to work at. 
once, picked his own men to carry out the 
alterations he thought necessary, took the 
whole engine to pieces, reconstructed it, and 
really did, in a week's time after his talk 
with Heppel, clear the pit of water. This 
achievement brought him fame as a pump- 
curer. Dods made him a present of ten 
pounds, and he was appointed engine-man on 
good wages at the pit he had redeemed, until 
the work of sinking was completed. The job 
lasted about a year. Thus, at the age of thirty, 
Stephenson had begun to find his way across 
the borders of the engineer's profession. To 
all the wheezy engines in the neighbourhood 
he was called in as a professional adviser- 
The regular men called him a quack ; but the 
quack perfectly understood the constitution 
of an engine, and worked miracles of heal- 
ing. One day, as he passed a drowned quarry, 
on his way from work, at which a wind- 
mill worked an inefficient pump, he told the 
men, " he would set up for them an engine 
no bigger than a kail-pot, that would clear 
them out in a week." And he fulfilled his 
promise. 

A year after his triumph at the High. 
Pit, the eugine-wright at Killingworth was. 
killed by an accident, and George titephenson r . 
on Mr. Dods' recommendation, was promoted 
to his place by the lessees. He was appointed, 
engine-wright to the colliery at a salary of 
one hundred pounds a-year. 

At this time of his life, Stephenson was 
associating with John Wigham, a farmer's 
son, who understood the rule of three, who 
had acquired some little knowledge of che- 
mistry and natural philosophy, and who 
possessed a volume of Ferguson's Lectures on 



Charles Dick<n< 



INCH BY INCH UPWAED. 



53 



Mechanics. With John Wigham, Stephenson 
spent many leisure hours in study and ex- 
periment ; learning all John could teach, and 
able to teach not a little out of his own 
thoughts in exchange for the result of John's 
reading. George Stephenson, at the age of 
thirty-three had saved a hundred guineas ; 
and his son Eobert, then taken from a village- 
school, was sent to Brace's academy, at New- 
castle. 

The father had built with his own hand 
three rooms and an oven, in addition to the 
one room and a garret up a step-ladder that 
had been taken for his home at Killingworth. 
He had a little garden, in which he devoted 
part of his energy to the growth of monster 
leeks and cabbages. In the garden was a 
mechanical scarecrow of his own invention. 
The garden door was fastened by a lock of 
his contrivance, that none but himself could 
open. The house was a curiosity-shop of 
models and mechanical ideas. He amused 
people with a lamp that would burn under 
water, attached an alarum to the watchmen's 
clock, and showed women how to make a 
smoke-jack rock the baby's cradle. He was 
full of a vigorous life. Kit Heppel one day 
challenged him to leap from the top of one 
high wall to the top of another, there being 
a deep gap between ; to his dismay he was 
taken at his word instantly. Stephenson 
cleared the eleven feet at a bound, exactly 
measuring his distance. 

As engine-wright, Stephenson had opportu- 
nities of carrying still farther his study of the 
engine, as well as of turning to account the 
knowledge he already possessed. His inge- 
nuity soon caused a reduction of the number 
of horses employed in the colliery from a 
hundred to fifteen or sixteen ; and he had 
access not only to the mine at Killingworth, 
but to all collieries belonging to Lord Ravens- 
worth and his partners, a firm that had been 
named the Grand Allies. The locomotive 
engine was then known to the world as a 
new toy, curious and costly. Stephenson had 
a perception of what might be done with it, 
and was beginning to make it the subject of 
his thoughts. From the education of his son 
Robert, he was now deriving knowledge for 
himself. The father entered him as a member 
of the Newcastle Literary and Philosophical 
Institution, and toiled with him over books 
of science borrowed from its library. Me- 
chanical plans he read at sight, never re- 
quiring to refer to the description ; " a good 
plan," he said, "should always explain 
itself." One of the secretaries of the 
Newcastle Institution watched with lively 
interest the studies of both father and 
son, and helped them freely to the use of 
books and instruments, while he assisted 
their endeavours with his counsels. George 
Stephenson was thirty-two years old, and 
however little he may by that time have 
achieved, one sees that he had accumu- 
lated in himself a store of power that would 



inevitably carry him on upon his own plan 
of inch by inch advance to new successes. 
Various experiments had been made with the 
new locomotive engines. One had been tried 
upon the Wylam tram-road, which went 
by the cottage in which Stephenson was 
born. George Stephenson brooded upon the 
subject, watched their failures, worked at the 
theory of their construction, and made it his 
business to see one. He felt his way to the 
manufacture of a better engine, and proceeded 
to bring the subject unuor the notice of the 
lessees of the colliery. He had acquired 
reputation not only as an ingenious but as a 
sate and prudent man. He had instituted 
already many improvements in the collieries. 
Lord Ravensworth, the principal partner, 
therefore authorised him to fulfil his wish ; 
and with the greatest difficulty making 
workmen of some of the colliery hands, and, 
having the colliery blacksmith for his head 
assistant, he built his first locomotive in the 
workshops at Westmoor, and called it " My 
Lord." It was the first engine constructed 
with smooth wheels ; for Stephenson never 
admitted the prevailing notion that con- 
trivances were necessary to secure adhe- 
sion. " My Lord " was called " Blutcher " by 
the people round about. It was first placed 
on the Killiugworth Railway on the twenty- 
fifth of July, eighteen hundred and fourteen, 
and, though a cumbrous machine, was the 
most successful that had, up to that date, 
been constructed. 

At the end of a year it was found that the 
work done by Blutcher cost about as much 
as the same work would have cost if done by 
horses. Then it occurred to Stephenson to 
turn the steam-pipe into the chimney, and 
carry the smoke up with the draught of a 
steam-blast. That would add to the intensity 
of the fire and to the rapidity with which 
steam could be generated. The power of the 
engine was, by this expedient, doubled. 

At about the same time some frightful 
accidents, caused by explosion in the pits of 
his district, set Stephenson to exercise his 
ingenuity for the discovery of a miner's safety 
lamp. By a mechanical theory of his own, 
tested by experiments made boldly at the peril 
of his life, he arrived at the construction of a 
lamp less simple, though perhaps safer, than 
that of Sir Humphry Davy, and with the same 
method of defence. The practical man and 
the philosopher worked independently in the 
same year on the same problem. Stephen- 
son's solution was arrived at a few weeks 
earlier than Davy's, and upon this fact a great 
controversy afterwards was founded. One 
material result of it was, that Stephenson 
eventually received as public testimonial a 
thousand pounds, which he used later in life 
as capital for the founding at Newcastle of 
his famous locomotive factory. At the Kil- 
lingworth pits the " Geordy " safety lamp is 
still in use, being there, of course, considered 
to be better than the Davy. 



64 [July is, i 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



Locomotives had been used only on the 
tram-roads of the collieries, and by the time 
when Stephenson built his second engine were 
generally abandoned as failures. Stephenson 
alone stayed in the field and did not care who 
said that there would be at Killingworth " a 
terrible blow-up some day." He had already 
made up his mind that the perfection of a 
travelling engine would be half lost if it did 
not run on a perfected rail. Engine and rail 
he spoke of, even then, as "man and wife," 
and his contrivances for the improvement of 
the locomotive always went hand in hand 
with his contrivances for the improvement of 
the- road on which it ran. We need not 
follow the mechanical details. In his work 
at the rail and engine he made progress in 
his own way, inch by inch ; every new loco- 
motive built by him contained improvements 
on its predecessor ; every time he laid down 
a fresh rail he added some new element of 
strength and firmness to it. The Killing- 
worth Colliery Railway was the seed from 
which sprang the whole European and now 
more than European system of railway 
intercourse. While systems and theories 
rose and fell round about, George Stephen- 
sou kept his little line in working order, 
made it pay, and slowly advanced in the im- 
provement of the rails and engines used upon 
it. When it had been five years at work, the 
owners of the Hetton Colliery, in the county 
of Durham, invited Stephenson to act as 
engineer for them in laying down an equally 
efficient and much longer line. Its length 
was to be eight miles, and it would cross one 
of the highest hills in the district : Stepheuson 
put his locomotive on the level ground, 
worked the inclines with stationary engines, 
showed how full waggons descending an 
incline might be used as a power for the 
drawing up of empty ones, and in three years 
completed successfully a most interesting and 
novel series of works. 

In those days there was talk of railroads to 
be worked by horse-power, or any better 
powei', if better there were ; but at avy rate 
level roads laid down with rails for the 
facility of traffic, were projected between 
Stockton and Darlington, between Liverpool 
and Manchester, and between other places. 

The Killingworth Railway was seven years 
old, the Hetton line then being in course of 
construction ; and George Stephenson was 
forty years old when "one day," writes Mr. 
Smiles, " about the end of the year eighteen 
hundred and twenty -one, two strangers 
knocked at the door of Mr. Pease's house 
in Dai-liugton" (Mr. Pease was the head 
promoter of the railway between Darlington 
and Stockton), " and the message was brought 
to him that some, persons from Killingworth 
wanted to speak with him. They were in- 
vited in ; on which one of the visitors intro 
duced himself as Nicholas Wood, viewer at 
Killingworth ; and then, turning to his com- 
panion, he introduced him as George Stephen- 



son of the same place." George had also a 
letter of introduction from the manager at 
Killingworth, and c;ime as a person who had 
had experience in the laying out of railways, 
to offer his services. He had walked to 
Darlington, with here and there a lift upon 
a coach, to see whether he could not get for 
his locomotive a fair trial, and for himself a 
step of advancement in life, upon Mr. Pease's 
line. He told his wish in the strong North- 
umbrian dialect of his district ; as for him- 
self, he said, he was "only the engiue-wright 
at Killingworth, that's what he was." 

Mr. Pease liked him, told him his plans, 
which were all founded on the use of horse- 
power, he being satisfied " that a horse upon 
an iron road would draw ten tons for one on 
a common road, and that before long the 
railway would become the King's Highway." 
Stephenson boldly declared that his locomo- 
tive was worth fifty horses, and that moving 
engines would in course of time supersede 
all horse-power upon railroads. " Come 
over," he said, "to Killingworth, and see 
what my Blutcher can do ; seeing is believing, 
sir." Mr. Pease went, saw, and believed. 
Stephenson was appointed engineer to the 
Company, at a salary of three hundred a- 
year. The Darlington line was constructed 
in accordance with his survey. His travel- 
ling engine ran upon it for the first time oil 
the twenty- seventh of September, eighteen 
hundred and twenty-five, in sight of an im- 
mense concourse of people, and attained, in 
some parts of its course, a speed then unex- 
ampled of twelve miles an hour. When 
Stephenson afterwards became a famous man 
he forgot none of his old friends. He visited 
even poor cottagers who had done a chance 
kindness to him. Mr. Pease will transmit to 
his descendants a gold watch, inscribed 
" Esteem and gratitude : from George Ste- 
phenson to Edward Pease." 

It was while the Stockton and Darlington 
line was in progress that George Stephenson 
proposed establishing a locomotive factory, 
and training a body of mechanics skilled to 
the new work, at Newcastle. The thousand 
pounds given to him by the coal-owners for 
his invention of the safety-lamp, he could 
advance. Mr. Pease and another friend 
advanced five hundred each, and so the 
Newcastle Engine Factory was founded. 

With what determined perseverance Mr. 
Stephenson upheld the cause of the locomo- 
tive in connection with the proposed Liver- 
pool and Manchester line : how he did 
cheaply what all the regular engineers de- 
clared impossible or ruinous, in carrying 
that line over Chat-Moss, persevering, wheu 
all who were about him had confessed de- 
spair, and because he had made good his 
boldest promises in every one case : how h 
was at last trusted in the face of public 
ridicule, upon the merits of the locomotive 
also : how after the line was built, at the 
public competition of light engines constructed 



Charles Dickens.] 



A FATE PENITENT. 



[Jnly IP, 1857.] 55 



in accordance with certain strict conditions, 
his little Rocket won the prize : how the 
fulfilment 01 his utmost assertions raised 
Stephenson to the position of an oracle in 
the eyes of the public : how he nevertheless 
went on improving the construction of both 
rails and locomotives : how the great railway 
system, of which the foundations were laid 
patiently by him, was rapidly developed : 
how, when success begot a mania, he was as 
conspicuous for his determined moderation 
as he had before been for his determined zeal : 
how he attained honour and fortune ; and 
retired from public life, again to grow enor- 
mous fruits or vegetables in his garden 
pineapples instead of leeks again to pet 
animals and watch the birds' nests in the 
hedges we need not tell in detail ; Mr. 
Smiles's excellent biography tells it alL 

One of the chief pleasures of his latter days 
was to hold out a helping hand to poor in- 
ventors who deserved assistance. He was a 
true man to the last, whom failure never drove 
to despair ; whom success never elated to 
folly. Inch by inch he made his ground 
good in the world, and for the world. A 
year before his death in eighteen hundred 
and forty-eight, somebody, about to dedicate 
a book to him, asked him what were his 
"ornamental initials." His reply was, "I 
have to state that I have no nourishes to 
my name, either before or after; and I think 
it will be as well if you merely say, George 
Stephenson." 



A FAIR PENITENT. 



CHARLES PINKAU DUCLOS was a French 
writer of biographies and novels, who lived 
and worked during the first half of the 
eighteenth century. He prospered sufficiently 
well, as a literary man, to be made secretary 
to the French Academy, and to be allowed 
to succeed Voltaire in the office of historio- 
grapher of France. He has left behind him, 
in his own country, the reputation of a lively 
writer of the second class, who addressed the 
public of his day with fair success, and who, 
since his death, has not troubled posterity to 
take any particular notice of him. 

Among the papers left by Duclos, two 
manuscripts were found, which he probably 
intended to turn to some literary account. 
The first was a brief Memoir, written by 
himself, of a Frenchwoman, named Made- 
moiselle Gautier, who began life as an actress 
and who ended it as a Carmelite nun. The 
second manuscript was the lady's own account 
of the process of her conversion, and of the 
circumstances which attended her moral 
passage from the state of a sinner to the state 
of a saint. There are certain national pecu- 
liarities iu the character of Mademoiselle 
Gautier and in the narrative of her conver- 
sion, which are perhaps interesting enough 
to be reproduced with some chance of pleasing 
the reader of the present day. 



It appears, from the account given of her 
by Duclos, that Mademoiselle Gautier made 
her appearance on the stage of the Theatre 
Frangois in the year seventeen hundred and 
sixteen. She is described as a handsome 
woman, with a fine figure, a fresh complexion, 
a lively disposition, and a violent temper. 
Besides possessing capacity as an actress, she 
could write very good verses, she was clever 
at painting in miniature, and, most remark- 
able quality of all, she was possessed of 
prodigious muscular strength. It is recorded 
of Mademoiselle, that she could roll up a 
silver plate with her hands, and that she 
covered herself with distinction in a trial of 
strength with no less a person than the 
famous soldier, Marshal Saxe. 

Nobody who is at all acquainted with the 
social history of the eighteenth century in 
France, need be told that Mademoiselle Gau- 
tier had a, long list of lovers, for the most 
part, persons of quality, marshals, counts, 
and so forth. The only man, however, who 
really attached her to him, was an actor at 
the Theatre Frangois, a famous player in his 
day, named Quinault Dufresne. Mademoi- 
selle Gautier seems to have loved him with 
all the ardour of her naturally passionate 
disposition. At first, he returned her affec- 
tion ; but, as soon as she ventured to test 
the sincerity of his attachment by speaking 
of marriage, he cooled towards her imme- 
diately, and the connection between them 
was broken off. In all her former love-affairs, 
she had been noted for the high tone which 
she adopted towards her admirers, and for 
the despotic authority which she exercised 
over them even in her gayest moments. But 
the severance of her connection with Quinault 
Dufresne wounded her to her heart. She 
had loved the man so dearly, had made so 
many sacrifices for him, had counted so fondly 
on the devotion of her whole future life to 
him, that the first discovery of his coldness 
towards her broke her spirit at once and for 
ever. She fell into a condition of hopeless 
melancholy, looked back with remorse and 
horror at her past life, and abandoned the 
stage and the society in which she had lived, 
to end her days repentantly in the character 
of a Carmelite nun. 

So far, her history is the history of 
hundreds of other women before her time 
and after it. The prominent interest of her 
life, for the student of human nature, lies in 
the story of her conversion, as told by her- 
self. The greater part of the narrative 
every page of which is more or less charac- 
teristic of the Frenchwoman of the eighteenth 
century may be given, with certain suppres- 
sions and abridgments, in her own words. 
The reader will observe, at the outset, one 
curious fact. Mademoiselle Gautier does not 
so much as hint at the influence which the 
loss of her lover had in disposing her mind to 
reflect on serious subjects. IShe describes 
her conversion as if it had taken its rise in a 



56 [July 18,1857.] 



HOUSEHOLD WOEDS, 



[Conducted br 



sudden inspiration from Heaven. Even the 
name of Quinault Dufresne is not once men- 



tioned from one 
other. 



end of her narrative to the 



On the twenty-fifth of April, seventeen 
hundred and twenty- two (writes Mademoi- 
selle Gautier), while I was still leading a life 
of pleasure according to the pernicious ideas 
of pleasure which pass current in the world 
I happen to awake, contrary to my usual 
custom, between eight and nine o'clock in 
the morning. I remember that it is my 
birthday ; I ring for my people ; and my 
maid answers the bell, alarmed by the idea 
that I am ill. I tell her to dress me that I 
may go to mass. I go to the Church of the 
Cordeliers, followed by my footman, and 
taking with me a little orphan whom I had 



adopted. The first 
celebrated without 



part of the mass is 
attracting my atten- 



tion ; but, at the second part the accusing 
voice of my conscience suddenly begins 
to speak. "What brings you here?" it 
says. "Do you come to reward God for 
making you the attractive person that you 
are, by mortally transgressing His laws 
every day of your life ?" I hear that ques- 
tion, and I am unspeakably overwhelmed by 
it. I quit the chair on which I have hitherto 
been leaning carelessly, and I prostrate my- 
self in an agony of remorse on the pavement 
of the church. 

The mass over, I send home the footman 
and the orphan, remaining behind myself, 
plunged in inconceivable perplexity. At 
last I rouse myself on a suddea ; I go to the 
sacristy ; I demand a mass for my own proper 
advantage every day ; I determine to attend 
it regularly ; and, after three hours of agita- 
tion, I return home, resolved to enter on the 
path that leads to justification. 

Six months passed. Every morning I 
went to my mass : every evening I spent in 
my customary dissipations. 

Some of my friends indulged in consider- 
able merriment at my expense when they 
found out my constant attendance at mass. 
Accordingly, I disguised myself as a boy, 
when i went to church, to escape observation. 
My disguise was found out, and the jokes 
against me were redoubled. Upon this, I 
began to think of the words of the Gospel, 
which declare the impossibility of serving 
two masters. I determined to abandon the 
service of Mammon. 

The first vanity I gave up was the vanity 
of keeping a maid. By way of further accus- 
toming myself to the retreat from the world 
which I now began to meditate, I declined 
all invitations to parties under the pretext of 
indisposition. But the nearer the Easter 
time approached at which I had settled in 
my own mind definitely to turn my back on 
worldly temptations and pleasures, the more 
violent became my internal struggles with 



such an extent that I was troubled with per- 
petual attacks of retching and sickness, 
which, however, did not prevent me from 
writing my general confession, addressed to 
the vicar of Saint Sulpice, the parish in which. 
I lived. 

Just Heaven ! what did I not suffer some 
days afterwards, when I united around me 
at dinner, for the last time, all the friends 
who had been dearest to me in the days of 
my worldly life ! What words can describe 
the tumult of my heart when one of my 
guests said to me, " You are giving us too 
good a dinner for a Wednesday in Passion 
Week;" and when another answered, jest- 
ingly, " You forget that this is her farewell 
dinner to her friends !" I felt ready to faint 
while they were talking, and rose from table 
pretexting as an excuse, that I had a pay- 
ment to make that evening, which I could 
not in honour defer any longer. The com 
pany rose with me, and saw me to the door 
I got into my carriage, and the company 
returned to table. My nerves were in such a 
state that I shrieked at the first crack of the 
coachman's whip ; and the company came 
running down again to know what was the 
matter. One of my servants cleverly stopped 
them from all hurrying out to the carriage 
together, by declaring that the scream pro- 
ceeded from my adopted orphan. Upon this 
they returned quietly enough to their wine, 
and I drove off with my general confession 
to the vicar of Saint Sulpice. 

My interview with the vicar lasted three 
hours. His joy at discovering that I was in 
a state of grace was extreme. My own 
emotions were quite indescribable. Late at 
night I returned to my own house, and 
found my guests all gone. I employed my- 
self in writing farewell letters to the manager 
and company of the theatre, and in making 
the necessary arrangements for sending back 
my adopted orphan to his friends, with 
twenty pistoles. Finally, I directed the ser- 
vants to say, if anybody enquired after me 
the next day, that I had gone out of town 
for some time ; and after that, at five o'clock 
in the morning, I left my home in Paris 
never to return to it again. 

By this time I had thoroughly recovered 
my tranquillity. I was as easy in my mind 
at leaving my house as I am now when I 
quit my cell to sing in the choir. Such 
already was the happy result of my perpetual 
masses, my general confession, and my three 
hours' interview with the vicar of Saint 
Sulpice. 

Before taking leave of the world, I went 
to Versailles to say good-bye to my worthy 
patrons, Cardinal Fleury and the Duke de 
Gesvres. From them, I went to mass in the 
King's Chapel ; and after that, I called on a 



I had mortally 
of making my 
peace with her. She received me angrily 



lady of Versailles whom 
offended, for the purpose 



myself. My health suffered under them to enough. I told her I had not come to justify 



Charles Dickens.] 



A FAIR PENITENT. 



[July 13, 1357.] 57 



myself, but to ask her pardon. If she granted 
it, she would send me away happy. If she 
declined to be reconciled, Providence would 
probably be satisfied with my submission, 
but certainly not with her refusal. She felt 
the force of this argument ; and we made it 
up on the spot. 

I left Versailles immediately afterwards, 
without taking anything to eat ; the act of 
humility which I had just performed being 
as good as a meal to me. 

Towards evening, I entered the house of 
the Community of Saint. Perpetua at Paris. 
I had ordered a little room to be furnished 
there for me, until the inventory of my 
worldly effects was completed, and until I 
could conclude my arrangements for entering 
a convent. On first installing myself, I be- 
gan to feel hungry at last, and begged the 
Superior of the Community to give me for 
supper anything that remained from the 
dinner of the house. They had nothing but 
a little stewed carp, of which I eat with an 
excellent appetite. Marvellous to relate, 
although I had been able to keep nothing on 
my stomach for the past three months, 
although I had been dreadfully sick after a 
little rice soup on the evening before, the 
stewed carp of the sisterhood of Saint Per- 
petua, with some nuts afterwards for dessert, 
agreed with me charmingly, and I slept all 
through the night afterwards as peacefully 
as a child ! 

When the news of my retirement became 
public, it occasioned great talk in Paris. 
Various people assigned various reasons for 
the strange course that I had taken. No- 
body, however, believed that I had quitted 
the world in the prime of my life (I was then 
thirty-one years old), never to return to it 
again. Meanwhile, my inventory was finished 
and my goods were sold. One of my friends 
sent a letter, entreating me to reconsider my 
determination. My mind was made up, and 
I wrote to say so. When my goods had been 
all sold, I left Paris to go and live incognito 
as a parlour-boarder in the Convent of the 
Ursuliue nuns of Pondevaux. Here I 
wished to try the mode of life for a little 
while before I assumed the serious responsi- 
bility of taking the veil. I knew my own 
character I remembered my early horror of 
total seclusion, and my inveterate dislike to 
the company of women only ; and, moved 
by these considerations, I resolved, now that 
I had taken the first important step, to pro- 
ceed in the future with caution. 

The nuns of Pondevaux received me among 
them with great kindness. They gave me a 
large room, which I partitioned off into three 
small ones. I assisted at all the pious exer- 
cises of the place. Deceived by my fashion- 
able appearance and my plump figure, the 
good nuns treated me as if I was a person 
of high distinction. This afflicted me, and I 
undeceived them. When they knew who I 
really was, they only behaved towards me 



with still greater kindness. I passed my 
time in reading and praying, and led the 
quietest, sweetest life it is possible to con 
ceive. 

After ten months' sojourn at Pondevaux, 
I went to Lyons, and entered (still as parlour- 
boarder only) the House of Auticaille, occu- 
pied by the nuns of the Order of Saint Mary. 
Here, I enjoyed the advantage of having for 
director of my conscience that holy man, 
Father Deveaux. He belonged to the Order 
of the Jesuits ; and he was good enough, 
when I first asked him for advice, to suggest 
that I should get up at eleven o'clock at 
night to say my prayers, and should remain 
absorbed in devotion until midnight. In 
obedience to the directions of this saintly 
person, I kept myself awake as well as I 
could till eleven o'clock. I then got on my 
knees with great fervour, and I blush to con- 
fess it, immediately fell as fast asleep as a 
dormouse. This went on for several nights, 
when Father Deveaux finding that my mid- 
night devotions were rather too much for 
me, was so obliging as to prescribe another 
species of pious exercise, in a letter which 
he wrote to me with his own hand. The holy 
father, after deeply regretting my inability to 
keep awake, informed me that he had a new 
act of penitence to suggest to me by the per- 
formance of which I might still hope to 
expiate my sins. He then, in the plainest 
terms, advised me to have recourse to the 
discipline of flagellation, every Friday, using 
the cat-o'-nine-tails on my bare shoulders 
for the length of time that it would take to 
repeat a Miserere. In conclusion, he informed 
me that the nuns of Anticaille would probably 
lend me the necessary instrument of flagella- 
tion ; but, if they made any difficulty about 
it, he was benevolently ready to furnish me 
with a new and special cat-o'-niue-tails of his 
own making. 

Never was woman more amazed or more 
angry than I, when I first read this letter. 
" What ! " cried I to myself, " does this man 
seriously recommend me to lash my own 
shoulders ? Just Heaven, what imperti- 
nence ! And yet, is it not my duty to put up 
with it 1 Does not this apparent insolence 
proceed from the pen of a holy man 1 If he 
tells me to flog my wickedness out of me, is 
it not my bounden duty to lay on the scourge 
with all my might immediately ? Sinner 
that I am ! I am thinking remorsefully of 
my plump shoulders and the dimples on my 
back, when I ought to be thinking of nothing 
but the cat-o'-nine-tails and obedience to 
Father Deveaux 1 " 

These reflections soon gave me the resolu- 
tion which I had wanted at first. I was 
ashamed to ask the nuns for an instrument 
of flagellation ; so I made one for myself of 
stout cord, pitilessly knotted at very short 
intervals. This done, I shut myself up while 
the nuns were at prayer, uncovered my 
shoulders, and rained such a shower of lashes 



58 [July M, 18J7J 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



on them, in the first fervour of my newly- 
awakened zeal, that I fairly flogged myself 
down on the ground,,flat on my nose, before 
] had repeated more of the Miserere than the 
first two or three lines. 

I burst out crying, shedding tears of spite 
against myself when I ought to have been 
shedding tears of devotional gratitude for the 
kindness of Father Deveaux. All through 
the night, I never closed my eyes, and in the 
morning I found my poor shoulders (once so 
generally admired for their whiteness) striped 
with all the colours of the rainbow. The 
sight threw me into a passion, and I profanely 
said 'to myself while I was dressing, "The 
next time I see Father Deveaux, I will give 
my tongue full swing, and make the hair of 
that holy man stand on end with terror ! " 
A few hours afterwai'ds, he came to the con- 
vent, and all my resolution melted away at 
the sight of him. His imposing exterior had 
such an effect on me that I could only humbly 
entreat him to excuse me from inflicting a 
second flagellation on myself. He smiled 
beniguantly, and granted my request with a 
saintly amiability. " Give me the cat-o'-nine- 
tails," he said, in conclusion, "and I will keep 
it for you till you ask me for it again. You 
are sure to ask for it again, dear child to 
ask for it on your bended knees ! " 

Pious and prophetic man ! Before many 
days had passed his words came true. If he 
had persisted severely in ordering me to flog 
myself, I might have opposed him for months 
together ; but, as it was, who could resist 
the amiable indulgence he showed towards 
my weakness ? The very next day after my 
interview, I began to feel ashamed of my own 
cowardice ; and the day after that I went 
down on my knees, exactly as he had pre- 
dicted, and said, " Father Deveaux, give me 
back my cat-o'-niue-tails." From that time 
I cheerfully underwent the discipline of 
flagellation, learning the regular method of 
practising it from the sisterhood, and feeling, 
in a spiritual point of view, immensely the 
better for it. 

The nuns, finding that I cheerfully devoted 
myself to every act of self-sacrifice prescribed 
by the rules of their convent, wondered very 
much that I still hesitated about taking the 
veil. I begged them not to mention the sub- 
ject to me till my mind was quite made up 
about it. They respected my wish, and said 
no more ; but they lent me books to read 
which assisted in strengthening my waverin 
resolution. Among these books was the 
Life of Madame de Montmorenci, who, after 
the shocking death of her husband, entered 
the Order of St. Mary. The great example 
of this lady made me reflect seriously, and I 
communicated my thoughts, as a matter of 
course, to Father Deveaux. He assured me 
that the one last greatest sacrifice which re- 
mained for me to make was the sacrifice of 
my liberty. I had long known that this was 
my duty, and I now felt, for the first time, 



that I had courage and resolution enough 
boldly to face the idea of taking the veil. 

While I was in this happy frame of mind, 
I happened to meet with the history of the 
famous Banco, founder, or rather reformer, 
of the Order of La Trappe. I found a strange 
similarity between my own worldly errors 
and those of this illustrious penitent. The 
discovery had such an effect on me, that I 
spurned all idea of entering a convent where 
the rules were comparatively easy, as was 
the case at Anticaille, and determined, when 
I did take the veil, to enter an Order whose 
discipline was as severe as the discipline of 
La Trappe itself. Father Deveaux informed 
me that I should find exactly what I wanted 
among the Carmelite nuns ; and, by his 
advice, I immediately put myself in commu- 
nication with the Archbishop of Villeroi. I 
opened my heart to this worthy prelate, con- 
vinced him of my sincerity, and gained from 
him a promise that he would get me ad- 
mitted among the Carmelite nuns of Lyons. 
One thing I begged of him at parting, which 
was, that he would tell the whole truth 
about my former life and about the profes- 
sion that I had exercised in the world. I 
was resolved to deceive nobody, and to 
enter no convent under false pretences of any 
sort. 

My wishes were scrupulously fulfilled ; and 
the nuns were dreadfully frightened when 
they heard that I had been an actress at 
Paris. But the Archbishop promising to 
answer for me, and to take all their scruples 
on his own conscience, they consented to 
receive me. I could not trust myself to take 
formal leave of the nuns of Anticaille, who 
had been so kind to me, and towards whom 
I felt so gratefully. So I wrote my farewell 
to them after privately leaving their house, 
telling them frankly the motives which 
animated me, and asking their pardon for 
separating myself from them in secret. 

On the fourteenth of October, seventeen 
hundred and twenty-four, I entered the Car- 
melite convent at Lyons, eighteen months 
after my flight from the world, and my aban- 
donment of my profession to adopt which, 
I may say, in my own defence, that I was 
first led through sheer poverty. At the age 
of seventeen years, and possessing (if I may 
credit report) remarkable personal charms, I 
was left perfectly destitute through the 
spendthrift habits of my father. I was 
easily persuaded to go on the stage, and soon 
tempted, with my youth and inexperience, to 
lead an irregular life. I do not wish to 
assert that dissipation necessarily follows the 
choice of the actress's profession, for I have 
known many estimable women on the stage. 
I, unhappily, was not one of the number. I 
confess it to my shame, and, as the chief of 
sinners, I am only the more grateful to the 
mercy of Heaven which accomplished my 
conversion. 

When I entered the convent, I entreated 



Charles Dickens,] 



THEEE GENERATIONS. 



[July IS, 1S57.] 59 



the prioress to let me live in perfect obscu- 
rity, without corresponding with my friends, 
or even with my relations. She declined to 
grant this last request, thinking that my zeal 
was leading me too far. On the other hand, 
she complied with my wish to be employed 
at once, without the slightest preparatory 
indulgence or consideration, on any menial 
labour which the discipline of the convent 
might require from me. On the first day of 
my admission a broom was put into my 
hands. I was appointed also to wash up the 
dishes, to scour the saucepans, to draw water 
from a deep well, to carry each sister's 
pitcher to its proper place, and to scrub the 
tables in the refectory. From these occupa- 
tions I got on in time to making rope shoes 
for the sisterhood, and to taking care of the 
great clock of the convent ; this last employ- 
ment requiring me to pull up three im- 
mensely heavy weights regularly every day. 
Seven years of my life passed in this hard 
work, and I can honestly say that I never 
murmured over it. 

To return, however, to the period of my 
admission into the convent. 

After three months of probation, I took 
the veil on the twentieth of January, seven- 
teen hundred and twenty-five. The Arch- 
bishop did me the honour to preside at the 
ceremony ; and, in spite of the rigour of the 
season, all Lyons poured into the church to 
see me take the vows. I was deeply affected ; 
but I never faltered in my resolution. I pro- 
nounced the oaths with a firm voice, and with 
a tranquillity which astonished all the spec- 
tators, a tranquillity which has never once 
failed me since that time. 

Such is the story of my conversion. Pro- 
vidence sent me into the world with an excel- 
lent nature, with a true heart, with a 
remarkable susceptibility to the influence of 
estimable sentiments. My parents neglected 
my education, and left me in the world, 
destitute of everything but youth, beauty, 
and a lively temperament. I tried hard to 
be virtuous ; I vowed, before I was out of 
my teens, and when I happened to be struck 
down by a serious illness, to leave the stage, 
and to keep my reputation unblemished, if 
anybody would only give me two hundred 
livres a year to live upon. Nobody came for- 
ward to help me, and I fell. Heaven pardon 
the rich people of Paris who might have 
preserved my virtue at so small a cost ! 
Heaven grant me courage to follow the better 
path into which its mercy has led me, and to 
persevere in a life of penitence and devotion 
to the end of my days ! 

So this singular confession ends. Besides 
the little vanities and levities which appear 
here and there on its surface, there is surely 
a strong under-current of sincerity aod frank- 
ness which fit it to appeal in some degree to 
the sympathy as well as the curiosity of the 
reader. It is impossible to read the narra- 



tive without feeling that there must have 
been something really genuine and hearty in 
Mademoiselle Gautier's nature ; and it is a 
gratifying proof of the honest integrity of her 
purpose to know that she persevered to the 
last in the life of humility and seclusion 
which her conscience had convinced her was 
the best life that she could lead. Persons 
who knew her in the Carmelite convent, 
report that she lived and died in it, pre- 
serving to the last, all the better part of the 
youthful liveliness of her character. She 
always received visitors with pleasure, always 
talked to them with surprising cheerfulness, 
always assisted the poor, and always willingly 
wrote letters to her former patrons in Paris 
to help the interests of her needy friends. 
Towards the end of her life, she was afflicted 
with blindness ; but she was a trouble to no 
one in consequence of this affliction, for she 
continued, in spite of it, to clean her own 
cell, to make her own bed, and to cook her 
own food just as usual. One little charac- 
teristic vanity harmless enough, surely ? 
remained with her to the last. She never 
forgot her own handsome face, which all 
Paris had admired in the by-gone time ; and 
she contrived to get a dispensation from the 
Pope which allowed her to receive visitors in 
the convent parlour without a veil. 



THEEE GENERATIONS. 



SCARCLIFF, on the north-eastern coast of 
England, is one of the very few beautiful 
spots so situated, which have not been meta- 
morphosed into fashionable watering-places. 
Our pier is still constructed of great loose 
stones, or boulders, upon which I am happy 
to think no modern dandy ccull set foot 
without considerable d;.mige; oar yellow 
sands are not stuck over witti mangy-looking 
iron pipes (upon which the seawater has had 
a horrible external effect), in order to supply 
douche, tepid, and hot baths to people who 
resemble the pipes ; no committee of health 
has removed the tangled wilderness of 
weed that clings about our rocks when the 
tide ebbs, and affords that refreshing fra- 
grance called the smell of the sea ; no es- 
planade of Portland stone, with this restric- 
tion and that restriction printed up all over 
it, and a policeman to see that every restriction 
is attended to, deforms our beach ; no infirm 
imitations of the ark make our shores 
hideous. If we want to bathe and are men, 
we stride along the tinkling shingle and 
craunch into the shell-abouuding sand, as 
far as the point yonder ; and there, with one 
of the many-coloured caves for our dressing- 
room, we plunge down, down, down, away 
from the sun and the sky, into another 
world of shade and coolness, where we 
cannot stay very long without inconve- 
nience, and all is man that comes to fishes' 
net ; then, breathless and palpitating, we 
arise again, to take our pleasure upon the 



60 [July 18,1857.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



sparkling sea, without becoming the focus of 
a score of telescopes. The ladies have not 
so far to walk ; a secluded bay close by, on 
the other side, is dedicated to them ; where 
the innocent sea-gulls and soft white waves 
are alone spectators of their curtsies and 
taking of hands. 

Our population consists almost entirely of 
fishermen, of whom more than one possesses a 
considerable property acquired in other ways 
than oyster-dredging or lobster-catching, in 
the good old times of Saucy Susans and 
smuggling runs. Scarcliff, we boast, owned 
in -those times at least one as tidy lugger 
as ever gave the go-by to her Majesty's 
revenue-cutters ; and there was scarcely a 
cottage where the purest French brandy 
could not be procured under the unconscious 
title of skim milk (from the duty being taken 
off, I suppose), or a farm-house where a 
casual reference to cabbage crops, failed to 
produce the choicest of Havaunah cigars. 
The gains of the free-trader must, indeed, 
have been enormous, to admit of such uni- 
versal bribery ; and the popularity of his 
profession was great in proportion. What if 
the horses of the yeoman next the sea were 
haled out in the dead midnight to carry a 
cargo twenty miles across the moorland, 
thence to be conveyed still further be- 
yond the reach of suspicion ? A keg or 
two left in their manger atoned for the dirt 
and weariness of the cattle. What if a coast- 
guardsman or so, more officious in their 
duties than need be, got occasionally spilt 
over the cliffs in the darkness, and by mis- 
take 1 Some few victims must be sacrificed 
to every system, even to that of the contra- 
band trade ; whose theory was that of the 
Jeremy Bentham,and had in view the greatest 
happiness of the greatest possible number. 

It was thus that old Jacob Ashfield who 
flourished at Scarcliff at the commencement of 
this present century got so respected. I did 
not know him personally until long after his 
palmy time ; and, still hale and vigorous old 
fellow as he was and is, he was changed 
enough from him who had the strongest 
arm and steadiest eye of any betwixt the 
Humber and the Wash. He lived by the 
streamlet's side that runs along the east- 
ern gully down to the village. The place 
was suited to the owner ; a huge fall and 
lasher leapt and eddied before the cottage 
door with thunder enough to deafen an ear 
unaccustomed to the turmoil ; and there 
were indeed many things done and said by 
old Jacob and his visitors, which would not 
have sounded well to listeners, even if they 
had understood their meaning ; for, as the 
law has an infinite amount of vain repetition 
and foolish jargon, in order to confuse clients 
and keep a lucrative business in professional 
hands, so had these evaders of the law a 
dictionary of their own, and were indebted 
for much of their language neither to John- 
son, nor to Webster, nor (slang as their 



expressions often were) to Walker himself. 
More than once, on dark and wintry nights, 
the officers of excise have cooled their heels 
for hours on the little wooden bridge that 
spanned the torrent, so difficult did they find 
it to make known their presence to the pro- 
prietor ; while he and his family were 
breaking up a barrel or two which might 
liave given them offence, and letting many a 
gallon of white ale mix with the foaming 
flood, to make trout and grilse and salmon 
exceedingly drunk and astonished, between 
Watersleap and Scarcliff Bay. 

Jack Ashfield, a boy of about twenty 
years of age, and his sister Kitty the 
prettiest woman, say the old people, ever 
seen in these parts, by far assisted their 
father well and willingly; often and often, 
through the dark October nights, did Jack 
sit upon the slippery heather of the great 
sloping heights of Sleamouth Cove, show- 
ing the light of his lantern to the sea r 
and shading it from the land, to guide the 
lugger's course ; and whenever charming 
Kitty's petticoats seemed a trifle more stiffly 
quilted than usual, when she rode into the 
market-town with her basket, it was generally 
attributed to the presence of cigars. Although 
thus notorious from their youth up, as op- 
posing themselves to his Majesty's excise- 
laws, they were in all other respects perfectly 
honest and well-conducted, and redeemed, by 
their good -nature and pleasant looks, the 
rough behaviour and buccaneering appear- 
ance of old Jacob. His life had been a 
chequered one, and not, in any of its 
patterns, favourable to the development of 
gentleness or respectability ; he had been 
a pressed man under Nelson, and had fought 
against the grain and against the French 
for years, but behaving gallantly enough 
at all times, and especially at Trafalgar. 
He had an enormous belief and gloried 
exceedingly in his great commander. When 
he heard that Cronstadt was not to be 
attacked in the late war, he got very 
excited, and blasphemed as was his 
custom on most occasions uninterrupt- 
edly for a week or two. He never knew, 
poor old fellow, when he was guilty of his 
frightful expressions, but used them in the 
old man-of-war style, interjeetionally, and 
for emphasis. 

" If old Nelly had been alive, he'd not have 
waited for orders from home, nor nothing, 
but he'd have gone in leading the line, and 
the fleet 'ud have folio wed, mark ye, although 
they had to sail over his sunken ships. Why, 
when Villainouve heard that the command: 
had been given to Old Nelly, he calls his 
admirals, captains, lieutenants, and what not, 
on to his quarter-deck, and says he, ' We are 
all dead men !' " 

And then, amidst a dropping fire of impre- 
cations, old Jacob would point out upon the 
sand Avith his staff the way in which the 
enemy's line was broken in the great battle 



Charles Dickens.] 



THREE GENERATIONS. 



[July 18. 1857.] 61 



wherein Old Nelly got killed by the Parlez- 
vous a curse and a blessing, each of the 
intensest character, were wont here to be 
given almost simultaneously, like water 
thrown upon fire and, " There, too, it was 
that I got this and tins," (exhibiting the most 
frightful fissures,) " but neither of them as 
gave them, mark ye, ever went home to 
boast on it." 

Tired of the monotonous life of a man-of- 
war, he had joined one of the junior lieutenants 
of his ship a sprig of nobility, exhibiting 
a singular parallel in his disposition to the 
wayward Ashfield himself in deserting from 
her in company with many others, and man- 
ning a privateer of their own, in which 
they cruised for months in the Medi- 
terranean, and obtained several prizes. The 
spi-ig was lopped off the Navy List for this, 
however ; and his fellow truants, although 
otherwise pardoned, were deprived of their 
long service pensions. When the war was 
over, Jacob got a part-share in the Scarcliff 
lugger Saucy Susan, and made many success- 
ful runs. The proh'ts were so large that two 
lucky trips were calculated to counterbalance 
the loss of cargo, vessel and all upon its third 
venture. Old Ashfield once showed my father 
(who, although minister of the parish, did 
not consider it worth while to send twenty 
miles and more for indifferent brandy to 
make his winter punch with, when he could 
get it far better at one-fifth of the price at 
Watersleap) at least two thousand guineas in 
gold, which he kept in an old portmanteau, 
and took a handful from when it was needed. 
He was not by any means miserly or over- 
prudent, but had unsettled views upon our 
monetary system, and would have considered 
it an act of madness to trust money to a banker, 
or let it out at interest. It was, however, 
light come, light go, with men of his trade, 
and, cheap as his liquor was to him, his 
profuse drinking, perhaps if other things 
had not impoverished him would have kept 
and left him poor. Of what that drinking 
consisted we of the present day at Scarcliti 
have happily no experience ; but, to judge by 
old Ashtield's present consumption it must 
have been something tremendous. Through 
the tyranny of the customs he has been of 
late years reduced to gin and beer mostly, of 
which he imbibes in a week sufficient to float 
himself in. 

" Why, I mind," says he, " when none of 
us was considered a man who could not take 
his half-pint stoup of white ale (pale brandy) 
at a draught, and amongst us of the Saucy 
Susan there was a forfeit for who did not 
take his pint before breakfast, regular, and 
without a drop of water. Why Mark Hilson 
and I and Robert Gore Hiison died in the 
union (an expletive in connection with the 
poor-law system occurred here) at eighty-one, 
and Robert is alive now to tell you it" I don't 
speak truth. We three were drunk for an 
entire week, without ever eating so much as a 



crust of bread. When we were too far gone 
we laid down on a hurdle of wet straw, and 
when that revived us something, to it we set 
again. Brandy ! Why there wasn't a cottage 
in Scarcliff without its little cellar in the 
garden or under the hearth-stone, nor a pail, 
nor a jug, nor a tub about the place but had 
held the skim milk of the Saucy Susan." 

Jacob himself was never caught by the 
custom-house people, although they knew 
him so well, except once. 

" It was between two and three in the 
morning, and I was driving a cargo of a dozen 
kegs up Scarcliff hill to the moorland with 
six horses in a team, two kegs upon each 
horse, when I heard the coasters corning arter 
me. I drove as hard as I could, but they 
were mounted, too, and before I had got a 
mile away over the moor they was upon 
me. ' Ah, ah ! ' says they, ' so we've caught 
you at last, Jacob ? How early you go to 
work in the morning ! ' And very jolly they 
were about the capture, you may be sure ; 
sixty gallons of white ale and six horses was 
a pretty good prize among three of them. 
Now they had got no regular warrant with 
them, which it was necessary to have before 
they could lawfully seize, and they took me 
into Barton to get it. The parson, who was 
the magistrate there, happened, as I very 
well knew, to be out for a day or two, and 
we had to bide at the inn till he came home, 
' And, though you are our prisoner, Jacob, we 
won't treat you ill,' said the men, very good- 
natured through their good-luck ; ' and we'll 
all make merry till the warrant comes, for it 
is at the king's own expense.' Which indeed 
we did, and a pretty state excisemen and 
prisoner and all were in for the thirty-six 
hours before the parson came home. Well, 
the head coaster at last gets the warrant, 
and, ' Now,' says he, ' 'tis lawful for us to 
taste the prize.' So they opened one of the 
kegs, and passed the cup from one to t'other ; 
but neither of them took very kindly to it, 
for, indeed, it was nothing, bless their simple 
souls, but innocent sea- water, and while I 
was cutting away and being caught upon the 
moor a very pretty run the Saucy Susan 
made of it into Sleainouth Cove, the coasters 
being otherwise engaged." 

It was about the year eighteen hundred and 
twenty-one, that a young gentleman from 
Oxford University, of the name of Hindon, 
came down to our little village. He had been 
expelled from college for excesses which, 
even at that time, and although he came of a 
great family, were considered too grave to- 
be over-looked. The Hindons of the Wolds 
had reigned in their own place for centuries, 
and, though sufficiently lawless, none of 
that stock had ever grown up so wild as 
Drunken Dick. Some very fast men not 
many are decent and respectable fellows 
at bottom, and when they have run their 
muck and done their quantum of mischief, 
pull up short and become gentlemen in man- 



62 [July 18, 1887J 



HOUSEHOLD WOKDS. 



[Conducted by 



ners and looks, at least, to the end of their 
days. But Dick was not of that sort ; he only 
left off cock-fighting, because it ceased out of 
the country altogether and left him ; he 
indulged in and was patron of every conceiv- 
able blackguardism that remained. Wine, 
indeed, he was not addicted to, considering it 
at best but poor stuff, only fit for clergy- 
men ; but he drank brandy to an extent 
which astonished even old Jacob himself. He 
had contracted heavy debts at college, and 
was condemned to a somewhat short allow- 
ance of three hundred a-year, so that the 
cheapness of the white ale had combined, 
perhaps, with the desire of getting out of 
sight of all his relatives in attracting him to 
our simple village. Depraved almost utterly, 
and coarse-minded beyond the coarsest, 
as Dick was, he was however in many 
respects less contemptible than the univer- 
sity scamp of to-day. He was, at least, open 
and inartificial ; his vices were those of a 
healthy though brutish animalism, and never 
sank into cold, passionless debauchery. His 
irreligion was manifest enough, indeed ; but 
it did not show itself in sneers or yawns. 
Selfish he was, but by no means callous to j 
the wants and misery of others, and at all 
events he never made a jest of them. 
Bloated in the face, shaky in the hands, fishy 
about the eyes, as the youth had already be- 
come, he did riot make a boast of his infir- 
mities, or think it fine to be used up. I have 
known something of the sublime drawlers and 
nil admirari exquisites of now-a-days, and, 
upon the whole, I very much prefer poor | 
Drunken Dick ; he was not altogether 
adapted for friendship, but he was good- j 
natured and social. He sang over his jorums 
of hot punch, with which he refreshed him- 
self at the conclusion of every verse, like a bird 
singing at a streamlet's side ; he gave away 
his money with both hands at once ; he swore 
as hard as ever our armies did in Flanders ; 
and, with such gifts as these, it was no won- 
der that he was hailed good fellow at once 
by the crew of the Saucy Susan. 

He had lodgings at the little inn, but all his 
days and halt' his nights were spent at Waters- 
leap, drinking the skim milk from the half- 
pint stoups, with the best of them, and acquir- 
ing the free-trader's language with a facility 
much greater than that he had ever exhi- 
bited for Latin and Greek. Congenial as he 
found old Jacob and his companions to be, 
there was, however, at the smuggler's cot- 
tage metal more attractive in the person of 
Kitty Ashfield. In spite of her connections 
and pursuits, she was a simple, innocent girl, 
and presented to Richard Hindon a charming 
contrast to all others whom he had ever been 
acquainted with; the inlluence, slight as it was, 
which she exerted over him, for good, showed 
how much might have been done for the dis- 
solute, ruined youth, if he had had earlier, the 
advantage of a woman's love and society. His 
mother had died while he was an infant, 



and he had no sister ; his father and elder 
brother were proud and apathetic to the last 
degree, moved only at times to wrath, by his 
various escapades and disgraces, and comforted 
themselves as they did not scruple to 
tell him that, while they lived and their 
successors, he should never have one acre of 
the great Hindon estates to squander in drink 
and at the gaming-table. With these unpro- 
mising prospects for the future he had there- 
fore never become the mark of intriguing 
mammas, or the cynosure of fashionable 
virgins with an eye to settlements. For the 
last twenty years of a life that had only 
reached to twenty-two, poor Dick had never 
known the society of a woman at once 
beautiful, honest, and disinterested ; and 
Kitty Ashfield was all three. When she rode 
the galloping grey into Barton, with the 
basket on her arm and the cigars in the 
quilting of her petticoat, it seemed as though 
she was born to be an amazon, so well she 
sat, rx> perfectly she looked at ease, with her 
long raven curls blown back and streaming on 
the moorland breezes, and her delicate cheeks 
a-glow. When she sculled herself in her 
father's boat round Sleamouth Point, it 
seemed the most natural thing in the world, 
for those graceful arms to be rowing ; what- 
ever she did, indeed, appeared to be the occu- 
pation peculiarly fitted to show forth her per- 
sonal graces, and those were, of course, almost 
the only ones of which Dick Hindon was a 
judge. She could not read with any great 
facility, but that art if indeed he tho- 
roughly possessed it was a dead-lettertohim, 
as he never looked at a book. She did not spell 
well, when she wrote ; not above one word in 
three, perhaps, could be relied upon, but that 
moderate average was as good as if not better 
than Dick's ; and, in his eyes, Kitty Ash- 
field was perfect. 

Did Eichard Hindon, Esquire, late gentle- 
man commoner of Merton College, Oxford, 
and second son of Sir Marmaduke Hindon of 
the Wolds, then really contemplate making 
old Jacob's contraband daughter his wife ? 
Why, no : we have a sneaking kindness to- 
wards Dick, down here, at Scarcliff, but I can't 
say that he did ; it was not through pride, 
nor on account of so great advantage 
being on his side, without any to counter- 
balance them on her's which, at least, is 
the opinion of society, when an aristocratic 
blackguard has the exceeding good for- 
tune to wed a poor but honest country girl 
but that he did not like the notion of being 
a married man, at all. Like the fop who 
would have been a soldier if it had not been 
for the villainous saltpetre, poor Dick, like 
many others, would have wedded with plea- 
sure if it were not for the wedding-ring. 
While all the men in Scarcliff were pitying 
poor Kitty, and all the women saying it 
served her right, she got to like handsome 
Dick Hindon and his attentions better and 
better every day. He began to leave off 



Charles Dickens.] 



THREE GENERATIONS. 



[Jvuy IS, 185?.] 63 



drinking, and confined himself to little more 
than a quart of white ale per diem ; he 
stayed his more objectionable songs in mid- 
verse whenever she entered her father's 
banqueting - room, or changed them into 
ditties more suited to maiden's ears, and it 
was altogether wonderful how comparatively 
virtuous he got, in order to effect his vicious 
object. 

My father, however, both as minister of 
the parish, and because he had a fondness 
for the simple girl, came over to Watersleap, 
and had a long talk with Jacob upon the 
subject. When he had stated his fears to 
the old smuggler, and expressed his sorrow 
at seeing him encourage the young man as he 
did, Jacob Ashfield answered by pointing to 
a ship's cutlass that hung over the mantel- 
piece, and adding these words : "Young Master 
Hindon is not a very wise man, sir, and not 
a very scrupulous one ; but he knows right 
well that if he or any man dared to offer love 
to my daughter Kitty that was not honour- 
able, I'd cut him asunder with that old sword 
of mine as clean as ever I did a Frenchman ; " 
which threat, in consideration of the pai-son's 
presence, he considerately garnished with not 
more than six of his most stupendous exple- 
tives. Dick, who was as brave as a lion, was 
indeed aware of his danger, and had no desire 
to incur the old man's vengeance ; and it was 
half with the intention of performing his pro- 
mise upon oath of becoming her husband that 
he ran away with Kitty one summer evening, 
both upon the galloping grey. They had three 
hours clear start of Jacob ; to whom my father 
lent his horse to pursue them on, after having 
extracted from him a solemn vow that there 
should be no murder committed. He 
tracked them with great sagacity along the 
moor, and to a neighbouring town, from 
which they had taken a post-chaise to Horn- 
castle, and thither he followed them. Kitty 
had left a slip of paper behind her for her 
father's eyes : " Richard is going to marry 
me at Gretna ; " and with that in his hand, 
and the redoubtable cutlass hanging by his 
side, he strode into the inn parlour where the 
two runaways were, Kitty drowned in tears, 
and Dick trying to comfort her in vain with 
(Excise) brandy and water. " Well," said 
Jacob, " young people, since you have chosen 
to give me this wild goose chace instead of 
being married quietly at Scarcliff, which you 
might have done any day, you must entei'- 
tain your father instead of his entertaining 
you ; only since York and not Horii castle 
lies on your way to Gretna, I shall now take 
the liberty of never letting you out of my 
sight until you have gone to church together." 
The old man never used fewer imprecations ; 
but he never looked more determined than 
upon that occasion, and Richard Hindon did 
not hesitate or quibble a moment, but was 
married the very next morning. 

That was the best that was ever known of 
Dick, and almost the last. He never came back 



again to Watersleap ; and Kitty, delicate, 
sickly, sadly altered, only came home to die. 

She was a widow, and had a son of fourteen 
years old the only one by that time. Many 
changes, too, had taken place at Scarcliff 
during her absence. I was the clergyman 
who attended her bedside in my father's 
place ; her brother Jack was also dead, and 
his young wife dead, leaving a daughter, 
Mary, more beautiful, as I think, even than 
her aunt ; but old Jacob Ashfield was hale 
and hearty still, and gave her and young 
Harry Hindon, a warm welcome at the 
cottage. It was no wonder ; nobody who had 
known her in her youth could have seen 
her pinched with want, weary with care, 
without a tender pity, and Jacob had been 
a loving father all along ; that portman- 
teau full of guineas had almost all been 
spent in assisting her and her husband in 
their long and wretched struggle against 
poverty, in a foreign land (for debt had made 
it necessary), and amongst utter strangers. 
From the marriage-day of poor Scapegrace 
Dick, not a shilling's worth of help had he 
received from his proud unyielding parent, 
not a doe among all the deer herds in the 
Wolds had ever been fatted against that 
prodigal's return. Vice had been often 
winked at, crime (provided it were of the 
aristocratic sort) would have met with ex- 
tenuation enough ; but not even the glimmer 
of pardon was held out to the unblushing 
Hindon who had dared to contract legal 
marriage with the daughter of a private 
seaman an A.B. a man before the mast a 
hand ! This blot on the 'scutcheon, this 
polluter of Norman blood, was erased by his 
own act at once from the pedigree leaf of the 
family Bible, and from the clause which left 
him in spite of all other disgraces ten 
thousand pounds in Sir Marmaduke's will ; 
and it is due to his dead son to say, wicked as 
he was, and wild as he was, that he never 
visited these things upon the innocent cause 
of them his wife. A bad father and a bad 
husband he was, yet a kind one ; better, 
perhaps, in both relations than the old baronet 
with all his outward seeming had been before 
him ; and, indeed, as long as he could get his 
allowance of brandy, he felt his deprivations 
but very little. She, like a true woman, 
accused herself of all his misfortunes, and 
suffered from them most upon his account. 

Their son Harry, naturally enough, grew up 
with a great liking for his unseen relatives at 
Scarcliif, and with a proportionate prejudice 
against his progenitors in the Wolds. He was 
a beautiful boy, as might have been expected 
from such parents, and could read and write 
with great facility which might not have been 
expected ; his slightly foreign pronunciation 
atoned for his somewhat indifferent English, 
and, mongrel as he was, his independent air 
and bluff natural manner contrasted well with 
his unquestionably high-born Hiudou of Hin- 
don looks. He was a favourite of mine, of 



64 (Julyl8.1V57.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



all of us, from the very first, and the especial 
darling of his graiuU'atlier ; the old man soon 
taught him to whip Scarcliff stream, and 
throw a line well clear of its overhanging 
oak branches, as well as he could himself. 
Harry and I have had many and many 
a fishing bout together. He had the run of 
my little library, and used it pretty freely, so 
that we had subjects enough for conversation 
in that direction, but I liked his original talk 
best. His opinions were singularly generous 
and liberal, and I was wont to rally him 
upon that point, saying that if ever he be- 
came Sir Harry, he would alter his political 
views. He was now but one remove from 
the Hindon lands, his grandfather being al- 
ready dead ; but his uncle, as much in spite 
towards the young man, it was said, as for 
love towards his intended bride, was about 
to marry. It is fair to say, however, that 
immediately upon his succession to the title 
he had offered to adopt the boy, upon con- 
dition that he left his mother, and promised 
to cease all connection with Scarcliff ; a small 
pension was also to be settled upon poor 
dying Kitty. Harry was left to take his 
own choice upon the matter, and answered 
by tearing his uncle's gracious letter into 
fragments, throwing his arms around his 
mother's neck, and covering her with kisses. 
There was another tie that bound him to 
Watersleap. Never did I see so beautiful a 
pair as they, nor one so well fitted for each 
other in mind and character. Mary had been 
brought up very differently from the genera- 
tion that preceded her ; she. had never gone to 
market with her father, with her petticoat stiff 
with contraband articles ; the smuggling trade, 
in consequence of wiser legislation, was almost 
extinct at Scarcliff. Brandy had long become 
dear and scarce, and she had not been accus- 
tomed to see" drunkenness on every side of 
her, and at her own home. Old Jacob, indeed, 
was so thoroughly seasoned to strong liquor, 
that he could scarcely have got intoxicated 
by any quantity, and most of his contem- 
poraries were in the grave ; his man-of-war 
expressions still remained, but they were 
understood as such a foam and fury very 
reprehensible, but signifying nothing by 
the new race rising up around him. She 
had been tolerably educated under my 
mother's care at the Parsonage House, and 
the beautiful girl had a disposition harmo- 
nising with her looks, as the scent is appro- 
priate to the flower. Harry and she were 
not plighted, for they were both very young ; 
and poor Kitty's death, which occurred about 
this time, put the matter still farther off; 
but it was understood that they would be 
married one day. His love for her was of a 
far other sort than that with which Richard 
Hindon had wooed his mother twenty years 
before ; he was continually vexing himself 
with thoughts of what he should turn to in 
order to make a living sufficient for her and 
himself. A home they already had at 



Watersleap, which the old man would not 
lu-ar of the two orphans quitting, but they 
had no money. The best fisherman in 
SScarcliff had little to fear from actual want, 
but it was for her comforts that he was 
troubled ; not by any dislike or doubt of 
supporting her by his labours. Bread, eggs, 
poultry and meat, with us have to travel 
a distance of twenty miles before they can 
reach a regular market, and are therefore 
cheaper in our village than any Londoner 
with a large family ever dreamed of in his 
wildest dreams. It has always been sur- 
prising to me that such out-of-the-way nooks 
and corners of old England as this of ours 
are not sought out by people of very small 
fixed incomes, in preference to filthy lodgings 
in obscure streets, where nothing, even with 
the help of a scanty salary in a lawyer's or 
merchant's office obtained by the hardest 
drudgery, can possibly be saved at the year's 
end. Harry Hindon, with nothing a-year, 
was more to be envied, it seems to me, than 
any quilldriver with an income of a hundred 
pounds. It may be, however, that I am 
wrong, and that this life of ease and liberty 
which we all live at Scarcliff, has spoilt for 
real civilised work even the parson himself. 
Still, as I said, Harry, for his love's sake, was 
looking somewhat higher, and had even de- 
cided upon taking by the year a little farm 
(which his grandfather could still assist him 
to do), when a circumstance occurred whick 
scattered all his plans, and set the whole 
population in a fever of excitement and 
wonder. 

A small, wizen-faced lawyer, very much un- 
accustomed to horse exercise, came riding over 
the moorland from far away, to the cottage by 
the stream ; he was in deep black, and much 
dejection, but his countenance puckered 
up into a smile at the sight of the young 
Hindon : 

" Allow me," said he, " to congratulate you, 
Sir Harry, upon your succession to the family 
title and estates! To sympathise with you 
(he dropped his voice), upon the demise of 
your late uncle, Sir Marmaduke ; it is a pro- 
vidential circumstance, so exceedingly thick- 
necked and short in the breath as he was, 
that he had an insuperable objection to sign- 
ing any testamentary document whatsoever ; 
the hall and the whole property in the Wolds, 
four thousand pounds a-year in land (the 
little man seemed to be eating turtle fat, so 
slowly and unctuously, he dwelt upon this 
part of his address), thirty thousand pounds in 
the Funds, and the patronage of two excellent 
livings (one just vacant), are yours : your at- 
tendance is immediately required to prevent 
any sort of opposition ; and," concluded the 
little man after a pause, "to be present at the 
obsequies of the late lamented baronet." 

He was certainly in a great hurry, for he 
refused even to take a chair while he refreshed 
himself, and mounting a descendant of the old 
galloping grey, with a distressing reluctance, 



Charles Dickens.) 



CAIEO. 



[July IS, 1357.] 65 



rode off with young Sir Harry, that very after- 
noon. He left the inmates of the cottage ani- 
mated by very different feelings ; the old man 
was wild with joy, delighting in histitled grand- 
son, and expressing his exultation in envelopes 
of explosive epithets, like the bon-bons of a 
supper-party ; the girl was tearful and un- 
happy, missing him who had been absent 
from her, not even for a day, for years ; 
and, perhaps, doubtful of her lover's faith 
amidst the unknown temptations of his new 
position. I thought it not right to check any 
mistrust that she might entertain. I had in- 
deed the highest opinion of my friend Harry ; 
but the difference between the smuggler's 
grandson looking out for a dairy farm, and 
the heir of thousands per annum, was too 
great to permit me to be sure even of him ; 
how many promises of both wise and good 
men have melted before a sun of prosperity, 
far less powerful than his ! I felt, therefore, 
not astounded, but deeply grieved by the 
commencement of the young baronet's letter, 
written not many weeks ago, and immediately 
fter his arrival at Hindoii Hall. 

" DEAR AND REVEREND SIR, I arrived at my place 
here with Mr. Tapewell yesterday morning; it is a 
very grand one indeed ; there are two great drawing 
rooms and A library en suite, where I suppose I must 
give my ball to the county, so soon as a decent time 
has elapsed after the obsequies of the late Sir Marma- 
duke. He was buried yesterday in our family vault, 
and many of the nobility and gentry round expressed 
their respect for his memory by sending their carriages, 
with coachmen and footmen complete, to follow the 
hearse. I begin to feel myself quite at home, and my 
people all recognise my likeness to that long line of 
ancestors which adorns the great corridor. I have had 
my hands full enough of important business, as you 
may imagine, but 1 hope I have not forgotten my good 
friend at Scarcliff; and I want your assistance here, 
my dear sir, in suggesting what would be the most 
appropriate present by which I could mark my sense of 
their kindness. I am thinking of sending half-a- 
hogshead of the best French brandy to the old gentle- 
man at Watersleap what think you ? " 

If it were not for my burning indignation, 
I could have shed tears in reading these 
heartless words of this spoilt child of fortune, 
which he applied to his grandfather and 
patron, to whom he owed all. 

" As for the young lady, my dear sir, I am afraid I 
almost committed myself in that quarter; but really a 
flirtation, however strong, is more excusable at Scarcliff 
pour passer le temps than anywhere else ; the 
Hindon blood, however, cannot quite stand another 
mesalliance, I think." 

This finished the page, and I had scarcely 
patience, so vehement was my scorn, to turn 
the leaf and read the following : 

" And now, my dear and kind friend, I believe I 
have paid you for the cruel prophecies you used to 
make concerning me whenever 1 should become Sir 
Harry. I wonder, however, I could have imagined 
such noxious sentiments as I have expressed (I flatter 
myself) to your extreme disgust overleaf. I long 



to be back again at the dear village ; or rather, 
I wish that the whole of its inhabitants would 
come and live at the hall ; I am sure it is quite big 
enough, and looks at present comfortless, unfriendly, 
ghost-haunted, and cold. Certainly I shall transport 
hither many of your best friends, to be your parishioners 
anew at Hindon ; for you must not refuse that little gift 
from hands that have received so very much from you. 
I write, by this day's post, to Watersleap, two letters, 
and, I hope, send welcome tidings. I really do want 
your advice upon what good what greatest benefit I 
can possibly do at Scarcliff, to man, woman, and child 
there, all of whom I know so well ; they deserve far 
more than I can give them, indeed. I have looked in 
the most malignant depths of my heart for testimonies 
against them, but can find no record anywhere save 
of kind words and neighbourly deeds. And now, 
to speak of that which engrosses almost my every 
thought, do, dear friend, persuade my beloved Mary 
to fix a day for our marriage in your old grey church, 
upon Scarcliff Hill, not very far from this on which I 
write. If I have a pleasure beyond the mere selfish 
one of showing myself in some sort grateful to my 
many friends, in this good fortune of mine, it is that 
which I anticipate in having her to share it. If I care 
in the least for this position of mine, it is because I 
know how she, who has been poor herself, and under- 
stands the poor, will grace it. You, however, must 
be our Mentor, as before, and, beyond all things, 
remind me sharply of the young fisherman's opinions 
whenever I affect the Sir Harry overmuch. To 
prevent any further mixture with baseness, and to 
keep this magnificent line of mine quite pure and in 
the family entirely that is, you see, from genealogical 
reasons I hope within the month to marry my first 
cousin, Mary Ashfield." 



CAIRO. 



THE joltings in the Desert ; the furnace- 
heat of the Eed Sea ; the utter sandy wretch- 
edness of Suez ; the cindery dreariness of 
Aden, are all alike forgotten and forgiven by 
the traveller, when arrived at Cairo the 
Grand Cairo of the Arabian Nights, the 
next-door neighbour of Thebes, the adopted 
of the Pyramids, the dweller on the lotus- 
banked Nile. Two short days and 'nights 
have scarcely passed away since I was the 
helpless victim of beery stewards, steaming 
cuddy servants, and greasy Lascars. To-night 
I am steeped in the odoriferous dreaminess of 
Oriental romance, lounging arm-in-arm with 
the spirits of departed sultans, grand viziers, 
and chiefs of all the eunuchs, with the bright 
rays of an Egyptian moon lighting up 
mosque, palace, bazaar, and fountain, and 
lending an additional grandeur to the outline 
of the silent pyramids, whose dark forms 
stand out so heavily against the soft bright 
sky, like giant sentinels watching over the 
changing destiny of the land of poetry, ro- 
mance, and fairy legend. 

The night is one of surpassing loveliness. 
The air so soft and bland, as only to be found 
in this lotus-land. Not one restless breath 
of balmy atmosphere is found to stir the 
feathery leaves of palms, or move a ripple on 
the moonlit lake. Insects on leaf, and 
flower, and shrub, are busy in the coolness of 



66 [July IS, 1S57.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conductedby 



the niifht, and give forth cheerful sounds. 
Fountains on many a marble terrace or 
flower-girt walk, send forth their cooling 
streams, whose rippling music lulls restless 
sleepers with its silvery notes. A fairy spell 
seems hanging on the city, whose teeming 
thousands might have been changed, by some 
sorcerer's magic, into dead blocks of marble, 
so still, and hushed, and motionless the city 
of the Egyptian sultans. 

I am moving through one of the principal 
open squares of Cairo alone, and regardless 
of cautions about Nubian bravos, eunuchs' 
bowstrings and sackings in the Nile. The 
sqviare is considered a fine one in Egypt ; not 
at all equal to those of Belgrave or Grosvenor, 
though perhaps on a par with that of Fins- 
bury, minus the houses. There is a row of 
ghostly trees on one side, an invisible line of 
railings on the other. A shadowy indistinct 
range of buildings along the western side, 
that may be old piano-forte manufactories 
or upholsterers' warerooms, with the wall of 
Bunhill burial-ground skirting the remaining 
frontage. 

A way in one corner of this singular princi- 
pal square is a narrow outlet that teems with 
hopeful promise of things as yet unseen. It 
is a street evidently, though partaking much 
of the dimensions of a London lane. Tall 
frowning gables of strange-looking houses are 
on either side, while here and there, at uncer- 
tain distances, are suspended queer-looking 
dwarfy lanterns, sending forth a foggy sort 
of light, not sufficient to illumine the gloom of 
an oyster-stall. The upper part of this 
oriental Petticoat Lane is lit bravely by the 
moon, and there, far above, may be seen the 
strangest kinds of windows, all latticed and 
carved like unpretending oriels in a private 



gothic chapel. 
Below all this 



moonlit trelliswork and 



ai'chitecture are beetling heavy doorways and 
sombre wickets barely made visible amidst 
their darkness by the sickly twinkling of the 
baby lanterns. The walls are thick, the 
gates are massive, the bolts and locks are of 
Cyclopean magnitude, and carry on their 
rusty iron visages the features of dark talea 
and strange adventures. 

There is a noble mosque, with its stately 
gilded minarets towering above the walls and 
gates below, and radiant with the brightness 
of the hour. Further on is a goodly building 
of polished marble. The moonbeams fal ling 
thickly on it, show how much time and skill 
the craftsmen of old Egypt have lavished on 
its form. It is a public fountain, where the 
haltand blindmay rest and quench theirthirst. 
Beyond it, again, adjoining a long low range 
of wall and peering gables, are a suite of 
baths of many-coloured marble. Beautifully 
moulded by the carver's chisel, yet of less 
pretensions than the fountain, as a work of 
art. It stands forth grandly from the crowd 



The whole scene, with its nocturnal still- 
ness, its mosque, fountain, latticed windows, 
and fantastic gateways, conjures up vividly be- 
fore me the legeuds of the Thousand and 
One Nights. It seems, indeed, like a picture 
cut out of that wonderful volume. Every 
curious building, each dark mysterious por- 
tal appears as though belonging to some 
portion of the Arabian Tales, peopled with 
emirs, merchants, calendars, and hunch- 
backed tailors. 

There is a noble mansion of the Arabian 
Nights' description ; massive, large, full of 
quaint doors and sly windows, doing their 
best to see, yet not be seen. It is shaded by 
lofty palms, whilst over the thick wall of the 
garden and terrace may be seen the bright 
flowers and verdant leaves of the pomegra- 
nate and citron. The principal gateway is 
slightly ajar, and without running too much, 
risk of being bowstrung, or sacked, I venture 
to indulge my curiosity by peeping slily in 
through the narrow aperture left by the 
unclosed door. There were many lights in- 
side, lanterns, torches, and flambeaux, and 
by their combined light I obtain an uncer- 
tain vision of a busy multitude within a hall 
shut off from the courtyard by trellis-work 
and windows. There is a sound of revelry 
within; of merry voices, of stringed instru- 
ments, of dancing feet. They are evidently 
the domestic part of some establishment of 
quality, making holiday to celebrate some 
family event. Who can say but it may be 
the wedding-night of some vizier's daughter 
or son ? 

I could linger at the door longer yet, in 
the hope of gaining insight into the inner 
mysteries of this merry-making ; but, cer- 
tain unpleasant twinges about the neck, 
warn me of what may possibly be the result ; 
and, as I cannot be sure that the nightwatch 
of the Cairo police will hear me in the event 
of my requiring their aid, I yield to discre- 
tion, and move away from the fascinating 
gateway slowly and reluctantly. 

The time, the place, and the scene before 
me, conjure itp the incidents related in the 
early part of the adventures of Bedreddin 
Hassan ; where the genie and the fairy trans- 
port that young and good-looking adventurer 
from Balsora to the door of the bath at 
Cairo, just in time to upset the connubial 
arrangements of the Sultan's hunch-backed 
groom. Who knows but this may be the 
identical street, and the gate yonder through 
which I have just been peeping, the 
selfsame door of Schemseddin's palace, in 
which Bedreddin Hassan's adventures com- 
menced 1 And it was, perhaps, not far dis- 
tant from this spot, that the terror-stricken 
Bedreddin was afterwards brought, secured 
in an iron-bound cage, from Damascus, under 
the instant apprehension of death for the 
treasonable act of omitting pepper in the 



of strange fantastic dwellings that cluster j concoction of his cheesecakes. How many 
round about it. ' more adventures may not have taken place 



Charles Dickens.] 



CAIRO, 



IJuly 18, 1857.] 67 



in this same street ! How many sultans may 
have perambulated this identical thorough- 
fare, on the track of suspected viziers or 
doubtful favourites ! Who can say how many 
calendars' sous, or emirs in disguise may not 
have rested on the marble seat of yon quaint 
old fountain, grotesque in the moonlight, and 
have quenched their thirst with its cooling 
waters 1 Every stone about me seems in 
some unspeakable way woven with the his- 
tory of the past, and bound by endearing 
links to the bygone chapters of fairy 
romance. 

The first living creature I have encoun- 
tered this night in my perambulations is an 
old decrepit man on a donkey. Muffled in 
ample folds of muslin, it is difficult to say 
save by his stooping form whether he be 
aged or young. lie starts at meeting me, at 
that unusual hour, but goes on his solitary 
way with the usual Moslem salutation, " God 
is great, and Mahomet is his prophet ! " The 
voice dies away in the silent distance ; and I 
wend my weary way to the hotel by the 
grotesque principal square, to rest till day- 
light, and dream of caliphs, viziers, geuies, 
hunchbacks, cadis, Ethiopians, and cheese- 
cakes. 

It is mid-day, that is to say early in the 
forenoon by the hour, though high-noon 
judging from the intensity of the sun's rays ; 
lam equipped once more for a visit of Oriental 
research amidst the stone, and wood and dust 
of Grand Cairo ; and, forcing my hasty way 
through a regiment of bearded dragomen 
that are fain to make common property of 
me, I rush down the wide stairs into the 
courtyard, climbing upon the nearest of 
nine saddled donkeys that cut off all egress 
from the hotel. I give the creature the full 
length of the reins, with licence to bear me 
whither he wills. The animal is evidently 
quite up to the tastes of overland travellers, 
and trots away with me at a cheerful pace, 
towards and into the very busiest and nar- 
rowest thoroughfares. 

I have frequently heard that the cream of 
daily life in Cairo is to be met with only in 
the by-ways and bazaars, especially in that 
devoted to the Turkish dealers in miscel- 
laneous wares. I have not been misinformed. 
The interest of the scene becomes intensi- 
fied with the narrowness of the thronged 
streets. As the width of the pavement de- 
creases., the shouting of the donkey-boys, 
the oaths of camel-drivers, the threats of 
Arab-mounted eunuchs, the shrieks for 
baksheesh become louder and shriller, and 
it requires some little presence of mind 
to make way through the noisy staggering 
throng. 

I am now in the very heart of busy Cairo, 
with its many pulses beating quick and high 
about me. I am where I have for long years 
sighed to be, and whither in my dreams I 
have often wandered in imagination. But] 
Cairo by moonlight and Cairo by sunlight 



hot, glaring, suffocating high-noon are, in 
appearance, two very different places. The 
softness, the coolness, the hushed romance of 
night hide themselves before the dusty heat 
of mid-day. The arabesque windows, the 
latticed portals, the higli gables, the gaunt 
palms, the carved fountains that, by the pale 
light of the moon, appeared so richly pic- 
turesque, so artistically finished, are now 
broken, deformed, and thickly- coated with 
dust. The mosques are very much out of 
repair. The bazaars are fast falling to decay 
I should say not let on repairing leases. 
The baths appear to stand in need of fre- 
quent purifying dips themselves. The motley 
crowd of merchants, devotees, fellahs, Copts, 
Turks, Arabs, eunuchs, buyers, and loungers 
are, on the whole, exceedingly doubtful about 
the skin and garments, and I cannot avoid 
feeling a strong conviction that a free appli- 
cation of whitewash and soap would greatly 
improve the appearance of the Cau'o commu- 
nity and their tenements. 

The street I am now quietly pacing along 
is of ample dimensions compared to many 
of the busy thoroughfares. The houses on 
either side appear as though inhabited long 
before the builder had any intention of 
finishing them off. They are the merest 
ghostly skeletons of tall old houses grown 
out of their bricks and mortar ages ago, 
and embalmed, mummy-like, in the dust and 
heat of the city of the Nile. Stretching 
across the entire width of the street, from the 
tops of either range of dwellings, is an un- 
sightly cross-bar-work of bamboos, on which 
are scattered, at intervals of much uncer- 
tainty, fragments of tattei'ed matting, carpets, 
sacking, worn-out garments, and, in short, 
whatever fabric gives promise of shielding 
the passers-by and dwellers in the bazaar 
from the scorching rays of the summer sun. 
It gives to the whole street an appearance of 
having bungling plasterers at work on a 
ragged and extensive ceiling. 

I could rein in my ambling donkey in the 
midst of this most picturesque street, and 
spend a good hour in an examination of the 
passers-by, of the shops, their owners, and 
their frequenters. Why that sherbet shop at 
the corner of the narrow passage, with the 
Italian name over the doorway, the many- 
coloured bottles in the windows, and the 
many-vestured gossipers within seated on 
divans, couches, and easy-chairs, drinking 
and listening to some quaint story or touching 
scandal, are alone a fertile study for a lover 
of the novel and the picturesque. 

But time presses, and I must allow my 
willing animal to amble forward amongst 
camels and water-carriers, gay equipages 
and frightful mendicants. We proceed far 
up this street, and, as if perfectly aware of 
my desire to see all that is interesting and 
characteristic of Egyptian city-life, my donkey 
bears me nimbly and warily through the 
pressing throng, past the dilapidated old 



68 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



dusty mosque, as far as the bamboo scaffolding 
with windows and doors stuck about it, iii 
imitation of a stately warehouse, and now we 
are threading our less nimble way through 
the choked-up, steaming mazes of the Turkish 
bazaar. 

Of all the places of public resort in Cairo, 
excepting only the mosques, this bazaar is 
the most especially Oriental, and strikingly 
picturesque. Of great extent, it is divided 
into many different departments, in each of 
which goods and wares of a particular class 
are exposed for sale. In one or two lanes of 
shops there are only boots and slippers to be 
seen. Further on, mats, pillows, and cushions 
are the articles to be disposed of. In another 
quarter, clothes of every description are 
heaped up and stored in lofty piles. In 
another, jewellery and ornaments in utmost 
variety ; further on, quaint copper and iron 
vessels ; and yet further still, are the shops 
devoted to miscellaneous merchandise. 

