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the fête of St Louis, and therefore sacred at once to
in some streets each house contains a number of distinct establishments the cellar laid out as tan-pits, the next floor a workshop, the next two or three as dwelling-houses, and the uppermost a drying loft for tobacco. Statistical returns respecting the mode of living in the walled towns of France, of which I think Strasburg must be among the most vile, disclose a state of things too painful to be entered upon.
Besides the monument of Kleber, the town has recently been ornamented with a statue of Guttemberg, the inventor of printing, who produced some of his earliest works here. Nobody can object to these memorials of respect from the inhabitants; but surely the best monument of Guttemberg is a free press, which the French unfortunately have not; and, in the present state of matters with the Strasburgians, it should, I imagine, be drains first, and public embellishments afterwards.
It was with no small gratification, that, at ten We have found much amusement in a work recently o'clock, on a beautiful Sunday morning, we took our published under the title of "Memoirs of Extraorseats in the omnibus which was to convey us to the dinary Popular Delusions," the author of which is station of the railway for Basle, situated a mile or two Mr Charles Mackay, known as a frequent contribufrom the gates of the town. The road was crowded tor to some of the metropolitan periodicals, and as the with parties, bound for holiday excursions; and when writer of "The Thames and its Tributaries," as well we arrived at the terminus of the railway, we found as other productions of a light-literary kind.* It may the place literally like a fair, with hundreds of men be said to consist of an extension of ideas slightly and women, in their best attire, waiting for the arrival touched upon in the article headed "Moral Epideof the train. The chemin de fer had been opened only mics," which appeared in the present Journal. The a week or two before, and was highly popular. Ex- Crusades, and various other cases of popular frenzy, tending to a length of between eighty and ninety form the objects of Mr Mackay's notice; and he writes miles, it is, I believe, the largest work of the kind of them in a lively, spirited, and sensible manner. As yet accomplished by the French government; and for the "Witch Mania" and other common delusions have such a backward country as France, may be considered been recently discussed here at some length, we prefer a really wonderful undertaking. Whether it will ulti- to give, as a specimen of his work, a portion of the conmately answer as a pecuniary speculation, I have no cluding chapter on "Haunted Houses." The first means of judging; but as it affords by far the readiest place, in a selection from cases of this nature, is justly mode of reaching Switzerland, cutting off a tedious due to the renowned Ghost of Cock Lane, which created voyage in the steamer against the impetuous current a wonderful sensation in London at the period of its of the Rhine, or the equally tiresome journey by voi- supposed appearance :-" At the commencement of ture, it is likely to meet with encouragement. As is the year 1760, there resided in Cock Lane, near West the case with all the railways on the continent, the Smithfield, in the house of one Parsons, the parish fares are remarkably low. For three places in a first-clerk of St Sepulchre's, a stockbroker named Kent. class carriage, we were charged, for the whole distance The wife of this gentleman had died in childbed to Basle, no more than 41 francs 85 centimes, or about during the previous year, and his sister-in-law, Miss 11s. 6d. for each person. Fanny, had arrived from Norfolk to keep his house for him. They soon conceived a mutual affection, and each of them made a will in the other's favour. They'Yes.' lived some months in the house of Parsons, who, being a needy man, borrowed money of his lodger. Some difference arose betwixt them, and Mr Kent left the house, and instituted legal proceedings against the parish clerk for the recovery of his money.
While this matter was yet pending, Miss Fanny was suddenly taken ill of the small-pox, and, not with standing every care and attention, she died in a few days, and was buried in a vault under Clerkenwell church. Parsons now began to hint that the poor lady had come unfairly by her death, and that Mr Kent was accessory to it, from his too great eagerness to enter into possession of the property she had bequeathed him. Nothing further was said for nearly two years; but it would appear that Parsons was of so revengeful a character that he had never forgotten or forgiven his differences with Mr Kent, and the indignity of having been sued for the borrowed money. The strong passions of pride and avarice were silently at work during all that interval, hatching schemes of revenge, but dismissing them one after the other as impracticable, until at last a notable one suggested itself. About the beginning of the year 1762, the alarm was spread over all the neighbourhood of Cock Lane, that the house of Parsons was haunted by the ghost of poor Fanny, and that the daughter of Parsons, a girl about twelve years of age, had several times seen and conversed with the spirit, who had, moreover, informed her that she had not died of the small-pox, as was currently reported, but of poison administered by Mr Kent. Parsons, who originated, took good care to countenance these reports; and, in answer to numerous inquiries, said his house was every night, and had been for two years, in fact ever since the death of Fanny, troubled by a loud knocking at the doors and in the walls. Having thus prepared the ignorant and credulous neighbours to believe or exaggerate for themselves what he had told them, he sent for a gentleman of a higher class in life to come and witness these extraordinary occurrences. The gentleman came accordingly, and found the daughter of Parsons, to whom the spirit alone appeared, and whom alone it answered, in bed, trembling violently, having just seen the ghost, and been again informed that she had died from poison. A loud knocking was also heard from every part of the chamber, which so mystified the not very clear understanding of the visiter, that he departed, afraid to doubt and ashamed to believe, but with a promise to bring the clergyman of the parish and several other gentlemen on the following day, to report upon the mystery.
