Unaffectedly I say it—upon the honor of a gentleman, and the reputation of an author, unaffectedly I say it—no words of mine can do justice to the sensations experienced by Lenny Fairfield, as he sat alone in that place of penance. He felt no more the physical pain of his bruises; the anguish of his mind stifled and overbore all corporeal suffering—an anguish as great as the childish breast is capable of holding. For first and deepest of all, and earliest felt, was the burning sense of injustice. He had, it might be with erring judgment, but with all honesty, earnestness, and zeal, executed the commission intrusted to him; he had stood forth manfully in discharge of his duty; he had fought for it, suffered for it, bled for it. This was his reward! Now, in Lenny's mind there was preeminently that quality which distinguishes the Anglo-Saxon race—the sense of justice. It was perhaps the strongest principle in his moral constitution; and the principle had never lost its virgin bloom and freshness by any of the minor acts of oppression and iniquity which boys of higher birth often suffer from harsh parents, or in tyrannical schools. So that it was for the first time that that iron entered into his soul, and with it came its attendant feeling—the wrathful, galling sense of impotence. He had been wronged, and he had no means to right himself. Then came another sensation, if not so deep, yet more smarting and envenomed for the time—shame! He, the good boy of all good boys—he, the pattern of the school, and the pride of the Parson—he, whom the Squire, in sight of all his contemporaries, had often singled out to slap on the back, and the grand Squire's lady to pat on the head, with a smiling gratulation on his young and fair repute—he, who had already learned so dearly to prize the sweets of an honorable name—he, to be made, as it were, in the twinkling of an eye, a mark for opprobrium, a butt of scorn, a jeer, and a byword! The streams of his life were poisoned at the fountain. And then came a tenderer thought of his mother! of the shock this would be to her—she who had already begun to look up to him as her stay and support: he bowed his head, and the tears, long suppressed, rolled down.
Then he wrestled and struggled, and strove to wrench his limbs from that hateful bondage;—for he heard steps approaching. And he began to picture to himself the arrival of all the villagers from church, the sad gaze of the Parson, the bent brow of the Squire, the idle, ill-suppressed titter of all the boys, jealous of his unblotted character—character of which the original whiteness could never, never be restored! He would always be the boy who had sat in the stocks! And the words uttered by the Squire came back on his soul, like the voice of conscience in the ears of some doomed Macbeth. "A sad disgrace, Lenny—you'll never be in such a quandary." "Quandary," the word was unfamiliar to him; it must mean something awfully discreditable. The poor boy could have prayed for the earth to swallow him.
"Kettles and frying-pans! what has us here?" cried the tinker.
This time Mr. Sprott was without his donkey; for, it being Sunday, it is to be presumed that the donkey was enjoying his Sabbath on the common. The tinker was in his Sunday's best, clean and smart, about to take his lounge in the park.
Lenny Fairfield made no answer to the appeal.
"You in the wood, my baby! Well, that's the last sight I should ha' thought to see. But we all lives to larn," said the tinker sententiously. "Who gave you them leggins? Can't you speak, lad?"
"Nick Stirn! Ay, I'd ha' ta'en my davy on that: and cos vy?"
"'Cause I did as he told me, and fought a boy as was trespassing on these very stocks; and he beat me—but I don't care for that; and that boy was a young gentleman, and going to visit the Squire; and so Nick Stirn—"
Lenny stopped short, choked by rage and humiliation.
"Augh," said the tinker, staring, "you fit with a young gentleman, did you? Sorry to hear you confess that, my lad! Sit there, and be thankful you ha' got off so cheap. 'Tis salt and battery to fit with your betters, and a Lunnon justice o' peace would have given you two months o' the treadmill. But vy should you fit 'cause he trespassed on the stocks? It ben't your natural side for fitting, I takes it."
Lenny murmured something not very distinguishable about serving the Squire, and doing as he was bid.
"Oh, I sees, Lenny," interrupted the tinker, in a tone of great contempt, "you be one o' those who would rayther 'unt with the 'ounds than run with the 'are! You be's the good pattern boy, and would peach agin your own horder to curry favor with the grand folks. Fie, lad! you be sarved right: stick by your horder, then you'll be 'spected when you gets into trouble, and not be 'varsally 'espised—as you'll be arter church time! Vell, I can't be seen 'sorting with you, now you are in this here drogatory fix; it might hurt my cracter, both with them as built the stocks, and them as wants to pull 'em down. Old kettles to mend! Vy, you makes me forgit the Sabbath. Sarvent, my lad, and wish you well out of it; 'spects to your mother, and say we can deal for the pan and shovel all the same for your misfortin."
The tinker went his way. Lenny's eye followed him with the sullenness of despair. The tinker, like all the tribe of human comforters, had only watered the brambles to invigorate the prick of the thorns. Yes, if Lenny had been caught breaking the stocks, some at least would have pitied him; but to be incarcerated for defending them, you might as well have expected that the widows and orphans of the Reign of Terror would have pitied Dr. Guillotin when he slid through the grooves of his own deadly machine. And even the tinker, itinerant, ragamuffin vagabond as he was, felt ashamed to be found with the pattern boy! Lenny's head sank again on his breast, heavily as if it had been of lead. Some few minutes thus passed, when the unhappy prisoner became aware of the presence of another spectator to his shame: he heard no step, but he saw a shadow thrown over the sward. He held his breath, and would not look up, with some vague idea that if he refused to see he might escape being seen.
"Per Bacco!" said Dr. Riccabocca, putting his hand on Lenny's shoulder, and bending down to look into his face—"Per Bacco! my young friend, do you sit here from choice or necessity?"
Lenny slightly shuddered, and winced under the touch of one whom he had hitherto regarded with a sort of superstitious abhorrence.
"I fear," resumed Riccabocca, after waiting in vain for an answer to his question, "that, though the situation is charming, you did not select it yourself. What is this,"—and the irony of the tone vanished—"what is this, my poor boy? You have been bleeding, and I see that those tears which you try to check come from a deep well. Tell me, povero fanciullo mio, (the sweet Italian vowels, though Lenny did not understand them, sounded softly and soothingly,)—tell me, my child, how all this happened. Perhaps I can help you—we have all erred; we should all help each other."
Lenny's heart, that just before had seemed bound in brass, found itself a way as the Italian spoke thus kindly, and the tears rushed down; but he again stopped them, and gulped out sturdily,—
"I have not done no wrong; it ben't my fault—and 'tis that which kills me!" concluded Lenny, with a burst of energy.
"You have not done wrong? Then," said the philosopher, drawing out his pocket handkerchief with great composure, and spreading it on the ground—"then I may sit beside you. I could only stoop pityingly over sin, but can lie down on equal terms with misfortune."
Lenny Fairfield did not quite comprehend the words, but enough of their general meaning was apparent to make him cast a grateful glance on the Italian. Riccabocca resumed, as he adjusted the pocket-handkerchief, "I have a right to your confidence, my child, for I have been afflicted in my day; yet I too say with thee, 'I have not done wrong.' Cospetto! (and here the Doctor seated himself deliberately, resting one arm on the side column of the stocks, in familiar contact with the captive's shoulder, while his eye wandered over the lovely scene around)—Cospetto! my prison, if they had caught me, would not have had so fair a look-out as this. But, to be sure, it is all one: there are no ugly loves, and no handsome prisons!"
With that sententious maxim, which, indeed, he uttered in his native Italian, Riccabocca turned round, and renewed his soothing invitations to confidence. A friend in need is a friend indeed, even if he come in the guise of a Papist and wizard. All Lenny's ancient dislike to the foreigner had gone, and he told him his little tale.
Dr. Riccabocca was much too shrewd a man not to see exactly the motives which had induced Mr. Stirn to incarcerate his agent, (barring only that of personal grudge, to which Lenny's account gave him no clue.) That a man high in office should make a scape-goat of his own watch-dog for an unlucky snap, or even an indiscreet bark, was nothing strange to the wisdom of the student of Machiavelli. However, he set himself to the task of consolation with equal philosophy and tenderness. He began by reminding, or rather informing, Lenny Fairfield of all the instances of illustrious men afflicted by the injustice of others that occurred to his own excellent memory. He told him how the great Epictetus, when in slavery, had a master whose favorite amusement was pinching his leg, which, as the amusement ended in breaking that limb, was worse than the stocks. He also told him the anecdote of Lenny's own gallant countryman, Admiral Byng, whose execution gave rise to Voltaire's celebrated witticism, "En Angleterre on tue un amiral pour encourager les autres." ("In England they execute one admiral in order to encourage the others.") Many more illustrations, still more pertinent to the case in point, his erudition supplied from the stores of history. But on seeing that Lenny did not seem in the slightest degree consoled by these memorable examples, he shifted his ground, and, reducing his logic to the strict argumentum ad rem, began to prove, 1st, that there was no disgrace at all in Lenny's present position, that every equitable person would recognize the tyranny of Stirn and the innocence of its victim; 2dly, that if even here he were mistaken, for public opinion was not always righteous, what was public opinion after all?—"A breath—a puff," cried Dr. Riccabocca—"a thing without matter—without length, breadth, or substance—a shadow—a goblin of our own creating. A man's own conscience is his sole tribunal, and he should care no more for that phantom 'opinion' than he should fear meeting a ghost if he cross the churchyard at dark."
Now, as Lenny did very much fear meeting a ghost if he crossed the churchyard at dark, the simile spoiled the argument, and he shook his head very mournfully. Dr. Riccabocca was about to enter into a third course of reasoning, which, had it come to an end, would doubtless have settled the matter, and reconciled Lenny to sitting in the stocks till doomsday, when the captive, with the quick ear and eye of terror and calamity, became conscious that church was over, that the congregation in a few seconds more would be flocking thitherwards. He saw visionary hats and bonnets through the trees, which Riccabocca saw not, despite all the excellence of his spectacles—heard phantasmal rustlings and murmurings which Riccabocca heard not, despite all that theoretical experience in plots, stratagems, and treasons, which should have made the Italian's ear as fine as a conspirator's or a mole's. And, with another violent but vain effort at escape, the prisoner exclaimed:
"Oh, if I could but get out before they come! Let me out—let me out. O, kind sir, have pity—let me out!"
