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tunities for study, little intercourse with philosophers,
dinner, quietly and unsuspectingly taking his usual tumbler of toddy, the trenches were opened by the deputed hand of my maternal parent, who, in the blandest tones, intimated that his son and heir had taken it into his head that he would like very much to have a long-tailed coat. The old gentleman flew into a violent passion, as old gentlemen are apt to do when their pockets are attacked. "A long-tailed coat!" he roared out in an old commodore sort of way; "what does he want with a long-tailed coat? Nonsense, nonsense! If he gets a long-tailed coat ten years hence, it will be soon enough." I heard the words from behind the door, and my heart died within me. Not get a long-tailed coat for ten years! Was I to be doomed to wear a jacket, and be the laughing-stock of the whole long-tailed fraternity, for such a long time? Rather, I thought, let me die at once; and I really did for a moment contemplate suicide. But my mother, with whom I was a favourite, evidently appeared to be on my side, and I then saw reason for hope, knowing that she was in general a capital agitator. That very night, to my unspeakable joy, it was announced that "the governor" had relented, and that I might go and get measure taken for a longtailed coat!
I immediately sallied forth and sought the dwelling of the tailor, at whose door I rapped in a bold determined manner. "Is Mr Toggins at home?" said I, in an authoritative tone. "Yes, sir;" and I was shown into a room. In a short time, Toggins appeared, with his measures disposed over his arm, and these he right quickly applied to my person. member yet the pleasure with which I felt his fingers touch the back of my leg as he measured me for the tails. I told him that I wished a first-rate article, and expected that he would spare no pains. He solemnly promised to do as I wished; and added, that to give the coat every advantage, he would put on a set of buttons of a pattern newly introduced in town, and which had only that day reached him. I left him with my head in the clouds. On Saturday night the coat was brought home. I tried it on; the fit was faultless, the workmanship beautiful, the buttons splendid. Next morning, when the bells began to ring for church, I walked forth in my coat, and proceeded with as unconcerned an air as possible up the sunny side of the street, which I adopted for the double purpose of showing off, and of seeing the shadow of my skirts on the wall. As I went along, one of a group of urchins upon whom I suddenly came, cried "Haud out o' the man's road!"-an evidence that I was no longer a boy, but a full-fledged man. The sentence, pronounced as it was in the broadest Scotch of a country town, was music to my ears, and inflated me as wind does a bag. I felt tall, and strong, and dignified, and not-care-a-farthingishly, and went into church in a frame of mind any thing but that of a sober Christian. On the following morning, it became evident that my coat had made a sensation. My former companions, who had stood aloof during the jacket régime, now came up, and were as frank and social as ever. I was inclined to be cold at first, but soon relented. The only punishment I inflicted was to report what I had been told by Toggins, but did not believe, that my buttons were the favourite buttons of the Prince Regent; at which, as I expected, they all looked rather blank. To tell the plain truth, I soon saw how absurd it would be to resent their former exclusive conduct; for, before we had walked along a hundred yards together, I felt the same contempt for one or two jacketed striplings of my acquaintance whom we met, as my new companions had lately expressed for me.
Thus happily, at length, ended the struggles of adolescence in my case; but I remain deeply sensible of how much better it would be to revive the Roman fashion, than to allow a youth to fight his way, as I had done, into the toga cirilis-freely translated, the long-tailed coat.
BIOGRAPHIC SKETCHES. WILLIAM SMITH, THE "FATHER OF ENGLISH GEOLOGY." [FOR the advance of most sciences two kinds of men are necessary-first, the active observing man who bustles about collecting facts, then the meditative reflecting man who systematises these facts and draws conclusions. Geology is eminently one of the sciences requiring two classes of cultivators. The first was more particularly necessary forty or fifty years ago, when the science only existed in its rudest elements. At that time there were two widely different men engaged in investigating the aqueous rocks-the German minesuperintendant Werner, a sublime genius, who theorised before he had largely enough observed, and William Smith, an English land-surveyor, who only could observe. To the latter, mainly, the world has been indebted for its knowledge of the order in which that
class of rocks has been formed above each other-a piece of knowledge which has enlarged in the most interesting manner our conceptions of the Creator's works, and added a new and wonderful volume to the history of the world which we inhabit. Mr Smith is only the more remarkable for this service, from his being purely a practical man, one who had few oppor
communications to any respectable and intelligent inquirer. He reserved no portion of information to himself, but profusely bestowed it without considerations of selfishness, or thought of compensation of any kind. Had he been actuated by any thing apart from an indomitable love of the science, it is more than probable that his knowledge might have been turned to good account for his own exclusive benefit in evident that he mainly made his profession subservient his profession. On the contrary, it was perpetually to his pursuit of geology. His devotion to the science was evidenced by his receiving about this time a designation by which he was usually distinguished throughout his life from the innumerable multitude of Smiths who inhabit our island-namely, that of
Dr James Anderson and other scientific gentlemen
William Smith was born, March 23, 1769, at Churchill in Oxfordshire-over, as he was fond to remark, the oolitic formation. He commenced as a geologist in his very boyhood, it being one of his earliest amusements to collect the fossil shells which abound in this class of rocks, and to observe their urged Mr Smith to lay his views and discoveries before several characters. His patrimony being small, he the world, and offered him such assistance as was in engaged in the profession of a surveyor of land; and their power, which offers were repeated on the part in the course of the acquisition of professional know- of other men of eminence. In 1799, therefore, apledge, it was his delight to store facts in reference to peared a small "Tabular View of the Superposition of the strata whose surfaces he measured and appor- English Strata," and in 1801, a prospectus for an tioned as a matter of business. In 1791, Mr Smith "Accurate Delineation and Description of the Natural was employed in Somersetshire; and some years Order of the Various Strata of England and Wales,” later he was engaged in executing the Somerset Coal &c. This prospectus is in itself a brief compendium Canal. Here he frequently descended the coal-pits, of the practical applications of geology, and displays and obtained much information on the coal-measures, the growing mastery of the subject, which was finally from the colliers and his own keen personal inspec- proved beyond a doubt by the appearance, in 1815, of tion. In the course of this period, he became intimately the principal portion of his "Delineation of the Strata acquainted with the minute characteristics of the of England and Wales." This work was a large map, stratification around Bath, which, including the coal- in fifteen coloured sheets, of the kind now known as measures, embraced some of the most important of geological maps, and was the unaided production of our English rocks and clays. He in time collected this one zealous geologist. Considered in this light, numerous organic remains, all of which he was careful and also, indeed, of that of a near approach to general to label in reference to the precise positions from accuracy, its merits can scarcely be overrated. And which they were derived. He was now called to although it was not long after followed by the more survey on the Coteswold Hills; and, early in 1794, to accurate map of Mr Greenough, it is not difficult to attend Parliament in connexion with the business of suppose that the formation of the latter was greatly the Somerset Coal-Canal Company. His journey to facilitated by the labours of Mr Smith, at least in London afforded him an opportunity, thoroughly made diffusing geological knowledge over a large portion of use of, of observing the contours of the hills and emi-England. Nor must it be forgotten that he had long nences in the various neighbourhoods; nor was the prepared the main parts of the map, but did not meet conformation of ranges of knolls and minor elevations with sufficient encouragement to publish it. Sir Jolost upon our observer. A stage-coach journey was seph Banks had become acquainted with our geologist in fact to him the perusal, though necessarily a hasty in one of his visits to the agricultural meetings, called perusal, of a page of nature's volume. "sheep-shearings," at Woburn and Holkham, and afterwards proved a warm patron and the promoter of a subscription to assist the publications of our author.