On the following night he returned, bringing with him three clergymen, and about twenty other persons, including two negroes, when, upon a consultation with Parsons, they resolved to sit up the whole night, and await the ghost's arrival. It was then explained by Parsons, that although the ghost would never render itself visible to any body but his daughter, it had no objection to answer the questions that might be put to it by any person present, and that it expressed an
The train, after a little delay, having arrived, it was in a few minutes filled with passengers of all classes, and went off at a rapid and steady pace, the confidence of our party in the locomotive not being lessened by perceiving the word Manchester engraved on a plate on its side. The line of route proceeds through the ancient district of Alsace, the bulk of which is a broad strip of land between the Vosges mountains on our riglit and the Rhine on the left. In the course of the journey, the train stopped frequently at villages to take up and set down passengers, a number of whom were dressed in the peculiar costume once prevalent in Alsace. The figures of the women were highly picturesque. The various parts of the attire were of different brilliant colours, and from the fancifully decorated head there generally depended a stream of ribbons or beads. One young female, whose dress we scrutinised, was gaily set out in a scarlet petticoat and blue apron, surmounted by a green body ornamented with gold flowers; she had also a highly embroidered stomacher, a white linen jacket, laid in plaits down the breast, a flashy silk handkerchief round the neck; and on her head was a black cap, embroidered with gold and white beads, tied at the top with an enormous bow of black ribbons. The head-dress was almost universally black, and in most cases thickly sprinkled with golden flowers sewed in the material. The shape and appearance of the women by no means corresponded with these gaieties of attire. Their figures were generally uncouth, probably from severe toil in the fields, and the faces of some of the most aged, ensconced in antique glittering hoods, were so brown and puckered as scarcely to appear human. As we approached the termination of our excursion, the signs of manufacturing industry became more and more apparent, in the form of factories with tall chimneys; and Mulhausen, which we closely passed, was to all appearance a manufacturing town in the course of rapid extension. Twenty thousand workmen, I am told, are employed in this busy town and its vicinity, chiefly in the preparation of printed calicoes and silks. Mulhausen was at one time the capital of a Swiss canton, but the district has been annexed to France since the year 1795; and thus the French are fortunate in having secured a tract of country animated with the industry and common sense of a Swiss German population.
At the distance of a few miles from Mulhausen, the hills of Switzerland, canton of Basle, begin to make their appearance before us, and we may be said to have arrived at nearly the southern extremity of the great plain which commences in the neighbour hood of Mayence, where the romantic scenery of the Rhine has terminated in the vine-clad eminences of the Rheingau. The Swiss hills which now lie before us, it is, however, necessary to remember, are confined to the left or western bank of the Rhine, the opposite side being still flat, and belonging to the Dukedom of Baden for many miles farther. With this prospect of a speedy conclusion to our trip, the railway train, in the space of five and a half hours from starting, drove up to its terminus at St Louis, a village within the frontier of France, at which an immense concourse of people from Basle were in the height of festivities, the day being the anniversary of
affirmation by one knock, a negative by two, and its displeasure by a kind of scratching. The child was then put into bed along with her sister, and the clergymen examined the bed and bed-clothes to satisfy themselves that no trick was played, by knocking upon any substance concealed among the clothes. As on the previous night, the bed was observed to shake violently.
After some hours, during which they all waited with exemplary patience, the mysterious knocking was heard in the wall, and the child declared that she saw the ghost of poor Fanny. The following questions were then gravely put by the clergyman, through the medium of one Mary Frazer, the servant of Parsons, and to whom it was said the deceased lady had been much attached. The answers were in the usual fashion, by a knock or knocks :
'Do you make this disturbance on account of the ill usage you received from Mr Kent?' 'Yes.'