"Diavolo!" said the philosopher, startled, "I wonder that never occurred to me before. After all, I believe he has hit the right nail on the head;" and looking close, he perceived that though the partition wood had hitched firmly into a sort of spring-clasp, which defied Lenny's unaided struggles, still it was not locked, (for, indeed, the padlock and key were snug in the justice-room of the Squire, who never dreamt that his orders would be executed so literally and summarily as to dispense with all formal appeal to himself.) As soon as Dr. Riccabocca made that discovery, it occurred to him that all the wisdom of all the schools that ever existed can't reconcile man or boy to a bad position, the moment there is a fair opportunity of letting him out of it. Accordingly, without more ado, he lifted up the creaking board, and Lenny Fairfield darted forth like a bird from a cage—halted a moment as if for breath, or in joy; and then, taking at once to his heels, fled, fast as a hare to its form—fast to his mother's home.
Dr. Riccabocca dropped the yawning wood into its place, picked up his handkerchief and restored it to his pocket; and then, with some curiosity, began to examine the nature of that place of duresse which had caused so much painful emotion to its rescued victim.
"Man is a very irrational animal at best," quoth the sage, soliloquizing, "and is frightened by strange buggaboos! 'Tis but a piece of wood! how little it really injures; and, after all, the holes are but rests to the legs, and keep the feet out of the dirt. And this green bank to sit upon—under the shade of the elm-tree—verily the position must be more pleasant than otherwise! I've a great mind—" Here the Doctor looked around, and, seeing the coast still clear, the oddest notion imaginable took possession of him; yet not indeed a notion so odd, considered philosophically—for all philosophy is based on practical experiment—and Dr. Riccabocca felt an irresistible desire practically to experience what manner of thing that punishment of the stocks really was. "I can but try!—only for a moment," said he apologetically to his own expostulating sense of dignity. "I have time to do it, before any one comes." He lifted up the partition again; but stocks are built on the true principle of English law, and don't easily allow a man to criminate himself—it was hard to get into them without the help of a friend. However, as we before noticed, obstacles only whetted Dr. Riccabocca's invention. He looked round and saw a withered bit of stick under the tree—this he inserted in the division of the stocks, somewhat in the manner in which boys place a stick under a sieve for the purpose of ensnaring sparrows: the fatal wood thus propped, Dr. Riccabocca sat gravely down on the bank, and thrust his feet through the apertures.
"Nothing in it!" cried he triumphantly, after a moment's deliberation. "The evil is only in idea. Such is the boasted reason of mortals!" With that reflection, nevertheless, he was about to withdraw his feet from their voluntary dilemma, when the crazy stick suddenly gave way, and the partition fell back into its clasp. Doctor Riccabocca was fairly caught—"Facitis descensus—sed revocare gradum!" True, his hands were at liberty, but his legs were so long that, being thus fixed, they kept the hands from the rescue; and as Dr. Riccabocca's form was by no means supple, and the twin parts of the wood stuck together with that firmness of adhesion which things newly painted possess, so, after some vain twists and contortions, in which he succeeded at length (not without a stretch of the sinews that made them crack again) in finding the clasp and breaking his nails thereon, the victim of his own rash experiment resigned himself to his fate. Dr. Riccabocca was one of those men who never do things by halves. When I say he resigned himself, I mean not only Christian but philosophical resignation. The position was not quite so pleasant as, theoretically, he had deemed it; but he resolved to make himself as comfortable as he could. And first, as is natural in all troubles to men who have grown familiar with that odoriferous comforter which Sir Walter Raleigh is said first to have bestowed upon the Caucasian races, the Doctor made use of his hands to extract from his pocket his pipe, match-box, and tobacco-pouch. After a few whiffs he would have been quite reconciled to his situation, but for the discovery that the sun had shifted its place in the heavens, and was no longer shaded from his face by the elm-tree. The Doctor again looked round, and perceived that his red silk umbrella, which he had laid aside when he had seated himself by Lenny, was within arm's reach. Possessing himself of this treasure, he soon expanded its friendly folds. And thus doubly fortified within and without, under shade of the umbrella, and his pipe composedly between his lips, Dr. Riccabocca gazed on his own incarcerated legs, even with complacency.
"'He who can despise all things,'" said he, in one of his native proverbs, "'possesses all things'—if one despise freedom, one is free! This seat is as soft as a sofa! I am not sure," he resumed, soliloquizing, after a pause—"I am not sure that there is not something more witty than manly and philosophical in that national proverb of mine, which I quoted to the fanciullo, that there are no handsome prisons! Did not the son of that celebrated Frenchman, surnamed Bras de Fer, write a book not only to prove that adversities are more necessary than prosperities, but that among all adversities a prison is the most pleasant and profitable? But is not this condition of mine, voluntarily and experimentally incurred, a type of my life? Is it the first time that I have thrust myself into a hobble?—and if in a hobble of mine own choosing, why should I blame the gods?"
Upon this Dr. Riccabocca fell into a train of musing so remote from time and place, that in a few minutes he no more remembered that he was in the parish stocks, than a lover remembers that flesh is grass, a miser that mammon is perishable, a philosopher that wisdom is vanity.—Dr. Riccabocca was in the clouds.
The dullest dog that ever wrote a novel (and, entre nous, reader—but let it go no farther—we have a good many dogs among the fraternity that are not Munitos) might have seen with half an eye that the Parson's discourse had produced a very genial and humanizing effect upon his audience. When all was over, and the congregation stood up to let Mr. Hazeldean and his family walk first down the aisle (for that was the custom at Hazeldean), moistened eyes glanced at the Squire's sunburned, manly face, with a kindness that bespoke revived memory of many a generous benefit and ready service. The head might be wrong now and then—the heart was in the right place after all. And the lady, leaning on his arm, came in for a large share of that gracious good feeling. True, she now and then gave a little offence when the cottages were not so clean as she fancied they ought to be—and poor folks don't like a liberty taken with their houses any more than the rich do; true, that she was not quite so popular with the women as the Squire was, for, if the husband went too often to the alehouse, she always laid the fault on the wife, and said, "No man would go out of doors for his comforts, if he had a smiling face and a clean hearth at his home;" whereas the Squire maintained the more gallant opinion, that "if Gill was a shrew, it was because Jack did not, as in duty bound, stop her mouth with a kiss." Still, notwithstanding these more obnoxious notions on her part, and a certain awe inspired by the stiff silk gown and the handsome aquiline nose, it was impossible, especially in the softened tempers of that Sunday afternoon, not to associate the honest, comely, beaming countenance of Mrs. Hazeldean with comfortable recollections of soups, jellies, and wine in sickness, loaves and blankets in winter, cheering words and ready visits in every little distress, and pretexts afforded by improvement in the grounds and gardens (improvements which, as the Squire, who preferred productive labor, justly complained, "would never finish") for little timely jobs of work to some veteran grandsire, who still liked to earn a penny, or some ruddy urchin in a family that "came too fast." Nor was Frank, as he walked a little behind, in the whitest of trousers and the stiffest of neckcloths—with a look of suppressed roguery in his bright hazel eye, that contrasted his assumed stateliness of mien—without his portion of the silent blessing. Not that he had done any thing yet to deserve it; but we all give youth so large a credit in the future. As for Miss Jemima, her trifling foibles only rose from too soft and feminine a susceptibility, too ivy-like a yearning for some masculine oak, whereon to entwine her tendrils; and so little confined to self was the natural lovingness of her disposition, that she had helped many a village lass to find a husband, by the bribe of a marriage gift from her own privy purse; notwithstanding the assurances with which she accompanied the marriage gift,—viz., that "the bridegroom would turn out like the rest of his ungrateful sex; but that it was a comfort to think that it would be all one in the approaching crash." So that she had her warm partisans, especially amongst the young; while the slim Captain, on whose arm she rested her forefinger, was at least a civilspoken gentleman, who had never done any harm, and who would doubtless do a deal of good if he belonged to the parish. Nay, even the fat footman, who came last with the family Prayer-book, had his due share in the general association of neighborly kindness between hall and hamlet. Few were there present to whom he had not extended the right-hand of fellowship, with a full horn of October in the clasp of it: and he was a Hazeldean man, too, born and bred, as two-thirds of the Squire's household (now letting themselves out from their large pew under the gallery) were.
On his part, too, you could see that the Squire was "moved withal," and a little humbled moreover. Instead of walking erect, and taking bow and courtesy as matter of course, and of no meaning, he hung his head somewhat, and there was a slight blush on his cheek; and as he glanced upward and round him—shyly, as it were—and his eye met those friendly looks, it returned them with an earnestness that had in it something touching as well as cordial—an eye that said, as well as eye could say, "I don't quite deserve it, I fear, neighbors; but I thank you for your good-will with my whole heart." And so readily was that glance of the eye understood, that I think, if that scene had taken place out of doors instead of in the church, there would have been an hurrah as the Squire passed out of sight.
Scarcely had Mr. Hazeldean got well out of the churchyard, ere Mr. Stirn was whispering in his ear. As Stirn whispered, the Squire's face grew long, and his color changed. The congregation, now flocking out of the church, exchanged looks with each other; that ominous conjunction between Squire and man chilled back all the effects of the Parson's sermon. The Squire struck his cane violently into the ground. "I would rather you had told me Black Bess had got the glanders. A young gentleman, coming to visit my son, struck and insulted in Hazeldean; a young gentleman—'sdeath, sir, a relation—his grandmother was a Hazeldean. I do believe Jemima's right, and the world's coming to an end! But Leonard Fairfield in the stocks! What will the Parson say? and after such a sermon! 'Rich man, respect the poor!' And the good widow, too; and poor Mark, who almost died in my arms. Stirn, you have a heart of stone! You confounded, lawless, merciless miscreant, who the deuce gave you the right to imprison man or boy in my parish of Hazeldean without trial, sentence, or warrant? Run and let the boy out before any one sees him: run, or I shall"—The Squire elevated his cane, and his eyes shot fire. Mr. Stirn did not run, but he walked off very fast. The Squire drew back a few paces, and again took his wife's arm. "Just wait a bit for the Parson, while I talk to the congregation. I want to stop 'em all, if I can, from going into the village; but how?"
