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Familiar in their Mouths as HOUSEEOLD Tr6>i?i>>S."— Shakbspkakk. 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS, 

1 li i r iJ Ml V' I 1 1' I; /'., ii 1 .• 



COHDUCTED BY 



CHARLES DICKENS. 



YOLUME VIII. 



i |[^to |0rfe: 

PUBLISHED BY McELRATH AND BARKER. 



No. ir SPRUCE STREET. 
1854. 



JiiO'l ;:ll 



CONTENTS, 



The Extra Nmnberfor OhrUtmas, " Anothee Eott>tj or Stoeies by the Chbistmas Fibb," vii^h* 
found on pages 109* /o 442* inclusive. 



PAGB 

Abelard and H61oise . . .220 
Accommodation for Quidnuncs . 83 
Accordion, The . . . . 401 
Acorn-cups, The Trade in . . 333 
Adeliza Castle . . . . 217 
African Zephyrs . . .145 

Air Maps 128 

Albania, An Earthquake in . 238 
Algerine Army, Zephyrs of . 145 
Always United . . . . 220 
America, Settlers in . . .188 

Amiens 302 

Among the Shallows . . . 233 
Amy the Child . . . . 431 
Ancient Tariff . . . . 2S3 
Anteater, The . . . . 162 

Anybody's Child . . .551 
Apprentices in France . . . 199 
Arctic Navigation . . . 241 
Army Equipment . . . 428 

Artificial Flower Making . . 280 
Ashantee Palaver . . . 207 

Australia, the Antecedents of . 476 
Australia, Bad Luck at Bendigo 133 
Australia, A Cenvict Prison in . 49 
Australia, First Stage to . .42 
Australian Digger's Diary . 6 

Australian Pacific Mail Steam 
Packet Company . . . 183 



Beds 

Beef .... 
Blank Babies in Paris 
Blankshire Hounds, The 
Bones found at Oxford 
Books for Manchester . 
Border of'tlie Black Sea, A 
Bottled Information . . . 
Bouquets . . • . 
Brazilian in Bloomsbnry, A 
Brilliant Display of Fireworks . 

Bucharest 

Bulgaria . . 257,843,373, 
Bulls and Bears .... 
By Dawk to Delhi . . . 
Byron's Description of the Con- 
demnation of a Play . 



425 



508 



83, 209 
. 377 
. 495 



Camp at Helfaut . 

Capri, The Locust Plague at 

Case of Eeal Distress . 

Catarrh .... 

Cattle Show at Baker Street 

Caught in a Typhoon . 

Cavalry Soldiers 

Cells in Vegetation 

Champagne Salad 

Change of Air 

Chestnuts, The Sack of . 

Children 

Child's History of England, 

165, 210, 259, 
Chinese Plavers 
Chips 184, 207, 281, 805, 354, 

Christmas Presents 
Christmas Town. A . 
Coal Cell, The History of a 
Cobbett, William 
Colby House, Kensington 
Cold, Treatment for a 
College Friends 
Colour Blindness 
Completely Eegistered . 
Commerce, Tribunals of 
Condemned Plays . 



184 
457 
407 
336 
177 
429 



PAGE 

Complaint of the Old Magician . 540 

Concertina, The . . . . 402 

Constantinople . . . 204 
Constantinople, An Adventurer in 355 

Constantinople, Greek Easter at 415 

Convicts in the Gold Eegions . 49 

Cooking by a Gas Apparatus . 335 

Corkscrew Company,The Patent 469 

Cornish Clergy of other Days . 805 

Cotton Manufacture, Statistics of 551 

Cotton "Works in Lancashire . 549 

Cradle and the Grave . . . 317 

Crime and Punishment . . 233 

Crowns in Lead . . . . 11 

Crystal Palace at Sydenham . 813 

Customs Tariff in 1642 . . 283 



Daeda>-elles, The . . . 
Dawk Travelling in India . 
Dead Reckoning at the Morgue . 
Dead Secret, A . . . . 
Defence of Fleas 
Derby, The Ladies' Assembly at 
Deseret News . . . . 
Dibdin, Dr. Thomas . 
Digger's Diary . . . . 
Diggings, From Sydney to the . 
Diggings, A Partner at the . . 
Down among the Dead Men 
Dutch Arctic Navigators . . 
Dyes, The Manufacture of 



Earthquake in Albania . 
Editor's lioora. An 
Edwardes Square, Kensington 
Egypt, A French Settler in . 
Elphinstone, Mr. James . . 
Embassies and Attaches . 433, 
Emigration, Government . . 
Eternal Lamps .... 
Eve of a Journey, The . . . 
Exhibition at Saddleworth, The 
Exile in Siberia .... 
Exploded Magazine . . . 



365 
112 
27 
416 
191 
252 
82S 
6 
818 
817 
418 
242 
225 



Ghostly Pantomimes . 
Gipsey Slaves of Wallachia 
Gold Coast of Africa . . . 
Government Emigration . 
Great Indian Bean-stalk, The . 
Great Saddleworth Exhibition . 
Great Salt Lake, News from the 
Great Screw, A . . 
Greek Easter at Constantinople 
Greek Feast . . . . 
Grosvenor East Indiaman, Loss 

of the 

Gulliver's, Mr., Entertainment . 



PASK 

397 
139 
207 
42 
60 
109 
252 
181 
415 



411 

142 



492 



840 
829 
2S5 

14 
523 

42 
185 
173 
111 
546 

20 



354,483 


. 405 


. 570 


. 460 


. 289 


69, 116, 


307, 360 


. 281 


424, 476 


523, 532 


. 454 


. 337 


. 354 


. 825 


. 15 


. 407 


. 477 


. 255 


. 469 


. 100 


. 443 



Faieiis, The Queen of the . 45T, 
Fairyland in 'Fifty -four . 

Fashion 

Female Life and "Writing in the 
Olden Timea . . . . 
Fire and Snow .... 
Fireworks, The Manufacture of 
First Night in Melbourne . . 
First Stage to Australia , 
Fleas in Turkey . ... 
Flower Bells .... 
Flowers on Graves . . . 
Flowers in "Wax 
Foreign Stocks .... 
Fossils at Oxford 
Foundlings of Paris 
Frauds on the Fairies 
French Army, Zephyrs of the . 
French Master, My . . 361, 
French Settler in Egypt . 
French "Workman . . . 

Free Library at Manchester 
Frozen and Thawed . . . 
Fuchsia, the Story of the . 
Fur Trade ... 449, 

Gas Cooking Apparatus 
Gentleman Usher in 1612 . 
Ghost of a Love Story 



416 



. 232 
. 518 
83, 209 



526 
559 



Half-a-Dozen Leeches . . 
Halsewell East Indiaman, Loss 

of the . . . . 410 

Harmonious Blacksmith . . 400 

Harmonium, The . . . 402 

Hay Asthma . , . . . 408 

Helfaut, The Camp at . . 272 
Her Majesty's Service . .433,523 

History of a Coal Cell . . 354 

House Agents . ... 218 

House that Jack built . . 286 

Horse Guards Rampant, The . 428 
Hudson's Bav Company, The 449, 471 

Huguenots, Stories of the . . 348 

Hunting in America . . . 446 

Hyde Park Corner . . . 882 



Igxobi.e Conduct of aNobleraan 477 
Inchbald, Mrs. . . 15, 279, 329 
In the Dardanelles . . . 330 
India,The Revenue Department of 60 
India, The Steam Whistle in . 440 
India, Travelling in . . . 865 
Indians and the Settlers . . 189 
Influenza, The . . . . 407 

Inns 233 

Iron Houses 287 

Iron Incidents .... 412 
Iron Seamstress . . . . 575 



Jews' Harp, The 
Justice in Punishment . 



Kexsixgtox 
Kensington Church 
Kensington Worthies 



400 
233 



13 
276 
325 



Ladies' Assembly In the Olden 

Times 191 

Lamps of the Ancients . . 185 

Lancashire Witchcraft . . 549 

LannaTixel 123 

Law and its Care for Women . 121 
Leaden Coffins found in the Ab- 
bey of St. Denis ... 11 
Leaf from the Parish Register . 437 

Leather 57 

Leeches 492 

Letters to Sophie . . . 505 
Light of other Days . . . 305 
Little Children . . . .289 
Little Republic . . .^ . 284 
Lives of Plants .... 483 
Locked Out . . . . , . 34? 
Locust Hunt, A . . ... 184 
Lodged in Newgate . . . 1 
London and North- Western Rail- 
way 41*? 



CONTENTS. 



Long Voyage .... 409 
Loss of the Grosvenor . . . 411 
Loss of the Halsewell . . 410 



Magazine for the Year 1798 . . 21 

Magic , 540 

Malachite 91 

Manchester Men at their Books . 877 
Maps of the Air . . . .128 

Mary-Cell in Styria . . . 512 

Master of the Ceremonies, an old 526 

Mazarin, The Duchess of . . 17 

Melbourne, The First Night in . 8 

Menagerie in Paris, A . . . 64 

Merchant's Heart, The . . 54 

Mighty Hunters . . . . 446 

Mine Inn 238 

Model Lodging Houses . . . 286 

Modern Human Sacrifices . . 561 

Modern Practice of Physic . . 169 

Moldo-Wallachia ... 84 

More Places Wanted . . . 156 

Morgue, The .... 112 

Mormons, The . . . . 252 
Morton Hall. , . . 265,293 

Mr. Wiseman in- Print . . . 339 
My French Master . . .861,388 

Mytilene 393 



Neapolitan Purity . . . 572 

Near Christmas . . . . 837 

Needlewomen .... 575 

Newgate, Imprisoned in . . 2 

Newspaper, Editor's Eoom . 340 

News Eooms . . . . . 88 

Nile, A Little Eepublic on the . 284 

'Ninety-eight, a Magazine of . 21 

Nobleman, Ignoble Conduct of a 477 

Norman Story . . . . 78 
North Country Courtesies . .191 

North-West Passage, The . . 245 

North-Western Kailway . . 412 

Northern Wizard . . . . 225 

Nothing Like Leather . . 57 

Number Forty-two . . . 17 

Off! Oifl 442 

Old Bones 83 

Old Settlers of Tennessee . . 188 
On Her Majesty's Service . 433, 523 

Only an Earthquake . . . 235 

On Strike 553 

Out for a Walk . . . .25 

Our Wine Merchant . . . 403 

Oxford, Elephant's Bones at . 83 

Oxford Fossils . . . . 209 



Palliseb's hunting in America 
Pantomimes a Century Ago 
Papier-]Mach6 Houses . . . 
Paris, Blank Babies in 
Parish Eegister, A Leaf from . 
Patent Corkscrew Company 
Penny News Eooms . 
Phalansterian Menagerie . . 
Pharisees and Sinners 
Physic, The Modern Practice of 
Plant-Cell, The .... 
Plays Condemned . . . . 
Portsmouth, The Duchess of . 
Pot and Kettle Philosophy . . 
Preston, The Strike at . 346, 
Prince de Vend6me . . . 
Proteges of the Czar . 
Provisionally Eegistered . . 
Punishment, The Inequality of. 



Queen Mab 



PACK 

457,540 



Eail-w-ats, Opening of, in India 441 
Eailway, London and North- 
Western . . . .412 
Eailway in Snow . . . . 481 

EcadyWit 532 

Eegistration 469 

Ecgular Trappers . . .471 
Eeporters, Duties of, . . . 841 
Eosicrucians, Lamps of the . 185 

Eouen 460 

Eoving Englishman : — 

At Constantinople . . . 204 

And the Prince de Vendome 855 

A Greek Feast . . .893 

Greek Easter . . . . 415 

Eoyal Adversity . . . 457 

Eupert's Land . . 450,471 

Eussian Stranger ... 91 

Eustefan Castle, A Ghost Story of 559 



Sack of Chestnuts 
Saddleworth Exhibition, The 
Sailor's Grievances 
Sanitary Improvement 
Scarsdale House 
School-keeping 
Science and Sophy 
Screw Propeller, The 
Seamstress, The Iron 
Seasonable Gains . 
Sensible Town . 
Sentimental Geography 
Seraphine, The . 
Shipwrecks 

Shipwrecks, Incidents of, 
Siberia, An Exile in 
Slang 
Slates . 

Snow on the Eailway 
Snowdown 
Splendid Match, A 
Stags on <3hange 
Standing on Ceremony 
St. Denis, The Abbey of 
Steam Whistle in India 
Stereoscope, The . 
Stock Exchange, The 
Stop the Way Company, The 
Stories of the Huguenots 
Stoves and Grates 
Strike at Preston . 
Styrian Mecca, The . 
Sunday at Tattersall's . 



. Ill 

. 424 

. 524 

. 826 

. 499 

. 505 

. 181 

. 575 

. 454 



402 
561 
410 
546 

73 
466 
481 

27 
150 
470 



. 11 
. 440 
. 37 
. 517 

449,471 
. 848 
. 833 

846,553 
. 512 



Tasmania, Origin of the Name . 806 
Tattersall's . . . .883 

Tayleur, Loss of the . . . 563 
Tennessee, Old Settlers of . . 18S 
Ten per Cent. Songs . . . 847 
Theatrical Failure . . .442 

The Corner 882 

Things that Cannot be Done . 121 

Too Late 546 

Traits and Stories of the Hugue- 
nots 848 

Travel, Incidents of . . . 406 
Tribunals of Commerce . . 100 
Troy, The Plains of . . . 331 
Trust and No Trust . . . 94 
Tucked Up .... 424 

Turkey, Fleas in . . . . 416 
Turks in Bulgaria . . 257,843 

Two Cousins 246 

Typhoon, Caught in a . .177 



Fqlt Nursling . 
Unspotted Snow 



FAQE 

406 
841 



Yallonia 832 

Yan Diemen's Land, The Disijo- 

verer of 306 

Yarna 378 

Voices from the Deep . . 424 



Wales, Walking in . . . 26 

Wales, Slate Quarries in . . 466 

Wallachia, The Gipsey Slaves of 193 

Wallachian Squire . . . 228 

Want Places .... 156 

Wax Flowers . . . . 232 

Why my Uncle was a Bachelor 564 

Wedding in High Life . . 195 

Wilkiefe House in Kensingtot . 327 
Winds, The . . .129 

Wines 404 

Wiseman, Mr., in Print . 339 

Wizard, The Northern . . 225 

Workmen in France . 199 

Workmen's Dwellings . . . 286 



Your Very Good Health , . 534 



Zephtes of the French Army . 145 



POETEY. 



Bells, The . 

Bran . 

Bright Little Girl, The 

Casket, The 

Echoes . 

Goblins of the Marsh 

Gone 

Holidays 

Lady Hertha . 

Lady of the Fen 

Lament for Summer 

Life and Death . 

Miasma . 

Moonrise 

Motley . 

New-Year's Eve ' 

Now 

Old London Bridge 

One Spot of Green 

Pictures in the Fire 

Preston Strike Songs 

Song for November 

Starlight in the Garden 

Ten Per Cent. . 

Wishing 



445 
179 
825 
228 

13 
491 
133 
897 
516 
870 
156 

60 
843 

84 
539 
418 
802 
204 



348, 555 
. 276 
. 108 
. 847 
. 564 



Contents of the Cheistm as Number. 



The Schoolboy's Story . 


. . 409* 


The Old Lady's Story 


. 413* 


Over the Way's Story . 


. . 417* 


The Angel's Story 


. 425* 


The Squire's Story 


. . 420* 


Uncle George's Story 


. 483* 


The Colonel's Story 


. . 436* 


The Scholar's Story . 


. 440* 


Nobody's Story . 


. . 442* 



'* Familiar in their Mouths as HOUSEHOLD TF(9iei)>S'." -«ha«:kspkak,. 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 

A WEEKLY JOURML 

CONDUCTED BYj CfjH AR L.HS DIOKENS. 



Vol. VIII. 



McELRATH & BARKER, PUBLISHERS 

Office No. 17 Spkuce street, Nkw York. 



Whole IS^o. ISO. 



LODGED IN NEWGATE. 

Police Constable Keggs, when he put his 
hand upon my shoulder and informed me that 
he had a warrant for my apprehension, caused 
me to feel sick at heart. In face and voice he 
seemed to be the most repulsive of all mortals. 
I must go with him he said, to Bow Lane 
station-house. I might go home for half-an- 
hour and explain matters to ray wife ; but 
the night I must spend " locked up." As we 
went along he advised me — supposing I 
might be deficient in tact or feeling — how I 
could best break the news, so that the sud- 
dyn 'blow should fall as lightly as it might 
upon her. I think when we got home that, 
with an easy soothing way, he really did help 
very effectively to comfort her. 

At Bow Jiane — the charge against me 
having been entered, and the contents of 
my pockets entrusted to the inspector on 
duty for the night — I was locked up in a cell 
containing only one other person — " highly 
respectable" they told me. llis snoring was 
not interrupted by the clash and rattle of 
doors, bolts, and keys, upon my entrance ; and, 
as he occupied the whole of the narrow 
bench, which was the only availabl-3 bed, I 
took my boots off and walked up and down 
throughout the night. A small gas lamp in 
a niche at the top of the wall (lighting two 
cells at once) enabled me to see that he was 
a horny man who had done rough work in 
the world. Towards morning he awoke and 
saw me: "Halloa!" he cried; "what time 
did you come in ?" " Between eleven and 
twelve." " Drunk and riotous, or incapable ?" 
" No," I replied. "Oh!" he said, "some heavy 
business p'raps. Well, Fm in for forgery." 

He got up and walked up and down, and 
told me a wild story of his former life, to 
which I gladly listened as a break on my own 
painful meditations. At eleven o'clock the 
officer came for me, and conveyed me in a 
cab (paid for with the money that had been 
found in my pockets) to the Mansion-house. 
Through the dark passage under the Police 
Coart I was ushered into an apartment like 
a vau't, lighted with gas, though there was 
the bright noon of summer flooding all the 
sti'eets outside. The vault was crowded with 
policemen in uniform, among whom there 
were also some officers in plain clothes, 



and two or three minor officials of the court 
above. The warder of the place — a thoroughly 
kind-hearted man, dangling a huge bunch of 
bright keys upon his finger — led me down a 
passage to the left into a corridor, along the 
walls of which were iron cages, like the dens 
which confiine beasts of prey at the Zoological 
Gardens. Into one of these he locked me. 
Other prisoners were brought afterwards 
into the cages, so that we soon came to bo 
rather closely packed. A huge gas burner 
glared upon us, and the place was very close ; 
but there was nothing in the air half so un- 
wholesome as the wandering ut*<;rances, 

"The voices and the shadows, 
And images of voice," 

which filled my ears with the knowledge th»; 
I was among people morally degraded. Old 
offenders winked their recognitions to eath 
other ; men — self-occupied, as is the way with 
all the ignorant — talked of themselves to 
their neighbours ; discussed crime as a calling, 
and their chances of escape, or the character 
of their several convictions, as a set of farmers 
might discuss their prospects for the harvest, 
only with less decorum and more mirth — a 
very ugly mirth. Levity was the prevailing 
habit. A quiet-looking boy asked in a meek 
voice, as the warder passed him, "Oh, if you 
please, sir, might I have a little drop of 
water?" Everybody was at once struck 
with intense thirst, and the joke was relished 
all the more as there was only one tin can to 
supply the whole. It was handed round, and 
every one praised the ale, declared it was in 
prime condition ; some adding that they 
would " tick it up this time," but that the 
next time they happened to be passing they 
wouW be sure to call in and rub off the score. 
My solicitor having come down we held a 
conference. He told me that, although — as it 
was in due time shown — I had been accuseo 
of a grave crime hastily and in error, he shouh- 
apply for a remand ; for he would be unable to 
meet the charges against me effectually at once. 
I expected immediate liberation on bail ; and, 
as I dreaded no stain upon my character, con- 
sidered that my trouble was already over. 
After the magistrate had taken his seat, and 
the fonns proper on opening the court had 
been completed, the various officers came 
down, ready each at the fit time to uucage hi 



2 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted b 



" cases." Mine was the sc(.oncl case cailecl I 
foUoM'^cd Mr. Keggs up an extremely nai-row 
staircase ; and, waiting at tlie top of it for a ; 
minute or two, saw that a trap-door was ; 
raised over my head, through which I was i 
to be wound up, like a stage ghost, and I 
quite as pale. I made my first appearance I 
as a prisoner in the dock, and stood before | 
the robes and chains of Vlty rr.a^istrat(?$. 
My mouth was dry, and I felt taint. 1 
scarcely heard the case. I saw, as through a 
mist, a witness at the witness's rail. I heard 
persons on my right and left speaking loudly, 
as it seemed, against me ; and a quiet, resolute 
voice, which seemed to speak on my behalf. 
In my confusion I could not tell to what end 
the proceedings tended, until I caught the 
words from the Bench : " AYell, if all parties 
are agreed, I see no reason for not granting 
it. Let the case be remanded until this day 
fortnight." 

Then my thoughts dwelt upon the prospect 
of immediate deliverance. There was more 
talking, and whispering, and consulting on 
my right hand. Every man engaged in it 
was irksome to me, for prolonging my deten- 
tion as the mark for a vague crowd of staring 
eyes. The voice from the bench was again 
audible to me : " Oh, decidedly not. I cannot 
think of accepting bail. Bail is out of the 
question." 

Before I had attached a meaning to the 
words the trap was raised, and I was being 
hurried dov/n the narrow staircase. In a 
minute or two I was again locked up in the 
den with my old companions, who received 
me with a simultaneous pull of long, commi- 
serative faces, meant to be comical. 

"You can have a cab if you like" — of 
'ourse, out of my own funds — "instead of 
-..ing with the rest," said Mr. Keggs. 

" But where am I to go to ?" I asked in 
Dcwildermcnt. "Where is Mr. Bartle, my 
Bohcitor ?" 

" Mr. Bartle will be down to speak to you 
directly." 

" And then ?" 

" AVhy, then you must go to Newgate." 

I was taken to Newgate in a cab. In the 
entrance-hall of that dark building I was offi- 
cially delivered over to the warden ; who, with 
\ cheer)'- comfortable face, suggested thoughts 
lather of warden pie than gruel. 

" Prisoner on remand," said Mr. Keggs, 
handing to him the committal from the 
Mansion-house. 

Having asked me a few questions formally, 
to satisfy himself that I was the person speci- 
fied in the document, and having inquired 
whether I had anything in my pockets, he 
shouted once or twice to some one who was 
slow to come out of the innermost recesses 
of the place. His voice echoed among the 
labyrinth of passages, beating itself against 
the thick stone walls, until another voice 
came echoing an answer to it. In a short 
time a man appeared behind the massive iron 



gate, and tlirew it open with a heavy sound, 
terrible to one who had not been scared before 
by anything more wretched than an unoiled 
bedroom hinge. " Here's one for the remand 
ward," said the warden. "Very well," said 
the man, who was in no good temper, "come 
this way." I shook hands with the officer, 
and felt, when he departed, as if I had 
j<^st {^ valued friend. He would meet me, 
lie -said,! at the Mamsion-house, punctually on 
the appointed day ; talking of it as genially 
as if it were a dinner appointment. Then, 
as admin strator of my funds, he gave to 
the warden sixpence wherewith to buy for 
me postage stamps, and left me to make 
myself at home in Newgate. 

Strong and stony as the prison seems to 
passers by, it looks much stonier and stronger 
to the men who enter it. The multiphcity 
of heavy w^alls, of iron grfcc-ri and doorways ; 
of huge locks, of bolts, spikes and bars of 
every imaginable shape and size, make of the 
place a very nightmare dungeon. I followed 
the gruff under- warder, through some dark 
and chilly vaulted passages, now turning to 
the right, now to the left. We crossed a 
large hall, in the centre of which is a glass 
room for the use of prisoners when they are 
giving instructions to their lawyers. When 
it is so used, a prison officer walks round and 
round it, seeing all that may take place 
within, but hearing nothing. In another 
passage was a small recess, in which three or 
four under-wardens in their regulation uni- 
form were dining. One vacant seat, v/ith a 
half emptied plate before it, let me know 
why my guide was not in a good humour. 
Had I arrived ten minutes later, he would 
have been, I do not douot, in an excellent 
humour. Still following, I was led into 
another large recess or chamber, on one side 
of which was a huge boiler with a furnace 
glowing under it, and on another side a large 
stone bath. On the third wall there were a 
couple of round towels on a roller, with a 
wooden bench beneath them. " Stop," cried 
the warden, " take your clothes off." I hesi- 
tated. " Take off your clothes, do you hear?" 
My clothes were soon laid on the bench, and 
a hot bath filled, and I went in. The officer 
had then his opportunity of taking up my 
garments one by one, searching their pockets 
and their linings, feeling them about and 
holding them against the light. My boots 
appeared to be especially suspicious. After 
he had put his hands into them, he thumped 
them violently on the stone floor ; but there 
rolled nothing out. Having bathed, I was led 
down another passage, at the end of which 
were two gratings of iron bars, closel}'' woven 
over with wire-work, distant about two feet 
from each other. Unlocking both he pushed 
me through, and started me up two or three 
steps into a square court-yard, where there 
was a mar v.alking to and IVo very violently 
After shonting " One in !" he locked the two 
gratings, and retreated rapidly in the direction 



Charle* Dickent.] 



LODG^^L IN NEWGATE. 



of his dinner. Another warden with <%. ounoh 
of keys, came from a gloom}' building that 
formed one side of the court. " Go up," he 
said to the pedestrian ; who disappeared up 
a staircase instantly. 

" Where are you from ?" the jailor asked 
me, and " What are you here for ?" Being 
replied to on these points, he said shortly, 
" Come this way." He led up the dark stone 
staircase to a corridor with cells on one side, 
having iron doors to them a foot or more in 
thickness. One of those colls was to be 
mine. Venturing as I went in to ask 
" Whether I might be allowed to walk in the 
yard when I pleased ?" he answered sharply, 
" y^ou'll just please to walk where and when 
you're told." He slammed the door, bolted 
it, locked, and padlocked it. 

^Ke cell was about eight feet by four, 
lighted by a loophole above eye-level. It con- 
tained, besides an iron bedstead with a straw 
mattress and two coarse rugs upon it, an 
uncomfortable stool and a slanting reading- 
desk fastened to the wall, on which were 
a Bible, a prayer-book, and hymn-book. 
Alone for the first time since my apprehen- 
sion, I stretched myself upon the bed ; and, 
with my hands over my eyes endeavoured to 
collect my thoughts. I was soon aroused 
by the undoing of bolts and bars below, 
while a stentorian voice shouted from the 
yard, "All — down !" I heard the cell doors 
being opened in the corridor ; and, in due turn 
mine was flung open, and the jailor looked 
in. The impression my body had left upon 
the rugs enraged him dreadfully. " What," 
he cried, almost in a scream, " you've been 
a lying on that 'ere bed, have you ! You just 
let me catch you on it again till night, that's 
all!" 

" Oh," I said soothingly, " I didn't know. 
Now that I do know, I will not lie down 
again." 

" If I find you on it again I'll have you 
up before the governor or stop your supper. 
That's all. Go down." 

In the yard I found nine fellow "remands ;" 
two or three of them well dressed, the others 
ragged. Those who were near me asked 
particulars about myself, and were commu- 
nicative about themselves. We fell into line. 
An iron gate was unbolted, and at the same 
time there was a cry of "Hats off!" The 
governor appeared, with the head warden and 
a small pet spaniel. " Have any of you any- 
thing to say to the governor?" asked the 
wirden. The governor himself repeated the 
question, and at the same time looked at us 
critically. There was silence, and the gover- 
nor departed. We returned then to our 
cells ; and, for the rest of the afternoon I 
remained undisturbed, except by the clock of 
St. Sepulchre's and the occasional shout of 
" One in ;" which let me know that time as it 
passed on never found Newgate idle. 

Almost simultaneously with the striking 
of five from St. Sepulchre's, I heard the 



shout of " Gruel !"• followed by a clink of 
cans and spoons. My cell was unbolted, 
and there was handed in to me a tin of 
smoking gruel, and a piece of dry bread. 
I am not squeamish, but I could not eat it. 
I knew that my wife with our home walls 
about her felt more desolate than I. I left 
my gruel and my bread, after a vain struggle 
to eat them. In a short time the jailor came 
and took away the can, ordering me down 
for a half hour's walk in the yard. 

Just before locking up for the night at eight 
o'clock, the cell doors were again opened and 
the prisoners invited to drink from a bucket 
of water, by the help of a little can. Chains, 
padlocks, and additional bolts noisily ad- 
justed, made all safe for the night ; and, when 
the work of fastening was finished, the head 
warden came through the silence with a 
measured tread, and, raising a little peep- 
hole in each door, bade " Good night" to 
each prisoner ; awaiting a reply, in order that 
he might report to the governor that all 
was well. Until six in the morning all was 
quiet. 

The sounds of keys and bolts aroused me 
in the morning. I had some experience of 
soldiers' beds and how they are made ; 
and the Newgate beds are of the barrack 
character. Hearing my neighbours who had 
made their beds up clumsily sharply admo- 
nished, I packed mine up in military style 
before the jailor came to me. He looked sur- 
prised and gratified. The order being " Go 
below and wash," I obeyed it, and washed 
with the help of a bucket at the cisteiii 
tap in the yard and a very small piece ot 
soap, finishing off with a towel that had 
been made very damp by having gone the 
rounds before I took my turn at it. When 
I came back, the jailor — who had not lived 
down his admiration of my bed-making — 
took me to a cell not far from my own and 
bade me teach that shiftless Bilson how to 
make up a bed, exhorting Bilson at the 
same time to heed the lesson. Bilson of 
course introduced himself to me with the 
questions " When are you going up ?" " What 
are you in for ?" &c., which supply to New- 
gate prisoners such a topic as the weather is, 
to men out in the free air. 

I was glad to get with my gruel and 
bread, at half-past seven, the information 
that if, when my friends came to see me, 
they left any money with the porter at 
the gate I might buy m3^self provisions 
out of it. Of course there were resti'ictions. 
Cold beef and mutton were admissible, pork 
and veal were excluded. I could be allowed 
a little butter or cheese, but not eggs and 
not bacon. There is a person, I was told, 
just outside the gates who regularly supplies 
prisoners in Newgate for whom the door- 
keeper has funds in trust, with the regula- 
tion comforts, including coffee and rolls in 
the morning, tea and toast in the afternoon 
There was incidental relaxation also, ao I 



HOUSEPIOLD WORDS. 



^(-ot.,.' lleft tj 



*«'*tid, connected with this arrangement. All 
those who are victualled by this worthy man 
arc allowed to leave their cells and to go into 
the corridor where he serves out prison luxu- 
ries. Then for a minute or two rapid conversa- 
tion could take place among us ; but, if it 
were protracted half a minute beyond the 
time sufficient for the. drawing of our allotted 
portions, the stern voice of the jailor waiting 
to lock up again made us run like rats into 
our holes. 

It being the first day of my residence in 
Newgate, I received a visit from the doctor, 
who made diligent inquiry on the subject of 
my health. Soon afterwards I was sent 
down, with all the others who had come in 
on the previous day, to see the Ordinary in 
the vestry. Through an intricate stone laby- 
rinth, by aid of numerous directions shouted 
out by the w^arden, we found our way into the 
comfortably furnished chamber at the foot of 
the chapel stairs. The Ordinary, sat in a 
large easy chair at a table covered with 
papers, and he was backed by a large book- 
case, on the top of which were proper New- 
gate ornaments, consisting of casts of the 
features of men who had been hanged. I 
found him kind and gentle. He inter- 
rogated me as to the charge which was 
entered in a book before him ; conversed 
with and advised me for a few minutes 
in a considerate and humane way, and sent 
me back with a pamphlet which he con- 
sidered suitable to m}'^ condition. It was en- 
titled A Warning of Advice to Young Men in 
the Metropolis. 

In the exercise yard I found all the re- 
manded prisoners turning out for chapel 
parade. There was a gentlemanly young 
man who possessed a clothes brush which 
all — down to the most ragged — were soli- 
citous to borrow. The desire was for some- 
thing to do, and there were great brushings. 
That young man had been in the remand 
department for three months or more, on 
suspicion of having been implicated in a bank 
robbery. He went out at last with a clear 
character, the police having in his case been 
on a false scent, for even police sometimes err. 
There was a showy foreigner anxious that I 
should tell him — as I w^as a newcomer — what 
the public thought about his chances of 
acquittal. There were some boys accused of 
larcenies, perverting the light-heartedness of 
childhood into a play of wretched mockeries 
and jokes, not checked by the authoritative 
" Keep quiet you there, won't you ;" but 
greatly promoted by the smile into which 
now and then the jailor was betrayed. 

The part of Newgate chapel set aside for 
the congregation differs of course in its 
planning from any church or chapel nsed by 
people who have liberty to come and go. 
There are only four pews, separate and far 
apart. One is for the governor, one for the 
head warden or deputy governor, and the 
other two, one in each gallery, for the 



sheriffs or City authorities who came at specia*. 
times : on condemned sermon Sundays for 
example. We were marched across the 
chapel to the cage set apart for remands ; 
wliich is in close contact with the governor's 
pew, and I observed that the jailor so 
formed the line of our procession every 
morning that the well-dressed men of our 
party were placed nearest to the dignitary. 
A black veil from the ceiling hung before the 
gallery above us and concealed the female 
prisoners. The locks of our cage having been 
fastened, and our jailor having seated him- 
self so as to command a full view of all who 
were in his charge, the convicts in their grey 
suits were marshalled into a cage opposite to 
ours. When they had been locked up, some 
other prisoners were brought into the body 
of the chapel and ranged upon forms. There 
came a fine-looking old man who walked 
with an air of great consequence to a seat at 
the communion rails. He proved to have 
been a prisoner for some years past, a col- 
lector of taxes who had pocketed the public 
money. We were all so well classified in 
chapel that remands before committal, com- 
mittals awaiting trial, convicted and sentenced 
prisoners could at a glance be distin- 
guished from each other by the governor or 
chaplain. 

Chaplain and clerk being in their places, 
the governor entered his pew ; a prison bird 
sitting behind me, wanted to know whether 
he had his boots on? Yes, he had. " Then," 
said the whisperer, " he'll visit us after this. 
AYhen he is not going over jail till afternoon 
and keeps to himself all morning, he always 
comes to chapel in his slippers. I've not 
been here a dozen times for nothing. I can 
tell you." After prayers and psalms we had 
a sermon on the lesson of the day, in which 
we were not specially addressed as sinners, 
but as dear brethren who were to avoid sin. 
I was struck by the force which the whole 
body of prisoners threw into hymn singing ; 
the jailors led, and there was scarcely a 
prisoner who did not take the opportunity 
to use his lungs. The hymns were really 
well sung, but my experience among the 
denizens of Newgate made me feel vexed at 
the hollowness of adoration so expressed. And 
yet, what would one have ? Even such 
shows may lead the way to something more 
substantial. 

After chapel service, we were marched 
back to our wards : I, with the new aT-rivnis, 
being first taken to the governor's office and 
paraded there before the door, near the great 
entrance gate. We were called in one by 
one, and found the governor sitting on the 
table, having a warder before him witb 
writing materials, and a book in which ho 
wrote what was dictated to him. Looidng 
stcdfastly at me, the great authority ^^^cr 
us rapidly dictated the dcsciiption of my 
person: "Light — grey- small — short — no 
distinguishing :" the ini* words, I suppose, 



^t.ie* D.c.tens.] 



LODGED .i5i' j^E^rGATE 



meant that I had no mark upon me bj- which 
I might be at once identified. *• What are 
you charged with ?" " Ever in gaol before ?" 
Then I was measured by f'c standard rule, 
(I had before been measurtJ. in the station- 
house,) and dismissed by the governor with a 
sharp reproof to the warden for having brought 
me before him in a highly improper state 
(I had a two days' beard). He waf kj see at 
once and have me cleanly shaved. 

Next followed the " ninety minutes' wnicn 
to me were all the ^ay. I had been locked 
up only a short time when I was unbarred 
and ordered to "the grate," at which I had 
been left by the first warden yesterday. It 
was the place for seeing visitors, and there I 
found my wife. The comfort and quiet of the 
other prisoners and prisoners' friends, who 
formed two close files opposite each other 
with the space between the two gratings 
parting them, was disturbed that morning. 
My dear wife cried loudly the whole time. 
The head warden came to her, and with a 
kindness not to be forgotten, begged her 
"not to take on so, it would be all right." 
Then he brought her a form to sit upon, tell- 
ing her she would find it tiresome work, to 
stand an hour and a half on the cold stones. 
When the two gates were opened that the 
bundles brought by visitors might be passed 
in, he made her advance half-way through, 
that she might shake hands with me. His 
^eart was not of Newgate stone. 

Indeed, I found that while there was a great 
deal, especially among the under-wardens, 
of the roughness that they considered neces- 
sary to discipline, there was no lack of a 
right human feeling anywhere. The hour 
and a half of interview at the grate, from half- 
past ten to twelve for female relatives and 
friends^ and the hour from one to tw.i o'clock 
for male friends, were always full of noticea- 
ble scenes, that on the whole were to the 
credit of the people concerned in them. Only 
one visitor was allowed to each prisoner at a 
timp ; and, considering the pressure for front 
places, that was a fair rule. At the grate, 
prisoners of every grade jostled one another 
vigorously, and the confusion of tongues was 
terrible. Some visitors were sad, and came 
weeping or dejected ; others, at home in 
Newgate, sought to encourage their caged 
acquaintances with rude fun. The turnkey 
of the ward favoured us sometimes with his 
company and exchanged recognitions with 
familiar ^eople; adding a contribution of 
good-humoured turnkey jokes. It was worthy 
of observation, that although there might be 
tears seen and regrets heard, no wife ever 
reproached her husband, no mother her son, 
no sister her brother. It was not the time 
for admonition, their hearts knew, AVith one 
exception the same right feeling was shown 
by the men. 

A young man guilty of a small embezzle- 
ment, who had given himself into custody. 
Had been brought into Newga^(<B a day or two 



after my arrival, and made all night such 
dreadful lamentations in his cell, that at chi^fs^ 
parade we all had to compare notes ahr- ,4ir 
broken slumbers. He was walking j and 
down the yard with his face buri^i:. in his 
hands ; and, at chapel, groaned so m ■. ih ;je« 
fore the arrival of the Ordinary, thi^t tte 
warden sung out, " You had better, I rhinkj 
stop that cat's noise here, you sir!" The 
next morning he told me that he had expect- 
ed his brother, but that nobody had been to 
see him. He wanted to see his brother very 
much. That afternoon while I was at the 
grate talking to a friend, a sedate-looking, 
sanctimonious, well-dressed man arrived. It 
was the expected brother. He did not appear 
much affected, and addressed his repentant 
relative in a way that made the turnkey 
stare. The turnkey always came to have a 
thorough look at a new visitor, " Well, sir," 
said the good brother, " so here you are, and 
here of course you shall remain. I have 
just come ; not because 3^ou sent for me, but 
to say that none of the family will have any- 
thing to do with you." The castaway had 
no answer, for he was groaning and lament- 
ing; but the turnkey shouted after the 
righteous one as he was departing, "I say, 
sir, you must send him a clean shirt and a 
collar, and a bit of a hairbrush. And I tell 
you what, he don't relish his gruel ; so jusi 
you leave a shilling at the gate to get him 
something better." 

The brother was exasperated at the impu- 
dent demand. " Prison ffire,'* he replied, . 
" is good enough for him, too good for him. 
I'll send the other things, if you assure me I 
can have them back when he is sentenced. 
And mark me, brother," he said, turning with 
fiorcc deliberation on his old ^lome play- 
fellow, "if by any chance you should escape 
punishment, don't come near any of us. 
We'll have nothing to do with you. The 
sooner you get out of the way Se better.' 
vShouldering his umbre-'a he Diar fced off, anu 
the turnkey speaking 'cr the fliht time gen 
tly to the youth, said, " Come now ! up to 
your cell, there's a good fellow ! You wanted 
to see your brother. Now I hope you're 
satisfied." 

The chief event of the afternoon in New- 
gate, next to the constitutional walk in the 
yard, is being locked up in a large cell on the 
base ••. *Y with pen, ink, and paper. 

Th-. A-e wrote ietiers which a turnkey saw 
us sign and marked wHh his initials ; they 
were then takr ' , he: -«»d by the authorities 
before they were puT^tea. .-^^iw^^^imp* ^ w«.s 
locked up with one of the many ]-» i^o/^t;l'S wlio 
could not write, or even dictate sensibly ; but 
such men never would allow that it was pos- 
sible to make their meaning clf.a!er than they 
made it, by another than their own appointed 
form of words. 

When being escorted through the passages 
to the glass-room for interviews with my 
solicitor, I used often to meet a man carrying 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



wine bodies .n a basket, and wondered who 
it was that had so large a traffic to and from 
his cellar T found out that the bottles con- 
ained .4Sif.A. draught and physic for the 
prise .crs, and then my interest abated. 

At last the morning came on which I was to 
be again taken to the Mansion-house. Before 
breakflist, I was got up for the event like a 
3chool-boy who is wanted in the parlour. As 
had never shown any symptoms of a desire 
Co defeat the ends of justice, I had been trust- 
ed with my razor, and allowed to shave myself. 
The warder, however, lounged against one of 
the window-sills in the yard (the barber's 
shop) the while, indulging in gruff but well- 
meant remarks on the young men who had 
come under his care. On this particular 
morning he was more than usually chatty. 
*' Ah ! I have known some first-rate men in 
here ; and enjoy themselves very much, they 
did. Poor fellows; all their troubles com- 
menced when they left here. That's the time 
— you'll find that when you get out. Every 
man that looks at you a little harder than 
usual in the streets you'll think knows you 
have been in Newgate. You'll think every 
one knows where you've come from ; and, sure 
enough, its wonderful what a sight of people 
do find it out," He ended by hoping he 
should not see me back again in Newgate. 

Soon after morning chapel there was a cry 
heard of " Send down them remands !" I was 
taken down with half-a-dozen others, and 
paraded in line waiting for the van. When 
all was ready we were led through the long 
dark passage to the entrance-hall. The 
warden at the gate, having seen that we were 
the right persons to go out, required me to 
enter my name in his account-book as an ac- 
quittal for his disbursements in the character 
of steward to my funds. The great iron gate 
then swung upon its hinges, and we passed to 
the van one b}^ one through a lane of curious 
observers. 

The van contained separate cabins, with 
swing shutters to the doors fastened by but- 
tons, and all opening into the central passage. 
A young man, " very faint," requested that 
his shutter might be left open. " Yes," said 
the Serjeant — " then you'll be all talking, you 
will." — " no indeed, sir, we won't, I assure 
you. Do let me have it open if you please, 
sir." The plaintive tone prevailed; and, af- 
ter the van door was locked, the young man, 
putting out his arm, unbuttoned the other 
shutters, and a romp began. Jokes were 
bandied, arrangements and appointments 
made in the event of release, and the great 
game was for each to lie in wait watching the 
other shutters, and be ready to box the ears 
of any one who popped his head out. In 
that spirit of levity young and old men, ac- 
cused of grave olFences, went to trial. At 
the Mansion-house the hand of Mr. Keggs ap- 
peared at the van door ready to help me 
down. That amiable friend bade me good 
day, and took me to the cage again. 



I did not reappear in Newgate to add to 
my experience a knowledge of the kind of life 
led by committed prisoners or others in a lower 
deep — the convict department. I have told 
my tale simply as so much experience, and 
have no desire or talent for constructing any 
theories upon it. 



A DIGGER'S DIARY. 

IN OCCASIONAL CHAPTERS. 

^ September 7th. — So, here we are at last, in 
sight of Australia. That faint grey some- 
thing, seen through the worst of weather, we 
are told is Cape Otway. What a time we 
have had of it these last three weeks. It is 
all over with my Diary, as indeed it has very 
nearly been all over with everything else 
in the Rodneyrig, ever since we passed the 
little black rocky islands of St. Paul's and 
Amsterdam. If I ever again take to keeping 
a journal, it must be on the plan of no-plan 
— I mean of no sort of regularity as to* the 
intervals. 

The condition of our cabin — our berths — 
every cabin, and every berth in the 'tween 
decks, no tongue can tell. All washed out, 
and everything left, not high and dry, but 
moist, rotten, broken, trodden up, strewn 
about, and turned to rags and slush. The 
grand summit of all our sea-disasters we 
reached on the 10th inst. — was it the 10th or 
the 9th, or the 7th? — oh, I forget, but it topped 
everything. We had gone to bed duiing 
gales, and got up in the morning to find a 
storm, to say nothing of any of the roaring 
hours between, for some time ; but one day 
we had a hurricane that never ceased for a 
minute, so that when it grew dark we all fair- 
ly turned into our berths to avoid being 
knocked and battered to pieces against the 
ship and each other, and there we all lay wide 
awake, listening to the various effects — such 
as roars, howls, hisses, gushes, creaks, clanks, 
shrieks, flaps and flanks, rumbles and falls, and 
sudden shocks, with the steadv. iiipnotonous, 
vibrating drone of the migntv wind holding 
on through all. without iiucrmission. Thif 
lasted in aU its force through the night, til 
from sh<jer exnaustion by attending to it ) 
dropped off to sleep. Sometime betwecL 
twelve and two I awoke with a start, causec 
by a loud and violent booming blow, followcc 
by a rush of water, which came dashing 
down the main hatchway, and flooding all 
the 'tween decks, every «abin inclusive. A 
lurch instantly followed, Vhich sent all the 
water swosh over to the other side of the 
ship, but this seemed only done to give a 
more vehement impulse to the counter-lurch 
on our side, the roll of which went to such 
an extent lower and lower that I thought 
this time at last we must go clean over, and 
while the result was yet suspended in the 
darkness, down came rushing to our low 
sunken side an avalanche of all the moveabl 
contents of the entire 'tween dcci'^ -cookl: 



/OArlea Dickens.] 



A DIGGER'S DIARY. 



tins arul crockery, washing things, all loose 
articles of every description, with boxes, jars, 
and tubs, and kegs and cabin furniture burst- 
ing away from their ilistenings, through cabin 
doors, and bringing many cabin doors and 
panels along with them, together with the 
heavy crashing hatchway ladders — in one 
tremendous avalanche, cataract, and chaos, 
like the total destruction and end of all 
things'. It was so sudden, so complete, so far 
exceeding all we had previously experienced, 
put together, that it produced for a second or 
two a dead silence. The suspense was mo- 
mentary, for out of that silence there arose 
one loud, unanimous, spontaneous, simul- 
taneous Jiuzza! from nearly every cabin in 
the 'tween decks, just as though we had re- 
ceived the first broadside of an enemy on 
going into action. This is literally true. I 
felt proud of my countrymen. Most of us on 
our first voyage too. Certainly we English 
were meant to be a nation of sailors. 

lOth. — The foulest weather of the whole 
yoyage was in the Indian Ocean, when we 
were first nearly abreast of Cape Lewin, oif 
the invisible Australian coast. Our boas'n 
said he had been out here fourteen times, 
aud always had a storm off this coast. The 
boas'n a first-rate sailor. Had two holes, and 
one long rent in his blue trowsers — the 
largest patched Avith a great canvas heart, 
the next with an anchor cut out in leather — 
and the long rent was covered with a 
Turkish scj'-metar, also of canvas. But here 
we were at last nearing the " Heads," and I 
did not care how soon I lost sight of all these 
petty objects and interests of the stupid old 
Rodneyrig. Took pilot on board. Crowd 
surrounded him with eager looks and ques- 
tions. Pilot said gruffly at once, " All right 
as to the gold — now, I won't answer another 
question. Haul up the mainsail!" 

llth. — Hobson's Bay. AVho would have 
expected to see so many ships? Could not 
help feeling a momentary alarm, lest all the 
gold should have been picked up. But the 
ships looked all empty, deserted, as we passed. 
In one there seemed to be nobody but the 
captain, who was leaning disconsolately over 
the side. Others showed no signs of life at 
ail. On this deck perhaps a boy, or that a 
dog, but generally no moving thing at all. 
Felt that if the gold had been picked up ever 
so extensively, at least it had not been carried 
away. 

A row on deck between passengers and 
Captain Pennysage. Hobson's Bay was not 
Melbourne — yet he declared he had no more 
to do with us now, and that Ave must get 
ashore in boats, how we could, at our own 
expense. We learnt from the pilot that the 
chaiges of boatmen for passengers and bag- 
gage ashore, were most exorbitant, and no 
help for it. How we raged at the captain ! 
We all execrated Saltash and Pincher ! 

l^th. — Thirty shillings for every forty cubic 
feet of luggage by the steam-tug that took us 



ashore, measured by their own off-hand men, 
besides paying for our own passage. Nobody 
with all his luggage, so that we had this to 
go through several times. Steam-tug calling 
at all manner of vessels by the way, round 
about and in and out, made it dark when we 
were landed on the wharf In a few minutes, 
to our surprise and dismay, the air became 
dark — it was night, and the rain began » to 
fall heavily. Rain had fallen before in the 
day, and all under foot was mud and slush. 
Most of their luggage all the passengers had 
to carry or drag ashore themselves ; the rest, 
excepting what was carelessly left behind by 
the sailors of the tug, was bundled after us, 
pell mell. Cattle would never have been put 
ashore in so reckless a manner. There was 
not a single lamp on the wharf, nor even the 
temporary help of a lanthorn. Boxes, bales, 
cases, fragments of machinery, bundles of 
diggers' tools, merchandise of all sorts burst- 
ing from their confines and being trampled 
into the mud, men, women, large families, 
with the children all crying, now a dog 
running between your legs, now 5^ou running 
up against a horse who had also lost his 
master, and all this in a strange place, in the 
rain and dark, and nobody knowing anything 
you wanted to know, but retorting precisely 
your own question in a wild tone — especially 
" Which is the way to the town ?" — " Where 
can we get lodgings for the night ?" — " What 
on earth is to become of our luggage ?" 
Arrowsmith, by agreement, had rushed ashore 
directly we touched the edge of the wharf, to 
go up to Melbourne and try and find lodgings 
for us, which we knew must be no easy 
matter. I had lost Waits in the scramble 
and confusion. I saw no more of cither of 
them all night. In the miserable company of 
some forty or fifty passengers by the Rodney- 
rig, and another ship that had just sent a 
cargo of forlorn wretches ashore, I passed the 
whole night on the wharf, standing with my 
back against a large packing case, and 
occasionally Ij^ing with my hand and elbows 
upon it indulging in no very livel}'' train of 
reflection. I was very wet and cold of course, . 
but not so cold as I had fancied I should be. 
About daybreak I discerned a large rusty 
boiler of a steam engine (one of the numerous 
pieces of machinery which for want of cranes, 
or other apparatus, besides labourers, had 
been left, as I subsequently found, to rot on 
the wharf), and into this boiler I crept, and 
coiling myself as nearly into a ball as I could, 
gave a sigh, and went to sleep. 

24cth. — Horrible bad cold, aches in every 
joint of my bones, more rain, wandering aboul 
on the wharf searching for our luggage, with 
no breakfast, everybody rushing to and fro 
in a scramble, and nobody able to answer any 
question, or refusing to listen a moment. About 
nine o'clock, the sun came out bright and hot. 
Saw Arrowsmith hurrying along covered 
with mud, and followed by Waits with a 
bloody nose and one of the skirts of his 



8 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Condcicteil b 



coat hai.ging in shreds. They would answer 
no questions, but cried out, "The luggage! 
all the things!" Oh what a job it was! 
They accuse me of deserting the luggage, it 
was they who had deserted me ! Found most 
of it, and in a pretty pickle. We had to 
carry it ourselves up to the town, with the 
exception of a large heavy chest of Arrow- 
smith's which we left at an old shackety shed 
of planks and dirty canvas called a "store," 
for which he was to pay ten shillings " en- 
trance," and half-a-crown a week. 

Went to a one-stor-ied, yellow-ochred, im- 
pudently squalid place in Flinders Lane, a 
sort of gin-shop, beer-shop, lodging-house, 
eating-house, and coffee-shop all in one, 
where they also sold potatoes, tin-pans, and 
oats, outside at a stall, and bought gold to any 
amount. Here (our luggage being bundled 
into a muddy yard at the back, where there 
was already a chaos of boxes, bundles, and 
rubbish) we got some very muddy coffee, 
with the chill off, some remarkably dirty 
brown sugar, stale bread, bad potatoes, the 
filthiest knives, forks, and table-cloth the 
house could afford, and a huge dish piled 
up with at least nine or ten pounds of 
smoking hot fried beef-steaks. We were all 
fiercely hungry, from what we had gone 
through since yesterday afternoon, but the 
hopeless toughness absolutely made us all 
leave off with aching jaws long before our 
craving was satisfied. We finished, therefore 
upon stale bread and potatoes, with some 
ran:id butter, and lots more coffee. We paid 
seven-and-sixpence a head. I asked to be 
Bhown to my bedroom, and was answered by 
a grin from the bearded brute who con- 
descended to act as waiter 'pro tern. " You 
see it before you," said Arrowsmith, " and 
here" (tapping the table) " are our bedsteads. 
They will find us blankets of some kind or 
other." I asked him if he and Waits had 
slept here last night. He said no, he had not, 
and he now proceeded to tell us (he and 
Waits having lost each other) why he had 
not returned to me on the wharf, and what 
had been the adventures of the night. I shall 
give it in Arrowsmith's own words, as nearly 

as I can recollect. 

s 

THE FIRST NIGHT IN MELBOURNE. 

Everybody, said Arrowsmith, from all I 
can hear, is astonished and disgusted with the 
first night in Melbourne ; but the first night 
of the arrival of three ladies, perfect strangers 
in the place, will show the extraordinary 
state of affairs here in a peculiarly strong 
light. 

Arrived in the town, I at once began to 
hunt for lodgings, and went from street to 
street in vain, till at last, finding a house 
where they agreed to find room for three more 
—dead or alive, as the landlord invitingly 
said — T was on my way back to the wharf, 
when who should I see paddling along in the 
mud but our fellow passengers, Mrs. Watson, 



Miss Dashwood, and Mrs. Pounderby, Avho had 
very knowingly left the llodncyrig with the 
earliest boat, in order to secure lodgings 
before they were all taken. They came 
luckily without any luggage but their night- 
bags. They had been from house to houso 
almost, and during six or seven hours had 
been treated with such insult or unseemly 
ridicule at nearly every door, that each 
fresh application — which they undertook in 
turn — had been a greater effort, thej^ said, 
than going to a dentist with an aching tooth. 
It had rained more or less the whole day, and 
they were wet to the very bones, as Mrs. Wat- 
son expressed it. Mrs. Pounderby was cry- 
ing — indeed they had all cried several times 
in concert. Captain Watson had come ashore 
with them ; but, never dreaming of this difli- 
culty, had gone to dine and sleep at the pri- 
vate house of a merchant in the bush, with 
whom he had some business. And here they 
were ! They besought me not to leave them, 
as they were sure they should be all dead 
before morning. So of course I could but 
remain with them, and try after lodgings 
once more. 

We renewed our inquiries — humble solici- 
tations, preparatory overtures, cautious ad- 
vances. If I had had you two fellows with 
me, it might have been managed more than 
once, but directly they found that women 
were in question (the term ladies was abso- 
lutely dangerous to breathe, as it instajitly 
received an inverted interpretation from th.ese 
brutal householders) all hope was dashed out 
in a moment. I ought as a gentleman — as a 
man —to have engaged in five regular fights, 
besides countless tortures of passive self-com- 
mand, in consequence of the atrocious, un- 
manly, ten times worse than black savage 
replies that were made to my request touch- 
ing my three dripping, bedraggled, half- 
fainting companions. The answers — divested 
of all their gold-mania ferocity — were to the 
effect that they wanted no women or children 
here, and they might all just go to a plac? 
which the speakers considered infinitely 
worse than Melbourne ! "Well, these things 
are not merely accidental adventures — I 
know that numbers have experienced the 
same — they are historical, and very bad bits 
of history everybody must admit them to 
be. 

By this time po/ ." Mrs. Pounderby, being, 
you know, very fat, was sobbing and puffing 
as though she would burst — and no joke to 
see, though ridiculous to relate. Mrs. Watson 
with her hand's clasped, continually referred 
to the Captain dining in the bush ; and Miss 
Dashwood, having good Irish blood, still 
tripped along, sore-footed as she was, with 
tears in her eyes, but saying that surely, per- 
haps, Providence after all would stand their 
friend. Now, in my own mind (T could have 
made that girl an offer on the spot — but that 
by the by), I had fully prepared myself for 
passing the night in the streets. I Jvent on, 



pretcuo.'-ig still to look for lodgings, but in 
reality I was looking for a dry archway, or 
other covered place with a moderate draught. 
Each of the ladies having a cloak or shawl, 
besides what they might have in their night- 
bags, I thought they might manage pretty 
well. considering. 

\\liile looking out for such a place, and 
coming upon nothing but hideous lanes of 
nmd and rubbish, I was beginning to think 
we must contsnt ourselves with getting under 
the lee of some lonely wall (at the risk of 
being robbed and murdered — of course, I kept 
this fancy to myself), w^hen passing the door 
of a long shed-like house, a tall man smoking 
a short pipe, said " Walk in, mate." To this 
polite novelty I was about to respond with 
ala':nty, but the fellow spoilt it by adding, 
"Oh, you've got women with you!" and 
turned on his heel. But catching sight of a 
woman inside whom I took to be his wife, I 
instantly went in and accosted her, repre- 
senting the predicament of my fair com- 
panions, in which I was immediately sup- 
ported by all three in despairing tones 
begging the mistress of the house . to give 
them shelter for the night. The woman 
seemed rather moved by this case of real 
distress, but said she had no room. "Oh, 
put us anywhere! — anywhere!" cried my 
poor dripping companions. The woman 
hesitated, and as we renewed our entreaties 
at this glimpse of hope, she went to speak 
with her husband. In a few seconds she 
returned, saying she thought it could be 
managed ; a " stretcher" would be put up 
for u;e in the lodgers' room belov/, and my 
friends could sleep " in the place above, 
where they would be quite safe, and to them- 
selves." Rejoicing at this, and with a thousand 
thanks, we bade each other good night, the 
ladies following our kind hostess along a dark 
passage, and I, groping my way as directed, 
towards a door on the left with a light show- 
ing through the chinks. 

I advanced by a descending foot-way of 
broken bricks and slush till I arrived at the 
door, and pushed it open. The room was a 
large one, for Melbourne, and as it lay about 
a foot and a half lower than the street, the 
whole surface was literally flooded by the 
day's rain. This was the lodgers' bed-room. 
It was full of stretchers — some thirty of 
them — with blankets, or rugs, or other rough 
covering by way of bed-clotlies. Nearly all 
were occupied, and the men for the most part 
sound asleep, though it was barely nine 
o'clock. Many of the beds held two huddled 
together, and h-ere and there a complicated 
bundle with feet sticking out, looked like 
three. In one corner a gruff conversation 'On 
the subject of gold scales and weights was 
gomjT; on in an under tone ; several lay 
smuKing ; others gave an occasional roll and 
grunt in a drunken sleep, or muttered in- 
coherent imprecations. Scarcely any of them 
had their clothes off. but I noticed two ex- 



ceptions — one of a man who had evidently 
taken off everything but his boots (which 
clung no doubt from the wet), and a beaver- 
skin cap tied under his chin ; the other dis- 
played a pair of immense legs from beneath 
his dirty blanket, decked in a pair of scarlet 
stockings with yellow clocks, a recent pur- 
chase perhaps from some clown at the circus 
at an exorbitant price. Blue shirts and crim- 
son shirts were also visible at intervals, and 
one shirt seemed to be of some drab colour, 
with great Orleans plumbs all over it. A 
large gold watch with a gaudy chain was 
hung upon a nail near one of the sleepers' 
heads, and a massive gold chain, and seals 
were dangling over the edge of a quart pot 
(the watch being safe and softly lodging in 
the beer dregs inside) standing on the win- 
dow-ledge. There could not have been less 
than five-and-forty or fifty people here. Of 
the few who were awake no' one took the 
least notice of my entrance — a total stranger 
being no event where nearly all are total 
strangers to the place or to each other. 

The landlord of this delectable retreat now 
pushed open the door behind me by a lurch 
with his starboard shoulder, and placing him- 
self agamst the wall, being by this time ycry 
drunk, pointed to a stretcher which luckily 
had no occupant (having just been sent in), 
and holding a tumbler towards me asked 
roughly if I'd take a nobler afore turning in. 
I thanked him — drank off the brandy — and 
returned the tumbler. He rolled round 
against the door and disappeared. 

The room was lighted by one bad candle, 
stuck ir. the r.eck of a bcer-bcttle, plactd on 
a flour-cask near the opposite wall, Itc flick' 
ering reflection in the dark waters beneath 
contributed an additional gleam to the com- 
fortable scene around. I was standing at this 
time on a sort of raised step, or threshold 
mound of loose bricks above the level of the 
floor, or rather lagoon, of the bed-room, con- 
sidering how I should attain my stretcher. I 
felt that it would not do to step from stretcher 
to stretcher, because if I escaped treading 
upon a limb of any of the sleepers, I might 
still tip the thing with all upon it clean over; 
so I deliberately walked through. From the 
inequalities of the ground the depths varied 
from six to twelve or fourteen inches. I 
mounted my ricketty couch — drew off my 
boots, at the imminent risk of upsetting the 
concern with my struggles in a seated position 
— and enveloped myself in the blanket, trust- 
ing that my wet clothes would produce a 
warm steam on the water-cure principle ; 
before the realisation of which, being very 
tired indeed, I fell asleep. 

So much for my bed-room ; but now for the 
ladies. Miss Dashwood related it to me this 
morning directly we were outside the house, 
and while walking along, though at^ every 
crisis all three spoke together. 

The woman of the house led the way 
through a dark narrow passage full of water. 



10 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Co„^^ .^ 



being also below the level of the street, with 
a brick here and there to step upon, for those 
who could see them, or knew where they were 
planted, till they came to a yard. This 
yard was a slough, having been torn up by 
the wheels of heavily laden drays and the 
hoofs of bullocks. They crossed by means 
of several broken planks, half embedded in 
the mud, close under the horns of a team of 
bullocks standing there till the driver got 
.sober enough to attend to them, and then 
getting behind a muddy wheel, the ladies 
found their hostess had paused at the foot of 
a ladder. This they all by a very slow 
and difficult process ascended ; but one 
of the spokes having been broken out, 
it was thought that poor Mrs. Pounderby 
would never accomplish the task ; nor would 
she, but that the drunken bullock driver 
seemed to be coming to her assistance, which 
induced a succession of struggles that were 
at last successful. Of course, being so fat as 
she is, it was a dangerous moment for the 
ladder. 

The hostess now led the way along some 
cracking boards till they arrived at the en- 
trance of a loft or lumber attic. This loft, 
however, was only fragmentary, being quite 
unfloored, the only apology for which con- 
sisted of some eight or nine long planks laid 
across from side to side and resting on ledges 
on the top of the walls, just where the 
upward slant of the roof commenced. " Oh 
gracious heavens alive!" cried Mrs. Poun- 
derby ; but her ecstacies were cut short by 
the woman of the house who said, "Better 
than the streets, I'm thinking ;" with which 
curt remark she set down the candle on a 
plank, and departed before they could at all 
make out where they were. 

Surveying their apr.rtmcnt, as well as the 
squalid gloom would permit, they saw that 
about the centre of the planks lay a horribly 
dirty old bag made of packing canvass, and 
stuffed with straw and some lumps and rolls 
like cast-off clothes and rags made up into 
bundles. Upon this a couple of distempered 
looking blankets were placed, while the 
bolster was a sack filled with straw and brick- 
rubbish, which knocked upon the floor when 
moved.* Between the edges of this bed and 
the outside planks was a space of about two 
feet at most on each side, and beyond that 
was an unknown abyss. To the verge of 
this. Miss Da»hwood cautiously approached, 
held fast behind, by the skirts of her dress, 
by Mrs. Watson, who was held in turn by 
Mr^. Pounderby in the same way. Peering 
over the brink. Miss Dashwood thought she 
could distinguish through the dark haze a 
large tank or reservoir, below, covered with 
strange shapes sleeping in little boats ; gradu- 
ally, however, she was enabled to see that 
it was a room carpeted with water, and 

* It may be necessary to state (as Melbourne seems 
icstined to h::-'" a place in history) tliat all this ap- 
parently extravagant description is a record of fact. 



containing a bevy of occupied stretcher 
enlivened by the gleam of one candle ar 
its reflection. They were just over u. 
heads. 

The three poor ladies now sat down upoi. 
the bag-bed, and all had a good cry, Talkea 
of'.having had every comfort at home, an' 
lamented they had ever set foot in A'lPtralir 
After this, feeling rather better, Mrc ''^atsc 
produced some biscuits and potted b^ ,." "ct 
a little basket she had, and reserving huxx foi 
the morrow, shared the remainder, while Mrs. 
Pounderby found she had got a little flask of 
spirits in her bag, which was good against the 
spasms. They now began to feel their min:l« 
somewhat relieved. At least there was nr 
danger here, except of falling over; bu'- '■' 
this they all agreed to be very careful, v., 
ering themselyes over with the blankets, with 
many expressions of disgust at their dirt and 
stains, and strong odour of stale tobacco- 
smoke and cheese, our three fair friends crept 
and nestled close to each other, holding very 
fast round each others' waists. Miss Dash- 
wood believes that they all fell asleep almost 
immediately. 

But the fates had not willed that there 
should be any sleep for them during their 
first night in Melbourne. Squeaks and 
scrimmages soon aroused them, quickly fol- 
lowed by rattlings, and rushings, and sharp 
impatient irate little cries, and then a patter- 
ing over the planks. Three or four rats came, 
as avant couriers, to reconnoitre, and in no 
time there were a dozen describing circles 
round them. The ladies screamed, and the 
rats made a precipitate retreat ; but presently 
returned in full force, apparently in open 
column, and again made a circuit of the bed, 
till several of the chivalrous took to making 
a dash across the bed. At this the ladies 
renewed their screams for help so loudly 
that it awoke some of the men below, who 
answered by brutal shouts and imprecations. 
Meantime the numbers of the rat-army aug- 
mented, and a whole squadron being detached, 
made a sharp wheel to the left, and gallopped 
clean over the shrinking, writhing, plunging, 
and vibrating bodies of our three luckless 
ladies. Mrs. Watson fainted awaj', and Mrs. 
Pounderby was in hysterics. The candle had 
been knocked out and eaten ; they dared not 
rise in the darkness to attempt an escape for 
fear of tumbling over into the place below ; 
and they dared not again cry for help lest 
some of the savages below should come up to 
them. As for me, I slept through it all, and 
never heard anything. 

These tortures they endured beneath the 
close drawn blankets, with buried heads, till 
daybreak. All the remaining biscuits and 
potted beef had been carried off from Mrs. 
Watson's basket ; and the night-bag of Mrs. 
Pounderby had been torn to atoms, as it 
had a savoury smell of medical comforts 
which had been secreted there during tl-e 
voyage. 



Oharles Dickens.) 



CROWNS IN LEAD. 



U 



June 1, 1853. Although many extraor- 
dinary changes have occurred in Melbourne 
since the above transpired, now six or seven 
months back, the march of improvement 
has gone on but slowly. The constant 
influx of people retards almost everything, 
themselves included. Passengers are still 
landed at dusk ; luggage banged and dashed 
about in confusion ; no pavement, or even 
road, on the wharfs; no lamps; only one 
crane ; no common civility to new arrivals ; 
and certainly no respectable or even decent 
lodgings for ladies, who want them imme- 
diately, and have no resident friends. 

CROWNS IN LEAD. 



Before railways were established, the 
traveller from Paris to Boulogne, whilst jour- 
neying down those vales of dust they called a 
road, which was confined between great rows 
of trees from which all shade was taken by 
the lopping of the lower branches, the spire of 
St. Denis was a well-known object. Towering 
above the plain, it was visible for miles around, 
and formed a beacon to the stranger who ap- 
proached the capital. That spire is now no 
more, and the basilica of which King Dagobert 
and St. Elvi laid the lowest stones is lopped of 
its most precious relics. What outcries would 
be heard from the architects, antiquaries, and 
lovers of the picturesque in England, if 
Westminster Abbey were treated thus ! But 
suppose a greater desecration — suppose. the 
tombs were rifled ; the bones of our kings 
and queens removed ; our generals, and 
admirals, and poets taken from their resting- 
places, and thrown into the Thames ; under 
what pretence could the despoilers screen 
themselves ? 

The Abbey of St. Denis has been thus des- 
poiled. It is not alone deprived externally of 
that which made its fame, but it has been 
rifled also of all that age makes sacred. The 
sepulclires and monuments are there ; you 
mark the spots where anxious tourists have 
lopped off a finger or a nose to carry away 
and place in their museums ; but the bones 
or ashes w^hich these monuments were wont 
to cover have been gone for many years. 
Not a King o'f France, since Dagobert, re- 
mains ; for the grim assaults of the republic 
no more spared the long departed than the 
living. We know that the bones of Cromwell 
fvere taken at the Restoration and hung upon 
a gibbet ; that the tombs of the Dukes of 
Burgundy w^ere opened at Dijon for purposes 
of plunder. We know that for curiosity and 
in search of food for history, the old Egyp- 
tian sepulchres have been rifled, and that 
their linen-covered and well-preserved con- 
tents adorn the museums of the world ; and 
we are told that grains of wheat were found 
iv one of them, which, being planted, grew, 
and left a progeny whose yearly produce 
feeds the English people. Of the tombs of 
all the Csesars only one remains undesecrated, 



for heaps of gold were thought t) rest in 
them ; but the object of the French repub- 
licans when they swept the tombs of their 
ancient kings, was not gold. They required 
lead. 

In seventeen hi^ndred and ninety-three, 
when France was hemmed in by hungry 
enemies who pressed upon her undefended 
frontiers, the manufacture of warlike missiles 
did not keep pace with their consumption. 
Measures of extraordinary kinds were then 
resorted to to fill this void. To get saltpetre, 
the cellars of every hou^e were dug and 
sifted till not a particle of salt remained. The 
roofs were stripped of everything that could 
be melted into bullets; pots and pans and 
leaden spouts were melted down. All was 
insufficient ; and, as a last resource, it was 
determined to exhume the old sarcophagi of 
St. Denis, to pass them through the bullet 
mould, and to throw the venerable relics into 
a common ditch. 

An edict was therefore passed by which 
that energetic body, the Constituent Assembly, 
called upon the municipals of La Franciade — 
for so St. Denis had then been christened, 
from patriotic hatred of a saint — to enter the 
basilica, and open in succession the tombs of 
all those tyrants the kings of France, despoil 
their coffins of the lead contained in them, 
and mix the bones and ashes of the royal 
houses in a common tomb. On the evening 
of its reception the orders were proceeded 
with. There w^as no faltering. A troop of 
soldiers accompanied by diggers with picks 
and shovels, and armed with torches, and with 
frying-pans for burning vinegar and powder, 
entered the abbey ; and — whilst the lurid 
glare lit up the aisles and colonets, which the 
smoke blackened ; amidst the crash of piling 
muskets and the oaths of mustachioed vete- 
rans — the work began. 

In searching for the relics of the Bourbons 
the w'orkmen were not at first successful ; and 
by a strange fatality it was not a king they 
first dug up ; but, on raising the earth from 
the first tomb, they found the frame and 
features of the great Turcnnc. They treated 
him with great respect ; that is to sa}'-, they 
lefl . him in his coffin, placed him in the 
sacristy, where he was shown for months, at 
a penny per head; and, afterwards, in the 
Garden of Plants, where he was shown for 
nothing. They then interred him beneath a 
splendid monument erected on the spot where 
he was disinterred. 

The scrutiny proceeded, and at last they 
found a Bourbon." - He was perfect. The 
lineaments were those of Henry of Navarre, 
the father of that long line of Louises of 
whom the last had recently met with so me- 
lancholy a death. His beard, moustache, and 
hair were perfect ; and, as the soldiers stand- 
ing round looked on in awe at the strange 
spectacle, one of them drew his sword, and, 
casting himself down before the body of the 
victor of the League, lopped oflf one of his 



12 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[ConJucted hy 



moustaches, and placed it upon his own lip, 
giving vent, at the same time, to a vehement 
burst of national enthusiasm. 

There was no enthusiasm when the pick 
and shovel had laid bare the cold and vacil- 
lating features of the thirteenth Louis ; which 
were in perfect preservation also ; but it was 
notAvithout respect and admiration that Louis 
the Fourteenth, decrepid though he seemed 
and deprived of wig and every other orna- 
ment which adorned him when called " The 
Great," was exposed to view. Near him 
were discovered Maria Theresa and his son 
the dauphin ; on whose frame -w^ere visible 
the traces of his violent and untimely 
death. 

For days and nights the search continued. 
Some of the remnants of the House of Stuart 
were taken from the ground. Among others, 
the remains of Henrietta Maria, wife of 
Charles the First, and her daughter, Hen- 
rietta Stuart. Strange that of that family 
the body of the father should be buried 
in an unknown grave, and that, ages after, 
the remnants of those he loved should be 
desecrated, and thrown into a common ditch. 
Philip of Orleans, father of Egalite, and 
Regent of France, was next discovered ; and 
near to him Louis the Fifteenth, who seemed 
still living, so rosy were the tints on his face 
preserved. Mary of Medicis and Anne of 
Austria, and, M'ith them, all the relatives of 
Henry the Fourth, Louis the Fifterenth, and 
Louis the Sixteenth, lay close tog'ether near 
the same spot. 

Older monuments, more difficult of reach, 
were then broken into. Charles the Fifth 
of France, who died in thirteen hundred 
and eighty, was found beside his wife, Joan 
of Bourbon, and his daughter, Isabella. In 
his coffin was a silver frosted crown, a hand 
of justice, and a silver frosted sceptre four 
feet long. In that of Joan there were the 
remnants of a crown, a ring of gold, and the 
fragments of a spindle and a bracelet. Her 
feet — or the bones of them — were shod with 
a pair of painted slippers, known in her 
time as souUers a la ])oulaine, on which were • 
still the marks of gold and silver workman- 
ship. Charles the Sixth and his wife, Isabeau 
of Bavaria, Charles the Seventh and Mary of 
Anjou, were taken up immediately aft^r; and 
the ditch in which the remnants of all the 
Bourbons had been thrown was closed for 
ever. 

A vault was then disclosed in which were 
found Marguerite de Valois, the gay and 
beautiful wife of Henry of Navarre ; and near 
her Alcnron, whose love for her originated a 
romantic chapter in history. The remains of 
Francis the Second and Mary Elizabeth, 
daughter of Charles the Ninth, were next dis- 
interred. The vault of Charles the Eighth, 
which was next opened, contained Henry the 
Second and his wife, Catherine de Medicis, and 
her favourite son Henry the Third, who was 
murdered. Louis the Twelfth and Anne of 



Brittany w^ere discovered a little further 
on. 

The workmen began at this time to reach 
the oldest tombs and vaults in the Abbey. 
They discovered Joan of France in a stone 
coffin lined with lead in strips, leaden coffins 
not being then invented (one thousand three 
hundred and forty-nine). Hugues, the 
father of Capet, was known by an inscription 
on a stone sarcophagus, which contained his 
ashes. The pulverized remains of Charles 
the Bold were also found enclosed within a 
leaden casket in a stone sarcophagus, and the'* 
relics of Philip Augustus, cotemporary and 
competitor of Coeur de Lion, were found in 
the same state. The bones of Louis the 
Eighth were found in perfect preservation iji 
a bag of leather, which retained its elasticity 
although buried in the year one thousand two 
hundred and twenty-six. 

At dead of night and by the light of torches 
held by weary troopers, the searchers stumbled 
on the sealed stone vault which contained the 
body of Dagobert, who died in six hundred 
and thirty-eight. Did the pro^^.nators 
know that he had founded that old church ? 
It was with difficulty that they pene- 
trated into it, so strongly M'as it buttressed 
and closed up. They broke a statue at the 
entrance and found inside a wooden box two 
feet in length, which contained the bones of 
Dagobert and his wife Nanthilde; who died in 
six hundred and forty-five, both enveloped and 
kept together in a silken bag. 

The skeleton of the Knight of Brittany — 
Bertrand Duguesclin — the terror of the 
Spaniards, was found in the vaults of the 
chapel of the Charles's. 

It was not till after long and laborious search 
that the vault of Francis the First was found. 
The leaden coffin which held his body was of 
gigantic proportions, and confirmed the 
historical accounts of his enormous size. Near 
him were his mother Louise of Savoy, his 
wife Claude of France, his dauphin Charles, 
and his other children the Duke of" Orleans 
and Charlotte of France. The thigh of 
Francis on being measured was found to be 
twenty inches long. Below the windows of 
the choir the vault was opened which con- 
tained the relics of St. Louis and his imme- 
diate circle. They were chiefly bones and 
dust confined in leaden caskets, and were 
thrown into the grave where lay the rem- 
nants of Philip Augustus, Louis the Eighth, 
and Francis the First. 

The last tombs discovered were those of 
Philip of Valois, King of France and Duke 
of Burgundy, and his wife Anne of Burgundy, 
and that of John who was taken prisoner by 
the Black Prince and brought to England, 
where he died in one thousand three hundred 
and sixty-four. In the tomb of Pliili]) and 
his wife were found a sceptre, and a bird of 
copper, a spindle, and a ring ; and in the tomb 
of John a crown, a sceptre, and a hand of 
justice of silver gilt. The searching after 



Chnrlej Dickern.] 



KENSINGTON. 



13 



this was given up. Thus the Abbey of St. 
Denis was despoiled of its most ancient 
relics. 



ECHOES. 

Sttll the an^el stars are shining, 
Still the rippling waters flow, 

But the angel-voice is silent 
That I heard here long ago. 
Hark ! the echoes murmur low 
Long ago ! 

Still the wood is dim and lonely, 
Still the plashing fountains play. 

But the past and all its beauty, 
Whither has it fled away ? 
Hark! the mgurnful echoes saiy 
Fled away ! 

Still the bird of night coraplaineth 
(Now, indeed, her song is pain). 

Visions of my happy hours. 
Do I call and call in vain ? 
Hark ! the echoes cry again 

All in vain ! 

Cease, oh. echoes, mournful echoes ! 

Once I loved your voices well ; 
Now my heart is sick and weary, 

Days of old, a long farewell ! 

Hark ! the echoes sad and dreary 
Cry Farewell, farewell ! 



KENSINGTON. 

From Gore House to the town of Ken- 
sington we pass houses both old and new, some 
in rows, and some by themselves enclosed in 
gardens. They are all more or less good ; 
and the turnings out of them lead into a 
considerable district which has lately been 
converted from nursery and garden ground 
into more streets, and is called Kensington 
New Town. It is all very clean and neat, 
and astonishes visitors, who, a few years ago, 
beheld scarcely a house on the spot. A plea- 
sant hedge lane, paved in the middle, and 
looking towards the wooded grounds of Glou- 
cester Lodge, where Canning lived, leads out 
of it into Old Brompton. One street, which 
has no thoroughfare, is quite of a stately 
character though defaced at the corner M^ith 
one of those unmeaning rounded towers, 
whose tops look like spice-boxes, or trifles 
from Margate. The smaller streets also par- 
take of those improvements, both external 
and internal, which have succeeded to the 
unambitious barrack-like streets of a former 
generation ; nor, in acquiring solidity, have 
they, for the most part, been rendered heavy 
and dumpy — the too common fault of new 
buildings in the suburbs. It is ridiculous to 
see lumpish stone balconies constructed for 
the exhibition of a few flower-pots ; and 
doors and flights of steps big enough for 
houses of three stories, put to " cottages" of 
one. Sometimes, in these dwarf suburban 
grandiosities the steps look as weighty as 



half the building : sometimes the door alone 
reaches from the ground to' the storey above 
it, so that "cottages" look as if they were 
inhabited by giants, and the doorways as if 
they had been maximized, on purpose to 
enable them to go in. 

This Kensington New Town lies chiefly 
between the Gloucester and Victoria roads. 
Returning out of the latter into the high 
road, we pass the remainder of the buildings 
above noticed, and just before entering 
Kensington itself, halt at an old mansion 
remarkable for its shallowness compared 
with its width, and attracting the attention 
by the fresh look of its red and polluted 
brick-work. It is called Kensington House, 
and surpasses Gore House in the varieties of 
its history ; for it has been, first, the habita- 
tion of a king's mistress ; then a school kept 
by an honest pedant whom Johnson visited ; 
then a French emigrant school which had 
noblemen among its teachers, and in which 
the late Mr. Shiel was brought up ; then 
a Roman Catholic boarding-house with 
Mrs. Inchbald for an inmate ; and now it is 
an "asylum" — a term into which that con- 
sideration for the feelings which so honourably 
marks the progress of the present day has 
converted the plain-spoken " mad-house" of 
our ancestors. 

The king's mistress was the once famous 
Duchess of Portsmouth, a Frenchwoman — 
Louise de Querouaille — who first came to 
England in the train of Henrietta, Duchess 
of Orleans, the sister of Charles the Second. 
She returned and remained for the express 
purpose (it is said) of completing the im- 
pression she had made on him, and assisting 
the designs of Louis the Fourteenth and the 
Jesuits in making him a papist, and reducing 
him to the treasonable condition of a 
pensioner on the French court. Traitor and 
pensioner, at all events, he became, and the 
French young lady became an English 
Duchess ; but whether she was a party to the 
plot, or simply its unconscious instrument, 
she has hardly had justice done her, we think, 
by the historians. She appears to have been 
a somewhat silly person (Evelyn says she had 
a " baby face") ; she was bred in France at 
a time when it was a kind of sacred fashion 
to admire the mistresses of Louis the 
Fourteenth, and think them privileged con- 
cubines ; she had probably learnt in the 
convent where she was brought up that 
lawless things might become lawful to serve 
religious ends; and she was visited during 
her elevation by her own parents — straight- 
forward, unaffected people, according to 
Evelyn ; the father a " good fellow," who 
seems at once to have rejoiced in her position 
and yet to have sought no advantages from 
it. The Duchess, to be sure, ultimately got as 
much for herself as she could out of the 
king. She was as lavish as he was ; became 
poor, a gambler, and a gounnande ; and as 
her occupation of the house at Kcnsingtoa 



14 



HOUSEHOLD A^^ORDS. 



[Conducted by 



appears to have been subsequent to the reign 
of Charles, it probably took place on one 
of her visits to England during the reigns 
of William the Third and George the First, 
on which latter occasion she is supposed 
to have endeavoured to get a pension 
from the English Government — on what 
ground it would be curious to know. But 
the " baby-face" probably thought it all right. 
We take her to have been a thoroughly 
conventional, common-place person, with no 
notions of propriety but such as were received 
at court ; and quite satisfied with everything, 
here and hereafter, as long as she had plenty 
to eat, drink, and play at cards with, and a con- 
fessor to make all smooth in case of collateral 
peccadilloes. The jumble of things religious 
and profane was carried to such a height in 
those days, that a picture representing the 
duchess and her son (the infant Duke of Rich- 
mond) in the characters of Virgin and Child 
was painted for a convent in France, and 
actually used as an altar-piece. They thought 
her an instrument in the hands of God for the 
restoration of Popery. 

Adieu to the "baby-face" looking out of 
the windows at Kensington House in hope of 
gome money from King George, and hail to 
that of the good old pedagogue, James 
Elphinstone, reformer of spelling, translator 
of Martial, and friend of Doctor Johnson. 
He is peering up the road, to see if his great 
friend is looming in the distance ; for "dinner 
is ready ; and he is afraid that the veal 
stuffed with plums (a favourite dish of the 
Doctor's) will be spoilt, 

Mr. Eljahinstone prospered in his school, 
but failed m his reformation of spelling, which 
was on the phonetic principle (one of his 
books on the subject was entitled Propriety's 
Pocket Dictionary ;) and ho made such a 
translation of Martial, that his friend Strahan 
the printer — But the circumstances must be 
told out of Boswell : — 



" Garrick. Of all the translations tliat ever were 
attempted, I think Elphinstone's Martial the most 
extraordinary. He consulted me upon it, who am a 
little of an episrrammatist myself, you know. I told 
him freely, ' You don't seem to have that turn.' I 
asked him if he was serious ; and, findinj? he was, 
I advised him against publishing. Why, liis trans- 
lation is more difficult to understand than the 
original. 1 thought him a man of some talents ; 
but he socms crazy in this. Johnsox. Sir, you have 
done what I liad not courage to do. Bat he did 
not ask my advice, and I did not force it upon him 
Co make him angry with mo. Garrick. But as a 
friend, sir — Johnson, Wliyjsucli a friend as I am 
with him— no. Garrick. "But, if you sec a friend 
cfoing to tumble over a precipice ? • Johnson. 
That is an extravagant case, sir. You are sure a 
friend will thank you for liindering him from tum- 
bling over a precipice ; but, in the other case, I 
Kiiould hurt his vanity, and do him no good. lie 
would not take my advice. His brother-in-law, 
Strahan, sent him a subscription of fifty pounds, 
Rnd said he would send him fifty more if he would 
not publish. Garrick. What, eh ! is Strahan a 
good j idge of an epigram ? Is lie not rather an 
obtuse man, eh? Johnson. Why, sir, ho may 



not be a judge of an epigram ; but you see he 
is a judge of what is not au epigram." 

That the readers of Household Words may 
judge for themselves, especially as the book is 
very rare, and nobody who speaks of Elphin- 
stone quotes it, we add a specimen or two. 
We confess they arc not favourable speci- 
mens ; but they are not unjust : 

•'to the subscribers. 

" If Martial meekly woo'd Sabscription's charms, 
Subscription gracious met a Martial's arms ; 
Contagious taste illum'd th' imperial smile, 
And, Julius greater, Martial, won our ile." 

" ON AP0LL0D0RU3 : TO REGULUS. 

" Five foir Ten, and for Lusty he greeted you Lean 

As for Free he saluted you Bond. 
Now he Ten, Free, and Lusty articulates clean. 

Oh ! what pains can ! He wrote, and he conn'd." 

Not a woi;d of explanation, though the book 
is full of the longest and most superfluous 
comments. It is a quarto of six hundred 
pages, price a guinea in boards ; and among 
its hundreds of subscribers are the lead- 
ing nobility and men of letters ; so pros- 
perous had some real learning and a good 
character rendered the worthy school- 
master. 

Elphinstone had won Johnson's heart by 
taking charge of a Scotch edition of the 
Rambler. He also translated the Latin 
mottoes at the head of the papers; and did it 
in a manner that gave little or no token of the 
coming Martial. Johnson, Jortin (of whom 
more hereafter), and we believe Franklin 
visited him at his house. 

" I am going this evening," says Johnson, 
"to put young Otway to school with Mr. 
Elphinstone." — Letter to Mrs. Thrale. Otway 
is an interesting name. One would like tc 
know whether he was of the poet's race. 
It is pleasant also to fancy the Doctor, then 
in his sixty -fourth year, walking hand in hand 
down the road with the little boy. 

" On Monday, April nineteenth, seventeen 
hundred and seventy-three, he called on me 
(says Boswell) with Mrs. Williams, in Mr. 
Strahan's coach, and carried me out to dine 
with Mr. Elphinstone, at his Academy at 
Kensington. Mr. Elphinstone talked of a new 
book that was much admired, and asked Dr. 
Johnson if he had read it. Johnson : ' I 
have looked into it.' 'What,' said Elphin- 
stone, ' have you not read it through V John- 
son, offended at being thus pressed, and so 
obliged to own his cursory mode of reacting, 
answered hastily, ' No, Sir ; do you read booka 
through ?' " 

It is said in Faulkner's History of Ken- 
sington, that Elphinstone was "ludicrously 
characterised in Smollett's Roderick Random, 
which in consequence became a forbidden 
book in his school." But none of the brutal 
schoolmasters of Smollett resemble the gentle 
pedagogue of Kensington. The book might 



KENSINGTON. 



15 



have been forbidden in consideration for the 
common character of the profession ; to say 
nothing of other reasons. 

But we must not stop longer with Mr. 
Elphinstolie. Of the school kept in this same 
house by the Jesuits, a delightful account has 
been left by Mr. Shiel in the memoir pre- 
fixed to the volume of his Speeches. Charles 
the Tenth, of France, was one of " the boys." 
Poor Charles the Tenth! himself one of 
the least of children in the greatest of schools 
■ — adversity ; which he left only to be sent 
back to it and die. 

In the year eighteen hundred and nineteen 
Kensington House was a Catholic boarding 
establishment, kept by a Mr. and Mrs. 
Salterelli. 

" In the chapel (says Bowdeu, in his MeJnoirs of 
Mrs. Indibald) the Archbishop of Jerusalem per- 
formed mass regularly during the early part of her 
residence, and the Abbe Mathias officiated when 
the Primate quitted the house. The society was ex- 
tremely geuteel and cheerful, changing, however, 
too frequently for perfect cordiality and the furaui- 
tion of intimacy. TlieSchiavonettis, howe%"er, seem 
to be acquaintances ; and Mrs. lieloe, and Mr. 
Skeene from Aberdeen, were old friends, who on 
their arrival met with an unlooked for pleasure: — 
the celebrated artists, Mr. and Mrs. Cosway, upon 
leaving Stratford Place, were at Kensington House 
from August to October, before they settled upon 
a house in the Edgeware road." 

Here Mrs. Inchbald spent the last two 
years of her life ; and here, on the first 
of August, eighteen hundred and twenty-one, 
she dwd, we fear — how shall we say it of so 
excellent a woman, and in the sixty-eighth 
year of her age ? — of tight lacing ! But she 
had been very handsome ; was still handsome ; 
was growing fat ; and had never liked to part 
with her beauty. 

We have dwelt a little on this point as a 
warning — if tight-lacers can take warning. 
We almost fear they would sooner quote 
Mrs. Inchbald as an excuse, than an admo- 
nition. But at all events, beauties of sixt}^- 
eight may perhaps consent to be a little 
startled. 

If this was a weakness in Mrs. Inchbald, 
let tight-lacers resemble her in other respects, 
and if their rickety children can forgive them 
the rest of the world may heartily do so. 
Mrs. Inchbald never had any children to 
need their forgiveness. She was a woman of 
rare endowments — an actress, a dramatist, 
a novelist — and possessed of virtue so rare, 
that she would practise painful self-denials in 
order to afford deeds of charity. Her acting 
w^as perhaps of the sensible, rather than 
the artistical sort ; and though some of her 
plays and farces have still their seasons of 
reappearance on the stage, she was too much 
given, as a dramatist, to theatrical and senti- 
mental effects — too melo-dramatic ; but her 
novels are admirable, particularly the Simple 
Story, which has all the elements of duration 
■ — invention, passion, and thorough truth to 
natm'e in word and deed. To bdance these 



advantages, which she possessed over other 
people, she must needs have some faults ; and 
we take them (besides the tight-lacing) to 
have been those of temper and stubbornness. 
Charles Lamb speaks of her somewhere as 
the "beautiful vixen." The word must 
surely have been too strong for such a 
woman, who is said to have possessed both 
the respect and affection of all who knew her. 
If our memory does not deceive us, he applies 
it to her upon an occasion when she might 
well have been angry, and when she 
thought herself bound to resort to measures 
of self-defence, physical as well as moral. A 
distinguished actor, who was enamoured of 
her—and who seems to have been a warmer 
lover off the stage than he was upon it — • 
persisted one day in forcing upon her a salu- 
tation, which appeared so alarming, that she 
seized him by the pigtail and tugged it with 
a vigour so efficacious as forced bin: to desist 
in trepidation. She related the circiimstance 
to a friend ; adding, with a touch of her 
comic humour, which must have been height- 
ened by the difficulty of getting out the words 
(for she stammered sometimes) — " How lucky 
that he did not w-w-wcar a w-w-w-wig." 
— Mrs. Inchbald had lived in several other 
houses in Kensington, which shall be noticed 
as we pass them ; for the abodes of the 
authoress of the Simple Story make classic 
ground. 

W<3 have now come to Kensington High 
Street, and shall take our way on the left- 
hand side of it, continuing to do so through 
the whole town, and noticing the streets 
and squares that turn out of it as we pro- 
ceed. We shall then turn at the end of the 
town, and come back by Holland House, 
Campden House, and Kensington Palace and 
Gardens. 

On our right hand, over the way, is tho 
Palace Gate with its sentinels, and opposite 
this gate, where we are halting, is a sturdy 
good-sized house, a sort of undergrown 
mansion, singularly so for its style of building, 
and looking as if it must have been the work 
of Vanbrugh ; one of whose edifices will be 
noticed further on. It is just in his " No- 
nonsense" style; wdiat his opponents called 
" heavy," but very sensible and to the purpose ; 
built for duration. It is only one storey high, 
and looks as if it had been made for some 
rich old bachelor who chose to live alone, but 
hked to have everything about him strong 
and safe. . . 

Such was probably the case ; for it is called 
Colby House after a baronet of that name, 
who lived in the time of George the First, 
and who appears to have been a man of 
humble origin, and a miser. A spectator 
might imagine that the architect was 
stopped when about to commence a third 
storey, in order to save the expense. Dr, 
King, the Jacobite divine, who knew Colby, 
and who thinks he was a commissioner in the 
Victualling Office, says (in his Literary and 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted bj 



Political Anecdotes of his own Times) that 
tlie baronet killed himself by rising in the 
middle of the night, when he was in a profuse 
perspiration (the consequence of a medicine 
taken to that end), and going downstairs for 
the key of the cellar, which he had inadver- 
tently left on a table. " He was apprehensive 
that his servants might seize the key, and rob 
him of a bottle of his port-wine." 

" This man (adds the doctor) died intestate, 
and left more than two hundred thousand 
pounds in the funds, which were shared 
among five or six day-labourers, who were his 
nearest relations." 

" Who sees pale Mammon phie amidst his store, 
Sees but a backward steward for the poor." 

The High Street of Kensington, though 
he place is so near London, and contains so 
/nany new buildings, has a considerable 
i-escmblance to that of a country town. This 
is owing to the moderate size of the houses, 
to their general style of building (which is 
that of a century or two ago), and to the 
curious, though not obvious fact, that not one 
of the fronts of them is exactly like another. 
It is also neat and clean ; its abutment on a 
palace associates it with something of an air 
of refinement; and the first object that 
presents itself to the attention, next after the 
sentinels at the Palace-gate, is a white and 
pretty lodge at the entrance of the new road 
leading to Bayswater. The lodge, however, 
is somewhat too narrow. The road is called 
Kensington Palace Gardens, and is gradually 
filling with mansions, some of which are in 
good taste and others in bad, and none of 
these have gardens to speak of ; so that the 
spectator does not well see why anybody 
should live there, who can afford to live in 
houses so large. 

Pleasant, however, as the aspect of High 
Street is on first entering it, the eye has 
scarcely caught sight of the lodge just men- 
tioned when it encounters a " sore," in the 
shape of some poor Irish people hanging 
about at the corner of the first turning on the 
left hand. They look like people from the 
old broken-up establishment of Saint Giles's, 
and probably are so ; a considerable influx 
from the " Rookery" in that quarter having 
augmented the " Rookery" in this ; for so it 
has equally been called. This Rookery has 
long been a nuisance in Kensington. In the 
morning you seldom see more of it than this 
indication at the entrance ; but in the evening 
the inmates mingle with the rest of the 
inhabitants out of doors, and the naked feet 
of the children, and the ragged and dissolute 
looks of men and women, present a pain- 
ful contrast to the general decency. We . 
understand, however, that some of these poor 
people are very respectable of their kind, and 
that the improvements which are taking 
place in other portions of the kingdom, in 
consequence of the attention so nobly paid of 



late years to the destitute and uneducated, 
have not been without effect in this quarter. 
The men for the most part arc, or profess to 
be, labouring bricklayers, and the women, 
market-garden v/omen. They are calcu- 
lated, at a rough guess, to amount to a 
thousand ; all crammed, perhaps, into a place 
which ought not to contain above a hundred. 
The reader, from late and painful statements 
on these subjects, knows how they must 
dwell The place is not much in sight. 
You give a glance and a guess at it, as you 
look down the turning, and so pass on. 
There was a talk, not long since, of bringing 
the new road, just mentioned, from over the 
way, and continuing it through the spot, so 
as to sweep it clean of the infection, as in the 
case of New Holborn and St. Giles's; and 
in all probability the improvement Avill take 
place, for one advance brings another, and 
Kensington has become of late so much 
handsomer as well as larger, that it will 
hardly leave this blemish on its beauty. But 
leases must expire ; and lettings and sub- 
lettings for poor people die hard. It is not 
the fault of the Archdeacon, non-resident in 
Kensington (we mention it to his honour), 
that these lettings and sub-lettings are still 
alive. 

Most of this unhappy multitude are 
Roman Catholics. Their priests tell us of a 
fine house at Loretto, in Italy, which the 
Virgin Mary lived in at Nazareth, and which 
angels brought from that place into the 
dominions of the Pope. They also tell us 
that miracles never cease, at least not in 
Roman Catholic lands ; and that nobody 
feels for the poor as they do. What a pity 
that they could not join these feehngs, these 
hands, and these miracles, and pray a set of 
new houses into England for the poor brick- 
layers. 

Continuing our way from this inauspicious 
corner, we come to the turning at Young 
Street, which leads into Kensington Square, 
formerly as important a place in this suburb 
as Grosvenor Square was in the Metropolis. 

Kensington Square occupies an area of 
some hundred and fifty feet, and was com- 
menced in the reign of James the Second, and 
finished towards the close of that of William. 
It is now a place of obsolete-looking, though 
respectable, houses, such as seem made to 
become boarding-schools, which some of them 
are ; and you cannot help thinking it has 
a desolate air, though all the houses 
are inhabited. In the reigns of William, of 
Anne, and the first two Georges, Kensington 
Square was the most fashionable spot .in the 
suburbs ; it was fik^vd with frequenters of the 
court; and these are the identical houses 
which they inhabited. Faulkner says, that 
" at one time upwards of forty cari-iagcs wore 
kept in and about the neighbourhood ;" and 
that " in the time of George the Second, the 
demand for lodgings was so great that an 
ambassador, a bishop, and a physician, were 



Ch*rles DiclcenB.J 



NUMBER FORTY-TWO. 



r» 



Known to occupy apartments in the same 
house." 

The earliest distinguished name of an 
inhabitant of this spot in the parish-books is 
that of the Duchess of Mazarin, in the year 
one thousand six hundred and ninety-two. 
We know not which house she Hved in ; but 
the reader must imagine her, after the good 
French fashion, taking her evening walk in 
the square, the envy of surrounding petticoats, 
accompanied by a set of EngUsh and French 
gallants, Villiers, Godolphins, Ruvignys, &c., 
among whom is her daily visitor and constant 
admiring old friend, St. Evremond, with his 
white locks, little scull-cap, and the great wen 
on his forehead. He idolises her to the very 
tips of her fingers, though she borrowed his 
money, which he could ill afford,, and gambled 
it away besides, which he could not but pray 
her not to do. He also begged her to resist 
the approaches of usquebaugh. 

The Duchess was then six-and-forty, an 
Italian, with black hair ; and, according to his 
description of her, still a perfect beauty. 
Fielding thought her so when she was 
younger, for he likens her portrait to Sophia 
Western. 

Hortensia Mancini was niece of Cardinal 
Mazarin, at whose death (to use her own 
words, in the Memoirs which she dictated to 
Saint Real) she became " the richest heiress, 
and the unhappicst woman in Christendom ;" 
that is to say, she found she had got a jealous, 
mean bigot for her husband, who grudged 
her a handsome participation of the money 
he obtained with her ; and, as this was 
touching her on the tenderest point, she ran 
away from him in pure desperation, to see 
how she could enjoy herself elsewhere, and 
what funds to pay for it she would get out of 
him, by disclosing their quarrels to the world. 
The Duke (his name was Meilleraye, but he 
took the name of Mazarin when he married 
her) was inexorable, and not to be scandalised 
cut of his meanness ; so his wife, after divers 
'spanderings which got her scandalised in her 
turn, came into England on pretence of visiting 
her cousin Mary of Este, Duchess of York, 
but in reality to get a pension from Charles 
the Second. This she did, to the amount of 
four thousand a year ; every penny of which 
was probably grudged her by the lavish king 
himself, who could not afford it, and who is 
said to have been disgusted by her falling in 
love with another man the moment she got 
it. Charles, when in exile, had sued for 
JTortensia's hand in vain from her uncle the 
Cardinal, who thought the royal prospects 
hopeless, and who was in fear of the Protector. 
Madame de Mazarin, however, continued to 
flourish among the ladies at Whitehall during 
Charles's reign ; she had half her pension 
confirmed to her by King ' William ; did 
nothing from first to last but keep company 
and gamble it away ; and six years after her 
residence at Kingston, died so poor, at a 
small house in Chelsea (the last, as you go 



from London, in Paradise Row), that her 
body was detained by her creditors till her 
husband redeemed it. The husband em- 
balmed it ; and surviving her many years, is 
said (which is hardly credible) to have 
carried it about with him all that time, wher- 
ever he went, as if determined on having the 
woman with him, dead, who would not 
" abide " him while she was living. 

Madame de Mazarin was praised by Saint 
Evremond for every kind of good quahty 
except prudence in money matters. When 
she was a girl, she tells us that she and her 
sisters one day threw upwards of three hun- 
dred louis out of window, for the pleasure o.' 
seeing a parcel of footmen scramble and fight 
for them. They must have been louis d'ors, 
or so many pound sterling ; a sum worth 
two or three times the amount at present. 
She says that the amusement was thought to 
have hastened her uncle's death. She was 
afterwards accused, while in a convent, where 
her husband succeeded in "stowing" her for 
a time, of putting ink into the holy water box 
(to blacken the nuns' faces), and of frightening 
them out of their sleep at night, by running 
through the dormitory with a parcel of little 
dogs, yelping and howling. She says that 
these stories were either inventions or exagge- 
rations; but we are strongly disposed to 
believe them. 

NUMBER FORTY-TWO. 

The true original Number Forty-two — of 
which a copy may be seen in any of the 
thousands of towns and cities between Ncpau 
and Ceylon — is situated in the very heart of 
the black town of Colombo, amidst thd streets 
in which dwell natives, half-castes, and 
Eurasians, or country-born descendants of 
Europeans. It is to be found in the chief ^ 
thoroughfare of the town, if such a term as 
thoroughfare can properly be applied to the 
narrow chokcd-up passage boiling over with 
hot coolies, enraged bullock-drivers, furious 
horsekeepers, dusty hackeries, and ricketty 
palanquins. 

This state of tropical conglomeration will 
be more readil)' understood when I mention 
that the carriage-way or street is the only 
passage available for pedestrians and eques- 
trians, for bipeds and quadrupeds. The 
Dutch, when masters of the place, had 
provided every house with broad lux- 
uriant verandahs, covered in and nicely 
paved ; so that the dwellers in- the town 
might not only sit out under shade in the 
open air of an evening ; but during the ftirious 
heat of the day, could walk from one end of 
the street to the other under these broad 
and pleasant covered ways. Now, however, 
these verandahs have been appropriated' 
and railed off, as open receptacles of all' 
sorts of merchandise. Where in former 
jolly days radiant Dutchmen sat and smoked' 
their pipes, and quaffed Schiedam, arc now 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conductel Ik 



piled up vile masses of iron and crates of 
earthenware. Whei'e buxom, mcrry-ej^ed 
lasses once flirted with incipient burgo- 
masters, are shiploads of rice, and car- 
goes of curry stuffs. The perfume of the 
rose and the oleander are supplanted by the 
caustic fragance of garlic and salt-fish. 

Dotted along this fragrant street, among 
rice stores, iron depots, and dried fish ware- 
houses, are the shops of the Moormen traders, 
the only attractions for Europeans in this 
quarter. The supply of all descriptions of 
useful or fancy articles of domestic use 
to the English is in the hands of these 
people, who may be said, indeed, to be the 
Jews of India. Here and there a Burgher 
or Eurasian may be seen vending pickled 
pork, perfumery, and parasols, but never one 
of the indigenous natives of the country. 
They cannot make up their roving, unsettled 
minds to shopkeeping; although some of their 
women have now and then the industry to 
become manufacturers and vendors of 
"hoppers," "jaggery," and other Indian 
village luxuries. 

Your regular Moormen shopkeepers, or 
bazaar-men, possess such terrifically unpro- 
nounceable names that, by common consent, 
their English customers designate them by 
the numbers of their shops. In this way a 
litile, thin-faced, shrivelled-up Moorman, a 
small portion of whose name consists of 
Meera Lebbe Ilema Lebbe Tamby Ahamadoc 
I^bbe Marcair, is cut down to Number 
Forty-eight ; which is the title he is usually 
known by. 

The most flourishing of these gentry is 
certainly Number Forty-two ; a portly, 
oily-skinned, well-conducted Moorman, with 
a remarkably well-shaven head, surmounted 
on its very apex by a ridiculously little white 
Jinen cap, like an expanded muffin. His 
bazaar is admitted on all hands, especially 
amongst the fair sex, to be " first chop." 
Yet a stranger would imagine that the 
fiscal had possession of the place and was on 
the point of selling off b}'- auction the entire 
contents : so confused and motley an ap- 
pearance do they wear. 

The doorway, narrow and low, is jealously 
guarded by a pile of grindstones, surmounted 
by a brace of soup-tureens on the one side, 
and by tools and weapons of offence on the 
other ; so that the chances are that, in trying 
to escape the Newcastle and Staffordshire 
Charybdis you get caught upon the sharp 
points of the Sheffield Scylla. Once past 
these dangers, however, you forget all 
your anxiety and nervousness in the bland 
Bunny countenance of Number Forty-two. 
He is truly delighted to see you, he is so 
anxious to place the whole contents of his 
store at your complete disposal that one 
might fancy his sole object in life was to 
minister to the pleasure of the English 
community. 

Number Forty-two direct* your atten- 



tion, in the most winning manner, to a 
choice and very dusky collection of hanging- 
lamps of the most grotesque fashion. His 
fowling-pieces are pointed out to you as 
perfect marvels. If you require any blacking- 
brushes, or padlocks, or Windsor soap, or 
smoking caps, or tea-kettles, he possesses 
them in every possible variety, just out by 
the very latest ship. 

Our bazaar is by no means aristocratic. 
On the contrary, it is most decidedly repub- 
lican in all its tendencies. It admits of no 
distinction of ranks. The higher born wares 
are placed on an equal footing with the most 
lowly merchandise, the most plebeian goods. 
Earthenware jostles cut-glass; ironmonger}^ — 
and some of it rare and rusty too — elbows the 
richest porcelain ; vulgar tin-ware hob-nobs 
with silks and satins. Tart-fruits and pickles 
revel in the arms of forty yards of the best 
crimson velvet. Pickled salmon in tins are 
enshrined amongst Coventry ribbons. 

I don't happen to require any of his per- 
fumery or preserves, nor am I anxious abo^i 
muslins or plated-candlesticks ; I simply want 
to select a few very plain wine-glasses, and 1 
know there are none better than at Number 
Forty-two. Piles after piles of the fragile 
glass-ware are raked out from under a mass 
of agricultural implements, and it is really 
marvellous to see how harmlessly the brittle 
things are towsled and tumbled about amongst 
ponderous wares and massive goods. How 
peacefully the lions and the lambs of manu- 
factures repose together within the dusty 
dark walls of Forty-two. 

My portly friend with the muffin-cap is 
never disconcerted by any demand, however 
out of the common way. From ships' anchors 
and chain-cables down to minnikin-pins, he 
has a supply of every possible variety of wares. 
I have often asked for things that I never 
dreamt of requiring, just to try the wonderful 
resources of Number Forty-two, and sure 
enough he Vi^ould produce the articles one by 
one. I thought I had caught him once when 
I requested to look at a few warming-pans, 
and pictured to myself how hugely chap- 
fallen he would appear, to be obliged to con- 
fess that he had no such things in his store. 
But not a bit of it. He stole awa}^ very 
placidly into some dismal dark hole of a place, 
amongst a whole cavern of bottles and jars, 
and just as I pictured him emerging into broad 
daylight, dead-beaten, he came upon me 
radiant and cheerful as ever, bearing a gigan- 
tic and genuine " warming-pan," apologising 
to me, as he removed the coating of dust fi-oni 
it, for having but that one to offer — it w.as the 
last of his stock. I had it sent home as a 
real curiosity, and hung it up in my library 
amongst other rare articles of vertu. 

There was one peculiarity about my muffin- 
capped friend which must not be omitted. 
He never made any abatement in the price 
demanded for his articles, be they of the latest 
importation, or the remains of an invoice 



Ck«rte« DicKens.j 



NUMBER FORTY-TWO. 



1« 



standing over since he first started in busi- 
ness. A shop-keeper in nearly any other 
country in the world would, at the end of a 
certain number of years, clear out his old 
stock, and dispose of it as he best could to 
make room for new wares. But not so 
Number Forty-two; nor indeed any other 
number in that bazaar. There lay the old- 
fashioned cotton-prints, and silk waistcoat 
pieces, and queer-looking ribbons of no colour 
at all. Years have rolled past since the)'- 
first entered their present abode. The mer- 
chant who imported them died of a liver 
attack a dozen years since. They would not 
sell in eighteen hundred and twenty, and 
therefore are not very likely to move off in 
eighteen hundred and fifty; but the same price 
is affixed to them now as then, and the only 
chance for their disposal appears to be by the 
direct interposition of a fire or an earthquake. 
Number Forty-two had doubtless heard that 
wines are improved by age, and he may 
possibly imagine that some mellowing and 
enriching process goes on in a lapse of years 
with regard to silks and cottons. 

This class of Indian shop-keepers have 
moreover a very confused and mystified con- 
ception of the real value of some goods. They 
can tell you to a trifle the worth of a dinner- 
set, or of a dozen Dutch hoes, but in milli- 
nery and other fancy articles they are often 
fearfully mistaken. A Moorman buys what 
is termed, in technical language, a " Chow- 
chow" invoice — in other words, a mixed 
assortment of hardware and soft-ware, of eat- 
ables and wearables. He is told the lot is 
valued at a hundred pounds sterling ; he 
offers eighty, and takes them at ninety. He 
refers to the invoice on opening out the 
goods, and gets on very well in pricing them 
until he comes to such things as ribbons, 
gloves, lace, &c. ; which are the dear and 
which the cheap he cannot possibly tell, and 
he, therefore, tickets them at so much the 
yard or the pair all round, as the case ma}^ 
be. In this way I often pick up a glorious 
bargain at Forty-two, buying kid-gloves for 
eighteen-pence, for which in London I should 
have to pay at least four shillings ; and a 
trifle of real Brussels lace for my wife at the 
price of the very commonest Nottingham 
article. 

The fortunes of Forty-two were once 
placed in the most imminent jeopardy from 
a circumstance which happened in his shop 
while I was there, and which became, at the 
time, the food of all the hungry gossip-mon- 
gers of the place. My friend had a Moorish 
assistant remarkably active, but dissipated 
and impertment. He was ugly beyond mea- 
sure, and when he grinned, which he fre- 
quently would do in spite of strict injunctions 
to the contrary, he distended a cavern of a 
mouth that was perfectly repulsive. This 
creature had become one day unusually ex- 
cited, and it appears in the fervour of his 
jollity had laid a wager with a young neigh- 



bour of kindred habits, that he would kiss 
the first female customer who should set foot 
within his master's shop on that morning, be 
she fair or dark. I can imagine the horror 
with which poor Forty-two beheld his grin- 
ning deputy fulfil his engagement by saluting 
the fair cheek of an English lady, and that 
lady — as chance would have it — the wife of 
one of the highest civil functionaries of the 
place. The affair was hushed up as much 
as it could be, but in the end it oozed out ; 
and people, so far from deserting Number 
Forty-two, actually flocked to it to hear the 
particulars of the affair. The offender was 
dismissed ; but not until he had imparted to 
that particular shop a celebrity it had never * 
previously enjoyed. 