I know not which to admire most the 
curious style and fashion of the shops, the 
strange variety of their contents, the pic- 
turesque garb of the many dealers, or their 
Oriental gravity and seeming indifference to 
all worldly matters about them. There is a 
bearded old gentleman seated in great dignity 
on a soft ottoman, cross-legged, like a Euro- 
pean tailor. He is a noble-looking mer- 
chant of fancy articles, tastefully clad in 
ample robes, with a hookah of extensive 
dimensions in his mouth. He is apparently 
a compound of Timour the Tartar as per- 
sonated at Astley's, and the solemn Turkish 
gentleman seated for a number of years 
in the front window of the Cigar Divan in 
the Strand. It is impossible not to feel a 
deep interest in this stately dealer in miscel- 
lanies. His shop is at the corner of a pas- 
sage leading to the bazaar of eatables ; and 
not one of the many counters in the vicinity 
can boast of such a showy assemblage of 
wares as are here stored up in gay pro- 
fusion. 

Slipping from my saddle, and flinging the 
reins to the young Egyptian urchin who has 
charge of my donkey, I make my way to the 
solemn Turk, and, salaaming to him in such a 
way as my knowledge of the East enables me, 
I proceed to examine and admire his mer- 
chandise. An Oriental, whether in Egypt or 
Bengal, will never allow himself to be sur- 
prised at anything, nor to evince any of the 
most ordinary emotion. Accordingly, I do 
not look for any outward and visible signs of 
pleasure, or even of attention, from the 
cushioned, turbaned Mahometan. If he is 
looking at me at all and I feel extremely 
doubtful on the point it must be my shoes 
that are occupying his attention ; for his 
eyes are bent most provokingly downward, 
calmly and immoveably. I roam over his 
long array of articles, from the richer silk 
purses of Persia, and the embroidered slippers 
from Morocco, to the fine steel-work of Da- 



mascus, glistening in the sunlight like Elking- 
ton's best electro-plated wares. I nod my 
head and smile in approval of the goods ; and, 
as a reward for my Frankish friendliness, 
the Turk lifts up his deep dark eyes, mutters 
something in soft Arabic, and motions grace- 
fully to an attendant in the rear. 

In a moment a tiny cup of smoking black 
coffee is handed to me on a rich salver. I 
am too well versed in Oriental customs to 
decline the civility ; besides which, I am 
anxious to ascertain if Mocha coffee so near 
the place of its production, is the delicious 
beverage it is said to be. Rumour has in 
this instance been a faithful chronicler ; the 
coffee is of exquisite flavour, though I confess 
my degenerate tastes desire a taste of milk 
with it. 

Pleased with my ready acceptance of his 
coffee, and flattered by my signs of approval, 
he hands me a richly-jewelled snuff-box, of 
which I also avail myself, though detesting 
snuff, and go.off forthwith into a paroxysm 
of sneezes. Lastly, the mouth of his own 
particular hookah is handed to me. I am 
not usually a smoker of tobacco ; yet, so 
fragrant and so delicately flavoured, is this 
famed Turkish herb, thnt the fumes tempt 
me to some whiffs of wonderful vigour and 
length. 

I wish to depart, and look around me for 
some memento of the time and place. A 
purse, worked in silver lace on a rich silk 
velvet ground, takes my attention. Whilst 
selecting this, my new acquaintance brings 
forward, wrapped in many careful folds of 
soft cloth, a box of curious workmanship 
and rarer materials. Gold and silver, ivory, 
pearls and precious stones combine in its 
construction, and almost dazzle the eye with 
their brilliancy. It is a gem worthy the 
acceptance of princes. The world-famed 
Koh-i-noor might condescend to repose within 
its sparkling embrace. Cleopatra might have 
kept her love-letters in it. Alexander the 
Great could have condescended to call it his. 
The cost of it, I am assured, through an 
interpreter is a mere trifle for an English 
emir to give ; only a few hundreds of pounds 
sterling. But, as 1 have a tolerably vivid idea 
that my spare hundreds will flow in a more 
westerly and practical direction, I descend to 
the purchase of an African purse, much to 
the disappointment of the Turkish merchant; 
who, however, does not condescend to evince 
the slightest emotion, even of contempt. I 
pocket my purse, and depart laden with the 
ordinary stereotyped " Bismillahs," " In the 
name of the Prophet," &c., losing myself for 
another hour or two amongst the strange 
intricacies of rickety bazaars, dusty baths, 
and invalided mosques. 

The day is still blazing hot. The main 
street is more crowded than the bazaars. 
Vehicles of many descriptions are passing 
in every direction, while foot-passengers, 
riders, camels, and donkey-drivers, mingle 



Charles llickens ] 



EXTEACT OF FUNERAL FLOWERS. 



[July 18. 1857.] 69 



in extricable confusion. There are three 
young cadets on Arab steeds, hired at a 
dollar a hour, prancing about in an uneasy 
frame of body and mind. There is a sort 
of hybrid caldche brimful of overland tra- 
vellers, amongst them my companions of 
the Desert, the Tipperary young lady, and 
her tall brown-hatted friend, eating custard 
apples and laughing with true Hibernian 
vigor at the strange scenes about them. One 
of the i young innocent cadets backs his 
prancing steed into a jeweller's shop, and 
plays havoc with the glass-cases. The others, 
flying to his rescue, upset a Greek merchant 
and a brace of Mollahs, or Moslem church- 
wardens, and damage a score of weak-eyed 
mendicants, much to the enjoyment of my 
friends in the calcche. 

Alas, how fleetly the moments pass ! I 
could yet wander for days amidst the by- 
ways of this fine old city, and well employ 
the time. There are quiet nooks and corners 
I could with pleasure dive into. There are 
grey-bearded old dealers, the very counterpart 
of the broker employed by the Christian 
Mei'chant in the Arabian Nights to sell his 
Bagdad wares. One of them keeps just such 
a quiet little place as did Bedreddiu of old, 
where the veiled young lady was so conver- 
satiouable with the owner of the silk stuli's. 
I feel certain that many a good story and 
strange adventure may be still heard at that 
counter. 

But my time is up. Portmanteaus and 
carpet-bags tear me away from my medita- 
tions. Once more we are closely packed in 
vans, tearing madly over a chaos of stones 
and ruts, thankful at length to find our- 
selves steaming down the Nile in a dirty, 
odoriferous tub of a boat towards Alexandria 
and home. 



EXTRACT OF FUNERAL FLOWERS. 

SAID the noble Antony, in his insidious bit 
of declamation over slain Caesar, " I come to 
bury Caesar not to praise him " following it 
up, nevertheless, with a handsome panegyric 
of the deceased. Full of such delusive pro- 
mise are honourable members about to 
trouble the house with a few observations 
reviewers, reviewing not the work at the 
head of their article and certain popular 
divines, mostly dissenting whose "now in 
conclusion," is but taking on horses for 
another weary stage. With which class 
must have claimed kindred the famous 
preacher, whose sixteenth ly and seven- 
teenthly, so distracted Major Dalgetty in 
Argyle's chapel. 

It was over the dead, specially, that such 
holy men were privileged with longest mea- 
sure, and in libraries of old divinity, under 
dust of a century's gathering, such mortuary 
eloquence chiefly abounds. They usually 
come forth upon the world in tract shape, 
with deep mourning border garnishing the 



title page, published, of course, at earnest; 
request of the congregation, and are distri- 
buted plentifully among the friends of the 
deceased. Any one who should take up the 
task of exploring this dismal category, would 
find entertainment (lugubrious indeed), in 
comparing and balancing the various modes 
of "improving" a fellow creature's decease. 
How one reverend panegyrist would dwell 
long and wearily upon the virtues of " Our 
Friend," such being theapproved form of allu- 
sion, tracing him painfully from his mother's 
arms downwards. While another say, Mr. 
John Howe, Minister of the Gospel is so 
busy with his ingenious figures and refine- 
ments, as to utterly pretermit all allusion to 
Our Friend, bringing him in unhandsomely 
at the close, and despatching him in a line. 
Still, if one have but patience patience for 
due sifting and winnowing the result will 
be a fine quintessence, rich in its old, full- 
flavoured English, its quips, and cranks, and 
quaint conceits, turned after the manner of 
ancient Fuller and his brethren. Well 
worthy are such treasures of being rescued 
from their dusty bondage. At the same time 
it will be seen that in productions of this 
class, saving always the stately English of 
Tillotson, Sherlock, and others of their reve- 
rend brethren on the Bench, whose native 
dignity prevented their falling into such 
freedoms, there is to be found a strange mix- 
ture of stilted pomp and unpleasing famili- 
arity, of quotation sacred and profane 
indifferently, of broad political allusion and of 
ingenious similitudes drawn from every-day 
life. A few specimens of this curious man- 
ner of treating a sacred subject may be found 
not without interest, and may pei'haps set 
others exploring this singular vein of litera- 
ture. 

We are told that the Right Worshipful Sir 
Humphrey Lund, Knight, departed this life 
some time in the year sixteen hundred and 
thirty, and over his remains, laid out solemnly 
in state, the Reverend Daniel Featley, Doctor 
in Divinitie, pronounced a funeral eulogium, 
beginning with Seneca. "Seneca," said the 
Reverend Daniel Featley, opening his dis- 
course, " Seneca compareth the remembrance 
of a deceased Friend to a kind of Apple 
called Suave Amarum a sweet Bitter, or 
bitter Sweet. Such is the fruit I am to pre- 
sent you with at this present, partly bitter 
and partly sweet .... Bitter in its appli- 
cation, as it rubbeth your Memorie with the- 
consideration of your irreparable losse of 
such a friend as here lieth before you : yet 
sweet as it presenteth to you his invaluable 
gaine, and inconceivable blisse." Then in- 
troducing his text, he goes on : " Certainly if 
ever wholesome sugar was found in a poy- 
soned Cane : if ever out of a Sinke there 
exhaled a savour of life : if ever a bitter 
Fountain sent forth a medicinall water: if 
ever the Divell's Charmer set or sung a 
Divine Spell, it is this in my Texte : Let my 



70 [July is, I8b7.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



last end be like unto his." Diverging then to 
r.aliiam and his :iss, he touches on the objec- 
tion often made against preachers, that their 
works do not square with their teaching. 
" Balaam turned a Blesser ] how many 
queasie Stoniackes are there that will loathe 
the daintiest meats, if they be served in a 
sluttish disli .... Sometimes svill Men out 
of the evill Shop of their mouth utter good 
Wares. Are there not many (Preachers) 
who like "Watermen looke one way and row 
the other way looke towards Heaven and 
row with all their strengthe to Hell ! . . . . 
God knocketh at the hearts of all either by 
a softer knock the inward motions of his 
Spirit, or by a lowder knock, with the Eod of 
his Afflictions. And if they will give care, 
and albeit they cannot open the door, yet 
give, a plucke at the bolt, or a lift at the 
latch, God will give them strength to open 
it." 

Concerning the excellence of meditating 
frequently on our deaths, Mr. Featley has 
some good things to tell though, perhaps, a 
little too forcible in some of his expressions. 
* It killeth Sin in us, or much diminisheth 
the feare of Death. As the streaking of a 
Dead Hand on the Belly cureth a Tympanie, 
and as the ashes of a viper applied to the 
part that is stung, draws the venome out of 
it, so of the ashes of a sinner we may make 
a soveraigne Salve against Sin, after this 
manner. Art thou Narcissus or Nireus 
enamoured with thine owne Beauty ? take of 
the ashes of a beautifull person, now rotten 
in the Grave, and lay them to thy heart and 
say : Such as these stinking Ashes and foule 
Earth are, I shall be ! Such Thoughts as 
these are excellent Sawces to season the 
pleasures of life, that we surfeit not of 
them." There is need of a commentary and 
notes to Mr. Featley's text, to let us into the 
secret of what was a Tympanie and what 
potency the Mortmain or Dead Hand could 
have in its cure. The nostrum of the Viper's 
ashes savours strongly of the old Hydropho- 
bian remedy ; namely, taking a hair of the 
dog that gave the bite. The Dead Hand, 
too, has taken many healing and supersti- 
tious shapes of which not the least terrible 
was the fearful Hand of Glory. The Reve- 
rend Dan Featley has a stroke en passant 
at suicides which is ingeniously put. Says 
he : "they ease the Devill of the paines to 
fetch them away for they fetch their fees 
themselves, and leape into the Pit of De- 
struction." 

At the Funeral of the Eight Honourable 
and most Excellent Lady, the Lady Eliza- 
beth Capell, Dowager, Mr. Edmund Barber, 
late Chaplain to Her Honour, pronounced 
a discourse which is curious as introducing 
a term with which our English Charivari 
has of late been very merry. Said Mr. 
Edmund Barber, in his exordium: "I shall 
begin with the first of them, the Party 
making the requests," alluding to the de- 



ceased Lady. " Her immediate Father," we 
are told, "was that accomplished and gene- 
rous Person, Sir Charles Morisin." All 
this gentleman's anxiety was for the fitting 
establishment of his children, and especially 
to " find a fit and proper Husband for Her, 
and He (a Person not to be named with- 
out a Preface of Honor and Eeverence ! ) 
the truly Noble and Honorable Arthur 
Capell ! " Having thus bowed low to this 
Person of Quality, Mr. Barber proceeds to 
enter minutely into the life and actions of 
his defunct Patroness for many pages to- 
gether. Making all allowance for the par- 
tiality which Mr. Barber's late office may 
be supposed to have inspired, the Lady 
Elizabeth Capell must indeed have been a 
light before her generation, and have 
been adorned with many virtues. Even 
as Mr. Barber sarcastically adds, " her 
Closet was not, as too many Ladies are, an 
Exchange of curious Pictures, and of rare 
and costly Jewels but a private Oratory as 
it were : " winding all up with this inge- 
nious figure : " Her life, as to outward Pro- 
vidence, was not unlike Joseph's party- 
coloured Garment, a Coat of divers colours. 
God Almighty thinking it beat to Sawce her 
Passover with Sower tarts." 

" Such," says Doctor Megott, in the year 
sixteen hundred and seventy finishing the 
deceased's funeral praises with a line from 
Virgil "Such was this worthy Person; 
who on the twenty-eighth of May last past, 
was taken suddenly and fatally ! in a man- 
ner Quantum mutatus ab illo ! How strange 
was this ! That Head which was the tena- 
cious receptacle of so much usefull Learning, 
is now the stupefied seat of a Disease ! Those 
Eyes which had read through so many sorts 
of Bookes cannot now by any means be kept 
open. That Tongue which dropped things 
sweeter than the Honeycomb, cannot now 
pronounce an ordinary sentence ! That Per- 
son whom so many of all degrees and 
Ranks of People so rejoiced to see, is now 
become a sad and doleful Spectacle." There 
is a certain simplicity about these phrases 
sounding racily in our ears to say nothing 
of the quaint Bathos conveyed in the "eyes 
which cannot now by any means be kept 
open," and the sudden descent from the 
sweetness of the Honeycomb to utter inabi- 
lity to " pronounce an ordinary sentence." 
Thus is " Our Friend " in Doctor Megott's 
hands, made to point a moral being dwelt 
upon affectionately in Poor Yorick ! fashion. 

Another " valiant woman," who must have 
been the very jewel of her sex, and stored 
abundantly with all " vertues," passed away 
some time near the close of the seventeenth 
century, and was magnified on her funeral day 
in a style very quaint and richly Fulleresque. 
It bears the title poetical enough of 
Nature's Good Night, and with this text the 
preacher started : " Weep not ; she is not 
dead, but sleepeth." After which he falls to 



Charles Dickens.] 



EXTEACT OF FUNERAL FLOWERS. 



lJulT 18, 18S7J 71 



ingenious refinings and manifold subdivi- 
sions, so much in favor at that day, but 
which must have been bewildering enough to 
the hearers. 

" The division of this text," said the Reve- 
rend Preacher, "is made to my hands by the 
meeting of this congregation. Three parties 
are visible in the premises which discover 
three parts legible in the words. I mo< The 
Dead Shee ! The Mourners all wept ! 
The Preacher Weep not ! " 

So short a text promised but scanty enter- 
tainment. Yet, how much has the tortuous 
Divine already contrived to extract from it. 
But it will bear further dissection ; for it 
must be recollected that " these parts upon 
review are like those sheep, Cant. 4, whereof 
every one bears twins. In the Dead is con- 
siderable 1 Her Person ; 2 Her Condition. 
In her Person, her age, short ! her sex, 
wretched ! " Thus is the chart mapped out, 
and after a short respite the Preacher goes 
back to take up his first point, forgotten, 
perhaps, by this time, intending " in the 
beginning to speak of a woman brought to 
her death, which is the first Party Shee ! " 
Then is " Shee " introduced and dwelt on for 
many pages, in the course of which occurs a 
strange legal metaphor relating to the great 
Judgment Day viz., " because the Angel 
makes an affidavit that time shall be no 
more." He must have been partial to such 
legal figures ; for, further on he reminds 
them that "the guilty and the innocent do 
lie in like custody, till the great Assize and 
Gaol Delivery." After all, Death has not so 
many terrors, if we but look at it in the 
proper light: for "grant our lives to be >a 
span long, yet is that life but as a span 
forced from a gouty hand the farther it 
reacheth, the more it troubleth its owner." 
Death brings with it sure release from tribu- 
lation and sorrows ; and, above all, what is 
no light blessing, certain delivery from 
ugliness! "For," exclaims the Preacher, 
"how precious were it to those that like the 
elephants loathe to see their own face ! " 
Whether, in a Natural History point of view, 
these animals have such repugnance to their 
own reflection, may perhaps be doubted ; 
but it must have fallen ungratefully on the 
ears of such as were tolerably ill-favoured. 
Different degrees of sorrow for the departed 
some bearing their loss eequo animo 
others " weeping carnation tears " and " pick- 
ling up the memory of dead friends in the 
brine of their own eyes." Not long after he 
falls into an ingenious piece of musical illus- 
tration drawn from Cathedral chanting. 
" Observe," says he, "that Anthem which 
Isay (Isaiah) hath set for a Christian paren- 
tation to be sung at the grave. The Dead 
Man shall live (that is the Leading voice by 
the Prophet) together with my dead body 
he shall arise (that is the Counter Tenor sung 
by Christ). Awake and sing ye that dwell 
in dust (that is the chorus, sung by the 



! whole Quire)." Sparkling here and there, 
are gems of purest water and bright poesy. 
Returning once again to " The Party Shee," 
he says of her finery : " When she spake 
wisdom dictated and wit delivered. She hung 
j her language at your ear, as jewels, much 
of worth in a small bulk ! " With him a 
dream is but " a fairy round of chimerical 
semblances >a dance of phantasies." The 
deceased lady's happy art, in hitting the 
juste milieu of the mode, is also worthy of 
mention : " her attire " being " neither sordid 
nor curions not too early in, nor too late 
out of, fashion counsel worthy the atten- 
tion of all Provincial Lionnes." 

The character of the late Mr. John Moul- 
son has been happily epitomised in a bold 
scrivenery metaphor. "He copied out his 
life the old way of Christianity, and writ so 
fair after the primitives that few now can 
imitate his hand." 

In the year sixteen hundred and seventy- 
eight, the body of Sir Edmoud Berry Godfrey, 
one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace, 
was found lying in a field pierced with many 
wounds. Great was the excitement, as all 
the world well knows, on the discovery of 
this "barbarous murther," and Doctor Oates 
and Master Bedloe being at that time busily 
at work, it was concluded that this must be 
more of the Papists' bloody work. Meantime 
the body of the knight after being exposed 
for some days was committed to the earth 
" with strange and terrible ceremonies," as 
Mr. Macaulay has written it ; and the 
Reverend William Lloyd, D.D., Dean of 
Bangor, one of his Majesty's chaplains in 
ordinary, Vicar of Saint Martiu's-in-the- 
Fields, delivered an inflammatory discourse in 
his own church. On which occasion "Our 
Friend " had a fair share of space allotted to 
him, and the discourse itself has attained a 
questionable notoriety from the fact of a 
Christian Divine choosing so solemn an 
occasion for exciting the party-passions of 
his hearers. 

" He was," says the dean, invoicing, as it 
were, the deceased knight's perfections, 
" born to be a Justice of Peace : his 
grandfather, his father, his elder brother 
were so before him. The two last were also 
Members of Parliament. His great grand- 
father was a Captain, which was consider- 
able in those days Our friend could 

have no great estate, being the tenth son of 
his father, and his father was a younger 
son of his grandfather. So that, though his 
father had a plentiful estate, and his grand- 
father one of the fairest in his country, yet 
but a small portion of these could fall to his 
share." 

Here are genealogical details in abund- 
ance, proving young Godfrey's prospects, on 
starting in life, to have been cheerless 
enough. In spite of such discouragement, 
he attained to high station and honours, and 
to what in the dean's eyes is his greatest 



72 



HOUSEHOLD WOEDS. 



[July 18, 1857.) 



glory for he recurs to it perpetually the 
station of a Justice of Peace. "He was, 
perhaps, the man of our age that did the 
most good in that station . . . He that ought 
to know best hath often said Sir Edmund 
Godfrey he took to be the best Justice of 
Peace in this kingdom." And, further on, 
says the Divine with enthusiasm, " that 
which exceeds all the rest, where the officers 
durst not, he went himself into the Pest 
house to seize on a malefactor ! " 

Having done with particulars of the knight's 
life, the preacher turns now to more serious 
matters : " Methiuks I see you all stirred up, 
as it were, expecting I should name you the 
persons that did this bloody fact. But I 
cannot pretend to that. I can only say with 
David, they were wicked men." Still, though 
this seems discouraging enough, " if you 
would know more, I will endeavour to show 
you how possibly you may discover them." 
There are faithful signs and tokens in such 
cases pointing unmistakeably in the direction 
of the guilty parties. He can help them to a 
few of these. They should take thought of 
" Cassius's word, cui bono ? For whose in- 
terest was it." 

" They must have been some that were not 
safe while he lived," says Doctor Lloyd, hint- 
ing darkly, " or some that might be better 
for his death." It could not have been any 
who bore personal malice against him. He 
was too " tender hearted " for that. " Much 
less were they robbers or any such poor 
rogues that kill men for what they have. 
These did their work gratis .... 'Tis very 
credible that the authors had some other 
interest that moved them to it. And that 
seems rather to have been against the govern- 
ment and the laws." This is something more 
explicit ; but the dean will speak even 
plainer yet. The principles of such parties 
are an unfailing test. " How shall we excuse 
them that hold it lawful to do such things ? If 
there are such men in the world, and if the 
other tokens agree to them, they surely are 
the likeliest that can be thought of for this 
matter." But away with all circumlocutions 
and mysterious hints. It were best now to 
speak out plainly. " Such a sort of men there 
is, even here in England we have them 
among us. I could not but think of them 
when I named the other tokens, and so 
must any one that hath been conversant 
in their books. We need not put them on 
the rack to make them confess. They offer 
themselves. They are the Jesuites I speak 
of!" 

" We thank you, Eeverend Fathers of the 
Society," says the dean warming with his 
subject, "if you were the men that killed 
him, as you are the likeliest, if we may 
believe yourselves : we thank you that you 
did not begiu with the government first. 



That you killed him, not the king. There had 
been a blow indeed. We thank you for not 
beginning with that. Though we have the 
less cause, if your plot was against the king, 
and you only took this man away that you 
might the better cover it." Could anything 
be devised more ingeniously suggestive, or be 
more artfully put than these last few sen- 
tences ? " God still deliver us," continues the 
dean. " from your bloody hands. God keep 
England from your bloody religion ! " 

The only tiling that surprises the dean is 
the wonderful patience and equanimity with- 
which the people of England have tolerated 
these dangerous conspirators. " I cannot but 
reflect," he says, " on the incredible patience 
that was found in you at the Fire of London 
. . . . You then bore patieutly that great 
loss, both of your houses and of your goods, 
And now it cometh to your persons and 
lives, still your patience continues." 

Still, with all these dangers, there is a cer- 
tain consolation and hope, " especially if we 
remember the good Providence of God which 
is the third thing. He that hath de- 
livered me from the bear and the lion, he 
will deliver me from the hand of this Phi- 
listine. We might argue likewise : He that 
saved us in Eighty-Eight, he that saved 
us from the Gun Powder Plot, he will 
deliver us from this cursed conspiracy .... 
Who knows but in the end it may prove a 
fatal blow to themselves 1 This, together 
with other things now under consideration, 
may occasion a fair riddance of all that 
faction out of England ! " There is a certain 
significance in those " other things now 
under consideration," suggesting associa- 
tions of Doctor Gates and Bedloe then very 
busy. 

Finally, the dean winds up and sends his 
hearers home with this comforting assurance, 
" Let them kill our bodies, abuse them, man- 
gle them, as this is or worse : let them burn 
them and throw our ashes whither they 
please. We shall lose nothing by it. At last, 
we shall all meet again in a happy and blessed 
Resurrection ! " 



Now ready, price Five Shillings and Sixpence, neatly 
bound in cloth, 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS, 

Containing the Numbers issued between the Third of 
January and the Twenty-seventh of June of the preseoit 
year. 



Just published, in Two Volumes, post Svo, price One 
Guinea, 

THE DEAD SECRET. 

BY WILKIE COLLINS. 
Bradbury and Evans, Whitefriars. 



The Eight of Translating Articles from HOUSEHOLD WOUDS is reserved by the Authors. 



Publiihe'. t the Office, 3 o. 16, Wellington Street North,Sirnd. I'nutedby IJKAUBUBI & EVANS, \V lutelf iars, Loudo:: 



"Familiar in their Mouths as HOUSEHOLD WORDS" SHAKESPEARE. 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 

A WEEKLY JOUKNAL. 
CONDUCTED BY CHARLES DICKENS. 



- 383.] 



SATU11DAY, JULY 25, 1857. 



( PHICB 2ct. 
I STAMPED 3d. 



YOUR LIFE OE YOUR LIKENESS. 



Tins is a protest against a growing and in- 
tolerable evil to which every reader of these 
lines will unhesitatingly put his name. Every 
body is subject to the nuisance. Some pre- 
tend to despise it ; some are goodnatured, 
and don't care about it ; others are so snob- 
bish and vain, that they positively like it ; 
but all this is no argument why you and I 
should submit to it, or refrain from express- 
ing our disgust and dissatisfaction. 

I mean the pest of biography. What in the 
world have I done to have my life written 1 
or my neighbour the doctor ] or Softlie, our 
curate 1 We have never won battles, nor 
invented logarithms, nor conquered Sciiide, 
nor done anything whatever out of the most 
ordinary course of the most prosaic existences. 
Indeed, I may say the two gentlemen I have 
mentioned are the dullest fellows I ever knew 
they are stupid at breakfast, dinner, and 
tea ; they never said a witty thing in their 
lives ; they never tried to repeat a witty 
thiug without entirely destroying it. I have 
no doubt they think and say precisely the 
same of me, and yet we are all three in the 
greatest danger of having our lives in print 
every day. And not only that which is bad 
enough but we are pestered twice a-week at 
least, with requests to be our own execu- 
tioners, to write memoirs of ourselves, to 
furnish materials for our own immolation, j 
Fancy Smedder, M.D., writing his adventures ! 
Fancy Softlie, M.A., inditing his Recollec- 
tions ! Why, they have neither recollections 
nor adventures ; and the whole reason of the 
application is that we three live in a village 
where, some time or other, in the reign of 
somebody or other, there was a fellow of the 
name of Chaucer, who had some lands here ; 
and our houses are built on part of his estate. 
What does it matter to me whether or not 
this person had at one time the property 
which is now mine : or what does it add to 
the knowledge people may wish to have 
about him, to be told all about Smedder's 
birth, parentage, and education ; or the years 
in which I was baptised and married ? But 
there's a society, forsooth, called the " Chau- 
cerian," and to please the admirers of that 
unexampled poetaster though, confound me 
if I ever read a word of him ! I am to parade 



before all the world, my age, and my wife's 
age (I wish they may catch her in a commu- 
nicative vein !), where my father made his 
money, what he gave for this estate, who 
instructed me in the rudiments of Latin and 
Greek, and who my schoolmaster's father 
was, and whether his wife survived him. 
What right have those inquisitive Chauceriaus 
to know how many children I have, and how 
long a time elapsed between their births ? 
They'll be sending for my marriage certificate 
next, with a facsimile of my wife's wedding- 
ring. 

At another time there was a fellow at 
what period of the world's history not a soul 
in the parish can divine who performed 
miracles every Thursday, with the water of a 
well which none of us knew anything about, 
in the "halig-field above the tannen," which 
none of us ever heard the name of. The 
miraculous gentleman was Saint Snibble, a 
disciple of a person calling himself the Vene- 
rable Bede, whoever he may be, who used to 
cut up his shirt into little pieces when he had 
worn it twelve years without changing ; and 
who, dipping fragments of it into the well, gave 
the water the power of curing all the cattle 
which drank it, of all manner of diseases ; 
and bottles of it were sent to all the vete- 
rinary surgeons in the land. Now there is a 
" Snibble brotherhood," it appears, who are 
gathering up every tittle of information they 
can collect about their chief. They have, 
therefore, pressed me to furnish a sketch of 
my worldly progress, to be published in their 
Transaction:;. The old man lived, I am told, 
a thousand and odd years ago, and what con- 
nection my voyage to New Y"ork in eighteen 
hundred and forty-four, or my partnership 
with Spuddy and Frip can have to do with 
him, neither my wife nor I can guess, I 
remember, indeed, we made a good specula- 
tion in soap, but the saintly Snibble does not 
seem to have been particular in that article 
of commerce ; and surely it can make no 
difference to him whether my eldest daughter's 
name is Mary Anne with two capital letters, 
or Marianne with only one ; and yet that is 
a question about which the society is greatly 
agitated. 

They are jolly fellows, too, those in- 
quirers after the water-cure ! They fixed a 
day to come over and search for the sacred 



VOL. XVI. 



383 



74 [J>-.).v 25, 1887.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



(.Conducted 



pring. and pive me such violent hints that 
some liulo refreshment would be required 
after i heir labours, that I asked the explorers 
to lunch. There were six aud thirty brethren 
of Saint Snibble ; all devotedly attached to 
beer, and cold lamb and salad, and cold 
brandy-and-water and cigars, not to mention 
gooseberry-pies, and stra\\'berries and cre;nn, 
And the result was, that, after a pleasant 
stroll through some of the upland fields, and 
tearing a tew gates off their hinges, and 
breaking several holes in the hedges, they 
returned, as ignorant of the whereabout of 
the holy well as when they came. They 
would have had more success if the object 
of tin ir search had been bottled ale. How- 
ever, they drank my health with three times 
three, and made me an honorary member of 
their fraternity ; with thanks for the promise 
(which I never gave them) of supplying the 
secretary with the main incidents of my 
career. 

Scarcely have I recovered from the biogra- 
phical attempts of these two associations, 
when a letter is put into my hands with a 
seal on it the size of a saucer, with armorial 
bearings enough to fill up the panels of an 
omnibus; and on opening it, I find it is 
another of the same. This time the applica- 
tion is made for a minute narrative of every- 
thing that ever befel me, or my father or 
grandfather, to be inserted with a vast im- 
pression of my family shield in Y e Booke of 

y c Barons of England. Who the 

I won't write the word in full ever spelt 
book with an e at the end of it, or thought 
I was a baron of England 1 And yet it 
appears I have held that exalted rank 
for many years ; aud my father held it 
before me ; for the lands we possess are 
freehold ; and freeholders under the crown 
are barons, though not of parliament but 
barons by as true and indefeasible a title as 
if we were barons of beef, or had signed 
Magna Charta,or had made the king sign it, I 
don't remember which. And all this time I 
have called myself esquire, or even plain 
Mr. But in return for this revelation of 
my magnificence, 1 am to inform the editor, 
Blenkinsop Gwillim, Squire in Arms, Norroy 
Trumpet, and Tabard of Maintenance, to the 
care of Messrs. Spittle and Lick, Mediaeval 
and Heraldic Booksellers to the Brethren of 
Roiicesva-lles, on a variety of subjects of the 
deepest importance. I have mislaid the man's 
letter, but it haunts me yet like the hideous 
and confused thing one dreams of after a 
supper. There is a good deal about 
IKS and griffins ; and one question 
seems to have excited the Trumpet's in- 
terest ID an intense degree ; namely, whether 
I claimed the right to quarter salterwise or 
otherwise ; as a family of the same name in 
Derbyshire manifests gules, "in the first 
grand quarter with two sheep rampant within 
a d< -i re." 

It these persecutions are long-continued, it 



is my intention to sell this little domain. I 
have been very happy in it, man aud boy, for 
thirty years. It consists of a hundred and ten 
acres of moderately productive ground. I 
have a house on it, with a miniature serpentine 
in front, and a lawn trimly kept, and trees of 
my own planting. But, house, and lands, and 
trees, and lake I must leave them all ; hunted 
literally for my life, and driven into lodgings 
to prevent appearing in print as co-parishioner 
with one exploded humbug, and co-proprietor 
with another, and one of the barons of 
England, and I don't know how many cha- 
racters beside ; for there is no end to the 
ities in which I am expected to write 
my adventures. If I had been Robinson 
Crusoe the public curiosity could not have 
been greater ; aud my fear is that, in some 
weak moment, I may be deluded into jotting 
down the exact date of my christening and 
marriage, and waking some morning famous 
among the distinguished personages of the 
day. 

I have mentioned the lake. It covers 
about two acres, and is four hundred and 
fifty feet long. On it I keep a boat ; and, in 
the cool summer evenings, I make my two 
girls, who are both capital handlers of the 
oar, row me for half an hour on the water. 
We sometimes fish out of the boat, but 
never catch anything. This is quite enough. 
A request comes to me for my subscription 
to a new work by a gentleman of genius, 
whom I never heard of before, but who, it 
appears, is author of the Lives of the Sussex 
Coach-makers ; and he wishes me to furnish 
materials for a memoir of myself, to be 
inserted in his forthcoming volume of the 
Lives of the Yachters. I am to tell him at 
what time my predilection of maritime ad- 
ventures first manifested itself; whether I 
have any relations in the navy or the mer- 
cantile service, and generally what I have 
been doing for the last forty years : with 
anecdotes of my neighbours and friends. As 
a further inducement to grant his request, 
he informs me that an illustration to my 
memoirs, consisting of an excellent photo- 
graphic likeness, is already in hia possession, 
a woodcut of which will be the frontispiece to 
my obliging communication. 

This is a greater nuisance than the others. 
The pen it is just barely possible to escape 
from ; you may resolve positively to con- 
tinue as mute and inglorious as Milton if he 
had been a Dorsetshire labourer at nine shil- 
lings a-week ; but, from a set of amateur 
portrait-mongers who catch you unawares and 
make hideous images of you when you 
are quite unconscious of their proceedings, 
there is no safety whatever. There is not 
a summer in which our village is not invaded 
by dozens of those artistical impostors ; 
and as long as they confine themselves to 
cliff and waterfall, or winding lane or dila- 
pidated old church, nobody can blame them. 
except occasionally for a trespass. But what 



Charles Dickens.] 



THE WITCHES OF SCOTLAND. 



I July 23, 1S57.] 75 



are we to say to them, when they avail 
themselves of their portable apparatus, and 
snap you up at your most unguarded mo- 
ments, in your most unbecoming deshabille, 
and stamp you for ever with such insolent 
resemblance of attitude and feature, that it 
is impossible to deny the identity ? and yet, 
so altered in the process, so harshened in the 
expression, so vulgarised in the apparel, that 
you might safely indite the performance as 
a libel ; being calculated to bring you into 
hatred and contempt. At first, I used to 
take these travelling geniuses for professors 
of the thimble-rig, and expected to see them 
produce their peas and other property when 
they planted their three-legged stand in our 
lane. When the mountebank in a few minutes 
threw a black cloth over his head and box, 
I was in expectation of seeing some extra- 
ordinary metamorphoses of his countenance, 
and hearing him commence in the familiar 
strains of Punch and Judy. At that very 
moment he was setting his lenses right upon 
my face ; and, in the twinkling of an eye, there 
was the visible representation of a country 
gentleman, with an expression of the most 
foolish and open-mouthed surprise, which for 
all future time will be a reminiscence to the 
gratified operator of his visit to the classical 
village of Marlydown. 

What right has that fellow to my portrait 1 
I think, I hear the uncomplimentary remarks 
which the wretched animals, male and female, 
his uncles and cousins, sisters and brothers, to 
whom he will show the results of his sum- 
mer's excursion, will make on my picture. 
" What a snob ! " they will cry ; " what an 
ill-tempered looking ruffian ! what an idiotic 
looking spoon ! what a pretentious looking 
old beau ! what a ragged-coated old miser ! " 
For, one peculiarity of the photographic pro- 
cess is, that it admits a thousand interpreta- 
tions of the result of its labours, so that the 
most diverse opinions are expressed of the 
same production and to all this I am sub- 
jected by an interloper who never asked my 
leave or license, and whose foolish head I 
should have broken with my weeding spud 
if he had had the audacity to ask my con- 
sent. The wretch had the further im- 
pertinence to ask the villagers who I was ; 
and he wrote it on a slip of paper affixed to 
his caricature, so that generations yet unborn 
will see Likeness of C 1 1 W Ik ns, Esq., 
Marlydown, Sussex, as he appeared at two 
o'clock in the afternoon of Saturday, June 
tenth, eighteen hundred and fifty-four, by 

me then follows the complacent idiot's 

name. 

Can it be that this iniquitous individual 
is the talented editor of the Lives of the 
Yachters ? or the still more unprincipled 
proposer of a series of shilling biographies 
to be called Notes on Potato-growers, who 
demands a full and circumstantial account of 
all my actions on the strength of my white 
kidneys ? 



These, I assure you, are only a few exam- 
ples of the inconveniences I experience from 
the inquisitive propensities of the present 
age. As to the Income-Tax, I did not like it 
at all, especially while it was at sixteen pence 
in the pound ; but I never considered it half 
so annoying and inquisitorial as the biogra- 
phic and photographic enthusiasts, who worry 
me out of house and home. You paid the 
tax-gatherer, and were troubled no more 
till the ensuing half-year ; but these fellows 
are perpetually on your track. If you are 
somebody, they insist on your insertion 
among the great ones of the earth. You join 
the Wellingtons, Napoleons, Caesars, and 
Alexanders, and are content with your 
fellow-immortals, for haven't you invented a 
new cheese-press, or in some other way been 
of use to your country and species ? But for 
us, us who live forgotten and die forlorn, 
is there no way of escaping the hateful 
confession of our uselessuess, our ignorance, 
our dulness, our stupidity 1 If we are pro- 
foundly conscious of our uuworthiuess to 
appear in the company of the Somebodies, 
is it absolutely impossible to avoid the ne- 
cessity of writing ourselves down among the 
Nobodies ? 



THE WITCHES OF SCOTLAND. 



THE first notable trial for witchcraft in 
Scotland was that of Bessie Dunlop ; which 
was held on the eighth of November, fifteen 
hundred and seventy-six. We exclude the 
execution of the unfortunate Lady Glainmis, 
in fifteen hundred and thirty-seven ; for 
though it has been the fashion to class 
her among the earliest and the noblest 
victims of the witch delusion, she was, on 
the contrary, burnt for high treason ; and 
her death was a political, not a superstitious 
murder. We also pass by the trial and 
execution for witchcraft of Janet Bowman, 
in fifteen hundred and seventy-two the 
Eecord presenting no point of special interest 
and give, as the first of any historical 
value, the tragic history of poor Bessie Dun- 
lop, " spous to Audro Jak in Lyne." 

Bessie deposed, after torture (it is very im- 
portant to observe those two words) that one 
day as she was going between her own house 
and Monkcastle yard, driving her cows, and 
making " hevye sair dule with hirselff," 
weeping bitterly for her cow that was dead, 
and her husband and child who were lying 
sick "in the land-ill" she herself still weak 
after " gissane," or child-birth she met " ane 
honest, wele, elderlie man, gray bairdit ; and 
had ane gray coitt with Lumbart slevis of 
the auld fussioun ; ane pair of grey brekis 
and quhyte shankis gartenit aboue the kne ; 
ane blak bonet on his heed, cloise behind 
and plane befoir, with silkiu laLssis dra\viu 
throw the lippis thairof, and ane whyte wand 
in his hand." This was Thorn Reid, who 



76 [July IS. i7J 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted 



had been killed at the battle of Pinkye 
(fifteen hundred and forty-seven), but was 
now a dweller in Elfame or Fairy-land. 
Thom stopped her, ask nig why she was 
weeping so sorely ; poor Bessie told him 
her troubles. The little old man soothed 
her by assuring her that, though her cow 
and child would die, yet her husband would 
recover; and Bessie, after being "sumthing 
fleit" at seeing him pass through too uan*ow 
a hole in the dyke for an honest, earthly man to 
pass through, yet returned home comforted 
at hearing that her goodman would mend. 
After this, she and Thom forgathered 
several times. Once he came to her house, 
and took her away, in the presence of 
her husband and three tailors they seeing 
nothing to where twelve people were assem- 
bled waiting for her. These were eight 
women and four men, all " verrie semelie 
lyk to see ;" and they were the " gude 
wichtis that wynnit in the Court of Elfame," 
who had come to persuade her to go away 
with them. But Bessie refused. Half de- 
mented as she was, she was loyal to her 
husband and her children, and would have 
nothing to say to a separation from them ; 
though Thom Reid was angry and told her 
" it would be worse for her." Once, too, the 
Queen of the Fairies, a stout, comely woman, 
came to her, as she was again "lying in 
gissane," and asked for a drink, which Bessie 
gave her. She told her that the child would 
die, but that her husband would recover : 
for poor Andro Jak seems to have been often 
in a delicate condition, and to have given 
Bessie's faithful heart many an anxious hour. 
Then Thom began to teach her the art of 
healing. He gave her roots wherewith to 
make salves for sheep or cows, or children 
" taken with an evill blast of wind or elf- 
grippit :" and she cured many people, by 
following, as she said, the old man's direc- 
tions. For instance, she healed Lady John- 
stone's daughter, married to the young Laird 
of Stanelie, by giving her a drink made of 
strong ale, boiled with cloves, ginger, aniseed, 
liquorice, and white sugar : which Thom said 
was good for her complaint " a cold blood 
that went about her heart, and caused her to 
pine and fall away." But she could not mend 
old Lady Kilbowye's leg. It had been 
crooked all her lite, and now, he said, the 
marrow was consumed and the blood be- 
numbed. It was hopeless ; and it would be 
worse for her if she asked for fairy help 
ntrain. Bessie also found stolen goods, under 
Thorn's directing ; and those which she could 
not find, she could at least tell of. Thus, 
Hugh Scott's cloak could not be returned, 
because it had been made into a kirtle : and 
James Baird and Henry Jamesouu could not 
recover their plough irons, because James 
Douglas, the sheriff's officer, had accepted a 
bribe of three pounds not to find them. Lady 
Blair, too, after having " dang and wrackit " 
her servants on account of certain linen of 



which she had been robbed, learned by the 
mouth of Bessie, prompted by Thom, that 
Margaret Syniple, her own friend and rela- 
tion, had stolen it. With divers other like 
revelations. Bessie also received from the 
hands of her ghostly friend a green silk lace, 
which, if tacked to the "wylie coat," and 
wound about the left arm of any woman 
about to be a mother, would facilitate 
recovery marvellously. She lost the lace ; 
insinuating that Thom took it away again ; 
but kept her fatal character for more 
medical skilfulness than belonged to an 
ordinary or canny old wife. She said that 
she often saw Thom Reid going about like 
other people. He would be in the streets of 
Edinburgh, handling goods like any living 
man ; but she never spoke to him, unless he 
spoke to her first : he had forbidden her to 
do so. The last time she met him before her 
arrest, he told her of the evil that was to 
come : but he buoyed her up with false 
hopes, assuring her that she would be well 
treated and eventually stand clear. Poor 
Bessie Dunlop ! After being cruelly tortured, 
and her not very strong brain utterly dis- 
organised, she was " convict and burnt " on 
the Castle Hill, of Edinburgh. A mournful 
commentary on her elfin friend's brave words 
and promises. 

On the twenty-eighth of May, fifteen hun- 
dred and eighty-eight, Alesoun Peirsoun was 
haled before a just judge and sapient jury, on 
the same accusation of witchcraft, and con- 
sorting with the fairy folk. This Alesoun, or 
Alison Pearson, had a certain cousin, one 
William Simpson, who, according to her 
account, had been carried to Egypt by a man 
of Egypt (gipsy) when he was a mere lad, 
and had there been educated in the medical 
profession, in which he seems to have been 
more than ordinarily skilful. Simpson's 
father had been smith to gracious majesty; 
but, during his son's absence in Egypt, he 
had died, for " opening a priest's book, and 
looking upon it," a fact as veracious as all 
the rest of this crazed narrative. Well. Mr. 
William once cured his cousin of some curious 
disorder, thereby gaining great influence 
over her ; which he abused by taking her 
with him to fairy land, and introducing her 
to the good neighbours, whose company he 
himself had affected for many years. They 
treated poor Alison very harshly. They 
used to beat and knock her about till she 
was terrified out of the small wits she 
ever possessed ; and frequently she was 
left by them covered with bad bruises, and 
perfectly powerless. She was never free 
from her questionable associates. They used 
to come upon her at all times, and initiate 
her into their secrets, whether she liked it 
or no. They used to show her how they 
gathered their herbs before sunrise, and 
she would watch them with their pans 
and fires making the "saws," or salves, 
that could kill or cure all who used them, 



diaries l)ickenJ 



THE WITCHES OF SCOTLAND. 



[July 25, 1857.] 77 



according to the witch's will. What with 
fairy teaching, and Mr. William's clinical 
lectures, half-crazed Alison soon got a repu- 
tation for healing powers ; so great, that the 
Bishop of St. Andrews a poor, shaken hypo- 
chondriac, with as many diseases on him 
as would fill the ward of a hospital 
applied to her for some of her charms and 
remedies, which she had the sense to make 
palatable enough ; namely, spiced claret a 
quart to be drunk at two draughts and a 
boiled capon. It scarcely needed witchcraft 
to have prescribed that for a luxurious 
prelate, who had brought himself into a state 
of chronic dyspepsia by laziness and good 
living. Mr. William was very careful of 
Alison. He used to go before the fairy folk, 
when they set out in the whirlwinds to 
plajfue her, and tell her of their coming ; and 
he was very urgent that she should not go 
away with them altogether, since a tythe of 
them was yearly taken down to hell. But, 
neither Mr. William's thought nor fairy 
power could save poor Alice. She was 
"convicted and burnt," never more to be 
troubled by epilepsy, or the feverish dreams 
of madness. 

Nobler names come next upon the records. 
Katherine Lady Fowlis, and Hector Munro, 
her step-son, were tried on the twenty-second 
of July, fifteen hundred and ninety, for 
" witchcraft, incantation, sorcery, and poison- 
ing." Two people were in the Lady's way, 
Margery Campbell, the young lady -of 
Balnagowan, wife to George Ross of Bal- 
nagowan, Lady Katharine's brother ; and 
Robert Munro, her step-son, present Baron 
of Fowlis, and brother to the Hector Munro 
mentioned above. If these two persons were 
dead, then George Ross could marry the 
young Lady Fowlis, to the pecuniary advan- 
tage of himself and his family. Hector's 
quarrel was with his half-brother, George 
Munro of Obisdale, Lady Katherine's own 
son. The charges against the Lady Katherine 
were the unlawful making of two pictures 
representing the young Lady Balnagowan 
and Robert Munro, which pictures two 
notorious witches, Cristiane Ross and Mar- 
jory M'Allester, alias Loskie Loncart, shot at 
with " elf-arrow-heads." But the pictures 
literally images of wax or clay were broken 
by the arrow-heads, and the spell was de- 
stroyed. After this, the Lady made a stoup 
or pailful of poison, to be sent to Robert 
Munro. The pail leaked, and all the poison 
ran out, excepting a very small quantity, 
which an unfortunate page belonging to the 
Lady tasted, and incontinently died. Again, 
another pig or jar full of poison was pre- 
pared ; this time of double strength ; the 
brewer thereof, Loskie Loncart. It was sent 
to the young laird by the hands of Lady 
Katherine's foster-mother ; but she broke 
the jar by the way ; and, like the page, 
tasting the contents, paid the penalty of her 
curiosity with her life. The poison was of 



such a nature that neither cow nor sheep 
would touch the grass where it fell ; and 
soon the herbage withered away altogether, 
in fearful memorial of her guilt. She was 
more successful in her attempts on the young 
Lady Balnagowan. Her " dittay " sets forth 
that the poor girl, tasting of her step-mother's 
infernal potions, contracted an incurable 
disease ; the pain and anguish she suffered 
revolting even the wretch who administered 
the poison. But she did not die. Nothing 
daunted by her failures, the Lady sent far 
and wide, and openly too, for various poisons ; 
consulting with " Egyptians " and notorious 
witches as to what would best " suit the 
complexions " of her victims ; and whether 
her ratsbane, which she often tried, should 
be administered in eggs, broth, or cabbage. 
She paid many sums, too, for more clay 
images and elf-arrow-heads, which elf-arrow- 
heads are the ancient arrow-heads fre- 
quently found in Scotland ; and her 
wickedness at last grew too patent even for 
her rank to cover. She was arrested and 
arraigned ; but the jury, composed of the 
Fowlis dependants, acquitted her, though 
many of her creatures had previously been 
" convicted and burnt," on the same charges 
as those now made against her. 

Hector Munro's trial was somewhat of a 
different stamp. His step-mother does not 
seem to have had much confidence in mere 
sorcery. She- put her faith in facts rather 
than in incantations, and preferred drugs to 
charms. But, Hector was more superstitious 
and more cowardly. Parings of nails, clip- 
pings of hair, water wherein enchanted stones 
had been laid, were all of as much potency 
in his mind as the "ratoun poysoun," so dear 
to the Lady ; and the method of his intended 
murder rested on such means as these. After 
a small piece of preliminary sorcery, under- 
taken with his foster-m other, Cristian Neill 
Dayzell and Marion Mclngareach, " one of 
the most notorious and rank witches of the 
country," it was pronounced that Hector, 
who was sick, would not recover his health 
unless the principal man of his blood should 
suffer for him. This was found to be none 
other than George Munro of Obisdale, Lady 
Fowlis's eldest son. George then must die ; 
not by poison, but by sorcery ; and the first 
step to be taken was to secure his presence 
by Hector's bed-side. Seven times did the 
invalid impatiently send for him ; and when 
at last he did come, Hector said never a 
word to him, after his surly " better now that 
you have come," in answer to George's 
a how's a' with you ] " but sat for a full 
hour, with his left hand in his brother's 
right, working the first spell in silence, 
according to the directions of his foster- 
mother and the witch. That night, one hour 
after midnight, the two women went out 
to a "piece of ground lying between two 
manors," and there made a grave, near to 
the sea flood. A few nights after this it 



78 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted bv 



was January [lector, wrapped in blankets, 
was carried out of his sick hod and laid ill 
this grave ; he, his foster-mother, and Mcln- 
gareach all silent as death. The sods were 
laid over him, and the witch sat down by 
him. Then Cristian Dayzell, with a young 
boy in her hand, ran the breadth of nine 
rigs or furrows, and, coming back to the 
grave, asked the witch, " who was her 
choice 1 " Mclngareach, prompted by 
the devil, answered, "that Mr. Hector was 
her choice to live, and his brother George to 
die for him !" This ceremony was repealed 
thrice, and then they all returned silently to 
the house ; Hector Munro convinced that 
everything necessary had now been done, 
and tint liis half-brother must perforce be 
his sacrifice. In his gratitude he male 
Clarion Mclngareach keeper of his sheep ; 
and so uplifted her that the country people 
durst not oppose her for their lives. It was 
the common talk that he favoured and 
honoured her, said the dittay, " gif she had 
been his wife ; " and once he kept her out of 
the way, when she was cited to appear before 
the court, to answer to the charge of witch- 
craft. But, Hector got clear, as his step- 
mother had done half an hour before him ; 
and we hear no more of the Fowlis crimes 
or the Fowlis follies. 

On the twenty-sixth of May, fifteen hun- 
dred and ninety, John Fiau, alias Cuningham, 
Master of the School at Saltpans, Lothian, 
and contemptuously recorded as " Secretar 
and Register to the Devil," was arraigned 
for witchcraft and high-treason. There 
were twenty counts against him ; the least 
of which was enough to have lighted a 
witch-fire at that time on the fatal Castle 
Hill. First, he was accused of entering into 
a covenant with Satan, who appeared to him 
all in white, as he lay in bed, thinking how 
he could be revenged on Thomas Tr urn bill, 
for not having whitewashed his room. After 
promising his Satanic Majesty allegiance 
and homage, he received his mark ; which 
was found, later, under his tongue, with 
two pins stuck up to their heads. Dr. 
Fian had once the misfortune to be un- 
well, which was translated into a grievous 
crime by the gracious " assisa " who tried 
him. He was found guilty, " fyltt," is 
the legal term, of " feigning himself to be 
sick in the said Thomas Trumbill's cham- 
ber, where he was stricken in great ecsta- 
cies and trances, lying by the space of two 
or three hours dead, his spirit taken, and 
suffered himself to be carried and trans- 
ported to many mountains, as he thought, 
through all the world, according to his 
depositions ; " those depositions made after 
fearful torture, and recanted the instant his 
mind recovered its tone. He was also found 
guilty of suffering himself to be carried to 
North Berwick church, where, together with 
many others, he did homage to Satan, as he 
stood in the pulpit " making doubtful 



speeches," and bidding them "not to fear, 
though he was grim." But the pith of the 
indictment was, that he, Fian, and sundry 
others to be spoken of hereafter, entered into 
a league with Satan to wreck the King (James 
the Sixth) on his Denmark voyage, when, in 
a fit of clumsy gallantry, he went to visit his 
future queen. While sailing to Denmark, 
Fian and a whole crew of witches and 
wizards met Satan at sea, and the master, 
giving an enchanted cat into Robert Grier- 
son's hand, bade him "cast the same into 
the sea, hola!" Which was done, and a 
strong gale was the consequence. Then, 
when the King was returning from Den- 
mark, the Devil promised to raise a mist, 
which should wreck him on English ground. 
To perform which feat he took something 
like a football, appearing like a wisp to 
Dr. Fian, which, when he cast it into the 
sea, caused the great mist to rise that nearly 
drove the cumbrous pedant on to the English 
shore. 

Then he was convicted of again consorting 
with Satan and his crew, still in North Ber- 
wick church ; where they paced round the 
church " withershins," that is, contrary to the 
way of the sun. Fian blew into the lock 
to open the door a favourite trick of his 
and blew in the lights which burned blue 
and seemed black ; and where Satan, as a 
" mickle blak man," preached again to them, 
and made them very angry by calling Robert 
Grierson by his name. He ought to have 
been called " Ro' the Comptroller, or Rob 
the Rowar." This slip of Satan's dis- 
pleasing them, they ran "hirdie girdie" 
in great excitement. At this seance, Fian 
and others rifled the graves of the dead, 
and dismembered their bodies for charms. 
Once at the house of David Seaton's 
mother, he breathed into a woman's hand, 
sitting by the fire, and opened a lock at the 
other end of the kitchen. Once he raised up 
four candles on his horse's two ears, and a 
fifth on the staff which a man, riding with 
him, carried in his hand. These magic can- 
dles gave as much light as the sun at noon- 
day, and the man was so terrified that he 
fell dead on his own threshold. Then he 
was seen to chase a cat ; and to be carried 
in the chace over a hedge so high that 
he could not touch the cat's head. When 
asked why he hunted her, he said that Satan 
wanted all the cats he could lay his hands 
on, to cast into the sea for the purpose of 
raising storms for shipwreck. Which, with 
divers smaller and somewhat monotonous 
charges, formed the sum of the indict- 
ment against him. He was put to the 
torture. First, his head was " thrawed 
with a rope," for about an hour. But, he 
would confess nothing. Then they tried fair 
means and coaxed him, with no better suc- 
cess ; and then they " put him to the most 
severe and cruell paine in the worlde," 
namely the Boots. After the third stroke 



Charles Dickens.] 



THE WITCHES OF SCOTLAND. 



[July 25, 185;.] 79 



he became speechless ; and they, sup- 
posing it to be the devil's mark which 
kept 1dm silent, searched for that mark, that 
by its discovery the spell might be broken. 
So they found it, as was said before, under 
his tongue, with two charmed pins stuck up 
to their heads therein. And when they 
were withdrawn, that is, after some further 
torture, he confessed anything his tor- 
mentors pleased. The next day he re- 
canted his confession. He was then some- 
what restored to himself, and had mastered 
the weakness of his agony. Of course it 
was declared that the devil had visited him 
during the night, and had marked him 
afresh. They searched, but found nothing ; 
so, in revenge, they put him to the torture 
again. But, he remained constant to the last ; 
bearing his grievous tortures with most 
heroic patience and fortitude ; and dying as a 
brave man knows always how to die. Find- 
ing that nothing more could be made of him, 
he was strangled and burnt "in the Castle 
Hill of Edinbrongh, on a Saturdaie, in the 
ende of Januarie last past, 1591." 

Fian was the first victim of the grand battue 
opened to the royal witch-hunter. Others 
were to follow, the manner of whose finding 
was singular enough. Baillie David Seaton 
had a half-crazed servant-girl, one Geillis 
Duncan, whose conduct had excited the 
righteous suspicion of her master. To make 
sure he tortured her: first by the "pillie- 
winks " or thumbscrews, then by wrench- 
ing, binding, or thrawing her head with 
a rope. But, not confessing under all this 
agony, she was searched, and the mark 
was found on her throat. Whereon she 
immediately confessed, accusing amongst 
others, the defunct John Fian or Cuning- 
ham, Agnes Sampson, " the eldest witch of 
them all" at Haddington, Agnes Tompson 
of Edinburgh, and Euphemia Macalzean, 
daughter of Lord Cliftounhall, one of the 
Senators of the College of Justice. Agnes 
Sampson's trial came lirst. She was a grave 
matron-like educated woman, commonly 
called the "grace wyff," or "wise wife of 
Keith ; " and, to her was assigned the doubt- 
ful honour of being carried to Holyrood. 
there to be examined before the king himself. 
At first she quietly and firmly denied all 
that she was charged with. But after 
having been fastened to the witches' bridle, 
kept without sleep, her head shaved and 
thrawn with a rope, searched and pricked 
she too confessed whatever blasphemous 
nonsense her accusers chose to charge her 
with, to the wondrous edification of the kingly 
witch-finder. She said that she and two 
hundred more witches went to sea on All 
Halloween in riddles or sieves, making merry 
and drinking by the way ; that they lauded 
at North Berwick church, where, taking 
hands they danced a round, saying : 

" Cotniuer goe ye before ! cotnmer goe ye, 
Gif ye will not goe before ; commer let rne." 



She said also that Geillis Duncan, the 
informer, went before them, playing on the 
Jew's harp ; which so delighted Gracious 
Majesty to hear that he sent on the instant for 
Geillis Duncan to play the same tune before 
him ; which she did : to his "great pleasure 
and amazement." Furthermore, Agnes Simp- 
son confessed, that, on asking Satan why he 
hated King James, and wished so greatly 
to destroy him, the foul fiend answered 
" because he is the greatest enemy I have," 
adding though, that he was " un homme de 
Dieu," and that he, Satan, was powerless 
against him. A pretty piece of flattery ! but, 
it availed the poor wise wife, little. Her 
indictment was very heavy : fifty-three counts 
in all ; for the most part curing disease by 
incantations and charms, and foretelling 
events, especially disease or death. As she 
went on, weakened in body and fevered in 
mind by torture, she owned to more mon- 
strous things. Item, to having a familiar, 
the devil in shape of a dog by name Elva, 
whom she called to her by saying, " Hola, 
master ! " and conjured away by " the Law 
be lived on." This dog she caused to appear 
to the Lady of Edmistoun's daughters, when 
she called him out of the well, where he lay 
growling, to tell them if the old lady would 
live or die. Then she said she caused a ship, 
" The Grace of God," to perish. For helping 
her in this nefarious deed she gave twenty 
shillings to Grey Meill, "ane auld sely pure 
plowman," who usually kept the door at the 
witches' conventions, and who had attended 
on her in this shipwreck adventure. Then she 
was one of the foremost and most active in 
the celebrated storm-raising for the destruc- 
tion, or at least the damage of the king on 
his return from Denmark ; giving some 
curious particulars in addition to what we 
have already read in Fian's indictment : as, 
that she and her sister witches baptised the 
cat which raised the storm, by putting it 
with various ceremonies, thrice through the 
"chimney crook," and fastening four bones 
of dead men to its four feet. Which processes 
it made infallible as a storm-raiser, and ship- 
wrecker general. She was also at all the 
famous North Berwick meetings ; where 
Dr. Fian was secretary and lock - opener ; 
where they were baptised of the fiend and 
received formally into his congregation ; 
where he preached to them as a great 
black man ; and where they rifled graves 
and meted out the dead among them. For 
all which crimes Agnes Sampson, the grave 
matron -like, well-educated grace - wile of 
Keith, was tied to a stake on Castle Hill, 
and burnt. 

Euphemia Macalzean was even higher 
game. She was the daughter of Lord Ciifton- 
hall, and wife of Patrick Moscrop, a man of 
wealth and standing. She was a firm, heroic, 
passionate woman, whom no tortures could 
weaken into confession, no threats terrify 
into submission. She fought her way inch 



80 [July C5, 



HOUSEHOLD WOEDS. 



[Conducted by 



by inch, using every legal power open to her, 



but she 
demned 



was " convict " at last, and con- 
to be burnt alive ; the severest 



sentence ever pronounced against a witch. 
There is good reason to believe that her 
witchcraft was made merely the pretence, 
while her political predilections, the friend- 
ship for the Earl of Bothwell, and her Catholic 
religion, were the real grounds of the king's 
enmity to her, and the real causes of the 
seventy with which she was treated. Her 
indictment contains the ordinary list of 
crimes, diversified with the addition of be- 
witching a certain Joseph Douglas, whose 
love she craved, and found beyond her power 
to retain. The young wife whom Douglas 
married and the two children she bore him, 
also came in for part of the alleged maleficent 
enchantments. She did the " bairns to death," 
and struck the wife with sickness. She was 
also accused of the heinous crime of casting 
her childbirth pains, once on a dog, and once 
on a cat ; both of which beasts ran dis- 
tractedly out of the house as well they 
miirht and were never seen again. 



once, too, she tried to cast them on her hus- 
band : without effect as it would seem. She 
was also accused of endeavouring to poison 
her husband, and it was manifest that their 
union was not a happy one he being for the 
most part away from her : and it was proved 
that Agnes Sampson, the wise wife, had made 
a clay picture of John Moscrop, her father- 
in-law, who should by these enchantments 
have dwindled and died. But failed to do as 
he was witch-bidden. So that these crimes, 
with others like to them, such as sending 



principal witnesses, Isobel'sown child of eight 
years of age, added a black man as well. 
Isobel, after denying all and sundry of the 
counts against her, under torture admitted 
their truth. In the night time she found 
means to escape from her prison, which was 
the belfry ; in clambering over the roof of 
the church she fell down, and died five days 
afterwards. Margaret was then tortured : the 
juggler had strangled himself : and she was 
the last remaining of this " coven." The 
torture they used, said the noble Lord Com- 
missioners, "was safe and gentle." They put 
her two bare legs in a pair of stocks, and laid 
on them iron bars one by one ; augmenting 
the weight by degrees, till Margaret cried to 
be released, promising to confess the truth as 
they wished to hear it. But when released 
she only denied the charges afresh ; so they 
had recourse to the iron bars again. When, 
after a time, she shrieked aloud, saying : 
" Tak off! talc off! and befoir God I will 
show ye the whole form ! " She then con- 
fessed ; and in her confession included Isobel 
Crawford ; who, when arrested as she was, 
on the instant made no defence, but stupe- 
fied and paralysed, admitted all they chose. 
Margaret's trial proceeded ; sullen and de- 
spairing, she assented to all that she was 
charged with ; when Alexander Dein, her 
husband, entered the court, accompanied by 
a lawyer. And then the despair which had 
crept over the young wife passed away, and 
she demanded to be defended. " All that I 
have confessed," she said, " was in an agony 
of torture ; and, before God, all I have spoken 
is false and untrue ! But," she added, patheti- 



visions, and devils, and sickness, and death to j cally, turning to her husband, " ye have been 
every one who stood in her way, or had ever ; ower lang in coming ! " In spite of her legal 
offended her, were quite sufficient legal causes ' defence, however, she was condemned; and 
of death. And James could gratify both his at the stake entreated that no harm should 



superstitious fears and his political animosity 
at the same time, while Euphemia Macal- 
zean, the fine, brave, handsome, passionate 
Euphemia, writhed in agony at the stake, 



befall Isobel Crawford, who was utterly and 
entirely innocent. The young creature was 
strangled and burnt : bearing herself bravely 
to the last. Isobel was now tried : " after 



where she was bound " to be consumed | the assistant minister of Irvine, Mr. David 
quick." I Dickson, had made earaest prayers to God 

In sixteen hundred and eighteen, Margaret for opening her obdurate and closed heart ; 
Barclay, a young, high-spirited, and beauti- j she was subjected to the torture of iron bars 
ful woman, was accused, together with Isobel ' laid upon her bare shins, her feet being in 



Insh, by a wandering juggler called John 
Stewart, of having applied to him to be 
taught magic arts ; and also of having, by 
sorcery, shipwrecked the vessel and drowned 
the crew of John Dein, her husband's brother, 
with whom and with his wife she had had a 
quarrel a short time ago, ending in her 
bringing against them a legal action for 
slander. Margaret denied the charge : poor 
Isobel, for her part, declared she had never 
seen Stewart in her life before ; though he 
asserted he had found her modelling clay 
figures and clay ships, in company with Mar- 
garet, for the destruction of the men and 
vessel aforesaid. A black dog, with fiery 
eyes, and breathing fire from his nostrils, 
formed part of the conclave : and one of the 



the stocks, as in the case of Margaret Bar- 
clay." She endured this torture " admirably,'' 
without any kind of din or exclamation, 
suffering above thirty stone of iron to be laid 
on her legs, never shrinking thereat, in any 
sort, but remaining, as it were, steady. But 
in shifting the situation of the iron bars, and 
removing them to another part of her shins, 
her constancy gave way, as Margaret's had 
done ; and she, too, broke out into horrible 
cries of "Tak off! takoff!" She then con- 
fessed, and was sentenced ; but on her execu- 
tion she denied all that she had admitted, 
interrupted the minister in his prayer, and 
refused to pardon the executioner. They 
had made her mad. 
We must pass over the scores of witches 



Charles Dickens.] 



THE WITCHES OF SCOTLAND. 



[July 25, 1857-] 81 



who were yearly strangled and burnt on such 
charges as, " casting sickness on such an one 
by means of ane blak clout," &c. ; raising the 
devil ; curing diseases by incantations ; fore- 
telling events ; charming to death, or to love, j 
as the case might be ; sending visions to ' 
frighten silly men and half-crazed women ; 
cursing land with a paddock, or toad-drawn 
plough, &c., &c. Curious as the various trials 
are, we cannot give even the names of the 
sufferers ; witch-finding increased so rapidly 
in Scotland. In sixteen hundred and sixty- 
one, the most fertile and the most fatal year | 
of all, no fewer than fourteen special com- 
missions were granted for the purpose of 
trying witches for the sederunt of Novem- 
ber the seventh ; how many unfortunates 
were murdered on this charge Heaven only 
knows. We have the records of but one 
the Justiciary Court ; and they were tried 
by all sorts of courts, ordinary and extra- 
ordinary. It was the popular amusement ; 
and it would have taken a wiser and a 
braver man than any living at that time to 
have turned the tide in favour of the poor, 
persecuted servants of the " deil." Though 
it was the Catholic Bull of Innocent the 
Eighth, in fourteen hundred and eighty-four, 
which first stirred up the persecuting zeal of 
the godly against witchcraft, yet Calvinistic 
Scotland soon outstripped the papacy in her 
zealous hate, and poured out blood that will 
leave a stain on her history, so long as that 
history shall endure. 

We turn now those crimson pages rapidly, 
till we come to the witches of Auldearne, 
and Isobell Gowdie's confessions. 

It does not seem that Isobell Gowdie was 
either pricked by John Kincaid, the " com- 
mon pricker " the Scottish Matthew Hop- 
kins or tortured before she made her 
confessions. She was probably a wild, ex- 
cited lunatic, whose ravings ran in the 
popular groove, rather than on any purely 
personal matters ; and who was not so much 
deceiving, as self-deceived by insanity. She 
began by stating how, that one day she met 
the devil ; and, denying her baptism, put one 
of her hands to the crown of her head, and 
the other to the sole of her foot, making over 
to him all that lay between ; he, as a 
" mickle, black, hairy man," standing in the 
pulpit of the church at Auldearne, reading 
out of a black book. Isobell was baptized by 
him in her own blood, by the name of Janet, 
and henceforth was one of the most devoted 
of her coven, or compan} r . For, they were 
divided into covens, or bands, under proper 
officers and leaders. John Young was officer 
to her coven, and the number composing it was 
thirteen. They went through the ordinary 
misdeeds of witchcraft. ' They destroyed 
corn-fields ; spoilt brewings ; dug up un- 
christeued children, and cut them into 
charms ; ploughed with toads and frogs, 
cursing the laud as they went, to make it 
barren : they rode on straws, which they 



made into horses, by putting them between 
their feet, saying, " Horse and hattock in the 
devil's name ; " and Isobell went to the land 
of faerie, where she got meat from the 
" Queen of Faerie," more than she could eat. 
The queen was a comely woman, bravely 
dressed in white linen, and white and brown 
clothes ; and the king was a fine man, well 
favoured, and broad-faced ; but there were 
elf bulls, " roytting and skoilling up and 
down there," which frightened poor Isobell 
sorely. They took away cow's milk, too, in a 
very odd manner, by platting a tether the 
wrong way, and drawing it between the cow's 
hind and fore feet ; then, milking the tether, 
they drew the cow's milk clean away. To 
restore it, it was necessary to cut the witch- 
line, and the milk would flow back. Of 
course there were clay pictures of any who 
offended the witches, and therefore were 
desired to be put out of the way. All the 
male children of the laird of Parkis were 
doomed to perish because of a clay picture of 
a little child, which was every now and then 
laid by the fire till it shrivelled and withered. 
As jackdaws, hares, cats, &c., our witches 
passed from house to house, destroying dye- 
ing vats, and beer-casks, and all sorts of 
things, which their owners had forgotten to 
" sanctify ; " and which omission gave the 
witches their power. 

In her next confession. Isobell went into 
further particulars respecting the constitution 
of her coven. Each of the thirteen witches 
had a spirit appointed to wait on her. Sweiu, 
clothed in grass-green, waited oil Margaret 
Wilson, called Fickle - nearest - the - wind ; 
Eorie, in yellow, waited on Throw-the -corn- 
yard. The Eoaring Lion, in sea-green, waited 
on Bessie Bule. Mak Hector, in grass-green, 
(a young devil this!) accompanied the Maiden 
of the Coven, daughter to Pickle-nearest- 
the-wind, and called Over-the-dyke-with-it. 
Robert the Rule, in sad dun, a commander 
of the spirits, waited on Margaret Bodie. 
Thief-of-hell-wait-upon-herself waited on 
Bessie Wilson. Isobell's own spirit was 
the Red Riever, and he was ever in black. 
The eighth spirit was Robert-the-jakes, 
aged, and clothed in dun, "ane glaiked 
gowked spirit," waiting on Able-and-Stout ; 
the ninth was Laing, serving Bessie 
Bauld ; the tenth was Thomas, a fairy ; 
but there Isobell's questioners stopped her, 
and no more information was given of the 
spirits of the coven. She then told them 
that to raise a wind they took a rag of cloth, 
and wetted it in the water, then knocked it 
on a stone with a flat piece of wood, singing 
a doggerel rhyme. She gave them, too, the 
rhymes necessary for trauformation into a 
hare, cat, crow, &c., and for turning back into 
their own shapes again. The rhymes are 
unique ; the only rhymes of the kind to be 
found in the whole history of witchcraft ; 
but we have not space to transcribe them ; 
for Isobell was a mighty talker, and told 



82 [Jill- 25. 185;.] 



HOUSEHOLD WOEDS. 



[Coaductei 



much. Olio- thoir.;'h. slid \v;is nearly caught 
as a bare ; sdie had just time to run behind a 
dust, the dogs panting after her, and to 
say : 

" H:\ir! liair! God send the cair ! 
I am in a hcaris likncs now, 
Bot 1 sail be a \voniau fwiii now ! 
liair ! hair ! God send tliu cuir!" 



which restored her to her proper shape 

again. 

Satan. 

calling 



But. they had a hard task-master in 



little light into the heavy brains of the igno- 
rant and superstitious rulers ; for, though 
even ho Saved not go so tar a 1 * to deny the 
existence of witchcraft altogether like the 
"Sadducees" of England, yet he condemned 
" next to the wretches themselves, those cruel 
and too forward judges who burn persons by 
thousands as guilty of this crime." He 
instanced out of his own knowledge, a 
poor weaver convicted of sorcery, who, on 
being asked what the devil was like when 



He often beat them; especially for j h e appeared to him, answered, "like flies 
him Black Johnnie, which they dancing about the candle ;" and a poor 
wou.d do amongst themselves ; when he woman asked him seriously when she was 
would suddenly appear in the midst of \ accused, if a person could be a witch and not 
them, saying, " I ken weel enough what ye j know it 1 Another, who had confessed judi- 
aiv Baying of me!" and fall to scourging ' cially, told him, under secrecy, " that she had 
them like a fierce school-master with his ! not contest because she was guilty ; but, being 



a poor creature who wrought for her meat, 
she knew she would starve ; for no person 
thereafter would either give her meat or 
lodging, and that all men would beat her 



scholars. Alexander Elder was very often 
beaten. He was very "soft," and did 
nothing but howl and cry, not defending 
himself in the least. But, Margaret Wil- 
son defended herself with her hands, and ' a noT hound dogs at her, and that, therefore, 
Bessie Wilson " would speak crusty with j she desired to be out of the world ; where- 
her tongue, and would be belling at him ] upon she wept most bitterly, and upon her 
soundly;" so that on the whole the fiend ! knees called God to witness" what she said." 
had but a riotous set of servants after all. | Another told him that, " she was afraid the 
Janet Braidhead succeeded Isobell Gowdie \ devil would challenge a right to her after she 
in her madness. Her confession, made was said to be his servant, and would haunt 
between IsobelPs third and fourth, follows her, as the minister said, when he was 
in precisely the same track. She, like her desiring her to confess, and therefore she 
unhappy predecessor, gave the names of desired to die." 

numerous respectable people whom she j A poor woman in Lauder jail, lying there 
asserted were belonging to the various , on charge of witchcraft, sent for the minister 
covens. She even accused her own husband of of the town to make her true confession : which 

was of reiterated acts of sorcery. The 
minister did not believe her, but ascribed 
this confession to the devil. However, the 
woman persisted, and was taken out with the 
rest to be burnt. Just before her execution, 
she cried out : " Now, all you that see me 
this day, know that I am now to die a witch 

thing was euougli for a conviction in those by my own confession, and I free all men, 
days. A muttered curse, an angry threat, especially the ministers and magistrates, of 
a little more knowledge than the rest of the < the guilt of my blood. I take it wholly on 
neighbours, a taste for natural history, an j myself. My blood be upon my own head ; 
evil temper, or a lonely life, anything was and as I must make answer to the God of 
sufficient to fasten the reputation of sorcery i heaven presently, I declare I am as free of 
on man or woman ; and that reputation j witchcraft as any child ; but being delated 
once fastened, then indeed the happiest, as j by a malicious woman, and put in prison 
the most fatally certain, thing for the suf- j under the name of a witch, disowned by my 
ferer was death. Life would have been but husband and friends, and seeing no ground of 
one long martyrdom of want and shame and hope of my coming out of prison, or ever 



presenting her for the infernal baptism ; and, 
as the confession of one witch was sufficient 
for tiie condemnation of all named therein, 
it is mournful to reflect on the number of 
innocent people the wild ravings of one or 
LWO lunatics could doom to misery and 
and a felon's cruel death. Any- 



insult. 



coming in credit again, through the tempta- 



j ne delusion at last wore itself out. The , tion of the devil I made up that confession, 
latest execution in Scotland for witchcraft was on purpose to destroy my own life, being 
tiiat of an old idiot-woman in seventeen huu- i weary of it, and choosing rather to die than 
"dredaud twenty-two ; but even before then, ! to live;" and so died. Even after Sir 
in sixteen hundred and seventy-eight, a sus- i George Mackenzie's noble book, however, 
pected witch had known how to get legal : the witch-fires were still kept burning ; 
redress against some who had tormented and j hundreds of innocent creatures, hundreds of 
pricked her. Sir George Mackenzie, " that : desperate, insane, or ruined wretches were 
noble wit of Scotland," was mainly instru- bound to the stake and burnt to ashes, on 
mental in putting down the horrible phantasy these foul and ridiculous charges. The 
which lay like a curse on the laud, and blighted young, the old, the beautiful, the noble, the 
the whole race on which it fell. His elo- j mean and the wealthy, all were fair game 
quent, forcible, and manly reasonings let a i alike. iTor witnesses, the testimony of a 



Charles DickeiiB.] 



CHIP. 



(July 25, 1S37-1 83 



child of eight years of age was taken against 
the mother ; and a girl of fourteen was 
accused as a professed witch by a child scarce 
out of the cradle. 



CHIP. 



MYSTERIES of all kinds environ the me- 
mory of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, 
the proud favourite of Queen Elizabeth. He 
seemed peculiarly prone to placing himself in 
awkward predicaments by contracting mar- 
riages which, if discovered, were sure to 
bring upon him the wrath of his jealous 
and vain mistress. That he was really the 
husband of the unfortunate Amy Robsart, 
the heroine of Sir Walter Scott's inimitable 
novel, cannot be positively asserted ; but it 
seems a received opinion that he was pri- 
vately married, or else that he feigned a 
marriage to deceive the Lady Douglas 
Sheffield, the mother of his son, who was 
called Sir Robert Dudley. 

The fate of this young man is peculiarly 
sad. During his mother's lifetime, the earl 
became the acknowledged husband of another 
lady, and it was not till after his father's 
death that he endeavoured to prove his legi- 
timacy. Kenilworth Castle was left by the 
earl to his brother Ambrose, Earl of War- 
wick, for his life, but to descend on the 
demise of that brother to Sir Robert Dudley, 
whom he names in his will as his son. It 
happened that he came into possession in a 
very short time, and then, probably from 
some proofs he obtained, resolved to esta- 
blish an undoubted right to the estates he 
enjoyed by his father's gift. 

Scarcely had proceedings been commenced 
than all question was abruptly concluded 
by a special order of the lords and per- 
emptory orders issued that all the deposi- 
tions brought forward should be sealed up, 
and no copies taken without the king's special 
license. 

Permission, or rather a command, was 
given to Sir Robert to travel for three years, 
at the end of which time, in consequence of 
his continued absence, the considerate King 
James seized his castle and estates for the 
use of the crown. Officers were sent down 
to Kenilworth to make a survey, by whom it 
was reported that " the like, both for strength 
and pleasure, and state, was not within the 
realm of England." 

Doubtless, King James sincerely regretted 
that the contumacious absence of the young 
heir of Kenilworth should have obliged 
him to take charge of these estates ; to show 
his disinterestedness he bestowed them, not 
on his favourite Carr, but on his son, Prince 
Henry, who, with his customary nobility of 
spirit, proclaimed his readiness to pay to the 
Desdichado Sir Robert, the sum of fourteen 
thousand five hundred pounds, for his title to 



the castle and domains. The death of this 
amiable and generous prince, the very con- 
trast to his cold-hearted father, prevented the 
payment of the money, except three thousand 
pounds which, arrested by unworthy hands 
before it reached Sir Robert, never bene- 
fited him. 

Kenilworth remained to the crown, and the 
heir was forced to exist on a pension 
granted him by the grand-duke of Tuscany, 
whose warm friendship supported him under 
his severe trials. He was held in high honour 
by foreign sovereigns, and the title of duke was 
bestowed on him by the Emperor Ferdinand 
the Second. He had married before he 
quitted England, a daughter of Sir Thomas 
Leigh, who, for some unexplained reason, re- 
mained behind in England, and died at the 
advanced age of ninety, adored by all her 
dependants. 

She lies buried in the Church of Stone- 
leigh in Warwickshire, with her daughter, 
the sole solace of her long bereavement. She 
bears on her tomb the title of Alice, Duchess 
Dudley, and above her effigies, beneath a 
canopy, are shields of arms to which royal 
jealousy disputed the right of her hus- 
band. 