Frank heard, and replied readily—
"Give 'em some beer, sir."
"Beer! on a Sunday! For shame, Frank!" cried Mrs. Hazeldean.
"Hold your tongue, Harry. Thank you Frank," said the Squire, and his brow grew as clear as the blue sky above him. I doubt if Riccabocca could have got him out of his dilemma with the same ease as Frank had done.
"Halt there, my men—lads and lasses too—there, halt a bit. Mrs. Fairfield, do you hear?—halt! I think his reverence has given us a capital sermon. Go up to the Great House all of you, and drink a glass to his health. Frank, go with them; and tell Spruce to tap one of the casks kept for the hay-makers. Harry, [this in whisper,] catch the Parson, and tell him to come to me instantly."
"My dear Hazeldean, what has happened? you are mad."
"Don't bother—do what I tell you."
"But where is the Parson to find you?"
"Where, gad zooks, Mrs. H.—at the stocks to be sure!"
Dr. Riccabocca, awakened out of his reverie by the sound of footsteps, was still so little sensible of the indignity of his position, that he enjoyed exceedingly, and with all the malice of his natural humor, the astonishment and stupor manifested by Stirn, when that functionary beheld the extraordinary substitute which fate and philosophy had found for Lenny Fairfield. Instead of the weeping, crushed, broken-hearted captive whom he had reluctantly come to deliver, he stared, speechless and aghast, upon the grotesque but tranquil figure of the Doctor, enjoying his pipe and cooling himself under his umbrella, with a sang-froid that was truly appalling and diabolical. Indeed, considering that Stirn always suspected the Papisher of having had a hand in the whole of that black and midnight business, in which the stocks had been broken, bunged up, and consigned to perdition, and that the Papisher had the evil reputation of dabbling in the Black Art, the hocus-pocus way in which the Lenny he had incarcerated was transformed into the Doctor he found, conjoined with the peculiarly strange, eldritch, and Mephistophelean physiognomy and person of Riccabocca, could not but strike a thrill of superstitious dismay into the breast of the parochial tyrant. While to his first confused and stammered exclamations and interrogatories, Riccabocca replied with so tragic an air, such ominous shakes of the head, such mysterious, equivocating, long-worded sentences, that Stirn every moment felt more and more convinced that the boy had sold himself to the Powers of Darkness; and that he himself, prematurely, and in the flesh, stood face to face with the Arch-Enemy.
Mr. Stirn had not yet recovered his wonted intelligence, which, to do him justice, was usually prompt enough—when the Squire, followed hard by the Parson, arrived at the spot. Indeed, Mrs. Hazeldean's report of the Squire's urgent message, disturbed manner, and most unparalleled invitation to the parishioners, had given wings to Parson Dale's ordinarily slow and sedate movements. And while the Squire, sharing Stirn's amazement, beheld indeed a great pair of feet projecting from the stocks, and saw behind them the grave face of Doctor Riccabocca, under the majestic shade of the umbrella, but not a vestige of the only being his mind could identify with the tenancy of the stocks, Mr. Dale, catching him by the arm, and panting hard, exclaimed with a petulance he had never before been known to display—except at the whist-table:—
"Mr. Hazeldean, Mr. Hazeldean, I am scandalized—I am shocked at you. I can bear a great deal from you, sir, as I ought to do; but to ask my whole congregation, the moment after divine service, to go up and guzzle ale at the Hall, and drink my health, as if a clergyman's sermon had been a speech at a cattle-fair! I am ashamed of you, and of the parish! What on earth has come to you all?"
"That's the very question I wish to heaven I could answer," groaned the Squire, quite mildly and pathetically—"What on earth has come to us all? Ask Stirn:" (then bursting out) "Stirn, you infernal rascal, don't you hear?—what on earth has come to us all?"
"The Papisher is at the bottom of it, sir," said Stirn, provoked out of all temper. "I does my duty, but I is but a mortal man, arter all."
"A mortal fiddlestick—where's Leonard Fairfield, I say?"
"Him knows best," answered Stirn, retreating mechanically, for safety's sake, behind the Parson, and pointing to Dr. Riccabocca. Hitherto, though both the Squire and Parson had indeed recognized the Italian, they had merely supposed him to be seated on the bank. It never entered their heads that so respectable and dignified a man could by any possibility be an inmate, compelled or voluntary, of the parish stocks. No, not even though, as I before said, the Squire had seen, just under his nose, a very long pair of soles inserted in the apertures—that sight had only confused and bewildered him, unaccompanied as it ought to have been with the trunk and face of Lenny Fairfield. Those soles seemed to him optical delusions, phantoms of the overheated brain; but now, catching hold of Stirn, while the Parson in equal astonishment caught hold of him—the Squire faltered out, "Well, this beats cock-fighting! The man's as mad as a March hare, and has taken Dr. Rickeybockey for little Lenny!"
"Perhaps," said the Doctor, breaking silence, with a bland smile, and attempting an inclination of the head as courteous as his position would permit—"perhaps, if it be quite the same to you, before you proceed to explanations,—you will just help me out of the stocks."
The Parson, despite his perplexity and anger, could not repress a smile, as he approached his learned friend, and bent down for the purpose of extricating him.
"Lord love your reverence, you'd better not!" cried Mr. Stirn. "Don't be tempted—he only wants to get you into his claws. I would not go a-near him for all the—"
The speech was interrupted by Dr. Riccabocca himself, who now, thanks to the Parson, had risen into his full height, and half a head taller than all present—even than the tall Squire—approached Mr. Stirn, with a gracious wave of the hand. Mr. Stirn retreated rapidly towards the hedge, amidst the brambles of which he plunged himself incontinently.
"I guess whom you take me for, Mr. Stirn," said the Italian, lifting his hat with his characteristic politeness. "It is certainly a great honor: but you will know better one of these days, when the gentleman in question admits you to a personal interview in another and—a hotter world."
"But how on earth did you get into my new stocks?" asked the Squire, scratching his head.
"My dear sir, Pliny the elder got into the crater of Mount Etna."
"Did he, and what for?"
"To try what it was like, I suppose," answered Riccabocca.
The Squire burst out a-laughing.
"And so you got into the stocks to try what it was like. Well, I can't wonder—it is a very handsome pair of stocks," continued the Squire, with a loving look at the object of his praise. "Nobody need be ashamed of being seen in those stocks—I should not mind it myself."
"We had better move on," said the Parson dryly, "or we shall be having the whole village here presently, gazing on the lord of the manor in the same predicament as that from which we have just extricated the Doctor. Now pray, what is the matter with Lenny Fairfield? I can't understand a word of what has passed. You don't mean to say that good Lenny Fairfield (who was absent from church by the by) can have done any thing to get into disgrace?"
"Yes, he has though," cried the Squire. "Stirn, I say—Stirn." But Stirn had forced his way through the hedge and vanished. Thus left to his own powers of narrative at second-hand, Mr. Hazeldean now told all he had to communicate: the assault upon Randal Leslie, and the prompt punishment inflicted by Stirn; his own indignation at the affront to his young kinsman, and his good-natured merciful desire to save the culprit from the addition of public humiliation.
The Parson, mollified towards the rude and hasty invention of the beer-drinking, took the Squire by the hand. "Ah, Mr. Hazeldean, forgive me," he said repentantly; "I ought to have known at once that it was only some ebullition of your heart that could stifle your sense of decorum. But this is a sad story about Lenny, brawling and fighting on the Sabbath-day. So unlike him, too—I don't know what to make of it."
"Like or unlike," said the Squire, "it has been a gross insult to young Leslie; and looks all the worse because I and Audley are not just the best friends in the world. I can't think what it is," continued Mr. Hazeldean, musingly, "but it seems that there must be always some association of fighting connected with that prim half-brother of mine. There was I, son of his own mother—who might have been shot through the lungs, only the ball lodged in the shoulder—and now his wife's kinsman—my kinsman, too—grandmother of a Hazeldean—a hard-reading sober lad, as I am given to understand, can't set his foot into the quietest parish in the three kingdoms, but what the mildest boy that ever was seen—makes a rush at him like a mad bull. It is FATALITY!" cried the Squire solemnly.
"Ancient legend records similar instances of fatality in certain houses," observed Riccabocca. "There was the House of Pelops—and Polynices and Eteocles—the sons of Oedipus!"
"Pshaw," said the Parson; "but what's to be done?"
"Done?" said the Squire; "why, reparation must be made to young Leslie. And though I wished to spare Lenny, the young ruffian, a public disgrace—for your sake, Parson Dale, and Mrs. Fairfield's;—yet a good caning in private—"
"Stop, sir!" said Riccabocca mildly, "and hear me." The Italian then, with much feeling and considerable tact, pleaded the cause of his poor protege, and explained how Lenny's error arose only from mistaken zeal for the Squire's service, and in the execution of the orders received from Mr. Stirn.
"That alters the matter," said the Squire, softened; "and all that is necessary now will be for him to make a proper apology to my kinsman."
"Yes, that is just," rejoined the Parson; "but I still don't learn how he got out of the stocks."
Riccabocca then resumed his tale; and, after confessing his own principal share in Lenny's escape, drew a moving picture of the boy's shame and honest mortification. "Let us march against Philip!" cried the Athenians when they heard Demosthenes—
"Let us go at once and comfort the child!" cried the Parson, before Riccabocca could finish.