Were you brought to an untimely end by poison?" 'How was the poison administered-in beer or in purl?" 'In purl.'
'How long was that before your death? About three hours.'
"Can your former servant, Carrots, give any information about the poison?' 'Yes.' • Are you Kent's wife's sister?' 'Yes.'
Were you married to Kent after your sister's death?' 'No.'
Was any body else, besides Kent, concerned in your murder?' 'No.'
Can you, if you like, appear visibly to any one?' 'Yes.'
Richard Bentley. 1841.
'Will you do so?' 'Yes.'
"Can you go out of this house?' 'Yes.'
Is it your intention to follow this child about every where?' 'Yes.'
Are you pleased in being asked these questions?' 'Yes.'
'Does it ease your troubled soul?' 'Yes.' [Here there was heard a mysterious noise, which some wiseacre present compared to the fluttering of wings.]
'How long before your death did you tell your servant, Carrots, that you were poisoned-an hour?'
[Carrots, who was present, was appealed to; but she stated positively that such was not the fact, as the deceased was quite speechless an hour before her death. This shook the faith of some of the spectators, but the examination was allowed to continue.] 'How long did Carrots live with you? Three or four days.'
[Carrots was again appealed to, and said that this was true.]
If Mr Kent is arrested for this murder, will he confess?' 'Yes.'
'Would your soul be at rest if he were hanged for it? Yes.
'Will he be hanged for it? Yes.'
How long a time first?' 'Three years.'
How many clergymen are there in this room?" Three."
'How many negroes?' 'Two.'
Is this watch (held up by one of the clergymen) white?' 'No.'
Is it yellow?' 'No.'
Is it blue?' 'No.'
[The watch was in a black shagreen case.]
At what time this morning will you take your departure?"
The answer to this question was four knocks, very distinctly heard by every person present; and accordingly, at four o'clock precisely, the ghost took its departure to the Wheatsheaf public-house, close by, where it frightened mine host and his lady almost out of their wits, by knocking in the ceiling right above
The rumour of these occurrences very soon spread over London, and every day Cock Lane was rendered impassable by the crowds of people who assembled around the house of the parish clerk, in expectation of either seeing the ghost or of hearing the mysteIt was at last found necessary, so clamorous were they for admission within the haunted precincts, to admit those only who would pay a certain fee, an arrangement which was very convenient to the needy and money-loving Mr Parsons. Indeed, things had taken a turn greatly to his satisfaction; he not only had his revenge, but he made a profit out of it. The ghost, in consequence, played its antics every night, to the great amusement of many hundreds of people, and the great perplexity of a still greater number.
Unhappily, however, for the parish clerk, the ghost was induced to make some promises which were the means of utterly destroying its reputation. It promised, in answer to the questions of the Rev. Mr Aldritch of Clerkenwell, that it would not only follow the little Miss Parsons wherever she went, but would also attend him, or any other gentleman, into the vault under St John's Church, where the body of the murdered woman was deposited, and would there give notice of its presence by a distinct knock upon the coffin. As a preliminary, the girl was conveyed to the house of Mr Aldritch near the church, where a large party of ladies and gentlemen, eminent for their acquirements, their rank, or their wealth, had assembled,
persons can only be found to take the lead in any
Well may Mr Mackay express surprise that men
all the rest to one or other of two causes-first, that some gipsies, or strolling mendicants, hidden in the neighbouring plantation, were amusing themselves by working on the credulity of the country people; or, secondly, that the inmates of Baldarroch carried on this deception themselves, for some reason or other, which was not very clear to anybody. The last opinion gained but few believers, as the farmer and his family were much respected; and so many persons had, in the most open manner, expressed their belief in the supernatural agency, that they did not like to stultify themselves by confessing that they had been deceived. At last, after a fortnight's continuance of the noises, the whole trick was discovered. The two servant girls were strictly examined, and then committed to prison. It appeared that they were alone at the bottom of the whole affair, and that the extraordinary alarm and credulity of their master and mistress, in the first instance, and of the neighbours and country people afterwards, made their task comparatively easy. A little common dexterity was all they had used; and, being themselves unsuspected, they swelled the alarm by the wonderful stories they invented. It was they who loosened the bricks in the chimneys, and placed the dishes in such a manner on the shelves, that they fell on the slightest motion. They were no sooner secured in the county jail than the noises ceased, and most people were convinced that human agency alone had worked all the wonder. Some few of the most devoutly superstitious still held out in their first belief, and refused to listen to any explanation."