This is a curious story, and involves 
much mystery. Who was Sir Robert Dud- 
ley ? An entry in a manuscript, at the 
free school of Shrewsbury, tells of a 
certain son of the Earl of Leicester and 
Queen Elizabeth.* Was this son brought up 
i by Lady Douglas Sheffield, whose marriage 
was never proved, and was the Maiden 
Queen, as has been suspected, in truth, pri- 
vately united to her subject 1 

Was this the cause of her disinclination to 
name her successor, and was this the reason 
of Sir Robert's banishment 1 The fate of 
Arabella Stuart, warning the heir of Keuil- 
worth that those who had even a distant 
claim to the crown were never in safety from 
the cruel and crafty James. 

What became of those papers so carefully 
sealed up and not permitted to see the light? 
Did Overbury know of their existence ? Did 
Prince Henry suspect their contents, and did 



* This manuscript, which is well preserved and par- 
tially illuminated, once belonged to a Koman Catholic vicar 
of Shrewsbury, who in fifteen hundred and fifty -five was 
appointed to the vicarage by Queen Mary. He afterwards 
conformed to the Established Church, and held the living 
for sixty years. This vicar, who was called Sir John. 
Dychar, m ight not have been friendly to the Protestant 
queen ; and the singular entry hi his hand on the margin 
of the book may have been a piece of malice. It is, how- 
ever, remarkable that an attempt has been made to 
efface the entry, but unsuccessfully, the first ink being 
I the blackest, and refusing to be overpowered by that 
i which substituted other words, in hopes of misleading 
the reader. The entry runs as follows: "Henry Roido 
! Dudley Tuther Plautageuet, filius Q. E. reg. et Robt. 
| Comitis Leicestr." This is written at the top of the 
[ page, nearly at the beginning of the book, and at the 
bottom there has evidently been more; but a square 
piece h:is been cut out of the leaf, therefore the secret is 
effectually preserved. There is a tradition that such a 
personage as this mysterious son was brought up secretly 
at the free-school of Shrewsbury ; but what became of 
him is not known ; nor is it easy to account for this 
curious entry in the parish-church book of Shrewsbury. 



84 '[July 25, 1S5T.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



Somerset advise the means of concealing 
the knowledge for ever ? 

The Hither of fair Alice, the wife of the 
banished Sir Robert, was Sir Thomas 
Leigh, Alderman of London in Elizabeth's 
time. He bought large estates in this 
part of Warwickshire, and built his 
house on the site of an abbey. It is 
a curious fact that his descendants were 
staunch friends of the house of Stuart, and 
carried their devotion to such an extent that 
they remained partisans up to the close of 
the last century, cherishing a hostile feeling 
towards the reigning family, and dwelling 
on every circumstance which recalled the 
memory of the old. Portraits of the Stuarts 
adorned their halls, memorials of the Stuarts 
surrounded them on every side, and they 
lived in solitai-y gloom, brooding over the 
fate of that ill-starred race, and indifferent to 
the moving and advancing world beyond, 
by whom the Stuarts were gradually for- 
gotten. The last lord fell into a state of 
moody depression, and on his death and 
that of his sister, the estate passed to another 
branch. 



AN ENCUMBERED ESTATE. 



NOT many years ago a very large part of 
the soil of Ireland was under the control of 
the Court of Chancery. Everybody knows 
what an affectionate interest that venerable 
institution takes in all the concerns of life ; 
how it meditates on all the conflicting 
relations of man and property ; how it hears, 
inquires, ponders, doubts, and lingers. It 
may be easily imagined, then, with what 
special fitness it applies its unwieldiness to 
the complicated details of land management, 
and what blessed results must follow from 
the esteemed official method of doing every- 
body's business by deputy. The following 
sketch from my own experience of an 
Encumbered Estate, and how Chancery 
stepped in to set everything to rights, will 
afford an illustration of the system, and give 
one more representation of a phase of Irish 
life which, by no means new in fiction, is 
happily becoming more rare in actual 
existence. 

When a mortgagee or judgment creditor 
wished to get in his money, the owner of the 
lands charged therewith being, of course, 
unable to pay, a bill was filed in Chancery, 
praying that the lands might be sold for the 
discharge of the debts, and that in the mean 
time a receiver should be appointed to 
collect the rents, which were to be applied, 
first, to the payment of costs, and secondly to 
keep down the interest on the encumbrances. 
It was a very rare circumstance indeed when 
any surplus remained towards the liquida- 
tion of the principal. 

To prepare an estate for sale to make out 
the title to take an account of all the debts, 
demanded much labour and often involved 



serious and difficult questions of law, so that 
years were commonly spent on the work. 
The lawyers and receivers profited by the 
costs and expenses, and felt no temptation 
to hurry matters. So it- has happened 
that receivers remained in undisturbed pos- 
session of their posts for many years ; and, 
giowing grey or dying in the service, have 
transmitted the office as an inheritance to 
their sons. During all this time, the unfor- 
tunate owners were ousted from their 
patrimony, and were not suffered to interfere 
in the management. They might sometimes 
attempt to expedite the progress of the 
litigation, but in general they were quiescent, 
mystified by the cloudy terrors of the law, 
or perhaps unwilling to provoke the too 
speedy investigation of a dubious title, or 
which was just as likely as any other reason 
being so deeply encumbered as to be with- 
out interest in and consequently indifferent 
as to what became of the estate. If, moreover, 
the owner, as was sometimes the case, was 
allowed to retain possession of the dwelling- 
house and a few acres of land, he became as 
interested in delay as was every one con- 
cerned except the creditors, who, however, in 
the former state of the law could not help them- 
selves. The measure for the sale of Encum- 
bered Estates in Ireland, and other changes, 
have removed many of the impediments here 
hinted at, and have thereby not a little con- 
tributed to the present and growing pros- 
perity of that country. 

I was once induced to become the receiver 
for a property in Tipperary by a friendly 
attorney, who being concerned for the plain- 
tiff in the cause, stipulated with me that I 
should appoint him my solicitor : also a 
species of plurality now prohibited, but at 
that time common, and productive of much 
abuse. My duties, according to his represen- 
tation, would be of a light and pleasant 
nature, affording the opportunity of making 
a little money by the agreeable method of a 
summer excursion to a pretty country. It was 
Tipperary, to be sure, but this estate was 
of quite an exceptional character, and the 
Tipperary boys, after all, were not so very 
black as it was the fashion to paint them. 

Careless, and full of confidence, I set forth 
to introduce myself to the tenantry, who 
received me with great respect. As I left 
each cottage the inmates accompanied me 
to the next, and when I arrived at a 
remote part of the lands, more than a mile 
from the road, I found myself surrounded by 
forty or fifty stalwart specimens of that wild 
peasantry whose evil reputation had spread 
over Europe. Smiles and words of welcome 
met me wherever I turned ; yet their glance 
was bold, and implied, I fancied, a conscious 
pride of their prowess and their fame. They 
looked dangerous, in short, and I deemed it 
prudent for the present to suppress the lofty 
and severe discourse which I had prepared 
upon the duties of tenants, the rights of pro- 



Chr.iles Dickens.] 



AN ENCUMBERED ESTATE. 



[July 25, !?3M 85 



perty, and the dread powers of the Court of 
Chancery ; inviting them to meet me for 
the despatch of business, in the neighbouring 
town on the morrow, I dismissed the assem- 
bly with a few conciliatory words, which were 
received with applause and complimentary 
phrases, which have as much meaning in low as 
in polite society. " May your honour live long 
to reign over us," and " It is easy to know the 
real gentleman," were current flatteries with 
these proficients in blarney. 

On the next day a few brought money, 
many brought only excuses, which were 
either palpably false or seemed very like 
defiance ; some of the tenants did not ap- 
pear ; but, all who came had a story of griev- 
ance and oppression suffered at the hands of 
their deposed landlord. 

Mr. Bigg was still a young man, having 
inherited the estate from his father while 
a child. Beared in utter idleness, without 
education, and in the unrestrained indulgence 
of every boyish caprice, he no sooner obtained 
full possession of his property than he 
launched into the wildest excesses of folly and 
extravagance. Having quickly dissipated 
the savings of a long minority, he borrowed 
largely on mortgages and judgments ; in 
a few years, becoming unable to raise more 
money in this way, and sorely pressed by 
accumulated embarrassments, he had recourse 
to the last shifts of a cruel and unscrupulous 
ingenuity. He started points of law, broke 
leases, and raised the rents, which he insisted 
on being paid to the day, although a hanging 
gale was the usage of the country ; and if the 
tenants were not up to time,he distrained with- 
out a day's delay and without notice. He 
persuaded them to lend him money, and when j 
rent-day came round would allow no credit j 
for the loan, but would compel them to pay 
or would levy a distress without mercy. His 
horses and cattle trespassed in their fields, 
and he freely helped himself to whatever 
pleased him of their property. So matters 
went on for two or three years, the landlord 
becoming more and more deeply involved, 
his life more degraded and his resources 
more desperate ; for, as the tenants became 
poorer, they grew more cunning, as well as 
sullen and fierce, and it was neither so pro- 
fitable nor so easy to cheat and bully them 
as before. Seeing that these things took j 
place in Tipperary, the marvel ia that the 
harried and plundered peasants did not turn 
on their oppressor. Examples were not want- ' 
ing in their close neighbourhood of a terrible ; 
vengeance for a tenant's wrongs. But whe- 
ther it was that the agrarian code had not 
yet attained to that hellish perfection at 
which it afterwards arrived, or that a linger- 
ing spark of personal affection prompted their 
forbearance, it is a remarkable fact that they 
never Inade any open resistance to his out- 
rages, and never by any overt act resented 
them ; and although many of his proceedings 
were notoriously illegal, not one of the unfor- 



tunate people evar went to law with the 
master. Indeed, the probability is, that so 
sneaking an attempt would have been indig- 
nantly reprobated by the body of the ten- 
antry. It was commonly supposed also, that 
a chosen band of the most reckless spirits 
watched over the safety of the landlord ; and 
this circumstance, or the prevalent belief of 
it, may have deterred any hostile enter- 
prise. 

Like the farmers and peasantry of other 
countries, the Irish are great lovers of 
field sports ; Mr. Bigg was ardent in the 
pursuit of every species of game. A debt 
incurred for topboots and other hunting gear 
was the nucleus of the large encumbrance 
which was the immediate cause or instru- 
ment of his ruin ; the plaintiff in the cause 
of Toby versus Bigg, being a celebrated boot- 
maker and money-lender. Almost to the last, 
Mr. Bigg kept horses and hounds ; and near 
the close of his career of dissipation, it happened 
more than once, while he had no dinner to 
eat and none to help him, that he being 
on his keeping, that is, hiding from the pro- 
cess of the court, his favourite hunter, which 
he cftuld not bring himself to part with, was 
plentifully but stealthily supplied with oats 
by the tenants ; and his dogs were brought 
home to their cottages and shared their 
children's meals. Their landlord had spent 
his boyhood amongst them ; they had catered 
for, and been the companions of his amuse- 
ments, for in the field he was free and joyous 
as in business he was morose and harsh. A 
community of enjoyment is a strong bond of 
attachment, and its influence never wholly 
faded away from the minds of the rough 
but kindly peasants. Master John, they 
called their patron in the wild days of his 
youth; and the same familiar and affectionate 
style of Master John they continued, even 
when most embittered against him for his 
oppression. 

It would be hopeless to attempt a de- 
scription of the confusion into which the 
property had been brought by Mr. Bigg's ex- 
traordinary system of management. The 
boundaries of the farms were unsettled ; the 
lands were full of squatters, many of whom 
had formerly been tenants and had been 
ejected by the landlord. These inter- 
lopers of course paid no rent, and were 
omitted from the rental, or list of tenants 
and farms, which the owner gave in for my 
use and guidance as receiver. This docu ment 
also contained a statement of the arrears 01 
rent due, and, as might be expected, made 
no mention of the monies which many of the 
tenants had advanced in the name or under 
the pretence of fines and loans ; and in most 
cases there was a suppression of the agreement 
to grant leases in consideration of these 
advances. Utterly vain was the effort to 
arrange such complicated accounts, or to 
reconcile the reclamations of the tenants 
with the obstinate demands of the landlord. 



86 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



In tliose days tlie Court of Chancery seldom 
abated rents, or remitted arrears, and was 
slow to adopt any unusual steps in the con- 
duct of the affairs of an estate, unless with 
the consent of the inheritor, or owner. In 
this case, the inheritor would consent to 
nothing ; with a proper amount of vigour 
and activity on the part of the receiver, all 
arrears could easily be got in. After this 
hint of what I was to expect if I should 
betray a weak compassion for the poor 
tenants, or any sickly distaste for the task 
appointed me of grinding them to the dust, 
1 steeled my resolution and buckled on my 
armour for the crusade against the rebellious 
vassals of Riggballyrann. 

1'assive resistance was the order of the 
day throughout the estate. .Not only 
those were recusants, who had reason to 
think' they had been cheated or oppressed ; 
but, the few who had no real grievance to 
allege, taking advantage of the general dis- 
order, set up fictitious claims, and played to 
admiration the obstreperous martyr to land- 
lord cruelty. For two years the contest 
raged, maintained on one side by a whole 
army of bailiffs and other minions of the 
law, by perpetual seizures of crops and 
cattle, public cants or sales by auction, by 
civil bill-processes (actions in the County 
Court), and by writs of attachment issuing 
from Chancery, and obstinately encountered 
on the other part by rescues, hiding from 
the officers of justice, making away with 
crops by night, by the occasional thrashing 
of an \inlucky bailiff after making him dine 
on his own process, and by the exercise of 
every species of evasion, in all the manifold 
varieties of trickery, which the native inge- 
nuity of Tipperary-boys and the practised 
craft of quarter-sessions attorneys could sug- 
gest. A certain excitement was not wanting 
to this chaos of embroilment ; but after a 
while, the inglorious strife began to weary 
me, and I was disgusted by the loss of 
time and the smallnesa of profit ; for the 
amount of rent received was small, and the 
labour was considerable. Meanwhile, the 
expenses to the estate were very great, for, 
in addition to the forces kept on foot and 
parallel with the movements in the field, a 
series of proceedings was i-arried on in the 
Master's Office in Dublin, by the machinery 
of what are called statements of facts, con- 
taining reports of our doings in the country, ! 
and recommendations of new measures to be ; 
adopted. These often provoked opposition 
from the owner or the creditors ; ami nume- 
rous attendances and much debates ensued, 
to the huge pleasure and advantage of the 
professional gentlemen engaged. 

There were five brothers named Martin, i 
occupying, on a remote part of the property, 
as many farms, which originally formed one 
holding of about one hundred and forty 
acres, and had been in possession of their 
father under a lease from Mr. Rigg's prede- 



cessor. This lease, Mr. Pugg cancelled, 
alleging that the division amongst the five 
sons had wrought a forfeiture, lie consider- 
ably increased the rents, and then promised 
them separate leases, provided each paid him 
in advance a sum equal to a year's rent, 
which was to be allowed in the last year of 
the term. Having received the money, he 
evaded the execution of the leases, and dis- 
trained regularly every half-year for the 
rent. In his sworn rental, he entered them 
as tenants from year to year, and made no 
mention of the. promised leases or of the 
sums which they had advanced ; and when 
asked by me for an explanation, he repudiated 
the transaction altogether, declaring, that 
the money had been given for the goodwill 
on their entering their farms. The receipts 
were so vaguely worded as to throw no light 
on the matter ; the old lease had been givn 
up to the landlord, who destroyed it, and the 
unfortunate Martins had no documentary 
evidence of the agreement. They refused 
to pay any rent, unless the leases were 
granted, which the Court could not do ; or 
unless they were repaid their advances, which 
Mr. Rigg neither would nor could do. And 
so they were left to the mercy of the law, 
and the extreme rigour of the Court, which 
it was my duty to enforce. 

These Martins were all tall and athletic 
men, with dark eyes and a quick and lively 
expression. They were above the order of 
peasants, and two of them were the hand- 
somest specimens I had seen of that physi- 
cally noble race. The beauty of their children 
was quite remarkable, and the occasional 
gifts of pence and toys, which I bestowed on 
them, quickly won their favour, which was 
not without its influence on the parents, 
with whom I was more popular than the 
unpleasant nature of rny business with them 
led me to expect. On my first visit, I was 
warmly received ; they hoped now to have 
justice ; they told me their story, expressing 
a wish to live at peace, for they had been 
sorely harassed. Nevertheless, they would 
pay no rent, as they had not got the leases, 
nor been allowed the money they had 
advanced. I distrained the corn in their 
haggards ; but, in order to save the expense 
of bailiffs and keepers, they were persuaded 
to give security for its production on the day 
of sale. The auction was attended only by 
themselves and a few neighbours, who bought 
at fair prices, of course, in trust for the JV1 ar- 
tins ; and all passed off quietly. They had 
not yet abandoned all hopes of a settlement, 
and were unwilling prematurely to provoke 
a rupture. 

Six months afterwards, having failed to 
arrange their accounts, the. land lord refusing 
to yield, I paid the Martins another visit, and 
found them civil, but on the subject of rent 
intractable. They would never pay a penny, 
nor give up their farms I might do as I 
pleased. There was an ominous air of pre- 



Charles Dickens.] 



AN ENCUMBERED ESTATE. 



[July25,lS67.1 87 



paration and precaution about them ; the 
houses were closely shut up ; the doors and 
windows were fastened, and were opened 
only on my word of honour that I would not 
distrain. Look-out men were posted at the 
stiles and on the slope of the hill to pass the 
signal of any hostile demonstration ; and the 
cattle had been driven on the lauds. Finding 
the Martins inexorable, I gave them notice 
that I must proceed to extremities ; and 
coming on the next day with bailiffs, I seized 
whatever we could lay hands on, which was 
but little in addition to the growing crops, 
which at that time might be taken in distress. 
On this occasion keepers were placed in 
charge until the sale could take place, four- 
teen days later. They slept on their post, 
were made drunk, and the neighbours 
assembled, and, by the light of a brilliant 
harvest moon, reaped the corn and carried it 
off the lands, where I could not follow it : 
although rumour and suspicion traced it to the 
barns of a certain justice of the peace, living 
not far away, and who scarcely thought it 
necessary to deny his complicity in this 
contempt of law. The thing was notorious 
enough, but evidence could not be obtained, 
though matter was gleaned to furnish another 
statement of facts and another bill of costs. 

The auction of what goods were left was 
attended by crowds of people, plainly bent 
on preventing any purchases being made ; 
and accordingly the lots were, one after the 
other, knocked down for a few pence to 
friends of the Martins, and of course for 
them. I made one or two biddings on my 
own account ; but, finding myself declared the 
buyer, for ten shillings, of a huge clamp of | 
turf (or peat) about a quarter of a mile long, 
which it would be impossible to dispose of, I 
gave up speculation, and let things take their 
course. The sale barely paid the expenses, 
and clearly showed the determination of the 
people to back the Martins in their contu- 
macy. 

This sketch would be imperfect if it did 
not contain some notice of the peculiar class 
of bailiffs, keepers, or sheriff's-men, which 
these agrarian wars created and fostered. 
You might as well paint the knight without 
his squire, as separate the receiver and his 
bailiff. I was obliged to employ several of 
these gentry. The principal of the gang was 
a young man of a tall and slight figure, but 
wiry aud athletic. His arms were of un- 
usual length, muscular, and strong ; his eyes 
were bloodshot, and had a stealthy look 
which avoided your gaze, but with any 
excitement they would flash with a cruel and 
dangerous expression. He had been recom- 
mended to me as the greatest ruffian in 
Tipperary. Indeed, none but a ruffian could 
efficiently perform the duties required of 
him ; and his fidelity was in some measure 
assured by the fear and detestation with 
which he was regarded by the people. 
Humour ascribed to him many desperate and 



ruthless deeds ; and he was supposed to feel 
little scruple to shed blood in self-defence, or 
in the execution of his orders. Having once 
been set upon, he slew one of his assailants, 
and wounded two or three more. Such was 
the fame of this and other exploits, and such 
the terror of his prowess, that this man, 
hated as he was, could pass alone and unmo- 
lested by day or night through the most 
disturbed districts ; as the crowd retired 
from his path in the market-place, a grim 
pride in the awe which his presence inspired 
would kindle a baleful light in his eye, at 
which the bystanders would shudderingly 
cross themselves. He had no associates 
except his near relatives and his professional 
colleagues, and was not afraid to occupy a 
lonely cottage in a wood, half a mile from the 
town, and without another habitation near. 
At the time I made his acquaintance he 
was, I suspect, becoming weary of this 
estrangement from his kind, and was not 
unwilling to come to terms with those whom 
he had hitherto despised and defied. I fancy 
there was an understanding between him and 
the peasantry, by virtue of which he played 
into their hands, and gave them secret in- 
formation. Yet when extreme measures 
could no longer be evaded, or if his blood 
was up, the fierce and savage spirit revived 
within him, and he was as reckless and as 
cruel as of old. While in my employment, 
however, I believe he consistently betrayed 
me throughout ; and although opportunities 
were not wanting, he did not display that 
daring and animosity to the peasant class 
which had made his reputation. I felt he 
was not to be depended on, in a moment of 
danger. 

One of the Martins had struck and fright- 
ened away a keeper, and his offence having 
been duly reported in a statement of facts, 
writ of attachment, nominally for non-pay- 
ment of his rent, issued against him ; and, by 
dint of much pressing and threatening, the 
dilatory Sheriff was at length successful in 
arresting him. On being brought before the 
magistrates at petty session, they thought 
proper to let him go without bail, on his 
promise to appear on a future day. Peter, 
however, neither paid his rent nor obeyed 
the summons to go to gaol ; whereupon the 
constabulary were ordered to take him ; but 
they were not over-zealous in their search, 
and gave me to understand that they had 
positively ascertained he had left the country. 
Shortly afterwards, however, in one of my 
visits to the lands, I observed the fugitive 
riding leisurely along the slope of the oppo- 
site hill, about a quarter of a mile off. Ke- 
turning hastily to the town, I informed the 
sub-inspector of police of what I had seen, 
and called upon him to do his duty, warning 
him of the serious consequences of further 
neglecting the orders of the Court. With 
some confusion and prodigious bustle, he 
summoned his horse and a party of his men, 



88 



[Conducted by 



and galloped away in pursuit : but the bird 
had flown. Peter fled iu earnest this time, 
and was never seen again in the neighbour- 
hood. 

\Ve had wholly failed to subdue the con- 
tumacy of the tenants. No rent was paid ; 
and the writs and orders of the Court of 
Chancery were disregarded, not only by the 
peasantry, but by the magistrates and police 
alike. Whether this was owing to the slow 
and unwieldy nature of the powers of the 
Court, or from sympathy with the tenants, 
and dislike of such a character as Mr. Rigg, 
it is not easy to determine. The Master, 
however, was of opinion on a new statement 
of facts, and after much discussion by counsel 
for all parties in the suit that such systema- 
tic and continued disobedience and contempt 
of authority demanded unusual remedies. 
He 'therefore directed a case to be laid 
before the attorney-general, who advised that 
the receiver should report the misconduct of 
the constabulary to the authorities at the 
Castle, and that I should bring an action 
against the magistrates who had discharged 
the prisoner without bail. I flatly refused to 
do either the one or the other. It was my bu- 
siness to collect the rents ; and trouble and 
danger enough did this bring me, without 
thrusting my hand into another hornets' 
nest. Were I to attack the police and magis- 
trates, as suggested, they would, of course, 
become deeply interested in probing and 
sifting every part of my proceedings, to dis- 
cover some flaw or irregularity which might 
release them from responsibility, and over- 
whelm me. However, on its being repre- 
sented to the Master that the contemplated 
proceedings would be expensive, and that 
there were no funds available, he authorised 
me to wait until I should get in some money ; 
but we always so timed our statement of 
facts, and so calculated the costs, that there 
never was a penny in hand for so dangerous 
an object. 

The affair, however, began to look serious. 
The creditors had not yet been paid a frac- 
tion, the tenants were in open rebellion, and 
the unprofitable contest seemed likely to last 
for ages. There was much grumbling amongst 
the parties to the cause ; the owner and 
others talked of holding the receiver account- 
able ; and my sureties becoming uneasy, 
besought me to resign the office. This was 
now neither safe nor practicable. It was 
necessary that I should first signalise my 
zeal by some strenuous effort, which should 
disarm opposition and bring me in triumph 
" through the office." 

Meditating a coup-de-main, I set out once 
more for the country. The tenantry were 
prepared for me, and as soon as I arrived in 
the neighbourhood, messengers (as I after- 
wards learned) scampered off in all directions 
with the news. I followed immediately with 
ruy bailiffs. A portion of the estate covered 
the slopes of two gently rising hills, which 



commanded a view of the road that ran in 
the bottom of the valley. No sooner were 
our cars descried, though still a mile distant, 
than horns began to blow, and men were 
seen hastening to the spot from all sides. 
We dashed on with speed, but were only in 
time to see men on horses, without saddle or 
bridle, riding wildly about the fields, and 
driving the cattle madly before them. The 
ploughman left his plough in the furrow ; 
the carter abandoned his vehicle in the lane ; 
mounting their beasts in hot haste, they all 
galloped away. We found solitude and deep 
stillness, where all had been life and hurry a 
minute before. The houses were shut up, 
and not a soul was to be seen ; we withdrew, 
baulked in our enterprise, and crest-fallen at 
our failure. 

Next day I left the town, allowing the re- 
port to circulate that I had returned to Dublin. 
Making a considerable circuit, I reached 
another town about ten miles distant, where I 
I remained quiet for four or five days. Setting 
out on the sixth day at sunrise, I met a 
strong force of bailiffs and helpers, by ap- 
pointment. It was a lovely summer's morn- 
ing when we drew near the lands, not by the 
high-road, but across the fields at the bottom 
of the hill, where an enemy's approach would 
be least expected. All was still in the land- 
scape ; the smoke of the lighting fires in the 
houses rose high and straight in the dewy 
air ; the cattle thickly studded the pastures, 
and a rich booty seemed at last within our 
toils. Spreading my men across the meadows, 
some scores of fine cows and oxen were 
speedily collected together and driven along 
a boreen, or by-road, which led from the 
bog to the highway. In less than half-an- 
hour we were within a hundred yards of the 
road, and were congratulating ourselves on a 
complete and easy success, when suddenly the 
rude blast of a horn smote our ears, followed 
by loud cries and screams ; we then beheld 
the houses burst open, and men and women 
rushing forth, many of them half-dressed, 
and scrambling down the steep hills to place 
themselves in front of the herd, where they 
were about to debouch on the road. Hasten- 
ing to the van, I found a mob blocking up 
the path, and with voice and sticks turning 
back the cattle, which, pressed both in front 
and rear, became frantic with terror, and, 
rushing madly to and fro, overturned some of 
the drivers, and in spite of all our efforts 
contrived to escape by plunging through the 
hedges or leaping over the walls which lined 
the lane. A huge fellow, with a face as 
black as a smith's ought to be, and in his 
shirt, was conspicuous as he roved about, 
wielding a great club and bellowing like 
a bull of Bashan. Accosting him, I said 
he was committing a breach of the peace, 
and menaced him with the penalties of the 
law. 

" To hell with you and the law," was his 
sole reply, as he whirled his stick around his 



Charles Dickeni.] 



BOULOGNE WOOD. 



[July 25, 1357.] 89 



head. I saw it descending on my skull, 
and gave myself up for lost, when the wife 
of Tim Mai tin, who from the top of the wall 
had been vociferously abusing us, suddenly | 
jumped from her perch, and pushed aside my | 
giant assailant, so that his mighty stroke fell 
on the empty air. 

" Mind the black heifer, Simon," she cried 
to the blacksmith, " she'll be out on the 
road. While he went oif in chace of the 
wanderer, Mrs. Martin seized me by the arm, 
and leading me through a gap in the oppo- 
site hedge, whispered, "Be off with you, 
sir, be off with you ; some of these strangers 
will kill you ; we can't be sure of them, you 
know, sir, and it's better for you to go at 
once." 

She seemed anxious to convince me that 
none of the people who knew me would do 
me any harm, but this forbearance did not ex- 
tend to my men, against whom the women 
were very violent. Lining the walls and 
ditches, they waved their arms and shouted 
at the cattle, then turned to scold us with 
every epithet that rage suggested. Some 
of them had stones tied up in the corners of 
their aprons, with which they gave one or 
two of the bailiffs smart blows enough. In- 
deed, the latter were particularly afraid of 
these Amazons, and fled without shame from 
the sweep of the loaded apron. The horns 
blew without ceasing ; many shots were fired, 
and the crowd continued to increase. The 
cattle were hopelessly dispersed, galloping 
wildly across the country, still urged by 
terror. Seeing that my force was too small 
to cope with the angry people and unwilling 
to provoke a further collision, which might 
lead to bloodshed, I followed the advice of 
my protectress, who still remained near me 
on the safer side of the ditch, and collecting 
my men I retired across the fields, amid the 
jeers and hooting of the crowd, and pursued 
by a shower of stones, and a general dis- 
charge of fire-arms. 

We went at once to the nearest justice 
of peace, and lodged informations for the 
assault and rescue. The valiant chief bailiff 
made an affidavit breathing fire and slaughter. 
The mob, according to him, consisted of 
several hundreds, roaring for our blood ; 
many shots, he swore, were aimed at me ; 
he saw them putting pebbles taken from the 
ground into their guns, instead of balls ; and 
two bleeding heads, and three or four limp- 
ing legs amongst the helpers gave the affair 
a very serious aspect, so that much corre- 
spondence ensued between the magistrates, 
the police, and the Castle. 

But, nothing came of it. and not one of the 
people ever suffered punishment for his 
share in the illegal proceedings of that day. 
This impunity was doubtless due to the re- 
markable blindness of my men, who, although 
living- in the neighbourhood, and necessarily 
knowing the whole population well, never 
saw or recognised the faces of any of 



the rioters. Even those with whom they 
had closely grappled and struggled were so 
disguised that their mothers would not know 
them. They could only remember the 
names of the women who were making peace, 
and they could not, or would not, identify 
one of the rioters. Simon the smith I 
might recognise, but he kept out of the way, 
and the threatened prosecutions fell to the 
ground. 

As for me, I had done enough. One more 
triumphant statement of facts, describing 
my adventure, in language as glowing as the 
technical nature of these crabbed documents 
would admit, and enlarging on the peril I 
had incurred in the discharge of my duty, 
and in vindicating the authority of the Court, 
put to silence the cavils and the grumbling 
of the discontented creditors and the angry 
inheritor, and even won a panegyric on my 
zeal from the caustic old Master. In the 
eclat of this success, I obtained leave to re- 
sign the receivership at the expense of the 
estate, and went no more to Eiggballyrann. 

The Martins, as I afterwards heard, held 
out for two years longer ; and then the five 
families went to America with the money 
which should have gone to the landlord, or 
rather to his creditors, aided by the consider- 
able sums, amounting to three or four years' 
rent, which they received for the good-will, 
or tenant-right of their farms from other 
tenants of the lands, who themselves paid no 
rent ; and, who, while thus purchasing new 
acquisitions, pleaded poverty as the excuse 
for their default. The property became more 
and more steeped in pauperism and disorder, 
until at length it was cleared out by famine 
and emigration. It was ultimately sold in 
the Encumbered Estates Court, for about one 
third of its value, and has since become dis- 
tinguished for tranquillity and good farm- 
ing. Mr. Rigg has vanished, no one can tell 
where ; his name, and family, and I trust his 
example, are now unknown in Tipperary. 



BOULOGNE WOOD. 



THE Bois de Boulogne is now the most 
beautiful park possessed by the Parisians. 
It is situated to the north of the capital, at 
the distance of about a mile from the Bar- 
ridrede 1'Etoile. 

The Forest of Rouvray, a portion of which is 
now called the Bois de Boulogne, was, of old, a 
small peninsula formed by an arm of the river 
Seine. Although the first official recognition 
of its existence appeared in a document 
issued by Louis the Eleventh, appointing 
Olivier le Daim, his barber, Grand Master of 
the Woods and Forests of France, the Forest 
of Rouvray holds a prominent place in the 
chronicles of prior kings. As far back as the 
commencement of the thirteenth century, 
several rich citizens of Paris resolved (as two 
train-loads did only the other day) to expiate 
their sins by making a pilgrimage to a chapel 



90 [JulyJ*. 1S57J 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted bj 



containing a celebrated image of the Virgin at 
Boulogne-sor-Mar. On tlieir return, wishing 
to hand down to posterity a remembrance of 
their pious zeal, they determined to build 
a chapel on a site possessed by one of them 
in the Forest of Rouvray. exactly similar to 
the one they had visited. On application to 
the king, the royal permission was speedily 
granted. When the ch;ipel was built, the 
immense concourse of pilgrims made it neces- 
sary to provide accommodation for them 
in the vicinity. A little village arose in ; 
course of time, and received the name of; 
Boulogne. Charles the Fifth, a few years j 
afterwards, had summer residences built for ; 
himself and court at a short distance from 
Autolium, on the side nearest to Paris. This 
group of houses formed the nucleus of the 
village of Passy. From its proximity to the 
capital, and on account of the excellent hunt- ! 
ing ground it afforded, the Forest of Rouvray 
became one of the favourite resorts of suc- 
cessive French kings. Chateaux were built 
and roads were made for their convenience 
and pleasure. Gradually, the three little 
villages increased in size, to the diminution 
of the forest ; which at length was reduced 
to the proportions of a wood, with the name 
of the Bois de Boulogne. 

Napoleon Bonaparte was the first monarch 
who made plantations in the Bois de Bou- 
logne. The green of pines, firs, cedars, cy- 
presses, and junipers was arranged to contrast 
agreeably in winter with the brown solemnity 
of oaks, elms, and limes, and the silvery baric 
of beeches. The wall which surrounded the 
wood was rebuilt, and keepers were appointed 
to drive away footpads and vagabonds. During 
the successive occupations of Paris by the 
allies in eighteen hundred and fourteen and 
fifteen, nearly all the trees in the Bois de Bou- 
logne were cut down and used as fire-wood. 
Iii June, eighteen hundred and fifty-four, the 
Bois de Boulogne was given over by the state 
to the city of Paris, on condition that it 
should be made into a park, and at least two 
millions of francs spent, within four years, 
upon its embellishment. Napoleon the Third, 
it is said, drew out a plan of the alterations, 
and confided its execution to M. Vare, a cele- 
brated French landscape gardener : leaving 
him full liberty, however, to modify it if 
necessary. We shall presently see with what 
success their labours have been attended. 

The most important edifice in the Forest 
of Rouvray for many centuries was the Con- 
vent of Longchamps. This convent was 
founded in the year twelve hundred and sixty 
by Isabella, the sister of Louis the Ninth. 
At her death, which occurred in twelve hun- 
dred and seventy, she was dressed in the 
robe of Saint Frangois and buried in the 
chapel of the convent. Saint Louis followed 
Isabella to the grave, and afterwards de- 
livered a discourse full of condolence for the 
loss which the community had sustained. 
Agnes d'Uarcourt, the third Abbess of Long- 



champs, published the life of Isabella, and 
declared that numerous miraculous cures 
had been effected through her intercession. 
The announcement of these miracles at- 
tracted immense crowds to Longchamps for 
more than two centuries, and the belief in 
them became so universal that Pope Leon 
the Tenth declared Isabella beatified by a 
bull dated the third of January, fifteen hun- 
dred and twenty-one. Soon afterwards, the 
body was exhumed, and it became a part of 
the religious duty of all good Christians to 
pay an annual visit, and present an annual 
offering at the shrine of Sainte Isabella. 
Thus originated the celebrated pilgrimages 
to Longchamps, which were rigorously kept 
up until about the middle of the last cen- 
tury. When the convent began to be 
neglected, the nuns announced, as a means of 
rekindling the religious ardour of the Pa- 
risians, that the first singers of the opera 
wo\ild chant sacred music every Wednesday, 
Thursday, and Friday in Easter week. The 
plan succeeded beyond their most sanguine 
expectations ; and for many years the chapel 
was always crowded on the three appointed 
days. At length the singing was prohibited 
by the Archbishop of Paris, and the convent 
closed to the public. The Parisians, how- 
ever, having become used to the Easter pil- 
grimages, determined to keep them up in 
their own way. With an eye to business, on 
which they would have been mercilessly 
sarcastic if the English had showu it, they 
changed the pious pilgrimages to Longchamps 
Abbey into gay promenades to Longchamps 
for the display of the spring fashions. In seven- 
teen hundred and eighty-five, an Englishman 
appeared at Longchamps in a silver carriage, 
sparkling with precious stones, and drawn by 
horses shod with silver. This was the signal 
for the most extravagant display of wealth 
ever witnessed in the French capital. As a 
natural sequence, the Reign of Terror came, 
and the Convent of Longchamps was de- 
stroyed, and the priests and nuns put to 
death. The promenades, nevertheless, were 
revived under Napoleon the First, and have 
been continued ever since. 

The Champs Elys6es,the Avenue de 1'Impe- 
ratrice, and the Route de Longechamps, in the 
Bois de Boulogne, still present an animated 
appearance on the days of promenades. The 
roads are crowded with vehicles of ever} 7 de- 
scription ; aristocratic carriages occupied by 
ladies in the most fantastically beautiful toi- 
lets ; cabs and hired vehicles filled with niilli- 
nersand man tua-makers, dressed up to exhibit 
the spring modes and novelties ; adver- 
tising vans painted in the loudest colours ; 
and cars decorated with gaudy ribbons, or 
tastefully festooned with flowers. The pedes- 
trians lounge about and criticise the passers- 
by, while flower-girls with early violets, and 
marchands de coco, and plaisir, circulate 
through the crowd. The carriages merely 
go to the site of the ancient convent which 



Charles Dickens.] 



BOULOGNE WOOD. 



[July 25. 1857.] 91 



is marked by the picturesque ruin of a wind" 
mill, aiid return by the same route. 

Not far from Longchamps, on the northern 
side, stands the beautiful park and chateau oi 
Bagatelle. This residence was originally a 
small pavilion belonging to Mademoiselle de 
Charolois, the daughter of Louis, Prince de 
Conde. At her death, Bagatelle passed into 
the hands of the Count d'Artois, one of the 
brothers of Louis the Sixteenth. He had 
the pavilion pulled down, and a miniature 
palace built in its stead, which cost him six 
hundred thousand francs, or twenty - four 
thousand pounds. The count laid a wager, 
it is said, of one hundred thousand franc 
with the Queen Marie Antoinette, that his 
chateau would be built in one month. He 
won the bet. Bagatelle received the well- 
merited name of La Folie d'Artois. It es- 
caped destruction duriug the Eevolution of 
seventeen hundred and ninety-three, and is 
now the property of the Marquis of Hertford. 

Near the northern entrance to the Bois de 
Boulogne there is a public establishment 
called Madrid. It stands on the ground 
formerly occupied by le chateau de Faience 
(the clelph castle), which was built by Francois 
the First, and received its name because the 
exterior was made of porcelain. The front 
was ornamented with several rich enamels by 
Bernardin de Palissy, and the chateau w;is 
noted for the splendid collection of pictures 
and statues with which it was filled. Henry 
the Third caused this beautiful residence to 
be turned into a menagerie for wild beasts, 
which fought bulls for his amusement. One 
night, however, his majesty dreamed that the 
wild beasts intended to devour him ; and next 
morning, he ordered them all to be killed. 
In seventeen hundred and ninety-three, the 
porcelain chateau was sold to a company who 
undertook to demolish it. The beautiful 
enamels of Bernardin de Palissy were sold 
to a pavior, and made into cement ! Happily, 
a few fragments of the porcelain were pre- 
served, and served as models when the chateau 
was reconstructed a few years since. The 
finest oak in the Bois de Boulogne stands op- 
posite Madrid. 

At the back of Madrid is a group of hand- 
some villas, enclosed in pretty gardens, called 
St. James. They have been erected on the 
site of an extravagantly beautiful summer 
residence, built by the famous treasurer of 
the Marine, Bandard de Saint James. He 
surrounded his mansion with magnificent 
gardens, on which he squandered enormous 
sums of money. A single rock is said to have 
cost sixty thousand pounds, and to have re- 
quired forty horses to carry the smallest 
block. Bandard de Saint James failed for one 
million pounds, and was imprisoned in the 
Bastile, where he died in great misery. Saint 
James, with its pretty cottages and gardens, 
looks like an isolated bit of Saint John's 
Wood. 

To the east of the Bois de Boulogne, and 



the north of Passy, a muette, or hunting-box, 
was erected for the accommodation of Charles 
the Ninth, on his return from hunting. 
The first balloon ascension in France took 
place in seventeen hundred and eighty-three, 
in the gardens of La Muette, in presence of 
the king and queen. Soon after a monster 
banquet was given in the park by the city of 
Paris, to twenty thousand delegates from 
the departments on the occasion of the Con- 
federation. During the Eeign of Terror, 
the chateau de la Muette was destroyed; 
and, in eighteen hundred and twenty-three, 
the park and gardens were sold to Se- 
bastien Erard, the piano-forte maker. M. 
Erard had a handsome mansion built, and the 
gardens restored to their former beauty. The 
green sward, the white statuary, and the 
many-coloured flowers around this beautiful 
residence, still form a lovely coup d'ceil 
from the gate of La Muette in the Bois de 
Boulogne. 

At a short distance from La Muette, on the 
left-hand side, there is a place of amusement 
called Eanelagh. Its history is somewhat 
curious. In seventeen hundred and seventy- 
three, one of the lodge-keepers of the Bois 
de Boulogne, named Morison, obtained per- 
mission of the Prince de Soubise, governor of 
the chateau de la Muette, to erect a building 
in imitation of the one built by Lord Eaue- 
lagh on the banks of the Thames which Avas 
to contain a cafe, a restaurant, a ball-room, 
and a theatre. It was opened with great 
success on the twenty-fifth of July, seventeen 
hundred and seventy -four. Five years after- 
wards, the grand master of the rivers and 
forests of the environs of Paris, imagining 
that his rights had been infringed by the 
permission, issued a decree commanding Mori- 
son, on pain of the galleys, to destroy all the 
works which he had constructed in the Bois 
de Boulogne. Morison immediately applied 
to the king ; who, in a few days, revoked 
the decree, and allowed Eanelagh to be re- 
opened with great splendour. This was the 
most brilliant epoch in its history. A society 
composed of a hundred members founded a 
weekly ball, which was extensively patronised 
by the Parisians. The Queen Marie Antoi- 
nette, several times honoured the ball with 
her presence during her stay at La Muette. 
When the Eevolution came, Morisou, after 
struggling for some time with adversity, was 
compelled to sell his furniture to pay his debts. 
Under the Directory, a few young coxcombs 
attempted to revive the ball ; but the people 
became jealous, the dancers were insulted 
and menaced, finally arrested, and the ball- 
room taken possession of by a battalion of 
guards. Eanelagh was then definitively 
losed until the overthrow of the Directory 
by Napoleon, when it became once more the 
rendezvous of the notorieties of the time. 
Among others, Eauelagh produced Trenitz 
the dancer, who has given his name to one of 
the figures of the quadrille. During the 



92 [->uljr 25, 1S57-] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



occupation by the allies, Eanelagh was con- 
verted successively into stables and an 
hospital. Not long afterwards, the building 
was completely destroyed by a storm. At 
the restoration, the proprietor had to plead 
six years for permission to rebuild it. When, 
at length, he obtained an authorisation, the 
establishment was speedily reopened, on a 
scale of great magnificence, under the patron- 
age of the Duchess de Berry, and has 
flourished ever since. 

The recent improvements in the Bois de 
Boulogne, consist principally in the introduc- 
tion of water into the wood, by the formation 
of a river, a lake, and several large and small 
ponds. The river is situated at a short dis- 
tance from the Porte Dauphine, and extends 
along the wood in an easterly direction. In 
the middle of the river there are two islands 
joined to each other by a picturesque bridge 
made of rocks. These islands are laid out 
with green grassplats, sandy serpentine 
paths, and immense patches of gorgeous 
flowers. Peeping out from among the trees 
are grottoes, summer-houses, Swiss cottages, 
and romantic ruins. Pretty boats trimmed 
with green and yellow cloth, and gaily deco- 
rated with tricolor flags, form the only mode 
of conveyance to the islands. On the banks 
of the river there are landing-places, and 
seats made of rocks and carved wood. Narrow 
footpaths, bordered by green banks and sur- 
rounded by broad carriage-drives, lead to the 
source of the river ; which has been made 
into a splendid waterfall. Separated only 
by the width of a road from the river, is 
the silent lake, where water - lilies spread 
their calices to the sun, and swarms of little 
fish flit under the water. Near the end of 
the lake a mound has been formed, which 
commands a view over the whole of the Bois 
de Boulogne and its environs. To the right 
of the river and the lake artificial streams 
meander with innumerable windings, and are 
spanned here and there by fantastic bridges 
festooned with ivy, which are reflected in the 
limpid water. On both sides there are over- 
hanging trees, green seats, and shady bowers, 
which afford an agreeable shelter from the 
sun in midsummer. Where the streams 
slacken their course, innumerable whirligigs 
(gyrinidse) skim just under the surface. These 
streams lead toLongchamps, where they widen 
into three small lakes. By the side of these 
lakes two race-courses have been formed, one 
two thousand and the other four thousand 
metres long. Opposite to them a mound has 
been raised commanding a magnificent view 
over the race-course, and the immense pano- 
rama which stretches from the banks of the 
Seine, from Mount Valerien and St. Cloud to 
the village of Passy and the Arc de Triomphe. 
The Bois de Boulogne has been cut up and 
intersected with new roads, with a view to 
prevent its being the scene of duels and 
suicides, which, were formerly very frequent 
occurrences. There is, indeed, a tree near the 



gate of La Muette which is called 1'arbre des 
peudus the tree of the hanged but, from 
henceforth, the horrors will be driven away, 
it is hoped, at least, as far as to the Bois de 
Vincennes. 

In several parts of the Bois de Boulogne, 
immense tracts of land have been converted 
into beautiful, green, grassy prairies. One of 
these has been inclosed, and made into a 
pleasure gai'den, and received the name of 
Pre Catelan, Catelan's Prairie. The grounds 
are laid out in spacious lawns, intersected by 
carriage-drives and gravel-walks, with here 
and there beds and banks of lovely flowers. 
There is a cafe, a reading-room, a photogra- 
phic establishment, a telegraphic electrical 
machine, by means of which two persons can 
converse at a distance, a concert-room, seve- 
ral puppet-shows, and various other amuse- 
ments. Eighty thousand trees and shrubs 
have been distributed in clusters over the 
garden, which is brilliantly illuminated every 
evening with coloured lamps. 

Prti Catelan derives its name from a 
broken cross standing near its principal 
entrance, which marks the site of a lament- 
able tragedy enacted in the Forest of Kouvray 
towards the end of the thirteenth century. 
During the reign of Philippe le Bel of 
France there lived, at the court of Beatrix of 
Savoy Countess of Provence, a wandering 
minstrel, named Arnaud Catelan. As Catelan 
was the most celebrated troubadour of his 
epoch, the French king wished to attract 
him to his court, and sent a letter to Beatrix 
begging her to allow Catelan to come and 
spend a few months in Paris. Beatrix gave 
her consent immediately, and the troubadour, 
highly flattered by the invitation, set out upon 
his journey, accompanied by a servant to 
carry his baggage. On arriving in Paris he 
was told that the king was staying at the 
manor of Passy, and desired him to proceed 
thither. Catelan resumed his journey, hoping 
to reach Passy before nightfall. When he 
arrived at the outskirts of the Forest of Eou- 
vray he met a company of soldiers, whose 
captain informed him they had been sent by 
the king to protect him. The shades of 
evening were closing in fast as they continued 
their march, Catelan walking in front con- 
versing with the captain, while his servant 
followed with the soldiers. Suddenly the 
captain said to Catelan : 

" Cii messire, your servant carries a ham- 
per which seems too great a load for him. Is 
it very heavy 1 " 

" Oh, yes," replied the troubadour, with 
pride, "it is full of presents for his ma- 
jesty." 

A few minutes afterwards the captain 
stopped and whispered something to the lieu- 
tenant. The night came on dai-k, cold, and 
windy, and Catelan remarked that, instead of 
keeping on the outskirts, as he had been told 
to do, he was led into the thickest, part of the 
forest. When they reached the spoUwhere 



Charles DicVen.] 



TRACKS IN THE BUSH. 



[July 25. 18570 93 



the cross now stands, the captain drew his 
sword, and killed Catelan with a single blow, 
aud the soldiers simultaneously surrounded 
the servant and massacred him. The mur- 
derers unpacked the hamper, but, to their 
surprise, found in it only bottles of liquors 
and perfumes. Although dreadfully disap- 
pointed they divided the spoil, and returned 
to the king, saying, Catelan was nowhere to 
be found. The next day Philippe ordered a 
search to be made in the forest, and after 
some time the two bodies were found in a 
pool of blood. The king was deeply afflicted 
at the murder, and caused the corpses to be 
buried on the spot, and a stone cross about 
twenty feet high erected over the grave. 

A few months afterwards the captain pre- 
sented himself at court perfumed with ascent 
which was manufactured only in Provence. 
This excited the king's suspicions. He caused 
inquiries to be made, and was soon informed 
that several l.ad been found drunk with 
liquors from Provence in their possession. 
Investigations were immediately made ; the 
apartments of the captain and his men were 
searched ; and tLe result was the discovery 
of a hamper marked with the arms of Cate- 
lau, and several bottles of Provengal liquors 
and perfumes. The evidence was sufficient to 
bring home their guilt to the murderers, who 
were soeedily tried and burnt to death at a 
slow fire. 



TEACKS IN THE BUSH. 



A STOCKMAN in my employment was, not 
many years ago, missing from a cattle station 
distant from Sydney about two hundred and 
thirty miles. The man had gone one afternoon 
in search of a horse that had strayed. Not 
having returned at night or the next morning, 
the natural conclusion was that he had been 
lost in the bush. I, at once, called in the 
aid of the blacks, and, attended by two 
European servants (stockmen), headed the 
expedition. The chief difficulty lay in getting 
on the man's track ; and several hours were 
spent before this important object was 
accomplished. The savages exhibited some 
ingenuity even in this. They described large 
circles round the hut whence the man had 
taken his departure, and kept on extending 
them until they were satisfied they had the 

E roper footprints. The track once found, 
alt" a dozen of the blacks went off like 
a pack of hounds. Now and then, in 
the dense forest through which we wandered 
in our search, there was a check, in con- 
sequence of the extreme dryness of the 
ground ; or the wind had blown about 
the fallen leaves of the gigantic gum-trees, 
which abound in those regions ; but, for 
the most part, the course was straight 
on end. 

We had provided ourselves with flour, 
salt beef, tea, sugar, blankets and other per- 
souar comforts. These were carried on a 



horse which a small black boy, of about four- 
teen years of age, rode in our rear. 

On the first day we continued our search 
until the sun had gone down, and then 
pitched our camp and waited for day-light. 
With their tomahawks the blacks stripped 
off large sheets of bark from the gum-trees, 
and cut down a few saplings. With these 
we made a hut ; at the opening of which we 
lighted a fire, partly for boiling the water 
for tea, and partly for the purpose of keeping 
off the musquitoes. During the night, we 
had a very heavy storm of lightning and 
thunder, accompanied by torrents of rain. 
This, I fancied, would render the tracking 
even more difficult, as the rain was suffi- 
ciently heavy to wash out the footprints of 
a man, had any such footprints been pre- 
viously perceptible. When the sun arose, 
however, the blacks, seemingly without 
difficulty, took up the track and followed it 
at the rate of two and a half miles an hour 
until noon, when we halted to take some rest 
and refreshments. The foot of civilised man 
had never before trodden in that wild region ; 
which was peopled only with the kangaroo, 
the emu, the opossum, and wild cat. The still- 
ness was awful ; and, ever and anon, the blacks 
would cooey (a hail peculiar to the savages 
of New-Holland, which may be heard several 
miles off), but and we listened each time with 
intense anxiety there was no response. 

At about half-past three in the afternoon 
of the second day we came to a spot, where 
the blacks expressed, by gestures, that the 
missing stockman had sat down ; and in con- 
firmation of their statement, they pointed to 
a stone, which had evidently been lately 
removed from its original place. I enquired, 
by gestures, whether we were near the lost 
man ; but the blacks shook their heads and 
held up two fingers, from which I gleaned 
that two days had elapsed since the man 
had been there. At five we came to another 
spot where the missing stockman had laid 
down, and here we found his short pipe 
broken. It would be difficult to describe the 
satisfaction with which I eyed this piece of 
man's handywork. It refreshed my confi- 
dence in the natives' power of tracking, and 
made me the more eager to pursue the search 
with rapidity. By promises of large rewards, 
I quickened their movements, and we tra- 
velled at the rate of four miles an hour. 
We now came upon a soil covered with im- 
mense boulders. This, I fancied, would impade, 
if not destroy the track ; but this was not the 
case. It is true, we could not travel so fast 
over these large round stones ; but the blacks 
never once halted, except when they came to 
a spot where they satisfied me the stockman 
himself had rested. None but those who 
have been in search of a fellow-creature 
under similar circumstances can conceive the 
anxiety which such a search creates. I could 
not help placing myself in the position of the 
unhappy man, who was roaming about as one 



94 IJuiy a. 1*7.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



blindfolded, and probably hoping on even in 
the face of despair. Again we came to a 
forest of huge gum-trees. 

At times, the gestures of the blacks, while 
following the footprints of the stockman, 
indicated to me that he had been running. 
At other times, they imitated the languid 
movements of a weaiy and footsore traveller. 
They knew exactly the pace at which the poor 
fellow had wandered about in those untrodden 
wilds ; and now and then, while following in 
his wake and imitating him, they would 
laugh merrily. They were not a little amused 
that I should be angry at, and rebuke such a 
demonstration. 

The sun went down, and our second day's 
search was ended. Again we pitched our 
camp and lighted fires. We had now tra- 
velled about thirty miles from the station, 
and the blacks, who had now got beyond 
the precincts of their district, became fear- 
ful of meeting with some strange tribe, 
who would destroy them and myself. Indeed, 
if I and my European companions had not 
been armed with a gun each, and a plenti- 
ful supply of ammunition, my sable guides 
would have i % efused to proceed any further. 

All night long I lay awake, imagining, 
hoping, fearing, and praying for day-light ; 
which at last dawned. Onwai-d we went 
through a magnificent country, beautifully 
wooded, and well watered by streams and 
covered with luxuriant pasture, all waste 
land, in the strictest sense of the term. 
At about ten we came to a valley in which 
grew a number of wattle-trees. From these 
trees, a gum, resembling gum arable in all 
its properties, exudes in the warm season. 
The blacks pointed to the branches, from 
which this gum had recently been stripped, 
and indicated that the man had eaten of a 
pink grub, as large as a silk-worm, which lives 
in the bark of the wattle-tree. Luckily 
he had with him a clasp-knife, with which 
he had contrived to dig out these grubs ; 
which the blacks assured me were a dainty ; 
but I was not tempted to try them. 

On again putting the question to the 
blacks, whether we were near the man of 
whom we were in search, they shook their 
heads and held up two fingers. We now came 
to a clear shallow stream, in which the blacks 
informed me by gestures that the missing 
man had bathed ; but he had not crossed 
the stream, as his track lay on the bank 
we had approached. 

After travelling along this bank for about 
three miles, we came to a huge swamp into 
which the stream flowed, and ended. Here 
the footprints were plainly discernible even 
by myself and my European companions. I 
examined them carefully, and was pained to 
find that they confirmed the opinion of the 
blacks, namely that they were not fresh. 
Presently we found the man's boots. These 
had become too heavy for him to walk in, 
and too inconvenient to carry, and he had 



cast them off. Not far from the boots was 
a red cotton handkerchief, which he had 
worn round his neck on leaving the station. 
This, too, he had found too hot to wear in 
that oppressive weather, and had therefore 
discai'ded it. 

Following the track, we came to a forest 
of white gum-trees. The bark of these trees 
is the colour of cream, and the surface is as 
smooth as glass. On the rind of one of these 
trees the man had carved, with his kuife, 
the following words : 

" Oh God, have mercy upon me. T. B." 

How fervent and sincere must have been this 
prayer in the heart, to admit of the hand 
carving it upon that tree ! 

Towards evening we came to a tract of 
country as barren as the desert between 
Cairo and Suez ; but the soil was not sandy, 
and it was covered with stones of unequal 
size. Here the miraculous power of the 
black man's eye astounded us more than 
ever. The reader must bear in mind that 
the lost man was now walking barefooted 
and tenderfooted, and would naturally pick 
his way as lightly and as cautiously as 
possible. Nevertheless, the savage tracked 
his course with scarcely a halt. 

Again the sun went down, and again we 
formed our little camp, on the slope of a hill, 
at the foot of which lay a lagoon, literally 
covered with wild ducks and black swans. 
Some of these birds we shot for food, as it 
was now a matter of prudence, if not of neces- 
sity, to husband the flour and meat we had 
brought with us. 

Another sunrise, and we pursued our jour- 
ney. Towards noon we came to a belt of 
small mountains composed chiefly of black 
lime-stone. Here the blacks faltered ; and, 
after a long and animated discussion amongst 
themselves not one word of which I 
understood they signified to me that they 
had lost the track and could proceed no 
further. This I was not disposed to believe, 
and imperatively signalled them to go on. 
They refused. I then had recourse to 
promises, kind words, smiles, and encouraging 
gestures. They were still recusant. I then 
loaded my gun with ball, and requested the 
stockmen to do the like. I threatened the 
blacks that I would shoot them, if they did 
not take up the track and pursue it. This 
alarmed them ; and, after another discussion 
amongst themselves, they obeyed me, but 
reluctantly and sullenly. One of the stock- 
men, with much foresight, suggested that 
we ought to make sure of two out of the six 
black fellows ; for, if they had a chance, they 
would probably escape and leave us to perish 
in the wilds ; and, without their aid we could 
never retrace our steps to the station. I at 
once acted on this suggestion, and bound two 
of the best of them together by the arms, 
and carried the end of the cord in my right 
hand. 



Charles Dickens.] 



TEACKS IN THE BUSH. 



[July 25, 1857/1 95 



At four in the afternoon we had crossed 
this belt of low mountains, and came upon 
a tract of country which resembled a well- 
kept park in England. We were all so 
greatly fatigued that we were compelled to 
halt for the night. Great as was my longing 
to proceed a longing not a little whetted by 
the fact that the blacks now held up only 
one finger, in order to express that the object 
of our search was only one day in advance 
of us. 

At midnight the four blacks, who were not 
bound, and who were in a rude hut a few 
yards distant, came to the opening of my 
tenement and bade me listen. I did listen, 
and heard a sound resembling the beating of 
the waves against the sea-shore. I explained 
to them, as well as I possibly could, that the 
noise was that of the wind coming through 
the leaves of the trees. This, however, they 
refused to believe, for there was scarcely a 
breath of air stii*ring. 

" Can it be that we are near the sea- 
coast ? " I asked myself ; and the noise, 
which every moment became more distinctly 
audible, seemed to reply, " yes." 

The morning dawned, and to my intense 
disappointment, I discovered that the four 
unbound blacks had decamped. They had, 
no doubt, retraced their steps by the road 
they had come. The remaining two were 
now put upon the track, and not for a single 
moment did I relinquish my hold of the cord. 
To a certainty, they would have escaped, had 
we not kept a tight hand upon them. Any 
attempt to reason with them would have 
been absurd. Fortunately, the boy who had 
charge of the horse had been faithful, and 
had remained. 

As the day advanced and we proceeded on- 
ward, the sound of the waves beating against 
the shore became more and more distinct, 
and the terror of the guides increased propor- 
tionately. We were, however, some miles from 
the ocean, and did not see it until four in the 
afternoon. The faces of the blacks, when 
they gazed on the great water, of which they 
had never formed even the most remote con- 
ception, presented a scene which would have 
been worthy of some great painter's obser- 
vation. 

It was a clear day, not a cloud to be seen 
in the firmament ; but the wind was high, 
and the dark blue billows were crested with 
a milk-white foam. It was from an eminence 
of some three hundred feet that we looked 
upon them. With their keen black eyes pro- 
truding from their sockets, their nostrils dis- 
tended, their huge mouths wide open, their 
long matted hair in disorder, their hands held 
aloft, their bodies half-crouching and half- 
struggling to maintain an erect position ; 
unable to move backward or forward ; the 
perspiration streaming from every pore of 
their unclothed skin ; speechless, motion- 
less, amazed and terrified ; the two inland 
savages stood paralysed at what they saw. 



The boy, although astounded, was not 
afraid. 

Precious as was time, I would not disturb 
their reverie. For ten minutes their eyes 
were riveted on the sea. By ( slow degrees 
their countenances exhibited that the ori- 
ginal terror was receding from their hearts ; 
and then they breathed hard, as men do after 
some violent exertion. They then looked at 
each other and at us ; and, as though recon- 
ciled to the miraculous appearance of the 
deep, they again contemplated the billows 
with a smile which gradually grew into a 
loud and meaningless laugh. 

On the rocky spot upon which we were 
standing, one of the blacks pointed to his own 
knees ; and placed his forefinger on two spots 
close to each other. Hence I concluded that 
the lost man had knelt down there in prayer. 
I invariably carried about with me, in the 
bush of Australia, a pocket-magnifying-glass 
for the purpose of lighting a pipe or a fire ; 
and, with this glass, 1 carefully examined the 
spots indicated by the blacks. But I could 
see nothing not the faintest outline of an 
imprint on that piece of hard stone. Either 
they tried to deceive us, or their powers of 
perception were indeed miraculous. 

After a brief while we continued our search. 
The lost man had wandered along the per- 
pendicular cliffs, keeping the ocean in sight. 
We followed his every step until the sun 
went down ; then halted for the night and 
secured our guides, over whom, as usual, we 
alternately kept a very strict watch. 

During the night we suffered severely 
from thirst, and when morning dawned we 
were compelled to leave the track for a while, 
and search for water. Providentially we were 
successful. A cavity in one of the rocks had 
been filled by the recent rain. Out of this 
basin, our horse also drank his fill. 

I may here mention a few peculiarities of 
the colonial stock-horse. Wherever a man can 
make his way, so can this quadruped. He 
becomes, in point of sure-footedness, like a 
mule, and in nimbleness like a goat, after a 
few years of servitude in cattle-tending. He 
will walk down a ravine as steep as the roof 
of a house, or up a hill that is almost perpen- 
dicular. Through the dense brushwood he 
will push his way with his head, just as 
the elephant does. He takes to the water 
like a Newfoundland dog, and swims a river 
as a matter of course. To fatigue he seems 
insensible, and, can do with the smallest 
amount of provender. The way in which the 
old horse which accompanied me in the expe- 
dition, I am describing, got down and got up 
some of the places which lay in our track 
would have astounded every person who, like 
us, had not previously witnessed similar per- 
formances. 

We pushed on at a speedy pace, and, to 
my great joy, the blacks now represented 
that the (to me invisible) footprints were 
very fresh, and the missing man not far 



96 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[July L'5, 1S57.] 



ahead of us. Every place where he had 
halted, sat down, or laiu down, or stayed to 
drink, was pointed out. Presently \ve came 
to an opening in the cliffs which led to the 
sea-shore, where we found a beautiful bay of j 
immense length. Here I no longer required j 
the aid of the savages in tracking ; on the 
sand from which the waves had receded a few 
hours previously were plainly visible the 
imprints of naked feet. The blacks, who 
had no idea of salt-water laid themselves 
down on their stomachs, for the purpose of 
taking a hearty draught. The first mouthful, 
however, satisfied them ; and then wondered 
as much at the taste of the ocean as they 
had wondered at the sight thereof. 

After walking several miles, the rising of 
the tide and the bluff character of the coast 
induced us to avail ourselves of the first 
opening in the cliffs, and ascend to the high 
land. It was with indescribable pain, I re- 
flected that the approaching waves would 
obliterate the foot-prints then upon the sand, 
and that the thread which we had followed up 
to that moment, would certainly be snapped. 
The faculty possessed by the blacks had defied 
the wind and the rain ; the earth and the 
rocks had been unable to conceal from the 
sight of the savage the precise places where 
the foot of civilised man had trod ; but the 
ocean, even in his repose, makes all men 
acknowledge his might ! We wandered, along 
the cliffs, cooeying from time to time, and 
listening for a response ; but none came, even 
upon the acutely sensitive ears of the savages. 
A little before sunset, we came to another 
opening, leading down to a bay ; and here 
the track of the lost man was again found. 
He had ascended and pursued his way along 
the cliffs. We followed until the light failed, 
and we were compelled to halt. Before 
doing so we cooeyed in concert, and dis- 
charged the fowling-pieces several times, but 
without effect. 

It rained during the night ; but ceased 
before the day had dawned, and we resumed 
our journey. After an hour's walk, we came 
upon another opening, and descended to the 
water's edge ; which was skirted by a sandy 
beach, and extended as far as the eye could 
compass. Here, too, I could dispense with 
the aid of the blacks, and followed on the 
track as fast as possible. Indeed, I and my 
companions frequently ran. Presently, the 
lost man's footsteps diverged from the sandy 
shore, and took to the high land. We had 
proceeded more than a mile and a half, when 
the black boy, who was mounted on the horse 
and following close at my heels, called, 
" Him ! him ! " arid pointing to a figure, 
about seventy yards distant, stretched upon 
the grass beneath the shade of a wild fig- 
tree, and near a stream of fresh water. I 



recognised at once the stockman ; but 
the question was, Was he living or dead? 
Having commanded the party to remain 
where they stood, I approached the body 
upon tiptoe. The man was not dead, but in 
a profound slumber; from which I would not 
awake him. His countenance was pale and 
haggard, but his breathing was loud and 
natural. I beckoned the party to approach, 
and then placed my fore-finger on my lips, as 
a signal that they were to keep silence. 
Within an hour the man awoke, and stared 
wildly around him. When he saw us, he was 
under the impression that he had not been 
lost ; but that, while searching for the horse, 
he had felt weary, laid down, slept, and had 
dreamed all that had really happened to him. 
Thus, there was no sudden shock of unex- 
pected good fortune ; the effects of which 
upon him I at first dreaded. 

According to the number of days that we 
had been travelling, and the pace at which we 
had travelled, I computed that we had walked 
about one hundred and thirty-five miles ; 
but, according to a map which I consulted, 
we were not more than eighty miles distant, 
in a direct line, from the station. On our 
way back, it was most distressing to observe 
the emotions of the stockman when he 
came to, or remembered the places where he 
had rested, eaten, drank, or slept, during his 
hopeless wanderings through the wilds of the 
wildest country in the known world. The 
wattle-trees from which he had stripped the 
gum, the stream in which he had bathed, the 
swamp where he had discarded his boots, the 
tree on which he had carved his prayer, the 
spot where he had broken his pipe, that very 
spot upon which he first felt that he was lost 
in the bush these and the poignant suffer- 
ings he had undergone had so great an effect 
upon him, that by the time he returned to the 
station his intellect entirely deserted him. 
He, however, partly recovered ; but some- 
times better, sometimes worse in a few 
months it became necessary to have him 
removed to the government lunatic asylum. 



Now ready, price Five Shillings and Sixpence, neatly 
bound in cloth, 

THE FIFTEENTH VOLUME 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS, 

Containing the Numbers issued between the Third of 
January and the Twenty-seventh of June of the present 
year. 



Just published, in Two Volumes, post Svo, price One 
Guinea, 

THE DEAD SECRET. 

BY WILKIE COLLINS. 
Bradbury and Evans, Whitefriars. 



The Itiylit of Translating Articles from HOUSEHOLD WOEDS is reserved ly the Authors. 



Published t the Offce, No. in, Wellington Street North, Strand. Printed by BRADBVHY & EVANS, \Vhitefriarc, London. 



"Familiar In their Moutlix as HOUSEHOLD WORDS." MIAK 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 

A WEEKLY JOURNAL. 
CONDUCTED BY CHARLES DICKENS. 



- 384.] 



SATURDAY, AUGUST 1, 1857. 



f Pnica <id. 
\ STAMPED 37. 



CURIOUS MISPRINT IN THE EDIN- ' P inch Wlthln the memory of men, is License 
BURGH REVIEW ' m a " ove " st - Will the Edinburgh Review 

forgive Mr. Dickens for taking the liberty to 

THE Edinburgh Review, in an article in its > point out what is License in a Reviewer ? 
last number, on "The License of Modern 
Novelists," is angry with MR. DICKENS and 
other modern novelists, for not confining 
themselves to the mere amusement of their 



readers, and for testifying in their works that 
they seriously feel the interest of true 



"Even the catastrophe in 'Little Dovrit' is evi- 
dently borrowed from the recent fall of houses in 
Tottenham Court Road, which happens to have 
appeared in the newspapers at a convenient period." 

Thus, the Reviewer. The Novelist begs to 



Englishmen in the welfare and honor of their ask him whether there is no License in his 
country. To them should be left the making writing those words and stating that assump- 
of easy occasional books for idle young gentle- j tion as a truth, when any man accustomed to 
men and ladies to take up and lay down on | the critical examination of a book cannot 
sofas, drawing-room tables, and window-seats; j fail, attentively turning over the pages of 
to the Edinburgh Review should be reserved Little Dorrit, to observe that that catastrophe 
the settlement of all social and political is carefully prepared for from the very first 
questions, and the strangulation of all com- | presentation of the old house in the story ; 
plainers. ' MR. THACKERAY may write upon I that when Rigaud, the man who is crushed 
Snobs, but there must be none in the superior ' by the fall of the house, first enters it (hun- 
government departments. There is no posi- j dreds of pages before the end), he is beset by 



tive objection to MR. HEADE having to do, in 
a Platonic way, with a Scottish fishwoman or 
so ; but he must by no means connect him- 
self with Prison Discipline. That is the in- 
alienable property of official personages ; and, 
until Mr. Reade can show that he has so 
much a-year, paid quarterly, for understand- 
ing (or not understanding) the subject, it is 
none of his, and it is impossible that he can 



a mysterious fear and shuddering ; that the 
rotten and crazy state of the house is labori- 
ously kept before the reader, whenever the 
house is shown ; that the -way to the demo- 
lition of the man and the house together, is 
paved all through the book with a painful 
minuteness and reiterated care of prepara- 
tion, the necessity of which (in order that 
the thread may be kept in the reader's mind 



be allowed to deal with it. 1 through nearly two years), is one of the 

The name- of Mr. Dickens is at the head of i adverse incidents of that social form of 
this page, and the hand of Mr. Dickens writes I publication ? It may be nothing to the 



this paper. He will shelter himself under 
no affectation of being any one else, in having 
a few words of earnest but temperate re- 
monstrance with the Edinburgh Review, 
before pointing out its curious misprint. 



question that Mr. Dickens now publicly de- 
clares, on his word and honor, that that 
catastrophe was written, was engraven on 
steel, w;s printed, had passed through the 
hands of compositors, readers for the press, 



Temperate, for the honor of Literature ; tern- and pressmen, and was in type and iu proof iu 
perate, because of the great services which i the Printing House of MESSRS. JJHADUURY AND 
the Edinburgh Review has rendered in its EVANS, before the accident in Tottenham 
time to good literature, and good govern- j Court Road occurred. But, it is much to the 
meut ; temperate, in remembrance of the ' question that an honorable reviewer might 
loving affection of JEFFREY, the friendship of have easily traced this out in the internal 
SYDNEY SMITH, and the faithful sympathy of evidence of the book itself, before lie stated, 
both. I for a fact, what is utterly and entirely, in 

The License of Modern Novelists is a taking ! every particular and respect, untrue. More ; if 



title. But it suggest^ another, the License 
of Modern Reviewers. Mr. Dickens's libel 
on the wonderfully exact and vigorous English 
government, which is always ready for any 
emergency, and which, as everybody knows, 
has never shown itself to be at all feeble at a 



the Editor of the Edinburgh Review (unbend- 
ing from the severe official duties of a blame- 
less branch of the Circumlocution Office) had 
happened to condescend to cast his eye on the 
passage, and had referred even its mechanical 
probabilities and improbabilities to his pub- 



VOL, XV f. 



98 [August 1, IS67.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



they hardly perceived how Mr. 
could have waited, with such 



lishers, those experienced gentlemen must 
h:ive warned him th:it he was getting into 
danger ; must have told him that on a com- 
parison of dates, and with a reference to the 
number printed of Little Dorrit, with that 
very incident illustrated, and to the date of 
the publication of the completed book in a 
volume, 
Dickens 

desperate Micawberism. for a fall of houses 
in Tottenham Court Road, to get him out of 
his difficulties, and yet could have come 
up to time with the needful punctuality. 
Does the Edinburgh Eeview make no 
charges at random 'I Does it live in a blue 
and vellow glass house, and yet throw 
such big stones over the roof? Will the 
licensed Reviewer apologize to the licensed 
Novelist, for his little Circumlocution Office 1 
"Will he "examine the justice" of his own 



cally opposed him as long as opposition was 
in any way possible ; that the Circumlocution 
Office would have been most devoutly glad if 
it could have harried Mr. Rowland Hill's 
soul out of his body, and consigned him and 
his troublesome penny project to the grave 
together. 

Mr. Rowland Hill ! ! Now, see the im- 
possibility of Mr. Rowland Hill being the 
name which the Edinburgh Review sent to 
the printer. It may have relied on the 
forbearance of Mr. Dickens towards living 
gentlemen, for his being mute on a mighty 
job that was jobbed in that very Post-Office 
when Mr. Rowland Hill was taboo there, and 
it shall not rely upon his courtesy in vain : 
though there be breezes on the southern 
side of mid-Strand, London, in which the 
scent of it is yet strong on quarter-days. 
But, the Edinburgh Review never can have 



"general charges," as well as Mr. Dickens's 'I I put up Mr. Rowland Hill for the putting 
Will l>o niinlv liis nwn words t,r> himsplf. and ' down of Mr. Dickens's idle fiction of a 



Will he apply his own words to himself, and 
come to the conclusion that it really is, " a 
little curious to consider what qualifications 



of Mr. Dickens's idle fiction 
Circumlocution Office. The " license " would 
have been too great, the absurdity would 



a man ought to possess, before he could with I have been too transparent, the Circumlocu- 
any kind of propriety hold this language " ? tion Office dictation and partizanship would 
now proceeds to the Re- 



The Novelist 
viewer's curious misprint. 



The Reviewer, in 



his laudation of the great official depart- 
ments, and in his indignant denial of there 
being any trace of a Circumlocution Office to 
be detected among them all, begs to know, 
" what does Mr. Dickens think of the whole 
organisation of the Post Office, and of the 
system of cheap Postage 1 " Taking St. Mar- 
tins-le-grand in tow, the wrathful Circum- 
locution steamer, puffing at Mr. Dickens to 



have been much too manifest. 

"The Circumlocution Office adopted his 
scheme, and gave him the leading share in 
carrying it out," The words are clearly not 
applicable to Mr. Rowland Hill. Does the 
Reviewer remember the history of Mr. 
Rowland Hill's scheme ? The Novelist does, 
and will state it here, exactly ; in spite of 
its being one of the eternal decrees that 
the Reviewer, in virtue of his license, shall 
know everything, and that the Novelist in 



crush him with all the weight of that first-rate j virtue of his license, shall know nothing, 
vessel, demands, "to take a single and well- Mr. Rowland Hill published his pamphlet 
known example, how does he account for the on the establishment of one uniform penny 
career of MR. ROWLAND HILL ? A gentleman | postage, in the beginning of the year eighteen 



in a private and not very conspicuous posi- 
tion, writes a pamphlet recommending what 
amounted to a revolution in a most impor- 
tant department of the Government. Did 
the Circumlocution Office neglect him, tra- 
duce him, break his heart, and ruin his for- 
tune ? They adopted his scheme, and gave 
him the leading share in carrying it out, and 
yet this is the government which Mr. Dickens 
declares to be a sworn foe to talent, and a 
systematic enemy to ingenuity." 

The curious misprint, here, is the name of 
Mr. Rowland Hill. Some other and per- 
fectly different name must have been sent to 
the printer. Mr. Rowland Hill ! ! Why, if 
Mr. Rowland Hill were not, in toughness, a 
man of a hundred thousand ; if he had not 
had in the struggles of his career a stedfast- 
ness of purpose overriding all sensitiveness, 
and steadily staring grim despair out of coun- 
tenance, the Circumlocution Office would 
have made a dead man of him long and long 
ago. Mr. Dickens, among his other darings, 
dares to state, that the Circumlocution Office 
most heartily hated Mr. Rowland Hill ; that 
the Circumlocution Office most characteristi- 



hundred and thirty - seven. Mr. Wallace, 
member for Greenock, who had long been 
opposed to the then existing Post-Office 
system, moved for a Committee on the sub- 
ject. Its appointment was opposed by the 
Government or, let us say, the Circumlocu- 
tion Office but was afterwards conceded. 
Before that Committee, the Circumlocution 
Office and Mr. Rowland Hill were per- 
petually in conflict on questions of fact ; and 
it invariably turned out that Mr. Rowland 
Hill was always right in his facts, and that 
the Circumlocution Office was always wrong. 
Even on so plain a point as the average 
number of letters at that very time passing 
through the Post Office, Mr. Rowland Hill 
was right, and the Circumlocution Office was 




just then, certainly ; for, nothing whatever 
was done, arising out of the enquiries of that 
Committee. But, it happened that the Whig 
Government afterwards came to be beaten on 
the Jamaica question, by reason of the Radi- 



Duke.] CURIOUS MISPRINT IN THE EDINBURGH REVIEW. 



i, is-,;.] 99 



cals voting against them. Six 1 Robert Peel 
was commanded to form a Government, but 
{'ailed, in consequence of the difficulties that 
arose (our readers will remember them) about 
the Ladies of the Bedchamber. The Ladies of 
the Bedchamber brought the Whigs in again, 
and then the Eadicals (being always for the 
destruction of everything) made it one of the 
conditions of their rendering their support to 
the new Whig Government that the penny- 
postage system should be adopted. This was 
two years after the appointment of the Com- 
mittee : that is to say, in eighteen hundred 
and thirty-nine. The Circumlocution Office 
had, to that time, done nothing towards the 
penny postage, but oppose, delay, contradict, 
and show itself uniformly wrong. 

" They adopted his scheme, and gave him 
the leading share in carrying it out." Of 
course they gave him the leading share in 
carrying it out, then, at the time when they 
adopted it, and took the credit and popularity 
of it ? Not so. In eighteen hundred and 
thirty-nine, Mr. Rowland Hill was appointed 
not to the Post Office, but to the Treasury. 
Was he appointed to the Treasury to carry out 
his own scheme ? No. He was appointed 
" to advise." In other words, to instruct the 
ignorant Circumlocution Office how to do 
without him, if it by any means could. On 
the tenth of January, eighteen hundred and 
forty, the penny-postage system was adopted. 
Then, of course, the Circumlocution Office 
gave Mr. Rowland Hill " the leading share 
in carrying it cut " ? Not exactly, but it 
gave him the leading share in carrying 
himself out : for, in eighteen hundred and 
forty-two, it summarily dismissed Mr. Row- 
land Hill altogether ! 

When the Circumlocution Office had come 
to that pass in its patriotic course, so much 
admired by the Edinburgh Review, of pro- 
tecting and patronizing Mr. Rowland Hill, 
whom any child who is not a Novelist can 
perceive to have been its peculiar protege ; 
the public mind (always perverse) became 
much excited on the subject. Sir Thomas 
Wilde moved for another Committee. Cir- 
cumlocution Office interposed. Nothing was 
done. The public subscribed and presented 
to Mr. Rowland Hill, Sixteen Thousand 
Pounds. Circumlocution Office remained 
true to itself and its functions. Did nothing ; 
would do nothing. It was'not until eighteen 
hundred and forty-six, four years afterwards, 
that Mr. Rowland Hill was appointed to a 
place in the Post Office. Was he appointed, 
even then, to the " leading share in carrying 
out " his scheme 1 He was permitted to 
creep into the Post Office up the back stairs, 
through having a place created for him. 
This post of dignity and honor, this Circum- 
locution Office ci'own, was called "Secretary 
to the Post-Master General ; " there being 
already a Secretary to the Post Office, of 
whom the Circumlocution Office had declared, 
as its reason for dismissing Mr. Rowland 



Hill, that his functions and Mr. Rowland 
Hill's could not be made to harmonize. 