With that benevolent intention, all three quickened their pace, and soon arrived at the widow's cottage. But Lenny had caught sight of their approach through the window; and not doubting that, in spite of Riccabocca's intercession, the Parson was come to upbraid, and the Squire to re-imprison, he darted out by the back way, got amongst the woods, and lay there perdu all the evening. Nay, it was not till after dark that his mother—who sat wringing her hands in the little kitchen and trying in vain to listen to the Parson and Mrs. Dale, who (after sending in search of the fugitive) had kindly come to console the mother—heard a timid knock at the door and a nervous fumble at the latch. She started up, opened the door, and Lenny sprang to her bosom, and there buried his face, sobbing loud.
"No harm, my boy," said the Parson tenderly; "you have nothing to fear—all is explained and forgiven."
Lenny looked up, and the veins on his forehead were much swollen. "Sir," said he sturdily, "I don't want to be forgiven—I ain't done no wrong. And—I've been disgraced—and I won't go to school, never no more."
"Hush, Carry!" said the Parson to his wife, who, with the usual liveliness of her little temper, was about to expostulate. "Good night, Mrs. Fairfield. I shall come and talk to you to-morrow, Lenny; by that time you will think better of it."
The Parson then conducted his wife home, and went up to the Hall to report Lenny's safe return; for the Squire was very uneasy about him, and had even in person shared the search. As soon as he heard Lenny was safe—"Well," said the Squire, "let him go the first thing in the morning to Rood Hall, to ask Master Leslie's pardon, and all will be right and smooth again."
"A young villain!" cried Frank, with his cheeks the color of scarlet; "to strike a gentleman and an Etonian, who had just been to call on me! But I wonder Randal let him off so well—any other boy in the sixth form would have killed him!"
"Frank," said the Parson sternly, "if we all had our deserts, what should be done to him who not only lets the sun go down on his own wrath, but strives with uncharitable breath to fan the dying embers of another's?"
The clergyman here turned away from Frank, who bit his lip, and seemed abashed—while even his mother said not a word in his exculpation; for when the Parson did reprove in that stern tone, the majesty of the Hall stood awed before the rebuke of the Church. Catching Riccabocca's inquisitive eye, Mr. Dale drew aside the philosopher, and whispered to him his fears that it would be a very hard matter to induce Lenny to beg Randal Leslie's pardon, and that the proud stomach of the pattern-boy would not digest the stocks with as much ease as a long regimen of philosophy had enabled the sage to do. This conference Miss Jemima soon interrupted by a direct appeal to the Doctor respecting the number of years (even without any previous and more violent incident) that the world could possibly withstand its own wear and tear.
"Ma'am," said the Doctor, reluctantly summoned away to look at a passage in some prophetic periodical upon that interesting subject—"ma'am, it is very hard that you should make one remember the end of the world, since, in conversing with you, one's natural temptation is to forget its existence."
Miss Jemima blushed scarlet. Certainly that deceitful heartless compliment justified all her contempt for the male sex; and yet—such is human blindness—it went far to redeem all mankind in her credulous and too confiding soul.
"He is about to propose," sighed Miss Jemima.
"Giacomo," said Riccabocca, as he drew on his nightcap, and stepped majestically into the four-posted bed, "I think we shall get that boy for the garden now!"
Thus each spurred his hobby, or drove her car, round the Hazeldean whirligig.
* * * * *
CONDITIONS OF IMMORTALITY.
Hume, the historian, was a competitor with Burke for the professorship of logic in the University of Glasgow, made vacant by the appointment of Adam Smith to the chair of moral philosophy. The place was given to a Mr. Clow, who owes the perpetuation of his name thus long to the distinguished rivals whom he distanced, and the illustrious professor whom he succeeded.
 Du Credit et des Banques, Paris, 1848.
 Un des plus beaux ouvrages assurement qu'on ait publies sur le credit.—Journal des Economistes.
 "Entre tout, l'etat d'une prison est le plus doux, et le plus profitable!"
 Munito was the name of a dog famous for his learning (a Porson of a dog) at the date of my childhood. There are no such dogs now-a-days.
From Frazer's Magazine
BY WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR.
Ere blasts from northern lands Had covered Italy with barren sands, Rome's Genius, smitten sore, Wail'd on the Danube, and was heard no more. Centuries twice seven had past And crush'd Etruria rais'd her head at last. A mightier Power she saw, Poet and prophet, give three worlds the law. When Dante's strength arose Fraud met aghast the boldest of her foes; Religion, sick to death, Look'd doubtful up, and drew in pain her breath. Both to one grave are gone; Alters still smoke, still is the God unknown. Haste, whoso from above Comest with purer fire and larger love, Quenchest the Stygian torch, And leadest from the Garden and the Porch, Where gales breathe fresh and free, And where a Grace is call'd a Charity, To Him, the God of peace, Who bids all discord in his household cease— Bids it, and bids again, But to the purple-vested speaks in vain. Crying, 'Can this be borne?' The consecrated wine-skins creak with scorn; While, leaving tumult there, To quiet idols young and old repair, In places where is light To lighten day—and dark to darken night.
From Sharpe's Magazine
AN EDITORIAL VISIT.
BY THEODORE S. FAY.
I was passing from my office one day, to indulge myself with a walk, when a little hard-faced old man, with a black coat, broad-brimmed hat, velvet breeches, shoes and buckles, and gold-headed cane, stopped me, standing directly in my path. I looked at him. He looked at me. I crossed my hands before me patiently, forced my features into a civil smile, and waited the development of his intentions; not being distinctly certain, from his firm, determined expression, whether he was "a spirit of health or goblin damned," and whether his intents were "wicked or charitable"—that is, whether he came to discontinue or to subscribe, to pay a bill or present one, to offer a communication or a pistol, to shake me by the hand, or pull me by the nose. Editors now-a-days must always be on their guard. For my part, I am peaceable, and much attached to life, and should esteem it exceedingly disagreeable to be either shot, or horsewhipped. I am not built for action, but love to sail in quiet waters; cordially eschewing gales, waves, water-spouts, sea-serpents, earthquakes, tornadoes, and all such matters, both on sea and land. My antipathy to a horsewhip is an inheritance from boyhood. It carried me across Caesar's bridge, and through Virgil and Horace. I am indebted to it for a tolerable understanding of grammar, arithmetic, geography, and other occult sciences. It enlightened me not a little upon many algebraic processes, which, to speak truth, presented, otherwise, but slender claims to my consideration. It disciplined me into a uniform propriety of manners, and instilled into my bosom early rudiments of wisdom, and principles of virtue. In my maturer years, the contingencies of life have thrust me rather abruptly, if not reluctantly, into the editorial fraternity (heaven bless them, I mean them no disrespect), and in the same candor which distinguishes my former acknowledgments, I confess that visions of this instrument have occasionally obtruded themselves somewhat forcibly upon my fancy, in the paroxysms of an article, dampening the glow of composition, and causing certain qualifying interlineations and prudent erasures, prompted by the representations of memory or the whispers of prudence. The reader must not fancy, from the form of my expression, that I have ever been horsewhipped. I have hitherto escaped, (for which Heaven be praised!) although my horizon has been darkened by many a cloudy threat, and thundering denunciation.
Nose-pulling is another disagreeable branch of the editorial business. To have any part of one pulled is annoying; but there is a dignity about the nose impatient even of observation or remark: while the act of taking hold of it with the thumb and finger is worse than murder, and can only be washed out with blood. Kicking, cuffing, being turned out of doors, being abused in the papers, &c., are bad, but these are mere minor considerations. Indeed, many of my brother editors rather pique themselves upon some of them, as a soldier does on the scars obtained in fighting the battles of his country; they fancy that, thereby, they are invested with claims upon their party, and suffer indefinite dreams of political eminence to be awakened in their bosoms. I have seen a fellow draw his hat fiercely down over his brow, and strut about, with insufferable importance, on the strength of having been thoroughly kicked by the enemy.
This is a long digression, but it passed rapidly through my mind as the little, hard-faced old gentleman stood before me, looking at me with a piercing glance, and a resolute air. At length, unlike a ghost, he spoke first.
"You are the editor?"—&c.
"A slight motion of acquiescence with my head, and an affirmative wave of my hand, a little leaning toward the majestic, announced to my unknown friend the accuracy of his conjecture."
The little old gentleman's face relaxed—he took off his broad-brimmed hat, and laid it down with his cane carefully on the table, then seized my hand and shook it heartily. People are so polite and friendly when about to ask a favor.
"My dear air," said he, "this is a pleasure I have long sought vainly. You must know, sir. I am the editor of a theatrical weekly—a neat thing in its way—here's the last number." He fumbled about in his pocket, and produced a red-covered pamphlet.
"I have been some time publishing it, and though it is admitted by all acquainted with its merits to be clearly the best thing of the kind ever started this side of the Atlantic, yet people do not seem to take much notice of it. Indeed, my friends tell me that the public are not fully aware of its existence. Pray let me be indebted to you for a notice. I wish to get fairly afloat. You see I have been too diffident about it. We modest fellows allow our inferiors to pass us often. I will leave this number with you. Pray, pray give it a good notice."
He placed in my hands the eleventh number of the "North American Thespian Magazine," devoted to the drama, and also to literature, science, history, and the arts. On reading over the prospectus, I found it vastly comprehensive, embracing pretty much every subject in the world. If so extensive a plan were decently filled up in the details, the "North American Thespian Magazine" was certainly worth the annual subscription money, which was only one dollar. I said so under my "literary notices" in the next impression of my journal; and, although I had not actually read the work, yet it sparkled so with asterisks, dashes, and notes of admiration, that it looked interesting. I added in my critique, that it was elegantly got up, that its typographical execution reflected credit on the publishers, that its failure would be a grievous reproach to the city, that its editor was a scholar, a writer, and a gentleman, and was favorably known to the literary circles by the eloquence, wit, and feeling of his former productions. What those productions were, I should have been rather puzzled to say, never having read, or even heard of them. This, however, was the cant criticism of the day, which is so exorbitant and unmeaning, and so universally cast in one mould, that I was in some tribulation, on reading over the article in print, to find that I had omitted the words, "native genius," which possesses a kind of common-law right to a place in all articles on American literary productions. Forth, however, it went to the world, and I experienced a philanthropic emotion in fancying how pleased the little, hard-faced old gentleman would be with these flattering encomiums on his "Thespian Magazine."