OPIUM-SMOKING IN CHINA.
THE following is an extract from the private journal of Dr Hill, late surgeon of the bark Sunda, which was lost on the island of Hainan, in October 1839, and whose crew were conducted to Canton under protection of the Chinese government:
"On the evening of our arrival at the city of Hainan (which is about six miles from the northern extremity of the island of the same name), one of the soldiers who formed our body-guard requested permission to smoke his opium in the apartment allotted to the captain, chief officer, and myself. To this, as we had not previously had an opportunity of properly witnessing the whole process, we cheerfully agreed.
The apparatus, which was contained in a leather-bag, consisted of a small box of opium, a pipe of a peculiar construction, a lamp, and a steel bodkin about six inches in length.
The opium, which was contained in a wooden box not much larger than a lady's thimble, was a clear, dark, semi-fluid substance, resembling tar or treacle, though of rather more consistence, and prepared, so far as I could understand, from the crude drug by boiling, straining, and evaporating.
the premises, and the scene shifted to the interior.
About ten o'clock on the night of the 1st of February, the girl having been brought from Cock Lane in a coach, was put to bed by several ladies in the house of Mr Aldritch; a strict examination having been previously made that nothing was hidden in the bedclothes. While the gentlemen, in an adjoining chamber, were deliberating whether they should proceed in a body to the vault, they were summoned into the bedroom by the ladies, who affirmed, in great alarm, that the ghost was come, and that they heard the knocks and scratches. The gentlemen entered accordingly, with a determination to suffer no deception. The little girl, on being asked whether she saw the ghost, replied, No; but she felt it on her back like a mouse." She was then required to put her hands out of bed, and they being held by some of the ladies, the spirit was summoned in the usual manner to answer, if it were in the room. The question was several times put with great solemnity; but the customary knock was not heard in reply in the walls, neither was there any scratching. The ghost was then asked to render itself visible, but it did not choose to grant the request. It was next solicited to give some token of its presence by a sound of any sort, or by touching the hand or cheek of any lady or gentleman in the room; but even with this request the ghost would not comply.
There was now a considerable pause, and one of the clergymen went down stairs to interrogate the father of the girl, who was waiting the result of the experiment. He positively denied that there was any deception, and even went so far as to say that he himself, upon one occasion, had seen and conversed with the awful ghost. This having been communicated to the company, it was unanimously resolved to give the ghost another trial; and the clergyman called out in a loud voice to the supposed spirit, that the gentleman, to whom it had promised to appear in the vault, was about to repair to that place, where he claimed the fulfilment of its promise. At one hour after midnight they all proceeded to the church, and the gentleman in question, with another, entered the vault, and took up their position alongside of the coffin of poor Fanny. The ghost was then summoned to appear, but it appeared not; it was summoned to knock, but it knocked not; it was summoned to scratch, but it scratched not; and the two retired from the vault, with the firm belief that the whole business was a deception practised by Parsons and his daughter. There were others, however, who did not wish to jump so hastily to a conclusion, and who suggested that they were perhaps trifling with this awful and supernatural being, which, being offended with them for their presumption, would not condescend to answer them. Again, after a serious consultation, it was agreed on all hands that, if the ghost answered any body at all, it would answer Mr Kent, the supposed murderer; and he was accordingly requested to go down into the vault. He went with several others, and summoned the ghost to answer whether he had indeed poisoned her. There being no answer, the question was put by Mr Aldritch, who conjured it, if it were indeed a spirit, to end their doubts-make a sign of its presence, and point out the guilty person. There being still no answer for the space of half an hour, during which time all these boobies waited with the most praiseworthy perseverance, they returned to the house of Mr Aldritch, and ordered the girl to get up and dress herself. She was strictly examined, but persisted in her statement that she used no deception, and that the ghost had really appeared to her.