There are other numbers besides Forty- 
two which enjoy a considerable reputation, 
all things considered, but they certainly lack 
the fashionable repute of the aforesaid. For 
instance, there is Number Forty-seven, a 
remarkably well-conducted man, very steady, 
very civil, and exceedingly punctual in set- 
tling his accounts with the merchants, who 
esteem him accordingly. This worthy Moor- 
man transacts business much on the same 
principle as his neighbours, but unlike 
Forty-two and one or two other active 
numbers, he is given to indulge in certain 
sieMas during the heat of the day, which no * 
influx of customers can debar him from en- 
joying. As the hour of high noon approaches, 
he spreads his variegated mat upon the little, 
dirty,Ticketty, queer-looking couch, under the 
banana tree in the back court-yard by the 
side of the well, and there, under the plea- 
sant banana shade, he dozes off, fanned by 
such truant breezes as have the courage to 
venture within such a cooped-up, shut-in pit 
of a yard, dreaming of customers, accounts, 
and promissory-notes. During this slumber, ^ 
it is in vain for any one to attempt to coax 
a yard of muslin, or a fish-kettle, out of 
the inexorable Forty-seven. The somnife- 
rous spell has descended upon his dwarfy 
deputy ; who, rather than wake his master, 
would forfeit his chance of Paradise; and 
he, no less drowsy himself, opens one eye 
and his mouth only, to assure you that the 
article you require is not to be found in their 
shop. You insist that it is. You know 
where to lay your hand upon it. The deputy 
Forty-seven shakes his drowsy head in som- 
niferous unbelief. You seek it out from its 
dusty, murky hiding-place, and produce it 
before his unwilling face. He opens another 
eye, smiles, nods to you, and is away again . 
far into the seventh heaven. There is no 
help for it, but to appropriate the article and 
pay for it on your next visit. 

Number Forty-eight is a small bustling 
variety of Moorman, making a vast show of 
doing a large stroke of business; but, as far as 
I could ever perceive, doing next to nothing. 
He bought largely, paid as regularly as most 
of other numbers, was constantly openmgf 



20 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



huge packing-cases and crates, and sorting 
out their contents into heaps ; but I never 
remembered to have seen a single customer 
within his shop. How the man Hved was, 
* for a long time, a perfect mystery to me ; but 
I learnt at length that he disposed of his 
purchases entirely by means of itinerant 
hawkers who, . armed with a yard-measure 
and a pair of scales, and followed by a pack 
of loaded coolies groaning under huge tin 
cases and buflfalo-skin trunks, perambulated 
from town to village, from house to hut ; and 
by dint of wheedling, puffing, and flattering, 
succeeded in returning with a bag full of 
rupees and pice. 

For Number Sixty-two I entertained a 
more than ordinary respect. Unlike his 
Moorish brethren he possessed a remarkably 
rational name; — Saybo Dora. Originally a 
hawker, he had by his steady conduct won 
the confidence of the merchants, who sup- 
plied him with goods wherewith to open a 
store, at a time when such places did not 
exist in town. From small beginnings, he 
rose to great transactions ; and now, beside 
a flourishing trade in the bazaar, carried on 
pretty extensive operations in many smaller 
towns throughout the country. It was by no 
means an unusual thing for this simply-clad, 
mean-looking trader to purchase in one day 
from one merchant muslins to the value of 
a thousand pounds, crockery for haif that 
amount, and, perhaps, glass-ware for as much 
more. For these he would pay down ont;- 
fourth in hard cash, and so great was the 
confidence reposed in him, that his bags of 
rupees, labelled and endorsed with his name 
and the amount of their contents, were re- 
ceived and placed in the strong-room of the 
Englishman without being counted. Saybo 
Dora's name on the packages gave them cur- 
rency. 

So much for their business aspect; b::t 
once I paid a visit to Forty-two in his private 
dwelling. In one of the dullest, dirtiest, and 
most squalid-looking streets of the black 
town dwelt he of the muffln-cap and portly 
person. The hut was perched high up ou a 
natural parapet of red iron-stone, with a 
glacier of rubbish in front. The day had been 
fearfully hot, even for India ; the very road- 
way was scorching to the feet tliough the sun 
had set, yet the tiny windows and the ram- 
shackling door were all closed. Nobody was 
lying dead in the house, as I first imagined 
might be the case. They had only shut out 
the heat. 

I found Forty-two enveloped in a sort of 
winding-sheet, reclining on some coarse mat- 
ting, and smoking a very large and dirty 
hookah. A brazen vessel was by his side, a 
brass lamp swung from the ceiling ; and, on a 
curiously carved ebony stand, was a little sort 
of stew-pan minus a handle filled with sweet- 
meats. In an adjoining part of the dwelling, 
divided off only by some loose drapery for 
want of a door, lay sprawling on the earthen 



floor a leash of infantine, embryo Forty-twos ; 
while, shrouded in an impenetrable mass of 
muslin, crouched Mrs. Forty-two, masticating 
tobacco leaves and betel nut. Smoking, eating 
sweetmeats and curry, and sleeping form the 
sum total of the earthly enjoyments of this 
race of people. Their sole exception to this 
dreary, caged existence being an occasional 
religious festival, or a pilgrimage to some 
shrine of great sanctity, when the muslin- 
shrouded wife, the muslin-less children, the 
sweetmeats, the hookah, and the brazen ves- 
sels are packed into a hackery which, with 
its huge white bullock, jingles and creaks over 
the ruts and stones as though the wheels 
and axle had got a touch of St. Vitus's 
dance, and for that one day at any rate 
Number Forty-two may be fairly said to be 
out of town. 

AN EXPLODED MAGAZINE. 



Some years, ten or a dozen ago, during 
the Repeal agitation conducted by the late 
Mr. O'Connell, an outburst of retrospective 
patriotism and poesy took place in a ballad 
furnished with the title, *' Who fears to speak 
of 'Ninety-eight?" It was first published 
in a newspaper, and referred, I suppose, to 
the unhappy rebellion which in that year 
desolated the fairest portion of Ireland ; but 
I have never read it, nor, beyond its title, 
have I anything more to do with it here. 
It awakens no partisan feelings within me, 
and might as well be the song of The Boyne 
Water, or the Shan van Vaugh, Vinegar Hill, 
or Croppies lie down — intensely orange, or 
vividly green, for any effect it could have on 
my susceptibiHties. 

'Ninety-eight was not an annus onirabilis^ 
although Nelson's great victory at Aboukir 
was won in its autumn. But every year was 
one of wonder then, and the age was one of 
marvels. Dynasties and thrones were being 
pounded up by the French armies like rot- 
ten bones in mortars. Wherever over the 
globe there were no wars, there were, at 
least, rumors of wars. And yet the world 
wagged, and the seasons came and went. 
There were as many wet and sunny days 
under republics as there had been under mo- 
narchies — jn anarchy as in tranquillity. The 
months brought their same tribute of fruit, 
or flowers, or grain ; and were the same 
months, though the calendar had been remo- | 
defied, and they were henceforth to be Fruc- 
tidors, Thermidors, or Ventoses. And it 
was the same death that kings suffered on the 
scaffold and soldiers in the field that a poor 
shepherd or a servant maid suffers to-day, 
and that you and I may suffer to-morrow. 
Sleeves and hose may alter, but legs and arms 
remain the same. Hunger was hunger and 
thirst thirst in 'Ninety-eight as it is in 'Fifty- 
three. 

The other day, rambling about, I stumbled 
upon an odd volume of an old Magazine for 



CTharle* Dicken». 



AN EXPLODED MAGAZINE. 



21 



my favourite 'Ninety-eight This was at a 
book-stall close to the Four Courts, Dublin ; 
and I immediately became its possessor at the 
outlay of sevenpcnce sterling. The book-stall 
keeper, who was quite a Sir Charles Grandison 
of bibliopoles, politely offered to send my 
purchase home for me, but I took it to my 
habitat myself, and revelled in 'Ninety-eight 
half that night. 

I found my Mag. to be in the hundred and 
third volume of its age, a very respectable 
antiquity even in 'Ninety-eight ; and, had it 
lived to the present day, it would have been a 
very Methuselah among Mags ; but the work 
went the way of all waste paper, I am afraid, 
years ago. I cannot pretend to give you any 
detailed description of its contents ; for, as per 
title-page they included letters, debates, anti- 
quity, philosophy, mechanics, husbandry, 
gardening, fifteen more subjects, and " other 
arts and sciences," besides " an impartial 
account of books in several languages," the 
" state of learning in Europe," and the " new 
theatrical entertainments" of 'Ninety-eight. 
And mark that my Mag was only a half- 
year's volume, from Jitne to December. So 
I will say very little about philosophy or 
husbandry, the state of European learning, 
and the new theatrical entertainments of 
'Ninety-eight, merely culling as I go on what 
seems to me curious, principally among 
the domestic occurrences of my year, and 
which may interest even those who have 
no peculiar solicitude concerning 'Ninety- 
eight. 

First, I found a fronilspiece elegantly 
engraved ' on copperplate, representing a 
wood or bosky thicket, in which reposed a 
lady in the costume of Queen Elizabeth, 
but much handsomer; behind her the poet 
Dante ; by her side a lady in a Grecian 
costume, name unknown ; and around her a 
lion, several sheep, and a rabbit. In the fore- 
ground a hideous dwarf in a fancy dress, 
whom I was uncertain whether to take for 
the fabulist Esop or the Polish Count Boru- 
lawski, was presenting a laurel wreath to a 
gentleman in a full bottomed wig, large cuffs, 
ruffles, shorts and buckles, who seemed very 
anxious to get the wreath indeed, and was 
incited thereto by the poet Horace; who 
egged him on with a large scroll, backed up 
by another gentleman, of whose person or 
dress nothing was visible but a very volumi- 
nous wig looming above his friend's shoulder, 
and was on that account perhaps intended 
as an allegory of Mr. Charles James Fox. 
On reference to my Mag. for an explication 
of this engraving, I was informed that it was 
emblematic of Summer, and some lines from 
the Seasons followed the information ; but as 
I could not see what he of the wig and ruffle 
had to do with summer and Queen Elizabeth, 
I considered it and passed it, over as a mystery 
of 'Ninety-eight, to be solved by future study 
and research. 

Mrs. Muscadine writes to the editor during 



June, complaining of the mania for volun- 
teering. She bewails the fact that her hus- 
band, and all the husbands of her acquaintance, 
have now the same squareness of the shoulders 
to the body and the front, their heels are all 
in a line, and their thumbs are all as far back 
as the seams of their trousers. She complains 
that her husband's affections are completely 
alienated from her by the rival charm of one 
Brovm Bess, and that at prayer time he calls 
out "front rank, kneel!" for aU of which 
she rates the Duke of York heartily, but 
good humouredly. I wonder whether the re- 
embodiment of the Militia, or the recollections 
of Chobham will call forth any Mrs. Musca- 
dines in 'Fifty-eight. Next I find a long 
biography of John Wilkes. "Wilkes died in 
the year before. In addition to his biogra- 
phy, my Mag. has this month a notice of Dr. 
Farmer, the author of the Essay on the 
learning of Shakspeare, also deceased in 
'Ninety-seven. In the House of Lords, on 
the twenty-eighth of March (my Mag. only 
reports it in June), the Bishop of Rochester 
attributes the numerous applications for 
divorces, which have recently taken place in 
their lordships' House, to the Jacobinical 
principles which had been inculcated from 
France. In the House of Commons, on the 
third of April, on a motion for leave to bring 
in a bill for the abolition of the slave trade at 
a period to be specified, which had been 
moved by Mr. Wilberforce, there are eighty- 
three ayes, and eighty-seven noes — majority 
for the middle passage, the barracoons, the 
bilboes, and the cartwhip, four. 

April the twenty-fifth, in a social little 
committee of ways and means, Mr. Pitt 
moves for a trifle of twelve millions eight 
hundred and fifty-seven thousand pounds 
sterling for the army. He states, pleasantly, 
that he thought last Christmas that ten 
millions or so might have done; but that 
" into the particulars of that sum he will not 
now enter." Considerate, this, of the pilot 
that weathered the storm. To make things 
pleasant he claps on, in the same cosy little 
committee, the "additional tax upon salt," 
and the " additional duty upon tea," and the 
" tax on armorial bearings," " which," says 
Mr. Pitt, " rests upon a principle exceedingly 
different," which in truth it does. 

Three-fourths of this month's number of 
my Mag. are" occupied with a narrative of 
the events of. the Irish rebellion, and of the 
battle of Vinegar HiU. They belong to 
history. 

On May the third the Whig Club dine 
together at the Freemasons' Tavern, Lon- 
don, Mr. Fox in the chair. They are all very 
merry, and Mr. Fox gives the "Sovereignty 
of the People" (the Habeas Corpus Act has 
just been suspended). The Duke of Norfolk, 
on his health being drunk, sensibly observes, 
that " where the people have no rights, the 
nobihty have no privileges worth enjoying ;" 
and the Duke of Bedford in a neat speech 



22 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted bj 



intimates that the meeting is respectable. 
Mr. Erskinc is rathe^r ghim ; and when his 
health is drunk, coupled with " Trial by 
Jury," he contents himself with merely 
thanking the company, telling them that they 
know the reason why he is silent. Where- 
upon Mr. Sheridan (indefatigable in the pur- 
suit of a joke under difficulties) gets up and 
proposes, "Our absent friend, the Habeas 
Corpus ;" at which it needs no very retrospec- 
tive effort of second sight to see the bumpers 
tossed off, and hear them jingled lustily by 
the Whig Club. 

The suspension of "our absent friend" 
authorises, on the first of June, the arrest by 
Townsend, the Bow-street officer, of Mr. Agar, 
a barrister, Mr. Curran (the son of the 
Curran), Mr. Stewart, and the Hon. V. B. 
Lawless (now Lord Cloncurry, and still alive 
I think), all under the authority of the Duke 
of Portland's warrant on a charge of treason- 
able practices. Failing our " absent friend," 
justice, in the shape of Mr. Townsend, lays 
hold of Mr. Lawless's French valet and of 
his papers. Mr. Lawless was taken in St. 
Alban's Place, Pall Mall, — that peaceful, 
shady, tranquil . little thoroughfare, hard 
by the Opera Arcade, the Patmos of half-pay 
officers. 'Tis as difficult for me to fancy an 
arrest for high treason in St. Alban's Place, 
as to picture the rotting skulls of Jacobites 
over Temple Bar ; yet both have been almost 
within the memory of man. 

On the seventh of June three persons 
named Reeves, Wilkinson, and Adams, are 
hanged in front of Newgate. All for forgery. 
My Mag, says that this was " the most awful 
example of justice ever witnessed." Doubt- 
less ; but the example, however awful, was 
not efficacious enough to prevent its repetition 
many many more times in 'Ninety -eight. On 
the eighth of June there is another awful 
example (though my Mag. does not say 
so) on Pennenden Heath, one O'Coigley 
being hanged for high treason, in carry- 
ing on an improper correspondence with the 
French. 

The next day dies, in Newgate, Dublin, of his 
wounds, Lord Edward Fitzgerald, son of the 
Duke of Leinster. On the twenty-first of May 
a proclamation offering a thousand pounds 
reward for his capture had been issued. 
Through the treachery of a servant-girl the 
place of his retreat was made known. A Cap- 
tain Ryan, Mr. Swan, a magistrate, and the 
well-known Major Sirr, went with three 
coaches and some soldiers, as privately as 
possible to the house of one Murphy, a 
feather-dresser, in Thomas-street. There 
they found Lord Edward lying on a bed, 
without his coat and shoes. He feigned, 
at first, to surrender ; but a desperate 
struggle ensued, he being provided with a 
cut-and-thrust dagger. With this he gave 
Captain Ryan s°ven wounds between the 
collar and the waistband, and Swan the justice 
too. He was at last disabled by a pistol-shot 



from Major Sirr; overpowered, conducted to 
the castlo, and thence to Newgate, where, as 
I have said, he died on the ninth of June. 
Captain Ryan died of his wounds two days 
before his prisoner. Major Sirr lived till 
within a short period of the present day. He 
was for many years one of the Dublin city 
magistrates, and sat in the Carriage Court to 
determine disputes and hear complaints 
against that eccentric race of beings, the 
Dublin car-drivers. He was of course cor- 
dially hated by all the cabbies. One Jehu, a 
most inveterate declarer of the thing which 
was not, on being remonstrated with by the 
usher of the Court for tergiversation (to use 
a mild word) retorted " Musha then ! Cock 
him up with the truth ! It's more than I 
ever told the likes of him!" Singularly 
enough Major Sirrs last moments were spent 
among his enemies. He was taken mortally 
ill while riding in an inside car, and was 
scarcely carried from it before he died : it 
was even currently reported that he did 
actually die in the vehicle. A short time after 
his death a car-driver was summonsed (or, as 
the carman calls it, " wrote by the polls") for 
stumping a brother whip, i. e. inveigling a 
fare away from him. " I wouldn't a minded 
his atumping me," said the complainant ; " but 
didn't he call out, when the lady was getting 
into the kyar, that it was mine was the kyar 
that the black ould major died in ? And one 
couldn't stand that yer honour!" 

In the month of July my Mag. has great 
news from the Convict Settlement at Botany 
Bay. Not the least curious among these is the 
notification of the appointment of the noto- 
rious George Barrington the pickpocket to be 
a peace-officer or superintendent of convicts — 
with a grant of thirty acres of land, and a war- 
rant of emancipation. Barrington had ren- 
dered considerable services to the executive 
during a mutiny on the passage out, and since 
his arrival in the colony had behaved himself 
to the entire satisfaction of the authorities. I 
believe he died a magistrate, in easy circum- 
stances, and universally respected. 

But the most noteworthy item in this 
Antipodean budget, is the account of the 
opening of a theatre at Sydney ; the manager 
(Mr. John Sparrow), the actors and actresses 
and the majority of the audience being con- 
victs. Of the men Green, and of the women 
Miss Davis, best deserved to be called actors. 
The first performance appropriately com- 
menced with the " Fair Penitent," and on ano- 
ther occasion the " Revenge," and the "Hotel," 
were presented. The dresses were chiefly 
made by the company themselves; but some 
veteran costumes and properties from the 
York Theatre were among the best that 
made their appearance. The motto of these 
histrionic exiles was modest and well chosen, 
being " We cannot command, but will 
endeavour to deserve success." I suppose 
that it was on this occasion that the 
celebrated prologue, the production of Mr- 



Charles Dickens.] 



AN EXPLODED MAGAZTN: 



23 



Barrington, was spoken, in which wore to 
be found the appropriate lines : — 

*' True patriots we, for be it understood 
"We left our country for our country's good." 

The authorities on licensing the under- 
taking gave the manager to understand that 
the slightest infraction of propriety would be 
visited by the banishment of the entire 
company to another settlement, there to work 
in chains. The coercive mastership of the 
revels is somewhat akin to the theatrical 
discipline in use in the Italian provinces 
under Austrian yoke, where refractory tenors 
are not unfrequently threatened with the 
bastinado by the military commandant, and 
prima donnas in the sulks are marched off to 
the guard-house between two files of Croat 
Grenadiers. The principal drawback to the 
prosperity of the Sydney theatricals seems, 
according to my Mag., to have been the 
system of accepting at the doors, in lieu of 
the price of admission, as much flour, beef, or 
rum, as the manager chose to consider an 
equivalent. It was feared that this would 
act hke gambling, as an inducement to the 
convicts to rob ; and more serious evil arose 
in the frequent losses of watches and money 
by the respectable portion of the audience 
during the performances, and in the advan- 
tage some of the worst of the fair penitents 
took of the absence of the inhabitants at the 
theatre to break into their houses, and rob 
them of their contents. 

On the twenty-eighth of July my constant 
Mag. returns to the "Awful Examples." Two 
gentlemen, barristers and brothers, * Henry 
and John Sheares, are hanged and decapitated 
in Dublin for high treason. At the last 
moment an urgent appeal was made to the 
Government for mercy, were it even to one 
of the brothers, and with an offer on their 
parts to make ample confessions ; but the 
Government rephed " That they had a full 
knowledge of everything that could come out 
in confession, and that the law must take its 
course." Which the law does. 

July the twenty-first, William Whiley is 
flogged through the fleet at Portsmouth for 
mutiny on board Her Majesty's ship Pluto. 
On the same day, Brian, for the same mutiny 
on board the same ship, is hanged at the 
yard-arm. 

July the twenty-third, McCann is tried for 
high treason in Dublin, as being the author 
of some treasonable papers found in the house 
of Mr. Oliver Bond. He is found guilty, 
sentenced to death, and hanged on the nine- 
teenth of August. On the twenty-sixth, 
Michael William Byrne is also tried for the 
same offence, and the jury, after five minutes' 
consideration, find him guilty. He is impeni- 
tent, ind exclaims, " with a warm accompani- 
iiient of action," that " he glories in the event 
of his trial." He is executed on the twenty- 
fifth cf August. " Several other persons," 
ado.^ my Mag. as if weary of particularising 



the examples, " have also been hanged for 
high treason during the present month." 

On the thirty-first of July, the Blenheim, 
a whale ship, arrives at Hull from the Green- 
land seas. Passing Whitebooth Roads the 
Nonsuch and Redoubt men-of-war, guard- 
ships, fire several shot into her (as a species 
of welcome to England, home, and beauty, 
I presume), but without effect. Three boats 
are then manned and sent towards her, for 
the purpose of impressing the seamen of the 
Blenheim ; but these opinionated mariners 
" agree to differ" from the men-of-war's 
men, and arming themselves with harpoons, 
Greenland knives, and spears, resolutely op- 
pose their coming on board. The Nautilus 
sloop of war, having, by this time, joined the 
other two, also sends a boat, and fires more 
than thirty shot into her " with intent to 
bring her to," but without effect. A deadly 
struggle ensues ; and the seamen of the 
whale ship fire a swivel, loaded with grape- 
shot, into the men-of-war's boat, and des- 
perately wound two men and an officer ; and 
at last their opponents row off. One of the 
wounded men dies in the hospital the next 
night, and the life of another is despaired of; 
whereupon, a coroner's jury sit on the body 
of the seaman deceased, and return a verdict 
of wilful murder aga-nst a person unknown. 
Meanwhile, the creU of the Blenheim have 
reached the shore and concealed themselves 
— none of them being wounded. I wonder, 
if any one of them had been killed, and the 
same coroner's jury had sat on the corpse, 
what would have been the verdict upon Mm. 
I must not omit to state that, the day after 
this abominable affray, warrants are issued 
for the apprehension of such of the Blenheim's 
crew as had been identified by the crews of 
the men-of-war boats. My Mag. does not 
state if they are captured or not; but our 
friend the Habeas Corpus being still absent, 
I am not without misgiving for them if they 
are arrested. 

On the second of August an event takes 
place with which most readers of the annaL? 
of the stage must be familiar. Mr. John 
Palmer, a favourite actor, while enacting 
the part of the " Stranger" in the Liverpool 
theatre, drops down dead upon the stage. 
He is buried on the thirteenth, at War ton 
near Liverpool, and on his tombstone (with 
questionable taste) are engraven these awfully 
significant words — 

" There is another and a better world !" 

My Mag., to add to the vulgar horror of the 
catastrophe, states that these very words 
were the last he uttered on earth ; but a 
reference to the text of the Stranger will 
show that the words in question are in the 
part of Mrs. Haller. 

On the sixth of September, my Mag. chro 
nicies the result of six informations heard 
before the magistrates at Bow Street, London, 
and laid by the Stamp Office against a 



24 



jaOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



Mr. Williams, for suffering, in his room in Old 
Round Court, Strand, sundry persons to read 
the Daily Advertiser, and other newspapers, 
for the consideration of one penny each. The 
offence being held to be clearly made out, 
Mr. Williams is convicted in the penalty of 
five pounds on each information ; " which is 
certainly sufficient," sagely concludes my 
Mag., " to convince the proprietors of reading 
rooms that newspapers must not be among 
the number of the publications which they 
suffer to be read for hire, or, as they call it 
(my Mag. is ironical) admission money." 
From which it would appear likewise that 
even penny news-rooms have had their per- 
secutions and their martyrs. Ludicrously 
and inconsistently enough my Mag. ^ thus 
pleasantly recording Mr. Williams' malprac- 
tices, does so in a " Historical Chronicle," 
clearly news, and taxable accordingly, but of 
which the Stamp Office does not take the 
slightest notice. 

On September eleventh, at six o'clock 
in the evening, the north-east bank of the 
New River bursts near Hornsey-house, and 
inundates a circuit of four miles of meadow 
land. 

On the 17th September, Robert Ladbrook 
Troys is tried for forgery. Guilty. Death. 
On the same day John Collins is indicted at 
the instance of the Stamp Office for forging a 
plate to counterfeit the "two shiUing hat 
stamps." The principal evidence against him 
is that of a Jew, Barnard Solomons, who 
acknowledges his having suffered about two 
years previously, three months' imprisonment 
for coining counterfeit halfpence. For the 
forgery of the " two shilling hat stamps" the 
verdict on John Collins is, Guilty. Death. 
The next day, the 18th, twenty-five men are 
tried on board the ship Gladiator, at Ports- 
mouth, for mutiny. Nineteen are found Guilty. 
Death, Thirteen are executed; two are to 
have two hundred lashes ; two one hundred, 
and one is acquitted. On the twentieth, 
Mr. Silvester, the common-serjeant at the 
Old Bailey, pronounces judgment (Death) 
upon ten men and four women. Twenty- 
six are to be transported, twenty-six im- 
prisoned, and two whipped. And so from 
month to month 'Ninety-eight pursues the 
even tenor of its way. The " awful example" 
harvest is unvaryingly fruitful ; but it would 
be wearisome to continue recording the 
statistics of each hemp crop. 

Mr. Sabatier, impressed with the preva- 
lence of poverty and crime in 'Ninety-eight, 
attempts to elucidate their causes. One great 
cause of poverty according to this gentle- 
man is in "buying of unprofitable food. 
^' Tea and bread and butter," he says, " is a 
very unprofitable br^^akfast for working 



people." Cheese and porter are still worse : 
" The former of these have very little nourish- 
ment, and the latter is costly." Unfortunately 
Mr. Sabatier does not point out the profit- 
able food. A paramount cause of poverty is 
keeping a pig ; "a pig, if it runs about, con- 
sumes time in looking after it ; it frequently 
gets into the pound ; and eats up the scraps 
of the family where there should be none ; it 
occasions the boiling of victuals merely for 
the sake of the pot-liquor ; and then this 
stunted, half- starved creature must be 
fattened." I wonder that in Mr. Sabatier's 
virtuous indignation against the pig, he did not 
add in aggravation of its crimes that it 
squeaks in infancy and grunts when grown up, 
and that in feeding, it puts its foot in the 
trough, quite ungenteelly. Giving children 
pence to buy tarts is, in Mr. Sabatier's eyes, 
a heinous ofience, and invariably productive 
of poverty. Pie clenches his* argument by a 
moral piece on the downfall of the eldest 
son of a peer, who was reduced by impro- 
vidence (beginning with penny tarts) to 
the sad necessity of enlisting as a common 
soldier. 

The causes of crime, Mr. Sabatier ascribes, 
among others, to fixing the same punishment 
to different crimes, the greater of which has 
a tendency to conceal the lesser : To impu- 
nit}'- as in unconditional pardon, or in com- 
muting death into transportation : To the 
confinement of prisoners before trial in 
idleness and bad company : To allowing legal 
passages for escape : To proscribing a man's 
character by visible dismemberment, such as 
public whipping, the pillory, or the stocks : 
To legalising, or rather not prohibiting pawn- 
brokers " and other receivers :" To permitting 
profligate characters to fill the religious 
ministry : To non-residence and neglect of 
incumbents : To permitting mendicity : To 
suffering seditionists to escape punishment: 
To allowing temptations to lie in the way of 
poor people, such as game and wood in forests : 
To the sale of spirituous liquors and lottery- 
tickets : To levying high duties on foreign 
commodities, and thereby encouraging smug- 
gling. Among a variety of notions eminently 
germane to 'Ninety-eight Mr. Sabatier, as it 
will be seen, is in some respects many many 
years in advance of it. 

So i lay by my Mag. for the present. 
Years hence perhaps our grandchildren may 
take up some exploded magazine for this 
present year ; and, as they turn it cursorily 
over, wonder how such things, therein re- 
corded, could ever have been. I sincerely 
trust, however, that little advanced as we 
may be, 'Fifty-three has not evinced any 
symptoms of retrogression towards 'Ninety- 
eight. 



"Familiar in their MouiU as BOVSEHOLD WOli'LS: 



m Hur^-,. 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 

A WEEKLY JOURNAL 

CONDUC-TED BY CHARLES DICKENS. 



Vol. VIII. 



McELRATH & BARKER, PUBLISHERS. 

Offick No. n Si'RUCE stkkkt, Xkw York. 



Whole No. 181. 



OUT FOR A WALK. 

You people with portmanteaus, trunks, 
Macintoshes, and umbrellas, bandboxes, car- 
pet-bags, shawls, plaids, rugs, and muffetees, 
gentlemen who wear travelling caps and carry- 
about hat-boxes, are not to suppose that you 
have ever travelled. You may have bought a 
newspaper at every railway station in Europe, 
but, believe me, you must tread your way if 
you desire to feel honestly that you have 
travelled it. 

I am not a great traveller. Have never 
been in the East, and never been in the West, 
hive only heard of the North Pole, and do 
not up to this date entertain any idea that 
I shall ever take a passage to Australia. 
Barring a quiet walk up the Moselle, and 
little trips of that sort, I have never been 
out of mv own country. But I have spent 
some of the happiest days of my life afoot in 
England. 

I should recommend any one in want of a 
good home walk not to stop out longer than 
about a week. He may let the railway take 
him quickly to new ground — it does not in 
the least matter what or where ; there is no 
dull ground anywhere for the pedestrian — 
and then let him step out. He should never 
look up to the sky in fear, but in love and 
enjoyment. The more changes there are in 
it, the imore variety and pleasure is provided 
for him. Let the sun beat at him, and the 
rain dash cheerily in his face, and the wind 
blow all ill-humours out of him. He should 
go out impeded with nothing ; have no knap- 
sack, not even a sly scrap of luggage in his hat, 
no second coat upon his back, and no umbrella 
in his hand. He should go out nothing bnta 
bold, unfettered man, to have communion 
thoroughly with nature. He must make up 
his mind for the week to disregard his per- 
sonal appearance. In fine exciting stormy 
weather he will get a little draggle-tailed : he 
must- not mind that. He must be content 
for the week with a comb, a tooth-brush, a 
towel, and a pair of socks, in one coat pocket, 
and a single reserve shirt in the other. That 
last-named garment will very likely have been 
w^et through once, and certainly be crumpled, 
by the time he puts it on. Its appearance 
does not matter in the least ; the purposes of 
cleanliness will be for the nonce sufficiently 



answered, and he must demand no more. 
Every morning he should bathe in the first 
sparkling stream with which he meets, and 
that is why the towel should be carried. More 
impediment he ought not to take with him. 
Unless attached to it by habit he ought not 
to take even a stick : hands absolutely free 
are altogether preferable. I need not say 
that he must have a little money in his purse ; 
it ought, however, to be little, and should be 
used only to satisfy simple wants. 

It is not necessary that a walk should last 
a week. One may get a joy that will become 
a memory for ever out of the walking of a 
single day or night. I remember one night 
taking a thirty miles' walk into Birmingham 
to catch a train that started before sunrise. 
There were not more shades of light between 
sunset and darkness, than there were emo- 
tions begotten by the scenery that shifted 
during such a walk. First, the long sunset 
shadows of the trees ; then a glimpse from a 
hill top of the Severn between deep banks 
with the blue darkness of evening about it ; 
then twilight softening into delicious thought, 
promoting gloom, and the moon rising over a 
flat surface of trees and hedges, contrasting its 
pure light with a red glare of fire on other 
parts of the horizon, as I got into Wolver- 
hampton. 

Properly I meant to have taken the train at 
Wolverhampton, but I found the train gone 
when I reached the little station, and there 
were a couple of sleepy men sitting with a 
lantern on one of the benches, making a great 
noise in the place whenever they coughed or 
moved their feet. Then they looked up when 
they heard my footfall, and saw how the 
moon threw the big shadow of my hat over the 
railwa}^ sleepers. I was glad the train wa^" gone, 
and trudged away again rejoicing over the ten, 
thirteen, or fifteen miles — I forget how many 
they were — to Birmingham. That is the 
most wonderful night walk in this country ; 
all blighted soil, and glare of fire, and roar of 
furnaces. The intense purity and calm of the 
moonlight and the starhght seen from among 
such fires impress the mind with an entirely 
new sensation. I got into Birmingham a 
couple of hours too soon, and found the town 
calmly asleep. The place was my own, and 
I occupied the empty streets with a full 
heart, rejoicing. 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Ootifccted by 



One groat source of enjoyment in that walk 
was its unexpectedness. A walk is never so 
good as when it comes upon one by surprise. 
I had set out originally, meaning to walk four 
miles to the mail-coach, from an out-of-the- 
way inn. I had not booked my place ; the 
mail was full ; and so the walk began. 

Another improvised walk was contrived in 
company. One quiet autumn afternoon, I sat 
with a couple of good friends, one old, one 
young, in the garden of a rustic public-house 
in Cheshire. There was a big tree overhead, 
and a small spire among adjacent bushes, 
and there was some tea (the produce of our 
native hedges) on the table before us. Far 
away the Mersey glittered in the afternoon 
sun; the smoke of Liverpool dulled the 
horizon. On the other side were the Welsh 
mountains. 

"Glorious out-door weather!" said one 
of us. 

"How beautiful the mountains look!" said 
another. 

" I should like to be among them." 



Let us 



go, 



Elder friend laughed, but younger friend 
looked serious. "It is only nine miles to 
Chester; we can sleep there to-night, and 
walk round North Wales in about five days." 
Elder friend thought us mad ; but, finding 
us in earnest, and not disposed to be knocked 
down by a mere clean shirt difficulty, he 
agreed to carry word to our friends that we 
should be home in less than a week. Off 
we set. 

Oh, the delight of a first trudge into North 
Wales thus suddenly presented to the fancy ; 
wnen satisfaction comes at once with the 
first burst of strong desire. We might have 
made up our minds to go on that day fort- 
night, have thought about it, have got up out 
of our beds to start, and finally have set 
about it as a preconcerted business, with a 
fog upon our spirits. But we did nothing so 
stupid. Since there was no reason why we 
should not give rein to the humour, while 
our hearts were open to the promised pleasure 
and under the very sunlight, while still in the 
very mood of buoyancy that had begotten the 
desire to tread the mountains, off we went. 
The Cheshire girls in their Welsh jackets 
were figures on the frontispiece of the great 
bo'k "f pictures with which we were setting 
on t: ill our memories. Villages fixed them- 
selves house by house, and black beam by 
black beam, upon our hearts. We can tell 
any man upon our death-beds how many geese 
were busy aboijt nothing on a little triangle 
of green that faced us as we rested by the 
handle of a village pump. The sliort cut 
over the fields that we made brought us, to 
our dismay, when evening was far advanced, 
down to the dirty banks of the broad estuary 
of the Dee — ever so many miles from Chester 
— and there were our Welsh mountains 
ominously full of night, over the way, quite 
inaccessible. 



That is another of the glories of foot 
travelling. I would not give a song for the 
society of a pedestrian who was not a bold 
fellow at short cuts. There is an excitement 
in trespassing and going astray out of the 
bondage of paths over an unknown country — 
steeple-chasing for a place to which one has 
never been in his life before, but which he 
hopes by his superior ingenuity to get at by 
a road unknown to any of his fellow-creatures. 
The wonder as to what may be the result, 
and the strong, wholesome emotion that 
makes the heart beat, as though one had 
taken suddenly a shower bath when something 
wonderfully unexpected comes in sight, is a 
fine tonic for the jaded spirits. It was a fine 
surprise for us to come down upon the muddy 
waters of the Dee, when we believed we 
might be on the point of getting into Chester. 
A finer surprise of the kind is to come down 
from behind a hill upon the dashing breakers 
of the sea itself by moonlight, when one 
thinks he has achieved a short cut to some 
town twenty miles inland. The dashing of 
fire is nearly as good an accompaniment to 
such a surprise as the dashing of water. I 
remember one night being out on business 
in deep snow. I was on horseback then. 
Trying to get home in the dark, long after 
midnight, I became more and more per- 
plexed; and suddenly a turn of the road 
brought me into the immediate presence of a 
set of blast furnaces, spouting up fire into the 
dark sky, and clamouring fiercely in my ears. 
I did not in the .least know what blast fur- 
naces they were, had never seen them before ; 
and their huge power made me aghast 
at the sense of my own helplessness. I sup- 
pose that is the reason why such a thing 
as a blast, furnace, or the thunder of the sea 
upon a shore, can impress helpless mortals 
who have lost their way with such peculiar 
emotion. It is an emotion very wholesome in 
the main, as every emotion is that is entirely 
natural. 

To go back to the Dee. I need not say that 
having come upon its estuary, we had nothing 
to do but trace the river up its course to find 
our way to Chester. There we slept soundly, 
true to our purpose, and, the next morning, 
we set out into Wales. Some day I may 
think it worth while to trouble the world 
wi£h some of my experiences in Wales 
during one or two trips as a pedestrian. 
I intend nothing of that sort now. As I 
write, I can recall the solemn closing of the 
hills about our road at twilight, and the glit- 
ter of the afternoon sun through the bushes 
as we lay over the clear trout stream in some 
happy valley. We enjoyed also the trout; 
we did indeed. We were amused at the port- 
manteau travellers, who at Llanberis fur- 
nished themselves with guides and ponies 
and donkies (lacking mules), for the ascent of 
Snowdon, the great British Chlmborazo. The 
path being obvious, we took no guides, and 
simply walked up after dinner and walked 



Charl«s jOickena.] 



A DEAD SECRET. 



27 



down again. To the top of Snowdon from 
Llanberis is not a bit more difficult or com- 
plex an adventure than a climb up Snow Hill 
from Holborn. The way from Beddgelert is 
more tedious. 

Upon the strength of my first walk about 
Wales I set up as a guide, and was showing a 
friend over the Welsh mountains on a subse- 
quent occasion. He did not fully enjoy rain, 
and set out after breakfast from Carnarvon 
one wet morning, only induced so to do by 
the assurance that it was only seven miles to 
Llanberis, and that I, being an old Welsh- 
man, knew the way. But ways look different 
in different weather, especially to people who 
have only seen them once or twice. We got 
up among unknown mountains, passed ro- 
mantic lakes, over which now and then the 
sun broke fitfully. The walk was glorious, 
but we were out of the Llanberis road ; and, 
as It shortly became evident, on the wrong 
side of Snowdon. Then the rain came down 
in sheets, and we arrived, wet through, and 
glowing famously, at a small straggling vil- 
lage. Disposed naturally to fortify our con- 
stitutions with brandy and water, we stopped 
at the village inn. Pure Welsh — no English 
spol«en. " Have you brandy ?" Shake of the 
heau. "Have you rum?" Shake of the head. 
" Have you gin ?" Nod—" Yek, yek." And 
the good woman brought us whiskey. Each 
of us had accordingly a glass of hot whiskey 
and water, for which the landlady knew 
enough English to make a charge of twopence 
a head. Cheap, certainly, but we had not 
wherewith to pay. A dire catastrophe broke 
in upon our peace, we had both left Carnar- 
von without change, and were afloat with 
nothing smaller than a sovereign. Change 
for a sovereign was not to be had in Bet- 
twys. I doubt whether twenty shillings in 
silver could have been raised by the united 
fundholders of the whole village. A sovereign 
was too much to leave for fourpence with 
a magnanimous wave of the hand and a 
" never mind the change ;" while not to pay 
so moderate and fair a demand, would have 
been absolutely wicked. The woman stared 
at us and grinned, and left us to do as we 
could. Then my good genius reminded me 
that in the compendious list of my luggage 
was included half-a-dozen postage stamps. 
We thought the problem solved. I offered 
them in triumph; but, alas! the worthy 
^voraan shook her head— she had not the 
least idea what they were. We said that 
she might sell them — take them to the Post 
OfiSce; she shook her head and smiled on 
helplessly. Nobody in Bettwys writes or 
receives letters, it appeared. Then there 
arose from the chimney-corner a grey-header' 
Welshman who had been looking on. He 
picked up the stamps, examined the gum at 
the backs, and looked at the Queen's heads. 
Having satisfied himself, he put the six 
stamps into his pouch, and gave the woman 
fourpence. She curtsied and looked pleased. 



The man looked solid and commercial. If 
ever Bettwys be a great town, that was the 
sort of man you would expect to see thriving 
on 'Change there. He ought to have been 
born in Change Alley. 

AYe went on through wind and sun and 
rain, under wild snatches of cloud, that rolled 
in great volumes, chorussing to the eye a 
music of their own through the broad heaven. 
Instead of making a seven mile walk to Llan- 
beris, we traversed nineteen miles of a most 
glorious country — all of it new and unex- 
pected — and at last contrived to find our 
way into Beddgelert. It was a place quite 
out of our route; but the pedestrian who 
cares about his route does not deserve the 
legs he walks upon. That unexpected march 
upon Beddgelert is another of my choice re- 
membrances. 

I might go on conjuring up such recol- 
lections by the hour together, but I do not 
want to be a bore, so I will leave off. I have 
wished simply to show people how they may 
go out for a pleasant walk. There is a fine 
season now before us, though indeed every 
season is fine to the man whom I should re- 
gard as a right-minded pedestrian. Only i 
mean to say, that-a season of travelling caps, 
trunks, portmanteaus, plaids, and so forth, has 
set in ; and while half of our neighbours are 
up the Rhine and down the Rhone, we who 
remain behind have no reason to envy any 
man his continental trips. We have only to 
make up our minds, and take a hearty walk 
or two at home in the old country. 

A DEAD SECRET. 



In what manner I became acquainted with 
that which follows, and from whom I had it, 
it serves not to relate here. It is enough that 
he uas hanged, and that this is his story. 
***** 

" And how came you," I asked, " to be — " I 
did not like to say hanged for fear of wounding 
his delicacy, but I hinted my meaning by an 
expressive gesture. 

"How came I to be hanged?" he echoed 
in a tone of strident hoarseness. " You would 
like to know all about it — wouldn't you ?" 

He was sitting opposite to me at the end of 
the walnut-tree table in his shirt and trousers, 
his bare feet on the bare polished oak floor. 
There was a dark bistre ring round each of 
his eyes ; and they — being spherical rather 
than oval, with the pupils fixed and coldly 
shining in the centre of the orbits — were 
more like those of some wild animal than of 
a man. The hue of his forehead, too, was 
ghastly and dingy ; blue, violet, and yellow, 
Mke a bruise that is five days old. There 
was a clammy sweat on his beard and under 
Cie lobes of his ears ; and the sea-breeze 
coming gently through the open Venetians 
(for the night was very sultr^''), fanned h:'s 
long locks of coarse dark hair until you 
might almost fancy you saw the serpents of 



28 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Condneted o> 



the furies writhing in them. The fingers 
of his lean hands were slightly crooked in- 
wards, owing to some involuntary muscular 
rigidity, and ' I noticed that his whole frame 
was pervaded by a nervous trembling, less 
spasmodic than regular, and resembling that 
which shakes a man afflicted with deliriuin 
tremens. 

I had given him a cigar. After moistening 
the end of it in his mouth, he said, bending 
his eyes towards me, but still more on the 
wall behind my chair than on my face : " It's 
I no use. You may torture me, scourge me, 
flay me alive. You may rasp me with rusty 
files, and seethe me in vinegar, and rub my 
eyes with gunpowder — but I can't tell you 
where the child is. I don't know — I never 
knew ! How am I to make you believe that 
I don't know — that I never knew?" 

"My good friend," I remarked, "you do 
not seem to be aware that, so far from wish- 
ing you to tell me where the child you allude 
to is, I am not actuated by the slightest 
curiosity to know anything about any child 
whatever. Permit me to observe that I can- 
not see the smallest connection between a 
child and your being hanged." 

"No connection?" retorted my companion 
with vehemence. " It is the connection — the 
cause. But for that child I should never have 
been hanged." 

He went on muttering and panting about 
this child ; and I pushed towards him a bottle 
of thin claret. (Being liable to be called up 
at all hours of the night, I find it lighter 
drinking than any other wine.) He filled a 
large tumbler — which he emptied into him- 
selfj rather than drank — and I observed that 
his lips were so dry and smooth with parched- 
ness, that the liquid formed little globules of 
moisture on them, like drops of water on an 
oil-cloth. Then he began : 

I had the misery to be born (he said) about 
seven-and-thirty yc-ars ago. I was the off- 
spring of a double misery, for my mother 
was a newly-made widow when I was born, 
and she died in giving me birth. What my 
name was before I assumed the counterfeit 
that has blasted my life, I shall not tell you. 
But it was no patrician high-sounding title, 
for my father was a petty tradesman, and my 
mother had been a domestic servant. Two 
kinsmen succoured me in my orphanage. 
They were both uncles ; one by my father's, 
one by my mother's side. The former was a 
retired sailor, rich, and a bachelor. The latter 
was a grocer, still in business. He was a 
widower, with one daughter, and not very 
well-to-do in the world. They hated each 
other with the sort of cold, fixed, and watch- 
ful aversion that a savage cat has for a dog 
too large for her to worry. 

These two uncles played a miserable game 
of battledore and shuttlecock with me for 
nearly fourteen years. I was bandied about 
from one to the other, and equafly maltreated 
by both. Now, it was my Uncle CoUerer who 



discovered that I was starved by my Uncle ^ 
Morbus, and took me under his protection. 
Now, my Uncle Morbus was indignant at my 
Uncle Collerer for beating me, and insisted 
that I shoulU return to his roof. I was beaten 
and starved by one, and starved and beaten 
by the other. I endeavoured — with that cun- 
ning which brutal treatment will teach the 
dullest child — to trim my sails to please both 
uncles. I could only succeed by ministering 
to the hatred they mutually had one for the 
other. I could only propitiate Collerer by 
abusing Morbus : the only road to Morbus's 
short-lived favour was by defaming Collerer. 
Nor do I think I did either of them much in- 
justice ; for they were both wicked-minded 
old men. I believe either of them would 
have allowed me to starve in the gutter ; only 
each thought that, appearing to protect me, 
would naturally spite the other. 

When I was about fifteen years old it oc- 
curred to me, that I should make an election 
for good and all between my uncles; else, 
between these two knotty crabbed stools I 
might fall to the ground. Naturally enough 
I chose the rich uncle — the retired sailor, 
Collerer ; and, although I dare say he knew 
I only clove to him for the sake of his money, 
he seemed perfectly satisfied with my hearty 
abuse of my Uncle Morbus, and my total ab- 
negation of his society ; for, for three years I 
never went near his house, and when he met 
me in the street I gave him the breadth of the 
pavement, and recked nothing for his shaking 
his fist at me, and calling me an ungrateful 
hound. My Uncle Collerer, although retired 
from the sea, had not left off making money. 
He lent it at usury on mortgages, and in 
numberless other crawling ways. I soon 
became his right hand, and assisted him in 
grinding the needy, in selling up poor trades- 
men, and in buckling on the spurs of spend- 
thrifts when they started for the race, the end 
of which was to be the jail. My uncle was 
pleased with me ; and, although he was mis- 
erably parsimonious in his house-keeping 
and in his allowance to me, I had hopes and 
lived on ; but very much in the fashion of a 
rat in a hole. 

I had known Mary Morbus, the grocer's 
daughter, years before. She was a sickly 
delicate child, and I had often teased and 
struck and robbed her of her playthings, in 
my evil childhood. But she grew up a sur- 
passingly beautiful creature, and I loved ?her. 
AVe met by stealth in the park outside her 
father's door while he was asleep in church 
on Sundays ; and I fancied she began to love 
me. There was little in my mind or. person, 
in my white face, elf-locks and dull speech to 
captivate a girl ; but her heart was full of love, 
and its brightness gilded my miserable clay. 
I felt my heart newly opened. I hoped for 
something more thap my uncle's money bags. 
We interchanged all the flighty vows of ever- 
lasting affection and constancy common to 
boys and girls ; and although we knew the 



A DEAD SECRET. 



29 



two fierce hatreds that stood betwixt us and 
happiness, we left the accomplishment of our 
wishes to time and fortune, and went on 
hoping and loving. 

One evening, at supper-time — for which 
meal we had the heel of a Dutch cheese, a 
loaf of seconds bread, and a pint of small 
beer — I noticed that my Uncle Collerer looked 
more malignant and sullen than usual. He 
spoke little, and bit his food as if he had a 
spite against it. When supper was over, he 
went to an old worm-eaten bureau in which 
he was wont to keep documents of value ; 
and, taking out a bundle of papers, untied 
and began to read them. I took little heed of 
that ; for his favourite course of evening read- 
ing was bonds and mortgage deeds ; and on 
every eve of bills of exchange falling due he 
would spend hours in poring over the accept- 
ances and endorsements, and even in bed 
he would lie awake half the night moaning 
and crooning lest the bills should not be paid 
on the morrow. After carefully reading and 
sorting these papers, he tossed them over to 
me, and left the room without a word. Then 
I heard him going up stairs to the top of the 
house, where my room was. 

I opened the packet with trembling hands 
and a beating heart. I found every single 
letter I had written to Mary Morbus. The 
room seemed to turn round. The white sheet 
I held and the black letters dancing on it were 
all I could see. All beyond — the room, the 
house, the world — was one black unutterable 
gulf of darkness. I tried to read a line — a 
line I had known by heart for months ; but, 
to my scared senses, it might as well have 
been Chaldee. Then my uncle's heavy step 
was heard on the stairs. 

He entered the room, dragging after him 
a small black portmanteau in which I kept 
all that I was able to call my own. " I hap- 
pen to have a key that opens this," he said, 
" and have read every one of the fine love- 
letters that silly girl has sent you. But I 
have been much more edified by the perusal 
of yours, which I only received from your 
good uncle Morbus — strangle him ! — last night. 
I'm a covetous hunks, am I ? You live in 
hopes, do you? Hope told a flattering tale, 
my young friend. I've only two words to 
say to you," continued my uncle, after a few 
minutes' composed silence on his part, and of 
blank consternation on mine. " All your rags 
are in that trunk. Either give up Mary 
Morbus now and for ever, and write a 
letter to her here in my presence to that 
effect — or turn out into the street and never 
show your face here again. Make up your 
mind quickly, and for good." He then filled 
his pipe and lighted it 

Whilst he sat composedly smoking his pipe, 
I was employed in making up my wretched 
mind. Love, fear, interest, avarice — cursed 
avarice= — alternately gained ascendancy within 
me. At length there came a craven inspira- 
tion that I might temporise ; that by* pre- 



tending to renounce Mary, and yet secretly 
assuring her of my constancy, I might play 
a double game, and yet live in hopes of 
succeeding to my uncle's wealth. To my 
shame and confusion, I caught at this coward 
expedient, and signified my willingness to do 
as my uncle desired. 

*' Writ^then," he resumed, flinging me a 
sheet of letter-paper and a pen. " I will 
dictate." 

I took the pen ; and following his dicta- 
tion ^vrote, I scarcely can tell what now ; but 
I suppose some abject words to Mary, saying 
that I resigned all claim to her hand, 

" That'll do very nicely, nephew," said my 
uncle, when I had finished. " We needn't 
fold it, or seal it, or post it, because — he, he, 
he ! — we can deliver it on the spot." We 
were in the front parlour, which was sepa- 
rated from the back room by a pair of folding- 
doors. My uncle got up, opened one of these ; 
and, with a mock bow, ushered in my Uncle 
Morbus and my cousin Mary. 

" A letter for you, my dear," grinned the 
old wretch ; " a letter from your true love. 
Though I dare say you'll have no occasion to 
read it, for you must have heard me. I speak 
plain enough, though I am asthmatic, and 
can't last long — can't last long — eh, nephew ?" 
This was a quotation from one of my own 
letters. 

When Mary took the letter from my uncle, 
her hand shook as with the palsy. But, when 
I besought her to look at me and passion- 
ately adjured her to believe that I was yet 
true to her, she turned on me a glance of 
scornful incredulity; and, crushing the 
miserable paper in her hand, cast it con- 
temptuously from her. 

" You marry my daughter," my Uncle 
Morbus piped forth — " you ?" Your father 
couldn't pay two-and-twopence in the pound. 
He owed me money, he owes me money to 
this day. Why ain't there laws to make sons 
pay their fathers' debts? You marry my 
daughter! Do 3'ou think I'd have y6ur 
father's son — do you think I'd have your 
uncle's nephew for my son-in-law?" I could 
see that the temporary bond of union between 
my two uncles was already beginning to 
loosen ; and a wretched hope sprang up with- 
in me. 

" Get out of my house, you and your niece, 
too!" cried my Uncle Collerer. "You've 
served my turn, and I've served yours. Now, 
go !" 

I could hear the two old men fiercely, yet 
feebly, quarrelling in the passage, and Mary 
weeping piteously without saying a word. 
Then the great street door was banged to, 
and my uncle came in, muttering and panting. 
" I hope you are satisfied now, uncle," I 
said. 

" Satisfied !" he cried with a sort of shriek, 
catching up the great earthen jar, with the 
leaden top, in whiih he kept his tobacco, as 
though he meant to fling it at me. " Satisfied \ 



no 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



iConductea By 



— I'll satisfy you : go. Go ! and never let me 
see your hang-dog fkce again !" 

" You surely do not intend to turn me out 
of doors, uncle," I faltered. 

" March, bag and baggage. If you are 
here a minute longer I'll call the pohce. 
Go!" And he pointed to the door. 

" But where am I to go ?" I asked. 

" Go and beg," said my uncle ; " go and 
cringe to your dear Uncle Morbus. Go and rot." 

So saying he opened the door, kicked my 
trunk into the hall, thrust me out of the room 
and into the street,arid pushed my portmanteau 
after me, without my making the slightest 
resistance. He slammed the door in my face, 
and left me in the open street, at twelve 
o'clock at night. 

I slept that night at a cofFee-shop. I had 
a few shillings in my pocket ; and, next 
morning I took a lodging at, I think, four 
shillings a week, in a court, somewhere up a 
back street between Gray's Inn and Leather 
Lane, Holborn. My room was at the top 
of the house. The court below swarmed 
with dirt}^, ragged children. My lodging was 
a back garret ; and, when I opened the win- 
dow I could only see a narrow strip of sky, 
and a foul heap of sooty roofs, chimney-pots 
and leads, with the great dingy brick tower 
of a church towering above all. Where the 
body of the church was I never knew. 

I wrote letter after letter to my uncles 
and to Mary, but never received a line 
in answer. I wandered about the streets 
all da}'', feeding on saveloys and penny loaves. 
I went to my wretched bed by daylight, 
and groaned for darkness to come ; then 
groaned that it might grow light again. 
I knew no one to whom I could apply for 
employment, and knew no means by which 
I could obtain it. The house I lived in 
and the neighbourhood were full of foreign 
refugees and street mountebanks whose jargon 
I could not understand. My little stock of 
money slowly dwindled away ; and,in ten days, 
my mind was ripe for suicide. You must 
serve an apprenticeship to acquire that ripe- 
n<)ss. Crowded streets, utter desolation and 
friendlessness in them, scanty food, and the 
knowledge that, when 3'-ou have spent all your 
money and sold your coat and waistcoat, you 
must starve, are the best masters. They produce 
that frame of mind which coroners' juries call 
temporary insanity. I determined to die. I ex- 
pended my last coin in purchasing lauda- 
num at different chemists' shops — a penny- 
worth at each ; which, I. said, I wanted for the 
toothache ; for I knew they would not supply 
a large quantity to a stranger. I took my 
dozen phials home, and poured their contents 
into a broken mug that stood on my wash- 
hand stand. I locked the door, sat down 
on my fatal black portmanteau, and tried to 
pray ; but I could not. 

It was about nine in the evening, in the 
summer time, and the room was in that state 
of semi-obscurity you call " between the 



lights." While I sat on my black port- 
manteau, I heard through my garret window, 
which was wide open, a loud noise ; a confusion 
of angry^ voices, in which I could not dis- 
tinguish one word I could comprehend. The 
noise was followed by, a pistol-shot. I hear 
it now, as distinctly as I heard it twenty 
years ago ; and then another. As I looked 
out of the window, I saw a pair of hands 
covered with blood, clutching the sill, and I 
heard a voice imploring help for God's sake ! 
Scarcely knowing what I did, I drew up 
from the leads below and into the room the 
body of a man, whose face was one miss of 
blood — like a crimson mask. He stood upright 
on the floor when. I had helped him in ; his 
face glaring at me like the spot one sees after 
gazing too long at the sun. Then he began 
to stagger ; and went reeling about the room, 
catching at the window curtain, the table, the 
wall, and leaving traces of his blood wherever 
he went — I following him in an agony — until 
he fell face-foremost on the bed. 

I lit a candle as well as I could. He was 
quite dead. His features were so scorched, 
and mangled, and drenched, that not one 
trait was able to be distinguished. The pistol 
must have been discharged full in his face, 
for some of his long black hair was burned off. 
He held, clasped in his left hand, a pistol 
which evidently had been recently discharged. 

I sat by the side of this horrible object 
twenty minutes or more waiting for the alarm 
which I thought must necessarily follow, and 
resolving what I should do. But all was as 
silent as the grave. No one in the house 
seemed to have heard the pistol shot, and no 
one without seemed to have heeded it. I 
looked from the window ; but the dingey mass 
of roofs and chimneys had grown black with 
night and I could perceive nothing moving. 
Only, as I held my candle out of the window it 
mirrored itself dully in a pool of blood on the 
leads below. 

I began to think I might be accused of the 
murder of this unknown man. I, who had 
so lately courted a violent death, began to fear 
it, and to shake like an aspen at the thought 
of the gallows. Then I tried to persuade 
myself that it was all a horrible dream ; 
but there, on the bed, was the dreadful dead 
man in his blood, and all about the room 
were the marks of his gory fingers. 

I began to examine the body more mi- 
nutely. The dead man was almost exactly of 
my height and stoutness. Of his age I could 
not judge. His hair was long and black like 
mine. In one of his pockets I found a pocket- 
book, containing a mass of closely-written 
sheets of very thin paper, in a character 
utterly incomprehensible to me ; moreover, 
there was a roll of English bank-notes to 
a very considerable amount. In his waist- 
coat pocket was a gold watch ; and, in a 
silken girdle round his waist, were two 
hundred English sovereigns and louis d'ors. 

What fiend stood at my elbow while I 



Charles Dickens.] 



A DEAD SECRET. 



31 



made this examination I know- not. The 
plan I fixed upon was not long revolved in my 
mind. It seemed to start up matured, like 
Minerva-, from the head of Jupiter. I was re- 
solved. The dead should be alive, and the live 
man, dead. In less time than it takes to tell, 
I had stripped the body, dressed it in my own 
clothes, assumed the dead man's garments, and 
secured the pocket-book, the watch, and the 
money about my person. Then I overturned 
the lighted candle on to the bed, slouched my 
hat over my eyes, and stole down stairs. No 
man met me on the stairs, and I emerged 
into the court. No man pursued me, and I 
gained the open street. It was only an hour 
after perhaps, as I crossed Holborn towards 
St. Andrew's Church that I saw fire-engines 
come rattling along ; and, asking uncon- 
cernedly where the tire was, heard that it was 
"somewhere off Gray's Inn Lane." 

I slept nowhere that night. I scarcely 
remember what I did ; but I have an in- 
distinct remembrance of flinging sovereigns 
about in blazing gas-lit taverns. It is a 
marvel to me now that I did not become 
senseless with liquor, unaccustomed as I 
was to dissipation. The next morning I read 
the following paragraph in a newspaper : — 

" Awful Suicide and Fike near Gkay's Inn 
LANE.^Last night the inhabitants of Crag's Court, 
Hustle Street, Gray's Inn Lane, were alarmed 
by vohimes of smoke issuing from the windows of 
number five in that court, occupied as a lodging 
house. On Mr. Plose, the landlord, entering a 
garret on the third ilo/)r, it was found that its tenant 

Mr. , had committed suicide by blowing his 

brains out with a pistol, which was found tightly 
clenclied in the wretched man's hand. Either from 
the ignition of the wadding, or from pome other 
cause the fire had communicated to the bed-clothes ; 
all of which, with the bed and a portion of the 
furniture were consumed. Tlie engines of the North 
of England Fire Brigade were promptly on the spot; 
and the fire was with great difficulty at last suc- 
cessfully extinguished ; little beyond the room 
occupied by the deceased being injured. The body 
and face of' the miserable suicide were frightfully 
mutilated ; but sufficient evidence was afforded 
from his clothes and papers to establish his identity. 
No cause is assigned for the rash act ; arid it is 
even stated that if he had prolonged his existence 
a few hours later he would have come into pos- 
session of a fortune of thirty thousand pounds, his 
uncle Gripple Coherer, Esq., of Kaglan Street, 
Clerkenwell, having died only two days before, 
and having constituted him his sole heir and 
legatee. That active and intelligent parish officer, 
Mr. Pybus, immediately forwarded the necessary 
intimation to the Coroner, and the inquest will be 
held this evening at the Kiddy's Arms, Ilustlo 
Street." 



I had lost all — name, existence, thirty 
thousand pounds, everything — for about four 
hundred pounds in gold and notes. 

" So I suppose," I said, as he who was 
hanged paused, " that you gave yourself up 
with a view of re-establishing your identity ; 
and, failing to do that, you were hanged for 
murder or arson ?" 

I waited for a reply. He had lit another 



cigar, and sat smoking it Seeing that he was 
calm, I judged it best not to excite or aggra- 
vate him by further questioning, but stayed 
his pleasure. I had not to wait long. 

"Not so," he resumed; "what I became 
that night I have remained ever since, and 
am now : that is, if I am anything at 
all. The very day on which that para- 
graph appeared, I set off by the coach. 
My only wish was to get as far from London 
and from England as I possibly could ; and, in 
due time, we came to Hull. Hearing that Ham- 
burg was the nearest foreign port, to Hamburg 
I went. I lived there for six months in an 
hotel, frugally and in solitude, and endea- 
vouring to learn German ; for, on narrower 
examination of the papers in the pocket- 
book, I guessed some portions of them to be 
written in that language. I was a dull scho- 
lar ; but, at the end of six months, I had 
scraped together enough German to know 
that the dead man's name was Miiller ; that 
he had been in Russia, in France, and in 
America. I managed to translate portions of 
a diary he had kept while in this latter 
country ; but they only related to his impres- 
sions of the town he had visited. He often 
alluded too, casually, to his ' secret' and his 
'charge'; but what that secret and that 
charge were, I could not discover. There 
were also hints about a ' shepherdess,' an 
'antelope,' and a 'blue tiger' — fictitious 
names I presumed for some persons with 
whom he was connected. The great mass 
of the documents was in a cipher utterly 
inexplicable to my most strenuous inge- 
nuity and research. I went by the name of 
Miiller; but I found that there were hun- 
dreds more Miillers in Hamburg, and no man 
sought me out. 

I was in the habit of going every evening 
to a large beerhouse outside the town to smoke 
my pipe. There generally sat at the same table 
with me a little fat man in a grey great-coat 
who smoked and drank beer incessantly. I 
was suspicious and shy of strangers ; but, be- 
tween this little man and me there gradually 
grew up a quiet kind of tavern acquaint- 
ance. 

One evening, when we had had a rather 
liberal potation of pipes and beer, he asked 
me if I had ever tasted the famous Baerische 
or Bavarian beer, adding, that it threw all 
other German beers into the shade, and libe- 
rally offering to pay for a flask of it. I was 
in rather merry humour, and assented. We 
had one bottle of Bavarian beer ; then ano- 
ther, and another, till, what with the beer and 
the pipes and the wrangling of the domino 
players my head swam. 

" I tell you what," said my companion, 
" we will just have one chopine of brandy. 
I always take it after Baerischer beer. We 
will not have it here, but at the Griine Oaiu 
hard by ; which is an honest house, kept by 
Max Rombach, who is a widow's son." 

I was in that etate when a man having 



82 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



already had too much is sure to want more, 
ind I followed the man in the grey 
coat. How many chopines of brandy I had 
at the Orune Gans I know not ; but I 
found myself in bed next morning with an 
intolerable thirst and a racking headache. 
My first action was to spring out of bed, and 
search in the pocket of my coat for my pocket- 
book. It was gone. The waiters and the 
landlord were summoned ; but no one knew 
anything about it. I had been brought 
home in a carriage, very inebriated, by 
a stout man in a grey great-coat, who 
said he was my friend, helped me upstairs, 
and assisted me to undress. The investigation 
ended with a conviction that the man in 
the grey coat was the thief. He had ma- 
nifestly been tempted to the robbery by no 
pecuniary motive ; for the whole of my re- 
maining stock of bank-notes, which I always 
kept in the pocket-book. I found in my waist- 
coat pocket neatly rolled up. 

That evening I walked down to the beer- 
house where I usually met my friend — not 
with the remotest idea of seeing him, but 
with the hope of eliciting some information 
as to who and what he was. 

To my surprise he was sitting at his accus- 
tomed table, smoking and drinking as usual ; 
and, to my stern salutation, repHed with a 
good humoured hope that my head was not 
any the worse for the h'anntiDein overnight. 

*' I want a word with you," said I. 

" With pleasure," he returned. Whereupon 
he put on his broad-brimmed hat and fol- 
lowed me into the garden behind the house, 
with an alacrity that was quite surprising. 

" I was drunk last night," I commenced. 

" Zo," he replied, with an unmoved counte- 
nance. 

"And while drunk," I continued, "I was 
robb'ed of my pocket-book." 

" Zo," he repeated, with equal composure. 

" And I venture to assert that you are the 
person who stole it." 

" Zo. You are quite right, my son," he re- 
turned, with the most astonishing coolness. 
" I did take your pocket-book ; I have it here. 
See." 

He tapped the breast of his grey great- 
coat ; and, I could clearly distinguish, through 
the cloth, the square form of my pocket-book 
with its great clasp in the middle. I sprang 
at him immediately, with the intention of 
wrenching it from him ; but he eluded my 
grasp nimbly, and, stepping aside, drew forth 
a small silver whistle, on which he blew a 
shrill note. In an instant a cloak or sheet 
was thrown over my head. I felt my hands 
muffled with soft but strong ligatures ; and, 
before I had time to make one effort in self- 
defence, I was lifted off my feet and swiftly 
conveyed away, in total darkness. Presently 
we stopped, and I was lifted still higher ; was 
placed on a seat ; a door was slammed to ; and 
ihe rumbling motion of wheels convinced me 
that T was in a carriage. 



My journey must have lasted some hours. 
We stopped from time to time : to change 
horses, I suppose. At the commencement of 
the journey I made frantic efforts to disengage 
myself, and to cry out. But I way so Veil 
gagged, and bound', and muffled, that in sheer 
weariness and despair, I desisted. Wa halted 
at last for good. I was lifted out, and again 
carried swiftly along for upwards of ten 
minutes. Then, from a difficulty of respira- 
tion, I concluded that I had entered a house, 
and was perhaps being borne along some un- 
derground passage. We ascended and de- 
scended staircases. I heard doors locked and' 
unlocked. Finally, I was thrown violently 
down on a hard surface. The gag was re- 
moved from mj? mouth, and the mufflers from 
my hands ; I heard a heavy door clang to, and 
I was at liberty to speak and to move. 

My first care was to disengage myself from 
the mantle, whose folds still clung around 
me. I was in total darkness — darkness so 
black, that at first I concluded some infernal 
device had been made use of to blind me. But 
after straining my eyes in every direction, I was 
able to discern high above me a small circular 
orifice, through which permeated a minute 
thread of light. Then I became sensible that 
I was not blind, but in some subterranean 
dungeon. The surface on which I was lying 
was hard and cold — a stone pavement. I 
crawled about, feeling with my hands, endea- 
vouring to define the limits of my prison. 
Nothing was palpable to the touch, but the 
bare smooth pavement, and the bare smooth 
walls. I tried for hours to find the door, 
but could not. I shouted for help ; but no 
man came near me. 

I must have lain in this den two days and 
two nights — at least the pangs of hunger and 
thirst made me suppose that length of time 
to have elapsed. Then the terrible thought 
possessed me that I was imprisoned there to 
be starved to death. In the middle of the 
third day, as it seemed to me, however, I 
heard a rattling of keys ; one grated in the 
lock ; a door opened, a flood of light broke 
in upon me ; and a M'^ell-rcmembered voice 
cried " Come out!" as one might do to a 
beast in a cage. 

The light was so dazzling that I could not 
at first distinguish anything. But I crawled 
to the door ; and then standing up, found I 
was in a small courtyard, and that opposite 
to me was my enemy, the man of the grey 
coat. 

In a grey coat no longer, however. He 
was dressed in a «carlet jacket, richly laced 
with gold ; which fitted him so tightly with 
the short tails sticking out behind, that, under 
any other circumstances, he would have 
seemed to me inconceivably ridiculous. He 
took no more notice of me than if he had never 
seen me before in his life ; but, merely mo- 
tioning to two servants in scarlet liveries to 
take hold of me under the arms, waddled on 
before. 



Charles Dickens.] 



A DEAD SECRET. 



33 



We went in and out of half-a-dozen doors, 
and traversed as many small courtyards. 
The buildings surrounding them were all in 
a handsome style of architecture ; and in one 
of them I could discern, through the open 
grated windows on the ground floor, several 
men in white caps and jackets. A distant 
row of copper stewpans, and a delicious 
odour, made me conjecture that we were 
close to the kitchen. We stopped some 
moments in this neighbourhood ; whether 
from previous orders, or from pure malig- 
nity towards me, I was unable then to tell. 
He glanced over his shoulder with an expres- 
sion of such infinite malice, that what with 
hunger and rage I struggled violently but 
unsuccessfully to burst from my guards. At 
last we ascended a narrow but handsomely 
carpeted staircase ; and, after traversing a 
splendid picture gallery, entered an apart- 
ment luxuriously furnished; half library and 
half drawing-room. 

A cheerful wood fire crackled on the dogs 
in the fireplace ; and, with his back towards 
it, stood a tall elderly man, his thin grey hair 
carefully brushed over his forehead. He was 
dressed in black, had a stiff white neckcloth, 
and a parti-coloured ribbon at his buttonhole. 
A few feet from him was a table, covered 
with books and papers ; and sitting thereat 
in a large arm-chair, was an old man, im- 
mensely corpulent, swathed in a richly furred 
dressing-gown, with a sort of jockey cap on 
his head of black velvet, to which was at- 
tached a hideous green shade. The servants 
brought me to the foot of this table, still 
holding my arms. 

"Monsieur Miiller," said the man in black, 
politely, and in excellent English. " How do 
you feel ?" 

I replied, indignantly, that the state of my 
health was not the point in question. I 
demanded to know why I had been trepanned, 
robbed and starved. 

'* Monsieur Miiller," returned the man in 
black, with immovable politeness. " You must 
excuse the apparently discourteous manner 
in which you have been treated. The truth 
is, our house was built, not for a prison, but 
for a palace ; and, for want of proper dungeon 
accommodation, we were compelled to utilise 
for the moment an apartment which I believe 
was formerly a wine-cellar. I hope you did 
not find it damp." 

The man with the green shade shook his 
fat shoulders, as if in silent laughter. 

" In the first instance. Monsieur," resumed 
the other, politely motioning me to be silent ; 
for I was about to speak, " we deemed that the 
possession of the papers in your pocket-book" 
(he touched that fktal book as he spoke) 
" would have been suflQcient for the accom- 
plishment of the object we have in view. But, 
finding that a portion of the correspondence 
is in a cipher of which you alone have the 
key, we judged the pleasure of your company 
absolutely indispensable." 



" I know no more about the cipher and its 
key than you do," I ejaculated, " and, before 
heaven, no secret that can concern ycu is in 
my keeping." 

" You must be hungry. Monsieur ] liiller," 
pursued the man in black, taking no more 
notice of what I had said than if I had not 
spoken at all. " Carol, bring in lunch." 

He, lately of the grey coat, now addressed as 
Carol, bowed, retired, and presently returned 
with a tray covered with smoking viands and 
two flasks of wine. The servants half loosened 
their hold ; my heart leaped within me, and I 
was about to rush towards the viands, when 
the man in black raised his hand. 

" One moment, Monsieur Miiller," he said, 
" before j'ou recruit your strength. Will you 
oblige me by answering one question, Where 
is the child ?" 

" Ja, where is the child?" echoed the man 
in the green shade. 

" I do not know," I replied passionately ; 
" on my honour I do not know. If you were to 
ask me for a hundred years, I could not tell you." 

"Carol," said the man in black, with an 
unmoved countenance, " take away the tray. 
Monsieur Miiller has no appetite. Unless," 
he added turning to me, " you will be so good 
as to answer that little question." 

" I cannot," I repeated ; " I don't know, 
I never knew." 

" Carol," said my questioner, taking up a 
newspaper, and turning his back upon me, 
" take away the things. Monsieur Miiller, 
good morning." 

In spite of my cries and struggles I was 
dragged away. We traversed the picture 
gallery ; but, instead of descending the stair- 
case, entered another suite of apartments. We 
were crossing a long vestibule lighted with 
lamps, and one of my guards had stopped to 
unlock a door while the other lagged a few 
paces behind, (they had loosened their hold of 
me, and Carol was not with us,) when a panel 
in the wainscot opened, and a lady in black 
— perhaps thirty years of age and beautiful — 
bent forward through the aperture, " I heard 
all," she said, in a rapid whisper. " You have 
acted nobly. Be proof against their tempta- 
tions, and Heaven will reward your devoted- 
ne.ss." 

I had no time to reply, for the door was 
closed immediately. I was hurried forward 
through room after room ; until at last we 
entered a small bed-chamber simply, but 
cleanly furnished. Here I was left, and the 
door was locked and barred on the outside. 
On the table were a small loaf of black bread, 
and a pitcher of water. Both of these I con- 
sumed ravenously. 

I was left without further food for another 
entire day and night. From my window, 
which was heavily grated, I could see that 
my room overlooked the court-yard where 
the kitchen was, and the sight of the cooks, 
and the smell of the hot meat drove me 
almost mad. 



84 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



^Conducted by 



On the second day I was again ushered 
into the presence of the man in black, and 
the man with the green shade. Again the 
inferna drama was played. Again I was 
tempte I with rich food. Again, on my ex- 
pressing,' my inability to answer the question, 
it was ordered to be removed. 

" Stop !" I cried desperately, as Carol was 
about to remove the food, and thinking I 
might satisfy them with a falsehood; "I will 
confess. I will tell all." 

"Speak,'' said the man in black, eagerly, 
" where is the child ?" 

" In Amsterdam," I replied at random. 

"Amsterdam — nonsense!" said the man 
in the green shade impatiently, " what has 
Amsterdam to do with the Blue Tiger ?" 

" I need not remind you," said the man in 
black, sarcastically, " that the name of any 
town or country is no answer to the question. 
You know as well as I do that the key to the 
whereabouts of the child is there^'" and he 
pointed to the pocket-book. 

" Yes ; tliere^'' echoed the man in the green 
shade. And he struck it. 

" But, sir — " I urged. 

The answer was simply, " Good morning. 
Monsieur Miiller." 

Again was I conducted back to my prison ; 
again I met the lady in black, who ad- 
ministered to me the barren consolation that 
" Heaven would reward my devotedness." 
Again I found the black loaf and the pitcher 
of water, and again I was left a day and a 
night in semi-starvation, to be again brought 
forth, tantalised, questioned, and sent back 
again. 

" Perhaps," remarked the man in black, at 
the fifth of these interviews, " it is gold that 
Monsieur Miiller requires. See." As he 
spoke, he opened a bureau crammed with 
bags of money, and bid me help myself. 

In vain I protested that all the gold in 
the world could not extort from me a secret 
which I did not possess. In vain I exclaimed 
that my name was not Miiller ; in vain I dis- 
closed the ghastly deceit I had practised. 
The man in black only shook his head, smiled 
incredulously, and told me — while compli- 
menting me for my powers of invention — that 
my statement confirmed his conviction that I 
knew where the child was. 

After the next interview, as I was return- 
ing to my starvation meal of bread and water, 
the lady in black again met me. 

"Take courage," she whispered. "Your 
deliverance is at hand. You are to be removed 
to-night to a lunatic asylum." 

IIow my translation to a mad-house could 
accomplish my deliverance, or better my 
prospects, did not appear very clear to me ; 
but that very night I was gagged, my arms 
were confined in a strait waistcoat, and placed 
in a carriage, M'hich immediately set off at a 
rapid pace. We travelled all night ; and, in 
the early morning arrived at a large stone 
building. Here I was stripped, examined, 



placed in a bath, and dressed in a suit of 
coarse grey cloth. I asked where I was ? 1 
was told in the Alienation Refuge of the 
Grand Duchy of Sachs-Pfeigiger. 

" Can I see the head-keeper?" I asked. 

The Herr-ober-Direktor was a little man 
with a shiny bald head and very white teeth. 
When I entered his cabinet he received me 
politely and asked me what he could do for 
me ? I told him my real name, my history, 
my wrongs ; that I was a British subject, and 
demanded my liberty. He smiled and simply 
called—" Where is Kraus?" 

" Here, Herr," answered the keeper. 

" What number is Monsieur ?" 

" Number ninety-two." 

"Ninety-two," repeated the Herr Direk- 
tor, leisurely writing. "Cataplasms on the 
soles of the feet. Worsted blisters behind 
the ears, a mustard plaster on the chest, and 
ice on the head. Let it be Baltic ice." 

The abominable inflictions thus ordered 
were all applied. The villain Kraus tortured 
me in every imaginable way ; and in the 
midst of his tortures, would repeat, " Tell me 
where the child is, Miiller, and you shall 
have your liberty in half an hour." 

I was in the madhouse for six months. If 
I complained to the doctor of Kraus's ill- 
treatment and temptations, he immediately 
began to order cataplasms and Baltic ice. 
The bruises I had to show were ascribed to 
injuries I had myself inflicted in fits of frenzy. 
The maniacs with whom I was caged de- 
clared, like all other maniacs, that I was out- 
rageously mad. 

One evening, as I lay groaning on my bed, 
Kraus entered my cell. " Get up," he said, 
" you are at liberty. I was bribed, by you 
know who, with ten thousand Prussian 
thalers to get your secret from you, if I 
could ; but I have been bribed with twenty 
thousand Austrian florins (which is really 
a sum worth having) to set you free. I 
shall lose my place, and have to fly; but 
I will open an hotel at Frankfort for the 
Englandcrs, and make my fortune. Come !" 
He led me down stairs, let me out of a 
private door in the garden; and, placing a 
bundle of clothes and a purse in my hand, 
bade me good night. 

I dressed myself, threw away the mad- 
man's livery, and kept walking along until 
morning, when I came to the custom-house 
barrier of another Grand Duchy. I had 
a passport ready provided for me in the 
pocket of my coat, which was found to be 
perfectly en regie, and I passed unquestioned. 
I went that morning to the coach-ofiice of the 
town, and engaged a place in the Eilwagen 
to some German town, the name of which I 
forget ; and at the end of four days' weary 
travelling, I reached Brussels. 

I was very thin and weak with confinement 
and privation ; but I soon recovered my health 
and strength. I must say that I made up 
by good living for my former compulsory 



A DEAD SEOK^it. 



abstinence ; and both in Brussels and in Paris, 
to whicii 1 next directed my steps, I lived on 
the best. One evening I entered one of the 
magnificent restaurants in the Palais Royal 
to dine. I had ordered my meal from the 
carte^ when my attention was roused by a 
small piece of paper which had been slipped 
between its leaves. It ran thus : — 

" Feign to eat, but eat no fish. Eemain the usual 
time at your dinner, to disarm suspicion, but imme- 
diately afterwards umke your way to England. Be 
sure, in passing through Loudon, to call on Ililde- 
burgcr." 

I had ordered a sole au gratin ; but when it 
arrived, managed to throw it piece by piece 
under the table. When I had discussed the 
rest of my dinner, I summoned the gar§on, 
and asked for my bill. 

" You will pay the head waiter if you please, 
Monsieur," said he. 

The head waiter came. If he had been a 
centaur or a sphynx I could not have stared 
at him with more horror and astonish- 
ment than I did ; for there, in a waiter's 
dress, with a napkin over his arm, was Carol, 
the man of the grey coat. 

" Miiller," he said, coolly, bending over the 
table. " Your sole was poisoned. Tell me 
where the child is, and here is an antidote, 
and four hundred thousand francs." 

For reply I seized the heavy water de- 
canter, and dashed it with all the force I 
could command, full in the old ruffian's face. 
He fell like a stone, amid the screams of 
women, the oaths of men, and cries of fl la 
Garde ! a la Garde ! I slipped out of the 
restaurant and into one of the passages of 
outlets which abound in the Palais Royal. 
Whether the man died or not, or whether I 
was pursued, I never knew. I gained my 
lodgingg unmolested, packed up my luggage, 
and started the next morning by the diligence, 
for Boulogne. 

I arrived in due time in London ; but I did 
not call on " Hildeburger" because I did 
not know who or where Hildeburger was. 
I started the very evening of my arrival in 
London for Liverpool, being determined to 
go to America. I was fearful of remaining 
in- England, not only on account of my 
persecutors, but because I was pursued 
everywhere by the spectre of the real 
Miiller. 

1 took my passage to New York in a 
steamer which was to sail from the Docks in 
a week's time. It was to start on a Monday ; 
and on the Friday preceding I was walking 
about the Exchange, congratulating myself 
that I should soon have the Atlantic between 
myself and my pursuers. All at once I heard 
the name of Miiller pronounced in a loud tone 
close behind me. I turned, and met the gaze 
of a tall thin young man with a downy 
moustache, who was dressed in the extreme 
of fashion, and was sucking the end of an 
ebon}- stick. 



" Monsieur Miiller," he said, nodding to me 
easily. 

" My name is not Miiller," I answered, 
boldly. 

" You have not j^t called on Hildeburger," 
he added, slightly elevating his eyebrows at 
my denial. 

I felt a cold shiver pass over me, and 
stammered, " N — n — no !" 

" AYe had considerable difficulty in learning 
your whereabouts ?" he went on with great 
composure. " The lady was obstinate. The 
screw and the water were tried in vain ; but 
at length, by a judicious use of the cord and 
pullies, we succeeded." 

I shuddered again. 

"Will you call on Hildeburger now?" he 
resumed quickly and sharply. "He is here 
— close by." 

"Not now, not now," I faltered. "Some 
other time." 

" The day after to-morrow ?" , 

" Yes, yes," I answered eagerly, " the day 
after to-morrow." 

"Well, Saturday be it. You will meet me 
here, at four in the afternoon ! Good ! Do 
not forget. Au revoir, Monsieur Miiller." 

He had no sooner uttered these* words than 
he turned and disappeared among the crowd 
of merchants on 'Change. 

I could not doubt, by his naming Saturday, 
as the day for our meeting, that he had some 
inkling of my intended departure. Although 
I had paid my passage to New York, I 
determined to forfeit it, and to change my 
course so as to evade my persecutors. I 
entered a shipping-office, and learnt that 
a good steamer would leave George's Dock 
at ten that same night for Glasgow. And 
to Glasgow for the present I made up my 
mind to go. 

At a quarter before ten I was at the dociv 
with my luggage. It was raining heavily, and 
there was a dense fog. 

" This way for the Glasgow steamer — this 
way," cried a man in a Guernsey shirt, " this 
way, your honour. I'll carry your trunk." 

He took my trunk as he spoke, and led 
the way down a ladder, across the decks of 
two or three steamers, and to the gangway of 
a fourth, where a man stood with dark bushy 
whiskers, dressed in a pea-coat, and holding a 
lighted lantern. 

" Is this the Glasgow steamer?" I asked. 

" All right ! " answered the man with the lan- 
tern. ' ' Look sharp, th e bell's a-going to ring. " 

" Remember poor Jack, your honour," said 
the man in the Guernsey, who had carried my 
trunk. I gave him sixpence and stepped on 
board. A bell began to ring, and there was 
great confusion on board with hauling of 
ropes and stowing of luggage. The steamer 
seemed to me to be intolerably dirty and 
crowded with goods ; and, to avoid the crush, 
I stepped aft to the wheel. In due time we 
had worked out of the dock and were steam- 
ing down the Mersey. 



36 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



" How long will the run to Glasgow take, 
think you, ni}^ man?" I asked of the man at 
the wheel. He stared at me as if he did 
not understand me, and muttered some unin- 
telligible words. I repeated the question. 

" He does not speak English," said a voice 
at my elbow, "nor can any soul on board 
this vessel, except you and I, Monsieur 
Miiller." 

I turned round, and saw to my horror the 
young man with the ebony cane and the 
downy moustache. 

"I am kidnapped!" I cried. "Let me 
have a boat. Where is the captain ?" 

" Here is the captain," said the young man, 
as a fiercely bearded man came up the com- 
panion-ladder. " Captain Miloschvich of the 
Imperial Russian ship Pyroscaphe, bound to 
St. Petersburg, M. Miiller. As Captain 
Miloschvich speaks no English you will 
permit me to act as interpreter." 

Although I feared from his very presence 
that my case was already hopeless, I en- 
treated him to explain to the captain that 
there was a mistake ; that I was bound for 
Glasgow, and that I desired to be set on 
shore directly. 

"Captain Miloschvich," said the young 
man, when he had translated my speech, and 
received the captain's answer, " begs you to 
understand that there is no mistake ; that you 
are not bound for Glasgow, but for St. Peters- 
burg ; and that it is quite impossible for 
him to set you on shore here, seeing that he 
has positive instructions to set you on shore 
in Cronstadt. Furthermore, he feels it his 
duty to add that should you, by any words 
or actions, attempt to annoy or disturb the 
crew or passengers, he will be compelled to 
put you in irons, and place you in the bottom 
of the hold." 

The captain frequently nodded during 
these remarks, as if he perfectly under- 
stood their purport, although unable to 
express them ; and, to intimate his entire 
coincidence, he touched his wrists and 
ancles. 

If I had not been a fool I should have 
resigned myself to my fate. But I was so 
maddened with misfortune, that I sprang on 
the young man, hoping to kill him, or to be 
killed myself and to be thrown into the sea. 
But I was chained, beaten, and thrown into 
the hold. There, among tarred ropes, the 
stench of tallow-casks, and the most appalling 
sea-sickness, I lay for days, fed with mouldy 
biscuit and putrid water. At length we 
arrived at Cronstadt. 

All I can tell you, or I know of Russia is, 
that somewhere in it there is a river, and en 
that river a fortress, and in that fortress a 
cell, and in that cell a knout. Seven years of 
my existence were passed in that ceil, under 
the lashes of that knout, with the one horrible 
question dinning in my ears, " Where is the 
child?" 

How I escaped to incur worse tortures it 



is bootless to tell you. I have swept the 
streets of Palermo as a convict, in a hideous 
yellow dress. I have pined in the inquisition 
at Rome. I have been caged in the madhouse 
at Constantinople, with the rabble to throw 
stones and mud at me through the bars. I 
have been branded in the back in the hagnes 
of Toulon and Rochfort ; and everywhere I 
have been offered liberty and gold, if I would 
answer the question, "Where is the child?" 
At last, having been accused of a crime I 
did not commit, I was condemned to death. 
Upon the scaffold they asked me " Where is 
the child?" Of course there could be no 

answer, and I was 

Just then, Margery, my servant, who nev-- 
will have the discrimination to deny me to 
importunate visitors, knocked at the aoor, 
and told me that I was wanted in the surgery. 
I went down stairs, and found Mrs. Walking- 
shaw, Johnny Walkingshaw's wife, who told 
me that her " master" was " took all over 
like," and quite "stroaken of a heap." 
Johnny Walkingshaw is a member of the 
ancient order of Sylvan Brothers ; and, as I 
am club doctor to the Sylvan Brothers, he 
has a right to my medical attendance for the 
sum of four shillings a year. Whenever he 
has taken an overdose of rough cyder he is 
apt to be "stroaken all of a heap" and to 
send for me. I was the more annoyed at 
being obliged to walk to Johnny Walking- 
shaw's cottage at two in the morning, be- 
cause the wretched man had been cut short 
in his story just as he was about to explain 
the curious surgical problem of how he was 
resuscitated. When I returned he was gone, 
and I never saw him more. Whether he 
was mad and had hanged himself, or whether 
he was sane and had been hanged according 
to law, or whether he had ever been hanged 
or never been hanged, are points I have never 
quite adjusted in my mind. 



PICTURES IN THE FIRE. 

What is it you ask me, darling? 

All my stories, child, you know ; 
I have no strange dreams to tell you, 

Pictures I liave none to show. 

Tell you glorious scenes of travel? 

Nay, my child, that cannot be, 
I have seen no foreign countries. 

Marvels none on land or sea. 

Yet strange sights in truth I witness, 

And I gaze until I tire ; 
Wondrous j)ictures, changing ever, 

As I look into the fire. 

There, last night, I saw a cavern, 
Black as pitch ; within it lay 

Cojled in many folds a. dragon, 
Glaring as if tur-i'd at bay. 

And a knight in dli^mal armour 

On a winged eagle came, 
To do battle with this dragon ; 

His towering crest was all of fiamo. 



.>j!ai«: l>icii 



:he stereoscope. 



As I gazed the dragon faded, 
And, instead, sat Fluto crowned, 

By a lake of burning fire ; 
Spirits dark were crouching round. 

That was gone, and lo ! before me, 

A cathedral vast and grim ; 
I could almost hear the organ 

Koll along the arches dim. 

-. :i I watched the wreathed pillars, 
A thick grove of palms arose. 

And a group of swarthy Indians 
Stealing on some sleeping foes. 

Stay ; a cataract glancing brightly, 
Dashed and sparkled ; and beside 

Lay a broken marble monster. 
Mouth and eyes were staring wide. 

.\ s,6n I saw a maiden wreathing 
Starry flowers in garlands sweet ; 

Did she see the fiery serpent 
That was wrapped about her feet ? 

Thnt feU crashing all and vanished ; 

And I saw two armies close — 
" could almost hear the clarions 

And the shouting of the foes. 

They were gone ; and lo ! bright angels, 

On a barren mountain wild, 
Eaised appealing arms to lle'aven, 

Bearing up a little child. 

And I gazed, and gazed, and slowly 
Gathered in' my eyes sad tears, 

.\nd tlie fiery pictures bore me 
"^ack through distant dreams of years. 

i)iiCe again I tasted sorrow, 
'v?ith past joy was once more gay. 

Till i-i's shade had gathered round me 
AnC -^^.fire had died away. 



THE STEREOSCOPE. 

There is a good deal of romance to be 
found even in the details of pure science, and 
a book of wonders could very well be made 
out of what might be called the social history 
of optical discoveries. Much of it would be 
co-estensive with a history of the black arts 
— dark sciences that often get their darkness 
out of light. 

Every one has been told that the old 
priests of Egypt and of Greece were better 
skilled in optics than in necromancy; that 
many an awful ghost, riding upon a cloud, 
was the result of hocussing and focussing. 
Any commentator is entitled to suppose 
that an old form of incantation (said to 
have had a more sacred origin) has be- 
come slightly corrupted by the exchange of 
convertible letters in the lapse of time, and 
was in the first instance, really hocus, focus, 
i^et him take up a pseudoscope, and look 
riirough it, properly focussed. Let him look 
it scmo man on the other side of the way. 
He will not appear to be on th^ other side at 
all, the street will have con^e m doors, and 



the house will be turned out of wiadow. Lex 
him look at a friend's face. The cheeks will 
so decidedly fall in, that the face will become 
no face but a hollow mould. Let him look 
into the bottom of a teacup. For a minute 
he may see it as it is ; but — 0, hocus, focus — ■ 
in the twinkling of an eye, it has turned in- 
side out. It has no hollow, but is all solid. 
Let him look at a framed picture hung 
against the wall. It will seem to be, not 
hung against the wall, but to be let into it 
The frame will appear to surround it liko a 
moat. There is a pretty instrument for turn- 
ing everything hindside foremost! T£ it 
were possible to take a bird's-eye view of the 
whole world through a pseudoscope, and get 
it all at one time into focus, every mountain 
would appear to be a valley, every valley 
would exalt itself into a mountain. Such 
abasement of the lofty, and such exaltation 
of the lowly, such bringing forward of the 
backward, and putting backward of the for- 
ward, is effected by two simple prisms of 
glass — properly focussed. 

Again, a couple of flat daguerreotype pic- 
tures of any scene are put into a little box. 
When they are looked at in a couple of re- 
flectors properly arranged, the scene itself 
seems to be visible in bold relief So, for 
example, we may perchance look in upon the 
river Volga flowing between its banks, and 
inspect the piles and works of a great un- 
finished bridge, forming a track partly across 
the tide from bank to bank, every post as 
round and real as' though the river and its 
banks and the great work there in progress 
had been modelled by the fairies. Goethe 
tells a story of a fairy who was carried about 
by a mortal in a small box, through the 
chinks of which there could be seen her 
sumptuous palace. Here is a box of about 
the same size, containing any fairy-scene that 
by the help of photography w? "^j be dis- 
posed to conjure up. It is caii^ the Stereo- 
scope. And of what use is its magic ? To 
go no farther than the particular picture just 
suggested, of very great use. The Emperor 
of all the Russias is in a great hurry for the 
completion of the bricj^e therein represented. 
He used to make frequent long expeditions 
to the works, and if he remained long absent, 
the architect never seemed to him to be suf- 
ficiently industrious. The architect now 
saves all trouble to his imperial master, and 
maintains his own credit, by having a couple 
of true and undeniable copies of the works 
taken once a fortnight by the sun, and sent to 
St. Petersburg. There they are put into a 
stereoscope, with which the emperor may sit 
in his own room, and in which he may count 
every dam and post, see every ripple of the 
distant tide. 

The pseudoscope is of the same parentage 
as the stereoscope. In speaking of photo- 
graphy we said about the stereoscope, that it 
was invented some years since by Professor 
Wheatstone to illustrate his discovery of the 



88 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



tCotdacUtt af 



principles of binocular vision. As we are 
now, however, treating specifically of the 
stereoscope and not incidentally, we shall go 
into a little more detail, as to the histor)^ of 
the instrument. 

Although Professor Wheatstone's disco- 
very was alluded to in Herbert Mayo's Out- 
lines of Physiology in the year eighteen 
hundred and thirty-three, it was not until 
the twenty-first of June eighteen hundred 
and thirty-eight that Professor Wheat- 
stone detailed the true theory of binocular 
vision, together with a description and dia- 
gram of h'e illustrative apparatus, which he 
there first called the Stereoscope, (after two 
Greek words meaning "solids — I see") before 
the Royal Society, in a paper ; for which, in 
eighteen hundred and forty, he w^as awarded 
the Royal Medal. The stereoscope was after- 
w-ards produced and explained by Mr. 
Wheatstone at the Newcastle meeting of the 
British Association in September, eighteen 
hundred and thirty-eight. The form of in- 
strument then exhibited remains to this day 
the most efficient that has been constructed, 
t is the most beautiful, because it is the sim- 
plest ; it is the most useful, because it can 
iQ applied to the inspection of all drawings 
nade upon the stereoscopic principle, what- 
!ver may be their size, and it is capable of 
ivery kind of adjustment. A very little ex- 
.Tcise of ingenuity has sufficed to make it also 
not less portable than any other, for it is made 
on the laz3'--tongs principle, and can be opened 
and packed like scissors. Of this instrument, 
when first shown to the British Association, 
one literary journalist, expressing the opinion 
of the time, now perfectly confirmed, said that 
it rendered the phenomena of double vision, 
about which volume upon volume have been 
written, clear to the comprehension of child- 
hood ; and by a contrivance so simple, that, 
when once seen, any person can construct a 
copy in an hour. The importance of the 
discovery was recognised at once on all 
sides. 

In a report of that meeting of the Asso- 
ciation, published in the same year, it is 
recorded, that "Sir David Brewster was 
afraid that the members could scarcely judge, 
from the very brief and modest account 
given of this principle, and the instrument 
devised for illustrating it, of its extrehie 
beauty and generality. He considered it one 
of the most valuable optical papers which 
had been presented to the section." Sir 
John Herschel, on the same occasion, justly 
characterised the discovery as "one of the 
most curious and beautiful for its simpli- 
city in the entire range of experimental 
optics." 

At that time photography was an unheard- 
of science, and there could be used in the 
stereoscope only drawings made by the hand 
of an artist. Geometric figures, and a few 
simple sketches, could be made ; but the eye 
'i the best artist was not accurate enough 



to catch the delicjite distinctions of outline, 
light and shade existing in the same land- 
scape or figure, as it would appear seen from 
two points at a distance of only two and a half 
inches from each other. At the beginning of the 
year eighteen hundred and thirty-nine, pho- 
tography became known, and Mr. Wheat- 
stone, not slow to perceive that the sun would 
supply his stereoscope with pictures of the 
necessary accuracy, soon obtained from Mr. 
Talbot stereoscopic Talbotypes of statues, 
buildings, and even living persons. The firs*. 
Daguerreotypes were produced for Mr 
Wheatstone by M. Fizeau and M. Claudet 
The application of the stereoscope to photo 
graphy having been communicated by Mr 
Wheatstone to M. Quetelet, specimens being 
at the same time sent, w^as made public in the 
bulletins of the Brussels Academy for October, 
eighteen hundred and forty-one. Eight or 
nine years afterwards. Sir David Brewster 
helped to popularise the idea by prompting 
M. Dubosq Soleil(as we have elsewhere said) to 
the construction of a number of stereoscopei^ 
in w^hich, by the use of a couple of semi-lenscG 
with their edges directed towards each other, 
a form of instrument was obtained very cok 
venient for the Daguerreotypist, who deals 
rarely in large pictures. This instrument is 
a slight modification of the second form of 
stereoscope — the refracting — suggested by 
the original discoverer. The old reflecting in- 
strument, the first form, remains, however, 
for all purposes of experiment and study, as 
w^ell as for many purposes of common use, by 
jfkr the best. 

BeTore we proceed to an account of the 
steps which led up to the discovery of the 
stereoscope, and of some facts in nature 
which it proves and illustrates, we should 
say two or three words about the method 
of investigation also illustrated by it. Mr. 
Wheatstone is Professor of Experimental Phi- 
losophy in King's College, London, and one 
of the most successful of the experimental 
philosophers of our own time. Down in the 
vaults of King's College w^e remember seeing, 
years ago, a great array of wires which we 
were told belonged to an experiment of Mr. 
Wheatstone's then in hand. Those wires 
were the unborn electric telegraph, which 
came into life out of the experiments of Mr. 
Wheatstone on electrical velocity. The dis- 
covery of the stereoscope furnishes an inte- 
resting illustration of the method by which 
the chief operations of experimental philoso- 
phy are conducted. The surest way to get 
a secret out of nature — if one is clever enough 
to do it — is to overreach her : to entrap her 
into a confession by compelling her to work 
under unheard of conditions. She cannot 
go to work on fresh material of your own 
choosing without betraying some part of her 
mode of setting about business. If all the 
information that you want is not to be had 
by playing the mysterious mother one trick, 
try her "vith another and another. The 



Charles Dickens.] 



THE STEREOSCOPE. 



89 



secrets of double vision, which could never 
have been either thought out or discovered 
by a mere watching of nature at her daily 
work, have been wormed out of her by such 
tricks or such experiments. 

Place any irregular or angular solid body 
on the table before you. Close each eye in 
turn, while you observe the object accurately 
with the other. You will not fail to observe 
that a slight — but very sensible — difference 
exists between the results of the two sights 
taken from two points in the same head at 
the same object The points of sight in the 
two eyes are of course different, and by 
the laws of perspective it is easy to de- 
termine that the views of the sam"e thing 
taken from those two points could not be 
identical. That is very obvious and very 
simple. Yet that simple observation is the 
whole basis of the theory of the stereo- 
scope, and it had not been made or rather 
when made had been always set aside as im- 
material, before Professor Wheatstone built 
upon it one of the most beautiful little disco- 
veries that grace the science of our day. 
There is a reason, thought Mr. Wheatstone, 
for this difference. It had been comraonlj'' 
supposed that single vision with two eyes only 
resulted from the falling of the same point of 
the picture formed by an object on the same 
point in each eye. But that is what can take 
place only in the case of a painted landscape. 
If we look at a Claude or a Canaletto the 
eyes both see the same picture, and both see 
it in precisely the same way, but the result 
is that they see it as a flat painting on can- 
vas, and are so convinced of its flatness, that 
the best skill in shadow and perspective will 
not cause the houses to look really solid, 
the hills really to appear as lumps arising 
on a broad flat earth. The best picture will 
not, as an illusion, stand the test of two 
eyes. But if we look at it with one eye, 
the painter can cheat that. If one eye be 
not allowed to compare notes with its neigh- 
bour, and to see the objects which profess to 
lie one behind another from a second point of 
view, then accurate lights and shadows in a 
picture, corresponding to the real light in the 
room, will be assumed as evidence of actual 
solidity. In a landscape that consisted of 
real fields and trees, or in a real street, one 
eye could have obtained not much more 
evidence than that, and the mind, satisfied to 
get the utmost evidence attainable, would 
upon that have founded a conclusion. For 
this reason, connoisseurs may be seen often 
shutting one eye when they examine a 
painting. If use be made of a hollow tube, 
or a roil of paper, which is the same thing, in 
such a way that the frame, and all surround- 
ing objects of comparison are carefully ex- 
cluded, the cheat perpetrated upon one eye 
by a really good picture is very complete 
indeed. 

Leonardo da Vinci noticed this method of 
examining a picture with one eye, and is the 



only person who before our times had rea- 
soned on the matter. He pointed out, that 
if you look at a solid globe with one eye 
it conceals a certain piece of* background, 
which to the other eye is visible ; and if you 
change the eye you change the background, 
so that, as he said, except a certain part 
behind the globe invisible to both eyes, the 
solid body is in a certain sense transparent 
He thought that the impossibility of cheating 
two eyes with a picture lay in the impossi- 
bility of getting at this state of affairs in the 
background. Mr. Wheatstone observes justly, 
that had the philosophic painter taken any 
other sohd than a ball on which to found 
his illustration, he would have observed not 
only the difference in the background, but 
also the difference between the two perspec- 
tives. But he did not. Mr. Vv'heatstone, 
therefore, was the first who called distinct 
attention to this very obvious, but, neverthe- 
less, practically new fact in the theory of 
vision. 

Then the experimenter said to himself: 
The old theory which supposed an identity 
between the pictures painted at the same 
time on the two eyes being false, there 
must be something more in the disparity 
than a mere necessary awkwardness result- 
ing from the impossibility of having two 
eyes in one place. If the possession of two 
eyes only caused a confusion to be got over 
by habit, we two-eyed people should be all 
really worse off than Polyphemus. Why 
have we two eyes ? " That was the question 
which Mr. Wheatstone entrapped Nature 
into answering. The trap set by hiia was the 
stereoscope. • 

One could not easily imagine any apparatus 
simpler in its construction. Since it was not 
possible twenty years ago, by aid of photo- 
graphy, to obtain on paper or silver two 
sketches of the same scene, having only the 
minute difference in the point of view that 
would exist between the two points of sight 
furnished to man by Nature — which are 
about two-and-a-half inches distant from 
each other in an ordinary adult head — Mr. 
Wheatstone took the simple forms of cubes 
and other solid mathematical figures, placing 
them before him, and carefully making two 
sketches of each, corresponding to the two 
appearances presented by it to the two eyes. 
They were obvious and easy of depiction. 
They were made simply in outline, and in 
each case, of course, were eviden-tly flat 
copies. Let us take the example of the cube. 
These, the experimental philosopher then 
reasoned, are the images of the cube sepa- 
rately presented to each eye ; flat outlines 
evidently. Let me contrive now to look at 
them in such a way that the right eye shall 
see only its own proper picture as I have 
drawn it from its own proper point of view, 
and the left eye the other picture, and that 
they shall fall as they do in nature with their 
respective differences upon corresponding 



iO 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Couductea hy 



parts of the two eyes. What will be the 
result ? 

The instrument was soon made. Two bits 
of looking-glass placed back to back were 
arranged in the form of a broad letter V, 
their angle a right angle and their mirrors 
looking outwards. On two little walls placed 
at equal distances beyond the mirrors, the 
two prictures of the cube were hung and care- 
fully adjusted so that the two images should be 
reflected in precisely the right way. Then an 
observer, placing his nose at the point of the V, 
and looking with one eye into one mirror, and 
with the other eye into the other mirror 
would, of course, see with each eye its own 
distinct view of the cube, as it had been 
sketched. What, then, was the result ? Not a 
confusion of two sketches, but a complete re- 
producticr^ of the cube itself in all its whole- 
ness of length, breadth, and depth. The illusion 
was perfect. The instrument so constructed, 
and here rudely described, was a reflecting 
stereoscope ; and, by its use, Mr. Wheatstone 
was able to demonstrate so simply that all 
could understand, and no man could dispute 
the fact, that the use of two eyes is to obtain 
two pictures from different points of view, 
and that the use of the differences that exist 
in the two images of every solid object so 
seen is to assure to the mind the idea of 
depth or distance. 

Mr. Wheatstone reflected in his mirrors a 
pair of real cubes. When they were so 
placed that they threw upon the eyes in the 
due way two pictures so differing, that they 
represented the two aspects of a single cube as 
seen by the two eyes, there was a single 
cube seen in relief: when they were so ad- 
justed that each eye received a precisely 
similar impression, though two solid forms 
were looked at, the mind believed that it saw 
only the flat picture of a cube. I need not 
multiply such illustrations of a fact already 
placed beyond dispute. 

A great many experiments could be made 
with the reflecting stereoscope by a philo- 
sopher gifted with Professor Wheatstone's 
ingenuity ; a great many experiments were 
really made, and more secrets were in fact 
discovered. 

Of course the nearer any object is to 
the two eyes, the greater is the discre- 
pancy between the pictures of it seen by 
them, and the more vivid the notion of relief. 
Of distant objects the views taken by both 
eyes are almost identical, and we judge of the 
reality of the whole distant scene as thc^ one- 
eyed man judges of all things visible. We 
judge by experience and comparison, by the 
effects of light and shade, and by conclusions 
drawn from the movements of the head, 
which enable us to note how the view 
changes as we change the point of observation. 
In looking with a single eye through a micro- 
scope at crystals or other objects, every ob- 
server knows how difficult it is to avoid 
Dvoconccption as to which parts of an object 



are nearer to the eye, which are more distant 
from it. 

Since the same object, say a jug of punch, 
throws a larger image on the eye in pro- 
portion to its nearness, and since there are 
few positions in which it is not nearer to one 
eye than to the other, the two images seen at 
one time by the two eyes can rarely be quite 
alike in size, and so there occurs another 
interference with the identity of the two 
pictures. Having reflected upon this matter, 
Mr. Wheatstone drew two circles differing 
somewhat in their size, and presented by 
means of his stereoscope one to each eye. 
He did not see two circles. Though different 
they coincided, and presented the impression 
of a circle intermediate in size between the 
two. Beyond certain limits ; that is to say, 
beyond the utmost difference of this kind that 
can occur in any case of vision with two eyes 
— when each eye squints outwards ; no such 
coincidence can take place in the stereoscope 
between two outlines of unequal magnitude. 
The mind, however, never does more than its 
assigned work in the way of fusion. Whoever 
wears a pair of spectacles with one glass 
blue and the other yellow, will not see sur- 
rounding objects coloured green. The diffe- 
rent impressions made upon his two eyes will 
not in that case mingle, but — sometimes one 
predominating, and sometimes the other — 
he wull see things always tinged either with 
blue or yellow, sometimes with one colour 
and sometimes with the other, but always 
with only one of the two colours at one time. 

One of the oddest and most instructive 
results of experiment with the reflecting 
stereoscope, detailed by Mr. Wheatstone — one 
which creates artificially a complete chaos of 
the laws of vision — we must endeavour in the 
next place to explain. In order to do so, we 
must make use of and first understand a 
technical expression — optic axes. What are 
optic axes? Place upon the table before you 
one small stone, and look at it with both 
your eyes. The line drawn from the stone 
at which j^ou are looking through the centre 
of one eye-ball is one optic axis, and the 
line from the same point, through the other 
eye-ball, is the other axis. On the stone, 
when you look at it, the lines of course con- 
verge. Look at the stone from a consider- 
able distance, and the two lines or axes run 
for a long way side by side ; look at it from 
a distance of three inches, and the lines con- 
verge very rapidly ; in other words, they 
form, when they meet on the stone, in the 
first case a small angle, and in the last case a 
large one. Very well. Now, as you come 
nearer to the stone in walking from a corner 
of the room towards the table, the optic axes 
converge upon it gradually more and more, 
at the same time that the image of the stone 
enlarges on the retina. It is a familiar ex- 
perience that things in motion become larger 
on the eye as they approach us, smaller as 
they recede. At the same time, while they 



Charles Dickens,] 



THE STEREOSCOPE. 



41 



approach the optic axes converge more to- 
wards them, and again the said axes become 
more nearly parallel as they are departing. 
Now it was no hard matter for Professor 
Wheatstone so to adjust pairs of pictures on 
the moveable walls of his reflecting stereo- 
scope as that all ordinary experience should 
in this matter be contradicted. 

In the first place, he arranged the stereo- 
scopic pair on arms moveable only in a circle, 
so that the images in the two mirrors should 
always be of the same size, being formed by 
pictures always at a like distance from the 
mirrors, but that the eyes should be obhged 
m following the movements of the pictures to 
vary the degree of convergence of the optic 
axes. He found that as the convergence of 
the optic axes lessened (suggesting distance) 
the perceived size of the image grew upon the 
mind, and it seemed to become smaller as the 
convergence was increased. The real size of 
the image was, as we have said, unaltered. In 
nature, as the convergence of the axes lessens, 
the size of the image lessens, but its per- 
ceived magnitude remains the same ; becausa 
the mind, at all reasonable distances, insen- 
sibly, through habit and experience, forms a 
pretty equal and just conception of the size 
of objects. 

The experiment, just cited, was then re- 
versed. By simply sliding the two pictures 
nearer to the mirrors, the size of the image 
thrown upon each eye was enlarged, but the 
position of the images upon the mirrors not 
being shifted, in observing them the inclina- 
tion of the optic axes was not altered. The 
alterations in size were perceived accurately, 
and while the pictures were moved to and 
fro, the image, enlarging and diminishing, 
cheated the mind in a fresh manner ; it ap- 
peared in the most evident way to be moving 
backwards and forwards. And yet observe 
the curious distinction, whenever it stood 
still, and whatever might be then its per- 
ceived size, there was no apparent change in 
its position, it never seemed to have moved 
at all. It always appeared, when motionless, 
to be at one and the same distance from the 
eye, because the chief measure of distance — 
the amount of convergence of the optic axes 
— never altered. 