The very day my paper was out, as I was sitting "full fathom five" deep in an article on "The Advantages of Virtue" (an interesting theme, upon my views of which I rather flattered myself), I was startled by three knocks at the door, and my "Come in" exhibited to view the broad-brimmed hat of the hard-faced gentleman, with his breeches, buckles, gold-headed cane and all. He laid aside his hat and cane with the air of a man who has walked a great way, and means to rest himself a while. I was very busy. It was one of my inspired moments. Half of a brilliant idea was already committed to paper. There it lay—a fragment—a flower cut off in the bud—a mere outline—an embryo; and my imagination cooling like a piece of red-hot iron in the open air. I raised my eyes to the old gentleman, with a look of solemn silence, retaining my pen ready for action, with my little finger extended, and hinting, in every way, that I was "not i' the vein." I kept my lips closed. I dipped the pen in the inkstand several times, and held it hovering over the sheet. It would not do. The old gentleman was not to be driven off his ground by shakes of the pen, ink-drops, or little fingers. He fumbled about in his pockets, and drew forth the red-covered "North American Thespian Magazine," devoted to the drama, &c., number twelve. He wanted "a good notice." The last was rather general. I had not specified its peculiar claims upon the public. I had copied nothing. That sort of critique did no good. He begged me to read this carefully—to analyze it—to give it a candid examination. I was borne down by his emphatic manner; and being naturally of a civil deportment, as well as, at that particular moment, in an impatient, feverish hurry to get on with my treatise on the "Advantages of Virtue," which I felt now oozing out of my subsiding brain with an alarming rapidity, I promised to read, notice, investigate, analyze, to the uttermost extent of his wishes, or at least of my ability.
I could scarcely keep myself screwed down to common courtesy till the moment of his departure; a proceeding which he accomplished with a most commendable self-possession and deliberate politeness. When he was fairly gone, I poked my head out, and called my boy.
"Did you see that little old gentleman, Peter?"
"Should you know him again, Peter?"
"Well, if he ever come here again, Peter, tell him I am not in."
I reentered my little study, and closed the door after me with a slam, which could only have been perceptible to those who knew my ordinary still and mild manner. There might have been also a slight accent in my way of turning the key, and (candor is a merit!) I could not repress a brief exclamation of displeasure at the little old gentleman with his magazine, who had broken in so provokingly upon my "essay on virtue." "Virtue or no virtue," thought I, "I wish him to the d——."
My room is on the ground-floor, and a window adjoining the street lets in upon me the light and air through a heavy crimson curtain, near which I sit and scribble. I was just enlarging upon the necessity of resignation, while the frown yet lingered on my brow, and was writing myself into a more calm and complacent mood, when—another knock at the door. As I opened it, I heard Peter's voice asserting sturdily that I had "gone out." Never dreaming of my old enemy, I betrayed too much of my person to withdraw, and I was recognized and pounced upon by the little old gentleman who had come back to inform me that he intended, as soon as the increase of his subscription would permit, to enlarge and improve the "North American Thespian Magazine," and to employ all the writers in town. "I intend also," said he, and he was in the act of again laying aside that everlasting hat and cane, when a cry of fire in the neighborhood, and the smell of the burning rafters attracted him into the street, where, as I feared, he escaped unhurt. In many respects fires are calamities; but I never saw a more forcible exemplification of Shakspeare's remark, "There is some spirit of good in things evil," than in the relief afforded me on the present occasion. I wrote, after that, with my door locked. This I knew was, from the confined air, prejudicial to my health; but what was dyspepsy or consumption to that little hard-faced old gentleman—to those breeches—to that broad-brimmed hat—to those buckles—to that gold-headed cane?
"Remember, Peter," said I, the second morning after the foregoing, "I have gone out."
"Where have you gone?" inquired Peter, with grave simplicity. "They always ask me where you have gone, sir. The little man with the hat was here last night, and wanted to go after you."
"Forbid it Heaven! I have gone to Albany, Peter, on business."
I can hear in my room pretty much what passes in the adjoining one, where visitors first enter from the street. I had scarcely got comfortably seated, in a rare mood for poetry, giving the last touches to a poem, which, whatever might be the merits of Byron and Moore, I did not think altogether indifferent, when I heard the little old gentleman's voice inquiring for me.
"I must see him; I have important business," it said.
"He has gone out," replied Peter, in an undertone, in which I could detect the consciousness that he was uttering a bouncer.
"But I must see him," said the voice.
"The scoundrel!" muttered I.
"He is not in town, sir," said Peter.
"I will not detain him a single minute. It is of the greatest importance. He would be very sorry, very, should he miss me."
I held my breath—there was a pause—I gave myself up for lost—when Peter replied firmly,
"He is in Albany, sir. Went off at five o'clock this morning."
"Be back soon?"
"Where does he stay?"
"I'll call tomorrow."
I heard his retreating footsteps, and inwardly resolved to give Peter a half-dollar, although he deserved to be horsewhipped for his readiness at deception. I laughed aloud triumphantly, and slapped my hand down upon my knee with the feelings of a fugitive debtor, who, hotly pursued by a sheriff's officer, escapes over the line into another county, and snaps his fingers at Monsieur Bailiff. I was aroused from my merry mood of reverie by a touch on my shoulder. I turned suddenly. It was the hard-faced little old gentleman, peeping in from the street. His broad-brimmed hat and two-thirds of his face were just lifted above the window-sill. He was evidently standing on tiptoe; and the window being open, he had put aside the curtain, and was soliciting my attention with the end of his cane.
"Ah!" said he, "is it you? Well, I thought it was you, though I wasn't sure. I won't interrupt you. Here are the proofs of number thirteen; you'll find something glorious in that—just the thing for you—don't forget me next week—good-bye. I'll see you again in a day or two."
I shall not cast a gloom over my readers by dwelling upon my feelings. Surely, surely, there are sympathetic bosoms among them. To them I appeal. I said nothing. Few could have detected any thing violent or extraordinary in my manner, as I took the proofs from the end of the little old gentleman's cane, and laid them calmly on the table. I did not write any more about "virtue" that morning. It was out of the question. Indeed, my mind scarcely recovered from the shock for several days.
When my nerves are in any way irritated, I find a walk in the woods a soothing and agreeable sedative. Accordingly, the next afternoon, I wound up the affairs of the day earlier than usual, and set out for a ramble through the groves and along the shore of Hoboken. I was soon on one of the abrupt acclivities, where, through the deep rich foliage of the intertwining branches, I overlooked the Hudson, the wide bay, and the superb, steepled city, stretching in a level line of magnificence upon the shining waters, softened with an overhanging canopy of thin haze. I gazed at the picture, and contemplated the rivalry of nature with art, striving which could most delight. As my eye moved from ship to ship, from island to island, and from shore to shore—now reposing on the distant blue, then revelling in the nearer luxuriance of the forest green, I heard a step in the grass, and a little ragged fellow came up and asked me if I was the editor of the ——. I was about replying to him affirmatively, when his words arrested my attention. "A little gentleman with a hat and cane," he said, "had been inquiring for the editor, &c., at the adjoining hotel, and had given him sixpence to run up into the woods and find him." I rushed precipitately, as I thought, into the thickest recesses of the wood. The path, however, being very circuitous, I suddenly came into it, and nearly ran against a person whom it needed no second glance to recognize, although his back was luckily toward me. The hat, the breeches, the cane, were enough. If not, part of a red-covered pamphlet, sticking out of the coat-pocket, was. "It must be number thirteen!" I exclaimed; and as the little old gentleman was sauntering north, I shaped my course with all possible celerity in a southerly direction.
In order to protect myself for the future, I took precautionary measures; and in addition to having myself denied, I kept the window down, and made my egress and ingress through a door round the corner, as Peter told me he had several times seen the little old gentleman, with a package in his hand, standing opposite the one through which we usually entered, and looking at the office wistfully.
By means of these arrangements, I succeeded in preserving my solitude inviolate, when, to my indignation, I received several letters from different parts of the country, written by my friends, and pressing upon me, at the solicitation of the little old gentleman, the propriety of giving the "Thespian Magazine" a good notice. I tore the letters, each one as I read them, into three pieces, and dropped them under the table. Business calling me, soon after, to Philadelphia, I stepped on board the steamboat, exhilarated with the idea that I was to have at least two or three weeks' respite. I reached the place of my destination about five o'clock in the afternoon. It was lovely weather. The water spread out like unrippled glass, and the sky was painted with a thousand varying shadows of crimson and gold. The boat touched the shore, and while I was watching the change of a lovely cloud, I heard the splash of a heavy body plunged into the water. A sudden sensation ran along the crowd, which rushed from all quarters towards the spot; the ladies shrieked and turned away their heads: and I perceived that a man had fallen from the deck, and was struggling in the tide, with only one hand held convulsively above the surface. Being a practised swimmer, I hesitated not a moment, but flung off my hat and coat, and sprang to his rescue. With some difficulty I succeeded in bearing him to a boat and dragging him from the stream. I had no sooner done so, than to my horror and astonishment I found I had saved the little hard-faced old gentleman. His snuff-colored breeches were dripping before me—his broad-brimmed hat floated on the current—but his cane (thank Heaven!) had sunk forever. He suffered no other ill consequences from the catastrophe than some injury to his garments and the loss of his cane. His gratitude for my exertions knew no bounds. He assured me of his conviction that the slight acquaintance previously existing between us would now be ripened into intimacy, and informed me of his intention to lodge at the same hotel with me. He had come to Philadelphia to see about a plate for his sixteenth number, which was to surpass all its predecessors, and of which he would let me have an early copy, that I might notice it as it deserved.
