Imatges de pÓgina

Winnecke's comet was discovered by its their fur paletôts, made of thick cobwebs godfather, also in 1858, at the Bonn Obser- and mould. Another weakness of onr friend Fatory. Its period is five years and a half, Bracker was his taste in glass; his flasks, and is believed to be identical with the third decanters, and glasses were all of the choicest comet of 1819. After 1858 it contrived kind. His theory was that a noble vintage to elude observation for awhile, but was should be nobly received, and that, as a caught by Winnecke himself on the 9th of lord used to be entitled to be hanged with April, 1869.

On the 30th of June follow- a silken rope, so should a nobly-born vintage ing, it slipped round the perihelic corner be carried to its doom in the most elegant and got out of the way, leaving us to lay vessels. He used to say, also, that the telescopes on it by-and-bye if we can. system of introducing black bottles which

Whatever harm comets may have done epicures affected was too plebeian; you by frightening half-witted people out of missed the rich purple and all the glories their intellectual remnant, comet wines of the grape; and thus it was that his sidehave in some slight measure made up for board and the shelves of his cabinet were it. M. Babinet tells us that we may lined with flasks and bottles, each exquifurther improve their errors. The per- sitely engraved all over with trees, and turbations of Encke's comet have helped birds, and flowers-marvels of workmanns to weigh the planet Mercury. By-and-ship. But this did not exhaust the special bye we shall verify the weight already tastes of Bricker Bracker. His gem of assigned to the earth by the irregularities a house was fitted with all kinds of meof Biela's comet. Faye's will one day tell chanical devices for saving trouble ; the as the mass of Mars. And, lastly, the hope bells were electric, everything was done by is held out to us that the comets which tra- machinery, and the quantity of labels all verse the circumsolar regions will reveal to about the house, with the word "patent" us, by their unsteady march, the existence inscribed, was inconceivable. He was, inand quantity of chaotic matter which cir- deed, a species of modern Sir Abel Handy. culates with the planets round our central Every guest had in his dressing-room a star and supplies the meteoric masses sort of simple telegraph, six little knobs, known as aërolites.

inscribed clothes, " hot water," "fire out," "coffee," "boots," "spirits."

spirits.” Be

side these, was a little door, which would THE MODERN TANTALUS. fly open, discovering a tiny lift, which

brought up the article wanted. All this I ACQUIRED this singular soubriquet was in the view of dispensing with seramong my friends from the following ad- vants, of whom our friend had a sort of venture.

horror. He said they broke his glass, and Our friend Bricker Bracker is well known destroyed property generally, and he hoped as being the possessor of a lodge situated soon, with improved machinery, to disin a deliciously sequestered locality, but, pense with all but one or two. His appaaccording to Sydney Smith's measure of ratus for uncorking bottles was of singular inconvenient distance, much more than ingenuity, and he had adapted a recent "five miles from a lemon.” This was invention-a sort of screw-stopper, with a really a drawback to his abundantly prof-key, which has recently come into use—as fered hospitality, as the nearest railway a protection against the peculations of dostation, village inn, public-house, or human mestics, and as also useful in keeping the habitation, was at least eight miles away. precious juice air-tight. But if there was this drawback in the case The world was naturally curious about of the lodge, there was the advantage this little ménage, and people were eager that it was so luxuriously victualled, so to be asked down. But Major Philips, howstored with the choicest wines, spirits, ever, a rather sneering officer, who had beers, &c., that a band of epicureans might spent his life in “fadging about," and, with ask for nothing better than to stand a his wife, trying to get meat, drink, and month's siege there, and be regularly be- quarters gratuitously, was almost snarling leaguered.

in his condemnation of the system. Bricker Bracker, indeed, prided himself “All this machinery is shabbiness and on his cellars, where, in bins well lit and stinginess," he said. “The man wants to comfortably warmed, slept veteran bottles save. While you are staring at and adof Bordeaux and Burgundy, keeping each miring his devices, he is starving you. Deother comfortable, wrapped in what seemed | pend upon it, though his bottles are fine,

the wine he puts in them is poor. It's all “There !" I cried, “is that the telegram stinginess, I know. Cogs and wheels cost of an inhospitable man ?” very little, for they eat nothing; men and “I don't know,” said Philips," the whole women cost a great deal, for they do.” looks to me more fishy than ever. Asked