A similar delusion was elicited in the com- 
panion experiment, wherein though the real 
size of the image never altered, the degree of 
convergence of the axes being made constantly 
to vary, caused it apparently to increase and 
decrease. In that case, while the picture 
grew or dwindled, as we know by experience 
that it would increase upon the eye or 
dwindle if advancing or receding, yet, for all 
that it never seemed to move. It stood still 
enlarging like the dog that grew into a hip- 
popotamus before the eyes of Dr. Faustus. 
Nevertheless, whenever the trial ceased, 
whatever change has been made in the 
position of the stereoscopic plates was 
represented to the eye as a difference of dis- 



tance ; the image had got, apparently, into a 
new place, because the incHnation of the axes 
ceased to be the same. Thus, we may be 
told to look at an object in this magic instru- 
ment advancing and receding without chang- 
ing place, and changing place without being 
observed to move. A state of things utterly 
contradictory and confusing, scarcely or not 
at all conceivable, because it never has been 
in the experience of any man from Adam 
downwards, until Mr. Wheatstone learned to 
detect and re-combine and make experiments 
upon the first principles of vision in his new 
instrument, the stereoscope. 

Enough has been said to show the great 
value and importance of the stereoscope to a 
philosophical investigator of the laws of sight. 
When we before spoke of this instrument we 
said that, apart from its philosophical use, it 
was employed only as a toy. It is to be 
purchased now — in its less perfect forms — • 
in all toy-shops ; and the use to which it is 
put commonly by the photographer, though 
agreeable, is unimportant. The stereoscope 
itself, however, is not only of philosophical 
importance, it admits of many really valuable 
practical applications. We need refer only 
to what has been already said of the difficulty 
experienced by the microscopist in determin- 
ing with one eye whether crystals and other 
objects seen by him are hollow or solid. If 
a sovereign be looked at through a microscope, 
the Queen's head upon it will as often appear 
to be sunk into the coin as to stand out in 
relief from it. Now, however, when photo- 
graphic copies can be taken of objects seen in 
the field of the microscope, it will suffice to 
take two copies of the same object, with the 
due angle of difference between their points 
of view, and place them in a stereoscope. 
The power of two eyes will be then brought 
to bear upon the object seen with one eye 
only through the glasses of the microscope, 
and a correct impression will be formed o*" 
its relative dimensions. 

Having explained their principle, we do not 
think it worth while to discuss the construc- 
tion of the different forms of stereoscope now 
in use. In the refracting instrument, in- 
vented afterwards by Mr. AVheatstone, as 
convenient for the examination of small 
pictures, prisms are used to deflect the 
rays of light proceeding from the pictures ; 
refracted arc there substituted for reflected 
images. 

Of this instrument the small portable 
stereoscope in common use is a modification 
suggested by Sir David Brewster. Its pair 
of prisms are the two halves of a common 
lens. An ordinary lens having been cut 
in half, the cut edges are turned outwards, 
and the two half circles, or thin edges of the 
two prisms so made, are directed towards 
each other. They are placed about two 
inches and a half apart, with a power of 
adjustment that enables them to be presented 
accurately to any pair of eyes, so that each 



42 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted b^ 



e3^e of the pair may look precisely through 
the centre of the half lens presented to it. 
Under such prisms the stereoscopic pictures 
are adjusted. 

Minute details upon subjects of this kind 
must of course be sought in other publica- 
tions. We must in this place be satisfied if 
we convey general ideas of a just kind upon 
such topics : a notion of the stereoscope — and 
at the best no more has now been given — as 
we attempted on a former occasion to convey 
a notion of photograph3^ We desire to note 
in this place that in our brief sketch of the 
processes of that art, we conveyed among 
other things an error by a slip of the scribe, 
which set down dilute pyrogallic acid as an 
agent used for fixing the picture on the 
metallic plate. A solution of hyposulphate 
of soda was the agent that should have been 
named. Having stepped aside to correct that 
erratum, we return to our proper subject and 
have to content ourselves now with a final 
word or two about the pseudoscope ; an in- 
strument of which the name implies " false- 
hoods, I see." 

If we cheat the eyes in a stereoscope by 
showing to each eye the picture that belongs 
only to its neighbour's point of view, every- 
thing is perverted. Upon every point, not 
immediately in the middle line between and 
before the two eyes, the optic axes must con- 
verge in the wrong way, and objects or 
parts of objects will appear distant in pro- 
portion as they otherwise would have seemed 
near. 

The pseudoscope is especially contrived for 
the illustration of this fact. It is a little 
instrument, convenient as an opera glass in 
the hand and as easily adjusted. It consists 
of two prisms of flint glass, so joined, that 
they may be adjusted before the eyes to the 
exact focus of observation of any object. The 
prisms reflect the two images of any one 
thing — each apparently but not actually to 
the wrong eye — and, when the instrument 
is so adjusted that the two images coincide 
and the object consequently appears single, 
the observer is at once subjected to illusions 
of the oddest kind. A globe, so observed, 
may for a minute be a globe, but after the 
spectator has gazed at its rotundity for a 
short while, suddenly, as if without cause, it 
appears to be converted into a concave hemi- 
sphere, over the brim of which continents are 
flowing as the globe revolves. A China cup, 
with coloured ornaments upon it in relief, 
becomes a mould of half the cup with painted 
hollow impressions of the flowers inside, in- 
stead of outside. 

The suddenness of the metamorphosis suf- 
fered by such a cup belongs, one might say, 
wholly to the days of sorcery. The explanation 
is, however, very natural. Relief and distance 
are not suggested solely by the use of two 
eyes and the convergence of their optic axes. 
We are accustomed to note other signs which 
are perceived by each eye singly. The idea 



of relief being suggested by the presence 
of some signs, the eyes at first are apt 
to dwell upon them, and are not dis- 
posed to be immediately disturbed in their 
impression. 

FIRST STAGE TO AUSTRALIA. 

It is of no use pretending not to know 
where Park Street, Westminster, is. Don't 
ask your way of the crossing-sweeper. Don't 
enquire of the policeman at the corner. 
You need not trouble the elderly woman 
of the fruit stall to point out to you the 
direction of this Open Sesame of the Great 
South Land — the abode of these oflBcial guar- 
dians of the Golden Regions, according to 
popular belief. Follow the stream of fustian 
jackets, corduroy trousers and smock-frocks, 
keep in the rear of the chattering, excited 
parties of half-shaven mechanics, slatternly 
females, and slip-shod children. They are 
all moving in one direction, and you could 
not miss your way if you tried, for it's 
much easier to follow this stream than to 
move against it. 

Across the broad street, along the pave- 
ment on the right-hand side, cross over again, 
keep straight on, round a little to the left, 
then sharp to the right, and the third house 
on the right-hand side, if we can but get 
at it through the crowd, is the much-sought 
office of the Commissioners of Land and 
Emigration. The dense throng of impromptu 
sheep-shearers, ready-made agriculturists, 
and shepherds by inspiration, find it difficult 
to get through the iron wicket and down the 
steep stone steps into the area, where they 
are compelled to pass to the lower waiting- 
room. Indeed, it is almost as intricate and 
dangerous an undertaking as wading through 
the labyrinth of type comprised in the thirty- 
four rules of the Commissioners. There is a 
warm and lively performance going on in 
that waiting-room down below the iron 
wicket amongst the ready-made farm-ser- 
vants from Whitechapel and the shepherds 
of Shoreditch. It would be impossible to 
say precisely how many tongues were going 
at once about steerage passages, and sea- 
sickness, and split peas. 

Up the cold, broad, stone staircase, and in 
the first floor on the left hand, is a quiet, busy 
room, full of active clerks — a Custom House 
Lciig Room In miniature. Pens are travel- 
nia over acre;; of paper ruled in an infinity 
of tabular forms: heads are reckoning up 
shiploads of shepherds with three children 
and wheelwrights with one, and carpenters 
with only a wife. Senior clerks are adding 
up and tabulating the totals of male and 
female statute adults shipped by the '* Wig- 
gins" for Adelaide and the "Scroggins" for 
Port Phillip, and a table-full of supernume- 
rary deputy-assistant clerks are ticking off 
as many single young women as they can 
afford to do for six shillings a-day. There 



caries DIckcas.] 



FIRST STAGE TO AUSTRALIA. 



4S 



is a bald-headed supernumerary in one cor- 
ner, in the depths of despair because an 
emigrant freight note from some Irish port 
will not add up. He makes the total come 
to three hundred and thirty-nine and a half 
statute adults; and, being a fresh hand, he 
cannot conceive the possibility of half of an 
Irishman emigrating to any part of the 
globe; not j'-et being aware that by the 
Government regulations it requires two 
young children to make up the full statute 
adult. * 

Higher up on the next floor, secretaries, 
assistant secretaries, and commissioners, hold 
solemn deliberations about ships, shepherds, 
single women, and salt pork. Early in the 
morning, the desks of the assistant secretary 
and chief clerk are piled with enormous 
heaps of letters from every part of the United 
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, not 
forgetting the Orkney and Shetland Islands, 
and the Isle of Man. Every town and village 
throughout the empire is represented in the 
corresponding department of the Colonial 
Land and Emigration Commission in Park 
Street. The requirements of the colonists 
sending home the funds for emigration are 
all in favour of married labourers of certain 
ages and occupations, and those considera- 
tions have, of course, to be borne in mind 
in the selection of candidates for free pas- 
sages to Australia. The callings most in 
requisition for these colonies are agricultural 
labourers, shepherds, herdsmen, journeymen 
mechanics and artisans. It follows, that 
while such persons as shopmen, clerks, 
bakers, butchers, tailors, confectioners, green- 
grocers, wire-drawers, wig-makers, and jew- 
ellers, are invariably refused, and whilst all 
single men (except those who may be part 
of a family) are also rejected, the search is 
for blacksmiths, carpenters, sawyers, gar- 
deners, agriculturists, with their wives and 
families. To select the hale and honest 
artisan or farm servant from the pauperised 
town labourer ; to choose the valuable family 
colonist from the London candidate who has 
more than three children under ten years 
of age, or who has not been vaccinated, or 
has more sons than daughters, or who has 
Keen in the habitual receipt of parish relief 
— forms no inconsiderable or pleasurable 
task. It taxes the patience, the industry, 
and the good temper of the secretary and his 
assistants to an inordinate degree. 

The work of opening, sorting and docket- 
ing these numberless letters begins. The 
majority are oddly folded, oddly spelt, oddly 
addressed, oddly worded. There is one ex- 
tremely uncouth-looking epistle soldered to- 
gether by cobbler's wax, and pressed tightly 
down with the thumb. It contains an ad- 
mixture of the official and free-and-easy 
style ; commencing " Honoured sir," and 
ending " Yours affexenetly." This correspon- 
dent appears to be as versatile in his " begs 
to inform to the honourable commissioners" 



that he can not only do all sorts of field-work, 
but house-work also ; and that he believes he 
shall do his country a service by going to 
" Orstraley ;" that his wife can make butter, 
is very stout, and has had the measles : his 
three children are perfect prodigies. Ano- 
ther applicant indulges in a desponding 
strain, telling Her Majesty's Commissioners 
that he is extremely desirous of being mar- 
ried to a young woman, five feet five inches 
in height, with whom he has been keeping 
company for three years; but that he sees 
no prospect of accomplishing this unless they 
will do themselves the pleasure of sending 
him out to the colonies. He is a painter 
and glazier ; but is quite prepared to under- 
take any sort of work from a police-sergeant 
down to a shepherd, the qualifications being, 
he thinks, precisely the same. A third can- 
didate for expatriation states himself to be 
" a yung man of good ten stun fore ; used to 
osses, with a wife which will bear investi- 
gation." A fourth is "a mill-rite with two 
female children." A fifth represents himself 
to be "just like the fond lover wishing to 
gain the desire of his art, but often meets 
with disappointment;" and has an ardent 
attachment for Australia, and entreats the 
Commissioners to take his case in hand by 
return of post. 

While, above stairs, piles of such letters are 
being read and repued to (sometimes with 
lithographed circulars), the crowd of personal 
applicants have to be attended to below. 
One by one, or two by two, these are ad- 
mitted to an interview with a deputy in- 
spector-general of emigrants, in a small 
offitial cabin very like a regulation steerage 
berth. This officer is a keen-eyed, sharp- 
witted person, up to no end of artful dodges, 
and more than a match for any number of 
painters and glaziers, or half a hundred 
"mill-rites," trying to get out under false 
pretences. We have explained that only 
emigrants of certain callings are eligible 
for free passages out of the Government 
funds. Consequently, it is the unceasing 
object and aim of hundreds of Spital fields' 
weavers, Lambeth labourers, and Kentish 
Town cads, to transform themselves into 
rustic swains by the aid of smock-frock,?, 
slouch hats, and laced boots. They might aa 
well endeavour to pass themselves off as 
noble savages or Aztec dwarfs. Our keen- 
eyed friend in the steerage is thoroughly 
up to them. He knows that pale faces and 
smock-frocks do not belong to each other; 
he can tell that bony fingers cannot pos- 
sibly know anything about sheep-shearing, 
or hedging and ditching. He can see the 
difference between hands that have worked 
with the spade and those that have only 
made acquaintance with the yard or the 
scales. He can tell by the way a man walks 
into his little 'tween decks, whether he has 
ever followed the plough or sewn up a 
coat. 



.4 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted \>y 



From the quiet dignity of Park Street, 
Westminster, we will take a rapid run down 
tr the London Emigration Depot at the Nine 
Elms Station of -the South-Western Railway. 
Southampton is now the great port of embar- 
cation for Government emigrants from the 
south coast ; and, by special arrangements 
with the directors of the Railway Company, 
enrugrants are temporarily housed and fed at 
their Nine Elms Station ; and are eventually 
conveyed to Southampton for a very small 
sum per head. The extensive suite of lofty 
well ventilated rooms, once the London head- 
quarters of the Company, are now converted 
into dormitories, refectories, and reception- 
rooms for Government emigrants; and a 
very comfortable time they have of it whilst 
awaiting the arrival of a sufficient num- 
ber to be sent off by special train to South- 
ampton. 

At that port the disused terminus is also 
used for the same purpose. What was once 
the airectors' ooarJ room contaii^s a nun- 
dred beds for married couples ; the secretary's 
rooms accommodate as many more for sin- 
gle men; and single women are safely ac- 
commodated in the old treasury. The ancient 
booking-office is now the dining-hall; and, 
adjoining, the luggage-room has been con- 
verted, by the aid of huge boilers and steam- 
pipes, into a gigantic kitchen. The savoury 
fumes of soups and meats permeate the 
whole establishment; heavy boiler-lrds are 
constantly leaping up, and reeking joints 
peep out like Hadji Baba's thieves from the 
oil-jars inquiring if it were time. The hissing 
and steaming cauldrons contain the mid-day 
meal of a party of Government emigrants 
momentarily expected to join the copper- 
fastened, swift-sailing schooner (standing A 1 
at Lloyd's) " Muffineer," now in the South- 
ampton docks, which is promised to have 
"quick dispatch" for Melbourne. 

The humble passengers begin to pour in 
by half-dozens, then in scores ; and presently 
men, women, children, and luggage inundate 
the depot, tumbling over one another for the 
first half hour in the most hopeless confusion. 
But time and patience convinces everybody 
that there is room for all and to spare. Every- 
thing goes on systematically. Heavy pack- 
ages are placed in an outer railed shed ; 
parcels and children are carefully stowed 
away on one side of the dinner-hall. There 
is a good deal of talking, and pushing about, 
and wondering where ever " my boxes," or 
"my Johnny," or "my missus with baby 
and the tea-canister with the money in it," 
can have got to. But at length one o'clock 
comes ; a large bell sounds ; and, as it 
dies away, there is not one of all that 
motley crowd who is not seated before a 
clean plate. 

Many of these poor emigrants have not 
partaken of such a meal as that which is 
now F.pread before them for many a day; 
perhaps never before in the course of their 



toilsome lives. Certainly none of them ever 
laid down to rest in more comfortable beds 
than they do on this first night of their wan- 
derings towards the Gold World at the 
Antipodes. 

Long before the Southampton public are 
awake or moving, the emigrants are up, and 
submitting their baggage to the examination 
of the government officer ; whose duty it is to 
see that each has an outfit sufficiently abun- 
dant for a four months' voyage. Sometimes 
a few articles of clpthing are found wanting ; 
for many of these people are of the poorest 
class ; but the deficiency is in certain cases 
made good by a Ladies' Emigration Com- 
mittee at Southampton ; which takes care 
that no mother of a family leaves her 
home without such comforts for herself and 
her children as are indispensable to a long 
voyage. 

Every attention is necessarily given to 
cleanliness and ventilation on board the ships 
chartered by the LimigiatioTi Conimissioner s ; 
and, as soon as the passengers have been 
allotted their respective berths, they are each 
served with a set of utensils necessary for the 
voyage ; such as a tin pot, a bread basket, a 
can for water, metal plates, knives, forks, and 
spoons, in addition to bedding and a clothes 
bag. These articles become the property of 
the emigrants at the end of the voyage, ex- 
cept in cases of misconduct. Recently, it has 
been found necessary to take from the emi- 
grants at the port of embarcation a written 
engagement, that, if they go to the gold fields, 
or if they quit the colony within four years 
after landing, they will repay to the colonial 
government a proportionate part of their pas- 
sage money, at the rate of four pounds per 
adult for each 3'^ear remaining to complete 
four years from landing. This is the merest 
justice to the colonists ; who provide funds 
in order that labourers might be forwarded 
to them ; and not with the romantic bene- 
volence of stocking the diggings with gold 
seekers. 

It does not require many days to fill the 
" Muffineer." The stores are all on board, the 
sails are loosened, the last group of parting 
friends have left the gangway, the emigration 
agent certifies that all is complete, the word is 
given to the little steam-tug to move ahead, 
whilst hats and handkerchiefs are waved, 
tears are shed, and as the " Muffineer" is being 
towed out of the mouth of the harbour, some 
few rather bolder and stouter than the rest 
try to get up a parting cheer ; but it generally 
turns out a miserable failure. They are off, to 
swell the living tide that floats towards the 
south. They who have been inured to 
labour are off, from hunger, toil, and sorrow, 
to plenty, to comfort, and happiness. They 
are off, from the poor-house, the jail, and the 
asylum, to the green hills, and fertile fields of 
a new land. 

During this present year to the end of June 
there had left our shores for all parts of the 



Oiarles Dickens.] 



A BRILLIANT DISPLAY OF FIREWORKS. 



45 



world not fewer than two hundred and 
ninetj-two thousand three hundred and 
forty-seven persons. Of these, one hundred 
and* ninety-nine thousand left for the United 
States of America, and fifty-two thousand for 
the Australian gold regions. The remainder 
went to Canada and to other places. The 
channels through which all this has taken 
place have been various. Parish emigra- 
tion, assisted emigration, free emigration, 
emigration through the aid of relatives, 
and lastly that mode of which we pur- 
pose treating more especially. Government 
emigration. 

A BRILLIANT DISPLAY OF 
FIREWORKS. 

It is eleven o'clock at night. The moon is 
shining, not too brightly to dim the fun of the 
" Gardens." There is a temporary respite. 
The Suffolk prodigy, eight years of age, and 
weighing an unlimited number of " stun," 
has exhibited his fat legs for the small charge 
of threepence. Sporting amateurs in pina- 
fores have had a pop at a revolving target 
of foxes and hares at a penny per shot. 
Professor Contortini and his talented son 
have tied themselves up into endless knots, 
and the Signora Doubledoni has petrified her 
patrons and patronesses (at twopence a head) 
by her inexplicable powers of clairvoyance and 
thought-reading. The grand concert is over, 
in which the celebrated comic singer obtained 
five encores. The angels of the grand ballet 
have shed their wings and their muslin, 
and are supping oflf saveloys with their re- 
spective husbands and families. The visitors 
have ascertained satisfactorily, by the ex- 
penditure of swndry pennies, which amongst 
themselves is the tallest, which the heaviest, 
and which can punch a spring-buffer with the 
greatest force. The Hungarian Band have 
hung up their instruments, and are sporting 
pea coats over their spangles and tights. 
The Polygraphic Views arc rolled up; the 
American nine-pins are all finally knocked 
dowm, and the Chinese peg-top has gone 
to sleep for the night. The rifle-gallery 
has ceased its whiz, fizz, slap, bang. The 
Circus has displayed the talents of "the 
graceful tcuyere^' the " dashing horsewoman," 
the ^' sylph of the arena," the " queen of the 
manhtge^^ the " equestrian star," the " demon 
horseman," the " gymnastic wonder," and the 
*' unequalled contortionists." The butter-tub 
phenomenon has rolled his perilous way up a 
hundred feet of inclined plane amidst the 
breathless dread of the spectators that he 
will tumble off and break his neck before he 
has reached the end of the plank. The Elastic 
Brothers have performed their matchless 
feats of standing upon nothing and swinging 
on chin-balanced poles twenty feet high. — 
The din of amusement is over ; and now 
nothing remains to be seen but the achieve- 
ments of Chevalier Mortram, with his troop 



of Salamanders. They have taken possession 
of a certain dark portion of ground, backed 
by a wood and canvas temple of an unknown 
order of that ultra composite architecture 
known as the Indescribable. 

What the Chevalier is about to do no one 
is supposed to know but himself In the im- 
penetrable breast of the artist lies the de- 
termination whether there shall be rockets 
with tail-stars, or with golden rain, or 
with brilliant heads ; whether Bengal lights 
shall burst with green fire or red fire ; 
whether there shall be a 'pot d'aigrette^ 
with a tree of silver flowers and a grand 
shower of fiery serpents; whether a shell 
shall explode with brilliant stars, or with 
snakes; whether there shall be a six-rayed 
star, with Chinese flyers and a grand 
cross of jerb fire; whether Jack-in-the-Box 
shall explode his crackers in the air ; whether 
a Devil- among- the-Tailors shall end his 
freaks with a grand explosion of flower-pots 
and fizzgigs ; whether there shall be a 
cascade of golden flowers, or an asteroid 
rocket to change colour seven times, or an 
ascending shower of snakes, or a fiery dragon 
to dart and wriggle and spit fire over the 
heads of the spectators. 

We are behind the scenes ; and we there 
learn from the renowned fire artist !nany 
curious and interesting things. We are told 
first that the pyrotechnic art illustrates many 
of the most important principles in chemistry, 
optics and dynamics. Explosion itself is, he 
says, a chemical phenomenon. As a general 
rule, pyrotechny depends on the property 
which nitre possesses of accelerating the com- 
bustion of inflammable substances, even when 
excluded from the air ; nitre, or saftpetre, or 
sal-prunella (for they are nearly equivalent 
names) is on this account the soul of all 
pyrotechny. Of the substances whose com- 
bustion nitre accelerates, sulphur is the 
principal ; it is used either as roll-sulphur or 
flower of sulphur. The third most important 
ingredient is charcoal ; which is made from 
hard wood or soft wood, and is ground finely 
or coarsely, according to the kind of effect 
which is required to be produced. Nitre, 
sulphur, and charcoal, arc the three ingre- 
dients of gunpowder, and the pyrotechnist 
uses them largely, as gunpowder, in this com- 
bined state; but he also uses them sepa- 
rately and in varied proportions. For minor 
purposes, bitumen, pitch, tallow, resin, coal, 
camphor, glass, mica, orpiment, alcohol, metal 
filings, benzoin, oils, sawdust, amber, clay, 
frankincense, myrrh, and other substances, 
are occasionally employed ; but nitre, sulphur, 
charcoal, metal fihngs, and a few salts, are 
the materials in ordinary of a brilliant display 
of fireworks. 

Let these materials be combined in 
what number or proportions they may, a 
chemical change instantly follows' ignition. 
The desired result may be an explosion, or a 
recoil, or a flame, or a stream of sparks ; but 



4G 



HOUSEHOLD >VORDS. 



[Conducted by 



all these are alike chemical phenomena. 
When an explosion takes place, the solid 
materials, or some of them, are instantly- 
converted into gases ; and these gases occupy 
so much more space than the solids, that they 
must displace air to obtain room for them- 
selves, and the violence of this displacement 
occasions the noise of the explosion. If the 
materials be confined within a strong paper 
case, or a gun barrel, the greater effort* of 
the expanding gases to rend it increases the 
intensity of the noise. If flame be required, 
exploding materials must be loosely confined, 
and the solids must be such that their 
resultant gases will inflame or ignite. If 
sparks be wanted, some one of the materials 
must bear an intense heat and reflect an 
intense light before being dissipated. All 
these are chemical effects ; and different com- 
binations of ingredients are necessary to 
ensure their production. For simple explosion 
without other attendant phenomena, gun- 
powder is the chief or only agent; for a 
recoil motion, such as that of rockets and 
serpents, a little less proportion of nitre is 
used ; for flame, charcoal is as much as 
possible excluded ; for sparks, charcoal pre- 
ponderates, aided by metal filings. The slow 
or the quick burning of substance, the pro- 
duction of sound or of light, the exhibition of 
flames or of sparks — are all the result of 
chemical laws. 

No one can dispute the optical beauty of 
fire-works. The sparks and the flames may 
be regarded as luminous particles, rendered 
visible by intense heat ; but the most gor- 
geous effects are produced by the reflection 
of coloured rays derived from various che- 
mical mixtures ; the nitre and the sulphur 
and the charcoal, one or more, produce 
the flame and the sparks, but it is some- 
thing else which imparts, brilliancy of colour. 
The theatres are famous show places for 
these coloured fires. When Jessonda is about 
to be immolated, and the Portuguese besiege 
the castle, one feels terribly hot at the idea of 
the approaching flames ; and when Don 
Juan is pushed down by small devils in 
horns, tails, and brown tights through a 
trap-door, there are misgivings as to the 
'lature oi the red fire into which he is 
plunged. But there is nothing to fear. 
Nitrate of strontian does it all ; and chemistry 
thus comes to the aid of Spohr and Mozart. 
Very white light, used for " white speckles" 
or illumination lights in ornamental fire- 
works, owe much of their whiteness to zinc 
filings. Pale blue light is indebted to a little 
antimony as well as zinc. Red is produced 
by the addition cither of mica or nitrate of 
strontian to the other ingredients. Purple 
fire is aided by red lead ; yellow by black- 
lead ; green by nitrate of copper; yellowish- 
white by red orpiment, and so on. The che- 
nistry of colour is taxed by the pyrotechnist 
to the utmost : a new colour would be wel- 
comed by him as much as a new sauce by 



an epicure or a new idea by a poet. Nor 
are radiant and reflected coloured lights alone 
treasures to him ; but he occasionally makes 
use of transmitted light. In the old-fashioned 
illuminating lamps, fed M'ith oil instead of 
gal, the gay colours are due to the little 
glass vessels and not to the flame itself; 
they are examples of coloured light produced 
by transmission. This transmitted light does 
wonders on the stage. When Mario and 
Grisi in La Favorita mope in the moonlight ; 
or when the dead nuns in Robert ie Diable 
dance an unearthly ballet, we may make a 
tolerably near guess that a green glass bottle, 
placed in front of a strong light, produces the 
moonshine. 

The laws of dynamics or mechanical move- 
ment are, besides those of chemistry, illus- 
trated and brought into play in pyrotechnics. 
The ascent of a sky-rocket, and the revolving 
of afire-wheel, are beautiful examples of these 
laws. When a cannon is fired, the ball goes one 
way and the cannon another — the latter being 
affected by a recoil. It is true this recoil is 
very slight, on account of the great weight of 
the cannon, and the mode in which it is con- 
nected with the ground. The gunpowder 
behind the ball explodes or expands into gas ; 
this gas must and will find room for itself, 
either by driving the ball out of the cannon, 
or by driving the cannon away from the 
ball, or both. Apply this to a sky-rocket, 
A rocket is a strong paper tube, filled with 
inflammable matter. It is fixed vertically 
to a stick ; and, when fired at the lower end, 
the composition becomes converted into a 
gas. This gas, pressing and driving in' all 
directions, finds an outlet, rushing out with 
great force ; and is accompanied by a brilliant 
shower of sparks at the opened lower end ; 
but it also drives the case itself upwards by 
the recoil. The ascent of the rocket is wholly 
due to the efforts of the gaseous exploded 
mixture to escape. This recoil is the same 
in principle as that displayed by a screw- 
propeller, however different it may appear in 
action. The screw must turn round, because 
a steam-engine irresistibly compels it, but it 
cannot do this without either driving the 
water in one direction or the ship in another. 
It does both ; the ship recoils under the force 
used, and thus is it moved along. The beau- 
tiful revolving wheels which form such at- 
tractive objects in pyrotechnic displays are 
in like manner dependent on the dynamic 
action of the wheel. They are kindled at 
certain points — sometimes at the periphery, 
sometimes at the side of the spokes — and the 
expanding gases rush out at the orifices. Rut 
this rush tends to recoil against the wheel 
itself; and, if the orifice be judiciously placed 
the recoil will cause the wheel to rotate with 
great velocity. There are many machines in 
which a rotatory movement is given by the 
escape of water or air through orifices, on a 
principle somewhat analogous. The modes 
of applying these chemical, and optical, and 



Chat les Diekeng.] 



A BRILLIANT DISPLAY OF FIREWORKS. 



47 



dynamical principles may be almost infinite. 
It is the pyrotechnist's business to find out 
these modes ; it is his craft, his art and mys- 
tery, the fruit of hw ingenuity, and the source 
of his bread and cheese. 

Listen to a catalogue of some among the 
many forms which these graceful displays of 
light and colour and form and motion are 
made to present : — 

First there is the Sky-rocket, already 
noticed — a cylindrical case intended to ascend 
to a great height, give out a profusion 
of' sparks during its ascent, and spread a 
brilliant shower of coloured stars when it 
explodes, high up in the skiey regions. A 
Tourhillon is a sort of double rocket, having 
orifices so placed as to produce a double recoil 
— one rotatory and one vertical ; the Tour- 
hillon revolves and ascends at the same time, 
and is an exceedingly beautiful and brilliant 
firework. A Roman Candle is a case containing 
one or more smaller cases; a stream of 
sparks carries up a brilliant kind of star, 
which may be white, blue, or sparkling, 
according to the ingredients which it contains. 
Agerb orjerb is a firework depending chiefly 
on the brilliant sparkles of steel and iron 
filings ; and a Chinese fountain is somewhat 
similar to it. A Pot-de-Brin is a case or 
cavity from which serpents, stars, and 
crackers, are thrown up into the air. A Pot- 
d^ Aigrette throws up serpents only; while a 
Pot-de-Saucisson throws up cases which are 
half serpent half cracker. A Balloon (in the 
pyrotechnic, not the aeronautic sense) is a 
shell propelled from a mortar, and made to 
scatter squibs, crackers, serpents, and stars, 
when it explodes at a great height : this is 
often very magnificent. A Cracker is a small 
case filled with dense powder, and producing 
a loud report when exploded ; a Maroon is a 
large cracker ; and both form component 
parts of larger fireworks. A Saucisson is 
compounded of a brilliant fire and a bounce, 
and is discharged out of a mortar fixed on 
the ground. A Scroll is a kind of tourhillon 
on a small scalo, provided with a rotatory 
motion. A Rain is a composition for adding to 
sky-rockets and other pieces ; it pours down 
a vertical shower of brilliant sparks, which 
may be of any desired colour. A Star is a 
brilliant light, produced by the explosion 
of a small case connected with sky-rockets 
and Roman candles. A Wheel — whether a 
single case, or a spiral, or a compound, or a 
horizontal, or a compound spiral, or a diverg- 
ing vertical, or a reversed, or a conical hori- 
zontal, or an extending, or a diminishing, or a 
concentric, or an alternating wheel — is a 
framework of wood or iron, having certain 
axial movements according to its kind ; long 
tubes filled with gunpowder or composition 
are twined upon, or around, or within the 
wheel in various directions ; and when these 
compositions are fired the recoil causes the 
wheel to revolve horizontally, or vertically, or 
to ascend or descend — endless beauties are ai 



the pyrotechnist's command in these pro- 
ductions. A Geometrical Figure is such an 
arrangement of filled paper cases as will pro- 
duce when ignited a fiery cross, triangle^ 
square, hexagon, octagon, or other figure. An 
Ostrich Feather, or Prince of Wales's plume is 
a pleasing spread of sparkling fire, usually 
forming the apex of a pyramidal firework. 
A Tree throws out coloured fires at various 
angles for either side of a vertical centre. 
These are only some among the many varieties 
at the disposal of the artist. 

There were Mortrams, Henglers, Southbys, 
and Darbys in early days ; althougli rather for 
military than for hohday duties. The Chinese 
and Hindoos made and exploded fireworks 
long before Europe had any fireworks to ex- 
plode. The famous Greek Fire which was 
used at Acre against the crusading army of 
St. Louis, has occasioned numberless specula- 
tions and controversies. This fire, the old 
annalists tell us, " came forward as large as a 
barrel of verjuice, with a tail of fire issuing 
from it as big as a great sword, making a 
noise in its passage like thunder, and seeming 
like a dragon flying through the air; and 
from the great quantity of light it threw out, 
giving such a light that one might see in the 
camp as if it had been day." It is also de- 
scribed as " consuming even flint and iron," 
and as emitting an awful stench. The By- 
zantines used the Greek Fire against the 
Pisans ; Philippe Auguste employed it against 
the English vessels at the siege of Calais ; and 
it was used at the siege of Ypres in thirteen 
hundred and eighty-three. The late Dr. 
Macculloch, after a laboured attempt to dis- 
cover what the Greek Fire really was, gave 
it up as a hopeless task, concluding that 
the people who witnessed it were too much 
frightened to speak intelligibly about it. When 
nitre came into use as an aid to combustibles, 
fireworks and gunpowder may equally be said 
to have been invented. Whatever Roger 
Bacon may have done in this way in Europe, 
it is certain the Chinese preceded him by a 
dozen or two of centuries. Without speaking 
of Chinese fireworks generally, we may say a 
few words concerning the Chinese " drum," 
which so excited Sir George Staunton's admi- 
ration during his visit to China. This 
firework appears to resemble a cylindrical 
band-box, ornamented on the exterior with 
paintings. When it is to be fired, it is 
suspended from a stand twelve or fifteen 
feet high. The light is applied at the 
lower part. There immediately drops out 
below a transparent piece, accompanied by 
brilliant light, which falls to the ground 
after being burned out; and this is suc- 
ceeded by ten or a dozen others, all differ- 
ing in device. These appear to be — not merely 
transparent pictures — but castles, ships, lan- 
terns, globes, cones, and other hollow models, 
illumined within and without. They are 
made of transparent painted paper, sup- 
ported on a light wooden framework. All 



48 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



these objects are packed away with great in- 
genuity in the bottom of the drum; and they 
arc so surrounded and connected by tubes, 
and slow matches, and composition, and fire- 
works, that they drop one by one out of the 
open end of the drum, displaying their 
beauties for a brief space, and then quietly 
go out. 

Whether it is Chin-chop-chew making 
fireworks for the Celestials at Pekin, or 
Chevalier Mortram making for the British 
public, there is doubtless much similarity in 
the workshop processes, the manufacturing 
operations. The gunpowder has to be 
pounded, and the sulphur and charcoal 
pounded and purified. The metal filings 
have to be brought to different degrees of 
fineness, and the colouring materials prepared 
and the various combinations mixed in due 
proportions. The paper cases also must be 
made. Strong cartridge or brown paper is 
rolled round a mandril or rod into a tubular 
form, the last lap being secured by paste, j 
These paper tubes, filled in various ways and 
to different degrees, constitute the whizzing, 
and bouncing, and cracking, and sparkling 
fireworks. Then there are veins or arteries, 
not necessary for visible display, but for con- 
veying the fiery impulse from one work to 
another. These are called leaders. They 
consist of paper tubes containing string which 
has been dipped in certain solutions, varied to 
act as slow-match or quick-match, according 
to need. 

On the fifth of November, when Muffincap 
and his schoolfellows prepare a grand display 
of fireworks, at their joint expense, they of 
course take care not to omit the squibs ; but 
they know nothing of these two facts — that 
every halfpenny squib undergoes no less than 
thirteen distinct processes, and that the shop- 
keeper gets more for selling it than the pyro- 
technist gets for making it. The cutting, 
the rolling, the choking, the charging, the 
knocking-out, the bouncing, the capping, the 
tying are some, but not all, of the events 
in the birth of a squib. First, strong brown 
paper, weighing eighty pounds to the ream, is 
cut into thirty-six pieces per sheet, each piece 
to make a squib ; the case is formed with this 
stout paper, and is covered with much thinner 
white paper ; each little tube is choked with a 
dent or depression near one end ; it is partly 
filled with composition through a funnel, and 
rammed down with a rod ; it is further filled 
with loose powder; it is provided with a 
nipple, and touch paper, and a blue cap and 
a Sealing of wax or glue — and thus it goes 
forth into society at the cheap cost of half-a- 
Trown per gross. 

A squib is a nnniature representative of a 



large number of fireworks ; for the mixing of 
the composition, the making of the tube, and 
the filling, are the types of operation both on 
the large and the small scale. To a rocket 
there is a strong cylindrical cartridge case, to 
contain the composition which is to pi-oduce 
the projectile force by its explosion. Upon its 
upper extremity is fixed a conical case, also of 
paper, to contain the stars, or serpents, or 
crackers, which are to astonish the natives by 
their display when high up in the air. A 
pound rocket is perhaps an inch-and-a-half in 
diameter by fourteen and fifteen inclies long. 
The composition in the conical part differs 
from that in the cylindrical part chiefly in 
the addition of antimony or some metal which 
shall aid in producing the grand flare-up when 
the rocket has reached its greatest height. 
The filling and securing of the cases arc nice 
operations, requiring much care ; and when 
these are completed, the rocket is attached to 
a long wooden rod. This rod acts like the 
tail of a kite, or the feather of an arrow ; it 
preserves the line of direction during the 
rocket's flight. 

All such operations as these — the preparing 
of ingredients, the making of cases, the filluig, 
the sealing and touching — are carried on in 
the workshops of our Chevalier and his 
brother pyrotechnists ; where are also made 
the frames and wheels which are to support 
the largest fireworks. At the public gardens 
where such displays occur there is a subsidiary 
workshop, in which the tubes, and leaders, 
and fuzes, are adjusted to their proper places 
on the frames or scaffolding. And \ere it is 
interesting to observe how time becomes an 
element in the work. All the leaders, con- 
taining the match or fuze composition, are so 
adjusted in length that they shall convey the 
ignition to every spot at the exact instant 
required; else the banging of the crackers 
might commence before the beautiful star has 
done its shining work, or the rotation of a 
wheel might be so ill-timed as to burst the 
cracker. The appearance of the frame itself, 
with all the tubes and leadei's tied to it in 
various directions, would give a stranger very 
little idea of the ultimate forms and move- 
ments intended to be produced. 

In his mysterious plot of ground, with his 
frames, and rockets, and wheels, and maroons 
placed conveniently at hand, the monarch of 
the fiery region kindles the results of his 
labours, one by one, and off they go — amidst 
exclamations of the wildest delight bursting 
from thousands of upturned countenances. 
At length the National Anthem bursts forth, 
the last star faints and expires; and there 
is an end to the brilliant display of fire- 
works. 



''Familiar in their Months as HOUSEHOLD WORDS: 



SHAiCESPSAR*. 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 

A WEEKLY JOURML. 

CONDUCTED BY CHARLES DICKENS. 



Vol. VIII. 



McELRATH & BARKER, PUBLISHERS. 

Offick No. n Spkuck strbet, New York. 



Whole No. IS 2, 



CONVICTS IN THE GOLD REGIONS. 



On arriving at the main Sydney route from 
the town boundary of Melbourne — Melbourne 
famous, among other things, ever since it rose 
to fame two years ago, for no roads, or the 
"worst roads, or impassable sloughs, swamps, 
and rights of way through suburb wastes of 
bush, and boulder stones, and stumps of trees 
— leaving, I say, all these peculiarities be- 
hind, you suddenly arrive at the opening of 
the main road to Sydney, leading in a direct 
line to the village of Pentridge, the position 
of the Convict Stockade. This is the chief 
penal depot of the colony. _ 

The first thing that strikes you, after all 
you have gone through, is the excellence of 
the road, its directness, and its length. You 
look along a straight road, broad, well-formed, 
hard, ckan, with drains running along each 
side, protected (together with the lower edges 
of the road) by large boulder-stones and 
heavy logs at intervals, and the eye traverses 
along this to an unvarying distance of two 
miles and a quarter. There is no road to 
be compared with it in the colony, and the 
whole of this has been the product of convict 
labour, within the space of little more than 
two years and four or five months. Be it 
understood very great difficulties had to 
be overcome, in respect of swamps, huge 
etones, and large trees, and stumps with great 
roots. Nor was this the whole of the work 
performed by the convicts of Pentridge, a 
bridge and part of a road elsewhere having 
been constructed simultaneously; the bridge 
alone, if it had been built by free labour 
during 'these periods of high wages, being of 
the value of five thousand pounds. Whatever 
the saving as to cost, however, the value of a 
good road and a bridge to a new country like 
this is almost beyond calculation. I forget 
what practical philosopher it was who said, 
"The worst use you can put a man to is to 
hang him," but surely most people will readily 
admit that such a road as the above^in any 
country, and more especially in the coTony of 
Victoria, is not only fiir more useful, but a 
far more humane and sightly object than the 
gallows. 

The yjbad to Pentridge gradually and 
slightly rises till you reach the top, when a 
turn to the right brings you at once upon the 



ground of the Stockade, which lies in a hol- 
low a little below. A first impression does 
not convey any adequate impression of its 
strength, or general character as a penal 
establishment. You see several detached 
tents upon the higher ground, with a sentinel 
walking to and fro in front of them; and you 
look down upon a low-roofed, straggling 
range of buildings, something in appearance 
between an English country brewhouse, and 
a military outpost holding it in charge. De- 
scending the slope, and reaching the house of 
the superintendent, a square garden of cab- 
bages, and square beds of weeds mixed with 
flowers and shrubs (a type of most of the 
gardens since the discovery of the gold), is 
seen on' the other side of the horseway be- 
tween, with a green swampy field beyond, 
bounded by a long iron-grey wall of large 
loose stones, with a few trees to the right, 
and the head of a sentinel moving backwards 
and forwards — upon legs we assume — in the 
meadow or marsh below on the other side. 

Being left alone for a while under the 
wooden verandah of the house, the picture is 
further enlivened by the slow approach of a 
cow from a cow-house in the proximity of the 
cabbage square, which pauses and looks at 
me with a rueful and rather commiserating 
expression. She is pretty comfortable her- 
self, but she sees that I am a new comer, and 
wonders perhaps what I have done to be 
brought there. The place is all very silent ; 
so is the cow ; so of course am I. A dog now 
comes round the corner, and after looking at 
me, without barking or other demonstration, ' 
retires. I follo^v mechanically, and on turn- 
ing the angle of the house I come in view of 
what I had at first compared in my mind 
to a country brewhouse, which on a closer 
examination becomes formidable enough, pre- 
senting as it does very unmistakeable indica- 
tions of strength, precaution, and watchful 
vigilance, both within and without. No voice 
is heard ; nothing is heard but the clash of 
the chains of a gang of convicts passing across 
one of the yards. 

The Superintendent, Mr. Barrow, who is 
at the head of the penal establishments of 
the colony, appears, and on my making some 
allusion to the men in chains, gives me their 
collective history in a few words, which show- 
that the said chains are by no means un- 



50 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



fCcnducled ^ 



necessary ornaments. Most of the convicts 
have been, in one place or other, prisoners 
from childhood. They have been three times 
convicted at home ; first of all, whipped, per- 
haps, in the Parkhurst prison for juvenile 
oflfenders. After being exposed to the con- 
taminating influence of many more depraved 
than themselves they have been pardoned, 
and sent adrift on the world, worse than 
when they entered it. Again apprehended and 
convicted they have been sent to Pentonville, 
or some other prison. Liberated after years, 
again following a course of crime, and once 
more apprehended and convicted, they have 
been transported to Van Diemen's Land, or 
Norfolk Island. At each of these places, and 
in all their prisons, at home and abroad, the 
pet system of penal training and reform in 
use at the period has been tried, and all have 
failed. Obtaining their conditional pardons, 
after a certain number of years in Van 
Diemen's Land, or Norfolk Island, they have 
had it in their power to go with their ticket 
of leave to any of the Australian colonies. Of 
course they have made directly for Melbourne 
— first to the gold region of the diggins, 
and next to the more fixed gold region of the 
wealthy community in the town. Most of 
the crimes of these men — that is to say, ninety 
per cent, of them, have originated in England. 
They had their chief experience and training 
at home. They have committed every crime 
here, to obtain gold, which their previous 
knowledge, skill, and depravity could suggest 
— and here they are at last. 

It is night; a cold wind blows and a 
drizzling rain falls. An iron tongue, that is 
to say, a large bell in the Stockade, now 
announces that the time has arrived for all 
the prisoners to go to bed. A jingling of 
chains is heai-d as the several gangs pass 
across the yard, then a sound of the drawing 
of bolts, then silence. I cannot help specu- 
lating on the different sorts of suppressed 
ferocity in the faces of all these subdued 
human tigers, as they sit up on their wooden 
pallets, or look out from beneath their 
blankets. 

Dining with the Superintendent, and the 
chief officer in command of this department 
(an old army captain), we are waited upon by 
one of the aborigines, whose black face is 
without a single tint of negro brown. He 
is a prisoner of the Stockade, but in reward 
for a long period of gopd conduct, is en- 
trusted with this comparative degree of 
liberty. He understands enough English — 
chiefly nouns, with a few morsels of verbs— 
to wait very well; and though in his training 
he let fall or otherwise demolished a fearful 
amount of plates, glasses, and other strange 
and wondrous domestic articles which were 
previously unknown to his hands or eyes, he 
has now attained sufficient skill to avoid all 
such disasters. But he has his many old 
misfortunes of this kind in constant memory, 
and is full of dreadful apprehensions at every 



feat he performs. AVhen he places a de- 
canter of wine on the table, he remains a 
second or two with glaring eyes, and slowly 
withdrawing his open hands from both sides, 
ready to catch it in case it should take a fit 
of tumbling over as he walks away. He has 
an awful look of care in handing me a large 
dish of smoking potatoes. It seems like a 
solemn rite to an idol. I do not dare to 
glance up at his face. His constant care and 
watchfulness are extraordinary, and he ob- 
viously possesses far more intelligence than 
the aborigines of Australia are generally 
believed capable of acquiring. Mr. Barrow 
informs me that he is really in all ordinary 
respects a very good and trusty servant, and 
that he has never been known to tell an 
untruth. 

But the picture I have formed in my imagi- 
nation, of all those fierce convicts in their 
chains — which are not taken off even at 
night — sitting up in their dens, or scowling 
up from beneath their blankets, still haunting 
me, I feel obliged to communicate my wish 
to Mr. BaiTOw to be permitted, if not con- 
trary to rules, to pay them a passing visit 
forthwith. My wish being courteously ac- 
corded, I accompany the captain to the gate 
of the Stockade, and having passed this, and 
the armed sentinels, I find myself in a sort of 
barrack-yard, to appearance, with store- 
rooms at each side, having strong narrow 
doors, immense iron bolts, and an iron grating 
above for ventilation. The captain informs 
me that the stores are not thus protected to 
prevent anybody from walking off with them, 
but to render it almost impossible for the 
stores themselves to escape. These strong 
rooms are, in fact, the wards, or dormitories 
of the convicts. Being invited to look in upon 
them, I appronch one of these bolted doors. 
A square shutter is unfastened and pushed 
aside by the captain, and displays an iron 
grating through which I look at the irre 
claimablcs in their lairs. How absurdly 
different is the realit}' from the picture I had 
framed in my imagination ! Over a large 
room are distributed on stretchers, or other 
raised surface, and all so close together as 
only to allow of space for passage round each, 
a number of bundles of bedding, apparently, 
each enveloped in a grey and blue chequered 
coverlid of the same pattern. The bales or 
bundles are without motion or sound ; no 
voice is heard, no head or foot is visible. Each 
bundle contains the huddled up form of a 
convict, who adopts this plan to obtain the 
greatest degree of warmth. Some arc, no 
doubt, asleep ; many wide awake, and full of 
peculiar thoughts : and perhaps even of fresh 
plans, should they ever again got a chance. 
What a volume of depraved life, what a 
prison-history lies enfolded in each of those 
moveless coverlids! There is absolutely 
nothing more to be seen, and we pass on to 
the next door. It is very much the same. 

A third ward, however, presents a difference, 



CUiTlei Dickens.] 



CONVICTS IN THE GOLD REGIONS. 



61 



the sleeping places being built up in separate 
berths, formed of cross battens, like very 
strong wooden cages for bears. The occu- 
pants of the upper tier ascend by means of a 
wooden bracket which juts out about half 
way up. Here I did see one foot protruding, 
belonging probably to some tall man who 
was not in irons. A lanthorn is suspended 
from the centre of the roof, by a cord which 
is passed over a pulley, and runs through a 
hole above the door, so that the guard can 
raise it or lower it at any time during the 
night without opening the door. When the 
light needs trimming, the lanthorn being 
lowered, one of the prisoners, whose turn it 
is, has to get up and attend to it. The gleam 
it sheds is very melancholy, almost funereal. 
Hard natures, indeed, must they be, who, 
lying awake sometimes in the night, are not 
softened to a few serious thoughts or emotions 
as the}'- look around them ; but hard no 
doubt the}' are, and most of them of the 
hardest. 

The Superintendent has work to do in his 
office — letters, reports, calculations, ac- 
counts, &c. ; he becomes absent and taciturn, 
and I betake myself to bed. Throughout the 
^vhole night, I am awakened every half hour 
by the Stockade bell, and am five times in- 
formed, by the different voices of five sen- 
tinels, heard in succession from different points 
of the building, near and remote, that " all's 
welU" After the sixth or seventh round of 
this, however, I get used to it, and drop to 
sleep again after hearing the satisfactory 
announcerftent. 

Early in the morning, Billy — the aboriginal 
— comes bolt into my room with my boots in 
one hand, and a jug of hot water in the 
other. He neither utters a word, nor looks at 
me (except in a way he has with his eyeballs 
turnQdfrom me), but places the boots on the 
floor, hovering with one hand over them in 
case either of them should fall sideways, and 
then sets the jug upon the dressing-table. 
He stares at it with a warning, or rather a 
threatening, look, when, seeing that it stands 
firmly, his gloomy features relax, and he 
departs as abruptly as he entered. 

At seven o'clock the bell calls the convicts 
to a general muster in the principal yard, 
preparatory to the different gangs being 
marched off to their various descriptions of 
M-ork. Mr. Barrow accompanies me into the 
yard. We pass through the little narrow 
massive gate, and I am at once in the presence 
of the thrice picked and sifted incorrigibles 
of the mother country and her Australian 
colonies. Sentinels, with loaded muskets, 
patrol the outskirts of the yard, and officers 
and constables armed with truncheons stand 
on guard outside the ranks. Many of the 
convicts have irons on their legs, but the 
majority are quite free, and can "make a 
rush " if they will. 

The convicts are ranged like a regiment of 
soldiers at muster, the rear ranks taking 



open order. The}'' are all dressed in the 
usual grey, or dark pepper-and-salt coarsu 
cloth. The yard is quite silent, and the 
names are called over. None of the black 
sheep are missing. I look along the ranks 
from face to face — with apparent indifierence, 
casually, and with as little offence or purpose 
in my gaze as possible ; and I am qui'te sure 
that it is not from knowing what they are, but 
really from a genuine impression of what is 
written by the fingers of experience in very 
marked lines and characters, and fluctuating 
or fixed shades, that I am persuaded there is 
not one good face among them. No, not one. 
On the contrary, nearly every face is ex- 
tremely bad. I go over them all again in the 
same casual, purposeless way (they are not 
deceived by it a bit), and I feel satisfied that 
a worse set of fellows never stood in a row 
than those before me. Beneath that silent 
outwardly subdued air there is the manifest 
lurking of fierce, depraved, remorseless 
spirits, ready with the first chance to rush 
away into the course of crime that brought 
them here. By this time they are all 
at work upon me, quietly speculating on 
who I am, what I want, and if my visit 
portends anything to them. The yard is 
covered with loose stones of broken granite ; 
and I notice close to my feet, and looking up 
directly into my face, a magpie. He also, 
holding his head on one side interrogatively, 
seems to ask my business here. I take a 
fresh breath as I look down at the little 
thing, as the only relief to the oppressive 
sense of prison doom that pervades the heavj 
scene. 

The different working gangs are now 
marched off, about twenty at a time, with a 
sufficient interval both of time and distance 
between each, in case of a combination for a 
rush. Some go to work at building, some on 
the roads, some to the bridges, some to shoe- 
making, carpentering, &c. Tramp — tramp — 
tramp— with a jingle of irons— and they are 
all gone, and the little, narrow, massive gate 
is closed. The yard is vacant and silent, with 
nothing to be seen but the magpie hopping 
over the broken granite, and nothing now to 
be heard but the faint retiring jingle of the 
chains, the low continuous quire of the frogs 
in the swamp, and the distant lowing of a 
forlorn cow. 

It will have been evident before this, that 
everything is conducted here on a fixed sys- 
tem, rigidly and undeviatingly enforced, and 
that this is perfectly necessary, considering 
the subjects that have to be dealt with. No 
loud voice of command is ever heard, and 
the Superintendent has strictly forbidden all 
strong language on the part of the various 
officers and constables; the convicts are all 
controlled by the Stockade bell. When the 
bell orders them to come forth, they come 
forth; when the bell orders them to retire, 
they retire ; if they are talking after retiring 
to rest, and the bell rings for silence, they are- 



53 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



rCondnrted 1>« 



heard jio more. Thus, all sense of personal 
tyrannies, and all special animosities, are 
avoided; the convicts feel they are under 
the spell of a sort of iron fate, a doom with 
an iron tongue — they are subdued and sur- 
rounded by an ever-vigilant and inflexible 
system, and they submit in spite of their will 
not to submit. 

Mr. Barrow has been engaged in this 
■ anxious, painful, and unresting work these 
twelve long years — first in Norfolk Island, 
then in Van Diemen's Land, finally placed over 
Pentridge Stockade, the head-quarters of all 
the penal establishments of the colony. Of 
all public officers, there is probably not one 
whose duties are so full of sleepless anxieties, 
and so imperfectly appreciated (partly be- 
cause they are but little known), as those he 
performs with such rigid constancy. 

I have taken a stroll round the outskirts 
of the Stockade, and, while gazing over the 
swampy fields, now wearing the green tints 
of the fresh grass of winter which is near at 
hand, and thence turning my gaze to the 
bush in the distance, with its uncouth and 
lonely appearance, I hear the jingle of chains 
to the left of where I am standing, and pre- 
sently I see winding round the road a gang 
of convicts on their way to work at a bridge. 
They are succeeded by another gang ; and, at 
the same interval, by a third. I am instantly 
and forcibly reminded of the string of con- 
victs whom Don Quixote met and set at 
liberty, driving away their guards, taking off 
their fetters, and making them a noble 
speech ; in return for which they ran off scoff- 
ing and hooting, and saluting their deliverer 
with a volley of stones. I never before felt 
so strongly the truthfulness of this scene. 
Here are a set of men who would have done 
— and who would this very day do — the same 
thing to any eccentric philanthropist in a 
broad-brimmed hat who should set them free 
and make them an address on liberty and 
humanity. So true may fiction be in the 
hands of genius. 

Other convict establishments have been 
alluded to, which consist of two smaller 
stockades, and the hulks which are lying in 
Hobson's Bay. The -stockades being con- 
ducted in the same manner as the one just 
described, it will be unnecessary to particu- 
ladze them, but I at once accept Mr. Barrow's 
obliging offer to take me on board the prison 
ships. We mount his gig and drive off. 

On the way to Melbourne, through the 
bush, I ask many questions of the Superin- 
tendent — as to the growth of corn and cab- 
bages — the latter, with other vegetables, being 
expensive luxuries in Melbourne. I also ask 
if the convicts can be trusted with edge tools, 
out of sight of the guards, or in sight ? Is a 
funeral of one of them at all a melancholy 
Bight to the others? and so forth. To these 
questions, I only receive monosyllabic replies, 
and often no reply ; I half expect to get an 
answer from the distant bell. The Super- 



intendent scarcely hears me ; his mind is 
away at Pentridge, or on board one of his 
hulks. We pass through Melbourne, cross 
the bridge, and make our way along the 
muddy road to Liardet's Beach. I am indis- 
creet enough to ask a lew more questions, 
but the anxious and absorbed look of the 
Superintendent shows me that he is "absent 
from the gig, drive as well as he may, and I 
giva it up. We arrive at the beach, and put 
off in the Government boat. 

It is a long pull, and by no means a very 
lively one, for it is pretty clear that everybody 
in the boat feels a certain sort of cloud over 
his spirits from the serious business all are 
upon ; but the sky is clear and bright, and I 
am soon in quite as absent a state as my friend 
the Superintendent, though it is probable that 
our thoughts are not in the same direction. 

We first pull on board a hulk, a new one, 
to meet the rapidly increasing exigencies of 
the gold fields, which is being " fitted up " as 
a convict ship. From the magnitude and 
strength of the wooden bars, rails, and battens, 
one might imagine that it was intended for 
young elephants, buffaloes, and wild boars. 
But I am assured by one of the wardens that 
they arc not at all too strong. From this 
we row away to the prison ship for sailors — 
not convicts, but refractory. This word re- 
fractory includes all the offences of running 
away to the gold fields on the very first chance 
after the vessel drops her anchor in the bay, 
or of refusing their duty, or otherwise mis- 
conducting themselves while on board, with 
a view to distracting and overthrowing all 
arrangements for a most difficult port, and 
escaping in the confusion. To this hulk many 
captains of vessels have been obliged to send 
half their crews as soon as they have entered 
the harbour, and several have even adopted 
the more resolute plan of sending the whole 
crew off to prison at once, on the first show 
of insubordination, and keeping them there. 

From the refractory, would-be gold-digging 
sailors' prison we push off for Williams' 
Town, and land near the light-house, at a 
little boat-pier of loose stones now in course 
of erection by a gang of convicts sent ashore 
for the purpose. Guards with loaded muskets 
patrol on the outskirts. It is a most useful 
work, and the extremity towards the water 
being made circular, for a small saluting 
battery, may serve to salute in another way, 
if there should ever be need. We pass from 
the pier to other works of building, drainage, 
and so on, all performed by convict labour : 
Mr. Barrow attending to his duties, and leaving 
me to stroll about and observe what I may, 
and judge for myself To sum up all this in 
two words, I cannot perceive that the con- 
victs have one spark of manly shame at their 
position ; but I do most certainly observe that, 
without any hard words from the overseers, 
or the least personal violence (which would 
not for a moment be allowed), they do twice 
as much work in an hour as double the 



Charles Dickens.] 



CONVICTS IN THE GOLD REGIONS. 



53 



number of free Government labourers get 
through in a day. The chief reason seems to 
me to be that the convicts are thinking of 
their work as an agreeable relief after solitary 
confinement, and are glad to use their limbs ; 
whereas the free labourers are thinking of the 
gold fields, and how to get ten shillings a day 
for doing nothing, until they are able to be oflf 
to the diggings. 

The Superintendent now rejoins me, and 
carrying me along with him at a brisk pace, 
informs me that we are*going on board the 
President, his principal convict hulk. This 
prison-ship contains the worst of the worst — 
men who cannot be trusted to work at any- 
thing — who pass their time in solitary con- 
finement and in irons, excepting an hour's 
exercise on deck, when they are also hand- 
cuffed together — men for whom the Stockade 
of Pentridge is not an adequate protection — 
" the crtme de la crtme^'' Mr. Barrow says, " of 
the prisons of the mother country and her 
Australian colonies." 

We ascend to the deck, where the vessel, 
a little in front of the gangway, is separated 
by massive iron bars of some ten or eleven 
feet high from the rest of the ship. .The Su- 
perintendent leaves me, as before, to attend 
to his duties of inspection, &c,, but the chief 
officer in command (whose name I am rather 
uncomfortably startled at finding to be the 
same as my own) places me in charge of one of 
the head wardens, to accompany me where I 
wish to go. Of course I at once express a 
desire to pass through the great iron bars of 
this terrible cage, and to go below and see the 
crtirie de la crtme. 

We enter, and descend the ladder to the 
main-deck. There is very little to be seen of a 
kind to make a picture, or a bit of description 
— in fact, nothing — all is in a state of severe, 
quiet, orderly, massive simplicity. The main 
deck is reduced to a passage, with rows of 
cells of immense strength on each side. The 
name of the occupant of the cell is written on 
a placard outside — with his crime, and the 
number of years for which he is sentenced. 
The great majority of offences are robbery 
with violence, and the term of imprisonment 
varies from five to twenty years. As I read 
I cannot say I at all envy the snug berth of 
my namesake in command. I feel that I 
would far rather be the Wandering Jew, or 
the captain of the Flying Dutchman. The 
cells are very like clean dens for wild beasts 
— their huge solid timbers and ironwork 
being quite strong enough for lions and tigers, 
bears and rhinoceroses, but not more so than 
necessary — so strong, so wilful, so resolute, 
and so unconquerable is man in his last stage 
of depravity. I express a desire to have the 
door opened of a certain cell, where the placard 
outside exercises a grim attraction upon me ; 
but the warden at my side informs me that the 
convicts here are all under prolonged punish- 
ment, and my namesake does not consider it 
right to make a show of them. " Oh, indeed," 



I say — "very proper." — "Not," adds the 
warden, "that it would hurt their feelings in 
any way ; they are always too glad of any 
opportunity of having the door opened. We 
do not open it even at meal times ; we push 
their allowance through a trap with a slide, 
wiiich is instantly closed again and bolted." — 
What a life for all parties ! 

I hear some of the prisoners singing in a 
low voice, and others holding a conversation 
between their partitions of four or five inches 
thick. To avoid some of the mental evils 
of long solitary confinement, they are wisely 
acid humanely permitted to do this, provided 
no noise is made, or any loud tones audible. 
In an equally wise spirit Mr. Barrow has 
arranged a kind of prospect of amelioration; 
a degree of hope, well founded, however re- 
mote, is open to all. A certain number of 
years of good conduct here, gives the vilest 
ruflSan of former times a fair prospect of re- 
moval to one of the Stockades; a certain 
number of years of good conduct there, gives 
him the probability of further promotion: 
namely, to work at some trade, or to go {^ 
large as a house servant and to attend in the 
yards ; while, as a final result of many years 
of good conduct, he gets his ticket of leave to 
go where he pleases in the colony. Many do 
really reform, and lead decent lives thencor 
forth; some rush away to the gold fields— 
not to dig, but to plunder — and are back 
again heavily ironed, on board this dreadful 
prison-ship, in less than three months. The 
fresh term of punishment in these final of 
all final cases is twenty, or even thirty years, 
I inquire if they sink into utter hopeless dec 
spondency in such cases. " No ; only for the 
first week or two. After that they are again 
scheming, and plotting, and looking forward 
to some chance of escape." 

I hear a regular tramp going round over^ 
head, accompanied by a jingling of chains. 
The warden informs me that ten of the con- 
victs are now on deck for an hour's exercise. 
Only ten at a time are ever allowed to be out 
of their cells, none of these being ever trusted 
to go ashore to work, or to work at anything 
on board. I immediately go upon deck to have 
one look at the Superintendent's crtme de la 
crtme. 

The ten men are all attired in the pepper- 
and-salt convict dress, with irons on their legs, 
and handcuffed together, two and two, as they 
walk round and round. the main hatchway. 
I make no pretence of not looking at them ; 
and they make none as to me. There is 
nothing violent or ferocious in the appearance 
of any of them ; the predominating impres- 
sion they convey is that of brutal ignorance, 
grossness, and utter absence of the sense of 
shame. The one who has most sense in his 
countenance is a dark, quiet, determined, 
patient villain, equal to any atrocity or daring. 
His look, as he comes round and faces me, 
never changes ; most of the rest have some 
slight fluctuations. Presently they begin to 



oi 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



whisper each other ; and one makes a remark 
and passes it on ; and presently they begin to 
exchange jokes, and indulge in a high degree 
of noiseless merriment at their own obser- 
vation, speculations, and comments, until it 
becomes quite apparent that I am getting the 
worst of it. I retire with a modest uncon- 
scious air, which seems to delight them 
immensely. 

Ironed, barricaded, and guarded, as these 
men are, they sometimes attempt an escape, 
though without success. Their chief hope 
often turns upcp bribing one of the wardens ; 
for these prisoners — settled for life as they 
may be — have really the means of bribing. 
Most of them have gold in Melbourne in care 
of a friend, or in the banks, or secreted at 
some of the diggings. 

THE MERCHANT'S HEART. 



Matthias, the Levantine merchant, had 
spent his whole life, from his boy-time 
upward, in travelling for the sake of gain, to 
the East and to the West, and to the islands of 
the South Seas. He had returned to his native 
place. Tarsus, in the full vigour of manhood, 
and was reported to have amassed great 
wealth. His first step was to make a prudent 
call upon the governor, and to present him 
with a purse and a string of pearls, in order 
to bespeak his good- will. He then built him- 
self a spacious palace in the midst of a garden 
on the borders of a stream, and began to lead 
a quiet life, resting after the fatigues of his 
many voyages. Most persons considered him 
to be the happiest of merchants ; but those 
who were introduced to his intimacy knew 
that his constant companions were thought 
and sadness. When he had departed in his 
youth, he had left his father, and his mother, 
and his brothers, and his sisters in health, 
although poor; but, when he returned in 
hopes to gild the remainder of their days, 
he found that the hand of death had fallen 
upon them every one, and that there was no 
one to share his prosperity: and a blight 
came over his heart. 

The gossips in the bazaars soon began to talk 
of his case, and it was then' that Hanna the 
Christian tailor one day said in a loud voice 
to his opposi-te neighbour the Jewish money- 
changer, " I will lay the value of my stock 
that the merchant Matthias will find conso- 
lation in marriage ; that he will choose the 
most beautiful of our maidens ; and that he 
will found a famil}'- which shall be celebrated 
in this city as long as its prosperity endures." 
To this the Jew replied : " What is the value 
of thy stock? Three jackets returned upon 
thy hands, a rusty pair of scissors, an old stool, 
and some bundles of thread? Verily the risk 
is not great." The Christian said a prayer or 
two to himself, that he might not curse his 
neighbour, and then answered : " I will 
throw in Zarifeh, the ebony-black girl whom 
I bought last spring to foUow my wife v.'hen 



she goes out with the little Gorges to the 
gardens. What sayest thou now?" 

The Jew pondered awhile, leaning his grey 
beard on the breast of his caftan. He re- 
membered that forty years before he, too, had 
returned from travel with his money-bags, 
and had found his house desolate ; and that 
he had devoted himself ever since to moody 
reflection, and to the heaping of malibouh 
upon malibouh. The thought had therefore 
become fixed in his mind that when the middle 
time of life comes, there can remain no affec- 
tion in the heart, either of Christian, or of 
Jew, or of Mahommadan, but for gold. So he 
said : " Let the odds be equal. I will venture 
five hundred pieces against thy five hundred 
pieces, that within five years the merchant 
Matthias does not take to his bosom a wife." 
"Agreed!" cried the Christian. The neigh- 
bours were called in as witnesses, and every 
one laughed at the absurdity of the dispute 

Matthias was not long in learning that a 
wager had been laid upon his future life ; and, 
in passing through the bazaar, he stopped one 
day and said sternly to the Christian tailor: 
" Son of rashness, why hast thou risked more 
than the whole of thy havings upon a matter 
which is only known to Heaven? I have 
looked upon all the maidens of my people, 
and no emotion has stirred within me. Verily 
thou wilt become a prey to this Jew." 

" My lord," replied the tailor, smiling, " it is 
impossible for a good man to remain all his 
life alone. If thou wilt come to my house and 
see my wife and my little Gorges dancing in 
the arms of the ebooy-black girl, Zarifeh, thou 
wilt surely relent and seek at once to be as I 
am. Perhaps thou hast not well looked around 
thee. There is Miriam, the daughter of our 
baker, who is of majestic presence, being as 
big as thyself. She will suit thee to a hair ; 
and, if thou desirest, my wife shall make 
proposals for thee this afternoon." Matthias 
laughed and frowned, and went on, and the 
Jew chuckling in his beard said : " Hanna, 
for how much wilt thou free thyself from thy 
wager ? Wilt thou pay a hundred pieces and 
let all be said?" But the Christian replied: 
'' In five years Saint Philotea wore away a 
stone as big as this stool with her kisses and 
her tears — in five j^ears the heart of this man 
may melt." 

Matthias went not on his way unmoved 
after his conversation with the Christian 
tailor. He began to think that perhaps, 
indeed, he was wearing away his life uselessly 
in solitude. There was certainl}"- no beauty 
and no satisfaction in that manner of being. 
It was better to take to himself a companion. 
But where find her? Amongst all the frivolous 
daughters of Tarsus, was there one with whom 
he would not be more lonely than with him- 
self? Their mothers had taught them 
nothing but love of dress, and love of them- 
selves. How could their capricious and 
selfish natures find pleasure in communion 
with a man whom this world had sore tried. 



Charles Dicken*.] 



THE MERCHANT'S HEART. 



55 



and who wished to wait in meekness and in 
pati'jnce for the world to come '{ 

These meditations disturbed Matthias, but 
they did not render hiui more unhapp3^ They 
occupied his mind ; they relieved the mono- 
tony of his existence ; they prevented hira 
from always turning his eyes inward upon 
himself ; they forced him to look abroad. He 
went to the houses of his friends and once 
more studied the perfections or imperfections 
of their daughters. His object was so mani- 
fest, that the joke went round t lat he wished 
to save the Christian tailor from ruin. People 
jested with the Jew as they brought in their 
money to change. But although Matthias 
saw many beautiful girls who threw the 
glances of their almond-shaped eyes encou- 
ragingly towards him, he saw none that pleased 
his heart ; and suddenly retiring from society, 
shut himself up for a whole year in his palace, 
seeing nobody, and taking back melancholy 
and discontent for his only companions. 

At length Matthias began to feel the desire 
of change, and made it a practice every morn- 
ing to have his mule saddled and to ride out to 
the ba^e of the mountains ; and, then putting 
foot to ground to wander until evening 
amidst the rocks and valleys. On one occasion 
he went so far that he could not return to 
where he had lefc his mule and servant before 
night-fall, and lost his way. After going 
hither and thither for some time, he was com- 
pelled to seek the shelter of a cave, and to 
wait until morning. Sleep overtook him, and 
he did not wake until the sun's rays slanting 
in through the cleft of the rock, played upon 
his eye-lids. He got up ; and, having said 
his prayers, went forth and beheld a beautiful 
green meadow stretching along the banks of 
a stream which came from a nai-row gorge 
at no great distance. He did not recognise 
his whereabouts and v/as doubtful of finding 
his way back, until he saw, at the further 
end of the meadow, some object moving 
rapidly to and fr-o. It was a young girl 
chasing a cow that had escaped from her, and 
ran with a cord tangled about his horns in 
the direction of Matthias. " Ah !" said he, " I 
will catch this unruly animal, and then make 
its keeper point out to me the direction of 
Tarsus." So he tucked up his robes ; and, 
being strong and vigorous, soon came up to 
the cow that was wantonly galloping hitiier 
and thither, and brought it to a stand-still. 
" May blessings Hght upon thy sturdy arms, 
stranger," exclaimed the girl, running up 
out of breath, and unwinding the rope 
from the cow's horns ; " If Naharah had 
escaped they would have beaten me." 

" And who could find it in his heart to beat 
thee, child ?" said the merchant, as he looked 
at her and wondered at her delicate loveliness. 

" The fathers," she rephed, pulling Naharah 
in the direction she wanted to go. " Triple 
blessings upon thee, again I say, stranger!" 

Matthias forgot all about Tarsus, and 
walk© I by the side of the girl, asking ques- 



tions of her. He learned that she was the 
bond-maiden of a monastery situated in those 
mountains, and that her duty was to take out 
the cows, and especially this one, every morn- 
ing to the pasturage. " Do not follow me," 
said she, when they came to the entrance of 
the gorge from which the stream flowed ; 
" for I am forbidden to talk with those whom 
I may meet." Matthias thought awhile, and 
then bade her adieu, having learned what 
path he was to follow, and returned to his 
palace full of nothing but the image of this 
simple bond-maiden. 

" Verily," said he to himself next morning, 
" I forgot to ask the name of that girl. I 
must learn it, in order that I may send her a 
recompense." Under this poor pretence ho 
mounted his mule and rode towards the 
mountains, and began his walk at the usual 
place, and repaired to the cave and passed 
the night there, and was out on the meadow 
before dawn. He soon saw four or five cows 
driven out of the gorge, and the girl follow- 
ing them, leading the frolicsome Naharah. 
" There is no need for thee to-day, stranger," 
said she smiling playfully, " unless thou wilt 
di-ive my herd down to the water to drink, 
and take care that the black one goes in first, 
or else she will gore the others." Upon this, 
Matthias took the branch of a tree and began 
to cry, " Hoo ! hoo!" like a herdsman, and to 
beat the flanks of the black cow, which 
scampered away, and led him a long chase 
round the meadow ; so that he did not come 
back until all the other animals had taken 
their morning drink, and the girl was sitting 
on the bank laughing at him, and wreathing 
a crown of flowers to deck the horns of 
Naharah. 

" Thou dost not know thy new business," 
said she, to Matthias, as he came up out of 
breath ; whereupon he began to curse the 
cow which had led him that dance, and to 
think that he had made himself ridiculous 
in the eyes of the girl. However, they were 
soon sitting side by side in pleasant talk, and 
the merchant learned that the name of the 
bond-maiden was Carine. 

By this time he had quite made up his mind 
to marry her if she would have him ; but, 
although reflecting upon his wealth and her 
poverty, it seemed scarcely probable that she 
should refuse, his modesty was so great that 
he dared not venture to talk of love. They 
parted early, and Matthias went away, pro- 
mising to return on the morrow. He did so ; 
and for many weeks continued these meetings 
in which, for the first time since his youth, he 
found real happiness. At length, one day he 
took courage, and told Carine that he intended 
to take her away and marry her, and make 
her the mistress of his wealth. " My lord," 
said she, with simple surprise, " has madness 
stricken thee? Dost thou not know that lam 
a bond-maiden, and that there is no power 
that can free me ?" 

" Money can free thee, child," said Matthias. 



66 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted bjr 



" Not SO ;" replied she, " for it is an ancient 
privilege of this monastery that bondsmen 
and bondswomen shall for ever appertain to 
it. If any freeman casts his eyes upon one of 
us, and desires to marry her, he must quit 
his state and become a slave, he and his de- 
scendants for ever, to the morkastery. This 
is why I was not married last year to 
Skandar, the porker, who offered twenty pigs 
for my freedom, but who refused to give up 
his liberty." Matthias internally thanked 
Heaven for having given an independent 
spirit to the porker, and rephed, smiling, 
"Believe me, Carine, that the fathers love 
money — they all do — and I shall purchase 
thee as my wife." 

" It is nonsense," said she, shaking her 
head, " they refused twenty pigs." 

" I will give twenty sacks of gold, baby," 
cried Matthias, enraged at her obstinacy. 
Carine replied, that she was not worth 
so much ; and that, if she were, it was of 
no use talking of the matter, for the fathers 
would not sell her. "By Saint Maron !" 
exclaimed Matthias, " I can buy their whole 
monastery." 

He was mistaken. The monastery of Se- 
lafka was the richest in all the East, and the 
head of it was the most self-willed of men. He 
cut short the propositions of the perchant — 
who went straight to him that very day — by 
saying that on no account could the liberty of 
Carine be granted. " If thou wouldst marry 
her," said he, looking, as Matthias thought, 
more wicked than a demon, " thou must give 
up all thy wealth to us, and become our 
bondsman." With this answer the lover went 
sadly away, and returned to Tarsus, saying to 
himself, " It is impossible for me to give up, 
not only the gains of all ray life, but even ray 
liberty, for the sake of this cow-girl. I must 
try to forget her." 

So he went back among his friends, and 
began again to walk in the bazaars. 
When the Jew saw him, he cried out, " Hail, 
oh wise man, that will not burthen him- 
self with the society of a woman !" But 
the merchant frowned black upon him, and 
turned away ; and, to the surprise of all 
the neighbours, went and sat down by the 
side of the Christian tailor, and, taking his 
hand, whispered to him ; " Close thy shop, 
my friend, and lead me, that I may see, 
as thou didst promise, thy wife and thy 
child." 

" Which child ?" said the tailor. " I have 
now three. Gorges, Lisbet, and Ilanna." 

" All of them," said Matthias : " and also 
the ebony-black girl, Zarifeh." 

"Oh!" said the tailor, "I have set her 
free, and she is married to the pudding-seller, 
round the corner." 

" It seems," said Matthias to himself, " that 
it is the law of Heaven that every one shall 
marry." 

The tailor shut up his shop and took the 
merchant home and showed him his domestic 



wealth ; — that is to say, his pretty wife, his 
three stout children, and a coal-black girl 
called Zara, who was kneading dough in the 
court-yard. "My friend," said Matthias, 
" what wouldst thou do if the powerful were 
to say to thee, thou must be deprived of all 
this, or else lose thy liberty and become a 
slave." 

" Liberty is sweet," replied the tailor, shrug- 
ging his shoulders ; " yet some live without 
it ; but none can live without love." 

Upon this the merchant went back to his 
palace and mounted his mule and rode to the 
monastery, where he found the court-yard full 
of people. " I am come," said he to one of 
the fathers whom he met in the gateway, 
" to give up my liberty and my wealth for the 
sake of Carine." 

" It is too late," was the replj'- ; Skandar, 
the porker, has just driven in all his pigs, and 
they are putting the chain upon his neck in 
the chapel, and all these people that thou 
seest collected are to be witnesses of his 
marriage with Carine." 

Matthias smote his breast with his hands, 
and the sides of his mule with his heels, and 
galloped through the crowd shouting out 
that nobody should be made a slave that day 
but he. The chief of the monastery, cm 
learning what was the matter, smiled and 
said, " that the porker had a previous claim ;" 
but the monks, who, perhaps, looked forward 
to the enjoyments which the merchant's 
wealth would afford them, ingeniously sug- 
gested that he had the best claim who had 
hesitated least. Carine's opinion was asked ; 
and she, seeing both of her suitors resolved, 
heartlessly condemned the enamoured porker 
to liberty, and said : " Let the chain be put 
upon the neck of the raerchant." The cere- 
raony was iniraediately performed ; and, whilst 
the head of the convent was preparing to 
begin the more interesting rite of the mar- 
riage, brother Boag, the treasurer of the 
monastery, set off to take an inventory of the 
wealth which had just fallen under his 
jurisdiction. 

It is said that Matthias never gave a 
single thought to his lost property, being 
too much absorbed in contemplating the 
charms of the beautiful Carine. The only 
stipulation he made was, that he should be 
allowed to go out to the' pasturages with 
her ; and, next morning he found himself 
in sober seriousness helping to drive Naharah 
and its companions down to the water's 
side. 

Meanwhile the Governor of Tarsus heard 
what had happened to Matthias, and was 
stricken with rage, and caused his mule to be 
saddled and his guards to be mounted, and 
set forth to the monastery and summoned the 
chief, spying, " Know, Monk, that Matthias 
is my friend ; and it cannot be that he shall 
be thy slave, and that all his wealth shall be 
transferred from my city to thy monastery. 
He is a liberal citizen, and I may not lose him 



CluirlM Diekeiu.] 



NOTHING LIKE LEATHER 



57 



from amongst us." The Governor spoke thus 
by reason of certain loans without interest 
and presents (over and above the purse and 
the string of pearls which the merchant had 
presented at his first coming), with which 
Matthias had freely obliged the Governor: 
who also hoped a continuance of the same. 
Whereupon the chief of the monastery hid 
his hands and was humbled ; and the Go- 
vernor and he parted with a good under- 
standing and agreement. 

It fell out, therefore, that after a month of 
servitude Matthias and his bride were called 
before an assembly of the whole monastery, 
and informed that the conditions imposed 
were simply for the sake of trial. Nearly all 
the wealth of the merchant was restored to 
him, and he was liberated and led back amidst 
applauding crowds to his palace at Tarsus. 
Of course he made a liberal donation to the 
monastery, over and above a round sum which 
Boag the treasurer had not found it in his 
heart to return with the rest. B.ing a just 
and generous man, he not only relieved the Jew 
from the consequences of his wager, but made 
such presents to the Christian tailor, that he 
had no longer any need to ply the needle for 
his livelihood. Tradition dilates with delight 
on the happiness which Carine bestowed on 
her husband ; who used always to say, " that 
with wealth or without wealth, with liberty 
or without liberty, she was sufficient to bring 
content into any house, and to make the 
sternest heart happy." 

j NOTHING LIKE LEATHER. 

It is time that Leather — the tough old 
veteran whose fame extends far and wide 
— should look to his laurels. He is from 
time to time attacked by a number of annoy- 
ing antagonists, who saucily threaten to 
" put him down." Once it is Papier Mach J, 
a conglomerated paste-like stripling, who 
claims a toughness and lightness of his own, 
without the solid consistency of Leather. At 
another time it is young Carton Pierre, a 
native of France, who presents a substance 
built up of paper and plaster. But the veteran 
has had more formidable attacks from two 
other interlopei-s — Meer India Rubber and 
Shah Gutta Percha ; these boast so much of 
their elasticity, their toughness, their inde- 
structibility, and every other corporeal and 
corpuscular excellence, that Leather has had 
as much as he can do to maintain his ground 
i agai-nst them. It is well, therefore, to know, 
j that tough old Leather does not mean to give 
' up the contest. He will fight his battle yet, 
and shows a disposition to carry the contest 
into the enemy's country. Already we find 
ladies making leather picture frames and 
leather adornments of various kinds for their 
i apartments ; and we perceive that saloons 
and galleries are once again, as in times of 
yore, exhibiting leather tapestries. We find, 
too, architects and decorators acknowledging 



that leather may be accepted as a fitting and 
graceful means of embellishment in many 
cases where carved wood would otherwise be 
used. 

A leather tapestry is not a curtain hanging 
loose, like the arras or Gobelin hangings ; but 
it is stretched on canvas, and made to form 
the panels of a room ; the stiles or raised 
portions being of oak or some other kmd of 
wood. Such was generally the case in the old 
leather tapestries, and such it is in those 
now produced ; but the mode of use is sus- 
ceptible of much variation; since the gilding, 
and stamping, and painting of the leather 
are independent of the mode of fixing. These 
tough old garments, to keep the \j'alls warm, 
were known in early times to an extent which 
we now little dream of. 

As a wall-covering, leather presents great 
advantages ; not only from its durability and 
its power of resisting damp, but from its 
facility of being embossed, the ease with 
which it receives gold, silver, and coloured 
decoration, and the scope it affords for intro- 
ducing landscapes, arabesques, emblazon- 
ments, or other painted devices. All these 
properties were known before decorators had 
been startled by the novelties of Carton 
Pierre, Papier Miche, and GuttU Percha. 
Continental countries were more rich in these 
productions than England. In the Alham- 
bra, the Court of the Lions still presents, 
if we mistake not, the same leather hangings 
which were put up there six centuries ago. 
The great Flemish towns — Lille, Brussels, 
Antwerp, and Mechlin — were all famous for 
producing these hangings ; those from the 
last-named town were especially remarkable 
for their beauty. Eighty years ago the 
French manufacturers complained that, 
however excellent their gilt and embossed 
leather might be, the Parisians were wont to 
run after those of Flanders; just as Worcester 
glove-makers in our day deprecate the wear- 
ing of French gloves by true-born Britons. 
There were, nevertheless, fine specimens pro- 
duced at Paris and Lyons ; and there were 
one or two cities in Italy also, in which the 
art was practised. Many old mansions in 
England have wherewithal to show that 
leather hangings of great beauty were pro- 
duced in this country in the old time. Blen- 
heim, the seat of the Dukes of Marlborough, 
is one of the places at which these English 
leathers are to be found. At Eastham manor- 
house, in Essex, built by Henry the Eighth, 
there were leather tapestries of great sump- 
tuousness, covered with such large quantities 
of gold, that they realised a considerable 
sum when sold half a century ago, by a pro- 
prietor who cared more for coined gold than 
for art. It is curious to note that the vrriter 
of an old French treatise on this art, acknow- 
ledges the superior skill of the Englishmen 
engaged in it, and laments that his countrymen 
cannot maintain an even position with them 
in the market. Thus the English leather 



58 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



tapestries must have been, at one time, ex- 
cellent. 

The leather required for these purposes 
undergoes a process of tanning and currying, 
differing from that to which leather for other 
purposes is subjected. The old French leather 
gilders about the times of Louis the Four- 
teenth and Fifteenth generally employed 
sheep-leather ; but sometimes calf and lamb- 
skins. The last two were better, but the first 
was the cheapest. The dry skins of leather 
were soaked in water, to mollify them ; they 
"A^ere then vigorously pommelled, to give 
them suppleness. The leather was laid upon 
a flat stone, and scraped and scraped until its 
wrinkles were removed — not filled up, as with 
the cosmetic of the wrinkled dowagers of the 
old school — but fairly and honestly scraped 
out of existence. There was a stretching 
process effected at the same time, whereby 
the leather became somewhat lengthened and 
widened at the expense of its thickness. As 
it is the fate of many skins to have defective 
places, the workmen showed a nice skill in 
trimming the margin of the hole or defective 
spot, and pasting or glueing a little fragment 
of leather so neatly over it so as to form an 
invisible joint. When the leather was thus far 
advanced, it was covered with leaf silver ; for 
it appears that, in those days, gilt leather was 
not gilt leather; it was silvered leather 
lacquered to a golden hue. The silverer 
rubbed a little bit of parchment size over the 
leather with his hand ; and while this was yet 
in a sticky or tactile state, he applied upon it 
leaves of very thin beaten silver — not attenu- 
ated to so extraordinary a degree as leaf-gold, 
but still very thin. These leaves were, as 
appHed side by side on the leather, pressed 
down by a fox's tail rolled into a sort of little 
mop ; and the leather was exposed to air and 
sunshine until dry. This lacquer was a mys- 
terious mixture of resin, aloes, gum sandarach, 
litharge, red lead, and linseed oil, brown in 
colour, but assuming a golden hue when 
backed by a silvery substance. The lacquer, 
like a thick syrup, was laid on by the hand, 
as the best possible lacquering brush ; 
and, after two or three applications, the 
lacquered silver leather was dried in open 
air. Sometimes the leather was coated with 
leaf-copper, instead of leaf-silver ; and in that 
case the lacquer was required to be of a dif- 
ferent kind to produce the desired gold hue. 
Then came the artistic work, the employ- 
ment of design as an adornment. Wood 
blocks were engraved, much in the same way 
as for the printing of floor-cloths and paper- 
hangings — with this variation, that the 
cavities or cut out portions constituted the 
design, instead of the uncut parts of the 
original surface. The design was printed on 
the silvered leather by an ordinary press, 
with the aid of a counter mould, if the relief 
were required to be higher than usual ; 
the leather being previously moistened on 
the under surface to facilitate the pressing. 



There was thus produced a uniform golden 
or silver surface, varied only by a stamped 
or _ relievo pattern ; but occasionally the 
design was afterwards picked out with 
colour. 

The advocates for the use of gilt and em- 
bossed leather tapestries have a fonnidable 
list of good things to say in their favour. 
They assert, in the first place, that leather 
beats wool in its power of resisting damp and 
insects — whether" the light-minded moths of 
the summer months, or the dull-souled creep- 
ing things which have a tendency to lay their 
eggs in woolly substances. They assert, also, 
that well-prepared gilt leather will preserve 
its splendour for a great length of time. And, 
lastly, that a soft sponge and a little water 
furnish an easy mode of cleansing the sur- 
face, and keeping it bright and clear. These 
various good qualities have induced one or 
two firms in England and in France to 
attempt the revival of leather tapestries. It 
has been up-hill work to induce decorators 
and connoisseurs to depart from the beaten 
track, and adopt the old-new-material ; but it 
has taken root ; it is growing ; and many 
sumptuous specimens are finding their way 
into the houses of the wealthy. The ducal 
mansions of the Norfolks and the Suther- 
lands, the Hamiltons and the Wellingtons, 
the Devonshires, the Somersets, and other 
brave names, have something to show in this 
way ; and royalty has not been slow to take 
part in the matter. The English revivers 
adopt, we believe, many of those described as 
having been foflowed by the old French work- 
men, but with various improvements ; among 
others, they use gold-leaf instead of lacquered 
silver-leaf — a very proper reform in these 
California days. 

The relief on the leather tapestries is very 
low or slight, but by deepening the engraving 
or embossment of the stamps, it can be made 
much more bold. It thus arises that leathers 
become available for a great variety of orna- 
mental purposes, varying from absolute 
plainness of surface to very bold relief. Thus 
we hear of the employment of adorned 
leather for folding-screens, for cornices and 
frames, for pendents and flower-borders, for 
panellings, for relief ornaments to doors, 
pilasters, shutters, architraves, friezes, and 
ceilings ; for chimney piecCvS, for subject- 
panels, for arabesques and pateras ; for mount- 
ings in imitation of carvings ; for decorations 
to wine-coolers, dinner-waggons, tables, chairs, 
pole-screens, and cheval screens ; for bindings, 
cases, and cabinets of various kinds ; for 
clock-cases and brackets, for consoles and 
caryatides, for decorations in ships' cabins, 
steamboat saloons, railway carriages — but we 
must stop. 

Some such things as these were produced 
in the old times ; but more can now be 
effected. Pneumatic and hydraulic pressure 
arc now brought into play. , Without diving 
into the mysteries of the workman's sanctum, 



Charles Dickens.] 



NOTHING LIKE LEATHER. 



5d 



I' 



we believe that the leather is first brought, 
by an application of steam, to the state of a 
tough pulpy material, ready to assume any one 
of a thousand metamorphoses. The design has 
bee previously prepared ; and from this a 
mo...d is engraved or cu+ in a peculiar mixed 
metal which will not discoior the leather. The 
leather is forced into the mould by a gradual 
application of pressure, partly hydraulic and 
partly pneumatic, so tempered as to enable 
(lie leather to conform to the physical force, 
the pressure from without, without breakage 
or perfoi'ation. The leather, when once 
removed from the mould, retains its new 
form while drying, and can then either be 
kept in its honest unsophisticated leathery 
condition, or can be brought by paint or gold 
to any desired degree of splendour. 

No one can conceive — without actual 
inspection — that such bold relief could be 
produced in leather. Not only is this in 
some specimens so bold as to be fully half 
round, but there is even the backward curve 
to imitate the under-cut of carving : this 
could only be obtained by means of the 
remarkable combination of elasticity and 
toughness in leather. Some of the recent 
productions, in less bold relief, display a very 
high degree of artistic beauty. Her Majesty 
and the Royal Consort, a few years ago, 
jointly sketched a design for a cabinet, of 
which the whole of the decorations were to 
be of leather ; this has been completed ; the 
dimensions are nine feet by seven ; the 
style is Renaissance, and the ornamentation 
is most elaborate ; two of the panels are 
occupied by bas-reliefs, in which the figures 
are represented with nearly as much beauty 
of detail as if carved— and yet all is done 
in stamped leather. 

In all these articles formed in leather, to 
break them is nearly out of the question ; 
to cut them is not particularly easy ; to 
destroy'- them in any way would seem to 
require the very perversity of ingenuity. 
To be sure, if a leather bas-relief were 
soaked in water for some hours, and then 
knocked about, it would receive a per- 
manent disfigurement. But so would a man's 
face. Whereas if the soaking were not 
followed by the thrashing, both the leather 
relievo and the man's face would retain 
their proper forms. At any rate, a leathern 
ornament is one of the toughest and strongest 
productions which could be named. Occu- 
pying, as it does, a midway position in 
expense between carved wood and various 
stamped and cast materials, leather has 
a sphere of usefulness to fill dependent on 
its qualities relative to those of its anta- 
gonists. 

Leather flower-making is becoming an 
occasional resource for industrious ladies. 
And a very good resource, too. Why should 
crochet and embroidery continue to reign 
without a rival ? It is so very pleasant to 
make anti-Macassars and slippers and collars 



and furniture covering, that no new employ- 
ment for spare half-hours need be sought ? If 
a lady should deem it unpleasant to have to 
deal with little bits of damp leather, let her 
remember that there is a great scope for the 
display of taste — always an important matter, 
whether in business or in pleasure. When 
we mention picture-frames, we must be under- 
stood as referring to their ornamental deco- 
rations only. A carpenter or a fi-ame-maker 
prepares a flat deal frame, with neither 
mouldings nor adornments ; the fiiir artist 
covers this with leather ornaments, and then - 
paints the whole to imitate ancient oak, or 
in any other way which her taste may 
dictate. The preparation of the ornament 
depends on this fact — that leather can be 
brought into almost any desired form while 
wet, and will retain that form when dry. 
The leather (a piece of common sheepskin 
will suffice) is cut with scissors or sharp 
knives into little pieces, shaped like leaves, 
stalks, tendrils, fruit, petals, or any other 
simple object ; and these pieces are curved, 
and pressed, and grooved, and marked, and 
wrinkled, until they assume the required 
form. It is not difficult to see how, with a 
few small modelling-tools of bone or hard 
wood, all this may be done. And when done, 
the little pieces are left to dry ; and when 
dry, they are tacked or pasted on the frame ; 
and when tacked or pasted, they are finished 
just as the ornate taste of the lady-worker 
may suggest. If a picture-frame ma}'- be 
thus adorned, so may a screen, a chimney 
ornament — anything, almost, which you may 
please. 

If we mistake not, the leather-embossei-s 
have begun to sell the simple tools, and to 
give the simple instructions, requisite for the 
practice of this pretty art. But whether 
this be so or not, a tasteful woman can easily 
work out the requisite knowledge for herself. 
Our lady readers, however, need not be left 
wholly to their own resources in the practice 
of this art. Madame de Conde, in her little 
shilling essay on the leather imitation of 
old oak carving, tells us all about it. She 
instructs us how to select the basil or sheep- 
skin, how to provide a store of cardboard, 
wire, moulding instruments, glue, asphaltum, 
oak stain, amber, varnish, brushes, and the 
other working tackle ; how to take patterns 
from leaves in cardboard ; how to cut the 
leather from the cardboard patterns ; how to 
mark the fibres or veins with a blunt point; 
how to pinch up the leather leaf in imitation 
of Nature's own leaf; how to make stems by 
strips of leather wrapped round copper wire ; 
how to imitate roses, chrj'santhemums, daisies, 
china-asters, fuchsias, and other flowers, in 
soft bits of leather crumpled up into due 
form ; how to imitate grapes, by wrapping 
up peas or beans in bits of old kid glove ; 
how to obtain relief ornaments by modelling 
soft leather on a wooden foundation ; how to 
affix all these dainty devices to a supporting 



60 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted hr 



framework ; and how to colour and varnish 
the whole. These items of wisdom are all 
duly set forth. 



LIFE AND DEATH. 

" Whai is Life, Fatlier ? " 

" A Battle, my child, 
Where the strongest lance may tUil, 

Where the wariest eyes may be beguiled, 
And the stoutest heart tnay quuil. 

Where the foes are gathered on every liand, 
And rest not day nor night, 

And the feeble little ones must stand 
In the thickest of the fight." 

" Wliat is Death, Father?" 

" The rest, my child, 

When the strife and the toil are o'er, 
And the angel of God, who, calm and mild, 

Says we need figlit no more ; 
Who driveth away the demon baiid. 

Bids the din of the battle cease ; 
Takes the banner and spear from our failing hand. 

And proclaims an eternal Peace." 

"Let me die, Father ! I tremble. I fear 
To yield in that terrible strife !" 

" The crown must be won.for Heaven, dear, 

Li the battle-field of life ; 
My child, though thy foes are strong and tried, 

He loveth the weak and small ; 
The Amrels of Heaven are on thy side. 

And God is over all 1" 



THE GREAT INDIAN BEAN-STALK. 



This bean-stalk, by which many very 
small adventurers have climbed to wealth, 
flourishes under the vice-regal sway of the 
Honourable East India Company, where a 
costly staff of European officials is sup- 
posed, by a pleasant fiction of the Cove- 
nanted Service, to administer justice to the 
hundred millions of worthy British subjects 
inhabiting those wide-spreading countries. 
Judges of various degrees, magistrates and 
deputy magistrates, preside singlj^ over the 
fate of districts as large as Yorkshire or 
Wales, and to enable them to make the most 
remote pretence of discharging their duties, 
they receive the assistance of a swarm of 
native subordinates, whose name may truly 
be called legion. 

The revenue department of the Indian 
government is equally beholden to the min- 
isterings of these indigenous officials, without 
whom, indeed, we could make but small pro- 
gress in the collection of the twenty-seven 
millions of pounds sterling annually squeezed 
from the muscles of Indian ryots. I am 
quite willing to admit at starting, what it 
would be folly to deny, that to dream of car- 
rying on the administration of our Indian 
empire without the aid of native subordinates 
would be an utter absurdity. 

These authorities are, unfortunately, ta- 
ken from the verj dregs of Asiatic society, 
and consist indiscriminately of Mahometans 



ai d Hindus. It would perhaps be very dif- 
ficult, if not impossible, to say which of these 
two races are the greatest adepts at extor- 
tion and every species of cunning rascality. 
Miserably paid, they seek, by an infinity of 
methods, to swell up their income, and this 
they contrive to do with the utmost impu- 
nity — living in the midst of luxuries when an 
honest man would starve. The steps upon 
the branches of this Great Indian Bean-Stalk 
are many : but, patiently followed, they lead 
at last to a golden certainty. 

Lallah Ram, of whose life I am about to 
relate a few trifling incidents, was a man of 
humble station, but aspiring in mind, and 
being well acquainted with most of the native 
Omlah or judicial subordinates of the city, 
used every influence in his power to obtain the 
most menial appointment in the police court. 
After many months of patient watchfulness, 
Lallah, by dint of dustur or fee, was installed 
as Orderly to the Deputy Magistrate of the 
district, on a salary of eight shillings a month. 
This pay was small enough, especially as 
Lallah had a wife and three children to 
maintain with it. But my hero had not been 
a hanger-on of police courts and Cutchemes 
(collectors' offices) for nothing. He had gained 
a complete insight into the history of the 
Great Indian Bean-Stalk, and panted for an 
opportunity of reducing his knowledge to 
practice. 

Lallah began systematically, and lost no 
opportunity of ingratiating himself with his 
master the Sahib Bahadur, or great magis- 
trate : he made it appear on every occasion 
that he was on the best possible footing with 
Sahib ; to whom he was really quite in- 
dispensable. No sooner was this feeling 
fairly established than the aspiring orderly 
began to turn it to account. Did any one, no 
matter what his rank, desire an audience 
with his highness the magistrate, he was kept 
cooling his heels in the,outer hall, until having 
exhausted his patience he offered Lallah 
a rupee to take his name to the Bahadur. 
The orderly would give the solitary coin a 
look of the utmost contempt, move not an 
inch, and say that he was a poor man, but 
had every desire to oblige the visitor if in 
his power. The suitor would relax, slip 
five rupees into his willing palm, and was 
at once ushered into the presence amidst 
many adjurations to the heathen pantheon, 
and all sorts of prosperity evoked on the 
donor's head. 

These visitors were numerous ; and, al- 
though a few now and then endeavoured to 
rebel against the innocent practices of Lallah, 
he was invariably a match for them. Should 
there be any disj)osition to avoid the dustur 
{anglice " down with the dust"), the orderly 
expressed many regrets ; but the Sahib was 
most particularly engaged, and had given 
express orders not to be disturbed on any 
account. It was seldom that a sentence of 
this kind was misunderstood ; the fee was 



Charles Dickens.l 



THE GREAT INDIAN BEAN-STALK. 



61 



produced, and the door flung wide open. Per- 
haps the visitor complained, and the orderly 
ma}'', perchance, have got a wigging. To be 
even with him, the very next day, when the 
Sahib is particularly busy, Lallah pours in 
upon him a whole host of troublesome people ; 
and when remonstrated with, declares that 
" Sahib wished it to be so." And thus things 
fall back to their old course. 

It is not only suitors and other visitors 
who are made to contribute to the orderly's 
treasury, to build up his golden ladder ; 
the very police inspectors, or thannadars, 
cannot approach the presence without dtcs- 
tur. Once upon a time an inspector, 
either poorer or more stubborn than his 
fellows, did not choose to fall into the cus- 
tomary practice, and declined bleeding for the 
benefit of Lallah. The latter was, of course, 
indignant at this unprincipled conduct, and 
although he dared not act openly against the 
recusant official, he laid his plans so quietly 
and surely as to effect all he desired. The 
Sahib had many idle moments ; and, during 
these, Lallah contrived to whisper to one of 
the hangers-on, loud enough to be heard, some 
scandalous proceeding of the thannadar. The 
other replied, also in a sort of stage whisper, 
that he too had heard something of the same 
sort, whilst the mohurrir, or clerk, chimed in 
with another story against the doomed police- 
man, and remarked that he was a scoundrel 
and " unfaithful to his oath." These whisper- 
ings were of course, overheard ; and being 
repeated at intervals, left an impression on 
the mind of the Sahib by no means favourable. 
No pains were spared to watch the victim ; 
and as might be expected, some irregularity 
was at last brought against him, not perhaps 
of any moment, but Lallah's whispered 
poisons had worked their effect in the mind 
of the magistrate, and the consequence was 
that the thannadar was dismissed. 

Such were a few of the proceedings carried 
on in the outer courts, the vestibule of the 
temple of justice. My hero was not less bold 
and successful within the sanctuary itself. 
His bean-stalk was planted deep at the 
very foot of the justice seat. No sooner was 
a case decided, no matter how insignificant, 
than the watchful, indefatigable Lallah slipped 
out ; and, following the successful suitor, ex- 
tended towards him his open palm, into which 
the other, too wise to decline, dropped a 
rupee. The orderly offers up a mental vote 
of thanks to Brahma, Siva and Vishnu, and 
sneaks back to his place in court ; none but 
those in the secret having observed his 
absence. 

The registry office was another locality 
highly favourable for the unward growth of 
this fkmous bean-stalk. Whenever an order 
of court vvas made out for a report from the 
Sheristah, or native registry, bearing upon 
some case in suit, Lallah took especinl care 
that the matter was not proceeded with for 
iminy days. When the litigant was worn out 



with delay, and became importunate, the 
wily orderly took him outside, and quietly 
requested to know how much he would give 
to have the report made out forthwith. The 
impatient suitor gladly proffered a rupee. 
The dustur was pocketed ; and, proceeding 
with his retainer to the registry office, Lallah 
called out to the record-keeper, in a well- 
understood swaggering tone, which was 
meant to say " It's all right," that the Sahib 
was highly incensed at the delay with the 
plaintiff's record, and that he desired him to 
intimate that any further hindrance would be 
punished with a smart fine. 

The refusals to bleed were far from being 
many ; still they did happen occasionally. 
When that was the case, Lallah was in no way 
disconcerted, for he knew that it must come 
at last, proceeded with the unmanageable 
suitor to the registry, and, winking his eye at 
the Sheristah, simply enquires why the report 
is not made out, in a mild tone of voice, 
which plainly enough intimated that it was 
not all right yet. The Sheristah of course 
understood ; and stroking his beard (he was a 
Mahometan) called upon the Prophet to 
witness that some most important papers had 
been demanded by a superior authority 
which required immediate attention ; the 
Sahib must accordingly allow him a few 
more da3''s' grace. The suitor, driven to 
despair by this delay, consented to a heavy 
fee, and instantly Lallah became his warmest 
friend. Hastily retracing his steps, the 
orderly, in a voice of thunder, expressed his 
astonishment at the impertinence of the 
Sheristah, and gave him to know that if his 
friend did not at once receive the report the 
whole affiir should be reported. Again the 
tone and manner of the pliable orderly were 
duly appreciated ; the report appeared as if 
by magic, and Lallah, the lucky, retired to 
share the spoil with the Sheristah, muttering 
a song of thanksgiving to that very respect- 
able body the Hindu Triad. 

In this way the bean-stalk had flourished 
greatly ; but was now destined to be trans- 
planted to another locality, though still 
within a genial, kindly soil. My hero, find- 
ing the office of orderly not quite important 
enough for his ambition, and thirsting for 
distinction and rupees, managed by a va- 
riety of artful oriental devices to get elected 
a Ohuprassie, or process-server, to the native 
sheriff of the district. This was truly a 
splendid field for his talents, and he was not 
long before he turned the golden opportunity 
to account. 

The mode of coining rupees in this depart- 
ment was of the simplest kind. The sum- 
monses for the appearance of defaulters of 
revenue before the deputy magistrate were 
very numerous, and the (lefendants were all 
of the Ryot class, the poorest grade in society. 
But unless the Zemindar, or landholder, who 
took out the summons agreed to fee the ohu- 
prassie in addition to paying for the summons, 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Cvnduclcd bj 



he might as well have spared himself the 
latter expense ; for the documents were left 
quietly in the official's turban or his pouch 
until the dustur was forthcoming. Some of 
these zemindars were very rich and very 
stingy, and now and then gave my friend 
Lallah a little trouble. 

Some people would have been disconcerted 
if the powerful zemindar of the next division 
gave no token of the usual fee. But not so 
Lallah. He was prepared for every contin- 
gency, and was always cool and resolute. He 
did nothing. The writ never left his pouch, 
and at the end of many days the plaintiff 
complained that no summons had been served. 
The chuprassie, on being questioned, declared 
by all the sacred spots in Hindostan, that 
the plaintiff's agent had refused to indicate 
the party to him, and what was he to do ? 
There was no help for it but to issue a warrant 
of apprehension, for which the zemindar had 
to pay in addition, and who, aware at length 
of the impossibility of proceeding without 
dustur, came down handsomely to the process- 
server. 

Lallah became less particular as he moved 
onwards in his career ; and, provided a handful 
of coin was to be the reward, never flinched 
from any daring act of villany. It was of no 
use doing things by halves. A greedy ze- 
mindar wished to dispossess a poor cultivator 
of a tract of fine land held by the latter 
under a pottah, or lease, for which the ryot 
had paid handsomely some time before. The 
wealthy scoundrel trumped up a case of 
arrears of rent against the cultivator, and 
obtained a simple summons against him. 
This document he placed, with some weighty 
considerations, in the hands of Lallah the 
obsequious, who undertook not to serve it. 
At the end of some days a return was made 
to the Sahib magistrate to the effect that the 
ryot would not show himself, but lay hidden 
within his hut so that his summons could not 
be served. This is one of the most unfavour- 
able offences a native can commit, in the eyes 
of a company's magistrate ; it is never for- 
given, and is always visited with severit3^ 
The irate justice instantly made out an order 
to dispossess the cultivator of his lands and 
make them over to the plaintiff. This was 
as a matter of course done, to the ruin of 
the villager, the delight of the zemindar, and 
the replenishment of liallah's overlfowing 
purse. 

It need not be wondered at, that by a long 
continuance of such practices, carried on by 
night and day, at all seasons, and with all 
classes, my hero was enabled to amass a 
considerable sum, which was placed snugly 
out at usurious interest. A more lucrative 
field, howovei-, lay before him in the depart- 
ment of Opium and Salt revenue, in which 
he obtained admission by the usual means. 
The salary attached to this post was very 
small considering the large amount of 
revenue placed at his mercy. It was but 



two pounds a month, and for this, he paid 
to the English deputy collector ten pounds 
monthly. 

One of the chief duties of the officers of 
this department is to search for contraband 
dealers in opium ; all of whom are heavily 
fined. The right of sale is farmed out 
annually ; and, naturally enough, these 
farmers are always on the look out for con- 
trabandists, especially since they come in for 
a lion's share of the fine. The indefatigable 
Lallah was waited on one fine morning, whilst 
sipping his cofiee and smoking his hookah 
like any other great man, by the opium 
farmer of the district ; vrho prefaced his 
mission by most humble salaams and a 
douceur of ten rupees slipped under his 
hookah-stand. Of course the wary officer 
took no notice of this Httle piece of panto- 
mime, but knew that his services were in 
requisition. The hookah was finished ; and, 
without asking any troublesome questions, 
Lallah followed the farmer as meeklj'- as a 
lamb. Arrived at the suspected house, 
accompanied by a posse of the farmer's 
people and officers, an entrance was demanded 
and obtained. The owner of the house was 
a respectable and wealthy trader, and ap- 
peared quite conscious of his innocence ; so 
much so, that he paid small attention to the 
proceedings of the party. 

The search went on, and Lallah, while he 
seemed most inattentive, was really most 
watchful, saw one of the farmer's servants 
conceal something under a heap of rubbish in 
a corner. Presently another of the searchers 
turned over the identical heap, and of course 
dragged from it that which had been placed 
there — a quantity of the forbidden opium. 
It was in vain for the trader to protest his 
innocence ; equally vain to declare that the 
vv'hole thing was a plot, Lallah asked him 
with an air of offended dignity xrhether he 
thought that he, Lallah, would be a party to 
any knavery ? The whole thing was con- 
clusive. The trader was rich, and could 
therefore afford to pay the fine of one hun- 
dred and fifty rupees, which were shared 
between the government, the opium-farmer, 
and Lallah, 

Sometimes it happened that the farmer 
would not or did not " make things pleasant ;" 
in which case my hero generally contrived to 
show him the folly of his Conduct by siding 
with the suspected parties, and thus foiling 
the attempts of the informers. It mattered 
very little to him on which side he was 
enlisted, provided the ways and means were 
supplied ; indeed, he rather liked a little 
opposition to the regular course of things, 
seeing that it usually had the effect of bringing 
back his former friends with stronger proofs 
than ever of their regard for him. 

From this department of the service 
Lallah managed to climb a little higher on 
the bean-stalk in his old calling — that of 
the police. He was now a Thannadar, or 



Cliarks Dickena.! 



THE GREAT INDIAN BEAN-STALK. 



es 



inspector of a district, and a personage of 
some con(=!equence. The same course of fees, 
bribery, and presents, was carried on as of 
old ; but on a larger scale. His career was, 
however, no longer smooth and unruffled. 
Anxieties and cares stole upon the now great 
man's life, to which he had before been an 
utter stranger ; and although he did contrive 
by dint of stratagem and well-m,atured policy 
to extricate himself from every fresh difiQ- 
culty as it arose, it entailed upon him great 
watchfulness. 

Murders had become very frequent in 
his new district, and the attention of the 
superior authorities had been seriously called 
to the subject. Just at that period a report 
was sent in from a village to the effect that 
a trader of some consequence had disap- 
peared in a mysterious manner, and no tidings 
of him could be learnt. The magistrate re- 
solved to show his zeal in the cause, and 
accordingly orjlered Lallah to bring the 
guilty parties to justice, under penalty of 
forfeiture of his office. The thannadar set to 
work in right good earnest, with every in- 
strument at his disposal. Fields, rivers, 
houses, hedges, jungle, forest — all were 
searched, but in vain ; no trace of the mur- 
dered man could be found, and for once 
Lallah was at fault. 