* * * * *
"Never," said Southey, writing to his friend Bedford, "shall child of mine enter a school or a university. Perhaps I may not be able so well to instruct him in logic or languages, but I can at least preserve him from vice."
From the Kings's College Magazine.
BIOGRAPHIES, LIVES, MEMOIRS, AND RECOLLECTIONS.
Innumerable biographies, innumerable traces of human life that is now life no longer, may be met with in every walk. One lovely day, now some time ago, we had been taking a walk in a part of England of which we had little knowledge, and we came up to the gate of what appeared to be a large hospital. It was covered with trees, and the beauty of summer was luxuriantly displayed. The grayheaded porter at the gate, a very communicative and happy old man, aged eighty-eight years, soon gave us a history of the institution. This hospital had been built by a man who was much renowned. He had been once a poor shopboy, but he wandered to London, was very industrious, and at length became one of the greatest merchants of the imperial city. He realized the visions of Whittington; for he was twice Lord Mayor, was exceedingly wealthy, was honored with the friendship of King William the Third, and was universally respected. Age coming on, he retired to his native place, built and endowed this hospital, became famous for his deeds of kindness and charity, always kept with reverence the day on which the Prince of Orange landed on English ground, and, full of years and honors, sunk into his long repose. The charitable institution was situated amid the most beautiful scenery. No place could be more fitting for the old men who sat basking in the sun to spend the quiet evening of their lives. This was the biography of the great city merchant. It was not written in many volumes; his good deeds were not ostentatiously displayed, and he now sleeps peacefully and well.
But this was not all. On returning through a magnificent park, as the sun was setting, the haymakers returning from their labor, and all nature breathing peace, and happiness, and love, our attention was attracted to an old oak tree. It was indeed very old. It had seen all its brethren of the park rise and fall, seasons had come and gone, generations had reposed beneath its branches, and now they were reposing under the shadow of the old church, the clock of which had just struck the hour of six. On examining the tree closely, we were astonished to find carved in immense letters, and in quaint language, the following words:—
"This tree witnesse beare, That two lovers did walke heare."
Under the influence of the feelings which the sights we had just seen had excited, and enraptured as we were with the beautiful evening, this simple inscription seemed more touching than the noblest verses. Knowing something of botany, it was not difficult to form some idea of the period when the inscription was written. It was not merely the external bark, but the deep woody layer also that had been cut by the carver's knife. It must have been cut while the tree was very young, for the bark had very much expanded, and the letters were now more than a foot in length. We stood contemplating the rude verse. In the distance the sun was placidly reflecting the last golden rays, every thing was fresh and green, not a sound was heard. It must have been on such another lovely eve that the two lovers had plighted their faith together, and commemorated it on the young oak tree; and this was all we knew of them, all that we would ever know. This was their biography; this was their ten volumes. Were they rich and noble, or poor and obscure? Did their lives pass in peace and content, or were their hearts pierced by the poisoned arrows of the world? Did they also feel how little real happiness there was here, and did they also look forward to the time when they should rest from their labors in a place where there was no suffering and no sorrow? Were they really happy in each other's love, or were their young and pure affections chilled by the winds of adversity? In vain we question the old oak tree. They are gone; the tree is silent; all that we know is that they walked here. And the world with its noise and folly is still going on, and publishing its biographies of ten volumes.
From the Quarterly Review.
PHENOMENA OF DEATH.
To be shot dead is one of the easiest modes of terminating life; yet, rapid as it is, the body has leisure to feel and time to reflect. On the first attempt by one of the frantic adherents of Spain to assassinate William, Prince of Orange, who took the lead in the revolt of the Netherlands, the ball passed through the bones of his face, and brought him to the ground. In the instant that preceded stupefaction, he was able to frame the notion that the ceiling of the room had fallen and crushed him. The cannon shot which plunged into the brain of Charles XII. did not prevent him from seizing his sword by the hilt. The idea of an attack and the necessity for defence was impressed upon him by a blow which we should have supposed too tremendous to leave an interval for thought. But it by no means follows that the infliction of fatal violence is accompanied by a pang. From what is known of the first effect of gunshot wounds, it is probable that the impression is rather stunning than acute. Unless death be immediate, the pain is as varied as the nature of the injuries, and these are past counting up. But there is nothing singular in the dying sensations, though Lord Byron remarked the physiological peculiarity, that the expression is invariably that of languor, while in death from a stab the countenance reflects the traits of natural character—of gentleness or ferocity—to the last breath. Some of these cases are of interest, to show with what slight disturbance life may go on under mortal wound till it suddenly comes to a final stop. A foot-soldier at Waterloo, pierced by a musket ball in the hip, begged water from a trooper who chanced to possess a canteen of beer. The wounded man drank, returned his heartiest thanks, mentioned that his regiment was nearly exterminated, and having proceeded a dozen yards in his way to the rear, fell to the earth, and with one convulsive movement of his limbs concluded his career. "Yet his voice," says the trooper, who himself tells the story, "gave scarcely the smallest sign of weakness." Captain Basil Hall, who in his early youth was present at the Battle of Corunna, has singled out from the confusion which consigns to oblivion the woes and gallantry of war, another instance extremely similar, which occurred on that occasion. An old officer, who was shot in the head, arrived pale and faint at the temporary hospital, and begged the surgeon to look at his wound, which was pronounced to be mortal. "Indeed I feared so," he responded with impeded utterance, "and yet I should like very much to live a little longer, if it were possible." He laid his sword upon a stone at his side, "as gently," says Hall, "as if its steel had been turned to glass, and almost immediately sunk dead upon the turf."
From the "Leader."
BURLESQUES AND PARODIES.
Among the signs of intellectual barrenness and the vicious pandering to lower appetites, consequent upon the trading spirit of literature, we note with regret the growing tendency to desecrate beautiful subjects by using them as materials for burlesque. We have had a Comic History of England—one of the dreariest and least excusable of jokes, and capable of for ever vulgarizing in the young mind the great deeds and noble life of our forefathers—and we have had burlesques in which the loved fairy tales that have charmed the imaginations of thousands, or subjects of mythology that belong to the religious history of the greatest people on record, are turned into coarse pot-house jests, with slang for wit, but without the playful elegance by which Planche justifies his sport. It is a sign of intellectual barrenness in the writers; for what is easier than parody? what means of raising a laugh so certain and so cheap as to roll a statue from its pedestal and stick some vulgar utensil in its place? Laughter always follows the incongruous; and to make a Grecian Deity call for a pot of half-and-half, or to ask a Fairy Princess if her mother has parted with her mangle, is to secure the laugh, though contempt may follow it. To our minds there is something melancholy in such spectacles. Degrading lofty images by ignoble associations must operate maleficiently on the spectator. And if it be absolutely necessary to appeal to the coarse tastes and vulgar appetites of the crowd, let it be done without at the same time dragging beautiful objects through the mire.
We can understand the ribald buffoonery of LUCIAN, who first invented this species of burlesque. His object was to make the gods ridiculous. Whether the spirit which moved him was a mocking, skeptical spirit, like that of Voltaire, or whether, as we think more probable, he was a bitter satirist made bitter by the earnestness of his conviction, and ridiculing the gods only as a reductio ad absurdum of their pretensions, the fact is indubitable, that he ridiculed them in a polemical spirit, and not to excite the vulgar laughter of the vulgar crowd. But we, who do not believe in those gods, need no such warfare. To us they are beautiful images associated only with high thoughts, until the burlesque writer, in his beggary of wit and invention, takes them as the facile material out of which he can raise a laugh. Our complaint is twofold: first, that these subjects are soiled in our imaginations; secondly, that there is no compensating pleasure in the burlesque itself. The tendency is earthward, coarse, vulgarizing. It spoils a whole world of fancy, and it keeps down the creation of comic subjects by supplying writers with an easy and certain success. Surely, there is folly and humbug enough living and lying in the open day to supply the satirist with material. Surely, these imitators of LUCIAN (unconscious imitators, no doubt, for many of them never read a line of his dialogues) would be better employed in imitating the spirit of his works as well as the mere contrivance for producing the ludicrous, than in devastating Fairy Land for materials. It would be more difficult, no doubt, but is that a sufficient reason for abstaining?
Music may be parodied with success, and without evil consequences. That lies in the nature of music, which cannot be degraded. Let a hoarse, beery voice, chant slang words to a melody of Mozart, and the next time you hear the melody, it is as fresh and beautiful as if it had never been turned "to such vile purpose;" but it is not so with the beautiful creations of impassioned fancy. Fancy is a Butterfly which must be delicately handled; if rude fingers tamper with it, the flower-dust is rubbed off and the gay insect perishes.
JOHN ADAMS UPON RICHES.
In the thirty-sixth year of his age, John Adams made the following entry in his Diary. He was then practising law in Boston, though living in Braintree.
"It has been my fate to be acquainted in the way of business with a number of very rich men—Gardiner, Bowdoin, Pitts, Hancock, Rowe, Lee, Sargent, Hooper, Doane. Hooper, Gardiner, Rowe, Lee and Doane, have all acquired their wealth by their own industry; Bowdoin and Hancock received theirs by succession, descent, or devise; Pitts by marriage. But there is not one of all these who derives more pleasure from his property than I do from mine; my little farm and stock and cash afford me as much satisfaction as all their immense tracts, extensive navigation, sumptuous buildings, their vast sums at interest and stocks in trade yield to them. The pleasures of property arise from acquisition more than possession, from what is to come rather than what is. The rich are seldom remarkable for modesty, ingenuity or humanity. Their wealth has rather a tendency to make them penurious and selfish."