They did not harmonize. They were in 
perpetual discord. Penny postage is but one 
reform of a number of Post Office reforms 
effected by Mr. Rowland Hill ; and these, 
for eight years longer, were thwarted and 
opposed by the Circumlocution Office, tooth 
and nail. It was not until eighteen hundred 
and fifty-four, fourteen years after the ap- 
pointment of Mr. Wallace's Committee, that 
Mr. Rowland Hill (having, as was openly 
stated at the time, threatened to resign and 
to give his reasons for doing so), was at last 
made sole Secretary r.t the Post Office, and 
the inharmonious secretary (of whom no 
more shall be said) was otherwise disposed 
of. It is only since that date of eighteen 
hundred and fifty-four, that such reforms as 
the amalgamation of the general and district 
posts, the division of London into ten towns, 
the earlier delivery of letters all over the 
country, the book and parcels post, the 
increase of letter- receiving houses every- 
where, and the management of the Post 
Office with a greatly increased efficiency, have 
been brought about by Mr. Rowland Hill 
for the public benefit and the public con- 
venience. 

If the Edinburgh Review could seriously 
want to know " how Mr. Dickens accounts for 
the career of Mr. Rowland Hill," Mr. Dickens 
would account for it by his being a Birming- 
ham man of such imperturbable steadiness 
and strength of purpose, that the Circumlo- 
cution Office, by its utmost endeavours, very 
freely tried, could not weaken his determina- 
tion, sharpen his razor, or break his heart. 
By his being a man in whose behalf the 
public gallantry was roused, and the public 
spirit awakened. By his having a project, 
in its nature so plainly and directly tending 
to the immediate benefit of every man, 
woman, and child in the State, that the Cir- 
cumlocution Office could not blind them, 
though it could for a time cripple it. By his 
having thus, from the first to the last, made 
his way in spite of the Circumlocution Office, 
and dead against it as his natural enemy. 

But, the name is evidently a curious mis- 
print and an unfortunate mistake. The 
Novelist will await the Reviewer's correction 
of the press, and substitution of the right 
name. 

Will the Edinburgh, Review also take its 
next opportunity of manfully expressing its 
regret that in too distempered a zeal for the 
Circumlocution Office, it has been betrayed, 
as to that Tottenham Court Road assertion, 
into a hasty substitution of untruth for truth ; 
the discredit of which, it might have saved 
itself, if it had been sufficiently cool and con- 
siderate to be simply just ? It will, too pos- 
sibly, have much to clo by that time in cham- 
pioning its Circumlocution Office in new 
triumphs on the voyage out to India (God 
knows that the Novelist has his private as 



100 



>i 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



well as liis public reasons for writing the 
foreboding with no triumphant heart !) ; but 
even party occupation, the reviewer's license, 
or the editorial plural, does not absolve a 
gentleman from a gentleman's duty, a gentle- 
man's restraint, and a gentleman's generosity, 
Mr. Dickens will willingly do his best to 
"account for" any new case of Circumlocu- 
tion Office protection that the Review may 
make a gauntlet of. He may be trusted to 
do so,. he hopes, with a just respect for the 
Review, for himself, and for his calling ; 
beyond the sound, healthy, legitimate uses 
and influences of which, he lias no purpose 
to serve, and no ambition in life to gratify. 

A REMARKABLE REVOLUTION. 

A REVOLUTION which is serious enough to 
overthrow a reigning sovereign which is 
.short enough to last only nine hours and 
which is peaceable enough to begin and end 
without the taking of a single life or the 
shedding of a drop of blood, is certainly a 
phenomenon in the history of human affairs 
.vhich is worth being carefully investigated. 
Such a revolution actually happened, m the 
empire of Russia, little more than a century 
and a quarter ago. The narrative of its rise, 
its progress, and its end deserves to be made 
known, for there are points of interest con- 
nected with it which may claim the rare 
attraction of novelty, while they possess at 
the same time the indispensable historical 
merit of being founded on. a plain and 
recognisable basis of truth. 

Let us begin by inquiring into the state of 
affairs by which this remarkable revolution 
was produced. 

We start with a famous Russian character 
Peter the Great. His son, who may be 
not unfairly distinguished, as Peter the 
Small, died in the year seventeen hundred 
and thirty. With his death, the political 
difficulties arose, which ended in the easy 
pulling down of one sovereign ruler at mid- 
night and the easy setting up of another by 
nine o'clock the next morning. 

Besides the ton whom he left to succeed 
him, Peter the Great had a daughter, whose 
title was princess, and whose name was 
Elizabeth. Peter's wife, the famous Em- 
press Catherine, being a far-seeing woman, 
mad-} a will which contained the expression 
of her wishes in regard to the succession to 
the throne, and which plainly and properly 
designated the Princess Elizabeth (there 
being no Salic law in Russia) as the reigning 
sovereign to be chosen after the death of her 
brother, Peter the Small. Nothing, ap- 
parently, could be more plain and straight- 
forward than the course to be followed, at 
that time, in appointing a new ruler over the 
Russian people. 

But there happened to be living at Court 
two noblemen Prince d'Olgorowki and 
Count Ostennau who had an interest of 



their own in complicating the affairs con- 
nected with the succession. These two dis- 
tinguished personages had possessed con- 
siderable power and authority, under the 
feeble reign of Peter the Small, and they 
knew enough of his sister's resolute and 
self-reliant character to entertain considerable 
doubts as to what might become of their 
court position and their political privileges 
after the Princess Eli/.-ibeth was seated on 
the throne. .Accordingly they lost no time 
in nominating a rival candidate of their 
own choosing, whom they dexterously raised 
to the Imperial dignity, before there was 
time for the partisans of the Princess Eliza- 
beth to question the authority under which 
they acted, much less to oppose the execution 
of it with the slightest chance of success. 
The new sovereign, thus unjustly invested 
with power, was a woman Anne, Dowager 
Duchess of Corn-land and the pretence 
under which Prince d'OIgorowki and Count 
Osterman proclaimed her as Empress of 
Russia, was that Peter the Small had con- 
fidentially communicated to them, on his 
death-bed, a desire that the Dowager 
Duchess should be chosen, as the sovereign 
to succeed him. 

Tke principal result of the Dowager 
Duchess's occupation of the throne was the 
additional complication of the political affairs 
of Russia. The new empress had an ej r e to 
the advancement of her family ; and, among 
the other relatives for whom she provided, 
was a niece, named Catherine. By the wise 
management of the empress, this young lady 
was married to the Prince of Brunswick, 
brother-in-law of the King of Prussia. The 
| first child born of the marriage was a boy 
named Ivan. Before he had reached the 
age of two years, his mother's aunt, the 
Empress, died ; and, when her will was 
opened, it was discovered, to the amazement 
of everyone, that she had appointed this 
child to succeed her ou the throne of 
Russia. 

The private motive which led the empress 
to take this extraordinary course, wa.s her 
desire to place the sovereign power in the 
hands of one of the favourites, the Duke de 
Biren, by nominating that nobleman as the 
guardian of the infant Ivan. To accomplish 
this purpose, she had not only slighted the 
legitimate claims of Peter the Great's 
daughter, the Princess Elizabeth, but had 
also entirely overlooked the interests of 
Ivan's mother, who naturally felt that she 
had a right to nscend the throne, as the 
nearest relation of the deceased empress and 
the mother of the chill, who was designated 
as the future emperor. To the bewilder- 
ment and dissatisfaction thus produced, a 
further element of confusion was added by 
the total incapacity of the Duke de Biren 
to occupy creditably the post of authority 
which had !>een assigned to him. Before lie 
had been long 1 in office, he gave way alto- 



Charles Dickens.] 



A REMARKABLE REVOLUTION. 



[August 1, 185M 101 



gether under the double responsibility of 
guiding the affairs of Russia and directing 
the education of the future emperor. Ivan's 
mother saw the chance of asserting her 
rights which the weakness of the duke 
afforded to her. She was a resolute woman ; 
and she seized her opportunity bv banishing 
Biren to Siberia, and taking his place as 
Regent of the Empire and guardian of her 
infant son. 

Such was the result, thus far, of the great 
scramble for the crown which began with 
the death of the son of Peter the Great. 
Such was the position of affairs in Russia at 
the time when the revolution broke out. 

Throng! i all the contentious which dis- 
tracted the country, the Princess Elizabeth 
lived in the retirement of her own palace, 
waiting secretly, patiently, and vigilantly for 
the fit opportunity of asserting her rights. 
She was, in every sense of the word, a re- 
markable woman, and she numbered two 
remarkable men among the adherents of her 
cause. One was the French ambassador at 
the Court of Russia, the Marquis de la 
Cliet.-irdie. The other was the surgeon of 
Elizabeth's household, a German, named 
Lestoc. The Frenchman had money to 
spend ; the German had brains to plot. Both 
were men of tried courage and resolute will ; 
and both were destined to take the foremost 
places in the coming struggle. It is certainly 
not the least curious circumstance in the 
extraordinary revolution which we are now 
about to describe, that it was planned and 
carried out by two foreigners. In the 
struggle for the Russian throne, the natives 
of the Russian soil were used only as instru- 
ments to be handled and directed at the 
pleasure of the French ambassador and the 
German surgeon. 

The Marquis and Lestoc, watching the 
signs of the times, arrived at the conclusion 
that the period of the banishment of the 
Duke de Biren and of the assumption of the 
supreme power by the mother of Ivan, was 
also the period for effecting the revolution 
which was to place the Princess Elizabeth on 
the throne of her ancestors. The dissatis- 
faction in Russia had, by this time, spread 
widely among all classes. The people chafed 
under a despotism inflicted on them by 
foreigners. The native nobility felt outraged 
by their exclusion from, privileges which had 
been conceded to their order under former 
reigns, before the aliens from Courland had 
seized on the reins of power. The army was 
for the most part to be depended on to 
answer any bold appeal that might be made 
to it, in favour of the daughter of Peter the 
Gi eat. With these chances in their favour, 
the Frenchman and the German set them- 
selves to the work of organising the scattered 
elements of discontent. The Marquis opened 
his well-filled purse ; and Surgeon Lestoc 
prowled about the city and the palace with 
watchful eyes, with persuasive tongue, with 



delicately-bribing hands. The great point to 
be achieved was to tamper successfully with 
the regiment on duty at the palace ; and 
this was skilfully and quickly accomplished 
by Lestoc. In the course of a few days only, 
he contrived to make sure of all the consider- 
able officers of the regiment, and of certain 
picked men from the ranks besides. On 
counting heads, the members of the military 
conspiracy thus organised came to thirty- 
three. Exactly the same number of men had 
once plotted the overthrow of Julius Caosar, 
nncl had succeeded in the attempt. 

Matters had proceeded thus far when the 
suspicions of the Duchess Regent (that being 
the title which Ivan's mother had now 
assumed) were suddenly excited, without the 
slightest apparent cause to arouse them. 
Nothing dangerous had been openly at- 
tempted as yet, and not one of the conspira- 
tors had betrayed the secret. Nevertheless 
the Duchess Regent began to doubt ; and, one 
morning, she astonished and alarmed the 
marquis and Lestoc by sending, without any 
previous warning, for the Princess Elizabeth, 
and by addressing a series of searching ques- 
tions to her at a private interview. For- 
tunately for the success of the plot, the 
daughter of Peter the Great was more than 
a match for the Duchess Regent. From first 
to last Elizabeth proved herself equal to the 
dangerous situation in which she was placed. 
The Duchess discovered nothing ; and the 
heads of the thirty-three conspirators re- 
mained safe on their shoulders. 

This piece of good fortune operated on the 
cunning and resolute Lestoc as a warning to 
make haste. Between the danger of waiting 
to mature the conspiracy, and the risk of 
letting it break out abruptly before the 
organisation of it was complete, he chose the 
latter alternative. The Marquis agreed with 
him that it was best to venture everything, 
before there was time for the suspicions of the 
Duchess to be renewed ; and the Princess 
Elizabeth, on her part, was perfectly ready 
to be guided by the advice of her two trusty 
adherents. The fifteenth of January, seven- 
teen hundred and forty-one, had been the 
day originally fixed for the breaking out of 
the revolution. Lestoc now advanced the 
period for making the great attempt by nine 
days. On the night of the sixth of January 
the Duchess Regent and the Princess Eliza- 
beth were to change places, and the throne of 
Russia was to become once more the inheri- 
tance of the family of Peter the Great. 

Between nine and ten o'clock, on the night 
of the sixth, Surgeon Lestoc strolled out, 
with careless serenity on his face, and de- 
vouring anxiety at his heart, to play his 
accustomed game of billiards at a French 
coffee-house. The stakes were ten ducats, and 
Lestoc did not 'play quite so well as usual that 
evening. When the clock of the coffee-house 
struck ten, he stopped in the middle of the 
game, and drew out his watch. 



102 [August 1.1857.1 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



" I beg ten thousand pardons," he said to 
the gentleman with whom he was playing ; 
" but I :im afraid I must ask yon to let me 
go before the game is done. I have a patient 
to see at ten o'clock, and the hour lias just 
struck. Here is a friend of mine," he conti- 
nued, bringing forward one of the bystanders 
by the arm, " who will, with your permission, 
play in my place. It is quite immaterial to 
me whether he loses or whether he wins, I am 
merely anxious that your game should not be 
interrupted. Ten thousand pardons again. 
Nothing but the necessity of seeing a patient 
could have induced me to be guilty of this 
apparent rudeness. I wish you much plea- 
sure, gentlemen, and I most unwillingly bid 
you good night." 

With that polite farewell, he departed. 
The patient whom he was going to cure was 
the sick Russian Empire. 

He got into his sledge, and drove off to 
the palace of the Princess Elizabeth. She 
trembled a little when he told her quietly 
that the hour had come for possessing herself 
of the throne ; but, soon recovering her 
spirits, dressed to go out, concealed a knife 
about her in case of emergency, and took her 
place by the side of Lestoc in the sledge. 
The two then set forth together for the 
French embassy to pick up the second leader 
of the conspiracy. 

They found the Marquis alone, cool, 
smiling, humming a gay French tune, and 
quietly amusing himself by making a drawing. 
Elizabeth and Lestoe looked over his shoulder, 
and the former started a little when she saw 
what the subject of the drawing was. In 
the background appeared a lai'ge monastery, 
a grim prison -like building, with barred 
windows and jealously -closed gates; in 
the foreground were two high gibbets and 
two wheels of the sort used to break criminals 
on. The drawing was touched in with 
extraordinary neatness and steadiness of 
hand ; and the marquis laughed gaily 
when he saw how seriously the subject repre- 
sented had startled and amazed the Princess 
Elizabeth. 

" Courage, madam ! " he said. " I was 
only amusing myself by making a sketch 
illustrative of the future which we may all 
three expect if we fail in our enterprise. In 
an hour from this time, you will be on the 
throne, or on your way to this ugly building." 
(He touched the monastery in the back- 
ground of the drawing lightly with the point 
of his pencil.) " In an hour from this time, 
also, our worthy Lestoc and myself will either 
be the two luckiest men in Russia, or the 
two miserable criminals who are bound on 
these" (he touched the wheels) "and hung 
up afterwards on those " (he touched the 
gibbets). "You will p;<rd<m me, madam, for 
indulging in this ghastly fancy ] I was 
always eccentric from childhood. My good 
Lestoc, as we seem to be quite ready, perhaps 
you will kindly precede us to the door, and 



allow me the honour of handing the Princess 
to the sledge ?" 

They leit the house, laughing and chatting 
as carelessly as if they were a party going to 
the theatre. Lestoc took the reins. " To the 
palace of the Duchess Regent, coachman !" 
said the Marquis, pleasantly. And to the 
palace they went. 

They made no attempt to slip in by back- 
doors, but boldly drove up to the grand 
entrance, inside of which the guard-house 
was situated. 

;; Who goes there ?" cried the sentinel as 
they left the sledge and passed in. 

The Marquis took a pinch of snuff. 

" Don't you see, my good fellow ?" he said. 
"A lady and two gentlemen." 

The slightest irregularity was serious 
enough to alarm the guard at the Imperial 
palace in those critical times. The sentinel 
presented his rnusket at the Marquis, and a 
drummer-boy who was standing near ran to 
; his instrument and caught up his drum-sticks 
to beat the alarm. 

Before the sentinel could fire, he was sur- 
rounded by the thirty-three conspirators, and 
was disarmed in an instant. Before the 
drummer-boy could beat the alarm, the 
Princess Elizabeth had drawn out her knife 
and had stabbed not the boy,but the drum ! 
These slight preliminary obstacles being thus 
disposed of, Lestoc and the Marquis, having 
the Princess between them, and being fol- 
lowed by their thirty-three adherents, marched 
resolutely into the great hall of the palace, 
and there confronted the entire guard. 

" Gentlemen," said the Marquis, " I have 
the honour of presenting you to your future 
empress, the daughter of Peter the Great." 

Half the guard had been bribed by the 
cunning Lestoc. The other half, seeing their 
comrades advance and pay homage to the 
Princess, followed the example of loyalty. 
Elizabeth was escorted into a room on the 
ground-float by a military court formed in 
the course of five minutes. The Marquis and 
the faithful thirty-three went up-stairs to the 
sleeping apartments of the palace. Lestoc 
ran out, and ordered a carriage to be got 
ready then joined the Marquis and the con- 
spirators. The Duchess Regent and her 
child were just retiring for the night when 
the German surgeon and the French- ambas- 
sador politely informed them that they were 
prisoners. Entreaties were of no avail ; re- 
sistance was out of the question. Both 
mother and son were led down to the carriage 
that Lestoc had ordered, and were driven off, 
under a strong guard, to the fortress of 
Riga. 

The palace was secured, and the Duchess 
was imprisoned, but Lestoc and the Marquis 
had not done their night's work yet. It was 
necessary to make sure of three powerful 
personages connected with the government. 
Three more carriages were ordered out when 
the Duchess's carriage had been driven off ; 



Charles Dickens.] 



A EEMAEKABLE EEVOLUTION. 



[August 1, 1857.] 103 



and three noblemen among them Count 
Osterman, the original cause of the troubles 
in Russia were woke out of their first sleep 
with the information that they were state 
prisoners, and were started before daylight 
on their way to Siberia. At the same time 
the thirty-three conspirators were scattered 
about in every barrack-room in St. Peters- 
burg, proclaiming Elizabeth Empress, in right 
of her illustrious parentage, and in the name 
of the Eussian people. Soon after daylight, 
the moment the working population was 
beginning to be astir, the churches were 
occupied by trusty men under Lestoc's orders, 
and the oaths of fidelity to Elizabeth were 
administered to the willing populace as fast 
as they came in to morning prayers. By nine 
o'clock the work was done ; the people were 
satisfied ; the army was gained over ; Eliza- 
beth sat on her father's throne, unopposed, un- 
questioned, unstained by the sheddingof a drop 
of blood ; and Lestoc and the Marquis could 
rest from their labours at last, and could say 
to each other with literal truth, " The govern- 
ment of Eussia has been changed iu nine 
hours, and we two foreigners are the men 
who have worked the miracle ! " 

Such was the Eussiaii revolution of seven- 
teen hundred and forty-one. It was not the 
less effectual because it had lasted but a few 
hours, and had been accomplished without 
the sacrifice of a single life. The Imperial 
inheritance, which it had placed in the hands 
of Elizabeth, was not snatched from them 
again. The daughter of the great Czar lived 
and died Empress of Eussia. 

And what became of the two men who 
had won the throne for her ? The story of 
the after-conduct of the Marquis and Lestoc 
must answer that question. The events of 
the revolution itself are hardly more strange 
than the events in the lives of the French 
ambassador and the German surgeon, when 
the brief struggle was over and the change 
in the dynasty was accomplished. 

To begin with the Marquis. He had laid 
the Princess Elizabeth under serious obli- 
gations to his courage and fidelity ; and his 
services were repaid by such a reward as, in his 
vainest moments, he could never have dared 
to hope for. He had not only excited Eliza- 
beth's gratitude, as a faithful adherent, but 
he had touched her heart as a man ; and, as 
soon as she was settled quietly on the throne, 
she proved her admiration of his merits, 
his services, and himself by offering to marry 
him. 

This proposal, which conferred on the 
Marquis the highest distinction in Eussia, 
fairly turned his brain. The imperturbable 
man who had preserved his coolness in a 
situation of the deadliest danger, lost all con- 
trol over himself the moment he rose to the 
climax of prosperity. Having obtained leave 
of absence from his Imperial mistress, he 
returned to France to ask leave from his own 



sovereign to marry the empress. This per- 
mission was readily granted. After receiving 
it, any man of ordinary discretion would have 
kept the fact of the Empress's partiality for 
him as strictly secret as possible, until it could 
be openly avowed on the marriage-day. Far 
from this, the Marquis's vanity led him to 
proclaim the brilliant destiny in store for him 
all over Paris. He commissioned the king's 
genealogist to construct a pedigree which 
should be made to show that he was not un- 
worthy to contract a royal alliance. When 
the pedigree was completed he had the incre- 
dible folly to exhibit it publicly, along with 
the keepsakes which the Empress had given to 
him and the rich presents which he intended 
to bestow as marks of his favour on the lords 
and ladies of the Eussian court. Nor did his 
imprudence end even here. When he re- 
turned to St. Petersburg, he took back with 
him, among the other persons comprising his 
train, a woman of loose character, dressed in 
the disguise of a page. The persons about 
the Eussian court, whose prejudices he had 
never attempted to conciliate whose envy 
at his success waited only for the slightest 
opportunity to effect his ruin suspected the 
sex of the pretended page, and too.k good 
care that the report of their suspicions 
should penetrate gradually to the foot of the 
throne. It seems barely credible, but it is, 
nevertheless, unquestionably the fact, that 
the infatuated Marquis absolutely allowed 
the Empress an opportunity of seeing his 
page. Elizabeth's eye, sharpened by jealousy, 
penetrated instantly to the truth. Any less 
disgraceful insult she would probably have 
forgiven, but such an outrage as this no 
woman especially no woman in her position 
could pardon. With one momentary 
glance of anger and disdain, she dismissed 
the Marquis from her presence, and never, 
from that moment, saw him again. 

The same evening his papers were seized, 
all the presents that he had received from. 
the Empress 'were taken from him, and he 
was ordered to leave the Eussian dominions 
for ever, within eight days' time. He was not 
allowed to write, or take any other means of 
attempting to justify himself ; and, on his 
way back to his native country, he was 
followed to the frontier by certain officers of 
the Eussian army, and there stripped, with 
every mark of ignominy, of all the orders of 
nobility, which he had received from the 
Imperial court. He returned to Paris a dis- 
graced man, lived there in solitude, obscurity, 
and neglect for some years, and died in a 
state of positive want, the unknown inhabi- 
tant of one of the meanest dwellings in the 
whole city. 

The end of Lestoc is hardly less remark- 
able than the end of the Marquis. In their 
weak points as in their strong, the cha- 
racters of these two men seem to have been 
singularly alike. Making due allowance for 



104 [August], 1857 J 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



the difference in station between the German 
surgeon and the French ambassador, it is 
undeniable that Elizabeth showed her sense 
of the services of Lestoc as gratefully and 
generously as she had shown her sense of the 
services of the Marquis. The ex-surgeon 
was raised at onee to the position of the 
eliief favourite and the most powerful man 
about the Court. Besides the privileges 
which he shared equally with the highest 
nobles of the period, he was allowed access 
to the Empress on all private as well as on 
all public occasions. He had a perpetual 
right of entry into her domestic circle which 
was conceded to no one else ; and he held a 
position, on days of public reception, that 
placed him on an eminence to which no 
other man in Russia could hope to attain. 
Such was his position ; and, strange to say, 
it had precisely the same maddening effect 
on his vanity which the prospect of an 
imperial alliance had exercised over the 
vanity of the marquis. Lestoc's audacity 
became ungovernable ; his insolence knew 
no bounds. He abused the privileges con- 
ferred upon him by Elizabeth's grateful 
regard, with such baseness and such indeli- 
cacy, that the Empress, after repeatedly 
cautioning him in the friendliest possible 
terms, found herself obliged, out of regard 
to her own reputation and to the remon- 
strances which assailed her from all the 
persons of her Court, to deprive him of the 
privilege of entry into her private apart- 
ments. 

This check, instead of operating as a 
timely warning to Lestoc, irritated him into 
the commission of fresh acts of insolence, so 
wanton in their nature that Elizabeth at 
last lost all patience, and angrily reproached 
him with the audacious ingratitude of his 
behaviour. The reproach was retorted by 
Lestoc, who fiercely accused the Empress of 
forgetting the great services that he had 
rendered her, and declared that he would 
turn his back on her and her dominions, 
after first resenting the contumely with 
which he had been treated by an act of 
revenge that she would remember to the 
day of her death. 

The vengeance which he had threatened 
proved to be the vengeance of a forger and 
a cheat. The banker in St. Petersburg who 
was charged with the duty of disbursing the 
sums of state money which were set apart 
for the Empress's use, received an order, one 
day, to pay four hundred thousand ducats, to 
a certain person, who was not mentioned by 
name, biit who, it was stated, would call, 
with the proper credentials, to receive the 
money. The banker was struck by this 
irregular method of performing the pi*e- 
liminaries of an important matter of busi- 
ness, and he considered it to be his duty to 
show the document which he had received 
to one of the Ministers. Secret inquiries 
were immediately set on foot, and they ended 



in the discovery that the order was a false 
one, and that the man who had forged it 
was no other than Lestoc. 

For a crime of this kind the punishment 
was death. But the Empress had declared, 
on her accession, that she would sign no 
warrant for the taking away of life during 
her reign, and, moreover, she still generously 
remembered what she had owed in former 
times to Lestoc. Accordingly, she changed 
his punishment to a sentence of exile to 
Siberia, with special orders that the life of 
the banished man should be made as easy 
to him as possible. He had not passed 
many years in the wildernesses of Siberia, 
before Elizabeth's strong sense of past obli- 
gation to him, induced her still further to 
lighten his punishment by ordering that he 
should be brought back to St. Petersburg 
and confined in the fortress there, where her 
own eyes might assure her that he was 
treated with mercy and consideration. It is 
probable that she only intended this change 
as a prelude to the restoration of his liberty ; 
but the future occasion for pardoning him 
never came. Shortly after his return to 
St. Petersburg, Lestoc ended his days in the 
prison of the fortress. 

So the two leaders of the Russian revo- 
lution lived, and so they died. It has been 
said, and said well, that the only sure proof of 
a man's strength of mind is to be discovered 
by observing the manner in which he bears 
success. History shows few such remarkable 
examples of the truth of this axiom, as are 
afforded by the lives of the Marquis de la 
Chetardie and the German surgeon Lestoc. 
Two stronger men in the hour of peril and 
two weaker men in the hour of security have 
not often appeared in this world to vanquish 
adverse circumstances like heroes, and to be 
conquered like cowards afterwards by nothing 
but success. 



OPIUM. 

CHAPTER THE FIRST. INDIA. 

IT not unfrequently happens that amid 
the storms of "party, hostile divisions, bitter 
speeches, parliamentary disruptions, dissolved 
sessions, hustings' agitations, cabinet recon- 
structions, plausible promises the plain 
facts ot a large international question are 
little understood by the people. The present 
outbreak with China is not exactly an opium 
war, yet opium gives flavour to it, and opium 
chests are Pandora-boxes whence much mis- 
chief flies out to trouble the Oriental world. 
What opium is, and how it is used ; who gave 
it, and where ; who buy it, and why ; who 
pay for it, and how ; who fight about it, and 
when are questions that we ought, for rea- 
sons presently to be shown, to be well able to 
answer in England, since they bear very 
closely on our relation with a hundred mil- 
lion East Indians and three hundred millions 
Chinese. An attempt is here made in an 



Ch.-.r'ps Dichens.] 



OPIUM. 



f August 1,1837.] 105 



Indian chapter relating to the producers, and 
a Chinese chapter relating to the consumers 
to give a plain account of the matter : 
steering clear between the merchant-bias on 
the one hand, and the missionary-bias on the 
other. 

Opium, then, is a brownish, substance, 
smoked and chewed in a manner somewhat 
analogous to tobacco, and to gratify a similar 
craving. It is the juice of the white poppy, 
solidified and otherwise prepared. This plant 
is extensively grown in Asia and Europe, 
sometimes for the sake of the oil contained 
in the seeds, sometimes for the medicinal pro- 
perties of the capsules, but more generally I 
for the peculiar opiate qualities of the juice. ! 
Although the Turks, Syrians, Egyptians, and , 
Persians cultivate the poppy for the sake of i 
the opium, this branch of husbandry is more ! 
especially attended to in India ; not through ' 
the superior qualities of the soil or climate, 
but from an all-powerful money-motive, pre- 
sently to be elucidated. Much care and 
labour are needed in preparing the ground 
and tending the young plants, and many 
sources of injury are due to fluctuation in 
wind, rain, and dew : hence the growth of 
the poppy for opium is rather precarious. In 
India, the cultivation takes place in the cold 
season, and the manuring and watering are 
sedulously attended to. Soon after the flowers 
fall, the plant is ripe for the opium harvest. 
The people flock to the fields in the evening, 
armed with crooked-bladed knives, which 
are employed to cut incisions in the capsules I 
or poppy-heads, in various directions. They ' 
then retire for the night ; and on resuming 
field-work early next morning, they find that 
juice has exuded through the incisions, and 
collected on the surface. At first it is white 
and milky, but the heat of the sun speedily 
converts it into a brown gummy mass, in 
which state it is scraped off. The thickened 
juice, in crude opium, is collected as it exudes 
day after day, until all has been obtained ; 
and this total quantity is affected, not only 
by the whole routine of culture, but by the 
state of the weather during the cultivation 
and collecting. The produce is either simply 
dried ; or, to equalise the quality, the whole 
of the day's collection is rubbed together in a 
mortar or similar vessel, and reduced to a 
homogenous semi-fluid mass, which is then 
quickly dried in the shade. 

At this point it becomes necessary to un- 
derstand the qualities for or on account of 
which opium is consumed by man. We have 
briefly noticed the opium culture, taken in 
its simplest form, without regard to any 
other interests than those of the cultivator. 
But we cannot now stir a step further in the 
narrative, without attending to those quali- 
ties in opium that have determined the pro- 
ceedings of the East India Company. The 
art of deriving a revenue from this commo- 
dity has been invented by the Company, and 
has become the basis for a vast trade between 



India and China. Had opium been employed 
merely as a medicinal drug, \ve should never 
have heard of opium wars in the Celestial 
Empire ; since, owing to the strength of the 
drug, a little would go a great way in the 
hands of the medical practitioner. The poppy 
yields morphia, narcotina, codeia, meconine, 
and other substances invaluable in the heal- 
ing art ; and it is the source whence lauda- 
num, spirit of poppies, and a host of nostrums 
under the names of Godfrey's cordial, pare- 
goric elixir, black drop, sedative liquor, 
Jeremie's solution, &c., derive their chief 
qualities. But the sick consume very little 
of this substance ; it is by men, men hale 
enough to dispense with the use if they so 
please, that the market-supply of opium is 
mostly taken off. Those who do not take 
opium as an indulgence can form no adequate 
conception of the effect it produces ; and 
must therefore be dependent on opium-eaters 
and smokers, or on medical writers, for infor- 
mation on this subject. The collectors of 
opium are generally pale, and affected with 
tremblings ; and if opium be heated, the 
vapours mixing with the air of the room have 
a tendency to produce insensibility in man 
and the lower animals. It acts either as a 
stimulant or a sedative, according to the 
quantity taken, the frequency of repetition, 
and the state of the system when it is admi- 
nistered. M. Pereira states that, to persons 
unaccustomed to its use, the eating of less 
than a grain of opium generally produces a 
stimulant action ; the mind is exhilarated, 
ideas flow more quickly, a pleasurable condi- 
tion of the whole system is experienced, 
difficult to describe ; there is a capability of 
greater exertion than usual ; but this is fol- 
lowed by a diminution of muscular power, 
and of susceptibility to the impression of 
external objects ; a desire of repose comes on, 
hunger is not felt, but thirst increases. Very 
soon, however, the craving increases by that 
which it feeds upon ; the pleasurable stimulus 
is only renewable by increasing the dose, in- 
somuch that a portion of a grain no longer 
produces the result yearned for. When the 
quantity reaches two or three grains at a 
dose, the st.-fge of excitement is soon followed 
by the stage of depression ; the pulse isfulland 
rapid, then faint and slow ; the skin becomes 
hot, the mouth and throat dry, the appetite 
diminished, the thirst increased, the taste of 
food deteriorated by nausea, the muscles 
enfeebled, the organs of sense dull, the ideas 
confused, and the inclination torpid : in 
short, the pleasurable stage is brief compared 
with the painful stage that follows it. Four 
grains, to a person quite unaccustomed to its 
use, are likely to be fatal ; but to an opium- 
eater or smoker this is only a very moderate 
dose. The Turks, who in many cases take 
opium as a stimulant because their religion 
forbids the use of wiue, begin v/ith perhaps 
half a grain ; but the mania carries them to 
such a length that, when the habit is fully 



106 [August 1, ! 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



confirmed, two drachms or- more per day are 
craved for. Dr. Oppenheim, in relation to 
these Turkish opium-eaters (who take the 
drug in the form of pills), says : " The effect 
of the opium manifests itself one or two 
hours after it lias been taken, and lasts for 
four or six hours, according to the dose 
taken and the idiosyncracy of the subject. In 
persons accustomed to take it, it produces a 
high degree of animation, which the Theriaki 
(opium-eaters) represent as the acme of hap- 
piness. The habitual opium-eater is instantly 
recognised by his appearance. A total atten- 
uation of body, a withered yellow counte- 
nance, a lame gait, a bending of the spine, 
frequently to such a degree as to assume a 
circular form, and glossy deep-sunken eyes, 
betray him at the first glance. The digestive 
organs are in the highest degree disturbed : 
the sufferer eats scarcely anything ; his 
mental and bodily powers are destroyed he 
is impotent. By degrees, as the habit be- 
comes more confirmed, his strength continues 
decreasing, the craving for the stimulus be- 
comes even greater, and to produce tlie 
desired effect the dose must constantly be 
augmented. When the dose of two or three 
drachms a day no longer produces the beatific 
intoxication so eagerly sought, they mix the 
opium with corrosive sublimate, increasing 
the quantity till it reaches ten grains a day." 
Most English readers are to some extent 
familiar with the revelations made by De 
Quincy and Coleridge, corroborating this 
account of the terrible effects of opium- 
eating. As to the Chinese habit of opium- 
smoking, the next chapter will introduce us 
to it, 

Now this Oriental tendency to opium- 
eating and smoking will furnish a clue to the 
past and present proceedings of the East 
India Company, in relation to the culture of 
the poppy. Just ninety years ago, Messrs. 
Watson and Wheeler, two civil servants of 
the Company at Calcutta, suggested to the 
Council that as India grew opium, a revenue 
might possibly be derived therefrom. Until 
that time, China had purchased no foreign 
opium, except a little from India, a little 
brought from Turkey by Portuguese mer- 
chants ; but it was now thought that India 
might obtain a larger share in the trade. 
The suggestion was so far adopted as to 
ensure emoluments for several officers under 
the Government ; but in the course of a few 
years the monopoly was taken out of the 
hands of those officers, and the profit of the 
trade assumed for the benefit of the Com- 
pany, through the medium of middlemen or 
speculators. The system continued under 
the direction of the Board of Revenue, but 
towards the close of the century it was trans- 
ferred to the Board of Trade. About the 
beginning of the present century the middle- 
man, or contractor system, was abolished. 
Company's agents were directly appointed, 
and the cultivation of the poppy was strictly 



limited to certain defined districts in the 
Bengal Presidency ; the plan, thus esta- 
blished, has been continued down to the 
present time, with modification in its details, 
but not in its principle. 

Opium, then, is a rigorous monopoly of the 
E.-ist India Company, so far as India is con- 
cerned ; and the monopoly is cherished and 
fostered because the Chinese are found to be 
ready purchasers. The Company are not the 
growers of the poppy, but they control the 
growers in an extraordinary way. Benares, 
Patna. and Malvva are the three provinces 
where the plant is grown. Leaving Malwa 
for special mention presently, we proceed to 
describe the mode in which the operations are 
conducted in the other two provinces. The 
cultivation of the poppy is prohibited, except 
for the purpose of selling the juice to the 
Company at a fixed price, at which it is 
received. Any cultivator willing to engage 
in this branch of husbandry is permitted so 
to do, on the condition specified ; but no one 
is compelled, against his sense of his own 
interests. The price for the juice about 
ninepence per pound on an average of years 
is found sufficient to stimulate production. 
The Company will take any quantity, be the 
produce above or below the average. The 
poppy fields are measured every year, and 
their boundaries fixed, in order to prevent 
collision among those to whom they are as- 
signed. The contract between the Company 
and the growers is managed through many 
intermediate agents including a collector, 
who is a European ; gomastaks, a superior 
class of native agents ; sudder mattus, a 
respectable class of landowners ; village 
mattus, the principal inhabitants of the vil- 
lages ; and the ryots or peasant cultivators. 
According to the engagement entered into, 
when the poppies are ripe, immediately before 
the extraction of the juice, the gomastak and 
his assistants make a circuit of the country 
or district, and form by guess a probable 
estimate of the produce of each field. He 
then makes the ryot enter into an engage- 
ment to deliver the quantity thus estimated, 
and as much more as the field will yield, at 
the price previously fixed. If the quantity 
delivered be less than the estimate, and the 
collector has reason to suppose the ryot has 
kept back any, the former is empowered by 
law to prosecute the ryot in the civil courts 
for damages. If a ryot enters on the culti- 
vation of the poppy without having previously 
made his agreement with the Company, his 
property becomes immediately attached, until 
he either destroys his poppies or makes the 
requisite bargain. There would be tyranny 
in the working of such a system, were it not 
perfectly optional to the ryot to abandon the 
culture of the poppy whenever it became un- 
profitable or unpleasant to him; and indeed 
the opponents of the system assert that it is 
very difficult for the poor cultivators to get 
out of the groove, whether they wish or no. 



Charles Dickens-] 



OPIUM. 



[August I, 1857-] 107 



Considering, however, that the culture has 
vastly increased in amount lately, the balance 
of evidence seems to show that the cultivators 
find opium to be as profitable as rice or 
cotton. 

. It is said above, that the price paid to the 
ryot for the juice is about uiuepence per 
pound ; but the product costs the Company 
four or five times this amount before it 
finally passes into other hands. The juice 
has many processes to go through before it is 
fit for the market, and these processes differ 
in different countries. The per-centage of 
morphia contained in poppy juice being the 
chief fact that determines its value, the 
opium brought to market is carefully classi- 
fied, in order that dealers may, in the first 
place, guess the quality from the country or 
district, and then analyse it more minutely. 
Thus Smyrna opium is prepared into irregular 
flattened masses of about two pounds weight, 
somewhat hard, blackish brown, waxy in 
lustre, and enveloped in leaves. Constanti- 
uopolitan opium, generally in small lens-shaped 
cakes, and covered with poppy leaves, is 
redder, softer, and weaker in quality than 
that from Smyrna. Egyptian opium, brought 
to market in leaf-enveloped, round, flattened 
cakes, about three inches in diameter, is 
redder than the last named kind, but much 
harder. Persian opium, of intermediate 
colour, odour, and consistence, is brought to 
market in the form of cylindrical sticks, each 
enveloped with smooth glossy paper and tied 
with cotton. The Indian opium, which in 
many respects is the most important, is 
treated as follows : After the juice has been 
collected it is gradually inspissated in the 
cool shade, care being taken to procure a 
proper jelly-like consistence, without grit or 
sourness. When ready for market, it pos- 
sesses a degree of adhesiveness which keeps 
it from dropping from the hand for some 
seconds, though the hand be inverted. In the 
Patna and Benares districts the opium is 
made into balls about the size of the double 
fist, and covered with a hard skin made of 
the petals of the poppy. The chests in which 
the opium is packed for the market are made 
of mango-wood ; each consists of two stories 
or stages, and each story has twenty compart- 
ments to contain twenty balls, insomuch that 
the balls of opium are all kept separate. 
The balls weighing about three pounds and 
a-half each, the average chest-weight does 
not depart far from a hundred and forty 
pounds. 

We have reserved for a special paragraph 
the Malwa opium, for a reason that may now 
appear. Malwa is not a British possession. 
It is one of those few states in Hiudostan, 
becoming fewer and fewer in each generation, 
that are still independent. The East India 
Company cannot, therefore, send the tax- 
gatherer into that province, but they never- 
theless contrive to obtain a large revenue 
out of it in another way. The Malwa culti- 



vators, quite independent of the Company, 
grow poppies and prepare opium just when 
and where they find it most convenient. 
They make up the opium into cakes about 
the size of the single fist, and pack it in dried 
poppy leaves, and the chests in which the 
cakes are placed are covered with hides or 
coarse cloth for their preservation. All is so 
far well ; but if the cultivators wish to sell 
the opium to foreign merchants for shipment 
at a seaport, how is this to be effected 'I 
Malwa, situated between Bombay and Delhi, 
does not come down to the coast, nor can it 
obtain communication with any coast but by 
transit through some other province. When 
Scinde was independent, the opium of Malwa 
found its way to the port of Kurrachee in 
that region, without coming in contact with 
British authorities ; but when Scinde was 
conquered by the late Sir Charles James 
Napier, this opium trade was at once stopped. 
The Company obtained such a command over 
the western coasts that. Malwa opium could 
reach no port except that of Bombay, and by 
no route that would keep clear of British 
territory. Such being the new state of affairs, 
a frontier duty was established, analogous to 
the customs' toll on the continent of .Europe, 
but very heavy in amount. The opium is 
sold by the cultivators to dealers in Malwa, 
and about eight thousand chests are annually 
consumed in that province ; but a much 
larger quantity is now sent by land route to 
Bombay, a distance of nearly five hundred 
miles. The Malwa opium was formerly 
admitted along this route at a small duty, so 
long as there was a rival outlet through 
Scinde ; but in proportion as a monopoly has 
been acquired by the Company the duty has 
been raised. The British resident at Indore, 
a sort of ambassador to the Malwa state, 
grants " passes " to merchants to convey 
opium thence to Bombay ; and for these 
passes or permits a sum is paid which has 
been trebled in amount in fifteen years it 
having been raised from about a hundred and 
thirty to four hundred rupees per chest. The 
last-named rate of duty, on a chest of about 
one hundred and forty pounds, is nearly six 
shillings per pound eight times as much as 
the ryot cultivator obtains for the juice. Any 
opium found within the Bombay Presidency, 
on which transit duty has not been paid, is 
not only forfeited, but entails a fine on the 
owner. 

One stage more, and we arrive at the whole- 
sale mercantile dealings in Indian opium. Until 
the great change effected in the Company's 
charter, in eighteen hundred and thirty-four, 
the Company were their own merchants in 
foreign countries, to the exclusion of others ; 
but the external trade is now free, and is 
managed by any merchants belonging to any 
country. In Madras presidency no opium is 
grown, and none exported. In Bombay pre- 
sidency no opium is grown, but the Malwa 
opium pays duty on passing through British 



108 



,i7.1 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



territory to that port. In Bengal presidency 
a system of sale by auction is adopted. When 
the Bengal opium has been collected and 
brought to the Company's depots in the cities 
of Benares and Patna, when it has been puri- 
fied and packed in the chests, it is sent to 
Calcutta, where brokers, acting for the Com- 
pany, dispose of the opium by auction to the 



the dependence of Britain on the United 
States for a supply of that important mate- 
rial is beginning to excite much uneasiness 
it would be more to the advantage both 
of India and of England. 

As far back as a quarter of a century ago, 
when the affairs of the East India Company 
were investigated by parliament, and when 
the revenue derived from opium was far 



highest bidders. The purchasers are English, 

American, and other merchants, \vho buy to j smaller than it has since become, the corn- 
sell again at any other ports they please ; it, i mittee reported : " In the present state of the 
being a well understood fact, however, that i revenue of India, it does not appear advisable 
China is the great market to which they | to abandon so important a source of revenue; 



look. 
The 



commercial history of a pound of 



Indian opium, then, is this : The Company 
pay about uinepence for the juice to the ryot 
cultivator; they incur a further expenditure 
of three shillings or so, by the time the opium 
lias left their hands. They receive, on an 
average, say twelve shillings from the rner- 



a duty on opium being a tax which falls 
principally upon the foreign consumers, and 
which appears, upon the whole, less liable to 
objection than any other that could be sub- 
stituted." This line of argument has been 
since ; the servants of the Com- 



pany, in evidence before commissions and 
committees, constantly assert that the opium 



chant who buys at the Calcutta sale, and revenue must not be touched, unless the 
they pocket the difference between lour shil- moralists can point out some substitute ; they 
lings and twelve. These sums must be taken J say, if you touch this revenue, you will para- 
simply as a means of showing how the price i lise any exertions we may make to improve 
rises, and not the actual prices for any one ] the natives and industry of India. Money 
year. The Company have sold at seven we must have if not from opium, where else ? 



shillings per pound, they have sold at a 
guinea per pound, according to the general 
state of affairs in India or in China, and their 



The Marquis of Dalhousie, in the remark- 
able Minute giving the results of his eight 
years' government of India, shows that the 



profits have been proportionally affected. As i opium revenue had increased from less than 
to the further increase of price in China, the i three millions sterling, iu eighteen hundred 
next chapter will afford some information. [and forty-eight, to more than five millions in 



At Bombay, the exports of opium to China 
are greater than all the other exports to all 
countries ; but, at Calcutta, the general 
trade being vastly in excess of that at the 
sister presideuc\', the opium exports do not 
appear to be relatively so large, although the 
actual quantity of Benares and Patna opium, 
sold at Calcutta, is about twice that of 
Malwa opium sold at Bombay. The sales at 
Calcutta have increased from two to twelve 
in the year, and are managed by brokers em- 
ployed by the Company. The Company have 
nothing further to do with the matter after 
these 



eighteen hundred and fifty- six ; that it now 
forms one-sixth of the entire revenue of our 
vast Indian empire ; and he ventures upon 
no suggestions for the future abandonment or 
diminution of this source of wealth. 

The next chapter will take up from India 
to China ; from the opium-growers to the 
opium-consumers ; from those who obtain a 
revenue through smoke, to those who puff 
the smoke that yields the revenue. 

A DEAD PAST. 



the merchants or buyers take I f^p 1 '" at least . ; ^ok, you have taken from me 



the drug whithersoever they will mostly to 
China, in low-hulled, swift-sailing vessels. 
Ninety years ago, India sent two hundred 
chests of opium annually to China ; now, she 
sends fifty or sixty thousand ; at that time, the 
opium paid only cultivators' and merchants' 
profits ; at present, it yields in addition a 
revenue of no less than five millions sterling 
to the East India Company. And yet it is 
calculated that all the opium fields of India 
combined, do not exceed an area of a hun- 
dred thousand acres, or a square of land 
measuring twelve or thirteen miles on each 
side. In the culture of these fields, the Com- 
pany not only pay the ryot for the opium 
produced, but advance him money to assist in 
the culture ; and this has led some of the 
well-wishers of India to assert that, if the 
Company would foster the growth of cotton 
in the same way especially at a time when 



: m 



* nu * ' " ot nor moan ; 



The Future, too, with all her glorious promise, 
But do not leave me utterly alone. 

Spare me the Past for, see, she cannot harm you, 
She lies so white and cold, wrapped in her shroud, 
All, all my own! and trust me I will hide her 
Within my soul, nor speak to her aloud. 

I folded her soft hands upon her bosom 
And strewed my flowers upon her the}' still live 
Sometimes I like to kiss her closed white eyelids, 
And think of all the joy she used to give. 

Cruel indeed it were to take her from me : 
She sleeps, she will not wake no fear again. 
And so I laid her, such a gentle burthen, 
Quietly on my heart to still its pain. 

I do not think the ro*y smiling Present, 
Or the vaguo Future, spite of all her charms, 
Could ever rival her. You know ycu laid her, 
Long years ago, then living, in my arms. 






Char'es Dickens.] 



INVISIBLE GHOSTS. 



[August 1, 1857.] 109 



Leave her at least while my tears fall upon her, 
I (licaivi she smiles, just as she did of yore ; 
As dear as ever to me nay, it may be, 
Even dearer still since I have nothing more. 



INVISIBLE GHOSTS. 



SOME twenty years ago, a rich West India 
merchant, a Mr. Walderburn, purchased an 
estate in the county of Kent, and went thither 
to reside with his wife and family ; such 
family consisting of two sons and two daugh- 
ters, all of whom were grown up. 

The house on the estate was a fine old 
ninnsiou in the Elizabethan style of architec- 
ture, and the grounds by which it was sur- 
rounded were laid out with great care and in 
excellent taste. The property had belonged 
originally to a bai-onet who had distinguished 
himself in political life. So perfect a property 
was never purchased for so small a sum. 
The house and grounds known as Carlville 
together with one hundred acres of arable 
land, were knocked down by the illustrious 
George Robins for nine thousand, two hun- 
dred, and fifty pounds. 

The estate had been in the possession of 
its late owner's family for upwards of two 
hundred years. In that house had been born 
several eminent military men, a naval hero, 
a very distinguished lawyer, a statesman of 
no ordinary repute, and a lady celebrated for 
her remarkable beauty and her wit. 

It was in the autumn that Mr.Walderburu 
took possession of Carlville, and a number of 
guests were invited to inaugurate the event. 
The elder son of Mr. Walderburn was in the 
array, and brought with him several officers 
of his regiment. The younger son was at the 
university of Oxford, and was accompanied 
to his father's new home by three intimate 
college friends. The Misses Walderburn had 
also their especial favourites ; and they, too, 
journeyed to Carlville. A merrier party it 
would be difficult to imagine. 

On the evening of the third day, when the 
ladies had just risen from the dinner-table 
and retired to the drawing-room, the sound of 
carriage wheels, and presently a loud rapping 
at the door, were distinctly heard. As no 
visitor was expected, this startled the host ; 
who, finding that no one had been announced, 
was tempted to inquire of the footman : 

" Who was that '{ " 

"No one, sh," was the reply. 

" Did you hear a rap at the door '] " 

" Yes, sir." 

" Did you open the door ? " 

" Yes, sir." 

" Did you not see any one I "' 

"No one, sir." 

" Very strange ! " ejaculated Mr. Walder- 
burn, passing round the bottles which were 
standing before him. 

In another five minutes there was heard, 
for the second time, a sound of carriage 
wheels, followed by a vigorous rapping at the 



door, which was opened. But the footman 
saw no one, and conveyed this information to 
his master without waiting to be questioned. 

Mr. Waldei-burn, his sons, and his guests, 
were at a loss to comprehend the matter. 
There were three young gentlemen living at 
Glenpark (an estate near Carlville) who were 
just then under a cloud, in consequence of 
having committed sundry irregularities during 
the absence of their mother and sisters on 
the continent. These young gentlemen (the 
eldest was four and twenty, and the youngest 
just of age) were fond of practical joking ; 
and to their account this rapping at the door 
was laid. While the stupidity of such con- 
duct was being remarked upon, there came, 
for the third time, the sound of carriage 
wheels, followed by a very loud rapping. On 
this occasion, Mr. Walderburn sprang up and 
went out, determined to catch and severely 
punish these senseless intruders. The younger 
son, armed with a stick, ran round by the 
back way to cut off the retreat of the vehicle, 
while the elder son opened the hall door. It 
was a brilliant moonlight night, but no car- 
riage nor any person was to be seen. 

Mr. Walderburn's sons stood in front of 
the mansion, discoursing on the oddness of 
the recent proceeding. That a human hand 
had rapped at the door there was no sort of 
doubt in their minds, and that the sound they 
had heard previously to the rapping was the 
sound of carriage wheels and the tramp of 
horses, they were equally certain. In order 
to be prepared for the next visit, they 
crouched down and secreted themselves be- 
hind a large shrub. They had not been in 
this position for more than five minutes when 
a sound of wheels and of horses' hoofs in- 
duced them to look around them earnestly 
and intently. They saw nothing ; but they 
heard a carriage pulled up at the door, the 
steps let down, then the rapping at the door, 
the rustling of silk dresses, the steps put up 
again, and the moving away of the carriage 
towards the stables. 

None of the Walderburn family were timid 
people, or believers in ghosts. The young 
men, therefore, without scruple, went into 
the drawing-room, where all the inmates of 
the house were now assembled, and made 
known what had occurred. As is usually 
the case on such occasions, their statement 
was received with laughter and incredulity. 

And now there came another rapping at 
the door, and the big footman, who had heard 
the young masters' report in the drawing- 
room, trembled so violently, that the cups 
and saucers on the tray which he was hand- 
ing round began to reel, dance, and stagger. 

' ; Listen ! " said the elder son of Mr. Wal- 
derburn. 

All listened, and distinctly heard the sound 
of carriage wheels and of horses' hoofs. 

There was a huge portico before thq. front 
door of the mansion, and on the top thereof 
a balcony. Thence the eye could command 



110 



HOUSEHOLD WOKDS. 



[Conducted by 






the sight of any vehicle coming iii or going 
out of either of the great gates. Thither 
the whole party repaired to look for the 
ghosts. 

It was not long before the noises already 
described were again heard, but nothing 
could be seen. Everyone now set to work to 
divine the cause of these supernatural sounds. 
One said that it was the wind through the 
trees ; another, that there must be a drain 
under the premises inhabited by rats ; a 
third suggested distant thunder, and so on. 
But then there was the rapping at the door 
by invisible hands. And for this, everybody 
was equally at a loss to account. 

This rapping and arrival of invisible car- 
riages was continued till about half-past 
ten. It then ceased, and gave way to sounds 
more supernatural still. There arose a sound i 
of subdued music through the mansion. It ; 
was no delusion. Every one heard it ser- J 
vants included heard it distinctly, and could 
follow the old tunes to which our forefathers 
used to dance. And some, who listened most ' 
attentively, declared that they could hear the j 
movement of feet in several of the rooms and 
upon the stairs. 

Retiring to rest while these noises con- 
tinned was out of the question, and the whole 
party remained up, speculating, surmising, 
and wondering. Towards daylight the sound 
of the music ceased, and then came the noise 
which always attends the breaking-up of a 
ball. Shutting of carriage doors, moving on- 
ward of hoi'ses, &c. The reader must under- ! 
stand, however, that throughout the whole of ] 
these extraordinary noises the sound of the 
human voice was never heard ; and, as already 
stated, nothing whatever was seen. 

Daylight put an end to any alarm that had 
crept amongst the members of the party at | 
Carlville, and the majority went to rest. 

The evil consequences of the past night's | 
events were speedily manifested. The female { 
servants, one and all, wished to leave the ser- 
vice. They would not on any terms, they 
said, remain iii a house that was haunted, j 
They insisted on going at once, being quite 
prepared to forfeit their wages, if that 
step should be taken. The maids of the 
lady visitors also declared that they would 
rather not remain another night ; and this 
was an excellent reason for the lady visitors 
themselves, who were really frightened, to 
remove from Carlville. In a word, before the 
day had passed, Carlville was left to the 
members of the Walderburn family, and a 
few of the men-servants. 

Night came, and all was as still as the 
grave. No sound of carriage, no noise of any 
sort or kind. The Walderburns, who were 
strong-minded people, began to reason on the 
matter, and came to the conclusion that the 
impressions of the past night were mere 
delusions, that the imagination of one person 
in the first instance had fired the imagination 
of the rest, and that then the idea had 



become a fixed idea with all. New female 
servants were engaged from a town ten 
miles distant, and the establishment of 
Carlville was once more perfect in every 
particular. 

The gentlefolks in the vicinity now began 
to call upon the Walderburns, who were 
anxious to question them about the super- 
natural noises, which still stole over their 
minds ; but somehow or other they felt 
ashamed to do so, especially as there had been 
no recurrence of these noises. Amongst others 
who called at Carlville was Mr. Estrelle, a 
very gentlemanlike and clever man of about 
thirty years of age. The Walderburn family 
were charmed with him, and the sons espe- 
cially cultivated his acquaintance. 

One day the conversation happening to 
turn upon the estate Carlville and its late 
proprietor, Mr. Estrelle spoke as follows : 

"Old Sir Hugh was something more than 
eccentric. He was at times insane. Con- 
scious of being so, he retired from public 
life and came down here to live. He held 
aloof from all the families in the neighbour- 
hood. I was the only person whose visits 
he received, and I frequently dined with him. 
He had always covers laid for twenty, even 
when he dined alone. The fact was, he used 
to say, that he never knew when his guests 
would, or would not come. Especially the 
ladies. I should mention that these guests 
to whom Sir Hugh attended, were shadows ; 
imaginary guests to whom he would intro- 
duce you, with all the formality imaginable." 

" Was Sir Hugh imbecile ? " 

"No," replied Mr. Estrelle. "On the 
contrary. He was an extremely able man 
to the last, and his language in conversation 
was of the most vivacious and polished cha- 
racter. Sir Hugh was the very opposite to 
a bore ; even at one of his ghost dinner 
parties, or ghost balls, or ghost breakfasts, 
at all of which I have been and acted." 

"How acted?" 

" Sir Hugh would point out to me the lad) 
whom I was to conduct to the table, and would 
appoint the place of every one at the board. 
Strange to say, every lady or gentleman 
guest, whose name he mentioned, was dead. 
That Sir Hugh, in his imagination, saw them, 
there could be no doubt. The servants, of 
course, humoured this odd fancy of their 
master's, and waited on his imaginary guests, 
as though they had been living flesh and 
blood. I, too, used to humour him, by address- 
ing Lord George This, or Lady Mary That, 
across the table. Sometimes, Sir Hugh 
would sit at the top of the long table, and 
put me at the bottom, and at that distance, 
and in a tone appropriate to the distance, 
invite me, in my turn, to take wine with 
him. No gentleman ever did the honour of 
the table with more grace and bearing, while 
his flow of witty anecdote was unceasing 
and never stale or tedious. Curiously 
enough, he would frequently tell very amus- 



Charles Dickens.] 



FRENCH TAVERN LIFE. 



[August 1. Us;.] HI 



ing stories, which had for their burden the 
delusions of insane persons." 

" But did you never hear the carriages 
come and go, and the music ? " enquired Mrs. 
Walderburn. 

"What carriages'/ what music?" said 
Mr. Estrelle. 

" The carriages which brought the guests, 
and the music to which they danced/' 

" Never ! I never saw nor heard anything 
of the kind, but attributed all that occurred 
to Sir Hugh's madness. It was the only 
point upon which he was mad." 

Mr. Estrelle was astounded when he heard 
from the Walderburns the particulars of the 
noises which were heard on the first night of 
their occupancy of the mansion. It was agreed, 
however, that the story should not gain cur- 
rency, insomuch as it would not only create a 
commotion in the neighbourhood, but lessen 
the value of the property, perhaps. It was 
further arranged, that, in the event of the 
shadowy vehicles again visiting the mansion, 
Mr. Estrelle should b summoned. 

Six weeks passed away and not a sound 
was heard, save sounds for which everyone 
could account ; when, one night at half-past 
nine, there came that loud and vigorous 
rapping which bespeaks the arrival of some 
important personage. The Walderburu 
family, Avho where all in the drawing-room, 
involuntarily started. The lady of the house, 
very much agitated, rang the bell. The 
footman, pale and trembling, entered the 
room, and was requested to open the hall door. 
This he refused to do, unless accompanied by 
some one. Mr. Walderburn and his sons 
went with him. There was no one at the 
door ; but the rustling of silk dresses was 
again heard and the other noises which have 
been already described. A groom was dis- 
patched to Mr. Estrelle. He came and 
heard, as distinctly as every one else did, a 
repetition of what occurred on the first night, 
when the unseen ghosts looked in upon the 
Walderburn family. 

People may not believe in, or be afraid of 
ghosts, nevertheless it is far from pleasant 
to inhabit a house where airy nothings take 
such liberties with the knocker, and whose 
visits defy all calculation. Mr. Walderburn 
therefore determined on leaving Carlville, and 
advertised the property to be let. He was 
too conscientious, however, to do so, without 
informing a tenant who proposed, of the cause 
why the family vacated so very desirable a 
residence. 

Notwithstanding this great drawback, as 
it was called, the mansion was let to a 
Mr. Southdown : a gentleman who laughed 
to scorn the idea of a house being haunted, 
and who was so confident of the Walderburn 
family being under a delusion, that he took it 
on lease for three years. The Southdowns 
occupied it, however, for only four months. 
Of course, they offered to pay the rent, but 
live in it, they Avould not ; for on one occa- 



sion, when they had an evening party of their 
own friends, the ghosts thought proper to 
join it, and two-thirds of the ladies in the 
room fainted. 

It now became notorious, throughout the 
county, that Carlville was haunted ; and, from 
that time, the mansion was locked up and 
left entirely to shadows, and spiders. Three 
or four times it was put up to auction, but 
no one would make anything like a bid for 
it. An eminent builder was once sent down 
to inspect the house and report upon it. Mr. 
Walderburn junior accompanied him. The 
eminent builder at once discovered the cause 
of the noises. It was as " plain as a pike- 
staff," he said. " The portico attracted a 
strong current of air, which passed rapidly 
through it, and hence &c." The portico was 
pulled down. But the invisible ghosts came 
as usual. All the drains on the premises 
were then opened and examined under the 
supervision of the eminent builder. There 
was not a single rat or mouse or other animal 
to be found in them. Then the eminent 
builder said, " it must be the trees by which 
the mansion was surrounded," and those 
stately elms and venerable oaks, which had 
been planted in the reign of Henry the 
Eighth, were cut down and sold for timber. 
But the ghosts visited Carlville, nevertheless. 
The knocker was then removed ; then the 
door and the windows, and the remaining 
articles of furniture carried away. To no 
purpose. The same noises were distinctly 
heard. The land was now sold separately, 
and the mansion, which Mr. Walderburn 
would not have pulled down, was suffered to 
go to ruin. 

About three years ago I was in the neigh- 
bourhood of Carlville, the place of which I 
had so often heard the Walderburns speak. 
Curiosity prompted me to pay the place a 
visit. I rode over in the company of a 
friend, and on my way recounted to him the 
facts above narrated. To my surprise, I 
found the ruin peopled. Several poor fami- 
lies had taken up their abode within those 
walls. I asked them if they ever saw the 
ghosts ? They replied : " No, but we some- 
times hear 'em plain enough. Hows'ever 
they never meddle with us, nor us with 
them." 

" And the music ?" I enquired. 

" Yes, and very pleasant it is on a winter's 
evening, or a summer's either," responded a 
dark-eyed young woman with a child in her 
arms. 


FRENCH TAVERN-LIFE. 

IN TWO CHAPTERS. CHAPTER THE FIRST. 

IT was at a very early period that Paris 
became, what it has ever since remained, the 
metroplis of gastronomy, or as Bob Fudge 
calls it " the head quarters of prog," When 
Father Bonaveuture Calatagirone, the General 
of the Cordeliers, and one of the negotiators 



112 [August 1. 1857.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted hy 



of the peace of Vervius, returned to Italy, lie selves, as Rabelais says, " by eating their dry 

could speak of nothing else. 11 is only re- j bread before the cook's ovens, and finding 

membrauce was of the roast meats of the \ the smell of the roast meat a most savoury 

Bue de la Huchette, and of tlie Rue aux Ours, j accompaniment." 

Sauval, the historian tells us, that when' The makers of rag outs produced, two centu- 

Fatlier Bonaventure was questioned about ries ago, names as celebrated HS those of Felix, 

the pleasures of Paris, he raised his eyes to 

Heaven, and, with expanding nostrils as if 

the flavour was still there, exclaimed : " Truly 

those roasts are a stupendous thing." The 

Venetian Ambassador, Jerome Lippomano, 

who visited Paris in the year fifteen hundred 

and seventy-seven, has left a curious account of 

the mode of living in that capital in his time. 

" Pan's," he writes, " contains, in abundance, 

everything that can be desired. It is a market 

for all countries, and provisions are carried 

thither from every part of France. Thus, 

although its population is numberless, nothing 

is wanting there : whatever is required seems 

as if it i'ell from the skies. The price of 

provisions is, nevertheless, rather high ; for, to 

speak the truth, the French lay out money 

on nothing so willingly as on eating, and what 

they call making good cheer. On this account 

it is that butchers, cooks, poulterers, and 

tavern -keepers are to be met with in such 

numbers that they create a general confusion : 

there is no street of any pretension that is 



Lesage, Careme, and others of our own time. 
Amongst them were Fagnauit, Flechrnor, 
Mignot, and the illustrious Ragueneau. The 
three h' rst are mentioned in h igh terms of praise 
in a book called the Commode des Adresses 
(a sort of cook's almanac), written by one 
Abraham du Pradel, who says: "M. Fag- 
nauit, esquire of the kitchen to his Highness 
the Prince, makes excellent ragoftts, which 
he sells to persons of taste. Jn the same 
degree is the Sieur Flechmer, who lives in 
the Rue Saint Antoine, at the corner of Saint 
Paul. He sells large quantities of fine 
brioches (light cakes, still extant and well- 
known), which the ladies take in their drives 
to Vincennes. The Sieur Mignot, Rue de la 
Harpe, has not only a high reputation for 
pastry, but also for ail- kinds of ragofits, 
being a patissier-traiteur." The memory of 
the Sieur Mignot has been preserved by more 
distinguished writers than Du Pradel ; for 
Boileau has deigned to abuse his sauces, and 
Voltaire has indignantly denied an attributed 



not filled with them. At any time, in any i relationship with the famous pastry-cook, 
place, live animals and raw meat are to be Of the L'reat Ragueneau something more is 



bought, and you may get anything you like 
drest in less than half an hour, for any 
number of guests : the rotisseur supplies the 
flesh and fowl, and the patissier, the pat- 
ties, tarts, entrees, sauces, and ragouts. You 
may dine at the cabarets at any price you 
may choose to name ; being served accord- 
ingly, whether at one or two testoons ; at a 
crown, at four, six, or even twenty crowns a- 
head if you please. But for the last named 
sum there is nothing you may not command ; 



known. His shop, situated in the Rue Saint 
Honore, between the Rue de 1'Arbre Sec 
and the Palais Royal, was the resort of all 
the poets, comedians, and tippleis, who be- 
longed to the neighbouring theatre, or 
frequented the Cross of the Trahoir. Oddly 
enough, Ragueneau, preferred the custom 
of the two former classes to that of the 
latter, for though their coin was scant they 
possessed the gift of the gab, and he was 
quite content to hear them talk and receive 



even, I doubt not, to the extent of manna I payment for his long bills in orders for the 
soup, or a roasted phoenix. The princes and | Com6die Franchise, whither he went joy- 
the king himself, often dine at these places." , ously to applaud Moratory or Moliere. If 
The pastrycooks, always played a con- j evil communications corrupt good manners, 
spicuous part in Parisian gastronomy ; | relations with literary men will sometimes 
sparing neither labour nor invention to j make poets, and by dint of frequenting the 



heighten the attractions of their wares. 
L'Estoile, who wrote in the reign of Charles 
the Ninth, describes them as setting out 
their pastry, in the summer, in large open 
ovens which perfumed the streets ; while, in 
winter, they made a display in the windows 
of their shops of sugared patties, crisp cakes, 
marchpane, made of peeled almonds seasoned 



theatres and listening to the outpourings 
of the Muse, Ragueneau himself became a 
rhymester ; only this must be observed that 
while his patties were excellent, his verses 
were detestable. 

The functions of the patissiers and r6tis- 
seurs of Paris assimilated them in many 
particulai's to the tavern-keepers ; the rooms 



with half of their weight of sugar and i behind their shops being used for all the pur- 
flavoured with rose water, and ta^rts of musk poses to which those of the cabarets were 
and amber, which costs as much as twenty- turned. It is unnecessary to dwell upon this 



five crowns a-piece ; there were cakes, too, 
steeped in hvpocras and stuffed with fruit, 



and immense pies 
pieces de four be 



(so must, the grasses 
translated), crammed 



full of sweetmeats, pistachios, and citrous, 
which pleased the eye by their colour, 
and gratified the sense of smell by their 
odour. The poor were fain to content them- 



subject, but sufficient may be inferred from 
the proverbial saying, applied to the women 
who frequented the patissiers openly : " Elle 
a honte bue; el!e a passo par devant I'lmis 
du patissier." (She has drunk of shame ; she 
has entered by the pastry-cook's door). The 
cooks themselves had their share in this 
accusation, and they were obnoxious to 



Charles Dickens.1 



FRENCH TAVERN LIFE. 



[August 1, 1857.] 113 



reproach in other respects. Thus, they were 
prohibited by law from cutting off the combs 
of old cocks in order to make them pass for 
capons. They were obliged to clip the ears of 
tame rabbits, that they might not be mis- ' 
taken for wild ones, and to cut the throats of 
their domestic ducks to establish a similar j 
distinction. They were also compelled to sell | 
their rabbits with the heads on, " in order/' 
said the ordinance, " that cats might not be 
sold in their stead." If it chanced, however, 
in spite of the royal edict, that a rotisseur 
served up a cat for a rabbit, and was detected, 
an old parliamentary decree condemned the 
culprit to make public amends, by going 
in the middle of the day to the banks of 
the Seine, and throwing the skinned and 
decapitated grimalkins into the river, with 
this confession uttered in his loudest voice : 
" Good people, it would not have been my | 
fault, or that of my treacherous sauces, if 
the torn cats you see here had not been 
taken for honest rabbits." 

Without enjoying the best reputation, the 
cabarets of Saint Cloud had a remarkable 
celebrity. They were called bottle-houses 
(maisons de bouteille), and the most famous 
amongst them was that kept by La Duryer, 
renowned for generosity and charity, and for 
an extraordinary exploit performed on a memo- 
rable occasion. La Duryer was a native of 
Mons, in Hainault, from which place she had 
been taken, when quite a girl, by Monsieur 
Saint Preuil ; who made her a sutler. It was a 
poor enough appointment ; but La Duryer felt 
eternally grateiul for it, and devoted herself 
heart and soul to the service of Saint Preuil, 
whose housekeeper she also became ; econo- 
mising his means, supplying him with all the 
money she could scrape together, and receiving 
very often as her only recompense harsh words 
and hard blows ; both of which she endured 
without a murmur. In the course of time, 
Saint Preuil obtained high military pro- 
motion, and was made Governor of Arras. 
There was no longer any occasion for her to 
continue in the sutling line, or in his service; 
and she left both, to establish an inn at Saint 
Cloud, marrying a poor, but respectable man. 
Her new calling flourished amazingly ; and, 
at the end of a few years, she possessed the 
finest cabaret for thirty leagues round Paris. 
In the midst, however, of La Duryer's pros- 
perity, she was informed that her old pro- 
tector, Saint Preuil, had imprudently mixed 
himself up in the conspiracy of Cinq Mars 
and De Thou against Cardinal llichelieu ; and 
that, like them, he had been arrested, con- 
demned, and taken to Amiens for execution. 
Nothing could restrain La Duryer : she shut 
up her cabaret and set off at once for 
Amiens. She arrived there to view the 
populace in the market-place clamouring for 
the head of the Cardinal's victim. The poor 
creature, involved in the crowd, was carried 
by it to and fro, until she reached the very 
foot of the scaffold. liaising her eyes, she 



beheld Saint Preuil standing beside the axe, 
pale but composed ; his neck was bare : 
his hands were tied behind his back, and his 
right foot rested upon the bloody block. La 
Duryer tried to call out to him ; she strained 
herself to her full height, extended her arms, 
and made countless efforts to attract his 
attention, but in vain : the noise and con- 
fusion drowned her voice, and prevented 
Saint Preuil, who was buried in a reverie, 
from perceiving her gestures. The execu- 
tioner made a movement to pick tip the axe, 
Saint Preuil stepped back, and La Duryer 
lost sight of him, while, a few moments after, 
a loud cry arose from the people, and some- 
thing heavy fell upon the scaffuld, which was 
followed by a rush of blood. The fatal 
blow had fallen ! La Duryer staggered at 
first beneath the effects of her grief and 
terror, then suddenly regaining courage, she 
flung herself on the steps of the scaffold, and 
mounted them at a bound. The executioner- 
was in the act of raising the immense basket, 
in which he had placed the body of Saint 
Preuil ; the lid gave way, and out flew the 
victim's head, which rolled at the feet of La 
Duryer. She did not shrink from the hor- 
rible sight her hour of fear had past but, 
stooping down while the executioner's back 
was turned, she seized the head of her former 
master, covered it over with her apron, and 
hastily gliding from the scaffold, was soon 
lost from sight in the narrow streets of 
Amiens. She did not return to Saint Cloud, 
until she had caused the head of Saint Preuil 
to be embalmed, and had erected a splendid 
tomb to his memory. Notwithstanding all 
the pains she took to conceal the part she 
had acted, this adventure became generally 
known. Her name was everywhere men- 
tioned in terms of the highest praise, and her 
cabaret became more frequented than ever. 
"If I were curious on such a subject," writes 
Furetidre, " I should like to know how many 
turkeys were eaten on a certain day at Saint 
Cloud, at La Duryer's." More, without 
doubt, than at all the rest of the bottle- 
houses in the neighbouring villages, put to- 
gether. 

The taverns of Paris have witnessed or 
given birth to many a tragic drama. It was 
from one of the lowest of the class that 
Ravaillac issued on the day when he mur- 
dered King Henry the Fourth, armed with a 
knife which he had stolen. Arriving in Paris, 
somewhere about the tenth of May sixteen 
hundred and ten, with the crowds who were 
attracted thither by the fetes which were 
given on the occasion of the queen's coro- 
nation, Ravaillac roamed about the streets, 
vainly endeavouring to find a lodging. Near 
the Hospital of the Quinze Vingt in the 
Rue St. Honore, he entered a small tavern, 
in the hope of meeting with accommoda- 
tion ; while the servant, whom he had ad- 
dressed, was making inquiry of her master, 
he seized a large pointed knife, hid it under his 



114 iAiwist 1.1857.3 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



cloak, and. Wing refused the lodging he' 
sought, went out again into the street. 
Wandering along the Rue St. Honore, he 
came to the region of the Butte (hill) 
of St. Eoch, where a number of low sub- 
urban taverns were clustered, and, knock- 
ing at the door of the Three Pigeons, he 
obtained admittance. Here he remained till 
the morning of the fourteenth of May, when, 
hearing of the king's intended visit to the 
Arsenal, he planted himself in the narrowest 
part of the Rue St. Honor6, close to the Rue 
de la Ferronerie, and mounting one of the 
large stone-posts that stood against the wall, 
perpetrated the crime which the Jesuits had 
so long instigated. 

Roadside inns were scarcely safe places 
when scenes such as that which is related by 
the Duke de Saint-Simon, were enacted in 
them : The Vatteville family, says the 
historian, is one of rank in Tranche Comte. 
That member of it of whom I have to speak 
became a Carthusian monk at an early age, 
and after making his profession, was ordained 
a priest. He was a man of ability, but of a 
licentious, impatient disposition, and he soon 
repented the choice he had made. He re- 
solved to fly from it, and succeeded by 
degrees in providing himself with a secular 
dress, with money, pistols, and a horse. But 
the superior of the order, opening the 
door of Vatteville's cell with a master-key, 
found him in his disguise, standing on a 
ladder, about to effect his escape. The 
Prior called out to the monk to descend, 
on which Vatteville coolly turned round and, 
drawing out a pistol, shot his superior dead 
on the spot. He scaled the convent- walls, and 
was seen there no more. He chose the most 
unfrequented roads ; and, on the second day 
after the murder, halted at a lonely inn, 
where, having dismounted, he called the 
host and demanded, what he had in the 
house to eat ? 

The man replied : " A leg of mutton and 
a capon." 

"Good," said the unfrocked monk, "put 
them both on the spit." 

The host remonstrated, saying they were 
too much for one person's dinner ; to 
which Vatteville angrily replied, that he 
meant to pay for what he ordered, that he 
had appetite enough for two such dinners, 
and that it would be just as well to make no 
objections. The terrified host submitted. 
While the traveller's enormous meal was 
roasting before the fire, another horseman 
arrived, who also called for dinner. The 
host, pointing to the spit, told the new- 
comer there was nothing but what/ he saw 
there : 

"Very well," said the stranger, " a part of 
that will do for me, and 1 will pay my share." 
The host shook his head and told him why 
lie did not dare to give him any. On this, 
the stranger went up-stairs to the room 
where Vatteville was, and civilly requested 



[Conducted by 

to dine with him, paying, of course, 
his proportion. He met with a churlish re- 
fusal. High words arose, and Vatteville put 
an end to the dispute by shooting the travel- 
ler as he had shot the Prior. The house 
was at once in an uproar;* but Vatteville 
quietly went down-stairs, ordered the dinner 
to be served, ate it up to the last fragments, 
paid his reckoning, and then mounted his 
horse and rode off. He found France too 
hot to huld him, succeeded in escaping from 
the country, reached the frontiers of Turkey, 
and there, assuming the turban, finished his 
career in the military seirvce of the Sultan. 

These tavern quarrels were the commonest 
occurrences. Through one of them the cele- 
brated Marshal Fabert nearly lost his life. 
In the month of March sixteen hundred 
and forty-one, a period fertile in the most 
scandalous duels, when the life of a man 
was accounted of no more value than that 
of a dog, the marshal was travelling post, and 
stopped to rest his horses at (Jlermont in 
the Beauvoisis. About two o'clock in the 
morning, the Count de Rantzau, nephew 
of the marshal of the same name, and a 
captain of cavalry, named Laquenay, entered 
| Faber's bed-chamber, and began to dance 
about the room and make a great disturbance. 
Fabert, awakened by the noise, called out 
to them from his bed: "Gentlemen, you 
must be aware of the customs of these 
houses ; this room is mine, there are others 
in the hotel, and I beg of you to select one 
of them for your amusements." 

"Sir," replied Rantzau, "you may go to 
sleep if you can. For my part, I mean to stay 
where I am and do just as I please." 

Fabert, irritated at this insolent reply, 
jumped out of bed ; and barefooted and 
undressed as he was, seized his sword to 
drive out the intruders. Rantzau and Laque- 
nay both drew at the same moment, and 
got the marshal between them in such a 
position, that he could not strike at one 
without being wounded by the other. A 
bloody combat then took place, and the 
people of the hotel, alarmed by the noise, 
rushed up-stairs and disarmed Laquenay, who 
stood near the door. At the same moment, 
Fabert, though pierced by fourteen wounds, 
rushed upon Rantzau, and seizing him round 
the body, threw him on the floor, and holding 
the point of his sword to his throat, cried 
out : 

"Tell me your name, you scoundrel, or I 
will kill you on the spot." 

Receiving no answer, he was about to exe- 
cute his threat, when the host exclaimed : 

" I know him, Monsieur de Fabert ; his 
name is Rautzau." 

On hearing this, the young count was in 
despair. "What have I done?" he cried; 
" better for me that I had been dead ! " 

Hut Marshal Fabert was as generous as 
he was bravo. " Make haste and begone, 
young man," he said; "and endeavour to 



J 



Charley, Dicker.] 



FRENCH TAVERN LIFE. 



I, ! 



115 



avoid the punishment which is due to assas- 
sins." The doors were closed, and an armed 
force had been sent for to arrest the guilty 
pair. Fabert entreated the host to favour their 
escape, but he refused at first to do so, and 
it was only at the repeated instances of the 
marshal that they were allowed to depart. 
Eventually, when Fabert had recovered from 
his wounds, he solicited and obtained their 



pardon from the king. 



The owner of this cabaret, whose name was 
Grouyn, soon made a fortune, and his son, 
who began his career as a waiter, ended it as 
a man of vast wealth and importance. 