He was wont to relate with peculiar zest the history of a long, but to him by no means tedious, travel which he undertook with two engineers, in 1794, to the north of England, for the purpose of collecting information on canals and collieries. Seated foremost in the chaise, he explored every point of broken ground on two lines between Bath and Newcastle-on-Tyne; and, instructed by previous observations, he correctly interpreted the hieroglyphics presented by the contours of distant hills, and traced, by aid of these and the form and position of escarpments, the strata of Bath to the coast of Whitby, and the chalk of the Wiltshire downs to the wolds of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. At this period of his life, Mr Smith was entirely unacquainted with books on physical geography or natural history; although, even if he had been learned in their lore, there was little at that time published that could have materially assisted him in his inquiries. His ignorance was proved by numerous particulars; and chiefly by his adoption of the local designations of the particular strata, and the employment of all such terms as would be given and recognised in the respective neighbourhoods of the rocks. Many of these, however inharmonious-such as combrash, forest-marble, lias-are still preserved in the alphabet of geology, while others have yielded to more correct denominations.
In 1804 Mr Smith had removed to London, and in 1806 he published a treatise on irrigation. From this period up to 1815, he had attracted notice in various ways; and in that year, when his great map appeared, the British Museum purchased his whole collection of fossils for L.500. The task of arranging these led to the publication of two small quartos, entitled, "Strata Identified by Organised Fossils” (1815); and “Stratigraphical System of Organised Fossils" (1817), the latter being designed as an index to the specimens in the museum. Between the appearance of the great map in 1815 and 1821, Mr Smith published no less than twenty geological maps of English counties, often remarkable for their near approach to accuracy. It is, however, painful to record the fact, that all his efforts had been insufficient to ensure himself a moderate or even small competency. He was compelled to forego his residence in London, and in some degree to lead a wandering life in various parts of the country. In 1824, he delivered a course of lectures on his favourite science to the members of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society, and repeated these the same year, in conjunction with his nephew (the well-known Professor Phillips, the author of several works on geological subjects), at Scarborough and Hull. In 1825, similar lectures were delivered at Sheffield, and efforts were made to secure some permanent engagement for Mr Smith. He at length was offered and accepted an occupation as agent to Sir John Johnstone, Bart., at the beautiful retreat of Hackness, near Scar borough. Here, as usual, he set himself to geological research, the result of which soon appeared in a map and a collection of fossils. I shall ever remember the hearty shake of a weathered hand with which he welcomed me to Hackness, whither I had repaired to reside for some time with him as his pupil. He, on this occasion, set myself and a friend who accompanied me down to a bread and cheese luncheon; but before our hunger was half appeased, he insisted on hauling us out to inspect the outline of the neighbouring hills. My friend, who professed no passion for practical geology, could not leave the cottage without casting at least "one longing, lingering look behind."
In 1795, when Mr Smith became a housekeeper, he began to arrange his collections of fossils from the vicinity of Bath, in the order of the strata; and before 1799 he had coloured geologically the large sheets of the Somersetshire survey, and a circular map of the vicinity of Bath, both remarkably accurate. By maps and sections, also, he explained to numerous scientific gentlemen, who were attracted by the novelty of his system to visit him, those views relating to the regular succession and continuity of strata, and the definite distribution of animal and vegetable remains in the earth, which are now placed in the first lessons of geology. The great distinctive features of Mr Smith's system were now clearly presented to his own mind and to the minds of others. They were these:-That the fossil productions of the several strata are not accidentally and confusedly distributed in them, but that each species has its own peculiar place, as belonging to some particular stratum; that this species may be either confined to that stratum solely, that in the first case it becomes an infallible test of or to that and other particular strata in conjunction; the identity of two strata occurring in two different localities, and in the last case a collateral proof of that identity. Mr Smith arranged (for convenience of removal) the fossils in trays, letting down one above the other, in boxes of moderate dimensions; each box commonly containing a collection of fossils from the same rock or stratum in various parts of England. As they were nearly all collected by his own hands, he could point with certainty to the proofs of his theory of identification of strata by organic remains ; and the theory was therefore fully established, and gradually made known and received. In all these exhibitions and explanations, we are especially called upon to admire the liberality and frankness of his
Mr Smith subsequently spent the main portion of in objects of geological interest. He had, as early his time at Scarborough, the vicinity of which is rich as 1817, planned the arrangements of the beautiful museum at that place, and it was erected and carried out upon his plan. The building is circular, and the fossils and geological and mineralogical contents are arranged in sloping shelves, one above the other, in such a manner that the circle presents a good silent lecture on the strata. The order of natural superposition is followed, and thus the positions and productions of the several strata are at once observed.
The practical value of his knowledge has been most triumphantly proved in the instance of the Great South Hetton Colliery in Durham. For, in 1821, Mr Smith recommended to Colonel Braddyl, the proprietor of the estate, to search for coal beneath the
of them very far from dutiful in their unruly attempts at theorising. While we were one morning breakfasting with Professor Sedgwick, at the Cambridge meeting of the association, a very good-humoured paternal correction was gently administered to the accomplished professor, and most dutifully received by him, although it does not appear by his subsequent course that it was productive of serious effects upon him.
magnesian limestone. The idea of such a search was always previously held to be one of very great uncertainty in its result, and by some was entirely scouted. The issue of the experiment has proved the most fortunate possible to Colonel Braddyl and others; for excellent coal has been obtained, although not without considerable difficulties in sinking the shafts.
Our geologist was intensely gratified, and partially rewarded for comparative obscurity, in the presentation to him, in 1831, by the Geological Society of London, of the first Wollaston medal, accompanied by a merited and eloquent eulogium by Professor Sedgwick, in the course of which he styled Mr Smith the "Father of English Geology." In the same year, also, the British Association, assembled at York, made application to government for a pension to Mr Smith, which was ultimately settled upon him for life, to the amount of L.100 annually. The crowning gratification of our philosopher was bestowed at Dublin, in 1835, when the University, during the meeting of the British Association in that city, conferred upon him the degree of LL.D. On the first day of the meeting of the association I encountered him, as I was hurrying to the assembly, in the street, and, ignorant of his new honour, cordially addressed him in the usual style of Mr Smith, which designation he instantly paused to assure me was defunct, and dilated with pardonable vanity upon his doctorship. Occasionally, on passing him during the day, I overheard him explaining to other friends the error into which their ignorance, like mine, had led them; and even on the last day of the meetings of the association, the same verbal correction was in process of being administered to the last ignorant delinquent.