It was in vain to argue with this sceptic; to dine, and the first thing is, the host flies! that I assured him that Bricker Bracker However, you shall see, my boy." was the most generous and lavish of men; We drove down in great spirits, musternothing would convince him, and he went ing seven at the least. Arrived at the about describing the thing as a good joke, lodge we were received by the single servant contemptuously holding up my friend in charge--an excellent cook-and were to ridicule for this elaborate system of shown to our rooms. There each brought stinginess. Somehow, Philips always con- all the mechanical resources into play, trytrived to be right in his bitter publicly ing this button and that for “hot water," expressed opinions, or to have the appear- “ boots,” &c., and all working admirably

. ance of being so, which amounts to the When we came down the servant brought same thing; and on this occasion was to me and Philips into the dining-room, prove equally right, or have the appear- and the most elegant appetising sight met ance of right, to my confusion. The ad- our gaze. A choice little round table was venture was as follows:

laid out with exquisite taste, and on the Our Bricker Bracker sent out invita- shelf of the little sideboard were ranged, I tions for a choice little party of ten, who suppose, at least a dozen decanters of the were to come down and stay the night most elegant shapes, each engrossed over of the feasting with him. Major Philips with birds, beasts, landscapes, &c., and was with me at the time; and I turned on each already in possession of the rich juice him triumphantly. “Now," I said, “I that was to recruit us. know Bracker sufficiently well to ask him “Well,” I said to the sceptic, “what do to let me bring a friend to his house; and you say now ? Here is,” reading the silver he knows me sufficiently well to agree to labels round the neck of each,

" Amontil. such a proposition. I will bring you if you lado, Chateauneuf de Pape, Clos Vougeot, like, and then you will see how ill-founded 57 claret, port, and your own favourite

, and even ungenerous is your judgment.” some noted old East India Madeira. What

This was putting him in an ingenious do you say now ?” state of embarrassment, as it would put "Wait a little,” he said, coolly. “When him to proof, as it were, of his assertions, it is in our glasses time enough for all that." or make him accept a hospitality he had I could have retorted that even when spoken of so contemptuously. But the good wine had reached Mr. Philips's inselfish cynicism of Philips was unassailable. terior, he had been known to reserve his

“I shall go,” he said, “ because I owe it gratitude, but I held my peace. On to myself, and it will give you a lesson. another corner shelf we found liqueurs Mark my words, the whole thing will break and cognacs, prime old Scotch and Irish down."

whiskies, and a silver punch-bowl, of old I said we should see.

repoussé pattern, with lemon and sugar, in On the very morning of the day on which the correct quantity, lying at the bottom. the festival was to take place, å telegram A neatly written card exhibited minute was brought in. Again Philips was with directions for quantities; a lemon-squeezer, me at the time. “What did I tell you ?" | one of the most ingenious bits of machinery, he said. I opened it with dreadful mis- lay beside it, and also a little engine for givings. It was not a put off. But it went shaving off the peel. All these incitements very near it. Bracker had been summoned whetted the appetites of our party, who away “ to the bedside of a sick aunt."

were many-bottle men, excellent connois“Has money, of course,” said Philips. seurs, and protested they never were in “No one would go to a sick aunt pure such vein. and simple, still less to a sick aunt's bed- Dinner was served, sent up by the lift; side.”

we waited on ourselves. We were sharp But Bracker wrote, he had left every- set, and some one suggested a glass all thing ready for the dinner-the wines all round of the particular old cognac. I got ranged on the sideboard, ready for drink- up myself to fetch the precious cordial

. In ing. Key would be sent by post. “But fact, I was to act as my friend's deputy. take care of my glass. I must not find * This,” I said, holding it up to the light, even a scratch on my precious decanters." I know to be of immense value, and was

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jovial guest.

sold, I believe, at Prince Talleyrand's death. phlegmatically, “which he kep’ by his It is the softest and most delicious spirit watch-chain-one hopens all.” you ever tasted. Prepare !"