The great noblemen of the Court had also 
their place of predilection. This was the 
cabaret of La Boisselidre, near the Louvre. 
It bore no special sign, being well enough 



known by her name, 
woman ; and, 



She was a very ' 

beautiful woman ; and, those who dined 

In the time of Louis the Thirteenth, the i there had to pay for it a dinner at her 
most celebrated taverns in Paris were the j house costing five times as much as at any 
cabaret of the Fox in the garden of Tuileries ; ; other tavern in Paris. At the cabaret of La 
that of the Fine Air, near the Liixemburg ; ! Boisselidre (long after her death) the cour- 
the tavern called the Cross of the Trahoir, tiers of Louis the Fourteenth drank the 
famous for its cellar of muscat wine, and the best vin de Beaune, a wine which was 
cabaret of the Three Golden Bridges, at 
which the poet La Serre wiped out a long 

score, as Lambert, the singer, had done ] same reason. The Grand Monarque having 
before him at the Cross of the Trahoir, fallen sick, Fa.gon, his doctor, who was a 
by marrying the tavern-keeper's daughter : Burguudian, ordered him to drink Beaune 
the last resource of needy topers. It was instead of the wines of Spain or Italy, and 
from the cabaret of the Fox that Cyrano de thenceforward all other wine was despised : 
Bergerac, the celebrated duellist, whose long for the same slavish reason, the courtiers 
nose was seamed with scars, sent out that would have swallowed ditch-water without a 
vaunting challenge, prohibiting the whole i grimace. In a curious collection intituled 
human race from being alive within three j Recueilde plus Excellents Ballets de ce Temps 
days under the penalty of falling beneath his (A.D. sixteen hundred and twelve), a noble 
rapier. La Croix de Lorraine (The Cross j man's bill of fare at La Boisseliere's is amply 
of Lorraine) was the most celebrated i set out in doggerel verse, in which the dishes 
cabaret in Par is, and dated, as its name implies, i are marshalled more according to the exi- 
from the days of the League. It was a haunt | gencies of the rhyme than the natural order 
of the poets, and Moliere and Boileau were j of succession. Two hundred livres a-week 
frequent visitors there ; as to Chapelle, the appears to have been the cost of master and 
satirical rival of Despreaux, he was seldom I man, for the existence of the lackey was 



brought into fashion by that king, as sherry 
was by George the Fourth, and for much the 



to be found elsewhere, and was generally half- 
seas over. But it was not to drink that the 
melancholy Moliere and the sprightly Boi- 
leau went to the taverns : they were both 
abstemious men, who lived almost on a regi- 
men. The observant dramatist gathered 
there the materials of many a comic trait ; 
the shrewd satirist found an audience at all 
times for his sparkling- verse. The favourite 
tavern of Racine was Le Mouton Blanc (The 
White Sheep), kept by the widow Berrin, 
near the cemetery of Saint John, with Boileau 
and the Advocate Brilhac for his companions. 
This house, or rather its sign, is said to be 
still in existence, transferred from the ceme- 
tery to the Rue de la Verrerie : it should, 
of all others, be the place for drinking the 
Mouton claret, which is now so much in 
vogue. La T6te Noire (The Black Head) 
and Le Diable (The Devil reminding us of 
our own Ben Jonson and his joyous crew), 
were also honoured by the presence of the 
great poets. But the most illustrious cabaret 
of the period, the true literary tavern, was 
unquestionably La Pomme de Pin, in the Rue 
Licorne, in the city quarter. It was there 
that Chapelle was enthroned every night, 
surrounded by a brilliant circle, amongst 
whom his wit shone the brightest. There 
was no Parisian with any pretension to lite 
rature who did not go at least twice a-week 
to the Fir-cone to get tipsy with Chapelle. 



always merged in that of the noble. The 
most constant visitor to the cabai'et of La 
Boisselidre, in the reign of Louis the Four- 
teenth, vvas the Marquis d' Uxelles, a man of 
high family, a soldier of great merit, and a 
tippler of enormous capacity, who would will- 
ingly forego every other enjoyment for a 
carouse. The minister Louvois one day sent 
him the much-coveted decoration of the blue 
ribbon. "Offer my thanks to M. de Louvois," 
said the marquis to the minister's messenger, 
"but tell him at the same time that I shall 
refuse the order if I am expected to give up 
the cabaret." Louvois smiled at the message, 
but paid the marquis off by appointing the 
Count d' Harcourt, a notorious drunkard, to 
bestow the knightly accolade. 

Besides those already mentioned, two other 
houses, called Boucingo and La Guerbois, were 
noted. Boucingo is immortalised in the verse 
of Boileau, as being famous for the Sauce 
Robert (which gives such piquancy to pork 
cutlets) ; and the wine of Alicant, manufac- 
tured by himself, and sold at fifty sous a 
bottle, was preferred to the genuine kind. 
The cabaret of La Guerbois was the head- 
quarters of the singing club established in the 
quarter of Saint Roch ; and Laiuez, the ana- 
creontic poet, who wrote a long poem called 
The Corkscrew, and lived close by, was a con- 
stant guest. It was a great house for the 
lawyers and financiers, who drank deeply and 



11G [August 1, 1S57J 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



paid well. Amongst the former was a presi- 
dent of one of the courts, of whom Menage 
(who suppresses his name, only giving the 
initial letter) says, " When this good fellow 
began to feel the effects of his wine, it gave 
him so much pleasure that, in order to re- 
member to get drunk again next day, he 
stuck pins into the sleeve of his coat." 

To La Guerbois also came the celebrated 
farmer-general, M. de Bechamel, Marquis de 
Nointel, who has bequeathed his name to gas- 
tronomy. It was, we are told, enough to re- 
awaken the appetite of the satiated, to see 
the marquis with his lace cuffs turned up, 
fire in his eye, and eloquence on his lips, 
arranging witli his own hands the sauces 
financiers, in which he so skilfully combined 
his mushrooms and spices. Thither, too, he 
was in the habit of sending from his own 
house in the Hue des Petits Champs the 
patties and vol-au-vents which had been ela- 
borated under his own eyes, and were eaten 
hot by himself and friends from the ovens of 
La Guerbois. There can be little doubt that 
Moliere had M. de Bechamel in his mind 
when he drew out the bill of fare which 
Dorante, on the authority of Damis, recom- 
mends to the bourgeois gentilhomme. M. de 
Bechamel was so fond of his art, that he drew 
up, under the name of his cook, Lebas, a 
series of gastronomic precepts in verse, which 
lie dedicated to different persons of quality. 
He even had them set to music, and sung to 
popular tunes. For instance, his receipt for 
dressing partridges after the Spanish fashion 
was set to the air Petits oiseaux, rassurez- 
vous (Little birds, take courage), and ran 
thus : 

" I)u vin, do 1'Imile ct clu citron, 

Coriandre et la rocambole, 

Duns cc ragout a I'Espagnole, 

Lo tout ensemble sera bon." 

With the addition of a Spanish town, to help 
the rhyme, these lines may be thus ren- 
dered : 

" Wild garlic, coriander, 

"\Vith lemon, oil, and wine, 
Form the sauce wbicli, at Sautancler, 

Makes partridges divine ! " 
He had also a cullis of crayfish arranged 
to the tune of Petits moutons qui dans la 
plaine (Little sheep that in the plain), as 
follows : 

" Les ecrevisses bicn pilees, 
Mitonnez-les dans du bouillon ; 
Joignez-y du pain qui soil bon, 
lit que toutes soil bien passe"es." 

Verse will hardly help us here, so take the 
receipt in plain prose : Pound your crayfish 
well, and let them simmer gently in gravy ; 
add a little of the finest bread, and strain 
all carefully through a colander a very com- 
plete way of obtaining the essence of cray- 
fish. 

Marshal d' Estr6es was as learned in 
wines, as his friend M. de Bechamel in choice 
dishes. He it was who first introduced into 



the cabarets of Paris the exquisite wines 
which were made on his estate of Sillery. 
His wife always presided, during the vintage, 
over the making of this wine, while the 
marshal presided at the drinking. Sillery 
champagne, consequently, bears the name of 
Vin de la Marechale, in honour of the lady, 
ami many a toast coupled with her name was 
drunk at the cabaret of La Guerbois. 

A curious gastronomic wager was once 
decided at this tavern. Prince Henry of 
Bourbon, the son of the Great Cond6, was 
supping there with a number of his friends. 
Prince de Conti, who was a tremendous 
bore, kept hammering av/ay i,t one eternal 
theme, the extraordinary appetite of his 
beagles. " My kennels absolutely ruin me," 
said he ; "I can't tell what possesses the dogs, 
but they eat at least a thousand crowns' 
worth every mouth ! " 

" Indeed ! " exclaimed Prince Henry ; "I'll 
bet you anything you please, not one of them 
can eat at a meal so much as my servant, 
La Guiche." 

" When we are again at Versailles," re- 
turned Conti, " I will back a certain beagle 
of mine against him." 

" Very good ; but in the mean time I 
should like you to see what the fellow can 
do. Look here ; it will soon be midnight. I 
will wager a thousand louis that La Guiche 
eats up the whole of that piece of meat while 
the clock is striking twelve." Prince Henry 
pointed, as he spoke, to an enormous shoulder 
of mutton that had not been touched. 

" He can't get through half of it," ex- 
claimed Couti ; " it's a bet." 

"Done!" replied Conti, and La Guiche 
was sent for. 

He was a little wiry fellow ; and, when lie 
was told of the wager, the grin he gave de- 
veloped a set of teeth that a wolf might have 
been proud of. It wanted ten minutes to the 
hour, and in the interim La Guiche made his 
preparations. He seated himself before the 
shoulder of mutton, cut every particle of 
meat off the bone, arranged it in twelve por- 
tions, and remained, fork in hand, in an atti- 
tude of expectation. At the first stroke he 
swallowed two of the immense morsels ; at 
the sixth he was one ahead, and took advan- 
tage of the fact to swallow a goblet of vin de 
Beaune which his master handed to him. 
The ninth stroke sounded, and the glutton 
exhibited symptoms of being beaten. The 
Prince de Conti shouted with exultation at 
the prospect of winning, for ten strokes had 
gone and two pieces remained. 

"A hundred louis for yourself," cried 
Condo, '' and the stewardship of my hotel in 
the Marais, if you gain the wager ! Make 
another eli'ort ! " 

La Guiche made a superb rally ; he drove 
his fork into the remaining pieces, and took 
them in at one swallow ; bat he fell on the 
floor, black in the face, and all but suffocated, 
as the clock left off striking:. 



Charles Dickens.] 



FRENCH TAVERN LIFE. 



I August 1. 1S57.] 



" Curry him away," said Condti, " and take 
every care of him ; lie shall have the steward- 
ship and the money ! " 

La Guiche obtained both ; but never, as 
long as he lived, touched another shoulder of 
mutton. This gluttonous adventure is re- 
corded in a pamphlet printed at Dijon in the 
ye;ir sixteen hundred and ninety-three, and 
intituled : The admirable way oi' La Guiche 
to eat methodically a joint of mutton while 
twelve o'clock is striking (L'art admirable 
de la Guiche pour manger methodiquement 
un rnembre de niouton pendant que douze 
heures sonnent). 



w;is at the Epee de Bois (The Wooden Sword) 
in the Rue de Venise ; and whatever member 
of that fraternity was caught tippling else- 
where had to pay a heavy fine. 

The priests and monks must not be for- 
gotten. As the proverb went, "The Capu- 
chins drink sparingly, the Cele'stins copiously, 
the Jacobins cup for cup, and the Cordeliers 
empty the cellar ; 
cially observable 

never put water in their wine. The priests 
indulged more covertly, fearing the gibes of 
their parishioners, but that their lips were 
familiar with the flagon is tolerably certain 



and one thing was spe- 
in their drinking thev 



The cabaret of the Eons Enfans (Good ; from the number of satirical poems which 
Fellows), to which the comedians were prin- ; were made against them. The ecclesiastical 
cipally in the habit of resorting, was an ex- taverns, so to designate them, were, Le Riche 



celleut house of its kind, iloliere used to go 
there, with the greater part of his company. 
Amongst the rest was Champmesle, the hus- 
band of the famous tragedian, whom Racine 
loved and Boileau has praised with so much 



Laboureur (The Rich Labourer), in the en- 
closure of the Foire St. Germain ; La Table 
Roland (Roland's Table), in the Valley of 
Misery (the name given to that part of Paris 
which is now called the Quai de la M6o-is- 



enthusiasm. The poor man, who had little j serie) ; and Le Tveillis Vert (The Green 
jealousy in his composition, used to drown j Trellis), in the Rue Saint Hyaciuthe, which 
what cares he had, at the Bons Enfans, in j was the most renowned of any. 
champagne, which, report said, was paid for j The learned men of Paris, and those better 
by Racine. Even when he had lost his wife j known as the pedants of the university, dined 



and grown old, and no wealthy friend re- 
mained to reward his complaisance, he still 



continued to haunt the cabaret, in which, in 

fact, lie ended his days. One morning, with 

a strange presentiment upon him, he went to ! Crown) 

the church of the Cordeliers, to order two 

masses to be sung one for the repose of his 

mother, the other for that of his wife and 



and caroused at the Cabaret de la Come (The 
Horn), in the Place Maubert, and at the 



gave a piece of thirty sous to the sacristan, 
who observed that he had given him ten sous 
too much. " Very well," rejoined Champ- 
rnesle, "keep them for a mass for myself." 
He then left the church, and went back to 
the Bons Eufans. He found several friends 
of his seated on a bench in front of the 
cabaret they were talking about dining to- 
gether, and Champrnesle. joining the group, 



Hotel Saint-Quentin, in the Rue cles Cordiers. 
It was at the Ecu d' Argent (The Silver 
that, on festival days, all the 
bacchanalians of the Sor bonne were wont 
to assemble to toss off the vin de Beaune 
for which the house was celebrated. It 



was only then that you could be sure of 
getting the fashionable soups genuine, of 
which Boileau has given the somewhat ironi- 
cal receipt in his third satire. Montmaur, 
the learned epicure, famous also for his good 
sayings, was the perpetual president of the 
Silver Crown, in which capacity Menage has 
embalmed his memory in a satirical Latin 
poem, where he represents him seated on an 



observed that he would be of the party. The enormous reversed saucepan, instructing the 
words were hardly uttered before he fell j young cooks in the science of gastronomy, 
heavily on the ground ; his friends raised Montmaur was p.rofessor of Greek at the 



him instantly, but there was no dinner for 
him that day : he was dead ! 

The comedians of Paris did not, however, 
limit their patronage to one tavern. Besides 
the Bons Enfants, they frequented Les Deux 
Faisants (The Two Pheasants), which was 
struck by lightning and burnt to the ground 
while at the height of its reputation ; Les 
Trois Maillets (The Three Mallets), and 
L'Ange (The Angel), where the indomitable 
Chapelle fell into a tipsy slumber one evening- 
while a tragedy was being recited in which a 
single combat took place, and, waking up 
suddenly, the poet fancied he was in a row 
on the Pont Neuf, and, shouting with all his 
might, ran out of the house as fast as his legs 
could carry him. The musicians of Paris 
gave the preference to no tavern in parti- 
cular. They drank freely everywhere; but 
the dancers had their chosen locality, which 



college of Boncourt ; and, when he died, 
search was made amongst his papers for the 
learned works which he was supposed to 
have written. None, however, were found ; 
but in their place the seekers discovered a 
treatise on The Four Meals a Day, with their 
Etymology ; and a Petition to the Lieu- 
tenant of Police, requesting him to prohibit 
the tavern-keepers from making use of dishes 
with convex bottoms, which is a manifest 
deception, &e. 

Before I close the list of the most noted 
taverns of Paris during the seventeenth cen- 
tury, mention must be made of two in the 
quarter of the Marais, the most fashionable 
locality in the time of Louis the Fourteenth. 
The first of these, situated in the street, then 
new, of the Pas de la Miile, near the Place 
Royal e, was kept by a very handsome woman 
named Coifiier, and bore the appellation, if 



118 [August 1, is;;. 



HOUSEHOLD WOEDS. 



[CondiH 



not the feign, of La Fosse aux Lions (The 
Lions' Den). La Coiffier's wines were first- 
rate, and her cookery superb ; her house was 
always filled with people of quality, but none 
went there more frequently than the i'at poet 
Saint Amand a tun of a man, like FalstafF. 
Taverns were the delight of his existence. 
One called La Perle (The Pearl) attracted 
him for a very especial reason the clock 
never went right ; it was either too slow or 
had stopped altogether. When others abused 
the clock, Saint Amand took up its defence, 
and rinally wrote the following couplet, which 
the master of the cabaret caused to be placed 
beneath it : 

" Quc j'iiille bicn, ou mal, il nc t'importe pa?, 

Puisque ce'ans toute heurc est 1'heure dcs repas." 

Which may be literally, if not elegantly, 
translated thus : 

" What matter whether fast or slow I'm jogging, 
Since every hour is here the hour for progging." 

Saint Amand'a death was characteristic. 
He gave up the ghost at a cabaret called Le 
Petit Mauve (The Little Sea-mew), which is 
still in existence at the corner of the Eue de 
la Marais and the Eue de Seine. He died, it 
is said, with a bottle and glass before him. 



AN IMMEASURABLE WONDEE. 



A HUNDRED years ago, the industrious and 
intelligent author of a Topographical History 
of Cornwall, Mr. Borlase, described, for the 
first time in a book, a seaside annelide, which 
the Cornish fishermen called the sea long- 
worm. "With a view to encourage men to 
take pains and trouble in searching out un- 
known and undescribed plants and animals, 
the custom has prevailed of connecting the 
name of the discoverer with the name of the 
plant or animal. The practice had something 
sound and good in it, although it has been 
abominably abused ; Cuvier only gave honour 
where it was justly due when he called 
the sea long-worm the Borlasia. There is, it 
may be remarked, however, only a bookish 
reminiscence in the Cuvierian name, while in 
the name of the Cornish fishermen there is a 
rude description, a rough word-picture of the 
animal. 

Mr. Borlase says : " The long-worm found 
upon Careg-killas. in Mount's Bay, which, 
though it might properly enough come in 
among the anguilliforui fishes, which are to 
succeed in their order, yet I choose to place 
here among the less perfect kind of sea- 
animals. It is brown, and slender as a 
wheateii reed ; it measured five feet in 
length (and perhaps not at its full stretch), 
but so tender, slimy, and soluble, that out of 
the water it will not bear being moved with- 
out breaking ; it had the contractile power 
to such a degree that it would shrink itself 
to half its length, and then extend itself again 
as before." 

Colonel Montagu, an excellent observer. 



f seems to question the accuracy of the accounts 
he had received from the Devonshire fisher- 
men of the length of the Borlasia. He says : 

" This species of Gardius is not uncommon 
on several parts of the south coast of Devon- 
shire, where it is by some of the fishermen 
known by the very applicable name given to 
it in the History of Cornwall. It is indeed 
of so prodigious a length that it is impossible 
to fix any bounds ; some of the fishermen 
say thirty yards but perhaps as many feet 
is the utmost ; those specimens which have 
come under our inspection did not appear to 
exceed twenty feet, and more commonly from 
eight to fourteen or fifteen." 

The skin is perfectly smooth and covered 
with a strong tenacious slime ; the head or 
anterior end is usually more depressed and 
broader than any other part, but all parts are 
equally alterable, and in continual change 
from round to flat, rising into large swellings 
or protuberances in various parts, especially 
when touched. 

The expansion and contraction are so un- 
limited that it is scarcely possible to ascer- 
tain the utmost length of this worm. One 
which was estimated to be about eight feet 
long was put alive into spirits, and instantly 
contracted to about one foot, at the same 
time increasing double the bulk, which origi- 
nally was about the diameter of a crow's 
quill. In the vast exertion of the muscles 
the animal is generally divided at those parts 
which had been twined into knots. 

The French fishermen agree with the 
English in giving the Borlasia the length of 
a hundred feet. After such a concurrence of 
testimony, it would be presumptuous to con- 
tradict observations with reasonings. There 
may, however, be error without wilful exag- 
geration. Every child knows the illusion of 
a circle of fire produced by whirling a stick 
red-hot at one end, rapidly in the dark. The 
long worm is, I believe, a nocturnal animal, 
resting tranquil during the day and moving 
chiefly at night. When the fishermen observe 
it of a shiny night, stretching suddenly, as it 
appears, fifty, sixty, seventy, or a hundred 
feet, there may be something of visual illusion 
in the startled and truthful, although incom- 
plete and inaccurate, observations. 

Some of the savans have given the sea 
long-worm another name, and have called it. 
the Nemertes Borlasii. The dictionaries of 
natural history say this is a mythological name. 
What a worm of the Channel has to do with 
mythology they do not explain. From the 
etymology of this Greek word, however, I fancy 
the man who used it had a meaning, and knew 
something of the animal. The Nemertes sig- 
nifies the Never-misser the animal who never 
misses his prey. As there is something of 
the form painted by the name of the fisher- 
men, there is something of the character of 
the animal hit oil' when he is called the 
Ne'er-misser. Boastful books abound, de- 
scribing the feats of rod and line fishermen, 



Charles Dickens.] 



AN IMMEASURABLE WONDER. 



[August 1, 1S57.) 119 



but tins worm is the unrivalled, the never- 
missing, the living line and hook fisher. 
Monsieur Dumeril, the father of the French 
naturalists, who first made this worm known 
in France, called it un lacet a lasso, or 
an elastic noose. 

Some British naturalists have called these 
annelides, ribbon-worms. And these living 
ribbons are of all sizes and colours. The 
tarry Borlasia of our southern coasts is cer- 
tainly not a beautiful ribbon. A French 
milliner will never recommend it to adorn 
the smart hats of the Britannic ladies, and 
would shriek at the fancy of allying 
it to the little flower-pots Avorn upon the 
top-knots of Gallic dames. However, like 
many British things, our Borlasia is plain 
but efficient. The ribbons found upon the 
coasts of the South Sea Islands are of 
a dark brown hue with reddish stripes. 
Near Hobart's Town, Van Diemen's Land, 
there are found Borlasia of a beautiful 
golden yellow with brown bands, and a very 
black narrow stripe running along the back. 
There is also found, upon those shores, a 
variety with violet brown sides and a white 
line along the belly. The Borlasia of Port 
Jackson is of a deep bottle-green, with a white 
wavy baud across the flat obtuse head. On 
each side of the neck there is a red pore. Worms 
like these might furnish ribbon patterns 
pretty enough to be called croquant in Paris. 

The sea-side observer upon the south- 
western coast of England, whose zeal to see 
strange beasts has induced him to turn over 
stones with a crow-bai-, and forage in 
crannies, can scarcely fail to find the tarry 
long-worm near low water-mark. Mr. Charles 
Kingsley describes it graphically in his 
Glances,, when he says it looks like " a tarred 
string," and coils up into "a black, shiny, 
knotted lump among the gravel, small enough 
to be taken up in a dessert spoon." When 
the coils of the Nemertes are drawn out upon 
the hand it stretches out into nine or more 
feet of a slimy tape of living caoutchouc, some 
eighth of an inch in diameter, a dark, choco- 
late black, with paler longitudinal lines/' 
Probably, it is by design that it looks like a 
dead strip of seaweed, as it lies in the holes 
of. the rocks or under the stones. 

All the observers of this singular worm 
have been amazed by the wonderful power it 
lias of contracting and stretching its muscles 
at will, by tying or untying itself into innu- 
merable knots. The long-worm glides and 
flows in the water by means of vibratile 
hairs which are discoVerable only by the 
microscope, although they cover the whole of 
its body. When it wishes to change place, 
it stretches out its serpent -like head and 
gropes for a suitable stone at the distance of 
fifteen or twenty feet from its previous 
residence. When it has found a comfortable 
stone it winds itself round it; and, as one end 
is twined upon the new stone, the other end 
is untwined from the old. 



Mr. Charles Kingsley describes the move- 
ments of the line and hook fisher, when 
catching his prey, with a vivacity which could 
only have been derived from the direct obser- 
vation of a very observant man and an excel- 
lent writer. The little fish a gobie or a 
blenny absorbed, probably, in the chase of 
shrimps, mistakes the worm fora dead strip of 
seaweed. So thinks the little fish who plays 
over and over it, till it touches, at last, what 
is too surely a head. In an instant, a bell- 
shaped sucker mouth has fastened to its side. 
In another instant, from one lip, a concave, 
double proboscis, just like a tapir's (another 
instance of the repetition of forms), has 
clasped him like a finger ; and now begins 
the struggle ; but in vain. He is being 
played with such a fishing-line as the skill of 
a Wilson or a Stoddart never could invent; 
j a living line, with elasticity beyond that of 
I the most delicate fly-rod, which follows every 
I lunge, shortening and lengthening, slipping 
' and twining round every piece of gravel and 
stem of sea- weed, with a tiring drag, such as 
i no Highland wrist or step could ever bring to 
j bear on salmon or on trout. The victim is tired, 
: now ; and slowly, and yet dexterously, his 
I blind assailant is feeling and shifting along 
; his side, till he reaches one end of him. 
; Then the black lips expand, and slowly 
and surely the curved finger begins packing 
; him, end-foremost, down into the gullet, 
: where he sinks, inch by inch, until the swell- 
i ing, which marks his place, is lost among 
the coils, and he is probably macerated to a 
pulp long before he has reached his cave of 
doom. Once safe down, the black murderer 
slowly contracts again into a knotted heap, 
and lies like a boa with a stag inside him, 
motionless and blest. 

The instruments of nutrition, like all 
other organs of this animal, have not as yet 
been studied with sufficient accuracy and 
adequate science. Professor de Quatrefages, 
in his elaborate and strikingly illustrated 
monography upon the Nemertes, appears to 
have fallen into a grave mistake. One of the 
most important distinctions in the animal 
world is the division of animals into animals 
with digestive organs like the anemones, 
and animals formed like all the higher orders 
of the animal world. The distinction between 
the vegetal and animal worlds is based upon 
the absence or presence of a stomach. Natu- 
ralists, when dealing with the animated 
existences upon the doubtful borders of these 
worlds, say that the sponge for example is an 
animal, because it has a digestive sac. 

Colonel Montagu, who has, during half 
a century, enjoyed an established reputation 
as an accurate observer, saw the organ in 
action of which M. de Quatrefages denies the 
existence. The description he gives of what 
he witnessed wears the impress of reality. 
The structure of the instrument which he 
describes, is wonderful, no doubt ; but it is 
onlv a wonder in accoi'dance with all the 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[August 1, 1S57.} 



other organic wonders of the animal. Pro- when exhausted by fatigue, and the sleep of 
hably enough _M. no (^natrefiiges could not satisfied digestion, are all exceedingly like 
discover, with his microscope, in specimens the boa. When the boa constrictor swallows 
destroyed by alcohol, the organ Colonel his prey, it is curious to see with what niathe- 
Montagu saw in 'action in the living animal, matical exactitude he adjusts the spine of 
But surely, in this case, the negative of the the victim to his spine. I have seen a boa 
learned professor is valueless in presence of constrictor pounce upon the throat of a 
the affirmative of the colonel; although he rabbit ; and, after the rabbit was exhausted, if 
was but a colonel 1 . Most certainly the failure not de.ul, the boa changed his hold and 
of the learned professor is not sufficiently adjusted the head exactly into his mouth, 
decisive of itself to warrant the imagination which was successively and constantly ex- 
of the existence of an annelide of prodigious panded upon the body of the victim. It 
length, and yet similar in the structure of would be singular if the Ne'er-misser of the 
the intestinal canal to the short polypes or rock pools engulfed his gobie exactly as the 
the flat anemonies. l : serpent of the forests swallows his monkey. 

Nothing is known of the most important ^ The sea long-worm has a great number of 
part of the nutritive processes of the sea long- 'eggs. The ovaries, which are placed upon 
worm. His breathing instruments have not ' the two sides of the body, are very large. 1 
as yet been discovered. How his blond am afraid to mention the number of eggs 
receives oxygen, or, in other words, how his ; which it is calculated maybe found in the 
food becomes alive, is entirely unknown. The ovaries of a Nemert.es during the season of 
savans have popped him into alcohol and | gestation ; they are as many as four or 
pulled him to pieces afterwards to find out: five hundred thousand. The eggs of the 
his secrets ; but death can never tell the | Ne'er-missers are eaten in vast numbers by 
secrets of life. When I was a very^. little j fishes, and the vastness of their numbers is 
boy I had a fiddle given me, and I pujled it : necessary to the preservation of the species. 
to pieces to find out the thing whichfmade [ The incredulity with which the statements 
the music ; but I'didn't. i*. of physiologists are received respecting the 

The books of natural history say that the [numbers of the eggs of animals will be re- 
Nemertes lives by sucking the substance of j moved by a simple explanation of the method 



the anomies. The little two-valved .nupllusk 
resembling an oyster with a hole in the flat 
valve, is the auomia, or irregular, as it was 
called when it was supposed to be an odd- 
lookino- oyster. Scottish fishermen call the 

O / 



of calculation. The ovary is measured, and a 
portion say, a quarter of an inch square is 
cut out. The number of eggs found in the 
quarter of the inch is counted, and then multi- 
plied by the number of square quarter- 



anomia the Egyptian lamp, a name which inches which are found in the ovary. The 
has the merit of involving something of a little fishes eat the eggs of the loujj-worm? 



description. But the auomia is not an oyster. 
It has three muscles, while the oyster h;is 
only one. As to the Nemertes sucking the 
flesh of these droll, little bivalves, there is no 



evidence ; and the accusation is supported by 
vo better evidence than inference and sus- 



and the long-worms who escape, revenge their 
kin upon the little fishes. And thus their 
lives of natural war have passed from the 
beginning and will run on to the end of time. 



The muscular system of the Nemertes has 
never as yet, we fear, been scientifically 
picion. . ' studied. Yet marvellous suppleness, con- 

Au animal may be described as a nervous tractility, and expansibility of form, are the 
system with nutritive and reproductive chief characteristics of the animal. The great 
mechanisms. The nervous system of the i-number of lateral branching nerves described 
long-worm seems very simple. Most of the by Eathke doubtless command a great num- 
worms or ringed animals have a collar, which , ber of muscles of the most delicate structure. 
represents the brain, round the gullet, formed | 
by the two nerves which connect the upper : 
dorsal and the ventral lower ganglions. 1 he 
nervous system of the Nemertes consists only 
of two side ganglions, whence part two strings 
stretching to the extremity of the body and 



Xow ready, price Five Shillings 
bound in cloth, 



l 



M 



THE FIFTEENTH VOLUME 



olf a great number of branching 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS, 



sending 

threads. Two great vessels placed upon the' Containing the Numbers issued between the Third of 

side accompany these nervous trunks, and a Janiiaiy and the Twsnty-soventb of June of the present 
third meanders upon the median line: all tho * 
three being simple and without ramifications. 
The instinct or inward prompting implanted 
in this nervous system is .similar to the in- 
stinct, of the boa constrictor. The fastening 
upon the prey, the swallowing of it endwise 



published, in Two Volumes, post Svo, price One 
Guinea, 



THE DEAD SECRET. 

BY WJLKIE COMJXS. 
Brudbury and Evans, Whitefriars. 



The illfjlit of Translating Articles from HOUSEHOLD 



served by the Authors. 



Louden: l'ublibctl at the Offlw, No. 1", Wellington Street North, Strand. New Tork: Dix i KBWABUS. 



"Familiar in tlieir Mouths as HOUSEHOLD WOEDS" SHA 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 

A WEEKLY JOUENAL. 
CONDUCTED BY CHARLES DICKENS. 



385.] 



SATURDAY, AUGUST 8, 1857. 



f PRICK 2<Z. 
( STAMPED 3d. 



THE YELLOW TIGER, 

IT was fully three long hours behind its 
time, that great Lyons diligence ; which, con- 
sidering that the roads were clear and open, 
was curious, to say the least of it. This was 
at the old inn at Troyes, bearing the name, 
Tigre Jamie, or Yellow Tiger, on a cool sum- 
mer's evening. It had been a fierce, glaring 
day ; and we madame who directs, that is, 
and myself were looking over from the 
wooden" gallery that runs round the court, 
speculating what it might be that detained 
the great Lyons diligence. 

Le Eoeuf from below (he was waiting to 
bring out his relay of fresh and shining 
steeds) had it that nothing but the casse-cou 
the casse-cou darone could be at the 
bottom of it. His own private impression 
was, that the great diligence was at that 
moment resting on its side in the depths of 
that gully. Where was it 1 Well, let him 
see. They all knew the steep hill a little 
beyond the last stage. And the twist in the 
road just after? Well, the villanous casse- 
cou was close by, at that very turn ; and, if 
the Faquin of a coachman had not his beasts 
well in hand (and they pulled like three 
hundred devils) or if he chanced to be a little 
gris in. his cups, that is the great diligence 
would, of a dead certainty, meet with some 
heavy misfortune. Dame ! ought he not to 
know ? Had not his own beast run right 
into it one Saturday night ? (Significant 
laughter here, from bystanders.) 

One of M. Le Boeuf's coadjutors, being 
pressed for his opinion, submitted that it 
could be only Griugoire. He had prophesied 
no good of that animal from the first. Take 
his word for it, it was Gringoire who, by the 
way, carried his tail in a fashion that no 
well-regulated quadruped should do ; Grin- 
goire had done all the mischief. He had got 
the bit between his teeth, or had shied, or had 
thrown himself on the ground, and had so 
overturned the great Lyons diligence. 

The brethren standing round, all in blue 
frocks and shining black belts, loudly dis- 
sented from this doctrine, as reflecting too 
severely on Gringoire and the driver. Peste ! 
the horse was a good horse at bottom, with a 
mouth of iron, it is true, but a good horse 
for all that. As for Pepiu the cocher, the 



i bon homme knew what he was about ; was 
never gris, except when off duty. 

As the discussion warmed up, other parties 

lounging about the gateway and outhouses 

drew near and listened. And so a little 

crowd was gathered below, from which rose, 

upwards to our gallery, a din of altercation, 

seasoned with cross-fire of contradiction and 

] plentiful pestes, mordieus, sacres, and such 

t profane expletives. 

Said madame, turning to me with a smile, 
| having listened tranquilly for some minutes, 
:''The heavy diligence will arrive, neverthe- 
less, whatever these galliards may say. I 
have no fears for it," 

" You are expecting some guests, I think 
you told me 1 " 

" Yes, monsieur : that good, gentle, M. Le- 
nioine, with his mother and pretty fiancee. 
Three travellers, sir. Heavens! I had nearly 
forgotten about the golden chamber. Fancho- 
nette ! Fanchonette ! " 

Here a glass door just opposite opened 
softly, and a little figure in boddice and pet- 

ticoat of bright colours, with small lace cap 

and ribbons on the back of her head, stepped 
out upon the gallery, as it were, straight 
from one of Lancry's pictures. This was 
Fanchonette, and the glass door opened into 
the gilded chamber. She curtsied low to me, the 
stranger. She said she had but that instant 

i been putting one last touch to the golden 
I chamber, brushing away some specks of dust 
I accumulated since mid-day upon the mirrors 
i and Dresden figures. M. Lemoine, when he 
' arrived, would find everything looking as 
I bright and fresh, as in his own chateau at 

home. With this little speech, the Lancry 

sketch curtseyed low, and disappeared quickly 

behind the glass door. 

" This M. Lemoine seems to have made 

many friends," I said, turning to madame. 
"No wonder, monsieur," she replied, "he 

is so good and gentle, if that wicked brother 

of his would only let him live in peace." 
"How is that '? " I said, beginning to grow 

a little curious concerning this M. Lemoine. 

" What of this ogre of a brother ? " 

" He is his half-brother," madame said ; 
j " a wicked, graceless monster as ever came 
' upon the earth of the bou Dieu. His own 

father left away all his estates from him, and 

gave them over to M. Lemoiue ; not but that 



VOL. XVI. 



385 



122 [AoguU 8, i7J 



HOUSEHOLD WOKDS. 



[Conducted by 



he himself was handsomely taken care of 
mon Dieu ! far too handsomely ! He, how- 
ever, had spent it all, and was now wandering 
about the world, a beggar." 

"It certainly seemed a curious disposition," 
madanie went on to say, " considering that 
M. Lemoiue was only madame's son slie 
having been married before and that wicked 
M. Charles his own child. But nobody could 
like him not even his own father." 

" And this M. Lemoine was expected here 
that evening ? " 

"Yes," she said, "in company Avith his 
mother, a cold, haughty woman, that always 
went with him, and with mademoiselle his 
cousin, to whom he was to be wedded as soon 
as his wretched health permitted. Voila 
tout ! There was the whole history for me ! 



Would I 
ments 1 " 



excuse her now for a few mo- 



During the last few minutes that madame 
was speaking, I had noticed that a glass door 
on the right had opened softly, disclosing a 
prospect of a gentleman sipping his wine and 
smoking a cigar leisurely after dinner. No 



should have expired at the end of the fourth 
hour but for la petite Fanchouette yonder, 
whom, by the way, you may have seen. A 
little Chloris." 

I was beginning to find this gentleman's 
manner so little to my taste, that I prepared 
to turn away and make for my own room, 
when suddenly a faint rolling sound, accom- 
panied with a distant musical tinkling, fell 
upon my ears. " Hark ! " said he. " It conies, 
diligence le desire, le bien aim6 ! See, the 
gamins are already in ecstasy ! " 

It was singular the contempt he showed 
for the poor men below. They, by this time, 
were all rushing to the great gateway ; so 
there could be no question but that the great 
diligence was approaching. Heavy plunging 
sounds, as of concussion against strong timber 
doors, "with shrill whinnying, denoted that 
the fresh relay knew also what was coming, 
and were impatient to be led forth. Madame 
herself had caught the sounds fiom afar off 
in her little room, and was now tripping 
down the broad steps into the court. Lat- 
tices were opened suddenly in the roof and 



doubt the cool evening breeze was found to other parts, and eager faces put forth to 
enter very gratefully, for the gentleman pre- j listen. Gradually it drew nearer ; the tink- 
sently pushed the little gilt table from him, ling soon changed to a sort of harmonious 
and walked out slowly upon the gallery, still jangle ; there was a vigorous tramping of 
smoking his cigar. He had a disagreeable heavy hoofs, cheerful cries from the driver 
simper always put on below his light yellow encouraging his beasts, with a stray note 
moustaches, and he had, besides, a fashion of from his horn now and again; then more 
keeping his hands buried in his trowsers jingling and harsh clatter mingled together, 
pockets, which seemed as full and capacious | with hollow rumbling now quite close at 
as a Turk's. He looked down for some j hand. The crowd at the archway fall sud- 
minutes into the court below, simpering denly to each side, and there appear at the 
pleasantly at the discussion still going for- opening two dusty thick-set horses, one on 
ward, then walked slowly round to where I the right, of a high cream-colour, with a huge 
was standing, and, bowing low, prayed me to i black patch on his haunch. That must be 
have the bounty and condescension to allow i Gringoire, beyond mistake, who has thus 
him to light his cigar at mine. He had been j nobly vindicated his good name ; for M. Le 
so maladroit as to let his own go out. Cu- j Bceuf is pointing to him triumphantly. After 
riously enough, I had seen him, but a minute Gringoire and his yoke-fellow toil two other 



before, slily rub his cigar against the wall 
with great secrecy and mystery. The signifi- 
cance of this act was now quite plain to me. 
I should have liked him better if he had 
made his advances openly, without any such 
little trickery. It was a pleasant evening, he 
observed, diligently lighting his cigar. I too, 
he supposed, was waiting to see the heavy 
diligence come in. No ? Would I forgive 
him for thinking so at first ; for every creature 
in that dull place seemed to take surprising 
interest in the movements of that huge 
machine. " Messieurs there," he added, sim- 
pering contemptuously, on the people below, 
" find pleasing excitement in such talk. The 
poor souls ! They know no better ha! ha ! " 
His laugh was disagreeable very sweet and 
hollow - sounding. " Have you been here 
long ?" he went on ; "I have been sojourning 
here two days." 

" I only arrived this evening," I answered, 



drily enough. 
" Two days ; 



would you believe it two 



mortal days ! Why, it is my belief that I 



great creatures, all four being garnished 
with high collars fringed handsomely with 
red and blue tassels. And behind them comes 
reeling in the great moving mountain itself, 
that hasjourueyeddown from Lyons, whitened 
over with a crust of dust. There is a great 
tarpaulin covering up baggage, high heaped, 
well whitened too ; and there are many faces 
looking forth from rotonde, and coupe, and 
interieur, of baked and unwholesome aspect, 
as though they had gathered their share of 
the dust also. " In the centre of the court it 
has pulled up short. The doors are dragged 
open, short bidders applied, and many figures 
in the blouses and shining belts are crawling 
up the sides, making for the roof. Now, too, 
are led forth the four fresh and gamesome 
animals, who beguile the tedium of yoking 
by divers posturings and fierce sweeps of 
their hinder legs at unwary bystanders. 

But from the conpo was being assisted 
forth, by gentle hands madanie herself, aid- 
ing tenderly a tall man, delicate-looking and 
slightly bent. He seemed a little feeble, but 



Charles Di-kens.J 



THE YELLOW TIGER 



I August 8, 1357.] 123 



walked better as lie leant on the arm of a 
stately lady in black, looking haughtily round 
on all about her. On the side was a young 
girl, golden-haired and graceful, whom I 
knew to be the future bride. I was all this 
while leaning over the balustrade, looking 
down into the court. 

Presently, a very curious scene took place. 
I had seen the gentleman of the yellow 
moustaches, simpering to himself as though 
much amused at what was going forward. 
But, when the young man and the two ladies 
Lad begun to ascoud the wooden staircase, 
he threw away his cigar, and walked leisurely 
down to meet them. 

" Dearest brother," he said, withdrawing 
one hand from his deep pockets, "soyez le 
bienvenu ! I am rejoiced to see yoti looking 
so fresh and well. But the journey must have 
fatigued you terribly ! " 

The tall lady's eyes flashed fire, and she 
stepped forward in front of her son. 

" Go away ! Retirez-voug, in fame ! " she 
said. " What do you do here ? how dare 
you present yourself to us ? " 

"Sweet madame," he said, bowing low, 
" accept my humble excuses ; but I wish to 
speak privately with my dear brother here, 
who, by the way, seems to be getting all his 
strength back again. I have waited here 
two whole days looking forward to this 
pleasure." 

" Stand back quickly ! " said the tall lady, 
trembling with rage. " Will nobody take this 
infame from our sight ? Messieurs ! mes- 
sieurs ! I entreat you, make him with- 
draw!" 

The men in blouses were gathering round 
gradually to whom our hostess was vehe- 
mently unfolding the whole history, plainly 
working on their feelings. It was held to be 
a crying shame, and M. Le Bceuf was pro- 
posing to interfere physically. But young 
M. Lernoine gently drew his mother to one 
side. 

" Dearest mother," he said, " let us hear 
what he has to say. He can do us no 
harm." 

"No, Dieu merci," she said, "we are be- 
yond his malice. But you must not speak 
with him, my son." 

All this while the gentleman with the saffron 
moustaches had been leaning back against 
the rail, surveying both with a quiet smile. 

" Well, brother," he said, at last, "you see, 
madame gentle-minded, religious woman 
that she is wishes to inflame matters. Let 
us finish with this child's work. I have 
journeyed many leagues to speak with you, 
and do you suppose I will let myself be 
turned back by caprice of this sort ! Give me 
half an hour but one half hour. She shall 
be by all the while. Also mademoiselle, if 
she have any fancy for it." 

The young man looked round at the 
haughty dame beside him. 

" This seems only reasonable," he said ; 



'' we had best hear what he has to say. Well, 
brother, come to my room to the golden 
chamber, in an hour. But, mind, this shall be 
the last time." 

" With all my heart," said the other, bow- 
ing profoundly. I shall trouble you no 
further after that. Meanwhile, accept my 
gratulations, Mademoiselle est vraiment 
belle ! Au revoir, then, in an hour." 

He lifted his hat as they passed him, and 
then walked down, unconcernedly, among 
the blue-frocked bourgeoise of the court. 

" Don't stop up the way, good people," he 
said, coolly putting M. Le Boeuf aside, " it 
hinders all comfort in walking : " then lighted 
a cigar, and strode out carelessly upon the high 
road. 

The glass-doors of the golden chamber had 
been thrown open, disclosing a pretty little 
room adorned fancifully with mirrors and 
light chintz hangings. Into this they entered, 
the hostess leading the way, and bringing 
forward an arm-chair into which M. Lemoine 
dropped himself wearily. Madame was taking 
counsel with Fanchonette, at the end of the 
room (the chintz and Louis-quinze mirrors 
were quite in keeping with the Lancry 
figure), and, as the glass-doors shut-to gently, 
I saw his cousin bending over him tenderly. 
He looked up pleasantly into her lace. 

Within the hour's time, the great diligence 
had departed, toppling fearfully as it passed 
out under the archway ; while the men in 
blue their day's work being ended dis- 
persed and left the court quite bare and 
empty. Soon after, the stranger came saun- 
tering in, his hands deeper in his pockets, 
and well up to his time. At the foot of the 
steps he stopped and called out loudly to 
Fanchouette, "Go quickly, ma petite, and see 
if it be their pleasure to receive me." 

Soon returned Fanchonette, tripping lightly, 
with word that they were already waiting for 
monsieur, would he follow her. 

" On, then, mignonne !" he exclaimed, and 
walked up-stairs, round to the golden cham- 
ber, entering boldly, and letting the glass-doors 
swing-to with loud chatter behind him. 

Madame, our hostess, reported to me 
afterwards, that, as she was passing by 
she heard strange tones, as of fierce and 
angry quarrel 'apparently the voices of 
M. Lemoine's mother and the stranger. 
She had often heard that there was some 
ugly secret in the family some skeleton- 
closet as it were which lie, no doubt, was 
threating to make known to the world. He 
was lache-lache ! madame said, several times, 
with indignation. It was curious, too, how 
the interest of that whole establishment be- 
came concentrated on that one chamber. It 
was known universally that there was some 
mystery going on inside. Even Fanchonette 
found occasion to pass that way now and then, 
gleaning, no doubt, stray ends of discourse. 
I, myself, felt irresistibly moved, to wander 
round in that direction ; but, for the sake of 



124 [August s, is;,;.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



public opinion, had held out against the 
little weakness. It would be more profitable, 
as it was such a cool, fresh evening, to go 
forth and stroll leisurely towards the village, 
scarcely a mile away. So I sauntered forth 
at an easy pace from beneath the archway. 

It was very grateful that evening walk 
down to the village, lying along all manner 
of green lanes and shady places. There was 
a kind of short cut through the fields 
pointed out by an obliging peasant which 
led across rustic bridges anil through a little 
wood, very tempting and retired. There was ' 
the village church, too, just after getting 
clear of the wood : an ancient structure, and 
very grey and mossy, with the door standing j 
open. I looked in and found M. le cure at 
the high altar steps instructing his little ' 
band ot children for first communion or other 
great act. A gentle, patient man looked M. 
le cure, as he stood within his altar-rails, 
and very innocent and eager seemed his little 
following. I waited afar off just under the 
porch for many minutes, listening, looking 
round, too, at the pretty decoration of the 
church, garnished plentifully with white 
rose-wreaths, perhaps for some high festival 
coming on. 

It was long past ten o'clock when I 
found myself at the door of the old Yellow 
Tiger. That establishment was now about 
sinking into its night's repose ; lights begin- 
ning to twinkle here and thei*e at strange 
windows. M. Le Bceuf and all his company 
had long since departed, and as I entered, a 
man was coming down the steps with a huge 
bunch of keys to fasten up all securely for 
the night. The day's work was done, and it 
w;;s time for all Christians to be in their 
rooms. So I took the lamp and made straight 
for the little alcove chamber where I was to 
repose ; leaving, as is best to do in strange 
places, the light burning upon the table. 

When I awoke again, it must have been a 
couple of hours past midnight, and I found 
that my lamp must have just gone out. For 
there was a column of thick black smoke 
curling upwards from it to the coiling. The 
ni-ht was miserably warm and uncomfortable, 
and I foresaw that there was at least an 
hour or two of wretched tossing in store for 
me. To which prospect I at, once resigned 
myself, and waited calmly for the tumult, to 
begin. 

Though the lamp had gone out, there was 
still abundance of light pouring into the 
room through the glass-door and its thin 
muslin blind. For, the moon was up and 
made every corner of my little room as light 
as day. From the alcove where I lay just 
facing the door 1 could be pretty sure that 
the court-yard was steeped in a broad sheet 
of white light. So, too, must have been the i 
gallery running round (this was my little 
speculation, striving to keep away the hour ' 
of torment), and its many sleepers, now fast 
bound in their slumbers. Just then the 



little clock set to chiming out three, so that 
I had gone tolerably near the hour. As 
I was thinking what musical bells were 
to be found occasionally in these out-of- 
the-way villages, it suddenly struck me 
that there was a creaking sound outside 
in the gallery, as of a light footstep. The 
night was so very still that there could be no 
doubt of it. There was a creaking sound in 
the gallery. At the same instant, Hercule, 
the great white hound, always chained up of 
nights in the porch, gave forth a long melan- 
choly howl. Whereupon the sounds ceased 
suddenly. 

By and by they commenced again, coming 
nearer this time and mystifying me exceed- 
ingly, when suddenly, having my eyes fixed 
upon the door, a tall shadow seemed to flit 
swiftly across the door a man's shadow, too. 
What could this mean 1 Who could be 
moving about in this secret fashion ? Per- 
haps a watchman, kept by madame to look 
after the safety of their premises ; perhaps 
a stranger with some unlawful purpose. I 
got up hastily and went over to the door to 
look out. There was no sign of any person 
being there ; the gallery was perfectly 
deserted. The court below was exactly as 
I had been figuring it flooded with moon- 
light. There were also those fantastic sha- 
dows shooting out from the foot of the 
pillars, and underneath the gallery deep 
cavernous recesses, steeped in shade and 
mystery. Hercule was still at his mournful 
song, and something must have troubled his 
slumbers. Still, as I said, there was no sign 
of any living creature ; so, after a little 
further contemplation of the tranquil scene, 
I shut the door gently, taking care to secure 
it from within, and went back to the alcove. 

The diligence passed by at six o'clock next 
morning and was to call at the great gate to 
take me up. It seemed to me, that I had 
but just turned round to sleep, when a hoarse 
voice came through the glass-door, calling to 
me and rattling it impatiently. 

"What do you want ? " I said sleepily. 

" The diligence, M'sieu ! it is coining over 
the hill. M'sieu will have to hasten him- 
self." 

I jumped up hastily and was in my clothes 
in an 'instant. Madame, with delicate fore- 
thought, had a little cup of coffee ready 
(the great diligence would halt for breakfast 
some two or three hours later), which I had 
finished just as the jangling music of the 
great diligence made itself heard at the door. 
As I was following out M. Le Bceuf, who 
had my luggage on his shoulder, a piercing 
scream rang out, so sharp and full of anguish 
that all who were there turned and rushed 
back into the court. There was M. Lernoine's 
mother out upon the gallery in a light dress- 
ing gown, leaning over the rail, tossing her 
arms wildly about. There, too, was madame 
our hostess, struggling hard with the golden- 
haired young girl at the door of M. Lemoine's 



[August S, 135;.] 125 



room. Little Fanchonette, with her hands with a certain pritnitiveness of dress and 
covering up her face, was running round the manners among its men and women by way 
gallery in a sort of distracted manner, calling of local colouring. I thought frequently of 



" au secours ! au secours : 
the room-door in an instant. 



" such a terrible thing ! " said madame ; 
" don't go in don't go in ! " 

I knew well what that terrible thing was, 
having had a dreadful presentiment from the 



We were at the late Mr. Sterne and his tender soul, and 
went round very much after the easy, 



lounging manner of that famous sentimen- 
talist. 

In a-n admirable specimen of this ancient 
town architecture, bearing the name of 



very first minute. Upon his bed was lying) Montc.eaux, I found myself one evening, after 
M. Lemoine, on his face, quite stiff and some three or four days' sojourning, sitting 



cold ; and, as they turned him over, two dis- 
coloured marks upon his throat came into 
He had been most foully done to 



view, 
death - 



-had poor M. Lemoine. 



Suddenly some one whispered, Where was 
the stranger : he who had arrived yesterday ? 



by an open lattice and looking out on their 
chief street. This was in a furnished lodg- 
ing over a little wine-shop, which I hud 
secured at incredibly small charges. I knew 
that over my head there was a wonderful 
bit of gable with vast slopes of red tiling, 



and some one else walked away on tip-toe ! and, as of course, a little belfry and weather- 
to wai'ds his room. He had departed. It was j cock, wherein the daws did most congregate, 
plain, too, that his bed had not been slept in. 1 1 knew that, externally, great beams, hand- 



It was easy, therefore, to know at whose door 
to lay this foul deed. 

By this time, madame, now quite motionless 
and exhausted, had been got into the house, 



somely coloured, crossed diagonally just 
below my little diamond- paned lattice, and 
that underneath was a deep doorway with 
well-wrought arch and pillars, which might 



as well as the yellow-haired young lady, very well have been abstracted from the old 
M. le conducteur said very quietly to me, : church hard by. I knew also that at the 
that it was an awful thing to happen, an \ angle of the house, just on a line with my 
awful thing. He felt for madame's situation, j lattice, was a niche, or resting-place, for a, 
but he had his orders and must go forward - certain holy woman now in glory, who had 



without delay. So he was at my service from 
that moment. 

As we came down the steps, we found that 
the court had filled up with a strange rapi- 
dity; many men in the blue garments having 
gathered there, talking softly together and 
surmising ; the gens-d'armes would be there, 
they said, in a few m:nutes. Le Boeuf and 
others were already scouring the country. 
So I ascended into the great diligence, sorrow- 
fully ; thinking what blight and desolation 
had of a sudden fallen upon the peaceful 
house. The cocher was impatient; he had 
had a hard time of it with his four strug- 
gling animals. They had been making the 
stones and gravel fly about furiously for the 
last quarter of an hour. The door was slammed 
to, the conductor had clambered up to his 
nook, the musical jingling, the crunching, the 
rumbling began again afresh, and the great 
diligence moved onward. As we reached 
the top of the hill, we met six tall men in 
cocked hats and boots, and very white 
shoulder-belts. These were the gens-d'armes 
that had been sent for ; now on their way to 
the old Yellow Tiger Inn. 

How many years was it before I came by 
that road again, through the pleasant bye- 
ways and paysages of France the Beautiful, 
ns her sons and daughters like to call her ? 



once been richly dight in gold and colouring, 
but was now as dull and grey as her stone 
canopy. To her, I noted that every man as 
he passed uncovered reverently ; which was 
indeed only fitting, she being patroness and 
special guardian of the town. 

The day's work was done, and it was a 
Saturday evening. Therefore were gathered 
about the street corner, under the saint, 
many of the Monteaux wise men taking 
their ease in the cool of the evening and dis- 
cussing the fair or festival nearest at hand. 
Past them would flit by, occasionally, coming 
from drawing water at the fountain, the 
Maries and Victorines of the place, in petti- 
coats of bright colours and dainty caps, and 
with little crosses on their necks. There came 
by, too, a tall dark man, without a hat, holding 
up his gown with one hand monsieur le 
cur6, in a word who stayed for a few 
moments' talk with the wise men. His day's 
work at the church, shrifts and all, was 
now over, and he was speeding on to the 
presbyteVe close by. Altogether, I said to 
myself, as pretty a little cabinet bit as I have 



seen for many a long day. 
Down the little street 



facing us (the 



patroness from her angle could command 
undisturbed prospect of no less than three 
streets) came tripping lightly a young girl in 
black, with a littie black silk hood half drawn 
over her head. I saw her coming a long way 



Close upon four, I think. This time I had 

been wandering over the country in true off, even from the moment she had issued 
Zingnrp humour ; casting about for ancient | from the old house that hung so over upon 
quiet little towns, removed from great high- the street. As she drew nearer, there came 



ways and touriet profanities, where abound, 
choice street corners and maimed statues in 



upon me suddenly a reminiscence as of 
Lancry and of a juicy brush and clear limpid 



broken arches and a rare fountain or so, colouring. I thought I recollected something 



126 



&1SS7. 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



of that face and figure, and, by the time she 
was passing under the window, I had placed 
her on a certain gallery just coming forth 
from the golden chamber, with the old 
Yellow Tiyer as background. So I stooped 
over and called out softly " Fanchonette !" 

She was a little startled, and looked up. 
It was Fanchonette beyond all mistake. She 
was not scared at being so accosted, but 
stopped still a moment to know what I might 
want. 

"Fanchonette," I said, "don't you re- 
member ? How gets on the old Yellow 
Tiger and mac lame ?" 

She put her little finger to her forehead 
thoughtfully. 

" Ah ! I recollect it all now ! " she said, 
clapping her hands. " I recollect monsieur 
perfectly. Monsieur was there," she added 
sorrowfully, " all that terrible night." 

" Wait for a moment, Fanchonette," I said, 
" I am coming down to you." For someway 
I always shrank from that paternal manner 
of the Reverend Mr. Sterne, when opening 
up the country sentimentally ; so I went 
down to meet Fauchonette ungallantly 
enough at the door. " Now, what has 
brought you to these parts ?" I said. "Tell 
me all your little history, Fanchonette." 

" O, monsieur ! " she said, " I left the 
Yellow Tiger long since, and I now serve 
madarne the tall, dark lady, whose son was, 

helas ! so miserably " 

" Ah ! I remember that night well." And 
the young fiancee, the golden-haired demoi- 
selle, where was she ? I asked. 

She had been with the Soeurs de la Miseri- 
corde since a long time back in noviciate, 
Fanchonette believed. But had I not taken 
an interest in her at least she thought so 
and in the family ? I had certainly, I said, 
and had often thought of them since. Ah ! 
she was sure of it. She had noticed it in 
me that night when madame was recounting 
her history and now, if I would be so good, 
BO condescending, she said, putting \\p her 
hands, and actually trembling with eagerness, 
to corne with her for one short quarter of 
an hour to her mistress. O ! I did not know 
what a relief, what a raising up from deses- 
poir, I should bring with me. 

I looked at her a little mystified. To be 
sure, I said ; but what could I do for her ? 
O, much ; a great deal ! I could help them 
very much indeed ! The Blessed Mother had 
sent me to them as a guardian angel and 
deliverer ! Madame had been utterly crushed 
past hope ; but now all ^would go well. 
Would 1 go now 1 She was stopping in the 
great house yonder. 

This was mysterious enough, but I said 
by all means ; and so Fanchonette tripped 
on a messenger of good tidings of great 
joy leading the way to the great house that 
hung so into the street. Arrived under its 
shadow, she lifted the latch softly, and, 
leaving me below, ran up to tell madame. 



She was away some five minutes, and then 
called over the stairs that monsieur was to 
mount, if he pleased. So I ascended a dark, 
winding staircase, such as are much found in 
such mansions, and was led along a low, 
narrow corridor into a large handsome room, 
fitted however with mullions and panes 
of diamond pattern much as in my own tene- 
ment. Here, in a great gilt chair (very 
tarnished though), surrounded with cabinets 
and mirrors and clocks and china of the 
pattern popular in the days of King Louis the 
Fifteenth, was Madame Lemoine, all in black, 
who sat back stiff and stern in her chair, 
regarding me closely as I came in. I knew 
her at once. She was just as I had seen 
her on the stairs of the Yellow Tiger, only 
her features had grown sharpened and 
pinched a little ; her eyes, too, had now and 
then a sharp, restless glare. tShe looked at 
me hard for a few moments. 

" Sit down, monsieur, sit down," she said, 
nervously, "here just beside me. Do you 
know that you can help us that is, if you are 
willing to do so 1 " 

I said that anything I could do for them, 
provided it fell within the next few days, 
they were heartily welcome to. 

" Thanks, thanks, thanks ! " she said many 
times over, with the same nervous manner. 
" You shall hear first what is wanted of 
you not so very much after all. Rather, 
first what do you know of us, or must I go 
through the whole wretched story ?" 

" If she alluded," I said, " to a certain 
fatal night some four years since, why " 

" Ah, true ! I had been there. Fanchonette 
had told her all that. Well, monsieur," she 
went on, rubbing her thin fingers together, 
" how do you suppose my miserable life has 
been spent since then ? What has been my 
food and nourishment all that while ? 
Guess !" 

I shook my head. I could not pretend to 
say what had been madame's occupation. 

" Try ! try ! " she said, striking the smooth 
knob of her chair, her eyes ranging from 
object to object in the quick, restless way I 
had noticed. " What was the fittest employ- 
ment for the poor broken-hearted mother ? 
Come ! Make a guess, monsieur ! " 

It had grown a little darker now, and 
there were shadows gathering round the 
upholstery of King Louis' day. For nearly 
a minute no one spoke, neither I, nor Fan- 
chonette standing behind her mistress's chair, 
nor the grim lady herself waiting an answer 
so solemnly. Madame had been travelling, 
no doubt, I suggested. 

" Right," said madame, " we have been 
travelling wearily : scouring the great con- 
tinent of Europe from end to end. Poor 
Fanchonette is tired, and I am tired. Does 
monsieur " here she stooped forward, peer- 
ing nervously into my face ; " does monsieur 
ever recollect meeting in any of the great 
public places, for instance a man with light 



Charles Dickens.] 



THE YELLOW TIGER. 



[August S. 185?.] 127 



yellow moustache?, white teeth, and a false 
smile. Let monsieur see his description, as 
officially drawn up, with proper signalment. 
Eyes, grey ; nose, arched ; height, medium ; 
hair, yellow ; and the rest of it. We have 
been travelling after him, monsieur." 

I was uow beginning to understand. 

"Well," she went on, "we were hunting 
that shadow up and down, tracking those 
yellow moustaches hopelessly, without aid 
from any one, for how long, Fanchonette 1 
Ah, for three years yes ! At the end of 
three years, monsieur three weary years 
we had hunted him down tracked him 
home. It was time, though : full time ! We 



had not strength 
chonette 1 " 



for much more, Fan- 



" Where did you find him then, madame 1 " 



Why, in a lonely German 



I said. 

" Ah ! where 1 

town, at the foot of the mountains. But what 
use was it 1 We had no friends among the 
great ones, and could not lay a finger on him 
in that foreign country. All that was left 
to us was to keep watch over him until 
he should be drawn back again by his des- 
tiny as they say such men always are 
drawn to his own country. How long 
did we keep watch over him, there, 
Fanchonette 1 " 

" For ten months, madame." 

" For ten months, and then he departed, 
as I knew he would, aud crept back to his 
own land. And now," she. said, lowering her 
voice in a whisper, " he is close by us here 
in the town of Dezieres, not five miles 
away 

Madame paused here for a moment, still 
playing feverishly with the smooth knob oi 
her chair. 

"Here is what we would ask of you, if 
you would not think it too much. Fan- 
chonette has been into this town and has 
brought back some idle story about its not 
being the man ; no false smile, she says, nor 
yellow moustaches as if he were fool enough 
to keep such tokens. Mon Dieu ! " she added 



lifting up her thin hands, 
to be he, and no other. 



; it shall turn out 
He is lying at 



this moment in Dezidres, awaiting for his 
hour." 

" In what way, then, dear madame, would 
you have me assist you 1 " 

"Fanchonette does not know- this man 
and my poor eyes are old and weak and 
would not help me to know him. See us 
here, then, monsieur, two friendless women, 
and give us this help. Go into that town, 
see him, speak with him, probe his very 
soul, and if he turn pale have them ready to 
rush in upon him. 
pass such things 1 " 

I could only promise that I would set forth 
for Dezieres, not that Saturday night it 
b^ing far too late but towards noon the 
next day, when she might depend on my best 



How were we to corn- 



sorrows and her pale, handsome countenance, 
so worn and sharpened with sorrows. It was 
lard to resist the piteous, earnest look, with 
which she had waited for my answer. 

" A troubled time you must have had of 
t, my poor girl," I said to Fanchonette, as we 
went down to the door. 

"Ah, yes, monsieur;" she said, "but 
we would have travelled to the world's 
end to find him. I have no fears. The 
Bon Dieu will deliver him up to justice 
yet." 

The next day was Sunday, and a very 
bright festival morning it seemed to be. 
Looking betimes from my little casement, I 
saw the whole town astir, and, in the street 
making towards the church where was to be, 
presently, the grand mass. They came in 
all manner of costumes : abundance of high 
white caps, and bright shawls and petti- 
coats variegating the tide. There were some, 
too, from the country outside, drawn along 
by stout horses, adorned with gay harness and 
fringes. There were stout patriarchs trudg- 
ing along, boldly leaning on their good sticks, 
and young girls the Maries aud Victorines 
of last night with gold pins in their hair and 
great bouquets, and gallants in blouses walk- 
ing beside them. So they went by ; all bound 
for the grand mass. I would go to the grand 
mass also. 

High altar abundantly decked with ar- 
tificial white roses ; little altars in little 
by-chapels decked also with artificial white 
roses. White roses round the capitals of 
the tall, grey pillars. White roses along the 
organ-gallery, and around the angels, and on 
the head of the pretty statue of our lady, or it 
might be of our saint and patroness, in the 
middle of the aisle. This was the first im- 
pression upon the senses of the curious 
stranger. The secret of this waste of white 
roses was this ; it was the patroness's festi- 
val-day, and, on looking closer, I found that 
very many of the bouquets had, in fact, 
found their way to the feet of her effigy. 
There was to be a grand fonction, in short, 
aud it was confidently expected that M. le 
grand vicaire-general of the district, would 



in a panegyric ; but a little doubt hung 
over this prospect. There was altogether a 
bright, innocent aspect about the church 
interior as I stood looking down at it from 
the porch, so well peopled with its ranks of 
gaily-dressed peasantry, which struck me as 
another of those choice pictures for which I 
was indebted to this little place. There was 
a tall man in a cocked-hat who was over- 
powering in his attentions, unprompted by 
mercenary motives. When the grand mass 
began, a flood of boys in white, a flood of men 
in white, together with a train of lay figures, 
displaying upon their backs the gorgeous 
copes lent by adjoining parishes to do honour 
to the patroness, and now M. le cur6 him- 



exertions. I was touched by the poor lady's I self, celebrant in a dazzling robe, never seen 



128 [Augiwt 8, 1857.] 



HOUSEHOLD WOEDS. 



[Conducted by 



by Montceaux eyes fresh from Paris 
censors, floating clouds, gold, silver, glitter, 
torches, and sweet fragrance, that was the 



fess, in all honour, have you half-a-dozen 
people in your house?" Indeed he can 
assure monsieur that there are at least that 



fonction. Alack, for the music, though j number or very nearly so. No, I say, 
chaunted, indeed, with a will, but dissonant, | pointing significantly to the keys hung close 
and of the nose nasal. Nor can I restrain ! by about three thick who have you now 1 



a gentle remonstrance against the leathern 
spiral instrument that cruel diseuchauter 
worked with remorseless vigour by the 
Tubal Cain of the place. At the end of the 
fonction when the patroness is happily borne 
back to her resting-place comes a moment 
of intolerable suspense. Has M. le grand- 
vicaire come ? Will he come ? In a mo- 
ment more there is sensation in the church, 
for there issue forth boys in white, the men 
in white, the lay figures even ; and, lastly, 



Why, there was M. Petit the avocat, and M. le 
sous-lieutenant, and now, let him see oh, 
yes ! There was M. Falcon, not exactly 
stopping in the house ; and there was M. 
Eabbe, professor of languages and belles 

lettres, and Well, well, I say, so that 

any of them dined, I was content. O, yes, 
they would dine : monsieur might depend on 
that. M. Eabbe always dined. Good. Then 
I would be there at five. 

I am interested in M. Eabbe, professor 



walking modestly with M. le cure, M. le j of languages and belles lettres. I am de- 
grand-vicaire himself. Pie has come, then, ' sirous of meeting M. Eabbe at dinner, and 
the long desiderated ! A rather florid, portly making his acquaintance. I walk up the 
man, M. le grand-vicaire, but true as steel, street carelessly, thinking what manner of 
and has come twenty miles that morning for I man he may turn out to be, when I am seized 
the patroness and her flock. He will dine ! unaccountably with misgivings on the score 
with M. le cure in state, and meet the maire of my passport. My passport, of all things in 
and other great syndics. A very excellent ' the world ! Was it perfectly en rggle as 
sermon from M. le grand-vicaire, full of their phrase was ? Had it its fu!l comple- 
sound truths, with a little varnish of a Paris ment of visas, and sand, and stamps ? Would 
accent over all. For, he is not provincial, it do for such remote quarters as Dezieres ? 
and hath eminent prospects of being a bishop, ! Who was to let me know concerning these 
and those not so remote either. A great day j things 1 I stop a passer-by, and inquire with 
altogether a very high festival ! j civility for the Bureau of Passports. The 

Shortly after noontide, a sort of caleche sent' passer-by is puzzled not often coming in 
over from Dezieres, departed by the northern \ contact with such notions he supposes I 
side of the town. There were, inside of that may hear of it at the Police. Yes ; and 
caleche, Madame Lemoine, Mademoiselle the Police ? Ah ! that Avas in Eue Pot 
Fanchonette, and myself. After all, madame | d'Etain Tin Pot Street that is straight 
had decided, almost at the last minute, to go j as I can go. Thanks. One thousand 
forward to Dezieres and wait there the thanks ! 



progress of events. 



I proceed, straight as I can go, into Tin Pot 



In about an hour's time then, we were Street, and discover the Police at once from 
struggling slowly up the paved causeway the sign of a gens-d'arme hung out, as it were, 
that leads into that town: a much greater at the door. Two other gens-d'armes are seated 
and more imposing place than Montceaux. on a little bench under the window, enjoy- 
There is a barriere and there are officials ing the evening. I go up to the Sign, and 
there, and octroi ; at which spot we turned ask if I may be allowed a few minutes' con- 
sharply to the right, making for a quiet and versation with M. le chef. He looks hard at 
retired house of rest, known as the Son of me, moving his hand over his chin with a 
France Inn. At the Son of France were set ! rasping sound. Then, with a slow glance, he 
down madame and her attendant, whilst I j takes me in from head to foot, and under 
went off on foot to the Three Gold Crowns, pretext of picking up a straw, contrives a 
on certain business of my own. 1 private view at my back. The brethren on 

At the door of that house of entertainment ! the bench have by this time drawn neai', 
I made enquiries in an easy unconcerned man- ! look me all over, and make rasping sounds 
ner : firstly, as to the hour they were accus- 1 on their chins. I repeat my request of being 
tomed to lay out their table-d'hote, and also as conducted to the presence of M. le chef, 
to whether I could be accommodated with an i Upon which the Sign clearly not knowing 
apartment for that night. It was explained to ' what to make of it motions me to follow, 
me that, on the score of dinner, I was unhap- j and leads me into a little back room. The 
pily too late for the first table-d'hote, which ' door is shut, and I am left alone with a 



was laid always at one, precisely. But that, by 
inlinite good luck, there would be another 
laid at five o'clock, to suit the convenience of 
strangers arrived for the festival. As to the 
apartment I might have my choice ; for 
U;trcou candidly acknowledges there are not 
many stopping in the house. " Bad times 



gentleman behind a table bald, and rather 
full in person wearing a travelling cap tied 
with a bow of ribbon in front, and an ancient 
brown coat : altogether recalling forcibly 
the men that used to book you in country 
towns for the Eoyal Mail, during the fine 
old coaching times. 



these for business," I say, laughingly. " Con- I have some curious conversation with M. 



Charles Dickens.] 



THE YELLOW TIGER, 



LAumi*t y, 111:.] 129 



le chef: for nearly half an hour. In spite of 
Royal Mail associations, I find him a man of 
wonderful tact and knowledge. Indeed, how 
would he have got there at all were it other- 
wise ? Strange to say, he has shown me some 
queer notes of his own making during the last 
two or three days. As I go away it seems 
settled that M. le chef will not dine at home 
that day ; but has taken a fancy for trying 
the cuisine at the Three Gold Crowns. He 
will dine much about the time we do, only 
he will be served in a little Cabinet Particu- 
lier by himself. I am grieved at not having 
his company at the public table ; for he is a 
man of wit and easy manners. But he has 
his little oddities, he sa.ys, and so shrugs me 
out. 

At about ten minutes before five, I am 
ascending the stairs of the Three Gold 
Crowns. I find the lieutenant already there 
before me, walking up and down gentlemen 
of the Imperial Service proving, within my 
experience, punctual and fatal patrons of the 
proprietors of such establishments. We salute 
each other profoundly, and enter upon the 
probabilities of there being full or scanty 
attendance at the approaching meal. To us en- 
tered presently a purple, orb-faced gentleman, 
plainly of the country interest and Squire 
Western habits, and then a little smart man, 
who recalled forcibly the popular portraits of 
M. Thiers. He seems, as it were, perpetually 
shooting out into points and angles, and comes 
in company with the gentleman of the country, 
laying out some local interest energetically 
with his pointed finger. 

Behind them walks out the host of the 
Three Gold Crowns, heralding the soup 
significant onien that no more are to come 
or at least be waited for. But the professor 
of modern tongues and belles lettres, 
where is he ? I am so interested in this 
coming of M. Rabbe, that I feel myself 
getting troubled and uneasy in mind, and 
look every instant towards the door. More 
especially as I know from sounds behind 
the partition that there is a gentleman being 
served in private contingent, as it were, upon 
M. Rabbe's arrival. Perhaps M. Rabbe may 
have private reasons for not desiring to meet 
me ? Seriously I am very much disturbed, 
and think anxiously of the thin, pale lady 
expectant at the Son of France. 

The soup then is put on. Officious garcons 
bustle about, and the clatter of China ware 
and tongues sets in. M. Petit for I have 
learnt long since that M. Thiers' portrait 
stands for him talks for the whole company. 
He has his sharp forefinger laid upon his 
neighbour's chest ; now upon his plate ; now 
vertically upon his own palm. He is for 
ever illustrating things with little construc- 
tions of his knife and fork, his napkin and 
his chair. He distracts me from what I am 
thinking of so nervously. The sous-lieute- 
nant and M. Falcon accept him cheerfully as 
he is and without reply for their souls are 



now laid conscientiously to the great work 
before them. 

Just as the soup is being taken away, I 
catch the sound of a distant step upon the 
stairs. Our host catches it too ; for he bids 
Antoine stay his hand, and leave the soup 
for M. Rabbe. For another moment, niy 
heart is beating hard, and there enters some 
one bowing low, and full of soft apologies a 
little warm, too, with the haste he has made 
and wiping his forehead with his handker- 
chief. Ah, Fanchonette ! For all that arti- 
ficial strip of baldness reaching even to the 
back of the head ; in spite of those shorn lips 
and cheeks ; of that limp neckcloth, swathed 
in many folds and brought down upon the 
chest ; of that bunch of seals ; and the long 
black garment a shade seedy at the collar; I 
say you should have known M. Rabbe, in one 
second, at that comely German town ! I 
would have picked him out of a thousand. 

He was one of M. Petit's own circle of 
friends ; for that gentleman saluted him heart- 
ily as he took his seat. A very agreeable man 
was M. Rabbe, and entertained us wonder- 
fully for the rest of dinner ; excepting that at 
times he had a peculiar manner of displaying 
his teeth, and I could not help fancying ayellow 
moustache just over them. He spoke cheer- 
fully of the morning's fonction, and of the 
admirable sermon of M. le vicaire such 
plain, sound doctrine, and so good for the 
people ! Then he falls upon fiscal questions 
with M. Petit, handling them with a certain 
skill. The lieutenant is, all this while, too 
hard at work for mere converse. 

At last M. Petit, looking at his watch, dis- 
covers that he has important business else- 
where, and so departs with a bow that takes 
in all the company. The lieutenant rises 
about the same time ; bethinking him of the 
little cafe in the Square of the town. Remain 
therefore, the country interest, myself, and 
M. Rabbe : who says with a pleasant smiie 
that he knows of a particular Volnay, now 
lying in our host's cellars, and would take 
leave to order up some, for our special 
tasting. At this moment there are sounds of 
movement behind the partition, and presently 
enters with bows, my friend the chef, with 
newspaper in one hand, and his glass and a 
slim wine-flask in the other, begging to be 
allowed to join the company. I confess I 
scarcely know M. le chef again. He is 
strangely metamorphosed, having now got 
up a little of the aspect of a town burgher 
in his Sunday suit : with a brusque local 
tone of speech. No traces here of the 
brown garment and the ancient travelling 
cap ! He draws in his chair, looks round 
on us cheerfully, and I now feel that the 
time for business is at hand. 

" You do meet excellent wines " I say, in 
continuation of the Volnay discussion " in 
some of those little towns up and down the 
country." 

"Ay," says M. le chef, holding his glass 



130 [Ausust 8,185".] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



to the light, "and perhaps nowhere so good 
as in this town of ours." 

" The gentleman is right," says M. Falcon, 
with an oath of the true western fashion 
only in French 'let them match our wines 
if they can ! Pardieu ! I say what is known, 
and can be proved ! " 

"He has reason !" M. le clief says, glancing 
at me ever so little. "Trust to a clean country 
cabaret for pure honest wines ! " 

" Yes," I reply, " I have travelled over 
many leagues of France, and I think the best 
wines I have fallen in with, were at an old 
cabaret in the south." 

" Where, if T may take the liberty ? " M. le 
chef asks with interest. 

" Let me see," I answer reflecting, "it is so 
long since. Ah to be sure down near 
Troves somewhere, at a house called the 
Yellow Tiger ! " 

M. Rabbe was about to drink when I began 
this speech. At the moment the words Yellow 
Tiger were spoken, his glass was not an 
inch from his lips. He started. His arm 
shook so violently, that the wine ran over 
his glass. Then he swallowed it all off 
every drop, with a gulp hastily to hide his 
white lips, and stole a cowering look round 
the table, just catching M. le chef in the 
act of leaning forward with his hands upon his 
knees, watching him with intense curiosity. 

" What are you all looking at me for in this 
way 1 " he said angrily. 

" We are concerned for monsieur's health," 
says the chef, "lest he should be seized 
with sudden sickness. That name of Yellow 
Tiger seemed to have such strange effect." 

M. Rabbe looks at him uneasily for a 
moment ; then laughs more uneasily still, 
and fills out for himself another bumper of 
Volnay. 

" To go back to this Yellow Tiger wine," 
says M. le chef, reaching over for the flask, 
" was it so good now, really ? " 

" Famous ! And I ought to remember it 
well. For the night I drank of it there was 
murder done in the Yellow Tiger Inn ! " 

Again M. Rabbe's glass was stayed in its 
course, and the precious Volnay scattered on 
the floor. He was looking over at me with 
a painful, devouring expression, which I shall 
never forget. 

" Monsieur must be unwell," says M. le 
chef, with anxiety ; " the gentleman will 
recollect that I said so at first." 

"I am very unwell," gasps M. Rabbe stag- 
gering up on his feet, and not taking his 
eyes from me, " very unwell indeed. I shall 
go out into the fresh air, it will revive me." 

"The thing of all others in the world," M. 
le chef says ; " nothing is so good as the cool 
fresh air, with a little eau de Cologne to 
the temples. Stay," says M. le chef, rising 
with good-natured alacrity, "let monsieur 
lean on me, till he gets to the garden. He is 
weak evideutly. Oh, there is nothing like 
the cool air ! " 



So M. le chef gets monsieur's arm under 
his own. They go out together, and M. le 
chef gives me one queer look from over his 
shoulder. 

That evening it fell out that a strong party 
of geus-d'armes, with bavouets fixed and 
drawn closely round a hand-cuffed man, came 
past the Son of France Inn. There, a tall 
thin lady in black stood at a front window. 
It was nearly certain, I was informed, that 
the destiny of the handcuffed man, would 
be resolved at the Bagnes or galleys at 
Brest. 



A COMPANIONABLE SPARROW. 



I FOUND myself by the decrees of the Fates, 
in the winter of eighteen hundred and fifty- 
five (oue of the coldest of recent winters, and 
during one of the coldest of December nights) 
at an evening party in the rue de la Ville 
1'Eveque, in Paris. The heroine of this even- 
ing party for me was neither a rosy made- 
moiselle nor a queenly madame, but a spar- 
>row (la Pierrette). During a jubilee moment 
of emancipation from the news and the wit, 
the music and the dancing, the men exhi- 
biting their distinction, and the women 
displaying their beauty, I espied a little 
brown ball upon the top corner of a large 
and lofty gilded mirror, fastened against a 
wall in a corner of one of the rooms. Intel- 
ligence is a substantive feminine, I suppose, 
on account of her curiosity ; and my intelli- 
gence immediately rushed into my eyes, and 
began peeping, staring, and darting glances, 
to discover what the little brown ball upon 
the gilt cornice might be. She soon found 
out it was a sparrow rolled up into a ball, 
with its beak under its wing, and fast asleep. 
My intelligence was immensely enjoying the 
problem how a sparrow could have been 
thus tamed and domesticated, when the con- 
tagion of curiosity spread from me to my 
neighbours in the room, and from room to 
room throughout the whole assembly, just as 
a circular ripple makes more and more cir- 
cular ripples upon the surface of water. I 
soon found I was in a crowd of persons all 
gazing in one direction. Treble voices with 
bass murmurs accompanying them made 
quite a concert of melodious cries of wonder. 
Just before the mirror, marble arms held up 
candles statuesquely, yet nearer and nearer 
and higher and higher. Some of these heads 
and arms, done in stone, would have adorned 
a sculpture-room. But the sparrow was 
roused by the light. Awakened and startled, 
rather than frightened, the spai'row flew 
round and round the room, and alighted upon 
its gilded perch again. And now, in com- 
pliance with my repeated requests, Made- 
moiselle 1'Apprivoiseuse de Moineau has 
been kind enough to write out for me the 
story of this sparrow, and I have the pleasure 
of submitting it to my readers. 