Several of his friends expected the pleasure of again conversing with him, in 1839, at the meeting of the British Association at Birmingham. Great, however, was our regret and surprise to hear, upon our arrival there, that Dr Smith had closed his life and labours at Northampton, September 23d, while on a visit to a friend, in his way to the meeting. It was a remarkable coincidence, that a wish of his, often half-jocularly and half-pensively expressed, had been realised in the site of the place of his death. He had often said that he wished he might close his labours on the stratum on which he had commenced them—namely, the oolite. Northampton is situated on the oolite! And in St Peter's churchyard repose, on that very stratum, the remains of "Strata Smith."
I have enumerated the titles of the principal publications of Dr Smith; but, with the exception of the great map and the other maps, they were usually but partially complete, and were obviously intended more as preludes to sustained efforts to be made, either by him or others, under more favourable circumstances. This admission does not detract from his justly earned fame, but it will account for the fact that their author has been almost forgotten, except among his immediate circle of friends. He was in the habit also, during many of his latter years, of recording his recollections and ideas based upon them, upon separate slips of paper, in a neat handwriting. These slips accumulated to a formidable extent so formidable, indeed, as to render the chance of their arrangement and reperusal very remote. He one day opened all these stores to me, and urged upon me the desirableness of reducing them to order and methodical arrangement. I undertook the task with some perseverance and ardour; but ultimately relinquished it, from the utter impossibility of accomplishing the project satisfactorily-as, indeed, such a loose mode of composition might naturally have led me to anticipate. It must not be concealed, however, that Dr Smith's views were not exactly accordant with the advanced state of geological science in his latter years. He could by no means be brought to acquiesce in the theories propounded by some of our bold modern investigators; nor was he always sparing in his attempts to disprove or disparage them, whether justly or not it is not my purpose here to determine. But I well remember with what an indignant zest he was occasionally wont to exclaim against the fashionable tendency to refer particular distortions or depositions to particular and secondary agency; and the modern readiness to create a special cause for every special event and effect. These dissertations he used generally to conclude by saying-"Ah! sir, these modern theorists only want to make out the Creator a journeyman!" Such pithy apothegms were frequently, for example, introduced in his discussions with me upon the vegetable origin of coal-a theory in which he was by no means disposed to acquiesce.
His brother geologists always very properly paid a due degree of respect to the venerable founder of their improved and certain system of observation; and hence seldom controverted his opinions so ardently as they might otherwise have been disposed to do. Hence, too, it was by common and ready consent that an honourable seat, amongst the chief men of the section, was always assigned to " Father Smith" at the meetings of the British Association. These meetings were, indeed, his glory and comfort in his declining days, and were looked forward to by him with a degree of intense interest that ordinary people could not understand or appreciate. I was present with him at every meeting of the association except the two first; and was always much delighted with the paternal interest with which he appeared to regard the proceed ings of his sons, if so they might be called-which is the more questionable, perhaps, as he considered some
Latterly, Dr Smith was afflicted with deafness to some extent; but this did not prevent his attendance at the several meetings of the association, and his occupation of a doctor's chair in all seeming state. Occasionally the lecturer for the day would turn aside towards him, and utter in a louder key some complimentary allusion to the "father of English geology" whereupon it was most delightful and amusing to witness the conscious merit of the venerable philosopher, and the warm respect of the illuminati around him. These allusions, deaf as he was, he never failed to hear and treasure up, to be retailed on all fitting occasions to those who had not the privilege of hearing them at their birth. But especially after his reception of the Wollaston medal, l'imagine, no stranger was introduced to Dr Smith without at the same time being introduced by him to the medal. The old man carried it about with him in its red leather case whereever he went, and was ever able to lay his hand upon it at a moment's warning. Before the form of the introduction of any stranger was well nigh completed in all its ceremonies, the doctor's hand was in his pocket, and in an instant he would commence, in a kind of low utterance, "This is my medal," &c. Some of us were scarcely able to restrain a smile upon such occasions. Nor, if any stranger was present at breakfast with him, were we unacquainted with what would prove the theme of conversation; and usually we so far gratified him as to prevail upon the servant to arrange things in a convenient manner; for, upon the first break of the uniformity of the plate of bread and butter, the doctor would turn with a complacent semi-smile to the stranger, and say "Now, that plate of bread and butter occurs to me as a capital exemplification of the order of the strata. You see, they crop out and overlie each other, just as the pieces of bread do. There, you see, you may form a good notion of the oolite beds by that arrangement. Suppose we double these picces, thus, we represent a distortion," &c.
It will readily be conceived from these remarks that Dr Smith was an acute observer of common, and hitherto usually neglected, facts. To the last walk of his life, he geologised as he walked; and from the first days of his life he thereby acquired an invincible habit of looking on the ground if walking, and on the fields if riding. A spring in a field, a stone, a building, a quarry, a clay-pit, brick-field, lime-kiln, and even a ploughed field, were all made to minister to his favourite seience, and all to minister well, though not always with novelty. By this perpetual observance of the qualities and properties of external objects, continued throughout an active life, he became not only an interesting companion to the unoccupied stroller, but a profitable fellow-traveller to the practical man. Hence he was appointed to accompany Mr Barry and other commissioners upon their investigations into the durability and suitableness of the stone for the new Houses of Parliament; and he frequently astonished these gentlemen by the accuracy of his local knowledge, and the verity of his predictions as to the course and quality of certain rocks. No opportunity of studying the properties of stone was neglected by him, and no time was deemed unsuitable by him for such inquiries. If attending a parish church to which he was a stranger, he was sure to spend some time before or after service in the churchyard, observing how far the stones had become worn by the weather in proportion to their age. I have more than once walked with him through such a scene, while he pointed out the stratum and locality from which every tombstone was derived.
his temperate and active habits, together with the healthy character of his pursuits, having kept him hale to the last.
THE YOUNG PRISONER OF THE
Ar the period of the French Revolution, there resided in Paris a family called Gerfeuil, consisting of a father, mother, and one son, Edward Gerfeuil, who was about fifteen years of age, a pretty, clever, interesting boy, the darling of his parents' heart and the pride of their eyes. But at the same time that he was a source of unbounded comfort to them, he was also a subject of the deepest anxiety; for at that season of anarchy and peril, when no one's life or fortune was secure, they trembled at the thoughts of the future that might await their innocent child. They possessed a comfortable independent fortune, the whole of which was designed for Edward; but who should promise that he would ever inherit it? The slightest imprudence on the part of the father or mother might render them objects of suspicion; indeed, they might become objects of suspicion without any imprudence at all-they might be accused by an enemy, they might be compromised by a friend, they might be dragged to the scaffold any day without a moment's warning, or they might be obliged to fly their country with nothing but the clothes they had on their backs. And what was to become of their Edward, bred in affluence, nurtured in delicacy, educated in refinement? Many and many an anxious hour did these reflections cost Monsieur and Madame Gerfeuil.