A thannadar of a low and grovelling nature 
would have reported his failure to his supe- 
rior; hut not so Lallah. The Sahib wanted 
evidence and a prisoner, and he was resolved 
to provide the same at all hazards. 

By some means Lallah ascertained that in 
the same village in which the missing man 
had resided, there dwelt another trader who 
was largely indebted to the supposed victim, 
and who was known to be a man of violent 
temper and loose habits. This was the very 
man for the thannadar. Who more likely to 
have made away with the trader than his 
debtor of ill-repute? Had Lallah advertised 
in the Mofussilite under the heading of 
"Wanted, a Murderer," he could not have 
succeeded more to his wishes. 

The shopkeeper was apprehended, together 
with his wife. Witnesses were of course 
forthcoming, who swore by every Hindu 
deity that they had heard the prisoners 
and the missing man at high words, and 
that when last seen the latter was in com- 
pany with the former. So far so good ; but 
the prisoners denied their guilt to Lallah, 
and that was a difficulty that had to be 
overcome. They were confined in a deep pit 
up to their waists in putrid filth during a day 
and night. On the following day they were 
exposed to the burning rays of a tropical sun ; 
and when, parched and feverish, they called 
faintingly for water, a bag of dry and broken 
chillies or capsicums was shaken over their 
heads, the fierce dust from which, piercing 
into their eyes and down their throats, drove 
the miserable creatures almost mad. Human 
nature could not stand up against such treat- 



ment: the rack and the wheel were mercy 
to such torture ; and in their agony they con- 
fessed to the commission of the crime in the 
presence of witnesses, and offered their sig- 
natures to a statement to that effect. 

The case was thus in excellent condition, 
and Lallah took it in triumph before the 
magistrate, who was equally pleased at the 
result. The examination of the witnesses was 
very brief, and the case was sent up to the 
sessions judge. 

Before the higher tribunal little more was 
done than recapitulating the proceedings of 
the magistrate's court ; and although no body 
had been found, no bloody weapon had been 
produced, no one had ever witnessed the 
deed, the prisoners were found guilty, and 
sentenced to be hung. This sentence had 
necessarily to be affirmed by a court of 
appeal, which body sent the case back to the 
judge, directing his attention to the fact that 
he had forgotten to ask the prisoners to plead 
to the indictment, and had not examined any 
witnesses on their behalf, though they ap- 
peared to have had some! The judge went 
through the form of asking the prisoners to 
plead, and they as a last hope pleaded " Not 
guilty." No witnesses appearing, the case 
was again sent up for affirmation, when, for- 
tunately for the condemned couple, the su- 
perior tribunal decided that, owing to the 
plea of " Not guilty," and the absence of all 
direct evidence, the criminals should not be 
hung, but merely imprisoned for life, first 
being branded on the forehead as felons. 

So far all was well ; Lallah was rewarded, 
and the magistrate praised for his activity. 
But some few months after the murdered 
man turned up. He had been keeping out 
of the way for some private reasons, and re- 
turned on hearing of the trial and sentence of 
his supposed murderers. The latter were, of 
course, set free ; but no pardon could erase the 
felon-brand from their foreheads. The accused 
man died broken-hearted soon afterwards, 
having first related how he had been tortured 
into a confession, though, in doing so, he did 
not dare to implicate the powerful Lallah. 
The big scoundrel escaped, and the little ones 
were punished by dismissal. 

A year or two of these duties, and Lallah felt 
anxious to be relieved of them. His wealth had 
accumulated to an extent that warranted him 
in starting in quite a different career. He 
next appeared at Calcutta in the character of 
banian, or money-lender ; a wide and fruitful 
field for gain. Here Lallah Ram Sing figured 
as a man of immense wealth and influence; 
and, truly, few possessed more advantages 
than he did. He soon contrived to get a 
dozen of the Calcutta officials deeply in his 
books, and once there he knew how to turn 
them to account. They v. ere too needy to 
refuse him any favour, or to decline to be- 
come parties to jobs, however barefaced; and 
in this way the bean-stalk grew so strong 
that Lallah was enabled to climb nearly to 



64 



HOUSEPIOLD WOKUS. 



[ConJucto'i 



the top of it. His establishment is now 
one of the largest in the City of Palaces. 
His nautches are on the most magnificent 
scale ; the Governor-general was present at 
the last. His clients are more numerous than 
those of any other banian ; his monetary 
transactions more extensive ; and, in speaking 
of his wealth, people talk not of thousands, 
but of millions of rupees. 

This Bean-stalk is not an imaginary plant. 
It is not culled fi-om Arabian romance or 
fairy legend, but is taken from the veritable 
records of Indian every-day life. It grew 
3^esterday ; it grows to-day ; it will grow on 
to-morrow, and will continue to grovv until 
the axe of Indian Reform cuts it down for 
ever. 

THE PHALANSTERIAN MENAGERIE. 



One evening lately I found myself at Paris, 
without being exactly able to remember how 
I got there. I ought to have been on the 
north coast of France, philosophising on the 
beach at regular hours, or perhaps unphiloso- 
phically contemplating the freaks of the adult 
and infimt bathers there. For I had a tire- 
some book in hand to be forthwith edited, 
and my last letter from England contained a 
severe demand for " copy." Moreover, there 
was a convalescent nursling in the Avay, for 
whom Channel breezes were urgently pre- 
scribed ; nor had I any clear recollection of 
having settled with my native landlady before 
thus abruptly quitting her comfortable board 
and lodging. But railways are such leaders 
into temptation. " To Paris and back for 
twenty francs" had been placarded about for 
a fortnight past. I have substantial proof 
that it is a vulgar error that " rolling stones 
gather no moss." In short, at Paris I seemed 
to be, without my French mother — and they 
are a sharp-sighted set — having the least sus- 
picion that I was out. 

It is a luxury of ecstatic degree to make 
this kind of sudden escape, and to break loose 
out of the mill-round of duties which have 
daily to be done from morning till night. A 
new set of faces, a new set of streets, a new 
set of hedges and ditches and fields, are most 
effectual tonics. There are people in the 
world who would die, or go mad, if they 
could not freely and fairly take wing now and 
then. I am closely related to that family of 
migrants ; and that, I suppose, was the reason 
why I happened so oddly to be strolling about 
Paris, unconscious of the means which had 
conveyed me. 

I had no object on earth to take me there, 
and I wandered along in delightful careless- 
ness. As it was getting dusk, I reached one 
of the quays. Before me flowed the rushing 
Seine; behind me rose a large and dingy 
building, wliich bore some resemblance to a 
publisher's shop. I leaned over the parapet, 
gazing at the river, and musing on some 
strange notions about electricity that had 



been proposed to my consideration, when a 
sudden glare of light interrupted my thoughts, | 
and made me turn round to ascertain the ! 
cause. The building was brilliantly and in- | 
stantly illuminated — could it be by the elec- ! 
trie light? — and through the windows I could \ 
see that it contained, besides books, a large ; 
collection of living animals. Of course, in ' 
Paris all such treasures as this would be 
open to the inspection of a well-behaved 
public, and I at once determined to ascertain 
the prescribed form of obtaining admittance. 
But, as I approached the door, it was opened 
wide to receive my visit, and a handsome, 
brown-bearded, full-eyed man invited me in 
with pleasing yet dignified looks and ges- 
tures. 

" I only occupy a portion of this establish- 
ment," he said. "Mj'- fellow-labourers, not 
less enthusiastic than myself, have each their 
special department assigned them. Mine, 
just now, is to exhibit the Menagerie. The 
public will not arrive quite yet in any num- 
bers to require my attention ; so, as I per- 
ceive you are a stranger and an Englishman, 
it will afford me pleasure to act as your guide 
for a private view, during the brief interval 
which I have to spare before lecturing to my 
usual audience." 

Only one reply — a bow of thanks — could be 
made to this obliging offer. I followed my 
Mentor, charmed with his manner and amused 
with his matter, but often seriously asking 
myself whether or not I were in company 
with an escaped lunatic. Still, at many a 
remark which he made, I resolved to try and 
remember that, and give some report of his 
observations. 

Let us first — he said — inspect the animals 
which have rallied around the standard of 
man; some of them as auxiliaries, others 
merely as domestic slaves. What a pity that 
I should have so few to show you! With 
exceedingly rare exceptions, every living 
creature, whether bird or beast, sincerely de- 
sires to fraternise with man ; and during the 
space of six thousand years, with several 
thousands of animals to work upon, we have 
only succeeded in attaching to us some forty 
of them, at the very outside calculation. I 
do not know of any fact which is more 
severely condemnatory of the actual phase of 
society, than the simple comparison of these 
figures respectively. 

Here you observe a goodly collection of 
dogs, all admirable for their special merits. 
God having in the beginning created man, 
and beholding him so feeble, gave him the 
dog ; and in order that the dog might entirely 
belong to man, he exclusively endowed him 
with friendship and devotion. He instilled 
into his heart the most profound contempt 
for family joys and paternity. He limited 
his sentiment of love to the animal instinct of 
reproduction. He left love and familism, the 
passions of the minor mode, to tlie inferior 
canine race, the Fox. The dDg is the noblest 



Cbarlu Dicken*.] 



THE PHALANSTERIAN MENAGERIE. 



conquest that man has ever made ; for he is 
the tirst element in the progress of humanity. 
Without the dog, man would have been com- 
pelled to vegetate eternally on the border-land 
of Savagery. The dog enables human society to 
pass from the savage to the patriarchal state, 
by presenting it with flocks and herds. No 
dog, no flock nor herd, — no flock nor herd, no 
certain means of subsistence ; no leg of mut- 
ton, nor roast beef at pleasure; no wool, 
no plaids, nor humous ; no leisure hours, no 
astronomical observations, no science, no in- 
dustry. The dog has enabled mankind to 
find time for all those things. The east is 
the cradle of civilisation, because the east 
is the native land of the dog. Take away the 
dog from Asia, and Asia is no better off than 
America. What constitutes the superiority 
of the Old over the New World, is the pos- 
session of the dog. What, in fact, is the end 
of all the efforts of intellect, all the labours 
of the Mohican, who has only the chace to 
depend on for a subsistence ? It is nothing 
more than the study of the great art of 
tracking and following his game, or his enemy. 
Now, that young terrier who is peeping out 
of his kennel, knows as much, or more, of 
this difficult science after six months' study, 
as the most intelligent savage at the end of 
forty years. The natives of the East, then, 
who possessed the dog, were relieved from an 
amount of painful labour which employed the 
whole life and faculties of the Red Skins. 
They had time to spare, and they were able 
to employ it in the creation of industry. 
Such is the origin of arts and trades ; such 
is the whole ditierence between the Old and 
New Continents. Historians have written 
thousands of volumes on this grave question, 
without lighting upon the discovery of this 
simple truth ; and brave anatomists continue 
to dissect the sculls of Americans, in order 
to find out the cause of the inferiority of that 
race, without even suspecting that they are 
wandering a hundred leagues away from the 
solution of the problem. 

To this new and luminous anthropological 
solution there hangs another observation, 
which is equally my own, namely that canni- 
balism is an endemic disease in all countries 
that have the misfortune to be without dogs. 
Why is cannibalism never met with amongst 
pastoral nations, amongst the Chaldeans, 
Eg}' ptians, Arabians, Mongolians, and Tartars ? 
Because the milk and flesh of the herds and 
flocks, with which the dog has endowed those 
nations, constantly preserve them fi-ora the 
criminal temptations of hunger. On this 
subject, I will beg permission not to add my 
anathema to those which have so often been 
hurled against anthropophagy by the hand 
of false morality and false philanthropy. Can- 
nibalism Is one of the diseases of the earliest 
infancy of humanity ; a depraved taste which 
famine explains, if it does not entirely justify. 
Pity the cannibal, and don't abuse him, ye 
members of civilised society, who eat under- 



done meat, and kill millions of men, for much 
less plausible motives than hunger. Accord- 
ing to my own ideas, of all the wars which 
men wage against each other, war for the 
sake of eating one's enemy is the only ra- 
tional warfare on the whole list. Roasting 
one's adversary after he is dead, is not half 
so senseless and wicked an action as killing 
him by wholesale when he feels no inclination 
to die. From cannibalism, and all its atten- 
dant horrors, our faithful friend, the dog, has 
rescued us. It is not his fault if we still 
commit the most atrocious form of human 
madness — war. 

Behold a specimen of domestic swine, which 
are allowed the entrie of the menagerie. If 
the pig still continued to lend to man the aid 
of his snout to discover and disinter the 
truffle, I should have been able to include 
him in the list of auxiliaries ;. but it is evident 
that the moment he allowed the dog to displace 
him from his special function, he lost the right 
of figuring in that honourable class. I may 
be told that he has been employed in St 
Domingo and elsewhere, as a call-pig, playing 
exactly the same part in the woods as his 
passional homologue, the call-duck, does upon 
the lake. I do not deny the fact ; but the 
mere act of calling, quacking, or grunting, 
does not constitute an auxiliary. There is, 
besides, another reason of a superior order, 
a reason of analogy, which compels me to 
refuse that title to the pig. He is the em- 
blem of the miser ; and the miser is good for 
nothing till after his death. Consequently 
it was not amongst the pig's possibilities to 
be useful to man during his life. 

The he-goat, the mutilated type of the 
Bouquetin of the Pyrenees and the Alps, has 
never enjoyed any great reputation for sanctity, 
and I will not take upon me to assert that he 
has acquired a much worse name than he 
deserves. It is very certain that, by his dis- 
solute morals, he lays himself open to 
calumny, and that the odour he exhales does 
not symbolise a model of purity. He is the 
emblem of brutal sensuality. The Gr2ek, 
Jewish, and Christian religions accord with 
analogy in this respect. The Greeks were 
not content with sacrificing a goat to Bacchus, 
as being one of the vine's enemies, one of the 
plagues of attractive labour ; they disguised 
their satyrs with the mask and character of 
the lascivious animal, in order to brand gross 
and material love with an unmistakcable 
mark of reprobation, in order to declare their 
belief that purely sensual passion is degrading 
to m.an, and lowers him to the level of the 
brute. 

I am sorry to pass sentence on a poor 
animal already laden with the sins of Israel ; 
but I cannot find it in my heart to utter a 
word of excuse for an emblem of lust and 
moral filth, for an enemy of vincynrds and 
agriculture. E confess that the futuj-e pros- 
pects of the goat fill me with considerable 
alarm ; for I find no employment for him va 



66 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Condacted by 



harmony, when leather breeches will suJBfer 
an immense reduction in price, in consequence 
of the suppression of the gendarmerie. The 
most favourable lot the goat can then expect 
is to be banished to his native country, for 
the purpose of repeopling the glaciers and 
rocky precipices, in company with the vigogne, 
the mouflon, and the chamois. 

Lascivious, capricious, and easy-tempered, 
addicted to vagabondage and sorcery, fond of 
saltpetre, but a good daughter and a good 
mother at the bottom of her heart, the she- 
goat represents the thorough-bred gipsy, the 
smart Esmeralda. Lament if you like, but 
beware of endeavouring to avert the lot 
which awaits Esmeralda and the goat. The 
goat and her family may henceforth find 
their appropriate place in the colonisation of 
desert islands and uninhabitable mountains. 
Under every latitude the goat and the rabbit 
are undoubtedly ihe best agents which God 
has given to man, for deriving some profit 
from the barren rock. 

Prudence forbids my speaking my mind on 
the subject of the sheep and the lamb, which 
you see folded there. I have very little 
esteem for sheep-like people, who submit to 
be shorn without resistance. Innocence, 
candour, and resignation under suffering are 
virtues which I do not desire to see too com- 
mon in France. It is high time that the 
Iamb, and the poor working man, should 
cease to play the part of victim. Therefore, 
mind how you behave yourselves, ye cruel 
butchers and iniquitous shepherds ! 

I do not value the tame rabbit in that 
hutch, either for his flesh or for his habits, 
which latter are tinged with cannibalism; 
but I am pleased with his fecundity, his rapid 
^growth, and many other merits — with his 
low price especially — permitting him to make 
acquaintance with poor people's stomachs 
who have no means of tasting butcher's meat. 
The rabbit is the emblem of the poor labourer 
who lives by working in quarries and mines, 
a race which sometimes finds repose at the 
bottom of its subterranean retreat, but liable 
to be attacked by a thousand enemies the 
moment it puts its nose above ground. It is 
not gifted with foresight, like the hamster 
and the squirrel, because the wages of the 
workmen, whom it symbolises, are too low 
for them to be able to lay by the least 
fraction against a rainy day. The rabbit 
sometimes kills its young. Every day, want 
and profligacy drive the starving workwoman 
to commit infanticide. This crime, so common 
in the ti ibe of rabbits, happens more rarely 
in the tribe of hares. The reason is, that 
destitution is more frightful in manufacturing 
towns than in agricultural districts. The 
rabbit has made riots, and overthrown cities, 
according to the account of Pliny. In 
great towns the poor occasionally indulge 
in the same amusement, but never in the 
country, because they are not crowded close 
enough together, to be able to compute 



their own numbers and strength. In Cham- 
pagne I used to know a gamekeeper who 
piped rabbits by means of a bird-call, in the 
same way as is practised with robin red- 
breasts, and which forced them out of 
their burrows quicker than the ferret wouJd. 
The art of piping rabbits was practised in 
Spain in very ancient times ; the verb chellar 
being coined to specify the process, which 
was also not unknown in Provence. 

Next you have a group of stinkards, 
vermin whom I hold in abomination. Neither 
the boar nor the stag is a scentless animal, 
yet no one ever thought of applying the name 
of stinkard to them. A. denomination so 
gracefully characteristic has been reserved 
for these lowest of beings, which hiding in 
some subterranean retreat, and poisoning the 
air with their odious effluvia, live by danger- 
less murder and rapine. The polecat — the 
best known type of the group which I style 
" cut-throats" and " blood-drinkers" — the 
polecat, and all the rest of its tribe, have 
been gifted by the Creator with a membra- 
nous pouch, situated close to the tail, and 
secreting an odoriferous liquid. In the 
stinkards of our own climate, this odour is 
nothing worse than repulsive ; but in the 
species of Central America, known under the 
significant name Mephitics, it is so horribly 
and unbearably fetid as to suffocate and 
poison those who breathe it. In that country, 
there have been cases proved of persons being 
killed in their beds by the odour of stinkards; 
and it is sufficient for one of these creatures 
merely to pass through a granary, a fruit- 
room, or a cellar, to render every provision in 
Ithem uneatable, every beverage undrinkable. 
Charitable souls will learn with delight that 
the science of military engineering, the noble 
art of legal destruction, has lately borrowed 
a wrinkle from the stinkard in the practice 
of distant poisoning. People in general aro 
not prepared for the surprise which awaits 
them on the next declaration of hostilities 
between absolutism and democracy. Bulletins 
will not run in their usual style. Instead of 
that, we shall read in the Gazette, " After 
two hours' cannonading, at the distance of 
fifteen hundred yards, the enemy fled in all 
directions, abandoning their arms and their 
cannon, and holding their ndscs. So complete 
a victory was never attended with so little 
bloodshed. The enemy fell, like brimstoned 
bees, performing the most grotesque and 
laughable contortions. Nose-witnesses as- 
serted that the infection from our howit/XTS 
was such, that the air was tainted for the 
distance of several miles. The successes of 
the day may be in great part attributed to 
the ingenious precaution which I had taken ; 
namely, to furnish each of our soldiers with 
a pair of spectacles." 

This blood-thirsty family includes the 
animals which furnish the finest and the most 
esteemed peltry ; wherefore, stinkard-hunting 
is an important affair, both in Siberia and in 



Charles Dickens.] 



THE PHALANSTERTAN MENAGERIE. 



67 



America. Analogy teaches us the reason, 
both of the sanguinary disposition which 
characterises this species, as well as of the 
insupportable odour which it exhales, and the 
silkiness and strength of its garment of fur. 
The blood-drinkers — the AIusteliansof]esirTHid 
language — are the most sanguinary animals 
in all creation; because they symbolise 
thieves in little and murderers in little — 
empoisoners of provisions and adulterators 
of drinks — and because the crafty practices 
of these meanest of industrials, who sprout 
and flourish on the outskirts of civilisation, 
cause the death of an infinitely greater num- 
ber of persons than the cannon and the 
bayonet. The purveyor for the army or 
navy, who pares off his profit from the 
soldier's ration, and the Director of the Al- 
gerian hospital, who adulterates the sulphate 
of quinine, have killed a hun(ired times as 
many soldiers as the Arabs, even since 
eigteen hundred and thirty. I rejoice to 
learn that nothing of the kind has ever 
occurred in provisioning the British fleet. 

The polecat and its murderous brethren 
owe to the elasticity of their intercostal 
cartilages a suppleness of backbone which 
allows them to insinuate themselves through 
the narrowest chinks of the dovecote and the 
poultry-house. An entrance once effected, 
the villanous brutes bathe in blood, intoxicate 
themselves with murder, and kill right and 
left for the mere pleasure of killing. This 
supple spine and inextinguishable thirst for 
gore represent the insatiable avidit}^ pro- 
fligacy, and astuteness of the usurer, the man 
of law, the pleader, and the legist, who creep 
through the smallest chinks of the code — 
sometimes missing the galleys by the merest 
hair's-breadth — to penetrate into hard-work- 
ing households, entwine the poor labourer in 
their deadly folds, and bleed him till he is as 
pale as death. The polecat is pitiless; it 
destroys every individual bird which it finds. 
Exactly in the same way, the Jew, after 
drawing the last drop of gold from the veins 
of his victim, will throw him on a straw bed 
in prison, regardless of his unhappy family, 
whom the detention of their head reduces 
to want, and delivers to the terrible sugges- 
tions of hunger. Innocent species — the 
pigeon, the hen, the pheasant, the rabbit — 
are the usual victims of the polecat's rage. 
The weak, the poor city workman, and the 
humbie farm labourer, are the prey of the 
cheat, the parasite, and the usurer. The 
remarkable adherence of the hair to the skin, 
which constitutes the value of fur, symbolises 
the avarice of men of the law, traffickers in 
lying words, and dealers in adulterated goods. 
Nothing can equal the tenacity with which 
these mis' rabies hold their ill-gotten w^ealth. 
The infected odour exhaled by stinkards is 
the extortion and stock-jobbinjr, the assault 
and murder, which transude from the gan- 
grened body of France, where Jewish influence 
is paramount. 



Would we cure the body social of its 
infamies, and exterminate the nuisance from 
our territory ? The means of both are one 
and the same ; and, moreover, have the ad- 
vantage of being exceedingly easy. To heal 
the wounds of society, and exterminate the . 
polecat, we must substitute fi-aternity . for 
selfishness, centralism for divergence, uni- 
versal partnership for piece-meal property. 
Let us suppress all piece-meal property, 
which is the golden-egged hen of chicanery, 
mortgage, and usury ; witness the subtle 
pleader, the sworn interpreter of the code, 
and the retail dealer in stamped paper, who 
shuts up shop without any warning. Let us 
exchange the five hundred miserable huts, 
which are the pride and glory of civilised 
villages, into one splendid communal palace, a 
comfortable club-house for the entire popula- 
tion. Let us replace the five hundred barns, 
covered with thatch, pierced with holes, and 
tumbling to pieces, into one vast, united 
granary, to receive the produce of the com- 
mune, and over whose inviolability numberless 
agents will feel it their offioe to keep strict 
watch. Instanth% every one of the noisome 
vermin which arc the ruin of the labourer — 
polecats, rats, weenls, and so on — will dis- 
appear from the world for ever. It is evident 
that the question of the polecat, and of the 
vampires of parasitism, is identical ; that both 
these pests have simultaneously invaded the 
body social ; that they issue from the same 
source, antagonism j and that, the cause 
ceasing, its necessary effect will also cease. 
I await the death of the last surviving pole- 
cat to deliver a triumphant funeral oration 
over the grave of the last of thieves. 

Now for the fox — a nasty creature, the 
object, too, of nasty sport. Fox-hunting is 
only excusable as one means of fox destruc- 
tion. You English hunt the fox for hunting's 
sake ; and it is a reproach of which you will 
never clear yourselves. Other beasts you 
hunt, not for the sport, but to break your 
nacks and practice horse-dealing. Fox- 
hunting affords no interest at all, and hardly 
deserves to have a word bestowed upon it. 

Young foxes are easily familiarised to the 
faces and creatures of the house in which they 
are brought up. The part of our institutions 
which they most readily fall in with, are our 
regular fixed hours for eating. I know no 
chronometer that indicates the precise time 
of dinner with greater exactness than a fox's 
stomach. Tame foxes which had regained 
their liberty, have been known after three 
months' absence, to return to the farm where 
they had lived, and always, observe, at dinner 
time, 

A long while ago, I was the proprietor 
(continued my scientific showman) of a very 
young fox, a remarkable wag, who was ca- 
pable of beating a commissary-general in 
the art of playing tricks with eatables. He 
was my own and my school-fellows' great 
consolation, during our study of Latin and 



e$ 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted hy 



Greek. The applause bestowed upon his 
clever tricks, together with too much self- 
satisfaction, perhaps, and the intoxication of 
success, had developed to an extraordinary 
degree the manifestations of his crafty nature. 
My mother, who, according to the terms of 
the Civil Code, was responsible for the acts 
and deeds of my fox, asserted sometimes, in 
an undertone, that she might have bought a 
handsome horse with the sum total of the 
indemnities which my mischievous brute 
had cost her for murdered chickens, plun- 
dered soup-boilers, and tame rabbits artfully 
made away with. At last, a price was set 
upon his head; but who, in our presence, 
dared to undertake the execution of the 
sentence ? 

A kite of courage, when the thing was 
proposed to him, did not shrink from the 
enterprise. He was a redoubted bird, the 
terror of all the cats and poodles of the place, 
and proudly conscious of fifty victories. He 
challenged the fox to single combat, and the 
lists were opened with my consent. The 
kitchen was the field of battle. The first 
attack was terrible. Surprised and frightened 
by the aggressor's impetuosity, Reynard dis- 
gracefully turned tail, and sought a retreat 
in the darkest corner of the room. The bird 
then pounced upon the enemy's rump, slashing 
away with all the power of his beak. But 
that portion of the adversary, the only part 
he could work npon, was also hairy and in- 
vulnerable. Satiated at last with his apparent 
triumph and the uproarious applause of the 
delighted public, he left his quarry, perched 
upon the back of a low chair, and soon was 
dozing like a gorged buzzard. The spectators, 
supposing that all the fun was over, discussed 
the superior gallantry of carnivorous birds 
over carnivorous quadrupeds ; and the debate 
became so animated, that the actual com- 
batants were completely lost sight of, till a 
fearful scream re-echoed through the place. 
We tamed and looked, and — heart-rending 
sight! — the kite lay prostrate on the floor of 
the arena, beating the air with his dying 
wing, and contracting his claws in a final 
convulsion of agony. 

How the death-wound had been dealt, I 
was the only person able to say. It was a 
feint borrowed from the famous combat of 
the Horatii and the Curatii. The fox had 
fled, in order to induce the bird to pursue 
him, and waste his strength upon his padded 
buckler. As soon as the kite was tired and 
had given up the contest, the cunning brute 
turned his head, observed the position, and 
measured the distance. Then, darting forward 
with a terrible bound, which no one foresaw 
and no one heard, he seized the unsuspecting 
creature in his mouth, and pierced him 
through and through with a single bite. The 
whole affair was the work of a moment. 
When we looked to see where the murderer 
was, we perceived him under the kitchen 
sink, contemplating the maid as she washed 



up the dinner plates, like a complete stranger 
to the tragic event. 

Further on, I will show you some creatures 
which stand as the symbols of literary men. 
You hear the bell which is ringing at this 
moment ; it announces to them theif feeding 
time. * * * Here the loud sound of some 
heavy body falling "plump between my feet, 
diverted my attention from the speaker'^ ha- 
rangue. I looked on the floor to discover what 
had occasioned the noise; and there, sure 
enough, lay a half-open, thick octavo volume, 
whose aspect was perfectly familiar to me. I 
stooped to raise it from the ground. On listen- 
ing for the continuation of my conductor's 
address, and the sequel remarks on literary 
animals, the Illuminated Menagerie had en- 
tirely disappeared, and T was sitting in my 
arm-chair in my snug little study, exactly 
where I ought to have been — namely, on the 
north coast of France, instead of at Paris, I 
knew not how. 

^^ Monsieur est servif" shouted a female 
voice, in a very unusual tone of displeasure. 
" The dinner has been on the table for ever 
so long, and everybody is tired of waiting. I 
have rung the bell till my arm quite aches. 
The soup, made of a magnificent veal ankle, 
is now as cold as fountain-water; and the 
omelette, in which I surpassed myself, dash- 
ing it off in a moment of enthusiasm, is no 
better than a bit of buttered sponge. It is 
cruel of you, Monsieur Feelsone, to serve me 
so," continued my landlady as she entered the 
room. " But, ah ! I see the cause of the in- 
difference to meal-times which has lately over- 
clouded your spirit. I behold the reason of 
the ungrateful return which you make to-day 
for my kitchen labours. It all arises fiom 
that ugly, wicked treatise. In vain I lie 
awake all night, contemplating a happy com- 
bination of dishes ; in vain I ransack the 
waters, salt and sweet ; in vain I send emis- 
saries to marsh and wood, all to procure you 
fish and game. Now-o'-days you care no 
more about them than if they were slices of 
bread and butter. But if matters are much 
longer to go on in this way, I shall wish Pha- 
lansterianism at the bottom of the sea. M. 
Victor had a great deal better attend to his 
patients' maladies, than keep sending to Paris 
for books by the dozen, to corrupt your mind 
as well as his own. I shall soon be looked 
upon as a complete nobody in the house, if 
comfortable lodging and liberal board are 
treated as things not worth attending to. 
Philosophy is to have the upper hand ! 
Worlds of Birds! and Minds of Brutes! I 
w(mder what nonsense will next be thouglit 
of? I am sure .ill your friends are sick of 
the subject. For my part, if Dubois — " 

'' Madame Dubois." I calmly answered, *' I 
plead guilty to having fallen fast asleep. But do 
not be too angry with our books ; for T assure 
you that, if ever you let lodgings in Harmony, 
you will have a much wider and more honour- 
able scope in which to exercise the culinary 



Ch»rle« Dickens.] 



A CHILD'S HISTORY OF ENGLAND. 



69 



art. We shall then be gifted with a gamut 
of tastes, as complete as now is our gamut 
of sounds. For instance, loaves of bread will 
then be made to answer exactly to each of 
the savoury notes of the scale. You will be 
able to compose chromatic sauces, to serve as 
the variations to diatonic dishes. You will 
cook a grand pastoral dinner in E flat major, 
to be followed by an allegro supper in D. 
That the books, though eccentric, are not bad 
at the bottooi, your own acute judgment 
shall decide for itself. You are aware, 
Madame, that women, in France, are not 
treated with sufficient consideration. They 
have too little to do ; they are kept far too 
much in the back-ground ; they exercise too 
little influence both in public and private 
affiiirs; and are not consulted half often 
enough about things which concern their 
sons and their husbanjjs. Well ; the writer 
of this very book proposes to remedy the evil 
of this completely. Henceforth, instead of 
gentlemen taking the lead, 'Mrs. and Mr. 
Smith' will be the polite style. Listen only 
to one short passage : ' Females in general 
are the epitome of all that is good and beau- 
tiful. Why do men shave their beards if it be 
not to resemble the feminine type ? Woman 
is the second edition of man, revised and cor- 
rected, and considerably embellished.' There, 
Madame Dubois, what do you think of that?" 

"The books are not heretical, after all!" 
was my answer. " Study is certjiinly a very 
improving thing. You and M. Victor have 
quite a right to cultivate j'^our minds, if you 
do not neglect your dinner-times. Perhaps, 
by-and-bye, I may allow the Messieurs D, to 
peruse a few extracts, if you will make it the 
effect of your goodness to select the most 
edifying parts for their instruction — like that 
which you read just now. Never mind things 
being cold for once. The soup shall soon be 
hot again. I'll whip up an omelette to eclipse 
the first. The roast shall retire into the oven 
for a moment; and the salad will be the 
better for a second dressing." 

" Bravo, Madame ! I am wide awake now. 
When we pass from Civilisation to Harmony, 
you shall rule the roast and boiled, in the 
Communal Palace in which I dwell. For, in 
that happy state of existence, no work is to 
be done but labours of love." 



A CHILD'S HISTORY OF ENGLAND. 

CHAPTER XXXVII. 

The Long Parliament assembled on the 
third of November, one thousand six hundred 
and forty-one. That day week the Earl of 
Strafford arrived from York, very sensible that 
the spirited and determined men who formed 
that Parliament were no friends towards him, 
who had not only deserted the cause of the 
people, but who had, on all occasions, opposed 
himself to their liberties. The King told him, 
for his comfort, that the parliament " should 
not hurt one hair of his head." But, on the 



very next day, Mr. Pym, in the House of 
Commons, and with great solemnity, im- 
peached the Earl of StraSbrd as a traitor. 
He was immediately taken into custody, and 
fell from his proud height in a moment. 

It was the twenty-second of March before 
he was brought to trial in Westminster Hall, 
where, although he was very ill, and suffered 
great pain, he defended himself with such 
ability and majesty, that it was doubtful 
whether he would not get the best of it after 
all. But, on the thirteenth day of the trial, 
Pym produced in the House of Commons a 
copy of some notes of a council, found by 
young Sir Harry Vane in a red velvet 
cabinet belonging to his father (Secret-iry 
Vane, who sat at the council-table with the 
Earl), in which Strafford had distinctly told 
the King that he was free from all rules and 
obligations of government, and might do with 
his people whatever he liked ; and in which 
he had added — " You have an army in Ire- 
land that you may employ to reduce this 
kingdom to obedience." It was not clear 
whether by the words "this kingdom," he 
had really meant England or Scotland, but 
the Parliament contended that he meant 
England, and of course this was treason. At 
the same sitting of the House of Commons it 
was resolved to bring in a bill of attainder 
declaring the treason to have been committed : 
in preference to proceeding with the trial by 
impeachment, which would have required the 
treason to have been proved. 

So a bill was brought in at once, was 
carried through the House of Commons by a 
large majority, and was sent up to the House 
of Lords. While it was still uncertain 
whether the House of Lords would pass it 
and the King consent to it, Pym disclosed to 
the House of Commons that the King and 
Queen had both been plotting with the 
oflBcers of the army to bring up the soldiers 
and control the Parliament, and also to 
introduce two hundred soldiers into the 
Tower of London, to effect the Earl's escape. 
The plotting with the army was revealed by 
one George Goring, the son of a lord of that 
name: a bad fellow, who was one of the 
original plotters, and turned traitor. The 
King had actually given his warrant for the 
admission of the two hundred men into the 
Tower, and they would have got in too but for 
the refusal of the governor — a sturdy Scotch- 
man of the name of Balfour — to admit them. 
These matters being made public, great num- 
bers of people began to riot outside the 
Houses of Parliament, and to cry out for the , 
execution of the Earl of Strafford, as one of 
the King's chief instruments against them. 
The bill passed the House of Lords while the 
people were in this state of agitation, and 
was laid before the King for his assent, to- 
gether with another bill, declaring that the 
Parliament then assembled should not be 
dissolved or adjourned without the'r own 
consent. The King— not unwilling to save 



70 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted bf 



a faithful servant, though he had no great 
attachment for him — was in some doubt what 
to do ; but he gave his consent to both bills, 
although he in his heart believed that the 
bill against the Earl of Strafford was un- 
lawful and unjust. The Earl had written to 
him, telling him that he was willing to die for 
his sake. But he had not expected that his 
royal master would take him at his word 
quite so readily ; for when he heard his doom 
he laid his hand upon his heart, and said, 
" Put not your trust in Princes !" 

The King, who never could be straight- 
forward and plain, through one single day 
or through one single sheet of paper, wrote a 
letter to the Lords, and sent it by the young 
Prince of Wales, entreating them to prevail 
with the Commons that "that unfortunate 
man should fulfil the natural course of his 
life in a close imprisonment." In a postscript 
to the very same letter, he added, " If he must 
die, it were charity to reprieve him till 
Saturday." If there had been any doubt of 
his fate, this weakness and meanness would 
have settled it. The very next day, which 
was the twelfth of May, he was brought out 
to be beheaded on Tower Hill. 

Archbishop Laud, who had been so fond of 
having people's ears cropped off and their 
noses slit, was now confined in the Tower 
too ; and when the Earl went by his window, 
to his death, he was there, at his request, to 
give him his blessing. They had been great 
friends in the King's cause, and the Earl had 
written to him, in the days of their power, 
that he thought it would be an admirable 
thing to have Mr. Hampden publicly whipped 
for refusing to pay the ship-money. However, 
those high and mighty doings were over now, 
and the Earl went his way to death with 
dignity and heroism. The governor wished 
him to get into a coach at the Tower gate, 
for fear the people should tear him to pieces ; 
but he said it was all one to him whether he 
died by the axe or by their hands. So, he 
walked, with a firm tread and a stately look, 
and sometimes pulled off his hat to them as 
he passed along. They were profoundly 
quiet. He made a speech on the scaffold 
from some notes he had prepared (the paper 
was found lying there after his head was 
struck off), and one blow of the axe killed 
him, in the forty-ninth year of his age. 

This bold and daring act the Parliament 
accompanied by other famous measures, all 
originating (as even this did) in the King's 
having so grossly and so long abused his power. 
The name of Delinquents was applied to 
all sheriffs and other officers who had been 
concerned in raising the ship-money, or any 
other money, from the people, in an unlawful 
manner; the Hampden judgment was re- 
versed ; the judges who had decided against 
Hampden were called upon to give large 
securities that they would take such conse- 
quences as Parliament might impose upon 
them; and one was arrested as he sat in 



High Court, and carried off to prison. Laud 
was impeached ; the unfortunate victims, 
whose ears had been cropped and whose 
noses had been slit, were brought out of 
prison in triumph ; and a bill was passed, 
declaring that a Parliament should be called 
every third year, and that if the King and 
the King's officers did not call it, the people 
should assemble of themselves and summon 
it, as of their own right and power. Great 
illuminations and rejoicings took place over 
all these things, and the country was wildly 
excited. That the Parliament took advan- 
tage of this excitement, and stirred them up 
by every means, there is no doubt; but you 
are always to remember those twelve long 
years, during which the King had tried so 
hard whether he really could do any wrong 
or not. 

All this time there was a great religious 
outcry against the right of the Bishops to sit 
in Parliament ; to which the Scottish people 
particularly objected. The English werc: 
divided on the subject, and, partly on thi^ 
account, and partly because they had had 
foolish expectations that the Parliament 
would be able to take off nearly all the taxes, 
numbers of them sometimes wavered and 
inclined towards the King. 

I believe myself that if, at this or almost 
any other period of his life, the King could 
have been trusted by any man not out of his 
senses, he might have saved himself and kept 
his throne. But, on the English army being 
disbanded, he plotted with the officers again, 
as he had done before, and estabhshed the 
fact beyond all doubt, by putting his signa- 
ture of approval to a petition against the 
Parliamentary leaders, which was drawn up 
by certain officers. AYhen the Scottish army 
was disbanded, he went to Edinburgh in four 
days — which was going very fast at that time 
— ^to plot again, and so darkly, too, that it is 
difficult to decide what his whole object was. 
Some suppose that he wanted to gain over the 
Scottish Parliament, as he did in fact gain 
over, by presents. and favours, many Scottish 
lords and men of power. Some think that ho 
went to get proofs against the Parliamentary 
leaders in England of their having treasonably 
invited the Scottish people to come and help 
them. With whatever object he went to 
Scotland, he did little good by going. At 
the instigation of the Earl of Montkose, a 
desperate man who was then in prison foi 
plotting, he tried to kidnap three Scottish 
lords, who escaped. A committee of the Par- 
liament at home, who had followed to watch 
him, wrote an account of this Incident, 
as it was called, to the Parliament ; tlie Par 
liaraent made a fresh stir about it ; were (oi 
feigned to be) much alarmed for themselves, 
and wrote to the Earl of Essex, the com 
mander-in-chief, for a guard to protect thpm 

It is not absolutely proved that the King 
plotted in Ireland besides, but it is very pro 
bable that he did, and that the Queen did too , 



Charlei Dickena.] 



A CHILD'S HISTORY OF ENGLAND. 



71 



and that he had some wild hope of gaining the 
Irish people over to his side by favouring a 
rise among them. Whether or no, they did 
rise in a most brutal, savage, and atrocious 
rebellion ; in which, encouraged by their 
priests, they committed such atrocities upon 
numbers of the English, of both sexes and 
of all ages, as nobody could believe, but for 
their being related, on oath, by eye-witnesses. 
Whether one hundred thousand or two hun- 
dred thousand Protestants were murdered in 
this outbreak, is uncertain ; but, that it was 
as ruthless and barbarous an outbreak as 
ever was known among any savage people on 
earth, is absolutely certain. 

The King came home from Scotland, deter- 
mined to make a gi-eat struggle for his lost 
power. He believed that, through his presents 
and favours, Scotland would take no part 
against him ; and the Lord Mayor of London 
received him with such a magnificent dinner 
that he thought he must have become popular 
again in England. It would take a good many 
Lord Mayors, however, to make a people, and 
the King soon found himself mistaken. 

Not so soon, though, but that there was a 
great opposition in the Parliament to a cele- 
brated paper put forth by Pym and Hampden 
and the rest, called "The Remonstrance," 
which set forth all the illegal acts that the 
King had ever done, but politely laid the 
blame of them on his bad advisers. Even 
when it was passed and presented to him, the 
King still thought himself strong enough to 
discharge Balfour from his command in the 
Tower, and to put in his place a man of bad 
character : to whom the Commons instantly 
objected, and whom he was obliged to 
abandon. At this time, the old outcry about 
the Bishops became louder than ever, and the 
old Archbishop of York was so near being 
murdered as he went down to the House of 
Lords — being laid hold of by the mob and 
violently knocked about, in return for very 
foolishly scolding a shrill boy who was yelping 
out "No Bishops!" — that he sent for all the 
Bishops who were in town and proposed to 
them to sign a declaration that as they could 
no longer, without danger to their lives, 
attend their duty in Parliament, they pro- 
tested against the lawfulness of everything 
done in their absence. This they asked the 
King to send to the House of Lords, which 
he did. Then the House of Commons im- 
peached the whole party of Bishops and sent 
them off to the Tower. 

Taking no warning from this, but encou- 
raged by their being a moderate party in 
the Parliament who objected to these strong 
measures, the King, on the third of Januafy, 
one thousand six hundred and forty-two, took 
the rashest step that ever was taken by 
mortil man. 

Of his own accord, and without advice, he 
sent the Attorney-General to the House of 
Lords to accu:^e of treason certain members of 
Parliament, who, as popular leaders, were the 



most obnoxious to him : Lord Kimboltoi^ 
Sir Arthur Haselrig, Denzil Hollis, Jobot 
Pym (they used to call him King Pym, he i 
possessed such power and looked so big), Johh 
Hampden, and William Strode. The houses 
of these members he caused to be entered, 
and their papers to be sealed up. At the 
same time, he sent a messenger to the House of , 
Commons demanding to have the five gentle- 
men who were members of that House imme- 
diately produced. To this the House replied [ 
that they should appear as soon as there was 
any legal charge against them, and imme- 
diately adjourned. 

Next day, the House of Commons send into 
the City to let the Lord Mayor know that 
their privileges are invaded by the King, " 
and that there is no safety for anybody or 
anything. Then, when the five members are 
gone out of the way, down comes the King 
himself, with all his guard and from two to 
three hundred gentlemen and soldiers, of 
whom the greater part were armed. These 
he leaves in the hall, and then, with his 
nephew at his side, goes into the House, takes 
off his hat, and walks up to the Speaker's 
chair. The Speaker leaves it, the King stands 
in front of it, looks about him steadily for a 
Httle while, and says he has come for those 
five members. No one speaks, and then he 
calls John Pym by name. No one speaks, 
and then he calls Denzil Hollis by name. 
No one speaks, and then he asks the Speaker 
of the House where those five members are? 
The Speaker, answering on his knee, nobly 
replies that he is the servant of that House, 
and that he has neither eyes to see, nor 
tongue to speak, anything but what the House 
commands him. Upon this, the King, beaten 
from that time evermore, replies that he will 
seek them himself, for they have committed 
treason ; and goes out, with his hat in his 
hand, amid some audible murmurings from 
the members. 

No words can describe the hurry that 
arose out of doors when all this was known. 
The five members had gone for safety to a 
house in Coleman Street, in the City, where 
they were guarded all night ; and indeed the 
whole city watched in arms like an army. At 
ten o'clock in the morning, the King, already 
frightened at what he had done, came to the 
Guildhall, with only half a dozen lords, and 
made a speech to the people, hoping that 
they would not shelter those whom he accused 
of treason. Next day, he issued a proclama- 
tion for the apprehension of the five members ; 
but the Parliament minded it so little that 
they made great arranirements for having 
them brought down to Westminster in great 
state, five days afterwards. The King was so 
alarmed now at his own imprudence, if not 
for his own safety, that he left his palace at 
Whitehall, and went away with his Queen 
and children to Hampton Court. 

It was the eleventh of May when the five 
members were carried in state and triumph 



^2 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



to Westminster. They were taken by water. 
The river could not be seen for the boats on 
it ; and the five members were hemmed in by 
barges full of men and great guns, ready to 
protect them, at any cost. Along the Strand 
a large body of the train-bands of London, 
under their commander, Skippon, marched 
to be ready to assist the little fleet. Beyond 
them, came a crowd who choked the streets, 
roaring incessantly about the Bishops and the 
Papists, and crying out contemptuously as 
the}^ pjissed Whitehall, " What has become of 
the King ?" With this great noise outside the 
House of Commons, and with great silence 
within, Mr. Pym rose and informed the House 
of the great kindness with which they had 
been received in the City. Upon that, the 
House called the sheriffs in and thanked 
them, and requested the train-bands, under 
their commander Skippon, to guard the 
House of Commons every day. Then, came 
four thousand men on horseback out of Buck- 
inghamshire, ofi'ering their services as a guard 
too, and bearing a petition to the King, com- 
plaining of the injury that had been done to 
Mr. Hampden, who was their county man 
and much beloved and honoured. 

When the King set off for Hampton Court, 
the gentlemen and soldiers who had been 
with him, followed him out of town as far 
as Kingston-upon-Thames, and next da}'- 
Lord Digby came to them from the King at 
Hampton Court, in his coach and six, to 
inform them that the King accepted their 
protection. This, the Parliament said, was 
making war against the kingdom, and Lord 
Digby fled abroad. The Parliament then 
immediately applied themselves to getting 
hold of the military power of the country, 
well knowing that the King was already try- 
ing hard to use it against them, and had 
secretly sent the Earl of Newcastle to Hull, 
to secure a valuable magazine of arms and 
gunpowder that was there. In those times, 
every county had its own magazines of arms 
and powder for its own train-bands or 
militia ; so, the Parliament brought in a bill 
claiming the right (which up to this time had 
belonged to the King) of appointing the Lord 
Lieutenants of counties, who commanded 
these train-bands ; and, also of having all 
the forts, castles, and garrisons in the king- 
dom, put into the hands of such governors as 
they, the Parliament, a :uld confide in. It also 
passed a law depriving the Bishops of their 
votes. The King gave his assent to that bill, 
but would not abandon the right of appointing 
the Lord liieutenants, though he said he was 
willing to appoint such as might be suggested 
to him by the Parliament. When the Earl cf 
Pembroke asked him whether he would not 



give way on that question for a time, he said, 
" By God ! not for one hour I" and upon this 
he and the Parliament went to war. 

His young daughter was betrothed to the 
Prince of Orange. On pretence of taking her 
to the count] y of her future husband, the 
Queen was already got safely away to Hol- 
land, there to pawn the Crown jewels for 
money to raise an army on the King's 
side. The Lord Admiral being sick, the 
House of Commons now named the Earl 
of Warwick to hold his place for a year. 
The King named another gentleman ; the 
House of Commons took its own way, and the 
Earl of Warwick became Lord Admiral with- 
out the King's consent. The Parliament 
sent orders down to Hull to have that maga- 
zine removed to London ; the King went 
down to Hull to take it himself. The citizenjs 
would not admit him into the town, and the 
governor would not admit him into the 
castle. The Parliament resolved that what- 
ever the two Houses passed, and the King 
would not consent to, should be called an 
Ordinance, and should be as much a law as 
if he did consent to it. The King protested 
against this, and gave notice that these ordi- 
nances were not to be obeyed. The King, at- 
tended by the majority of the House of Peers, 
and by many members of the House of 
Commons, established himself at York. The 
Chancellor went to him with the Great Seal, 
and the Parliament made a new Great Seal. 
The Queen sent over a ship full of arms and 
ammunition, and the King issued letters to 
borrow money at high interest. The Parlia- 
ment raised twenty regiments of foot and 
seventy-five troops of horse ; and the people 
willingly aided them with their money, plate, 
jewellery, and trinkets — the married women 
even with their wedding-rings. Every mem- 
ber of Parliament who could raise a troop or 
a regiment in his own part of the country, 
dressed it according to his taste and in his 
own colours, and commanded it Foremost 
among them all, Oliver Cromwell raised a 
troop of horse — thoroughly in earnest and 
thoroughly well armed — who were, perhaps, 
the best soldiers that ever were seen. 

In some of their proceedings, this famous 
Parliament unquestionably passed the bounds 
of all previous law and custom, yielded to and 
favoured riotous assemblages of the people, 
and acted tyrannically in imprisoning some 
who differed from the popular leaders. But, 
again you are always to remember that the 
twelve years during which the King had had 
his own wilful way, had gone before ; and that 
nothing could make the times what they 
might, could, would, or should have been, if 
those twelve years had never rolled away. 



''Familiar in tlieir Mouths as HOUSEHOLD WOEDS."—Sb^^«^k^ilm. 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 

A WEEKLY JOURNAL. 

CONDUCTED BY CHARLES DICKENS. 



Vol. VIXI. 



McELRATH & BARKER, PUBLISHERS. 

OcKicK Nii. n S;*Kucs srRKBT, Nkw York. 



Whole No. 183 



SLANG. 

It has been a pleasant conceit with philo- 
sophers and writers to distinguish the suc- 
cessive ages of what, in the plenitude of tlieir 
wisdom, they call the world, by some metallic 
nickname. We have had the Golden Age, 
and the Silver Age, the Age of Iron, and the 
Age of Bronze ; this present era will, per- 
haps, be known to our grandchildren as the 
age of Electro-p'ating, from its general 
tendency to shams and counterfeits ; and, 
when the capital of the Anglo-Saxon Empire 
shall be, some hundreds of years hence, some- 
where in the South Seas, or in the centre of 
Africa or interior of China, the age that is to 
come may be known as the Age of Platina 
or that of Potassium, or some one of the 
hundreds of new metals, which will, of course, 
be discovered by that time. 

However, this present age may be distin- 
guished by future generations, whether ferru- 
ginously, or auriferously, or argentinally, there 
can be no doubt that the Victorian era will 
be known hereafter — and anything but fjivour- 
ably, I surmise — as an epoc n of the most un- 
scrupulous heterodoxy in the application of 
names. What was once occasionally tole- 
rated as a humorous aberration, afterwards 
degenerated into folly and perversity, and 
is now a vice and a nuisance. Without 
the slightest regard to the proprieties of 
nomenclature, or to what I may call 
the unities of signification, we apply 
names to objects, abstractions," and persons 
stupidly, irrationally, and inconsistently: com- 
pletely ignoring the nature, the quality, the 
gender, the structure of the thing, we prefix 
to it a name which not only fails to convey 
an idea of what it materially is, but actually 
obscures and mystifies it. A persistence 
in such a course must inevitably tend to 
debase, and corrupt that currency of speech 
which it has been the aim of the greatest 
scholars and publicists, from the days of 
Elizabeth downwards, to elevate, to improve, 
and to refine; and, if we continue the reck- 
less and indiscriminate importation and in- 
corporation into our language of every cant 
term of speech from the columns of American 
newspapers, every Canvas Town epithet from 
the vocabularies of gold-diggers, every bastard 
clns«''^'^m dragged head and shoulders from 

Vol. VIIL-No. 183 



a lexicon by an advertising tradesman to puflf 
his wares, every slip-slop Gallicism from 
the shelves of the circulating library ; if 
we persist in yoking Hamlets of adjectives 
to Hecubas of nouns, the noble English 
t6ngue will become, fifty years hence, a mere 
dialect of colonial idioms, enervated ultramon- 
tanisms and literate slang. The fertility of a 
language may degenerate into the feculence- 
of weeds and tares; should we not rather, 
instead of raking and heaping together worth- 
less novelties of expression, endeavour to weed, 
to expurgate, to epurate; to render, once more, 
wholesome and pellucid that which was once 
a " well of English undefiled," and rescue it 
from the sewerage of verbiage and slang ? 
The Thames is to be purified ; why not the 
language ? Should we not, instead of dabbling 
and dirtying the stream, endeavour to imitate 
those praiseworthy men of letters who, at 
Athens, in that miserable and most forlorn 
capital of the burlesque kingdom of Greece, 
have laboured, and successfully laboured, in 
the face of discountenance, indifference, igno- 
rance, and a foreign court, to clear the Greek 
language from the barbarisms of words and 
phrases, Venetian, Genoese, French, Lingua 
Fi-anca, Arabic, Turkish, Armenian, Spanish,- 
Sclavonic, Teutonic which, in the course of 
successive centuries of foreign domination and 
oppression, had crept into it ; and now (though 
in the columns of base-priced newspapers, 
printed on rotten paper with broken type) 
give the debates of a venal chamber, and the 
summary of humdrum passing events, in the 
language of Plato and Socrates ? These men 
have done more good and have raised a more 
enduring monument to the genius of their 
country, than if they had reared again every 
column of the Acropolis, or brought back 
every fragment of the Elgin marbles from 
Great Russell Street, Bloorasbury. 

It is no excuse for this word-sinning of ours 
to say, that we have learnt a great portion 
of our new-fangled names and expressions 
from America. The utterer is as bad as the 
coiner. It is true that our trans-atlantic 
cousins have not only set us the example, but 
have frequently surpassed us in their eager- 
ness to coin new words, and to apply names 
to things with which they have not the 
remotest relation. The Americans call New 
York the " empire city," as if a city — and in 



74 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted hj 



a republic moreover — could be under any 
circumstances an empire. Another town of 
theirs is the " crescent city," and so fond of 
the name of city are they, that they fre- 
quently apply it to a group of half-a-dozen 
log cabins and a whisky shop in a marsh, on 
tae banks of some muddy, fever-haunted 
river. Every speculator in "town lots" 
(slang again) in the States has founded half- 
a-dozen such " cities." 

In the United States if half-a-dozen news- 
paper editors, post-masters, and dissenting 
ministers, two or three revolvers, a bowie 
knife, a tooth-pick, and a plug of tobacco get 
together in the bar room of an hotel, the 
meeting is forthwith called a " caucus" or a 
"mass meeting." If Joel J. Wainwright 
blows out General Zebedee Ruffle's brains on 
the New Orleans levee, it is not murder but 
a "difficulty." In South America, if a score 
of swarthy outlaws — calling themselves gen- 
erals and colonels, and who were muleteers 
the week before — meet in an outhouse to 
concert the assassination of the dictator of 
the republic, (who may have been the land- 
lord of a Tenia or a hide jobber a year ago) 
the ragged conclave calls itself a '■'■ pronuncia- 
mentoy 

And touching the use of the terras " mons- 
ter," "mammoth," "leviathan," how very 
trying have those misplaced words become ! 
Their violent transformation from substan- 
tives into adjectives is the least of their 
wrongs ; the poor harmless animals have 
been outraged in a hundred ways besides. 
The monster, I believe, first became ac- 
quainted with a meeting in connection with 
that great agitator, so calm now in Glasnevin 
cemetery, and whose agitation has been fol- 
lowed by such a singular tranquillity and 
apathy in the land he agitated. As some- 
thing possibly, but not necessarily expressing 
hugeness (for the most diminutive objects 
may be monstrous) the term of monster 
was not inapplicable. But in a very few 
months every re-union of four-and-twenty 
fiddlers in a row was dubbed a monster con- 
cert ; a loaf made with a double allowance of 
dough was a monster loaf; every confec- 
tioner's new year's raffle was a monster 
twelfth cake ; we had monster slop-selling 
shops, and the monster pelargonium drove 
our old familiar friend, the enormous goose- 
berr)% from the field. Then came the mam- 
moth. An American speculator — who in the 
days when spades were spades, would have 
been called a showman, but who called him- 
self a " professor and a tiger king," neither of 
which he was — had a horse, some hands above 
the ordinary standard of horseflesh, and 
forthwith called him the mammoth horse. 
That obsolete animal the Mammoth being 
reputed to have been of vast dimensions , 
gave to the horse this new nickname ; but 
in a short time there started up from all 
quarters of the Anglo-Saxon globe, from 
the sky, the earth, and from the waters 



under the earth, a plethora of mammoths. 
The wretched antediluvian beast was made 
to stand godfather to unnumbered things 
that crawled, and things that crept, and 
things that had life, and things that had 
not. The mammoth caves of Kentucky 
howled from across the Atlantic. Peaceable 
tradesmen hung strange signs and wonders 
over their shop-doors ; and we heard of mam- 
moth dust pans, and mammoth loo tables, 
and mammoth tea trays. Large conger eels, 
fruits of unusual growth, and cheeses made 
considerably larger than was convenient, 
were exhibited in back streets at sixpence a 
head, under the false pretence of being mam- 
moths. If anybody made anything, or saw 
anything, or wrote anything big, it became 
a mammoth, that the credulous might suppose 
the Titans, Anak and all his sons, were come 
again, and that there w^ere giants in the land. 
We wait patiently for a plesiosaurus pump- 
kin, or an ichthyosaurus hedgehog ; and we 
shall have them in good time, together with 
leviathan lap-dogs, behemoth butterflies, and 
great-sea-serpent parliamentary speeches. 

Brigands, burglars, beggars, impostors, and 
swindlers will have their slang jargon to the 
end of the chapter. Mariners too, will use the 
terms of their craft, and mechanics will borrow 
from the technical vocabulary of their trade. 
And there are cant words and terms tradi- 
tional in schools and colleges, and in the 
playing of games, which are orally authorised 
if not set down in w^ritten lexicography. But 
so universal has the use of slang terms be- 
come, that, in all societies, they are frequently 
substituted for, and have almost usurped the 
place of wit. An audience will sit in a 
theatre, and listen to a string of brilliant 
witticisms with perfect immobility ; but let 
some fellow rush forward and roar out "It's 
all serene," or "Catch 'em alive, oh I" (this 
last is sure to take) pit, boxes and gallery 
roar with laughter. 

I cannot find much tendency to the employ- 
ment of slang in the writings of our early 
humorists. Setting aside obsolete words and 
phrases rendered obscure by involution, there 
are not a hundred incomprehensible terms in 
all Shakspeare's comedies. The glut of com- 
mentators to the paucity of disputed words is 
the best evidence of that. We can appreciate 
the humour of Butler, the quaintness of 
Fuller, the satire of Dryden, the wit of Con- 
greve and Wycherly, nay, even the scur- 
rilities of Mr. Tom Brown, as clearly as 
though they had been written j^esterday. In 
Swift's Polite Conversation, among all the 
homely and familiar sayings there is no slang ; 
and you may be sure, if there had been any of 
that commodity floating about in polite circles 
then, the Dean would have been the man to 
dish it up for posterity. Fielding and Smollett, 
in all their pictures of life, with all their 
coarseness and indecency, put little slang into 
the mouths of their characters. Even Mr. 
Jonathan Wild the great, who, from his 



Charles Dickens.1 



SLANG. 



75 



position and antecedents, must have been a 
master of slang in every shape, makes but 
little use of it in his conversation. And in 
that rogue's epic — that biographia Jlagitiosa 
— the Beggars' Opera — we can understand 
Macheath, Filch, Jenny Diver, and Mat of 
the Mint without dictionary or glossary. 
The only man who wrote slang was Mr, Ned 
Ward ; but that worthy cannot be taken as 
an example of the polite, or even of the 
ordinary conversation of his day. 

It may be objected to me that although 
there may be a large collection of slang 
words floating about, they are made use 
of only by loose, or at best illiterate per- 
sons, and are banished from refined society. 
This may be begging the question, but I 
deny the truth of the objection. If words 
not to be found in standard dictionaries, not 
authorised by writings received as classics, 
and for which no literary or grammatical 
precedents can be adduced, are to be called 
slang — I will aver that you shall not read 
one single parliamentary debate as reported 
in a first-class newspaper, without meeting 
vrith scores of slang words. W^hatever may 
be the claims of the Commons' House to 
collective wisdom, it is as a whole an assembly 
of educated gentlemen. From Mr. Speaker 
in his chair to the Cabinet ministers whisper- 
ing behind it — from mover to seconder, from 
true blue protectionist to extremest radical, 
Mr. Barry's New House echoes and re-echoes 
with slang. You may hear slang every day 
in term from ban-isters in their robes, at 
every mess table, at every bar mess, at every 
college commons, in every club dining-room. 

Thus, with great modesty and profound 
submission, I must exprofes my opinion either 
that slang should be proscribed, banished, 
prohibited, or that a New Dictionary should 
be compiled, in which all the slang terms 
now in use among educated men, and made 
use of in publications of established character, 
should be registered, etymologised, explained, 
and stamped with the lexicographic stamp, 
that we may have chapter and verse, mint 
and hall-mark for our slang. Let the new 
dictionary contain a well-digested array of the 
multitude of synonyms for familiar objects 
floating about ; let them give a local habita- 
tion and a name to all the little by-blows of 
language skulking and rambling about our 
speech, like the ragged little Bedouins about 
our shameless streets, and give them a settle- 
ment and a parish. If the evil of slang has 
grown too gigantic to be suppressed, let us at 
least give it decency by legalising it ; else, 
assuredly, this age will be branded by pos- 
terity with the shame of jabbering a broken 
dialect in preference to speaking a nervous 
and dignified language ; and our wits will be 
sneered at and undervalued as mere word- 
twisters, who supplied the lack of humour by 
a vulgar facility of low language. 

The compiler of such a dictionary w*ould 
have no light task. I can imagine him at 



work in the synonymous department. Only 
consider what a vast multitude of equivalents 
the perverse ingenuity of our slanginess has 
invented for the one generic word Money. 
Money — the bare, plain, simple word itself — 
has a sonorous, significant ring in its sound, 
and might have sufficed, yet we substitute for 
it — tin, rhino, blunt, rowdy, stumpy, dibbs, 
browns, stuff, ready, mopusses, shiners, dust, 
chips, chinkers, pewter, horsenails, brads. 
Seventeen synonyms to one word ; and then 
we come to species — pieces of money. Sove- 
reigns are yellow boys, cooters, quids ; crown- 
pieces are bulls and cart-wheels ; shillings, 
bobs, or benders ; sixpenny-pieces are fiddlers 
and tizzies ; fourpenny-pieces, joeys or bits ; 
pence, browns, or coppers and mags. To say 
that a man is without money, or in poverty, 
some persons remark that he is down on his 
luck, hard up, stumped up, in Queer Street, 
under a cloud, up a tree, quisby, done up, sold 
up, in a fix. To express that he is rich, we 
say that he is warm, comfortable, that he has 
feathered his nest, that he has lots of tin, or 
that he has plenty of stuff, or is worth a 
plum. 

For the one word drunk, besides the autho- 
rised synonyms tipsy, inebriated, intoxicated, 
I find of unauthorised or slang equivalents 
the astonishing number of thirty-two, viz. : in 
liquor, disguised therein, lushy, bosky, buffy, 
boozy, mops and brooms, half-soas-over, far- 
gone, tight, not able to see a hole through a 
ladder, three sheets in the wind, foggy, 
screw^ed, hazy, sewed up, moony, muddled, 
muzzy, swipey, lumpy, obfuscated, muggy, 
beery, winey, slewed, on the ran-tan, on the 
re-raw, groggy, ploughed, cut and in his 
cups. 

For one article of drink, gin, we have ten 
synonyms: max, juniper, gatter, duke, jackey, 
tape, blue-ruin, cream of the valley, white 
satin, old Tom. 

Synonymous with a man, arc a cove, a 
chap, a cull, an article, a codger, a buffer. A 
gentleman is a swell, a nob, a tiptopper ; a 
low person is a snob, a sweep, and a scurf, 
and in Scotland, a gutter-blood. Thieves 
are prigs, cracksmen, mouchers, gonophs, 
go-alongs. To steal is to prig, to pinch, to 
collar, to nail, to grab, to nab. To go or run 
away is to hook it, to bolt, to take tracks, to 
absquatulate, to slope, to step it, to mizzle, to 
paddle, to cut, to cut your stick, to evaporate, 
to vamose, to be off, to vanish, and to tip 
your rags a gallop. For the verb to beat I can 
at once find fourteen sjmonyms : thus to thrash, 
to lick, to leather, to hide, to tan, to larrup, 
to wallop, to pummel, to whack, to whop, to 
towel, to maul, to quit, to pay. A horse is a 
nag, a prad, a tit, a screw. A donkey is a 
moke, a neddy. A pohceman is a peeler, a 
bobby, a crusher ; a soldier a swaddy, a 
lobster, a red herring. To pawn is to spout, 
to pop, to lumber, to blue. The hands 
are mauleys, and the fingers flippers. The 
feet are steppers; the boots crabshells, or 



76 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



trotter cases, or grabbers. Food is grub, 
prog, and crug ; a hackney cab is a 
shoful ; a Punch's show a schwassle-box ; a 
five pound note is a flimsy ; a watch a ticker ; 
anything of good quality or character is stun- 
ning, ripping, out-and-out ; a magistrate is a 
beak, and a footman a flunkey. Not less can 
I set down as slang the verbiage by which 
coats are transformed into bis-uniques, al- 
pacas, vicunas, ponchos, anaxandrians, and 
siphonias. 

The slang expressions I have herein set 
down I have enumerated, exactly as they 
have occurred to me, casually. If I had made 
research, or taxed my memory for any con- 
siderable time, I have no doubt that I could 
augment the slang terms and synonyms to at 
least double their amount. And it is possible 
that an accomplished public m^U be able to 
supply from their own recollection and experi- 
ence a goodly addition to my list. The 
arrival of every mail, the extension of everj'- 
colony, the working of every Australian 
mine would swell it. Placers, squatters, 
diggers, clearings, nuggets, cradles, claims — 
•where were all these words a dozen years ago? 
and what are they, till they are marshalled 
in a dictionary, but slang ? We maj'' say 
the same of the railway phraseology : buffers, 
switches, points, stokers, and coal bunks — 
whence is their etymology, and whence their 
authority ? 

But slang does not end here. It goes higher 
— to the very top of the social Olympus. 
If the Duchess of Downderry invites some 
dozen of her male and female fashionable 
acquaintances to tea and a dance afterwards, 
what do you think she calls her tea-party ? 
A thc^ dansante — a dancing tea. Does tea 
dance ? Can it dance ? Is not this libel upon 
honest Bohea and Souchong slang ? — pure, 
unadulterated, unmitigated slang. 

The slang of the fashionable world is 
mostly imported from France ; an unmeaning 
gibberish of Gallicisms runs through English 
fashionable conversation, and fashionable 
novels, and accounts of fashionable parties in 
the fashionable newspapers. Yet, ludicrously 
enough, immediately the fashionable magnates 
of England seize on any French idiom, the 
French themselves not only universally 
abandon it to us, but positively repudiate it 
altogether from their idiomatic vocabulary. 
If you were to tell a well-bred Frenchman 
that such and such an aristocratic marriage 
was on the tapis, he would stare with astonish- 
ment, and look down on the carpet in the 
startled endeavour to find a marriage in so 
unusual a place. If you were to talk to him 
of the l)eau monde^ he would imagine you 
meant the world which God made, not half- 
a-dozen streets and squares between Hyde 
Park Corner and Chelsea Bun House. The 
tM dansante would be complctelyinexplicable 
to him. If you were to point out to him the 
Dowager Lady Grimguffin acting as chaperon 
to Lady Amanda Creamville, ho would 



imagine you were referring to the petit 
Chaperon Eouge— to little Red Riding Hood. 
He might just understand what was meant 
by vis-a-vis, entremets, and some others of the 
flying horde of frivolous little foreign 
slangisms hovering about fashionable cookery 
and fashionable furniture ; but thi ee-fourths 
of them would seem to him as barbarous 
French provincialisms, or, at best, but as 
antiquated and obsolete expressions picked 
up out of the letters of Mademoisefle Scuderi, 
or the tales of Cribillon the younger. 

But, save us, your ladyship, there are thou- 
sands of Englishmen who might listen to 
your ladyship for an hour without under- 
stand' ng half-a-dozen words of your discourse. 
When you speak of the Isoit faux pas, of poor 
Miss Limberfoot's sad misalliance, of the 
Reverend Mr. Caudlecup's being " so full of 
soul," of the enchanting roulades of that ra- 
vishing cantatrice Martinuzzi, of your dinner 
of the day before being recherche, of your gens 
being insolent and inattentive, how shall plain 
men refrain from staring wonderstruck at 
your unfathomable discourse ? 

And when your ladyship does condescend 
to speak English, it is only with a delightful 
mincingness of accent and a liberal use of 
superlatives. The Italian singer you heard 
last night was a " divine creature ;" if you 
are slightly tired or dull you are "awfully 
bored" or " devoured with ennui f if your face 
be pale you vow yon are a " perfe'f fright ;" 
if a gentleman acquaintance volunte r a very 
mild joke he is a " quizzical monster" — a 
dreadful quiz, he is so awfully satirical ; and 
the comic actor last night was " killing ;" and 
Julie, my child, hand me my vinaigrette, and 
take a shilling out of my porte-monnaie, and 
tell Adolfe to get some jujubes for Fido ; and, 
let me see, if I go out in the pilentum to-day, 
or stay, the barouche (we have a char-a-banc 
down at our place. Doctor), I will wear my 
moire antique and my ruche of Brussels lace, 
and my mantelet, and my chatelaine, with all 
the " charms" Lord Bruin Fitzurse brought 
me from Dresden, and then we will take a 
drive into the Park, and I will leave a card at 
Bojannee Loll's for my next " Thursdaj'," for 
really my dear " lions" are so scarce now, 
that even Bojannee Loll will be an acquisi- 
tion : and so on. 

I believe the abominable slang practice of 
writing P. P. C. on a card of leave-taking, 
and R. S. V. P. at the bottom of a letter when 
you wish an answer to it, is gone out of 
fashion, and I rejoice that it has. 

Young Lord Fitzurse speaks of himself 
and of his aristocratic companions as " fel- 
lows" (very often pronounced " faywows";) 
if he is going to drive a four-horse coach 
down to Epsom Races, he is going to " tool 
his drag down to the I)erb3^" Lord Bobby 
Bobbin's great coat, which he admires, 
is " down the road." An officer in the 
tenth hussars is "a man in the tenth ;" a 
pretty young lady is a " neat little filly ;" a 



Charles DicTcen*.] 



SLANG. 



n 



vehicle which is not a drag (or dwag) is a 
"trap" or a "cask;" his lordship's lodgings 
in Jermyn Street are his "crib," his "dig- 
gings," or he " hangs out " there. His father 
is his " governor ;" his bill discounter a 
"dreadful old screyv," if he refuses to do a 
"bit of stiff" for him. When his friend has 
mortgaged his estate, he pronounces it to be 
"dipped." Everything that pleases him is 
"crushing, by Jove!" everything that dis- 
pleases him (from bad sherry to a writ from 
his tailor) is " infernal." 

Then there is the slang of criticism. Lite- 
rary, dramatic, artistic, and scientific. Such 
words as aesthetic, transcendental, the " har- 
monies," the unities, a myth : such phrases 
as an exquisite mon^eau on the big drum, 
a scholarHke rendering of John the Baptist's 
great toe; "keeping," " harmony," " middle 
distance," " aerial perspective," " delicate 
handling," " nervous chiaroscuro," and the 
like, are ma{Je use of pell-mell, without the 
least relation to their real meanings, their 
real uses, their real requirements. 

And the Stage has its slang, both before 
and behind the curtain. Actors speak of 
such and such a farce being a "screamer," 
and such and such a tragedy being " damned" 
or " goosed." If an actor forgets his part 
while on the stage, he is said to " stick " and 
to " corpse " the actors who may be perform- 
ing with him, by putting them out in their 
parts. A "part" has so many "lengths;" 
a piece will " run " so many nights. Belville 
is going in the country to " star " it. When 
no salaries are forthcoming on Saturday, the 
"ghost doesn't walk" — a benefit is a "ben," 
a salary a " sal;" an actor is not engaged to 
play tragedy or comedy, but to "do the heavy 
businctis," or " second low comedy," and when 
he is out of an engagement he is said to be 
" out of collar." 

Thus through all grades and professions 
of life runs this omnipresent slang. 

In the immense number of new words 
which are being continually coined and disse- 
■ minated throughout our gigantic periodical 
press lies, I conceive, the chief difficulty of the 
English language to foreigners. The want of 
any clear and competent authority as to what 
words are classical and what merely slang, 
what obsolete and what improper, must be a 
source of perpetual tribulation and uncertainty 
to the unhappy stranger. If he is to take 
Johnson and Walker for standards, a walk 
from Charing Cross to Temple Bar, an hour 
at a theatre, or an evening in society, will 
flood his perturbed tympanum with a deluge 
of words concerning which Johnson and 
Walker are absolutely mute. IIow is the 
foreigner to make his election? Suppose the 
unfortunate Monsieur, or Plerr, or Signor 
should address himself to write, as De Lolme 
did, a treatise on the EngUsh constitution. 
Snnpos i he were to begin a passage thus : — 
" Though Lord Protocol was an out-and-out 
humbug, Sir Reddy Tapewax was not such a 



flat as to be taken in. He proved the gammon 
of Lord Protocol's move, and, though he 
thought him green, did him completely 
brown." How many young poUticians would 
not think it beneath them to talk in this 
manner, yet how bitterly the foreign essayist 
would be ridiculed for his conversational 
style of composition. 

The French have an Academy of Letters, 
and the dictionary of that Academy, pub- > 
lished after forty years labour, nearly two 
centuries ago, is still the standard model of 
elegance and propriety in composition and 
conversation. The result of this has been 
that every work of literary excellence in 
France follows the phraseology, and within 
very little the orthography which we find in 
the poetry of Racine and Boileau, and the 
prose of Pascal and Fenelon. And the French 
has become, moreover, the chief diplomatic 
conversational and commercial language in the 
world. It is current everywhere. It is neither so 
copious, so sonorous, or so dignified as English 
or German, but it is fixed. The Emperor of 
Russia or the Sultan of Turkey may write and 
speak (accent apart) as good French as any 
Parisienne. But in England, an Englishman 
even has never done learning his own lan- 
guage. It has no rules, no limits ; its ortho- 
graphy and pronunciation are almost entirely 
arbitrary; its words are like a provisional 
committee, with power to add to their num- 
ber. A foreigner may hope to read and 
write English tolerably well, after assiduous 
study ; but he will never speak it without a 
long residence in England ; and even then he 
will be in no better case than the English 
bred Englishman, continually learning, con- 
tinually hearing words of whose signification 
he has not the slightest idea, continually 
perplexed to as what should be considered 
a familiar idiom, and what inadmissible 
slang. 

To any person who devotes himself to 
literary composition in the English language 
the redundancy of unauthorised words and 
expressions must always be a source of un- 
utterable annoyance and vexation. Should 
he adopt the phraseology and style of the 
authors of the eras of Elizabeth or Anne he 
may be censured as obsolete or as perversely 
quaint Should he turn to the Latin tongue 
for the construction of his phrases and the 
choice of his language, he will be stigmatised 
as pedantic or with that grave charge of 
using hard words. And, should he take 
advantage of what he hears and sees in his 
own days and under his own eyes, and in- 
corporate into his language those idiomatic 
words and expressions he gathers from the 
daily affairs of life and the daily conversation 
of his fellow men, he will have no lack of 
critics to tell him that he writes insufferable 
vulgarity and slang. 

Her Majesty Queen Anne is dead ; but for 
Her Majesty's decease we should have had 
an Academy of Letters and an Academy 



78 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Condncted bjr 



Dictionary in England. There are two opinions 
in this country relative to the utility of acade- 
mies ; and, without advocating the formation 
of such an institution I may be permitted 
submissively to plead that we really do want 
a new dictionary — if not in justice to our- 
selves, at least injustice to foreigners, and in 
justice to our great-great-grand-children. 

A NORMxVN STORY. 



Not many evenings ago, M'hen the south- 
west wind had cooled the atmosphere, I was 
sauntering with my dog on the top of the 
cliffs not far from Fc camp, in Normandy. All 
at once my dog made a halt, pricked up his 
ears, and uttered a low growl. A few seconds 
afterwards T perceived in the shade a man 
who had also stopped on my approach. I 
called my dog ; the man came forward ; and, 
by his cloak lined with sheepskin, I recognised 
one of those numerous coast-guards, whose 
duty it is to watch all night long in little 
hiding-places that are built upon the cliffs, 
more than three hundred yards above the 
level of the sea. 

" You have got there," he observed, as he 
laid his hand upon my dog's head, " an excel-' 
lent companion for the evening. A real 
Newfoundlander," he added, " I once had 
one like him, but was obliged to part with 
him. We are no longer allowed to take 
dogs out with us. To be sure, they would 
discover a smuggling transaction sooner than 
we could by ourselves ; but they would also 
inform us of the visits of our night inspec- 
tors, and that would not exactly suit them." 
While gossipping thus, he gave me to under- 
stand that this was his native place ; that, 
although he was not particularly rich, with 
his salary of six hundred francs a year, he 
was yet glad to be home again. "And, 
Monsieur," he continued, " I have not enjoyed 
that pleasure long. Although I have now 
been here three days I cannot literally say 
that I have slept under my family roof; for T 
have only every fourth night to myself" 
During the course of this speech, he leaned 
forward from time to time, and peeped over 
the edge of the cliff. 

"Do you hear anything?" I asked. 

"No," he replied; "but T am looking for 
a grotto about which my mother used for- 
merly to tell me a curious story. The spots 
on which we have passed the happiest mo- 
ments of our lives, are old friends whom we 
are delighted to meet again. Look there — 
that's the vQry place." And he pointed wuth 
his finger to a cavern in the cliff, which im- 
i)rinted upon its white side a vast and irre- 
gular black spot. I will spare you the relation 
of the manoeuvring which T employed, to 
induce the coast-giiard to tell me his story. 
We sat ourselves down inside his little hut, 
and he began : — 

" In the first place, Monsieur, T assure you 
that neither my mother nor myself ever knew 



the persons whose history I am going to tell 
you. The tale was told to my mother, as 
she told it to me, and as I shall shortly tell it 
to you. 

"xi very long time ago, a young man 
named Louis Morand was sent by his father to 
Paris, to complete his studies, and to take his 
Doctor's degree in the Faculty of Medi.-ine. 
The father died ; and the report went about 
that it was in consequence of grief at his son's 
ill conduct. However that might be, the 
youth, who had no great inheritance to ex- 
pect, simply sent for the papers of his deceased 
parent, and employed himself one evening in 
destroying them, and in selecting those that 
promised to be of use. After the inspection 
of much that was of no consequence, he came 
to a bundle which contained letters all in the 
same handwriting. The very first letter made 
him extremely anxious to examine the rest, 
and he read a tolerably voluminous correspon- 
dence. They came from a friend who seemed 
greatly attached to his father. ' Since it is 
your wish,' he wrote, ' that I should reserve 
for your son what I desire and am able to 
bequeath to you, send him to me as soon as 
he is five-and-twent}'- ; and, if he shows a 
good disposition, I will imdertake to provide 
for him handsomely. On the other hand, I 
will take good care not to furnish him with 
the means of developing a vicious and a ma- 
lignant character, to the prejudice of those 
with whom he has to do.' When Louis 
Morand read the signature, he recognised the 
name of a man who was reputed here to be a 
sorcerer and a necromancer. He laughed at 
first at this offer of protection ; but after he 
had spent, in as bad a way as possible, the 
trifling amount of money which remained 
after his father's affairs were settled, he then 
resolved, under pressure from his creditors 
and in uncertainty about his future prospects, 
to tr}'- his chance upon new ground, and intro<- 
duce himself to this unknown benefactor, who 
appeared to have both the power and the wall 
to serve him. He set out on his journey ; 
and, after a troublesome search, arrived safely 
at the necromancer's house. I ought to tell 
you that this necromancer was perhaps no 
more a sorcerer than you and L Probably 
he was only better informed than other folks, 
and by means of a few^ chemical and mecha- 
nical secrets, contrived to impose upon the 
credulity of the vulgar." 

At this last word, I looked at the coast- 
guard with some degree of surprise. "Do 
you think so ?" I said. 

" I don't think anything about it," he 
answered. " What I am now telling you is 
part of the narrative like all the rest. My 
mother told it me in that way, and probably 
that is exactly how she heard it herself The 
niagician's house was in the midst of a wood 
on the slope of a hill. When Louis Morand 
knocked at the door, a little black -faced man 
came and opened it. His appearance made a 
deep impression upon Louis. At that time 



Chnrlea Dickens.] 



A NORMAN STORY. 



79 



people were not accustomed to the sight of 
negroes ; and, moreover, the figure ani the 
costume of the slave were altogether strange 
and fantastic. His entire little person was 
completely covered with gold and precious 
stones. On beholding him, Louis took him 
for a gnome — one of those genii who, in the 
bowels of the earth, are deputed to keep 
guard over the treasures there. He inquired 
for Master Guillaume, trembling all the 
while to receive an answer ; for the aspect of 
the tiny creature was by no means calculated 
to inspire confidence. The gnome— I am un- 
able to state exactly whether he was a negro 
or a real gnome — the gnome introduced him 
into an immense saloon, where his master was 
reading by the light of a large fire. Nor can 
I tell you whether Louis's imagination caused 
him to see things differently to what they 
actually were; or whether this fire were 
supernatural ; or whether the effect was pro- 
duced by ordinary causes ; but, to Louis's 
eyes, the fire was reflected in bright blue light 
all around the walls of the room. 

** The old man's appearance was venerable. 
He had a long white beard ; his silver locks 
were partially hidden beneath a violet cap ; 
the rest of his costume was equally in keeping 
with his necromantic reputation. Immedi- 
ately that Louis was announced, he embraced 
him and talked about his father with tears in 
his eyes ; and then, after this outburst of 
feeling, he ordered dinner to be served di- 
rectly. The repast was of exquisite delicacy ; 
the wines, especially, were most delicious. 
Louis ate and drank to his heart's content. 
He afterwards, however, thought he remem- 
bered that Master Guillaume, who ate nothing 
but rice, and drank nothing but water, knitted 
his brows two or three times when he saw 
him fill and empty his glass ; but the recol- 
lection was so utterly vague, that he never 
could feel quite certain of the fact. ' My 
son,' said Master Guillaume, 'your father was 
my dearest friend. His simple tastes and his 
contempt for earthly things made him refuse 
to profit by my friendship during the whole 
of his life. If you are not degenerated from 
so honourable a parentage, you shall inherit 
it, according to his wish ; and it is no con- 
temptible inheritance that I offer you, as you 
yourself shall judge by and bye. We will 
now descend into my laboratory. There, we 
will talk about it, and I will then see what 
is to be done for you.' 

" Guillaume and Louis then descended, by 
a dark and narrow staircase, for more than 
an hour. At the end of that time they 
found themselves in a large apartment richly 
hung with purple. It was illumined by 
lamps that shed a purple light, and gave an 
extraordinary air to the necromancer's sub- 
terranean retreat. Louis was struck with 
complete astonishment. When they were both 
seated upon some downy cushions, Master 
Guillaume pulled a bell, whose golden wire was 
hidden in one of the folds of the drapery. The 



gnome instantly made his appearance. Louis 
was alarmed at the apparition of the little 
creature who, in less than a couple of se- 
conds, had passed a distance which had cost 
them an hour to traverse. The gnome remained 
standing, awaiting in silence the orders of his 
superior. ' Zano,' said Master Guillaume, 
' there is one thing of importance which I 
have forgotten. It will perhaps be late when 
we leave this place ; let a couple of partridges 
be prepared for our supper, one for each of 
us ; but do not put them down to roast until 
I give the order.' 

" After a long conversation, in which Master 
Guillaume questioned Louis about his past 
life, his habits, and his tastes, he said : ' My 
son, in consideration of the fHendship which 
I still bear to your father, even beyond the 
grave, I will give you whatever 5^ou choose 
to ask me. But I am able to grant you only 
one single thing ; and therefore, think of it 
carefully beforehand. My power extends no 
further than that.' — ' Master,' replied Louis, 
' I have often pondered in my mind which is 
the most useful thing in life, and I am so 
thoroughly convinced that the surest and 
most fruitful source of enjoyment is to be the 
possessor of a large fortune, that I do not 
hesitate to ask you for it.' — ' So be it as you 
desire,' the old man replied with gentleness ; 
' but first allow me to warn you of the dangers 
which your choice will draw around your 
head. Men are like ships ; they founder the 
more easily, in proportion as they are heavier 
laden with wealth. However honourable one 
may feel one's self to be, it is best to avoid 
the possession of too powerful and efficacious 
weapons. The sheep, perhaps, would be as 
ferocious as the wolf, if its teeth were as 
strong and sharp as those of its enemy.' — 
The old man here added a multitude of reflec- 
tions and examples, which I will not relate to 
you, because my mother, who probably did 
not hear a word about them, repeated nothing 
of the sort to me : only Louis afterwards 
stated that his aged friend's eloquence was 
by no means amusing ; and that he passed 
all the time which it pleased Master Guil- 
laume to employ in making his peroration, in 
thinking of the use he would make of hi.i 
future riches, and of the pleasures which ha 
was upon the point of enjoying. ' 

" Master Guillaume concluded his long dis- 
course in the very same words with which 
he had commenced it : 'So be it as you 
desire. Here is a little casket filled with gold. 
W^henever it is empty you will come to me, 
and I will fill it for you again. I shall not 
trouble you with any questions about the use 
which you make of your money. I only beg 
you not to visit me till the contents of the 
casket are entirely expended. More frequent 
applications would be a useless disturbance 
of my favourite pursuits. On the other hand, 
you have no occasion to hoard. If I die 
before you, the casket will continue to fill 
itself, according as you empty it.' Master 



80 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Condaetod h^ 



Guillaume then gave him some further 
counsel — which you might find tiresome. 

" Louis came tolerably often to get his 
casket filled. One day he again fancied that 
he saw the Master knit his brows. He then 
thought that perhaps some caprice of the old 
man might deprive him, at one moment or 
another, of the wealth to which he had be- 
come accustomed ; and he determined to 
make a fresh demand as soon as half the 
money in the casket was spent, in order to 
be able to amass a treasure, and render his 
future career independent of the necro- 
mancer's whims. He spent his life in gamb- 
ling, and in orgies of every description. There 
was nothing which he did not believe himself 
permitted to practise ; and unhappily, the 
immense fortune which he had at his dis- 
posal converted those who surrounded him 
into so many slaves, who spared no pains to 
confirm him in that idea. In his despotic 
license, he knew no check ; and afterwards, 
clo3'ed with pleasures which he could not 
greatly vary, on account of being unable to 
travel far from the source of his riches, he 
could find amusement in no other pursuit 
than in doing mischief to those around 
him. 

" The intimate companion of his debau- 
cheries was a clever and good-natured .young 
man, who although partaking of a portion of 
his pleasures, did not, on that account, hesi- 
tate to blame other parts of his conduct ; and 
who, for that very reason alone, had put him- 
self in danger of incurring Louis's displeasure. 
An accident changed this discontent into a 
deep and envenomed hatred. Louis had a 
mistroRs, who resided a league from this spot; 
and her house was the usual scene of the riot 
and debauchery which occupied his life, ex- 
cepting the moments when he was a prey 
to ennui. One day, he imagined that he dis- 
covered between her and Rechteren certain 
looks of intelligence, which kindled a burning 
jealousy in his heart. He did not, however, 
cease to receive Rechteren in the most friendly 
manner. But one evening, when they were 
departing together from the house of — " 
Here the coast-guard hesitated. I waited 
for some time ; and then, fearing that he 
j I might have fallen asleep, I made a noise to 
' ' awaken him. But he was not asleep ; only 
puzzling his brains. 

" It is singular !" he said, " that I cannot 
remember the name of Louis Morand's 
mistress." 

" Substitute some other, then." 

" I shall remember it directly. I want to 
tell you the story exactly as it was told to 
me. — Her name was Hortense. — As they were 
leavinu: Ilortense's house together, Louis 
Morand said to his friend, ' If you will be 
guided by .me, we will take advantage of the 
ebb tide to follow the path at the foot of the 
cliffs. We shall see the sun set in the sea.' 
It is most probable," added the coast-guard, 
"that Louis Morand made use of some addi- 



tional arguments to persuade his companion 
to go that way ; for sunset is not so very un- 
common a sight. The sun must set every 
evening, as long as he rises every morning. 
It was, as near as may be, at this season of 
the year, and the moon was at the full. Con- 
sequently, it was ' spring tides,' and the tide 
began to flow at four o'clock. As you would 
easily perceive if the water was not so high, 
and as j^ou have most likely observed on other 
occasions, it is rather a rough and fatiguing 
task to have to walk over points of rock and 
pebbles which roll beneath your feet. They 
were proceeding exactly below the hut in 
which we are sitting. At this time of day, 
the tide rises ten fathoms over the spot where 
their feet were standing. They amused them- 
selves with admiring the sunset, and with 
gossiping. The wind blew from the north 
west, and slightly tipped the waves with 
white. There are people in the world who 
M^ould spend a whole week in gazing at the 
sea, without doing anything else. For the 
last eleven years it has been my principal 
employment, and I have yet to learn what 
pleasure it can give them. All of a sudden, 
Rechteren noticed that for the last hour the 
tide had been flowing, that the wind was 
driving the waves before it, and that it would 
be more prudent to retrace their steps, espe- 
cially as they had scarcely advanced mare 
than a quarter of a league. But Louis 
Morand burst out laughing, asked him scorn- 
fully if he were afraid, and assured him that 
in another quarter of an hour they would be 
walking in the town of F(--camp. 

" ' Very well, then,' said Rechteren, ' let us 
proceed.' 

" But they could only proceed at a very 
slow rate. It was now almost night ; and 
they incurred every moment the risk of 
breaking their legs between, the rocks. Louis 
was continually finding some pretext for 
retarding their progress. Sometimes he 
pointed out to Rechteren the yellow tints 
w^hich the sun had left in the west ; some- 
times he noticed the earliest stars which were 
making their first appearance in the east 
They were still far from the end of their 
journey, and the sea roared in a menacing 
tone. Every wave which broke upon the 
rocks advanced further than its predecessor 
had done. It now became completely night, 
and a faint glimmer behind the ciifi*s an- 
nounced the rising of the moon. 

"Rechteren stopped. 'Louis!' he ex- 
claimed, 'let us return. In half an hour we 
can retrace the distance which we have ad- 
vanced ; and we do not know how long it 
will take us to get to tlie end of our present 
path. We have not even the moon to guide 
us. She is hidden behind the heavy clouds 
which the wind is driving before it from the 
offing.' 

" ' Return, if you like,' said Louis Morand; 
' for my part, I shall go on.' 

" ' I will follow you then,' said Rechteren. 



;h.vlef Dicken*.] 



A NORMAN STORY. 



81 



And they started again without exchanging 
another word. 

'' A few hundred paces further, Rechteren 
again halted. The pebbles were black beneath 
his feet, and he stooped to touch them with 
his fingers. He then perceived that the 
cause of their blackness was that a wave, 
somewhat stronger than the rest, had reached 
the very foot of the cliff, and wetted it. Never- 
theless, he made no remark ; for, at the point 
which they had reached, if they were not 
nearer to Fecamp than to their place of 
starting, they must inevitably be drowned. 
Another step, and a wave glided forwards, 
wetting their legs as it broke on the shore. 

" ' Louis, we are lost !' he said. Louis made 
no reply, but doubled his pace. Rechteren 
refrained from uttering any reproach ; but 
still it was his companion's obstinacy which 
had thus endangered both their lives. At 
last they ran as fast as they could towards a 
portion of the cliff which jutted out into the 
sea. Perhaps behind that projecting point 
they might find a track where it would be 
possible to climb. But, as soon as they had 
gained the promontory, the sea burst roaring 
against the cliff. 'Louis,' repeated Rechteren, 
* we are utterly lost!' He tried to measure 
the cliffs at a glance, as well as the night 
would allow him to do so. Far as his eye- 
sight could pierce the gloom, nothing was to 
be seen but a wall three hundred feet high, 
and as upright as the mast of a ship. They 
hastily ran back again ; but from time to 
time fatigue compelled them to pause and 
take breath. Rechteren swallowed a mouth- 
ful from a flask of spirits ; and then they 
again endeavoured to press forward. In a 
quarter of an hour, they were once more 
arrested by the sea, which broke against the 
cliff. On either side escape was impossible. 
The space of a couple of hundred feet was all 
that was left uncovered. Every advancing 
wave devoured the dry land ; and before 
another half hour could elapse, the place on 
which they then stood would certainly be six 
fathoms under water. Rechteren stopped 
short, and looked right and left at the fast 
rising tide. Before him was the boiling ocean ; 
behind, the smooth, unbroken cliff. 

" ' This is not the moment to flee like a 
hare,' he said ; ' still less to give way to 
despair. We must be resigned to our fate, 
and await it boldly. Come, Louis ; it is all 
over with us.' 

" Louis walked a few steps onwards, and 
climbed a boulder which had fallen from the 
cliff, and which leaned against it to the height 
of seven or eight feet above the level of the 
beach. There, he sat himself down in silence, 
Rechteren followed him, and stood by his side. 

" ' My good friend Louis,' he said, ' can you 
guess what vexes me most in the midst of 
this terrible catastrophe ? It is, that two or 
three fools of my acquaintance, who have 
often teased me because I cannot swim, and 
who have always predicted that I should die 



in the water, will conclude their funeral 
oration over me with an impertinent " I told 
him so!" That, I must confess, is a pleasure 
which I was scarcely disposed to confer upon 
them.' After a moment's pause, he continued : 
' This is a horrible death ! I do not fear to 
die, but I do fear the pain of dj'ing. Look at 
those rocky points against which we shall 
soon be dashed ! How frightful is the voice 
of these roaring waves and this whistling 
wind ! But, however fearful it may be, the 
awful spectacle elevates the soul, raises a man 
above himself, and endows him with strength 
to die becomingly. It is better to meet death 
in this decided style, than to take the chance 
of being shot for giving the lie to a fool, who 
is afraid to fire the bullet which kills you. 
But Louis, you do not speak a word.' 

" There was another moment of solemn 
silence, during which the sea could be heara 
to be constantly advancing. A wave, crowned 
with, its wreath of foam, came and touched 
the rock which was their last refuge. 

" ' I have just experienced,' said Rechteren, 
' a final paroxysm of despair and rage ; I hare 
been tempted to rush against the cliff, and 
try to climb it with my nails and fingers.' 
He then {idded, with a burst of blasphemy, 
' a cat could not manage to perform the feat I 
A strange expression,' he added, ' has escaped 
my lips ; that oath, uttered so near to death, 
terrifies me. You may laugh if you like, my 
dear Louis, although you do not seem in a 
laughing mood ; but I feel an irresistible im- 
pulse to pray. These voices of the sea and 
the winds, this death which advances on the 
foaming waves, all seem to command me to 
fall down upon my knees.' Rechteren then 
knelt down upon the rock. ' It would be very 
difiicultjust now,' he said, *to remember all 
the prayers which they taught me in days 
gone by ; but the one I shall make will 
be as good as any.' After a few mo- 
ments, he arose again. ' Louis, do )'ou in 
turn follow my example. I assure you that 
it will do you no harm.' 

" ' No ;' muttered Louis. 

" ' You seem to me to be rather in a stupor ; 
I will not arouse you from your insensibility. 
It is one way, among others, of meeting death, 
and is perhaps the best thing that could hap- 
pen to you. Only, if I have offended you 
in any respect, I now entreat your pardon 
for it.' 

" Louis fixed his glittering eyes full upon 
the countenance of his friend. 

" 'I confess to have injured you with re- 
gard to Hortense. But I am dying with cold. 
I should wish during the few minutes that 
I still have to live, to feel as little suffering 
as possible. Ah, yes ! I have it now.' x\nd 
he emptied the spirits which remained in 
his flask into a little hollow on the top of the 
rock : then, taking from his pocket the flint 
and steel which he always carried about him, 
he set fire to it, and a blue flame soon qui- 
vered over its surface. ' What a capital 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



thought!' he exclaimed; 'But it is unlucky 
that we have no sugar here. It would be de- 
lightful to drink a glass of punch while we 
are waiting for the tide to rise enough. At 
any rate, it will warm my fingers till the sea 
comes and puts it out. But I shall then have 
no further need for it' 

"'Wretch!' said Louis Morand, 'do you 
not see that the waves are breaking against 
the rock which we have mounted ? ' 

" ' I see it, as well as you do ; and I almost 
wish that it was all over and ended. For 
there is a moment coming which frightens 
me a little. But, Louis, why are you undress- 
ing yourself? ' 

" ' Why ? Because you have confessed your 
crime, of which I was already aware ; be- 
cause I have brought you up hither to have' 
my revenge. Think, now, of your own and 
Hortense's perfidy.' 

" He stepped from the rock ; the water was 
up to his middle. As Rechteren shouted 
after him, 'Louis! Louis! Do you abandon 
me thus ? ' an enormous billow rose above 
Morand's head. He dived, and reappeared on 
the other side of the wave, which broke 
against the foot of the rock. Louis Morand 
had hard work to swim, plunging under 
every wave. Rechteren screamed, but he did 
not hear him ; for the sea made a deafening 
noise, till he got completely away from the 
breakers. He then turned round. The blue 
flame was still shining in the darkness of night. 
A httle afterwards, he turned again. The 
flame was extinguished. Three hours later 
he arrived at Fecamp. 

" Look that way," said the coast-guard, 
pointing to the grotto which he had already 
indicated, " if the tide were low I could still 
show you, by descending to the beach, the 
hole in the rock in which Rechteren set light 
to the flask of spirits. 

" Louis related the death of his friend, 
exactly as suited his own convenience. They 
had been surprised by the tide ; in spite of 
desperate efforts, he had been unable to 
rescue Rechteren, and had had great difficulty 
in saving himself. He ostentatiously mourned 
the death of the man whom he had murdered ; 
and everybody agreed in praising his excel- 
lent heart and his sensibility. But, what he 
really feared, was the presence of Master 
Guillaume and his severe and penetrating 
glance. 

" This time he waited till the casket was 
completely empty before he made up his 
mind to apply to the sorcerer. At the dooj*, 
he hesitated, and was very near turning back 
again ; but by repeatedly reminding himself 
that Master Guillaume had imposed no con- 
ditions upon his favours, and that, moreover, 
he would be sure to be deceived, like other 
people, by the reports that were current, he 
took courage, and entered. Master Guil- 
laume, according to custom, filled the casket 
without speaking a word. But there was 
something cruelly sardonic in his look; and 



when Louis Morand offered his hand as usual 
on entering, the master did not offer his in 
return. Louis retired, pale and horribly 
agitated ; the master had evidently refused 
to take the hand of a murderer. x\n ironical 
smile had for a moment contracted his lips. 
Louis had everything to fear. Not only 
might he soon cease to receive any further 
supply of money from the sorcerer, but it was 
probable that his punishment would not end 
there. He was more than three months 
without daring to present himself again ; and 
he spent all that time in the most serious 
anxiety. He had exhausted all the pleasures 
which the neighbourhood could offer him. 
Like the goat, which, after having cropped 
the grass within the circle which the length 
of its teti*er allows it to traverse, crops it 
again as short as velvet, and then lies down 
in discontent, so Louis, satiated with his 
past enjoyments, lived a life of worn-out 
dulness. 

" A fearful thought entered his mind. It 
fixed itself there, and took firm root. It 
completely occupied him by night and by 
day. He turned it over, and arranged his 
plans in his head ; all his difficulties vanished, 
all his dangers were over. As soon as every- 
thing was prepared for the execution of his 
project, he went to the house of his aged 
friend. When Zano opened the door for him 
to enter, he rushed upon the negro, enveloped 
his head in his mantle to smother his cries, 
and handed him to some men who carried 
him away. Then, followed by his accom- 
plices, he proceeded, pistol in hand, to Master 
Guillaume's chamber, where they bound him 
hand and foot. 'Louis Morand,' asked the 
sorcerer, * what is it that you want of me V 

" No one answered. Louis was left alone 
with the master, to whom he said, ' Deliver 
up all the treasures you possess.' 

" ' Louis Morand,' replied the Master, ' you 
have made too bad a use of the wealth I 
have already bestowed upon you, for me to 
be guilty of such an act of madness as to feed 
your vices any longer. With what you have 
hitherto received, you have only turned out 
foolish and wicked ; if you were in possession 
of my hidden treasure, your vices would 
become crimes, and your M'ickedness would 
increase M'ith the means of indulging it.' 

" Meanwhile, Louis's attendants searched 
the house, from the roof to the cellar. They 
returned to say that they could not find the 
value of ten crowns altogether. Then they 
carried the old man away, and shut him up 
in a prison which Louis had contrived and 
built. It was a tall tower, lined inside 
throughout with plates of polished iron. 
Here, they told him, he should be starved 
to death ; and here he lay, enduring the 
dreadful pangs of hunger and thirst, for six 
days. 

" Towards the evening of the sixth day a 
voice was heard, and Louis Morand's face ap- 
peared at one of the windows. He employed 



Olmrlt^s Di.'ke.is.j 



OLD BONES. 



83 



ever J means his imagination could sug- 
gest to induce the sorcerer to deliver up 
his treasures. Master Guillaume was in- 
flexible. He hungered and thirsted, three 
days more, Louis Morand appeared at a 
window ; the Master threatened him with 
the vengeance of Heaven. Louis Morand re- 
plied by an insulting smile, and urged him 
to give up his treasures. Master Guillaume 
wrapped his head in his mantle, and went to 
sleep. Next day, Louis Morand appeared 
again. 

" ' In the name of Heaven,' the Master 
faintly cried, ' do not kill, in such a cruel 
way, an old man who never did you anything 
but good !' — ' Give me, then, your treasures,' 
said Louis Morand. The old rc-an bowed his 
head without replying. Louis disappeared. 
That night Master Guillaume did not sleep. 
He prayed, without being able to calm his 
spirits. He called Louis Morand. Louis 
Morand appeared. 

" ' My son,' he said, 'what have I done, to 
be condemned to die such a horrible death ? 
Have pity on my white hairs ! Have pity on 
your father's friend ! Spare my life ; if you 
refuse that, at least shorten the torments I 
suffer.' — ' Give me, then, your treasures,' 
repeated Louis. 'Mercy! mercy !' cried the 
old man. But Louis constantly replied, ' Give 
me your treasures !' 

" At last. Master Guillaume pulled a golden 
bell. A thick vapour rolled before Louis's 
eyes. With the vapour, the prison disappeared. 
Louis beheld the sorcerer sitting opposite to 
him in his velvet chair, which he had never 
quitted. He also found himself in precisely 
the same position he had occupied when the 
necromancer said to him, ' So be it, as you 
desire.' The golden bell was still vibrating 
within the purple drapery. The illusion, 
the effect of the sorcerer's art, was at an end. 
Zano entered. 

" ' Zano,' said Master Guillaume, ' put down 
only a single partridge to roast for supper.' " 



OLD BONES. 

Not many years ago there were discovered 
by some labourers who were digging in the 
gravel in front of St. John's College, Oxford, 
some "giant's bones." They were carefully 
placed in a wheel-barrow, and trundled off to 
the Professor of Geology, who had the repu- 
tation in that town of giving the best price 
for all old bones. The discoverers presently 
returned to their fellow workmen, with in- 
formation that the doctor had decided the 
bones to be, not bones of giants, but of 
elephants ; and that he had given them 
(although there was no brag about it in his 
windows) two sovereigns more per pound 
than they could have obtained at any other 
house. 

Bat how came an elephant to have been 
buried in the middle of the street? The 
oldest inhabitant at once decided, that 



although the doctor had as usual his own 
book-learned theory, the elephant was one 
that had died in Mr. Wombwell's menagerie 
when it was being exhibited in Paradise 
Square, long, long, ago. 

This was an elephant, however, that had 
lived before the days of Wombwell. Long 
before King Alfred had laid the foundation 
stone of University College, or the Fellows 
of St. John's had begun to enclose the 
nightingale-haunted groves of Bagley ^Yood, 
did this elephant, in company with others of 
his class, fearing no proctor, roam over tbo 
tract of land on which the undergraduate 
now lounges, looking about to see how 
he may spend paternal moneys. Times are 
changed, and we ought to be thankful for it. 
Great would be the annoyance suffered by 
the white-throated M. A., who in eighteen 
hundred and fifty-three should suddenly have 
his ideas disarranged by the apparition of that 
great leviathan on the top of Heddington Hill. 
There is no danger of that now ; it is certain 
that those elephants are dead and gone, but 
at the same time it is not less certain that 
they died and went the way of their flesh in 
the neighbourhood of Oxford ; and not about 
Oxford only, but throughout nearly the 
whole of England. In the streets of London 
the teeth and bones of elephants are fre- 
quently turned up by the pick-axes of men 
digging foundations and sewers. Elephants' 
teeth have been found under twelve feet of 
gravel in Gray's Inn Lane. They have been 
found too at a depth of thirty feet. In digging 
the grand sewer near Charles Street, on the 
east of Waterloo Place, Kingsland, near 
Hoxton, in eighteen hundred and six, an 
entire elephant's skull was discovered con- 
taining tusks of enormous length, as well as 
the grinding teeth. In the Ashmolean 
Museum at Oxford, there are some vertebrae 
and a thigh-bone of an enormous elephant, 
which must have been at least sixteen feet 
high; these bones are in the most delicate 
state of preservation. They were found at 
Abingdon in Berkshire, about six miles from 
Oxford. 

Near the same place — namely, at Lulham— 
during the digging of a gravel pit, not very 
long ago, there were found some " giant's 
bones," that were indeed human, and must 
have belonged to a man of considerable size. 
This discovery made a sensation at the time ; 
and, to quiet the agitation and the scandal 
raised thereby, a coroner's inquest ^yas held 
in due form over the skeleton, ending in a 
verdict, honestly arrived at by twelve true 
and. lawful Berkshiremen. Upon subsequent 
examination by competent authorities, the 
mvsterious skekton was pronounced, most 
decidedly, to be that of an old Roman, who 
had been buried with all his arms and mili- 
tary accoutrements near the camp to which 
he had probably belonged, and of which the 
remains are still to be seen on the two hills 
called the Dorchester Clumps. Little did his 



84 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



comrades think when covering him up with 
gravel, how their departed friend would be 
disinterred and " sat upon." 

With the elephant's bones found at Abing- 
don were mixed fragments of the horns of 
several kinds of deer, together with the bones 
of the rhinoceros, horse, and ox ; showing that 
those creatures co-existed with the elephant, 
and that they formed a happy family. 
There were carnivorous races also then ex- 
isting. We have only to go further down the 
Great Western Railway from Oxford, and, 
getting out at the Weston-super-Mare station, 
ask the way to Banwell Bone Caves. There 
may be found evidence enough of the former 
existence of more savage and rapacious 
animals than elephants or deer. The caves 
are situated at the western extremity 
of a lofty grass-coloured range of hills. The 
hills contain ochre, calamine (carbonate of 
zinc), and lead. Some years ago, when 
sinking a shaft into them, caves were dis- 
covered, and the quantity of bones then 
brought to light excited as much surprise 
among the learned as among the unlearned. 

The principal cavern is about thirty feet 
long, and there is a branch leading out of it 
thirty feet further. Of course it is quite 
dark, and visitors must carry candles. The 
visitor must take heed that he keeps his 
candle alight ; no easy matter, for the water 
comes down pretty freely in large heavy 
drops from the stalactites above. By help of 
the light there are to be seen bones, bones ; 
everywhere bones. 

They are piled up against the wall ; they 
stick into the floor ; they fill up recesses, in 
the most fantastic shapes. Here a candle is 
stuck in the eyeless socket of a skull : there 
John Smith, London, has inscribed his name 
in letters of hysenas' teeth. We are invited 
to rest halfway upon a seat composed of 
horns and leg bones. They may be handled 
by the most fastidious ; having lost all traces 
of corruption for some ages past. Yonder 
deer's bone was picked, perhaps, by the teeth 
in this huge hyaena's skull ; and as for the 
hyaena himself he died of a good age — that 
his teeth tell us. His tough body, after death, 
may have been dainty dinner to the bear whose 
monstrous skull is employed as the crown and 
summit of the monument of old bones raised 
in the cave in honour of a learned bishop — 
the Bishop of Bath and Wells. When the 
caves were first discovered, in eighteen hun- 
dred and twenty-six, it was he who took 
every means in the most laudable manner to 
preserve them and their contents intact. 
Mr. Beard was appointed curator, and he has 
arranged in his own house a fine collection of 
all the best specimens that have been found 
below. 

To Mr. Beard I went, and by him I was 
most hospitably welcomed. His museum dis- 
plays a very fine collection of the remains of 
the ancient British Fauna. The bones of the 
bear claimed first attention, and especially 



one large bone of the fore leg, which 
measured at the joint seven inches round; 
being larger than the corresponding bone in 
any known species of ox or horse. It is quite 
evident that the inhabitants of the bone caves 
lived before the times of King Edgar the 
wolf-destroyer — for the museum contained 
wolves' bones in abundance. Fine patriarchal 
old wolves they must have been that run upon 
them. Many a fine old English deer, all of the 
olden time, they must have run down and de- 
voured on the Mendip hills, their cry resound- 
ing through the valleys and over the dales 
where now the screaming whistle and the 
rush of the express train startles timid sheep, 
who live in a land where their great enem}' 
exists only as a fossil. 

Then, again, in those old days there were 
foxes living in a country that contained no 
hounds, who ground down their teeth to the 
stumps that are exhibited in Mr. Beard's pill- 
boxes, and died of sheer senility. Glorious 
to foxes were the good old times, and the 
poor little mice that lived then, as we see by 
the contents of other boxes, had their bonea 
crunched. 



MOONRISE. 

A MAN stood on a barren inonntain peak 

In the night, and cried: "Oh, world of heavy 
gloom ! 

Oh, sunless world ! Oh, nnivefsal tomb I 
Blind, cold, mechanic sphere, wherein I seek 
In vain for Life and Love, till Hope gfiovvn weak 

And falters towards Chaos ! Vast, blank Doom ! 

Huge darkness in a narrow prison-i-oom ! 
Thou art dead — dead !" Yet, ere he ceasoJ to speak, 

Across the level ocean in the East 
The Moon-dawn grew ; and all that mountain's 
side 
Kose, newly-born from empty duc'k. Fields, 
trees, 
And deep glen-hollows, as the light it creased, 
Seemed vital ; and from Heaven bun and wide, 
Tlie Moon's white soul looked ovor lands and 
seas. 