Charles Dickens.! 



A COMPANIONABLE SPAEEOW. 



8, 1357.] 131 



As the circumstances are extraordinary, I ' 
shall intrude only a few words to the incre- 
dulous reader. I am one of many persons 
who have frequently seen this sparrow fly 
into the apartment in which I saw her. I 
have repeatedly seen this sparrow leave her 
companions upon the roofs and in the trees. 
I have seen her wait until the window was 
opened. I have seen her study the counte- 
nances of the persons in the room. She does 
not like my looks, for example ; and the 
truth is, I have in my time dissected indivi- ; 
duals of her kind ; and perhaps, a guilty 
conscience needing no accuser, she sees my 
guilt in my face. I may have a dissect-bird 
look, although I hope not. Most certainly I 
have known her dark hazel eyes gaze at me for 
a long time, and have learned from her manner 
that she deemed me decidedly a suspicious 
character, whose presence on the premises 
was dangerous. She trusts all ladies impli- 
citly. To have the pleasure of seeing her 
fly into the room, I have had to make myself 
invisible in a corner. When the persons 
Avho have excited her distrust are hidden, she 
flies into the room, and the window is shut 
upon her. From her cornice she can con- 
template even men-folks with composure. 

I came to live, says Mademoiselle 1'Ap- 
privoiseuse de Moineau, in my present abode, 
rue de la Ville 1'Eveque, Paris, in April, 
eighteen hundred and fifty-one. Almost my 
first care was to make a sort of garden upon 
a little terrace upon which the sunniest 
sitting-room opens. Finding that the spar- 
rows ate up all the best blossoms, I provided 
a good supply of bird-seed and bread crumbs, 
which they soon found out to be better food 
than flowers. One day I perceived that one 
of them could scarcely fly. It fluttered 
about the table where I sat at work, and at 
last fell down almost insensible. I called my 
good Louise, who is skilful in the treatment 
of those who suffer. She found that this 
poor bird had broken its leg and injured its , 
foot. We contrived to set the broken limb [ 
as well as we could, and bound it with 
worsted to a lucifer-match by way of a splint. 
The foot was much swollen, but a bath in a 
wine-glass of warm water soon relieved it. 
We laid it in a soft warm nest in a cage, and 
in a few minutes it went to sleep. That our 
little patient might not feel lonely, we placed 
the cage close to that of two canaries, Paul 
and Virginia, who live in the window. They 
became excellent neighbours ; and the doors 
of the two cages being open, the canaries 
used to bring food to the invalid ; and I 
have often see them pushing towards it little 
bits of spongecake through the bars of the 
two cages. Paul would sit by the nest and 
sing to the sparrow whenever he had a 
moment to spare. Within a week our guest 
was able to join its companions on the 
terrace, but towards evening it came back to 
sleep in the cage. It continued for about 
ten days to go out every morning, returning 



regularly at eventide. It then left us alto- 
gether, and we saw it no more, except now 
and then, when it flew in for a moment to 
pick up a hurried meal. Louise now guessed 
that our little friend had eggs, and we dis- 
covered that she too lived in a hole in the con- 
vent wall which forms one side of our garden. 
That day we gave her the name of Pierrette. 

To my surprise she arrived one morning 
with a young bird upon her back. There it 
sat with the tips of its little \vings slipped 
under the wings of its mother, and its tender 
claws buried in her feathers, so that it could 
not fall during their flight. Having landed 
her little one inside the window, Pierrette 
fed it abundantly, and then lowered herself 
down by its side, to enable it to mount easily 
upon her back to be carried home. In due 
time she brought all her five young ones, 
ranged them in a row on the carpet before 
me, and then flew upon the flounce of my 
dress, and, by her wistful looks, seemed to 
invite me to admire her family. While she 
fed her little ones inside the window, her 
mate, Pierrot we called him, stood outside on 
the rail, to be ready to warn her of any 
coming danger. 

As the young ones grew from day to day, 
it was wonderful to see with what care 
Pierrette taught the two elder of the brood to 
feed their little brothers. They evidently 
understood all she said and soon set to work, 
while she sat on a sprig of ivy watching their 
movements. The good sense and tenderness 
evinced by these parent birds in the manage- 
ment of their young, were perfectly marvel- 
lous. When the little ones quarrelled over 
their crumbs, or pushed one another aside 
in the eagerness to catch a drop of dew from 
any ivy-leaf, Pierrette would interfere with 
gentle decision and set them to rights directly. 
On, more serious occasions Pierrot would step 
in to restore order by means of vehement 
language and a peck or two of his beak for 
the more turbulent. 

And so they went on, until these baby 
birds grew to be large and strong. Pierrette 
then began to think of another brood, and 
disappeared as she had done before. As the 
time drew near for the second brood to 
visit us, it seemed to be Pierrot's duty to 
keep the first brood from coming into the 
room, so that the new little ones and their 
mother might have their territory in the 
window quite to themselves. 

One evening in October, instead of going 
home as usual to sleep, Pierrette remained 
with us. She flew rapidly round and round 
the room, and at last selected for her rest- 
ing-place the top of a looking-glass in the 
least frequented corner of the room. When 
she had satisfied herself that this was a 
good position, she came down to the win- 
dow which was still open, eat her supper, 
chatted with her friends the canaries, and 
then flew back to the top of her looking- 
glass for the night. From that time she 



132 [ August S 1857.] 



HOUSEHOLD AVORDS. 



[Conducted by 



has never failed to sleep here during the 
winter mouths. Before she leaves us in the 
morning she always eats a good breakfast 
and takes a bath, and invariably has a little 
gossip with Paul and Virginia. The window 
is generally open for her towards sunset, 
but if it happens to be shut she pecks at it 
and calls us until we open it. She always 
looks in before she eaters, to see what sort 
of company may be in the room. If she sees 
any one she does not fancy, she waits quietly 
in her ivy bower until they go away, before 
she ventures to come in. 

Two years ago in the winter our poor 
Pierrot was very ill. He came to us for help, 
and took refuge in my work-basket. Pierrette 
did her utmost to induce him to go up to 
her retreat on the looking-glass, but he was 
far too weak to fly. Finding him deaf to her 
counsel she became very angry, screamed at 
him and flapped her wings, and at last seized 
him on her back by the top of his head, and 
shook him violently in the air rs if she 
wished to kill him. After repeating this 
strange treatment, several times, she went to 
roost herself. She never saw him again. I 
sat up half the night trying to comfort poor 
Pierrot : he seemed so much to enjoy being 
breathed on and kept warm in my hands. I 
hoped he might recover, for he crept under 
the book-case and went to sleep, but Louise 
found him in the morning lying quite dead 
in the middle of the room. 

Pierrette had no difficulty iu finding 
another mate, but not a second gentle 
Pierrot. The new husband proved to be 
violent in temper and somewhat despotic in 
his notions. Sho brought her first brood after 
this second marriage to show us before there 
was a feather to be seen on any one of the 
young ones. Pierrot the Second 1'ollowed in 
high wrath, scolded and picked at her in a 
way that must have astonished her, and then 
stood by while she carried them, every one, 
home again. Ever since that adventure she 
waits to bring us her little ones until they 
are able to fly with her. 

Pierrette has five broods of five eggs every 
summer. This year, June, eighteen hundred 
and fifty-seven, she has a second brood of full 
fledged. She is, consequently, the mother of, at 
least, a hundred and thirty young sparrows. 



AUTUMN. 

I SAW the leaves drop trembling 
From crests of cony limes ; 

The wind sang through the branches 
Most sorrow-waking rhymes. 

No flower in all the valleys 
Look'd up with face of mirth; 

But shroud-like vapour rested 
Upon the bloomless earth. 

Then fearful thoughts, too truth-like, 
Of inner change and blight 

Came o'er my startled spirit, 
As fell the early night. 



'But, Autumn," cried I, "scatter 
The leaves from forest-trees ; 

And moan through saddcn'd branches 
Thy wailing threnodies. 

Bat spare this heart the verdure 
That robed it in the spring, 

And let the summer's echoes 
Still round my pathway sing! 

Rest only on the valleys, 

Drear mist that bringest death! 

But breathe not on this bosom 
Thy joy-destroying breath ! " 



MICROSCOPIC PREPARATIONS. 



IT seems probable, from many symptoms, 
that the microscope is about to become the 
idol of the day ; we appear to be on the eve 
of a microscope mania. For some time past, 
that fascinating instrument has taken its 
rank as an indispensable aid to science. The 
geologist confidently appeals to its evidence, 
when he asserts that coal is only fossilised 
vegetable substance ; that chalk and other 
important strata are in great part composed 
of shells ; that a minute fragment of a tooth 
belonged to a reptile and not to a fish ; that 
a splinter of bone had traversed the air, ages 
and ages ago, in the body of a flying lizard, 
and not in that of a bird. For the anatomist, 
the medical man, and the zoologist in general, 
the microscope is not an instrument which 
he can use or neglect at his pleasure. On 
the contrary, the objects for which it must be 
employed are determinate. It is destined to 
teach a number of facts and exhibit a multi- 
tude of organs, which can be studied neither 
by the naked eye, nor by the aid of any other 
instrument. Such are, the textures of the 
tissues, the phenomena attending the course 
of the blood, the vibrations of cilia in animal- 
cules, animals, and men ; the contractions of 
the muscular fibres, and many other things 
of the highest interest. Besides these 
learned pursuits, which are the business 
of the comparative few, the microscope olfers 
an inexhaustible treasury of amusement to 
crowds of amateurs who aim no higher 
than to obtain a little useful information 
respecting the nature of the ordinary objects 
by which they are surrounded, and are 
content to admire beauty and variety of 
design, even when they cannot penetrate to 
final causes. To the invalid or lame person 
confined to the house, to the worn man of 
business whose soul is weary of aftairs, to the 
lonely dweller in a country residence where 
little or only uncongenial society is to be had, 
to such persons, and to many others, a few 
plants and minerals from the nearest hedge 
or stone-heap, a box of the commonest 
insects, a half-score of wide-mouthed bottles 
containing water-weeds some from any 
neighbouring pool, others from the seashore 
will supply a succession of entertainment, 
which is incredible to those who have not 



Charles Dickens-] 



MICROSCOPIC PREPARATIONS. 



[August 8, 1557.] 133 



made the experiment. Nor is this the occu- 
pation of a trifler ; for, while thus occupying 
our leisure, we unconsciously attain a com- 
prehensive view of the Great Artificer's 
wisdom and power. 

Microscopic preparations are fast increasing 
in importance, as an article of commerce ; they 
are one of the many battle-grounds of con) pet- 
ing rivalries. Rich men, as amateurs, and men 
of science, as students, form with these their 
microscopic museums, as others keep their 
microscopic menageries. Collections and 
cabinets of microscopic preparations are to 
be purchased, containing from a dozen to a 
thousand objects and upwards ; and lists and 
catalogues are published from which the 
buyer may choose the articles that best suit 
his taste or illustrate his studies. With the 
aid of these preparations, there is no reason 
why the microscope should not become an 
instrument of drawing-room recreation, quite 
as much as the stereoscope, over which it has 
the advantage of variety, to speak of nothing 
farther or higher. For, although the por- 
traits of microscopic objects, drawn and en- 
graved and coloured after life, arc often very 
beautiful and wonderful performances, and a 
volume of them will help you to spend an 
interesting evening, still they are faint 
and feeble nothings when compared with the 
objects themselves as seen under a good in- 
strument. Their great utility lies in their 
helping you to recognise the originals them- 
selves, when you meet with them. With the 
solar or oxyhydrogen microscopes exhibited 
at public lectures, you only see the shadow of 
the thing displayed ; but, with a good com- 
pound microscope you behold the thing itself 
actually and bodily. 

The ordinary routine of manipulation for 
the production of good preparations will be 
found in most elementary treatises on the 
microscope ; in Carpenter, Queckett, Hogg, 
Beale, and others. Nevertheless, I will give 
a few supplemental hints, kindly commu- 
nicated by an expert practitioner, which may 
be useful to the student, and even to those 
who are more advanced. 

In mounting in balsam, if your object be an 
animal preparation or any other liable to curl 
under the influence of heat, first evaporate 
your balsam on the slide to such a consistence 
that it will harden readily on cooling ; take 
it from the source of heat, suffer it nearly to 
cool, then place on it j'our object, and then, 
upon the object, your glass cover. Heat it 
again slowly. The heat, equalised by the 
cover, prevents the curling, and the prepara- 
tion is mounted in the usual way without 
further difficulty. 

In mounting animal preparations in bal- 
sam or others which from circumstances 
require moistening first with turpentine, as 
feru-sporules, foraminifera, and such like let 
the balsam be afterwards heated very, very 
gradually. By this you avoid bubbles, and 
evaporate the turpentine completely, so as to 



make a finer and clearer preparation. The 
| sooner balsam preparations are cleaned after 
I being mounted, the easier it is to do it. 

In preparing diatomaceoe,* either fresh or 
i from fossil earth, there is but one mode of 
i procuring good specimens. Wash your earth 
j thoroughly. Having prepared five or six 
I clean cups, pour it from one to the other, 
j allowing it to stand one minute in the first, 
two minutes in the second, four in the third, 
eight in the fourth, and so on in similar pro- 
portions. Try them all under the micro- 
I scope, and you will find that probably only 
i one will yield good specimens. 

All saline solutions, being slow of evapora- 
tion, are easier to mount in than spirit. The 
only art of mounting in flat cells consists in 
the drying of each coat of varnish (gold-size 
is the best) before the next is applied. In 
wet weather, three days should elapse between 
the first and second coats ; in dry weather, 
one is enough. When the second coat is 
on, the preparation is for the time safe ; the 
third and fourth may be applied at longer 
intervals. Some few out of a series of cell- 
preparations will always spoil ; but, by 
adopting this precaution, our experienced 
practitioner has been successful in a hundred 
and forty-eight out of a hundred and fifty 
preparations, over and over again. 

Dry preparations, apparently so easy, 
puzzle beginners most. There is a simple 
way of mounting them ; make previously a 
sort of cup on the glass slides you keep in 
store with a ring of gold-size painted on them. 
The longer they are afterwards kept in store, 
the better. When wanted for use, place on 
them your object ; slightly heat your cleaned 
cover ; drop it on the circle of gold-size ; 
press it down, and the preparation is finished. 
If not thoroughly and completely dry, the 
size will run. Difficult scales for test-objects, 
as those of the lepisma and the podurse, are 
(I, the writer, think) better mounted dry 
than in balsam. 

Most infusorial animalcules, as soon as the 
water in which they swim is evaporated, 
tumble to pieces, or burst, even "going off" 
gradually and regularly, as a Catherine-wheel 
discharges its fireworks. No conservative 
fluid keeps them well enough to allow them 
satisfactorily to be offered for sale ; for 
private examination and use, five grains of 
rock-salt, and a grain of alum, to the ounce of 
uudistilled water, answer best. 

It will be seen from these brief practical 

suggestions, that the preparer's art is no 

mere mechanical routine. He must have 

science to know what is worth preserving, 

taste to arrange it gracefully and accurately, 

and skill so to embalm his object as to retain 

its beauty for future admirers. He must 

| have an artistic eye, a fine touch, an exteu- 

; sive knowledge of Nature's minutiae, and a 

| hand practised in the manipulation of his 

* See Household "Words, vol. xiv., pages 293 and 294. 



134 [AngutS,lS67.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



business. Hence, it is no day-dream to pre- 
dict that, before long, collections of micro- 
scopic objects will publicly enter the lists 
with other articles of virtu. Choice speci- 
mens of invisibilities will rise to high fancy 
prices, especially after their preparers are 
dead. As we treasure cabinet- pictures by 
Teniers or the Breughels, so shall we set an 
exalted value on charming bits of still-life 
from the studios of Amadio or Stevens, on 
insect-portraits by Topping, on botanical 
groups by Bourgogue the Elder, and on other 
works by anonymous artists, whose names, 
though not their productions, still remain 
unknown to fame. We shall have con- 
noisseurs, fanciers, and collectors of micro- 
scopic objects, with all the peculiarities of the 
genus. Indeed, I might say we have them 
already in the adolescent stage of their 
growth. But, one of these days, as my readers 
who live long enough will see, beautiful pre- 
parations by first -rate hands will pass 
through the same course of destiny as illu- 
minated missals, majolica earthenware, Ben- 
venuto Cellini carvings, and the like. Their 
multitude, it is to be hoped, will prevent any 
artificial reduction of their numbers, with the 
view of increasing the value of those that are 
left. Dutchmen with whom a rare tulip has 
separated into a couple of bulbs, have crushed 
one of them beneath their heel to render the 
other a solitary specimen. Bibliomaniacs ' 
have made a copy of a book unique, by com- 
mitting rival copies to the flames. The 
Arabs are grand amateurs of red and white 
piebald horses. " When you see a piebald 
horse," they say, " buy it ; if you cannot buy 
it, steal it ; if you cannot steal it, kill it." To 
follow out the system (more to be honoured 
in the breach than the observance), we 
should have speculators buying up the 
diatoms from Ichaboe guano, and causing 
them to disappear as the substance itself 
grows scarcer, and the present microscopic 
preparations from it enter the list of works 
by the " old masters." 

Those who are in the habit of preparing 
microscopic objects for the supply of the 
public, very soon become aware of a, to them, 
important fact, that the greatest demand is j 
not, as might be supposed, from beginners, 
and those to whom the manipulation necessary 
might be thought too difficult, but that their 
best customers are those who are best ac- 
quainted with specimens, and with the difficulty 
of so arranging them as most clearly to display 
their specific form or characteristics. A short 
time spent by an able manipulator will suffice 
to arrange three or four specimens of the 
same object, when hours and hours might be 
fruitlessly wasted by another equally or better 
qualified to observe and comment upon the 
preparation when accurately arranged, but 
incapable, from want of practice, of mounting 
it to his satisfaction. In short, here, as 
elsewhere, a division of labour is expedient 
for the public good. An able microscopist 



often discovers that his time is better spent 
in making observations, and iu recording 
them, than in manipulation. 

Therefore, if you are a real and earnest 
student, the aid of a preparer will be abso- 
lutely necessary to economise time, even 
supposing you have the skill to make prepa- 
rations yourself. If you are an amateur,, 
playing with the microscope principally for 
your amusement, you will have still less 
time to dissect, embalm, and mount minute 
objects on the rule that busy people always 
find more spare time for extra work than 
comparatively idle ones. One motive, too, 
for sending your object to a professional 
artist, should be the communication to other 
amateurs the publication, as it were of 
rarities and novelties, by the agency of the 
preparer. If you meet with anything new 
and good, unless you are selfish and jealous, 
you will send what you can spare to a pro- 
fessional preparer. You may fairly expect 
to receive similar favours iu return ; and a 
slice, a pinch, or a tuffc of a discovery, is 
enough for yourself. The rest will serve to 
give pleasure to others. It is true that very 
many objects of interest, which only require 
to be placed dry and uninjured between two 
plates of glass, you may collect aud mount 
for yourself with perfect success, temporarily. 
The scales and hairs of insects are comprised 
in this class ; gossamer threads, such as float 
in the autumnal sunshine, furnish you, under 
the microscope, with a tangled skein of silk 
which would take a lifetime to unravel. But 
objects stored without due aud regular 
preparation will not keep ; they will shake 
out from between your glasses, or the 
dust will shake in, or they will be overrun 
with threads of minute mouldiness. By 
trusting the choicest to a skilled preparer, 
you will preserve them indefinitely. 

Anatomical preparations take high rank 
among those sold for the microscope. Per- 
haps the most interesting anatomical phe- 
nomenon the microscope has to show, is the 
circulation of the blood in the body of a 
living animal ; next to that wonrlrous sight, 
is the intricate course and minute sub- 
division of the capillary vessels which per- 
meate the several organs of living creature.s. 
To show these more visibly, they are injected 
with colouring-matter reduced to the finest 
possible state of division, which is mixed 
with aud suspended in, a smooth size or 
gelatine. A brass syringe, constructed for 
the purpose, is the forcing-pump employed to 
cause the colouring-matter to penetrate 
the vessels. Many precautions have to be 
taken. Only a gentle force must be applied 
to the piston at first, to be gradually in- 
creased as the vessels become filled. A 
simple mechanical arrangement has been 
contrived, by which the operator is saved 
the fatigue of maintaining with his hand this 
regulated pressure. A sheep's or a pig's 
kidney is a convenient organ for a beginner 



Charles DickenJ 



MICROSCOPIC PKEPABATIONS. 



[Auguet S, 1857.] 135 



to try his hand on. In small animals, such 
as mice, bats, and frogs, the whole circulation 
of the system may be injected from the aorta, 
and the pulmonary vessels from the pul- 
monary artery. But, amateurs who do not 
follow medical science as a profession, will 
purchase better specimens of professional 
preparers than they are likely to produce. 
If several sets of vessels in the same pre- 
paration (as the arteries, the veins, and 
the gland-ducts), are required to be dis- 
played by injection, differently coloured sub- 
stances are employed. A white injection is 
prepared from the carbonate of lead. Blue 
injections do not answer well, because they 
reflect light badly ; to avoid that incon- 
venience, Prussian-blue is sometimes largely 
mixed with white, and so is vermilion 
also. It should be remembered that these 
preparations are mostly viewed as opaque 
objects, and not by transmitted light. Small 
portions of the injected organ are mounted 
in cells, either dry or in fluid, according as 
circumstances allow. Still, thin sect'ons of 
organs in which the capillaries are imper- 
fectly injected, may be mounted as trans- 
parent objects, when they are better seen 
than such as have been completely filled. In 
general anatomy, the main point is to fill the 
capillaries, and to try and make the injections 
in such a way as that the several colouring 
matters may be seen forced intc the arteries 
and the veins, touching each other, and more 
or less mingled in the finest parts of the j 
organic network. 

Injected preparations are the dearest to 
purchase, the most difficult to make, and 
the most difficult to study and interpret. 
They demand the skilful exercise of the 
anatomist's art ; but, those who turn out 
good injections are wrong in fancying, as 
some seem to fancy, that nobody else can 
produce equally good ones. The same re- 
mark applies to the secrets of the composition 
of the matter injected. With the precautions 
which experience alone can teach, the prac- 
titioner will succeed in making good injections 
with whatever colouring-matter he habitually 
uses in preference to others. The main point 
of success is to employ the amount of time 
and patience which the conditions necessary 
for the work require. Whatever be the organ 
injected, an hour and a-half or two hours 
must be allowed to each set of vessels. 
By hurrying the work, either the injec- 
tion fails to have the several colouring- 
matters in contact with each other in the 
capillaries, or ruptures take place. The dis- 
section of injections intended for microscopic 
observation,- like almost all dissections 
effected by the aid of that instrument, are 
performed under water. The exceptions are, 
such tissues as are affected by the action of 
water ; thus, the retina is rendered white 
and opaque by the action of water, instead 
of semi-transparent ; also tissues, as that of 
the placenta and certain glands, which ought 



to be examined while charged with blood. 
It requires a lengthened study of an injection 
to ascertain whether it has succeeded or no ; 
and several injections of the same tissue must 
also be inspected. As in the study of the 
anatomical elements by the aid of the micro- 
scope, an observer must go through a certain 
course of education before he can distinguish 
in an injection what is of importance from 
what is of none. Practice alone will enable 
the learner to recognise the bundles of the 
tissues, the follicles or little bags of the 
glands, and the distribution and windings of 
the vessels which accompany or cover them. 
The same of the mucous membranes ; the 
undulations and anastomoses or inter-com- 
munications of the capillaries, their distri- 
bution around the glandular orifices ; and 
these orifices themselves cannot be properly 
studied without devoting several hours, 
sometimes several days, to their examination. 
Consequently, injections shown to passing 
observers are rarely well interpreted, unless 
the persons to whom they are exhibited are 
in the habit of looking at objects so prepared. 
It is rare that they remember more than a 
general idea of an elegant piece of coloured 
network. 

" But what is the use of attending to such 
minutiae ?" an inexperienced reader may ask. 
It is difficult to explain briefly the full 
application of such elementary studies ; but 
one instance may be cited. That dreadful 
disease, cancer, is known to most by name. 
Now, there are other diseases of less gravity, 
which resemble cancer so nearly, that the 
practitioner cannot decide whether to operate 
or not. The microscope distinguishes true 
cancer from false, easily and infallibly. 

Interesting anatomical preparations are 
the pigment-cells from the iris of the eye 
the pigment-cells from a negro's skin, re- 
sembling those in the tail of a tadpole ; 
transverse sections of hairs, human and 
others, sliced like a cucumber, to show their 
internal structure ; transverse and perpen- 
dicular sections of teeth, comprising a repre- 
sentative of each great group in zoology ; 
fibrous membranes, commencing with those 
of egg-shells ; muscular fibre separated into 
fibrilias ; the capillaries in various organs ; 
sections of bone ; preparations of morbid 
tissues, for comparison with healthy ones ; 
and many others, which will naturally 
present themselves to the student. One 
object recommended for study will startle 
many. Dr. Carpenter philosophically tells 
us, " The nerve-fibres are readily seen in the 
fungiform papillae of the tongue, to each of 
which several of them proceed. These bodies, 
which are very transparent, may be well 
seen by snipping off minute portions of the 
tongue of the frog, or by snipping off the 
papillae themselves from the surface of the 
living human tongue, which can be readily 
done by a dexterous use of the curved scis- 
sors, with no more pain than the prick of a 



136 [August .-, i;.;.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



pin would give. The transparency of any of 
these papilla) is increased by treating them 
with a solution of soda." This is enough to 
make a nervous patient afraid to show his 
tongue to a microscopically-inclined doctor. 

Anatomical preparations, therefore, are the | 
dearest, in consequence of the pains required 
to make them perfect. But, as far as price 
is concerned, all the microscopic preparations 
in the market are, generally speaking, and at ' 
present, wonderfully cheap. Only try arid 
produce a few at the same price yourself, and [ 
you will see. They are not mechanical pro- j 
ductions, like nails and buttons, that can be 
turned off by the gross ; every one must 
have the touch of the master given to it 
before it can pass into the scientific market ; I 
and such things cannot be done by deputy , 
any more than statues and pictures can. Our j 
preparers (one would think) must be actu- | 
ated quite as much by the love of art as by ' 
the love of gain. Suppose a man cau turn 
off thirty successful preparations a-day for 
five days in the week all the year round, he 
has not made a large income at the highest 
rate of payment. But, those who have to 
eiudy for, and collect, and prepare their j 
materials for any pursuit that comes withiu j 
the range of art, well know that five days j 
a week of productive labour is more than 
they can accomplish continually, even with j 
the division of labour brought about by the j 
aid of sous or pupils. 

To come to financial particulars. Mr. 
Samuel Stevens, the well-known natural- 
history agent, of Bloomsbury Street, has on 
sale good preparations elegantly mounted and 
packed in neat boxes containing one or two 
dozen, at half-a-guinea per dozen. His 
published list offers a choice of more than 
two hundred numbered objects of great 
variety. To point out a few ; the palates 
of snails and of freshwater and marine mol- 
lusks are very remarkable. When we see a 
soft snail ,eating a hard cabbage-leaf or carrot 
if we reflected on the operation we must 
conclude that it cannot be performed with- 
out the agency of teeth. The micro- 
scope shows us, in a well-prepared palate 
from a land or water-snail, rows upon rows 
of teeth, containing altogether hundreds and 
hundreds of molars. The shark devours 
animal food, and so does the whelk. But, 
talk of a shark's rows of teeth ! they are 
nothing to the weapons that line the mouth of 
a whelk, half-a-dozen in each row in. the 
middle, with a chevaux-de-frise of tusks on 
either side. Are a dozen different mollusk 
palates ready for comparison and study 
dear at half-a-guiuea ? Simply think of the 
time and cost, requisite to produce them as 
home-made articles. 

Upon the whole, there is nothing superior 
to the immense variety of objects supplied, at 
from fifteen, to eighteen shillings per dozen, 
by Amadio, of Throgmorton Street. The 
sections of wood are very perfect, resembling 



exquisite crochet-work or lace, and displaying 
even greater beauty under high powers 
than under low, which is a test of their excel- 
lence. Sponge and gorgonia spicules form 
another set of lovely minutue, which are 
different in each respective species of 
zoophyte. Some are like yellow Hercules' 
clubs of sugar-candy, which would attract 
wonderfully in a confectioner's window ; 
others are cut-glass billiard-cues intermixed 
with crystal stars. Objects of unusual rarity, 
or difficulty, or unpleasantness, are dearer 
everywhere, as it is only reasonable. That 
charming creature, the itch-insect, a dis- 
course has been written setting forth the 
pleasures and advantages of the itch-disease, 
costs four shillings ; the bed-bug is a less 
expensive luxury, though more so than the 
ordinary run of objects. In all these, the 
microscope illustrates the wonders of creation; 
but there are also preparations wherein the 
art of man is rendered visible. Upon a 
small circle of glass is a dim grey spot 
about the size and shape of the letter U at 
the beginning of this sentence. To the naked 
eye, it is unmeaning and indistinct. Viewed 
with a sufficient power, it displays a mural 
monument, on the face of which is an in- 
scription, in nineteen lines of capital letters, 
" In Memory of William Sturgeon " with a 
longer biographical notice than I have room 
for here, and all within considerably less than 
the limits of this letter U. It is not, as 
might be supposed, the manual result of 
patient toil and eye-straining ; nor is the 
feat accomplished by clever mechanical 
arrangements ; it is an application of the 
photographic art. Not only are microscopic 
photographs taken from fixed and inanimate 
objects, like the above mural monument, but 
also from living personages, and even groups 
from life. 

First, an ordinary photograph is taken, 
say four and a-quarter inches, by three 
and a-quarter. The picture so obtained is 
gradually reduced by using lenses of a short 
focal length. When an engraving or a monu- 
mental tablet has to be reduced, the photo- 
graphic picture may be taken much smaller 
in the first instance ; but, when a group of 
figures from life or an individual portrait 
is required, a lens of comparatively greater 
focal length must be used. It is impossible 
to get, from life, a very small picture at the 
first step ; because the various portions of 
the group would not all be distinctly in the 
focus. Microscopic photographs are sold at 
four and sixpence each. Loyal or loving per- 
sons cau thus carry about with them, at a 
cheap rate, the portrait of their sovereign or 
their sweetheart, packed in the smallest pos- 
sible compass. By similar means, secret corre- 
spondence can be carried on. A microscopic 
message photographed on glass, might, pass 
through a multitude of hostile hands, without 
its import being even suspected. Timid 
suitors might save their blushes by the pre- 



Cb*rles Dickens.] 



MICROSCOPIC PREPARATIONS. 



[August 8,1557.] 137 



sentation of a petition to be perused, not 
under the rose, but under the microscope. 
But, in short, without being nice as to a six- 
pence or a shilling, it is convenient to be 
able to order microscopic preparations of 



objects that invite your attention. Thus, I j proved that 
am awaiting the mouth of a medicinal leech, females. 



and sundry medical students. The question 
was of considerable theoretical and physio- 
logical importance touching, as it did, 
spontaneous genei-ation and the reproduc- 
tion of parasites in general. M. Bour*gogne 
itch-insects are males and 



to be better enabled to inspect its lancets 
and pump ; and, having discovered for myself 
what others, no doubt, have discovei'ed 
before namely, that the mouth of the tad- 
pole is not only armed with cutting teeth, 



M. Bourgogne's best preparations are ex- 
cellent, with the merit of being determined and 
named ; his inferior preparations are very in- 
different, full of bubbles and dirt. For inspec- 
tion by persons who have had a certain expe- 



but has two or three rows of lips outside, ! rience, some of these cheap French prepara- 
that are garnished with a fringe of tooth- tions are useful ; but, as articles of luxury and 
like moustaches I have requested a prepa- ornamental art, the English are superior. M. 
ration to be made, regardless of expense, ; Bourgogne classes his productions into first, 
for the better examination of my tadpole's ; second, and third-choice specimens. When 
gums. I Beau Brummel's valet came down-stairs from 

Amongst continental preparers, Joseph j dressing his master for dinner, he generally 
Bourgogne, of Rue Notre-Dame, Paris, stands brought with him an armful of discarded white 
preeminent. He is a man whose whole soul . cravats. " These," he explained, " are our 
is in his art, and he naturally speaks of mi- failures." Just so we may suppose that M. 
croscopie preparation as one of the most Bourgogne's third-choice preparations some 
important aids to science. He has had the of them as low as threepence-halfpenny each 
great advantage of constant communication | (what can you expect for threepence half- 
with the most learned men of Paris, who ' penny ?) are, what he is too prudent, as 
have aided him in their several departments, j well as too honest, to sell at higher prices ; 
From Eobin, he has had lessons in anatomy ; j " our failures," in short. And, as good 
from Thuret, in the structure of algse. Of : French preparations are costly, while bad 
late, his health has become impaired in con- ones are not cheap, an English collector has 
sequence of severe application, while his no motive to go out of his own country, 
business is steadily on the increase. He pro- unless perhaps it be for some novelty in the 
poses, therefore, to divide his grand micro- ! way of morbid anatomy, or other exceptional 
scopic empire into three kingdoms the ; cases. 

mineral, the vegetable, and the animal one A microscopic museum should be formed 
of which he will bequeath to each of his three ' on somewhat the same principle as a picture 
sons. M. Bourgogne discovered the male of gallery. First, there should be nothing but 
the human itch-insect, which discovery made a what is good; secondly, there should be 
great sensation at the time, not having been variety, with several samples of all the great 
seen before. It seems to have been com- masters. Preparers who have been in the 
pletely unknown until eighteen 'forty, probably j habit of collecting during several years, have 
because it is never found in the furrows of each of them, probably, in his secret store- 
the skin, as the female always is. Nobody I house, some treasure whose native habitat, 
then suspected that the male lived constantly ' or source has baffled the research of compet- 
on the surface of the epidermis ; being also ing collectors. To some, the superiority of 
smaller than the female, it escaped observa- \ certain instruments, or special adroitness. 



tion. Ten years afterwards, amongst three 
hundred of these insects, which Monsieur B. 
had received in several lots, he recognised a 
single male by its agility, and by its fourth 
pair of paws, which had suckers at their 
tips, instead of long bristles, like the female. 
He valued the precious acarus as a rarity, 
and it formed part of his collection at the 
London exhibition in 'fifty-two. But, Dr. 
Bourguignon had the indiscretion and the 
hardihood to publish a pamphlet denying the 
existence of this male acarus, as well as of 
the acarus of the rabbit, and others. M. 
Bourgogne, urged by his friends, started for 
London, and established the truth of the fact 
by bringing back the treasured object, and 
having a drawing made from it, which ap- 
peared in the Annales des Maladies de la 
Peau. And then, visiting the hospital of St. 
Louis, he captured several males on the skin 
of patients, in the presence of Dr. Hardy 



may give the superiority in certain classes of 
objects. The microscopist will profit by all 
these in turn. The lield of nature is so 
vast, that every student may gratify his own 
peculiar taste. It is desirable to have some 
sequence and connection in the objects col- 
lected. Thus, we may have preparations of 
the principal organs of the domestic fly, to 
illustrate its economy ; the eye, the proboscis, 
the foot, the spiracle, and other parts of its 
bodily frame. The scales of butterflies and 
other insects afford ample subjects for com- 
parison ; the cuticles of plants, showing their 
stomata, or perspiring holes ; sections of 



bones and teeth 
plants ; feathers, 



starches from various 
hairs, and innumerable 



other things will suggest themselves. A 
good selection of the spiracles, or breathing- 
holes in the sides of different larvae and in- 
sects would afford a series of objects to which 
there is nothing similar in birds and beasts. 



1 38 [August a 1857-] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



A friend to whom I showed the spiracle of 
the house-fly, exclaimed in astonishment that 
nature hud taken more pains with those in- 
significant creatures than with us. 

Orife great merit of modern microscopes is 
their portability ; if the reader wish to test 
their attractiveness, let him arrive some 
rainy day at a country house full of company, 
when the guests are prevented from enjoy- 
ing out-door amusements. Let him there 
produce one of Amadio's forty-guinea instru- 
ments, with the polarizing and dark-ground 
apparatus complete, accompanied by a box- 
full of good preparations, and he will work 
wonders. 



THE WITCHES OF ENGLAND. 



WITCHCRAFT in England was very much the 
same thing as witchcraft everywhere else. 
The same rites were gone through, and the 
same ceremonies observed ; and " Little 
Martin," whether as a goat with a man's 
voice, or a man with a goat's legs, received 
the same homage from the English witches 
as he did at Blockula and at Auldearne, 
on Walpurgis night in Germany, and A 11- 
Hallowmas-een in Scotland. Indeed the 
uniformity of practice and belief was one 
of the most singular phenomena of this 
wonderful delusion ; and widely different as 
every social habit and observance might be 
between (for instance) Sweden and Scotland, 
the customs and creed of the witch population 
are found to be singularly uniform. Ditches 
dug with their nails and filled with the blood 
of a black lamb ; images of clay or wax 
" pricked to the quick ;" unchristened children 
dug up from the grave and parted into lots 
for charms ; perforated stones ; ancient 
relics ; herbs, chiefly poisonous or medicinal ; 
toads and loathsome insects ; strange unusual 
matters, such as the bones of a green frog, a 
cat's brains, owl's eyes and eggs, bats' wings, 
and so forth ; these were, in all countries, more 
or less prominent in the alphabet of sorcery. 
While everywhere it was believed that witches 
could control the elements, command the 
fruits of the earth, transform themselves 
and others into what animals they would, 
bewitch by spells and muttered charms, 
and conjure up the devil at will; that they 
possessed familiars whom they nourished on 
their own bodies ; that they denied their 
baptismal vows, and took on them the 
sacraments of the devil ; that they were 
bound to deliver to their master a certain 
tale of victims, generally unborn or un- 
christened infants ; that they could creep 
through keyholes ; make straws and broom- 
handles into horses : that they were all 
marked on their second or infernal baptism, 
which mark was known by being insensible 
to the "pricking pin ;" that while this mark 
was undiscovered, they had the power of 
denial or silence, but that on its discovery 
the charm was broken, and they must perforce 



confess which was the meaning of the 
searching, pricking, and shaving practised on 
suspected witches ; that the} 7 could not shed 
tears, or at best no more than three from the 
left eye ; and that, if they were " swum," the 
water, being the sacred element used in Chris- 
tian baptism, would reject them from its bosom 
and leave them floating on the surface. Such 
at least was the theory respecting the alleged 
buoyancy of witches, and the original mean- 
ing of that cruel custom. These articles of 
faith are to be found, with very little modifi- 
cation wherever witches and warlocks formed 
part of the social creed, and their habits and 
peculiarities were catalogued, credited, and 
made the rule of life. There were three 
classes of witches distinguished, like jockeys 
in a race, by their colours. White witches 
were helpful and beneficent. They charmed 
away diseases ; they assisted tired Industry 
in its work, and caused stolen goods to be 
restored ; but they were not averse to a little 
harmless mischief. Dryden sings . 

At least as little honest as he could ; 

And, like white witches, mischievously good. 

Black witches did nothing but harm ; and 
gray witches capriciously did good at one 
time, and evil at another. 

The Duchess of Gloucester, proud and dark 
Dame Eleanor 1 , was among the earliest of our 
notable witches. After her, came Jane Shore ; 
though, in both these instances (as w.ith Lady 
Glammis and Euphemia Macalzean) so much 
of party and personal feeling was mixed up 
with the charge of witchcraft, that we can 
scarcely determine now, how much was real 
superstition and how much political enmity. 
The Duke of Buckingham in fifteen hundred 
and twenty-one, and Lord Hungerford a few 
years later, were also high names to be taken 
to the scaffold on the charge of trafficking 
with sorcerers ; while the Maid of Kent, 
Mildred Norrington the Maid of Westall, 
and Richard Dugdale the Surrey impostor, 
were all cases of possession rather than of 
true witchcraft : though all three were after- 
wards confessed to be proved cheats. In 
fifteen hundred and ninety-three, the ter- 
rible tragedy of the Witches of Warbois was 
played before the world ; and with that be- 
gins our record of English witchcraft, pro- 
perly so called. 

In the parish of Warbois lived an old man 
and his wife, called Samuel, with their only 
daughter : a young, and, as it would seem, 
high-spirited and courageous woman. One 
of the daughters of a Mr. Throgmorton, see- 
ing Mother Samuel in a black knitted cap, 
and being nervous and unwell at the time, 
took a fancy to say that she had bewitched 
her ; and her younger sisters, taking up the 
cry, there was no help for the Samuels but 
to brand them as malignant sorcerers. The 
Throgmorton children said they were haunted 
by nine spirits, " Pluck, Hardname, Catch, 
Blue, and three Smacks, cousins." One of 



Charles Dickens.] 



THE WITCHES OF ENGLAND. 



[August 8, 1857.] 139 



the Smacks was in love with Miss Joan, the 
eldest Throgmorton girl, and fought with 
the others ou her account. Once, he came to 
her from a terrible round, wherein Pluck 
had his head broken, Blue was set limping, 
and Catch had his arm in a sling ; the results 
of Mr. Smack's zeal on behalf of his young 
mistress. "I wonder," says Mrs. Joan, 
"that you are able to beat them: you are 
little and they are very big." But the 
valiant Smack assured her that he cared 
not for that ; he would beat the best two 
of them all, and his cousins would beat the 
other two. The Throgmorton parents were 
naturally anxious to free their children from 
this terrible visitation : more especially Mrs. 
Joan who, being but just fifteen, was getting 
no good from the addresses of her spiritual 
adorer. The father, therefore, dragged 
.Dame Samuel, the sender of the spirits and 
the cause of all the mischief, to the house by 
force : and when they saw her, these lying 
children desired to scratch and torment her 
and draw her blood, as the witch-creed of 
the time allowed. The poor old woman was 
submissive enough. She only asked leave to 
quit the house ; but otherwise she made no 
resistance. Not even when Lady Cromwell, 
her landlady, taking part with the children, 
tore her cap from her head, and with foul 
epithets and unstinted abuse cut off part of 
her hair to be used in a counter-charm. Lady 
Cromwell died a year and a day after this 
outrage : and this was additional proof of 
the wicked sorcery of Dame Samuel ; who 
of course had killed her. Terrified out of her 
few poor wits, Dame Samuel was induced to 
repeat expressions dictated to her, which put 
her life in the power of those wretched girls. ' 
She was made to say to the spirit of one of 
them: "As I am a witch, and a causer of 
Lady Cromwell's death, I charge thee to come 
out of this maiden." As the girl gave no 
sign of life, being so holdeu by the spirit as 
to appear dead, the poor old woman had only 
confessed herself a witch without getting any 
credit for her skill, or any mercy because of 
her exorcism. At last, tortured, confused, 
bewildered, she made her confession, and was 
condemned. Her husband and daughter 
were condemned with her. The last was 
advised to put in a plea for mercy, at least 
for respite, by declaring that she was about to 
become a mother. The proud disdainful 
answer of that ignorant English girl, who 
refused to buy her life by her dishonour, may 
be classed among those unnoted heroisms of 
life which are equal in grandeur, if not in 
importance, to the most famous anecdotes of 
history. But, what the high-minded courage 
of the daughter refused to do, the baffled 
weakness of the poor old mother consented 
to : to gain time, in the hope that popular 
opinion would turn to her favour, she an- 
nounced her own approaching maternity. A 
loud laugh rang through the court, in which 
the old victim herself joined ; but, it was soon 



gravely argued that it might be so, and that if 
it were so, the Devil was the father. However 
the plea was set aside ; and on the fourth of 
April, fifteen hundred and ninety-three, the 
whole family was condemned. Sir Samuel 
Cromwell left an annual rent-charge of forty 
shillings for a sermon on witchcraft to be 
preached every year by a D.D. or a B.D. of 
Queen's College, Cambridge. 

In sixteen hundred and eighteen, Margaret 
and Philip Flower, daughters of Joan Flower, 
deceased, were executed at Lincoln, for hav- 
ing destroyed Henry Lord Rosse by witch- 
craft, and for having grievously tormented 
Francis, Earl of Rutland. It seems that 
Joan and her two daughters were much 
employed at Beavor Castle, as charwomen, 
and Margaret was finally taken into the 
house as keeper of the poultry-yard. Their 
good fortune raised them up a host of enemies, 
who, discovering that Joan was an Atheist 
and a witch, Margaret a thief, and Philip no 
better than she should be, at last so wrought 
on the Countess, that she turned against her 
former favourites, and making Margaret a 
small present, dismissed her from her service. 
Which, says the pamphlet containing the 
account of the whole transaction, "did turne 
her lone and liking toward this honourable 
earle and his family, into hate and rancour," 
and the death of one and all was decided on. 
Philip, in her confession, deposed that "her 
mother and sister maliced the Earle of Rut- 
lande, his Countesse, and their children, be- 
cause her sister Margaret was put out of 
the ladies seruice of Laundry, and exempted 
from other seruices about the house, where- 
upon, our said sister, by the commaundement 
of her mother, brought from the castle the 
right hand gloue of the Lord Henry Rosse, 
which she delivered to her mother, who pre- 
sently rubbed it on the backe of her Spirit 
Rutterkin, and then put it into hot boyling 
water ; afterwai'd she prick'd it often, and 
buried it in the yard, wishing the Lorde 
Rosse might neuer thriue, and so her sister 
Margaret continued with her mother, where 
she often saw the Cat Rutterkin leape on 
her shoulder and sucke her necke." Philip 
herself had a spirit like a white rat. Mar- 
garet was soon brought to confess also ; there 
was no examination of the mother, who had 
died on her way to the gaol. She had two 
spirits, she said, and she had in very deed 
charmed away Lord Henry's life by means of 
his right hand glove. She tried the same 
charm on Lord Francis, but without success, 
beyond tormenting him with a grievous sick- 
ness; but, when she took a piece of Lady 
Katherine's handkerchief, and putting it into 
hot water, rubbed it on Rutterkin, bidding 
him " flye and goe, Rutterkin whined and 
cryed mew ; " for the evil spirits had no 
power over Lady Katherine to hurt her. 
The two women were executed, Margaret 
raving wildly of certain apparitions, one like 
an ape, with a black head, which had come to 



140 [August 8, 185;.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



her in gaol, muttering words that she conld 
not understand : as how indeed should she, 
poor raving maniac that she was ! 

In sixteen hundred and thirty-four, a boy 
called Edmund Robinson deposed that while 
gathering bullees (wild plums) in Peiulle 
Forest, he snw two greyhounds, with no one 
following them. Liking the notion of a course, 
he started a hare ; but the dogs refused to 
run : when, as he was about to strike them, 
Dame Dickenson, a neighbour's wife, started 
up instead of one hare, and a little boy in- 
stead of the other. The dame offered the 
lad a bribe if he would conceal the matter, 
but our virtuous Edmund refused, saying, 
"nay thou art a witch, Mother Dickenson ;" 
whereon taking a halter out of her pocket, she 
shook it over the hare-boy's head, whoinstantly 
changed into a horse ; and the witch mount- 
ing her human charger, took Robinson before 
her, and set off. They went to a large house 
or barn called Hourstoun, where there were 
several persons milking ropes ; which as 
they milked, gave them meat ready cooked, 
bread, butter, milk, cheese, and all the ad- 
juncts of a royal feast. The lad said 
they looked so ugly while thus milking out 
their dinner, that he was frightened. By 
many more lies, as impossible but as damna- 
tory as this, the boy procured himself and 
his father a good liveliliood, and caused some 
scores of innocent people to be carried off to 
prison. The magistrates and clergy adopted 
him ; he was taken about the country to 
identify any hapless wretch he might choose 
to swear he had seen at these witch meetings; 
and he and his father lived at free charges, 
with money in their pockets besides, all the 
time the imposture lasted. Only Mr. Web- 
ster, Glanvil's great opponent, had the sense 
and courage to examine him, with the view 
of eliciting the truth, rather than of confirm- 
ing his report ; but the boy -was rudely taken 
out of his hands. At last he confessed the 
truth That he had been put up to the whole 
thing by his father and others ; that he had 
never seen or heard a word of all he had 
deposed ; and that when he swore he was at 
Hourstoun, he was stealing plums in a neigh- 
bour's orchard. This was the second great 
Lancashire witch trial ; the first was in 
sixteen hundred and thirteen ; the prin- 
cipal witch of this, Shad well's Mother Dem- 
dike, died during the trial, and several of the 
meaner sort escaped. 

And now the reign of Matthew Hopkins, 
witch-finder, begins. This infamous wretch 
was in Manningtree in sixteen hundred and 
forty-four, when the great witch persecution 
arose, and was mainly instrumental in 
exciting that persecution. He practised his 
trade as a legal profession, charging so much 
for every town he visited, besides his journey- 
ing expenses and the cost of his two assist- 
ants. He and John Kincaid in Scotland 
were the great "prickers;" that is, with a 
pin about three inches long, they pricked a 



suspected witch all over her. body, until they 
found the mark or said they found it 
which mark was conclusive and irrefragable 
evidence of the Satanic compact. The fol- 
lowing was his mode of treatment ; quoting 
Mi 1 . <>aul, the clergyman of Houghton ; who, 
like \Vebster, was what Glanvil calls a " Sad- 
ducee," an "Atheist," and believed very 
sparsely in witchcraft. 

" Having taken the suspected witch, she is 
placed in the middle of the room, upon a 
stool or table, cross-legged, or in some other 
uneasy posture, to which if she submits not 
she is bound with cords ; there she is watched 
land kept without meat or sleep for four- 
and - twenty hours, for they say they 
shall, within that time, see her imp come 
and suck. A little hole is likewise made iu 
the door for the imps to come in at ; and, 
lest they should come in some less discern- 
ible shape, they that watch are taught to be 
ever and anon sweeping the room, and if 
they see any spiders or flies to kill them, and 
if they cannot kill them then they may b 
sure they are imps." 

Sucli as was the familiar of Elizabeth 
Styles, which was seen by her watchers to 
settle on her poll in the form of a "large 
fly like a millar," or white moth. Speaking 
of familiars, Hopkins found several belonging 
to Elizabeth Clarke, whose deposition he 
took down, March the twenty-fifth, sixteen 
hundred and forty-five. She had Holt, like 
a white kitling ; Jarmara, a fat spaniel 
without legs ; Vinegar Tom, " a long-legged 
grey-hound, with a head like an oxe, with a 
' long taile and broad eyes, who, when this 
j Discoverer (Hopkins) spoke to, and bade him 
goe to the place provided for him and his 
angels, immediately transformed himself into 
the shape of a childe of foure yeares old with- 
out a heade, gaue half a dozen turnes about; 
the house and vanished at the door." Sack- 
and-Sugar was like a rabbit, and Newes like 
a polecat : all of which imps, Matthew 
Hopkins, of Manningtree, gent., deposes on 
oath to having seen and spoken to. There 
were others of which he gives only the 
names: as Elemauzer, Pyewacket, Pe^k-in- 
the-Crown, Grizel Greedigut, &c. Elizabeth 
Clarke was executed, as a matter of course, 
following on the disclosures of the witch- 
finder respecting her imps. Ann Leech was 
executed the next month, chiefly because of 
the sudden death of Mr. Edwards' two cowa 
and a child : also because of her possessing a 
grey imp. Anne Gate had four imps : James, 
Prickeare, Robyn, like mouses ; and Sparrow, 
like a sparrow. For the which crime, besides 
their having killed divers children, she was 
executed at Chelmsford in that same year of 
sixteen hundred and forty-five. Rebecca 
Jones had three, like moles, having four feet 
apiece, but without tails and black ; she 
shared the usual fate. Susan Cock had two, 
one like a mouse, called Susan, the oti>er 
yellow and like a cat, called Bessie. Joyce 



Charles Dickens.] 



POWERS OF CALCULATION. 



1S57.] 141 



Boanes had only one, a mouse-like imp called I land. A woman was hanged at Exeter on 



Rug ; Rose Hallybread one, a small grey 
bird ; while Marian Hocket had Little-nian, 
Pretty-man, and Dainty ; and Margaret 
Moore had twelve, all like rats. With many 
more in that fatal session than we can give 
the smallest note of. Six witches wei'e hung 
in a row at Maidstone, in sixteen hundred 
and fifty-two ; and two months after, three 
were hung at Faversham ; but, before this, 
Hopkins had been seized and "swum" for a 
wizard, in Ms own manner cross-bound his 
left thumb tied to his right great toe, and 
his right thumb to his left great toe. From 
that time no more is heard of that worst and 
vilest of impostors, and cruelest of popular 
tyrants. 

One of the most melancholy things con- 
nected with this delusion, was the fearful 



part which children, by their falsehoods and | to raise a storm, by which a certain ship 
fancies, bore in it. An old woman named "almost "lost, and for other impossible cri 



Jane Brooks, was executed because one 
Richard Jones, " a sprightly youth of twelve," 
cried out against her for having bewitched 
him and counterfeited epileptic convulsions. 
Elizabeth Styles, the owner of the Millar imp, 



no other testimony but that of a neighbour, 
" who deposed that he saw a cat jump into 
the accused person's cottage window at 
twilight one evening, and that he verily be- 
lieved the said cat to be the devil." And 
another witch, lying in York gaol, had the 
tremendous testimony against her of a scroll 
of paper creeping from under the prison-door, 
then changing itself into a monkey, and 
then into a turkey. To which veracious ac- 
count the under-keeper swore. 

The last execution in England for witch- 
craft was in seventeen hundred and sixteen, 
when Mrs. Hicks and her little daughter, 
aged nine, were hanged at Huntingdon for 
sellingtheir souls to the devil; for making their 
neighbours vomit pins ; for pulling off their 
own stockings to make a lather of soap, and so 

was 

sible crimes. 

It was not until after seventeen hundred and 
fifty-one that the final abolition of James the 
First's detestable statute was obtained. On the 
thirtieth of July in that year, three men were 
tried for the murder of one suspected witch, 



was condemned chiefly on account of a girl j and the attempted murder of another. One of 



of thirteen, who played the part of "possessed" 
to the life. Julian Coxe was judicially 
murdered because besides its being proved 
that she had been hunted when in the form 
of a hare ; that she had a toad for a familiar ; 
that she had been seen to fly out of her 
window ; and that she could not repeat the 
Lord's Prayer she had bewitched a young 
maid of scrofulous tendencies and nervous 



the men, named Colley, was executed. The 
rabble cursed the authorities, and made 
a riot about the gallows, praising Colley for 
having rid their parish of a malignant witch, 
and holding him tip as deserving of reward, 
not punishment. And this murder led to 
the abolition of the Witch Laws. 

All these are histories of long ago ; so long 
as to be almost out of cognisance as belonging 



excitability, who would have sworn to the j to ourselves. Yet, how many weeks have 
first falsehood that presented itself to her passed since those letters on modern witch- 



imagination. And these are only three out 
of hundreds and thousands of instances where 
those miserable afflicted children, as they 
were called, swore away the lives of harmless 
and unoffending people ! During the Long- 
Parliament alone, about three thousand people 
were executed in England for witchcraft ; 
about thirty thousand were executed in all. 

The year after Julian's execution, Sir 
Matthew Hale tried and condemned Anny 

Dui;ny and Rose Callender,at Saint Edmonds- 1 witchcraft ? With such instances against 
bury, on evidence and for supposed offences us, we have little cause of aelf-gratulation on 
which a child of this century would not 
admit. One of the charges made against the 
first-named witch, was the sending of a bee 
with a nail to a child of nine years of age, 
which nail the bee forced the girl to swallow ; 



craft appeared in the Times 1 Since some not 
despicable intellects among us have openly 
adopted all the silliness and transparent 
deception of the so-called spirit-rappers? 
Since miracles have been publicly pro- 
claimed in certain Catholic countries ? 
Since one journal of this country gravely 
argued for the truth and the reality of diabo- 
lical possession, and distinct Satanic agency, 
as exemplified by the popular notion of 



the score of national exemption from super- 
stition. 



POWERS OF CALCULATION. 



to one of eleven, she sent flies with crooked WHAT an immense difference there is 
pins ; once she sent a mouse, on what errand between hearing of an extraordinary fact 
does not appear ; and once the younger j between even believing it ; that is, simply 
child ran about the house flapping her apron j saying to yourself; " Yes, I suppose it must be 
and crying hush ! hush ! saying she saw a ! true, because everybody seems to take it for 
duck. There were numerous counts against granted," and witnessing the same fact in 
the two women, of the same character as j proper person ! Reading about the sea, for 
these; without any better evidence, with- | instance, and making your first sea-voyage; 
out any sifting of this absurd testimony, rapidly perusing a book of travels, and 
without any medical inquiry, the grave, beholding for yourself a tropical country ; 
learned, and pious Sir Matthew Hale con- glancing at the report of an execution or a 
denmed them to death by the law of the battle, and being actually present at the 



142 [Aujrust S, 1857.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



horrid scene, are, respectively, two quite 
different affairs. We read Captain Cook's 
adventures amongst various savage islanders, 
and even his death by their hands, without 
any very startling or exceptional impression. 
It is an amusing romance, a terrible tragetly, 
no nioi-e. We figure to ourselves savages in 
general as enemies merely as holding with 
civilised man relations similar to those of the 
French and English of old, as antagonistic 
powers, that is all. But an acute observer, 
who went round the world with his eyes 
wide open, says, that what impressed him 
most during the whole of that vast tour, was 
the sight, face to face, of a real savage man. 

Lately, a similar surprise awaited myself, 
though not from any fierce, untamed fellow- 
creature, but, on the contrary, from a remark- 
ably inoffensive and well-trained person. I 
had heard of George Bidder in his time, 
that is, when his powers were publicly exhi- 
bited. Recently, the fame of the mathema- 
tical shepherd, Henri Mondeux, had reached 
my ears. I had regarded the reputation of 
those celebrities, as mental-arithmeticians, 
with the same nonchalance with which people 
always regard things of which they are igno- 
rant. But the other evening I was present, 
by invitation, at a private assembly, held to 
witness the exploits of a young man who was 
said to solve wonderful problems in his head, 
and I was also requested to prepare an arith- 
metical question or two. I did so, chuckling 
all the while to myself, " If you get through 
that, my good sir, without help of pen or 
paper, you are a cleverer fellow than I 
expect." The meeting was numerous, the 
majority (though far from the totality) being 
schoolboys, with a sharp-set appetite for a 
display of cyphering skill. The hero of the 
night was standing in the midst, in the atti- 
tude common to blind people and extremely 
absent and thoughtful persons. He requested 
silence to be kept while he was making his 
calculations, which he did walking backwards 
and forwards, with a sort of short, quarter- 
deck step. 

"What shall we begin with?" was a 
natural inquiry. 

" Suppose we take addition first, and mount 
gradually through the rules. Will any one 
name any sums they think fit to be added 
together 1 " 

Hereupon various individuals dictated 
items of hundreds of thousands, a million and 
odd, a few hundreds, and even units, to 
render the task the more puzzling, till some 
ten or twelve lines of figures were taken 
down by the gentleman who acted as secre- 
tary. Before he could finish the addition on 
paper, the phenomenon gave the total accu- 
rately. I began to tremble for my questions, 
fearing that they would not prove posers. 

Next was proposed a sum of subtraction, 
in which trillions were to be deducted from 
trillions. The remainder was given as easily 
as an answer to What o'clock is it 1 Cer- 



tainly my questions would turn out no posers 
at all. 

" Can you extract cube-roots mentally ? " 
I asked. 

" Yes, give me one." 

" What is the cube-root of nineteen thou- 
sand six hundred and eighty-three ? " 

" Oh, that is too easy. It is twenty- 
seven." 

Later in the evening he extracted a cube- 
root of four figures. The schoolboys were 
delighted and astonished. If they had not 
applauded heartily, as they did, they would 
not have been schoolboys. 

" I have a little calculation to propose," I 
said, " which involves multiplication princi- 
pally. A fleet of seventy-three fishing-boats 
start from Dunkerque on the first of April, 
to catch cod in the North Sea. They return 
on the thirty-first of July ; that is, they are 
absent four months." 

"I understand ; they are out at sea a hun- 
dred and twenty-two days." 

"Each boat carries nineteen men. How 
many men are there in the whole fleet ? " 

" One thousand three hundred and eighty- 
seven." 

" And if each man eats four pounds of 
bread per day, how much bread per day is 
eaten on board all the boats '? " 

"Of course, five thousand five hundred 
and forty-eight pounds." 

" With how much bread, then, must the 
fleet be provisioned, to supply it during the 
whole of its four-months' voyage ? " 

The calculator, who had stood still during 
the previous questions, resumed his quarter- 
deck pacing to and fro, and put on, a 
country people say, his considering-cap. In 
a few instants he stopped short, and said, 
" They must take out with them six hundred 
and seventy-six thousand, eight hundred and 
fifty-six pounds of bread." 

" Perfectly correct ! Quite right ! " 

The boys were in ecstacies, which found 
vent in another round of applause. 

" But these hard-working fishermen," I 
continued, " keep up their strength with 
something else besides bread. Each man 
drinks a glass of gin every morning ; how 
many drams are drunk during the course of 
the four months ? " 

Another short promenade, and then the 
answer, " One hundred and sixty-nine thou- 
sand, two hundred and fourteen." 

" But that is not all ; the gin is kept in 
bottles, and each bottle holds thirty-seven 
petits verres or drams. How many bottles 
must the fleet carry out 1 " 

" It must take out let us see it must 
take out four thousand five hundred and 
seventy-three bottles, and a fraction consist- 
ing of thirteen drams over." 

And so ended my question number one ; 
no poser nor ass's bridge at all. The 
interest of the audience was highly excited. 
To give a short repose to the calculator's 



Charles Dickens.] 



POWERS OF CALCULATION. 



[August 8, 1357.] 143 



brain, a young lady treated us to a charming 
divertissement on the piano. 

" Are you tired ? " 

" Oh no ; not at all." 

" Shall we try something with a greater 
number of figures 1 " 

" If you please." 

"Listen, then. I have a bottle of ditch- 
water, the contents of which, as near as I can 
estimate, amount to eighty-seven thousand, 
five hundred and sixty-two drops. In every 
drop, on examining it with the microscope, I 
find three species of animalcules large, 
middle-sized, and small, namely, seventeen 
large ones, thirty-nine middle-sized, and two 
hundred and sixty-four small. First, tell me 
how many large animalcules I have in ray 
bottle." 

After a few paces the correct answer is 
given : " You. have one million, four hundred 
and eighty-eight thousand, five hundred and 
fifty-four." 

" And how many middle-sized ones ? " 

" Three millions, four hundred and four- 
teen thousand, nine hundred and eighteen." 

" Exactly. And how many small ones 1 " 

" Twenty-three millions, one hundred and 
twenty-six thousand " 

" No ; you have made an error there." 

" Stop ; let me see. It is twenty-three 
millions, one hundred and sixteen thousand, 
three hundred and sixty-eight." 

" Perfectly correct. And now, if you 
please, how many animalcules, large, small, 
and middle-sized, have I altogether in my 
bottle of ditch-water 1 " 

" You have twenty-eight millions, nineteen 
thousand, eight hundred and forty." 

" Eight. But I observe, on watching them, 
that each large animalcule eats, per day, one 
middle-sized and three little animalcules. 
How many animalcules shall I have left at 
the end of a couple of days?" 

" There will be, altogether, sixteen millions, 
one hundred and eleven thousand, four hun- 
dred and eight survivors." 

After a few other arithmetical lucubrations, 
the calculating performer made a proposition 
which not a little startled his auditors. 

" Dictate to me," he said, " from a written 
paper, a hundred and fifty figures, any you 
please, in any order, and I will repeat them 
to you by heart. Bead them aloud to me, by 
sixes." 

A gentleman present took pencil and paper, 
and wrote down a string of figures as they 
came into his head, by chance. " Seven, 
nought, nine, five, three, one." 

" Yes," said the phenomenon, " go on." 

" Nought, five, seven, six, two, three." 

" Yes ; go on." 

And so on, till there \vere a hundred and 
fifty figures on the list. 

" "Will you like to make it two hundred ? " 
asked the imperturbable calculator. 

" No, no ; that's quite enough," shouted 
the humane audience. 



" Now, repeat them once again, quick." 

The figures were repeated accordingly. 

' I am ready ; they are nailed fast in my 
head. If I make a mistake, say ' False,' but 
don't correct me. Which way will you like 
to have them said 1 beginning from the 
beginning, or beginning from the end ? The 
great number of zeros in the list makes it 
more difficult ; but never mind." 

" Begin from the beginning," was the con- 
siderate word of command. 

The wonder resumed his pacing step, and, 
with half-shut eyes and forefinger vibrating 
by the side of his forehead, close to the 
phrenological organ of number (a favourite 
action with him), commenced his repetition : 
" Seven, nought, nine, five, three, one ; 
nought, five, seven, six, two, three, etcetera ; 
until the hundred and fifty figures were run 
off the roll-call, in much the same tone as a 
little child recites " How doth the little busy 
bee improve each shining hour." There 
were only one or two errors, owing, he said, 
to the treacherous zeros ; and, on the admo- 
nition " False," they were corrected without 
aid. And then he repeated the list back- 
wards, with the same monotonous ease. And 
then he offered to name any one given figure 
on the list. 

"What is the forty-fifth figure, counting 
from the end 1 " 

"A seven, between a one on the right 
hand, and a nine on the left." 

" What is the twenty-first figure from the 
beginning ? " 

"A five, with a zero to the right, and a 
three to the left." 

And then he sat down, amidst crowning 
applause, wiping the perspiration from his 
brow, as well he might. And then he rose, 
and gave a detailed summing up (with the 
figures) of all the problems he had gone 
through during the evening. 

Jean Jacques Winkler, the person who 
executes these prodigies of mental gymnas- 
tics, according to his own account, was born 
at Zurich, in eighteen hundred and thirty- 
one. He is one of a family of eight four 
sons and four daughters. His father is a 
retired bill-broker, living on his income a 
sort of animal life (the son's expression), and 
wishing to keep the wanderer at home. 
Jean Jacques, from his earliest childhood, 
studied all sorts of subjects by night and by 
day, possessing a peculiar aptitude for calcu- 
lation, combined with a prodigious memory. 
He studied in various places, and under 
various instructors, even under Arago, 
amongst others. This hard study gradually 
weakened his eyesight, till he became quite 
blind, and continued so for two years and 
a-half, namely, from eighteen hundred and 
fifty-three to eighteen hundred and fifty-five, 
when he was twenty-two to twenty-five 
years of age. The blindness came on " comi- 
cally," he says, without headache or pain in 
the eyes ; in short, he has never beeii ill in 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[August 8, 1857.] 



his life. As long as the deprivation of sight great power of observation by the sense of 
continued, his great amusement was to calcu- heaving. Re forms his opinion of the persons 
late problems in his head. Eyesight returned with whom he is brought into contact by the 
gradually, as it had departed, but only par- tone and inflexions of their voices. In the 
tially. Medical men promise him its com- course of his adventurous and cosmopolite 
plete restoration, if he would renounce mental existence, he has always had recourse to this 
mathematics ; but the propensity is too method of appreciating his connections, and 
strong. He performs in his head all sorts of he is never, he asserts, deceived in the esti- 
calculations in spherical trigonometry, curves, mate of character to which it leads him. 
and other brandies of high-science. But, for German is his native language ; French he 
himself, the most difficult operation is simple speaks neither with ease nor accuracy ; 
multiplication on a somewhat extended scale, English, still more imperfectly. The exbibi- 
say the multiplication of twenty figures by a tion described in this article was spoken out 
multiplier consisting of fifteen or twenty. A in French ; the calculations and the exercise 
sum like this takes him ten or twelve of memory were carried on in German (some- 
minutes to work mentally the only way times whispered audibly), which increased 
possible ; for he cannot see cleai'ly enough the difficulty of the performance. People 
even to sign his name without having his given to entertain doubts may ascribe the 
hand guided. above peculiarities partly to charlatanism or 

Contrary to most of the calculators hitherto , trick, and partly to eccentricity ; but it is 
exhibited to the public, and who, like Mon- impossible that any deception should exist in 
deux, are mathematicians by instinct, and respect to the extraordinary talent for calcu- 
cannot explain how they arrive at their lation. 

results, M. Winkler is perfectly acquainted j It seems a pity that such exceptional 
with the theory of numbers, and arrives powers should not be turned to some account, 
at the solution of the strangest problems by as those of our own George Bidder have 
means of a methodical mental operation, j been. The misfortune of blindness is a great 
He has formulae of his own for the extraction [ impediment. He has refused, by his own 
of cube roots, for instance, and short cuts for : statement, offers of engagement, for fear of 



trigonometry. A power consisting of thirty 
figures takes him four or five minutes to 
extract its cube root mentally an astound- 
ing feat ; for a good arithmetician will re- 
quire three-quarters of an hour to do the 
same thing with pencil and slate. He has 
projected a mathematical book, to facilitate 
and shorten intricate operations of the kind, 
but has hitherto been prevented by the diffi- 



the responsibility ; his defective sight not 
enabling him to verify the exactness of the 
figures given him to work with, and thus 
placing him at the mercy of designing persons 
to produce false results of the most serious 
importance and gravity. 

Travelling, or, really, vagabonding, without 
method or plan, quite alone and unaided, he 
does not even derive the profit he might 



culty of producing in writing his imagined from the proceeds of public seances as a 



symbols. 



show. An arrangement with a clever leader 



return to the surface never more. 



In many respects M. Winkler differs much j might prove a good speculation for both, if 
from ordinary men. He is of middle stature, I he is not fixedly wedded to gipsy-like habits, 
with straight black hair, but little beard, I restless, roving, impatient of all control, 
and a countenance which would be agreeable | Brussels is likely to be his whereabouts from 
but for its wan and faded look, and the sad- | this time to the end of August ; but the 
ness impressed upon it by a pair of sunken : frequent fate of these erratic phenomena is, 
lack-lustre eyes. He is far from being sad, ' to sink suddenly to the lowest depths of 
nevertheless. He is, he says, passionless, ; want and obscurity, and there to remain, to 
and altogether elastic as to his everyday 
requirements. He can live on one slight 
meal a day, and take to his bed and sleep or 
doze for any given time, 
bread, and quite no potatoes, declaring that 
the latter article of diet only makes people 
phlegmatic and stupid. He loves strong tea, 
without milk, saturated with as much sugar 
as it will hold in solution. He is indifferent 
to flowers and gardens, or rather has a dislike 
to them, and thinks taking a walk one of the 
most irksome ways of wasting time. He is 
exceedingly fond of music, plays the piano 
fairly, and sings in a steady bass voice that 
descends to an unusual depth. Being as 
nearly as may be blind, he has acquired a 



Now ready, price Five Shillings and Sixpence, neatly 

He eats almost no bound in cloth, 

THE FIFTEENTH VOLUME 

OP 

HOUSEHOLD WORDS, 

Containing the Numbers issued between the Third of 
January and the Twenty-seventh of Juuo of the present 
year. 

Just published, in Two Volumes, post Svo, price One 
Guinea, 

THE DEAD SECRET. 

BY AVILKIE COLLINS. 

'bury and Evans, AVhiteiviars. 



The Right of Translating Articles from HOUSEHOLD WORDS is reserved by the Authors. 



Published nt the OfTre.TCo. IP.AVoP.irgton Stife! Xorlh.Sirand. Trinted by BRAIIBI'IIT &Ev*ns, WMtefriars, London, 



"Familiar in their MoutJis as HOUSEHOLD WORDS." 



- 386.] 



A WEEKLY JOUENAL. 
CONDUCTED BY CHARLES DICKENS. 

SATURDAY, AUGUST 15, 1857. 



f Pares 2cl. 
( STAMPED 3d. 



THE STAB OF BETHLEHEM. 



Six hundred and ten years ago a sheriff of 
London, named Simon Fitz-Mary, founded 
and built, in the parish of Bishopsgate, near 
the north-east corner of Lower Moorfields, a 
priory dedicated to St. Mary of Bethlehem. 
It was required that the prior, canons, bro- 
thers and sisters maintained upon this foun- 
dation should represent the darkness of night 
in their robes ; each was to be dressed in 
complete black, and wear a single star upon 
the breast. Into the darkness of the clouded 
mind of the poor lunatic, no star then shone. 
He lived the life of a tormented outcast. 

The priory of St. Mary of Bethlehem in 
Bishopsgate, was within two dozen years of 
completing the third century of its life as a 
religious house, when there were great 
changes at work among religious houses in 
this country, and a London merchant-tailor 
Stephen Genuings offered to pay forty 
pounds towards buying the house of Bethle- 
hem and turning it into a hospital for the 
insane. 

Twenty-two years later, King Henry the 
Eighth made a gift of the house to the City 
of London, and it then first became, by order 
of the city authorities, a lunatic asylum. 
Only the faintest glimmer of the star that 
was the harbinger of peace then pierced the 
night of the afflicted mind. The asylum was 
a place of chains, and manacles, and stocks. 
In one of the last years of the sixteenth cen- 
tury, Avhen Bethlehem, as a place of refuge 
or rather of custody for the insane, was 
fifty-three years old, a committee appointed 
to report upon it, declared the house to be so 
loathsome and filthy that it was not fit for 
any man to enter. 

Seventy more years went by, and the old 
house was then not only loathsome in all its 
cells, but as to the very substance of its walls 
decayed and ruinous. A new building 
became necessary, land was granted by the 
mayor and corporation, in Coleman Street 
ward, and funds for a new building were col- 
lected. A pleasant little incident is told 
of the collection. The collectors came one 
day to the house of an old gentleman, 
whose front door was ajar, and whom they 
heard inside rating his servant soundly, 
because, after having lighted a fire with a 



match, she had put the match into the fire, 
when it could have been used a second time, 
| because it was tipped with sulphur at both 
ends. To their surprise this old gentleman 
when the collectors asked him for some 
money counted out to them, quite cheer- 
fully, four hundred guineas. They remarked 
upon what they had overheard. 

" That is another thing," said he. " I do 
not spend this money in waste. Don't be 
surprised again, masters, at anything of this 
sort ; but always expect most 'from prudent 
people who mind their accounts." 

Partly with charitable purpose, partly 
with selfish purpose, to provide a place of 
confinement for the lunatics, whom it was 
not safe to leave loose in the streets of Lon- 
don, abundant funds were raised ; and, in the 
year sixteen hundred and seventy-five, the 
first stone of a new Bethlehem was laid 
south of Moorfields on London Wall. The 
building was a large one, with two wings 
devoted to incurables. It had garden-ground, 
and at its entrance -gate were set up the two 
stone figures of madness carved by Gibber 
Colley Gibber's father who is nearly as well- 
known by them as by the emblematical 
figures at the base of the monument on Fish 
Street Hill, of which also he was the sculp- 
tor. One of the figures representing madness, 
is said to have been modelled from Oliver 
Cromwell's big door-keeper who became 
insane. The two figures repaired by Bacon 
stand in the entrance-hall of the existing 
Bethlehem. 

But the existing Bethlehem is not that 
which was built in sixteen hundred and 
seventy-five, facing the ground in Moorfields 
then a pleasaunce to the citizens, laid 
out with trees, grass, railings, and fine 
gravel-paths, and traversed by a broad and 
shady walk parallel to the hospital, that 
was known as the City Mall. Bethlehem, 
while the pleasaunce lasted, was a part of it. 
For a hundred years an admission fee first, 
twopence and then of a penny was the 
charge for a promenade among the lunatics.- 
The more agreeable of the sufferers were 
lodged conveniently on the upper stories, and 
the more afSicted kept in filth within the 
dungeons at the basement. 

Bethlehem, as an asylum for the insane, 
even in its first state of sixteenth century 



VOL. xvr. 



3.SG 



14G 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



loathsomeness, while it was still half a reli- 
gious house, had been a show-place. Thus, 
certain gentlemen in one of Dekker's plays 
ask : 

" May we see some of those wretched souls 
That are here in your keeping?" 

And the answer is from 

(i FRIAH. ANSELMO (in charge of BelJderti). Yes 

you shall : 

But, gentlemen, I must disarm you, then. 
There are of madmen, as there are of tame, 
All humour' d not alike. We have here some 
So apish and fantastic, play with a feather : 
And tho' 'twould grieve a soul to see God's image 
So blemished and defaced, yet do they act 
Such an tick and such pretty lunacies, 
That spite of sorrow they will make you smile. 
Others, asrain, we have, like angry lions, 
Fierce as wild bulls, untameable as flies : 
And these have oftentimes from strangers' sides 
Snatch'd rapiers suddenly, and done much liar in ; 
Whom, if you'll see, you must be weaponless." 

No doubt a like rule was imposed also : 
upon the promenaders who strolled into , 
Bethlem from the City Mall. It was only 
in the year seventeen hundred and seventy, ' 
that the asylum ceased to be included among 
penny-shows. 

At the beginning of the present century, 
the second hospital being of not more than j 
about one hundred and thirty years' standing, ! 
it was found necessary to rebuild it on ! 
another site. The City of London granted 
eleven acres on the Surrey side of the j 
Thames, which were part of its Bridge- j 
House estate, for eight hundred and ninety- ! 
five years, dating from the year eighteen 
hundred and ten. Two years later, the 
first stone of the existing Bethlehem was 
laid by the Lord Mayor, and the build- 
ing was completed two-and-forty years ago 
at an expense of about one hundred and 
twenty thousand pounds, of which sum more 
than half was contributed by the country in 
successive grants from parliament. As the 
united hospital of Bridewell and Bethlehem, 
the establishment is well endowed, drawing 
from its estates and funded property an 
income of about thirty thousand pounds 
a-year. That is the first material fact 
in a case which we shall presently be 
stating. 

But even at the time, so recent as it is, 
when the new Bethlehem was built, and for 
some yeai*s after, the star of Bethlehem was 
set in the deep blackness of night. Simon 
FItz-Mary'a priors, in the dress he prescribed 
for them, might b"e emblems of the light that 
had shed no ray into the darkness round 
about. None needed more than the lunatic 
to know, and none knew less than he did, of 
a star that should lead to peace on earth and 
goodwill among men. Afflicted with a disorder 
which we now understand to result mainly, 
perhaps invariably, from depressing causes, 
he was, till the beginning of this century and 
after it, submitted to depressing treatment 



that alone would have sufficed to drive the 
healthiest to madness. The remedy for lunacy 
which we now find in cheerfulness and hope 
was sought in gloom and terror. It was the 
accepted doctrine as regards the lunatic, that 
he should not find peace on earth or meet 
with goodwill among men. At the beginning 
of this century insane people were chained 
up, and even flogged at certain periods of the 
moon's age. Treacherous floors were con- 
trived that slipped from under them, and 
plunged them into what were called baths of 
surprise. One device, supposed to be reme- 
dial in its effect, was to chain the unhappy 
sufferer inside a well contrived so that water 
should creep slowly, slowly from his feet up 
to his knees, from his knees to his arms, from 
his arms to his neck, and stop only in the 
moment that it threatened him with instant 
suffocation. Dr. Darwin invented a wheel to 
which lunatics were fastened on a chair, and 
on which they were set revolving at a pace 
varying up to one hundred revolutions in a 
minute. Dr. Cox suggested an improvement 
applicable in some cases, that was to consist 
in whirling round the lunatic upon this 
wheel in a dark chamber, and assailing his 
senses at the same time with horrid noises 
and foul smells. 

It is not our purpose here to tell the his- 
tory of that great change in the treatment 
of insanity which is one of the most welcome 
signs of the advance of knowledge and civi- 
lisation in the present century. Only forty 
years ago, when in France the experience of 
Pinel at the Bicetre had already gone far to 
reverse in many minds and in some places 
the old doctrine of restraint and terror, at 
Bethlehem there were found ten women in one 
side room chained to the wall, wearing no 
dress but a blanket, and without even a 
girdle to confine the blanket at the waist. 
There were other such spectacles, and there was 
a man whose situation is the subject of one of 
the plates in the work of Esquirol. In the wise 
and good Dr. Conolly's recent book upon the 
treatment of the insane, the case of this man, 
buried in thick darkness beneath the star of 
Bethlehem, is thus described. His name was 
Novris. " He had been a powerful and vio- 
lent man. Having on one occasion resented 
what he considered some improper treat- 
ment by his keeper, he was fastened by a 
long chain, which was ingeniously passed 
through a wall into the next room, where the 
victorious keeper, out of the patient's reach, 
could drag the unfortunate man close to the 
wall whenever he pleased." To protect him- 
self, Norris wrapped straw about his fetters. 
A new torment was then invented. " A stout 
iron ring was riveted round his neck, from 
which a short chain passed to a ring made to 
slide upwards and downwards on an upright, 
massive iron bar, more than six feet high, 
inserted into the wall. Round his body a 
strong iron bar, about two inches wide, was 
riveted ; on each side of the bar was a cir- 



Charles Dickens.] 



THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM. 



[August 15, US;.] 147 



cular projection, which, being fastened to and 
enclosing each of his arms, pinioned them 
close to his sides. The effect of this appa- 
ratus was that the patient could indeed raise 
himself np so as to stand against the wall, 
but could not stir one foot from it, could not 
walk one step, and could not even lie down 
except on his back ; and in this thraldom he 
had lived for twelve years ! During much of 
that time he is reported as having been 
rational in his conversation. But for him, in 
all those twelve years, there had been no 
variety of any kind, no refreshing change, no 
relief ; no fresh air, no exercise ; no sight of 

fields, or gardens, or earth, or heaven 

It is painful to have to add, that this long- 
continued punishment had the recorded ap- 
probation of all the authorities of the hos- 
pital." 

But the star of Bethlehem had then already 
begun to shine effectually. Slowly the dark- 
ness melted into light, but it lurked long in 
many corners of the place so long, that only 
five or six years ago Bethlehem Hospital was, 
on account of offences against light and 
knowledge, which it was said to shelter, 
made the subject of a parliamentary inquiry. 
By that inquiry the authorities were roused 
to energetic action. They had unwittingly 
allowed the hospital to fall in several respects 
behind some kindred institutions that kept 
pace with the improving knowledge of the 
day. In a liberal and earnest spirit they have 
since been working to make good their error ; 
aided by a new superintendent at once 
thoughtful and energetic, they now lead 
where they used to lag upon the road. 

One change that has been rather lately 
made is characteristic enough of the rest. 
The brickwork which, except a round hole or 
a fanlight, used to fill up the outlines of what 
would have been windows in an ordinary 
house, has all been knocked away ;the bars and 
double bars between the patient and the light 
have been uprooted ; large well-glazed windows 
with the glass set in light iron frames, that 
look even less prison-like than thicker frames 
of wood, have, throughout, been substituted 
for the grated crannies which are still pre- 
served by Government in that part of the 
hospital devoted to state prisoners ; and in 
this way the quantity of light and sunshine 
let into all the rooms and wards has been 
increased sevenfold, or even tenfold. It gives 
life to the flowers in the wards, sets the birds 
singing, and brightens up the pictures and 
pleasant images with which the walls are all 
adorned. Light has been let into Bethlehem 
in more senses than one. It is now an 
a9ylum of the most unexceptionable kind. 
That is the second material fact in the case 
which we shall presently be stating. 

For, we have a special case to state nearly 
concerning a large section of society, and 
we are coming to it surely, although slowly. 
But we must dwell for a little while upon the 
pleasantness of Bedlam. We went over the 



hospital a week or two ago. Within the 
entrance gates, ns we went round the lawn 
towards the building, glancing aside, we saw 
several groups of patients quietly sunning 
themselves in the garden, some playing on a 
grass-plat with two or three happy little 
children. We found afterwards that these 
were the children of the resident physician 
and superintendent, Dr. Hood. They 
are trusted freely among the patients, and 
the patients take great pleasure in their 
presence among them. The sufferers feel that 
surely they are not cut off from fellowship with 
man not objects of a harsh distrust when 
even little children come to play with them, 
and prattle confidently in their ears. There 
are no chains nor strait waistcoats now in 
Bethlehem ; yet, upon the staircase of a ward 
occupied by men the greater number of 
whom would, in the old time, have been beheld 
by strong-nerved adults with a shudder 
there stood a noble little boy, another frag- 
ment of the resident physician's family, 
with a bright smile upon his face, who looked 
like an embodiment of the good spirit that 
had found its way into the hospital, and 
chased out all the gloom. 

Except the detached building for women 
which is under the direction of the State, 
and in which are maintained criminals dis- 
charged from punishment on the ground of 
lunacy and this dim building, full of bolts 
and bars, in which male patients are herded 
without system, is a bit of the old obsolete 
gloom deserving of the heaviest censure, and 
disgraceful alike to the Governors of the 
Hospital and the Governors of the State- 
except this, all the wards of Bethlehem are 
airy and cheerful. In the entrance hall 
there is a sharp contrast manifest upon 
the threshold between past and present. 
Gibber's two hideous statues of the mad- 
men of old, groaning in their chains, are 
upon pedestals, to the right hand and the 
left. Before us is a sunny staircase, and a 
great window without bar or grating, except 
that made by the leaves of growing plants. 
The song of a bird is the first sound that 
greets the ear. We pass from room to room, 
and everywhere we find birds, flowers, books, 
statuettes, and pictures. Thousands of middle 
class homes contain nothing so pretty as a 
ward in Bedlam. In every window growing 
plants in pots, ferneries in Ward's cases. 
Singing birds in cages, and sometimes, also, 
baskets of flowering plants, are hung in two 
long lines on each side of the room, and in. 
the centre of one wall there is, in every ward, 
an aviary. All spaces between the windows 
are adorned with framed engravings ; spoiled 
prints, that is to say, impressions from, for 
the most part, valuable and costly plates, in. 
which there is some flaw that might easilyescape 
the inexperienced eye, have been presented to 
the hospital in great numbers by considerate 
printsellers, and hundreds of these ornament 
its walls, varnished, framed, and screwed per- 



148 [August 15, 1557.] 



HOUSEHOLD WOKDS. 



[Conducted by 



mauently iu their places by the patients them- 
selves. Scarcely less numerous are the 
plaster busts and statuettes on little brackets. 
The tables in every room are brought to a 
bright polish by the hand-labour of its 
tenants, and their bright surface adds much 
to the elegance and lightness of the general 
effect. Upon the tables are here and there 
vases, containing fresh or artificial flowers, 
newspapers, and other journals of the day, 
books, chess-boards, and draught-boards. A 
bagatelle-board is among the furniture of 
every ward ; generally it includes also a 
piano or an organ. We have spoken gene- 
rally of a ward, but the word does not mean 
only one long room or portion of a gallery. 
There is that common room ; there is a not 
less cheerful dining-room ; there is a bath- 
room, an infirmary ; and there are the old 
dungeon-cells, once lighted by a round hole, 
and supplied with a trough on the floor for 
bed, and with an open drain-hole for toilet fur- 
niture, now transformed into light and airy 
little bedrooms, with a neat wooden bedstead 
duly equipped to take rest upon, and 
carpet on the floor. Dismal old stoves have 
been removed, and the hot air apparatus, by 
which the building is warmed, is assisted, for 
the sake of ventilation and of cheerfulness, 
with open fires. 

Again, there is at the top of the build- 
ing, with glass walls, and supplied with 
lights for evening and foggy weather, one 
of the best billiard-rooms iu the thi-ee 
kingdoms, maintained for the use of the 
patients. It is fully adapted for its purpose, 
and is comfortably furnished ; a large table, 
upon which are arranged magazines and 
newspapers, not being forgotten. Out of 
doors there are pleasant airing grounds ; 
there is the poultry to feed ; there are sundry 
fittiugs destined to provide amusement ; 
there is a good bowling-green and skittle- 
ground. 

Furthermore, there is good diet. The die- 
tary at Bethlehem has been liberal for many 
years ; it being now clearly understood that 
full nourishment to the body is of important 
service in the treatment of insanity. There 
is a liberal allowance daily of good meat and 
beer, with no omission of the little odds and 
ends that make eating and drinking burdens 
upon life not altogether unendurable, and 
take the idea of prison-commons quite out of 
the hospital allowance. In one cool room 
we found a nest of plates containing goose- 
berry pie, which had been deposited there by 
their owners, simply because the room 
was cool and the day hot. If there be two 
ideas that never before came into association 
in our minds, they are gooseberry-pie and 
Bedlam. 

As to all the small comforts of life, patients 
in Bethlehem are as much at liberty to make 
provision for themselves as they would be at 
home. The restraint to which they are 
subject is, in fact, that to which thev would 



be subjected at home, if they could there, as 
in the hospital, put their case under the direc- 
tion of a competent physician. Their pleasures 
are not even always bounded by the hospital 
walls. They go in little knots, with an 
attendant, to enjoy the sights of London and 
the country round about. 

When we compare with such details the 
tale of Norris, twelve years bound in iron 
hand and foot within these Avails, and that 
within the present century, we marvel at the 
quickness and completeness of the change 
made by a reversal of old superstitions on the 
treatment of insanity. The star of Beth- 
lehem shines out at last. So sure is th& 
influence of faith and kindness, that we found 
even in the refractory ward, glass ferncases 
laid handy to the fist, and all the little orna- 
ments and pleasures to be found elsewhere. 
Not a case had been cracked ; not a plaster 
image had been broken. 

Thus we have in Bethlehem a hospital 
endowed for the service of society by bene- 
factions that began six hundred years ago, in 
which poor lunatics can be maintained and 
treated quite apart from any system throwing 
them on county or on parish rates, not as the 
objects of a charity, but as the receivers of a 
legacy from men who wished to be of use to 
persons who would find the legacy an aid to* 
them. The money was not left to the rich 
who need it not. The charter of the hospital 
requires therefore that the patients who are 
admitted should be poor. This was inter- 
preted to mean chiefly paupers, but the care 
of pauper lunatics devolves on the society in 
which they live, and is accepted by it. The 
great county lunatic asylums now receive 
them, and for this reason the number of 
admissions into Bethlehem was diminishing, 
when Dr. Hood, the last appointed resident 
physician and superintendent, made a sug- 
gestion to the governors, which, after careful 
inquiry, they found to be not only wise, 
but practicable without violation of their 
charter, and which they have accordingly 
adopted. 

Bethlehem is not for the rich : and, for the 
pauper lunatics of the community, there is 
now ample and satisfactory provision. But 
there is an educated working class, hitherto: 
left to bear its own sorrow in sickness of the 
mind, or else be received among the paupers : 
curates broken by anxiety ; surgeons earning 
but a livelihood who, when afflicted with 
insanity, are helpless men ; authors checked 
by sudden failing of the mind when bread is 
being earned for wife and children ; clerks, 
book-keepers, surveyors, many more ; wha 
often battle against trouble till the reason 
fails, and then must either come upon the 
rates, or, as far oftener happens, be supported 
by the toil of a brave wife's fingers, or by a 
sister who from scanty earnings as a gover- 
ness pays the small fee that can be afforded 
to a third-rate private lunatic asylum. How 
often does the toiling governess herself break 



Charles Dickens.] 



THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM, 



[August 15, 1857.] 14!) 



, and is she also, whose calling proves 
that she has been compelled to sell-depen- 
dence, is she, when her dependence on her- 
self is lost, to be thrown as a pauper on the 
county lunatic establishment ? Here is a 
new use for Bethlehem, and it is owing 
mainly, we believe, to the wise thoughtful- 
ness of Dr. Hood that upon such wan- 
derers as these, and upon such only, the 
star of Bethlehem now shines. To make that 
fact distinctly known, is the whole object of 
the present notice. 

For the last twelve months and always 
henceforward, Bethlehem Hospital has been 
and will be an institution for the reception 
and cure of no person who is a proper object 
for admission to a county lunatic asylum ; but 
it will admit persons, chiefly of the educated 
classes, who with the loss of reason so far 
lose the means of livelihood that they cannot 
obtain suitable maintenance in a good pri- 
vate establishment. They will be maintained 
and treated while in Bethlehem, free of all 
cost to themselves, and also not at the cost 
of any living man, but as the just receivers 
of a legacy intended for their use and benefit. 
It is to be understood that now, as hereto- 
fore, patients in Bethlehem Hospital are of 
three kinds. Until Government shall have 
brought to their fulfilment certain plans 
which it is said to cherish secretly for the 
independent custody of criminal lunatics, 
there will be criminal lunatics in Bethlehem ; 
but the building occupied by them is per- 
fectly detached from the main structure, and 
is not under the control of the hospital autho- 
rities. In Bethlehem proper, it is necessary 
that a certain portion of the yearly income, 
arising from gifts made expressly upon that 
condition, should be spent upon the suste- 
nance and relief of incurable patients. The 
number supported by this fund is limited, 
and there are always candidates for admis- 
sion to the wards of the incurables awaiting 
any vacancy that may occur. The rest of 
the hospital and the main part of it, the 
leading design also of the institution, is for the 
cure, not the mere harbouring, of the insane. 
It is only to cases which there is fair reason to 
hope may prove curable, that admission will 
be given. Nobody will be received as curable 
who has been discharged uncured from any 
other hospital for lunatics, or whose case is 
of more than twelve months' standing ; or 
who is idiotic, paralytic or subject to any 
convulsive fits ; or who is through disease or 
physical infirmity unfit to associate with 
other patients. On behalf of any person of 
the class we have specified who has become 
insane and whose case does not appear to be 
ineligible on any of the accounts just named, 
application may be made to the resident 
physician of Bethlehem Hospital, Southwark, | 
London, for a form which will have to be 
filled up and returned. The form includes 
upon one large sheet all the certificates , 
required by the hospital, and every informa- j 



tion likely to be required by the patient and 
his friends, or hers. 

A patient having been admitted, is main- 
tained and treated for one year. If he (or 
she) be not cured at the expiration of a year, 
and there remain hope, that appointed limit 
of time is extended by three months, and 
perhaps again, and once but only once 
again, by three' months ; but the rule of the 
institution is, that patients be returned to 
their friends, if uncured at the expiration of 
a twelvemonth. 

We did not know until we read a little 
book on the statistics of insanity, by Dr. 
Hood in which ten years of the case-books 
of Bethlehem are collated, with the experience 
of other hospitals for the insane how con- 
stantly insanity is to be referred to a de- 
pressing influence. Three in five of the men, 
and a still greater proportion of the women, 
who have come and gone through Bethlehem 
during a space of ten years, were maddened 
simply by distress and anxiety. The other 
assigned causes operate also by depression, 
disappointment, over-work, death of relatives, 
bodily illness, the gloom which some account 
religious, and intemperance. In ten years, 
all Bethlehem furnished only six cases of 
lunacy through sudden joy; and Esquirol 
remarks that the excess of joy which destroys 
life never takes away the reason ; " and," 
Dr. Hood adds, "he sets himself to explain 
away certain cases which are supposed to 
support a contrary conclusion." Every case 
in his own experience that looked like mad- 
ness through excess of joy, he traced, upon 
investigation, to a reaction that produced the 
opposite emotion. The depressing influence 
of solitude is also a frequent cause of insanity ; 
for which reason insanity prevails in lonely 
mountain districts, and is much more com- 
mon in England among people who live in 
the country than among inhabitants of 
towns. A cheerful temper and a busy life, 
with generous and wholesome diet, are the 
best preservatives of mental health. Against 
them it is hard work even for hereditary 
tendency to make any head. 

Another most important fact, which is 
expressed very clearly in the Bethlehem 
tables, urges every one who has contemplated 
taking advice for any friend become insane, to 
lose no time about it. Every month of 
duration carries the disorder farther from a 
chance of cure. The chances of cure are four 
to one in cases admitted for treatment within 
three months of the first attack ; but after 
twelve months have elapsed, the chances are 
reversed, and become one to four. Of the 
whole number of patients admitted for cure 
into Bethlehem, cure follows in three cases 
out of five. 

In saying this, however, we should give a 
false impression if we did not transfer an 
estimate founded by Dr. Thurnam upon the 
traced history of two hundred and forty-four 
patients of the York Eetreat, which we find 



150 Uugust 15, 1857.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



quoted without dissent in one of the Beth- conscious of a strange presence in the 
lehem Hospital reports : " In round numbers, room, which faded out of it as I listened 
of ten persons attacked by insanity, five I breathless for some voice to speak to me- 



recover, and five die, sooner or later, during 
the attack ; of the five who recover, not more 
than two remain well during the rest of their 
lives ; the other three sustain subsequent 
attacks, during which at least two of them 
die. But, although the picture is thus an 
unfavourable one, it is very far from justify- 
ing the popular prejudice, that insanity is 
virtually an incurable disease ; and the view 
which it presents is much modified by the 
long intervals which often occur between the 
attacks, during which intervals of mental 
health (in many cases of from ten to twenty 
years' duration), an individual has lived in 
all the enjoyments of social life." 

It may be worth while, also, now that we 
speak of English insanity, to correct the 
common error which ascribes a tendency to 
produce insanity and suicide to our November 
weather. In England as in France, in 
Bethlehem as in the Salpetriere, the greatest 
number of insane cases occur in the six 
summer months, especially in May, June, 
and July. In London, the greatest number 
of recoveries occur in November. 



Nelly's voice to cheer me when sound there 



MY WINDOW. 



I AM a very quiet man, fond of idle dream- 
ing, fond of speculative studies, fond of a 
great many things that rarely make headway 
in this practical world, but which fitly fur- 
nish forth a life that has been almost blank 



was none. 

When Nelly died, I was a young man. I 
had hopes, prospects, interests, even ambi- 
tions in life. But, after that, worldly matters 
became irksome to me ; and worldly pros- 
perity failed me. Friends and acquaintances 
looked shyly on one who had not elasticity 
enough to rise up under the weight of a 
crushing sorrow ; they turned their backs on 
me ; I turned my back on them. Henceforth 
our ways lay wide apart : theirs, in amongst 
the struggle, the toil, the great weariness of 
life ; mine, by the quiet waters that flow 
down peacefully to death. The love of seclu- 
sion has grown upon me as moss grows upon 
a rooted stone ; I could not wrench myself 
away from it, even if I would. Of worldly 
pelf I have little, but that little suffices me ; 
and, although my existence seems selfish nay, 
is so I lack not interest in my kind. I 
catch hold of a slight thread of reality, and 
weave it into a tissue of romance. The facts 
that I cannot know, imagination supplies me 
with ; and my own temperament, still and 
melancholy, suffuses the story with a tender 
twilight hue, which is not great anguish, but 
which takes no tint of joy. 

My abode is in one of the retired streets of 
London. I know not where a man can be so 
utterly alone as in this great Babylon. My 
favourite room has a bay window overhang- 
ing the pavement, and in its cornices, its 



of incident, a life that parted with hope ' door-frames, and its lofty carved mantelshelf^ 
early that may, in fact, be said to have lost testifies to better days than it is ever likely 
the better part of its vitality when Nelly to see again. The rents in this quarter are 
died. low ; and though, at certain long intervals, 



Nelly was not my wife, but she would 



the street is as forsaken and silent as Taclmor 



have been if she had lived. I can speak of Jin the wilderness, still, the surging rush, 
her calmly now, but time was when my very the rattle, the hum of the vast city,echoes 

1-1 IP j i i V . i ' 



soul sickened for sorrow at her loss ; when I 
would have rushed with eagerness to the 
grave as a door through which I must pass 
to behold her dear face again. Sometimes a 
spasm of anguish thrills me even yet, when I 
recal her image, as she was when she left me 
nearly forty years ago ; most winning fair, 
most beautiful, that image seems, glowing 
with innocent youth, palpitating with ten- 
derness and joy. Then I ask myself, will 
she know me ? will she love me ? me, worn 
old and grey in that other world, where we 
two shall surely meet ? Will the bright 
spirit-girl recognise the love of her earthly 



through my solitude from dawn till dark. I 
love that echo in my heart. It is company. 
If I had been a happy, I should have been a 
busy man a worker instead of a dreamer 
That little IF that great impassable gulf 
between the Actual and the Possible ! 

I do not begin and end my romances in a 
day, in a week, in a month, or even in a year, 
as story-tellers do. The threads run on and 
on : sometimes smoothly, sometimes in hope- 
less entanglement. The merest trifle may 
suggest them ; now, it is the stealthy, startled 
looking back of a man over his shoulder, as 
he hurries down the street, as if Fate with 



youth in the man of full three-score years I her sleuth-hounds, Vengeance, and Justice, 
and ten ? Will her countenance will mine were following close upon his traces ; now, 



be changed and glorified ? The angels 
cannot be purer than Nelly was : purer or 
lovelier. I cannot help thinking of this re- 
union. I cannot help speculating whether 
she is waiting for me to come to her as iiu- 



the downcast grey head of a loiterer, hands 
in pockets, chin on breast, drivelling aim- 
lessly nowhere : again, it is the pitiful face 
of a little child clad in mourning ; or, it is 
the worn figure of a woman in shabby gar- 



patiently as I am waiting to depart. In the ! ments, young, toilsome, hopeless ; or, it is 
dead of the night I have awakened with a ! the same figure flaunting in silks and laces, 
low trembling at my heart, and have been I but a hundredfold more toilsome, more 



J: 



Charles Dickens.] 



MY WINDOW. 



[August 15, 1857.] 151 



hopeless. Occasionally I take told of a 
golden thread that runs from a good and 
a happy life. Such a thread I caught three 
years ago, and the tissue into which I 
wrought it is completed at last. This 
is it : 

I have mentioned my bay window over- 
hanging the street ; in this window is a 
luxuriously cushioned old-fashioned red 
settee. By this settee, a solid -limbed table, 



one of her pupils," I said to myself; and, when 
she was gone by, I fell into my mood, and 
sought an interpretation of that thought- 
ful upcast look that I had seen upon her face 



under the trees. 

"She was born in the country," I 



made 



out, " in some soft, balmy, sheltei*ed spot, 
where all was pretty in the summer weather. 
There were acacias there, and these reminded 
her of them. Perhaps some one she knew 



on which my landlady every morning I and dearly loved had loved those trees, and 
lays my breakfast, and the newly-come-in ! she saw in the rippling shadows a long train 
newspaper. It was while leisurely enjoying ; of reminiscences that I could not see things 
my coffee and unconsciously watching the j past because her expression was tender, yet 
tremulous motion of the acacias which ! things not sad altogether, because a smile 
overtop the low garden wall of a house i succeeded the little wistful look." 
a little higher up the street, that I first laid \ After that Thursday morning I watched 
my hand upon the gleaming thread which for her coming twice in the week, each time 
shines athwart this grey cobweb romance with increased interest. I always give my 
cobweb, I say, because so slight is it, so dream-folk names, such as their appearance 
altogether fancy-spun, that perhaps the and general air suggest. I gave her the 
knowledge of one actual fact of the case name of Georgie. She seemed to have a 
would sweep it down as ruthlessly and en- ; certain stability and independence of cha- 
tirely as a housemaid's brush destroys the racter which spring out of an early possibly 
diligent labours of arachne. i an enforced habit of self-reliance. This I 

Perhaps it was the quivering green of deduced from externals, such as that though 
the light acacia leaves, with the sunshine her dress was always neat and appropriate, 
flitting through and lying upon the pave- \ it was never fashionable. She looked what 
ruent like net- work of gold, that began my women among themselves call nice. I should 
romance. say her tastes were nice in the more correct 

Every Thursday and every Saturday morn- acceptation of the word, and by no means 



ing, for some months, I had seen a girl come 
round the street cornel*, without much 
observing her. I could have certified that 



capricious. She wore usually a grey shade of 
some soft material for her dress ; and, that 
summer, she wore a plain silky white shawl, 



she was tall and lissome in figure, and that j which clung to her figure, a straw-bonnet 



she was scrupulously neat in her dress, but 
nothing further. That me ruing to which I 



with white ribbon, and a kerchief of bright 
rose or blue. Her shoes and her gloves 



refer iu particular was early in June. The j were dainty ; and, from the habitual plea- 



sun was shining in our quiet street ; the 
birds were singing blithely in that over- 
grown London garden beyond the wall ; the 
acacias were shivering and showering the 



santness of her countenance, I knew that 
if she were, as my familiar suggested, music 
and singing-mistress, the times went well 
with her. She had plenty to do, and was well. 



broken beams upon the white stones as ' paid, 
cheerily, as gaily, as if the roar of the vast Her coming was as good as a happy thought 
city were a hundred miles away, instead of; to me. Her punctuality was extraordinary, 
floating down on every breeze, filling every j I could have set my watch by her move- 
ear, chiming in like a softened bass to the ments those two mornings in each week. I 
whisper of the leaves and twitter of the birds, j watched for her as regularly as I watched 
My window was open, and I was gazing \ for my breakfast, and should have missed 



dreamily on the branches above the wall, 
when a figure stopped beneath it and looked 
up ; it was the young girl who passed every 
Thursday and Saturday morning. I observed 
her more closely than I had yet done, and 
saw that she was good and intelligent in 
face pretty, even, for she had a clear, stead- 
fast brow, fine eyes, and a fresh complexion. 
As she stood for a minute gazing up into the 



her much more. By whatever way she re- 
turned home, it was not by my street. For 
two full months she came round the corner 
at ten minutes before nine, and, glancing 
up at the garden-trees, passed down the op- 
posite 
sight. 



side of the pavement, and out of 
All this time I could not add another 



chapter to my romance. She had ever the 
same cheerful brow, and quiet, placid, uudis- 



trees there was a curious, wistful, far-away ; turbed mouth ; the same dauntless, straight- 
look upon her countenance, which brightened looking, well-opened eyes ; the same even, 
into a smile as she came on more quickly for ' girlish step, as regular and calm as the beat 
having lost a minute watching the acacia j of her own young heart. I could but work 
leaves. She carried in her hand a roll out the details of the country home where the 
covered with dark-red morocco, and walked j rose on her cheek bloomed, and where the 
with a decisive step light yet regular as if j erect lithe shape developed ; where the honest 
her foot kept time to a march ringing in her ! disposition grew into strength and principle, 
memory. " She is a music-teacher, going to > and where loving training had encouraged 



]~>'2 [Ansrust 15, 1S57.] 



HOUSEHOLD WOEDS. 



[Conducted by 



and ripened the kiudly spirit that looked out 
n.t her eyes. Two or three little traits that 
showed her goodness, I did observe. Never a 
beggar asked of her in the street whom she 
did not either relieve or speak to with 
infinite goodness. I have seen her stop to 
comfort a crying child, and look after a 
half-starved masterless dog picking about 
the kennel for a bone, with a look on her 
face that reminded me of my lost one 
so tender, so compassionate, so true, pure 
womanly. 

One evening at the commencement of 
August it was about half-past six, and all 
the sun was out of our street I saw Georgie, 
as I called her in my own mind, come down 
the pavement, still carrying the music roil ; 
but not alone. There was with her a young 
man. He might be a clerk, or a doctor, or 
a lawyer, or any other profession almost, 
from his appearance ; I could not tell 
what. He was tall, and certainly well-look- 
ing ; but his face was rather feeble, and its 
complexion too delicate for a man. Georgie 
seemed his superior, in mind even more than 
in person. There was a suggestive slouch in 
liis gait, a trail of the foot, that I did 
not like. He carried his head down, and 
walked slowly ; but that might be from ill 
health, or that he wanted to keep Georgie's 
company longer, or a thousand things rather 
than the weakness of character with which, 
from the first glance, I felt disposed to charge 
him. He was perhaps Georgie's brother, I 
said at first ; afterwards I felt sure he was 
her lover, and that she loved him. 

Three weeks passed. Georgie's morning 
transits continued as regularly as the clock- 
stroke ; but I had not seen her any more in 
the evenings, when I became aware that I 
had the young man, her companion, for an 
opposite neighbour. From the time of his 
daily exits and returns, I made out that he 
must be employed as clerk somewhere. He 
used to watch at the window for Georgie ; 
and, as soon as he saw her turn the corner, 
he would rush out. They always met with a 
smile and a hand-shake, and walked away 
together. In about a quarter of an hour he 
came back alone, and left the house again at 
ten. This continued until the chilly autumn 
days set in, and there was always a whirl of 
the acacia leaves on the pavement under the 
wall. Georgie did not often look up in 
passing them now. Perhaps she was think- 
ing of the meeting close at hand. 

The young clerk I called Arthur. Now 
that I had him as a daily subject of study, 
I began to approve of him more. I do 
not imagine that he was a man of any 
great energy of character ; and even, what 
little he might have possessed, originally, 
must have been sapped by ill - health 
long since ; but there was a certain intel- 
lectual expression on his pale, large brow 
that overbalanced the feebleness of the 
lower part of his face. I could fancy Georgie, 



in her womanly faith and love, idealising 
him until his face was as that of an angel to 
her mild as St. John's, and as beautiful. 
Indolent and weak, myself, what I approve 
is strength of will, power to turn and bend 
ch-cumstances to our profit ; in Arthur, I 
detected only a gentle goodness ; therefore he 
did not satisfy me for Georgie who, I said to 
myself, could live a great, a noble life, and 
bear as well the strivings of adversity as she 
now bore the sunshine of young happiness. 
If I could have chosen Georgie's lover he 
should have been a hero ; but truth placed 
him before my eyes too gravely for miscon- 
ception. 

The winter was very harsh, very cold, very 
bitter indeed ; but all the long months I 
never missed the bi-weekly transits of 
that brave-eyed girl. She had a thick and 
coarse maud of shepherd's plaid, and a 
dark dress now ; but that was the only 
change. She seemed healthy-proof against 
the cruel blasts that appeared almost to 
kill poor Arthur. He was always enveloped 
in coat upon coat ; and, round his throat, he 
wore a comforter of scarlet and white 
wool, rather gaudy and rather uncommon ; 
but I did not wonder why he was so con- 
stant to its use. when I remembered that 
it was a bit of woman's work, and that 
Georgie's fingers had knitted it, most pro- 
bably. 

ill or well, the winter got over, and the 
more trying east-winds of spring began. 
Arthur did not often issue forth to meet 
Georgie then, and I believe he had been 
obliged to give up his situation ; for, I used to 
see him at all times of the day in the par- 
lour of the opposite house ; occasionally, 
when the sun was out, he would come and 
saunter wearily up and down the flags for half 
an hour, and then drag himself feebly in-doors 
again. He sometimes had a companion in 
these walks, on whose stalwart arm he 
leaned a good friend, he seemed to be. 

"Ah ! if Georgie had only loved him!" I 
thought, foolishly. 

He was older than Arthur, and totally differ- 
ent : a tall, strong young fellow with a bronzed 
face, a brisk blue eye, and a great brown 
beard. The other looked boyish and simple 
beside him ; especially now that he was so 
ill. The two seemed to have a great affec- 
tion for each other. Perhaps they had been 
school-fellows and playmates ; but, at any 
rate, there was a strong bond between them, 
and Georgie must have known it. 

I remember one warm afternoon, at the be- 
ginning of June, I saw Arthur and Robert 
(that was my gift-name to the brown 
stranger) come out and begin walking and 
talking together up and down the pavement. 
They were going from the corner when 
Georgie, quite at an unusual hour, came hurry- 
ing round it. She had in her hand one of 
those unwieldy bunches of moss-roses with 
stalks a foot long, which you can buy iu Lon- 



Charles Dickens.] 



MY WINDOW. 



[August 15, 18SM 153 



don streets for sixpence, and she was busy 
trimming them into some shape and order as 
she advanced. She reached the door of 
Arthur's lodgings before they turned ; and, 
just as she got to the step and seemed about 
to ring, she descried them in the distance. 
Spy that I was, I detected the blush that 
fired her face, and the quick smile of pleasure | 
with which she went to meet them as they i 
returned. Arthur took the flowers listlessly. ' 
I could see that he was getting beyond any 
strong feelings of pleasure or pain, through 
sheer debility. In fact, he was melting away 
in the flame of consumption as rapidly to 
use a homely saying as a candle lighted at 
both ends. I wondered, more than once, 
whether Georgie was blind to his state; for she 
still seemed as cheerful as ever, and still wore 
that calm, good expression which I have men- 
tioned before as characteristic of her. I believe 
she was quite in the dark, or else so full of 
hope that she could not and would not admit a 
sad presentiment. Arthur stood silent and 
tired, while Robert and she spoke to each 
other; and, after a minute or two, lie grew 
impatient and would go in-doors. I thought 
Georgie looked chagrined as the door shut, 
and she was left outside. I could not quite 
interpret that bit. She remained hesitating 
a second or two, and then started very 
quickly as if she had forgotten something, 
back in the direction from which she had 
come. 

Sometimes in my romances I should like to 
alter the few certainties that impose them- 
selves as checks on my fancy. I would fain 
alter here, for instance, and make out that 
Robert fell instantaneously in love with 
Georgie, and that poor Arthur was only a 
cousin for whom she had a quiet, sisterly 
affection, and nothing more, but I cannot. 
They were surely lovers, whose hearts were 
each bound up in the other, and there was a 
parting preparing for them, such as had 
severed my darling and me. 

The Thursday after the little incident of 
the moss-roses I missed Georgie for the first 
time. Could she have passed by earlier, I 
asked myself ? I was certainly late for break- 
fast. On the following Saturday it was 
the same. " She has given up her pupil in 
this direction, or she is ill," I said ; but the 
next week I watched, with an anxiety 
that quickened every pulse, for her com- 
ing. I took up my post on the settee 
early, and kept my eye on the corner; 
but never saw her. On the succeeding 
Saturday I almost gave up my hope ; for she 
was still absent, and I lost many an hour in 
devising explanations why. But the following 
Thursday my romance was continued. When 
I went into my sitting-room and threw up 
the window I saw the thin, pale hand of 
my opposite neighbour holding back the 
curtain of the window as he lay on his bed 
and presently Georgie went by on my side, 
that his eyes might, for a moment, be cheered 



as he saw her pass. After that, I often 
saw the wan face of Arthur at the glass, 
and sometimes Robert's healthy brown 
visage beside it. One afternoon, Georgie 
came, as it were, stealthily to the door 
and rang the bell. She had a little basket 
and some flowers which she gave to the 
woman of the house, with whom she spoke 
for a while, and then she went away very 
grave, downcast, sad. I was sure that she 
knew at last. 

Every day now, two incidents recurred 
regulariy. One, was the arrival of the doctor 
in his green chariot ; the other, the arrival of 
Georgie with her little basket and her nose- 
gay of flowers. She always went iu-doora 
and stayed sometimes only a few minutes, 
sometimes an hour or more. At this time 
my romance got a new light, or rather a 
new shadow. I began to think that Arthur 
was all Georgie had iu the world ; for nobody 
ever came with her : nobody ever spoke to 
her, but the woman of the house, and 
Robert. 

Occasionally Robert would come out with 
her on the door-step, and they would converse 
together for a little while. It was about 
Arthur, I knew, from their serious looks and 
glances up to the room where he lay. I can- 
not tell how much I felt for Georgie, in 
the loneliness by which my imagination sur- 
rounded her. I began to see in Arthur many 
virtues, many merits, which must have made 
her love him, that I had never seen in him 
before. His wan face looked patient, his great 
brow more spiritual than ever, and I was 
sure she would cling to him with a keener 
affection as she beheld him passing away. 
Did I not remember how it had been with me 
and Nelly ! 

I suppose when death conies amongst us ; 
no matter how long we have been warned ; 
how long we have used ourselves to think 
that he might knock at our door any 
day his coming appears sudden, unex- 
pected. I rose one morning as usual ; and, 
on looking at the opposite house, saw that 
the shutters were closed and the blinds all 
down. Arthur, then, was dead. The milk- 
man came to the door, the baker, the post- 
man with his letters letters for a dead 
man. 

It was Thursday morning. Georgie would 
pass early. A little before nine she came, 
ran swiftly up the house-steps and rang. At the 
same moment, advanced in another direction, 
the man with the board on which the dead 
are laid. He was but just gone, then ! Georgie 
stood by to let him pass in before her, and I 
saw the shiver that ran through her frame 
as she watched him up the stairs, and thought 
what he was going to do. Robert came out 
to her ; his manly face, grief-stricken and 
pale, was writhing as he recounted to her, 
perhaps, some dying message from Arthur, 
perhaps some last token of his love I know 
not ^yhat. 



154 [August 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



Nelly's last momenta, Nelly's death, over 
again to me ! 

Then Georgie came out crying crying, O ! 
so bitterly ; and in going down from the 
door she dropped the flowers that she had 
brought in her hand to gladden eyes that 
the sight of her would never more gladden 
on this earth. Robert picked them up ; and, 
after watching her a few minutes on her way, 
went in again and shut the door. But, in the 
afternoon, she returned and went up-stairs to 
see what had been her lover. It is good to 
look at the cast-off mould of what we love : 
it dissevers us so coldly, so effectually from 
their dust. It forces us to look elsewhere for 
the warm, loving soul that animated it. There 
is nothing in that clay that can respond to 
us. That which we idolised, exists else- 
where. 

Every day sometimes at one hour, some- 
times at another Georgie came to the 
opposite house, was admitted by Robert and 
visited the relics of her beloved. She seemed 
to be more than ever alone ; for, even in these 
melancholy comings and goings, she was 
always unaccompanied. On the sixth day 
from Arthur's death, there was a funeral ; 
and Georgie and Robert were the only 
mourners who attended it. Seeing the girl 
in her black clothing, white and tearful, 
I said, " She did love him, and I hope she 
will stav for his sake a widow all her 
life ! " 

The Thursday and Saturday morning tran- 
sits were now resumed. Georgie looked 
graver, loftier, more thoughtful ; like a wo- 
man on whom sorrow has lighted, but whom 
sorrow cannot destroy. Robert left the 
opposite house and sometimes my fancy went 
home with the poor, lonely girl, and I won- 
dered whether she had any friend in the 
world who was near to her and dear to her 
now. 

For upwards of six months I never missed 
her with her roll of music twice in the week; 
but, at the end of that time, she suddenly 
ceased to appear iu our quiet street, and I 
saw her no more for a long time. I thought 
that this romance of mine, like many 
others, was to melt away amongst the crowd 
of actualities ; but, yesterday, behold ! there 
came upon me its dramatic conclusion. 
Georgie and Robert, he strong and handsome 
as ever, she fair and lovely, and wearing 
garments that had the spotless air of belong- 
ing to a new bride, came like a startling sun- 
break into its gloom. They paused opposite 
the house where Arthur died, seemed to 
recall him each to the other, and then walked 
on silently and more slowly than before; but 
before they turned the corner I could see 
Georgie smiling up in Robert's face, and 
Robert looking down on Georgie with such 
a love as never shone in Arthur's cold, 
spiritual eyes. 

For an instant I had a little regret, 
a little anger against her but it passed. 



Let Georgie live her life, and be happy ! Did 
I not at the first wish that Robert and not 
Arthur had been her choice ? 



A MUTINY IN INDIA. 



YEARS ago, a brigade of irregular cavalry 
lay at a station not very remote from Poona. 
It was composed of three regiments, in which 
Mahomedans and Hindoos were mingled, and 
was renowned for the very high state of its 
discipline. In the war that had not very 
long terminated, these troops had repeatedly 
distinguished themselves, and by acts of the 
utmost gallantry and heroism had won the 
highest eulogies from the commander-in-chief 
and the rest of the army. The brigadier in 
command was a dare-devil old officer named 
Daintry, a grim soldier, who loved a tussle, 
sword iu hand, as dearly as Coeur de Lion 
himself, and who, with his long white mous- 
tachios and scarred face, looked superb when 
in the saddle. One of the best horsemen and 
hog-hunters in India, he performed such won- 
ders with the boar-spear as are still spoken ot 
in the hunting-camp, and I have myself seen 
him overtake and transfix almost the whole 
of a sounder of wild pigs that by some strange 
chance had galloped right through our can- 
tonments. In the day of battle, the bri- 
gadier was as full of fire as his own mettled 
charger ; his voice rang like a trumpet, and 
his troopers followed him with an unhesi- 
tating ardour that nothing could daunt. 

But, peace came, and mischief came with it. 
Daintry's great misfortune simply was this : 
he had been born five hundred years too 
late. As a feudal baron, unable to read and 
unused to think, most likely spent a dull 
spell of rainy weather in yawning about his 
castle halls and kicking his unoffending vas- 
sals, so did Daintry fall foul of his vassals as 
soon as there were no enemies to be pom- 
melled. The brigadier had received an old- 
fashioned education ; that is to say, he wrote 
badly, spelt worse, and, as a matter of choice, 
read not at all. Indeed, a bookish man was 
the brigadier's abhorrence. So, as he was an 
abstemious drinker, and could not always be 
hunting, he turned martinet and tyrant from 
sheer idleness. 

He worked the brigade pitilessly. Morn- 
ing, noon, and eve, there were inspections, 
foot and mounted drills, sword exercises, and 
so forth. By night, though the country was 
profoundly quiet, patrols were kept in motion, 
and the stony roads rang to the clattering 
hoofs of the cavalry. Each regiment was 
perfect in its evolutions, but the men were 
kept day by day grinding at their manoeuvres 
as if they had been the most awkward squad 
of bumpkins alive. Then the uniforms were 
altered, the saddle-cloths meddled with, the 
soldiers kept hard at work sharpening swords 
and pointing spears. Once a-week the sabres 
were inspected, and any blade not of razor 
i keenness was snapped across the brigadier's 



Charles Dickens.l 



A MUTINY IN INDIA. 



[August 15, is-tf.] 155 



knee. In short, he worried them as Paul 
worried his Russian guards. 

Now, a soldier grows rusty in idleness, 
no doubt ; but when he is harassed by cause- 
less and perpetual toil he is apt to become 
sulky. When the war ended, every rider 
of the brigade would have died in Dain- 
try's defence. A few months of annoyance 
changed this devotion into dislike, fast 
ripening into hatred. It was then that I was 
appointed to be Daintry's brigade-major, to 
his great disgust, for he was not above the 
weakness of nepotism. Two of his regiments 
were commanded by his sons-in-law, both of 
whom were young for such a trust, and he 
had solicited my post for his wife's nephew, 
on the laudable principle of taking care of 
Dowb. However, rumours of the discontent 
among the men had reached head-quarters, 
and it was preferred to select a brigade-major 
who might mediate between the brigade and 
its rash chief, and who would not be a mere 
mouthpiece to the commandant. 

I had been chosen, as being well acquainted 
with the language and the native habits of 
thought; and, found little difficulty in gaining 
the confidence of many of the soldiers and 
havildars. But, with the brigadier I had 
another sort of task. He disliked me, as 
having accepted the post his nephew had 
asked for, on which account he offered me a 
hundred petty slights, and even requested 
the mess to send me to " Coventry." Also, 
he quietly made up his mind to neglect 
every suggestion or remonstrance I could 
possibly make. For me to oppose an inno- 
vation was enough to confirm the brigadier 
in his decision. As the old officers dropped 
off or were got rid of, their places were filled 
by boys, who knew no more of Hindus- 
tani than of Swedish, and were utterly igno- 
rant of Hindoo or Mussulman usages. And 
before long, Daintry announced the advent 
of a thorough and sweeping reform. The 
irregular troopers were to learn infantry drill, 
and to SHAVE OFF THEIR BEARDS. When I 
fh'st heard this, I could not believe the com- 
mander to be serious. But he swore he 
would not rest until the chins of his grim 
Patans and Eajpoots were as destitute of 
beard or moustache as the palm of his hand. 

The youngsters who had just joined, ap- 
plauded mightily. Fresh from Addiscombe 
or Rugby, they thought it would be " such a 
capital joke to shave the old bearded billy- 
goats." In vain I remonstrated, argued, 
and begged for delay. Daintry's headstrong 
nature would bear no check. He, long as 
he had been in India, had learned but one- 
half of the native character. Many fall into 
the same error. They see the submissive 
timidity, the ductile obedience, of the native ; 
his deference to authority or assump- 
tion ; his childish reverence for rank ; and 
they think there are no limits to his en- 
durance. Some day they are terribly unde- 
ceived. So it was in this case. The order 



was read out on parade ; and even the 
instincts of discipline could not restrain a 
murmur that gradually swelled into a shout 
of indignation. One regiment in especial, 
sent in a memorial, which I read with sur- 
prise, sojust and temperate was its language. 
" We are horsemen," said the soldiers, " and 
the sous of horsemen, and have shed our 
blood under your banners. If you are dis- 
pleased with us, give us our discharge. We 
will go, blessing you for your bread and salt 
that we have eaten. But we were not hired 
for the drill of foot soldiers, and to that 
degradation we cannot submit." Daiutry 
swore like a Bedlamite. To crown all, he" 
ordered the regiment to come on parade 
SHAVED. The regiment paraded, but not a 
man had complied. The brigadier selected 
two sergeants, both Mahometans, a Patau 
and a Belooch, and ordered his servants to 
hold them down on the ground while their 
beards were shaved off by a barber. 

To realise the full effect of this most 
unwise order, one should remember that a 
Mahometan invests his beard with a species 
of sanctity, tends it with jealous care, values 
it above his life, swears by it his most solemn, 
oaths, and resents an affront to it as the 
worst of insults. One should remember, 
also, that these men were all, Moslem and 
Hindoo, of good parentage, sons of land- 
holders, Potails and Zemindars : military 
adventurers, in fact, who possess horses and 
weapons of their own, and by themselves 
and their officers are styled and considered 
gentlemen, being all of a class far superior 
to that which furnishes the sepoy. The 
regiment looked on in sullen silence, and no 
immediate outbreak took place. 

But, at dawn next morning, I was awakened 
by finding Daintry in full dress, spurred and 
booted, at my bedside. 

"Up with you," said he, more good- 
humouredly than usual ; " your horse is 
being saddled. You must ride with me, for 
there's a mutiny, by ." 

" I told you how it would turn out," said 
I, rubbing my eyes, and reluctantly rising. 
I was not five minutes dressing, and off we 
galloped, with a dozen troopers and armed 
peons at our heels. There, on a round hill, 
a red flag was flying, the flag of mutiny. A 
drum was beating and already a crowd of 
disaffected soldiers had collected, and more 
were gathering by twos and threes. 

The ringleaders, conspicuous among the 
others, were the two Mussulmans who had 
been so roughly used the day before. When, 
we approached, a hundred carbines were 
pointed at us. Daintry tried to address the 
mutineers. A yell drowned his voice. I made 
the next essay, and succeeded better. 

" The brigadier may approach," called out 
the Patan ringleader, "but no armed men 
shall come near us, only the chief and his 
brigade-major." 

And they presented their weapons at the 



156 ['.ugutt 15, 1S57.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



sewars who pressed behind us. Daintry, 
who was as brave as a lion, bade his followers 
fall back, and advanced. I tried in vain to 
dissuade him, knowing how little fit he was 
to conciliate. But he persisted, and so in 
among them we went. , 

" You have won great honours by our 
valour," cried the irregulars to Daintry, 
" and you have oppressed us since the foe 
was conquered. Now we will serve no more. 
We ask our discharge. Give it us." 

A parley ensued. Daintry would yield 
nothing. The affair was hopeless. The bri- 
gadier retired, to give me a chance of per- 
suasion. 

" Now, sahibs and comrades," said I, "you 
know me, and I understand you. I cannot 
treat with armed mutineers, but go and pile 
your arms before my house, and I pledge 
you my honour as an English officer, you 
shall have your discharge." 

After a long discussion, I won them over 
to this, and they were already moving from 
the hill-top, when the brigadier returned. 
Briefly I explained the bargain, and asked 
him to ratify the compact, and end the affair. 
Daintry electrified me by exclaiming in Hin- 
dustanee : " No ! the others may have their 
discharge, but I'll punish the cursed ring- 
leaders ! " 

In one moment, all my diplomacy was 
rent to pieces. Sabres, carbines, pistols, 
menaced us on all sides. 

" Are the other regiments to be trusted ? " 
asked I, at last. 

" Yes ! " cried Daintry suddenly ; " ride 
and bring them up, and we'll pepper this 
swarthy scum." 

He spoke in English, so was not under- 
stood. I started on my errand ; but, by some 
strange infatuation, Daintry remained in the 
heart of the mob. Hard by, was a road, 
Winding between two lofty banks. I was 
scarcely in it, when I met the leading files 
of a mounted column, commanded by one of 
Daintry's sons-in-law. The colonel had 
turned his regiment out on hearing of the 
mutiny. I lifted my hand as a signal. The 
trumpeters raised their instruments, and 
sounded the call to trot. The blast was 
answered by a pistol-shot, a wild cry, and a 
random volley of carbines from the crowd of 
mutineers on the hill I had left. Wheeling, 
I rode back at full gallop, the regiment pelt- 
ing at my heels. The mutineers fired again, 
but harmlessly, and then broke and ran. 
Many were cut down, speared, or trampled : 
others were driven into the j uugles, where they 
perished miserably, between fevers and wild 
beasts. Few, probably, reached their homes 
again. 

We found Daintry on the ground, still 
breathing, but in desperate case. 

" O ! " said the poor fellow, as I knelt by 
him, " I wish I had taken your advice ; for- 
give me, my boy. They've murdered me." 

When the trumpet sounded, the ringleader 



had clutched Daintry's bridle, and, as his 
horse reared, shot him with a pistol. While 
on the ground, he had received sixteen 
ghastly sabre-cuts from blades of razor keen- 
ness ; yet he lived thirty hours, to the won- 
der of every surgeon in the cantonments, 
though he never spoke after the first five 
minutes. The regiment was disbanded, its 
name was blotted out of the Company's books, 
and the matter was hushed up ; a proceed- 
ing, as recent events show, about as sensible 
as screwing down a safety-valve to guard 
against explosions. 

Surely, we may make some use of the 
follies of the past, to serve as beacons for the 
future ; and surely those have much to- 
answer for, who are prevented by a foolish 
punctilio from exposing the true causes of the 
rottenness of our Indian civil and military 
system. 



A QUEEN'S EEVENGE. 

THE name of Gustavus Adolphus, the 
faithful Protestant, the great general, and 
the good king of Sweden, has been long since 
rendered familiar to .readers of history. We 
all know how this renowned warrior and 
monarch was beloved by his soldiers and 
subjects, how successfully he fought through 
a long and fearful war, and how nobly he 
died on tile field of battle. With his death r 
however, the interest of the English reader 
in Swedish affairs seems to terminate. Those 
who have followed the narrative of his life 
carefully to the end, may remember that he 
left behind him an only child a daughter 
named Christina ; but of the character of 
this child, and of her extraordinary adven- 
tures after she grew to womanhood, the 
public in England is, for the most part, 
entirely ignorant. In the popular historical 
and romantic literature of France, Queen 
Christina is a prominent and a notorious 
character. In the literature of this country 
she has, hitherto, been allowed but little 
chance of making her way to the notice of 
the world at large. 

And yet, the life of this woman is in itself 
a romance. At six years old she was Queen 
of Sweden, with the famous Oxenstiern for 
guardian. This great and good man governed 
the kingdom in her name until she had lived 
through her minority. Four years after her 
coronation she, of her own accord, abdicated 
her rights in favour of her cousin, Charles 
Gustavus. Young and beautiful, the most 
learned and most accomplished woman of her 
time, she resolutely turned her back on the 
throne of her inheritance, and, publicly be- 
traying her dislike of the empty pomp and 
irksome restraint of royalty, set forth to 
wander through civilised Europe in the 
character of an independent traveller who 
was resolved to see all varieties of men and 
manners, to collect all the knowledge which 
the widest experience could give her, and to 



Charles Dickens.] 



A QUEEN'S REVENGE. 



[Aagust 15, IS', M 157 



measure her mind boldly against the greatest 
minds of the age wherever she went. So far, , 
the interest excited by her character and her 
adventures is of the most picturesquely- 
attractive kind. There is something strikingly 
new in the spectacle of a young queen who 
prefers the pursuit of knowledge to the pos- 
session of a throne, and who barters a royal 
birthright for the privilege of being free. 
Unhappily, the portrait of Christina cannot 
be painted throughout in bright colours only. 
It is not pleasant to record of her that, when 
her travels brought her to Some, she aban- 
doned the religion for Avhich her father fought 
and died. It is still less agreeable to add, 
that she freed herself from other restraints 
besides the restraint of royalty, and that, if 
she was mentally distinguished by her capa- 
cities, she was also morally disgraced by her 
vices and her crimes. 

The events in the strange life of Christina 
especially those which are connected with 
her actions and adventures in the character 
of a queen-errant present the freshest and 
the most ample materials for a biography, 
which might be regarded in England as a 
new contribution to our historical literature. 
Within the necessarily limited space at our 
command in these columns, it is impossible 
to follow her, with sufficient attention to 
details, through the adventures which at- 
tended her travelling career. One, however, 
among the many strange and startling pas- 
sages in her life, may profitably be introduced 
in this place. The events of which the narra- 
tive is composed, throw light, in many ways, 
on the manners, habits, and opinions of a 
past age, and they can, moreover, be presented 
in this place in the very words of an eye- 
witness who beheld them two centuries ago. 

The scene is Paris, the time is the close of 
the year sixteen hundred and fifty-seven, the 
persons are the wandering Queen Christina, 
her grand equerry, the Marquis Monaldeschi, 
and Father le Bel of the Convent of Fontaine- 
bleau, the witness whose testimony we are 
shortly about to cite. 

Moualdeschi, as his name implies, was an 
Italian by birth. He was a handsome, ac- 
complished man, refined in his manners, 
supple in his disposition, and possessed of the 
art of making himself eminently agreeable in 
the society of women. With these personal 
recommendations, he soon won his way to 
the favour of Queen Christina, Out of the 
long list of her lovers, not one of the many 
whom she encouraged caught so long and 
firm a hold of her capricious fancy as Monal- 
deschi. The intimacy between them pro- 
bably took its rise, on her side at least, in as 
deep a sincerity of aifection as it was in 
Christina's nature to feel. On the side of 
the Italian, the connection was prompted 
solely by ambition. As soon as he had risen 
to the distinction and reaped all the advan- 
tages of the position of chief favourite in the 



queen's court, he wearied of his royal mistress, 
and addressed his attentions secretly to a 
young Koman lady, whose youth and beauty 
powerfully attracted him, and whose fatal 
influence over his actions ultimately led to 
his ruin and his death. 

After endeavouring to ingratiate himself- 
with the Roman lady, in various ways, 
Monaldeschi found that the surest means of 
winning her favour lay in satisfying her 
malicious curiosity on the subject of the 
private life and the secret frailties of Queen 
Christina. He was not a man who was 
troubled by any scrupulous feelings of honour 
when the interests of his own intrigues hap- 
pened to be concerned ; and he shamelessly 
took advantage of the position that he held 
towards Christina, to commit breaches of 
confidence of the most inexcusably ungrateful 
and the most meanly infamous kind. He 
gave to the Roman lady the series of the 
queen's letters to himself, which contained 
secrets that she had revealed to him in the 
fullest confidence of his worthiness to be 
trusted ; more than this, he wrote let- 
ters of his own to the new object of his 
addresses, in which he ridiculed the queen's 
fondness for him, and sarcastically described 
her smallest personal defects with a heartless 
effrontery which the most patient and long- 
suffering of women would have found it 
impossible to forgive. While he was thus 
privately betraying the confidence that had 
been reposed in him, he was publicly affecting 
the most unalterable attachment and the 
most sincere respect for the queen. 

For some time this disgraceful deception 
proceeded successfully. But the hour of the 
discovery was appointed, and the instrument 
of effecting it was a certain cardinal who was 
desirous of supplanting Monaldeschi in the 
queen's favour. The priest contrived to get 
possession of the whole correspondence which 
had been privately placed in the hands of the 
Roman lady, including, besides Christina's 
letters, the letters which Monaldeschi had 
written in ridicule of his royal mistress, 
The whole collection of documents was 
enclosed by the cardinal in one packet, and 
was presented by him, at a private audience, 
to the queen. 

It is at this critical point of the story that 
the testimony of the eye-witness whom we 
propose to quote, begins. Father Le Bel was 
present at the fearful execution of the queen's 
vengeance on Monaldeschi, and was furnished 
with copies of the whole correspondence 
which had been abstracted from the posses- 
sion of the Roman lady. Having been 
trusted with the secret, he is wisely and 
honourably silent throughout his narrative 
on the subject of Moualdeschi's offence. Such 
particulars of the Italian's baseness and in- 
gratitude as have been presented here, have 
been gathered from the somewhat contradic- 
tory reports which were current at the time, 
and which have been preserved by the old 



158 [August 



HOUSEHOLD WOEBS. 



[Conducted by 



French collectors of historical anecdotes. ' 
Such further details of the extraordinary ; 
punishment of Moualdeschi's offence as are 
now to follow, may be given in the words of 
Father Le Bel himself. The reader will 
understand that his narrative begins imme- 
diately after Christina's discoveiy of the 
perfidy of her favourite. 

The sixth of November, sixteen hundred 
and fifty-seven (writes Father Le Bel), at a 
quarter past nine in the morning, Queen 
Christina of Sweden, being at that time 
lodged in the Royal Palace of Fontainebleau, 
sent one of her men servants to my convent, 
to obtain an interview with me. The mes- 
senger, on being admitted to my presence, 
inquired if I was the superior of the convent, 
and when I replied in the affirmative, in- 
formed me that I was expected to present 
myself immediately before the Queen of 
Sweden. 

Fearful of keeping her Majesty waiting, I 
followed the man at once to the palace, with- 
out waiting to take any of my brethren from 
the convent with me. After a little delay in 
the antechamber, I was shown into the 
Queen's room. She was alone ; and I saw, 
by the expression of her face, as I respect- 
fully begged to be favoured with her com- 
mands, that something was wrong. She 
hesitated for a moment ; then told me, 
rather sharply, to follow her to a place 
where she might speak with the certainty of 
not being overheard. She led me into the 
Galerie des Cerfs, and, turning round on me 
suddenly, asked if we had ever met before. 
I informed her Majesty that I had once had 
the honour of presenting my respects to her ; 
that she had received me graciously, and 
that there the interview had ended. She 
nodded her head and looked about her a 
little ; then said, very abruptly, that I wore 
a dress (referring to my convent costume) 
which encouraged her to put perfect faith in 
my honour ; and she desired me to promise 
beforehand that I would keep the secret with 
which she was about to entrust me as strictly 
as if I had heard it in the confessional. I 
answered respectfully that it was part of 
my sacred profession to be trusted with 
pecrets ; that I had never betrayed the 
private affairs of any one, and that I could 
answer for myself as worthy to be honoured 
by the confidence of a queen. 

Upon this, her Majesty handed me a 

Eacket of papers sealed in three places, but 
aving no superscription of any sort. She 
ordered me to keep it under lock and key, 
and to be prepared to give it her back again 
before any person in whose presence she 
might see fit to ask me for it. She further 
charged me to remember the day, the hour, 
and the place in which she had given me the 
packet ; and with that last piece of advice 
she dismissed me. I left her aloue in the 
gallery, walking slowly away from me, with 



her head drooping on her bosom, and her 
mind, as well as I could presume to judge, 
perturbed by anxious thoughts.* 

On Saturday, the tenth of November, at 
one o'clock in the afternoon, I was sent for 
from Fontainebleau again. I took the packet 
out of my private cabinet, feeling that I 
might be asked for it ; and then followed the 
messenger as before. This time he led me 
at once to the Galerie des Cerfs. The 
moment I entered it, he shut the door 
behind me with such extraordinary haste 
and violence, that I felt a little startled. 
As soon as I recovered myself, I saw her 
Majesty standing in the middle of the 
gallery, talking to one of the gentlemen of 
her Court, who was generally known by the 
name of The Marquis, and whom I soon, 
ascertained to be the Marquis Monaldeschi, 
Grand Equerry of the Queen of Sweden. I 
approached her Majesty and made my bow , 
then stood before her, waiting until she 
should think proper to address me. 

With a stern look on her face, and with a 
loud, clear, steady voice, she asked me, 
before the Marquis and before three other 
men who were also in the gallery, for the 
packet which she had confided to my care. 
As she made that demand, two of the three 
men moved back a few paces, while the 
third, the captain of her guard, advanced 
rather nearer to her. I handed her back 
the packet. She looked at it thoughtfully 
for a little while ; then opened it, and took 
out the letters and written papers which it 
contained, handed them to the Marquis 
Monaldeschi, and insisted on his reading 
them. When he had obeyed, she asked him, 
with the same stern look and the same 
steady voice, whether he had any knowledge 
of the documents which he had just been 
reading. The Marquis turned deadly pale, 
and answered that he had now read the 
papers referred to for the first time. 

" Do you deny all knowledge of them ? " 
said the Queen. "Answer me plainly, sir. 
Yes or no 'I " 

The Marquis turned paler still. " I deny 
all knowledge of them," he said, in faint 
tones, with his eyes on the ground. 

" Do you deny all knowledge of these 
too ? " said the Queen, suddenly producing 
a second packet of manuscript from under 
her dress, and thrusting it in the Marquis's 
face. 

He started, drew back i little, and 
answered not a word. The packet which 
the Queen had given to me contained copies 
only. The original papers were those which 
she had just thrust in the Marquis's face. 

" Do you deny your own seal and your 
own handwriting ?" she asked. 

He murmured a few won!?, acknowledging 



* Although Father Le Bel discreetly abstains from 
mentioning the fact, it seems clear from the context 
that he was permitted to read, and that he did read, the 
papers contained in the packet. 



Charles Dickens.] 



A QUEEN'S BEVENGE. 



[August 13, 



both the seal ad the handwriting to be his 
own, and added some phrases of excuse, in 
which he endeavoured to cast the blame that 
attached to the writing of the letters on the 
shoulders of other persons. While he was 
speaking, the three men in attendance on 
the Queen silently closed round him. 

Her Majesty heard him to the end. " You 
are a traitor," she said, and turned her back 
on him. 

The three men, as she spoke those words, 
drew their swords. 

The Marquis heai'd the clash of the blades 
against the scabbards, and, looking quickly 
round, saw the drawn swords behind him. 
He caught the Queen by the arm immedi- 
ately, and drew her away with him, first 
into one corner of the gallery, then into 
another, entreating her in the most moving 
terms to listen to him, and to believe in the j 
sincerity of his repentance. The Queen let ' 
him go on talking without showing the least ! 
sign of anger or impatience. Her colour never 
changed ; the stern look never left her coun- 
tenance. There was something awful in the i 
clear, cold, deadly resolution which her eyes 
expressed while they rested on the Marquis's i 
face. 

At last she shook herself free from his 
grasp, still without betraying the slightest 
irritation. The three men with the drawn 
swords, who had followed the Marquis 
silently as he led the Queen from corner to 
corner of the gallery, now closed round him 
again, as soon as he was left standing alone. 
There was perfect silence for a minute or 
more. Then the Queen addressed herself 
to me. 

" Father," she said, " I charge you to bear 
witness that I treat this man with the 
strictest impartiality." She pointed, while 
she spoke, to the Marquis Monaldeschi with 
a little ebony riding-whip that she carried in 
her hand. " I offer that worthless traitor all 
the time he requires more time than he has 
any right to ask for to justify himself if 
he can." 

The Marquis hearing these words, took 
some letters from a place of concealment in 
his dress, and gave them to the Queen, along 
with a small bunch of keys. He snatched 
these last from his pocket so quickly, that he 
drew out with them a few small silver coins 
which fell to the floor. As he addressed 
himself to the Queen again, she made a sign 
with her ebony riding-whip to the men with 
the drawn swords ; and they retired towards 
one of the windows of the gallery. I, on my 
side, withdrew out of hearing. The con- 
ference which ensued between the Queen and 
the Marquis lasted nearly an hour. When I 
it was over, her Majesty beckoned the men ! 
back again with the whip, and then ap- 
proached the place where I was standing. 

' Father," she said, in her clear, ringing, 
resolute tones, " there is no need for me to 
remain here any longer. I leave that man," 



she pointed to the Marquis again, " to your 
care. Do all that you can for the good of 
his soul. He has failed to justify himself, 
and I doom him to die." 

If I had heard sentence pronounced against 
myself, I could hardly have been more ter- 
rified than I was when the Queen uttered 
these last words. The Marquis heard them 
where he was standing, and flung himself at 
her feet. I dropped on my knees by his 
side, and entreated her to pardon him, or at 
least to visit his offence with some milder 
punishment than the punishment of death. 

"I have said the words," she answered, 
addressing herself only to me ; " and no 
power under Heaven shall make me unsay 
them. Many a man has been broken alive 
on the wheel for offences which were inno- 
cence itself compared with the offence which 
this perjured traitor has committed against 
me. I have trusted him as I might have 
trusted a brother ; he has infamously be- 
trayed that trust ; and I exercise my royal 
rights over the life of a traitor. Say no more 
to me. I tell you again, he is doomed to 
die." 

With these words the Queen quitted the 
gallery, and left me alone with Monaldeschi 
and the three executioners who were waiting 
to kill him. 

The unhappy man dropped on his knees at 
my feet, and implored me to follow the 
Queen, and make one more effort to obtain 
his pardon. Before I could answer a word, 
the three men surrounded him, held the 
points of their swords to his sides, without, 
however, actually touching him, and angrily 
recommended him to make his confession to 
me, without wasting any more time. I 
entreated them, with the tears in my eyes, to 
wait as long as they could, so as to give the 
Queen time to reflect, and, perhaps, to falter 
in her deadly intentions towards the Marquis. 
I succeeded in producing such an impression 
on the chief of the three men, that he left us, 
to obtain an interview with the Queen, and 
to ascertain if there was any change in her 
purpose. After a very short absence he 
came back, shaking his head. 

"There is no hope for you," he said, 
addressing Monaldeschi. " Make your peace 
with Heaven. Prepare yourself to die ! " 

" Go to the Queen ! " cried the Marquis, 
kneeling before me with clasped hands. 
" Go to the Queen yourself ; make one more 
effort to save me ! O, my father, my 
father, run one more risk venture one last 
entreaty before you leave me to die ! " 

" Will you wait till I come back ? " I said 
to the three men. 

"We will wait," they answered, and 
lowered their sword-points to the ground. 

I found the Queen alone in her room, 
without the slightest appearance of agitation 
in her face or her manner. Nothing that I 
could say had the slightest effect on her. 
I adjured her by all that religion holds 



160 [August 15, 1S67.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



most sacred, to remember that the noblest 
privilege of any sovereign is the privilege of 
granting mercy ; that the first of Christian 
duties is the duty of forgiving. She heard 
me unmoved. Seeing that entreaties were 
thrown away, I ventured, at my own proper 
hazard, on reminding her that she was not 
living now iu her own kingdom of Sweden, 
but that she was the guest of the King of 
France, and lodged in one of his own palaces ; 
and I boldly asked her, if she had calculated 
the possible consequences of authorising the 
killing of one of her attendants inside the 
walls of Fontainebleau, without any prelimi- 
nary form of trial, or any official notification 
of the offence that lie had committed. She 
answered me coldly, that it was enough that 
she knew the unpardonable nature of the 
offence of which Monaldeschi had been 
guilty ; that she stood in a perfectly inde- 
pendent position towards the King of France ; 
that she was absolute mistress of her own 
actions, at all times and in all places ; and 
that she was accountable to nobody under 
Heaven for her conduct towards her subjects 
and servants, over whose lives and liberties 
she possessed sovereign rights, which no con- 
sideration whatever should induce her to 
resign. 

Fearful as I was of irritating her, I still 
ventured on reiterating my remonstrances. 
She cut them short by hastily signing to me 
to leave her. As she dismissed me, I thought 
I saw a slight change pass over her face ; 
and it occurred to me that she might not 
have been indisposed at that moment to 
grant some respite, if she could have done so 
without appearing to falter in her resolution, 
and without running the risk of letting 
Monaldeschi escape her. Before I passed 
the door, I attempted to take advantage of 
the disposition to relent which I fancied I 
had perceived in her ; but she angrily reite- 
rated the gesture of dismissal before I had 
spoken half-a-dozen words ; and, with a 
heavy heart, I yielded to necessity, and 
left her. 

On returning to the gallery, I found the 
three men standing round the Marquis, with 
their sword-points on the floor, exactly as I 
had left them. 

" Is he to live or to die 1 " they asked when 
I came in. 

There was no need for me to reply in 
words ; my face answered the question. The 
Marquis groaned heavily, but said nothing. 
I sat myself down on a stool, and beckoned 
to him to come to me, and begged him, as 
well as my terror and wretchedness would 
let me, to think of repentence, and to prepare 
for another world. He began his confession 
kneeling at my feet, with his head on my 
knees. After continuing it for some time, 
he suddenly started to his feet with a scream 
of terror. I contrived to quiet him, and to 
fix his thoughts again on heavenly things. 
He completed his confession, speaking some- 



times in Latin, sometimes in French, some- 
times in Italian, according as he could best 
explain himself in the agitation and misery 
which now possessed him. 

Just as he had concluded, the Queen's 
chaplain entered the gallery. Without wait- 
ing to receive absolution, the unhappy Mar- 
quis rushed away from me to the chaplain, 
and, still clinging desperately to the hope of 
life, he besought him to intercede with the 
Queen. The two talked together in low- 
tones, holding each other by the hand. 
When their conference was over, the chaplain 
left the gallerj' again, taking with him the 
chief of the three executioners who were 
appointed to carry out the Queen's deadly 
purpose. After a short absence, this man 
returned without the chaplain. " Get your 
absolution," he said briefly to the Marquis, 
" and make up your mind to die." 

Saying these words, he seized Monaldeschi, 
pressed him back against the wall at the end 
of the gallery, just under the picture of Saint 
Germain ; and, before I could interfere, or 
even turn aside from the sight, aimed at the 
Marquis's right side with his sword. Monal- 
deschi caught the blade with his hand, 
cutting three of his fingers in the act. At 
the same moment the point touched his side 
and glanced off. Upon this, the man who 
had struck at him exclaimed, " He has 
armour under his clothes," and, at the same 
moment, stabbed Monaldeschi in the face. 
As he received the wound, he turned round 
towards me, and cried out loudly, " My 
father ! My father ! " 

I advanced towards him immediately ; and, 
as I did so, the man who had wounded him 
retired a little, and signed to his two compa- 
nions to withdraw also. The Marquis, with 
one knee on the ground, asked pardon of 
God, and said certain last words in my ear. 
I immediately gave him absolution, telling 
him that he must atone for his sins by suffer- 
ing death, and that he must pardon those 
who were about to kill him. Having heard 
my words, he threw himself forward on the 
floor, and, as he fell, one of the three execu- 
tioners who had not assailed him as yet, 
struck at his head, and wounded him on the 
surface of the skull. 

The Marquis sank on his face ; then raised 
himself a little, and signed to the men to> 
kill him outright, by striking him on the 
neck. The same man who had last wounded 
him obeyed by cutting two or three times at 
his neck, without, however, doing him any 
great injury. For it was indeed true that he 
wore armour under his clothes, which armour 
consisted of a shirt of mail weighing nine or 
ten pounds, and rising so high round his- 
neck, inside his collar, as to defend it success- 
fully from any chance blow with a sword. 

Seeing this, I came forward to exhort the 
Marquis to bear his sufferings with patience, 
for the remission of his sins. While I was 
speaking, the chief of the three executioners 



Charlei Dickens.] 



A QUEEN'S REVENGE. 



[August 15, 1357.] 



advanced, and asked me if I did not think it 
was time to give Monaldesclii the finishing 
stroke. I pushed the man violently away 
from me, saying that I had no advice to 
offer on the matter, and telling him that if I 
had any orders to give, they would be for the 
sparing of the Marquis's life, and not for the 
hastening of his death. Hearing me speak 
in those terms, the man asked my pardon, 
and confessed that he had done wrong in 
addressing me on the subject at all. 

He had hardly finished making his excuses 
to me, when the door of the gallery opened. 
The unhappy Marquis hearing the sound, 
raised himself from the floor, and, seeing 
that the person who entered was the Queen's 
chaplain, dragged himself along the gallery, 
holding on by the tapestry that hung from 
the walls, until he reached the feet of the 
holy man. There, he whispered a few words 
(as if he was confessing) to the chaplain, 
who, after first asking my permission, gave 
him absolution, and then returned to the 
Queen. 

As the chaplain closed the door, the man 
who had struck the Marquis on the neck 
stabbed him adroitly with a long narrow 
sword in the throat, just above the edge of 
the shirt of mail. Monaldesclii sank on his 
right side, and spoke no more. For a quarter 
of an hour longer he still breathed, during 
which time I prayed by him, and exhorted 
him as I best could. When the bleeding 
from this last wound ceased, his life ceased 
with it. It was then a quarter to four 
o'clock. The death agony of the miserable 
man had lasted, from the time of the Queen's 
first pronouncing sentence on him, for nearly 
three hours. 

I said the De Profundis over his body. 
While I was praying, the three men sheathed 
their swords, and the chief of them rifled the 
Marquis's pockets. Finding nothing on him 
but a prayer-book and a small knife, the chief 
beckoned to his companions, and they all 
three marched to the door in silence, went 
out, and left me alone with the corpse. 

A few minutes afterwards I followed them, 
to go and report what had happened to the 
Queen. I thought her colour changed a little 
when I told her that Monaldeschi was dead ; 
but those cold, clear eyes of her's never soft- 
ened, and her voice was still as steady and 
firm, as when I first heard its tones on enter- 
ing the gallery that day. She spoke very 
little, only saying to herself " He is dead, and 
he deserved to die ! " Then, turning to me, 
she added, "Father, I leave the care of bury- 
ing him to you ; and, for my own part, I will 
charge myself with the expense of having 
masses enough said for the repose of his 
soul." I ordered the body to be placed in a 
coffin, which I instructed the bearers to 
remove to the churchyard on a tumbril, in 
consequence of the great weight of the corpse, 
of the misty rain that was falling, and of the 
bad state of the roads. On Monday, the 



twelfth of November, at a quarter to six in. 
the evening, the Marquis was buried in the 
parish church of Avon, near the font of holy 
water. The next day the Queen sent one 
hundred livres, by two of her servants, for 
masses for the repose of his soul. 

Thus ends the extraordinary narrative of 
Father Le Bel. It is satisfactory to record, 
as some evidence of the progress of humanity, 
that the barbarous murder, committed under 
the sanction and authority of Queen Chris- 
tina, which would have passed unnoticed in 
the feudal times, as an ordinary and legiti- 
mate exercise of a sovereign's authority over 
a vassal, excited, in the middle of the seven- 
teenth century, the utmost disgust and 
horror throughout Paris. The prime mini- 
ster at that period, Cardinal Mazarin (by no 
means an over-scrupulous man, as all readers 
of French history know), wrote officially to 
Christina, informing her that " a crime so 
atrocious as that which had just been com- 
mitted under her sanction, in the Palace of 
Fontahiebleau, must be considered as a suffi- 
cient cause for banishing the Queen of 
Sweden from the court and dominions of his 
sovereign, who, in common with every honest 
man in the kingdom, felt horrified at the 
lawless outrage which had just been com- 
mitted on the soil of France." 

To this letter Queen Christina sent the 
following answer, which, as a specimen of 
spiteful effrontery, has probably never been 
matched : 

MONSIEUR MAZARIN, Those who have communi- 
cated to you the details of the death of my equerry, 
Monaldeschi, knew nothing at all about it. I think it 
highly absurd that you should have compromised so 
many people for the sake of informing yourself about 
one simple fact. Such a proceeding on your part, 
ridiculous as it is, does not, however, much astonish 
me. What I am amazed at, is, that you and the king 
your master should have dared to express disapproval 
of what I have done. 

Understand, all of you servants and masters, little 
people and great that it was my sovereign pleasure to 
act as I did. I neither owe, nor render, an account of 
my actions to any one, least of all, to a bully like 

you. 

***# 

It may be well for you to know, and to report to 
any one whom you can get to listen to you, that 
Christina cares little for your court, and less still for 
you. When I want to revenge myself, I have no need 
of your formidable power to help me. My honour 
obliged me to act as I did ; my will is my law, and 
you ought to know how to respect it. . . . Under- 
stand, if you please, that wherever I choose to live, 
there I am Queen; and that the men about me, 
rascals as they may be, are better than you and the 

myrmidons whom you keep in your service. 

****** 

Take my advice, Mazarin, and behave yourself for 
the future so as to merit my favour ; you cannot, for 
your own sake, be too anxious to deserve it. Heaven 
preserve you from venturing on any more disparaging 
remarks about my conduct ! I shall hear of them, if 
I am at the other end of the world, for I have friends 



1G2 [August 15, 1857.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



and followers in my service who are as unscrupulous ' 
and as vigilant as any in yours, though it is probable 
enough taut they are not quite so heavily bribed. 

After replying to the prime minister of 
France in these terms, Christina was wise 
enough to leave the kingdom immediately. 

For three years more, she pursued her 
travels. At the expiration of that time, her 
cousin, the king of Sweden, in whose favour 
she had abdicated, died. She returned at 
once to her own country, with the object of 
possessing herself once more of the royal 
power. Here the punishment of the merci- 
less crime that she had sanctioned overtook 
her at last. The brave and honest people of 
Sweden refused to be governed by the 
Woman who had ordered the murder of 
Moualdeschi, and who had forsaken the 
national religion for which her father had 
died. Threatened with the loss of her 
revenues as well as the loss of her sove- 
reignty, if she remained in Sweden, the 
proud and merciless Christina yielded for the 
first time in her life. She resigned once 
more all right and title to the royal dignity, 
and left her native country for the last 
time. The final place of her retirement 
was Eome. She died there in the year six- 
teen hundred and eighty-nine. Even in the 
epitaph which she ordered to be placed on 
her tomb, the strange and daring character 
of the woman breaks out. The whole record 
of that wild, wondrous, wicked existence, 
was summed up with stern brevity in this 
one line : 

CHRISTINA LIVED SEVENTY-TWO YEARS. 



CHIP. 



A SCHOOL FOB COOKS. 

INNCTRITIOUS, wasteful, and unsavoury 
cooking, is our national characteristic. No 
school of cookery has ever yet thoroughly 
answered in this country. The school of ad- 
versity teaches the poor to hunger patiently 
when the cupboard is empty, but to reward 
themselves, by hasty cooking and large meals, 
when they have the chance of filling it. The 
food they throw away from ignorance of correct 
culinary principles, when food is to be had, 
would, properly husbanded and prepared, 
satisfy the cravings of hunger when money is 
scarce. Prosperity is also a bad school for 
the middle classes, whose gastronomic ambi- 
tion is literally bounded by roast and boiled. 
The roasting-jack and the saucepan, with an 
occasional mess or two out of the frying-pan, 
so thoroughly satisfy their desires, that they 
make it a boast not to like soup, nor made- 
dishes, nor stews, nor any of the more whole- 
some and succulent modes of enlarging their 
narrow range of taste. 

No doubt a juicy portion of roast beef or 
roast mutton is an excellent dish. Yet, 
if the Englishman become too poor to 
buy these prime joints, what then ? Prac- 



tically, he goes without meat ; for his wife, 
not knowing how to cook inferior parts 
properly, he must either abstain, or lay 
in a solid stock of indigestion. Most of the 
meat in France is except veal lean, hard, 
and stringy, but none the less nutritious; 
because French cooks know how to extract 
the best qualities of the meat, how to make 
it nutritive, more than tempting even deli- 
cious and how to utilise what, here, is 
utterly thrown away. Amongst the very 
poor in this country, there are whole classes 
who do not taste animal food from one year's 
end to another, chiefly in consequence of 
the prevalent ignorance' respecting effectual 
modes of economising and cooking it. 

When provisions are dear, this subject 
(a -very important one ; but seldom spoken 
of without a smile, for some curious and 
inexplicable reason) occupies attention. Why, 
it is then asked, are not our national school 
girls taught to cook ? The answers to this 
question are as innumerable as the diffi- 
culties to be surmounted in effecting such 
an object, and which are too apparent to be 
more than alluded to. However, a small and 
unpretending effort has been made by a few 
ladies of rank to afford means of such in- 
struction. Near to the Christ Church 
schools, in Albany Street, Eegent's Park, this 
inscription appears upon an otherwise blank 
shop window: SCHOOL OF COOKERY AND 
RESTAURANT. The objects of the little esta- 
blishment are set forth in a prospectus which 
we begged from its intelligent superin- 
tendant : 

First : To open a kitchen for the poor, where they 
may buy their food at little more than cost price, and 
go themselves or send their children for instruction in 
the elements of cookery. Secondly : A class of girls 
desirous of service will he educated under an expe- 
rienced man cook, and at the same time receive moral 
training from the matron and ladies connected -with 
the institution. Thirdly : a special class will be 
taught cookery for the sick, to qualify them to be- 
come sick nurses. 

Young women wishing to receive lessons, will bo 
taught at a much lower price than they now have to 
pay at clubs and elsewhere. 

It is proposed to give, as rewards, certificates of 
competency to those young women who distinguish 
themselves as pupils, and who will thus carry with 
them into service the surest evidences of their 
proficiency. 

Persons becoming subscribers will have the advan- 
tage of sending their own cooks to receive lessons, or 
of nominating a girl to the class. They will also be 
entitled to have a cook from the school when wanting 
help at their own houses. 

The plan is answering well. The food is much 
prized by the poor, and many families in the neigh- 
bourhood are giving orders for dinners, and dishes of a 
better description to be sent to their own houses. 