"I sometimes think," said Monsieur Gerfeuil one day to his wife, "that it would not be a bad plan to make Edward learn a trade. In these times, when every body's fortune is so precarious, and when, without any fault of our own, we may be in affluence today and beggars to-morrow, it would be advisable to have something to fall back upon-some resource by which one might earn one's bread, in case of the worst falling out.”
"What could he learn?" said Madame Gerfeuil. "We must consult him about it," answered the father. "For my own part, I should recommend printing, because the education he has received would there turn to some account, and he would find some occupation for his mind as well as his fingers."
When Edward was consulted, he agreed that he should prefer printing to any other occupation; and as he promised himself a great deal of diversion from appearing in a part so new to him, he made no objection to the proposal. A working dress being therefore prepared for him, and a respectable establishment selected by his father, the youth commenced his apprenticeship; attending at the printing-office a certain number of hours every day, and receiving instruction in the various branches of his art.
The plan seemed to answer very well. Edward Gerfeuil was fast acquiring dexterity; and the father and mother were comforted to think that they had provided such a resource for their son in case of extremity, when a dreadful calamity befell them. A pamphlet supporting principles very obnoxious to the revolutionary tribunal, which had been circulating amongst the people, was traced to the printing-house of Monsieur Gros, and suddenly himself and all his workmen were arrested and carried off to the Conciergerie, and amongst them poor Edward Gerfeuil, who, although he had never seen the pamphlet, nor was aware of its existence, being at work in his printer's dress, shared the fate of his companions.
Who shall paint the alarm and distress of the parents on learning this intelligence; for, alas! how few were there who, once arrested on suspicion, ever escaped with their lives! What availed his youth!what availed his innocence? How many, as young and as innocent, perished weekly on the scaffold! And then, how bitterly they reproached themselves. Their over anxiety had been his destruction; and what to do to assist him they did not know. Even to prove his innocence, if innocence would have availed, was next to impossible; they had no acquaintance with any body in power; in all probability their motive for sending him to the printing-office would not be credited, if they told it; and they almost dreaded to raise a stir about him, lest by drawing attention to his case, and betraying that he was what would be called an aristocrat, they should only accelerate his fate.
My friend (above alluded to) who accompanied me to Hackness, was a zealous and most pious clergyman, and, as was his wont, immediately commenced a professional crusade against the man of science, in which, after numerous assaults, he had to confess himself foiled-not by the opposition of the philosopher, but by his perfectly quiet acquiescence in all he propounded, and his reception of the applied force without a particle of reaction, save that every remark of the professional man was dexterously directed by the philosopher to the advancement of geology. My pious friend raised the siege upon being most thoroughly deceived by the meditative appearance of Dr Smith on one occasion in Scarborough churchyard. The doctor was poring pensively over the tombstones, and thereby deluded my friend into the belief that his opportunity for instilling his advice was indubitably arrived a conclusion which he discovered to be hopelessly fallacious, when the real nature of the doctor's cogitations was made known.
In the mean time, poor Edward, after undergoing the form of an examination, in which he was only insulted when he attempted to explain who he was, and account for being found in such a situation, was dragged to the Conciergerie, and flung into a dungeon -a dungeon under ground, too, for a French prison under the old régime was a dreadful place; they have since been much improved, as is always the case as countries become more civilised and enlightened. People then learn to know that the loss of liberty and the inevitable hardships of a jail, are punishments Dr Smith's moral conduct and character were most enough for slight offences, and all that we are entitled exemplary throughout his whole life; and his unfail- to inflict on unconvicted prisoners. But no such rays ing kindness in circumstances of the most trying do- of mercy had yet reached the hearts or understandmestic affliction, were no less conspicuous and praise-ings of Edward's jailers, and he could not have been worthy than his unshaken fortitude in bearing up worse treated if he had robbed a church or committed against pecuniary difficulties. It was remarkable murder. The poor boy's feelings may be imaginedthat his cheerfulness and hilarity continued almost to torn from his comfortable home and his tender parents, the last day of his life. He died indeed of natural and transferred to the custody of a harsh turnkey, in decay, at the age of seventy-one, and without pain; a miserable cell, without light, without fire, with a
said the mistress of the shop; "don't forget to call as
wretched pallet to lie on, and dieted on bread and water. And to all these sufferings was added terror -the terror of what remained behind. Though Edward had never seen the guillotine, he had heard too much of it; and although, with the natural thoughtlessness of youth, he had reflected little on the peril in which all men lived, as long as that peril did not approach himself or his parents, yet he had missed too many of his friends and neighbours from their accustomed paths and daily whereabouts, not to comprehend something of his own situation. Poor child! how did the darkness and the silence, too, frighten him! How eagerly he watched for the jailer's visits! how welcome was the gleam of his dull lantern! how he drank in the tones of his husky voice! and how he listened to the echo of his receding footsteps, and sighed when he heard them no more! Then he wondered so much if his father and mother knew where he was, and he trembled with the dreadful apprehension that they might not be able to trace him, and that he might some day be carried to execution without ever seeing or hearing from them again. What, too, if they had been arrested as well as himself? Then there would be none to interest themselves for him, and he might perish either in the prison or on the scaffold, without an arm being stretched out to save
It may well be conceived that all these horrors-the anxiety of mind, the bad living, the confinement, and the unwholesome air of his dungeon-were not long in showing their effects on a boy of fifteen. Poor Edward fell ill; the medical man that attended the jail had him removed to a cell a degree less wretched than the one he was in, and having with some difficulty saved his life, he ordered that he should take an hour's exercise every day in the court-a miserable place, surrounded by four high walls, little better than a dungeon open at top. However, such as it was, it was a great comfort to poor Edward, for here he at least caught a glimpse of the sky, and saw the faces of other human beings, although he was not allowed to address them; and many a kind glance cast upon the poor young captive, made him feel that there were yet tender hearts in the world, who could pity though they could not aid him
It happened that the jailer had a daughter, a girl about a year older than Edward, whose home was with her father at the prison, whither she returned cach night, whilst her days were spent in acquiring the art of dressmaking at a fashionable establishment in the Palais Royal. She thus very rarely saw any of the prisoners; but one Sunday, as her father was conducting Edward to take his daily walk in the court, she chanced to meet him, and, struck with his appearance of youth and suffering, she inquired the cause of his being there.
"It's very hard," said the jailer's wife, when she heard the account given by her husband, and who, being a mother, was disposed to feel for one so young. "I dare say he only printed what his master told him, without troubling himself to know the meaning of it. What should a child like that care about politics?"
"It's no business of ours, wife," replied the man, who, though by no means particularly hard-hearted, was afraid to cultivate feelings of compassion, lest they should bring him into trouble. "We have nothing to do but to look after our prisoners, without inquiring into the right and wrong of their cases."