MOLDO-WALLACHLi. 



Beyond railways, beyond diligences, boyond 
post-chaises, out of the track of travellers, but 
full in the high road of conquest from the 
north to the south, lie the sister provinces of 
Moldavia and Wallachia, which, for shortness, 
some are accustomed to designate as Moldo- 
Wallachia. Their names have become noto- 
rious of late by taking place in the vocabulary 
of political writers and speakers ; but it may 
be doubted — certain vague statistics set apart 
— whether in most men's minds any ideas at 
all arc connected with them. When we talk 
of Paris we picture to ourselves the Place de 
la Concorde or the Boulevards ; an allusion to 
Berlin implies a recollection of Under the 
Linden Trees ; to Naples of the Strada di 
Toledo ; but who thinks of the Po de Mogo- 
choya at mention of Bucharest, or has any 



Ckane* Diekons/ 



MOLDO-WALLACHIA. 



85 



associations ^^hatevcr with Curt d'Argis and 
Kimpolongo ? Let us try to connect a few 
images, a few forms, a few colours, with these 
words. This is the best way to extend our 
sympathies in that direction. 

Moldo-Wallachia is Httle more than a huge 
farm, giving employment to some three or 
four miUions of labourers. It is not, however, 
a farm laid out on the principles of Mr. Mechi, 
but an eastern backwoods farm, very vast 
and straggling; here and there cut up by 
patches of original desert and extents of pri- 
mitive forests, made rugged by spurs of 
mountains and watered by boisterous rivers, 
navigable tor the most part only by fallen 
trees. These rivers flow from the Carpathian 
mountains, which divide the country to the 
northward from Austria, and fiill into the 
Danube, which divides it from Turkey. There 
is a kind of postern-gate to the East, ill-closed 
by the Pruth, a river that has often been 
mentioned this year. In neither of the Prin- 
cipalities are there many roads worthy of the 
name. The cities, villages, or farming stations, 
are generally connected only by tracks and 
bridle-paths. 

The geological construction of Moldo- 
Wallachia is essentially volcanic. Its moun- 
tains contain many craters frequently in a 
state of eruption. Sulphur and bitumen are 
plentiful. In some parts little spiui^s of 
liquid metal are seen, from time to time, 
breaking from the schistous rocks, flowing a 
little way like melted lead, and* then con- 
densing to the hardness of iron. In various 
places, of late years, miniature volcanoes have 
beon known to start up from the ground and 
flame bravely away for a few days amidst 
corn-fields and pasturage. The Prathova 
river, in certain parts of its course, becomes 
tepid or hot, or even boiling, according as it 
flows or not over subterranean galleries of 
fire. Earthquakes are frequent. It is not 
long since nearly the whole of the city of 
Bucharest was destroyed — Po de Mogochoya, 
and all. The shock was felt whilst the prin- 
cipal inhabitants were at the theatre listening 
to one of the dramas of Victor Hugo. Many 
persons perished, and an immense amount of 
property was of course lost. In the countries, 
however, that are subject to these epileptic 
fits of Nature, such accidents are quickly for- 
gotten and their consequences repaired. They 
serve, indeed, the purpose of revolutions or 
sanitary bills in more civilised lands. Bucha- 
rest, at any rate, like Paris and London, has 
been induced to widen its thoroughfares and 
improve the build of its houses. 

A great part of Moldo-Wallachia, especially 
towards the mountains, is clothed in forest. 
In few countries are beheld more magnifi- 
cent oaks ; and travellers talk of having seen 
thousands with trunks rising straight more 
than eighty feet without branches. Mingled 
with these splendid trees, or covering the 
higher slopes with their dull verdure, are 
enormous firs, that would delight the eye of 



the ship-builder. Besides these, there are 
elms and beeches of prodigious size, with 
wild pear trees and senna, maple, cherry, and 
yew trees, with many others. All these grow 
in a tangled mass — grow or fall together, 
beaten down by the tempest or uprooted by 
rushing inundations. " In the low country 
the millet has no more husk than the apple 
has rind in the high," says the Wallachian 
proverb, to picture the fertility of the country. 
Its vast plains, indeed, are covered in the 
season with splendid crops ; of which those 
who travel to Galatz can say something. 
These districts are counted now, as they have 
always counted, among the granaries of 
Europe. It is worth remarking, that a young 
French gentleman, who has studied poHtical 
econom}', has lately recommended the Moldo- 
Wallachians to neglect the culture of the 
ground and take to the manufacture of cotton 
cloths, in order to escape from the commercial 
tyranny of perfidious Albion. The mysteries 
of supply and demand, however, the definitions 
of value, and the influence of tariffs, do not he 
in our way at present. We are not going to 
discuss what is a pound, but to explain w^hat 
is the Wallachian substitute for a railway. 
Before visiting or describing a country in 
detail, it is good to know what means of 
locomotion it possesses. 

If you arc not particularly pressed for time, 
which no one ought to be in that part of the 
world, it is best to use the great waggon 
called the Kerontza, which resembles the 
vehicles in which the burly boors of the Cape 
sleep and smoke in their journey from one 
kloof to another. It is of solid construction, 
and well roofed with leather. A large family, 
with all their luggage and paraphernalia, even 
their cocks and hens, may travel in it ; and 
perhaps there could be no more romantic 
way of spending six months than in jolting 
about in one of these lumbering chariots 
amidst the plains and forests of Wallachia. 
The people of the country generally go from 
place to place on foot, or mounted on horses, 
buffaloes, or oxen. Asses are little used; 
those humble quadrupeds being treated with 
the same unchristian contempt as in most 
other European countries. Asia and Africa 
are their paradise. Among the Boyards, 
however, it is fashionable to make use of 
what is called a Karoutchor, a kind of vehicle 
peculiar to the country, and which we sincerely 
hope may ever remain so. As a traveller has 
already remarked, it holds a position in the 
scale of conveyances, a little above a wheel- 
barrow and a little below a dungcart. It is, 
properly speaking, a trough, a box without 
a cover, three feet long, two feet wide, and 
two feet and a half high. It rests, of course 
without the intervention of springs, upon the 
axles or beams ; and is poised upon four 
wheels made of soHd wood, more or less 
rounded by means of a hatchet. Perhaps 
Boadicea's war-chariot was something of the 
make of a karoutchor. Not a single nail 



86 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Condaeted by 



enters into its composition. The harness is 
as primitive as the vehicle. To a single 
shaft, generally with the bark on, eight, ten, 
or twelve horses are fastened by means of 
long cords, with collars at the end through 
which the heads of the beasts are passed. 
Threo surijions or postillions mount three of 
the hoi'^es without saddles, without stirrups, 
and without bridles ; and these are all the 
preparations made to travel express in 
Wallachia. 

If you have courage enough to undertake 
this mode of progression, you present yourself 
to the Aga or the Ispravnick of the city you 
inhabit, and inform him of your desperate 
intention, and also of the place you want to 
reach, the day on which you wish to set out, 
and your address. This information is set 
down upon a piece of paper, which it is ne- 
cessary to show to each post-master on the 
way. The chief formality, however, consists 
in paying the whole fare in advance — a pre- 
caution probably taken because there exist so 
very few chances of your arriving safely at 
the end of your journey, and because it would 
not be decorous to exact payment from a 
dead traveller. 

When the fatal moment has arrived, and 
you have said adieu to your friends and made 
your will, the karoutchor comes dashing up to 
your door ; and it is considered wisest, if you 
really intend to travel, to leap in without 
taking a moment to think of the consequences. 
The Ispravnick has given a thought to your 
comfort. You will find an armful of hay, not 
yery sweet, it is true, to sit upon ; and whilst 
you are arranging it underneath you, the 
chief surijion will utter his "all right" in the 
shape of a savage cry, as if he were about to 
whirl you to the infernal regions, will crack 
his enormous whip, and thus give the signal 
of departure. Off you go — with a frightful 
jerk and an ominous hop of all the four 
wheels at once; for they have not yet got 
used to go round. They will get into the 
habit one by one, never fear. You feel the 
necessity at once of clutching hold of the 
edge of your abominable post-box, as an 
awkward rider seizes hold of the pommel of 
his saddle. The neighbours shout out a long 
farewell, or look commiseratingly at you, as if 
you were going to be hanged ; ruthless boys 
laugh at your deplorable countenance ; and 
the postillions yell like mad. Thus you arrive 
at the gates of the city, exhibit your pass- 
port — shame preventing you from getting out 
— submit probably to the last extortion you 
will suffer in this life ; and rush into the open 
plain. 

Now the three postillions begin to show 
themselves in their true character. You 
have already had some ugly suspicions. They 
are not postillions. They are demons. They 
are carrying you away, soul and body, to 
their great master. As soon as they have 
the wide horizon of plain and forest around 
them, they begin to scream with delight, 



and to exhibit their infernal joy under a 
false pretence of singing. The first in rank 
sets up a discordant rhythmical howl, some- 
times as gay as the psalms on a witch's 
sabbath, sometimes as dreary as the shrieks 
of ghosts disturbed in their midnight evolu- 
tions. Then the others join in in chorus, 
and you would assuredly stop your ears if 
your hands were not fully employed in holding 
on. Meanwhile, these wretches accompany 
their screams with the most furious gesticula- 
tions, wriggling their bodies into all manner 
of postures, leaning now this way, now that, 
lashing furiously the herd of wild animals 
that is bounding under them; and giving, 
indeed, every additional proof that is neces- 
sary of their supernatural character. 

Once you have set out, you feel yourself 
reduced to a most miserable state of insigni- 
ficance. You are utterly forgotten. The 
surijions think of nothing but their songs 
and their horses. They have not even a 
glance to spare for the karoutchor. On 
they go, whether there be a road or not, 
caring only to swallow so many miles in the 
least possible space of time. The tracks in 
the African deserts are often marked by the 
bones of camels that have fallen under their 
burdens ; those in Wallachia are marked by 
the bones of madmen who have undertaken 
to travel post. But the surijion cares not 
for — notices not — these lugubrious mementoes 
of former journeys. He skips lightly over 
them all. Ravines, torrents, ditches, patches 
of brushwood, are dashed through with rail- 
road rapidity. The horses seem to take 
delight in this infernal race. They too forget 
that they have anything at their heels, and 
struggle desperately which shall be foremost. 
A steeple chase is nothing to it. If you are 
a very bold man, the excitement keeps you up 
for half an hour ; but then alarm rushes into 
your soul. Not one of the postillions deigns 
to turn his head. He is not there for con- 
versation. He has nothing to say to you. 
As to stopping, or going slower, or not 
going quicker, the idea is absurd. At 
length, in all probability, a wheel breaks, the 
trough falls over, and the traveller is shot 
off into some deep hole, with a broken 
leg or collar-bone, and is thankful that 
he is not quite killed. Still on goes the 
karoutchor, rendered lighter by this slight 
accident; and it is only on reaching the next 
relay, that the surijions turn round and 
perceive that they have lost a wheel and 
their passenger. Peace be to his manes — his 
fare is paid. 

The distinguishing characteristic of Moldo- 
Wallachia being theabsence of cities, travelling 
is not very prevalent among the people. It 
is true that each principality possesses nomi- 
nally a capital, and that Bucharest and Jassy 
contain a considerable agglomeration of in- 
habitants. Both these places, however, though 
they exhibit some tendencies to civilisation — •. 
though they put on fragments of French 



Charlei Dickens.] 



MOLBO-TVALLACHIA. 



87 



costume as the savages put on the inex- 
pressibles of Captain Cook — are little better 
even "now than vast villages. The true life 
of the Danubian provinces is in the country 
— in the plains that stretch from the banks 
of the Danube towards the Krappacks and 
Dneister — out amidst the fields where grew, 
probably, the corn which made the bread 
we, sitting here at breakfast in London, have 
this day eaten — out into the forests that 
furnish the wood with which Constantinople 
is built — out into the districts where men 
live like moles in the earth, and where you 
may ride over the roofs of a village without 
suspecting its existence, unless your horse 
stumble into a chimney hole. 

If Moldo-Wallachia possessed a proper 
government, and were insured against the 
dangers of conquest, it would probably pro- 
duce ten times the amount of grain it now 
produces. The cultivated fields, so far from 
succeeding one another in unbroken succession, 
are loosely scattered over the country, and 
divided by patches of forest and waste land, 
and sometimes by vast extent of marsh. They 
are allowed to lie fallow every other year 
from the want of a proper system of manuring. 
The seed time is generally in autumn ; but if 
a short crop is feared, an inferior quality of 
grain is sown in other lands in the spring. 
Six oxen drag a heavy plough, which makes a 
deep furrow. Every year, as in a new coun- 
try, virgin tracts are brought under culti- 
vation to replace others, which have been 
wilfully abandoned, or have been ruined by 
violent inundations of the Danube, or its 
tributary torrents. These newly-conquered 
fields are first planted with cabbages, which 
grow to an enormous size, and are supposed 
to exhaust certain salts which would be 
injurious to the production of wheat, of barley, 
of maize, of peas, of beans, of lentils, and 
other grain and pulse. Maize was first intro- 
duced into these countries in the last century, 
and yields prodigious returns. 

The Danubian provinces are familiar to the 
Englishman chiefly as corn-growing countries ; 
but we must repeat, in order to leave a cor- 
rect impression, that great portions of them 
are still clothed in primaBval forest. Patriots, 
taking this fact to be a sign of barbarism, 
insist that the wood-lands are every day 
giving way to cultivation, and pride them- 
selves on the fact ; but a grave Italian writer, 
who seems to fear that some day the world 
will be in want of fuel, deplores this circum- 
stance, and attributes it to \that he considers 
an extravagant, absurd, and almost impious 
use of good things granted by Providence, 
namely, the custom of paving a few of the 
principal streets, or rather kennels, of Jassy 
and Bucharest with wood. The worthy man, 
however, might have spared himself the 
anxiety which this hideous waste appears- to 
have created in his mind. There is no dan- 
ger that Moldo-Wallachia will soon be dis- 
forested, and the sentimental, perhaps, will 



rejoice in this fact, when they know that the 
vast seas of foliage which form the horizon of 
the plains and roll over the mountains are 
inhabited by prodigious colonies of nightin- 
gales. In no place in the world are there 
found so many of these delightful songsters 
as in Wallachia. In the months of May and 
June it is considered to be one of the greatest 
enjoyments that man can taste, to go out by 
moonlight and listen to the concert of nightin- 
gales, swelling full and melodious above the 
rustling of the leaves, and the rattling of 
small water-courses. Benighted travellers 
often stop their waggons by the side of some 
forest-lake that spreads over half a glade, 
on purpose to listen to this marvellous 
music, and then after having feasted their 
ears for a while, give the order to march, 
upon which, amid the clacking of whips, the 
shouts of the drivers, and the creaking of 
the wheels, all those sweet sounds are stifled, 
and 3'ou are brought back as it were from 
fairy-land to the country of Boyards, serfs, 
and gipsies. 

Let us suppose the reader to be wending his 
way according to this primitive style, through 
one of the vast plains that stretch westward 
from the Dimbowitza. If it be summer there 
is little danger, even after midnight, from the 
wolves ; and the bears remain up amidst the 
krappacks. You may, therefore, jolt along in 
safety, unless you happen to deviate into a 
morass, or upset into one of the crevices, which 
so frequently occur. It is pleasant to travel 
by night on account of the great comparative 
coolness of that time ; but nothing can exceed 
the delight of moving leisurely along in the 
early hours of the morning, when the air is 
full of grey light, and the skies are covered 
by flights of birds on the look out for a break- 
fast ; when bustards go rustling through the 
underwood, when partridges start up from the 
dewy grass and take semicircular flights to 
get out of the way of the intruders, and when 
awkward storks are seen perched upon boughs 
watching for serpents and other reptiles to 
take home to their young. The sunrise in 
those districts is wonderfully fine, clear, and 
red. Once the winter season passed the 
weather is balmy and agreeable, except in the 
afternoon, when- the fierce heat shrivels the 
vegetation, and causes the traveller to droop. 
This is why the dark hours, or those which 
usher in the day, are preferred for travelling ; 
and if you are out in the plains at that time, 
you are sure to hear the discordant creaking 
of wheels approaching or receding in different 
directions, just as in the enchanted forest to 
which Don Quixote was taken by the hu- 
morous (and not very amiable) hospitality of 
his ducal hosts. 

The approach to a Wallachian village in 
these wild regions is remarkable. On emerging 
perhaps from a sombre wood, along the skirts 
of which hang white patches of morning mist, 
you dimly, see signs of cultivation, fields of 
maize or wheat and beds of cucumbers and 



88 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Condacted by 



cabbages. So you begin to have thoughts of 
eggs an J poultry, and leap out of your s1o\a^- 
moving waggon and push on, expecting, if 
you are quite a novice, to descry comfortable 
looking cottages, and it may be the steeple of 
a village church. Whilst you are gazing ahead 
in this vain expectation, a slight breeze wafts 
a strong odour of smoke around you, and look- 
ing attentively you see a few blue ringlets 
coming up from the ground just in fi'ont. 
Presently some slight elevations ma}'- be dis- 
tinguished, scattered over what appears to you 
a patch of rough grass land, and now and then 
a wild-looking figure rises mysteriously, flits 
along a little way, and then drops into the 
earth. These are Moldo-Wallachians making 
their morning calls. You have stumbled upon 
a village or rather upon a human warren. 
The houses are mere holes dug in the ground, 
with a roof composed of long poles, which are 
covered with earth and thatched with the 
grass that naturally grows. This style of 
living was adopted by the people of these 
unfortunate countries for the sake of con- 
cealment from the marauders, to whose in- 
roads they have always been subject on every 
side. 

The villages are dug as far as possible from 
any line of route ordinarily used. They rarely 
contain more than a few hundred inhabitants, 
and are subject to a tax, the amount of which 
is j5xed according to the supposed number of 
the houses. For example, a village set down 
as containing a hundred dwelling places, has 
to pay four hundred piastres. Tiie Ispravnick, 
or governor of the district, receives a list of 
villages from the treasury, with the sum re- 
quired from each affixed, and sends an agent 
to inform the people of their liabilities. It 
often happens that a village is set down as 
containing more or less houses than it really 
does. If there is a greater number, that is to 
say, if the estimate of the treasury is under 
the mark, the peasants collect in a public 
meeting to discuss in what proportion each is 
to benefit by the mistake. At these meetings 
they shout, quarrel, and even fight. But 
though wounds and death sometimes occur, 
nothing ever transpires before the tribunals. 
It is a family quarrel in which no stranger 
interferes. When matters are settled the head 
man of the village collects the various items 
of the tax, and carries the sum to the agent, 
who has no call to meddle otherwise in the 
matter. But if, as often happens, the village 
contains fewer houses than are set down, the 
peasants collect and nominate a deputation 
entrusted with the duty of representing the 
overcharge in the proper quarter. If they 
cannot obtain redress they often abandon 
their houses or holes, and separate and pass 
into neighbouring parishes and districts, leav- 
ing their old dwelling places entirely deserted. 
After a little time, of course, taxation pursues 
them in their new retreat. In this way the 
population remains unsettled, and we never 
meet with what in other countries would be 



called rising towns. It is calculated that in 
the two principalities there are about five 
thousand boroughs and villages, most of them 
of the character we have just described. How- 
ever, on the mountains, the houses are above 
ground, and are not disagreeable in appear- 
ance or uncomfortable to live in. Near most 
villages may be seen long granaries, if they 
may be so called, of peculiar construction. 
They are often about three hundred feet in 
length, six feet high, and three or four feet 
wide, and are made of open trellis work. In 
them the maize is thrown, and being dried by 
the wind is preserved, when necessary, for 
several years. It is, on this account, that the 
cargoes of maize from Galatz are seldom or 
never injured on the passage, whilst those 
from Egypt and other places, being shipped 
whilst yet half-dried, often corrupt on the 
way. 

ACCOMMODATION FOR QUIDNUNCS. 



Quid nunc ? " What now ?" or, " What's 
the news ?" is a question that can be answered 
more readily by the multitude in provincial 
towns than in the Metropolis. About two 
years ago we called attention to the fact 
that London was in one respect left behind 
by Liverpool and other towns: — we had 
no Penny News Rooms. Attempts, more or 
less vigorous, to supply that want, have since 
been made in divers quarters of the town, 
and they appear to have succeeded more 
or less according to the greater or less de- 
gree of vigour that has been thrown into 
their management. The harvest gathered 
by each speculator seems to have been 
pretty well proportioned to the capital and 
labour spent. External signs of prosperity 
are, to be sure, very delusive. Yet, setting 
up our opinion only upon them (having 
watched the growth of London Penny News 
Rooms — still infant phenomena not able, it 
would seem, to run alone), we are able to 
report of them that they are growing in health 
and strength. 

The first attempt towards the supply of 
penny news was made, in an unpretending 
way, by some newsvendor, who announced 
in his window that the papers might be 
read for a penny on his premises. Having 
the raw article passing through his hands 
in the way of business, it became easy for 
him to establish a reading-room in his back 
parlour, if he did not believe that the practice 
tended to reduce the number of newspaper 
buyers, and so damage his trade. Very few 
such attempts were made. We know at this 
date only of two. They are impromptus dif- 
fering from the reading-rooms planned with 
deliberation as improvisation differs from 
poetry. The first Penny News Room, more de- 
liberately established, is situated in Chcapside. 
So far as the system is concerned, it is not a fair 
experiment, inasmuch as it probably was not 
established with a view to the profit that aa ould 



CbArltB DickenB.] 



ACCOMMODATION FOR QUIDNUNCS. 



89 



be extracted from itself alone. It is subsidiary 
to an eating-house and tavern. It is not on that 
account the worse conducted, and no one who 
visits it is made to feel that he is bound to 
supply body and mind together. The dignity 
and independence of the entrance penny are in 
no degree impaired. It admits to a perusal of 
all the daily morning and evening papers 
properly arranged on stands, and to the file 
of back numbers both of them and of the 
leading v.cjkly journals for the last six 
months. The weekly papers are on stands in a 
second room, a story higher. There is also a 
very good representation of the provincial 
press. There are scarcely any foreign papers, 
and the quarterly reviews and monthly maga- 
zines may indeed be kept, but they must be 
askud for especially. The rooms ai'e very well 
conducted, and we have always found them 
crowded on the first fioor with readers of the 
day's news ; respectable, determined, active 
quidnuncs, bent upon ascertaining how the 
world wags in the least possible time, and being 
off again about their daily business. These 
liberally established News Rooms are, in fact, 
a variation upon the ordinary dining-room, in 
which a moderate supply of newspapers is 
provided for the satisfaction of the diners. 
In those you dined and had the oppor- 
tunity of looking at the papers ; in these 
you look at the papers, and, if you please, 
can dine. 

I am not quite sure whether the second 
Penny News Room was not the one established 
in Ilolborn or Oxford Street by a teacher of 
languages, who has always a class in course 
of being formed on very cheap terms ; and 
who has also a penny-a-volume library of 
cheaply printed French novels and other 
works. The chamber used is the front room 
on the first floor, unusually domestic in its 
proportions and in furniture. It is carpeted, 
and, in winter, there was always a good 
fire burning in an open parlour grate, under 
the cover of a domestic mantel-piece. The 
penny taker sits at a small table near the 
door. There is a low table in the middle 
of the room, and there are about a dozen, 
more or less, cane-bottomed chairs sprinkled 
about. The French books occupy a series 
of shelves on one wall : and, as a gentle 
hint to the news-readers that they are not 
to help themselves to these books, a cordon 
is drawn across the room, isolating a little 
sanctum sanctorum, in which the philologist 
and his staff rule over the penny-a-volume 
library. The table is supplied with a number 
of daily newspapers, and a selection of weekly 
journals. There are also one or two French 
newspapers ; of monthlies and quarterlies the 
supply is scanty and uncertain. About this 
room there are rarely so many as a dozen 
quiet persons quietly seated, quietly reading. 
They are evidently not City men. They are in 
no hurry. They are only interested in Russia 
and Turkey, and in the Cab Question, like 
ordinary news-readers, and not in the Capel 



Court or Lombard Street sense. They prefer 
that News Room to more prosperous establish- 
ments (one of which stands nearly opposite), 
although it contains fewer papers, because it 
contains also fewer men. They simply wish 
to look over the day's news in peace ; to 
read about the world in a snug nook with- 
drawn from all its bustle. The philologist 
exactly caters for their wants. 

There is another quiet, but somewhat more 
business-like News establishment in the 
Strand apparently under the auspices, of a 
photographer, whose frame is hung, out at 
the door. It occupies two rooms on the first- 
floor and includes not only the Penny News 
Room, but other desirable accommodations 
for the public. A letter may be written 
there, pen and ink, paper and envelope being 
furnished for a penny. Letters may be 
addressed there and are taken and delivered 
to the enquirer at the charge of a halfi).nny : 
for some such charge use may be made of 
a washing-room. 

Tliatthe public is really disposed to support 
a Penny News Room when a man is found 
who throws his mind into its management, 
has been proved, in the case of an establish- 
ment in Oxford Street, which appeared to 
be under the management of a stationer 
in a small way of business ; or some one who 
had superadded stationery to his news trade. 
I entered his shop door, and found the pro- 
prietor boxed up in a little place measuring 
four feet by three, more or less. Out of that 
four feet by three shop a sort of wicket gate 
gives admission to the News Room — a place 
scarcely equal in size to the rooms of the 
photographer or the philologist : and yet 
much more abundantly supplied. How so 
n%ch paper and print could be spread open 
in such a space was a marvel. There were 
six morning newspapers (two copies of the 
Times), three evening papers, thirty-two 
weekly journals and newspapers, about 
the same number of country newspapers, 
twelve Irish and Scotch papers, twelve 
foreign newspapers, and sixteen monthly and 
quarterly publications. Every number of all 
of these was supplied on the day of publica- 
tion ; and there was such an embarrassment 
of riches that one was nearly smothered in 
paper. The readers sat or stood or screwed 
themselves up as they might ; they knocked 
each other's heads, and trod on each other's 
toes, and jolted each other's elbows, from 
sheer want of space ; and, when the gas was 
lighted and the room filled with evening 
readers, (there was always an escape of gas 
flavouring the air,) oh, the temperature ! 
There was a degree of discipline — probably 
connected in some degree with that paucity 
of space — quite rigorous. The daily papers 
were framed up against the wall, the weeklies 
and provincials were placed on two tables, 
the Irish and Scotch were poked into a little 
corner, the pamphlets and miscellanies were 
placed in portfolios, while the monthlies and 



90 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



fConducted bj 



quarterlies were boarded — not technically but 
litei-ally ; for each was strung to a wooden 
board, from which the reader was requested 
in no wise to remo.ve it. Regular visitors 
were accustomed to observe a constant 
work of improvement going on in those 
rooms. The number of periodicals and papers 
increased — from French and German journals 
we got on to Spanish — new means of estab- 
lishing order and providing a place for every- 
thing (so that any journal might at once 
be found) were always being brought into 
play. The conductor of that room never 
was satisfied that he had brought it to 
perfection. It filled well, and attracted 
many foreigners. At the little wicket the 
foreigner was courteously told in French, 
Italian, or German that he had to pay a 
penny on entrance. 

Suddenly one day this well-ordered room 
fell into confusion. Although it had given no 
previous signs of decline or fall, it was mani- 
festly suffering the throes of dissolution. 
Presently it died out. But it died in Oxford 
Street only to be resuscitated in Holborn, in 
a spacious and well-appointed saloon behind 
a tailor's shop. The shop in Oxford Street 
became devoted to pure stationery, and a dash 
of the tailoring business was thrown into the 
News Room for a change. Whether we are to 
regard the tailor as the grand promoter of the 
undertaking, or the lessee of the premises who 
reserves a privilege of advertising himself 
freely among the news-readers, we do not 
know. We are not bound to acknow- 
ledge any impertinent suggestions of a con- 
nection existing between penny news and 
guinea trousers. The News Rooms behind 
the tailor's shop are large, commodious, and 
w^ell supplied. The grand step made by th^ld 
News Room in the course of its resuscitation 
was the introduction of the practice of filing a 
large number of the journals, both metropo- 
litan and provincial. A certain amount of 
success or capital is necessary before the pro- 
prietor of a News Room can file the journals 
he receives instead of selling them. A body 
of filed papers will, however, be found in the 
end to form the most substantial basis of 
profit for any establishment of' this kind. It 
should be a place supplied with ample means 
of reference as well as of daily current in- 
formation. So far, therefore, the resuscitated 
News Room is improved. It is improved also 
in breadth of house-room. The papers, British 
and foreign, are also, we believe, not less 
liberally supplied than under the old regime. 
With more space, however, has come less 
scrupulous attention to the necessity of neat- 
ness and order, and a busy visitor may by 
chance waste ten minutes in the endeavour to 
find any particular journal that he may wish 
to see among the confused mass of papers on 
the table. We are certain, however, that if 
the business has not changed hands, this 
objection will soon vanish. 

In all these rooms, except perhaps the 



smallest, there are provided Directories, 
Court Guides, Railway Guides, maps of Lon- 
don, Law Lists, and other books of common 
reference. In the case of such books, it is 
convenient for every one to know where they 
can at any time be seen. In most of the 
rooms — we have already instanced one- 
letters are taken in for strangers or sub- 
scribers. In all of them letters can be written. 
There should be also, as in the Strand esta- 
blishment, lavatories and other accommoda- 
tion for the pedestrian in London streets. 
There are half a dozen little M'ants, the 
ministering to which can very fairly be made 
part of the machinery of the Penny Newc 
Room. 

Penny News Rooms prosper very well in 
our northern towns, and there is no reason 
why they should not abound in London. 
Peel's Coffee-house in Fleet Street, Deacon's 
in Walbrook, and the Chapter Coffee-house, 
have become famous as coffee-houses for the 
files of papers that they keep. They have 
supplied admirably in their way, but still 
inadequately, a part of the great want which 
is now forcing the Penny News Rooms into 
existence. When we first broached the sub- 
ject, we referred to the example more espe- 
ciall}'' of Paris ; and any reader who refers 
to what we then said,* will find that we 
have hitherto been by no means too bold 
in our ventures. While we are timidly 
grafting news upon philology, photography, 
or tailoring, in Paris the Salons de lecture 
exist of the highest character. Abundance 
of French, English, German, Italian, Dutch, 
Spanish, and American newspapers ; reviews, 
magazines, and other periodicals ; globes, 
atlases, and maps ; a handsomely-bound col- 
lection of classical and popular literature ; 
spacious windows letting in a flood of light 
by day, and shaded and chastened gas-lights 
for use in the evening ; embossed maps on 
the walls and writing conveniences on the 
tables ; green velvet sofas and divans ; large 
mirrors and elegant decorations — all available 
at a charge of four sous or twopence per 
day. As we then also stated, there are no 
less than four hundred of these reading- 
rooms in Paris ; and if the reader should feel 
no desire for the luxuries of velvet and 
mirrors, he could find abundance of establish- 
ments to which the rate of admission is two 
sous or one penny. 

Heartily wishing prosperity to those who 
have established, or may hereafter establish, 
well-conducted Penny News Rooms, we turn 
now to an allied subject of still greater interest 
and importance. An attempt is being made 
in Westminster to set on foot, under the 
shadow of the Abbey, Reading and Refresh- 
ment Rooms for working people. Penny 
News Rooms are frequented by all classes : 
but chiefly by those who are comparatively 
well to do. The introduction of refreshments 

* Housebold Words. Vol. iii. p. SI. 



Clinrles Dickens.] 



A RUSSIAN STRANGER. 



91 



into them would defeat their purpose and 
destroy their character. The Reading and 
Refreshment Rooms for working people are 
designed to supply in the best possible way 
the particular wants of a class. The first 
room of the kind ever opened is in Edinburgh, 
where it was established about a year ago. 
There are now in that city several others. 
They are opened at five o'clock in the morn- 
ing, and provide at that hour coffee or 
comfortable, breakfasts for many a man who 
used to commence work with a glass of 
whisky. Thousands of working men, 
wanting refreshment, go to a public-house 
because they scarcely know what else to do. 
To take the case of Westminster — in which 
district it is proposed that the first London 
rooms of this kind shall be established — there 
are in the neighbourhood of the Abbey great 
numbers of work-people employed upon the 
new Victoria Street, many of whom come 
from a distance and are compelled either to 
bring food with them and eat it in the open 
air, or to retire into the public-houses. Two 
large public-houses have been in fact created 
for their use. Why not create something more 
desirable ? Every one who is acquainted with 
that strange and ever widening London 
boundary of bricks and mortar, among which 
workmen are for ever stirring, and out of 
which houses are for ever rising, knows how 
the public-houses are built out in the fields 
at regular distances, in anticipation of the 
workpeople who presently will swarm about 
them. Why not set on foot the practice of 
providing in a better way for the comfort of 
respectable and steady workmen, who accept 
now unwillingly the tap-room as a neces- 
sary but most undesirable kind of accommo- 
dation ? 

The Reading and Refreshment Rooms 
for working people, which it is thought 
desirable to found in those and other localities, 
are by no means intended to diffuse teeto- 
talism. They should supply meals on any 
scale within the workman's means; he will 
require generally roast or boiled meat for his 
dinner, and he will in most cases like a glass of 
beer. There is no reason why, with a few 
obviously reasonable precautions, anything 
that is comfortable within the limits of 
moderation should be denied. There are in 
London some few cheap lodging-houses for 
the work-people, in which they can get a 
good dinner, including beer, for sixpence, 
and a woman who has kept such a house 
for some years allows that she makes fifty 
per cent, on her whole outlay. Contenting 
themselves with a more reasonable return 
for their investments the founders of Refresh- 
ment and Reading Rooms for working men 
could easily provide at a cost within the 
means of every industrious man a place in 
which during the intervals of labour he could 
wash, if he pleased, eat and drink, and obtain 
rational intellectual amusement. 

We trust that the promoters of the scheme 



at Westminster, and of all cheap News Rooms, 
will succeed in their good work, and stimulate 
to exertion many active imitators. 

A RUSSLiN STRANGER. 



An illustrious stranger made his appear- 
ance in London in the year eighteen hundred 
and fifty-one. He was not entirely unknown ; 
the jewellers, and the lapidaries, and the 
dealers in articles of xertu had long appre- 
ciated him, and by them he was recognised as 
a valuable acquaintance ; but to the world at 
large his very existence was scarcely known. 
When he made his first appearance in a 
polished green jacket, the inquiry ran around 
— who is he ; what is his name ; whence does 
he come ; and how does he make his jacket ? 
It was found that his name was Malachite ; 
that he belonged to a Russian fjimily ; and 
that his jacket, like that of a harlequin, was 
a patchwork of pieces placed edge to edge. 
Still there were anxious queries put forth — 
What is malachite? and we have reason to 
believe that among the millions who made 
their first acquaintance with this foreigner 
in the year named, there is a very notable 
per-centage who could not and cannot yet 
answer this question. And yet it deserves 
to be answered, as we may soon see. 

One very strange circumstance connected 
with malachite is, that it is not a stone or a 
marble of any kind; it has neither lime, nor 
clay, nor flint, nor sand in its composition — 
nothing which can be considered as a neces- 
sary or integrant part of stone or marble or 
alabaster. It is a salt. A sore puzzle this 
will be to those (and their name is legion) 
who recognise salt only as a condiment to be 
a^ed in little crumbles to savoury mouth fuls; 
but the learned chemists have a way of 
applying the term salt, which it is worth 
while to know. When an acid is combined 
with a metal, or the oxide of a metal, or an 
alkali, or an earth, the compound becomes a 
salt — the chemists say so, and therefore of 
course it must be so. Now the delicate white 
granular substance which we can buy for 
daily use at three pounds for a penny, and 
which we should be perfectly willing to buy 
at a shilling a pound if we could not obtain it 
for less, is a salt because it is composed of 
muriatic acid and the alkali soda (or more 
strictly chlorine and sodium) ; and by the 
same token malachite is a salt because it 
consists of carbonic acid and oxide of copper. 
We need not carry our chemistry further 
than this ; suffice it to say that malachite is 
really and truly carbonate of copper. There 
may be, and are other forms of carbonate of 
copper ; but malachite is believed to acquire 
its remarkable and beautiful appearance by 
being formed in drops, a sedimentary deposit 
analogous to stalactite and stalagmite. It is 
supposed by Sir Roderick Murchison that the 
carbonate was once a liquid, and that it gra- 
dually solidified by slow dropping — just as is 



92 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



the case at the petrifying dripping well near 
Knaresborough. Every mass of it seems to 
have been grouped round a centre, in more 
or less concentric layers; and according to 
the varying richness of the solution at differ- 
ent times, so do the concentric-layers exhibit 
a lighter and darker tint of green. A beau- 
tiful theory is this ; for it explains not onl}"- 
the globular or rounded form of the masses, 
but also the rich play of green tints observa- 
ble in all specimens of malachite. 

It is a necessary consequence, or rather 
a necessary preliminary, that ores of copper 
should exist near the localities whence mala- 
chite is obtained ; for it is a solution of the 
cai-bonate of metal which produces the gem 
(if malachite may be called a gem, which it 
almost deserves to be). It is not disseminated 
in large masses, like a metallic ore ; it seems 
rather to have trickled into clefts and cavi- 
ties, which determine its dimensions. Rarely 
can a piece be obtained weighing so much as 
twenty pounds. It is softer than marble, 
very much heavier, brilliant in its lustre, and 
almost silky in the delicate gleam of its green 
streaks; yet these qualities are marred by 
the extreme difficulty of working it. Fragile 
and yet obstinate, it sorely tries the patience 
of the workman. A Russian, however, is 
accustomed to patience; and he has con- 
quered in his time more obstinate things than 
malachite. 

Another curious circumstance connected 
with malachite is, the extremely limited 
number of spots where it has been found. 
Siberia and Australia are nearly the only 
two which can be named. In Australia the 
discovery has been very recent; but in 
Siberia malachite has long been known. 
Until within a few years, the largest nmss 
obtained weighed about a hundred poods, (a 
pood equals thirty-six English pounds) ; it 
was obtained from the copper-mine of M. 
Tourchaninoff, at Goumecheff (oh! these 
Russian names), and is deposited in one of the 
National Museums. But this has been beaten 
into insignificance by a recent discovery, to 
which are due the magnificent specimens of 
malachite brought to England. The Messrs. 
Demidoff, of St. Petersburgh, are the owners 
of some copper min-es in the Ural mountains ; 
and while the miners were in search of the 
metallic ore, they on one fortunate day 
lighted upon a mass of malachite, weighing 
not less than three thousand poods. The 
miners were able to detach this in one block, 
and they then met with another thousand 
poods weight, filling up clefts and crevices in 
the surrounding rock. What a treasure this ; 
considering that a fair specimen of malachite 
will bring fifteen shillings per English pound ! 
There is supposed to be a still larger deposit 
of malachite near the spot whence this mass 
was obtained : precious nuggets (albeit green) 
which may by and bye put money into the 
pockets of the proprietors. 

But like other treasures, malachite requires 



the hand of man before it becomes practically 
valuable. The large masses crumble in the 
air, generally into pieces of two to four pounds 
weight ; and the question arises how to work 
so very brittle a material. It is not altogether 
a new art ; for museums and royal palaces, 
in many parts of Europe, contain specimens 
of inlaying or veneering with malachite. 
But when Messrs. Demidoff made their gi-and 
discovery, an incentive was given towards 
the adoption of larger mechanical appliances. 
They determined to establish a manufactory 
of their own at St. Petersburgh, which they 
placed under the care of M. Leopold JofFriand, 
who left no means untried to obtain a mastery 
over the material, and make it applicable to 
ornamental purposes. How he succeeded in 
his task, the malachite doors at the Crystal j 
Palace testified ; and what difficulties he has 
had to surmount, the following details will 
show. 

In the first place, then, it must be borne in 
mind that the malachite is used, not in mass, 
but as a thin veneer. The pieces are cut by 
saws into veneers varying from a quarter to a 
twelfth of an inch in thickness. To effect this 
the block is cemented upon a carriage which 
has a traversing motion along a little rail- 
way ; and the malachite is kept forcibly 
pressed against the edge of a vertical circular 
saw ; fine sand and water are continually 
applied to the cut, until the slice of malachite 
is at length severed from the block. Thus is 
the block sliced away, not quite so quickly 
but much more carefully than the housewife's 
quartern loaf. Where a curved surface is 
to be covered with malachite, the saws for 
cutting the veneer are bent to a correspond- 
ing curvature ; and an extremely delicate 
and precarious process of cutting then 
ensues. 

The slices being cut, their junction into a 
uniform plane is the next point attended to. 
Here the most unwearied attention is called 
for. In every piece of malachite, the dark 
and light streaks of green form graceful 
curves, varying infinitely in appearance. Now, 
it would not satisfy an artistic eye to see 
pieces joined together edge to edge without 
any reference to varying tints of the surface ; 
there would be a mottled, confused, indefinite 
jumble of bits of curves and bits of tints. The 
workman, consequently, selects his pieces with 
especial reference to their streakings, and 
combines them edge to edge in such a way as 
to carry out somewhat like a principle of 
design — not stiff and formal, but just suffi- 
cient to satisfy the eye by a kind of intelligi 
bility of arrangement. This is very difficult 
to accomplish, on account both of the sniall- 
ncss of the pieces and the variation of their 
shape. Every little fragment has its edges 
cut by means of a copper wheel. For each 
joint there must be two or three little copper 
grinding wheels emplo3''ed, one to give the 
convexities or protuberances to one edge, and 
the other to impart the concavities or depres- 



(?harles Dickeru.'] 



A RUSSIAN STRANGER. 



93 



sions to the other edge. It is in these joinings 
that M. Joftriand has made the most marked 
improvements. Before the estabhshraent of 
the manufactory at St. Petersbungh, all mala- 
chite veneering had straight edges to the 
separate pieces, and very little attention was 
paid to the veins or markings ; but the 
curved joinings now afford many facilities 
for producing elegance and symmetry in 
marking. 

The fixing of these numberless little pieces 
upon the ground-work which is to support 
them is not so difficult an art as those which 
precede it ; but still it requires great care and 
attention. This ground-work or substratum 
may be stone or marble ; but it is generally 
iron or copper. The malachite is cemented 
down piece by piece, each in its proper posi- 
tion. Small interstices are left here and 
there, which are afterwards filled up with 
green breccia — plaster coloured with pow- 
dered malachite, and speckled with minute 
fragments. When the whole is filled up, 
the surface is ground with sand, to bring 
it to a proper level ; and after this it is 
polished. 

Those who remember (and few will forget) 
the gorgeous malachite productions in the 
Russian department at the Crystal Palace 
will be able to form some faint conception 
of the difficulties entailed in their execution. 
Every pound of malachite becomes reduced 
by weight to half a pound by the time it 
has reached the form of veneer, and fur- 
ther reduced to a quarter of a pound by 
the waste unavoidable in adjusting and fit- 
ting. The veneered surface thus assumes 
a value of about three guineas a pound ; 
and as there are at least two pounds and a 
half to the square foot, this gives a value 
of seven or eight guineas for a square foot 
of malachite veneer, for material alone, irre- 
spective of the value of the labour bestowed 
upon it. 

Some of the churches in St. Petersburgh 
are said to have fluted columns of malachite, 
which present an exquisitely beautiful ap- 
pearance ; but nothing ever seen out of 
Russia has ever equalled the wonderful pro- 
ductions which were sent over to us in 
eighteen hundred and fifty-one. There were 
transmissions of this remarkable material 
from a faw other quarters. Thus, a Derby- 
shire firm, accustomed to works in gems and 
stones, prepared marble slabs with a surface 
of malachite ; and a South Australian firm 
showed that the celebrated Burra Burra 
copper mines are capable of yielding fine 
malachite ; and a Prussian firm exhibited a 
beautiful silver casket with four tablets of 
malachite ; and some of the mining companies 
of Russia exhibited masses of the substance 
just as they had been obtained from their 
rocky bed. But all these sank into insig- 
nificance before the gorgeous productions of 
the Mi-'S^r?, Demi doff. Who can forget the 
chimney-piece, and the round, and oval, and 



square tables, and the chairs, and the tazza, 
and the vases, and the pedestals, and the 
clock, and above all, who can forget the 
doors ? These doors, suitable for the folding- 
doors of a grand saloon, and measuring 
together about fourteen feet in height, by 
seven in width, were made of metal, covered 
with malachite veneer about a quarter of an 
inch in thickness — much thicker than is 
ordinarily used. The cement with which 
the veneer was fastened to the metal was 
made with fragments of the malachite itself, 
so as to correspond with it in colour. It was 
stated by the Messrs. Demidoflf that those 
two doors employed thirty men upwards 
of a year to fit, finish, and polish the mala- 
chite veneer ! One almost feels inclined to 
ask whether, after all, they were worth so 
much labour; but this is a delicate poli- 
tico - economico - aesthetico - social question, 
which must not hastily be answered. The 
malachite productions altogether were valued 
at the large sum of eighteen thousand 
guineas. 

Such is this illustrious Russian stranger — 
malachite. When the name was scarcely 
known in England, there was another 
analogous substance well known to our 
iewellers and wearers of jewels — turquoise. It 
IS curious to trace the points of resemblance 
between them. Both occur in small portions 
mostly rounded, imbedded in other rocks. 
Both owe their colour to copper. Both can 
with care be cut, and both receive an exquisite 
polish. The chief difference is, that while the 
one presents various tints of rich green, the 
other has a delicate blue or greenish blue 
colour. As the malachite admirers have, 
almost to this day, been much in doubt 
whether malachite ought to be considered a 
stone ; so was turquoise for many years a 
mystery ; it being a matter for speculation not 
only what it is, but whence it comes. Some 
persons thought that turquoise is a sort of 
fossil ivory tinged with copper ; while others 
stoutly maintained its claim to the rank of a 
true mineral. There appear, indeed, to be 
different kinds of turquoise, owing their blue 
colour more or less to the presence of a little 
copper ; and it is supposed that some of the 
specimens which contain phosphoric acid are 
bones or teeth of animals, mineralised by the 
effects of a turquoise solution. Be this as it 
may, the Turks and Persians are amazingly 
fond of turquoise; they wear it as a gem in 
diadems and bracelets ; they employ it as an 
adornment for the hilts of swords and the 
handles of knives ; and they value it as an 
amulet or talisman. It is near Nishapore, in 
Persia, that the true turquoise is chiefly 
found. It is generally attached in small 
pieces to porphyritic rock, at some depth 
below the surface of the ground ; but some- 
times it seems to have bubbled out from the 
rock in the form of little beads or pimples : 
while, at other times, the blue turquoise matter 
pervades the fissures of the rock in the 'brm of 



94 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



veins. It thus becomes evident that turquoise I 
has either been at one time liquified like 
malachite, or has been in a molten state by 
heat. The mines belong to the Shah, and 
he farms tliem out to the villagers who dig 
for the turquoise. The produce is either sold 
to travelling merchants who come to the 
villages, or it is sent for sale to Meshed. The 
lapidaries in that city cut and polish the 
turquoise, and bring it into the various forms 
fitted for ornamental use ; and the gems thus 
made find their way, by means of the 
merchant caravans, to Herat, Candahar, 
Turkey, Bokhara, and other countries. Such 
at least used to be the case when Mr. Baillie 
Fraser travelled and wrpte; but Persia is 
such an out-of-the-way place in these our 
railway days, that it is difficult to know 
what is doing there at present. We have 
Shylock's authority that a turquoise, especially 
if given by Leah to a bachelor, is worth 
a "wilderness of monkeys;" but notwith- 
standing this indefinitely large valuation, 
turquoises are much less know^n in Europe 
than in the East. Whatever may be the 
analogies between the green Russian and the 
blue Persian, however, there is this difference 
— the malachite is used as a veneer, and the 
turquoise is not. 

TRUST x\ND NO TRUST. 

1 MEET my friend Claypaw once or twice 
in the year, commonly in Cheapside ; now 
and then at a friend's house. When we meet 
he shakes hands with me in a formal friendly 
way, and looks round the corner of me for 
the bits of shirt that ought to be apparent at 
my elbows. They ought to be, but are not 
yet apparent; and Claypaw is, I fear, dis- 
gusted at the slowness with which I proceed 
towards the verification of his prediction. 
For Claypaw is a practical man, a man who 
knows the world, and he has booked me for 
a fast coach on the road to ruin. I am all 
that he is not ; if he, therefore, dubs himself 
with justice practical, I must be fantastical. 
Nevertheless I feed, and clothe, and house 
myself, take care of Mrs. Green, and lay by 
some provision for the future. Missing, no 
doubt, many a pound, I hit upon a good deal 
of pleasure : life is, indeed, much pleasanter 
to me than Claypaw finds it. Claypaw, 
should this meet your eye, you will know 
that it is the writing of your cousin Phineas 
Green, whose wife and seven children ought 
long since to have rubbed all the nap out of 
his coat ; Green, the unpractical man, the 
theorist — and here he beards you. 

At the bottom of my worldly theorising lies 
— as you know, Claypaw — the firm belief 
that men and women are, in the main, good 
fellows ; and that because I happen never in 
my life to have seen A. B. (one of the eight 
hundred million, the pleasure of whose 
acquaintance it has been unfortunately im- 
possible for me to make) I have no rif ht to 



set A. B. down as untrustworthy, fence about 
when I hold communication with A. ]i., or 
expect from A. B. any injury whatever. 
You, Claypaw, tell me that by this theory T 
lay myself open to be cheated right and left, 
that I have been already seriously bitten 
once or twice, and that I shall get a bite that 
will be fatal presently. I am at issue with 
you there. 

Of course I do not mean to propose that, in 
the present state of the world, men should 
let any large stake depend too lightly on the 
assumed credit of a stranger. Let it be 
granted that I should not think it theoretically 
proper to place the key of Mrs. Green's 
pantry in the hands of the aforesaid A. B., 
without receiving from some X. Y. Z. of 
known respectability assurance that A. B. 
also was worthy of respect. Such proper 
assurance could be sought in no distrustful 
spirit. In all smaller matters I am theo- 
retically disposed until I see reason to the 
contrary to take any man's good will and 
honesty at once for granted. 

Again, I should say that I approve heartily 
of every business arrangement or strict habit 
of oversight, which makes it difficult for a 
dishonest action to escape discovery, because 
in that way temptations to crime are much 
lessened ; and though we may be in the main 
good folks, we are in grain also peccable. 
We ought not to trust one another with our 
eyes shut. Let us work cheerily ; but let 
every man have sense enough to know when 
an undue advantage has been taken of his 
confidence. We need not bite and ring 
every coin we touch, and we may take to 
ourselves, now and then, a bad one un- 
suspiciously ; but we ought, nevertheless, as 
a rule, to know the look of a bad shilling. 
Let us deal so with men in worldly inter- 
course. 

Before I show you by examples, my dear 
cousin, how it is that I am not yet thread- 
bare, I must lay down as an abstract principle 
another of my theories which you regard, I 
know, as a finger-post to shame. I attempt 
no mystifications, make no struggle to sur- 
round myself with false appearances, let every 
man know fairly and freely «;o much of my 
ways, means, or opinions, as it may profit 
him — not me — to be acquainted with, and 
take my chance. You tell me that, as I get 
no such candour in return (so, at least, you 
believe), I expose all my weak points to 
people prompt to take advantage of them, 
throw away my armour to fight men who 
come against me harnessed cap-a-pie. If you 
be right, Claypaw, and if I do (as T don't) 
live in a state of daily battle among folks who * 
have thrown truth aside, I think the fact 
must be that they have cast oflf their armour, 
not I mine. 

Those are my two main theories, practical 
friend. I am for a path through bright light 
and free air, you for a burrow undergrornd : 
I would be a lark ; you would be a mo)c. I 



Charkt Diekeftis.] 



TRUST AND NO TRUST. 



walk with my neighbour arm-in-arm as a 
friend, you follow with an eye upon his pockets. 
As a man of business you reply that the mole 
turns up and stores up -many a treasure, but 
that the lark finds neither worms nor earthnuts 
in the empty sky. Also that I get no butter 
for my parsnips from the soft words of my 
neighbour, while it is you only who know 
how to get at his purse. It is for me to 
starve, for you to fatten. But you see, Clay- 
paw, I do not starve. 

That brewery transaction. There, you 
think, you have me on the hip. Didn't I go 
and invest all my capital in partnership with 
a stranger whom I took to be an honest man, 
but who turned out to be a scamp ? Didn't 
I get involved ? Wasn't I forced to borrow ? 
Didn't I narrowly escape bankruptcy ? Didn't 
I incur obligations that were for years a drag 
upon m-y after hfe ; hadn't I to eat bread 
for years when I was earning cake? And 
wasn't that enough to sicken me of putting 
confidence in man ? Mr. Clay paw, to all your 
first questions, yes ; but to your last, emphati- 
cally no. That brewery transaction is the 
source of half my belief in the goodness of 
humanity. 

When I was a young man and wrote poetry, 
my heart was shattered three several times 
— once by Polly Bacon, aged eleven — but 
her whom once I loved the most, I soon forgot 
I had loved at all. My ill-fated heart next 
became an abandoned urn on account of 
Mary Louisa Johnson, who was too like a 
dream of Heaven to be merited by me, and 
went to a school at Tonbridge Wells, from 
v^hich she went to an aunt in Ireland for the 
holidays. My breast then thrilled before the 
look of Maria Susannah, but before I was 
nineteen years old I sang on account of her, 
in the spirit of a poet who in those days was 
a favourite of mine, 

"Away! away! my early dream, 
Kemcmbrance never must awake: 

Ob 1 where is Lethe's fabled stream? 
My foolish heart, be still, or break." 

It would not be still, and it broke. Now 
while so many breakages were going on 
within me, I was not at all contented with 
the world. It was a great abstraction. 
Something very hard and very cold. My 
soul began with an S for summer, the 
world with a W for wkiter. They were op- 
posites. It never occurred to me that the 
world in which I sulked was a great universe 
of souls. 

How I despised money! The pelf for 
which men sold themselves, the calf they 
worshipped, when was not even I a much 
more proper calf for them to honour ? That 
men with money comforted their parents in 
old age, fed and instructed children ; that it 
represented physical existence, and that the 
struggle for it was ordained in Heaven as a 
method of developing society, of widening 
the human intellect, of testing, exercising 



strengthening the virtues that are in us, I 
never then so much as dreamed. I said that 
men kept their hearis locked up in their 
cash-boxes, and called the search for gold a 
species of slavery, compared it to forced toil- 
ing in the mines. For then I was too young 
to see what some have never yet discovered, 
that out of the active honest struggle, even 
for the gold we sneer at, ought to come the 
health and freedom of the spirit; that the 
mind so labouring and putting forth all its 
resources and its strength, is as the body 
that becomes athletic by good honest toil in 
the free air ; that the mind with few desires 
to carry it abroad is as the body locked in 
jail, or growing cumbrous and unwholesome 
in the hermit's cell. If money be loved, not 
for itself, but for its uses (truly they suffer 
who misuse it), I have begun now to think 
that it Hes at the root not only of all com- 
merce, all civilisation, but that it gives rise 
to nine-tenths of all the strong and active 
virtue in the world, as truly as ever it can 
have been said to beget nine-tenths of all the 
vice. 

Now, my dear cousin, I got these very 
theoretical opinions out of my unlucky 
brewery transaction. I had sung about the 
Hollow World, and the false tinsel that made 
up the triumphs on its stage. Thereafter I 
made my debut in it and broke down. But I 
was not hissed. The little bark of my for- 
tunes after I had launched it was unfortu- 
nately boarded by a pirate who hjing out 
false colours ; I was allured, plundered, taken 
in tow for a short time, and cut adrift. But 
so adrift I found that the ships on the high 
seas were not all pirate vessels, and that their 
captains were not dead to the requirements 
of a vessel in distress. 

I know, my dear Claypaw, your distaste for 
metaphorical statements of all kinds. I beg, 
therefore, to inform you plainly that I had 
reason to feel the Hearts, with a capital H, of 
business men beating quite warmly, often un- 
der formal letters three lines lon^;, that began 
with "Mr. Phineas Green, Sir," and ended 
with "obedient servants, Firm, Brothers, and 
Co." I found that so long as any Firm, 
Brothers, and Co. felt satisfied that Mr. 
Phineas Green, Sir, was trying no experi- 
ments of tactics with them, they met truth 
with trust, candour with liberality and kind- 
ness. Some there were who went selfishly 
to work, but I found the world on the whole, 
though I had such bad luck in it, warm to the 
bone. Though nobody would do my own 
work for me, and supply my purse out of 
his own coffers, I expected that from none 
But I found reason to expect and did receiv 
from A. B., from C. D., from E. F., and 
from a whole alphabet of strangers, a full 
return for all frank trust that I was taught 
to put in them. AVith very few exceptions, I 
had only to believe men good and find them 
so. Cousin Claypaw, should the Bank of 
England ever break, and should you ever 



tumble to the bottom of the hill that you are 
diligently mounting with no help but your 
own staff, of course you will not sit lamenting 
at the bottom, but let me advise you not again 
to work your way up in proud silence. You 
may get on faster, but, believe me, the 
climbing is much pleasanter when cheerful 
talk beguiles the way, when you are ready to 
let any fellow-traveller hold out a hand to 
help your efforts where the hill is steep, 
and not less ready to stand still and lend 
a pull yourself when it is wanted. You 
i may get on faster with your iron pole, but 
it is my theory that you would get on 
better if you went in company with flesh, 
and blood, and bone. Your distrust may be 
very practical, my worldly doctrine may be 
very theoretical, but I abide by the belief 
that there are more hands in the w^orld ready 
to help a man than fists ready to knock him 
down. 

Now, my dear cousin, if my theory be 
worth a farthing, can you tell me why there 
should be any need for all the trouble that 
we take about what are called, very properly, 
appearances? If the appearance correspond 
to the reality, there will be no need to see 
about its manufacture. It would be waste 
study, indeed, to take thought of what we 
should do to make a globe seem to be round. 
If the appearance be at variance with truth, 
we make it to our hurt and damage ; always 
to the damage of our comfort, often to the 
damage of our worldly prospects which, in 
such cases, can be looked after in no thorough- 
ly straightforward way. You practical men 
think much about appearances, and may 
get profit out of them : to me, as a theo- 
retical man, they would be fatal. It is not 
the lark's wish or interest to seem to be a 
parrot. 

I know that a great deal of the struggle 
for appearances — as, for example, the desire 
to live behind the largest possible brick 
frontage, though one must rob a lodger to 
obtain the means of doing so — comes oftener 
of weakness than dishonesty. I know, also, 
that any man who is disposed to carry out 
my theories, will find it, seen even from its 
own point of view, the most complete mistake. 
The world does not respect people for seeming 
what they are not — it generally finds out 
sooner or later what they are. On the con- 
trary, let any one of my sect of theorists defy 
comment by showing himself undisguisedly 
for what he is, and the poor cowards of 
appearance-makers will be the first to respect 
him for his courage, and to wish that they 
could be as bold themselves. He may go 
about with a true seeming of poverty, but he 
will find it less despised than the false seem- 



ing of wealth. A man who desires friends and 
neighbours in their intercourse with him as a 
matter of courtesy to take for granted that 
he is what he is not, pitches a false key, strains 
the voices of his companions, and converts good- 
nature itself into a daily system of pretences. 
He throws his whole social position just so 
much out of joint as to create petty discom- 
fort everywhere, and beget petty distrusts. 
Nor was this all — as most people know — sheer 
nonsense. Nobody worth listening to will 
tell you that he regards his friends in any 
proportion whatever to the amount of brick- 
work and upholstery surrounding them. 
When I was first married to Matilda Jane 
I could have said, " My income makes it 
proper that I should assume a certain social 
status." 

But there were the brewery debts. Very 
well. I made no secret of them, attempted 
no seemings, Hved on a little, and maintained 
really a better and sounder social status among 
the very same friends that I should have had 
dancing quadrilles, if I had thought that 
necessary, in a drawing-room. Between five 
and nine years ago my first three children, 
Matilda Maria, Phineas Ernest, and Victoria 
Regia, though I had then (but for the 
brewery) an ample income, went without 
nursemaids in their infancy. To save their 
mother's arms, I carried them about con- 
stantly myself under a fire of eyes from 
London neighbours. It was an honest thing 
to do, and so I did not mind the look of it. 
Now the conventional principle in my neigh- 
bours and those people whom I met caused 
them at first to reflect that " it looked so to 
see a gentleman carrying a child in long- 
clothes down a public street." Deeper than 
the conventions lay another feeling, which 
suggested that it was no very bad or queer 
thing after all to see an infant in its father's 
arms ; and that the public, which is made up 
wholly of fathers, mothers, and children, had 
no reason to be scandalized. It was not. On 
the contrary, I found new friendships made 
the faster, and old friendships made the firmer 
for all such proofs of resolute adherence to 
my worldly theories. Paulina Matilda, our 
last child, lies now in the arms of a nurse- 
maid, born to a house deficient in no reason- 
able comfort. 

Are you now able to understand how it 
is that the world, my dear Claypaw, treats 
me as a friend, and why it is of no use for 
you to look round at my elbows ? You may 
predict my ruin as a theorist ; nevertheless 
my coat will remain whole, I think. Let us 
shake hands, therefore, more warmly the next 
time we meet. 



BiLLiN AND BRuiHBaa, PriiitHrt »nd Sterootyper», 20 North Williftm Street, New York. 



''Familiar in their Mouths as HOUSEHOLD WORDS:'- 



SHAKRSPSABI. 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 

A WEEKLY JOURML 

CONDUCTED BY CHARLES DICKENS. 



Vol. VIII. 



McELRATH & BARKER, PUBLISHERS. 

Okhck No. n Sprucs steebt, New York. 



Whole No. 184 



FRAUDS ON THE FAIRIES. 

We may assume that we are not singular 
m entertaining a very great tenderness for 
the fairy literature of our childhood. What 
enchanted us then, and is captivating a million 
of young fancies now, has, at the same blessed 
time of life, enchanted vast hosts of men and 
women who have done their long day's work, 
a-nd laid their grey heads down to rest. It 
would be hard to estimate the amount of 
gentleness and mercy that has made its way 
among us through these slight channels. 
Forbearance, courtesy, consideration for the 
poor and aged, kind treatment of animals, the 
love of nature, abhorrence of tyranny and 
brute force — many such good things have 
been first nourished in the child's heart by 
this powerful aid. It has greatly helped to 
keep us, in some sense, ever young, by pre- 
serving through our worldly ways one slender 
track not overgrown with weeds, where we 
may walk with children, sharing their de- 
lights. 

In an utilitarian age, of all other times, it 
is a matter of grave importance that Fairy 
tales should be respected. Our English red 
tape is too magnificently red ever to be em- 
ployed in the tying up of such trifles, but 
every one who has considered the subject 
knows full well that a nation without fancy, 
without some romance, never did, never 
can, never will, hold a great place under the 
sun. The theatre, having done its worst 
to destroy these admirable fictions — and 
having in a most exemplary manner destroyed 
itself, its artists, and its audiences, in that 
perversion of its duty — it becomes doubly 
important that the little books themselves, 
nurseries of fancy as they are, should be pre- 
served. To preserve them in their usefulness, 
they must be as much preserved in their 
simplicity, and purity, and innocent extrava- 
gance, as if they were actual fact. Whoso- 
ever alters them to suit his own opinions, 
whatever they are, is guilty, to our thinking, 
of an act of presumption, and appropriates to 
himself what does not belong to him. 

We have lately observed, with pain, the 
intrusion of a Whole Hog of unwieldy dimen- 
sions into the fairy flower garden. The 
rooting of the animal among the roses would 
in itself have awakened in us nothing but 

Vol. Vni.— No. l&l 



indignation ; our pain arises from his being 
violently driven in by a man of genius, our 
own beloved friend, Mr. George Cruikshank. 
That incomparable artist is, of all men, the 
last who should lay his exquisite hand on 
fairy text. In his own art he understands it 
so perfectly, and illustrates it so beautifully, 
so humorously, so wisely, that he should 
never lay down his etching needle to " edit " 
the Ogre, to whom with that little instru- 
ment he can render such extraordinary 
justice. But, to "editing" Ogres, and Hop- 
o'-my-thumbs, and their families, our dear 
moralist has in a rash moment taken, as a 
means of propagating the doctrines of Total 
Abstinence, Prohibition of the sale of spirit- 
uous liquors. Free Trade, and Popular Edu- 
cation. For the introduction of these topics, 
he has altered the text of a fairy story ; and 
against his right to do any such thing we pro- 
test with all our might and main. Of his 
likewise altering it to advertise that excellent 
series of plates, " The Bottle," we say nothing 
more than that we foresee a new and im- 
proved edition of Goody Two Shoes, edited 
by E. Moses and Son ; of the Dervish with 
the box of ointment, edited by Professor 
Holloway; and of Jack and the Beanstalk 
edited by Mary Wedlake, the popular 
authoress of Do you bruise your oats yet. 

Now, it makes not the least difference to 
our objection whether we agree or disagree 
with our worthy friend, Mr. Cruikshank, in 
the opinions he interpolates upon an old 
fairy story. Whether good or bad in them- 
selves, they are, in that relation, like the famous 
definition of a weed ; a thing growing up in 
a wrong place. He has no greater moral justi- 
fication in altering the harmless little books 
than we should have in altering his best 
etchings. If such a precedent were followed 
we must soon become disgusted with the old 
stories into which modern personages so ob- 
truded themselves, and the stories themselves 
must soon be lost. With seven Blue Beards 
in the field, each coming at a gallop from his 
own platform mounted on a foaming hobby, 
a generation or two hence would not know 
which was which, and the great original 
Blue Beard would be confounded with the 
counterfeits. Imagine a Total abstinence 
edition of Robinson Crusoe, with the rum 
left out Imagine a Peace edition, with the 



98 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Condacted by 



gunpowder left out, and the rum left in. Ima- 
gine a Vegetarian edition, with the goat's flesh 
left out. Imagine a Kentucky edition, to in- 
troduce a flogging of that 'tarnal old nigger 
Friday, twice a week. Imagine an Abori- 
gines Protection Society edition, to deny the 
cannibalism and make Robinson embrace 
the amiable savages whenever they landed. 
Robinson Crusoe would be "edited" out of 
his island in a hundred years, and the island 
would be swallowed up in the editorial ocean. 
Among the other learned professions we 
have now the Platform profession, chiefly ex- 
ercised by a new and meritorious class of 
commercial travellers who go about to take 
the sense of meetings on various articles : 
some, of a yery superior description : some, 
not quite so good. Let us write the story of 
Cinderella, " edited " by one of these gentle- 
men, doing a good stroke of business, and 
having a rather extensive mission. 

Once upon a time, a rich man and his wife 
were the parents of a lovely daughter. She 
was a beautiful child, and became, at her own 
desire, a member of the Juvenile Bands of 
Hope when she was only four years of age. 
When this child was only nine years of age 
her mother died, and all the Juvenile Bands 
of Hope in her district — the Central dis- 
trict, number five hundred and twenty -seven — 
formed in a procession of two and two, 
amounting to fifteen hundred, and followed 
her to the grave, singing chorus Number 
forty -two, "0 come," &c. This grave was out- 
side the town, and under the direction of the 
Local Board of Health, which reported at 
certain stated intervals to the General Board 
of Health, Whitehall. 

The motherless little girl was very sor- 
rowful for the loss of her mother, and so 
was her father too, at first ; but, after a year 
was over, he married again — a very cross 
widow lad}^, with two proud tyrannical 
daughters as cross as herself He was aware 
that he could have made his marriage with 
this lady a civil process by simply making 
a declaration before a Registrar ; but he was 
averse to this coarse on religious grounds, 
and, being a member of the Montgolfian per- 
suasion, was married according to the cere- 
monies of that respectable church by the 
Reverend Jared Jocks, who improved the 
occasion. 

He did not live long with his disagreeable 
wife. Having been shamefully accustomed to 
shave with warm water instead of cold, which 
he ought to have used (see Medical Appendix 
B. and C), his undermined constitution could 
not bear up against her temper, and he soon 
died. Then, this orphan was cruelly treated 
by her stepmother and the two daughters, 
and was forced to do the dirtiest of the 
kitchen work ; to scour the saucepans, wash 
the dishes, and light the fires — which did not 
consume their own smoke, but emitted a dark 
Tapour prejudicial to the bronchial tubes. 



The only warm place in the house where she 
was free from ill treatment was the kitchen 
chimney-corner ; and as she used to sit down 
there, among the cinders, when her work was 
done, the proud fine sisters gave her the name 
of Cinderella. 

About this time, the Kinp- of the land, who 
never made war against anyboay, and allowed 
everybody to make war against him — which 
was the reason why his subjects were the 
greatest manufVicturers on earth, and always 
lived in security and peace — gave a great 
feast, which was to last two days. This 
splendid banquet was to consist entirely of 
artichokes and gruel ; and from among those 
who were invited to it, and to hear the de- 
lightful speeches after dinner, the King's son 
was to choose a bride for himself The proud 
fine sisters were invited, but nobody knew 
anything about poor Cinderella, and she was 
to stay at home. 

She was so sweet-tempered, however, that 
she assisted the haughty creatures to dress, 
and bestowed her admirable taste upon them 
as freely as if they had been kind to her. 
Neither did she laugh when they broke seven- 
teen stay-laces in dressing ; for, although she 
wore no stays herself, being sufficiently ac- 
quainted with the anatomy of the human 
figure to be aware of the destructive effects 
of tight-lacing, she always reserved her 
opinions on that subject for the Regenerative 
Record (price three halfpence in a neat 
wrapper), which all good people take in, and 
to which she was a Contributor. 

At length the wished for moment arrived, 
and the proud fine sisters swept away to the 
feast and speeches, leaving Cinderella in the 
chimney-corner. But, she could always occupy 
her mind with the general question of the 
Ocean Penny Postage, and she had in her 
pocket an unread Oration on that subject, 
made by the well known Orator, Nehemiiih 
Nicks. She was lost in the fervid eloquence 
of that talented Apostle when she became 
aware of the presence of one of those female 
relatives which (it may not be generally 
known) it is not lawful for a man to marry. 
I allude to her grandmother. 

"Why so solitary, my child?" said the 
old lady to Cinderella. 

" x\las, grandmother," returned the poor 
girl, " my sisters have gone to the feast and 
speeches, and here sit I in the ashes, 
Cinderella!" 

"Never," cried the old lady with anima- 
tion, " shall one of the Band of Hope despair! 
Run into the garden, my dear, and fetch me 
an American Pumpkin ! American, because 
in some parts of that independent country, 
there are prohibitory laws against the sale of 
alcoholic drinks in any form. Also ; because 
America produced (among many great pump- 
kins) the glory of her sex, Mrs. Colonel 
Bloomer. None but an American Pumpkin 
will do, my child." 

Cinderella ran into the garden, and brought 



Charles Dickens.] 



FRAUDS ON THE FAIRIES. 



99 



the largest American Pumpkin she could find. 
This virtuously democratic vegetable her 
grandmother immediately changed into a 
splendid coach. Then, she sent her for six 
mice from the mouse-trap, which she changed 
into prancing horses, free from the obnoxious 
and oppressive post-horse duty. Then, to the 
rat-trap in the stable for a rat, which she 
changed to a state-coachman, not amenable 
to the iniquitous assessed taxes. Then, to look 
behind a watering-pot for six lizards, which 
she changed into six footmen, each with a 
petition in his hand ready to present to the 
Prince, signed by fifty thousani. persons, in 
favour of the early closing movement. 

" But grandmother," said Cinderella, stop- 
ping in the midst of her delight, and looking 
at her clothes, "how can I go to the palace 
in these miserable rags ?" 

"Be not uneasy about that, my dear," 
returned her grandmother. 

. Upon which the old lady touched her with 
her wand, her rags disappeared, and she was 
beautifully dressed. Not in the present cos- 
tume of the female sex, which has been proved 
to be at once grossly immodest and absurdly 
inconvenient, but in rich sky-blue satin pan- 
taloons gathered at the ankle, a puce-coloured 
satin pelisse sprinkled with silver flowers, and 
a very broad Leghorn hat. The hat was 
chastely ornamented with a rainbow-coloured 
ribbon hanging in two bell-pulls down the 
back ; the pantaloons were ornamented with 
a golden stripe ; and the effect of the whole 
was unspeakably sensible, feminine, and 
retiring. Lastl}^, the old lady put on Cinde- 
rella's feet a pair of shoes made of glass : ob- 
serving that but for the abolition of the duty 
on that article, it never could have been 
devoted to such a purpose ; the effect of all 
such taxes being to cramp invention, and em- 
barrass the producer, to the manifest injury 
of thi consumer. When the old lady had 
made these wise remarks, she dismissed Cin- 
derella, to the feast and speeches, charging 
her by no means to remain after twelve 
o'clock at night. 

The arrival of Cinderella at the Monster 
Gathering produced a great excitement. As 
a delegate from the United States had just 
moved that the King do take the chair, and 
as the motion had been seconded and carried 
unanimously, the King himself could not go 
forth to receive her. But His Royal Highness 
the Prince (who was to move the second 
resolution), went to the door to hand her 
from her carriage. This virtuous Prince, 
being completely covered from head to foot 
with Total Abstinence Medals, shone as if 
he were attired in complete armour; while 
the inspiring strains of the Peace Brass' 
Band in the gallery (composed of the Lamb- 
kin Family, eighteen in number, who cannot 
be too much encouraged) awakened additional 
enthusiasm. 

The King's son handed Cinderella to one 
of the reserved seats for pink tickets, on the 



platform, and fell in love with her immetii- 
ately. His appetite deserted him ; he scarcely 
tasted his artichokes, and merely trifled with 
his gruel. When the speeches began, and 
Cinderella wrapped in the eloquence of the 
two inspired delegates who occupied the 
entire evening in speaking to the first Reso- 
lution, occasionally cried, "Hear, hear!" the 
sweetness of her voice completed her con- 
quest of the Prince's heart. But, indeed the 
whole male portion of the assembly loved 
her — and doubtless would have done so, even 
if she had been less beautiful, in consequence 
of the contrast which her dress presented to 
the bold and ridiculous garments of the other 
ladies. 

At a quarter before twelve the second 
inspired delegate having drunk all the water 
in the decanter, and fainted away, the King 
put the question, " That this Meeting do now 
adjourn until to-morrow." Those who were 
of that opinion holding up their hands, and 
then those who were of the contrary, theirs, 
there appeared an immense majority in favoui 
of the resolution which was consequently 
carried. Cinderella got home in safety, and 
heard nothing all that night, or all next day, 
but the praises of the unknown lady with the 
sky-blue satin pantaloons. 

^Yhen the time for the feast and speeches 
came round again, the cross stepmother 
and the proud fine daughters went out in good 
time to secure their places. As soon as they 
were gone, Cinderella's gi-andmother returned 
and changed her as before. Amid a blast of 
welcome from the Lambkin family, she was 
again handed to the pink seat on the platform 
by His Royal Highness. 

This gifted Prince was a powerful speaker, 
and had the evening before him. He rose at 
precisely ten minutes before eight, and was 
greeted with tumultuous cheers and waving 
of handkerchiefs. When the excitement had 
in some degree subsided, he proceeded to 
address the meeting: who were never tired 
of listening to speeches, as no good people 
ever are. He held them enthralled for four 
hours and a quarter. Cinderella forgot the 
time, and hurried away so when she heard 
the first stroke of twelve, that her beautiful 
dress changed back to her old rags at the 
door, and she left one of her glass shoes 
behind. The Prince took it up, and vowed 
— that is, made a declaration before a magis- 
trate; for he objected on principle to the 
multiplying of oaths — that he would only 
marry the charming creature to whom that 
shoe belonged. 

He accordingly caused an advertisement to- 
that effect to be inserted in all the newspapers ; 
for, the advertisement duty, an impost most 
unjust in principle and most unfair in ope- 
ration, did not exist in that country ; neither 
was the stamp on newspapers known in that 
land — which had as many newspapers as the- 
United States, and got as much good out of 
them. Innumerable ladies answered the- 



100 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



Advertisement and pretended that the shoe 
was theirs ; but, every one of them was unable 
to get her foot into it. The proud fine sisters 
answered it, and tried their feet with no 
greater success. Then, Cinderella, who had 
answered it too, came forward amidst their 
scornful jeers, and the shoe slipped on in a 
moment. It is a remarkable tribute to the 
improved and sensible foshion of the dress 
her grandmother had given her, that if she 
had not worn it the Prince would probably 
never have seen her feet. 

The marriage was solemnized with great 
rejoicing. When the honeymoon was over, 
the King retired from public life, and was suc- 
ceeded by the Prince. Cinderella, being now 
a queen, applied herself to the government of 
the country on enlightened, liberal, and free 
j principles. All the people who ate anything 
she did not cat, or who drank anything she 
did not drink, were imprisoned for life. All 
the newspaper offices from which any doc- 
trine proceeded that was not her doctrine, 
were burnt down. All the pubhc speakers 
proved to demonstration that if there w^ere 
any individual on the face of the earth who dif- 
fered from them in anything, that individual 
was a designing ruffian and an abandoned 
monster. She also threw open the right of 
voting, and of being elected to public offices, 
and of making the laws, to the whole of her 
sex ; who thus came to be always gloriously 
occupied with public life and whom nobody 
dared to love. And they all lived happily 
ever afterwards. 

Frauds on the Fairies once permitted, we 
see little reason why they may not come to 
this, and great reason why they may. The 
Vicar of Wakefield was wisest when he was 
tired of being always wise. The world is too 
much with us, early and late. Leave this 
precious old escape from it, alone. 



TRIBUNALS OF COMMERCE. 



In France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and 
Sweden, men of commerce have obtained, 
since generations past, tribunals other than 
of law, by which their differences are amica- 
bly and speedily adjusted. No sooner has a 
dispute arisen than the disputants present 
themselves to one of these friendly councils ; 
which does all that a court of law could do, 
except delay, and a great deal which no legal 
tribunal could accomplish. These councils are 
at once special juries and judges. In Paris 
they are composed of a president, ten judges, 
and sixteen assistant judges, selected from 
the commercial inhabitants of the district, 
who sit in sections so arranged that each 
member performs duty twice within fifteen 
days. Their labours are discharged gratui- 
tously ; they take cognizance not only of aU 
commercial disputes but of bankruptcies. 

The leading feature in the proceedings of 



these councils is despatch. So simple are the 
forms of procedure that a decision is, in most 
cases, obtained immediately. The utmost 
time allowed for defendant to appear in court 
is twenty-four hours, whilst in certain cases 
requiring urgent decision the president can 
command the appearance of those concerned 
within an hour, if his messengers can find 
them. The cases are conducted and defended 
by the disputants themselves, the interference 
of attorneys being disallowed ; only a few 
"licenciates," well acquainted with the com- 
mercial law of the country, are permitted 
to assist in expediting cases through the 
courts. That business in these places is 
wonderfully facilitated will be evident when 
I mention that no longer ago than eighteen 
hundred and forty-eight several hundred suits 
were disposed of in one day before the council 
of the Seine. Of course this could only be 
done b}' weeding out all extraneous matters, 
by rigorously conforming to the known 
usages of commerce, and by having several 
judges sitting at the same time. 

The bankruptcy section of this com- 
mercial tribunal had been not less actively en- 
gaged. It is on record that, between the 
years eighteen hundred and thirtj'^-six and 
eighteen hundred and fifty — that is to say 
during fifteen years — not fewer than six hun- 
dred and sixty-four thousand five hundred 
and sixteen decisions had been given : which 
is an average of forty-four thousand three 
hundred and one judgments in each year. 

I M^ould, however, remark that it is not 
only in expediting proceedings that the tri- 
bunals of commerce of the Continent are so 
valuable : they sift matters of a technical 
character with a degree of accuracy which 
no amount of legal acumen could pretend to ; 
simply because the men composing them are 
intimately acquainted with the details and 
usages of every day commercial life. The 
reader may possibly have some very faint 
idea of the singular technicalities which occa- 
sionally beset and bewilder both counsel and 
judges ; but there are few readers who have 
any distinct conception of the difficulties, the 
blunders, the absurdities, the mischief en- 
tailed by lawyers undertaking to conduct and 
judges to decide upon matters pertaining 
strictly to trade, manufactures or science. 

The rapid strides made by art-manufacture, 
by chemistry applied to industry, by science 
in relation to our most ordinary requirements, 
have materially increased the conflict of 
interests amongst the commercial part of the 
community, and the range of knowledge ne- 
cessary to unravel the intricacies of com- 
mercial and manufacturing disputes. Each 
year the learned in mere law are bewildered, 
judges are perplexed, and suitors are dis- 
gusted with the necessity which compels 
men of law to wade through statements and 
arguments on topics which are as intelligible 
to them as one of Southey's poems would be 
to a red Indian. 



Charleir Dickens.] 



TRIBUNALS OF COMMERCE. 



101 



Imagine for a moment the position of 
counsel employed to defend a suit involving 
some delicate chemical invention, or a subtle 
point of science. The man of law, although 
a good Latinist, would nevertheless be at his 
wits' end to understand one single iota of the 
atomic theory, to fathom the mysteries of 
free and latent caloric, or to probe the depths 
of the " Pharmdcopma Londinensifi,^^ w'th 
its terrific array of Subacetates, Protocar- 
bonates, and Supersulphates. 

About seven years since I was interested 
in some valuable improvements in electric 
telegraphs, and applied for protection for 
them hj Letters Patent. I was opposed 
by one of the great electrical Professors of 
the day. on the ground that my invention 
was neither more nor less than an infringe- 
ment of his own patented discoveries. 
Counsel had of course to be engaged on both 
sides ; and, inasmuch as the points in dispute 
were of a specially scientific character, my 
barrister underwent several most severe 
drillings, in the hope that I should enable him 
to argue my case. Never shall I forget the 
bewilderment and annoyance he suffered in 
his anxious endeavours to master the dis- 
tinctive technicalities of the electric science. 
How he floundered amongst negative poles, 
and positive currents ; how he impaled him- 
self upon the points of " contacting needles." 
He would have given a dozen new silk gowns 
to have mastered but one half of what I 
vainly endeavoured to drum into his mind 
and memory. Was it indeed possible that 
in a few short hours he could be expected to 
comprehend the inner difficulties of a science 
which had occupied my time and anxious 
'thoughts for years ? 

As a scientific forlorn-hope, I took ray 
counsel to my laboratory ; and set the model- 
telegraph in action in his presence. I soon 
found, however, that I was making matters 
worse instead of better. The complicated 
apparatus, the labyrinth of wires, the maze 
of chemical terms, the entire novelly of the 
scene, completely scattered from the lawyer's 
brain the small conception he had previously 
formed of the process. It was in vain that I 
discoursed upon the " metallic circuit ;" he 
shook his head and intimated that that was a 
circuit of M'h'ch he was not a member. The 
mention of " battery" he connected in some 
way with an assault case ; and, when I en- 
deavoured to explain the nature of '^ lateral 
metallic contacts," it was clear that he ima- 
gined I was alluding insidiously to his fees. 
Nor was my opponent's counsel in any better 
phght. The judge was still more puzzled 
with the conflicting claims, and so completely 
blended the two opposing inventions in one 
heterogeneous whole, that in the depth of his 
chaotic bewilderment he decided on doing 
that which under a wholesome state of things 
should have been done in the first instance ; 
he referred the case to a practical and scientific 
arbitrator ; thus in fact, at once constituting 



a most competent Tribunal of Commerce in 
the person of Professor Faraday. 

It is true that in certain cases a special 
jury is formed, composed of men supposed to 
be particularly versed in the matter in hand ; 
yet, although that very expedient demon- 
strates the desirableness of practical tribunals, 
the special jury is too often hampered and 
perplexed rather than aided by the laboured 
pleading of learned counsel ; who deem it 
their duty to talk for a certain time very 
wide of the subject. In these cases, too, 
the matter resting virtually with the jury, 
the judge — who cannot and does not attempt 
to form any opinion apart from theirs — 
becomes a mere automaton. 

It is not long since a circumstance occurred 
in connection with one of those special jury 
cases, which bears so strongly upon the 
point I am anxious to illustrate, that I cannot 
refrain from relating it. Like my own case, 
it was a contested point of patent-right ; the 
invention being a machine of peculiar con- 
struction and application. As usual, counsel 
floundered dreadfully amidst cog-wheels, 
sockets, pinions, pistons, bearings, coupling- 
boxes, and cranks. The special j ury had to 
depend entirely upon the witnesses to form 
the faintest judgment on the merits of the 
competing machines. 

When counsel had finished torturing the 
principal witness for the plaintiff, the foreman 
of the jury — a thoroughly practical and 
shrewd man of the world — requested him 
to be so good as to repeat carefully his de- 
scription of the plaintiff's machine ; in order 
that he might commit it to paper, and thus 
prevent any misconception. The witness 
complied ; and on the completion of his 
details, he was told that as he had been 
a long time in the witness-box he would ndt 
just then be called upon to hear the paper 
read over to him, but that it should be 
done on his being called up for re-examina- 
tion. The chi^jf engineering witness on the 
other side was requested, in a similar manner, 
to detail most minutely the several parts of 
his employer's machinery ; and, having done 
so, was in like manner desired to stand on 
one side for the present ; the foreman taking 
down his words also. Further evidence was 
taken ; and eventually the two engineers 
were recalled separately, when the foreman 
of the jury, having read over the accounts 
of the two distinct machines, asked each of 
them if they felt positive that the description 
therein given was a true and full explanation 
of their respective employers' inventions. 
They felt no sort of hesitation in declaring 
that they did so most completely. 

The foreman then addressed the Court, 
and begged it to observe as a means of test- 
ing the value of the evidence they had just 
received, that he had read the description of 
the defendant's machine to the plaintiff's 
witness, and that of the plaintiff to the 
defendant's witness, and that they had thus 



102 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted bj 



both sworn to their opponent's specification. 
No doubt if they had been left to tell their 
respective stories in their own way, without 
the worrying of counsel, they would not have 
been confused, and would have given clear and 
distinct evidence. The case was eventually 
decided upon the personal inspection of the 
opposing machines by the members of the 
jury, who thus, after all, acted the part of 
Tribunals of Commerce. 

I remember another circumstance which 
still more forcibly illustrates the folly of 
flinging every dispute into a court of law 
when a reference to a tribunal of practical 
men would arrange the difference on the 
moment, and for the merest shadow of costs. 
A City merchant had purchased a number of 
cases of foreign goods, — I believe maccaroni. 
Many, on being weighed and examined, were 
found to be no more than half full. A hole 
was discovered in these cases, and much of 
the maccaroni had been bitten to pieces, so 
that there could be no doubt but that the 
damage had been caused by mice. But who 
was to bear the loss ? Certainly not the pur- 
chaser, who had bargained for full cases and 
sound maccaroni. The importer declared that 
the mice must have attacked the goods while 
on the wharf in Thames Street ; it being 
impossible his agents abroad should have 
shipped the animals along with the goods. 
On the other hand the wharfinger protested 
that there was not such a thing as a mouse 
to be found upon his premises ; w.hich he had 
been at great cost to have made mouse-tight. 

Each party was resolute. The'case was placed 
in the hands of " eminent lawyers," and there 
was every prospect of somebody having to pay 
handsomely in addition to the value destroyed 
by the mice. By great good luck the two 
disputants encountered each other one day 
on 'Change ; and, happening to relate the 
matter with some bitterness to a third person, 
they were assured by him that, if they chose, 
they could settle the affair in ten minutes 
between themselves, by onlj'- taking a com- 
mon-sense view of the case. He pointed out 
to them the certainty that the direction in 
which the mice-holes were gnawed would 
clearly indicate whether the animals had 
entered the boxes whilst lying on the wharf, 
or whether they had been imported in 
them ; which might have occurred from the 
boxes having been left open at the port of 
shipment after packing. The intruders could 
not have got in during the voyage ; for, ex- 
cept in a few coasting vessels, mice are never 
found, as they have insuperable objections to 
sea-sickness. The whole question was ; — did 
the mice eat their way into the boxes or did 
they cat their way out of them ? If they were 
Italian mice, packed in with the maccaroni, 
which had eaten their way through the case 
for air, the holes would be gnawed and jagged 
within, and smooth without ; if they were 
English mice, with a taste for maccaroni 
which deal boards could not baulk, the out- 



side of the holes would bear the marks of 
teeth, and the inside would be smooth. The 
matter appeared so simple, when viewed in 
this light, that both parties agreed to adjust 
their dispute by the appearance of the holes 
in the cases. They did so with n ten minutes 
of that time ; and not only saved hundreds of 
pounds, but preserved their former friendly 
feeling, which, had the law-suit gone on, 
would no doubt have been completely at an 
end. 

A thousand similar instances could be ad- 
duced to demonstrate the soundness of the 
views entertained by those who are at the pre- 
sent moment using their best exertions to pro- 
mote the formation of Tribunals of Commerce 
in this country. Commercial differences, and 
many others of a similar character, cannot be 
met by the common law of the land : they 
require something more than a mere definition 
of legal rights for their proper adjustment. 
Even were it always possible for lawyers to 
conduct and decide upon such cases, the 
delay involved is frequently much more 
damaging than the costliness of the pro- 
ceedings : often indeed so ruinous that a 
commercial man will prefer submitting to 
any amount of injustice rather than be 
involved in the delay, the vexations, and the 
spoliation of a law-suit. A case which was 
heard and argued at no more remote period 
than this last August is well worthy of at- 
tention ; inasmuch as it does something more 
than support the arguments, already strong, 
in favour of practical common sense tribunals 
for practical common sense cases. It shows 
how completely the most eminent men of 
science, the most accomplished students, the 
deepest philosophers, may differ upon a point 
of practical chemistry or geology. The trial 
took place in Edinburgh, before the lord 
president and a jurj^, as to whether a certain 
mineral substance found in certain lands in 
Scotland was or was not coal. It a[)peared 
that the plaintiff* had leased some land to 
the defendant on certain terms of royalty, 
for the purpose of digging for coal. The 
latter had succeeded in turning up very large 
quantities of* a black inflammable substance 
richly impregnated with hydrogenous gas, 
and, as such, very valuable for gas-works, 
although not so suitable for ordinary fuel. 
The speculation became, in consequence, un- 
expectedly remunerative to the workers ; and 
mortifying in proportion to the proprietor ; 
who, beholding the huge mine of wealth 
opened by others on his land, brought the 
action to try whether — as the right he had 
leased away was solely and exclusively the 
exploitation of coal — the substance dug up 
by the lessees was, or was not, coal ; for, if 
not coal, they had no right to it. The 
plaintiff", therefore, by his counsel maintained 
that the mineral worked by the defendant 
was not coal ; and, although he was not pre- 
pared to say what it really was in ordinary 
language, he called a legion of professors of 



Charles Dickens.] 



TRIBUNALS OF COMMERCE. 



103 



geology and mineraloixy, of microscopists and 
miners, to declare that it was shale, clay, 
bituminous earth — anything in fact but coal. 
A geologist took his hammer, and averred 
on his reputation as a professor, that it had 
no appearance of coal. The chemist took his 
crucible and his blow-pipe, and he too insisted, 
on the word of a philosopher, that it did not 
burn like coal, and did not leave the ashes of 
coal. The microscopist applied a powerful 
lens, and had no sort of hesitation in avowing 
the absence of all traces of those cellular and 
vegetable tissues which existed in all coal ; 
consequently, it could not be coal. The 
miner declared that he had never seen any 
coal similar to that worked by the defendant, 
and that, therefore (modest man) it was 
absurd to call it coal. 

So much for the science of the plaintiff. 
The defendant had a still larger array of 
philosophy on his side ; and a host of men, 
equally known in the scientific world, did 
declare, on their reputations as geologists, 
chemists, and microscopists, that the sub- 
stance in dispute had all the characteristics 
necessary to make it coal ; that in short it was 
most decidedly, unequivocally, and beyond 
dispute coal, and nothing but coal. 

The array of evidence presents a curious 
illustration of the fallacies of science in the 
nineteenth century, and is quite worth 
quoting. Professor A. declared that it burnt 
precisely like coal : Professor B. protested in 
plain English that it did not. Professor A. 
stated that he found it to contain only six per 
cent, of fixed carbon : Professor B. had found 
ten per cent, of carbon in it ; while Professor 
C, met with sixty-five per cent, of carbon. 
Professor A, stated that the mineral was a 
bituminous shale : Professor B, asserted that 
it contained the merest trace of bitumen. 
Their duel being over, Professor C. found that 
no degree of heat would cause it to yield 
bitumen. Professors A., B., C, and D., de- 
clared positively in full chorus that it pos- 
sessed no signs of an organic structure. On 
the other side. Professors E., F., G., and 
H., avowed much more positively, that it 
had a most unmistakeable vegetable organ- 
isation, with perfect traces of woody fibre, 
cellular tissue, and every other character- 
istic of the best Wall's End. Professor I, 
found that it had no fixed carbonaceous base, 
but its base was earthy matter : Professor K, 
discovered on the contrary that the base was 
decidedly carbonaceous, with very slight traces 
of earth. Professor I. could obtain nothing 
like coke from it, and he had tried very hard 
too ; whilst Professor K., with scarcely an 
effort, had obtained forty-one per cent, of coke 
from it ! 

Now, I take it, that there is no need of an 
acquaintance with chemistry or geology — no 
necessity for fathoming the constituents of 
bituminous shales, carbonaceous bases, cel- 
lular tissues, &c., to arrive at a due apprecia- 
tion of the absurd and anomalois position 



m which science was here placed. The evi- 
dence of a Newcastle coal viewer adduced 
before a properly constituted Tribunal of 
Commerce would have settled the case in live 
minutes. 

Setting these considerations aside, we arrive 
at a powerful argument for the establish- 
ment of tribunals ; which, by a mere effort 
of common sense and common justice, will 
save the pockets of disputants, the time of 
public officials, and moreover save men of 
science from humiliating exhibitions. The 
coal case was given in favour of the defendant 
and lessee ; and, so far, justice was doubtless 
served, for according to a straightforward 
and honest interpretation of words, a black 
inflammable substance dug out of the earth 
which gives forth inflammable gas, remains 
coal, until a new special word be given to it ; 
and even then it must and will always belong to 
the genus Coal. Had the dispute been brought 
before a commercial tribunal the technicalities 
of science would not have been called to their 
aid — they would have contented themselves 
with an examination of the true purport of 
the lease by which the defendant held the 
mines, and whether the mineral in question 
was or was not what is popularly and gene- 
rally known amongst business men as a coal, 
without reference to any scientific distinctions 
or legal quiddities. 

The agitation in favour of "Tribunals" 
was commenced in the City of London 
about two years since. It has gone on with 
some degree of success ; although far from 
sharing that countenance which it richly 
deserves. There are conflicting interests at 
work. Strong prejudices and legal opposition 
have hitherto stood in the way. Thanks, 
however, to the zeal and public spirit of 
one man, the tide of public opinion has 
begun to set in favour of the movement. 
The adhesion of nearly all the Chambers 
of Commerce throughout the provinces 
testify how keenly men of business feel the 
incubus of the law in their daily opera- 
tions, and the result of strong convictions on 
the subject has been the adoption of pe- 
titions to both Houses of Parliament praying 
that a committee may be appointed for 
the purpose of inquiring into this most im- 
portant subject with a view to legislating 
thereon. 

Such a committee would assuredly bring 
to light some curious and forcible testimony 
in favour of what is now asked, and there is 
no reason whj' Tribunals of Commerce may 
not be as readily formed in this country as 
elsewhere. The machinery may be so simple, 
the expense so trifling, that it is difficult to 
conceive any real objections to their formation. 
A council of merchants, bankers, and others 
accessible to the trading and manufacturing 
community at all times and in the speediest 
manner, would undoubtedly prove a welcome 
boon. The suggestion of a stipendiary judge 
with a sound legal education and training, 



104 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



instead of a purely commercial president may 
be well worth consideration. The legal ele- 
ment would perhaps be an essential ingredient 
in such a Court. Our complaint is, that it 
at present overrides and swamps every other 
good element. Sagacity in seizing the corns 
of evidence and separating it in an instant 
I from the husk ; skill in combining scattered 
points of testimony ; acuteness in detccHng 
discrepancies, and in harmonising varieties 
of evidence seemingly discordant but really 
in unison, are only to be found in a " legal 
mind." 



BUCHAREST. 

The name of Bucharest has of Ute become 
familiar in our mouths, and meets onr eye in 
the corner of every newspaper. Political 
writers, and geographers call it a canital, 
and it certainly is the chief place, the seat of 
Government of the province of AVallachia. 
But it does not rise to our notions of a 
capital ; being in reality nothing but a huge 
village scattered upon a plain on both side? 
the Dimbowitza at about thirty-seven miles 
of direct distance from the confluence of that 
river with the Danube ; and two hundred and 
eighty miles west-north-west of Constanti- 
nople. The space it covers is enormous ; 
and, when seen from a distance, it suggests 
ideas of prosperity — even of splendour. This 
is the case with most Oriental cities. They 
dazzle from afar ; but, as you approach, their 
beauty vanishes ; just as, in the mirage, 
imaginary forests, lakes, and islands dwindle, 
on near inspection, into tufts of sunburnt 
grass. 

If you wish to have the pleasure of con- 
trast, you must approach Bucharest from the 
north, and come suddenly to the edge of 
the eminence where stands the principal 
church, sometimes called the Cathedral. The 
whole extent of the city is visible from this 
vantage ground, and three hundred and sixty- 
five steeples, seeming architectural in the 
distance, shoot up and flash above the houses 
and gardens. Let the time be the bright 
beginning of spring. The sky overhead has 
not a speck ; except that here and there may 
be seen, slowly soaring, some hundreds of 
those huge vultures which serve as the 
scavengers of Eastern cities. The scene is 
one of exquisite beauty. The houses cluster 
far down on the banks of the river, nowhere 
unaccompanied by trees, and then scatter 
away on either hand, seemingly without 
lines ; for where they appear to end, and the 
forest to begin, there may always be dis- 
covered other roofs and other white walls 
gleaming amidst the foliage. On the plain to 
the right several intensely green oval expanses 
are sharply defined. These arc marsiies on 
the edges of which the Zigans or gipsies 
dig in search of tortoises, which they bring 
to the market to sell. To the east, the 
country is covered as far as the ey e can reach 



with vast forests of larch, pine, and oak trees. 
Beyond the city the yellow fields of maize set 
sharply off from verdant pasturages, or are 
intersected by streaks of ground covered with 
reeds and patches of brushwood. Altogether 
the impression is produced, especially on one 
who has just traversed the rugged defiles of 
the Krappack Mountains, that this is an 
opulent city — a city of merchants and monks, 
such as one has read or dreamed of. 

Enter. Its grandeur is not overwhelming. 
You come up to a hedge of prickly arti- 
chokes, which some German topographists 
— fresh from descriptions of Choczin — have 
called the hnes of Bucharest; and a single 
great beam is, or was (for this refers to 
ante-Russian times) drawn up by a pulley 
to admit you. Beyond, you find a semi- 
circular httle place bordered by huts, with 
a few trees scattered here and there. A 
vague idea suggests itself to the European 
traveller that this is the spot where the 
maidens of the neighbourhood come out to 
dance when daily work is done. But he is 
soon undeceived ; for his waggon at once 
sinks Axle-deep into black mud, and his horses 
or oxen begin to splash and struggle ineffec- 
tually. What may be the social reasons why 
every entrance of Bucharest is stopped up by 
a bog we do not exactly know. Some say it 
is for the convenience of the custom-house 
officers; who, if they happen to be asleep, 
are certain that no travellers can go 
stealthily in our out. After a nap they are 
sure to find half-a-dozen waggons sticking 
fast in the mud, from which they cannot be 
extricated except by several additional beasts 
brought for that purpose. It is true that 
in the hot season this mud is changed into 
grey dust, and is consequently more easy to 
cross ; but there is no travelling at that time 
of year. We must observe that both the 
custom-house officers and the police, who in- 
variably accompany them, at Bucharest, al- 
though inquisitive, are generally polite, and 
when they commit extortion, do it in a 
gentlemanly manner, that proves them to 
have received the influence of French civili- 
sation. 

Nothing can be more trivial than the pre- 
vailing style of architecture in Bucharest. A 
native will tell you that it is not worth while 
to build fine houses, because earthquakes 
would probably shake them down ; otherwise, 
he adds, London and Paris would be left far 
behind. There is a great deal of good Hu- 
moured provincial pride in these excellent 
VVallachians. The houses are all, or nearly 
all, of one story, generally standing separate 
and are surrounded sometimes by gardens; 
sometimes by expanses of rough ground. 
The materials are bricks and wood roughly 
whitewashed, which has an unpleasant effect 
in summer. The glare they occasion accounts 
for the fjict that the people always go about 
with their eyes puckered up as if they had 
just laid aside spectacles. Here and there rise 



Charles Dickens.] 



BUCHAREST. 



105 



mean-looking churches; something in the 
Byzantine style, each with two, three, or even 
four steeples, in which the eastern traveller 
misses the elegance of the minaret. The 
bells are not hung in these steeples, but upon 
a cross-pole supported by two uprights in 
front of the door, so that on church going 
days, which frequently occur, a couple of 
moustachioed ringers dressed in sheep-skin 
may be seen dangling from the rope, and at 
a distance may be supposed to be undergoing 
the extreme sentence of the law. There 
are nearly a hundred churches, but not one 
contains anything worthy of description, 
except, perhaps, that on the eminence to the 
north of the town. It was founded by Saint 
Spiridiun, bishop of Erivan, in Armenia, and 
like all Greek churches, has the form of a 
cross. At first sight it resembles a fortress, 
and is in fact so built that it could serve for 
that purpose. The interior is decorated with 
paintings which are no doubt admired — in 
Bucharest ; and there is a balustrade around 
the sanctuary, richly gilt and covered with 
mouldings and arabesques, executed with 
some taste. 

. Of late years, especially since the great fire, 
t^ere have been built a good many houses, 
which are called palaces. At a little dis- 
tance they appear not inelegant, being sur- 
rounded by colonnades or fronted with 
porticos; yet the pillars are nothing but 
lengths of pine trees covered with stucco. 
Here and there attempts at a frieze with 
plaster-of-Paris bas-reliefs peep out. Within, 
there are tolerably fine apartments fitted up 
curiously, half in the French and half in the 
Eastern style, with arm-chairs and divans, 
tables and small carpets to sit upon, books of 
caricatures and long pipes. In the same room 
may sometimes be seen a lady dressed from 
the first shops in the Chausce d'Antin and 
her husband, a wealthy Boyard (landed pro- 
prietor) with a long beard, clothed in a 
kaftan. 

Let us not yet, however, seek the shelter 
^of a roof. We have something more to say 
about the streets, which are of various degrees 
of width ; sometimes diminishing to mere 
alleys and sometimes spreading as broad as 
Portland. Place. A few are paved roughly 
with stones placed, or rather thrown care- 
lessly upon the ground. It would have been 
better had the people of Bucharest stuck to 
their wooden pavements, for as it is, their 
best streets sometimes resemble the bed of a 
mountain torrent. The name for streets 
is ponti (bridges); which, when laid with 
transverse logs of wood, they really are. But 
now at certain seasons they are channels 
without bridges. At various places re- 
gularly every spring when the snow melts, 
the earth gives way and sinks into great 
holes, which the people are compelled to fill 
up with straw and faggots. It never seems 
to have occurred to any one that a founda- 
tion was required for the paving-stones. 



The older streets are still covered with long 
beams of wood placed crosswise, under which 
water and mud collect undisturbed. They 
are not fastened with any pretence of care ; 
and, when a carriage passes on one side of a 
street, it sometimes weighs down the end of a 
plank and casts the unfortunate passenger 
who may happen to be at the other end 
into the air. The people near him begin to 
laugh; but, when the plank goes down, 
a splash of black mud covers them from 
head to foot and changes their merriment 
into rage and disgust. In winter, a depth of 
three or four feet of snow paves the street. 
It is rapidly trod into a hard mass, mixed 
with stones and dirt. Then they appear clean 
and smooth and the sledges go whirling to and 
fro. But spring comes on and when the thaw 
commences, neither horse nor man can pro- 
ceed. Hundreds of galley-slaves are turned 
out, under task-masters armed with whips, 
to clear away the snow which rapidly de- 
generates into mud. Instead of removing 
it outside the town they pile it against the 
walls of the houses, w^hich are therefore in 
some places half concealed by heaps of dirt, 
consisting of the sediment which has been 
left after the snow has melted. The streets 
are converted then into so many slimy 
kennels. 

The bazaars of Bucharest are not interesting 
or well supplied. A few shops of semi- 
European appearance contain articles of 
French manufacture, but they are flanked by 
stalls in the native style ; that is to say, re- 
cesses with great shutters that open upwards^ 
to form a projecting roof during the daj^-time 
As usual, in the East, each trade has a little 
street to itself. There is, for example, the 
street of the Leipsikani or traders from 
Leipsic; the street of the money-changers; 
the street of the fiddlers, and above all the 
street of the Kofetars or sweetmeat-dealers 
In some quarters the streets are bordered 
by lofty wooden palings, behind which the 
huts are concealed. It is here that strangers 
go to see the dances of the Zlgans in per- 
fection. 

But we must not forget the Po-do 
Mogochoya. This is the principal promenade 
of Bucharest. It crosses the town nearly 
from one end to the other, with a mean 
breadth of thirty feet. Here in the afternoon, 
or l-ather in the evening — for the hour 
becomes more fashionable as it grows later — 
may be seen a very curious spectacle. The 
Boyards are out to take the air; every one 
in his carriage, his droski, his sledge, or his 
tandem. They do not move gently along, but 
take that opportunity to show the mettle of 
their horses. It seems to be one of their ob- 
jects to drive all pedestrians out of the street : 
as for their accommodation no foot pave- 
ment exists. The ground is almost always 
covered with mud and pools of water. About 
four o'clock some impatient Wallachian dandy 
comes dashing down. Immediately quiat 



106 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



people, who cannot afford a vehicle, begin to 
disappear. Those who are obstinate prepare to 
take refuge on the mounds that extend along 
the walls of the houses. The precaution is 
in vain, for the mud splashes up to the roofs . 
on either hand, and prudent housewives shut 
their windows. Presently another young 
Boyard whirls into the street. By tacit con- 
sent a race is at once begun. A third com- 
petitor appears. Then a fourth. At length 
dozens, hundreds, of various kinds of vehicles 
join in ; all moving at terrific speed, back- 
ward and forward, as if they were running des- 
perate races for enormous stakes. Some may 
drop off, but others come to increase the whirl 
and confusion, and the hurry-skurry continues 
until long after the crazy lanterns are lighted. 
This is the best time to see the Po-de-Mogo- 
choya in, what the fashionables of Bucharest 
are pleased to call its glory. From the roof 
of the hotel, kept by M. Louzzo, this thorough- 
fare resembles a vast trench, at the bottom of 
which lights are flashing to and fro with 
immense rapidity. Besides the trampling of 
the high stepping horses, and the rattling 
of the wheels, there rises on the air a con- 
tinued shout ; for the coachmen, getting ex- 
cited in their work, urge on their horses 
with half-savage cries, or jeer one another; 
whilst their masters occasionally put their 
heads out of window and roar a salutation 
to some passing acquaintance. Accidents 
rarely occur, which seems a miracle. At 
about nine o'clock every one goes home to 
coffee and whist, and the streets are entirely 
deserted, save by a band of some fifty police- 
men, who patrol in various directions, and 
by some hundreds of private watchmen, 
called, from the cry they use, Quine Aculo 
(who goes there ?). 

It must be admitted that Bucharest is 
rapidly improving. In a few years our 
description will no longer apply ; that is to 
say, if the development of civilisation be 
not checked by the continued presence of 
a foreign army, and the interference of rival 
despotisms. It would not be doing justice to 
the Wallachians if we omitted to mention, 
that all the classes which are accessible by 
position to education, have been, for some 
years past, animated by an extreme desire of 
improvement. Two distinct influences are at 
work : that of Russia, which is accepted by 
necessity ; and that of France, which is chosen 
from taste. The Wallachian ladies, espe- 
cially, import their ideas and their bonnets 
from Paris, and we have known some whose 
elegance and refinement, both of manners 
and of mind, could not be surpassed in 
Bclgravia, or the Faubourg St. Germain. 
They have besides a certain simplicity 
of character that exhibits itself now and 
then in charming simplicities that only 
render them more fascinating. The fault 
into which they are most liable to fall, is 
affectation. They are sometimes ashamed 
of the very quality that gives the charm 



to their character, and escape into extra- 
vagance to avoid what they fear may be called 
rusticity. 

It is not long since the people, of Wallachia, 
nobles and peasants, were amongst the rudest 
and most uncouth people in Europe. Nearly 
all their improvement dates from this century. • 
Fifty years ago, the children of the richest 
Boyards were brought up in almost a wild 
state, in company with the servants and slaves 
of the house; who were for the most part 
Zigans, who took pleasure in teaching them 
their own vices. The little instruction that 
existed, comprised a knowledge of the Greek 
language, which was made fashionable by the 
Court of the Zanariate Hospodars. A kaloyer, 
procured from some convent for the purpose, 
became part of the family, and whilst teaching 
his language, contrived to infiltrate a few 
notions principally on theological subjects. 
Some stiff old Boyards resisted this Hellenic 
influence ; but as a general rule, all the upper 
classes spoke Greek. In the last century the 
services of the church were celebrated in the 
Sclavonic language, M^hich neither the clergy 
nor the people understood; but afterwards 
they were translated into Wallachian or 
modern Greek. At present, the French lan- 
guage has been very generally introduced, and 
it is rare to find a respectable person who 
cannot speak it. In most houses there is 
a library of French literature, and it is 
worth observing that the Belgian piracies 
are looked upon with distrust and con- 
tempt: every one prides himself on having 
the best Paris edition. Since, indeed, the 
final emergence of Wallachia into the quasi- 
independence in the year eighteen hundred 
and thirty-four, praise-worthy efforts have 
been made, especially in Bucharest, to supply 
all classes with means of education. 

We cannot say, however, that as a general 
rule the class of Boyards is very far ad- 
vanced. To understand their real state and 
position, the knowledge of a few details 
is necessary. As in many countries of the 
east, the population of Wallachia is prac- 
tically divided into four distinct castes, the 
limits of which are divided by social and poli- 
tical, not religious prejudices. Above the 
Zigans come the peasants ; and then the mer- 
chants and the Boyards. This last word means 
a fighting man or warrior, and is now used as a 
title. Those who bear it are all landed propri- 
etors, and indeed nearly the whole country is 
divided between them and the religious con- 
gregations. In old times, they lived scattered 
through the whole province on their estates 
like our feudal barons ; but they now con- 
gregate in the capital and leave the charge of 
their property to stewards. When we speak 
of the influence of foreign civilisation on 
Wallachian society, we allude to this con- 
gregation of more or less wealthy land- 
owners whose means and position allow 
them to indulge in luxury and to cultivatu 
refinement. 