Well, send for one. "Help it round," said Philips, "and don't “ Can't be got nearer than London, ten be like an auctioneer."

miles there and ten miles back. And the “Ah,” I said, “gentlemen, would you shops would be all shut.” believe it that there is one amongst us who We looked at each other; never were is sceptical as to human hospitality, who there such despairing faces. Though the requires proof, real proof? Well, it shall soup was served, every one stood up and be furnished; but I warn that person, that every one had a bottle, frantically examinwhen he shall have filled himself with the ing it, and as frantically making attempts excellent vintages, of which he is un- with prongs of forks and the like. But the worthy, I shall call on him for an honour- workmanship was too secure.

What was able arowal and retractation.”

to be done? The cork did not come out, at least would “Oh, this won't do, you know," said the not receive the corkscrew; when looking at oldest of the party. “I shall be ill if I it closer I perceived it to be one of the don't have my drink. We must only mechanical corks, which are screwed up knock the necks off.” tight with a key. “A wise precaution, This solution was hailed with delight, I said; “ this keeps out the air thoroughly.” and blessings were showered on his head. I

rang the bell, or rather called down to the But the cook at once interfered. attendant through the tube, bidding her “Excuse me, gents," he said, promptly, send up the key. The reply came promptly though ungrammatically, “them things is that master always kept it himself

, and all in my charge, and my master values 'em had said he would send it to me by post. more than he does his money. He said Philips burst into a sneering laugh. there wasn't to be a scratch on 'em, and “Never mind the cognac," said a stout, I'll take care there shan't be. No, if that's

“We'll do with the old your line, gents, beg pardon, but they'd West India. I never can eat a morsel un- best be out of harm's way.” With this he less I stimulate with a preparatory glass.” hurriedly gathered them up, and putting

"Nor I,” “Nor I,” said other voices, with them safely back on the shelf, stood on the unanimity of the chorus in William guard before them. Tell.

The miserable night that followed was "The West India will, in fact, be really indescribable. We were gloomy and better,” said I, “collaring” that bottle; furious. Who could eat, or even speak ? "we-will-why," I faltered, “why this The only diversion was the spectacle of men fellow is corked in the sam way. Good going restlessly over to make one more exgracious! Surely, they cannot all have periment on the wretched flasks. Were it been

the contriving something, in a critical case, I seized the flasks unwillingly one after where life was concerned, more ingenuity the other. In the neck of every one, with could not have been exhibited. Men beone exception, had been inserted one of these came transformed into engineers and meterrible inventions, each screwed down only chanicians. Strange complications with too satisfactorily. All the same- -West penknives were attempted; but the patentee India, Clos Vougeot, claret, “LL,” not a had done his work too well

. We turned bottle thus untreated ! All the guests with disgust from the dishes; some got leaped frantically to their feet, for much was up and walked about the room.

Then we involved; their palates were inflamed with all quarrelled. The worst was the triumph anticipation, and each was execrating the of Philips, who said that he had suspected File brass mechanism that shut off the pre- it all along. Nothing could clear me. cious fluids. We had the cook up in a was pronounced, on the motion of Philips, moment.

to be the most ingeniously “stingy" trick Where's the key ?” was shouted at ever perpetrated, and that Bricker Bracker, him desperately. "The key! The key!" with his machineries and “tomfoolery,

“It was sent to this gent by post. I was the meanest of mankind. As for me, saw it myself put up."

I was acquitted on the uncomplimentary “I never got it?” I said, despairingly, grounds of " weakness of intellect." “I give you my honour, never! But there Only let it be a lesson to you for the is another--you can get another ?"

future," said Philips. “Let him humbug There were but one," said the cook, you as much as he pleases, but see that he



to song,

does not use you as a mechanical engine to woman could wear the Spanish crown. humbug other people.”