So many persons had, by their openly expressed belief of the reality of the visitation, identified themselves with it, that Parsons and his family were far from being the only persons interested in the continuance of the delusion. The result of the experiment convinced most people; but these were not to be convinced by any evidence, however positive, and they therefore spread abroad the rumour that the ghost had not appeared in the vault, because Mr Kent had taken care beforehand to have the coffin removed. That gentleman, whose position was a very painful one, immediately procured competent witnesses, in whose presence the vault was entered and the coffin of poor Fanny opened. Their deposition was then published; and Mr Kent indicted Parsons and his wife, his daughter, Mary Frazer the servant, the Rev. Mr Moor, and a tradesman, two of the most prominent patrons of the deception, for a conspiracy. The trial came on in the Court of King's Bench, on the 10th of July, before Lord Chief-Justice Mansfield, when, after an investigation which lasted twelve hours, the whole of the conspirators were found guilty. The Rev. Mr Moor and his friend were severely reprimanded in open court, and recommended to make some pecuniary compensation to the prosecutor for the aspersions they had been instrumental in throwing upon his character. Parsons was sentenced to stand three times in the pillory, and to be imprisoned for two years: his wife to one year's, and his servant to six month's impri onment in the Bridewell. A printer, who had been employed by them to publish an account of the proceedings for their profit, was also fined fifty pounds, and discharged. I
The precise manner in which the deception was earried on has never been explained. The knocking in the wall appears to have been the work of Parsons wife, while the scratching part of the business was left to the little girl. That a contrivance so clumsy could have deceived any body, cannot fail to excite our wonder. But thus it always is. If two or three
In the present instance, that of a young man about twenty-four years of age, after the second inhalation of the drug, the eyes became full and sparkling, the face began to flush, and the pulse to increase in quickness and fullness; the breathing likewise became more fre
quent, and the whole system seemed considerably excited. These symptoms continued to increase until the seventh application to the opium pot (which took place about a quarter of an hour from the commencement), at which time the pulse was full and bounding, and beating at the rate of 120 in the minute.
After the next two applications, which were completed within five minutes more, though much less dexterously than the previous ones, he appeared quite stupified by the drug, and lying down on the couch, instantly fell asleep.
is an important application of steam-power, likely to produce very beneficial results in public works, in the formation of sea-banks, and in all operations on a large scale where rapidity of execution and precision are required. The machine was used in America for driving piles for railroads, and travelled by its own power upwards of two hundred miles, driving piles and making its pervious. The machine has, moreover, the power of own road through swamps and districts heretofore imdrawing piles out of the earth as quickly as it drives them in, and can be applied to the raising of blocks of stone and all heavy weights that require an extraordinary power.-Standard.
Being desirous of ascertaining how long he would continue in this state, we did not disturb him, although he snored most profoundly, but allowed him to awake of his own accord, which he did in about three hours afterwards.
CAPTAIN CHARLES GRAY'S POEMS. CAPTAIN GRAY informs us, in the preface to an elegant Considerable depression seemed now to have followed volume entitled "Lays and Lyrics,"* that he has just the previous excitement; the eyes, though still full and retired from the marine corps, after a service of thirtyprojecting, being dull and heavy, and the whole counsix years. A more cheerful soul or a gentler nature tenance having a languid and stupid expression. The never went upon the half-pay list. He has thought breathing was likewise heavy, and the pulse consider- proper to employ some of the first of his leisure in preably below the natural standard, being full and labour-paring a selection of the occasional rhymes of a lifeing, and scarcely beating sixty in the minute. time, and pleasant lively verses they generally areperhaps, in some instances, a little too Anacreontic for these sober times. Some of them are agreeable adaptations to the old melodies of Scotland; others are designed for new tunes. Another large portion of the Lays and Lyrics are of the character of vers de societié. We extract a specimen of both departments :
The immediate effect, therefore, of the drug in the present instance, and likewise in any other which afterwards came under my observation, was that of a strong stimulant. This, however, was soon succeeded by a still more powerfully sedative effect, which takes place sooner or later, according to the habits of the individual. An old hand will frequently smoke for hours before being completely under its influence; while a beginner, as we observed in the case of our cook, will sometimes be stupified by two or three whiffs.
Amongst the Chinese, the use of opium is almost universal, at least among the male portion of the community, and is far from being confined to the higher or wealthier classes, being equally prevalent amongst the very lowest, many of whom would rather want their dinner than be deprived of the intoxicating drug. Notwithstanding the severe penalties incurred by those found making use of it, it scarcely ever appeared to be made a secret of, smoking shops abounding in every town and village through which we passed. In addition to a tobacco-pipe, which each carried along with him, amongst our guard of honour (consisting of a head policeman, as he was called, half a dozen soldiers, four palanquin bearers, and three wheelbarrow men), there were generally to be found several opium pipes, which were made use of occasionally in the course of the day's march. Tobacco, however, was principally made use of during the day, the opium being reserved till the evening, when they would commence after supper, and smoke until they could no longer put the pipe into their mouths. As can easily be imagined, the habitual use of opium, at least as made use of by the Chinese, produces the most injurious effects upon the constitution --still more, probably, than that of ardent spirit. The peculiar languid and vacant expression, the sallow and shrivelled countenance, the dim and sunken eye, and the general emaciated and withered appearance of the body, easily distinguish the confirmed opiumsmoker. The mind likewise soon participates in the general wreck of the body; and the unhappy individual, losing all relish for society, remains in a state of sottish indifference to every thing around him but the deadly drug, now his only solace, which sooner or later hurries its victim to an untimely grave.