Charlei Dtckjnt.1 



BUCHAREST. 



lor 



A great many Boyards have now thrown 
aside the old kaftan and adopted our in- 
elegant costume. A Bucharest dandy is 
wretched if not well supplied with patent 
leather boots and fine kid gloves. He has 
also an exaggerated fondness for eye-glasses 
and spectacles ; watch-chains, rings, and every- 
thing in fact that he supposes to be the out- 
ward sign of civilisation. As in the case of 
the Levantines who ape European manners, 
the young Wallachians sometimes fall into 
the mistake of supposing that there cannot be 
too much of a good thing, so that their 
toilette is often overdone. In fact a great 
portion of their faculties are expended in 
bringing their appearance into agreement 
with some ideal pattern of elegance, that 
is to say, some French exquisite fresh from 
the Boulevards des Italiens, who has passed 
that way in search of emotions. The satirical 
say that it became the fashion in Bucha- 
rest to yawn, because a certain dandy 
Count, attached to the French consulate, 
was addicted to that habit. However, we 
must hasten to remind the reader that it 
is not necessary to go to the banks of the 
Dimbowitza for empty-headed dandies ; and 
to add that there exists in Wallachia, a 
nucleus of intelligent, well-educated, and 
high-spirited young men, who will probably 
at some future time exercise a great and 
decisive influence on the fortunes of their 
country. Let them not be offended at our 
good-humoured notice of the absurdities of 
some amongst them — for, in common with 
thousands of Englishmen, we have felt for the 
sufferings of their country, and earnestly wish 
them better times. 

We have already noticed the recent in- 
troduction of European ideas. There was 
much to reform. Within this century there 
have been committed acts in that country 
which rival all the horrors that have been 
related of more eastern parallel. The princes 
were cruel to the Boyards, the Boyards to 
the peasants. In eighteen hundred and two 
a man's feet were cut off for irreligion ; and 
in eighteen hundred and twenty-one un- 
mentionable horrors were perpetrated. Fre- 
quently, up to a very recent period, the 
Boyards used to exercise, with arbitrary 
ferocity, the right of life and death over their 
serfs and slaves. The punishments in use, 
both amongst them and the agents of autho- 
rit}^, were strange and barbarous. One of 
the principal was the deprivation of sleep, 
which is now often applied in other countries 
of the East, especially Egypt. The patient is 
forced to remain upright by blows, and some- 
times by wounds, until he drops from sheer 
exhaustion. 

These are disagreeable subjects. Let us 
run away from them into the country. There 
is a place called Baniassa, about a league 
from Bucharest, where ladies and gentle- 
men go in fine weather to breathe the fresh 
air and enjoy the verdure of the fields, the 



perfume of the shrubs and flowers, and the 
pleasant shade of the trees. The wood is 
a succession of arcades, in which you some- 
times meet a peasant dressed in his sheep- 
skin tunic ; sometimes a pretty woman dang- 
ling her parasol in her hand and listening 
to the soft things which a dandy in plaid 
pantaloons is whispering into her ear. The 
only objection to this otherwise charming 
spot is that it is too artificial. It is the 
Richmond or the St. Cloud of Bucharest, and 
contrasts curiously with the vast larch-woods 
beyond. There in reality can be admired 
the beauties of nature ; and we would advise 
all those who are a little disappointed with 
the well-regulated beauties of Baniassa to 
push on over the semi-cultivated plain 
to\'vards the confines of the hill-covered 
forests. 

Besides, the}^ may meet with a little adven- 
ture like that which once occurred to a gentle^ 
man, who was going in the country, but 
who learned more in one night about its 
manners than, if unfavoured by accident, he 
might have done in a month. He had 
proceeded about a couple of miles from Bani- 
assa, when suddenly there came a burst of 
mingled screams and laughter from a grove 
near at hand ; and, whilst he was considering 
what this might import, there rushed forth a 
crowd of youths and maidens pursued by an- 
other crowd, some armed with thongs, others 
with rods, both of which were used with good 
effect. Our traveller checked his horse and 
looked on in amazement, fancying himself 
suddenly transported back into the times of 
the Monades and Bacchanti. The girls had 
their black hair floating wildly over their 
shoulders, and were dressed simply in a sort 
of polka bordered with fur that reached only 
to their knees. They wore leather sandals, 
and as they ran the strings of beads and orna- 
ments of metal on their necks, arms, and 
ankles jingled loudly. At first the spec- 
tator imagined that this was mere sport; 
but a maiden who passed right before his 
horse's head received such a lash from a 
vigorous pursuer that she turned round with 
tears in her eyes and an imprecation on her 
lips. 

The traveller thought his path had been 
crossed by the inmates of a madhouse ; and 
when the last of the group had disappeared 
in the distance, proceeded on his visit to the 
forest. A little way on he came up with a 
man walking briskly along ; he recognised in 
hira the servant of one of his friends, and re- 
membered that he could speak French. He 
asked for an explanation of what he had 
seen. 

" That," said the man, " is the marriage of 
my cousin. They have begun the ceremony 
rather early, so that I miss my share." 

Mr. Smith (the wayfarer) was puzzled. 
He had travelled in many countries, but had 
never seen the nuptial benediction adminis- 
tered at the end of a thong. Being of a 






108 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted bj 



mythological turn of mind, he tried for an 
allegorical explanation, but could make no- 
thing of it. He was quite convinced of one 
thing, however ; that the girl who had re- 
ceived a lash under his eyes would carry 
the mark to her grave. Shame pre- 
vented him at first from frankly pursuing 
his inquiries. He did not like to show 
his ignorance. However, he at last mus- 
tered up. courage to say, "Which was the 
bride?" 

The man, who had no conception that mar- 
riages could be celebrated in any other manner, 
did not take notice of the absurdity of this 
question ; but went on to explain the whole 
affair. From his eloquent description it ap- 
peared that as soon as the parents have con- 
sented to the union of their daughter with a 
young man who has asked for her hand, 
a certain day near at hand is fixed. Long 
engagements are unknown. There is no legal 
contract, the blessing of the priest supplying 
the place of everything. On the morning of the 
eventful day four of the bride's female friends 
come early, and dress her out for the ceremony. 
A tightly-fitting jacket, or polka, is first put 
on, often, we are sorry to say, without any of 
those intermediates, known under the generic 
name of linen. Over this is thrown a loose 
woollen tunic that entirely conceals the form ; 
whilst an impenetrable veil is wrapped round 
the head. The chief feature of the bridal cos- 
tume, however, is a heavy crown of tall black 
feathers placed upon the head, resembling 
the plumes of a hearse. ♦Thus accoutred, the 
bridesmaids take the hand of the bride, and 
lead her slowly like a victim to the altar. On 
the wa}'- the procession, which is often very 
numerous, stops from time to time, for her 
to distribute alms to the poor. At the door 
of the church she shakes off her companions; 
and it is a point of etiquette that she should 
walk, as Mr. Smith's informant expressed 
it, in the attitude of a saint, to the seat pre- 
pared for her near the altar. Here the 
bridegroom meets her ; a few prayers are 
read, their forefingers are hooked and 
joined during the pronunciation of the 
blessing, they, kiss the back of the Papa's 
hand, and are told that they are man and 
wife. 

Once escaped from the church a scene of 
confusion ensues. The bridegroom takes his 
bride by the hand, and runs back with her 
towards his house, pursuedby her parents, and 
friends, who pretend to try and overtake 
them. Not succeeding, and not desiring to 
succeed, they turn upon the relations of the 
bridegroom, and revenge upon them the loss 
they have suffered by blows and stripes. 
Sometimes this singular retaliation is inflicted 
in the evening, during the supper, by the 
father and mother of the new wife ; but 
oftcncr it becomes a romp among the young 
people, who take this opportunity to revenge 
themselves with impunity for any indignity 
they may have suffered. Probably the 



maiden, whose sufferings Mr. Smith deplored, 
had atrociously jilted her pursuer, and de- 
served her punishment. Resistance, let us 
add, is forbidden ; but immunity may be pur- 
chased by a jar of sulphured wine or a flask 
of arakee. 

Mr. Smith arrived at the village, situated 
on the skirts of the forest, just as a couple of 
szigoms, armed -with fiddles, were beginning 
to strike up a merry tune. Instead of pro- 
ceeding at once to the country house of 
Prince Plikza, where he was to pass the night, 
he determined to alight and look on. At first, 
indeed, he had some intention of asking the 
young lady whose whipping he had witnessed 
to dance a quadrille with him ; and it would 
have been amusing to see our stiff country- 
man, with a shirt-collar sticking halfway up 
to his eyes — for we Englishmen adhere to this 
national feature in costume wherever we go 
as religiously as the Chinese do to their tails 
— bobbing up and down by the side of a lithe 
maiden, agile as a fawn. A tight jacket 
trimmed with fur served to display the sym- 
metry of her figure. But it was not a qua- 
drille that was danced ; and Mr. Smith, 
being an indifferent waltzer and not com- 
prehending the mazes of the other dances, 
felt quite unable to shine in that sort of 
exhibition. 

He was told that neither among the 
szigoms nor the peasants is the marriage tie 
very much respected. The moi-als of the 
country are certainly relaxed. Better things 
might be expected, he thought, of the Boyards ; 
but an hour's conversation that evening at 
supper enlightened him. We are sorry to 
confirm his testimony. Russian commu- 
nication has corrupted good manners. The 
story of Beppo was not very long ago repeated 
here under peculiar circumstances. A husband 
went away from his young wife for a year. 
On his return he found her married again. 
She had procured by some means a legal 
separation during his absence. He expos- 
tulated, and brought the matter before the 
law courts. Grave judges pondered on the 
case, a verdict was given for the wife, and 
the plaintiff-husband was non-suited with 
costs ! 



STARLIGHT IN THE GARDEN. 

The Garden (by its ivied walls inclosed) 
Beneath tlie witcliing of the nicrlit remains 

All tranced and breathless; and, in dreams reposed, 
The white-walled house, with blinded window- 
panes, 

Glinimcrs from far like one vast pearl between 

The clustering of its dark and shadowy green. 



A night in June ; and yet 'tis scarcely night, 
But rather a faint dusk— a languid day, 

Sleepinsr in heaven — the interfluent light 
Of Even and Morning, met upon one way; 

And, all about the watchful sky, a bloom 

Of silver star-flowers fills the soft blue gloom. 



Charlet Dickens.] 



THE GREAT SADDLEWORTH EXHIBITION. 



lOd 



Silence and odorou.s dimness, like a ghost, 
Possess this ancient garden utterly : 

Tlie grass-plots smile beneath the starry host; 
The trees look conscious of the conscious sky : 

The flowers, insphered in sleep, and dew, and 
balm, 

Seem holding at their hearts an infinite calm. 

Even the old brick wall — that with the suu 
Of many years lias ripened like a fruit. 

In streaks of softened yellow, red, and dun, 
With broidery of gold lichens, that strike root 

In arid fissures — wears a face of rest, 

Like one who blesses all things, and is blest. 

The empty vases on the terraee-walk. 
The path-ways winding underneath the trees, 

The moon-white fountains that aye stir and talk, 
The ivy's dark and murmuring mysteries, 

And all the pale and quiet statues, seem 

Half shrouded in some bright and filmy dream. 

There is a soul to-night in everything 

Within this garden, old, and green, and still : 

The Spirit of tlie Stars, with noiseless wing. 
Glides round about it, — and his odours fill 

All tilings with life ; but most of all the flowers, 

Close shut, like maidens in enchanted towers. 

The sweet breath of the flowers ascends the air, 
And perfumes all the starry palace-gates. 

Climbing the vaulted heavens like a prayer : 
The quickly answering star-light penetrates 

Between the close lids of the flowers, and parts 

Its way, and thrills against their golden hearts. 

" Oh, bright sky-people !" say the flowers, " we 
know 

That we must pass and vanish like a breath 
Whenever the sharp winds shall bid us go; 

And that your being hath no shade of death, 
But floats upon the azure stream of years, 
Lucid and smooth, where never end appears. 

"And yet — oh, pardon the bold thought I — we yearn 
In love towards your distant orbs; and wc 

Have quivered at your touch, and sighed to bum 
Our lives away in a long dream of ye. 

Oh, let us die into your light — as hues 

Of sunset lapse, and faint, and interfuse ! 

" Out of the mystery of the formless night 
We woke, and trembled into life's strange dawn. 

And felt the air, and laughed against the light; 
And soon our fragile souls will be withdrawn 

Like sighs into the wide air's emtpiness : 

Yet sometimes of new life we dream and guess. 

" Millions of blossoms like ourselves, we feel, 
Have flushed before austere Eternity, 

And twined about the year's fast running wheel, 
And drooped, and faded to the quiet sky. 

We are as dew in noon ; yet we aspire. 

Moth-like, towards your white, etherial fire." 

And the stars answer — " There is no true death ; 
What seems to blight the green earth like a 
curse 
Is but a shade that briefly fluttercth, 

God*thrown upon the luminous universe. 
To dusk the too great splendour. Therefore, 

flowers, 
Your souls shall incense all the endless hours. 

" Within the light of our unsetting day 
Your withered blooms shall waken, and expand 

More fiiir than now when set in earthly clay, 
Fast ripening to the grave in which ye stand. 



The tender ghosts of hues and odours dead 
Are as the ground on which our nations tread." 

At this, the flowers, as if in pleasure stirr'd. 
And a new joy was born within the night: 

The wind breathed low its one primeval word, 
Like some most ancient secret on its flight ; 

And Heaven, and Earth, and all thingvS, seemed to 
kiss. 

Love-lost in many mingling sympathies. 



THE GREAT SADDLEWORTH 
EXHIBITION. 

Last week my friend. Miss Clytemnestra 
Stanley, asked me to go with her and her 
sister, Miss Cordelia, to the Saddleworth 
Great Exhibition, and to have a day's holiday 
upon the moors to gather bilberries. As 
I am rather proud of Miss Clytemnestra's 
regard, I felt flattered by her invitation, 
to say nothing of wishing to see the Exhi- 
bition, of which I had heard wonders. 
One fine day last week we started early, 
to have a long day before us. The rail- 
way would have taken us within half a 
miie of the place, but we preferred going 
in our own conveyance- -a light butcher's 
cart, drawn by a mare of many virtues, 
but considerably more spirit than was de- 
sirable. 

Clytemnestra and her two sisters are 
dealers in fish and game ; fine high-spirited 
women, who live by themselves, and scorn to 
have the shadow of a man near them. They 
have lived together for years. Miss Cordelia 
was taught to groom the mare and stable it 
down when she was so little that she had to 
stand upon a stool to reach its neck. She is 
grown a fine tall young woman now, and 
nobody to look at her would suspect that she 
can not only groom her horse, but build a 
stable with her own hands if need be. They 
are three very remarkable women, but they 
would require an article all to themselves. 
How they came to be christened such mag- 
nificent names is a mystery I never was 
told. 

Well, we started with many injunctions 
from the eldest sister to take care of our- 
selves. Miss Adeliza seemed to consider us 
as giddy young creatures who would be sure 
to get into mischief— and she could not go 
along with us, as she had to attend to tho 
scaling of a fine cod and the boiling of a peck 
of shrimps — after stuffing an armful of cloaks 
into the cart behind us, and enquiring whether 
we had recollected to take money enough, she 
allowed us to depart, watching us all the way 
down the street. Clytemnestra drove. She 
was accustomed to it. 

" The Saddleworth district," as it is called, 
lies on the confines of Yorkshire and Lan- 
cashire. The high roa.l runs along the edge 
of a deep valley, ^surrounded on all sides by 
a labyrinth of hills, the ridges forming a 
combination of perspective which t^ecms mor« 



110 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[(Conducted bj 



like the clouds at sunset, than things of solid 
land. Above the high road, along a steep 
embankment, is the railway, and the hills 
rise steep on the other side of it. The railvva}^, 
with the electric telegraph, the high road, 
the canal, and the river, all run side by side 
within the breadth of a hundred yards of each 
other. The country is very thinly popu- 
lated, and except when the mills are loose, 
there is an oppressive sense of lonehness. At 
every turn the hills shut out the world more 
and more, until it seems a wonder how we 
ever got here, or how we are ever to get out. 
The road is not level for a yard together, and 
eyery step brings us deeper amongst the 
hills. It is an intensely manufacturing dis- 
trict, the streams from the hills making a 
splendid water power. Magnificent cotton 
mills, looking more like palaces than places 
of indu^Y, with beautiful villa-like resi- 
dences at short distances from them, belong- 
ing to the proprietors, are to be seen in all 
directions, in the most picturesque situa- 
tions, and often in places where it would 
seem impossible for a mill to stand. The^e 
mills, as well as the residences, are built of 
white stone, and are five or six stories high, 
with tall spire-like chimneys ; they are all 
full of costly machinery. Clusters of grey 
stone cottaires for the work-people are sc?i- 
tered about ; but neither the mills nor 
the cottages seem to take up any room, nor 
do they break the loneliness and silence of 
the scene. The amount of capital in- 
vested within a compass of six miles round 
Ashton and Stayley Bridge is something 
wonderful. 

We passed through the village of Mossley, 
which seems cut out of the rock, and is inha- 
bited entirely by work-people — " hands" as 
they are called. One small village rejoices in 
the name of " Down-at-the-bottom," another 
is called " Herod," consisting of scattered 
houses, above our head and below our feet. 
The changing shadows on the hills and the 
deep clear purple mist that filled the valley, 
did not hinder the view, but gave it a strangely 
solemn aspect. No human life or human 
bustle seemed able to assert itself — the silence 
of nature swallowed it up. Our plan was to 
go to " Bills o' Jacks," about three miles from 
Saddleworth, dine there, and then walk across 
the moor to the Exhibition. 

Gradually all signs of human life disap- 
peared, and after ascending a steep hill, 
overhanging a precipice without any parapet 
wall to keep us from falling over, we 
came upon a wild tract of moorland, with 
steep crags towering high above our heads, 
and hufrc blocks of^ grey rock lying about, 
like masses of the solidcst masonry over- 
thrown ; not a habitation in sight, only the 
hills shutting: us in more closely than ever. 
Tt looked the very spot where a murderer 
might take reftigc to hide himself. A sharp 
turn and a sudden descent brought us to a 
little wayside house of entertainment lying 



in a hollow under the high road, and not 
to be seen before. This is Bills o' Jacks, 
a place of great resort, in spite of its lone- 
liness. Some years ago it was the scene 
of a ghastly murder. An old man and his 
son lived there together. It was then, as 
it is now, a wayside inn, and -was their owq 
property : it had been in their family for 
generations. The son was married, and had 
two children, but he did not live with his 
wife, as he had a romantic attachment to his 
father, and would not live away from him. 
They kept no servant. One day the son 
went out to buy some flour and groceries. 
Some acquaintance in the town a.sked him 
to stay a while and rest. He said, "No; 
he had met some Irish tramps on his road, 
going towards their house, and he was afraid 
the old man might be put about with them 
— he must make haste home to help him." 
The next day people calling at the house 
found the son lying just within the doorway 
with his head all beaten to pieces, and the 
things he had brought home with him satu- 
rated with blood. He had been killed, appa- 
rently, as he entered. The old man was lying 
dead upon the kitchen hearth, covered with 
frightful wounds. The murderers have never 
been heard of; and now, most Hkely, never 
will be. The house still belongs to the same 
family. 

The first persoil we saw on our arrival was 
the widow of the son, now an old woman, 
but erect and alert. She was extremely 
kind and friendly ; but I fancied that she 
looked as if she had seen a horror which 
had put a desperation between her and the 
rest of the world. She lives with her son 
and his wife ; the son a handsome, sensible- 
looking man, and his wife the very ideal of a 
comely matron — calm, kind, sensible, with 
mellow beauty ; she seemed to spread a 
motherly peace and comfort around her. 
There was much bustle going on, for parties 
of country holiday-makers were there ; but 
nothing seemed to disturb her calm hos- 
pitality. She was very fond of Clytemnestra 
and her sisters, whom she had known for 
years, so that our coming was hailed with 
delight. The best of everything was set 
before us to cat, and though I could not 
suppress a shudder at finding mj'self on the 
very spot where the old man had lain, yet 
as the kitchen looked bright and cheerful, and 
no traces of the tragedy were visible, I tried 
not to think of it. 

After dinner, we set off over the hill-side, 
which was in full bloom with the heather. 
Numbers of children and country people who 
had come from many miles round were 
swarming amongst the rocks, picking bil- 
berries for sale. ■ It was a lovely day and a 
lovely scene. As far as the eye could reach 
there was not a habitation in sight ; a deep 
valley lay at our feet, and across it were 
the hills rising in long ridges, the breaks in 
them disclosing further ridges of other hills 



^barlas DiokenR.1 



THE GREAT SADDLEWORTH EXHIBITION. 



Ill 



beyond, and again beyond those, forming a 
singular series of perspective distances, over 
which the deep blue shadows shifted and 
varied continually. It was hard to believe that 
such a thing as a town, or any congregation 
of human dwellings had there an existence, 
and it was certainly a most unlikely locality 
in which to seek for an Exhibition. 

After descending the hill, at the foot of 
the rock called "Pots and Pans," we saw 
a little island of stone houses lying away 
before us, in the hollow of some hills, which 
rose in an amphitheatre above them. This 
was the village of Saddleworth ; and, after 
a quarter of an hour's further walking across 
some rough fields, we had reached the end of 
our journey. Saddleworth is two straggling 
streets of shops and cottages; the ground 
so abrupt and irregular that the back door 
of one house will be often on a level with 
the top story of another. It is chiefly in- 
habited by'the work-people of the neighbour- 
ing mills. A railway station has, within the 
last few years, brought it into the direct line 
from Manchester to Leeds. 

ExniBiTioJsr, in great letters over a door, 
told us we were before the object of our 
search. Ascending a dark, narrow, wooden 
staircase, we paid our shillings on the 
topmost step, and found ourselves standing 
plump face to face with the wonders of the 
place. I felt curious to see the sort of people 
who would be gathered in that out-of-the- 
world spot. They were not "mill-hands," 
but quite a different class ; people who, most 
likely, had cloth looms of their own at ^home 
— for in Yorkshire there is still very much of 
this domestic manufacture going on. The 
men buy their )''arn, get it dyed for them, 
and weave it up in their own houses. They 
then take the web of cloth on their shoul- 
ders, and either go with it about the country 
to sell it, or else take it to the Cloth 
Hall at Leeds or Huddersfield, and dispose 
of it there on market-day. There was some- 
thing touching in the good-humoured stupid- 
ity with which they looked upon the 
objects they had never seen before, and the 
intelligent greeting they gave to whatever was 
familiar. 

The Exhibition had no specific feature; 
but, in the care and taste with which the 
various objects were arranged, it gave evi- 
dence that those who had presided over 
its getting up had not grudged trouble. The 
articles had chiefly been contributed by 
families connected with the district, who 
must have dismantled their houses and 
drawing-rooms of some of their most valu- 
aWe adornments ; and this gave a certain 
spirit of good intention and kind hearted- 
ness to the whole affair, which was the 
real charm of it. The object, I was told, is 
to recruit the funds of the Mechanics' In- 
stitute, which (as is no wonder) are in a very 
languishing state. The first room contained 
several plaster casts and busts of every 



species of phrenological development — great 
men, murderers, and criminals of every degree ; 
and there w.as also the cast of that unhappy 
youth with the enlarged head, who seems to 
have been sent to die of water on the brain for 
the especial interest of science ; for his effigy is 
to be seen either cast or engraved in all places 
where the " human skull divine" is treated 
of. Clytemnestra was much attracted in this 
room by the bust of Sir Isaac Newton, and 
the anatomical preparation of a horse's head ; 
but the real interest of the party was not' 
excited until we entered a room where there 
were soine cases of stuffed birds, not very 
rare ones ; but such as may be seen in Eng- 
land. Here the little girl whom we had 
brought with us from Bills o' Jacks, came 
beaming up with the exclamation that " she 
found some real moor-game in a glass case, 
and a fox, that looked as if he was alive!" 
This sharp, bright little child of twelve 
years old — who had lived on the moors all 
her life, and had never been further from 
home than to Ashton, which to her seemed 
a great metropolis — took no sort of interest in 
the pictures, and bronzes, and statuettes, and 
other fine things, but greeted the objects she 
knew, with a burst of enthusiasm. The only 
novelty she seemed to care about, was an 
ostrich eggj which she spoke of just as the 
people in the Arabian Nights' spoke of the 
roc's iig^. Clytemnestra — an excellent judge 
of game — pulled me to come and look at some 
lovely ptarmigans, and the most beautiful 
grouse she ever saw. Certainly they were 
excellently well preserved and stuffed ; but 
amongst so many novelties I did not expect 
they would have attracted one who sees grouse 
professionally every day of the season : I 
suppose it was like recognising the face of a 
friend in a strange place. 

One room was filled with electrical and 
philosophical apparatus. A crowd of people 
were looking at them as if they had been 
implements of sorcerj' ; whilst one, a pla- 
cid, good-natured countryman was prepar- 
ing to be " electrified ;" his " missus" sitting 
by with an air that seemed to say he de- 
served whatever he might be bringing on 
himself. 

In the machinery-room there were a few 
beautiful models : a knitting-machine in full 
force, which turned out beautifully knitted 
grey stockings : and a sewing-machine, which 
was even a greater innovation than the other. 
This appeared to be an attractive room. 
There were some tolerable pictures, which the 
people admired when the subjects were things 
they understood or had seen before — whatever 
was absolutely new, nobody appeared to care 
about, A hall was fitted up with curious 
old furniture, carved cabinets, old armour, 
tapestry, &c. — all arranged in a very tasteful 
manner — whilst an organ or scraphine, which 
was constantly played, made this the centre 
of attraction. Articles for sale were laid out 
in the centre of one room, and a collection of 



112 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[CoiiJucted bj 



what some think curiosities, and others 
rubbish, was arranged along one side of the 
room. Amid the medley of carved ivory- 
boxes, Chinese mandarins, and black-letter 
books, one pair of curiosities elaborately 
labelled attracted me ; the shoe and patten 
of a certain Mrs. Susannah Dobson, or 
some such name, the daughter of her father 
and mother, whose names were inscribed. 
She died — the label told us how many years 
ago, and also that a monument to her mem- 
ory had been erected in her parish church ! 
the old lady was doubtless a notability in 
her day, and we saw how people walked 
in pattens when they were ingenious in- 
ventions. 

By this time we had gone pretty w^ell 
through the Exhibition, and prepared to 
retrace our steps over the rocky moor. That 
strange wild district seems to lie apart from 
all the world, but in some of the scattered 
cottages, there are histories going on, beside 
which the incidents in a French novel are 
tame. There are men and women, too, who 
go about looking quite rough and natural, who 
have had incidents in their past lives that 
one would have thought must inevitably have 
wrecked any existence for ever — but it seems 
that fancy goes for a great deal in these 
matters. The matter-of-fact prosaic manner 
in which I was told some of the most startling 
incidents one could well listen to, astonished 
me even more than the things themselves. 
When we once more reached Bills o' Jacks, we 
had only time to have tea ; for the evenings 
soon begin to close in, and our road home 
was not made for travelling in darkness. 
Our return home did not seem likely to be as 
successful as our coming out ; for the little 
jade of a mare — who had had nothing to do 
but eat corn and enjoy herself — chose to be 
excited at finding herself in a strange place, 
and to be startled by the sound of the falling 
water, and began to plunge and dance in a 
way that Clytemnestra called playful. She 
made as many excuses for her as a mother 
might for a spoiled child ; but the two facts 
remained — that I was a rank coward and that 
the road for the first two miles was down a 
hill that was awkward enough when we came 
up it in the morning. So Cordelia good- 
naturedly walked with me to the bottom; 
although I am sure it must have tried the pa- 
tience of both sisters to see me frightened at 
what they did every day. When we were 
once more fairly seated in the cart, I was 
told that the mare had been kept without 
work and on an extra allowance of corn for 
three or four days, "in order that she 
might be quite fresh for us." It was un- 
grateful of me, but how thankfully would 
I have changed her for a sedate cart-horse 
without any imagination, and with much 
less corn ! The lights were gleaming on the 
hill sides as we passed along, and the dusk 
had long set in before we arrived home, and 
found Adeliza looking anxiously up the street 



for us, for she had begun to feel some mis- 
givings about our capabilities of taking care 
of ourselves. She had a comfortable supper 
ready for us, and when she had heard our ad- 
ventures, she declared, with an emphatic 
shake of her head, that the little Jezebel of a 
mare should go through a course of hard 
work before she trusted her to go anywhere 
without her again. 

Thus we accomplished one object of our 
expedition. We had seen the Great Saddle- 
worth Exhibition ; but the pranks of the 
mare had prevented us from bringing home 
a single bilberry. 

DEAD RECKONING AT THE 
MORGUE. 

On the island of the city of Paris, stands 
the Palace of Justice, with its numerous 
courts of law and echoing Hall of the Lost 
Footsteps {Salle des Pas perdus) ; its near 
and necessary neighbour, the Prison of the 
Conciergerie, once vomiting indiscriminately 
into the guillotine-cart crime and innocence ; 
the Holy Chapel, that marvel of Gothic 
architecture ; the great flower market, which, 
with its rival on the Place de la Made- 
leine, supplies all Paris with 'bouquets; the 
Prefecture of Police, where strangers must go 
or send, if for no other purpose than to have 
their passports indorsed ; the great cathedral 
of Notre Dame, alone worthy of a pilgri- 
mage ; the hospital of the Hotel Dieu, always 
dedicated to humanity, and once called by 
that name, when the virtue was scarce in 
Paris ; and, not the least curious, though, to 
the majority of sight-«eers, perhaps the least 
agreeable, the Morgue or " dead-house." 

Why the Morgue is so designated, few 
except philologists can tell. According to 
Vaugelas, morgue is an old French word sig- 
nifying face ; and it is still used to express a 
consequential look or haughty manner reflected 
from the countenance. In former times there 
used to be a small lobby just within the en- 
trance to all the prisons, which, in France, was 
called the morgue ; because it was there that 
the gaolers examined the morgue or face of 
each prisoner before he was taken to his cell, 
that he might be recognised in case of at- 
tempted evasion. At a later period, it was in 
these ante-chambers that the bodies of such 
as were found dead in the streets or elsewhci*e, 
were exposed, for recognition, to the gaze of 
the public, who peeped at them through a 
wicket in the prison door. In Paris, the 
general place of exposure was in the lower 
gaol or morgue of the prison of the great 
ChS.telet, and the principal regulations to be 
observed in giving effect to the measure were 
set forth in a police ordinance of the ninth 
of the month Florl.al, in the year eight, which 
means the twenty-eighth of April, eighteen 
hundred, as follows : — 

As soon as a corpse was brought to the 
lower gaol, 't was to be exposed to public 



Jharlea Dicken«.1 



DEAD RECKONING AT THE MORGUE. 



118 



view, with all the respect due to decency and 
propriety, the clothes of the deceased hanging 
beside it, and it was thus to remain for three 
days. In case of the body being recognised, 
those who identified it were to make their 
declaration before the magistrate of the 
quarter, or the nearest commissary of police, 
and he having furnished the necessary paper, 
the prefect of police would give an order for 
the delivery of the remains and their inter- 
ment in the usual manner. Those who 
claimed the corpse were expected, if it was in 
their power, to pay the expenses attendant 
upon finding and exposing it, and were al- 
lowed to have the clothes and other effects 
found upon the deceased. All the reports 
relating to the bodies taken to the lower gaol 
as well as the orders of interment, were to 
be inscribed in a register kept for that pur- 
pose at the prefecture of police ; and a similar 
l30ok was to be kept at the lower gaol itself, 
in which, day by day, were to be inscribed the 
admission of dead bodies, their appearance, 
the presumed cause of death, and the date of 
their removal. When fragments of a corpse 
were fished out of the Seine, those who dis- 
covered them were to give intimation of 
the fact to the nearest commissary of police, 
who was to take the same steps with re- 
gard to them as if the body had been found 
entire. 

This ordinance remained in force for four 
years ; but it being then thought advisable 
to have a building expressly devoted to the 
exposure of the dead, the present Morgue 
was constructed close to the north-eastern 
extremity of the bridge of St. Michel, en 
the Marche Neuf. No change took place in 
the regulations above cited, nor has any 
material alteration been made in them since 
the promulgation of the original ordinance. 

The establishment of the Morgue was par- 
ticularly intended to apply to that class of 
persons, respecting whose habits of life and 
place of abode it was difficult to obtain such 
information as would enable the authorities 
to register their deaths in a proper manner ; 
and the object which the administration 
hoped to attain by the institution, was that 
of universal identification. This has never 
been altogether possible, but great progress 
has been made towards it. For instance, in 
the year eighteen hundred and thirty, the 
proportion of bodies recognised was not more 
than four out of ten, while at present they 
amount to nine-tenths of the whole number 
exposed ; with this material addition that, 
whereas the bodies formerly remained for the 
full period prescribed by law, and sometimes 
even exceeded it, the average time within 
which recognition now takes place is little 
more than twenty-four hours. 

This information, with what will further be 
detailed, was communicated to me in a very 
busmess-like, and 1 had almost said, a very 
pleasant manner, by Monsieur Baptiste, the 
intelligent grejffkr or clerk of the Morgue. 



No " mysterious disappearance of a gentle- 
man," or lady, such as with us produces an 
advertisement in the Times, M^as the cause of 
my *' looking in" one fine sunny morning while 
on my way, by the route which most people 
take, to Notre Dame. I was simply passing 
along the Marche Neuf when, from the open 
door of a wine-shop, three or four men in 
blouses, accompanied by a woman, suddenly 
rushed out, and exclaiming loudly, " Ah ! it is 
he then !" ran hastily across the street and 
dashed into the Morgue. I had often glanced, 
with an involuntary shudder, at the cold- 
looking vault-like building, and had always 
hurried onward ; but on this occasion a feel- 
ing of curiosity made me pause. I asked 
myself who it was that had excited the sudden 
emotion which I had just witnessed i and, as 
I put the question, I found I was proceeding 
to answer it by following those who I had no 
doubt were the relatives or friends of some 
one newly discovered. 

Passing through a wide carriage gate, I 
entered a large vestibule, and, turning to the 
left, saw before me the Salle iV Exposition^ 
where so many ghastly thousands, the victims 
of accident or crime, had been brought for 
identification after death. It was separated 
fi-om the vestibule by a strong barrier, which 
supported a range of upright bars, placed a 
few inches apart and reaching to the ceiling, 
and through the interstices everything within 
could be distinctly seen; this barrier ran 
the whole length of the chamber, dividing 
it into two nearly equal parts. It had need 
to have been strong, if the grief of all who 
pressed against it had equalled the passionate 
sorrow of the woman who now clung to the 
•bar in her frenzied eagerness to clasp the 
dead. I soon learnt, from her own sobbing 
voice, that it was her son. The facts attending 
his exposure were of e very-day occurrence : 
he had been fished out of the Seine, and there 
he lay, livid and swollen ; but, whether he 
had accidentally fallen into the river, or had 
committed suicide, there seemed to be nothing 
to show. So at least it appeared to me; 
but the mother of the drowned man — he was 
under twenty, and she herself had scarcely 
passed middle age — thought otherwise ; for 
every now and then she moaned forth a 
female name, which the friends who stood 
beside her endeavoured to hush, and from 
this 1 inferred that the deceased had proba- 
bly acted under one of those impulses of 
jealousy which, when it does not seek the 
life of a rival, resolves to suppress its own. 
But. come by his death how he might, the 
identification was complete, and defeatured 
as he was, his mother found the sad task 
no difficulty. Indeed, the manner of exposure 
offers every facility for recognition. The 
clothes are hung up over the corpse in such 
a manner that they can be readily recognised. 
The body itself is placed on a dark slab, 
sHghtly inclining towards the spectator, with 
the head resting upon a sort of desk or 



lU 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Condncted hy 



low block covered with zinc ; so that the 
features are clearly to be seen beneath the 
light, which comes in from windows high up 
in the wall behind the corpse. There is a tap 
in the wall for turning on water, which runs 
off by a small gutter at the foot of the slab. 
This is all. 

It was only after extreme persuasion that 
the mother of the deceased suffered herself to 
be led away from the Morgue to her dwelling 
opposite. One of the party remained behind. 
He, too, had identified the body as that of his 
cousin ; and, upon his declaration, the greffier 
proceeded to draw up the document, which 
was to be taken to the commissioners of 
police before the body could be removed 
from the building, although it was now with- 
drawn from the salle d' exposition and placed 
in another apartment. Perceiving that I 
lingered in the vestibule after the departure 
of the cousin, Monsieur Baptiste accosted 
me, and civilly conjectured that, as I was 
alone, perhaps it would afford me some 
" amusement" to see that part of the build- 
ing which was not usually shown to the public. 
He placed himself entirely at my disposition. I 
accepted his courtesy with many thanks ; and, 
having crossed the vestibule,, he opened a door 
on the right hand, and introduced me into the 
office over which he presided. " Here," he said, 
with a slight flourish of his hand, "all the 
important forms attendant upon the several 
entries and departures were filled up by 
himself — a function which, he knew he need 
not assure me, was a highly responsible one. 
To discover a dead body," he added, " was a 
sufficiently simple process — to daguerreotype 
it in pen and ink was another. Even if that 
salle cf exposition did not exist. Monsieur, 
here," he exclaimed, tapping an enormous 
folio with brazen clasps, " could be seen, 
in my own handwriting, all the proofs 
necessary for establishing a secure identifi- 
cation." 

I ventured to suggest, with humility — for I 
was a stranger in Paris — that some impedi- 
ment might be offered to this mode of giving 
general satisfaction, in the possible fact that 
the relations of at least one-half of the unfor- 
tunate people whose bodies were taken to the 
Morgue might not be able to read. 

"Then," repHed Monsieur Baptiste, un- 
dauntedly, " I would read my description to 
those poor people." 

Of course, it was not for me to doubt the 
skill of the worthy little greffier, but I could 
not help fancying from a certain recollection 
of the portraiture of passports — that it was 
quite as well the hall of exposure and identi- 
fication did exist. However, I made no com- 
ment upon Monsieur Baptistc's triumphant 
rejoinder, and we passed on. 

Apart from a little pleasant personal vanity 
I found Monsieur Baptiste a very intelligent 
companion. From the office he conducted me 
to the salle d'autopsie (dissecting-room), in 
which were two dissecting tables, one of them 



supplied with a disinfecting apparatus, com- 
municating with a stove in an adjoining 
apartment. Beyond this was the remise 
(coach-house) contaming the waggon-shaped 
hearse, which conveyed to the cemetery — 
without show, and merely shrouded in a 
coarse cloth — such bodies as were either un- 
claimed or unrecognised. The next chamber 
M-as called the salle de lavage^ or washing- 
room. It was flagged all over and supplied 
with a large stone trough, in which the clothes 
of the persons brought in were washed ; it 
served also for sluicing the bodies. Similarly 
flagged throughout was another apartment, 
the salle de degagement^ or private room, 
situated between the salle de lavage and the 
salle d' exposition, where temporarily depo- 
sited on stone tables — out of the reach of 
insects, fVom whose attacks they were pro- 
tected by a covering of prepared cloth — lay the 
bodies of those who had been identified, such 
as were in too advanced a stage of decompo- 
sition to admit of recognition, and such as 
were destined for interment. The last apart- 
ment in the Morgue that remains to be 
noticed, but which I did not enter, was the 
combles, a sort of garret, in which that one of 
the two attendants slept, whose duty it is to 
pass the night on the premises ; his sleep 
being very frequently disturbed by fresh 
arrivals. 

" iVnd how many admissions take place in 
the Morgue, in the course of the year ?" I 
inquired of Monsieur Baptiste. 

" Faith," replied he, shrugging his should- 
ers, " of one kind or other, there is scarcely 
a single day without something fresh. Ob- 
serve, Monsieur, they do not come in regu- 
larly. Not at all. Sometimes we are quite 
empty for days ; and then, again, we are 
crowded to such a degree as scarcely to be 
able to find room for all that arrive. In the 
extremes of the seasons — the height of sum- 
mer and the depth of winter — the numbers 
are the greatest. But if Monsieur is curious 
to know the precise facts, I shall have great 
pleasure in informing him." 

Thereupon Monsieur Baptiste invited me 
once more to enter his office; and, having 
accommodated me with a seat, he appealed to 
the brazen clasped volume to correct his sta- 
tistics, and communicated to me the following 
particulars. 

The Morgue, he said, M^as supplied not only 
from the forty-eight quartiers into which 
Paris is divided ; but received a considerable 
share from the seventy-eight communes of the 
danlieue, or townships within the jurisdiction 
of the capital ; from the communes of Sevres, 
Saint Cloud, and Meudon ; from Argenteuil, 
Saint Germain, and from other places bordering 
on the river. The average number per annum 
amounted to three hundred and sixty-four, 
which Monsieur Baptiste arranged as follows : 
including the separate fragments of dead 
bodies, which he rated at eleven entries, there 
were brought, he said,thirty-eight children pre- 



Charle* Diekeiu.] 



DEAD RECKONING AT THE MORGUE. 



nta 



maturely born, twenty -six that had reached 
the full term, and of adults two hundred 
and thirty-eight men and fifty-one women. 
He divided the two last into four categories. 
Of secret homicides, there were the bodies of 
three men and two women ; of such as had 
died from sickness or very suddenl}^, thirty- 
four men and eleven women; of the ac6i- 
' dentally hurt where death had supervened, 
sixty-six men and four women ; and of sui- 
cides, the large number of one hundred and 
thirty men and thirty-five women. 

I remarked that the disproportion between 
the sexes was much greater than I had 
imagined ; indeed I had rather expected that 
.the balance would have inclined the other 
way. 

" If Monsieur would permit me," said the 
polite Baptiste, " I would cause him to observe 
that men have more reasons for committitig 
suicide than women ; or, if this be disputed, 
that they are less tenacious of existence than 
the other sex, who understand that their 
mission is to bear. A woman's hope, Monsieur, 
is almost as strong as her love, often they are 
the same. But a man ! before the face of 
adversity he turns pale ; the pain of the pre- 
sent is intolerable to him ; in preference to 
that, he severs ties which a woman shudders 
to think of breaking. A woman never forgets 
that her children are a part of herself; a 
man frequently considers them a mere acci- 
dent 

"But, after all," I remarked, "the sum 
total which you have named appears to me 
not enormous, cony»idering the extent of 
Paris and its dependencies, the number of its 
inhabitiints, and,' I added, after a short 
pause, " the impressionable character of the 
people." 

" That obsci vation would be perfectly 
just," returned Monsieur Baptiste, "if all 
who met with violent deaths in Paris were 
transported to the Morgue. But the fact is 
different. Those chiefly — I might almost say 
those only — are brought here, whose place of 
abode is unknown in the quarter where they 
are found. The persons accidentally killed 
at work, a proportion of those who are run 
over or injured by animals, the victims of 
poison or charcoal, or hanging, or duels, have 
foi" the most part a fixed residence, and to 
bring them to the Morgue for identification 
would be unnecessary. Even such as try the 
water, and they furnish the majority of cases 
(this act being the least premeditated), have 
homes or the dwellings of friends or masters 
to which they are conveyed by witnesses of 
the deed. It is the solitary, homeless suicide, 
who in the middle of the night leaps from 
the parapet of the bridge, and is found in the 
meshes of the Jilets des morU (the dead-nets) 
that comes to this establishment. That this 
is a fact the general returns officially declare ; 
for the number of drowned persons who are 
exposed in the Morgue are only one-sixth 
of those whose remains are taken to their 



own dwellings; and this proportion is tx- 
ceeded in most of the other cases." 

I ventured to suppose that where every- 
thing was so methodically ordered, some ap- 
proximation as to the cause of the numerous 
suicides — the last scene of which was wit- 
nessed in the Morgue — had been arrived at in 
the establishment. Monsieur Baptiste told 
me I was right. Diligent inquiry, voluntary 
information, and conjecture based upon long 
experience, had, he believed, arrived very 
nearly at the truth, and these conclusions 
were thus set forth. 

Taking one hundred and sixty-nine for the 
annual aggregate, the number of men who 
commited suicide in a state of insanity or de- 
lirium, was twenty-two ; of women eight. On 
account of domestic trouble, the numbers were ^ 
eighteen and six ; of drunkenness, fifteen and 
two ; of misery, thirteen and four; of disgust of 
life, eleven and three ; of disappointed love, ten 
and three ; of misconduct, eight and two ; of 
incurable maladies, eight and one; dread of 
judicial investigation, seven and one; em- 
bezzlement and defalcations, six and one; 
while on account of causes that could not be 
ascertained or guessed at there remained 
sixteen men and five women. 

It appeared from what Monsieur Baptiste 
further stated, that self-activity in procuring 
the means of death was much greater in the 
men than the women. 

" A woman. Monsieur," said the greffier, 
"when she has made up her mind to die, 
chooses the speediest and most passive form 
of self-destruction. Shrinking from the 
thoughts of blood, she seldom employs fire- 
arms or a sharp instrument — these are a man's 
weapons; for those who shoot themselves, 
we have ten men and only one woman ; by 
the knife three men alone ; it is merely on 
the stage that a woman uses the dagger. In 
suffocation by the fumes of charcoal — the 
easiest death known — the women exceed the 
men, the numbers being three and two; in 
cases of drowning, the general proportion 
holds twenty-six women and ninety-seven 
men selecting that mode of death. Sixteen 
men and two women hang themselves, four 
men and three women throw themselves from 
high places, two men end their lives by 
pdison ; and in this way, Monsieur, the sum 
total is made up." 

" I have," I said, " but one more question 
to ask now. What is the period of life at 
which suicide is most frequent ?" 

" A man's tendency to shorten his days," 
replied Monsieur Baptiste, " is principally 
developed between the ages of twenty and 
fifty ; it is strongest in woman before she 
reaches thirty, diminishes from that age to 
forty, subsides still more within the next ten 
years, revives again for another decade, and 
then becomes almost extinct. Old men 
become weary of life towards its close much 
oftcncr than women. In that salU d'expo^i- 
tion I have seen in one year the white hail's 



116 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



of four men of eighty, more or less ; but of aged 
women never more than two. Ah, Monsieur, 
the Morgue is not a very gay place to live in, 
but it is a great teacher." 

A CHILD'S HISTORY OF ENGLAND. 

CHAPTER XXXVIII. 

I SHALi not try to relate the particulars of 
the great civil war between King Charles the 
First and the Long Parliament, which lasted 
nearly four years, and a full account of which 
would fill many large books. It was a sad 
thing that Englishmen should once more be 
fighting against Englishmen on English 
ground ; but, it is some consolation to know 
that on both sides there was great humanity, 
forbearance and honour. The soldiers of the 
Parliament were far more remarkable for 
these good qualities than the soldiers of the 
King (many of whom fought for mere pay 
without much caring for the cause) ; but those 
of the nobility and gentry who were on the 
King's side were so brave, and so faithful to 
him, that their conduct cannot but command 
our highest admiration. Among these were 
great numbers of Catholics, who took the 
royal side because the Queen was so strongly 
of their persuasion. 

The King might have distinguished some 
of these gallant spirits, if he had been as 
generous a spirit himself, by giving them the 
command of his army. Instead of that, how- 
ever, true to his old high notions of royalty, 
he entrusted it to his two nephews, Prince 
Rupert and Prince Maurice, who were of 
royal blood, and came over from abroad to 
help him. It might have been better for him 
if they had stayed away, since Prince Rupert 
was an impetuous hot-headed fellow, whose 
only idea was to dash into battle at all times 
and seasons, and lay about him. 

The gencral-in-chief of the Parliamentary 
army was the Earl of Essex, a gentleman of 
honour and an excellent soldier. A little 
while before the war broke out, there had been 
some rioting at Westminster between certain 
officious law students and noisy soldiers, and 
the shopkeepers and their apprentices, and the 
general people in the streets. At that time the 
King's friends called the crowd, Roundheads, 
because the apprentices wore short hair ; the 
crowd, in return, called their opponents 
Cavaliers, meaning that they were a bluster- 
ing set, who pretended to be very military. 
These two words now b°gan to be used to 
distinguish the two sides in the civil war. 
The Royalists also called the Parliamentary 
men Rebels and Rogues, while the Parlia- 
mentary men called them Malignants, and 
spoke of themselves as the Godly, the Honest, 
and so forth. 

The war broke out at Portsmouth, where 
that dcuble traitor Goring had again gone 
over to the King and was besieged by the 
Parliamentary troops. Upon this, the King 
proclaimed the Earl of Essex and the oflBcers 



serving under him, traitors, and called upon 
his loyal subjects to meet him in arms at 
Nottingham on the twenty-fifth of August. 
But his loyal subjects came about him in 
scanty numbers, and it was a windy gloomy 
day, and the Royal Standard got blown down, 
and the whole affair was very melancholy. 
The chief engagements after this, took place 
in the vale of the Red Horse near Banbnry, 
in Wiltshire, at Brentford, at Devizes, at 
Chalgrave Field (where Mr. Hampden was 
so sorely wounded while fighting at the head 
of his men, that he died within a week), at 
Tewkesbury (in which battle Lord Falk- 
land, one of the best noblemen on the King's 
side, was killed), at Leicester, at Naseby, at 
Winchester, at Marston Moor near York, at 
Newcastle, and in many other parts ot 
England and Scotland. These battles were 
attended with various successes. At one 
time the King was victorious ; at another time 
the Parliament. But almost all the great 
and busy towns were against the King ; and 
when it was considered necessary to fortify 
London, all ranks of people, from labouring 
men and women up to lords and ladies, 
worked hard together with heartiness and 
good-will. The most distinguished leaders 
on the Parliamentary side were Hampden, 
Sir Thomas Fairfax, and above all, Oliver 
Cromwell, and his son-in-law Ireton. 

During the whole of this war, the people, 
to whom it was very expensive and irksome, 
and to whom it was made the more distressing 
by almost every family being divided — some 
of its members attaching themselves to the 
one side and some to the other — were over 
and over again most anxious for peace. So 
were some of the best men in each cause. 
Accordingly, treaties of peace were discussed 
between commissioners fiom the Parliament 
and the King ; at York, at Oxford (where the 
King held a little Parliament of his own), 
and at Uxbridge. But they came to nothing. 
In all these negociations, and in all his diffi- 
culties, the King showed himself at his best. 
He was courageous, cool, self-possessed and 
clever; but, the old taint of his character was 
always in him, and he was never for one 
single moment to be trusted. Lord Clarendon, 
the historian, one of his highest admirers, 
supposes that he had unhappily promised the 
Queen never to make peace without her con- 
sent, and that this must often be taken as his 
excuse. He never kept his word from night 
to morninir. He signed a cessation of hos- 
tilities with the blood-stained Irish rebels 
for a sum of money, and invited the Irish 
regiments over, to help him against the 
Parliament. In the battle of Naseby, his 
cabinet was seized and was found to contain 
a correspondence with the Queen, in which 
he expressly told her that he had deceived 
the Parliament — a mongrel Parliament, he 
called it now, as an improvement on his old 
term of vipers — in pretending to recognize it 
and to treat with it; and from which it 



fihwlea Dickens.] 



A CHILD'S HISTORY OF ENGLAND. 



117 



further appeared that he had been long in 
secret treaty with the Duke of Lorraine.for 
a foreign arm}'- of ten thousand men. Dis- 
appointed in this, he sent a most devoted 
friend of his, the Eaul of Glamorgan, to 
Ireland, to conclude a secret treaty with the 
Catholic powers, to send him an Irish army 
of ten thousand men ; in return for which 
he was to . bestow great favours on the 
Catholic religion. And when this treaty was 
discovered in the carriage of a fighting Irish 
Archbishop, who was killed in one of the 
many skirmishes of those days, he basely 
denied and deserted his attached friend, the 
Earl, on his being charged with high treason ; 
and — even worse than this — had left blanks 
in the secret instructions he gave hira with 
his own kingly hand, expressly that he 
might thus save himself. 

At last, on the twenty-seventh day of April, 
one thousand six hundred and fortj^-six, the 
King found himself in the city of Oxford, so 
surrounded by the Parliamentary army who 
were closing in upon him on all sides, that he 
felt that if he would escape, he must dela}'- 
no longer. So, that night, having altered the 
cut of his hair and beard, he was dressed up 
as a servant and put upon a horse with a 
cloak strapped behind him, and rode out of the 
town behind one of his own faithful followers, 
with a clergyman of that country, who knew 
the road well, for a guide. He rode towards 
London as far as Harrow, and then altered 
his plans, and resolved, it would seem, to go 
to the Scottish camp. The Scottish men had 
been invited over to help the Parliamentary 
army, and had a large force then in England. 
The King was so desperately intriguing in 
everything he did, that it is doubtful what he 
exactly meant by this step. He took it, any- 
how, and delivered himself up to the Eakl 
OF Levex, the Scottish general-in-chief, who 
treated him as an honourable prisoner. Ne- 
gotiations between the Parliament on the one 
hand and the Scottish authorities on the other 
as to what should be done with him, lasted 
until the following February. Then, when 
the King had refused to the Parliament the 
concession of that old militia point for twenty 
years, and had refused to Scotland the recog- 
nition of its Solemn League and Covenant, 
Scotland got a handsome sum for its army 
and its help, and the King into the bargain. 
He was taken by certain Parliamentary com- 
missioners appointed to receive him, to one 
of his own houses, called Holmby House, near 
Althorpe, in Northamptonshire. 

While the Civil War was still in progress, 
John Pym died, and was buried with great 
honour in Westminster Abbey — not with 
greater honour than he deserved, for the liber- 
ties of Englishmen owe a mighty debt to Pym 
and Hampden. The war was but newly over 
when the Earl of Essex died, of an illness 
brought on by his having overheated himself 
in a stag hunt in Windsor Forest. He, too, 
was buried in Westmins*^er Abbey, with great 



state. I wish it were not necessary to add 
that Archbishop Laud died upon the scaffold 
when the war was not yet done. His trial 
lasted in all nearly a year, and, it being 
doubtful even then whether the charges 
brought against him amounted to treason, the 
odious old contrivance of the worst kings was 
resorted to, and a bill of attainder was brought 
in against him. He was a violently prejudiced 
and mischievous person, had had strong ear- 
cropping and nose-slitting propensities, as you 
know, and had done a world of harm. But he 
died peaceably, and like a brave old man. 

CHAPTER XXXIX. 

When the Parliament had got the King 
into their hands, they became very anxious 
to get rid of their army, in which Oliver 
Cromwell had begun to acquire great power ; 
not only because of his courage and high 
abilities, but because he professed to be very 
sincere in the Scottish sort of Puritan religion 
that was then exceedingly popular among the 
soldiers. They were as much opposed to the 
Bishops as to the Pope himself; and the very 
privates, drummers, and trumpeters, had such 
an inconvenient habit of starting up and 
preaching long-winded discourses, that I 
would not have belonged to that army on 
any account 

So, the Parliament being far from sure but 
that the army might begin to preach and fight 
against them now it had nothing else to do, 
proposed to disband a greater part of it, to 
send another part to serve in Ireland against 
the rebels, and to keep only a small force in 
England. But, the army would not consent 
to be broken up, except upon its own con- 
ditions; and when the Parliament showed 
an intention of compelling it, it acted for 
itself in an unexpected manner. A certain 
cornet, of the name of Joice, arrived at 
Holmby House one night, attended by four 
hundred horsemen, went into the King's 
room with his hat in one hand and a pistol 
in the other, and told the King that he 
had come to take him away. The King, 
was willing enough to go, and only stipulated 
that he should be publicly required to do so 
next morning. Next morning, accordingly, 
he appeared on the top of the steps of the 
house, and asked Cornet Joice before his men 
and the guard set there by the Parliament, 
what authority he had for taking him away ? 
To this Cornet Joice replied, " the authority 
of the army." " Have you a written com- 
mission ?" said the King. Joice, pointing to 
his four hundred men on horseback, replied, 
" that is my commission." " Well," said the 
King smiling, as if he were pleased, *' I 
never before read such a commission ; but 
it is written in fair and legible characters. 
This is a company of as handsome proper 
gentlemen as I have seen a long while." He 
was asked where he would like to live, and 
he said at Newmarket. So, to Newmarket 
he, and Cornet Joice, and the four hundred 



118 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted bj 



horsemen, rode ; the King remarking in the 
same smiling way, that he could ride as far 
at a spell as Cornet Joice, or any man there. 

The King quite believed, I think, that the 
army were his friends. He said as much 
to Fairfax when that general, Oliver Cromwell 
and Ireton, went to persuade him to return 
to the custody of the Parliament. He pre- 
ferred to remain as he was, and resolved to 
remain as he was. And when the army 
moved nearer and nearer London to frighten 
the Parliament into yielding to their demands, 
they took the King with them. It was a 
deploring thing that England should be at 
the mercy of a great body of soldiers with 
arms in their hands, but the King certainly 
favoured them at this important time of his 
life in reference to the more lawful power that 
tried to control him. It must be added, how- 
ever, that they treated him, as yet, more re- 
spectfully and kindly than the Pa,rliament 
had ever done. They allowed him to be 
attended by his own servants, to be splendidly 
entertained at various houses, and to see his 
children — at Cavesham House, near Reading 
— for two days. Whereas, the Parliament 
had been rather hard with him, and had only 
allowed him to ride out and play at bowls. 

It is much to be believed that if the King 
could have been trusted, even at this time, 
he might have been saved. Even Oliver 
Cromwell expressly said that he did believe 
that no man could enjoy his possessions in 
peace, unless the King had his rights. He 
was not unfriendly towards the King; he 
had been present when he received his 
children, and had been much affected by the 
pitiable nature of the scene ; he saw the King 
often ; he frequently walked and talked with 
him in the long galleries and pleasant 
gardens of the Palace at Hampton Court, 
whither he was now removed ; and in all 
this risked something of his influence with 
the army. But, the King was in secret hopes 
of help from the Scottish people ; and the 
moment he was encouraged to join them he 
began to be cool to his new friends, the army, 
and to tell the officers that they could not pos- 
sibly do without him. At the very time, too, 
when he was promising to make Cromwell and 
Ireton noblemen, if they would help him up 
to his old height, he was writing to the Queen 
that he meant to hang them. They both 
afterwards declared that they had been 
privately informed that such a letter would 
be found, on a certain evening, sewn up in a 
saddle, which would be taken to the Blue 
Boar in Holborn to be sent to Dover; and 
that they went there, disguised as common 
soldiers, and sat drinking in the inn-yard until 
a man came with the saddle, which they ripped 
up with their knives, and therein found the 
letter. I see little reason to doubt the story. 
It is certain that Oliver Cromwell told one 
of the King's most faithful followers that the 
King could not be trusted, and that he would 
not be answerable if anything amiss were 



to happen to him. Still, even after that, he 
kept a promise he had made to the King, by 
letting him know that there was a plot with 
a certain portion of the army to seize him, 
I believe that, in fact he sincerely wanted 
the King to escape abroad, and so to be got 
rid of without more trouble or danger. That 
Oliver himself had work enough with the 
army is pretty plain, for some of the troops 
were so mutinous against him, and against 
those who acted with him at this time, that 
he found it necessary to have one man shot 
at the head of his regiment to overawe the 
rest. 

The King, when he received Oliver's 
warning, made his escape from Hampton 
Court, and, after some indecision and un- 
certainty, went to Carisbrooke Castle in the 
Isle of Wight. At first, he was pretty free 
there ; but, even there, he carried on a pre- 
tended treaty with the Parliament, while he 
was really treating with commissioners from 
Scotland to send an army into England to 
take his part. When he broke off this 
treaty with the- Parliament (having settled 
with Scotland) and was treated as a prisoner, 
his treatment was not changed too soon, for 
he had plotted to escape that very night to 
a ship sent by the Queen, which was lying 
off the island. 

He was doomed to be disappointed in his 
hopes from Scotland. The agreement be 
had made with the Scottish Commissioners 
was not fjivourable enough to the religion of 
that country, to please the Scottish clergy, and 
they preached against it. The consequence 
was, that the army raised in Scotland and 
sent over, was too small to do much ; and 
that, although it was helped by a rising of 
the Royalists in England and by good soldiers 
from Ireland, it could make no head against 
the Parliamentary army under such men as 
Cromwell and Fairfax. The King's eldest 
son, the Prince of Wales, came over from 
Holland with nineteen ships (a part of the 
English fleet having gone over to him) to 
help his father, but nothing came of his 
voyage, and he was fain to return. The most 
remarkable event of this second civil war 
was the cruel execution by the Parlia- 
mentary General, of Sir Charles Lucas and 
Sir George Lisle, two gallant Royalist 
generals, who had bravely defended Col- 
chester under every disadvantage of famine 
and distress for nearly three months. When 
Sir Charles Lucas was shot, Sir George 
LivSle kissed his body, and said to the soldiers 
who were to shoot him, *' Come nearer, and 
make sure of me." " I warrant you, Sir 
George," said one of the soldiers, " we shall 
hit you." " Aye?" he returned with a smile, 
" but I have been nearer to you, my friends, 
many a time, and 3''ou have missed me." 

The Parliament, after being fearfully bullied 
by the army, who demanded to have seven 
members whom they disliked given up to j 
them, had voted that they would have H 



Charles Diekens.] 



A CHILD'S HISTORY OF ENGLAND. 



119 



nothing more to do with the King ; on the 
conclusion, however, of this second civil war 
(which did not last more than six months) they 
appointed commissioners to treat with him. 
The King, then so far released again as to be 
allowed to live in a private house at Newport 
in the Isle of Wight, managed his own part 
of the negotiation with a sense that was 
admired by all who saw him, and gave up, in 
the end, all that was asked of him — even 
yielding (which he had steadily refused, so 
far) to the* temporary abolition of the bishops 
and the transfer of their church land to 
the Crown. Still, with his old fatal vice 
upon him, when his best friends joined the 
commissioners in beseeching him to yield all 
those points as the only means of saving him- 
self from the army, he was plotting to escape 
from the island ; he was holding correspon- 
dejicQ with his friends and the Catholics in 
Ire'land, though declaring that he was not; 
and he was writing with his own hand that in 
what he jnelded, he meant nothing but to get 
time to escape. 

Matters were at this pass when the army, 
resolved to defy the Parliament, marched up 
to London. The Parliament, not afraid of 
them now, and boldly led by HoUis, voted 
that the King's concessions were sufficient 
ground for settling the peace of the kingdom. 
Upon that, Colonel Rich and Colonel 
Pride went down to the House of Commons 
with a regiment of horse soldiers and a regi- 
ment of foot ; and Colonel Pride, standing in 
the lobby with a list of the members who 
were obnoxious to the army in his hand, had 
them pointed out to him as they came 
through, and took them all into custody. 
This proceeding was afterwards called by the 
people, for a joke. Pride's Purge. Crom- 
well was in the North, at the head of his 
men, at the time, but when he came home, 
approved of what had been done. 

What with imprisoning some members and 
causing others to stay away, the army had 
now reduced the House of Commons to some 
fifty or so. These soon voted that it was 
treason in a king to make war against his 
parliament and his people, and sent an ordi- 
nance up to the House of Lords for the King's 
being tried as a traitor. The House of Lords 
then sixteen in number, to a man rejected it. 
Thereupon, the Commons made an ordinance 
of their own, that they were the supreme 
government of the country, and would bring 
the King to trial. 

The King had been taken for security to a 
place called Hurst Castle : a lonel}-- house on 
a rock in the sea, connected with the coast of 
Hampshire by a rough road two miles long 
at low water. Thence he was ordered to be 
removed to Windsor ; thence, after being 
but rudely used there, and having none but 
goldiers to wait upon him at table, he was 
brought up to St. James's Palace in London, 
and told that his trial was appointed for next 
day. 



On Saturday, the twentieth of January, cne 
thousand six hundred and forty-nine, this me- j 
morable trial began. The House of Commons j 
had settled that one hundred and thirty-five i 
persons should form the Court, and these 
were taken from the House itself, from among 
the ofiicers of the army, and from among the 
lawyers and citizens. John Bradshaw, ser- 
jeant-at-law, was appointed president. The 
place was Westminster Hall. At the upper 
end, in a red velvet chair, sat the president, 
with his hat (lined with plates of iron for his 
protection) on his head. The rest of the 
Court sat on side benches, also wearing their 
hats. The King's seat was covered with 
velvet, like that of the president, and was 
opposite to it. He was brought from St 
James's to Whitehall, and from Whitehall he 
came by water, to his trial. 

When he cam.e in, he looked round >ery 
steadily on the Court, and on the great 
number of spectators, and then sat down: 
presently he got up and looked round again. 
On the indictment "against Charles Stuart, 
for high treason," being read, he smiled 
several times, and he denied the authority 
of- the Court, saying that there could be no 
parliament without a House of Lords, and 
that he saw no House of Lords there. Also 
that the King ought to be there, and that 
he saw no King in the King's right place. 
Bradshaw replied, that the Court was satisfied 
with its authority and that its authority 
was God's authority and the kingdom's. 
He then adjourned the Court to the following 
Monday. On that day, the trial was re- 
sumed, and went on all the week. When 
the Saturday came, as the King passed 
forward to his place in the Hall, some soldiers 
and others cried for "justice!" and execu- 
tion on him. That day, too, Bradshaw, like 
an angry Sultan, wore a red robe, instead 
of the black one he had worn before. The 
Kii\g was sentenced to death that day. As 
he went out, one solitary soldier said, " God 
bless you, Sir!" For this, his ofiicer struck 
him. The King said he thought the punish- 
ment exceeded the offence. The silver head 
of his walking-stick had fallen off while he 
leaned upon it, at one time of the trial. The 
accident seemed to disturb him, as if he 
thought it ominous of the falling of his own 
head ; and he admitted as much now it was 
all over. 

Being taken back to Whitehall he sent to 
the House of Commons, saying that as the 
time of his execution might be nigh, he 
wished he might be allowed to see his darling 
children. It was granted. On the Monday 
he was taken back to St. James's, and his two 
children then in England, the Princess Eli- 
zabeth thirteen years old, and the Duke op 
Gloucester nine years old, were brought tc 
take leave of him, from Sion House, near 
Brentford. It was a sad and touching scene, 
when he kissed and fondled these poor 
children, and made a little present of two 



120 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



diamond seals to the Princess, and gave them 
tender messages to their mother, (who lit.tle 
deserved them, for she had a lover of her 
own whom she married soon afterwards) and 
told them that he died "for the laws and 
liberties of the land." I am bound to say 
that I don't think he did, but I dare say he 
believed so. 

There were ambassadors from Holland, that 
day, to intercede for the unhappy King, whom 
you and I both wish the Parliament had 
spared ; but they got no ansvA-er. The Scottish 
Commissioners interceded too ; so did the 
Prince of Wales, by a letter in which he 
offered, as the next heir to the throne, to 
accept any conditions from the Parliament ; 
sd did the Queen by letter likewise. Not- 
withstanding all, the warrant for the execu- 
tion was this day signed. There is a story 
that as Oliver Cromwell went to the table 
with the pen in his hand to put his signa- 
ture to it, he drew his pen across the 
face of one of the commissioners who w^as 
standing near, and marked it with the ink. 
That commissioner had not signed his own 
name 3^et, and the story adds, that when he 
came to do it, he marked Cromwell's face 
with ink in the same w^ay. 

The King slept well, untroubled by the 
knowledge that it was his last night on earth, 
and rose on the thirtieth of January, two 
hours before day, and dressed himself care- 
fully. He put on two shirts lest he should 
tremble with the cold, and had his hair very 
carefully combed. The warrant had been 
directed to three officers of the army, Colonel 
Hacker, Colonel Hunks, and Colonel 
Phayer. At ten o'clock, the first of these 
came to the door and said it was time to go 
to Whitehall. The King, who had always been 
a quick walker, walked at his usual speed 
through the Park, and called out to the 
guard, with his accustomed voice of command, 
" March on apace !" When he came to 
Whitehall, he was taken to his own bed- 
room, where a breakfast was set forth. As 
he had taken the Sacrament, he w^ould eat 
nothing more, but at about the time when 
the church bells struck twelve at noon (for 
he had to wait, through the scaffold not being 
ready) he took the advice of the good Bishop 
JuxoN who was with him, and eat a little 
bread, and drank a glass of claret. Soon 
after he had taken this refreshment, Colonel 
Hacker came to the chamber with the warrant 
in his hand, and called for Charles Stuart. 

And then through the long gallery of 
Whitehall Palace, which he had often seen 
light and gay and merry and crowded, in 
very different times, the fallen King passed 
along, until he came to the centre window 



of the Banquetting House, through which j 
he emerged upon the scaffold, which was 
hung with black. He looked at the two 
executioners who were dressed in black 
and masked; he looked at the troops of 
soldiers on horseback and on foot, who 
all looked up at him in silence ; he looked 
at the vast array of spectators, filling up 
the view beyond, and turning all their faces 
upon him; he looked at his old Palace of 
St. James's ; and he looked at the block. 
He seemed a little troubled to find that it 
was so low, and asked " if there were no place 
higher?" Then, to those upon the scaffold, 
he said " that it was the Parliament who had 
begun the war, and not he ; but he hoped they 
might be guiltless too, as ill instruments 
had gone between them. In one respect," he 
said, " he suffered justly, and that was 
because he had permitted an unjust sentence 
to be executed on another." In this he re- 
ferred to the Earl of Strafford. 

He was not at all afraid to die ; but he 
was anxious to die easily. When some one 
touched the axe while he was speaking, he 
broke off and called out, " take heed of the 
axe! take heed of the axe!" He also said to 
Colonel Hacker, " Take care that they do not 
put me to pain." He told the executioner, 
" I shall say but very short praj^ers, and then 
thrust out my hands " — as the sign to strike. 

He put his hair up, under a white satin 
cap which the bishop had carried, and said,, 
" I have a good cause and a gracious God on 
my side." The bishop told him that he had 
but one stage more to travel in this weary 
world, and that though it was a turbulent 
and troubelsome stage, it was a short one, 
and w^ould carry him a great way — all the 
way from earth to Heaven. The King's 
last word, as he gave his cloak and the 
George — the decoration from his breast — to 
the bishop, w^as this, "Remember!" He 
then kneeled down, laid his head upon the 
block, spread out his hands, and was instantly 
killed. One universal groan broke from the 
crowd ; and the soldiers, who had sat on their 
horses and stood in their ranks immovable 
as statues, were of a sudden all in motion 
clearing the streets. 

Thus in the forty-ninth year of his age, 
falling at the same time of his career as 
Strafford had fallen in his, perished Charles 
the First. With all my sorrow for him, I 
cannot agree wath him that he died "the 
Martyr of the people ;" for the people had 
been martj^rs to him and his ideas of a King's 
rights, long before. Indeed I am afraid that 
he was but a bad judge of martyrs; for ho 
had called that infamous Duke of Buckingham 
" the Martyr of his Sovereign." 



BiLLix AKD Bbothbbs, Printen and SUreotypert, 20 North Willuun Street, New York. 



''Familiar in their Mouths as HOUSEHOLD WORDS:'— ^nj^^r^T^^^x. 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 

A AVEEKLY JOURNAL 

CONDUCTED BY CHARLES DICKENS. 



Vol. VIIL 



McELRATH & BARKER, PUBLISHERS. 

Office No. 17 Si'kuce stekbt, Nkw Yoiik. 



Whole No. 185. 



THINGS THAT CANNOT BE DONE. 

Nothing flagrantly wrong can be done, 
without adequate punishment, under the 
English law. What a comfortable truth that 
is ! I have always admired the English law 
with all my heart, as being plain, cheap, com- 
prehensive, easy, unmistakable, strong to help 
the right doer, weak to help the wrong doer, 
entirely free from adherence to barbarous 
usages which the world has passed, and 
knows to be ridiculous and unjust. It is 
delightful never to see the lavv at fault, never 
to find it in what our American relatives call 
a fix, never to behold a scoundrel able to 
shield himself with it, always to contemplate 
the improving spectacle of Law in its wig and 
gown leading blind Justice by the hand and 
keeping her in the straight broad course. 

I am particularly struck at the present 
time, by the majesty with which the Law 
protects its own humble administrators. 
Next to the punishment of any offence by 
fining the offender in a sum of money — which 
is a practice of the Law, too enlightened and 
too obviously just and wise, to need any com- 
mendation — the penalties inflicted on an 
intolerable brute who maims a police officer 
for life, make my soul expand with a solemn 
joy. I constantly read in the newspapers of 
such an offender being committed to prison 
with hard labour, for one, two, or even three 
months. Side by side with such a case, I 
read the statement of a surgeon to the police 
force, that within such a specified short time, 
so many men have been under his care for 
similar injuries; so many of whom have re- 
covered, after undergoing a refinement of 
pain expressly contemplated by their assail- 
ants in the nature of their attack ; so many of 
whom, being permanently debilitated and in- 
capacitated, have been dismissed the force. 
Then, I know that a wild beast in a man's 
form cannot gratify his savage hatred of 
those who check him in the perpetration of 
crime, without suffering a thousand times 
more than the object of his wrath, and with- 
out being made a certain and a stern example. 
And this is one of the occasions on which the 
beauty of the Law of England fills me with the 
solemn joy I have mentioned. 

The pagans I have of late been singing 
within myself on the subject of the determi- 
VoL. VIII.-No. 185 



nation of the Law to prevent by severe pun- 
ishment the oppression and ill-treatment of 
Women, have been echoed in the public 
journals. It is true that an ill-conditioned 
friend of mine, possessing the remarkably 
inappropriate name of Common Sense, is not 
fully satisfied on this head. It is true that 
he sa3''s to me " Will you look at these cases 
of brutality, and tell me whether you consider 
six years of the hardest prison task-work 
(instead of six months) punishment enough 
for such enormous cruelty ? Will j'ou read 
the increasing records of these violences 
from day to day, as more and more sufferers 
are gradually encouraged by a law of six 
months' standing to disclose their long endu- 
rance, and will you consider what a legal 
system that must be which only now applies 
an imperfect remedy to such a giant evil? 
Will you think of the torments and murders 
of a dark perspective of past years, and ask 
yourself the question whether in exulting so 
mightily, at this time of day, over a law faintly 
asserting the lowest first principle of all law, 
you are not somewhat sarcastic on the virtuous 
Stiitutes at large, piled up there on innume- 
rable shelves ?" It is true, I say, that my ill- 
conditioned friend does twit me, and the lavv I 
dote on, after this manner ; but it is enough 
for me to know, that for a man to maim and 
kill his wife by inches — or even the woman, 
wife or no wife, who shares his home — with- 
out most surely incurring a punishment, the 
justice of which sntisfics the mind and heart 
of the common level of humanity, is one 
of the things that cannot be done. 

But, deliberately, falsely, defamingly, pub- 
licly and pefseveringly, to pursue and outrage 
any woman is foremost among the things that 
cannot be done. Of course it cannot be done. 
This is the year one thousand eight hundred 
and fifty-three ; and Steam and Electricity 
would indeed have left the limping Law 
behind, if it could be done in the present age. 

Let me put an impossible case, to illus- 
trate at once my admiration of the Law, and 
its tender care for Women. This may be an 
appropriate time for doing so, when most of 
us are complimenting the Law on its avenging 
gall.intry. 

Suppose a young lady to be left a great 
heiress, under circumstances which cause the 
general attention to be attracted to her 



122 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Condneted by 



name. Suppose her to be modest, retiring, 
otherwise only known for her virtues, charities, 
and noble actions. Suppose an abandoned 
sharper, so debased, so wanting in the man- 
hood of a commonly vile swindler, so lost 
to every sense of shame and disgrace, as to 
conceive the original idea of hunting this 
young lady through life until she buys him 
off with money. Suppose him to adjust the 
speculation deliberately with himself. " I 
know nothing of her, I never saw her; but 
I am a bankrupt, with no character and no 
trade that brings me in any money ; and I 
mean to make the pursuit of her, my trade. 
She seeks retirement ; I will drag her out of . 
it. She avoids notoriety ; I will force it upon 
her. She is rich ; she shall stand and deliver. 
I am poor ; I will have plunder. The opinion 
of society. What is that to me? I know 
the -Law, and the Law will be my friend — 
not hers." 

It is very difficult, I know, to suppose such 
a set of circumstances, or to imagine such an 
animal not caged behind iron bars or knocked 
on the head. But, let us stretch elastic fancy 
to such an extreme point of supposition. He 
goes to work at the trade he has taken up, 
and works at it, industriously, say for fifteen, 
sixteen, seventeen years. He invents the 
most preposterous and transparent lies, which 
not one human being whose ears they ever 
reach can possibly believe. He pretends that 
the lady promised to marry him — say, in a non- 
sensical jingle of rhymes which he produces, 
and which he says and swears (for what will he 
not say and swear except the truth ?) is the 
production of the lady's hand. Before in- 
capable country justices, and dim little 
farthing rushlights of the law, he drags this 
lady at his pleasure, whenever he will. He 
makes the Law a screw to force the hand she 
has had the courage to close upon her purse 
from the beginning. He makes the Law a 
rack on which to torture her constancy, her 
affections, her consideration for the living, 
and her veneration for the dead. He shakes 
the letter of the Law over the heads of the 
puny tribunals he selects for his infamous 
purpose, and frightens them into an endu- 
rance of his audacious mendacity. Because 
the Law is a Law of the peddling letter and 
not of the comprehensive spirit, this magis- 
trate shall privately bribe him with money to 
condescend to overlook his omission (sanc- 
tioned by the practice of years) of some 
miserable form as to the exact spot in which 
he puts his magisterial signature upon a docu- 
ment ; and that commissioner shall publicly 
compliment him upon his extraordinary 
acquirements, when it is manifest upon the 
face of the written evidence before the same 
learned commissioner's eyes in court, that he 
cannot so much as spell. But he knows the 
Law. And the letter of the Law is with the 
rascal, and not with the rascal's prey. 

For, w^e are to suppose that all through 
these years, he is never punished with any 



punishment worthy of the name, for his real 
offence. He is now and then held to bail, 
gets out of prison, and goes to his trade 
again. He commits wilful and corrupt per- 
jury, down a bye way, and is lightly punished 
for that ; but he ♦akes his brazen face ilong 
the high road of his guilt, ancrushed. The 
blundering, babbling, botched Law, in split- 
ting hairs with him, makes business for 
itself; they get on very well together — 
worthy companions — shepherds both. 

Now, I am willing to admit that if such a 
case as this, could by any possibility be ; if 
it could go on so long and so publicly, as that 
the whole town should have the facts within 
its intimate knowledge ; if it were as well 
known as the Queen's name ; if it never 
presented itself afresh, in any court, without 
awakening an honest indignation in the 
breasts of all the audience not learned in the 
Law ; and yet if this nefarious culprit were 
just as free to drive his trade at last as he 
was at first, and the object of his ingenious 
speculation could find absolutely no redress ; 
then, and in that case, I say, I am willing to 
admit that the Law would be a false pretence 
and a self-convicted failure. But, happily, 
and as we all know, this is one of the things 
that cannot be done. 

No. Supposing such a culprit face to face 
with it, the Law would address him thus. 
" Stand up, knave, and hear me ! I am not 
the thing of shreds and patches you suppose. 
I am not the degraded creature whom any 
wretch may invoke to gratify his basest 
appetites and do his dirtiest work. Not for 
that, am I part and parcel of a costly system 
maintained with cheerfulness out of the 
labours of a great free people. Not for that, 
do I continually glorify my Bench and my 
Bar, and, fi'om my high place, look compla- 
cently upon a sea of wigs. I am not a 
jumble and jargon of words, fellow; I am a 
Principle. I was set up here, by those who 
can pull me down — and will, if I be in- 
capable — to punish the wrong-doer, for the 
sake of the body-politic in whose name I 
act, and from whom alone my power is de- 
rived. I know you, well, for a wrong-doer ; 
I have it in proof before me that you are a 
forsworn, crafty, defiant, bullying, pestilent 
impostor. And if I be not an impostor too, 
and a worse one, my plainest duty is to set 
my heel upon you — which I mean to do before 
you go hence. 

" Attend to me yet, knave. Hold your 
peace! You are one of those landsharks 
whose eyes have twinkled to see the driving of 
coaches and six through Acts of Parliament, 
and who come up with their dii-ty little dog s 
meat carts to follow through the same 
crooked ways. But you shall know, that I 
am something more than a maze of tortuous 
ins and outs, and that I have at least one 
plain road— to wit, the road by which, for the 
general protection, and in the exercise of my 
first function, I mean to send you into safe 



Charles Dickens.] 



LANNA TIXEL. 



123 



keeping; fifty thousand Acts, and a hundred 
thousand Caps, and five hundred thousand 
Sees, notwithstanding. 

" For, Beast of Prey, above the perplexed 
letter of all Law that has any might in it, 
goes the spirit. If I be, as I claim to be, 
the child of Justice, and not the offspring of 
the Artful Dodger, that spirit shall, before I 
gabble througii one legal argument more, 
provide for you and all the like of you, as 
you deserve. If it cannot do that of itself, 
I will have letter to help it. But I will not 
remain here, a spectacle and a scandal to 
those who ai-e the breath of my nostrils, with 
your dirty hands clinging to my robe, your 
brazen lungs misrepresenting me, your 
shameless face beslavering me in my prosti- 
tution." 

Thus the Law clearly would address any 
such impossible person. For this reason, 
among others not dissimilar, I glory in the 
Law, and am ready at all times to shed my 
best blood to uphold it. For this reason too, 
I am proud, as an Englishman, to know that 
such a design upon a woman as I have, in a 
wild moment, imagined, is not to be entered 
upon, and is — as it ought to be — one of the 
things that can never be done. 

LANNA TIXEL. 



Under a stiff hollybush cut like a dragon, 
the chief glory in the garden of her father 
the Burgomaster, little Lanna Tixel lay with 
her face to the grass, sobbing and quivering. 
Ten minutes ago she had passed silently out 
of her father's sick chamber with a white 
face and eyes large with terror; she had fled 
through the great still house into the garden, 
and fallen down under the dragon to give 
way to an agony of something more than 
childish grief. Poor little Lanna ! Sheltered 
by the prickly wings of that old garden 
monster, she had wept many a time for the 
loss of a pale, blue-eyed mother, who had 
gone from her to be one of the stars ; but that 
was a grief full of love and tenderness, that 
led to yearnings heavenward. She lay then 
grieving with her tearful eyes fixed on the 
blue sky, watching the clouds or wondering 
which of the first stars of evening might be 
the bright soul of her saint. Now she had 
her face pressed down into the earth — her 
father was on his death-bed ; but there was 
something wilder in her agony than childish 
sorrow. In the twilight the green dragon 
seemed to hang like a real fiend over the 
plump little child that had been thrown to it, 
and that lay cowering within reach ol its jaws. 

So perhaps thought the sallow-faced Hans 
Dank, the leanest man in the Low Countries 
and yet no skeleton ; who, after a time, had 
followed the child down from the sick cham- 
ber and stood gravely by, lending his ear ta 
her distress. He might have thought so, 
though he was by no means imaginative, for 
he had facts in his head that could have, | 



by themselves, suggested such a notion. 
"Lanna!" said Steward Dank, as quietly as 
though he was but calling her to dintter. 
" Lanna !" She heard nothing. " Your 
father asks for you." She rose at once, with 
a fierce shudder, and Mr. Dank led her 
indoors by the hand. 

Burgomaster Tixel was the richest and 
most friendless man in Amsterdam. He loved 
only two things, his money, and his daughter, 
and he loved both in a wretched, comfortless 
and miserably jealous way. He was ignorant 
and superstitious, as most people were in his 
time — two or three centuries ago. If he could 
live to-day, and act as he" used to act, he 
would be very properly confined in Bedlam. 

He lay very near death in a large room, 
gloomy with the shadows of evening and 
hung with heavy tapestries. Mr. Dank led 
Lanna to his side. " You will conquer )■ our 
fear, darling," said the Burgomaster, with a 
rattle in his harsh voice. " If you have loved 
me I prepare for you a pleasure. If you 
have not loved me, if my memory is never to 
be dear to you — be punished." 

"O father!" 

'' You are too young to think — but twelve 
years old — it is my place to think for you, and 
Dank will care for you when I am gone, 
because, dear, it is made his interest to do so. 
When you know the worth of your inheritance 
you will not speak as you have spoken. You 
are a child. What do you know ?" 

" She knows," said Mr. Dank, in a dry 
matter-of-fact way, " the value of a flither's 
blessing." 

" True," said the Burgomaster, glaring at 
the child ; the signal lights of the great rock 
of death on which he was fast breaking to 
pieces, glittered in his eyes. " True, Lanna. 
Your obedience is the price of my last 
blessing." 

" I will obey you," she said, and he blessed 
her. Then the little girl fell in a great agony 
of fear over his hand crying, " father, 1 
should like to die with you!" | 

" That is well, darling," said the Burgo- 
master. " Those are tender words." 

He made her nestle on the bed beside him 
and then put an arm about her : pressing her 
against his breast. " Now," said he, " let the 
priests come in!" and the last rites of the 
Church were celebrated over the Burgo- 
master, while his little daughter remained 
thus imprisoned. And the dead arm of the 
Burgomaster, when his miserly and miserable 
soul was fled, still pressed the little girl to 
his dead heart. 

Eight years after. the death in Amsterdam 
of Burgomaster Tixel, there was born at 
Blickford, in Devonshire, the first and last 
child of Hodge Noddison, a tiller of the soil, 
with a large body, a hard hand, and a heart 
to match it. He was not naturally a bad 
fellow, but he was intensely stupid (as hand- 
labourers in those days usually were) for want 



J 



12^ 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Condaoted b. 



She reeled ; but the blow gave no pain to her 
flesh. It seemed to her that but an instant 
passed before she heard the rapid gallop of 
his horse. The first impulse she obeyed was 
absurd ; she followed him. If she had told 
her story more methodically it could never 
have affected him so much, although it would 
no doubt have ended in his quitting her. 
She must explain all, or what would he 
think? But Captain Arthur galloped as 
though he were pursued by somebody not 
quite so innocent as Lanna Tixel. A few 
minutes of running through cool evening air, 
caused that first itnpulse to die out. 

Then she sat down under the blossoms of a 
Maythorn hedge, picking industriously at its 
leaves ; and so she sat in a long reverie, till 
the moon rose, and she heard groans of which 
• she had not eariier been conscious. At the 
same time she saw, behind the opposite hedge, 
a face covered with blood, which she took to 
be a dead face. It was the living face of Mr. 
Dank, who had returned to sense after his 
thrashing. She could not go home to rest. 
Terrified and vexed in spirit she fled, looking 
like a shrouded corpse herself, towards the 
moor, and then it was that she interrupted 
the gossips' learned conversation. 

"And how does the frog's bile act?" asked 
Mrs. Noddison. "That," said Goody Fubs, 
" I quite forgot to ask, I had it from a gossip 
who is dead. No doubt it must be eaten." 
Mrs. Noddison was not at all comfortless over 
the departure of her husband. Free he would 
earn nothing, after his last evening's work. 
He might as well therefore be fed in jail. Her 
skin too would be the sounder for a rest. The 
baby was just one of those puny squalid 
things that used to perish by thousands in 
the wretched huts of a fine old English 
peasantry, all of the olden time. Mrs, Nod- 
dison was full of mother's care about it. 
Goody Fubs was full of neighbourly advice, 
and very eloquent upon the subject of her 
nostrum, a black fetid mess containing nobody 
knows what. 

While the two gossips talked, the flying 
clouds let fall a flying shower. Lanna was 
still on the moor, and the sudden rain recalled 
her to a sense of her position. She was 
out, she recollected, at a strange hour. It 
must be at the earliest ten o'clock, an hour 
later than 'bed-time. Lanna turned home- 
wards, though there was no place so terrible 
to her as home. 

" Well then, if you will hold the child," 
said Goody Fubs to Mistress Noddison, " I'll 
give it the remedy, and then it never shall 
know harm again in this world." " Amen, 
Goody, and thank you." When the child felt 
the frog's bile in its throat it began to scream 
mightily and choke, but the stuff nevertheless 
was swallowed. At that instant, as Goody 
stated afterwards, the rain suddenly ceased 
to patter on the shingles. The child screamed 
more and more. It went into convulsions. 
The hut door had been left open, and indeed 



almost broken to pieces by the constables. A 
white figure glided by. "Ave Maria!" 
groaned old Goody Fubs, not to be heard 
through the screaming of the child, " there's 
Lanna Tixel !" The child's face was black. 
The fiercenessof the screaming caused Lanna 
to turn back, and stand irresolutely in the 
doorway, ready to enter and bring help if she 
were able. Goody Fubs made a great cross 
with her fingers over her own wrinkled fore- 
head, and then flew at the delicate cheeks of 
Lanna with her nails. Lanna fled again, 
followed by loud shrieks from Mrs. Noddison ; 
the child's voice was gone, it lay dumb in a 
dead struggle. 

" 0, the bile !" moaned Mrs. Noddison. 

" The witch !" groaned Goody Fubs. 

The two or three domestics living in the 
Grange were in attendance on the barber 
surgeon, busy, Lanna found, with Mr. Dank, 
who had been waylaid and beaten, as she un- 
derstood. She knew then that it was no 
ghost she had seen, and, pitying his condition, 
though he was no friend to her, she tended by 
the steward's bedside half the night through, 
after she had paid a visit to her secret 
chamber. His bruises were not serious, the 
cut upon his head had been bound up, he had 
been comfortably shaved, had been bled in 
the arm, and had received an emetic. His 
case therefore promised well, and towards 
morning the surgeon left him quietly asleep, 
and recommended Lanna to retire, at the 
same time suggesting that she should bathe 
her swollen nose with vinegar, and take a 
powder, for she seemed to have had a very 
ugly fall. 

Lanna slept heavilj'- for a great many hours, 
and in the morning found that Mr. Dank, 
though very much weakened, was not con- 
fined to his bed : he was up and out, gone to 
encounter Noddison in a formal and judicial 
way before the squire and his brother justices. 
Lanna, with achrng heart and throbbing nose, 
and a wide border of black round one of her 
blfce eyes, endeavoured to go through her 
usual routine of duties. In the course of the 
day they took her into Blickford. 

Two little boys at play in a ditch about a 
quarter of a mile out of the village, leaped up 
when they saw her coming, and scampered on 
before as fast as they were able, shouting her 
name aloud. They had been put there as 
scouts or look-out men, and had beguiled 
their time while on their post -with pitch and 
toss. Lanna understood nothing of that, and 
could not at all tell what it meant, when a 
turn in the road brought her in sight of the 
first houses in Blickford, and she saw the 
whole village turning out with brooms to 
meet her. Goody Fubs advancing as the 
village champion, struck the poor orphan with 
her broom, and then throwing away the 
weapon, grappled with her. Men threw 
stones at her, women pressed round, grappled 
together and fought for the privilege of 
pinching her or puUing at the rich locks of 



(SuurlM Diekenc] 



LANi^A riXEL. 



12T 



brown hair that Goody their leader had set 
floating. 

" Nick's Pond !" was the cry. The young 
foreign witch must be tried by water — inno- 
cent If she drowned, and guilty if she swam. 
In a wild and terrible procession of the whole 
population of the village, with the children 
screaming and dancing joyously about in the 
excitement of a witch-ducking, Lanna was 
dragged to the moor, where Mistress Noddi- 
sonliew from her cottage as a tigress from her 
lair, and tore the tlesh and garments of the 
witc h, and showed her the dead child. Mounted 
constables were hurrying in the direction of 
the riot, but they only came in time to drag the 
wretched girl out of the pond into which she 
was thrust, and they came not to protect but 
to arrest her. There was fresh evidence, 
some of the men hinted to the villagers, and 
a most aggravated case against her. She was 
therefore carried to the round-house, and 
spent the next thirty hours, half suffocated, 
and locked up with very filthy people. 

Then she was brought out on one of the 
last and finest days of the merry month of 
May, and taken into the presence of the 
justices, with Squire Caufe at their head, who 
had long been of opinion that she had be- 
witched his son by wicked arts, and now was 
sure of it. The case was then gone into. 

It was shown that on a certain evening 
Hodge Noddison maltreated the companion 
of the accused, a foreigner named Hans 
Dank, who it was now ascertained had 
secretly made his escape out of the neigh- 
bourhood, and had gone no one could find 
out whither. It was presumed that she re- 
ceived instant information from some imp 
of the deed that Noddison had done, for she 
was out in the direction of Noddison's house 
before any human tidings could have reached 
her. It was proved that Noddison was cast 
into a deadly lethargy, during which the witch 
was seen fiitting about upon the moor before 
his door, and that immediately after she had 
vanished Noddison was taken by the con- 
stables. It was proved that in further punish- 
ment of Noddison, the accused Lanna Tiiel 
did by her arts throw his only child into 
violent convulsions, during which she again 
appeared at the door and gazed in upon the 
child with her large blue eyes, immediately 
after the infliction of which ^aze it died. It 
was shown, also^ that the rain ceased when 
she appeared, and that Goody Fubs lost a 
young porker, and suffered more than usually 
from her rheumatism on the day that she 
assisted at the ducking of the wicked woman. 

These revelations were not necessary to 
induce Capt^n Arthur to appear against the 
siren wno had nractised on him with her arts. 
He nroved that when he had been drawn by 
her aevices — especially, he thought, by her 
large eyes — to declare love towards her, she, 
believin"- that she had him in her toils, confessed 
to hira m plain words that she had a familiar 
m tne shape of a dragon 'or a hollybush with 



which she often talked, and that it was ac- 
quainted with her secrets. The dragon on 
the lawn was, therefore, part of her enchant- 
ment, and it was natural to consider that the 
strange figures of cocks and fishes to be seen 
on the Dutch farm, though they looked like 
box, and yew, and holly trees must be really 
and truly demons. The captain further 
proved, that being in some trouble, and 
sobbing, the witch called for help upon a 
certain Mother Somebody, he did not catch 
the name, because she, the said witch, sobbed 
while she was speaking. 

In answer to a question from the bench 
he said that it was not "Mother of God." 
"She further," he said, "ventured so far 
as to tell me that I was to marry upon the 
condition of suffering eternal torment." 
(Here a thrill ran through the whole assem- 
bly). " She told me that she herself was 
doomed, but that it was a light matter, and 
that we might laugh at it together." 

During this revelation Lanna fainted. She 
showed no trace of her former beauty, for no 
change of dress or means of cleanliness had 
been provided for her since she was taken 
from the filthy pond, and she appeared to 
have caught some kind of fever in the round- 
house. AVhen she recovered she was com- 
pelled to stand up that her face might be seen 
during the rest of the examination. Her 
house had been searched. A white object 
was brought through a lane made in the 
shuddering crowd, and suddenly presented 
before Lanna. She was seized with violent 
hysterics. It was the waxen image of a 
corpse robed in its graveclothes : an exact 
eflSgy of the dead body of her father. 

"She took me to a room," said Captain 
Arthur, " in which lay this image. I thought 
it had been taken from the grave, and felt at 
once that she was one of the worst kind 
of witches. I sec now that it is made of wax." 

While Lanna remained still insensible a 
learned priest stood forward, and gave evidence 
that the use of these waxen images by witches 
was well known. They were the figures of 
men to whom they wished evil. The witches 
moulded them and caused them to waste 
slowly, and as the wax wasted, so wasted the 
victim's flesh. They also pricked and stabbed 
them, and when they did so the true flesh 
felt every hurt that was inflicted. This was 
undoubtedly the image of some person whom 
the witch Tixel had killed by her enchant- 
ments. 

The learned justices then waited until Lanna 
was so far recovered that she could be made to 
speak ; pains being taken to expedite her re- 
collection of herself by means not altogether 
free from cruelty. She said, however, very 
little. There was no escape for her, she said, 
and she desired none. She had lived too long. 
But she wished Captain Arthur to reflect upon 
the words she had used, and hear now, if he 
would, the story she designed to tell him. 

She was ordered to address the court, and 



126 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[CoDduoted b. 



She reeled ; but the blow gave no pain to her 
flesh. It seemed to her that but an instant 
passed before she heard the rapid gallop of 
his horse. The first impulse she obeyed was 
absurd ; she followed him. If she had told 
her story more methodically it could never 
have affected him so much, although it would 
no doubt have ended in his quitting her. 
She must explain all, or what would he 
think? But Captain Arthur galloped as 
though he were pursued by somebody not 
quite so innocent as Lanna Tixel. A few 
minutes of running through cool evening air, 
caused that first itnpulse to die out. 

Then she sat down under the blossoms of a 
Maythorn hedge, picking industriously at its 
leaves ; and so she sat in a long reverie, till 
the moon rose, and she heard groans of which 
■ she had not eariier been conscious. At the 
same time she saw, behind the opposite hedge, 
a face covered with blood, which she took to 
be a dead face. It was the living face of Mr. 
Dank, who had returned to sense after his 
thrashing. She could not go home to rest. 
Terrified and vexed in spirit she fled, looking 
like a shrouded corpse herself, towards the 
moor, and then it was that she interrupted 
the gossips' learned conversation. 

" And how does the frog's bile act ?" asked 
Mrs. Noddison. "That," said Goody Fubs, 
" I quite forgot to ask, I had it from a gossip 
who is dead. No doubt it must be eaten." 
Mrs. Noddison was not at all comfortless over 
the departure of her husband. Free he would 
earn nothing, after his last evening's work. 
He might as well therefore be fed in jail. Her 
skin too would be the sounder for a rest. The 
baby was just one of those puny squalid 
things that used to perish by thousands in 
the wretched huts of a fine old English 
peasantry, all of the olden time. Mrs. Nod- 
dison was full of mother's care about it. 
Goody Fubs was full of neighbourly advice, 
and very eloquent upon the subject of her 
nostrum, a black fetid mess containing nobody 
knows what. 

While the two gossips talked, the flying 
clouds let fall a flying shower. Lanna was 
still on the moor, and the sudden rain recalled 
her to a sense of her position. She was 
out, she recollected, at a strange hour. It 
must be at the earliest ten o'clock, an hour 
later than "bed-time. Lanna turned home- 
wards, though there was no place so terrible 
to her as home. 

" Well then, if you will hold the child," 
said Goody Fubs to Mistress Noddison, *' I'll 

five it the remedy, and then it never shall 
now harm again in this world." " Amen, 
Goody, and thank you." When the child felt 
the frog's bile in its throat it began to scream 
mightily and choke, but the stuff nevertheless 
was swallowed. At that instant, as Goody 
stated afterwards, the rain suddenly ceased 
to patter on the shingles. The child screamed 
more and more. It went into convulsions. 
The hut door had been left open, and indeed 



almost broken to pieces by the constables. A 
white figure glided by. " Ave Maria !" 
groaned old Goody Fubs, not to be heard 
through the screaming of the child, " there's 
Lanna Tixel !" The child's face was black. 
The fiercenessof the screaming caused Lanna 
to turn back, and stand irresolutely in the 
doorway, ready to enter and bring help if she 
were able. Goody Fubs made a great cross 
with her fingers over her own wrinkled fore- 
head, and then flew at the delicate cheeks of 
Lanna with her nails. Lanna fled again, 
followed by loud shrieks from Mrs. Noddison ; 
the child's voice was gone, it lay dumb in a 
dead struggle. 

** 0, the bile !" moaned Mrs. Noddison. 

" The witch !" groaned Goody Fubs. 

The two or three domestics living in the 
Grange were in attendance on the barber 
surgeon, busy, Lanna found, with ISIr. Dank, 
who had been waylaid and beaten, as she un- 
derstood. She knew then that it was no 
ghost she had seen, and, pitying his condition, 
though he was no friend to her, she tended by 
the steward's bedside half the night through, 
after she had paid a visit to her secret 
chamber. His bruises were not serious, the 
cut upon his head had been bound up, he had 
been comfortably shaved, had been bled in 
the arm, and had received an emetic. His 
case therefore promised well, and towards 
morning the surgeon left him quietly asleep, 
and recommended Lanna to retire, at the 
same time suggesting that she should bathe 
her swollen nose with vinegar, and take a 
powder, for she seemed to have had a very 
ugly fall. 

Lanna slept heavily for a great many hours, 
and in the morning found that Mr, Dank, 
though very much weakened, was not con- 
fined to his bed : he was up and out, gone to 
encounter Noddison in a formal and judicial 
way before the squire and his brother justices. 
Lanna, with achrng heart and throbbing nose, 
and a wide border of black round one of her 
bltie eyes, endeavoured to go through her 
usual routine of duties. In the course of the 
day they took her into Blickford. 

Two little boys at play in a ditch about a 
quarter of a mile out of the village, leaped up 
when they saw her coming, and scampered on 
before as fast as they were able, shouting her 
name aloud. They had been put thei-e as 
scouts or look-out men, and had beguiled 
their time while on their post with pitch and 
toss. Lanna understood nothing of that, and 
could not at all tell what it meant, when a 
turn in the road brought her in sight of the 
first houses in Blickford, and she saw the 
whole village turning out with brooms to 
meet her. Goody Fubs advancing as the 
village champion, struck the poor orphan with 
her laroom, and then throwing away the 
weapon, grappled with her. Men threw 
stones at her, women pressed round, grappled 
together and fought for the privilege of 
pinching her or pulling at the rich locks of 



CharlM Diekenc] 



LANisA riXEL. 



12T 



brown hair that Goody their leader had set 
floating. 

" Nick's Pond !" was the cry. The young 
foreign witch must be tried by water — inno- 
cent If she drowned, and guilty if she swam. 
In a ^\'ild and terrible procession of the whole 
population of the village, with the children 
screaming and dancing joyou»ly about in the 
excitement of a witch-ducking, Lanna was 
dragged to the moor, where Mistress Noddi- 
son tlew from her cottage as a tigress from her 
lair, and tore the flesh and garments of the 
wit( h, and showed her the dead child. Mounted 
constables were hurrying in the direction of 
the riot, but they only came in time to drag the 
wretched girl out of the pond into which she 
was thrust, and they came not to protect but 
to arrest her. There was fresh evidence, 
some of the men hinted to the villagers, and 
a most aggravated case against her. She was 
therefore carried to the round-house, and 
spent the next thirty hours, half suffocated, 
and locked up with very filthy people. 

Then she was brought out on one of the 
last and finest days of the merry month of 
May, and taken into the presence of the 
justices, with Squire Caufe at their head, who 
had long been of opinion that she had be- 
witched his son by wicked arts, and now was 
sure of it. The case was then gone into. 

It was shown that on a certain evening 
Hodge Noddison maltreated the companion 
of the accused, a foreigner named Hans 
Dank, who it was now ascertained had 
secretly made his escape out of the neigh- 
bourhood, and had gone no one could tind 
out whither. It was presumed that she re- 
ceived instant information from some imp 
of the deed that Noddison had done, for she 
was out in the direction of Noddison's house 
before any human tidings could have i-eached 
her. It was proved that Noddison was cast 
into a deadly lethargy, during which the witch 
was seen flitting about upon the moor before 
his door, and that immediately after she had 
vanished Noddison was taken by the con- 
stables. It was proved that in further punish- 
ment of Noddison, the accused Lanna Ti^el 
did by her arts throw his only child into 
violent convulsions, during which she again 
appeared at the door and gazed in upon the 
child with her large blue eyes, immediately 
after the infliction of which p;aze it died. It 
was shown, also^ that the rain ceased when 
she appeared, and that Goody Fubs lost a 
young porker, and suffered more than usually 
from her rheumatism on the day that she 
assisted at the ducking of the wicked woman. 

These revelations were not necessary to 
induce CaptMn Arthur to appear against the 
siren wno had practised on him with her arts. 
He proved that when he had been drawn by 
her aevices — especially, he thought, by her 
large eyes — to declare love towards her, she, 
bolievin"- that she had him in her toils, confessed 
to hira in plain words that she had a famihar 
m tne shape of a dragon or a hollybush with 



which she often talked, and that it was ac- 
quainted with her secrets. The dragon on 
the lawn was, therefore, part of her enchant- 
ment, and it was natural to consider that the 
strange figures of cocks and fishes to be seen 
on the Dutch farm, though they looked like 
box, and yew, and holly trees must be really 
and truly demons. The captain further 
proved, that being in some trouble, and 
sobbing, the witch called for help upon a 
certain Mother Somebody, he did not catch 
the name, because she, the said witch, sobbed 
while she was speaking. 

In answer to a question from the bench 
he said that it was not "Mother of God." 
"She further," he said, "ventured so far 
as to tell me that I was to marry upon the 
condition of suffering eternal torment." 
(Here a thrill ran through the whole assem- 
bly). " She told me that she herself was 
doomed, but that it was a light matter, and 
that we might laugh at it together." 

During this revelation Lanna fainted. She 
showed no trace of her former beauty, for no 
change of dress or means of cleanliness had 
been provided for her since she was taken 
from the filthy pond, and she appeared to 
have caught some kind of fever in the round- 
house. AVhen she recovered she was com- 
pelled to stand up that her face might be seen 
during the rest of the examination. Her 
house had been searched. A white object 
was brought through a lane made in the 
shuddering crowd, and suddenly presented 
before Lanna. She was seized with violent 
hysterics. It was the waxen image of a 
corpse robed in its graveclothes : an exact 
eflSgy of the dead body of her father. 

"She took me to a room," said Captain 
Arthur, " in which lay this image. I thought 
it had been taken from the grave, and felt at 
once that she was one of the worst kind 
of witches. I sec now that it is made of wax." 

While Lanna remained still insensible a 
learned priest stood forward, and gave evidence 
that the use of these waxen images by witches 
was well known. They were the figures of 
men to whom they wished evil. The witches 
moulded them and caused them to waste 
slowly, and as the wax wasted, so wasted the 
victim's flesh. They also pricked and stabbed 
them, and when they did so the true flesh 
felt ever}'- hurt that was inflicted. This was 
undoubtedly the image of some person whom 
the witch Tixel had killed by her enchant- 
ments. 

The learned justices then waited until Lanna 
was so flir recovered that she could be made to 
speak ; pains being taken to expedite her re- 
collection of herself by means not altogether 
free from cruelty. She said, however, very 
little. There was no escape for her, she said, 
and she desired none. She had lived too long. 
But she wished Captain Arthur to reflect upon 
the words she had used, and hear now, if he 
would, the story she designed to tell him. 

She was ordered to address the court, and 



128 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



did SO, Captain Arthur being present. " That 
image was the doom I spoke of. It is the 
image of my father as he lay dead when, if I 
might, I would have died with him. He was 
superstitious, as you all are who accuse me 
here to-day of witchcraft. He was jealous 
of my love, and wished to be remembered by 
me daily when I had his wealth. I would 
have rejected that, for his desire was horrible 
to me. But next on the peril of losing his 
blessing, I was made to promise that, wher- 
ever I lived, I would preserve the effigy of my 
dead father, every day eat my dinner in its 
presence, and every night kiss it before I 
went to rest. I was a child then, and a 
terror seized me which I never have been 
able to shake off. I have not dared to dis- 
obey. Hans Dank was my father's steward, 
who was privy to it all, and who was made 
by will my guardian and inquisitor. Let him 
prove that I speak truth in this. There is 
one thing more which concerns me little now. 
My father thought that while the image of 
his body lasted, the body itself would remain 
whole in the tomb, awaiting mine that was 
to be placed beside it. Then our dust was 
to mingle. He was a superstitious man, as 
you are superstitious men. I shall be burnt ; 
you will defeat his wishes. That is the truth 
which I wish Captain Arthur now to hear. 
My mother died when I was four years old. 
I am friendless ; and there is no one but the 
man who offered me his love for whose sake 
I care whether or not I die disgraced." 

The squire was very wroth at these allu- 
sions to his son, and said, when she had made 
an end of speaking, " Witch, you know truly 
what will be your end. If your accomplice 
were indeed here, he could not save you, but 
you can have no support from him, because, 
knowing his guilt, he fled when he first heard 
that these proceedings would be taken. For 
your tale, by which you artfully endeavour to 
mislead my son, it cannot serve you. It 
touches in nothing what has been proved 
against you in the case of the Noddisons, your 
victims. With what mysterious designs you 
caused this dreadful image to be made, and 
kept it secretly within your house, we cannot 
tell, nor does it concern us very much to 
know. The meaning of the image we know 
well, and we know also," said the squire, 
with a malicious grin, " to what good use it 
can be put. Truly it will be a fine thing 
to save faggots in the burning of a witch so 
worthless." 

And the law took its course, and solemn 
trial led in due time to solemn sentence, 
and Lanna Tixel, with the fatal waxen effigy 
bound in her arms, was made the core of a 
great holiday bonfire, which enlivened the 
inhabitants of Blickford. When the wax 
caught, the blaze made even babies in their 
mothers' arms crow out, and clap their hands 
with pleasure. 

A brilliant ending to this very pleasant 
story of the good old times ! They are quite 



gone and never will come back again. And 
so, nothing is left for us to do but to regret 
their memory, we puny men, we miserable 
shams. 



AIR MAPS. 

In a former number of this work we gave 
a short account of the new science of Sub- 
marine Geography, by means of which it has 
been shown that the great undulatory beds of 
the oceans may be as accurately mapped for 
all practical purposes of navigation, as are the 
mountains and valleys of our own dry earth. 
In that paper we dwelt upon the dee^-sea 
soundings which had been carried on by the 
Government of the United States, and of some 
of the more immediate results of the know- 
ledge thus acquired. 

Current-charts and maps of the hills and 
valleys of Old Ocean formed but one portion 
of the labours of our persevering brethren 
across the Atlantic. A. most important fea- 
ture in their scientific proceedings was so to 
track the winds met with in the navigation 
of the highways of the seas, as to be able to 
lay down with tolerable accuracy a complete 
chart of the various currents of the atmo- 
sphere in every part of the world, at all times 
of the year— in short, to construct a huge 
Air Map. 

The proceedings of the American Govern- 
ment since that paper was printed may be 
learned by what transpired at a public meet- 
ing convened, a short time ago, in the Mer- 
chants' Room at Lloyd's for the purpose of 
receiving a communication from Lieutenant 
Maury of the United States Navy, in refer- 
ence to the co-operation of British com- 
manders with those of America in carrying 
on a series of atmospheric observations. 

Already a knowledge of the hitherto un- 
noticed variable winds have enabled navi- 
gators to shorten their voyages to some parts of 
the world by fully one-third of the usual time, 
and in a few instances to one-half In speak- 
ing of the growing importance of our inter- 
course with the Australian Colonies, Lieute- 
nant Maury expressed his belief that in a 
very few years the run to and from Australia 
from this country would be accomplished by 
ordinary good sailing vessels in one hundred 
and forty days, instead of, as at present, one 
hundred and eighty to two hundred days. It 
is not, therefore, to be wondered at that 
shipowners, merchants, and mariners should 
take a deep interest in them. Time has 
ever been considered as money, and surely 
this was never more truly the case than 
at the present moment, when electric tele- 
graphs, high-pressure locomotives, and im- 
proved screws are doing all that electri- 
city, steam, and iron can do to annihilate 
space, and bring distant places together. In 
thus looking, however, to shortening the 
voyage to and from the other side of the 
globe no new and costly mechanical appliances 



Chftrlcs Dickens.; 



AIR MAPS. 



12U 



are needed, no novel motive power is thought 
of, not a new rope is required, not an extra 
square yard of canvas is asked for — all that 
is needed is a thorough knowledge of the 
.winds at sea, so that the navigator may, by 
avoiding such of them as are adverse to him, 
I make use only of those which are in his 
i favour. 