"That's true, indeed," said the wife; "walls have ears, and the least said is soonest mended." The impression made upon Annette's mind, however, was not so easily effaced; and the emaciated form and pallid cheeks of the young prisoner were often remembered when she was plying the needle at her daily toil.
It may be imagined, at a period when so many innocent and virtuous persons were thrown into prisons, and daily perishing upon the scaffold, that it was no uncommon sight to see their anxious friends hovering about the gate, and gazing at the walls which contained objects so dear, whom it was too probable they might never behold again. Annette's eyes were therefore too much accustomed to these melancholy visions to be generally much struck by them; but her attention had been drawn to the constant attendance and careworn countenance of a lady, who, she fancied, not only looked at her as if she had a great desire to address her, but whom she had observed, more than once, to follow her all the way to her magazine in the Palais Royal. She had also remarked this lady occasionally buying things in the shop; but as Annette worked in a back room, and only perceived this circumstance through a glass door, there was no opportunity of communication. At length, however, the lady ordered a dress to be made for her; but when the mistress of the establishment proposed to wait upon her to try it on, she offered to save her the trouble, by stepping into her back shop and having it done at once. There were several young people at work in the room, but Annette could not but observe that the stranger's eyes sought none but her. When she went away, she gave her name as Madame Rosbeck, and said she lived near the Pont Neuf; "and," continued she, glancing still at the jailer's daughter, "if any of your young people come from that quarter, I should be glad if she would call at my house tomorrow morning, on her way here, as I have some lace by me which I will send you to put upon my dress." "That will be in your road, Ma'amselle Annette,"
"Pray, sit down," said Madame Rosbeck. "I have desired my maid to bring the lace. In the mean time, let me give you a cup of chocolate. I am just going to take my breakfast."
Annette would have been more surprised at an attention so unusual, had not her previous observations satisfied her that she was wanted to give some information, or to perform some service, of more importance than fetching the lace; so she accepted the invitation, and seated herself, saying, at the same time, that she could not wait long, as her presence would be required at the magazine.
"Since that is the case," said Madame Rosbeck, "I had better proceed at once to what I have to say to you. I am aware that you are the daughter of the jailer at the Conciergerie, and I daresay you have observed me in that quarter before this."
"Yes, ma'am," said Annette," I have; and I fancied that perhaps you had some relation or friend there you were anxious about."
That is the truth," said Madame Rosbeck; "there
Oh, it's a child-a mere child!" exclaimed Madame Rosbeck, clasping her hands in agony; "it's my son-my only son!"
"I saw one poor boy there, who is allowed to walk in the court because he is ill," replied Annette; "but my father said his name was Gerfeuil."
"Oh, that is he !" cried the mother-" that is my poor Edward! I am Madame Gerfeuil; but I have taken this lodging in the name of Rosbeck, in order to be near my son, and that I may watch the tumbrils as they pass with the prisoners for execution, that I may be sure he is not amongst them. Then you have seen my poor child, and he is ill?"
"He has been very ill," said Annette; "but he is now better."
young girl afforded her some little consolation. It was a slight comfort to her to speak to a person who dwelt under the same roof with her Edward, and to think that she had made a friend for him, powerless as that friend seemed to be.
"Oh, if I could but see him!" exclaimed Madame Gerfeuil."
Suddenly, however, about this time, a fresh access of fury and rage for executions seemed to seize on the minds of the blood-thirsty revolutionary tribunal; and Madame Gerfeuil was plunged into daily agonies of terror at hearing of the fearful rapidity with which their victims were hurried to the scaffold; and from the hints dropped by her father, even Annette began to tremble for her young protégé.
Madame Gerfeuil had a waiting-maid, a young person without father or mother, whom she had taken into her house when a child, and brought up. This girl, who was now about sixteen, was extremely attached to her mistress, and sympathised warmly with all the mother's anxiety for her son. "If I could but be the means of procuring his release," she often said to herself, "it would be some return for all I owe to Madame Gerfeuil. In the vague hope that some opportunity of being of service might offer, she neglected no means of cultivating the good-will of the jailer's daughter, who at length invited her, one Sunday, to supper; from which time she became a visiter in the family-a privilege she took care to make the most of, frequently contriving to meet her friend as she returned from the Palais Royal, where, having accompanied her as far as the gate of the Conciergerie, the jailer, on opening the door, would invite her in to see his wife; and thus, little by little, Madeleine had got on a footing of intimacy, and was a pretty constant visiter in Maitre Jacques's parlour. Having accomplished thus much, she next began to hint to Annette how possible it would be to possess themselves some evening of the jailer's keys, at an hour that he was not likely to miss them, and make their way to Edward's dungeon. "If he were only to see me for a moment, it would be such a comfort to him," said Madeleine;" and it might perhaps save the life of his poor mother, whose heart is breaking, and who, I am sure, will not live long if we cannot afford some relief to her anxiety."
The young girls spent a good part of the day together, first attending mass, and then walking with their friends, till, at the approach of evening, they directed their steps towards the prison, each armed with a bottle of wine, which Madeleine had bought at a guingette, and which they carried under their shawls, wherewith to treat the jailer. "Whilst he is drinking, he will not be so likely to observe what we are doing," said Madeleine; and when she told Maitre Jacques that she had brought him a couple of bottles of good wine to make merry with at supper, he expressed himself extremely obliged for her kindness. But," said she, "you must do me a favour in return; you must let Annette go home and sleep with me tonight; to-morrow, you know, is a fête, and as she has a holiday, we have made a party to go to St Cloud; and we are to start very early that we may have a long day of it." To this proposal, fortunately, no objection was made; and, to cut short the narrative of the insidious proceedings of the two girls, the jailer's senses were fulled, the keys were taken possession of for only a few minutes, and the active pair reached the cell of the unfortunate Gerfeuil. In a moment he was in the arms of his faithful Madeleine, and inquiring for his dear mother. "She is quite well, and living in the next street, in order to be near you," answered the girl; and in a few hurried words she gave him the information which he was most urgent to have. "But there was one thing," continued she, "that your mamma particularly desired me to caution you about, in case you are brought up again for examination;" and as she spoke, she drew him gradually towards the door, whispering as if making some private communication, whilst Annette, whose limbs had almost failed her through fear, seated herself on the side of the bed.
"I fear that is impossible," replied Annette. "Since
"I don't think I could," answered Annette; "for
"And is your father so very strict?"
Very," said Annette; "he is obliged to be so. But if you will give me the letter, I'll keep it always in my bosom, and if any opportunity of giving it to him should offer, I'll do it."