Aid, either in money or custom, is asked. Any 
lady ordering soups, jellies, &c., will benefit the 
school, and, as a thoroughly good cook is employed, 
the orders will be propurly attended to. 

Orders from medical men for sick persons will be 
received, and the food sent to them if required. 



THE EINDERPEST ; OB,' STEPPE MURRAIN. L Au g u 8 t is. 1*57.1 163 



The success of this scheme depends wholly 
upon the manner in which it is carried out. 
It removes the difficulty of finding means and 
materials for training pupils in national 
schools, to become good cooks, and it provides 
a market for the produce of their skill. As 
it should be looked upon as a mission-house 
for cooks, the doctrines taught in this culi- 
nary academy must be sound, and the prac- 
ticable results profitable ; or failure will be 
inevitable. The few who may be its cus- 
tomers will not excuse bad cooking, or ill- 
chosen raw- mate rial, from an establishment 
which professes to be a model ; and un- 
less, eventually, it become even more than 
self-supporting, bad economy will be sus- 
pected, the very worst trait in the character 
of any cook, whether she be of the class 
" good plain " or the class " professed." 



THE EINDERPEST ; OR, STEPPE 
MURRAIN. 

MAN, whether savage or civilised, whether 
clad in broadcloth and dwelling at Clapham, 
or naked and wandering over the wilds of 
Australia, dotes on gossip, and demands and 
obtains a supply of horrors. 

No traveller has ever wandered into a 
savage country but there have been a hun- 
dred reports among the tribes through which 
lie has passed, of his death by violence. 
Every African traveller has, according to 
Sir E. Murchison's authority, thus died many 
deaths. More than once, a friend of ours, a 
colonist in the bush, has been surprised by a 
visit at a gallop from friends with spades, who, 
on the information of an old black woman, 
have arrived to bury him, but who have re- 
mained to dine. Every season the town is 
agitated by the reported death by drowning, 
or railroad accident, or foreign banditti, of 
some distinguished character. On a larger 
scale are the rumours of earthquakes, comets, 
plagues, pestilence, and famine, which for- 
merly frightened good people out of their 
senses, and sent town citizens, in Horace 
Walpole's time, to encamp in the country. 
Now, they do nothing more than alarm old 
women, and generate a swarm of pamphlets 
and newspaper paragraphs. We have had 
within our times some real terrors. We have 
had the cholera twice, and the influenza, 
which, on its first advent, killed more than 
the cholera. We have had the potato-rot 
and short harvest, more fatal in its effects 
than any epidemic or contagious disease, 
although my worthy agricultural friend and 
fossil protectionist, Brittle, of Essex, still main- 
tains that the Irish famine was a political 
device concocted between Sir Robert Peel 
and Mr. Cobden. More recently we have had 
the panic created by the Californian and 
Australian gold diggings, when stout gentle- 
men, large holders of three per-cents., gravely 
deplored the coming time when the Chancel- 
lor of the Exchequer would pay them off with, 



worthless sovereigns, of no more value than 
the shankless buttons with which ragged 
boys play at chuckfarthing. 

The two last favourite future terrors and 
horrors have been the comet and the cattle 
murrain ; the comet has been the pecu- 
liar perquisite of the more ignorant of the 
Stiggins fraternity, while the doctors have 
have had the monopoly of the talk about 
cattle murrain. 

The comet terror has passed away, to 
be renewed at some convenient opportunity. 
The cattle murrain mania, with which was 
allied the diseased meat mania, has just 
been put at rest, or in a fair way extin- 
guished, by the same means that created it ; 
that is to say, by the facilities of railway 
travelling and the news-diffusing powers of 
the press. 

Ever since common-sense triumphed, and 
Englishmen wlio send what they manufac- 
ture all over the world, were permitted to 
buy food, alive or dead, wherever they could 
get it cheapest, we have been doing a large 
business in foreign live-stock. They come to 
Hull. They come chiefly from Spain and 
Portugal, to Liverpool and Southampton ; 
and they come by hundreds and even thou- 
sands a-week to London from the Baltic and 
northern ports, from Belgium, and by excep- 
tion from France. The importation does not 
increase at present. At first it rose rapidly, 
until it reached some seventy thousand 
a-year. It has since declined to about fifty 
thousand. For, after we had exhausted the 
' surplus stock of working oxen that our con- 
' tinental neighbours had on hand (their for- 
tunes made out of Spanish bullocks) ; after 
we had raised the price of meat all over 
Europe, from the Elbe to the Danube, from 
the Scheldt to the Garonne, and for ever 
extinguished those mountains of beef at two- 
pence per pound, which used to disturb the 
rest of our hardacred and ungeographical 
baronets and squires between Norfolk and 
Devonshire ; after we had compelled France, 
in self-defence, to permit what French pro- 
tectionist journalists called "the fatal inva- 
sion of foreign beasts ; " our supplies of con- 
tinental beef and mutton fell off, with no 
chance of increase until Russian, Spanish, 
and Portuguese railroads shall open up fresh 
fields and pastures new. 

Nevertheless, the supply of foreign cattle 
to Islington market was, in eighteen hun- 
dred and fifty-five and eighteen hundred and 
fifty-six, nearly one-fourth of the whole 
weekly sale, when there came a succession of 
despatches from our foreign consuls, and even 
ambassadors, announcing that the close of 
the Russian war had left behind, a truly 
Russian cattle disease the rinderpest or 
steppe murrain more fatal and contagious 
than anything hitherto known in England. 
These despatches, in which three or four 
different diseases were mingled in one fright- 
ful description, followed each other so 



164 [August 15, 185?.] 



HOUSEHOLD WOEDS. 



[Conducted by 



quickly, and were accompanied by newspaper 
paragraphs, giving such horrible pictures of 
the new disorder, that the public meat-eating 
community was completely overset. In 
spite of the remonstrances of cattle sales- 
men, the Government felt bound, not only to 
strengthen the veterinary inspection and 
quarantine arrangements, but to absolutely 
prohibit the importation of cattle from 
certain northern ports. In the then state of 
knowledge, nothing less would have been 
satisfactory or right ; though subsequent 
authoritative veterinary information has 
shown that ordinary veterinary inspection 
would have been quite sufficient, and that 
total prohibition was altogether superfluous. 

The publication of the diplomatic and con- 
sulate information on continental cattle 
disease, brought out a cloud of medical 
prophets and professors vaticinating all 
.sanitary evils, unless grown-up England 
was immediately placed under medical super- 
intendauce, as complete as Saucho Panza's 
when he was promoted to the governorship 
of Barataria, and sent in state famished and 
dhmerless to bed. 

Among no class are so many devoted, earnest, 
charitable, ill-paid, unrequited philanthropists 
to be found as among the medical profes- 
sion. In the ascetic ages no order of monks 
vowed to poverty and works of charity, ever 
worked harder for the poor, without reward 
or hope of reward, than do many of our un- 
appreciated general practitioners. Doctors 
are but men, however, and it is very natural 
that when they have nothing to do, and have 
the faculty of fluency, they should try to make 
something. Hence, we have warnings so 
frightful on the air we breathe, the water we 
drink, the food we consume, that if they 
were half true, we ought to have been all 
poisoned years ago ; every village pump 
would be more dangerous than liquid arsenic, 
and every mutton-pieman's shop would be the 
distributary centre of unnumbered diseases. 
Every ten houses ought to be under the 
special care of a medical inspector, and every 
man of fortune ought, like Sancho Panza, to 
have a physician and an analytical chemist 
in constant communication with his cook. 

For instance, on the strength of the terrors 
excited by the continental murrain or rinder- 
pest, Dr. Gamgee, medical member of many 
learned societies, described in one of his 
advertisements as " enthusiastically fond of 
diving into every question of pathology .... 
the more obscure the more deeply," addressed 
two letters to the Home Secretary, in which 
real evils are surrounded by a framework 
of artificial terrors, and remedies are sug- 
gested infinitely more baneful to public 
health and comfort than anything that could 
occur from leaving the public to take care of 
itself. 

The antidote, the oil upon the waters of 
public feeling, excited by the alarming blasts 
of the amateurs of obscure pathological inves- 



tigations, is to be found in a blue book con- 
taining a report by Dr. Greenhow, prepared 
under the orders of the Board of Health, and in 
a statement made by Mr. Siminouds, professor 
of veterinary art to the Royal Agricultural 
Society of England, of the results of a journey 
he has just made through the continent in 
search of the steppe murrain or rinderpest, 
which, as before observed, gave rise to the 
meat panic. 

Mr. Simmonds visited in turn Belgium, 
Holland, the free cities of Hamburgh, Bremen, 
andLubeck, and proceeded through Mecklen- 
burgh and Hanover into Prussia, without 
finding a single case, or hearing of a single 
authentic case of rinderpest. In Prussia he 
at last made out a rumour of a case ; but it 
was doubtful, and accompanied by the un- 
pleasant information, that if he did once 
penetrate into an infected or even suspected 
district, he would only be allowed to return 
after a quarantine of twenty-one days, on 
condition of leaving all his clothes and paper- 
money behind him. 

Not desiring to make so long a stay or pay 
such a penalty for the benefit of science and 
the credit of the Eoyal Agricultural Society, 
Professor Simmonds preferred travelling on 
into Austria, where the Government was 
able to relax the quarantine in favour of the 
curious strangers ; and so, after travelling 
one thousand three hundred miles from home, 
after leaving the districts of railroads and 
highroads, after enduring the excitement of 
being whirled along mountain tracks at 
full speed, in a springless cart, drawn by 
half- wild ponies and driven by half- wild 
men, after reposing their bruised limbs iu 
huts alive with entomological curiosities, 
after satisfying the pangs of hunger with 
black sour bread and potato brandy, fetid 
and fiery, the Professor and his party reached 
Karamenia, a village in Austrian Poland, 
some hundred miles beyond Krakow, and 
passing the circle of sentinels set around the 
afflicted district, found themselves in a village 
in which the rinderpest had recently raged. 
The last victim had died and been buried, 
sixty-eight hours. Science was not to be 
balked. Professor Simmonds made use of 
his authorisation, and had the body exhumed. 
He dissected it, and immediately found a 
contradiction of all popular opinion on the 
subject. 

The flesh was sound and by no means dis- 
coloured or offensive ; the marks of disease 
were confined to certain internal organs. He 
afterwards had an opportunity of examining 
two living animals, one of which died within 
three days ; the other was slaughtered when 
about to recover. In these animals the 
symptoms and gradations from apparent 
health to death were the same and agreed 
perfectly with the authentic accounts he 
gathered on the spot, where the disease is 
familiar. The beast seems at first to have 
caught a severe cold, and stands still and dull 



THE RINDERPEST ; OR, STEPPE MURRAIN. [August is, is;.] 165 



without eating ; then a discharge from the 
nostrils and eyes sets in ; then diarrhoea 
comes on, which quickly turns to dysentery, 
and if this does not cease (which it does not 
once in twenty cases) death follows usually 
within a week. It is firmly believed that the 
rinderpest may lie doi'mant twenty-one days ; 
there is no doubt that it will, ten days. The 
slightest contact with the skin or breathing 
the breath of an infected beast is sufficient to 
communicate the disorder ; and the peasantry 
believe that a herdsman can convey it from 
one herd to another without himself suffering. 
Under this belief, the Austrian government, 
whenever the rinderpest breaks out, esta- 
blishes a cordon militaire, cutting off all 
communication not only bet\veen all the 
animals, but between all the inhabitants, of 
the infected and uninfected districts. The 
cattle dying within the cordon are buried 
immediately, and, in many instances, all the 
other cattle of the herd are slaughtered by 
way of precaution : the owner being compen- 
sated for the cattle so slaughtered, by the 
government, but not for those dying of 
disease. 

In the district visited by Professor Sim- 
moiids the rinderpest had been brought by 
ten Russian oxen, purchased at a fair a 
hundred miles distant, which were placed 
among some of the owner's herd in a stable, 
as they seemed dulled. There seems to be 
no authentic case of the rinderpest having 
broken out anywhere in Europe, except 
Russia, and wherever it has made its ap- 
pearance in other parts of Europe it may 
be distinctly traced to the importation of 
the cattle of the steppes. Thus, it followed 
the track of the Russian army to Belgium in 
eighteen hundred and thirteen, and has never 
been known since. In Prussian Poland it 
breaks out from time to time, and some 
ravages occur every three or four years in 
the Esterhazy estates and other parts of 
Hungary from the same cause importation 
of steppe cattle. But, it is always extinguished 
by the rigid quarantine which the peasantry 
eagerly assist the military in maintaining. 

In consequence of the distant origin of this 
disease at least twelve hundred miles from 
any part from which we receive cattle and 
of the stringent completely-organised arrange- 
ments of all the continental governments for 
excluding suspected cattle from their domi- 
nions, it is the opinion of Professor Simmonds 
that it is quite impossible that the rinderpest 
can ever reach England. The murrain which 
carried off so many thousand cattle in England 
in the last century, was what is commonly 
called the lung disease (Pleuro-pneumonia) 
Pulmonary murrain, which is contagious in a 
certain advanced stage, but which in no way, 
as regards the flesh, partakes of a malignant 
or poisonous nature. 

Dr. Greenhow's Report to the President of 
the Board of Health, which was prepared in 
consequence of the alarming account given 



by one of the new officers of health a gentle- 
man of more zeal than veterinary or carcase- 
butcher knowledge drawn up with admi- 
rable skill and clearness, would, had some 
gentleman experienced in the diseases of 
cattle been joined with so skilful a writer 
and acute investigator as Dr. Greenhow, 
have been a complete and permanent 
authority on all the sanitary questions con- 
nected with the meat and milk of crowded! 
cities. But the doctor, we are told, on the 
authority of Professor Simmonds, had to 
learn the characteristics of cattle disease 
when he commenced his task. 

Dr. Greenhow found, contrary to the 
popular opinion of his medical brethren, the 
cows of London cowhouses generally healthy. 
It is natural that they should be so, because it 
would not pay to keep unhealthy cows. 
Whenever a cow becomes sick, she falls off in 
her milk, so the cowkeeper who has to buy 
food will, if wise, sell an unprofitable animal ; 
but no experienced veterinary surgeon will 
concur in the opinion expressed in the report, 
that situation and ventilation have very little- 
to do with the spread of the lung disease. 
Professor Dick of Edinburgh told the Royal 
Agricultural Society, the other day, that,, 
with satisfactory drainage and ventilation, 
the pulmonary disease rarely appeared unless 
introduced by contact with animals in an 
advanced state of disease, and might be 
driven from byres in which it already existed. 
Cowkeepers told Dr. Greenhow just the 
reverse ; but, then, no stock-owner ever will 
admit that there is any defect in his buildings. 
We could point out a celebrated model-dairy 
where the ravages of pulmonary disease have 
been terrible, and where they might have been 
anticipated by any one who could use his nose 
when he entered the byre. But, the owner 
will not admit that his ceilings are too low; 
Many cowkeepers, to avoid all chance of con- 
tagion, adopt the expensive plan of breeding 
all their cows instead of buying. 

In Holstein and the territory of the free 
city of Hamburg the precautions against pul- 
monary murrain are as severe as in Prussia 
against rinderpest. The death of one animal 
condemns the whole herd to slaughter and 
burial ; nevertheless, after being apparently 
extinguished, the disease again broke out in 
the marshes of the Elbe, two years ago,;aud 
has raged ever since. 

Dr. Greenhow shows that the cattle-mur- 
rain terror, which lately prevailed among 
medical and agricultural circles, arose from 
mistaking the pulmonary murrain, which has- 
prevailed for some years past, here as well a& 
on the continent, for the rinderpest. 

As to the sale of the meat of animals which 
have died of disease, or of other causes than 
the knife, the report makes it plain that a 
great deal is sold for soup and sausages in 
London, although the new market has put 
an end to the open sale of diseased animals. 
It is very lamentable and disgusting that any 



166 [August 15, 1857.] 



HOUSEHOLD WOEDS. 



[Conducted by 



part of our countrymen should eat diseased 
meat. The practicable remedy lies in new meat 
markets and in extended education in Common 
Things ; but it is satisfactory to learn, that 
Dr. Greenhow, although favoured with many 
general and positive statements by officers of 
health as to the poisonous effects of unsound 
meat, "foimd on inquiry that none of the 
gentlemen were able to furnish any specific 
facts on the subject." From which we may 
conclude that cooking generally neutralises 
the injurious effects which might be expected 
from the meat of diseased animals. 

Dr. Greenhow concludes his report by 
giving a resumS of the result of his investi- 
gations, which, as regards the murrain, is 
entirely confirmed by Professor Simmonds's 
personal investigations on the continent. As 
to meat, he says that although " meat derived 
from animals suffering from pulmonary mur- 
rain and probably other diseases, is commonly 
and extensively sold both in London and else- 
where for human food, there is no satis- 
factory proof that the consumption has been 
productive of injurious consequences to those 
who have eaten it." 

Thus it would seem that,"as regards London, 
well-arranged dead-meat markets are of more 
importance than an increased army of in- 
spectors, and that, as regards the country, 
generally good drainage and sufficient ven- 
tilation in our cattle byres will do more to 
prevent disease than the most stringent 
quarantine laws. This seems to be the 
common sense of the question. 



DOCTOE GAEEICK. 



THE Germans have, in their repository of 
plays, an ingenious little piece, founded on an 
imaginary incident in the career of one of the 
greatest of actors David Garrick. 

The plot and story are simply these : 
Shortly after Garrick's genius had astounded 
the play-going world, and attracted persons 
of all ranks to witness his performances, a 
country baronet a widower came to Lon- 
don with his daughter, an only child, and a 
rich heiress, for the purpose of introducing 
the young lady at court. 

During Sir John's stay in town he 
took his daughter to the theatre, where she 
saw Garrick, then a young man, play the 
part of Eomeo ; before the performance 
was over, she fell in love with the actor. 
On her return to the country the girl 
began to pine, and eventually became ill. 
A physician was called in, but to no purpose. 
The young lady became worse instead of 
better, and it was now feared that she was 
in a rapid decline. One day, however, a 
suspicion crossed the mind of the doctor, 
which he communicated to Sir John. He 
suspected that the girl was in love. Sir 
John employed a lady friend to question 
her, and endeavour to ascertain the 
truth. The lady friend succeeded. The 



fair Amelia confessed she was in love with 
Eomeo. 

The baronet's horror and disgust knew no 
bounds. He was, upon all occasions, violent 
when angry ; but upon this occasion he 
stormed and raved like a madman. Sir John 
raved when he contemplated the idea that 
his Amelia, upon whose brow he had hoped 
to see a coronet, should have fallen in 
love with a poor player, on the boards 
of a theatre. It would have been idle 
to inform Sir John that Garrick's birth 
was quite equal, if not superior, to his own ; 
and that he was a gentleman by education, 
as well as by birth. Sir John, however, soon 
became sensible that his anger, so far from 
effecting a cure, only made matters worse, 
and he accordingly consulted several friends 
whom he considered best qualified to advise 
him and guide him in his difficulty, or cala- 
mity, as he described it. One of his shrewdest 
friends, suggested that " he who had caused 
the malady could alone devise a cure for it." 

" How 1 " inquired Sir John. 

" Let Garrick see her." 

" See her ? But what if he should take 
advantage of the knowledge that she loves 
him 1 What if he should encourage her 
passion ? Is she not beautiful and accom- 
plished ? Has she not, apart from this folly, 
ability and sense ? Is she not rich, and a 
person of rank ? Would not the temptation 
be too great for the actor to withstand 1 " 

" It is a difficult position, truly," conceded 
the baronet's adviser, " but you must either 
do what I have recommended, or be prepared 
shortly to follow your daughter's remains to 
the grave." 

In despair, Sir John consented. But then 
came the difficulty, how and where was the 
meeting to take place ? This was eventually 
managed by the baronet's adviser, who knew 
intimately a barrister, named Bingham, who 
had studied under the same professor with 
Garrick, at Cambridge,* and who subse- 
quently lived with him in the same chambers 
in Lincoln's Inn, when Garrick was studying 
for the bar. 

Garrick, at first, thought that his old 
friend and fellow-student was jesting with 
him, and resorted to a playful sarcasm : 

" You say that it is not with me, but with 
the part of Eomeo that she is in love 1 " 

"Yes." 

" Then the remedy is in your hands, rather 
than in mine." 

" How so 1 " 

"Come upon the boards, and play the part 
yourself." 

When assured, however, of the truth, 
Garrick willingly undertook to cure the fair 
Amelia of her fancy, and set his ingenuity 
to work, in order to devise the means. 

Sir John, with his lovesick daughter, came 



* Garrick read at Cambridge ; but, query, if he 
matriculated? 



Charles Dickens.] 



DOCTOR GARRICK 



[August 15, 1=57.] 167 



to town, and hired a house in a fashionable All eyes were now on the child, whose little 
square. Mr. Garrick called upon Sir John, 



and was received with coldness, hauteur, and 
perhaps rudeness. But the lofty soul and 
generous heart of the great actor, who had 
studied human nature and human passions 
so deeply, would not permit him to take 
umbrage or offence at this conduct of the 
girl's father. In a Christian spirit, he made 
every allowance for Sir John's wrath ; but, 
at the same time, respectfully pointed out 
that he was in no way to blame for the 
young lady's infatuation. 

" You are to blame, sir," vociferated the 
baronet. "The entire drama is to blame, 
sir. It is all unreal. I am disgusted with it. 
Here are men without a shilling in the world 
represented as persons of rank and fortune. 
Others, of ordinaiy looks, if not actually 
plain, are painted up to seem handsome. 
With<rat your paints, your tinselled garments, 
and your gilded walls, you could do nothing. 
Appear in your own clothes, and as your 



own selves, and few, I 
in love with vou." 



warrant, would fall 



" That may be, Sir John," replied Garrick, 
meekly, to this silly and insulting speech. 
" But I think the attributes of an actor are 
not quite so mean and contemptible as you 
imagine. I cannot, however, at this moment 
discuss the subject with you ; for, within 
the past five minutes, and in this very square, 
I have witnessed a scene which has occa- 
sioned my feelings a very severe shock. 
The bare recollection of it makes as you 
may see, Sir John the colour recede from 
my cheek, my heart to quiver, and my pulse 
to tremble." 

" What is it, sir, that has so affected you 1 " 
asked Sir John, with great curiosity, ear- 



nestness, and emotion. 

" Picture to yourself, 
child ! " 

" Yes." 



sir, a beautiful 



" A beautiful child, scarcely three years of 



age !'' 

""Yes." 



"As lovely a child as the eye of man ever 
beheld ! " 
"Yes, yes." 
" Fancy that child having climbed from an 



body was half-over the parapet, where the 
flower was growing." 

" Yes, yes." 

" The child snapped the flower from its 
stem had it in its little hand was smiling 
at the people in the street, when " 

" It fell ! " 

"Amongst the crowd it beheld its own, 
mother. The poor woman was watching with, 
the rest, but afraid to speak" 

"The child observing its mother, sprang 
off?" 

"Nothing of the kind, Sir John," said 
Garrick, laughing, "the child threw the 



flower to its mother, 
the window, and was 



crawled 
lifted 



back to 
by the 



" What do you mean, Mr. Garrick," said 
the Baronet, on recovering himself, " by 
thus trifling with my feelings ] " 

"To prove to you, Sir John," returned 
Garrick, calmly, " that without any assistance 
from dress and scenery an actor may easily 
move our passions. I have no paint upoa 
my face, no tinsel on my coat, and am not 
surrounded by gilded walls. It was the tone 
of my voice, the manner of my delivery, the 
expression of suspense and agouy that I 
threw over my features, that fluttered your 
heart and made you feel what I affected to 
feel, while narrating that story of my own, 
invented for the occasion. Now, Sir John, 
why should you marvel that a young lady of 
spirit and feeling should be charmed with 
the Romeo that I enact on the stage 1 But 
I am not here to argue, but to cure your 
daughter of the malady of which I am said 
to be the cause. When can I see my 
patient ? " 

"When you please, sir." 

"Then at five this afternoon I will call 
again, disguised as a physician a very old 
man. You will introduce me as Doctor 
Robin to your daughter. I am a physician 
whom you have called in to see her. Your 
role is a very simple one. There must be 
bottles of wine and glasses left on the side- 
board." 

At the appointed hour Garrick was in 

_ attendance, and was introduced to the young 

attic window, out upon a parapet, attracted | lady, with whom he was left alone. He took 



by a flower which was growing on the very 



" Good heavens ! " 

"The child stooping over to pluck the 
flower " 

"Horrible!" 

"The nurse, looking out of the window, 
and observing the child in that dangerous 



position " 

" Called to the child, and" 

"No ! She remained, speechless, at the 
window, with her hands upraised thus." 

" Yes, yes." 

" Some people in the street observed the You have been to Covent Garden, 
child, and ere long a crowd was assembled. ' Romeo, perhaps ? You must have 



her hand with great gentleness and felt her 
pulse. 

" I am not ill, doctor," said she. " It is an 
idea a fancy of my father's." 

" You must allow me to be the best judge 
of your health," said Garrick. " You are ill, 
very ill ! Feverish very feverish ! Where 
is the pain 1 In the head 1 " 



No." 

"In the heart?" 
The girl blushed and sighed. 
" I see ; I see. You have seen too much, 
gaiety of late : balls, masquerades, plays. 

Seea 
quiet 



168 



HOUSEHOLD WOEDS. 



[August 15, 1857-1 



perfect quiet repose. No more of 
Borneo." 

" O, Doctor," exclaimed Amelia, " I am 
dying to see Borneo once more. Tell them 
it will do me good. Doctor ! Doctor ! Dear 
doctor ! Komeo is the only medicine for my 
complaint, Borneo ! Dear Borneo ! " 

" Nonsense ! You must not talk in this 
way." 

"I shall go mad if I do not see Borneo 
again. His voice and his words are still 
ringing in my ears : 

By a name 

I know not how to tell thce who I am : 
My nauie, dear saint, is hateful to myself, 
Because it is an enemy to thee ; 
Had I it written, I would tear the word." 

" Pooh ! pooh ! " cried Garrick. " Old as 
I am, I could make a better Borneo than the 
one you are raving about ! " 

" Ah, no, doctor. There cannot be another 
Borneo." 

" Indeed ? Now, listen ! 

With love's light wings did I o'erperch these walls; 

For stony limits cannot hold love out. 

And what love can do, that dares love attempt: 

Therefore thy kinsmen are no let to me. 

Alack ! there lies more peril in thine eye, 

Than twenty of these swords; look thou but 

sweet, 
And I am proof against their enmity." 

Here Garrick threw aside his wig and 
cloak, and continued : 

" I have night's cloak to hide me from their sight ; 
And hut thou love me, let them find me here : 
My life were hotter ended by their hate, 
Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love." 

The girl rose from the couch and threw 
herself into the arms of Garrick, whom 
she now recognised as the real Borneo. The 
scene that ensues is admirably conceived 
and well worked out by the German drama- 
tist, and is, on the whole, the best scene in 
the piece. "Whilst holding the beautiful girl, 
senseless with her emotion, in his arms, he 
reproaches himself with having gone too far ; 
with having strengthened the love he had 
pledged himself to extinguish. His heart 
returns the passion, and he asks himself the 
question whether he dare be faithless to his 
word '? Then comes the struggle between 
love and honour, passion and faith ; and for 
a while it is hard to say which will have the 
mastery. The "situation" is, in some respects, 
quite as fine as that at the end of the 
First Act of Bulwer's play, The Lady of 
Lyons. Conscience, however, gains the day 
over Inclination, and Garrick restores the 
pleasing burden, which he has sustained in 
his arms, to the couch on which she had been 
sitting. He then continues to act the part of 



Borneo ; but holds in one hand a decanter, 
and in the other a tumbler, stopping occa- 
sionally to drink. Presently lie affects in- 
toxication, talks incoherently, and suddenly 
begins to act the scene between Bichard the 
Third and Lady Anne. 

" And who is Lady Anne 1 " inquires the 
girl, not a little jealous, and rather disgusted. 

" She that I am going to woo to-night," 
replies Garrick. 

" But you have sworn to me." 

" For that matter I swear to everybody.'* 

" Then, you are perjured." 

" Not at all. I am an actor, and I play all 
parts. To-night I shall be a king ; to-morrow 
night I shall be a beggar ; the night after, a. 
thief. Yes, I swear to everybody. Some- 
times to queens, duchesses, and countesses, 
and not unfrequently to chambermaids and 
fish-fags." 

" Then, you are not Borneo 1 " 

" Only on the stage ; and off the stage 
there is no Borneo." 

Here the play (of which the above is but a 
bare outline), to all intents and purposes 
ends. The young lady is awakened from her 
delusion, and returns to the country, pre- 
pared, of course, to accept the hand of a 
suitor whom she has recently slighted. The 
old baronet is delighted, and the rest of the 
dramatis personae are perfectly satisfied and 
happy. And so was the audience on the occa- 
sion when I had the pleasure of seeing the 
piece represented in Berlin some few years 
ago. 

Since the above was written, the axithor 
has had a conversation with a gentleman of 
eighty-two years of age a gentleman whose 
name is a sufficient guarantee for the truth of 
his statement. He says : " I knew Mrs. 
Garrick (the actor's widow) in the evening of 
her life, and a very charming and clever 
woman she was devoted to the memory 01 
her husband, whom she idolised during his 
lifetime. She was a German, who came to 
England under the protection and auspices 
of the Countess of Burlington, at whose 
mansion Garrick, a favoured guest, first met 
her. I have frequently heard Mrs. Garrick 
tell the story of which the German dramatist 
has availed himself, and therefore I know it 
to be a fact, and not a fiction. It was Gar- 
rick's noble conduct on this occasion that 
induced the Countess of Burlington to give 
her consent, for a long time withheld, to their 
nuptials the nuptials of Garrick and his 
wife ; for, although the countess received 
Garrick as a guest, and had vast admiration 
for his talents and his genius, nevertheless 
she Avas opposed to his marriage with a lady 
under her protection, and one whom she 
expected would form a matrimonial alliance 
of a loftier character in the worldly sense of 
that phrase." 



The Right of Translating Articles from HOUSEHOLD WOEDS is reserved ly the Authors. 



fublihed< the Office, No. 16, Wellington Street North, Strand. Printed by BBAUBUBI &EVASS, Whitefriaxs, London, 



" Familiar in their Mouths as HOUSEHOLD WORDS" SHAKESPSAM. 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS, 

A WEEKLY JOURNAL. 
CONDUCTED BY CHARLES DICKENS. 



- 387.] 



SATURDAY, AUGUST 22, 1857. 



STAMPED 3d. 



PRUSSIAN POLICE. 



THE British constitution unites firmly the 
principle of hereditary monarchy with a 
respect for the liberty of the people : mainly 
because the people of England, not the 
monarch, has the key of the exchequer. The 
constitutions granted to their subjects by 
hereditary monarchs on the continent of 
Europe are gifts easily revoked, because those , 
monarchs have in their power the revenues j 
of the state, by help of which they may 
'become masters of the people. The key of 
the money-box is a great talisman. The 
king or queen of England represents the 
country. When we sing God save the Queen, 
we mean willing devotion to a sovereign 
who merits our most loyal affection, but we 
mean not less, God save Us All. The Queen 
is ours not less than we are hers. In a 
German state, the people belongs to the 
prince ; but the prince does not belong to the 
people. It is their duty to look upon him as 
their owner. 

The British army exists co protect Britain 
from foreign enemies. Our constables and 
police officers exist to protect the lives and 
liberties of all at home from the aggressions 
of the lawless. German armies and police 
exist chiefly for the protection of the prince 
against the people. Their more onerous 
task is to suppress the people as a 
power in the state. Every Prussian, for 
instance, is stamped and registered by the 
police at birth ; goes about with a label, like a 
sheep with a mark of ruddle on his back, all 
his life long ; and if found without such label, 
may be almost worried to death. To make 
monarchy a despotism is one main duty of 
the police in Prussia. It se.ts about its 
duty in a way that brings the police force 
into secret and deep contempt among the 
people. 

There are good men in it. Be quiet in 
Prussia, mind only your own private busi- 
ness if it be business not dangerous to the 
state, as authorship or anything implying 
exercise of independent thought illuminate 
loyally on royal birthdays, read the govern- 
ment newspaper, go to the government 
church, and you may enjoy in many things 
more freedom in Germany than can be had 
in England. "I have often thought," says 



an English writer who knows Germany well, 
" I have often thought and felt that, while in 
England we have political liberty, we have 
nothing like the personal and individual free- 
dom, the social liberty of the Germans, even 
under their worst governments." Go to 
Prussia without political opinions and with 
a passport well covered with authenti- 
cations of the harmless object of your visit, 
and you will find the police considerate and 
faithful in performance of their duties. A 
subordinate policeman will here and there 
as a gift, not as a bribe quite harmlessly 
accept a coin as drink-money for service done ; 
but, usually, even that would be refused. 
The Prussian police, seen from this point 
of view, is the best on the continent. It 
fs superior, perhaps, to the police of England. 

BUT 

BUT, the work which is the whole work of 
the police in England is not half the work of 
the police in Prussia. Go to Prussia as an 
Englishman without a passport ; go with a 
good passport and express freely and boldly 
your own constitutional ideas ; let it be seen, 
whether Englishman or German, that you 
care more about a people than about a 
people's king ; then you are a rat, and the 
police are terriers by whom you will assu- 
redly be worried. A Prussian subject takes. 
in the wrong newspaper, goes to the wrong- 
church, stays away from church for too many 
successive Sundays, or talks liberal politics 
within the hearing of a servant. No legal 
offence may have been committed ; but he will 
be liable to an arrest, on suspicion of having 
tried to make people discontented with the 
government. He will be fortunate if, in such 
case, he escape with only a few weeks' impri- 
sonment during his "arrest for investigation." 
There are persons so arrested who have 
been several years in prison without having; 
been brought up for an examination. Against 
the proceedings of the police, in all matters 
affecting the government's care of itself, no 
appeal is of any use. A man's house may be 
ransacked from garret to cellar ; any or all 
of his papers may be seized, upon the simple 
assertion of the police that they are sus- 
picious. Ifseized,they are not often returned; 
and should he lay any complaint at the tribu- 
nals of justice, he will be told only that 
these are " affairs of the police," in which the 



VOL. XVI. 



387 



170 [.\usut ::, 



HOUSEHOLD WOEDS. 



[Conducted by 



judges can do nothing. Not the police only/ 
but all persons who receive government pay, 
the j udges themselves nay, the very clergy 
are put to a degrading use as spies upon the 
people. 

Against a man suspected of small con- 
tentment \vith the government, no treachery 
is too base to be ^employed by the police 
in Prussia. His friendship and familiar 
intercourse will be courted assiduously, for 
purposes of betrayal. Agents of the police 
-will even be instructed to pay their addresses 
to his cook or housekeeper, for the sake of 
arriving at the secrets of his home. His 
letters will be opened secretly ; if by chance 
any difficulty should arise in the reclosing 
of any one of them, it \vill be sent on to him 
with the effrontery which only irresponsible 
authorities can venture to display, sealed 
with a great official seal. 

The Prussian clergy, too, do not receive 
the king's money without being required to 
do their duty on'behalf of absolutism ; where- 
fore they are distrusted by large masses of 
the people, and are known disrespectfully as 
Black Police. They are bound to keep lists 
of all persons in their respective parishes, and 
to observe how often each attends the state 



church or sacrament, 
warned once and again 



Defaulters will be 
after which, if they 



be government functionaries, they will be 
dismissed ; if they be private persons, they 
will suffer social blight from the displeasure 
of the police. Well-affected subjects will be 
counselled to avoid them, and they will be 
in a quiet, mean way, and without open accu- 
sation forced to choose for themselves be- 
tween the alternatives of banishment or ruin. 
The political use of the police was brought 
to its most complete state, and to its point 
of utmost oppression, by the chief president 
of police, the Herr von Hinckeldey, who wa; 
shot, not very long ago, in a duel. He was 
a very clever man, well versed in many 
sciences, and was personally amiable ; but, in 
the carry ing out of his political theory, he wa 
thorough-going and remorseless. His object 
was to recover for the king every shred of 
that robe of irresponsible supremacy that 
had been torn in the struggle of the wild 
year 'forty-eight. He bribed whatevei 
writers would receive a bribe ; issued com- 
mands to journalists; and threatened what 
was virtually ruin to those who were inde- 
pendent. He established, even in London 
an office for procuring letters that miserable 
scribblers could be got to forward in the 
name of English opinion, favourable to the 
cause he had at heart to the German news- 
papers. This office was an establishment 
distinct from the spy office established here to 
watch the emigration ; being so purely one o 
Hinckeldey's own private speculations, that 
it tumbled to the ground when he was shot 
But the organisation of the police force in 
Prussia, as a pillar of the royal state per- 
fected by him, remains. This, of which we 



are now speaking, is his monument ; but, as 
to the durability of it, it is not well to pro- 
phesy with any confidence. 

At present it is strong, and is supported 
al^o by stout buttresses. The Prussian 
police system connects itself more or less 
with the police of all North Germany. 
Strong governments are persuaded ; weak 
ones intimidated as in the case of Ham- 
burgh, which may be a free city in name, but 
is the vassal of Prussia whenever questions 
arise of throwing back into the jaws of the 
Prussian terriers, any small head of the game 
they have been trained to worry. 

Now let me illustrate what I have been 
saying, by help of a few facts that happen 
sither to lie within my own private experi- 
ence, or to have been witnessed by trust- 
worthy friends. I do not tell real names ; 
but I do tell what I know to be the literal 
and simple truth. Let me begin with a pass- 
port case. 

M. Henry, an old gentleman, who lived for 
more than twenty-five years in Prussia, fell 
ill, and his wife wrote to their son who was 
established in the United States of America, 
to come over and see his old father once 
more, before his end. The dutiful son threw 
all his business aside, went on board the first 
steamer bound to Hamburgh ; where he 
arrived in due time. By the first train he 
set off for Berlin. Here, he was stopped 
by the police; who asked for his passport. 
Young Mr. Henry, little fl . versed in police 
matters, had not even thought of a passport. 
When he left home he had none. A repub- 
lican without a passport, what a horror ! 
Of course he was arrested on the spot a? a 
vagabond, put into prison, and compelled to 
spin wool. In this agreeable situation he 
remained for ten days ; after which time he 
became free, by the interposition of the Ame- 
rican consul in Hamburgh ; to whom he 
wrote immediately after his arrest. The 
Prussian police did not even apologise to 
him. They simply told him, "All right ; 
you have told us the truth, and may go." The 
misused gentleman was almost killed by this 
vexation, and took the product of his labours 
in the spinning-house (a large clew of worsted) 
home with him, to show it to his children 
and to keep it in his family as a token of 
Prussian liberty. 

Another gentleman I know well, remained 
in prison a whole year for having irreverently 
observed, upon one occasion, that the king 
was tipsy. 

I was intimately acquainted with a lite- 
rary man who conducted a weekly news- 
paper : the cheapness of which (three shillings 
a-year) was thought more dangerous even 
than its contents. It was written under cen- 
sure ; that is to say, the proof-sheets were sent 
to the censor, who struck out every tiling which 
he considered disloyal. Having thus received 
the sanction of the government, the paper 
was published, and common sense would 



Charles Dichcas.] 



PRUSSIAN POLICE. 



[August 22. 1857-1 171 



have induced every editor to think himself 
safe. It was not so. My friend had an im- 
mense success with his paper, and got, in a 
few months, no fewer than fifteen thousand 
subscribers. This would have yielded him 
a considerable income, even after English 
notions. All the German governments ; and, 
most of all, that of Prussia, became almost 
frantic ; for my friend was as cautious as 
clever, and they could not get at him under 
any legal pretext. It was before the year 
eighteen hundred and forty-eight, and such 
pretexts were still required. One day, how- 
ever, when I was at dinner wondering at my 
friend's vacant place, I received a hurried, 
open, pencil-note from him, dated from prison ; 
by which he informed me of his having been 
arrested, and of the 'judge's having very re- 
luctantly consented to let him go, on depositing 
five hundred thalers in cash. Fortunately 
the money was to be had. I took it myself 
to the judge, and delivered my friend. 

Of course, I was curious to know his 
offence, and was not a little amused when he 
showed me the lines of his paper for which 
the Austrian government had impeached 
him. He had spoken of an Austrian chief of 
Artillery having opposed the reducing of 
military service from fourteen years to eight, 
objecting that it would be impossible for re- 
cruits to become good artillerymen in eight 
years ; and the writer exclaimed, "that a fellow 
who could not learn his service in eight years 
must be indeed a potenzirter Austrian;" which 
meant, that he must be many times sillier 
than the Austrians generally are thought to 
be in the north of Germany. My friend was 
condemned to three months' imprisonment, 
without being allowed to compound for his 
punishment by a payment of money ; which 
was customary in press transgressions. Very 
soon afterwards the paper was prohibited 
without any legal proceeding nay, against 
law and the constitution. With the same 
right they might have shut up the shop of 
any grocer for selling cigars manufactured by 
the special consent of the government. 

When my friend pxiblished another journal, 
that was prohibited also, and we got a hint 
that he would be arrested. By stratagem, I 
got his passport from the bureau where it 
was deposited, and he left Leipzig, going to 
the next Prussian town; for he was a subject 
of Prussia. Taught by necessity, my friend 
was well versed in the law, and adhered so 
strictly to it, that they could find no " legal 
pretexts" for a long time ; but he was annoyed 
in every manner. At last, the Prussian 
government who would put him aside at 
.any cost sent one of his books to Magdeburg, 
that the law officers and judges there might 
pick out from it matter to impeach him for 
high treason, or any other nonsense that pro- 
mised a rich harvest of prison. The Magde- 
burg courts were much puzzled by this desire 
of the government ; for they could find no 
crime iu the book, and returned it at last to 



Berlin. But very soon it came back, with a 
reproof, and many passages in the book 
marked with a red pencil. Cardinal Eiche- 
lieu said, " Give me five written words of 
a man, and I shall find matter in them to 
have him hanged." My friend was summoned 
before the court, and impeached on Majestats- 
Beleidigung lesse majestatis, is I think the 
technical name. When the judges showed 
him the offending passage, he took the 
Landrecht (provincial law) smilingly up 
from the table, turned up the paragraph re- 
lating to the offence attributed to him, and 
read aloud, " Such a criminal shall be 
dragged to the place of execution sitting 
upon a cowskin and there crushed by a 
wheel, &c. (gera'dert werden von uuten auf)." 
And all this, for the flesh-coloured tricots of 
Lola Montez ! The whole court of justice 
could not help laughing outright ; for the 
thing was too ludicrous. 

In his paper my friend had mentioned how- 
Lola Montez had horsewhipped an officer of 
the police, and how she had been condemned 
to half a year in the house of correction, but 
had been pardoned by the king, and concluded, 
" Well, I wonder whether I should have been 
pardoned also, for having committed such a 
crime ? Possibly, but not very likely ; for if, 
even in the scale of justice, a pair of flesh- 
coloured tricots weighs heavier than my steel- 
pen, how much the more will they not put out 
of its equilibrium the balance of grace ?" 

Yes ; the judges condemned him, laugh- 
ingly, to two years' imprisonment, and the 
loss of the national cockade. About this hated 
sign of bondage to an absolute Hohenzollern 
my friend cared not a pin ; but its loss involved 
the loss of most of his civil rights. There- 
fore he laid an appeal against this verdict, 
and it was altered to only one year of im- 
prisonment, which he endured, in the citadel 
of Magdeburg. 

So much for the press. Now I shall show- 
how the police work in the vineyard of the 
Lord. 

There was, in Konigsberg, a dissenting 
congregation of about eight thousand mem- 
bers, belonging to a Protestant sect spread 
all over the empire. Of course any legal 
pretexts to be met with were available for 
annoying and vexing these dissenters ; but 
the police used the most dastardly and base 
means to ruin them, besides. They induced, 
for instance, all persons employed in the 
police, and even private persons, to give no 
work to any tradesmen ; to buy no goods of 
merchants belonging to this persecuted sect 
nay, keepers of public-houses and tea or 
coffee gardens were forbidden to sell anything 
to members of it, under pain of the with- 
drawal of theft- licences. This was a serious 
thing for these innkeepers, and they requested 
the .Reverend Mr. Kupp, then minister of 
the congregation, to'communicate these police 
measures to his parishioners, lest they might 
briusc innocent men to trouble and ruin. 



172 [August J2, 18!i7.3 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



f Conducted &y 



One of tiie dissenters, having no fewer than 
ten children, happened to be employed in the 
police, and lost his place for his religion. To 
get another existence this man competed to 
rent the house of the shooters' company 
belonging to the city, and therefore depending 
on the city authorities. When the police 
became aware of his intention, they managed 
things with the corporation so, that he was 
offered the house only if he would receive 
the Lord's Supper out of the hands of the 
most fanatical parson of the state church. 
The poor man, having no other hope of sup- 
porting his large family, was weak enough 
to comply ; but he was afterwards very much 
troubled in his mind ; wretched for life in fact. 

A young respectable girl, having a very large 
connection as a seamstress, against whom no 
one in Konigsberg could say a word, belonged 
to the dissenters ; and, not being a native of 
Konigsberg, although of Prussia, was ordered 
to leave the city in a fortnight. The girl, 
whose nimble fingers supported an old mother, 
was not base enough to disown her faith, and 
prepared weepingly to leave her friends and 
her snug, although humble position. However 
she was not only clever and good, but pretty, 
and a young master-joiner offered her his hand. 
She accepted him at once. There was no time 
for simpering ; a fortnight with three Sundays 
being just sufficient to fulfil the requisites of 
the law. The night before the day she was 
ordered to leave her home, the Reverend Mr. 
Hupp performed the marriage service, and 
they sat joyously at supper, laughing at the 
police ; for now, being the bride of a citizen 
of Konigsberg, she was legally a denizen of that 
city. A loud knock was heard at the door. 
Police entered, and one of them said, " This 
assembly is dissolved !" This interruption 
was disagreeable ; but so ludicrous that 
everybody was amused. The bridegroom 
said, "Well, good night, friends sorry for 
the good victuals, but they might dissolve as 
much as they like ; this society " (he took 
the hand of his bride) "I think shall never be 
dissolved ; neither by any policeman nor by 
any other functionary, whether in blue or in 
black." 

With this dissolving of assemblies the 
police annoyed the dissenters most. Some 
of them had little meetings to take tea and 
read the German classics. Almost always 
they were disturbed by policemen dissolving 
the assembly; sometimes followed by soldiers 
with their muskets and bayonets. The 
next day, each member of this circle was 
summoned before the police and reproved. 
Remonstrance was useless ; and, when they 
at last asked the president of the police 
to give them a definition of a prohibited 
assembly, (for they had no idea why the 
government should prohibit every tea party,) 
he told them their meeting was not to be 
taken for a tea party, but for an assembly ; 
because the different persons forming it were 
neither friends nor neighbours, nor relations, 



nor of the same station in life. When 
the Reverend Mr. Rupp once invited some 
poor people of his congregation to a public 
garden, to keep holiday there, he was re- 
proved by the police. He remonstrated, 
and said these persons had been his guests. 
He was answered rudely, that they were low 
people and no society for him. Mr. Rupp 
took out his Bible, and read a passage in 
St. Luke, in which something was said about 
not inviting the rich, who could give dinner* 
in return, but the poor and needy. The 
magistrate looked confused, and Mr. Rupp- 
escaped, unfined. 

Even children-gardens were forbid by the 
police, and an assembly of babies, from three 
to five years' old, was once dissolved. The 
little ones did not know the way home; for it 
was not yet time to be fetched by the ser- 
vants of their parents ; and, when the police- 
asked them the names of their fathers, 
they answered, "Papa." Then the little 
lambs were seen walking with the wolves, 
quite confidently, about the streets, inquiring 
where they did belong to. 

Such dissenters as belonged to official 
families were persecuted most. The Lieut.- 
Colonel von L., who died in the year eighteen 
hundred and forty-eight, left two orphan girls, 
without a penny. However, the younger 
sister had the expectancy of a place as 
canonesse in a foundation for spinsters of noble 
birth, which had been restored and richly 
bestowed by the late grandfather of the 
young lady ; who was a very rich man. The 
elder of the two sisters got, .after much ado, 
a small pension from the government, by the 
interest of the minister of Auerswald, who 
was connected with the family. Angelina, 
the younger sister, while expecting her 
canouesse-place, tried to get her livelihood by 
giving lessons in French, and writing books 
for young people. Heaven blessed her brave 
endeavours : she got a situation at a school, 
and many private lessons. She had, indeed, so 
much to do, that almost her only recreation 
was to visit the religious congregations of 
the dissenters, to hear Mr. Rupp. 

Thus she went on very well till the year 
eighteen hundred and fifty-two ; when it was 
ordered by Polizei-President Peters that 
Miss von L. should forbear giving any lessons ; 
secondly it was decreed that Miss Leo, the 
mistress of the school, should dismiss Miss A.. 
von L. directly, and without any fuss (ge- 
raeuschlos) ; thirdly, Miss von L. was to leave 
Kouigsberg, and informed that the interdict 
to give any lessons applied to the whole 
Prussian monarchy. 

In vain the unhappy lady tried the law, 
nay, wrote even twice to the king, com- 
plaining of the wrongs practised on her. 
She was answered by the Minister of the 
Interior, that all the proceedings against 
her had been strictly lawful. Notwithstand- 
ing, Miss von L. tried to give lessons in 
Danzig, where the first magistrate was a 



Ch&rles Dickens/] 



THE AMPHLETT LOVE-MATCH. 



[August M, 133-.] 173 



friend of her family ; but this gentleman, 
although wishing her well, found himself 
obliged to repeat the proceedings of Konigs- 
berg. She left the Prussian empire for Dres- 
den, where she found pupils ; but there came 
a telegraphic dispatch from Berlin, and she 
was ordered by the police of Saxony to leave 
Dresden in twenty-eight hours. To fill the 
chalice of sorrow to the brim, she received a 
letter from the abbess of the Earth-founda- 
tion, telling her to give up all expectation of 
a canonesse-place, "if she adhered to the dis- 
senters. Thus she lost home, existence even 
the only hope left her for old age for her 
faith. 



THE AMPHLETT LOVE-MATCH, 
i. 

" FORGIVENESS, Arthur ? You surely need 
not ask for that ! " said the lady, with a cold 
smile. " You were of age, and free to choose 
as you would ; and, if by that choice you have 
disappointed my hopes and frustrated my 
intentions, it is 'scarcely a matter for which 
to ask my forgiveness my recognition, if 
you will ; and that I have granted." 

" I wish you would say that in. a more 
cordial tone, mother," said Arthur, earnestly ; 
" in spite of your kind words my heart feels 
chilled and heavy." 

"Do you re-assure your husband, then, 
since his mother's words have no longer any 
power over him," said Mrs. Amphlett, still 
with the same strange, hard smile on her 
face, turning to a pretty, young girl who 
stood timidly in the background, and taking 
her stiffly by the hand. 

" It is only his love for you that makes 
him doubtful," stammered the girl, looking 
appealingly to her husband. 

" I asked you to combat the effect not 
to explain to me the cause," replied Mrs. 
Amphlett. " I am afraid you do not under- 
stand very quickly. You are embarrassed, 
and want self-possession, I see ; you blush, 
too, and lose your grace of outline in the 
awkward angularity of confession. We shall 
have some training to go through, before you 
will be tit for the drawing-rooms of my 
friends and yoiir husband's associates." 

She laughed; a low, forced, contemptuous 
laugh, that completed poor Geraldine's dis- 
may. Turning to her husband she retreated 
into his ai-ms; and, burying her face in his 
bosom, exclaimed piteously : 

"Oh, Arthur! take me away take me 
away ! " then burst into tears. 

Mrs. Amphlett quietly rang the bell. 

" A glass of cold water, Jones ; and ask 
Gryce for the sal-volatile, which is in my 
room," she said, when the man entered. 
" This young lady is hysterical." 

The lady's tone and manner of unutter- 
able contempt roused Geraldine from her 
weakness more than cold water or sal- 
volatile. She felt, too, Arthur's heart throb 



under her hand ; and though he passed his 
arm round her and pressed her kindly to 
him, as if mutely assuring her of his protec- 
tion, she feared she had annoyed him, more 
because she felt she had been silly, than be- 
cause she showed displeasure. 

" No, never mind now," she said, trying to 
laugh, and shaking back the bright, brown 
hair which had fallen in disorder over her 
face. " I am quite well now it is nothing 
I am very sorry," she added, with a running 
accompaniment of small sobs. 

" Are you often hysterical 1 " asked Mrs. 
Amphlett, her light hazel eyes fixed sternly 
on her. " It must be very inconvenient to 
you, I should think, and scarcely befitting 
Mrs. Arthur Amphlett. You may take it 
away again, Jones," she said to the footman, 
who" bustled in with the cold water and a 
small phial on a silver stand ; " or no, stay, 
you had better leave them. You may be 
attacked again," she added, to Geraldine. 

" I assure you, mother, I never before saw 
my wife so nervous," exclaimed Arthur. " In 
general, she is both brave and cheerful. I 
never knew her so shaken." 

" Indeed ? It is unfortunate then, that she 
should have selected me, and our first inter- 
view, for the display of a weakness which 
some, I believe, call interesting ; but which 
to me is puerile ; which, in fact, I regard as 
temporary insanity. Come ! " she added, ar- 
ranging herself in her easy -chair, and speak ing 
with a little less pitiless deliberation ; "_we 
have nowgot through the first meeting; which, 
as you were the delinquents, I presume, you 
dreaded more than I. Understand then, that 
I overlook all the personal disrespect there 
has been in your secret marriage, Arthur : 
all the disappointment, and wounded pride I 
have had in your marrying so far beneath 
you. I am a woman of plain words, Geral- 
dine. Your name is Geraldine, is it not? 
I thought you started and looked surprised 
when I called you so. No matter ! and I 
invite you both to remain with me as long as 
it suits you to make Thornivale your home. 
Now let the subject be dropped. Gryce 
will show you to your room, young lady, 
if you ring the bell twice ; and, I dare say, 
in time, we shall become tolerably well ac- 
quainted." 

" Arthur ! dear Arthur ! what will become 
of me if your mother does not soften towards 
me ! " cried poor Geraldine, when she was 
alone with her husband. 

"Be patient, love, for a few days," said 
Arthur, soothingly. " She has had much 
sorrow in her lite, and that has made her 
harder than she was by nature. But I cannot 
believe she will be always so strange as she 
is to-day. I cannot believe but that my 
Geraldine's sweetness and goodness will 
soften her, and lead her to love and value one 
who cannot be known without being loved." 

" Oh, Arthur ! I never prized your dear 
words so much as to-day," exclaimed tha 



174 [August M, 1S5T.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



young wife, with a look and gesture of most 
touching devotion. "While you love me, and 
believe in me, and are not ashamed of me. 
all the world might scorn me, I should still 
be proud and blessed." 

"All the world shall honour you," said 
Arthur, laughing. " But, come, bathe those 
great, blue eyes, and draw a veil between 
their love and the outside world. Meet my 
mother with as much composure and ease, 
and with as little show of feeling as you can. 
Hern ember, she respects strength more than 
she sympathises with feeling. She would 
liouour a victorious foe however vile more 
than she would pity a prostrate one, how- 
ever virtuous. Strength, will, self-assertion 
she respects, even when in direct opposition 
to herself : timidity, obedience, and excita- 
bility she simply despises and tramples under 
foot. Don't be afraid of her. Assert yourself 
and all will come right. Is not your husband 
by to support you ? " 

" Arthur ! I wish you would give me 
something terrible to do for you ! I feel as if 
I could go through the fiercest, wildest mar- 
tyrdom for you and your love. I could die 
for you " 

" But you dare not oppose my mother ? Is 
that it 1 Darling ! you shall live for and with 
me ; and that is better than dying. Ah ! I 
wonder if you will say such words after we 
have been married as many years as now 
days. Let me see, how many ? Twenty-six. 
We are almost at the end of our honeymoon, 
Geraldine ! " 

II. 

"I THINK Geraldine is slightly improved 
since she came," said Mrs. Amphlett, one 
morning, to her sou. " She is rather less 
awkward and mannerless than she was." 

"Awkward was never the word for her," 
said Arthur, briskly. " She is only shy 
and unused to the world. She is singularly 
graceful, I think." 

Mrs. Amphlett lifted her eyebrows. 

" Think how young she is ! " continued 
Arthur, answering his mother's look, " not 
quite twenty, yet and was never in society 
before she came here." 

" How strange it is," continued the mother, 
as if speaking to herself, " to see the marriages 
which some men make ! men of intellect, 
wealth, education, standing, all that you 
imagine would refine their tastes and render 
them fastidious in their choice. Yet these 
are the very persons who so often marry 
beneath them. Instead of choosing the wife 
who could best fulfil their social require- 
ments, they think only of pleasing the eye, 
which they call love as you have done, 
Arthur, hi choosing Geraldiue in place of 
Miss Vaughan." 

"Miss Vaughan ! Why you might as well 
have asked me to marry a statue. A hand- 
some girl, I confess ; but without a spark of 
life or a drop of human blood in her." 



" That may be. Yet she was the right and 
natural wife for you. She was a woman of your 
own age and your own standing ; formed to be 
the leader of her society as bents your wife ; 
rich, well born ; in short, possessing all the 
requisite qualifications of the future mistress 
of Thornivale. You disregard such patent 
harmony of circumstances for what 1 for a 
good little blue-eyed nobody ; who cannot 
receive like a gentlewoman, and who steps 
into her carriage with the wrong foot." 

" But who has goodness, love, innocence, 
constancy " 

" Don't be a fool, Arthur," interrupted Mrs. 
Amphlett. " What do you get, pray, with 
this excessive plasticity of nature 1 All very- 
delightful, I dare say, when confined to you., 
and while you are by her side to influence her ; 
but, when you are away, will not the same faci- 
lity which renders her so delightful to yon, 
place her as much under the influence of 
another, as she is under yours ? Foolish boy ! 
you have burdened yourself with that most in- 
tolerable burden of all the weakness and 
incapacity of a life-long companion. There ! 
don't protest, or you will make me angry. I 
know she is very amiable and beautiful, and 
charming, and good, and all that ; but she has 
no more strength, self-reliance, common sense 
nor manner than a baby. And you know 
this as well as I. Here she is. I was just 
talking of you, Geraldiue. Are you well to 
day 1 " she asked suddenly. 

" Yes, thank you, quite well," said Geral- 
dine, always nervous when speaking to her 
mother-in-law. 

" I thought not ; you are black under the 
eyes, and your hair is dull. Will you drive 
with me to-day 1 " 

"If you please," said Geraldine. 

" Or ride with your husband ? " 

" Whichever you and Arthur like best." 

" My dear young lad}'," said Mrs. Amph- 
lett, with one of her stony looks, " when will 
you learn to have a will of your own 1 " 

" Yes, Geraldine ! I wish you would always 
say what you, yourself, really prefer, when 
you are asked," said Arthur, with a shadow 
of testiness. 

" I am afraid of being selfish and inconside- 
rate to others," said Geraldine, hastily. ' But, 
if you please, then, I would rather ride with 
Arthur." 

" You know I am going to Croft to look at 
young Vaughau's stud," returned Arthur, 
still with the same accent of irritability. 
" How, then, can I ride with you to-day ? " 

" Ah, see, now ! what use in giving ine my 
choice 1 " cried Geraldiue, making a s;id 
attempt to smile and to seem gay ; tears 
rushing into her eyes, instead ; for, the three 
weeks during which she had been under her 
lady-mother's harrow, had reduced her to a 
state of chronic depression. 

"Would it not be more dignified if you 
did not cry whenever you are spoken to '$ '* 
said the pitiless hawk-eyed lady. 



Cliai lei Dickens.] 



THE AMPHLETT LOVE-MATCH. 



[August 22,1357.] 175 



" I am not crying," said Geraldine, boldly. 

" No 1 What is that on your hand, if it be 
not a tear ? Fie ! you must not be untruth- 
ful, according to the common vice of the 
weak." 

Arthur went to the window, pale with 
suppressed passion. For the moment he 
hated Geraldine. The young wife had passed 
a sleepless night. She was nervous and 
unwell. She tried to calm herself, but she 
felt as if something gave way within her, and 
sighing gently she sank very quietly back 
against the pillows of the ottomau where she 
was sitting, in a dead swoon. 

A loud knock came to the door. 

" Geraldine ! " exclaimed Mrs. Amphlett, 
" Geraldiue ! Why, bless my soul, Arthur, 
the girl has fainted ! " 

Before any order or aid could be given the 
footman threw open the door, and a lady, all 
flounces, rustling silk, dignity, and statuesque 
beauty Arthur's natural wife, as Mrs. 
Amphlett called her Miss Vaughan, of Croft, 
walked leisurely forward. 

Calmly surveying the fainting Geraldine 
through her. eye-glass, the visitor turned 
gracefully away, saying, as Mrs. Amphlett 
herself had once said : " How very inconve- 
nient for her ! " 

Arthur reddened and turned pals by 
turns ; " Good ! " said Mrs. Amphlett, to 
herself, with a cruel smile, " the first blow is 
really struck now ! " 

She led Miss Vaughan into the inner 
drawing-room, while Gryce attended on 
Geraldiue. 

" You had better leave my maid with 
your wife, Arthur," she said, speaking as 
she stood between the rooms, holding the 
curtain in her hand. But Arthur refused. 
No ! he would rather attend to her him- 
self. 

" What a model husband," said Miss 
Vaughan ; but, in a voice so calm, so sweet, j 
so silvery and even, that no one could j 
know whether she spoke ironically or j 
admiringly. Arthur was in a bad humour, ! 
and disposed to see all in shadow. He took j 
her words as a cutting satire ; and Geraldine 
fared none the better in his heart for the 
belief. This was the first time, since he had 
known Geraldine, that a thought of un- 
favourable criticism had crossed his mind ; 
the first time that he had said to himself, "I 
wish I had waited." 

Mrs. Amphlett had the art no one exactly 
knew how of making every person appear 
illogical, ridiculous, ungraceful, ill-bred ; yet, 
not from any special amount of grace or 
good breeding in herself ; rather the reverse. 
Her manners were chiefly noticeable for 
their undisguised contempt, and their immo- 
vable assumption of superiority ; though she 
was, certainly, a handsome woman, yet it was 
not of a kind to throw any other beauty into 
the shade. She was pale to bloodlessness, with 
a fierce eye and a cruel jaw. She wore her 



white hair braided low on her square fore- 
head ; but her thick, straight eyebrows were 
still black as ebony, and the light-hazel, deep 
set eyes beneath them had lost none of 
their fire or power. The lines between 
her brows were deep and harsh. The centre 
furrow the Amphlett cut, it was called 
with the heavy brow swelling on each side, 
was especially forbidding. Her nose was 
sharp, high and handsome ; her thin lips 
closed lightly over small and even but 
discoloured teeth ; and her chin was square- 
cut, massive, and slightly protruding. Not 
then from grace or beauty came her special 
power of moral oppression ; but from her 
cruelty. She was infinitely cruel and 
harsh. She said exactly what she thought, 
be it ever so painful ; and no one ever knew 
her to soften her words for pity, grace, or 
delicacy. She prided herself on her honesty, 
her directness, her absence of false sentiment, 
and her ruthless crusade against all forms of 
weakness. In her first interview with any- 
one she measured that pel-son's power of self- 
assertion. If the stranger yielded to her, 
whetherfrom timidity or amiability, she set her 
foot on the stranger's neck and kept it there. 
If opposed, she hated, but still respected her 
opponent. The only thing in the world that 
she respected was strength ; and the only 
person in her neighbourhood to whom she 
was not insolent was Miss Vaughau. For, 
Miss Vaughan, though of a different nature, 
was as dauntless and self-asserting as Mrs. 
Amphlett, and suffered no one to come too 
near her. They were co-queens not rivals 
and regarded each other's rights. 

As for Geraidine, she simply despised her : 
honouring her with only a reflective hatred, 
because of her marriage with her sou. Had 
it not been for that, she would have quietly 
walked over her and have trodden her out of 
her path. But she could not do this now ; 
so Geraldine was promoted to the dignity of 
her intense hatred and ceaseless, fierce dis- 
pleasure. The girl felt her position and pined 
under it. Hence she was losing those merely 
outside physical graces she had promised when 
she married ; and which had counted for some- 
thing in her husband's love. Arthur, too, 
was influenced by his mother's perpetual 
harping on Geraldine's faults. Soon he learnt 
to apologise for her ; then to criticise her 
himself not always favourably and lastly, 
to feel slightly ashamed of her. His pride 
and manhood prevented his falling very low 
there ; but a great peril lay before him : 
none the less perilous because not con- 
fessed. 

In the midst of all these dangerous begin- 
nings Arthur was called away on business, 
cunningly provided for him, and Geraldiue 
was left to the care of her mother-in-law. 
The heavy gates had scarcely swung back for 
her son to pass out, when Mrs. Amphlett sat 
down to write a letter to Cousin Hal the 
scapegrace of the family the handsomest 



176 [August 17, l-*;.] 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted V 



life-guardsman anil, by repute, the most suc- 
cessful lady-killer of his generation. 



in. 



GERALDINE, who had been piteously terrified 
at the prospect of keeping house alone with 



present ; and facts take wide dimensions. 
Now, between Arthur and Cousin Hal there 
had always been, since very boyhood, a dis- 
tinct and decided enmity. Not explosive nor 
exploded ; but none the less fierce because 
subdued and smouldering. He called Arthur 



her Gorgonic mothei-, was surprised to find 'surly; Arthur called him frivolous : he said 
how suddenly the old lady changed. She laid Arthur should have been a priest ; Arthur 
aside her harsh and insolent manner, was ! said that he should have been an actor, if nob 
kind, considerate, gentle, ceased to find fault j a Merry Andrew. So Arthur was furious 



nay, was almost flattering ; and Geraldine, 
who was as loving as she was timid, soon 
became quite playful and filial, and thought, 



when he heard of his being at Tlioruivalc. 
He wondered at his mother, abused Hal, 
called Geraldine silly ; and then he thought 



perhaps, after all she had been to blame, or I of what his mother had once said about 
had beeu only fanciful. They had passed a I the girl's facility of obedience and im- 
iew happy days thus happy days, in spite possibility, and he was doubly jealous. In 
of the strange desolation which her husband's which amiable frame of mind he received a 
first absence makes for the young wife when letter from his mother. After some business 



a carriage drove up, and out dashed a fine, 
handsome, young fellow, all bright blue-eyes, 



preliminaries the letter said : 

" It is quite pleasant to sec Geraldine and Henry; 



moustache, white teeth, military swagger and ! they play together as if they were still children iu 
merriment ; who kissed Mrs. Amphlett as the nursery. Geraldine has grown so pretty, and 

is all life and vivacity: she is quite a different 
person to the lachrymose, nervous, depressed schoolgirl 
she was when you were here. I fear you kept her 
down too much : Henry, on the contrary, encourages 
her. He is charmed by her frankness and playfulness, 
she with his good temper and affectionate ways. And 
certainly he is a very charming fellow, though I can- 
not go to Gcraldine's extent of enthusiasm, when she 
said last night that she wished you were more like 
him. To me, every one's individuality is sacred, and 
I would have no moral patchwork if I could. Miss 
Vanghan vexes me that she dislikes Henry so much. 
She spoke quite sternly to your wife last evening ahout 
her evident partiality, which Geraldiue calls ' cousin- 
ship ; ' but Miss Vaughan crushed her with one of her 
lofty looks, and little Geraldine van off to Henry 
cousin Hal, as she calls him for shelter and pro- 
tection." 

Arthur read no more. He crushed the 
letter in his hand and, covering his face, 
groaned. Neither that day nor the next, 



if lie liked to kiss her, and seemed at home 
in the house, and master of every one in it, 
before he had fairly crossed the threshold. 
This was Cousin Hal. 

Never was there such a delightful com- 
panion as Cousin Hal ! Full of fun and 
anecdote ; always lively ; the most good- 
natured person in the world ; possessing the 
largest amount of chivalry to women of 
which modern manners are capable ; respect- 
ful while familiar, and his familiarity itself 
so affectionate and manly, that no one was 
ever known to quarrel with him, and many 
were found to love him in fact it was his 
speciality, and the motive of his many tri- 
umphal preans. All these characteristics made 
him a dangerously delightful companion for 
most young ladies. But Hal, though a scape- 
grace, had his heart in the right place ; and, 
fond as he was of mischief, had no love for 
evil, nor for vice. 

At first Geraldine was shy towai'd him, 
intending to be matron-like and dignified ; 



but Cousin 
her ; rind, 



Hal laughed all that out of 
in an incredibly short time 



established himself on the most comfort- 
able footing imaginable ; Aunt Amphley, 



into his care in the oddest way possible : 
especially odd in her, one of the strictest 
known dragons of propriety extant. For 
instance, Geraldine demurred at riding alone 
with him" Would Arthur like it ? " And 
Mrs. Amphlett answered, " Who is the best 
judge of propriety, you or I ? And if I say 
that you may ride with your cousin, is it 
fitting in you to virtually tell rue that I am 
an insecure guide to you, and that my habits 
and views are improper for you to adopt ? " 

( Icralilino wrote daily to her husband. 
She had very little to write about, excepting 
her love for him, and how pleasant Cousin 
Hal made gloomy old Thornivale ; and, natu- 
rally, Cousin Hal came in for a large share of 
the canvas. He was the only iact in the 



nor the next, again, 



he write to his 



wondering wife. Hitherto he had written 
every day, according to the fashion of hus- 
band-lovers ; but now, too suspicious to write 
naturally, too proud to betray his suspicions, 
he chose not to write at all, as the easiest 
solution of the difficulty. Whereby he 



he called her, giving the pretty young wife nearly broke poor Gcraldine's heart, which, 



not reproving her, furnished her with no clue 
to the enigma. She was sure he was ill he 
had met with some accident he had been run 
over by an omnibus or by one of those immense 
waggons he had been garotted he was 
dying he was dead. This was her ascending 
scale of horrors; at which her mother scoffed 
grimly, but which kind-hearted Hal tried 
to cheer and soothe away. On the fourth 
day the letter came short, reserved, cold. It 
said nothing to wound, but nothing to delight, 
the young wife. Geraldine almost wished he 
had not written at all ; though she was glad 
and grateful to find he was well, and that 
nothing had happened to him. 

She answered as if no cloud had fallen be- 
tween them; noticing nothing. She told him 



Charles Dicken ?.] 



THE AMPHLETT LOVE-MATCH. 



[August 22. 185?.] 177 



all that she had been doing, both with and j argument (which was more properly a wrangle), 
without Cousin Hal's name intermixed ; Geraldine put her hand in Henry's, and told him to 
amongst other things, how kind his mother j ^iss it, in token of his fealty. But I thought this 
was to her, and how agreeable Miss Vaughan j S oi "o rather too far, and interfered. I desire you not 
could be when she was not alfected and j to take an ? notice of what * liave said - There is 
on stilts ; as she was the other day, when ??* in l P*enBibla in your wife's conduct, and only 
she and his cousin rode over to Croft. 
" My mother was right," said Arthur, 

grinding his teeth, " Geraldine has the com- 
mon vice of the weak ; she is not truthful. 

And this letter boasting of my mother's 

kindness, and Miss Vaughan's cordiality, is a 

proof of it. I have been a fool. How could 

I expect a woman not of my own station to 

have the feelings of a thorough-bred gentle- 
woman, and to be delicate and faithful under 

the coarse lure of such a popinjay as that ! 

How coldly she writes ! She does not even 

allude to my long silence. Of course, there 

must be separation now : yes, before this 

very month is out it must be arranged. 



Miss Vaughan's excessive prudery would have found 
cause of blame in it. If I do not, you need not be 
alarmed." 

But this last paragraph destroyed Mrs. 
Amphlett's whole web. She forgot that, by 
giving a tangible shape to the suspicions she 
wished only to insinuate, she put the game out 
of her own hands. That very night Arthur 
left London, his business yet unfinished and 
his lawyers busy in still further entangling 
a very plain case. 

IV. 

THE next morning, while the Thornivale 
party were quietly seated at breakfast, Ai'thur 



Three months after marriage, and to sepa- strode into the room like some melo-drauiatic 
rate ; what a testimony to the wisdom tyrant : pale, haggard, dark-browed, and 
of love-matches ! If I had that fellow angry. Geraldine, with a glad cry too glad 

here " he continued above his breath, t notice her husband's looks flung herself 

taking up a tablekuife that lay near his i"to her husband's arms. Henry rose, half 
untasted breakfast. Then, with a sudden perplexed and half amused ; he sa\v by 
impulse, he flung it savagely from him. The I Arthur's lowering brow that a storm was 
knife fell quiveringly in the door, and for that i brooding, and man of the world like 



moment Arthur was a murderer in his 
heart. 

Together with Geraldine's letter, lay one 
from Mrs. Amphlett, as yet unopened. He 
broke the seal almost mechanically, but 
drank in every word with thirsty passion, as 
soon as he set in fairly to the reading. 

" I hope your business is progressing favourably, 
and that those perplexing lawyers have nearly come to 
the end of obscuring so plain a question as this was. 
We shall all be glad to see you at home again, though 
indeed I cannot say that your wife has been silly in 
fretting for you, as I expected. On the contrary, she 
is in higher spirits than ever, and every day adds to her 
exuberant happiness. She made even me laugh ; 
although, as you know, I am riot much given to that 
exercise J but her manner for these last three days 
has been so irresistibly comic when speaking of your 



silence that_ even I could not help joining in the He fc aside the ]iule han( j tbafc hfc t 

general merriment. She is a good mimic, I find; for 

in the scenes which she gave one representing you as 

garottcd by some of those horrid men, another as run 

over by one of Barclay's beer waggons, another as 

lying with a splitting headache, calling for soda- 

water and ices she really acted with wonderful spirit 

and character. I thought Henry would have gone 

into a fit with laughing; and it was really very 

droll. Of course I knew that you were perfectly safe, 

or else I should not have allowed such levity on her 

part ; but I have given her of late very great scope, 

for the purpose of studying her character ; and I think 

I have come to the end of what I wanted to know. 

Your judgment on Miss Vaughan was, I fear, more 

correct than mine. She is a statue. When Geraldine 

was acting those scenes, as I tell you, she sat with a 

settled frown on her face ; and at the end rose very 

haughtily, and lectured your wife for her levity and 

want of feeling. Henry took Geraldine's part; and 



he and Miss Vaughan 



spoke more truthfully than 



politely to each other. At the conclusion of the 



clasp his silently and moodily. Reaching a 
garden-chair he motioned her to seat her- 
self, while he placed himself by her side. 
He was agitated ; and, though resolved 
to finish all to-day, did not well know 
how to begin. She looked so lovely, and he 
was but a young husband, and this their 
first meeting after some three weeks of sepa- 
ration. She had been so uufeignedly glad to 
see him, too, and that did not look like cool- 
ness : nor had Cousin Hal looked annoyed or 
guilty ; and, though he had watched them 
looking for evil he had not seen a glance 
pass between them that wore the shadow of 
undue intelligence : they seemed good friends, 
as was natural, but there was nothing 
more ; so that he felt at a loss now ; for his 
grievances had vanished marvellously. 
Geraldine was the first to speak. 



guessed the cause, instinctively. Mrs. Arnph- 
lett, for the first time in her life, felt 
baffled. She had counted on Arthur's re- !| 
serve, and in Geraldiue's timidity, not to 
come to an explanation together. 

After a sulky breakfast, Arthur told 
Geraldiue to accompany him into the park. 
He did not ask her he commanded her; 
much as if she had been a slave or a child. 

" Let me speak to you first, Arthur," 
said Mrs. Amphlett, trying to be autho- 
ritative. 

" No ! " replied Arthur, sternly ; " my 
business is with my wife." 

"And your cousin too, I suspect," muttered 
Cousin Hal to himself. 

Arthur and his wife paced down the 
broad-walk leading to the beech avenue. 



178 [Anawit 22. 185?.] 



HOUSEHOLD WOKDS. 



[Conducted by 



"Something is wrong with you, Arthur ?' 
she paid quickly, but trembling. 

"Yes, Geraldine very wrong." 

" With me ?" and her hand stole softly up 
to his face. 

" Yes, with you only with you." 

"Why do you not look at roe when you 
say so '?" she said, creeping closer to him. 

He turned his eyes upon her. Her eyes 
were so full of love, her whole manner and 
attitude so eloquent of child-like devoted- 
ness, that his heart overflowed and over- 
whelmed all his jealous fancies, like feverish 
dreams drowned in the morning sunlight. 
He took her hands in both of his, and looked 
fixedly and lovingly, but sadly, into her eyes. 

" So beautiful and so false !" he said, half 
aloud. " Can she be really faithless with 
eyes so full of love and innocence ? And, 
yet has my mother lied to me 1" 

" Why do you speak so low, Arthur ? I 
cannot hear you. Tell me frankly, what it is 
that lies on your heart against me. What- 
ever it may be, tell me openly ; and I will 
answer you from my very soul, as I have 
always answered yoii. I have never deceived 
you, Arthur ; and I would not begin a career 
of falsehood and hypocrisy to-day. : ' 

" You must read these. I can tell you 
nothing more." Arthur put his mother's 
letters into her hands. 

Geraldine read them through all of them 
and they were numerous. Her colour 
deepened and her eyes dai-kened ; but she 
read them to the end quite quietly. She 
gave them back to him with the same un- 
natural stillness : sitting for a moment in 
utter silence. Then she rose. 

"Arthur," she said, "you must come with 
me to your mother. Your cousin and Miss 
Vaughan must be there, too." 

" Nonsense, Geraldine," said Arthur, who 
had a constitutional horror of demonstrations ; 
" I will have no foolish scene for the whole 
county to talk of. What we have to do must 
be done quietly, and between ourselves : alone. 
Henry and Miss Vaughan, indeed ! I will 
not hear of such folly ! " 

" I insist ! " said Geraldine, in a deep, still 
voice, and with heavy emphasis. 

" I insist, Geraldine ! That is strange Ian- 



guage from you to me ! " 

" The occasion is strange, Arthur. 



Ah! 



she added bitterly ; " and you, too, have made 
that old, blind mistake ! Because I am not 
exacting nor selfish, in my daily life ; because 
I am naturally timid and easily depressed : 
you think that I could have no sense of 
justice to myself; no self-respect; no firm- 
ness. If you h:ive made that mistake, you 
must unlearn your lesson to-day. Come! this 
affair must be explained at once ! " 

" But, Geraldine " 

"Are you in league with your mother 
to defame me ? " said Geraldine, her lips 



laid on his arm ; and, without uttering 
another word, strode gloomily by her side 
into the house. 

At the hall-door they encountered Miss 
Vaughan. Geraldine knew that she was 
coming early to ride with her and cousin Hal 
to the Dripping Well ; so that there was 
nothing remarkable in her arrival at this 
moment ; nor in cousin Hal's standing there 
at the door, assisting her to dismount. 

"You are not read}', I see," said Miss 
Vaughan, as Gei-aldiue came up. "Ah! Mr. 
Amphlett ! When did you come ? " 

" This morning," said Arthur, in his 
sulkiest tone. 

Miss Vaughan was struck by his unusual 
tone and manner, and put up her eye-glass ; 
looking from him to Geraldine, in that most 
graceful, affected, and imperturbable way of 
hers, which would have made an excitable 
person angry. 

"Some family business on hand, I see," 
she then said. " I am in the way." 

" No, if you please, Miss Vaughan," said 
Geraldine, quickly. " You are necessary here ; 
you also, cousin Henry." 9 

Miss Vaughan made an almost impercep- 
tible movement with her eyebrows, and 
slightly bowed. Cousin Hal flung back his 
head, smoothed his moustache, showed his 
white teeth, and laughed out, " very happy ;" 
but not in quite so confident and merry 
a voice as usual. Then they all passed 
through the hall into the library, where 
Mrs. Amphlett usually sat in the morning. 
She knew what was coming as soon as they 
entered in such a strange phalanx. She was 
pale, and her face looked harder and sterner 
than ever, with even more than the old fire 
of secret passion in her fierce eyes. But, for 
the first time, Geraldine did not quail before 
them. Mrs. Amphlett felt that the sceptre 
of her power was falling from her hand. 

" What is all this, young lady ? " she 
asked, as Geraldine came near to the table, 
in advance of the rest. " What is the mean- 
ing of the ridiculous air you have assumed 
this morning ? Can you explain this comedy ?" 
she said, turning to Miss Vaughan. 

"M# foi, non ! " replied that lady, gather- 
ing up her riding skirt, and seating herself 
with singular grace on the sofa, flirting open 
her little -French lor