I In so far as this practical, mattcr-of'fact 
\ end is arrived at, the man of the world will of 
i course feel warmly interested in the inquiry. 
But the sjmipathies of the student of science 
j are not less enlisted on the same side, for he 
j ■ will by such means gather together many new 
I and beautiful facts serving to illustrate the 
I economy of Nature in some of her grandest 
i operations. Without a doubt it will be 
through a knowledge of the world of winds 
that we shall arrive at an understanding of 
many phenomena at present but guessed at. 
The course and duration of the air-currents 
will explain the fertiUty or sterility of many 
large tracts of country. The direction of the 
winds will go far to account for the luxuriant 
growth of particular plants in particular loca- 
lities. The winds will be found to be the great 
ministers of good throughout the surface of 
this globe, carr5'ing on their invisible wings 
precious gifts yielded up by Ocean to fertilize 
and beautifj^ the earth in far distant places, 
and by a still wider and higher influence so 
to equalise the ever-recurring disturbances 
of temperature, moisture, electricity, as to 
fit the world for the life and health of the 
many species — animal and vegetable — which 
exist upon its varied face. 

" Fickle as the wind " is not an inapt adage, 
when applied to the local character of the 
winds. But looking at the general course of 
the air-currents over the ocean, if we follow 
the many wind-roads which stretch across 
the deep, we shall see that, so far from 
possessing any features of instability, the 
circulation of the atmosphere about us is 
fully as regular and well-defined, as are the 
motions of the earth itself and the other 
great bodies of our system. In fact, the 
winds are a part of that wondrous and beau- 
tiful whole which was called forth when " He 
measured the waters in the hollow of his 
hand, and comprehended the dust in a mea- 
sure, and weighed the mountains in scales 
and the hills in the balance." Long before 
modern science had told us anything con- 
cerning atmospheric phenomena, an inspired 
writer promulgated the whole system — 
"The wind goeth towards the south, and 
turneth about unto the north : it whirleth 
about continually, and the wind returneth 
again according to his circuits." This passage 
really indicates what has been passing in 
the world of winds since earth was created. 
The aberrations of air-currents upon land 
are but the eddies and offsets of the great 
atmospheric tides caused by geological irregu- 
larities, just as we find dead water and whirl- 
pools ami-ist the largest rivers. 



The winds must no longer be regarded as 
types of instability, but rather as ancient and 
faithful chroniclers ; we have but to consult 
them intelligently to gather from them great 
natural truths. 

In order to learn the course of ocean 
currents, investigators have long been in the 
habit of casting into the sea, bottles, labelled 
and marked, so that on these being found 
cast ashore at remote places their course 
might be made known to the world. What 
man does with the waters Nature accom- 
plishes unasked with the air : she strangely 
places tallies and marks upon the wings of 
the wind in certain parts of the globe, by 
which the philosophers in a distant country 
may recognise the same Mdnd, and so trace 
it in its path over ocean and over land. 

The sirocco, or African dust, which in spring 
and autumn has long been observed falling 
in the vicinity of the Cape de Verdes, Malta, 
Genoa, Lyons, and the Tyrol, was believed to 
have Ijeen brought from the great sandy 
deserts of Africa by the prevailing winds 
coming from that quarter, and the theory 
appeared plausible enough. Men of science 
were, however, not content to take this 
supposition as it stood, and thanks to re- 
cent improvements in the construction of 
microscopes, one persevering philosopher, 
Ehrenberg, has been enabled to ascertain 
the precise nature and consequently the 
original source of this supposed African 
dust. His examinations have demonstrated 
that this rain-dust does not belong to the 
mineral, but to the vegetable kingdom ; that 
it consists not of earthy particles finely 
divided, but of minute infusoria and organ- 
isms whose habitat is not Africa, but South 
America, and that too in the region of the 
south-west trade winds. The professor was 
not content with examining one specimen; 
he compared the " rain-dust" gathered at 
the Cape de Verdes with that collected at 
Genoa, Lyons and Malta, and so closely 
did they all resemble each other that they 
might have been pronounced as taken from 
one spot. Na}"", more than this, one spe- 
cies of infusoria, the eunotia amphyoxis^ has 
often been found in this dust with its green 
ovaries, and therefore capable of life. That 
this dust could not have come from Africa 
is evident from its hue, which is red or 
cinnamon colour, whereas the sands from 
the great African deserts are all white or 
greyish. 

Carrying this inquiry still further we shall 
by its means arrive at a key to the entire 
system of atmospheric currents. We have 
said that the rain-dust falls in the spring and 
autumn : the actual time has been at periods 
of thirty or forty days after the vernal and 
autumnal equinoxes. It requires no argu- 
ment to demonstrate that these minute 
particles of organic matter must have been 
lifted from the surface of th^ earth, not. 
during a rainy season, but at a period when- 



ISC 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



rCondncted by 



everything in the vegetable kingdom was 
parched and dry, and consequently in a fit 
condition for being carried aloft and whirled 
through the upper realms of air on the wings 
of the wind. 

If we examine the seasons of the various 
parts of the great South American continent, 
we shall find that the tract of country which 
suffers most severely from the tropical drought 
at the period of the vernal equinox is the 
valley of the lower Oronoco ; which is then 
parched and burnt with intense heat. Its 
pools are dry, its marshes and plains arid ; 
all vegetation has ceased; the great rep- 
tiles have buried themselves deep in the 
sands; the hum of insect hfe is hushed, 
and the sfillness of death reigns through the 
valley. 

In the autumnal equinox we find a similar 
state of things in the upper Oronoco and the 
great Amazonian basin. It is precisely at 
these times that all vegetable matter is in 
the fittest, impalpable, and feather-light 
condition for being lifted up and carried 
away, and it is precisely at such periods of 
the year that these regions are visited by 
terrific gales, whirlwinds, and tornadoes ; 
which, sweeping over their lifeless, death-like 
plains and basins, raise up vast clouds of 
microscopic organisms and bear them away 
with lightning speed to be rained down in 
remote countries, chroniclers of the great 
wind-roads of the world. 

It is quite evident from what has been here 
stated, that for these " organisms " to be 
carried from south-west to north-east, imme- 
diately opposite to the course of the pre- 
vaihng surface winds of those regions, there 
must be other upper currents performing 
this work. This is the case, and in stating 
it to be so, we arrive at a solution of the 
whole secret mechanism of the atmosphere: 
we learn how it is that " the wind goeth 
towards .the south, and turneth about unto 
the north." 

We on shore find the wind frequently 
veering about from point to point of the 
compass, often blowing in opposite directions 
during a few hours. Not unfrequently we 
are visited with strong gales of wind, lasting 
for a day or more, and then followed by 
heavy falls of rain and calms. Yet such winds, 
in comparison with the general system of at- 
mospheric circulation, are but eddies of the 
main current. They have no more effect 
in deranging or disturbing that system than 
the showers which they bring with them have 
in altering the course of the Gulf stream or 
other ocean currents. 

Let us see, then, what this general atmo- 
spheric system is. On either side of the 
equator, commencing at a distance of some few 
degrees from it, we find a zone of perpetual 
winds extending to about thirty degrees north 
and south. These blow constantly in similar 
directions as steadily and perpetually as the 
tides of the Thames flow and ebb, and are 



called from the directions whence they come the 
north-east and south-cast trades. These winds 
are constantly travelling from the poles, north 
and south, to the equator. Their spiral or 
curved motion is accounted for by th'e rotation 
of the earth on its axis from west to east. If, 
using the language of Lieutenant Maury, 
we imagine a particle of atmosphere at the 
north pole, where it is at rest, to be put in 
motion in a straight line towards the equator, 
we can easily see how this particle of air 
coming from the pole, where it did not par- 
take of the diurnal motion of the earth, M'ould, 
in consequence of its ms inertia, find, as it 
travels south, the earth slipping under it, as 
it were, from west to east, and thus it would 
appear to be coming from the north-east, and 
going towards the south-west : in other words, 
it would be a north-east wind. A similar 
course is followed by the wind coming from 
the south pole towards the equator. Now 
as these two winds are known to be perpe- 
tually flowing from the poles, it is quite safe 
for us to assume that the air which they 
keep in motion must return by some channels 
to their former places at the poles, other- 
wise these winds would soon exhaust the 
polar regions of their atmosphere, and 
piling it up, so to speak, about the equator, 
would cease to blow for the want of a fresh 
supply of air. 

Looking at it in this light it has been 
assumed, and proved almost to a certainty, 
that there exist far above these trade-winds 
other and counter currents of air returning 
to the poles as rapidly as they are flying from 
it. In short that above the south-east trade 
there is a north-west wind, and above the 
north-east trade a south-west wind perpetu- 
ally blowing. We have already told how 
Nature has so wonderfully and beautifully 
placed tallies on the wings of the latter, by 
means of the microscopic infusoria raised from 
the Oronoco and Amazon valleys, and doubt- 
less this first outlining of the new Air Map 
will, in due course, be filled up in other parts 
of the world by certain indications of the 
true course of the upper strata of air return- 
ing towards the south pole. 

Believing that these phenomena are those 
actually in operation, we will endeavour 
to show more in detail the course of the 
" wind roads " of the world, and to do so by 
again making use of Lieutenant Maury's illus- 
tration of a single particle or atom of air, as 
representing the entire volume. 

We will start from the north pole, in 
company with our fellow atom, and here 
we find by some agency not yet under- 
stood that we are travelling southwards in 
the upper regions of the atmosphere, and 
not along the surface of the world, until we 
reach about the parallel of thirty north lati- 
tude, in the vicinity of the Canary I^^lands. 
Here M-e meet with a similar supposed 
particle, travelling also in the upper atmo- 
sphere the return journey towards the pole. 



Charles Dickens.] 



Aiit maps: 



191 



The two adverse particles press against each 
other with their entire force, and being of 
equal power, produce an equilibrium or accu- 
mulation of dead air. This is the cahn belt 
of Cancel*. 

From under this belt or bank of calms, 
two surface currents of wind are ejected ; 
one towards the equator and, from the cause 
already assigned, taking a south-westerly 
course as the north-east trade wind ; the 
other towards the pole, as the south-west 
passage wind. These winds, coming out as 
they do at the lower surface of this calm 
region, must come from above by means of 
downward currents, just as we may suppose 
a vessel of water filled from the top by two 
streams flowing in from opposite directions 
and flowing out from two openings below 
in contrary channels. In support of this 
downward theory of the air, we find the 
testimony of Humboldt who tells us (as others 
do) that in this calm region, l^e barometer 
stands higher than it does to the north or 
south of it. 

Not the least interesting feature of this jour- 
ney of the winds, is the fact that the currents 
of air thus forced out from the lower surface 
of this calm belt, are not those which were 
previously travelling in the contrary direc- 
tion : the wind from the pole does not sink 
down and return northwards as a surface 
wind ; it has yet a long journey before it, a 
journey given to it to perform, by infinite 
wisdom, for wise and beneficent purposes : it 
has yet to go towards the south before it 
turneth about unto the north. The particle 
of air in company with which we have tra- 
velled thus far, makes its way by some mys- 
terious agency — believed to be electrical, and 
indeed all but proved to be so by Faraday's 
recent discoveries — across this calm zone, but 
at the same time downwards, and appears on 
the surface going southerly as the north-east 
trade wind : it cannot pass along in the 
upper air, for there is another similar particle 
wending its way back to the pole, having 
performed the allotted circuit which this 
one fresh from the north is about to 
make. 

As the north-east trade, our particle jour- 
neys until near the equator, where it en- 
counters a similar particle as the south-east 
trade. Here, at this place of the equatorial 
meeting, there is another conflict and another 
calm region, as all those who have made a 
voyage to the south know full well. The 
consequence of this encounter of the two 
typical particles is similar to that which 
took place at the calm belt of Cancer, but 
is brought about in a different manner. 

The great heat of the sun near the equator, 
added to the presence of the two conflicting 
winds one against the other, causes them to 
ascend, and once more crossing the belt of 
calms, they, make their way still in their 
onward course ; the northern particle, with 
which we will suppose ourselves still in com- 



pany, taking an upper course, until, arrived 
at the zone of Capricorn, between twenty 
and thirty degrees of south latitude, it en- 
counters the southerly breezes, and this time 
descending comes out at the lower sur- 
face on the opposite side of the calm region, 
and makes its way to the south pole as a 
surface wind. Entering the polar regions 
obliquely, it is pressed against by similar 
particles coming from every meridian, and as 
it approaches the higher latitudes, having 
less space to move in, it flies along more ra- 
pidly and more obliquely, until it, with all 
the rest, is whirled about the pole in a con- 
tinued circular gale : at last, reaching the 
great polar vortex, pressed up on every side, 
it is carried upwards to the regions of atmo- 
sphere above, whence it commences again its 
circuit, and journeys back to the north as an 
upper current, thus fulfilling its allotted task 
of turning about unto the north. It now 
passes back over the same space, but this 
time its path is altered ; where it was before 
an upper current it is now a surface wind, 
and vice versa. 

Having thus pictured the wind-roads 
across our Air Map, we will proceed to 
point out the reasons for believing them 
to be the actual paths travelled on day by 
day, from year to year, in the great world 
of air. 

It will be necessary to bear in mind the 
following facts, since they form the ground- 
work on which our structure of reasoning 
will be built. In the northern half of the 
globe land greatl}' predominates over water ; 
the southern half of the world being chiefly 
occupied by the ocean. Nearly all the great 
rivers of the world are to be found north 
of the equator ; whilst south of the line there 
is but one large stream, the Plata, the Amazon 
being in the equatorial region and receiving 
half its supply from the north and half from 
the south. In South Africa there is no river 
of any moment, and the rivers of Australia 
are insignificant. 

The main source of supply for the waters of 
these rivers is of course to be found in the 
clouds, which furnish it in the shape of rain. 
The clouds derive their supply from the ocean, 
whence vapour is raised by evaporation. " All 
the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not 
full ; unto the place from whence they came 
thither they return again." This is precisely 
what is taking place daily. If the winds 
did not take up from the sea large quantities 
of vapour, and store it in the clouds for 
distribution when wanted, the sea would " be 
full," with all these gigantic streams passing 
into it ; yet it is never full. 

The facts here given appear at first sight 
anomalous, but on examination they will 
be found to speak in favour of the theory 
previously advanced as to the wind-roads. 
The all but riverless countries of Southern 
America, South x\frica and Australia are 
situated in the midst of the largest expanse 



182 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted bj 



of ocean, with surface winds blowing over 
them that have swept the face of the 
waters for many thousands of miles, and 
which must at their tempe/ature be heavily 
loaded with vapour. Yet these winds furnish 
no supplies of rain sufficient to form any 
rivers of magnitude. Those lands are almost 
riverless. 

On the other hand the winds which blow 
over the gigantic rivers of the northern 
hemisphere — the mighty streams of America, 
Russia, India and China— have all traversed 
but little of ocean, their way from the 
equator has chiefly been over drj'- land, 
whence they could raise up little if any 
moisture. Whence then is it that countries 
with comparatively so little water about 
them should recieve so copiously of rain, 
whilst those in the very heart of the seas are 
devoid of any such supply ? 

To take up surface water and hold it in 
suspense the air must be at a high tempera- 
ture ; to part with it again m the shape of 
rain its temperature must be considerably 
lowered. The only winds which, by reason 
of the temperature, can perform this lifting 
process, are the Trades on either side of the 
equatorial region. In their course over the 
vast body of waters, they become highly 
charged with vapour. On their meeting at 
the zone of equatorial calms they rise, reach 
a cooler atmosphere, and consequently become 
expanded and part with some of their mois- 
ture ; and hence we hear of such extraordinary 
falls of rain in these regions as that sailors 
have actually taken up buckets of fresh water 
from the surface of the ocean during one of 
these down-pourings. But the winds only 
part with a portion of their load ; the south- 
east trade lifts itself and its load of aqueous 
vapour high above the surface, and coursing 
on towards the north in the contrary direction 
of the north-east trade below, becomes 
gradually cooled on its way, and as it cools 
parts as gradually with its vapours in the 
shape of rain. 

In like manner the north-east trade that 
rose as an upper current at the equator to 
take its way to the south, performed also its 
task of evaporation, but to a far less degree. 
Coming from the regions of the north, it is a 
cold wind, and therefore not in a condition to 
raise up vapour until it be near the equator, 
consequently it has but little to precipitate in 
the shape of rain, and hence we find the lands 
of the south so devoid of rivers. Were it to 
be otherwise than thus, were the south-cast 
vapour-loaded winds to traverse the surface 
of the earth in their northerly career, they 
would not part with their moisture where 
most needed by reason of their high tem- 
perature, but would deposit the whole 
when arrived in the frigid zone, where least 
needed. 

Again, if this south-east wind when it rose 
up was turned back in its course, and instead 
of passing over to the northern hemisphere 



to water these vast regions of dry earth, ! 
pursued a southerly career, its stores of rain j 
would be spent over yery small tracks of earth | 
and over immense regions of water. It is 
clear, therefore, that no other system than that 
which it is now believed is the course of the 
winds could be productive of the great 
benefits which we receive from them. The 
southern hemisphere may be likened to an 
enormous boiler, the northern to a huge 
condenser, by means of which all the 
moisture in the world is dealt with for 
distribution. 

The one exception of the Rio de la Plate 
to the absence of large rivers in the south, 
serves equally to prove the theory. If the 
reader will refer to a map of the world, 
he will perceive that the north-east trade- 
wind which is hfted at the equator, passes 
as an upper current of precipitation over the 
sources of the Plata, must have crossed the 
equatorial region in about one hundred de- 
grees west longitude, and, therefore, having 
come from the north-east, must have tra- 
versed some thousands of miles across the 
Atlantic, and then meeting in its southerly 
career with the lofty Andes, become forced 
up by them into still higher regions of cold, 
draining in its ascent the last drop of 
moisture from those mountains to supply the 
solitary river of the south. 

In like manner, a reference to the map will 
show that the north-east wind which tra- 
verses the great Sahara of central Africa, is 
flung up at the equator, and thence passes 
over South Africa in a south-westerly direc- 
tion, leaving no rain in that riverless coun- 
try. Again, the same trade which sweeps 
the sterile, rainless steppes of Chinese Tar- 
tary, crosses the line to the southward of 
Ceylon, and thence takes its vapourless way 
over the great Australian continent, where 
also there are no rivers of any size. 

There is a remarkable circumstance con- 
nected with whirlwinds at sea, or cyclones 
as they are termed, which goes far to confirm 
this theory of our Air Map. In the northern 
hemisphere, all these circular storms revolve 
from right to left ; in the south they re- 
volve from left to right ; and these are pre- 
cisely the courses indicated by the present 
theory, which the various currents of atmo- 
sphere take at the two poles in their return 
circuits. 

We have thus given the main features of 
the great wind-roads of this earth, as laid 
down by Lieutenant Maury. There arc, 
however, many lesser tracts — small footways, 
as it were — diverging from the main trunk 
roads of the atmosphere, which taking their 
course and strength from the varied surface 
of the land follow irregular, and, as yet, but 
little known directions. It is to these, and 
to the confirmation of what is already be- 
lieved to be the case, that the attention of 
nautical observers is wished to be directed, 
so that, in the course of time, by the united 



Charle* D'.ckeni,] 



BAD LUCK AT BENDIGO. 



133 



efforts of British and American navigators, 
we may be enabled to fill up the many blank 
and uncertain spaces in our great Air Map. 



GONE! 

I HAVE the letter yet, Minnie, 

You sent tlie very day 
That (rave your first-born to your arms, 

And I was far away. 
I saw throuirh every trembling lino 

How precious was the boy. 
How pleasure shook the wcakenci hand 

That wrote to wish me joy. 



Of all thy^mother's little ones, 

The plaything and the pet, 
Poor children, lovingly they come 

To rock the cradle yet; 
And, knowing not how sound his pleep, 

All arts to wake him try. 
Al:is ! from so much love, Minnie, 

To think that he should die I 



]jOok at the small pure hand, Minnie, 

So motionless in mine, 
I u>!ed to let it, soft and warm, 

About my finger twine. 
And as it fastened in my heart 

That slight uncertain hold. 
Its touch will lin<rer on my hand 

Till my hand too is cold. 

Our bridal day ; that summer day ! 

Dost thou remember now ? 
Joy's blossoms were. unsullied then 

As those about thy brow. 
Thank God ! 1 have my fair bride still ; 

And, by thy loving eye, 
Thou wotiUlst not iiive me up, Minnio, 

E'en that he might not die. 



A Heaven of s&fety and repose ; 

Ah ! should we wish him back 
From its clear lights and thornless flowers 

To tread life's dusty track. 
Think what a radiant little one 

Shall meet us by-and-bye. 
And yet that he should die. Minnie — 

Alas, that he should die ! 



. BAD LUCK AT BENDIGO. 

Arrived at Melbourne on the nineteenth 
of September, I took an early opportunity 
of distributing my pile of letters of intro- 
duction. Found, that although addressed 
by influential people to influential people, 
they were altogether valueless. Influential 
friends in England were at that time showing 
no mercy to the Melbourne people, who 
received a great many more draughts upon 
their courtesy than it was possible for them 
to honour. 

I agreed then to join a party of my fellow 
passengers, and try fortune's temper with 
them at the diggings. All the tools and im- 
plements which my new friends had brought 
from London being buried at the bottom of 



the ship's hold, we were told that some days 
must elapse before they could be disinterred. 
As for myself, I had taken out only a knap- 
sack and a sea chest. If I ever were to make 
the trip again I should take only a knap- 
sack. Not meaning to be detained for an in- 
definite time we resolved, bold Layards that 
we were, to institute some excavations on our 
own account. We set to work therefore at 
once, and had no lack of curious discoveries. 
Barrels of flour, casks of stout, bags of sugar, 
bales of slops, buts of water, bundles of 
spades, we di-agged and hauled about, 
meeting with a little of everything except 
the things we wanted. After lighting an 
unlawful lantern, and exploring all the 
crannies, we at last saw, at the bottom of a 
well dug through the other merchandize, a 
cart. AVe hoped it was our own, and after 
several hours' labour, during which we moved, 
among other articles, a grand piano in a 
case, we came down cleverly upon it. " Just 
you let that air cart alone, will you ?" Truly 
we had no right to touch it, for it was not 
ours. More hours' labour, and at last we 
got our property together ; ours, because I 
had bought my share in it. The cart had 
been brought out, in the innocent belief that 
horses were to be bought at about fifteen 
pounds each. The price of a horse we found 
was about seventy pounds. One we learnt 
also would not be enough ; two would be 
required, and they would very likely be both 
stolen before the week was out. Tools of all 
kinds which we had brought from the other 
end of the world were to be bought at the 
diggings, from men leaving, at a trifle less 
than the common London price. Nobody 
carried picks and shovels out from Melbourne 
with him. The best thing we could do we 
did ; put everything into a sale, and so got 
rid of all encumbrance. 

The only thing we did not sell, of all our 
London importations, was a tent, which we 
proposed sending to the diggings by a carrier. 
After a search through the town which cost 
us a whole day, we at last found a carrier 
starting to Bendigo — our destination — who 
for the moderate sum of eight guineas, en- 
gaged to take charge of our gold-diggers' 
home. 

The next morning we were up betimes, 
had an early breakfast, and equipped our- 
selves in marching order. Each of us strapped 
on a belt, containing a revolver, an axe, and 
a knife ; each carried on his shoulders a knap- 
sack and blanket, and slung by his side a 
havresack with bread, meat, and a can for 
water. So furnished, off we started. The 
transition from town to bush is very abrupt, 
and in a few minutes we seemed to have 
passed all traces of civilisation. We halted 
at midday, and dined. After an hour's rest 
strapped on our " swag" again and went our 
way. At sunset we found ourselves in 
a rough-looking country, abounding with 
volcanic boulders, and very scant of trees. 



134 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[CoDdocMd by 



There was a clump of them to be seen on our 
right, and as a supply of wood is very neces- 
sary for judicious camping, we selected that 
clump as our lodging for the night. On reach- 
ing it we found it to be located upon very 
swampy land, and promising a bed infested 
with a new kind of jumper — not with fleas, 
but frogs. Frogs were hopping about there 
by tens of thousands. 

We had not yet been broken in to all that 
sort of thing ; we minded frogs, and therefore 
I suggested that we should be careful to pick 
out the highest and the dryest spot. We 
did so, and then having thrown the knap- 
sacks from our aching shoulders, cut down 
wood with our axes and kindled a bonfire, 
which we set to roar against the trunk of a 
fine tree. Thereupon we made ourselves 
some tea in our tin pots, and sat down upon 
our knapsacks to a hearty supper. While 
munching we were accosted by three horse- 
men, stock farmers, on their way home. 
They cheered us with the information that 
if we were bound for Bendigo we were not 
on the right track, at the same time pointing 
out Mount Macedon in the distance (a hint 
aftei-vvards important to us), by which they 
said the road wound ; then wishing us luck 
they rode off. 

To have gone astray in the wood like the fa- 
mous babies was no great luck, but it consoled 
us that "we could be savage ; London savages. 
We took to forest life, as boys to cricket. 
First, we cut down about a cart-load of wood 
and built it into a heap near the fire, for use 
as fuel. Then, with the bushy ends of the 
branches, we formed about ourselves a sort 
of hedge to keep the wind olf. Within our 
enclosure we arranged that each should 
watch in turn for two hours during the 
night ; that is to say, from eight o'clock till 
daybreak. I lay down on the ground, head 
on knapsack, hand to pistol, feet to fire, and 
in three minutes was sound asleep. At two 
o'clock I was roused to take my watch, and 
found the stock of wood exhausted and the 
fire low ; so I took my axe, and kept myself 
awake by hacking away at the trees in the 
dark — a good savage amusement — splashing 
about, ancle deep in water, because I could 
not see to pick my steps. There is a wild 
charm after all about a night bivouac, of 
which a man must be a dullard if he is not 
sensible. I grew to like it. But for the 
scandal I should now be glad to quit my 
house in Camberwell of nights, and go to 
bed by a bonfire set alight under the lamp- 
post. I used never to tire of watching the 
fitful flame that embraced the tree, against 
which it was always kindled, killing it with 
kisses ; of the dimly defined trunks that 
formed our chamber wall, and against which 
hung our havresacks ; of the wild firelit 
figures of the sleepers, with their arms in 
readiness; and, of the silence, broken only 
by the wind that moaned in the dim for- 
est. So we enjoyed our first night in the 



bush. At daybreak I aroused our party; 
and, after a refreshing wash in the next pud- 
dle, we had breakfast, and resumed our 
journey. 

Noonday halt and evening camp Tcre the 
same for several days. Our route lay through 
a picturesque country, with many signs of 
volcanic origin. On the evening of the fourth 
day we camped at the bottom of a dell, by 
the side of a pleasant running stream, 
among enormous fragments of volcanic stone. 
Towards the middle of the night it rained 
heavily. The rain awoke me, but as it ' 
could not be turned off b}^ any tap I knew 
of, I lay still. After a short time I heard a 
low conversation between two of my com- 
panions. They were uncomfortable. Very 
much so. They did not like it. Our meat 
was all gone, and nothing remained but a 
few biscuits. When they also were gone we I,, 
might be starved to death. Goaded by 
such horrible thoughts I heard them con- 
spiring how they would return to Melbourne. 
Day broke ; and during breakfast (which con- 
sisted of a biscuit each) they broached to me 
their plot. I asked them. Did they want to 
go back for umbrellas? As for provisions, 
it was certain that we must soon come upon 
some flocks of sheep, when we could buy one 
and eat it. Finally, I declared that I meant 
to go on, that I was willing to wait two hours 
in our camp while they tried about for 
mutton ; but if they did not, by the end 
of that time, return to me, I should go on 
alone. I had — each of us had — three bis- 
cuits ; I would put myself upon a biscuit a 
day ; and there was no fear but that within 
three days I should meet with something 
eatable. 

They consented to this plan, and off thej 
went. When the two hours were fully up, 
I climbed on to the highest boulder for a 
parting look after my comrades, and fancied 
that I saw them in the distance ; fired my 
pistol, and was answered by another. I then 
waited. They came back unsuccessful, very 
sulky ; moreover, they had been scurvily 
used. Seeing a man at a distance they had 
gone up to him to ask for food, when he 
savagely presented a pistol, threatening to 
shoot them if they did not keep their distance. 
The stranger had no food to spare for them, 
and did not know where they could get any. 
Now, it happened that daring the absence of 
my friends I had been thinking, and had come 
to the resolve, that if compelled to travel by 
myself, I would abandon the tracks, which 
are the marks left by the carts going to thv 
diggings. These tracks often wind very 
circuitously to avoid the hills ; and I saw no 
reason why, guided by a pocket compass and 
an excellent map of the colony that I had 
with me, I should not try for a straight cut 
across the country. Mount Macedon, a 
known point, was visi.ble in the distance, and 
I calculated that if I crossed the chain of 
mountains, of which Macedon forms part, in 



Charles Dickens.] 



BAD LUCK AT BENDIGO. 



135ii 



a N.N.W. direction, I should save many miles 
of journey. All this I stated to my comrades ; 
and, after much discussion, it was agreed that 
we would try the adventure of a dash into 
the pathless country. 

So we did ; and, after crossing solitary 
plains, arrived by night at hills covered with 
dense wood. We supped upon half a biscuit 
each, and in the morning breakfasted upon 
the other half Then, with angry stomachs, 
we resumed our march. It would be difficult 
to convey an idea of the intense labour and 
fatigue we next experienced. For miles after 
miles our course lay across mountains heavily 
timbered, overwoven with thick tangled 
underwood. Of level open ground there 
was literally not an acre ; the base of one 
mountain joined to the base of the next, with 
a quagmire always at the point of junction. 
At the top of each mountain, as well as at 
the bottom, the compass was referred to, and 
there were bearings taken. Mountain after 
mountain we had scaled, frequently obliged 
to cling with both our hands, and pause to 
pant for breath at every few steps. How 
often, on arriving at the summit of some 
height, we loo-ked eagerly forward, hoping to 
see an expanse of clear, level ground ! But 
no, there was ever another mighty barricade 
to climb over, and our limbs ached and our 
stomachs hungered at the sight. 

Once through an opening in the forest, I 
caught sight of Mount Macedon, and calling 
my companions pointed it out to them. On 
examining the compass we found that our 
course was exactly true. By that discovery 
they got a little confidence. 

We had been, for a long time, forcing our 
way through the tangled underwood to the 
top of one particular mountain which, from 
the bleached skeleton of a sheep that we found 
on the top, I claimed my right, as a pioneer, 
to call Mount Skeleton. When we did reach 
the top of that mount we were utterly ex- 
hausted, and for some time totally unable to 
go any farther. Flinging ourselves on our 
backs, panting for breath, and all of us black 
as sweeps (from contact with the trunks of the 
trees, blackened by bush fires) we were too 
tired to speak or stir, and lay stretched out 
as motionless as though we ourselves had 
been, or were about to become skeletons. 
Flocks of brightly coloured birds danced in 
the air about us, screaming, perhaps a. wake ; 
And the laughing jaguar (commonly called 
jackass) with his loud Ha, ha, ha ! seemed to 
consider our predicament the happiest of 
jokes. 

Suddenly a report was heard, quickly 
followed by another, and another. Some- 
thing mortal that way came. Forgetful of 
fatigue up we started, and made off in the 
direction of the sound. Down the side of the 
mountain we went, plunging through the 
underwood, heedless of pain, and came at last 
upon a stockman driving a team of bullocks. 
He told us that we could get meat, flour, and 



other necessaries, at a station a few mile^ | 
further on ; that we were right for Bendigo,i i 
and had saved twenty miles by our short cutjj 
So, bidding him good day, we pushed on for] | 
the station. There we told the owner whatj i 
we wanted, and he led us into a large, rough/* I 
wooden building like an English bam; but^j 
instead of corn in it, there were commodities] i 
of all kinds ; the place was a general store. '\ \ 
The farmers in the interior, when they sellj! 
their wool, lay in at such places a sufficient^;' 
stock of everything they are likely to want | 
for a year. We each bought flour and sl{ 
quarter of mutton. That is the smallest; 
quantity sold ; and, during the heat of the | 
Australian summer, it is generally half thrown I i 
away, for it becomes covered with maggots ail; 
few hours after it is killed. Ours was a hott 
summer experience, and I may state generally 
that we were obliged to eat our meat either 
before the warmth of life was out of it, i 
or else with more life in it than might | 
be palatable to anybody nice about his i 
dinner. i 

Next day we resumed our journey, which j 
still lay through forest. In a few hours we ; 
came upon an extensive encampment, and '{ 
found that it was composed of some sixty ' 
emigrants on the way to the diggings. They i 
complained sadly of the difficulty they had in j 
finding enough food for so many; had no j 
compass among them, and had lost their way ] 
repeatedly since they first came into the 
wood. It was the famous Black Forest, in 
which, as we journeyed on, we passed several 
other parties going up to Bendigo. It was 
wretched work for horses there, and bullocks ; 1 
numbers of them lay like camels in the 
desert, dead by the roadside. The tracks j 
were ploughed up to the very axles. Fre- ] 
quently a dray would be bogged, and it | 
would be the work of sixteen oxen fastened i 
on to extricate it. At other times the road 5 
on a hill side was so shelving, that there j 
were ropes fastened to one side of the | 
dray, and held by men, to prevent an over- 
turn. 

We had been eleven days in the Black 
Forest, and were growing tired of its scorched 
trunks. It is a notorious place for bush- 
rangers, who come and go with a strange 
suddenness. Of this we had an instance. We 
had halted at mid-day, and were deep in the 
mysteries of cooking, when a horse's head 
was laid affectionately on my shoulder. I 
felt for my pistol, and turning round, faced a 
bold horseman, quite of the Claude du Val 
school. He was mounted on a blood mare, 
wore long riding boots of polished enamelled 
leather, had a Colt's revolver in his belt, 
another pair in his holsters, and a green veil 
hanging from his broad straw hat. The long 
lash of a handsomely mounted stock whip was 
coiled elegantly in his hand. Probably, he 
came to reconnoitre ; but as he found us 
too well armed^ for his purpose, he simply 
asked the usual question, "Had we seen any 



136 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



bullocks ?" to which we replied No, and asked 
in return where we could buy meat. He di- 
rected us to a station and rode off. Not one 
of our party had seen his approach until he 
was close upon us. Had we not been well 
armed (we took care to let him satisfy his 
mind on that point), we should certainly have 
been attacked. 

Then we had an odd parody upon shopping 
in the bush. We saw by public advertise- 
ment upon a paper, nailed against a tree, 
like the boots of Bombastes, that meat and 
flour were to be sold hard by. The place in- 
dicated was a station, situated on a gently 
rising ground, around which ran a clear 
stream. As there was no bridge to be seen, 
I volunteered to leap across the water, and 
bring back supplies for all our party. So I 
did. The building, when I reached it, proved 
to be of the rudest kind. The walls were of 
hewn planks, clumsily nailed together, having 
crevices between them wide enough to let 
the hand through ; the floor was of beaten 
clay. There were no flowers planted there, 
and no attempt whatever had been made to 
give an air of comfort to the place. Yet I 
learned that the owner and his family had 
been residing in that shed for sixteen years. 
I went with the dairy-woman to an outhouse 
for provisions. She was very independent, 
and on my politely expressing a preference 
for another joint instead of the one she 
wished to sell, I was told that there was 
my beef, and that I might take it, or leave it, 
she did not care which. A coarse joint being 
better than no meat, I decided of course to 
take it, and also bought some flour, paying 
sixpence for the pound of each. I asked 
whether there was not a bridge by which I 
could return ; she said there was a small one 
on the other side for their own use, but that 
it would not suit them to build bridges for 
strangers. I was glad to leave the scornful 
lady and return to my companions ; but they, 
during my absence, had been walking on by 
the side of the stream. I shouted to them 
and they stopped ; but when I came up loaded 
with my meat and flour, I found the stream 
between us rather more than could be taken 
at a leap; the only w^ay of crossing for a 
stranger was to wade through it. So I put 
down the flour upon the grass, and walked 
into the little river, meat in hand. The 
water rose to my chest, but I soon crossed, 
and handing up the meat went back to fetch 
the flour, which also was brought over safely. 
Now, I think a little competition would have 
rubbed the rust off those uncivil shopkeepers. 
And who knows that there may not be a 
very Oxford Street of shops fifty years hence, 
across that hill ; for we were there getting 
to the verge of the Black Forest, and soon 
after quitting it, the country became more 
open, and we met more travellers. Tents 
for the sale of provisions, were set up at short 
intervals, and all fears upon the score of 
provender were at rest. On the last night's 



camp, before entering Bendigo, I felt a desire 
to wash the linen frock and trousers which I 
had worn during the journey, for 1 had 
noticed what appeared to be a nice pool of 
M'-ater close at hand. I took, therefore, my 
piece of soap, put on my other suit of clothes 
out of my knapsack, and set off. Down went 
" my wash " beneath the crystal surftice ; but 
oh ! woe was me when it came up again, con- 
verted into a thick lump of green slime. 
Rinse it off I could not, for the whole pool 
was a fraud, a trick of Nature played on 
the unwary traveller. The top of the water 
was indeed clear, but underneath it was a 
museum of aquatic botany. Naturally dis- 
concerted, I set to work with my knife to 
scrape off the mass of specimens that I had 
thus collected, and next morning had to 
squeeze the clothes into ray knapsack, streaky, 
smeary, and da-mp, a lump of linen most 
ridiculous and lamentable. 

After w^e had been fourteen days on the 
journey through the wood as aforesaid, we 
reached Bendigo. Pits, tents, and people 
gradually became numerous. On each side 
of the dusty path the earth was turned up, 
and there were miners at work; stores of 
goods were exposed for sale. AVe inquired 
our way to the Commissioner's camp, in order 
that we might be ready to get our licences in 
the morning, for we had no mind to lose 
time, and having taken up a satisfactory posi- 
tion, flung off our loads like pilgrims, with 
our progress ended, and so camped at last 
within our golden city. 

In the morning our first care was to seek 
the tent of which the carrier had taken 
charge. We could not find it ; we never did 
find it. The carrier had taken our eight 
guineas, and remained charged with the tent 
into the bargain. He would not burden us 
again with it, good man. We also looked 
about for second-hand tools, and of these we 
found that there w^ere plenty to be had, at 
reasonable prices. Having made our pur- 
chases, and taken out our licences, -we went 
back to our location, voting ourselves worthy 
of a holiday for the remainder of the day. 
That over we set to work, and dug four 
holes. After delving down to a depth of 
about six feet, the water came into our holes, 
and we came out of them. We found this to 
be a common accident, numbers of pits being 
rendered useless by the underground springs. 
Shifting our operations we sunk four holes 
more, and were busy in them for some days. 
The ground was obstinately hard, being a 
burnt clay, and every shovel full of earth that 
we threw out could be thrown out only after 
it had been loosened by the pickaxe. We 
had built a hut of boughs to shield us from 
the mid-day sun ; the days were very hot, 
but the nights dreadfully cold. One night 
while we were asleep a heavy rain set in, 
which lasted until morning. The boughs, of 
course, afforded no protection ; we and our 
blankets were soon dripping wet ; the camp 



Charles DiclceiiE.] 



BAD LUCK AT- BENDIGO. 



137 



fire was extinguivshed, and the ground around 
us a complete lake district. If there was 
anything that my companions particularly 
hated it was rain, for their umbrellas were 
unfortunately left in London. It occurred to 
me that our best course was to build a hut 
which should be quite as sound as an um- 
brella. This was proposed and agreed to; 
we arranged to work at the pits and the hut 
alternately. We had by that time come to 
the bottom of one pit about twenty feet deep, 
without getting anything more satisfactory 
out of it, than if we had gone out to dig on 
Putney Common. Therefore we set to work 
on fresh holes. 

After a time we wanted flour, and one 
evening, after our day's work was finished, I, 
and another of our party went to purchase it. 
Knowing how quickly darkness succeeds 
sunset there, we walked as fast as we could 
to the store, which was about two miles dis- 
tant Having made our purchases, we 
returned, but were soon unable to see the 
path. The light had faded into darkness, and 
the intricacy of so many paths as there were 
winding among the excavations, puzzled us 
completely. To make matters worse, we did 
not know how to describe the position of our 
camp. The nearest known point was the 
Commissioner's station, and our hut was a 
mile distant from it. We certainly could lie 
down where we were, and wait until morning, 
but as we could not camp down properly, for 
want of blankets, axe and matches, we did 
not like the option. 

After spending some time over experimental 
ti ips, we spied a camp fire, and went up to it 
to ask of the inmates, at any rate, could they 
be so kind as to tell us the way to the Com- 
missioner's ? On our approach two bull-dogs, 
chained to a stake, sprang forward and almost 
choked themselves in their attempt to get at 
us. They were Bendigo watchmen. I knew 
an unfortunate man out late at night, who, 
passing on his way between two tents, was 
seized by the dogs belonging to them, and had 
his flesh nearly torn from his bones before he 
was rescued. AVell, when we had told our 
story, a man very kindly said that he would 
go with us himself, and show us the way on : 
just as he might have done in London. 
Setting out again at a sharp pace, he led us 
along a path, still winding between deep pits 
that were dug on either side. I was congra- 
tulating myself on our escape from a great 
risk of being lost among them, when, stepping 
on what appeared to be dry, level ground, I 
sank down, in an instant, to my chest. As I 
was altogether vanishing I shouted out, and 
our conductor, turning round, had time to 
catch my hand. There was no time lost, and 
I was just struggling out, as my companion, 
who followed closely at my heels, went in 
behind me. We pulled him also out, and 
although it was but a dirty joke, we could 
not help laughing at our own condition. We 
were both encased in a thick coating of wet 



clay, nearly up to our necks ; for we had sunk 
into a worked out hole, which had been filled 
up with the wet refuse of other pits. We 
had become a pair of plaster images, and only 
wanted an Italian boy to put us on a board, 
and sell us as Greek slaves. 

In a few minutes more we came to the 
Commissioner's, and our guide repeating his 
regret for our misfortune took his leave. Left 
to ourselves, we again tried to find the way 
to our hut, crossing and recrossing in different 
directions. At last, w4ien it was riearly mid- 
night, we gave up our search as hopeless. But 
what could we do? We could not lie down in 
night-dresses of wet clay, and we could light 
no fire. I proposed that we should go to the 
police camp at the Commissioner's, and ask 
leave to lie down by the fire there until 
morning. The suggestion was approved, and, 
ascending the hill on which their watch-fires 
blazed, we considerably surprised the police 
force by the extraordinary appearance of two 
plaster casts in search of a bed. Leave to 
rest was of course readily granted, but there 
was no spare blanket or horsecloth with 
which we poor images might cover ourselves. 
We lay down by the fires, cold to the bones, 
or the wires, if we were really casts. Then 
one of the sentinels (a good fellow), with an 
oath declaring that he could not see men in 
such a state, took off his great-coat and placed 
it at our disposal. We thanked him heartily, 
stripped off our wet clothes, and covered our- 
selves over with it. 

In spite of my fatigue I could not sleep : 
sometimes the wind would come rushing and 
eddying, now driving the flame almost over us, 
and the next minute taking all the warmth 
out of our marrow. The scene around, too, 
was very novel and exciting to the fancy. Out 
of the wall of gloom, beyond the glare of the 
fire, tall military figures, well-armed, came 
and went, frequently stopping to examine us 
— as if they thought of buying us — with some 
degree of curioeity. At half-hour intervals, 
a sentinel clos* to our ears called out in a 
loud voice, "Number one — all's well!" which 
was immediately answered from a distant spot, 
by " Number two — all's well !" Then Number 
three, and, lastly. Number four vouched for 
the well-being of their respective posts. And 
so that long night passed. At the first dawn of 
morning I jumped up, and as the plaster on 
my clothes had set quite hard, I began banging 
them upon a log close by. This knocked it 
off, and knocked up ray companion, who soon 
followed my example. A fine cloud we raised 
together, in which we were both concealed, 
as though we had been really heathen gods, 
Cupids or Apollos made of other stuff than 
plaster. Before leaving, we each offered to 
the good-natured sentinel some money as a 
return for his kindness, but he positively 
refused it, nor could we prevail upon him to 
accept anything more than a hearty shake of 
the hand, as we bade him a cordial good- 
bye. With the light came a release from our 



138 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted bj 



difficulties, and in a quarter of an hour we 
regained our own abode. 

Our hut then occupied the whole of our 
Sj3are time. The framework was composed 
of the trunks of trees, which we felled, and 
lopped, and fixed in the earth, fitted with ridge 
poles and rafters, and across which we 
stretched a tarpaulin. The sides were filled 
in with turf sods, set in wet clay. There 
only remained the two ends to complete. At 
this stage of our career my companions be- 
came disheartened. There was no success 
in digging. The work was very severe, 
the discomfort was excessive, and we had to 
support ourselves entirely with the money we 
had brought out with us : the prices of all 
kinds of food (and that none of the choicest) 
being enormous. At last one of our men de- 
clared his intention of abandoning the diggings 
altogether. He should go back to Melbourne. 
Off" he went. A few days more of hard work, 
and no pay, ate up the patience of the other 
two, and they also departed, urging me very 
much to go with them. I steadily refused, 
because I had determined to give my under- 
taking a fair three months' trial. 

Left alone with my own thoughts at the 
other side of the world, I was amused, and 
perhaps now and then touched by the aspect 
of shiftlessness and incompleteness that 
belongs to a community, consisting almost 
wholly of men. I was standing one day in 
the forest talking to some men, whose beards 
of many months' growth, bronzed complexions, 
and rough dress, gave them a savage ap- 
pearance, when, suddenly, a lady on horse- 
back (probably the wife of the Commissioner), 
followed by a servant, appeared. All conver- 
sation instantly ceased, and we followed her 
with our eyes until the last flutter of her 
riding habit was lost amongst the trees. On 
her disappearance one of the men, with a 
deep gasp, as if he had not breathed for the 
last few minutes, exclaimed, " Ah, a sight like 
that does a man good." 

T was left quite alone, but even that did 
not discourage me, as I considered that if the 
toil was greater, so also might be the reward. 
I continued at work as before ; but, although 
I found gold, it was in such small quantities, 
that, as an Irishman said, it would take a 
ton of it to weigh a pound. One evening, 
soon after my companions had left, I went to 
the store to buy a camp oven, which T brought 
home with me. It was very rusty, but I 
thought it would bake none the worse for 
that. After washing myself I went to bed. 
In about an hour the palm of my left hand 
(which was covered with broken blisters, 
from the constant use of the axe) began to 
ache very much ; the pain increased fast, 
and in the morning my hand was very much 
swollen. From bad, it rapidly increased to 
worse, and at the end of the week my hand 
and arm run together into one unsightly 
mass. The rust had acted on my blistered 
fingers. The pain was agonising, it allowed 



me no rest day or night. Not only was I 
unable to work, but I could scarcely dress 
myself, or cook. The slightest movement 
gave me increased pain. At the end of a 
fortnight the inflammation came to a head, 
and no less than five openings formed ; four 
in my arm, one in the palm of my hand. 
Those who have never been in Australia can 
form no idea how rapidly under its hot sun 
inflammation advances. Since I had no one 
to bring me the least help, the fever became 
aggravated. Sometimes I was nervously at 
work for three quarters of an hour trying to 
get a fire, sitting on a log and blowing it 
with one hand, whilst the pain in the other 
was distracting me. Then perhaps, just as I 
thought that I had coaxed a few spanks into 
action, a great gust of wind rushed in from 
the unfinished end of my hut, killed them 
entirely, and dispersed their ashes, I know 
what utter desolation is, since I have tasted 
illness thus alone in the backwoods. Scarcely 
able to dress myself (indeed I was obliged for 
several nights to lie down in my clothes, 
being unable to get thjm off), and quite 
deprived of power to use my axe, I could but 
make a fire with the small sticks blown down 
from the trees, which I gleaned from the 
ground, wandering about Mke an old woman 
for the purpose. Throi gh the open ends of 
my hut, clouds of dust ame whirling. The 
commonest necessary T had to fetch for my- 
self, however high the fevei, from a distance ; 
and the water, which it cost me much trouble 
to procure, was of the colour of pea-soup. I 
was obliged to drink it, and also to use it 
with my tea. All that I could do for myself, 
as a physician, was to apply bread poultices 
(requiring for the purpose one half-quartern 
loaf three times a day, at a daily expense 
for the three loaves of seven-and-sixpence), 
together with warm fomentations. One 
night I lay down as usual, having bathed 
my wounds, applied fresh poultices, clean 
bandages, and finally wrapped a clean ker- 
chief over all. Next morning at daybreak I 
took off" the bandages, and who cannot under- 
stand my horror on perceiving that the 
wound in my palm was alive with maggots. 
Some one of the blowflies, of which there were 
millions about, had during the night crept in 
through the linen folds and done the mischief. 
I remained for a few moments stupified at 
the sight — almost cast down into complete 
despair. Oh for a familiar hand or voice at 
that moment ! However, the necessity for 
exertion soon made itself felt, and hastening 
my fire to boil the water, I sat down on a 
log, penknife in hand, and cut the maggots 
out ; then I fomented the whole wound with 
boiling water. Happily I succeeded in the 
work of extirpation. I was afrai/1 lest the 
corruption might have penetrated to the 
bone, in which case I should have attempted 
the amputation of my hand, for travelling 
to Melbourne in any such condition wiis im- 
possible. 



Clmrlos Diokeiis.] 



THE GIPSY :SLA-VJBS OF WALLACHIA. 



189 



For six weeks I led this life, which would 
have tried Robinson Crusoe ; confined to my 
hut, except when I was obliged to go out to 
purchase necessaries, counting the flight of 
time by the course of the sun by day, and of 
.the moon by night. I dared not leave to go 
. down to Melbourne, as my wounds required 
incessant care, and water was not always to 
be had upon the journey. I dreaded mortifi- 
cation, but at last the wounds closed. I 
resumed the spade, but found my hand un- 
able to sustain the shock of digging. I then 
determined to quit Bendigo. Disposing of all 
my tools for half the amount they cost me, I 
packed up my knapsack, sewed my money 
under my arms, filled my havresack with 
bread and meat, and so bade farewell to the 
golden soil. 

It was most necessary that no time should 
be lost on the journey, as if I had any relapse 
upon the road I should be worse off' than 
ever. I was of course very much weakened 
^ :and reduced. My face, which, two months 
? /before, had become copper-coloured from the 
. .iCxposure to the sun and air, was almost 
-.white. Loaded with the impediments essen- 
tial to bush travel, I started on Tuesday 
at noon, and camped outside Melbourne on 
Friday night, having walked in three days 
and a half one hundred and thirty miles, of 
which the greatest part lay through hilly 
and forest country. I completely wore down 
both my shoes and stockings to the ground. 
Several times I was obliged to stop, when I 
found a stream, and wash my feet, which 
were very painful, and became encased with 
dirt and blood. A pair of socks, that I 
.bought at a store in the way, were cut to 
■pieces by the end of the day because my 
,4Bhoes afforded them no shelter. At one 
5 .time during my journey I 'had to rub on for 
twenty-four hours without tasting food. I 
had taken the wrong track in the Black 
Forest, and so missed the bush inn where I 
-had hoped to replenish; and having finished 
jny last biscuit on Thursday morning, it was 
not until two o'clock on Friday that I ate 
anything more. 

After getting into Melbourne, I spent 
nearly a whole day in hunting through the 
town to get a lodging. What I at last did get 
was a room containing nothing but a bare 
mattrass, a cane chair, and an empty box for 
table. For the use of all this, and food, I 
was to pay two pounds a-week. Money would 
scarcely purchase vegetables or fruit, of which 
I was in great need. My landlady sent all 
over the town to get me a cabbage for my 
dinner, but not one could be procured for auy 
price. The governors of the hospital at that 
time were indeed advertising for some one to 
contribute a few cabbages for the poor 
patients. The diggers' diet prevailed very 
much, perforce, in Melbourne : mutton, 
damper and tea. The miserable accommo- 
dation I have just described was in a few 
days takon from me, the owner .wanting 



the room for himself ; so I then camped in 
Canvas town until I finally returned to 
England. 

THE GIPSY SLAVES OF \YALLACHIA. 



All travellers who have journeyed from 
ZemHtza on the Danube to Bucharest, agree 
in painting the country they are obliged to 
traverse in the most sombre colours. Once 
out of sight of the lines of trees that border 
the Danube, you enter upon an interminable 
dismal plane, with a level horizon that sur- 
rounds you like a circle, of which you are 
ever the centre. There are no objects behind, 
to mark your progress by their gradual 
disappearance ; there is nothing ahead, to 
encourage you on ; no mountains of blue 
rising higher and higher, becoming substantial 
as you advance, breaking up their long line 
into peaks and valleys bristling with crags or 
clothed in forest. If you would know that 
you are in motion, you must look upon the 
ground beneath your feet and see the pebbles 
and plants pass slowly backwards as your 
waggon moves sleepily on, or whirl dimly by 
as the karoutchor pursues its mad career. In 
winter time, an additional dreaiiness is given 
to this desert by the absence of the sun, which 
is hidden from view by one vast cloud stretch- 
ing from horizon to horizon, low down, so 
as almost to resemble a mist just risen from 
the earth. Here and there, a few slight 
elevations, a foot or two high, indicate the 
presence of an underground village. At 
various distances, tall poles rise into the 
air, marking the positions of wells, around 
which the sky is speckled by flights of 
crows and vultures. Now and then you 
meet parties of peasants clothed in sheepskin, 
and wearing prodigious moustachios, wander- 
ing across the level. At night the only 
sound is the wind whistling through the low 
bushes, occasionally bringing to the ear the 
reports of a volley of musketry fired by some 
party of travellers who amuse themselves in 
this martial way. 

It is not uncommon in crossing these sad 
plains to come upon groups of wild-looking 
individuals, black as Ethiopians, scantily 
covered by old rags, stepping jauntily out, 
waving their arms, nodding their heads, 
rattling fragments of songs, and clattering 
together as they go the blacksmith's tools 
which they bear upon their backs. Further 
on, perhaps, when night has fallen, an hour 
or two after these odd-looking people have 
gone ahead of your waggon (they take two 
strides for one of your oxen) the ground 
ahead will probably become spangled as with 
glow-worms ; and presently a sort of whirl- 
wind of strange sounds, half song, half shout, 
will be borne by the night breeze, to mingle 
with the buzz,.,of your own caravan, and the 
creaking of the wheels. You have come upon 
a village, an encampment, a burrow of gipsy 
troglodytes (dwellers in caves), who are either 



140 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



sitting around the remains of the fires they 
have Hghtcd to cook their evening meal, or, 
with open doors or traps, by the light of a 
candle stuck in the ground, are engaged in 
smoking red clay or cherry-wood pipes, and 
drinking the harsh wine of the country. 

These people are of the most humble and 
most unfortunate section of the Wallachian 
people, the Zigans, who of old formed a flour- 
ishing little state, paying tribute to the Greek 
empire, but who are now reduced to a condi- 
tion of abject slavery. Their history is most 
obscure, and it is not with certainty known 
whence they came or by what steps they 
descended to their present level. It seems 
certain, however, that they belong to the same 
I family of wanderers who are known in Egypt 
as Gayaras, in Hungary as Zingari, in Ger- 
many as Zigeuner, in Spain as Gitanos, in 
France as JBohemians, and in England as 
Gipsies. Their own traditions derive them 
from Syria, M'hence they were transported 
in the eighth century, by one of the Greek 
emperors, to Thrace. On account of some 
peculiarities in their manners, perhaps of some 
strange forms of doctrine, they seem to have 
become detested and despised by neighbour- 
ing nations, and especially by the Mohamme- 
dans. When the Turks penetrated into their 
territory, instead of merely requiring tribute 
from them, they attacked them M'ith fary, 
dispersed them, hunted them down hke wild 
beasts, and condemned those to perpetual 
servitude whose lives they spared. In this 
persecution they were encouraged by the 
Christians : who shared, indeed, the greater 
part of the newly made serfs among them- 
selves. It is estimated that at present there 
are more than twenty-three thousand Zigan 
families in Moldo-Wallachia, comprising about 
a hundred and fifty thousand souls. A certain 
number of these belong to the State, which 
employs them in mines and public works ; 
whilst the others are divided among the 
monasteries and the Boyards. Some of these 
latter possess as many as five or six thousand, 
engaged in part in the most laborious works 
connected with their estates, in part let out 
upon hire. They sell or exchange them at cer- 
tain fixed periods of the year, bringing them 
like cattle to market ; until lately, they treated 
them with such severity that they not unfre- 
quently drove them to suicide. Many Boy- 
ards of humane character now grant a semi- 
liberty to their Zigans, allowing them for 
so much a year to go about as they please, 
seeking for work, and retaining the produce 
of it. Once every spring, the half-enfranchised 
slave must make his appearance and pay his 
tribute. Sometimes, also, he brings an instal- 
ment of his own price, and thus manages by 
degrees to free himself. An industrious man 
may earn his liberty in ten years; but this 
unfortunate race has been so brutalised by 
long suffering, and is so addicted to every 
kind of debauchery, that very few succeed in 
rescuing themselves from bondage. Amongst 



the Boj'ards of the present day there are 
a good many whose copper complexion, 
white teeth, and general cast of countenance, 
evidently'' prove them to be descended from 
Zigans. 

The physical constitution of this unhappy 
people is strongly marked. The men are 
generally of lofty stature, robust and 
sinewy. Their skin is black or copper-co- 
loured ; their hair, thick and woolly ; their 
lips are of negro heaviness, and their teeth 
as white as pearls ; the nose is considerably 
flattened, and the whole countenance is illu- 
mined, as it were, by lively rolling eyes. 
All, without exception, wear beards. Their 
dress consists commonly of a piece of tattered 
cloth thrown carelessly around them : per- 
haps an old bed-curtain given by some master, 
or a blanket that has gone through every 
degree of fortune, until it has been rejected 
by the scullion. 

As is the case in many savage tribes, the 
women are either extremely ugly or extremely 
handsome. Most of the Zigana are beautiful 
up to the age of twenty ; but, after that time, 
they suddenly shrink and shrivel, change 
colour, bend, and lose the lightness of their 
step, as if an enchanter's wand had changed 
them from j'-outh, admired and wooed, to dis- 
honoured old age. The dress of these women is 
peculiar, consisting generally of nothing but a 
tight tunic or bodice made of sheepskin, and 
scarcely reaching to the knees. It leaves 
their legs, their arms, and their necks bare. 
Over their heads the most coquettish throw a 
white veil, and some few indulge in leather 
sandals. As ornaments they wear earrings of 
brass filligree, necklaces of paras strung upon 
a slender thong, and a variety of metal brace- 
lets. The children go naked up to the age of 
ten or twelve, and whole swarms of girls and 
boys may sometimes be seen rolling about to- 
gether in the dust or mud in summer, in the 
water or snow in winter — like so many black 
worms. As you pass by, a dozen heads of 
matted hair and a dozen pairs of sharp eyes 
are raised towards you, and you are greeted 
with a mocking shout, which alone tells you 
that the hideous things are your fellow- 
creatures. 

In fine weather the Zigan is a very inde- 
pendent being. He sleeps in the open air, in 
the forests, in the fields, in the streets of the 
towns — anywhere, in fact, where he can find a 
place to lay his head. However, it is their 
custom, for the summer season, to erect little 
sheds of canvas, of straw, of branches, or of 
mud ; whilst in winter they scratch deep holes 
in the earth, which they roof with reeds and 
turf. Their furniture is surprisingly simple, 
consisting of an old kettle, a few two-pronged 
forks, and perhaps a pair of scissors, a 
poignard, and a gourd to hold brand}-, or 
arakee— to the use of which this race is 
particularly addicted. When they have 
stowed these articles in their holes, or 
under a shed, they call the place their home^ 



diaries Dicktfiu.] 



THE GIPSY SLAVES OF WALLACHIA. 



141 



' and go back to it every night. They squat 
upon heaps of filth, and begin smoking their 
pipes, while the women set before them the 
supper which has been cooked in the before- 
mentioned old kettle, swung upon three sticks 
over a fire of wood brought in by the children, 
mixed with a kind of peat. Sometimes a piece 
of turned meat, which all Christian cooks have 
rejected in the butchers' shops, or a portion 
of some animal that has come by an untimely 
death and has been distributed by a generous 
Boyard, is added to the porridge of beans or 
maize on which the Zigans generally support 
their strength. They use no plates or spoons, 
but dip their hardened fingers into the steam- 
ing kettle, and bring up a ball of porridge or 
a fragment of meat, which they cool by 
throwing from one palm to the other until 
they can venture to cast it down their throats. 
The women and children eat after the men, 
who, as soon as they have wiped their hands in 
their hair, take again to their pipes, and — if they 
can afford it — to drinking. They make them- 
selves merry for an hour or two, until fatigue 
comes over them, and then go pell-mell to their 
huts, or stretch out by the embers of their fires. 
Nothing can be more abominably filthy than 
the habits of this degraded tribe. They are 
often obhged to abandon their villages on 
account of the dreadful state to which they 
have been brought by their carelessness. 
This abandonment costs them nothing in 
feeling or in money: they are essentially 
wanderers. When the air is too pestiferous 
to breathe, they shoulder their working uten- 
sils and their furniture, and remove a mile or 
two away. If it be summer, they set up their 
sheds again in a few hours ; if it be winter, 
and the frost has not yet come on, they form 
subterranean dwellings in the course of half a 
night. 

As we have said, a good many of the 
Zigans are employed in the rough labours of 
agriculture. The greater number, however, 
are artisans, and arc celebrated for their inge- 
nuity. Their favourite trade is that of the 
blacksmith, but they can turn their hands to 
anything ; and the bazaars of Bucharest are 
filled with a vast variety of toys and fancy- 
work, which w^ould do credit to our cleverest 
workmen. But the vagabond tendencies of 
the Zigan — perhaps, also, the contempt with 
which he is regarded — prevent him, except in 
the rare instances we have mentioned, from 
rising, by means of his industry, in the social 
scale. It is difficult to learn anything of his 
religious or other opinions. From his talk 
one would sometimes fancy him to be half 
Christian, half Mohammedan ; at other 
times to be a fire-worshipper, an infidel, a 
behever in fetishes, or what you will. He is 
a man of many colours, like his language, 
which contains traces of an original character, 
but which is encrusted, as it were, with w^ords 
borrowed (it might, perhaps be more appro- 
priate to say, stolen — for the Zigan, like his 
brethren we know of, has great pilfering pro- 



pensities) from a dozen diflferent dialects- 
The sound is not at all unmusical ; and some 
of the songs which have been taken down 
are curiously characteristic. The following 
is the beginning of one of them : 

" Through the pathway of the sky 
Quail with sharpen'd beak doth tiy, 
Christos praising with sharp beak. 
What, oh dun quail, dost thou seek? 
To the grog-shop come with me, 
And treat me to some arakee !" 

It will be seen fi-om these lines that the ideas 
of the Zigans on various points are somewhat 
confused, or at any rate, it seems rather odd 
to interrupt a pious quail in its doxologies by 
an invitation to tipple. Perhaps, as is the 
case in many eastern songs, the words are 
arbitrarily thrown together for the sake of 
harmony — an observation that might apply 
sometimes to the verse-making in our civi- 
lised regions. 

The Zigans are not only poets and singers, 
but they are musicians also, and their flivourite 
instrument is the fiddle. They often ask per- 
mission of their masters the Boyards to form 
what are called Witzoulin, or storms of music, 
consisting of ten or twelve members, who go 
about the country to the towns, and castles of 
the rich, and let themselves out at so much 
an hour. No ball is considered complete 
without one of the musical storms, who ask 
very little for their services, pretending that 
they are paid by their pleasure ; but who, 
unless they be grievously wronged, generally 
contrive to leave a deficit behind them some- 
where, either in the larder or the hen-roost. 
They often lead a few bears about with them ; 
and when there are no balls toward, dance a 
strange dance among themselves for the 
amusement of the public. Forming into a 
circle, men and women, they begin by uttering 
frightful cries, and then, as the fiddle strikes 
up, wdiirl, jump, stoop, roll, crawl, crowd 
together, separate, throw their arms and legs' 
into the air, wag their heads, shake their 
bracelets, and work themselves up into a kind 
of fury. The dance, in fact, is a kind of com- 
pendium of the bolero, the saltarella, and the 
fandango. Sometimes, a single performer goes 
through a ferocious jig, which may be called 
the jig of murder and suicide, for these two 
pleasant things are the basis of his represen- 
tations. The acting is often so clever, that 
the unaccustomed spectators shriek, and 
rush away to save themselves. The ragged 
and breathless artist, fancying they want 
to escape payment, pursues them with his 
greasy cap held out, shouting for a piastre. 

Little is really known of the relations of 
the Zigans among themselves. Marriage 
can only take place within the limits of the 
tribe, and generally wathin the limits of the 
property of one master, whose permission, 
also, is required before the ceremony can 
take place. There is no ceremony of betrothal, 
no intervention of match-makers or friends : 



142 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



the youth goes to the father of the girl 
he has chosen, and, after some attempts at 
pohteness — as offering a pipe, or praising the 
size of the old gentleman's beard — comes 
straight to the point, and proposes himself 
as a son-in-law. Few questions are asked, 
few conditions made. Unless there be some 
important objection, the young lover re- 
ceives permission to call his comrades to- 
gether, and build a hut during the course of 
the night to receive his bride. The very next 
day he requests his mother to prepare a full 
pot of porridge, and then repairs to the dwel- 
ling — a hole six feet square, or perhaps a 
tent of branches — where the maiden of his 
choice, dressed in her sheepskin tunic, with a 
veil borrowed from a neighbour, is modestly 
crouching in a corner. He takes her by the 
hand and leads her to where his family is 
collected. The oldest man of the tribe is 
there by appointment, encouraged by a fee 
of a few handfuls of porridge, and hastily 
mutters a few words by M-ay of blessing. 
This is the whole ceremony, if, indeed, the 
great feed that follows be not more worthy of 
that name; and thus the Zigans continue 
from generation to generation. We are sorry 
to be obliged to add that both women and 
men are, as a rule,, exceedingly debauched. 



MR. GULLIVER'S ENTERTAINMENT. 



James Gulliver respectful l}'- submits to 
the attention of a discerning public the 
following detail of facts, upon which he pro- 
poses to found, during the approaching winter 
season, a new public entertainment. It is 
James Gulliver's firm determination not to 
gull the public, and he therefore frankly 
states that in obtaining from the conductor 
of Household Words an introduction into the 
majestic presence of the English people, it is 
his hope that he may not only save himself 
a large outlay in posters, but receive money 
instead of paying it for the insertion, in that 
widely circulated journal, of the following 
advertisement. 

For many years James Gulliver has watched 
the growth of popular intelli'gence and taste 
in England and America, and has endeavoured 
to keep pace with it. New York and Lon- 
don are no longer to be amused with the 
inexhaustible bottles and mysterious cards 
of the professed conjuror. Mysteries must 
be real to satisfy the age. To fetch a guinea, 
the exhibitor must raise a ghost. To fetch 
a crown, it is requisite at least that J. G. 
should in sober seriousness produce evidence 
of having discovered as much as his distin- 
guished forefather Lemuel. The ground, 
however, being already occupied, so far as 
concerns the discovery of a new people en- 
titled Lilliputians, two of which are now 
being exhibited in London, and there being 
not much hope for a rival show of Brobdig- 
nagians, James Gulliver has sought in new 



directions, and has happily succeeded in 
obtaining the distinguished aid of the late 
Mr. Lucian, of Samosata, near the Euphrates, 
in the production of an exhibition which he 
jBatters himself will be more surprisingly 
agreeable than anything yet seen in London. 
Very recently a young man of business 
having had occasion to consult the spirit of a 
deceased partner on the subject of an error 
made by him while living, in the transfer of 
some entries from the waste book, was sur- 
prised by the statement of Miss Fraude, the 
medium, that an old school-friend desired to 
speak with him. It proved to be the Greek 
satirist Lucian, who spoke by raps as follows : 
" Get a room for me. My time is come again. 
I also have travelled." My friend asked, 
"What do you mean?" — Answer: "Aztec 
Lilliputians." 

Question. Did you ever see them? — Answer 
by one rap, meaning No. 

Q. What do you mean, then ? — A. I have 
seen stranger things. 

Q. You refer to your History of your' 
Wonderful Travels ?— A Yes. 

Q. They have been often imitated, are you 
envious of any imitator ? — A. Yes. 

Q. Of whom, of Munchausen ? — A. No. 
Q. Of Lemuel Gulliver ?— A No. 
Q. Of Velasquez? — A. Yes. Get a room 
for me. 

Q. You want to exhibit and to tell your 
story? — A. Yes. 

Q. But you said when living that 3^our tale 
was f'Hse, and that it was meant as a carica- 
ture of the ridiculous tales palmed upon the 
world by Fesias, I think, in his History of 
the Indies, and by Sambulus in his account 
of the wonders of the ocean ; do you mean 
now to affirm that it was not invented ? — 
A. It is true enough, I promise you. Get 
a room for me. 

Q. But can you produce anything for us to 
stare at in corroboration of your story ? — 
A. Get a room for me. 

The young man of business, looking at the 
matter very properly in a business point of 
view, had a short conversation with Miss 
Fraude, and then applied to the above-named 
James Gulliver, who has since, in association 
with the expert medium, had various commu- 
nications with the said spirit of Lucian, under 
whose direction he has organised the follow- 
ing programme of an entertainment, which 
will include not only a constant series of the 
sounds, but also of the smells proceeding from 
spirits, together with a phantom panorama, 
and the production of a great number of 
amazing things. 

The introduction of smells into the enter- 
tainment has been suggested by Lucian him- 
self, to whom at a recent s6ance it was pointed 
out that, in a book published by the Chan- 
cellor of Killaloc a year or two before spirit- 
rapping became popular, it was affirmed as a 
result of certain reasoning that the souls of 
men lie in the gases which escape from their 



Jbarles Dickens.] 



MR. GULLIVER'S ENTERTAINMENT. 



14S 



bodies, and which no clod or coffin can con- 
fine; that the spirit of humanity consists, 
accordingly, of carbonic acid, sulphuretted 
hydrogen, and the like. Lucian was asked 
whether this was true, and replied, Yes, that 
it was quite correct. Moreover, that although 
such gases could and did without difficulty 
make themselves heard, yet it was more in- 
evitable that they should be smelt, and that 
they were- really often smelt when no one 
heard them. Upon reflection the querist 
agreed that this was true, and asked whether, 
in communicating with the pubhc as a lec- 
turer — which Lucian proposed to do — he 
could not facilitate communication and hasten 
the work of the interpreter, not only by 
having recourse to sights and sounds, but to 
smells also. He said that he could and would. 
It was agreed, therefore, that at the proposed 
entertainment, he, the spirit of Lucian, should 
deliver his own narrative in a continuous 
series of sounds aided by smells, which should 
be interpreted as they were made by James 
Gulliver and Araminta Fraude. That, as he 
would be disposed to make his lecture 'enter- 
taining by much personal allusion, it would 
be convenient to represent to the nose certain 
ideas frequently recurring, such as names of 
things or persons ; that in especial he would 
represent Miss Fraude by a smell of am- 
nionia, himself by a smell of sulphuretted 
hydrogen, or rotten eggs, James GuUiver by 
an odour as of strong garlic, and the public 
present at the entertainment by a smell of 
greens. 

The travels of Lucian, as he will deliver 
them, have been for many centuries before 
the world in Greek, but as they are almost 
unknown in English, and are peculiarly calcu- 
lated to obtain credit in the present day, the 
following brief sketch of a portion of them is 
appended, together with an indication of the 
mode of illustration by which it is hoped to 
make them popular in London. The lectures 
will probably be delivered in the Moorish 
Palace, Leicester Square. 

liUcian stated, and will repeat the state- 
ment, that he embarked with fifty men in a 
well-rigged ship, and went out from between 
the Pillars of Hercules into the Atlantic 
Ocean. There they were storm-tost for 
seventy-nine days. At this part of the nar- 
rative, the room will become filled with a 
dense smoke, through the cloud of which 
the vessel will be seen tossing, until it is cast — 
as Lucian will explain that he was cast — upon 
a mighty island, where they at first saw 
nobody and nothing but two footprints on 
the rock, those of Bacchus and Hercules, 
that of Hercules being about an acre larger 
than the other. Having worshipped Bacchus 
in the hole made by his shoe, they travelled 
inland and came to a river running Chian 
wine, and at the spring of it they found 
vines laden with large grapes, from which 
the whole stream of that river was distilled. 
The river swarmed with fish which had 



the taste of wine, and which being opened 
were found full of lees. Several carp swim- 
ming in port wine will at this period of the 
entertainment be sent round to be tasted br 
the company. 

Lucian was, however, dreadfully alarmed, 
and lost two of his companions among the 
tendrils of a vineyard, whereof the vines 
were lovely women that had green stocks 
for their bodies, and a head-gear of tendrils 
interwoven with grape clusters, and ripe 
grapes growing at their fingers' ends. Es- 
caped from the clinging tendrils of these 
vines, Lucian and his party — who will be 
represented flying from the magic vineyard 
over the surface of a large transparency — 
set sail again, and through ill luck were over- 
taken by a whirlwind which lifted their ship 
out of the water to the altitude of three hun- 
dred thousand fathoms, and so altered its 
course that it continued sailing through the 
air, until on the eighth night it touched on a 
round shining island. AVhen they had ad- 
vanced a little way into that country they 
were taken by the native Hippogypians, who 
are men mounted upon vultures that have 
three heads. The wings of these birds are 
as large as a ship's sail, and their legs 
are like the legs gf ducks. One of these 
interesting creatures, stuffed, will be ex- 
hibited. 

The captives were carried before the king 
of that island called the Lunar Globe, who 
proved to be no other than Endymion. His 
portrait was sketched by an artist of the 
party and will be found among the drawings 
illustrative of the lecture. Endymion, who 
knew the prisoners by their dress to be 
honest men and Greeks, promised them good 
cheer, provided he got well off in his war 
^vith the Heliots or sun-men, whose king, 
Phaeton, contested with End3''mion for the 
right of sending a colony to the morning 
star, which is a desert island. Lucian, astride 
upon a vulture, took part in the great battle, 
which he has described and will describe 
again in a spirited way. The battle was so 
dreadful that the blood soaked through the 
clouds and dyed them as they are seen some- 
times to be dyed at sunset. The Lunatics 
being victorious, piled up among the clouds 
a lofty troph}--, but while they were dispersed 
in triumph, they were fallen upon by a 
reserve guard of wind-monsters who swept 
all the trophies down and chased Endymion'a 
army home, whither he was followed also 
by Phaeton and all his rallied host. Lucian 
was among others taken prisoner and carried 
to the sun. A wall of circumvallation, built 
of clouds, was raised about the moon, so that 
it received no more light ; but in the end 
Phaeton abated his displeasure, and for a 
tribute of ten thousand vessels of dew yearly, 
he agreed to terms of peace, which were en^ 
graved upon a plate of amber, placed upon 
the boundary line .between the realms of 
night and day. 



1^ 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



Endymion after this offered to Lucian 
letters of naturalisation as a Lunatic, which 
he declined, but of which a copy was taken ; 
and a copy of the said letters of naturalisation 
will be presented to every gentleman or lady 
who shall have paid ten shillings for ad- 
mission to the front seats at the proposed 
entertainment. 

Quitting the Lunar Island, Lucian and his 
friends sailed for a long way, touching only 
at the morning star to take in water. At 
last they came to the capital of the Land of 
! Lamps, where they stopped for a night, 
' having lamps lighted everywhere about 
them. On the next day they came down by 
a city in the clouds, and after four days 
descended again gently to the sea, which 
they found calm. Unluckily, however, they 
soon got among big fishes, whereof one had 
teeth like steeples and was fifteen hundred 
leagues in length of body. Into the mouth 
of that whale the ship rushed as into a 
whirlpool, and was carried safely down the 
creature's throat. At first it was all dark 
inside, but when the whale came to gape and 
let the light in there was visible a world of 
other fish, with carcases of men and bales of 
merchandise, anchors and masts of ships. 
Towards the middle also there was earth 
with mountains, made probably by the quan- 
tity of mud which the great monster had 
swallowed. On the land there was a forest, 
thirty miles in compass, among the trees 
of which herons and halcyons were flying. 
After some days, Lucian and six of the crew 
went inland and discovered a small temple 
built to Neptune, heard also the barking of a 
dog, and saw smoke at a distance. So they 
were led to an old man and his son, who said 
that they had lived there miserably for seven- 
and-twenty years. There was no lack of 
food, but there was great trouble with the 
natives, more especially the pickled-men, who 
have the face of a lobster and the body of an 
eel. One of these pickled-men will be in- 
cluded among the curiosities belonging to the 
entertainment. As the natives of all kinds, 
although numerous, had no arms but fish- 
bones, it was determined by Lucian and his 
fellow sailors to make war upon them ; and 
so Lucian was engaged in his second war, of 
which also a graphic account will be given, 
illustrated oy a heavy rain of fish-bones, 
which will fly like hail across the room, to 
represent the arrows of the pickled-men, the 
carcinochiers, the crab-tritons, and other 
wild monsters against whom that war was 
waged. 

Lucian and his companions having lived in 
this way for more than a year and a half, it 
happened, on the fifth day of the ninth month 



at about the second gaping of the monster — 
who gaped once every hour, and so enabled 
them to reckon time — that they heard a vast 
noise without, and creeping up to those parts 
of the fish which, lying near its mouth, were 
thinly inhabited, being made swampy by the 
constant overflow of water, they saw the 
outer sky and M'ater, and a great combat of 
giants about the stealing by one party of a 
herd of dolphins. They were themselves, 
however, unable to escape, and though they 
afterwards dug a tunnel six hundred paces 
long through the creature's side, yet they 
could find no outlet. Then it occurred to 
them to fire the forest on the island ; and so 
cause his death. It burnt for seven days 
before it made the monster cough and choke 
a little ; then, however, ho began to gape 
more dully and grow sick and faint. On the 
eleventh day they perceived by the smell of 
him that he was dying, and propped open his 
mouth with long beams, that they might not 
be shut in and lost entirely. Then after the 
three days' labour they launched their ship 
safely again into the open sea. 

So sailing on they found nothing unusual 
until they got into a sea of milk — cups of the 
milk will be handed round — whereon the 
Princess Tyro, daughter of Salmoneus, go- 
verned an Island of Cheese. Plates of the 
cheese will be distributed. Continuing their 
way over the xVtlantic, they arrived finally 
at the Isle of the Blessed, governed by Rha- 
damanthus. There the corn grows in little 
loaves, needing neither to be ground, kneaded 
nor baked ; the inhabitants sit outside their 
cit}"- upon beds of flowers in the Elysian fields, 
and have meat blown to them by the winds, 
while crystal trees droop over them, pro- 
ducing for truit glasses of all sorts, which 
are no sooner plucked than they are full of 
wine. A tankard plucked from one of these 
trees, full of spiced sack, will be sent round 
among the visitors as a loving cup, and it 
will at the same time be made to rain over 
the whole room slices of meat and drops of 
grav3^ While the company assembled are 
enjoying this, a grand tableau of the Elysian 
fields will be displayed in a blaze of green 
light, and so the entertainment will be brought 
triumphantly to a conclusion. 

James Gulliver respectfully submits that 
the above programme promises an amount of 
novelty and excitement that has never jet 
been provided, either in London or New 
York, to the lovers of tlie marvellous. He 
begs, therefore, to entreat that the same 
favour may be shov.'n to him that has been 
already so liberally bestowed on otlier exhi 
bitions similar in their design. 



Bii.nN AND BaoTHBaa, Printen and SUrootypew, 20 North "Williiim Street, New York. 



''Familiar in their Mouths as HOUSEHOLD WORDS:^- 



3MAKE8PBASX« 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 

A WEEKLY JOURNAL 

CONDUCTED BY CHARLES DICKENS. 



Vol. VIII. 



McELRATH & BARKER, PUBLISHERS. 

Offtck No.' n Skruck strset, New York. 



Whole No. 186. 



AFRICAN ZEPHYRS. 

You think this article is to be sentimental 
— a pastoral, or a fairy tale — because it treats 
of the Zephyrs of the south? You never 
made a greater mistake in your life. My 
Zephyr has no relationship with either Eurus 
or Boreas. Though he possibly is not wise 
enough in his generation to be able to say that 
he knows his own father, he still does not in 
the least pretend to be one of the sons of 
yEolus. Like Figaro, he is perfectly indifferent 
whether you take him for the offspring of a 
^od or a demigod — of an emperor, a duke, a 
pope, or a cabman. It is sufficient for him to 
be a Zephyr. His native place, of course, is 
Paris ; or, if not born in the metropolis of 
France,; a sojourn there has long since natu- 
ralised him. He is quite as much at home in 
the army, with drums and trumpets, corporals 
and sergeants, bayonets fixed, and cap cocked 
on one side. These Zephyrs, therefore, are 
not in the least afraid of balls and yat- 
agans, want and hardship, long marches, 
heat, hunger, and bad quarters. It was they 
who supplied the heroes of Mazagran. They 
are beings whom you can neither hate nor 
praise ; creatures for whom you reserve in the 
corner of your conscience a grain of indul- 
gence and half-a-dozen excuses. 

To write in intelligible language, Zephyrs 
is a nickname given in Algeria to a corps 
which is recruited from the entire body of 
the French array. These select and admired 
individuals are all gay fellows, endowed with 
that free and independent spirit which does 
not square with vulgar ideas of discipline. 
Artists and geniuses of original talent scorn 
drill. High-flyers, they soar above routine. 
Voter is a verb in the French language, 
meaning both to fly and to steal. Gram- 
matically speaking, therefore, theft comes as 
naturally to Zephyrs as flight. Many of 
these ingenious gentlemen can count on their 
fingers as many days of punishment as of 
actual service. And punishment, be it long 
or short — be it an hour's imprisonment or 
ten years at the galleys — does not reckon in 
the term of military duty which the State 
requires from every conscript. Penitence 
ended, the old standing debt has still to be 
paid. The ranks of the Zephyrs are also 
mcreased by soldiers who are drafted from a 
Vou VIII.— No. 186 



less pure source than a regimental place of 
arrest. With this miscellaneous and doubtful 
class, battalions have been formed, oflBcially 
known as the light battalions of Af^-ica. But 
the nickname of the canteen and the battle- 
field has prevailed, and has spread the fa- 
vourable reputation of those whom every one 
now calls Zephyrs. The nickname, however, 
for those who bear it, is, in fact, no nick- 
name. It is a title of which the light gentry 
are exceedingly proud, and which they take 
every pains to merit. It is not a little that 
will daunt a fellow who wishes to be thought 
a genuine Zephyr. 

Descriptions in natural history are easy, 
because a duck is a duck, and a pig is a pig ; 
but Zephyrs are not to be driven up in 
a corner, and dashed off in half-a-dozen 
strokes. They all bear a general resemblance ; 
and yet there are not two of them alike. 
Their uniform is at first the same as that of 
other soldiers, except that a little hunting- 
horn on their white buttons replaces the 
number of their regiment, which they are 
now thought unworthy to bear ; but they 
disguise their dress with remarkable success. 
Look closely, and you will soon see some- 
thing to remind you of the rooted animosity 
which the Zephyr cherishes against discipline 
and regimentals. Observe that cap more 
rumpled than worn with having been so 
often dashed passionately on the ground. 
There cannot be a shadow of doubt that 
some extra-regulation repairs have been 
made by its proprietor, and have given it a 
more coquettish and comfortable shape. ' 
Sometimes the peak, by means of a clever cut, 
slopes downwards towards the eyes to shade 
them from the sunbeams. Sometimes it stands 
up in pert defiance, that the wearer may con- 
front the skies. In France the military stock 
is commonly called " the pillory." It is not 
so in Algeria ; for the Zephyr, when he 
has not lost it, generally carries it in his 
knapsack. The Zephyr has the art of wear- 
ing with grace even those ugly and vast 
great-coats, for which, when the army tailor 
made them, he took measure of the sentry- 
box. Draping it artistically to conceal a 
rent, and showing the fining by cross-button- 
ing, he converts it into more than a civilised 
garment ; it is a dressing-gown of the newest 
style. The Zephyr's trowscrs' fashion has 



146 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[CondacUd bj 



also its peculiar stamp. In them he has 
the skill to combine a madder-red cloth 
uniform with an article of clothing more in 
harmony with the exigencies of a tropical 
climate. The hybrid pantaloons consist of 
cloth, as high up as the skirts of the coat ; 
but, after this externally visible zone, there 
commences a much more extensive region of 
linen, borrowed from army sacks, or from 
the remnants of some old worn-out tent. 
When the coat is buttoned up nothing un- 
usual is even suspected. But to see the 
Zeph^'r battalion in action storming a breach, 
they look like wiry, energetic beings disguised 
in tatters that never belong to them. 

However fallen the Zephyr may be, you 
will always find in him one unfailing motive 
impelling him towards good and towards 
evil. Vanity, pride, the love of glory, if you 
will (there being many diflferent sorts of 
glory) is his mainspring of action, and his 
guiding-star. The Zephyr, unequal to a con- 
sistent line of life, is still susceptible of the 
most generous transports, and capable of the 
most heroic and brilliant actions. He would 
willingly sacrifice his life to obtain a trophy 
from the enemy. He would risk his neck, 
ten times over, to steal a fowl from a native 
hut. He is greatly influenced by surrounding 
circumstances. Danger elevates the most 
degraded soul. But the bright side of our 
aerial heroes, on which they shine with un- 
disputed splendour, is their joyousness and 
hilarity. Their spirits flow on with inex- 
haustible wit, passion, and sometimes even 
madness. Their industrial talents know no 
bounds. Happy, ye officers, who command 
such troops ; if the lash had not so often to 
be used. Beware, even, of too much of it. 
In action a Zephyr has been known to put a 
bullet into the back of his commander's head, 
coolly remarking to his next door neighbour, 
" He made a little too free with me ; it's my 
turn now to make free with him. When he 
feels the lead he'll merely say, ' Those con- 
founded Arabs have done for me !' " But 
use your Zephyrs decently, and they will 
furnish you with every assistance you can 
want; — avalet-de-chambrc for yourself, a first- 
rate head-dresser to curl your wife's hair, a 
watchmaker, a farce-writer, a painter, a nurse- 
maid, and, thanks to the suck-bottle, even 
a nurse. These various talents are displayed 
either in so many separate volumes, or 
all arc bound up in one single copy. Does 
there exist a cocoa-nut which a Zephyr cannot 
transform into a trinket? — a wisp of straw 
which will not, in his hands, become a useful 
piece of furniture ? — ^a scrap of white and pink 
paper which is not soon converted into a 
hand screen, a cocked hat, or a pin basket ? 
And you, celebrated iron wire, what is it 
that a Zephyr cannot make with your 
metallic threads, from a gun-pick to a sus- 
pension bridge ? 

The Zephyrs were the gentlemen who sold 
the police-station. Shortly after the capture 



of Bougie, a few of these happy rogues, in con- 
sequence of some extempore fantasia, had 
been imprisoned in a native house recently 
abandoned by its Arab owner. For want of 
better gymnastic exercise they i:„ounted to a 
garret window, to enjoy the pure and intel- 
lectual pleasure which the mere sense of K'ght 
affords. They soon perceived an honest com- 
patriot who had followed in the train of the 
expedition, looking out for a place wherein to 
exercise the trade which flourishes wherever 
the European plants his foot — the profession 
St. Crispin delights to patronise. To ques- 
tion him about his plans, and to tell him to 
use a little strength against the outside of the 
door while they lent a helping hand within, was 
the work of a very few seconds. " You want 
to hire a shop, my friend ? Take our advice at 
once, and buy one. That is the only certain 
method of contriving to get off without paying 
rent. Never fear ; your countenance pleases 
us. We are the conquerors and masters here. 
Come, we won't be too hard upon you. You 
shall have all this freehold property for a 
mere nothing — twenty francs, say. The only 
trouble )''0U will put us to is to move a little 
further up the sti'eet. Here, you know, we 
arc quite at home." 

Two hours afterwards an officer going his 
rounds, found the innocent purchaser in- 
stalled, and cobbling away with an easy 
conscience. The Zephyrs had made use of 
their wings and were flown. But at that very 
moment the sound of wine-impeded voices 
fell upon his car. A group of men with torn 
uniforms, and eyes veiled by bruised eyelids, 
made their appearance at the corner of the 
street. The gentle Zephyrs, having spent the 
twenty francs, were returning home under 
arrest. 

Not long after, a horrible sirocco was blow- 
ing at the same place. Who on earth could 
help being thirsty ? At noon eight of the most 
knowing sylphs presented themselves to a 
Bougie merchant. Their serious, almost mili- 
tary attitude, their ropes and wooden shoul- 
der-yokes which are used for carrying various 
burdens, all seemed to intimate that an actual 
order had been given. One of them address- 
ing the master of the house, said that the 
superior commandant requested a cask of 
wine, the same as the last which he had 
received. The party took charge of their 
precious load, and departed in the same deli- 
berate style. A few days afterwards the 
wine-merchant asked the commandant how 
he liked the last wine he had sent for. 

"Wine! what wine?" 

"The wine I gave the men of your bat- 
talion, who said they were sent to fetch it for 
you." 

" You delivered a cask of wine to those 
fellows? Then you furnish me with the 
solution of an enigma, which 1 have in 
vain been endeavouring to comprehend. It 
has happened that for two days past every 
man who goes up to the fountain just outside 



Charles Dickeus.] 



AFRICAN ZEPHYRS. 



14T 



the walls of the town, either stops there 
entirely or comes back drunk. I could not 
in the least make out how the Gouraya water 
had acquired such an unusual property. 
Follow me, we may perhaps be in time to 
save a remnant of your property." The two 
speakers, guided by a line of reeling Zephyrs, 
passed through the gates of Bougie, and 
reached the neighbourhood of the three 
fountains. Several drunken snorers, stretched 
at length on the battle-field, like Curiatii 
whom wounds had betrayed to the ven- 
geance of the conqueror, indicated the path 
to a thicket of pomegranates and aloes 
interwoven with clematis. In the ' midst 
stood the enormous wine-barrel upright, and 
with its head staved in. Four men lying 
close by, in attitudes that were more than 
picturesque, kept sleeping guard round the 
empty tomb, in which, however, they had 
buried their senses. 

A couple of Zephyrs, in a forward state, 
were strolling arm-in-arm through the low 
quarters of Algiers, thinking more about the 
privileges of beauty than of those of rank and 
epaulettes. In fact, they had completely for- 
gotten the latter. A superior officer hap- 
pened to pass. The youths were so intently 
occupied in staring at a brown and bright- 
eyed face which peeped through a little 
square upper window, that they each forgot 
to touch his cap. The officer stopped, and 
asked the Arcadian nearest to him, in a tone 
which sounded roughly interrogative, " Don't 
you know politeness, sir ?" 

The questioned Zephyr, without the least 
embarrassment, gravely turned to his com- 
panion, and said, " Gauthier, do you know 
Politeness ?" 

" No," replied Gauthier innocently. Then 
turning again to the officer, he formally 
clapped his heels together, stretched his left 
arm along the seam of his trousers, and de- 
liberately declared, with his open right hand 
to the peak of his cap, " Not known in the 
battalion, Commandant !" 

The Zephyr sometimes enters the service 
of science, and turns science to his own 
private profit. For instance, the Oran Zephyr 
will procure you fossil fish which he finds in 
the marl by industriously searching and 
splitting the strata. But, if his labour prove 
unfruitful or the order given be too heavy to 
fulfil, he will nevertheless furnish you with 
all the species by means of sardines, red her- 
ring skin, and a little strong glue. It is said 
that a Zephyr was the only person who could 
supply an erudite and zealous naturalist with 
the ratel of the Atlas, mentioned by Sallust 
and by the learned Doctor Shaw. This Atlas 
ratel bore a great resemblance to the com- 
mon rat, except that his nose terminated in 
a little proboscis, and his tail was nearly a 
quarter of an inch shorter than it should have 
been. This excessively rare specimen of a 
race now almost extinct was at once the joy 
of the purchaser and the finder, M^ho had 



simply deprived one of his prison companions 
of a morsel that could be well spared, to graft 
the superabundant part, by means of a little 
incision, on the root of his nose. 

Another scientific Zephyr, to avoid coming 
to a nonplus in a difficult moment, contrived 
to take advantage of the mania which urges 
so many people in Algeria to form large col- 
lections of insects. An officer at bivouack, 
perceiving, at the twilight hour, a hand which, 
after discreetly raising the curtain of the 
tent, was inquisitively taking a turn under 
the cloak that served him for a pillow, 
jumped up, and caught a Zephyr in the fact 
of a search which was somewhat more than 
suspicious. " What are you doing there, you 
villain?" he shouted, beside himself with 
rage. 

" I, captain ? I was feeling for coleoptera^* 
An extremely probable time and place for 
beetle-hunting! 

If you have the slightest taste for eccentric 
dishes, a Zephyr is the purveyor to stock your 
larder with an ever-varied supply of game. 
To-day you have a fillet of gazelle, to-morrow 
a quarter of porcupine. Hedgehog, hyaena, 
jackal, tortoise, and lion, will all be sure to 
figure on your bill of fare. There is no oc- 
casion to trouble yourself about cats, and 
dogs, and trunkless ratels. You will get all 
those by hundreds. In a town where tho 
Zephyrs had lately arrived the public treasury 
was exhausted by the payment of a trifling; 
bounty intended to encourage the disappear- 
ance of rats. Their skill was too much eveii- 
for the rats of Algei'ia, the most knowing 
rodents in the world. 

Ill more than one town, and in more than, 
one camp, the Zephyrs have managed ta 
organise theatres, which were in no respect 
inferior to those of the mother-country. Tha 
most remarkable fact is that the best sup- 
ported parts were those of interesting heroines 
and dashing coquettes, kindly undertaken by 
beardless members of the corps ! It is incon- 
ceivable what industry and talent ha%e been 
displayed on these exciting histrionic oc- 
casions. The Zephyrs devoted themselves, 
body and soul, to the accomplishment of the 
mighty work. Scenery, costumes, and pro- 
perties were produced by magic. Nothing 
stopped the ardent Zephyr, not even tha 
humble office of prompter. One day, at 
Orleansville, a lieutenant-general arrived toi' 
inspect the division. The fountains were to 
spout their best in honour of his presence, 
and the theatrical performance had not been 
forgotten. Nevertheless, previous to tha 
hour of amusement, the inspection of tho 
troops demanded some attention. The roll- 
call was first strictly read ; but to the asto- 
nishment of the lieutenant-general inspecting, 
only a single private of an entire Zephyr 
regiment mustered, and he had to answer foE 
all the rest. " Gauthier ?" shouted the orderly*. 

" Here." 

"Jobineir 



148 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Condncted by 



" Not here. Hairdresser at the theatre." 

"Falempin?" 

" Walking gentleman in the comedy." 

"Grimplin?" 

" Heroine in the tragedy." 

*> Sansbarbe ?" 

" Grisette in the farce." 

"Potauver?" 

" Scene-painter." 

" Then is your theatre the Grand Opera ?" 
asked the general. 

"Very nearly, General," 

"And you mean to show me that?" 

" Cortainl)'-, General, the theatre is a part of 
the army which you have to inspect." 

In the evening, by the light or a brilliant 
chandelier, the inspector applauded the graces 
of the Zephyrs, who, elegantly perfumed, 
curled and gloved, in the guise of charming 
Parisiennes, played out their plays to the 
great entertainment of the divisional general 
inspecting. 

But after the vaudeville, comes the tra- 
gedy ; the great piece treads on the heels of 
the little one. The farce will then follow, to 
make us forget Melpomene's dagger and 
poison-bowl. 

The scene is changed ; the theatre is for- 
gotten. The merry chorus is heard no more. 
We have passed beneath the cold and humid 
vaults of one of the ancient Spanish buildings. 
There are no external apertures; no day- 
light enters that sombre mass of stone. The 
ceihngs sweat an icy water, which falls drop 
by drop, like tears from the eye whose briny 
source is being exhausted by sorrow and 
long continued want. Having passed through 
gome doors of incredible weight and thick- 
ness which swing heavily on their rusty 
hinges, we enter a narrow dungeon excavated 
in a damp and chilly soil ; although beneath 
a glorious sky, which is ever tinged with 
blue or gold. Through the veil of a grey and 
gloomy twilight which is never pierced by a 
ray of sunshine, we perceive two men 
crouchfog opposite to each other on the 
ground, and holding in their hands cards. 
What are they saying? — " Hearts! clubs!" 

"Trumps! The game is mine!" 

"I have lost again!" the other replies. 
Then, stretching towards his adversary one 
of his three remaining fingers, " There, cut 
away !" he shouts. The door unexpectedly 
opens. 

We were then in the fort of Mers-el Kebir, 
whither insubordination and crime had con- 
ducted a pair of Zephyrs. Isolation and the 
stings of conscience, soon became insupport- 
able to such excited spirits. The worst of the 
two had pocketed a pack of cards, his only 
missal. They first tried hard to find amuse- 
ment in contests which soon were found in- 
sipid. AVhat could they play for, who possessed 
nothing? — nothing which could give value 
to the victory? They had nothing there, 
except their own persons. But one's person is 
ft sort of property ; and it is possible, too, to ven- 



ture it. The craving for excitement, and the 
dread of vacant hours, made them mutually 
chance the loss of a finger, to be cut off by 
the winner at five points o{ ecartc. The loser 
was about to suffer mutilation, when the door 
opened to admit the Serjeant who acted as 
the turnkey of the prison. Shocked at such 
an atrocious bargain, he forbade the perform- 
ance of the sacrifice. But, as soon as the Ser- 
jeant's back was turned, the gamesters chose 
another stake. The loser was to murder the 
interloper who had prevented the payment 
of a debt of honour. The loser kept his 
word, and they were both executed for the 
murder of the Serjeant. 

We will now have a peep at more cheerful 
scenes ;^ for many a Zephyr has the art of 
employing, in merry mood, the hours which 
he is obliged to spend in a dungeon, or at the 
bottom of the silos. Silos are dull places of 
retirement. They are a sort of enormous 
cisterns in which the Arabs store their grain. 
When, during oppressive heats, the first cul- 
prit descends to the bottom of the vast am- 
phora, a sensation of coolness refreshes him 
for a moment. The change is rather agree- 
able than otherwise, and the arrival of a 
companion in misfortune gives him an equal 
additional pleasure. But soon three, four, and 
five new prisoners are added ; and, before long, 
air, which can only enter at the upper orifice, 
begins to run short. Mutual assistance is 
necessary to mount each other's shoulders, 
and they have to transform themselves into a 
living ladder to enable each to take in a stock 
of air at the hole, to last until his turn to 
breathe comes round again. Meanwhile con- 
tinued jokes and laughter burst forth from 
the various human rounds of the ladder. It 
is wonderjiil that such an amount of hardship 
and trial does not suggest to them Franklin's 
idea ; to turn honest and respectable men, as 
the most successful piece of roguery they can 
play. 

Tattooing is a grand pastime during cap- 
tivit)\ The battalion has its regular profes- 
sors of engraving upon human skin, who 
never stir without their instruments about 
them, carefully treasured in proper cases. 
What delight is theirs to find a new recruit, 
a blank page of white paper, upon whose fair 
and virgin surface they can exercise their 
decorative talent. In order that every cus- 
tomer may be suited to his taste with an 
emblem to fix upon his chest or his arm, they 
convert themselves into vast pattern books, 
entirely covered with specimens. Many an 
admiring amateur, excited by the beauty of 
these pictures on living vellum, has allowed 
subjects to be punctured on his skin, which he 
would afterwards thankfully get erased, even 
by means of a red-hot iron. We were once 
acquainted with a Zephyr-lad, whom we never 
knew b}'' any other name than the one he 
had punctured upon his forehead. Tliis un- 
fortunate boy commenced his career by 
taking a spite against the number which 



Cburle* Dickens.] 



AFRICAN ZEPHYRS. 



148 



was drawn when, at twenty years of age, the 
day of conscription arrived for chance to 
decide whether he was to go for a soldier 
or not. Fatal number One rephed in the 
affirmative. The sHght success he met with in 
his new career, his punishments, his transit 
to the Battalion of Zephyrs, were all attri- 
buted to the mahgn influences of that hated 
and cursed unit. So, during a melancholy 
fit, believing it useless to struggle against 
fate, he turned the evils that awaited 
him into a subject of pride and boasting. 
As a final mode of defying destiny, he had 
tattooed, from temple to temple, " Unlucky 
Number One." The ice once broken he 
did not stop ; and his whole body soon 
swarmed with choice engravings, like Punch 
and the Illustrated London News combined. 
It is impossible to describe the contents of 
this truly curious museum ; for at least half 
the subjects are unmentionable. From the 
hands, covered with red and blue rings, you 
passed to the wrists, decorated with cameos. 
On his arms were daggers threatening hearts 
that burnt with an ever-equal flame, and 
were encircled by the motto, " Death to faith- 
less woman !" Then came names entwined, 
and full-length portraits. On the shoulders 
were a pair of spinach-seed (officer's) epau- 
lettes, with the three stars of lieutenant- 
general ; a cross of the Legion of Honour 
on the heart ; an enormous crucifix on the 
middle of the chest; and, lastl}', the Order 
of the Garter, tattooed at exactly the spot 
which it ought to occupy on a knight's leg. 
Mean\rhile the day arrived when Unlucky 
Number One ceased to be a Zephyr. He was 
snatched away to the altar. It would be curious 
to know what soft-hearted woman took pity 
on this miscellaneous gallery. Perhaps she 
afforded another instance of severely punished 
female curiosity. 

The Zephyrs have contrived to raise 
auxiliaries among quite a noble kind of 
recruits. At Bougie, the service of the place 
compelled that the ground should be recon- 
noitred every day, up to the edge of a certain 
ditch ; which ditch had been hollowed out to 
prevent cavalry from advancing too near, and 
from retreating too abruptly after a surprise. 
This reconoitring duty was seldom performed 
without several Arab shots being fired from 
the opposite thicket, to the disturbance of 
the morning walk, and sometimes the 
sudden death of the walker. The Zephyrs 
determined to train some dogs to take part 
in the sport ; since it proved so dangerous 
to the sportsmen themselves. They, there- 
fore, reared some fierce Arab puppies, of a 
species nearly related to the wolf and the 
jackal, with whose merits they became ac- 
quainted in the course of their adventures. 
As the little Mussulman dogs grew up they 
were fed and caressed by the red-legged 
Zephyrs. They imbibed a strong affection 
for their masters, who taught them, by a very 
•imple method, to entertain a profound 



aversion for the costume of the indigenous 
population. As the pupils' dinner-hour ap- 
proached, a Zephyr clad in a burnous, ot Arab 
cloak, treated them all with a hearty good 
beating ; after which his comrades, in their 
ordinary costume, overwhelmed them with 
kindness and fed them liberally. Such a 
mode of education produced its fruit. The 
full-grown dogs entertained such an aversion 
to the Arabs, that any who ventured within 
their reach would instantly have been torn to 
pieces. These dogs were afterwards perfect 
wonders ; beating the woods and hunting 
the thickets, marching fifty paces in front of 
the column ; and, not content with indi- 
cating the presence of danger by pointing 
at any hidden enemy, furiously joined in the 
attack whenever a skirmish or engagement 
took place. At a later period the organisa- 
tion of these brute allies was officially recog- 
nised. Every llockaiis (outpost) had three or 
four dogs, who were included in the effective 
forces of the garrison, and who were supplied 
with regular daily rations. One of them, whose 
thigh had been amputated in consequence of 
a gunshot wound, enjoyed for several years the 
honours of superannuation. Her position, 
nevertheless, was not purely honorary ; for 
she still, in spite of her infirmity, continued 
to supply the state with valiant defenders. 

In the midst of the varied excitements of 
African life, the Zephyr's thoughts will occa- 
sionally recur to the day when he is to return 
once more to the land of France. That day 
is not merely the moment of liberation ; it is 
the concentration of liberty itself For a 
long time past, he has lived in complete igno- 
rance of furloughs, Sundays, and holidays. 
His dream, against the day of departure, is 
to purchase a uniform of his original corps, 
from which his pranks have banished him ; 
to exchange the hated bugle button for the 
button displaying the number of his original 
corps. If he belonged to the cavalry the ex- 
pense would be beyond his hopes ; but for in- 
fantry the thing is possible. There is nothing, 
therefore, that he will not do to amass the 
trifling sum which will enable him at least to 
change his buttons. For he would not like 
to return home with the marks of disgrace 
upon his coat. At this last epoch, at the ap- 
proach of the metamorphosis, the most waste- 
ful spendthrifts are suddenly seized with the 
love of economy and of gain. 

A monkey, the property of a friend of mine, 
once procured us the acquaintance of a Zephyr. 
The introduction took place thus : — One day, 
the Zephyr, melting with perspiration, and 
apparently quite out of breath, rushed into 
the middle of a caft-, holding my messmate's 
monkey in his arms. "Lieutenant," he 
gasped, " I've caught your monkey, who 
had got loose. He had already reached 
the MocJcaus, and was going to desert to the 
Arabs. Luckily, I seized him just in time. 
I had a devilish hard chase after him, 
though!" These words, uttered with charming 



150 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted br 



gimplicity, while the orator, cap in one 
hand, was wiping his dripping forehead with 
the other, could not fail to draw forth a 
thankful reply, partly expressed in words, 
partly in silver. 

Three days afterwards, Mustapha broke 
out of bounds again. The same recompense 
was given for his recovery, but not without 
some feeling of suspicion. But, when the 
fugitive's ransom was a third time claimed, 
and Zephyr after Zephyr took his turn in the 
monkey-hunt, my friend declared from the 
balcony of his window, that he would do 
nothing for the future in behalf of so expen- 
sive an animal, and begged the battalion 
to be informed that he would no longer con- 
sider himself answerable for any debts which 
Mustapha might henceforth contract. Mus- 
tapha's rope was broken no more. The 
cunning mine was countermined. 

The first author of this clever trick (which 
would have been perfect if plagiarists had 
not vulgarised it), was thinking about his 
return to France. He had escaped from the 
dangers of the late assault of Constantine ; 
and he did not forget the horrors of the 
Barriere de la Yillette, and of the gate of St. 
Denis. He thought, above all, about his 
lancer's uniform, which he anxiously desired 
to sport once more. He commenced a search 
then, if not with the hope of finding the 
special articles of brilliant costume, at least 
of picking up the money to buy them with. 
After a two hours' absence, he returned to 
his captain. " Captain, will j^ou have the 
kindness to take care of some money till I 
leave, for fear I should spend it at the can- 
teen ?" 

"What is all this? Whence have you 
stolen it ?" said the captain, surprised at the 
amount. 

" I have not stolen it at all. Captain. It 
belongs to me honestly. And I have earned 
it." 
'"In what way?" 

" I am going to tell you. You know that 
on the other side of the breach, the rocks are 
precipitous. Some men and women tried to 
escape from the siege that way, by means of a 
cord. The cord broke, and the fugitives were 
killed upon a jut^ng point. Said I to myself: 
People who try to make their escape gene- 
rally take money with them ; so I fastened a 
rope round my waist, and persuaded my com- 
rades to let me down. I hunted right and left 
in the pockets of the wretches, and found the 
money 5^ou see here." It was enough to make 
one giddy, only to look up from below to the 
face of the rock down which the Zephyr had 
to slide. 

Meanwhile, the certainty of having a uni- 
form did not cool his ardour for treasure- 
hunting. Believing that the house of the 
captain, whose servant he was, contained 
hidden valuables, he spent the whole day in 
taking off the locks of the uninhabited cham- 
bers. They consequently found their way to 



a Jew, who purchased the produce of the 
locksmith's labours. A few days after finish- 
ing the bolts and bars, he sold to the same 
Israelite a heap of wheat, which ought by 
right to have gone to the State. For every 
sackful he carried by night he received from 
his friend a five-franc piece. " The State," 
he interpreted, meant " himself." It is easy, 
from this, to comprehend that in a town taken 
by storm, the Zephyr is not scrupulous on 
whose property he lays his hands. 

At last the Zephyr, in his much-coveted 
uniform, finds himself on the way to France. 
He bestows a passing smile of gratitude on 
the cafe cliantans at Marseille ; but his heart 
is fixed no longer there. If Mazagran, luckily, 
was included in his career, he will proudly 
wear the decoration of honour ; and this star 
of glory, while absolving him from the past, 
will probably guarantee his future prospects. 
Otherwise he may perhaps turn out the most 
turbulent blackguard to be found in his 
quarter, or the most thorough rogue that 
infests his village. 

However, he will have his campaigns to 
relate, and three or four handsome scars to 
show. A pair of dark and expressive eyes, 
moved by his narrative, may perhaps subdue 
his untameable character. Will Hercules 
spin at the feet of Omphale ? The case is 
just as likely as not. Hymen will finish the 
conquest. Our Zephyr, while dutifully rock- 
ing the cradle, will thank Heaven that all has 
ended so well, and pray that his babes may 
be like — their mamma. 

A SPLENDID MATCH. 

Mrs. Chesterton won the day. She was 
a good manager and a careful mother, and 
understood the tactics of society to a nicety. 
The Crawfords and the Macclesfields, the 
Thorntons and the Parkinsons were utterly 
beaten, and their colours lowered. Mr. Fitz- 
gerald, of Ormsby Green, had proposed ; and 
Mrs. Chesterton shed tears as she consented 
that he should marry her dowerless Eveline 
to his ten thousand a-j^ear. 

" For you know, Mr. Fitzgerald — you must 
know by your own love — that I am making a 
most painful sacrifice for my darling's happi- 
ness. If it were not that she loves you so 
much — the fond, foolish child ! — I do not ! 
think that I could part with her. But she 
has fixed her whole heart on you. What 
can I do but make the sacrifice of all that I 
have left me now on this earth to love," — (a 
retrospective sob for General Chesterton, who 
departed this life fifteen long years ago) — 
" and ensure her happiness at the expense of 
my own ? No, Mr. Fitzgerald I I am not a 
selfish mother. Take her, since you love her 
and she loves you, and God bless you both 1" 

Mrs. Chesterton wept afresh. As she sobbed, 
Eveline entered the room. Her round, 
dimpled, waxen cheeks were flushed. She saw 
her mother, with the lace pocket-handkerchief 



Churies Dickens.] 



A SPLENDID MATCH. 



151 



to her face, and she rushed to her, throwing 
herself on her knees beside the chair ; and, 
caressing her gently glanced all the time, as 
if by stealth, at Mr. Fitzgerald-: then, lower- 
ing her eyes suddenly when they saw that his 
were fixed broad and wide upon her. 

"Poor, dear child!" said Mrs. Chesterton, 
smoothing her hair, with a glance and a 
gesture that demanded Mr. Fitzgerald's 
admiration. It was very pretty hair, glossy 
bright and golden, and worthy of the time, 
labour and expense bestowed on it ; for 
Eveline's hair cost her almost as much as her 
feet. 

"Ah, Mr. Fitzgerald!" continued the 
mother, sighing, "what a treasure I am 
giving into your hands ! May you value it 
as you ought, and guard it as carefully as her 
mother has done." 

" What is the matter, mamma ? What do 
you mean ?" demanded Miss Eveline in an 
agitated voice. She raised her eyebrows and 
openod her large blue ej^es with a look of 
wonder that was perfect. 

" Dear innocent creature ! She at least 
has never speculated on this moment! Oh 
Mr. Fitzgerald — Charles, if I may call you 
so," added the lady, with a sudden cxpan- 
siveness of manner, such as people have on 
the stage when, apropos of nothing, they seize 
each other's hands and look into each other's 
faces sideways, " what have you not escaped 
in those Crawford and \Lacclesfield girls ; and 
what have you gained in my sweet Eveline ! 
Do you think they would have been as 
innocent as this dear guileless child ?" 