This ancient and hitherto inviolable law The only thing for it was to order our had been arbitrarily cancelled and set aside two carriages and return sorrowfully to by the poor priest-ridden, half-idiotic king, town—every one abusing me. It was then without the necessary consent of the Cortes they were good enough to confer on me the and the nation. This step he had been inname of Tantalus, or Tanty" for short. duced to take by the intrigues of his wife's

lovers and her Jesuit priests. The Bis

cayans, brave, proud, and independent, supTHE HERALD OF SUMMER.

ported Don Carlos, because he had proI HEAR a gush of melody, I see a flush of green, So I know the Summer's coming with the glory of a

mised to restore their fueros, or local rights, queen;

and exemption from taxation, of which the For Spring, her welcome herald, has proclaimed it far Queen Regent and the Christinos of the

and wide, Since the throne of Winter loppled, and the stern old Madrid bureaus threatened, as it was redespot died.

ported, to deprive them. Agile, hardy, Spring has spread o'er moor and mountain a carpet for fond of war, the Biscayans defended their Silver daisy, golden king-cup, purple orchis, cowslip domitable courage, and the Queen Regent,

glens and mountain-side farms with inBade the trees unfold a canopy of undulating shade, soon finding that her southern Spaniards Where anemone and violet their woodland home have could do little against them, looked towards made.

England-Spain's old ally-for aid. Pale narcissus and faint daffodil whisper of her by the well,

Lieutenant - General Sir G. De Lacy Where ferns bend o'er the primrose lest she the secret Evans, a brave and restless Peninsular tell;

officer, at once set to work, with his usual But hyacinth and harebell ring the tidings boldly out, For the breeze to catch the echoes, and answer with a

fire and energy, to organise a British Leshout.

gion. By the advice of the Privy Council, The busy brooklets, listening, have turned the theme William the Fourth, on the 10th of June,

1835, issued an order, permitting any And sing it to the sedges as they gently glide along; The mountain streams, no longer dumb, join in the English subject to enrol himself in such joyous lay,

Legion for the term of two years, and the And leaping o'er their rocky bounds laugh out in recruits were armed and accoutred from sparkling spray.

the Tower of London. In spite of party Glad butterflies are Auttering like banners in the air, hatred of Sir De Lacy Evans, as a well. Rich flowers hold up their nectaries and offer incense known reformer, there can be no doubt The toiling bee bums cheerily, the gnats dance in the that the Legion was formed of good average

men, chiefly young agricultural labourers, The very frogs croak gleefully o’er Springtide life begun. eager to rival the deeds of their fathers

, No need the tardy cuckoo's note to gossip of the Spring, starved-out hand-loom weavers from the Whilst other warblers' tuneful throats have a prophetic west of Scotland, and Irish peasants, with

ring; And orchards white with cherry-snow, through which a slight, and, indeed, unavoidable infusion blooms apple-blush,

of London vagabonds and thieves. Bring dreams of Summer fruitage to the birdlings in the bush.

This auxiliary force, slandered with Spring is here! and Summer's coming, with a coronal

such bitter and untiring malice by the of light!

English Conservatives, consisted of two For the skylark, like a courtier, has winged his upward regiments of cavalry, six regiments of in

flight, The first to meet Queen Summer in her golden car of fantry, and some artillery. The cavalry instate,'

cluded the Reina Isabel Lancers and the And salute her with his anthem close to her palace gate. Queen's Own Irish Lancers. The infantry

comprised the First Regiment (yellow OLD STORIES RE-TOLD.

facings), the Fourth Westminster Grena.

diers (white facings), the Sixth, or Scotch THE BRITISH LEGION IN SPAIN.

Grenadiers, the Eighth Highlanders (red In the year 1835, Don Carlos, brother facings), the Consolidated Royal Irish, and of the recently deceased King Ferdinand, the Rifle Corps (green and red facings). announced his claim to the Spanish throne, The Reverend Mr. Farr, in a book on and headed an armed insurrection against the Carlist war, has admirably sketched the Queen Regent and the child-queen, the contrast between the two parties. Isabella, in the Basque provinces.