FRANCIS XAVIER MICHAEL TOMIE, S.J., died on the tenth of December, 1850. We find in the Truth-Teller the following account of this excellent person, with whom we had the pleasure of such acquaintance as assures us of its justice. He was born in 1792, in Tivoli, of the most respectable family in the place. He made his studies at home, under a private tutor; pursued them in the Roman Seminary until the reestablishment of the Society in 1814; that year he entered the novitiate, and immediately began to teach literature. He terminated with great distinction his course of theology, and as soon as the Roman College was restored to the Society, in 1825, was appointed Professor. In the twelve following years he was successively Rector of the Colleges of Spoleto, Fermo, Forli, and Reggio di Modena. At Spoleto he was an intimate friend of Pius the Ninth, then Cardinal Archbishop Mastai. While Rector of the College of Fermo, he was chosen by Cardinal Ferretti, its founder, his theologian, and never did this Cardinal, even when in Rome, cease to place confidence in his advice. In 1837 he was designated Professor of Moral Theology, and Prefect of Studies in the Roman College, where he lived till the Revolution of 1848. Gregory XVI. had appointed him Examinator of the Roman Clergy, during which time he had prepared several dissertations, treatises, &c., on theology and philosophy, which may some day be published. On the breaking out of the Revolution he retired some time to Monseigneur Morini, of Florence, until this learned and devout man was stabbed in the streets for his opposition to the revolutionists. Thus cast upon the world without a protector, he wished to take refuge in the Sanctuary of the Virgin, at Genezzano, which according to tradition was transported thither from Albania, and is still kept by the Hermits of St. Augustine. His superior's wish however sent him to England, where he lived six months in the mansion of Lord Waterton. In 1849 he came to America, and taught moral theology in Georgetown College. In 1850 he began to fill the same office (i.e., Professor of Moral Theology) in St. Joseph's Seminary, in the diocese of New-York. He was endeared to the Church for his mildness, cheerfulness, and charity, insomuch that among the younger students of St. John's College he was known as the "Good Father, who is always smiling." On the 6th of December he fell ill; on the 8th, the President of St. John's College, in presence of the Fathers and Religious of the Society, administered the viaticum. The following night he was anointed; and on the 10th, towards ten o'clock in the afternoon, he breathed his last. On the evening of the 11th, at six o'clock, according to the custom of the Society, a solemn service was celebrated by all the members of St. John's College and Seminary. On the 12th, at six o'clock A. M., he was buried in the cemetery attached to the College.
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WILLIAM PLUMER, formerly governor of New-Hampshire, died at his home in Epping, Rockingham county, in that State, on the 23d of December, at the advanced age of ninety-three, and SAMUEL BELL, another ex-governor of New-Hampshire, died at his home in the neighboring town of Chester, on the same day. His age could not have been less than eighty. Both were men of solid though not brilliant abilities; both were leaders of the Democratic party in its struggles in support of Jefferson and Madison; both ardent supporters of John Quincy Adams's election and administration, and adverse to Jacksonism in all its phases; and each has acted constantly and zealously with the Whig party through all its changing fortunes. Mr. Plumer was first elected to the Chief Magistracy in 1812, and continued to be the Democratic candidate, with alternate success and defeat, until 1819, when he declined, and Mr. Bell was nominated by the party, and chosen to succeed him. Mr. Bell was of a tall, graceful, commanding person. It was stated at the time of his inauguration that he seemed to be about a head taller than any other of the thousands present at the ceremony. He was chosen a senator in Congress in 1823, and served through a full term; and would have been reelected in 1829, had not Isaac Hill meantime invented and given currency to a new style of Democracy, of which Bell had not been able to discern the excellence; so he retired to private life, in which he ever afterward continued. He cherished an especial affection for and confidence in the great statesman of the west, Henry Clay, with whom it had been his fortune to sympathize through his whole political life, and whom he hoped yet to see elevated to the Presidency. His brother, John Bell, who was governor some years after him, and beaten in 1829 by the first successful foray of Jacksonism, removed soon after to Massachusetts, where he died. Governor Plumer, it is understood, has left important historical memoirs, which will probably be published.
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THOMAS BIRCH, the well-known painter, died in Philadelphia on the 14th of January, at the ripe age of seventy-two, after a life of quiet and laborious devotion to his profession. He was distinguished in a particular department of landscape and marine painting, delighting in the treatment of coast and river scenes in their simpler and homelier aspects, which he treated in his peculiar way, frequently with the best effect, and always with great fidelity to nature. He produced a very large number of pictures.
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CHRISTIAN LAURITZ SVERDRUP, the celebrated Norwegian philologist, died at the University of Christiana, in which he had been a professor more than forty-five years.
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MR. W. SEGUIN, the eminent singer, died in London, on the 30th December, after a short illness.
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MRS. OGILVY, of Corrimony, who died at Edinburgh on the 14th of December, was a daughter of W. Fraser Tytler, Esq., and as "Margaret Fraser Tytler," was well known as the authoress of a very popular series of works for the young—"Tales of the Great and Brave," "Tales of Good and Great Kings," "Lives of Celebrated Admirals," &c.
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WILLIAM HOWISON, A.R.S.A., a well-known line engraver, died in Edinburgh, on the 20th December. He was born at Edinburgh, in 1798. He was educated in George Heriot's Hospital; and on leaving that institution was apprenticed to an engraver, of the name of Wilson. Even as a boy he was remarkable for industry, perseverance, and punctuality. He never received any instructions in drawing, beyond what he acquired for himself during the period of his apprenticeship. He was, in every way, truly a self-made man. Mr. Harvey was the first to appreciate Mr. Howison's talents, and to afford scope for their display, by employing him to engrave the well-known picture of "The Curlers;" and it is no detraction from the merits of that painting to say, that the admirable skill displayed in transferring it to copper contributed in no small degree to the reputation of the painter. On the completion of "The Curlers," Mr. Howison was elected an associate of the Royal Scottish Academy—the only instance, we believe, of such an honor being conferred upon an engraver. Mr. Howison afterwards engraved the "Polish Exiles," by Sir William Allan; the "Covenanters' Communion," and the "Schule Skailing," by Harvey; and at the period of his death he was engaged upon the "First Letter from the Emigrants," after Thomas Faed, for the Association for the Promotion of the Fine Arts in Scotland.
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HYPPOLITE ROYER-COLLARD, nephew of the eminent philosopher of that name, died at Paris on the 15th of December, at the age of 48, after having been for five years afflicted by a paralysis, which did not however affect his mental powers. He was Professor of Public Hygiene, at the School of Medicine, and drew crowded audiences to his lectures. To a mind of rare scientific acuteness and endowments, he added an active and fertile imagination, and great youthfulness of spirit. He inherited the intellectual tendencies of his uncle, and was an intimate friend of Guizot.
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COL. WILLIAMS, formerly M.P. for Ashton, died at Wootton, near Liverpool, on the 19th December, aged eighty-seven. At twelve years of age, he joined General Burgoyne's army in America, and carried the flag of truce upon the memorable occasion of the surrender at Saratoga. It is supposed that he was the last survivor of that army. After twenty-five years of active service in Nova Scotia, St. Domingo, and Jamaica, in Holland and in Ireland, he quitted the army in 1800, at which period the career of most of the military men of the present day commenced.
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MR. WILLIAM STURGEON, well known for scientific attainments, died on the 15th December, at Manchester, where he had for some years filled the office of lecturer on science to the Royal Victoria Gallery of Practical Science. He was born at Whittington, in Lancashire, in 1783, and was apprenticed by his parents to a shoemaker. In 1802, he entered the Westmoreland militia, and two years later he enlisted as a private soldier in the Royal Artillery. While in this corps he devoted his leisure to scientific studies, and appears to have made himself familiar with all the great facts of electricity and magnetism which were then opening to the world. His subsequent career created for him a name in the annals of scientific discovery.
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JOSEPH B. ANTHONY, President Judge of the Eighth Judicial District of Pennsylvania, died at his residence in Williamsport on the 11th January. He was born in Philadelphia, on the 19th day of June, 1795. While young, he for a time taught school in Milton, Northumberland county, at which place he studied law. He went to Ohio, and after an absence of about one year returned to Pennsylvania. In 1818 he was admitted to the bar at Williamsport, where he continued to reside until his death. In 1830 he was elected by the Democratic party to the Senate of Pennsylvania. In the year 1831 he was elected to Congress, and two years after was reelected by an unprecedented majority. During the early part of the administration of Governor Porter he was appointed Judge of the Nicholson Court of Pennsylvania, and in March, 1844, was appointed President Judge of the Eighth Judicial District.
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MR. OSBALDISTON, the well-known tragedian and theatrical manager, died at his residence, near London, on the 29th December. He was fifty-six or fifty-seven years of age, and besides sustaining tragic characters at most of the London and provincial theatres, he has held the reins of management at the Surrey, Sadler's Wells, Covent-Garden, and City of London theatres.
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THEOLOGICAL SCIENCE, says the Methodist Quarterly Review, has sustained another blow in the loss of Professor MAU, of Kiel, who died some weeks ago. His studies lay mostly in the line of New-Testament Theology; and he is known especially by his treatise Of Death, the Wages of Sin, and of Salvation (Vom Tode, des Suenden Solde, u. von d. Erloesung). The work, which is distinguished for its acute and vigorous thought, was written in reply to one on the same subject by Professor Krabbe, of Rostock. Its chief peculiarity is the doctrine that the death of the body is inherent in its constitution, not the effect of sin; and therefore that redemption has regard only to spiritual death.
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MRS. WALLACK, the wife of Mr. James W. Wallack the comedian, and the daughter of the celebrated "Irish Johnstone," died on Christmas day, aged fifty-eight years.
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MADAME CAROLINE JUNOT, the eldest daughter of Schiller, died suddenly on the 19th December, at Wurtzburg, in Bavaria.
GENERAL SIR PHINEAS RIALL, K.C.H., died in Paris, early in November. He entered the British Army in 1792, and served in the West Indies, receiving a medal and clasp for his services at Martinique, and Guadaloupe, in 1809 and 1810. In 1813, he served in the American war, and was severely wounded at the battle of Chippewa.