The door was ajar, the key on the outside-"Now It was arranged that Annette should call for the run!" said Madeleine, thrusting him out; and in letter at night; and after some more conversation, she a moment more they were both hurrying along the took her leave, and pursued her way to the Palais passages by the light of the lantern which she had Royal. Although a jailer's daughter, she was a girl taken care to carry herself. When they reached a of tender heart and kind feelings, and all day as convenient spot, she paused, and taking off a loose she sat at her work her thoughts were upon the poor upper dress, and a shawl, with which she had provided mother and son; and her young companions laughed herself, she disguised Edward in this female attire, at her silence and abstraction, and accused her of and completed it by placing on his head a drawn thinking of her lover, whilst she was taxing her inge- muslin bonnet, which being pliable, she had also connuity to find some contrivance for delivering the trived to conceal about her person. She had too careletter. But none could she hit upon. The only fully marked the road as she came along to miss it chance she ever had of meeting Edward was on a now; and presently they found themselves at the door Sunday; but she had no excuse for going into the of the jailer's parlour. "Now," said she to Edward, part of the building occupied by the prisoners, and placing him in a dark corner, "stand there, and when had she not been sent with a message to her father, I come out take hold of my arm; but don't speak for she would never have seen him at all; and even if she your life;" and she entered the room. "Maitre did contrive to throw herself in the way, the jailer Jacques," said she, shaking the jailer by the arm, for was so watchful, that she feared it would be impos- he was still asleep, "how can you keep us waiting so? sible to accomplish her object. And, accordingly, at Here are Annette and I wanting to get out; and I the end of four weeks the letter was still in Annette's shall get into trouble if I stay here so late. Pray, do bosom, and poor Madame Gerfeuil as miserable and come and open the gate for us." anxious as ever, except that the daily visits of the
“Eh!” said Maitre Jacques, rubbing his eyes and
Annette was not unwilling to do any thing she could for Madame Gerfeuil; but she saw many difficulties in the way, and, above all, she dreaded her father's anger if their attempt were discovered. However, Madeleine contrived to overcome her objections, and the ensuing Sunday night was fixed upon for the enterprise.
was formerly a nobleman's private mansion, purchased animals which are found petrified in rocks, and of
The walls, as usual, are graced by glass cases, and
shaking himself awake, "what do you want? Where
"Annette! Where is Annette?" said Maitre Jacques.
"Here, at the door, waiting for you. Come, do make haste;" and she half dragged the drowsy jailer from his seat, and led him towards the door. "Come, Annette," said she, taking Edward under her other arm; "your father will let us out now;" and they proceeded towards the gate-the key was at the jailer's belt-he opened it, and in an instant more they were in the street, and the fearful gate locked behind them. Through cross streets, and at first with a deliberate pace, lest whilst near the prison they might excite suspicion, they traversed a considerable part of the city, till at length Madeleine stopped at the door of a house unknown to Edward. "This is not papa's," said he. "No," said she; "it would not be safe to take you home; you must be concealed here for the present." In that house dwelt an old servant of Monsieur Gerfeuil, to whom the family allowed a pension, and on him Madeleine knew she might rely with confidence. Her reliance was not disappointed. Edward was gladly received; and, continuing to wear the dress of a female, he remained there several weeks, and Madeleine with him; till, favoured by the disguise, it was thought possible to remove them both from Paris; and not till then, so fearful were they of betraying the place of his concealment, did the anxious father and mother permit themselves the happiness of beholding their rescued child. It is gratifying to be able to add, that, except her father's displeasure and her own terror, poor Annette suffered no ill consequences from the adventure. When Edward's name appeared in the list of those to be sent to the scaffold, Maitre Jacques contrived to persuade the authorities that he had been executed some time before; and as he was not a person of sufficient consequence to excite much inquiry, and as they had plenty of heads to cut off without his, after a little blustering and pretence at investigation, the affair was suffered to die away, and was forgotten.
Edward and his parents escaped to England, where he found the means of putting the knowledge he had acquired in his profession to some use-indeed, the greatest which can be supposed, the support of himself, and an aid to that of his parents. Thus, for several years, did the family remain in London till the Reign of Terror was over, and refugee emigrants found it safe to return to their native country. One of the first acts of the Gerfeuils, on being restored to their property, was to seek out Madeleine, to whose fidelity they owed so much, and to place her beyond the reach of want for the remainder of her existence.
LETTERS FROM A LADY IN LONDON TO
VISIT TO THE BRITISH MUSEUM.
MY DEAR JANE,-I never stir abroad in this wonder-
I regret having deferred my visit to this extraordinary place until my time was so far spent, that a survey, which might be profitably extended over a period of weeks, was necessarily condensed into a few hours; yet in this comparatively short time I was enabled to form a pretty comprehensive idea of the institution generally, and had the gratification of seeing some things of peculiar interest, not usually exhibited, of which I shall here endeavour to give you some ac
The British Museum is the property of the nation, large sums having been expended from time to time by government in the purchase of extensive and valuable collections amassed by various private individuals, whose pursuits and tastes led them to take an interest in whatever was curious in nature or valuable as works of art. To these have been added vast collections of books of the most costly and rare description, amounting to many hundred thousands of volumes, besides manuscripts, some of them of great antiquity; drawings, engravings, and prints, all of which have either been secured by expensive purchase, or have been presented as gifts by various distinguished individuals. The building now appropriated to the purposes of the museum
The room succeeding this is of similar construction, and contains specimens of birds, properly classified; and here we are instructed in the equality which nature observes in distributing her gifts, by finding that those little feathered creatures, whose beautiful exterior we should most admire, are dumb as regards song. Some of the foreign birds are wonderfully beautiful, their plumage exhibiting the utmost variety of hue, blended together with the most exquisite harmony as regards arrangement of colour. But it is vain to linger here, however great the attraction. These rooms are traversed by long mahogany tables, covered with glass cases, in which are arranged shells, corals, and other treasures of the deep; the shells of all sizes, from the largest down to those which are so small as to be scarcely perceptible and yet, on inspection, they are, in their minute formation, as complete, and as well adapted to the accommodation of their little tenants, as those of the largest proportions. The walls above the cases are graced by portraits, the greater number of them of persons who have been contributors to the museum.
Some of the things in this room are in admirable preservation; in one of the side cases on the left there is a wig found in a tomb at Thebes, which has all the appearance of having just come from the hands of the most skilful perruquier, whereas the exquisite for whom it was constructed has been amongst the things that were for a period of nearly four thousand years-possibly the occupant of one of those elaborately-ornamented coffins, bearing date as many centuries before the Christian era as have elapsed since that period. This Theban peruke is considerably larger than those now in use, excepting, perhaps, the wigs of barristers or judges. The upper part is in excellent curl, while from these curls depend long narrow braids, or plaits, which hang in bunches on each side.
The Mineral Room next claimed our attention: a large apartment, the first of a series running in another direction from those we had just issued from, and occupied by long tables with glass cases, enclosing the various articles of mineral production. Specimens are here exhibited of gold and silver, of diamonds, and other stones which we are in the habit of looking upon as precious, all in their rough state as taken from their native earth. Our attention was particularly directed to some fragments of remarkably large meteoric stones which have fallen from time to time in various parts of the world. These stones have more the appearance of metal than stone, being largely impregnated with iron, nickel, &c. The largest fragment is part of a large mass which fell at a place in Alsace (Upper Khine), in the latter part of the year 1492. This stone weighed 270 pounds, and was preserved till the period of the French Revolution in the Cathedral of Ensishiem, when, for better security, it was deposited in the public library of Colmar. Another specimen, being part of a stone of 56 pounds, which fell in Yorkshire in 1795, is also shown, along with many others. It will perhaps be in a great measure new to you, that showers of stones fall from the air with what may be called frequency, when the whole surface of the globe is considered.