"See,” he says, “ the lightly armed Carlist The claims of Don Carlos rested on the soldier. Helmet he has none; not a strap fact, that by the national Salic law no or bit of leather of any kind has he to en



cumber him. On his head he wears a as getting behind a tree, parapet, or barrismall

, light, round cloth cap of the country, cade, not only gives them no protection, but which has been for a long time, and is makes them a surer mark. It is exactly even now, a fashionable head-dress with this hide-behind-something warfare which English ladies ; only, when a woman wears they delight in, from which they can either it, it is generally made of silk or velvet. pounce on their enemy or spring away from For uniform, he has a plain metal button, him, as best suits their purpose." on a grey cloth frock-coat, and a pair of The real fighting commenced at San linen or cloth trousers, but there is little Sebastian, on May the 5th, 1836. The uniformity in the colour of the coat or Carlists had stretched a double cordon of trousers, as it depends entirely on what fortifications from the river Urimea on the the Jews at Bayonne can smuggle over east, to a deep glen which opened on the sea the French frontier. He is armed with one hundred miles to the west; within that & musket, and his cartridge-pouch, or enclosure were some villages, with their canana, as they call them, being fixed tributary orchards and vineyards sprinkled round his body with a strap, it rather sup- over the heights, a great many scattered ports than fatigues him. Not one man in houses, and many small fields surrounded five appeared to me to encumber himself by stone walls. These fortifications began with even a scabbard for his bayonet; in about a half a mile from San Sebastian. the strap by which he fixes his canana The defences were ditch-banks, deep cut round his waist, he would make a hole, lanes, breastworks, barricades of barrels and in that stick the bayonet. On their filled with earth ; moreover, all the farmfeet they had sometimes shoes, but oftener houses were viciously loopholed for musthe string-made sandal of their country- ketry. aspargartas—which travellers, who have The main road from San Sebastian to been no further than the baths of Bagneres Hernani, intersecting the ground, was barde Bigorre, or De Luchon, in the French ricaded in various places, and the heights Pyrenees, must have observed was worn behind, here and there broken by hollows, by their mountain guides in preference to were intrenched for cannon. Altogether the shoe. While the poor fellows of the it was a nasty place. Although part of Legion-heavily and stiffly armed with their the Fourth, six companies of the Eighth, sack-clad backs, and a dangling strap over and some Spaniards from Santander, had their shoulders, to hold their cartridge- not yet arrived, General Evans, with his pouch, and another to hold their bayonet usual gallantry, resolved not to wait for -are panting, sighing, and almost dropping reinforcements, but instantly to attack with from exhaustion, scarce able to move for his mere handful of five thousand raw want of breath, either when attacking or troops, and fifteen hundred Spaniards. On pursuing the enemy-the Carlist soldier, the 4th, orders came to the field-officers the bravest, the most terrible, the most to prepare for a desperate attack the next active mountain enemy in the world, lightly morning, and the commanding officers equipped, and with no encumbrances, with harangued their men. Colonel Fortescue impunity attacks or retreats, as best suits said to his regiment of Rifles : his inclination, from his heavy-clad foes, “Neither give nor take quarter; you with a consciousness of superiority which will be fighting with savages, who will kill he is not wrong in possessing. With what all prisoners, so stand to the last man against perfect contempt do the Carlists treat their them.” enemies ! They can allow themselves to This rather vague and somewhat savage be apparently surrounded, and when there order was understood by the men to only is just one little open corner left, they run warn the young soldiers not to surrender off at last, dashing up the mountains, with to the ferocious Carlists. out ever losing a man; while artillery, It was all bustle that night in San Secavalry, and every engine of war is of no bastian, says Sergeant Somerville, the inavail

. The only thing a Carlist fears is to telligent eye-witness to whose memoir we be caught on a high road, or level ground, shall be largely indebted. At one A.m. the where cavalry can act, or be exposed in regiments began to muster. It was a dark, the fields to spherical shells, for as they wet morning, and the roads were heavy burst in the air, they shoot backwards and for the advance. forwards, right and left, upwards and “ Close up, cover your files, and be downwards; but it is the power of back- silent,” was the order of the officers of ward firing that utterly disconcerts them, companies.

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