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LIEUT. GENERAL SEWIGHT MAWBY, who served during the wars of Napoleon, and since in India, died lately in London.
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M. MARVY, eminent as a landscape painter and as an engraver; and M. DUBOIS, a distinguished architect, are noticed in the recent Paris obituaries.
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GENERAL ETIENNE JOLY died at Villiers-les-Bel, on the 2d of January.
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HERMANN KRIEGE died at Hoboken on the last day of December. He was of German birth, but spoke the English and the French language with fluency. A Democrat and Socialist by constitution, he devoted all the resources of an ardent nature and ready talents to the triumph of his principles. It is now some eight years since he first removed to this country, and established in New-York a weekly paper called the Volks-Tribun, in which he advocated the most radical ideas upon the relations of capital and labor, with as much ability as earnestness. In his views of American politics he inclined to the so-called democratic party, and when the Mexican War commenced gave it a hearty support—not because he had carefully inquired into its justice, but because he regarded the absorption of Mexico, and indeed the entire continent, by the United States, and the supremacy of the Anglo-Saxon race in the western world, as absolutely essential to the progress of humanity. Though not originally a land reformer, he adopted and vigorously defended not only the doctrine that the earth belongs to the human race and cannot rightfully be trafficked in any more than can the air or the sunlight, but the measures which American reformers have deduced therefrom, namely, land limitation, freedom of the public domain, homestead exemption, &c. During this time he wrote and published in German a history of the United States, as well as a series of translations from the writings of our revolutionary patriots, works of the highest value to our German citizens. The Volks-Tribun ceased to be published in 1847, and for some time after Mr. Kriege gained a livelihood by teaching German. He also gave here, in his native tongue, a course of lectures on German Literature, which were greatly enjoyed by those who attended them. On the breaking out of the Revolution of 1848, he returned to Germany, and took an active share in the democratic movements. He was one of the Supreme Executive Committee, consisting of three members, if we remember rightly, which had its seat at Berlin, and thence conducted a revolutionary propaganda throughout the country. In the spring of 1849 he returned to the United States again, and took editorial charge of the Illinois Staats Zeitung at Chicago. But the reaction which now followed the intense excitement of the previous year in Europe, proved too much for his physical powers, which were far from robust. His health compelled him to resign his connection with that paper and come back to the city. He fell into a sort of apathy which resulted in a partial derangement of his mind, and finally in the complete prostration of his system. After lingering for some months he at last expired with tranquillity, in the thirtieth year of his age. He was a man of extensive acquirements. His knowledge of history was very comprehensive and accurate. His intellect, though not remarkably original or brilliant, was clear and vigorous. His heart was of the manly and noble kind. There is encouragement in the recollection of such a man.—Tribune.
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MME. LOUISA HENRIETTA SCHMALZ, the most famous German Cantatrice of the last century, and who for more than thirty years was the Queen of the German Lyrical Stage, has just died in Berlin, aged seventy-nine years. In her youth she was beautiful and she was always remarkable for fascination of manners.
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GEORGE SPENCE, an eminent lawyer, and lecturer on Equity Jurisprudence at Lincoln's Inn, committed suicide in London, on the 12th December. He was born in 1786, educated at a Scotch University, called to the bar in London in 1811, and made a Bencher in 1834. As a writer upon law, Mr. Spence had a high and deserved reputation. His work on "The Equitable Jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery," is founded partly on Maddock's "Treatise on the Principles and Practice of the High Court of Chancery;" yet it is, in many important particulars, essentially an original work. This able production, the second volume of which appeared in 1849, has been generally commended.
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GENERAL SIR WM. LUMLEY, G. C. B., a distinguished cavalry officer, died in London on the 15th December. He entered the army at the age of eighteen, in 1787, and continued in service through the greater part of his life. In the Irish Rebellion, in 1798, he commanded the 22nd Light Dragoons, and was wounded at Antrim. He was afterwards in Egypt, at the Cape of Good Hope, and in South America, at the capture of Monte Video in 1807. After commanding the advanced force at the taking of Ischia, and after attaining the rank of Major-General, Lumley joined the British army in the Peninsula. He there won great distinction at the first siege of Badajoz, and he led the whole allied cavalry at the battle of Albuera; few, indeed, were more useful during the Peninsular war.
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ROBERT ROSCOE, third son of the historian, died during the early part of December, in his sixty-first year. For some time he followed the profession of the law, in partnership with the late Mr. Edgar Taylor; but he retired from active life, in consequence of infirm health, many years ago. Like all the members of the Roscoe family, he had literary powers, which an unusual amount of self-distrust prevented his exercising largely. The completion of Mr. Fitchett's huge epic of "Alfred" was done by him in fulfilment of a promise, and he wrote other poems, and some small works in prose, not unworthy of a son of William Roscoe.
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MR. RICHIE, a sculptor of some reputation, from Edinburgh, went lately to Rome, where he died during the month of September. His death is mainly attributable to an excursion he made with some friends to Ostio, where, ignorant of the effects of the climate, and of the precautions necessary to be taken in it, he caught the malaria fever, and expired after his return to Rome. He was followed to the English cemetery by most of the English and American artists resident there. His journey to Rome had been for some years the object of his most ardent hopes and wishes.
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M. MARTIN D'AUCH, the only surviving member of the first Constituent Assembly of the First French Republic, and the only one who, at the oath of the Jeu de Paume, refused to sign the declaration of the Tiers-Parti, has just died at Castlenaudary. In David's well-known picture, M. d'Auch is represented with his arms folded on his breast, and refusing to join his colleagues.
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The well-known Dutch painter, MORITZ, died lately at the Hague, aged seventy-seven years.
A Report by five eminent members has been made to the Paris Academy of Sciences, on a paper from Colonel Lesbros, entitled Hydraulic Experiments relative to the Laws of the Flowing of Water. Two thousand experiments, carried through four years, are detailed in three hundred and twelve pages of text, with thirty-seven large plates. The work was recommended to the Academy by the Minister of War. The Committee say, at the end of their report:—"Considering the high utility of these experimental researches, prosecuted to the end in the most satisfactory and complete manner; and being convinced of the beneficial effect which the publication of them may have in the promotion of science, and its application to public works,—to navigation, agriculture, hydraulic establishments, and the various branches of industry connected with them,—the Committee are of opinion that the Academy should accord full approbation to the work, and direct the early insertion of it in the Transactions." All parts of the report show that the publication will be of importance to both sides of the Atlantic.
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Of the December number of the Comte Rendu of the Paris Academy of Moral and Political Sciences, nearly twenty pages are occupied by one of the Reports of Blanqui, the Political Economist, on the Rural Populations of France. He made his personal survey, this year, as Commissioner of the Academy. He is preparing a work, in several volumes, on the state, in every particular, of the inhabitants of France, in every part. His abstract of his recent survey of the Departments of the centre, including the basin of the Loire, abounds with curious details, especially as to the diversity of the manner in which the Revolution of February, 1848, affected the rural and city populations in their minds and interests. He speaks of the city of Saint Etienne as extemporized after the American fashion.
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THE AFRICAN EXPLORING EXPEDITION.—Intelligence has been received from the Saharan African Expedition up to the 29th of August last. The expedition had literally fought its way up to Selonfeet in Aheer, near to the territory of the Kaillouee Prince, En-Nour, to whom it is recommended. Mr. Richardson had been obliged to ransom his life and those of his fellow-travellers twice. The whole population of the northern districts of Aheer had been raised against the expedition, joined by all the bandits and robbers who infest that region of the Sahara. The travellers are now in comparative security. The great Soudan route, from Ghat to Aheer, is explored. Of the expedition of Von Muller we have a few days later but not important news.
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The Royal Society of London, at the last annual meeting, awarded "the Royal Medal" to Mr. Benjamin Brodie, F.R.S. (eldest son of Sir B. Brodie, Bart.) for his papers on the chemical nature of wax. It is nearly forty years since the Royal Society awarded the "Copley medal" to Sir Benjamin Brodie for his paper "on poisons;" the only instance of father and son receiving the same distinction.
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Of an Hungarian Academy, Mr. Walsh writes to the Journal of Commerce, "Last month Mr. Kenigswater transmitted to the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences, a very interesting communication relative to the National Academy of Hungary, with the existence of which few of the French savants were acquainted. The idea of establishing a National Society for universal knowledge, dates from the end of the last century. Its accomplishment was delayed by political causes, and the want of adequate funds. But a Magyar Count succeeded, in 1827, in obtaining an act of the Diet for the creation of such an institute. He presented it with a sum of thirty thousand dollars; another magnate gave twenty thousand dollars; many others ten thousand; so that the fund from voluntary contributions, amounts to nearly two hundred thousand dollars—a million of francs. The Academy was inaugurated in 1830, and divided into six sections—Philology, Philosophy, History, Jurisprudence, Mathematics, and the Natural Sciences. Its only President since that period has been Count Joseph Teleki, deemed an excellent historian, to whom and his brothers it is indebted for a sum of twenty-five thousand francs, and a library of fifty thousand volumes. It consists now of nineteen honorary members; thirty-eight active or resident; and of a hundred and twenty-five corresponding members for the several sections. Each section has a weekly meeting; there are monthly and annual sittings of all. Papers on erudite and scientific subjects are read; the Magyar language is alone permitted in its business and transactions, except as to the communications of its foreign correspondents. It has published, at its own expense, a very large number of works; among them a series of critical Commentaries on the ancient monuments of the Magyar language, "which bears no affinity to the European tongues, and differs as much from the Sclavonic as from the Teutonic and the Latin idioms." There is a very important and very rich collection of Hungarian translations of the Latin and Greek classics; another of translations of the principal modern dramatic authors. The Hungarian mind has been prolific for its stage, in original pieces. The Academy awards prizes, confers distinctions, &c., &c."