In this room are collected all descriptions of things used for domestic purposes in Egypt-articles of furniture, such as chairs, stools, and tables, besides ornaAn adjoining room is devoted chiefly to fossil zoo-ments, as vases, &c.; boxes for ointments and colours logy, that is, to the reception of those remains of used by the Egyptian belles on their dressing-tables;
The natural hankering of womankind after personal ornaments, draws us instinctively towards one of the cases containing necklaces, rings, brooches, and other articles of jewellery that have graced in their day the persons of some of the daughters of Egypt. The stones composing these trinkets are of various sizes and colours, some of them like beads, and others of a flat form linked together with gold. Many of the ornaments are in the form of animals, wrought either in gold, or carved out of precious stones; some of these have been perhaps used as talismans, and were most likely suspended from the neck. The beetle was held in great veneration by the Egyptians, from the circumstance of its being supposed to possess a superior degree of intelligence, and hence the cause of its being perpetuated in all imaginable sizes and ways. There are beetles of gold, of silver, and of stones of all colours, executed in the most spirited
combs, pins, and mirrors-these latter articles are made, The paper was, in short, the rough calculation, or not of glass, but of polished metal, of a round form, hurried scroll, made by the Duke of Wellington of and are not supported as are the mirrors of our day, the amount of his troops on the day of the memobut were held up by means of a handle, like the port-rable battle of Waterloo: the regiments successively able dressing-glasses now in use. named, and their respective numbers summed up. Alongside of this was another frame, enclosing the original seal of Magna Charta, or the great charter granted by King John in the twelfth century—a large impression taken in darkish-red wax.
The rooms beyond this are called the Etruscan Rooms, from their containing specimens of the ancient pottery of Etruria in Italy, the Staffordshire of the days of antiquity. Amongst these vessels we find cups, bowls, jugs, vases, and pots used for baking. The ware is generally dark, brown and black being the principal colours of the ground, while the patterns are formed of gayer colours. Some jars are exceedingly elegant in shape, and not a few of them appear to have
From the surrounding presses the obliging officials brought forth first a copy of the Evangelists, of the time of Edward the Confessor, transcribed by the hand on vellum, and beautifully illuminated or embellished in the most brilliant colours. This volume
has been used at the coronations of the monarchs of
England since the time of Edward until lately. The cover is of a darkish-brown skin, being much shrunk by fire, having been rescued from burning while in the possession of a nobleman to whom it formerly belonged.
We can scarcely estimate the labour and time bestowed on the production of a volume such as this; but that transcribing by hand was sometimes as much a matter of pleasure as profit, a copy which I saw of a prayer-book of Queen Elizabeth bears testimony. The queen, it is well known, was mistress of various languages, skilled in Greek, Latin, Italian, and French, and in this volume we have proof of her industry in the mere mechanical accomplishment of permanship. The prayer-book is in Latin, French, and English, written in a neat and distinct hand, by Elizabeth herself; the cover is also the work of her own hands, being of crimson embroidered in gold, but faded and tarnished by time.
formed the models for articles now in use.
We now descend the stairs to the Egyptian Saloon, where the more bulky antiquities are to be seen; and as in the other apartments we were lost in amazement at the number of minute things which have survived the struggles of four thousand years, so here again is our wonder excited at the magnitude of some of the remains, which have not, however, escaped altogether uninjured. Several of the figures in this saloon are of carved stone, colossal in their proportions, yet preserving amazing gracefulness of outline. One of the busts, which was brought from Thebes by Belzoni in 1816, measures nearly nine feet in height, the face alone being upwards of three feet in length. Imagine the tremendous height of an entire figure of such proportions as this! But I cannot dwell on the various wonderful things in this room, neither can I afford space for more than the mere mention of the room adjoining, or of the grand Elgin Saloon beyond, which is to many persons the department of the most surpassing interest.
This saloon is a long apartment, lighted from the roof, and contains those highly-prized remains of Grecian and Roman sculpture brought to England by the late Earl of Elgin, who had them collected while ambassador from England to the court at Constantinople, about the beginning of the present century, at an expense of nearly L.70,000. They were purchased from the earl by the English government, in 1816, for L.35,000, and are exhibited as the most perfect specimens of art now extant. This valuable collection consists of figures, fragments of columns, and friezes in relief, in white marble. Some of the statues are very much mutilated, others are more entire, but all display the most exquisite design and workmanship, the finely modelled limbs being rounded with the most consummate skill, and in perfect keeping with the natural proportions of the human figure, while the attitudes are singularly easy and graceful.
The labour bestowed on these works is almost incredible; in the frieze, which formed a portion of the ornaments of the Parthenon, and of which one half has been preserved as now shown, amounting to two hundred and fifty feet in length, there are one hundred and ten figures of horses introduced, and of these there are not two in the same attitude, thus showing the fertility of invention which existed amongst ancient artists. The human figures are executed in a similar spirited manner, the utmost diversity prevailing in the costumes and attitudes from first to last.
We next proceeded to the library, or libraries, the most extensive and valuable of all the departments. The first room we entered was of considerable length, surrounded by presses containing books, protected by brass wire-work. About midway a gallery runs round the walls, also with presses reaching nearly to the ceiling. At the opposite extremity to that by which we entered, there was an open window looking into a room beyond, furnished with long tables covered with green cloth; this is called the reading-room. Here there were a number of gentlemen, and, as it happened, one lady, all busily engaged in looking over manuscripts or books, some writing and others reading, the books being supplied by assistant librarians.
The next room we passed through contains the library of the late Sir Joseph Banks, and leading from one side of this apartment is the entrance to the King's Library, a magnificent room arranged for the reception of an immense and valuable collection of books formerly belonging to George III, and presented by him to the museum. To this collection George IV. added, after the death of his father, the extensive library belonging to Buckingham Palace. In this library, the most splendid in the museum, there are many rare and valuable manuscripts; one, the most interesting of all, being a copy of the Hebrew Scriptures, in the form of a web of parchment, on two rollers: it is shown partly unrolled in a glass case. What a difference between this and a modern Bible, executed at a trifle of expense by a printing-press!
Returning again through Sir Joseph Banks' library, we were conducted through another very long and elegant room, supported by lofty pillars, behind which there were deep recesses, and stored, as were the other apartments, with books, to a succeeding room of similar construction and dimensions; and here, by the kindness of my conductor, and an antiquarian friend who had joined us in the Egyptian Saloon, I was shown some things possessing peculiar interest.