"Agnes Crawford is a very good girl," 
Charles said, in a voice that was a strange 
mixture of trmidity and boldness. " I don't 
think she was either a flirt or a schemer." 

"Perhaps not," the lady replied hastily; 
" Agnes may be an exception to her family." 

" But what does all this mean, mamma ?" 
again inquired Eveline ; seeing an angry spot 
beginning to burn on her lover's cheek, which 
she was half afraid might burn through the 
marriage contract. 

"It means, my love," answered Mrs. 
Chesterton, calling up her broad bland smile 
in a moment, " that I have interpreted your 
wishes and spoken from your heart. I have 
promised your hand where you have given 
your love, naughty child!" — tapping her 
cheek — " to our dear Charles Fitzgerald — 
your future husband, and my beloved son." 

""Charles — Mr. Fitzgerald!" said EveHne. 
" 0, -mamma!" she added, hiding her face. 

Charles was intoxicated with joy ; and, en- 
couraged by a sign from Mrs. Chestei-ton, took 
the Httle hand which lay buried beneath the 
ringlets poured out on the mother's lap. 
He pressed it nervously. With a strong 
grasp, it must be confessed, and awkwardly. 
"0! how he hurts me — the clumsy man !" 
muttered Eveline, disengaging the mangled 
member, as if from bashfulness, and plunging 
it among her mother's interlaced fingers. 



Her rings had made a deep indentation and 
a broad red mark on her tender little fingers, 
and Mrs. Chesterton saw that she must have 
suffered a great deal. However, she gave 
her an expressive admonition with her knee, 
which said plainly, " Don't mind a little pain 
— it is well bought." And Eveline abandoned 
her small fair hand again to her maladroit 
lover, who squeezed it even more unmercifully 
while pouring forth a flood of love and happi- 
ness, and childlike security in the bright 
promises of the future that made Eveline 
yawn behind her handkerchief; driving her 
at last to coiint verses on her fingers. 

" If this is love," she thought, " love is 
a horrid bore. 0, when will he have done ! 
How tired I am ! How I wish that Horace 
Graham would come in. This little man would 
be obliged to be quiet, then, and go away." 

Charles all the time was in the seventh 
heaven ; believing he had carried up h\'&Jiancde 
with him, seated on the same golden garment 
of love with himself. As he did not suspect, 
he understood nothing of the ennui of sated 
ambition, which a keener vision would have 
read in every word and gesture of the girl, 
and tortured the heart which, he believed, he 
was enrapturing by the passionate babble of 
his unanswered love. It was very late before 
he gave the first threat of going away, and 
much later before he had gained sufficient 
moral courage to fulfil it. And even then he 
lingered till the girl was in despair; telling 
her in a very doleful voice — half-sobbing him- 
self — " Not to weep ; he would come very 
early to-morrow!" 

Eveline did almost cry from weariness. 
And, when Mrs. Chesterton said, in dressing- 
gown and curl-papers, with the air of a 
workman at supper or a cabinet minister 
after dinner, with the peculiar satisfaction 
inspired by repose after labour — " I give you 
joy, my dear! Ten thousand a year, and 
only a mother with a mere jointure, charged 
on the estate. And I have heard that old 
Mrs. Fitzgerald has a heart-disease" — Eveline's 
only answer was, " Ten thousand a year dearly 
paid for too, mamma. As you would say 
yourself if you were going to be married to 
half an idiot !" Then, tearful and pouting 
she went to bed to dream of waltzes and 
polkas with Horace Graham, and to act ima- 
ginary scenes of tempest and storm with 
Charles. 

Charles Fitzgerald, good and amiable as he 
was, did in truth almost justify Eveline's 
harsh expression from his excessive weakness 
of character and tenuity of intellect. He was 
one of those credulous, generous, kind-hearted 
beings who are the chartered dupes of the 
world. A man who thought it a sin to 
believe any kind of evil, no matter of whom 
or what ; who denied the plainest evidence if 
condemnatory, and who interpreted the most 
potent fact of guilt into so much conclusive 
proof of innocence : a man who could not 
receive truth, and who did not require it ; but 



152 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



who was contented to slumber away his days 
on optimist fallacies and rose-water possibi- 
lities ; a man without nerve or muscle, weak, 
amiable, and womanly. His temperament 
was nervous; his habits shy; his manners 
reserved. He had a dislike that was almost 
abhorrence for society, and a desire that was 
almost a mania for solitude and a rural life 
of love. 

Mrs. Fitzgerald was at breakfast at 
Ormsby Green, when she received a letter 
from her son, announcing his intended mar- 
riage with Miss Chesterton, " the only child 
of a deceased General Officer ; a Lady as re- 
markable for her Beauty as for her Virtue," 
he said, with a nervous flourish among the 
capitals. The letter was written very af- 
fectionately and respectfully; but gave not 
the most distant hint of compliance with 
the mother's views, should they be opposed 
to the marriage. On the contrary, the 
energetic determination expressed under dif- 
ferent forms throughout three pages and a 
half " of making his adored Eveline his own 
at the earliest possible opportunity," showed 
no present intention of reference to Mrs. Fitz- 
gerald in any way. He neither asked her 
advice nor waited her concurrence ; but in 
every Hne that passionate doggedness of a 
weak mind which admits no second opinion 
and requires no aiding counsel. Mrs. Fitz- 
gerald's heart sank within her. She had 
heard of the Ghestertons, and dreaded them. 

However, as Charles had asked her to the 
wedding, and as Eveline had enclosed a short 
note also — written on pink paper with violet- 
coloured ink — Mrs. Fitzgerald determined on 
seeing the bride herself before she allowed 
presentiments to degenerate into prejudices. 

"But Charles is so very very weak!" she 
thought, "I have always dreaded his falling 
mto the snares of a family of schemers; and 
few, none indeed, except some rare nature 
like that of Agnes Crawford, which could 
see and love his goodness in spite of bis mental 
defects, would marry him except for his mo- 
ney. But such women," she further thought, 
with a sigh, " do not write with violet ink on 
pink paper scented with patchouli; and they 
do not write such a hand as this." 

Mrs. Fitzgerald determined to go to Lon- 
don, where the Chestertons lived in a pretty 
little cottage at Brompton, to judge for 
herself, by knowledge rather than by fear; 
anxious and willing to prove herself in the 
wrong, and hoping to be self-convicted of 
injustice. When she arrived, she was obliged 
to confess that everything in the house was 
arranged with consummate taste, and that 
Mrs. Chesterton was a well-bred woman, 
of the gay, worldly, party-giving kind ; 
of the well-fitting sick gown and family 
lace cap kind ; of the kind that delights 
in veils; and revels in flounces, and wears 
numerous ends of ribbon floating in all 
directions ; of a fashionable, talkative, and 
clear-headed kind ; a very different va- 



riety of English gentlewoman to the grave 
matron^ who came from her country seat 
like some old chatelaine of romance, and 
who looked on the modern world with her 
deeply set grey eyes — grave with the wisdom 
of nature — as a sage might watch a 
child's game beneath the trees. She was 
struck with Eveline's extreme beauty. Yet 
the shallow nature, vain, artificial, and un- 
loving, was evident as well. A dark 
shadow spread out before her when she 
saw standing before her eyes the future wife 
of her beloved son. Long times of pain and 
disappointment were woven in with every 
breath and gesture of the girl. A small, 
light, childish thing, with large blue eyes, 
and long bright hair ; a figure perfect in its 
proportions and a complexion dazzling in 
its waxen bloom; a damsel with false, fair 
words, and with caressing ways. She knew 
what the future must bring; she saw the 
wreck beating against the treacherous sands, 
and watched the precious freight of love and 
trust scattered to the waves of despair. She 
knew that Eveline would bring only anguish 
to her home, and she set herself to endeavour 
to avert it. 

But remonstrances were useless. Charles 
was bewitched, and his mother's warnings 
only irritated him. He asked her coldly, 
" What fault she found with Miss Chesterton, 
that she should thus endeavour to make him 
forfeit his plighted honour ?" 

" A want of stability of character," began 
Mrs. Fitzgerald. 

"How proved. Mother?" 

"Too evident to require any proof. It is 
proved by every word and look." 

"You find it perhaps in her beauty?" 
continued Charles. " Does this evident insta- 
bility of character, which you have seen at a 
glance in your first short interview, lie in her 
eyes, because they are blue and bright ; or in 
her hair, because it is fine and glossy ? Is it 
in her small hands or in her tiny feet? for I 
don't think you know her well enough yet to 
judge by anything but externals. You have 
not probed her mind very deeply." 

The young man's tone was hard and dry, 
his manner defiant, and his eyes angry and 
fixed. Mrs. Fitzgerald had never heard such 
an accent from her son before. She was 
shocked and wounded ; but her tears fell on 
desert sand. 

She applied herself to Eveline. She spoke 
of her son's virtues, but she spoke also of 
his weakness; and asked the girl "if she had 
weighed well the consequences of her choice 
— if she had reflected on her life with a 
nervous and irritable man ; self-willed and 
unable to accept argument or persuasion?" 
Eveline tossed her head and said, it w.is 
" very odd, that Mrs. Fitzgerald, his mother, 
should be the only one to speak ill of dear 
Charles ; that, indeed, he was not weaker 
than other people ; and as for being irritable, 
nothing could be more amiable than he was 



Cb<irle8 Dickens.] 



A SPLENDID MATCH. 



153 



to her. She thought that if people only knew 
how to manage hiin, and cared to give way 
to his little peculiarities — and we all have 
peculiarities — he would be quite a lamb to 
live with !" She added also, " that she saw 
through the motive of Mrs. Fitzgerald's advice, 
whit^h was to get a rich wife for her son." 

The attempt was hopeless. Between folly 
and knavery the sterling worth and honesty 
of the mother fell dead, and all that she had 
done was siaiply to embroil herself with both 
her son and her daughter. Things went on 
without her consent pretty much as they 
would have done with it, and of all the party 
she Avas the only one who suffered. The 
wedding-day came amidst smiles and laughter 
from all but her. Even Eveline merged her 
personal distaste for Charles in her gratified 
ambition, and Mrs. Chesterton was more 
pseudo-French, and dressy than ever. Eveline 
looked undeniably lovely. The church was 
crowded with the Chestertons' friends, all 
saying among themselves, " How beautiful she 
is!" a few, such as Horace Graham of the 
Guards, adding, " and what a fool she is 
marrying;" or, "by Jove, what a life she 
will lead that muff ! " 

After the honeymoon — that prescribed 
season of legal bliss — Mr. and Mrs. Charles 
Fitzgerald came back to London. She, radiant 
with smiles and happiness, at escaping from 
the tedium of her country life ; where she 
had been bored to death ; where she had 
yawned all day, and where she had slept when 
she was not yawning. He, saddened to think 
that his green lanes must be abandoned, his 
evening walks in the moonlight in the wood 
foregone, and his young dream of quiet hap- 
piness exchanged for the turmoil called plea- 
sure. Yet when in town he found another 
pleasure in the happiness of Eveline. For he 
had been obUged to confess to himself that she 
was often sad and melancholy in the country ; 
and now it was such a pleasure to see her 
dimpling smiles and hear her merry laugh 
again. He said she had got tired of Ormsby 
Green, because she was away from her mother 
—she wanted to see her mother ; dear child ! 
she had never left her before ; and it was a 
very sweet and natural feeling in her, and he 
loved her all the more for it. 

When they arrived home- — Mrs. Chester- 
ton's cottage answering that purpose for the 
present — the first person they met was 
Horace Graham, looking more handsome 
and impudent than ever. He had called in 
by chance, he said ; and hearing that " Mrs. 
Charles" was expected, he had stayed just to 
shake hands with his old friend. Eveline 
thanked him very prettily, and then asked 
him to spend the evening with them so 
engagingly that Charles was fain to second 
the invitation, which he did with an awk- 
ward attempt at cordiality that did his powers 
of dissimulation no credit. But Horace ac- 
cepted the invitation in his off-handed way, 
and the evening passed merrily enough ; he 



singing to Eveline's playing, and Charles ap- 
plauding in the middle of bars, and saying, 
'*^ but the next verse ?" when all was finished. 

A house was bought in Belgravia. It 
was furnished with extreme elegance, and 
did honour to the decorative taste of 
Mrs. Chesterton, she having been extra- 
ordinarily active among the upholsterers and 
decorators. With their new house began the 
young couple's new life. Charles bore his 
part in the whirlpool that it became bravely; 
and, for the first three months, was all that 
the most dissipated woman of the world 
could require in the most complaisant of 
husbands. A strange kind of peace rested 
between the married pair. Strange, because 
unnatural — the violent binding together of 
two opposing natures : the lurid stillness that 
glides on before a storm : a peace that was 
not the peace of love, nor of sympathy, nor of 
respect ; that was the peace of indecision, the 
peace of ignorance, the peace of fear, and 
worst of all, the peace of slavery. 

Mrs. Fitzgerald was in the country, brood- 
ing mournfully over the angry silence of her 
son ; for he had not yet forgiven her inter- 
ference in his marriage. But she would not 
understand it thus, and wrote often to him and 
to Eveline grave, kind, earnest letters ; speak- 
ing much to her of her son's goodness, and 
susceptibility of nature, and feeling sure that 
Eveline was all that a fond mother could wish 
in the wife of a son. At last EvcHne no 
longer read the letters ; she threw them aside, 
crying, " The tiresome old woman ! as if I did 
not know every word of her sermon before- 
hand !" And saying this before her husband 
too, from whom she did not care to hide her 
open contempt of his mother. Indeed, em- 
boldened by his timid compliance with all 
her wishes, and his weak approval of all her 
actions, she cared to hide very little that was 
disagreeable ; and more than once startled 
him with exhibitions of temper and of 
coldness. Charles was fretted at his wife's 
indifference, fretted at Horace Graham's 
constant presence, and at the undisguised 
good understanding that existed between him 
and Eveline ; fretted at Mrs. Chesterton^s 
contemptuous manner of interfering in his 
household arrangements, and at her assertion 
of motherly rights superior and opposed to 
his own, over his wife ; fretted at the con- 
stant round of dissipation in which they 
lived, and at the breaking up of all his fairy- 
castles of bliss and quiet ; fretted at this, and 
at that, and at everything, and in the fair 
way of falling seriously ill with some brain 
or nervous affection. 

" You will not go to the ball to-night, Evy ?" 
he said one day, in a timid but querulous 
voice, flinging himself wearily on a sofa. They 
had been married about four months, and 
were very unhappy in secret ; although no- 
thing had been said or done openly. 

" Why not, Charles?" asked his wife, coldly. 



154 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



IConducted b} 



" I am too nervous, too ill and unstrung to 
go with you," he answered, " and I thought 
that perhaps you would stay at home with 
me, and read. Will you, Evy ?" He took 
her hand — still the same timid manner. 

" dear me, no ? Stay at home ? 0, no ! 
You had better go to bed if you are ill," 
Eveline said, leaving her hand cold and dead 
in his. " That will be much wiser than sitting 
up half the night reading stupid poetry that 
only makes one yawn and go to sleep. 
I will tell Justine to give you anything you 
want when I am away ; but really you had 
better go to bed at once." 

Charles let her hand fall. " Who is going 
with you, then, as I cannot ?" he said. 

Eveline walked away to the mirror, hum- 
ming a tune and arranging her bouquet. " My 
mother — " she said. " And Horace Graham," 
she added, turning suddenly round, fixing her 
eyes on her husband with a peculiar look. 
A look that defied suspicion, and was before- 
hand with objection. A look that conquered, 
because it wounded, Charles, and made him 
humble and submissive. 

He rose from the sofa slowly, and passed 
into the library, there to fret like a sorrowing 
child ; scarcely knowing what he thought or 
what he ought not to think ; feeling only 
that his happiness was slipping from his 
grasp, and that he was being left alone on a 
desolate shore without hope and without 
love. 

This was the first rising of th« mask — the 
first confessed declaration of indifference — a 
declaration repeated subsequently every day 
and every hour. Eveline was never at home. 
Morning and evening alike saw her drowned 
in the world's great sea of pleasures ; every 
home affection cast aside, and every wifely 
duty unfulfilled. Gaiety was her life ; and, 
without this gaiety, she would die, she would 
say. Charles grew ill, and certainly exces- 
sively strange and disagreeable in his beha- 
viour. For hours together he would sit 
without speaking, his lips pressed against 
each other, and his dull eyes fixed on the 
ground. Then came fits of passion, which 
were like the throes of madness — fits that 
terrified Eveline, and made her fear for her- 
self. To these a violent reaction succeeded ; 
a period, generally very brief, of frantic 
gaiety and restless pleasure-seeking, such as 
incommoded Eveline greatly, binding him to 
her side without release ; and under the ap- 
pearance of complaisance, giving her a gaoler 
and a spy. Often at such times, struck to the 
heart with something he had seen, chilled 
by something he had heard, Fitzgerald would 
fall back again into his mournful stupor, and 
drag out his weary life with the listless, 
hopeless expression in his face and in his 
whole manner of a condemned criminal. 

The world began to talk. It talked, 
although gently, of Eveline's open flirtation 
with Horace Graham ; gently, because it 
talked also of Charles Fitzgerald's jealousy 



and strange irritability ; of his violence and 
his fearful temper. On the other hand, it 
spoke of his evident unhappiness, and of the 
contempt showered on him by his wife and 
his adopted family ; it darkly adumbrated a 
lunacy commission on one side, and. Doctors' 
Commons on the other. At last the whisper 
grew so long and loud that it spread dovAm 
to Ormsby Green, and penetrated to Mrs. 
Fitzgerald. The echo of this dread whisper 
had sounded long ago in her own heart ; she 
had looked for its coming ; and when it found " 
her, she started without an hour's delay for 
London ; and, not caring for the.cold reception 
she would probably meet with, she presented 
herself at once at the house of her son. 
Eveline was from home. She was riding in 
the park with Horace, to try a horse he had 
that day bought for her. Charles was in 
the library, sitting in one of those dumb, dull 
sorrows that are far more painful to witness 
than the most turbulent passion. 

He looked up with his glazed fiery eyes as 
his mother entered ; and started and stared 
wildly, rising and retreating as if he did not 
know her, but trying with all his might to 
recognise her. She came forward, speaking 
cheeril}^ and kindly. 

" Well, Charles, my love, I have taken you 
by surprise !" she said. But her voice failed ; 
he was so wild and altered. He kept his 
eyes upon her for some time, and then with 
a cry that came straight from the sad heart, 
almost breaking it, with sobs wild and fast, 
and tears which fell like blighting rain, Fitz- 
gerald exclaimed, " Mother, mother, you have 
come to see me die !" 

The hue of ice was thawed, the band of 
iron was broken, the stifled heart cried out 
aloud, and the love that had been thrust 
back into the darkness came forth again. He 
was no longer alone with nothing but in- 
difference or enmity to bear him company. 
He had now his own best friend, the guardian 
of his youth, his friend and guide : he might 
count now on one heart at least, and believe 
that it loved him. He poured out his griev- 
ances to her. They were all very vague and 
indefinite ; simply wounded feelings, or affec- 
tions misunderstood ; no startling facts, no 
glaring wickedness, no patent actions. But 
she understood, and sympathised with his 
sufferings ; impalpable as they were. She 
soothed and comforted him, calming his 
irritated nerves and weaving bright dreams 
of hope for the future. Dreams, in which she 
believed nothing herself, and which smoto 
her conscience as falsehoods when she told 
them. 

Next morning she spoke to Eveline, in 
her grave, bland, gracious manner, and gave 
her serious counsel, sweetening her censure 
with assurances of her trust in the giddy 
wife's good intentions — "but then you are 
young, my child, and youth is often curiously 
heedless!" But Eveline gave herself un- 
numbered airs, and was very ill-used, and said 



Charles Dickens.] 



A SPLENDID MATCH. 



155 



" that indeed she was a better wife than most 
girls would have been to any one so cross and 
disagreeable as Charles ; and that Mrs. Fitz- 
gerald had better speak to him about his 
temper than to her about hers." 

However, Mrs. Fitzgerald's mere presence 
was a comfort to her son ; and he got calmer 
and milder now that he could speak of 
his sufferings, and that some one cared to 
soothe thjm away. At first Eveline, being 
awed in spite of herself by Mrs. Fitzgerald, 
behaved with some small attention to appear- 
ances, so that the young household "sat m the 
sunshine again. Horace Graham, too, hap- 
pened to go away just at this moment; con- 
sequently a conjunction of favourable stars 
seemed to shed rays of domestic happiness 
over the gaudy, meretricious household. 

But Horace came back one Thursday after- 
noon, and Eveline invited him to dinneix 
She pressed him to come when, as usual, 
he refused for the childish pleasure of being 
entreated. Charles had a nervous attack 
when he heard this, and then gave way to so 
terrible a fit of passion in Eveline's dressing- 
room, that he showed at last how obnoxious 
the young guardsman was to him. Eveline 
every now and then looked at him with 
flashes of scorn and contempt which may be 
called deadly. At last turning from him with 
a spurning action, she said, " Charles, if I had 
known you as I do now, not twice ten 
thousand a-year would have tempted me to 
marry you : you are not Hke a man. You 
are worse than a child or a woman!" Then 
filie went on arranging the most becoming 
toilette her busy fancy could devise. 

rCharles conquered himself at last, and 
managed to appear at dinner with some show 
of calmness. Eveline was so extremely gay 
that she became quite overpowering. She 
armed herself with all the little graceful 
coquetries she knew so well how to employ, 
each in their right time and place, and 
heightened them in revenge for her late en- 
forced cessation from all excitement while 
grudgingly going through the dull task of 
pleasing a sick husband and a rigid matron. 
Even Mrs, Fitzgerald, who had expected much, 
was surprised at the open manrrer in which her 
flirtation with Graham went on ; and, although 
believing it to be nothing more real than the 
folly of a vain girl, yet she could not deny 
its grave appearance, nor the compromise 
that it made of her son's honour. She deter- 
mined to speak to Eveline seriously, and to 
endeavour — by arguments, if affection were 
of no use ; by threats, if arguments fell dead 
— to open her eyes to the true knowledge of 
herself and her conduct, and to force her to 
abandon a farce that might end in tragedy. 
Eveline seemed to foresee this lecture ; for 
nothing could induce her to meet Mrs. Fitz- 
gerald's eyes. She shrank from her words 
and drowned them in thick showers of banter 
with Horace ; in her behaviour to whom there 
was a kind of defiance and bravado, that 



betrayed as much fear of the future as in- 
difference of the present. 

In the evening they strolled out into the 
little garden ; for they boasted a plot of 
blackened ground dignified by that sweet 
name of fruits and flowers — Eveline and 
Horace wandering away together, and Charles 
and his mother returning soon to the houst. 
Speaking to his mother of Eveline, a flash of 
his old tenderness returned, and with it his 
old hatred to believe in evil. After all, 
Eveline was young and giddy. She meant 
no harm, and did not know the full signi- 
ficance of what she did. She was his wife too 
— she must be gently dealt with. He could 
not bear to hear her condemned. When 
his mother replied to him, he shrank ner- 
vously from every subject which threatened 
to lead to a discussion on her conduct. Mrs. 
Fitzgerald read his heart, and kept silent. 
But while he -was thus careful, he was also 
haunted, restless and tormented ; and at last, 
unable to contain himself, he went into the 
garden, where the shadows had deepened into 
darkness, walking slowly and silently towards 
the quiet trees planted to hide the upper 
wall. Horace and Eveline were there, seated 
on a bench together. They were talking low, 
but talking love — if such frothy vanity could 
be called love — and " dearest Horace," and 
" beloved Eveline," were often mingled with 
their talk. They sat, like two silly children, 
hand in hand. 

Charles stole back to the house, and entered 
— a creature fi'om whom life and soul had 
departed. Eveline had seen him : and he 
knew that she had seen him. There was 
no more disguise ; and, as she said, " dis- 
covery had at least spared her the necessity 
of deception." She threw off the flims\^ veil 
she had hitherto worn, and boasted openly of 
her love for Horace ; still coupling it with 
perfect innocency. Which was true. For 
indeed she was too shallow and too in- 
trinsically selfish to commit herself, even 
where she loved. 

After this discovery, and the distressing 
scene between the husband and wife which 
followed it, Eveline went out more than 
ever, and was with Horace more than ever 
also ; many pitying her for being mairied 
to a jealous irritable fool, and lamenting 
that such a lovely 5'oung creature should 
have been so sacrificed by an ambitious 
mother, against her own expressed inclina- 
tions ; many more deploring her wayward, 
systematic neglect of her husband. 

Charles Fitzgerald's eccentricities of temper 
— his bursts of passion and of violence, 
mingled with fits of silence and of gloom — 
became every day more marked. Even his 
mother was no longer a soothing or a restrain- 
ing influence ; but, capricious, violent, irritable 
and uncertain, he made his home a Hades for 
others, as his wife had made his life a torment 
for him. At last his language became, oc- 
casionally, so bitter and infuriated ; and, 



156 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Coodneted hj 



more than once, his arm had been raised to 
strike, and more than once his hand, twisted 
in the meshes of her hair, had threatened her 
with death — that Evehne was justified in 
demanding a legal separation. She was 
advised that the law could not grant it, 
unless both parties consented ; and Charles 
vehemently refused. But what the law 
denied, Nature gave. A thousand airy no- 
things of speech and conduct, each inno- 
cent apart, all maddening together, had 
worked on the husband's weak brain until 
they produced an unsettlement of intellect, 
which a few days of wifely tenderness might 
have prevented. The world only said that 
Eveline was right in consenting that her 
husband should be placed in restraint — poor, 
young, beautiful thing, married to such a 
terrible person ! Charles was placed in 
proper hands. The blow was struck beneath 
the applaudings of Eveline's wide circle 
of admiring acquaintances. She took refuge 
among her crowd of simpering sympathisers, 
and was received with all honour and pity, 
like some martyred saint. There were some, 
however, who made her feel the just meed of 
her bad, selfish career, and would not notice 
her. 

After a time Charles gradually grew better, 
and he and his mother wandered away to 
Brussels ; but there his " eccentricities of 
temper" became more and more violent ; so 
that at last even his mother was forced to arm 
herself with legal power to protect him from 
himself For at length he became mad — 
mad for life ; mad with a lingering madness, 
that left no hope and that gave no rest ; wan, 
wild, raving — haunted ever by a false fair 
face, that glided from his clasping hands, and 
denied his fevered lips. 

Eveline's pensive air, and eyes veiled 
beneath their drooping lids (which she knew 
to be extremely effective in society), gained 
more sympathy than the madman's ravings 
and the madman's sorrows. People only shook 
their heads, and said, '• What that young 
creature must have suffered in her married 
life ! — and how heroically she concealed it 
from the world !" and " Let us be kind to the 
pretty little woman, for her lot has been a 
sad one, and her anguish meekly borne!" 



A LAMENT FOR THE SUMMER. 

Moan, oh ye Antnmn Winds ! 

Summer has fled, 
The flowers have closed their tender leaves and die ; 

Tlie LilyV gracious head 
All low ninst lie, 

Because the gentle Summer now is dead. 

Grieve, oh ye Autumn Winds ! 

Summer Ues low, 
The rose's trembling leaves will soon be shed ; 

For she that loved her so, 
Alas, is dead ; 

And one by one her loving children go. 



Wail, oh ye Autumn Winds ! 

She lives no more. 
The gentle Summer, with her balmy breath, 

Still sweeter than before 
When nearer death. 

And brighter every day the smile she wore ! 

Mourn, mourn, oh Autumn Winds, 

Lament and mourn ; 
How many half-blown buds must close and die ; 

Hopes with the summer born 
All faded lie, 

And leave us desolate and earth forlorn I 



MORE PLACES WANTED. 



A S L AD^ 'S-MATD, a young person who has lived 
-ti in the first families, and can have four years' eood 
charactor. Fully understands dressrnakintr. hair-dressing, 
and getting up fine linen. Address Miss T., Bunty's Li- 
brary, Crest Terrace, Pimlico. 

Miss Fanny Tarlatan, the young lady in 
quest of a situation, does not reside at Bunty's 
library. Mr. Bunty and Mr. Bunty's wife are 
only friends of hers. Mr. Bunty is tall and 
stout, with a white neckcloth, and is very like 
a clergyncian, with a dash of the schoolmaster 
and a smack of the butler. Mrs. Bunty is an 
acrid lady in ribbons, with a perpetual smile 
for lady customers ; wdiich would be a little 
more agreeable if it did not twist her neck, 
and screw her mouth up, and tortuate her 
body over the counter. At Bunty's library 
are three-volume novels bound in dashing 
cloth ; and Bunty's library is carpeted ; and 
in the centre thereof is a great round tabic 
groaning beneath the weight of ladies' albums, 
and works of genteel piety, and treatises 
written with a view to induce a state 
of contentment among the rural popula- 
tion (hot-pressed and with gilt edges,) to- 
gether with neatly stitched pamphlets upon 
genteelly religious and political subjects, 
and handsomely clasped church services, 
with great red crosses on their backs and 
sides. 

No ; Miss Tarlatan does not live at 
Bunty's ; but she is an old colleague of Mrs. 
Bunty's (once Miss Thorneytwig, my Lady 
Crocus's waiting woman,) and calls her Ma- 
tilda, and is hy her called " Fanny, and a dear 
girl ;" and therefore she gives Bunty's library 
as an address : it being considered more aris- 
tocratic than Tidlers' Gardens; where, in the 
house of Mrs. Silkey, that respectable milliner 
and dressmaker, Miss Tarlatan is at present 
staying. 

She can dress hair, make dresses, and per- 
fectly understands getting up fine linen. The 
French coiffeur is still a great personage; 
but his services are now-a-days often supplied 
by the lady's-maid ; and there are many fair 
and noble ladies who are not too superb to 
employ Miss Tarlatan, and go resplendent 
from her skill, into the presence of their 
sovereign, or into the melodious vicinity of 
the singers of the Italian opera. Also tc< 



Charles D c'^oiis.] 



MORE PLACES WANTED. 



15T 



wear ball and court dresses made, not by the 
pallid workwomen and " first hands" of the 
great millinery establishments of the West- 
End, but by the nimble fingers of Fanny 
Tarlatan. x\lso to confide to her sundry price- 
less treasures of Malines and Brussels, Honi- 
ton and old point, or " Beggar's lace," sprigged 
shawls and veils, and such marvels of fine 
things, to be by her got up. All of which 
proceedings are characterised by the great 
millinery establishments, by the fashionable 
Manchisseuses dejin^ and by M. Anatole, coif- 
feur, of Regent Street, as atrocious, mean, 
Stingy, avaricious, and unjustifiable on the 
part of miladi ; but which, if they suit her 
to order and Miss Tarlatan to undertake, are 
in my mind, on the broad-gauge of free trade, 
perfectly reasonable and justifiable. Some 
ladies make a merit of their Tarlatanism, 
stating, with pride, that their maids "do 
everj^thing for them ; " others endeavour 
uneasily to defend their economy by reference 
to the hardness of the times, to their large 
families, to the failure of revenue from my 
loFvl's Irish estates, to the extravagance of 
such and such a son or heir, or lo Sir John 
having lost enormously in railvA-ays or by 
electioneering. One lady I have heard of 
who palliated all domestic retrenchments on 
the groimd of having to pay so much income- 
tax. Unhappy woman ! 

Hairdresser, dressmaker, getter-up of fine 
linen; skilled in cosmetics and perfumes; 
tasteful arranger of bouquets ; dexterous 
cleaner of gloves (for my lady must have two 
pairs of clean gloves a day, and, bountiful 
as may be her pin-money, you will rarely 
find her spending one thousand and thirty 
times three shillings per annum in gloves) ; 
artful tri.umcr of bonnets; clever linguist; 
of great conversational powers in her own 
language; of untiring industry, cheerfulness, 
and good temper — all these is Fanny Tarlatan, 
aged twenty-eight, I have a great respect 
for Fanny Tarlatan, and for the lady's-maid, 
genericalJy, and wish to vindicate her from 
the slur of being a gossiping, tawdry, in- 
triguing, venal waiting-maid, as which she is 
generally represented in novels and plays, and 
similar performances. 

Fanny is not without personal charms. She 
has ringlets that her lady might envy, and 
the comely good-humoured look which eight- 
and-twenty is often gilded with. She has been 
resolute enough to steel her heart against the 
advances of many a dashing courier, of many 
an accomplished valet, of many a staid and 
portly butler. She docs not look for matri- 
mony in the World of Service. Mr. What- 
next, at t e Great Haberdashery Palace, 
Fropi>ery House, head man there, indeed 
(thougi' Mr. i^iggs, my lord's gertleman, has 
pnecrinuly alluded to him as a " low counter- 
jumper"), las spoken her fair. Jtllytin, the 
rising pastrj^cook at Gunter's, has openly 
avowed his maldcning passion, and showed 
her his savings' bank book. But that did 



not dazzle her ; for she too has a " little bit 
of money of her own." Her revenues chiefly 
lie, not in her wages — they are not too ample 
— but in her perquisites. Lawyers would 
starve (figurativel}'-, of course, for 'tis im- 
possible for a lawyer to starve under any cir- 
cumstances) on the bare six and eightpences 
— it is the extra costs that fatten. Perqui- 
sites are Fanny Tarlatan's' costs. To her fall 
all my lady's cast-off" clothes. Their amount 
and value depend upon my lady's constitu- 
tional liberality or parsimony. A dress may 
be worn once, a week, a month, or a year be- 
fore it reverts to the lady's-maid. So with 
gloves, shoes, ribbons, and all the other 
weapons in the female armoury, of which I 
know no more than Saint Anthony did of the 
sex — or that Levantine monk Mr. Curzon 
made us acquainted with, who had never 
seen a woman. Old Lady McAthelyre, with 
wiiom Fanny lived before she went to the 
Countess of Coeurdesart's (Lady McA. was 
a terrible old lady, not unsuspected of a 
penchant for shoplifting and drinking eau de 
cologne grog), used to cut up all her old 
dresses for aprons, and the fingers off her 
gloves for mittens, and was the sort of old 
lady altogether who might reasonably be 
expected to skin a flea for the hide and tallow 
thereof Mrs. Colonel Scraw, Fanny's mis- 
tress after Lady Cceurdesart, made her old 
clothes her own peculiar perquisites, and sold 
them herself. But such exceptions are rare, 
and Fanny has had, on the whole, no great 
reason to complain. Perhaps j'^ou will, there- 
fore, at some future time, meet with her 
under the name of Whatnext, or Jellytin, or 
Figgles, or Seakale, in a snug, well-to-do 
^V'^est-End business, grown into a portly 
matron (with ringlets yet; for they are vital, 
to the lady's-maid through life) with two 
little girls tripping home from Miss Weazel's 
dancing academy. I hope so, with all my 
heart. 

There is a custom common among the 
English nobility, and yet peculiar to that 
privileged class, to get the best of everything. 
Consequently, whenever they find foreign 
cooks and foreign musicians more skilful than 
native talent, it is matter of noble usance to 
refect upon foreign dishes ; to prefer the per- 
formances of foreign minstrels and players; 
to cover the head, or hands, or feet, with 
coverings made by foreign hands ; and, even 
in the ordinary conversation of life, to pepper 
its discourse with foreign w^ords, as you would 
a sheep's kidney with cayenne. So my lord 
duke entertains in his great mansion a French 
cook, a Swiss confectioner, an Italian house 
steward, a French valet, German and French 
governesses, a German under-nurse or bonne 
(that his children may imbibe fragments of 
foreign language with their pap), besides 
a host of non-resident foreign artists and 
professors gathered from almost every nation 
under the sun. It is, therefore, but reason- 
able that her grace the duchess should 






168 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



have a foreign attendant — a French^ or 
Swiss, or German lady's-maid. I will take 
Mademoiselle Batiste, warranted from Paris, 
as a sample. 

When I say warranted from Paris, I mean 
what the w^ord " warranted " is generally 
found to mean — not at all like what it pro- 
fesses to be. Mademoiselle Batiste says she 
is from Paris; but she does not bear the 
slightest resemblance to the pert, sprightly, 
coquettish, tasteful, merry creation in a 
cunning cap, a dress closed to the neck, a 
plaited silk apron and shiny shoes, that a 
Parisian lady's-maid generally is. My 
private impression is that she is a native of 
some distressingly lugubrious provincial tow^n 
in the midi of France — Aigues Mortes, per- 
chance — whence she has been sent, for our 
sins, to England, to make us mournful. She 
is a most dolorous Abigail; a lachrymose, 
grumbling, doleant, miserable waiting w^oman. 
When she is old (she is in the thirties, now,) she 
will take snuff and keep a poodle on some fifth 
floor in the Marais, I am sure. Whether she 
has been disappointed in love, or her relations 
were guillotined during the great revolution ; 
whether she was born on the eve of St. 
Swiihin, or like Apollodorus, she nourishes 
scorpions in her breast, I know not, but she 
is a very grievous woman — a female knight 
of the rueful countenance. If you fail to 
please her, she grumbles ; if you remonstrate 
with her, she cries. What arc you to do 
with a woman, whose clouds always end 
in rain, unless you have Patience for an 
umbrella? In person. Mademoiselle Batiste 
is tall ; in compass wofully lean and at- 
tenuated ; her face is of the hatchet cast, and 
she has protruding teeth, long dark eyebrows, 
• stony eyes, and heavy eye-lashes. A sick 
monkey is not a very enlivening sight; 
a black man with chilblains and a fit of the 
ague is not calculated to provoke cheerful- 
ness, and there are spectacles more cheerful 
than a •w^orkhouse funeral on a w^et day ; 
but all these are positively jocose and 
Momus-like compared to Mademoiselle Batiste 
wailing over her lady's wardrobe, her own 
wrongs, and her unhappy destiny generally. 
The climate, the food, the lodging, the 
raiment, the tyranny of superiors, and the 
insolence of inferiors : all these find a place in 
the category of this melancholy lady's un- 
happiness. She prophesies the decadence 
of England with far more fervour than 
M. Ledru Rollin. She will impress herself to 
leave this detestable land ; without sun, with- 
out manners, without knowledge of living. 
Somehow she does not quit the detestable 
land. She is like (without disrespect) that 
animal of delusive promise, the conjurer's 
donkey, which is always going for to go, 
but seldom does really go, up the ladder. 
Mademoiselle- Batiste weeps and moans, and 
grumbles, and changes her situation in- 
numerable times, and packs up her " effects " 
for the continent once a week or so ; but stays 



' in England after all. When she has saved 
enough money, she may perhaps revisit the 
land of the Gaul, and relate to her com- 
patriots the affliction sore which long time she 
bore among ces harhares. 

In reality. Mademoiselle Batiste is an 
excellent servant; she is not only apt but 
erudite in all the cunning of her craft. 
M. Anatole, of Regent Street, might take 
lessons in hair-dressing from her. She far 
surpasses Miss Tarlatan in dress-making; 
although she disdains to include that accom- 
plishment in the curriculum of her duties. 
But her principal skill lies in putting on 
a dress, in imparting to her mistress when 
dressed an air, a grace, a tournure, which any 
but a French hand must ever despair of ac- 
complishing. Yet she grumbles meanwhile ; 
and when she has made a peri of a peeress, 
sighs dolefully and maintains that an English- 
woman does not know how to wear a robe. 
This skill it is that makes her fretfulness and 
melancholial distemper borne with by rank 
and fashion. She has, besides, a pedigree of 
former engagements of such magnitude and 
grandeur, that rank and fashion are fain to 
bow to her caprices. The beauteous Duchcsse 
de Faribole in Paris, and the Marquise de 
Lysbrisee (very poor, very Legitimist, but 
intensely fashionable) ; the famous Princess 
Cabbagioso at Florence, Countess Moskamu- 
jikoff at St. Petersburgh, the Duchess of 
Champignon, the Marchioness of Truffleton 
and Lady Frances Frongus in England — all 
these high-born ladies has she delighted with 
her skill, awed with her aristocratic antece- 
dents, and grieved with her melancholia. 
Although so highly skilled in dress-making 
she pa5^s but little regard to costume herself. 
Her figure is straight all the way down, on 
all sides. She wears a long pendent shawl, a 
dreary bonnet with trailing ribbons; and 
carries, w^hen abroad, a long, melancholy, 
attenuated umbrella, like a parasol that had 
outgrown itself, and was wasting away in 
despair. These, with the long dull gold 
drops to her ear-rings ; two flat thin smooth 
bands of hair flattened upon her forehead; 
long listless fingers, and long feet encased 
in French boots of lustreless kid, give 
her an unspeakably mournful, trailing ap- 
pearance. She seems to have fallen alto- 
gether into the " portion of weeds and 
outgrown faces." Ilcr voice is melancholy 
and tristfully surgant, like an iEolian harp ; 
her delivery is reminiscent of the Dead 
March in Saul ; — a few wailing, lingering 
notes, closed with a melancholy boom at the 
end of the strophe. Adieu, Mademoiselle 
Batiste. 

There are plenty more lady's-maids who 
want places; and, taking into consideration 
the increased facilities offered by the abolition 
of the duty on advertisements, I sincerely hope 
they may all be suited satisfactorily. But I 
cannot tiirry to discuss all their several 
qualifications. Although T cnn conscientiously 



Cfcarles Dickens.] 



MORE PLACES WANTED. 



159 



recommend " Wilkins " (Christian name un- 
known), the lady's-maid of middle age, and 
domesticated habits, who was with Mrs. 
Colonel Stodger during the whole of the Sutlej 
campaign ; who is not too proud to teach 
the cook how to make curries ; is reported 
to have ridden (with her mistress) in man's 
saddle five hundred miles on camel's back in 
India, and to have done something consider- 
able tovvards shooting a plundering native dis- 
covered in Mrs. Stodger's tent. Nor would I 
have jrou overlook the claims of Martha Stir- 
penny, who is a "young ladies'-maid," and is 
not above plain needlework ; or of Miss Catch- 
pole, the maid, nurse, companion, amanuensis, 
everything, for so many years to the late 
Miss Plough, of Monday Terrace, Bayswater, 
who ungratefully left all her vast wealth in 
Bank and India Stock to the " Total Absti- 
nence from Suttee Hindoo AVidows' Society," 
offices Great St. Helens, secretary, G. F. L. B. 
Stoneybattcr, Esq. ; and bequeathed her faith- 
ful Catch pole, after twenty years' service, only 
a silver teapot and a neatly-bound set of the 
Reverend Doctor Duffaboxe's sermons. All 
these domestics want places, and all letters to 
them must be post-paid. 

AS COOK (professed) a Person who fully under- 
stands her business. Address L., Tattypan Place, 
Great Brazier Street. 

There is something honest, outspoken, fear- 
less, in this brief advertisement. L. does not 
condescend to hint about the length and 
quality of her character, or the distinguished 
nature of the family she wishes to enter. 
"Here I am," she seems to say ; " a professed 
cook. If you are the sort of person knowing 
what a professed cook is, and how to use 
her, try me. Good cooks are not so plen- 
tiful that they need shout for custom. 
Good wine needs no bush. I stand upon 
my cooking, and if you suit me as t suit 
you, nought but a spoilt dinner shall part us 
two." L., whom we will incarnate for the nonce 
as Mrs. Lambs wool, widow, is fat and forty, 
but not fair. The fires of innumerable kitchen 
ranges have swarthed her ruddy countenance 
to an almost salamandrine hue. And she is 
a salamander in temper too, is Mrs. Lambs- 
w^ool, for all her innocent name. Lambswool, 
deceased (formerly clerk of the kitchen to the 
Dawdle club), knew it to his cost, poor man ; 
and for many a kept back dinner and 
unpraised made dish did he suffer in his 
time. 

If Fate could bring together (and how 
seldom Fate does bring together things and 
persons suited for one another), Mrs. Lambs- 
wool and Sir Chyle Turrener, how excellently 
they would agree. Sir Chyle — who dwells 
in Bangmarry Crescent, Ilordover Square, 
and whose house as you pass it smells all 
day like a cook-shop — made his handsome 
competence in the war time by contracts for 
mess-beef as execrable, and mess-biscuit as 



w^eevilj^, as ever her Majesty's service, by sea 
and land, spoilt their digestion and their 
teeth with. He is, in these piping times of 
peace, renowned as the most accomplished 
epicure in the dining world. He does not 
dine often at his club, the Gigot (though that 
establishment boasts of great gastronomic 
fame, and entertains a head man cook at a 
salary of two hundred and fifty pounds a 
year) : he accuses M. Relevay, the chef in 
question, of paying more attention to the 
greasing and adornment of his hair, and the 
writing out of his bills of' fare in ornamental 
penmanship, than to the culinary wants of 
the members ; he will not have a man cook 
himself: " the fellows," he says, " are as con- 
ceited as peacocks and as extravagant as 
Cleopatra." Give him a woman cook — a 
professed _ cook, who knows her business, 
and does it ; and the best of wages and the 
best of places are hers, at 35, Bangmarry 
Crescent. 

Let us figure him and Mrs. Lambswool 
together. Sir Chyle — a little apple-faced old 
gentleman with a white liead, and as fiery 
in temper as his cook — looks on Mrs. Lambs- 
wool as, next to the dinners she cooks 
and the government annuity in which (with 
a sagacious view towards checking the prodi- 
gality of his nephew and expectant heir) he 
has sunk his savings, the most important 
element in his existence. He places her in 
importance and consideration far beyond the 
meek elderly female attached to his household 
in the capacity of wife — used by him chiefly 
in forming a hand at whist and in helping 
soup (catch Sir Chyle trusting her with fish!) 
and by him abused at every convenient oppor- 
tunity: He absolutely forbids any interfer-. 
ence on her part with the culinary economy 
and discipline. " Blow up the maids as much 
as you like, Ma'am," he considerately says, 
" but don't meddle with my cook." Mrs. L. 
crows over her mistress accordingly, and if 
she were to tell her that pea-soup wUs belfc 
made with bilberries, the poor lady would, 
I dare say, take the dictum for granted. 
Sir Chyle Turrener is exceedingly liberal in 
all matters of his own housekeeping — although 
he once wrote a letter to the Times virulently 
denouncing soup-kitchens. When a dinner 
of a superlative nature has issued from his 
kitchen, he not unfrequently, in the warmth 
of his admiration, presents Mrs. Lambswool 
with gi-atuitics in money ; candidly admitting 
that he gives them now, because he docs not 
intend to leave his cook a penny w^hen he 
dies, seeing that she can dress no more din- 
ners for him, after his decease. On grand occa- 
sions she is summoned to the dining room, at 
the conclusion of the repast, and he compli- 
ments her formally on this or that culinary 
triumph. He lauds her to his friends Tom 
Aitchbone, of the Beefsteak club, Common 
Councillor Podge, Sergeant Buffalo, of the 
Southdown circuit, and old Sir Thomas 
Marrowfat, who was a pronothotary to 



160 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Cond acted bf 



something, somewhere, some time under a 
hundred 3'cars ago, and can nose a dinner in 
the lobby (the poor old fellow can hardly hold 
his knife and fork for palsy, and the napkin 
tucked under his wagging old chin looks like 
a grave-Gloth) with as much facility as Hamlet 
stated the remains of King Claudius's cham- 
berlain might have been discovered. It is a 
strong point in the Turrener and Lambswool 
creed and practice to hold all cookery-books 
— for any practical purpose beyond casual 
reference- -in great indifference, not to say 
contempt. Sir Chyle has Glasse and Kit- 
chener, Austin and Ude, Francatelli and 
Soyer, beside the Almanack des Gourmands, 
and the Cuisinier Royal in his librarj^, gor- 
geously bound. He glances at them occa- 
sionally, as Bentley might have done at a 
dictionary or a lexicon ; but he does not tie 
himself nor does he bind his cook to blind 
adherence to their rules. True cookery, in 
his opinion, should rest mainly on tradition, 
on experience, and, pre-eminentl}^ in the 
inborn genius of the cook. Mrs. Lambswool 
holds the same ppinion, although she may 
express it in different language. She may 
never have heard of the axiom : " One becomes 
a cook, but one is born a roaster ;" but she 
will tell you in her own homely language 
that " roasting and biling comes natcral, and 
some is good at it and some isn't." Her 
master has told her the story of Vatel and 
his fish martyrdom, but she holds his suicide 
to have been rank cowardice. " If there 
wasn't no fish," she remarks, " and it wasn't 
his fault, why couldn't he have served up 
something neat in the made-dish way, with a 
bit of a speech about being drove up into a 
corner?" But she hints darkly as to what 
she would have done to the fishmonger. 
Transfixure on a spit would have been too 
good for him^ a wretch. 

Through long years of choice feeding 
might this pair roll on, till the great epicure. 
Death, pounces on Sir Chyle Turrener to 
garnish Ms sideboard. If dainty pasture can 
improve meat, he will be a succulent morsel. 
He has fed on many things animate and 
inanimate : Nature wall return the com- 
pliment then. For all here below is vanity, 
and even good dinners and professed cox)ks 
cannot last for ever. The fishes have had 
their share of Lucullus, and Apicius has 
helped to grow mustard and cress these 
thousand years. So might the knight and the 
cook roll on, I say ; but a hundred to one 
if they ever come in contact. The world 
is very wide ; and, although the heiress with 
twenty thousand pounds, who has fallen in 
love with us, lives over the way, we marry 
the housemaid, and our heads grow grey, and 
we die, and never reck of the heiress. Sir 
Chyle Turrener may, at this moment, be 
groaning in exasperation at an unskilful cook, 
who puts too much pepper in his soup and 
boils his fish to flakes; and Mrs. Lambs- 
wool's next place may be with a north 



country Squire with no more palate than 
a boa-constrictor, who delights in nothing 
half so much as a half raw beefsteak, or 
a pie with a crust as thick as the walls of 
the model prison, and calls made dishes 
" kickshaws." 

" As Good Cook in a private family," &c., 
&c., &c., — the usual formula, with a hint as to 
irreproachable character, and a published want 
of objection to the country. The Good Cook 
does not pretend to the higher mysteries of 
the 'professed.' I doubt if she knows what a 
hain-mani pan is, or what Mayonnaises^ Sal- 
mis, Sautis, Fricandeaux, Gratins or Souffles 
are. Her French is not even of the school of 
' Stratford-atte-Bow,' and she does not under- 
stand what a met is. Her stock made dishes 
are veal cutlets, harico mutton, stewed eels 
and Irish stew. She makes all these well ; 
and very good things they are in their way. 
She 'is capital at a hand of pork and pea 
soup ; at pigeon pies ; at roasting, boiling, fry- 
ing, stewing, and baking. She is great at 
pies and puddings, and has a non-transcribed 
receipt for plum pudding, which she would 
not part with for a year's wages. She can 
cook as succulent, wholesome, cleanly a dinner 
as any Christian man need wish to sit down 
to ; but she is not an artist. Her dinners are 
not in the *' first style." She may do for 
Bloomsbury, but not for Belgravia. 



HOUSEMAID (where a footman is kept), a 
respectable young womun, with three years' good 
character. Address L. 13., Gamins Court, Lamb's Conduit 
Street. 



Letitia Brownjohn, who wishes to be a 
housemaid, who has three years' good cha- 
racter (by her pronounced " krakter ") is 
two-and-twenty years of age. Her father is a 
smith, or a pianoforte maker, or a leather- 
dresser, stifling with a large family in 
Gamms Court. Her mother has been out 
at service in her time, and Letitia is in the 
transition state now — in the chrysalis forma- 
tion of domestic drudgery ; which she hopes 
to exchange some day for the full-blown 
butterflyhood of a home, a husband, a 
family, and domestic drudgery of her own. 
Ah, Letitia, for all that you are worretted 
now by captious mistresses, the time may 
come when, in some stifling Gamms Court 
of your own, sweltering over a washtub, 
with a drunken husband and a brood of 
ragged children, you may sigh for your quiet 
kitchen, the cat, the ticking clock, the work- 
box in the area window, and your cousin (in 
the Guards) softly whispering and whistling 
outside the area railings. 

Letitia Brownjohn, like most other young 
ladies of the housemaid calling, has had an 
university education. Not, I need scarcely 
tell, at theological Oxford or logarithmical 
Cambridge; nor at the Silent Sisters, who 
would not suit Letitia by any means ; nor at 
Durham, ftimous for its mustard and its 
mines; nor at any one of those naughty 



.'hatlei Dickens.] 



MORE PLACES WANTED. 



161 



colleges in Ireland which the Pope is so 
angry with ; nor even at any one of the col- 
leges recently instituted in this country " for 
ladies only," as the railway carriages have 
it — yet in an university. Letitia, as most of 
the university-educated do, went in the first 
instance to a public school ; that founded by 
Lady Honoria Woggs (wife of King William 
the Third's Archbishop Woggs), where intel- 
lectual training was an object of less solici- 
tude by the committee of management than 
the attainment of a strong nasal style of 
vocal elocution, as apphed to the sacred 
lyrics of Messrs. Sternhold and flopkins, and 
the wearing a peculiarly hideous costume, 
accurately copied and followed from the 
painted wooden statuette of one of Lady 
Woggs's girls, in Lady Woggs's own time, 
placed in a niche over the porch of the dingy 
brick building containing Lady Woggs's 
school, and flanked in another niche by 
another statuette of a young gentleman in a 
muffin cap and leathers, representing one of 
Lady Woggs's boys. 

From this establishment our Letitia passed, 
being some nine or ten years of age, to the 
university, and there she matriculated, and 
there she graduated. Do you, know that 
university to which three-fourths — nay, 
nineteen-twentieths — of our London-bred 
children " go up ?" Its halls and colleges are 
the pavement and the gutter ; its Lecture- 
theatre the doorstep and the post at the 
corner; its schools of philosophy are the 
chandler's shop, the cobbler's stall, and the 
public-house ; of which the landlord is the 
chancellor ; its proctor and bull-dogs are the 
police-sergeant and his men ; its public ora- 
tors, the ballad-singers and last dying- speech 
cryers ; its lecturers are scolding women. The 
weekly wages of its occupants form its univer- 
sity chest. Commemoration takes place every 
Saturday night, with grand musical perform- 
ances from the harp, guitar, and violin, 
opposite the Admiral Keppell. The graduates 
are mechanics and small tradesmen and their 
wives. The undergraduates are Letitias and 
Tommies. The university is the street. 

Right in its centre stands the Tree of 
Knowledge of good and evil. And all day 
long children come and pluck the fruit and 
cat it ; and some choose ripe and whole- 
some fruit, the pleasant savour of which shall 
not depart out of their mouths readily; 
but some choose bad and rotten apples, which 
they fall upon and devour gluttonously, so 
that the fruit disagrees with them very much 
indeed, and causes them to break all out in 
such eruptions of vicious humours, as theii* 
very children's children's blood shall be em- 
poisoned with years hence. And some, being 
young and foolish and ignorant, take and eat 
indiscriminately of the good and of the bad 
fruit, and are sick and sorry or healthful and 
glad alternately ; but might fare badly and be 
lost in the long run did not Wisdom and 
Love (come from making of rainbows and | 



quelling of storms, perhaps a million miles 
away, to consider the sparrows and take stock 
of the flies in the back street university) ap- 
pear betimes among these young undergra- 
duates gathered round the tree, and teach 
their hearts how to direct their hands to 
pluck good sustenance from that tree. I never 
go down a back street and look on the multi- 
tude of children (I don't mean ragged. Bedouin 
children, but decently attired young people, of 
poor but honest parents, living hard by, who 
have no better playing-ground for them), and 
hear them singing their street songs, and see 
them playing street games, and making street 
friendships, and caballing on doorsteps or con- 
spiring by posts, or newsmongering on kerb 
stones, or trotting along with jugs and half- 
pence for the beer, or listening open-mouthed 
to the street orators and musicians, or watch- 
ing Punch and the acrobats, or forming a ring 
at a street fight, or gathered round a drunken 
man, or running to a fire, or running from a 
bull, or pressing round about an accident, bon- 
netless and capless, but evidently native to 
this place — without these thoughts of the 
university and the tree coming into my head. 
You who may have been expensively edu- 
cated and cared for, and haye had a gymna- 
sium for exercise, covered playing courts, 
class-rooms, cricket-tields, ushers to attend 
you in the hours of recreation ; who have gone 
from school and college into the world, well re- 
commended and with a golden passport, should 
think more, and considerately too, of what a . 
hazardous, critical, dangerous nature this 
street culture is. With what small book- 
learning these poor young undergraduates 
get, or that their parents can afford to pro- 
vide them with, is mixed simultaneously the 
strangest course of tuition in the ethics of 
the pawnbroker's shop, the philosophy of 
the public-house, the rhetoric of drunken 
men and shrewish women, the logic of bad 
associations, and bad examples, and bad 
language. 

Our Letitia graduated in due course of 
girlhood, becoming a mistress of such house- 
hold arts as a London-bred girl can hope to 
acquire at the age of fourteen or fifteen. 
Well, you know what sort of a creature the 
lodging-house maid of all work is, and what 
sort of a life she leads. You have seen her ; 
her pattens and disheveled cap, her black 
stockings and battered tin candlestick. We 
have all known Letitia Brownjohns — oft-times 
comely, neat-handed Phillises enough — oft- 
times desperately slatternly and untidy 
' — in almost every case wofully over-worked 
and as wretchedly underpaid. She must be 
up early and late. With the exception of 
the short intermission of sleep doled forth 
to her, her work is ceaseless. She ascends 
and descends every step of every flight 
of stairs in the house hundreds of times in. 
the course of the day ; she is the slave of the 
ringing both of the door bell and the lodgers' 
tintinnabula. She must be little more than aa- 



162 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted br 



animated appendage to the knocker — a jack 
in the box, to be produced by a double rap. She 
is cook, housemaid, lady's-maid, scullery maid, 
housekeeper, all in one ; and for what ? For 
some hundred and fifty shillings every year, 
and some — few and far between — coppers and 
sixpences, doled out to her in gratuities by 
the lodgers in consideration of her Briarean 
handiwork. Her holidays are very, very few. 
Almost her only intercourse with the outer 
world takes place when she runs to the public- 
house at the corner for the dinner or supper 
beer, or to a neighbouring fishmonger for 
oysters. A rigid supervision is kept over her 
conduct. She is expected to have neither 
friends, acquaintances, relations, nor sweet- 
hearts. " No followers," is the Median and 
Persian law continually paraded before her ; 
a law unchangeable, and broken only under 
the most hideous penalties. When you and I 
grumble at our lot, repine at some petty re- 
verse, fret and fume over the curtailment 
of some indulgence, the deprivation of some 
luxury, we little know what infinite gra- 
dations of privation and suffering exist ; and 
what admirable and exemplary contentment 
and cheerfulness are often to be found among 
those whose standing is on the lowest rounds 
of the ladder. 

But Letitia is emancipated from the maid- 
of-all-work thraldom now, and aspires to be 
a "Housemaid where a footman is kept," 
yet not without considerable difficulty, and 
after years of arduous apprenticeship and 
servitude. With thp maid-of-all-work, as she 
begins, so 'tis ten to one that as such she 
ends. I have known grey-headed maids-of-all- 
work ; and of such — with a sprinkling of 
insolvent laundresses and widows who have 
had their mangles seized for rent — is re- 
cruited, and indeed, organised, the numerous 
and influential class of "charwomen" who 
work household work for eighteen pence a 
day and a glass of spirits. 

But Letitia Brownjohn has been more for- 
tunate. Some lady lodger, perchance in some 
house in which she has been a servitor, has 
taken a fancy to her ; and such lodger, 
taking in due course of human eventuality a 
house for herself, has taken Letitia to be nei 
own private housemaid. And she has lived 
with City families, and tradesmen's families, 
and in boarding-schools, and she has grown 
from the untidy " gal" in the black stock- 
ings and the mob cap to be a natty 
young person in a smart cap and ribbons, 
aspiring to a situation where a footman 
is kept. That she may speedily obtain such 
an appointmemt ; that the footman may be 
worthy of his companion in service ; that 
they may please each other (in due course of 
time), even to the extent of the asking of 
banns and the solemnisation of a certain 
service, I very cheerfully and sincerely wish. 

For the present, my catalogue of " Want 
Places" is at an end. By and by, possibly I 



may tell you jocund tales of stalwart foot- 
men, and portly butlers, and valets-de-cham- 
bre, to whom their masters were no heroes. 

A BRAZILIAN IN BLOOMSBURY. 

While we write — it may not be so when 
this is read — many of the naturalists of London 
are getting up and going to bed, talking by 
day, for want of better matter, of the weather 
and the Turkish " difficulty," and sleeping of 
nights, perfectly unconscious of a mine of ex- 
citement that may at any hour be sprung in 
the midst of them— of the fact, in short, 
that there is an Ant-bear in the town. 
Should it live and get its rights, we shall 
have Ant-bear Quadrilles, Ant-bear Butter- 
dishes, Ant-bear Paper-weights, Ant-bear pic- 
tures of all sorts, and perhaps a dash of Ant- 
bear in the Christmas Pantomimes. For the 
Ant-bear, or Great Anteater, is a zoological 
wonder ; a thing never before seen in Europe ; 
an animal more eccentric and surprising 
than the Hippopotamus, and for whose ap- 
pearance among. us we are less prepared by 
any widely spread acquaintance of a general 
kind with its form and habits. Should 
the Ant-bear lodging now in a poor house 
at number seventeen, Broad Street, Blooms- 
bury, find its way, as we believe it will, 
to the more fashionable precincts of Regent's 
Park, and should it live through the next 
London season, no war of Turk or Russian 
— should there then be any — will stand 
against it. 

We may state generally that the Great 
Anteater is at home in certain parts of South 
America ; that it is found there only, and that 
it lives on insects — chiefly on ants ; that it is 
(though very different in form) as large as a 
small bear ; that it has a copious coat of coarse 
hair, a pair of immensely powerful forelegs 
with which to tear open the hard nests of the 
white ant, a nose half as long as its body, 
with a small mouth at the end to be thrust 
into the nest, and a long tongue like the 
tongue of a serpent that can be darted out 
surprisingly more than a hundred times in a 
minute. The long nose in front of the Ant- 
bear is more than balanced by the huge tail 
behind — a very complete brush and a very- 
complete hair-roofing when its owner thinks 
proper to be snug. In lying down he tucks 
the long nose under one arm, like an umbrella, 
and then turns the tail over his body, every 
part of which it covers so completely, that 
the animal, asleep looks like a grey mat, or a 
heap of hair ; and not in the least like any 
living thing. All the ants in the world 
might wage a useless war against their 
enemy, once coiled under the shelter of that 
tail. It is to the Ant-bear as his vine and 
fig-tree under which ho is accustomed to 
repose. 

The name "Anteater" suggests a good 
many vague notions. When we first heard 
of the Antofiter, there were recalled to 



Charles Dickens.] 



A BRAZILIAN IN BLOOMSBURY. 



163 



our minds several varieties of the animal : — 
the African Anteater, the Aardvark, found 
round about the Cape colony ; the scaly Ant- 
eaters or Pangolins, of which there is one 
species found in Senegal and Guinea, and 
two 'others in the Deccan, Bengal, Nepaul, 
Southern China, and Formosa. Furthermore, 
we were reminded of the Australian or 
Porcupine Anteater, called a Hedgehog by 
the colonists of Sydney. In America two 
kinds of Anteater exist, the Great and the 
Little, differing not only in size but also in 
form and structure. These two kinds of Ant- 
eater belong exclusively to Central and South 
America. The animal we found in Blooms- 
bury was the Great Anteater from Brazil ; 
or, to give him his full scientific honours, the 
Myrmecophaga jubata. Many attempts have 
been made to bring a specimen alive to Europe, 
but it has never yet been able to survive the 
sea passage. The Ant-bear novv in Broad 
Street, Bloomsbury, is therefore the first that 
has been seen alive in Europe. It has been 
brought over by some poor Germans, who 
had found their way so far from Vaterland 
as the interior of Brazil, four hundred miles 
from Rio Janeiro. In Brazil the Ant-bear 
is at home, and is occasionally reared in 
houses as a domestic pet. The idea of carrying 
home with them some specimens to Europe 
as a speculation having been broached among 
these Germans, one party determined upon 
carrying if possible two young Ant-bears to 
Paris, and another party undertook to convey 
two to London. They were brought away 
from home in the first month of infancy. The 
two destined for Paris both died on the way. 
Of the two destined for London, one died on 
the way to Rio Janeiro, and was there stuffed 
very badly. The other has survived the long 
sea-passage, though he has grown very lean 
over it, and has while we now write been 
a week in London. 

The poor proprietors appear to have 
arrived in town with no higher ambition 
than the establishment of an obscure show. 
With little cash and less English they 
engaged a lodging for themselves and their 
infant, then five months old, at a house in 
that perverted and degenerate thoroughfare. 
Broad Street, Bloomsbury. There they put 
a bill into the window of a small shop — their 
show-room — inviting the public to come in 
and see that very wonderful animal, never 
before brought to Europe, the Antita (so 
they spelt Anteater in their largest letters) 
from Brazil. The charge for admission was 
established at sixpence, with the usual ten- 
derness in the allowance of half-price to 
children. At this hour, it is only here and 
there a stray member of the London public 
who has heard of the existence of this animal 
among us. It was by one of those few early 
discoveries that we were ourselves directed 
to its dwelling-place. 

On opening the shop door we found our- 
selves, in proper showman fashion, shut from 



a sight of the inner mystery by a check cur 
tain. Passing that we came into the shop, 
which was divided by a little wooden barrier 
into a small space for spectators, and a 
small space for the proprietors of the 
animal and for the animal himself, whose 
den was a deal box standing on its side, 
with a small lair of straw inside, and the 
stuffed Anteater on the top of it. On the 
straw was a rough grey hair mat, of a cir- 
cular form, or a heap of hair, which pre- 
sently unrolled itself into the form of a mag- 
nificent tail, from under which the long nose 
of the living Ant-bear was aimed at us like a 
musket Then the whole curiosit}'- came out 
to eat an egg, which it heard cracked against 
the wall. In accordance with the fate com- 
mon to exiles, this Ant-bear is very thin. 
Being now five months old, he stands about 
as high as a Newfoundland dog. As there 
were no other visitors present we had an 
opportunity of becoming pretty sociable with 
him and with his owners, and could feel his 
long nose and his shaggy coat with the same 
hand that had been called upon to feel the 
small heads of the Aztecs. Here, however, 
was a fit object upon which to spend our 
wonder — not a deformed fellow-being, but a 
work of creation hitherto unseen among us, 
an example not of defect, but of perfection in 
the adaptation of means to an end — from' 
mouth to tail an Anteater. 

We have already, in some pages of this 
journal, had occasion to remark, that the 
feeding of one animal upon another is not in 
principle a savage or a cruel thing, but the 
direct reverse. Except where man ha^s inter- 
fered to make the life of any creature pain- 
ful, there can be no doubt that ever}' brute 
existence ends with a large balance on the 
side of happiness enjoyed. All healthy animal 
life — except perhaps in the least organised 
animals that scarcely possess any conscious- 
nesses pleasure, and to multiply creatures 
is to multiply the sum of happiness enjoyed 
upon this globe of ours ; therefore the earth 
is full of animated beings. The vegetable 
world feeds myriads of individuals, and there 
is scarcely an herb that does not feed at 
least one class of animals ; a race expressly 
created to enjoy it; born to eat nothing else. 
But if all animals ate fruits there would be a 
limit set to the multiplication of kinds, and 
to the aggregate increase of numbers that is 
now far overpassed. Upon one animal another 
lives, another upon that ;- so there is no waste 
in the great system of creation, and ten 
happy beings live in vigour where, had all 
animals been vegetable feeders, there would 
have been but five, and at least two of those 
enduring the distresses of a slow decay. Man 
is subject to diseases that arise almost en- 
tirely from his social errors, yet they tend 
to develop all his higher faculties — they give 
play to his sympathies and affections, elevate 
him as a moral being; at the same time 
they serve as admonitions to his intellect, 



1C4 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted by 



which is by them led to trace bad effects 
to their cause in conditions of existence 
that require amendment ; as for example we 
are taught by cholera that we must not so 
misuse our power of free action as to pen one 
another up in filthy heaps, neglecting to use 
the fresh air, the pure light and the clear 
water that he ready to our mouth and eyes 
and hands. Brutes, however, are created not 
for progressive development, but for the 
simple enjoyment of the life and power that 
they have. Sickness has not for them its 
uses, instinct commonly teaches them to 
avoid causes of disease, and those which 
become a prey to animals that feed upon 
them die suddenly a quick and easy death, 
after a life that has been wholly free from 
aches and pains, and all the toils that old age 
and debility bring with them. They go to 
make fresh life and vigour, and there is in 
this way a great wealth of strong and happy 
life established in the world, and a great deal 
of fatigue and suffering kept out of it. A 
further use of this method of maintaining 
one set of animals on the waste of another, is 
to increase very much the variety of form 
and structure which give to our universe so 
much beauty and interest, and to the thinking 
man so many clues by which he may lead his 
thoughts upward and increase his own small 
stock of wisdom by the study of a wisdom that 
is infinite and perfect. While the varieties 
of form are increased there is a due check put 
on the undue reproduction of any single 
species.^We might follow these reflections 
out a great deal farther, but we have said 
enough for our purpose, which was to suggest 
the reflection that a large animal created 
with direct and obvious reference to his 
assigned business of destroying ant's nests 
and subsisting upon their inhabitants, illus- 
trates a great principle in the government of 
the world that springs wholly from benefi- 
cence, and can be thought strange only be- 
cause it is unfamiliar and striking. Equally 
or even more surprising would bq the net 
spread by the spider, if one, with the animal 
at work upon it, could be exhibited to a 
people among whom spiders never have been 
seen. Yet we sweep such things down from 
the corner of our houses and regard them 
but as common dust. 

There is some reason to doubt whether the 
Ant-bear in Bloomsbury will live through an 
English winter. It is now healthy, but thin 
and languid, as most exotic animals become 
when they are brought among us. Mrs. 
Meredith, in her account of her Home in 
Tasmania, gave us the other day quite start- 
hng accounts of the briskness of a tame opos- 
sum under its own skies, in opposition to the 
common statoiaent made here, even by some 
naturalists, that they are sluggish animals. 
The Ant-bear that crawled lazily out of its 
box under the shadow of St. Giles's steeple, 
would at this time have been fishing and 
leaping with fierce vigour if left to the shelter 



of the forests of Brazil. At home, when 
rendered fierce by hunger, it will make a 
bound of ten feet to spring on the back of 
a horse, tear open the horse's shoulder with 
its huge claws, and then suck the blood out 
of the wound. Here it comes, lean as it is, 
very lazily out of its box at the crackling of 
an eggshell to follow its master about, licking 
the yolk out of an egg with its long tongue. 
It does that very cleverly. Like most of 
the tame Ant-bears in Brazil, this one in 
Bloomsbury, though but an infant, eats fifty 
in a day, with a little milk, and meat chopped 
finely or in soup. 

It needs not only food but air. It would 
do best, said the German, if it had some 
green to run upon. The air of a small room 
in Holborn or in Oxford Street, to which last 
thoroughfare the show entertained a notion 
of removing, adds one more peril to the 
chance of maintaining alive this little 
stranger. The peril, however, is not very 
likely to be of long duration. Such a prize 
as an Ant-bear could not hide itself a day in 
London from the eye of the ever active sec- 
retary of the gardens in Regent's Park. He 
was already in treaty with the Germans, and 
had offered them, if they went with their 
animal to the Zoological Garden, the weekly 
payment of quite a royal pension during its 
life. They were to have every week certainly 
as much as they could make of profit out of 
their show during six months in Broad 
Street. They had refused that offer, and 
desired to sell their treasure outright at a 
price that was but ten weeks' purchase of 
the pension offered, with a condition that 
they would return one-third of the money if 
the Ant-bear died within ten weeks. This 
suggestion proves that the owners themselves 
consider the Ant-bear's life a very bad one to 
ensure themselves a salary upon. So the 
negociation stands at present, that is to say 
while we write. When this is read, the mat- 
ter will be settled. The strange animal may 
have become famous among us, and be 
in a fair way to get through the winter 
under able watching and with the best 
artificial aid, or it may be still pining in 
an obscure show-room, or it may be dead 
and stuffed and framed and glazed, or dead 
and dissected. 

If dead and stuffed, let no man put faith in 
its appearance. We have seen no English 
picture of the Ant-bear at all equal to the 
truth, and if we may take as a sample the 
stuffed specimen brought from Rio Janeiro 
with this living animal, the stuffer fails yet 
more completely than the painter. The long, 
smooth, hard nose, like a stiff, straight, hairy 
proboscis, only by no means a proboscis, for 
it has no mouth under it but carries a little 
toothless mouth at the end of itself, and a 
pair of small, keen eyes at its root; that 
wonderful long head which we call nose, 
which is made to dive into the innermost 
recesses of the ant's nest, and which is 



Cbarlei Ukkens.] 



A CHILD'S HISTORY OF ENGLAND. 



165 



as striking a characteristic of the beast as 
the stork's bill is of the bird, that essential 
feature shrivels and wrinkles and grows 
limp under the stufFer's hand, and conveys no 
notion of the original clear and even elegant 
outline of the Ant-bear's head, and of the firm- 
ness of its bone and bristle. Then the fore- 
legs and the tremendous claws are marred 
inevitably. The forelegs even in the young 
living specimen of which we speak are 
models of animal strength that would delight 
the eye of any artist. There is a size of bone, 
a manifest firmness and tension of muscle in 
them, that recal to the mind many an old ideal 
sculpture. They end in huge claws retracted in- 
wards, as we should say of fingers bent towards 
the palm, and the animal, walking in a strange 
way, treads upon them so ; he does not spread 
the foreclaws out, but walks, as it were, upon 
his knuckles. In the stuffed specimen the 
claws are spread out carefully as they are 
never to be seen in nature. The outer crust 
of the ant-hills becomes often hard as stone, 
and the use of those massive claws and of the 
huge power in those forelegs is to enable the 
Ant-bear to rend them asunder, as the oak 
was rent by Milo. The hind legs of the 
Ant-bear although strong are altogether 
weaker, and they end in feet like human 
feet, which are of great use in supporting 
him while he is at work with his fore- 
claws. In the stuffed specimen again the 
marvellous tail is turned in the wrong direc- 
tion. In the living creature it resembles 
nothing so much in form as a peacock's 
tail, with the sweep reversed. A peacock's 
tail without the gaiety, made of grey hairs 
instead of gaudy feathers. 

AVe remained for some time with the young 
Brazilian, during which there arrived only one 
visitor, a gentleman to whose ears the report 
of it had come. He saw the Ant-bear eat an 
egg and scratch itself, then went away. It 
scratches and pulls its hair about with its hard 
fore-claws precisely as it would if they were 
horny fingers, and turning its head round 
always when it does so to bring one bright 
eye to bear upon its work, its mouth is 
brought at the same time into the neighbour- 
hood of its hind feet or of its tail. We heard 
two little sons of St. Giles, asking outside 
whether that was where the show was and 
what was the charge for seeing it, but they de- 
murred at threepence and retired. An object 
of attraction that in proper hands would draw 
half London was of no account in Bloomsbury. 
Few seemed to care for " the Antita." When 
that young Brazilian had in a leisurely way 
refreshed himself with eggs and milk, pro- 
perly scratched himself with each of his four 
legs, and mide inspection of our trousers, he 
determined to lie down. Not, however, until 
he had made his bed. When he had arranged 
the straw to his satisfaction, he lay down on 
one side, and holding out an arm for his long 
head, took it to his breast, and cuddled it as 
though it were a baby that he had to bed 



with him. Then he drew over all his long 
tail in the fashion of a counterpane, and re- 
mained thereunder as quiet as death. 



A CHILD'S HISTORY OF ENGLAND. 

CHAPTER XL. 

Before sunset on the memorable day on 
which King Charles the First was executed, 
the House of Commons passed an act de- 
claring it treason in any one to proclaim the 
Prince of Wales — or anybody else — King of 
England. Soon afterwards, it declared that 
the House of Lords was useless and dangerous, 
and ought to be abolished, and directed that 
the late King's statue should be taken down 
from the Royal Exchange in the city and 
other public places. Having laid hold of 
some femous Royalists who had escaped 
from prison, and having beheaded the Duke 
OF Hamilton, Lord Holland, and Lord 
Capel, in Palace Yard (all of whom died 
very courageously), they then appointed a 
Council of State to govern the country. It 
consisted of forty-one members, of whom five 
were peers. Bradshaw was made president. 
The House of Commons also re-admitted 
members who had opposed the King's death, 
and made up its numbers to about a hundred 
and fifty. 

But, it still had an army of more than forty 
thousand men to deal with, and a very hard 
task it was to manage them. Before the 
King's execution, the army had appointed 
some of its officers to remonstrate between 
them and the Parliament; and now the 
common soldiers began to take that office 
upon themselves. The regiments under 
orders for Ireland mutinied : one troop of 
horse in the city of London seized their 
own flag, and refused to obey orders. For 
this, the ringleader was shot : which did not 
mend the matter, for, both his comrades and 
the people made a public funeral for him, and 
accompanied the body to the grave with 
sound of trumpets and with a gloomy pro- 
cession of persons carrying bundles of rose- 
mary steeped in blood. Oliver was the only 
man to deal with such difficulties as these, 
and he soon cut them short by bursting 
at midnight into the town of Burford, near 
Salisbury, where the mutineers were sheltered, 
taking four hundred of them prisoners, 
and shooting a number of them by sentence 
of court-martial. The soldiers soon found, as 
all men did, that Oliver was not a man to be 
trifled with. And there was an end of the 
mutiny. 

The Scottish Parliament did not know 
Oliver yet; so, on hearing of the King's 
execution, it proclaimed the Prince of Wales 
King Charles the Second, on condition of his 
respecting the Solemn League and Covenant. 
Charles was abroad at that time, and so was 
Montrose, from whose help he had hopes 
cnor>h to keep him holding on and off with 



166 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



fConducted by 



commissioners from Scotland, just as his 
father might have done. These hopes, how- 
ever, were soon at an end, for Montrose, 
having raised a few hundred exiles in 
Germany, and landed with them in Scotland, 
found that the people there, instead of joining 
him, deserted the country at his approach. He 
was soon taken prisoner and carried to Edin- 
burgh. There he was received with every 
possible insult, and carried to prison in a cart, 
his oflBcers going two and two before him. 
He was sentenced by the Parliament to be 
hanged on a gallows thirty feet high, to have 
his head set on a spike in Edinburgh, and his 
limbs distributed in other places, according 
to the old barbarous manner. He said he 
had always acted under the Royal orders, 
and only wished he had limbs enough to be 
distributed through Christendom, that it 
might be the more widely known how loyal 
he had been. He went to the scaiFold in a 
bright and brilliant dress, and made a bold 
end at thirty-eight years of age. The breath 
was scarcely out of his body vs^hen Charles 
abandoned his memory, and denied that he 
had ever given him orders to rise in his be- 
half. Oh, the family failing was strong in 
that Charles then ! 

Oliver had been appointed by the Parlia- 
ment to command the army in Ireland, where 
he took a terrible vengeance for the san- 
guinar}'- rebellion, and made tremendous 
havoc, particularly in the siege of Drogheda, 
where no quarter was given, and where he 
found at least a thousand of the inhabitants 
shut up together in the great church : every 
one of whom was killed by his soldiers, 
usually known as Oliver's Ironsides. There 
were numbers of friars and priests among 
them, and Oliver gruffly wrote home in his 
despatch that these w^ere " knocked on the 
head" like the rest. 

But, Charles having got over to Scotland 
where the men of the Solemn League and 
Covenant led him a prodigiously dull life, 
and made him very weary with long sermons 
and grim Sundays, the Parliament called 
the redoubtable Oliver home to knock the 
Scottish men on the head for setting up 
that Prince. Oliver left his son-in-law, 
Ireton, as general in Ireland in his stead (he 
died there afterwards), and he imitated the 
example of his father-in-law with such good- 
will that he brought the country to subjec- 
tion, and laid it at the feet of the Parliament. 
In the end, they passed an act for the settle- 
ment of Ireland, generally pardoning all the 
common people, but exempting from this 
grace such of the wealthier sorts as had been 
concerned in the rebellion, or in any killing of 
Protestants, or who refused to lay dovvn their 
arms. Great numbers of Irish were got out 
of the country to serve under Catholic 
powers abroad, and a quantity of land was 
declared to have been forfeited by past 
offences, and was given to people who had 
lent money to the Parliament early in the 



war. These were sweeping measures ; but, if 
Oliver Cromwell had had his own w^ay fully, 
and had stayed in Ireland, he would have 
done more yet. 

However, as I have said, the Parliament 
wanted Oliver for Scotland ; so, home Oliver 
came, and was made Commander of all the 
Forces of the Commonwealth of England, and 
in three days away he went with sixteen 
thousand soldiers to fight the Scottish men. 
Now, the Scottish men, being then — as you 
will generally find them now — mighty 
cautious, reflected that the troops they had 
were not used to war like the Ironsides, and 
would be beaten in an open fight. Therefore 
they said, " If we lie quiet in our trenches in 
Edinburgh here, and if all the farmers come 
into the town and desert the country, the 
Ironsides will be driven out by iron hunger 
and be forced to go away." This was, no 
doubt, the wisest plan ; but as the Scottish 
clergy would interfere with what they knew 
nothing about, and would perpetually preach 
long sermons, exhorting the soldiers to come 
out and fight, the soldiers got it in their 
heads that they absolutely must come out 
and fight. Accordingly, in an evil hour for 
themselves, they came out of their safe po- 
sition. Oliver fell upon them instantly, and 
killed three thousand, and took ten thousand 
prisoners. 

To gratify the Scottish Parliament, and 
preserve their favour, Charles had signed 
a declaration they laid before him, re- 
proaching the memory of his father and 
mother, and representing himself as a most 
religious Prince, to whom the Solemn League 
and Covenant was as dear as life. He meant 
no sort of truth in this, and soon afterwards 
galloped away on horseback to join some 
tiresome Highland friends, who were always 
flourishing dirks and broadswords. He was 
overtaken and induced to return ; but this 
attempt, which was called " The start," did 
him just so much service that they did not 
preach quite such long sermons at him after- 
wards as they had dene before. 

On the first of January, one thousand six 
hundred and fifty-one, the Scottish people 
crowned him at Scone. He immediately took 
the chief command of an army of twenty 
thousand men, and marched to Stirling. His 
hopes were heightened, I dare say, hy the re- 
doubtable Oliver being ill of an ague; but 
Oliver scrambled out of bed in no time, and 
went to work with such energy that he got 
behind the Royalist army and cut it off from 
all communication with Scotland. There was 
nothing for it then, but to go on to England ; 
so it went on as far as Worcester, where the 
mayor and some of the gentry proclaimed 
King Charles the Second straightway. His 
proclamation, however, was of little use to 
him, for very few Royalists appeared, and on 
the very same day two people were publicly 
beheaded on Tower Hill for espousing his 
cause. Up came Oliver to Worcester too, 



Charles Dickens.] 



A CHILD'S HISTORY OF ENGLAND. 



167 



at double quick speed, and he had his Iron- 
sides so laid about them in the great battle 
which was fought there, that they com- 
pletely beat the Scottish men, and destroyed 
the Royalist army, though the Scottish men 
fought so gallantly that it took five hours 
to do. 

The escape* of Charles after this battle of 
Worcester did him good service long after- 
wards, for it induced many of the generous 
English people to take a romantic interest in 
him, and think much better of him than 
he ever deserved. He fled in the night with 
not more than sixty followers to the house of 
a Catholic lady in Staffordshire. There, for 
his gi-eater safety, the whole sixty left him. 
He cropped his hair, stained his face and 
hands brown as if they were sunburnt, put 
on the clothes of a labouring countryman, 
and went out in the morning with his axe in 
his hand, accompanied by four wood-cutters 
who were brothers, and another man who 
was their brother-in-law. These good fellows 
made a bed for him under a tree, as the 
weather was very bad ; and the wife of one 
of them brought him food to eat ; and the old 
mother of the four brothers came and fell 
down on her knees before him in the wood, 
and thanked God that her sons were en- 
gaged in saving his life. At night, he came 
out of the forest and went on to another 
house which was near the river Severn, with 
the intention of passing into Wales ; but the 
place swarmed with soldiers, and the bridges 
were guarded, and all the boats were made 
fast. So, after lying in a hayloft covered 
over with hay, for some time, he came out 
of this place, attended by Colonel Careless, 
a Catholic gentleman who had mat him 
there, and with whom he lay hid all next 
day, up in the shady branches of a fine old 
oak. It was lucky for the King that it was 
September-time, and that the leaves had not 
begun to fall, as he and the Colonel, perched 
up in this tree, could catch glimpses of 
the soldiers riding about below, and could 
hear the crash in the wood as they went about 
beating the boughs. 

After this, he walked and walked until his 
feet were all blistered, and, having been 
concealed all one day in a house which was 
searched by the troopers while he was there, 
went with Lord Wilmot, another of his good 
friends, to a place called Bently, where one 
Miss Lane, a Protestant lady, had obtained 
a pass to be allowed to ride through the 
guards to see a relation of hers near Bristol, 
Disguised as a servant, he rode on the saddle 
before this young lady to the house of Sir 
JonN Winter, while Lord Wilmot rode 
there boldly, like a plain country gentleman, 
with dogs at his heels. It happened that 
Sir John Winter's butler had been a servant 
in Richmond Palace, and knew Charles 
the moment he set eyes upon him ; but, 
the butler was faithful, and kept the secret. 
As no ship could be found there to carry 



him abroad, it was planned that he should 
go — still travelling with Miss Lane as her 
servant — to another house, at Trent, near 
Sherborne in Dorsetshire ; and then Miss 
Lane and her cousin, Mr. Lascelles, who 
had gone on horseback beside her all the 
way, went home. I hope Miss Lane was 
going to marry that cousin, for I am sure she 
must have been a brave, kind girl. If I had 
been that cousin, I should certainly have 
loved her. 

When Charles, lonely for the loss of Miss 
Lane, was safe at Trent, a ship was hired 
at Lyme, the master of which engaged to 
take two gentlemen to France. In the 
evening of the same day, the King — now 
riding as servant before another young lady 
— set off for a public-house at a place called 
Charmouth, where the captain of the vessel 
was to take him on board. But the captain's 
wife, being afraid of her husband's getting 
into trouble, locked him up, and would not 
let him sail. Then they went away to Brid- 
port, and coming to the inn there, found the 
stable-yard full of soldiers who were on the 
look-out for Charles, and who talked about 
him while they drank. He had such presence 
of mind, however, that he led the horses of 
his party through the yard as any other ser- 
vant might have done, and said, " Come out 
of the way, you soldiers ; let us have room 
to pass here!" As he went along, he met a 
half-tipsy ostler, who rubbed his eyes and 
said to him, " Why, I was formerly servant 
to Mr. Potter at Exeter, and surely I have 
sometimes seen you there, young man ?" He 
certainly had, for Charles had lodged there. 
His ready answer was, " Ah, I did live with 
him once ; but I have no time to talk now. 
We'll have a pot of beer together when I 
come back." 

From this dangerous place he returned to 
Trent, and lay there concealed several days. 
Then, he escaped to Heale, near Salisbury, 
where, in the house of a widow lady, he 
was hidden five days, until the master of 
a collier lying off Shoreham in Sussex, un- 
dertook to convey " a gentleman" to France. 
On the night of the fifteenth of October, 
accompanied by two colonels and a mer- 
chant, the King rode to Brighton, then a 
little fishing village, to give the captain 
of the ship a supper before going on board ; 
but, so many people knew him, that this 
captain knew him too, and not only he, but 
the landlord and landlady also. Before he 
went away, the landlord came behind his 
chair, kissed his hand, and said he hoped to 
live to be a lord and to see his wife a lady ; 
at which Charles laughed. They had had a 
good supper by this time, and plenty of smok- 
ing and drinking, at which the Iting was a 
first-rate hand ; so, the captain assured him 
that he would stand by him, and he did. It 
was agreed that the captain should pretend 
to sail to Deal, and that Charles should 
address the sailors and say he was a gen- 



163 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



tleman in debt, who was running away from 
his creditors, and that he hoped they would 
join him in persuading the captain to put 
him ashore in France. As the King acted 
his part very well indeed, and gave the 
sailors twenty shillings to drink, they begged 
the captain to do what such a worthy gen- 
tleman asked. He pretended to yield to 
their entreaties, and the King got safe to 
Normandy. 

Ireland being now subdued, and Scotland 
kept quiet by plenty of forts and soldiers 
put there by Oliver, the Parliament would 
have gone on quietly enough as far as fighting 
with any foreign enemy went, but for getting 
into trouble with the Dutch, who in the 
spring of the year one thousand six hundred 
and fifty-one, sent a fleet into the Downs 
under their Admiral Van Tromp, to call 
upon the bold English Admiral Blake (who 
was there with half as many ships as the 
Dutch) to strike his flag, Blake fired a 
raging broadside instead, and beat off Van 
Tromp, who, in the autumn, came back again 
with seventy ships, and challenged the bold 
Blake — who still was only half as strong — 
to fight him. Blake fought him all day, but 
finding that the Dutch were too many for him, 
got quietly off at night. What does Van 
Tromp upon this, but goes cruising and boast- 
ing about the Channel, between the North 
Foreland and the Isle of Wight, with a great 
Dutch broom tied to his masthead, as a sign 
that he could and would sweep the English 
off the sea ! Within three months, Blake 
lowered his tone though, and his broom too ; 
for, he and two other bold commanders. Dean 
and Monk, fought him three whole days, took 
twenty-three of his ships, shivered his broom 
to pieces, and settled his business. 

Things were no sooner quiet again than the 
army began to complain to the Parliament 
that they were not governing the nation pro- 
perly, and to hint that they thought they 
could do it better themselves. Oliver, who 
had now made up his mind to be the head 
of the state, or nothing at all, supported them 
in this, and called a meeting of officers and his 
own Parliamentary friends, at his lodgings in 
Whitehall, to consider the best way of get- 
ting rid of the Parliament. It had now 
lasted just as many years as the King's un- 
bridled power had lasted, before it came into 
existence. The end of the deliberation was 
that Oliver went down to the House in his 
usual plain black dress, with his usual grey 
worsted stockings, but with an unusual party 
of soldiers behind him. These last he left in 
I He lobby, and then went in and sat down. 
Presently he got up, made the Parliament a 
speech, told them that the Lord had done 
with them, stamped his foot and said, " You 



are no Parliament. Bring them in ! Bring 
them in!" xlt this signal the door flew 
open, and the soldiers appeared, "This is 
not honest," said Sir Harry Vane, one of the 
members. "Sir Harry Vane!" cried Crom- 
well ; " 0, Sir Harry Vane ! The Lord deliver 
me from Sir Harry Vane !" Then he pointed 
out members one by one, and said this man 
was a drunkard, and that man a dissipated 
fellow, and that man a liar, and so on. Then 
he caused the Speaker to be walked out 
of his chair, told the guard to clear the 
House, called the mace upon the table — 
which is a sign that the House is sitting — " a 
fool's bauble," and said, " Here, carry it 
away !" Being obeyed in all these orders, he 
quietly locked the door, put the key in his 
pocket, walked back to Whitehall again, and 
told his friends, who M^ere still assembled 
there, what he had done. 

They formed a new Council of State after 
this extraordinary proceeding, and got a new 
Parliament together in their own way : which 
Oliver himself opened in a sort of sermon, and 
which he said was the beginning of a perfect 
heaven upon earth. In this parliament there 
sat a well-known leather-seller, who had taken 
the singular name of Praise God Barebones, 
and from whom it was called, for a joke, 
Barebones's Parliament, though its general 
name was the Little Parliament. As it soon 
appeared that it was not going to put Oliver 
in the first place, it turned out to be not at all 
like the beginning of heaven upon earth, and 
Oliver said it really was not to be borne with. 
So he cleared off that Parliament in much the 
same way as he had disposed of the other; 
and then the council of officers decided that 
he must be made the supreme authority of 
the kingdom, under the title of the Locd 
Protector of the Commonwealth. 

So, on the sixteenth of December, one thoiv 
sand six hundred and fifty-three, a great pro- 
cession was formed at Oliver's door, and he 
came out in a black velvet suit and a big 
pair of boots, and got into his coach and went 
down to Westminster, attended by the judges, 
and the lord mayor, and the aldermen, and 
all the other great and wonderful personages 
of the country. There, in the Court of Chan- 
cery, he publicly accepted the office of Lord 
Protector. Then he was sworn, and the City 
sword was handed to him, and the seal was 
handed to him, and all the other things Averc 
handed to him which are usually handed to 
Kings an^l Queens on state occasions, and 
handed back again. When Oliver had handed 
them all back, he was quite made, and com- 
pletely finished off as Lord Protector ; and 
several of the Ironsides preached about it 
at great length, all the evening. 



BiLLiN AND Brothbbs, Printer! and Stereotype™, 20 North William Street, New York. 



''Familiar in their Mouths as EOTJSEEOLB WOEDS:'~s^^k^btea 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 

A WEEKLY JOURNAL 

CONDUCTED BY CHARLES DICKENS. 



Vol. VIIL 



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Office lio. 17 Spkucb stkkbt, New Yokk. 



Whole No. 18*7. 



THE MODERN PRACTICE OF PHYSIC. 

Numerous introductory lectures were de- 
livered in the various hospitals of London 
on the first and third days of October, at the 
commencement of the winter session. I have 
been reading them, and desire leave, as an 
apothecary of the world, to add one more 
lecture to the number. Prelections to the 
student let there always be. Fill his mind 
with a sense of the duties he will take upon 
himself when he becomes practitioner of 
physic. But I am very strongly of opinion 
that there is an oration due also to the 
patients upon whom he is hereafter to prac- 
tise, and I ask permission forthwith to dis- 
charge the debt. 

Ladies and gentlemen, the lecture-rooms 
of the medical schools in this metropolis are 
now filled with young men well or ill pre- 
pared for study ; hopeful or careless, sensible 
or silly; who will by very different paths 
arrive at the priyilege of bleeding, blistering 
or bandaging A^our persons. Respectable in- 
dividuals who are hereafter to select for 
lieraselves doctors from among these young 
nen, will make their choice. Every one of 
them will, I have no doubt, take care to 
place himself or herself in the hands of a 
respectable practitioner. What does that 
mean ? Am / respectable, for instance ? 

My own secret opinion is that I am not. 
I attend a great many families who keep my 
purse in health while I keep them in physic. 
I dress in black, wear spectacles, am rather 
bald, and keep a brougham ; but I am a 
humbug, if my conscience is not very much 
deceived. I could not help it, and I cannot 
alter it. To make such a confession in my 
own name would he /eh de se, and I have no 
right to do it. Anonymously, however, I can 
venture to be candid. 

The truth is that I Know very little indeed 
about my profession. As a student, at the 
opening of three successive sessions, I was 
warmed a little by my teachers into good 
designs of study ; but I was so fond of pleasure 
that I could accomplish very little indeed. I 
had a youth's relish for fun, and a youth's 
disrelish for labour. Not that I was abso- 
lutely idle. I attended a very fair number of 
lectures, slurred over a good many "parts" 
in the dissecting room, went round with the 

Vol. VIII.— No. 187 



physicians and the surgeons to the bedsides ; 
but I did not fix attention properly on any- 
thing or anybody that meant work. I was 
not by any means the idlest fellow at St. 
Poultice's, and I do not think that there was 
any active harm in me. I was quiet enough 
to be thought well of by the lecturers, and 
to be considered quite respectable, and better 
than an average St. Poultice man, even in those 
days of initiation. It was often thought that 
I could easily have taken honours in some 
classes had I tried for them. When the time 
came for passing my examinations at the 
Hall and College, I grew rather nervous ; for 
I knew myself so well, as to be quite sure 
that my attainments would not bear a close 
investigation. My nervousness was tempered 
by a spring of hope arising from two sources : 
One was the knowledge that at the Col- 
lege of Surgeons the examination (which 
was only on two subjects) would last but for 
an hour ; during which I should be cut into 
four quarters and divided among four sets of 
examiners, each of whom would have little 
civilities to say at starting, and might spend 
even as much, I trusted, as five minutes 
a-piece over them, in consideration of the 
fact that they all knew, and would think it 
polite to ask after, my father. 

At the Hall, my hope lay in the fact con- 
cerning the examining apothecaries, that 
each of them was supposed to keep sets of 
examinations, got up by him as an actor gets 
up parts. Every such line of business was 
known, and taught publicly to me and to my 
fellow pupils during our hospital walking 
time by certain gentlemen called grinders; 
who also kept duplicates of all the drug bottles 
exhibited in trays on the examination tables. 
They also in those days— I do not know how it 
may be now — even contrived to get from 
Chelsea gardens, on the morning of examina- 
tion, duplicates of all the plants that had been 
sent down to Blackfriars on the previous eve- 
ning, to be named by candidates for the apo- 
thecaries' license. The Hall, therefore, could 
be passed after grinding for a few months 
without any previous study. I ground at 
second-hand ; borrowing the notes and infor- 
mation gathered by a friend who was himself 
in attendance on a gi-inder. Yet I passed ; I 
went through the Surgeons' with a flourish. 
In justice to the Apothecaries I should say 



170 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Conducted bj 



that they almost rejected me ; but the scale 
turned finally in my favour when I was asked 
the quantities of opium put into the several 
compounds of the pharmacopoeia that con- 
tained that drug. It was one of the stock 
questions of the place, of which my friend 
had written down the answer for me on the 
back of his visiting card. I had nothing like 
an idea on the subject ; but I knew the list 
by heart, and had it at that moment near my 
heart, for it was in my waistcoat pocket. So 
I passed, and became licensed to practise. 

Immediately afterwards, I took charge of a 
large pauper Union. There was no time for 
Itudy, and there never has been any aince ; for 
I have prospered, and I should have had no 
heart for study had I failed. I look solid and 
oracular, deal to a judicious extent in jokes; 
which are I find accepted best and repeated 
oftenest as mine, when they are not my 
own. I understand my patients' characters 
and humours ; although I do not understand 
their maladies so well as I could wish. Of 
course I take care not to let that fact be sus- 
pected. Profound in tact, I give to no one 
reason for supposing that there can be any- 
thing between consumption and nail-cutting, 
that I do not scientifically understand. I am 
considered to be especially able in respect to 
chest diseases ; and I use the stethoscope — by 
which I am supposed to hear the sounds that 
betray physical order or disorder — with much 
grace and gravity. I never yet heard any- 
thing more than a general bumping, which I 
take to be produced by the patient's heart, 
and a crepitation which I believe to be 
caused by the hairs of my whiskers rubbing 
against the wood. Nobody knows that, how- 
ever. All that is known about me is that I 
am, as before confessed, a respectable practi- 
tioner in the world's esteem, grave and a little 
bald, and that I keep a brougham. Ladies 
and gentlemen, I may this very day have 
written out my fiat for six draughts for one 
of you. Nevertheless, let no one tremble; 
for if it should be so, the chances are nine- 
teen to one that I have ordered you a little 
harmless effervescent, or a draught coloured 
with T. Card. Co., which is something inno- 
-cent and aromatic. I do not prescribe sa- 
-vagcly. I live in fear of my own ignorance 
and do no active harm. 

Permit me now, ladies and gentlemen of 
the world, as an apothecary of the world, 
gravely to call your attention to the very 
large number of young men who have re- 
cently been exhorted on the subject of the 
studies upon which they enter, and the duties 
they will have to undertake. Between thirty 
and seventy fresh youths enter every October 
at each hospital as recruits to the ranks of 
the Medical army. They believe themselves 
to be committed to an honest calling — as 
indeed there is none in the world honester or 
worthier of general respect — to embark on a 
wide ocean of knowledge. If they arc them- 
selves honest and high-minded, they will do 



so ; but, if they look at me and think much 
of my brougham, it may possibly come into 
their heads that it is not worth their while 
to venture very far to sea. The studies con- 
nected with the practice of medicine have so 
much in them of truth and vitality, of real 
and deep philosophy, that it is impossible for 
them not more or less to enlarge, strengthen, 
and at the same time refine the mind. They 
produce, therefore, a body of men, even at 
this day, second to no other class in its col- 
lective dignity; but the profession is not 
what it ought to be. The dim shadow of their 
future careers — felt alike by the students and 
by their teachers, when introductory orations 
open the campaign of study with allusions to 
the work that is before them — sends a touch 
of sadness to the mind of a pound, shilling, and 
pence surgeon like me. I am a sham myself, 
but I can respect what is genuine in others ; 
and I have very good reason to know that 
the profession would shine more than it does, 
if public ignorance did not eat into it like a 
rust. 

Is this right, for example? An old lady 
came under my care who would have none of 
my physic. She had a prescription from the 
great Dr. Podgy, which she wished me to 
make up. She was absolutely in love with 
Dr. Podgy, and told me so much about his 
ways and manners, that I, in my compara- 
tive humility and innocence, administered the 
humbug he prescribed in stronger doses 
than good tact would prompt. Nevertheless 
Dr. Podgy seemed not to have erred in the 
low estimate he put upon the public under- 
standing. He was the king of a provincial 
town; and, although he had written nothing 
and had done nothing to obtain the shadow 
of a name among his brethren who were qua- 
lified to understand his merits, he had one 
of the most profitable medical practices in 
Europe. I doubt whether there was its equal 
out of London. Very well. The invaluable 
prescription of Dr. Podgy (which consisted of 
Epsom salts diffused in an infusion of roses) I 
made up several times. Some sudden notion 
of weakness caused the old lady to travel off 
one day to see the groat man and consult 
with him once more. He told her he would 
add something strengthening to her prescrip- 
tion. He did so, and the learned recipe came 
back to me to be made up. Dr. Podgy re- 
solved to strengthen the old lady with a 
little steel, and had accordingly added some 
sulphate of iron to the salts and the "roses. 
By so doing, in ignorance of a chemical fact 
known even among druggist's boys, he spoilt 
his pretty roses altogether, and caused the 
mixture to look like a bottle of bad ink. " I 
cannot take that filthy mess," said my good 
lady. " You have made some mistake." Dr. 
Podgy could not be wrong and she had no 
more to do with me ; I was summarily dis- 
missed. Now, docs it speak well for the good 
sense of the public, \\'heri it is stated that 
to this Dr. Podgy there have been decreed, 



Charles Dickens.] 



THE MODERN PRACTICE OF PHYSIC. 



171 



in his own town, the honours of a public 
statue ? At the same time I know a dozen, 
and the world could reckon up more than 
a hundred physicians who are men of 
science, who are incorporating their names 
with the history of their art, and who, for 
want of a due practical recognition of their 
merits by the doctor-needing public, are 
doomed for the term of their natural li-ves 
to eat cold mutton and wear rusty clothes. 

Ladies and gentlemen, you certamly will 
benefit yourselves if, when you select your 
own attendants from the coming race of 
medical practitioners, you look less than your 
forefathers have looked to tact and exterior 
manner, and institute a strict search after 
skill and merit. Attend, I entreat you, less to 
the recommendations of your nurses and your 
neighbours, and prefer rather physicians 
who have obtained honour among men really 
qualified to pass a verdict upon their attain- 
ments. Now, if a man labours much in his 
profession with his head at home when he 
ought to be dining out and winning good 
opinions by his urbanity and by the geni- 
ality of his professional deportment, he is 
commonly said to be a theorist, and left to 
eat the covers of his books, or to nibble his 
pen. Most of the reall}'- first-rate medical 
practitioners indeed who have obtained large 
practices, had manner as well as matter in 
them, tact as well as talent. 

There may be some justice in this disposi- 
tion of things ; but, that the use of a little wise 
discrimination by the public in the choice of 
medical attendants, would stimulate the 
students more than all the introductory ora- 
tions that were ever spoken, and, in due time, 
exalt the whole profession — strengthening 
very much its power to do good — I think I 
can make evident. 

When I hinted at a little sadness that accom- 
panied the thought of the respective futures 
of the students now at work in all our 
hospitals, a retrospect lay at the bottom of 
my mind. I can go back to my own student 
times, and recal the groups that sat about 
me in the lecture-room. Enough time has 
elapsed to let me see, in very many cases, 
how they have been dealt with by the w' orld. 
I do not know whether it is everywhere so, 
but at St. Poultice's there is, or used to be, a 
spirit of fellowship abroad. There is a band 
of us alive, firmly believing that St. Poultice's 
never had so good a set of men studying 
together as there were in our time. So w^e, 
who were " respectable " there, think of each 
other, ignoring the tag-rag which belongs to 
every other and all other time. I suppose 
that students of each year grow up in the 
satisfaction of the same persuasion. Never 
mind that. ' One consequence of this fellow 
feeling is, that we who are at work (or 
play) together look and inquire much after 
one another. If I meet Brown he knows 
where Thompson is, and must tell me how 
Thompson is getting on. I, h.aving seen 



Jenkins lately, tell all I know of him. Every 
one of us is a repertory of the histories of 
nearly all his old companions at St. Poultice's. 
So complete is our feeling in this way, that 
I was stopped in the road b}'' a gentleman 
the other day. " Your name," he said, " is 
Point." 

" Yes," I rephed ; " and yours, I think, is 
Comma." I didn't know him at all, but 
guessed at hazard that he must be some 
St Poultice man. 

" No," he said, " I'm Colon, What are you 
doing? How are you getting on?" We 
exchanged questions and cards and shall 
visit ; but I am confident that w^hen we were 
at hospital together we never exchanged two 
words. We were not acquaintances at all ; 
merely in fact seeing each other there occa- 
sionally. 

Now, I will relate fairly and truly a few 
cases of the after careers of some of the stu- 
dents I knew best. There was Pumpson to 
begin with, a fine manly broad-chested fellow, 
who worked like a steam-engine ; but kept 
his work oiled so pleasantly that there was 
no creak, puff, pant, or sign of labour to be 
detected in him. To see him wuth his tails 
up before the library fire, chattering plea- 
santly, you would suppose that he was a 
man who scorned to fag. He liked a game 
at billiards; he was a leading member of 
our boat club; he was a leading man in 
half a dozen odd things that smelt rather 
of the flowers than the fruits of student 
life ; but there was not one among us really 
working so earnestly as Pumpson. He was 
quick in acquisition of all kinds of know- 
ledge, and he had a taste for everything intel- 
lectual and pleasant; but he toiled so tho- 
roughly in his own quiet way — burning I do 
not know how many pints of oil per month in 
his own room — that he carried away the cream 
of all the honours for which we were ex- 
pected to compete. Finally, he attracted 
the attention of our great authorities so much, 
that a good foreign appointment was offered to 
him at the close of his student career. He 
declined it as beneath the aim of his ambition, 
and went off, a highly trained physician, to 
create a practice in a large provincial town. 

I spent a week lately in Pumpson's town, 
and found our old friend prosperous enough. 
He has a wife and children about him, and he 
lives in a good house in his old pleasant way; 
for he has private means. Moreover, there is 
nobody in the said town of Feverton more 
widely known. Pumpson is every public 
body's secretary ; the foremost man in every 
scientific coterie ; great at the chess club ; great 
as a lecturer at the local medical school ; great 
in private circles. Nevertheless, if Pumpson 
had no private means he would be thread- 
bare. His revelations, in reply to the " How 
are you getting on?" question, gave me to 
understand that his professional gains would 
not make him hable for income tax. Smith 
and Jones, members of the Feverton pubhc, 



172 



HOUSEHOLD WORDS. 



[Condacted by 



severally offered to tell me in confidential 
chat over their tables, who was the rising man 
of the locality. 

"Who is it?" I asked. 

" Why," they said, " Pumpson. Wonder- 
fully able man." 

" Does he attend your family?" I asked of 
Mr. Smith. 

"Why no," he replied, "when I want a 
physician I always call in Dr. Droney. I 
am rather afraid, to tell you the truth, of 
Pumpson's cleverness. He might be wishing 
to try some new remedies upon me. I rather 
dread a scientific man, because he is so liable 
to make experiments." 

Pumpson began life with money and talent : 
Bilcher had neither. In some respects 
Pumpson and Bilcher at St. Poultice's con- 
trasted greatly with each other. Pumpson 
was always well and neatly dressed : Bilcher 
was always shabby and awkward. Pumpson 
had a remarkably wide range of ideas : Bilcher 
a peculiarly narrow one. Pumpson learned a 
great deal with no show of working : Bilcher 
picked up very little, although he was always 
to be seen grubbing for knowledge. All his 
spare time Bilcher spent in the dissecting 
room ; and, as he was not fond of soap and 
Water, it was not the pleasantest accident 
that could befal one of us in the day to have 
to shake hands with Bilcher. He was an 
amiable fellow, very much hked ; but you 
would have said that he was altogether too 
slow to get forward in a busy world. Out of 
his profession he had no ideas ; and in it, 
although he worked for them very hard, he 
never could get any students' honours. 
Bilcher in due time passed ; and electrified us 
all immediately afterwards by marrying a 
fashionable widow with a thousand a year. 
She was twenty years his senior, and made 
him father to a young lady of his own age. 
After that Bilcher cleaned himself and clothed 
his neck in a white napkin very thick with 
starch. Bilcher then gravely contemplated 
the world from the top of his collar, and the 
world looked up to him. Bilcher has now an 
extensive practice. He keeps two carriages, 
and boasts to us of duchesses whom he 
attends. 

In the considerable town of Shredby, Porson 
is established as physician : a man of strict 
religious principle whom, as a medical student, 
I respected greatly, and whom I still no less 
respect. We were not very intimate, because 
he was not fond of amusement, and I was. 
Porson studied seriously, and learned his 
profession in a quiet conscientious way. He 
showed no abilities. The reward of all his 
industry as a student was one Third Cer- 
tificate of merit, which he obtained in a 
class when there happened to be only three 
men who competed for its honours. Being 
in Shredby recently I met Porson, who 
invited me to tea, and gave me muffins. I 
found him living on his profession very com- 
fortably ; then in mature life and about to 



marry. He told me solemnly (I never saw 
him laugh, as youth or man) that he was 
doing very well. His Third Certificate hung, 
framed and glazed, over the chairs in his 
consulting-room. I found by inquiries in the 
town that he was a very thriving man ; for, 
being conscientiously diligent in his attend- 
ance on the Independent Chapel — he was an 
Independent — the whole Independent body 
looked upon him as the fittest man to give 
advice to them upon their fleshly ailments. 

Partleby is another of our old set at St. 
Poultice's. He was, and still is, not less 
deeply imbued than Porson with religious 
principle and feeling; but he was at least 
ten times more clever. Partleby had a taste 
for literature ; read English, French, and 
German authors ; wrote verses that were 
almost poetical ; but he was not less atten- 
tive to his studies. He was a conscien- 
tious working student, distinguished himself 
in two or three classes, and liked his pro- 
fession. He was a perfect gentleman in mind 
and manners when he went into the world, a 
well trained surgeon and an accomplished 
man. But he stands only five feet in his 
shoes; looks small in a room, and has 
thoughts of his own; says original things 
for which people are not prepared, because 
they do not understand them, and are there- 
fore annoyed with Mm, He is thence con- 
sidered odd ; and having bought a practice 
worked at it with the most unremitting 
application ; married on it, and at last found 
that it would not keep his children. Par- 
tleby then bought a partnership with a man 
whose religious feeling pleased him. The 
man proved to be a rogue in saint's clothing. 
Partleby was cheated of the profits due to 
him ; and at the end of the term of years 
for which the partnership had been made, 
the false saint— an inco