The first curiosity to which my attention was directed was a sheet of paper framed and glazed, and suspended against the wall. At a first glance this had very much the appearance of an ordinary bill of items. These items, however, were not of ordinary import.
Another book, which excites a still greater degree of interest, now occupied our attention. This was the treasured volume of prayers belonging to the unfortunate Lady Jane Grey, and used by her during her imprisonment and at her execution. It is smaller and less pretending than Elizabeth's. While reverently turning over the leaves, I was taken back in spirit to the dismal scene in the Tower where this volume had been used; and it seemed well that, if there was to be any memorial of Lady Jane preserved, it should be one reminding us of the gentle and devout spirit in which she met her unworthy fate. On the margin of one of the leaves we trace, with feelings which I would vainly endeavour to describe, a few lines addressed to her father, conveying her last wishes, with the most cheerful assurance of the happiness she felt in contemplating her approaching death.
We were next shown a thick manuscript volume of letters of Edward VI., Mary, Elizabeth, Mary Queen of Scots, James I., Charles, Oliver Cromwell, Charles II., &c., and one of Lady Jane Grey begin ning thus-" Jane the Queen." This letter was to the mayor of York, and was one of the proofs urged against her at her condemnation.
Amongst other manuscripts shown, there was some portion of the original manuscript of Pope's Iliad, written on scraps of paper, such as backs of letters. This great man was stingy in some matters of expenditure, and drew upon himself the title of " papersaving Pope." Yet I have always thought that there are worse faults amongst men of genius than scribbling first draughts of verses upon waste paper. In one fragment of a letter, we recognise the name of Addison: another is a note of invitation from a certain duchess, written by one of her officials, or some one connected with her establishment, and beginning in this abrupt way-"The duchess being drunk," &c. The invitation was to a fête at the villa of her grace, somewhere on the banks of the Thames. This is a fine burlesque upon the supposed punctiliousness of the great ladies of Pope's day.
Having spent a considerable time in looking over these curious things, we now paid a flying visit to the coin-room, which is never shown but by order. In the present instance, however, this was not required; for, at the appearance of my friend, the doors flew open, and we were received with the utmost courtesy.
This room leads through an outer apartment filled with Egyptian antiquities, such as instruments of various kinds for surgical and other purposes, many of them closely resembling the instruments used in the present day. The coin-room is fitted up with cases and drawers all round; and one of the shallow drawers being taken out, we were shown, reposing on cotton wool, the ancient Jewish shekel, a silver coin thicker than a shilling, and about the same size, I think. It was exceedingly curious to see and handle a coin which represents the circulating medium of the days of the "kings of Israel." I was also gratified by a peep at the coins of Greece and Rome, also the coins of Syracuse, and some of Alexander the Great, all of gold, and displaying perfectly distinct impressions. This class of coins have a rich appearance, in consequence of the impressions being much more raised above the face of the coin than is customary in modern times. It would have been interesting to have traced these ancient coins down to the present time, so as to observe if much progress had been made in the art of striking coins. I suspect that the modern coins would not exhibit any great improvement; the work may be finer and more regular, but I think I should give the preference to the ancient style. This, my dear Jane, concludes my rambling attempt at a description of one of the most magnificent institutions in the world; and although by any one who
knows its extent, I fear I might be charged with presumption in trying to describe it at all, yet, in merely relating what I saw, as far as my memory serves me, I shall at least be gratified in thinking that I have afforded you some degree of entertainment, if not instruction.
DR COMBE ON INSANITY.
DR ANDREW COMBE, so favourably known to the public by his useful books on physiology and the preservation of health, has also written a formal work on Insanity, treating it according to the views of Pinel, Esquirol, Gall, &c. We have heard this work spoken of in the highest terms, even by persons who have no faith in the system of mental philosophy advocated by the author. The views of insanity there advanced are sketched by Dr Combe in a letter which he addressed in 1830 to the late Dr Macintosh of Edinburgh, in consequence of a wish expressed by Dr Macintosh that Dr Combe would furnish him with a chapter on the subject for a new edition of his work on the Practice of Physic. We find this letter in the last number of the Phrenological Journal, and, with the concurrence of Dr Combe, transfer it to our columns, as a document calculated to give them what we believe to be the only rational doctrines of insanity in a remarkably brief space. It is proper to remark that the letter was not written for publication:
"I find it more difficult than I expected to comply with your request of either adding my remarks to your article on insanity, or of writing a new one altogether; and, therefore, will rather give you a general notion of the phrenological view of the subject, and leave your own sagacity to make what use of it you
First-Insanity is not a specific disease, but a symptom of disordered action in the brain or organ of the mind; and, like every other disorder of function, it may proceed from a variety of different states. The delirium of fever is one form of disordered mind, which is always viewed as a symptom; and so ought all other forms to be. The brain being to the mind what the
eye is to vision, it follows that, just as vision is deranged by many pathological states of its organ-such as ophthalmia, iritis, cataract, &c.-so may the mind be deranged by many states of the brain. The sufferers on the Medusa's raft became mad from starvation and exposure, while many become so from excess, particularly in stimulants. The asylum at Milan is filled by lunatics from bad feeding, who almost all recover by nourishing food; while Bayle at Charenton finds many cases arise from chronic meningitis, and Broussais declares that, in the early stages, it is so obviously from inflammatory excitement that it may often be cut short by free leeching, as certainly as pleurisy is by blood-letting. Hence it is not the same disease in all.
Secondly-Insanity, being a symptom of morbid action in the brain, springs naturally from causes affecting its health; and hence a great affinity between the causes of acute cerebral disease and of those more chronic affections on which insanity depends. The hereditary tendency depends on a peculiarity of nervous constitution, and is of primary importance. Excess of some mental qualities, leading to eccentricity, predisposes in irritable constitutions, from the high action into which the corresponding predominant organs are thrown; and hence the latter are generally those whose manifestations are deranged, as proved in Dublin by my brother having, in so many instances, pointed out correctly, from development, the probable form of the mental affection. Other predisposing causes, such as age, sex, profession, &c., are referable to the same principle.
Thirdly-The exciting causes are whatever disorders the action of the brain. That organ requires regular exercise for its health and preservation, and for the improvement of its functions, just as other parts doas the muscles in fencing or dancing. Practice in the latter instances increases nutrition, and consequently power; and it gives a facility of combination to produce a given end. The same organic laws preside over the brain; consequently, excess of exercise, as in intemperate study, excitement of passion, anxiety, and strong mental exertion long sustained, leads to morbid cerebral action, with derangement of function in irritable subjects. Deficiency of exercise, or idleness, leads equally to diseased action and manifestation, as exemplified in the melancholy and ennui of the retired merchant or soldier, and in the numerous victims in the unoccupied classes of society. Local causes act by disordering the brain. Blows on the head, coups du soleil, intense cold, drunkenness, meningitis, &c., show
Fourthly-Dyspepsia, and other disorders of the abdominal viscera, excite it secondarily in some instances in predisposed subjects; but, in general, mental causes have preceded. The same remark applies in