The most inveterate opium-smoker that came under ⚫ our observation, during a journey of two months through the interior of the country, was the head policeman, under whose charge we were from the island of Hainan to the mainland of China. This individual was evidently an old stager, and went through the operation with great neatness and dexterity. Commencing soon after he came on board (about five o'clock in the afternoon), he continued without intermission until midnight, when, tired with observing him, I fell asleep.
The refuse of the pipe likewise is much prized, especially where a superior specimen of the drug has been made use of, and is generally the perquisite of one of the servants, who forms it into pills by mixing it with a little oil, to which he treats himself while his master is in a state of oblivion."
A very simple yet very admirable machine for driving a double row of piles, has recently been imported from the United States. It was built at Utica, and has the national name "Brother Jonathan" inscribed on it. It is now in operation at Smith's Timber Wharf, Pedlar's Acre, where it can be seen driving the piles for the causeway and abutment on the Surrey side of the New Hungerford Market Bridge, now in progress. The hammers, or weights, or, as they are more usually called by piledrivers, the "monkeys," are elevated to a height of thirty-five feet or thereabouts, along grooves in perpendicular leaders, by means of a locomotive steam-engine of ten horse power, fixed on a platform, on which the whole of the machinery is placed. The power of the blow given by each of these hammers exceeds 600 tons, and drives a pile of twenty-seven feet long, and as thick as the thickest piles used in embankments and for cofferdams, nearly its whole length into the earth in about eight minutes, or perhaps less. It drives two piles at the same time. A circular horizontal saw is worked by the engine, wich in a few seconds cuts the tops of the piles even, and enables the trucks, or small wheels on which the platform is supported, to come forward as fast as the piles are driven, and cut them even at the top; the platform is propelled by a one-horse power by the engine. The power of this machine is absolutely astounding. It
WHEN AUTUMN HAS LAID HER SICKLE BY.+ When Autunin has laid her sickle by, And the stacks are theekit to haud them dry; And the sapless leaves come down frae the trees, And dance about in the fitfu' breeze; And the robin again sits burd-alane, And sings his sang on the auld peat stane; When come is the hour o' gloamin grey, Oh, sweet is to me the minstrel's lay!
When Winter is driving his cloud on the gale,
Then I tove awa' by the ingle-side,
A RUDDER-HEAD REVERIE.
In that famed place no longer cruising,
"Tis Christmas, and we've nought for dinner!
Four jolly Mids have we invited, Whose stomachs, no doubt, are delighted; And shall their fondest wishes go out Like candle-snuff? Shall then no blow-out Delight the maws of hungry fellows? Must salt junk fill our empty bellies? Shall we have nought but beef and biscuit, Instead of soft tack, fowl, and brisket? Forbid it! Neptune's watery train, That live below, or skim the main.
Alas! what will not patience teach ;-
The veal-pray, messmates, do not frown-
The pig on which I thought to dine,
Never, unless you are an expert horseman, attempt to show off a spirited animal before your friends, else you may be made to kiss the dust; for the horse is a sagacious brute, and soon discovers the incapacity of his rider. Never sign an accommodation bill, for when once" on the ice," it is impossible to predict the result. Never laugh at your own jokes, at least until the risibility of the company has been excited, when etiquette may perhaps permit you to give a gentle guffaw by way of accompaniment. Never, in talking to your next neighbour, vociferate as if you were " hailing a ship at sea;" it is the custom of uneducated boors, with whom you stand a chance of being identified. Never condemn your neighbour unheard, however many the accusations which may be preferred against him: every story has two ways of being told, and justice requires that you should hear the defence as well as the accusation; and remember that the malignity of enemies may place you in a similar predicament. Never, if you are in the habit of giving recitations, allow yourself, from the indiscreet and hyperbolical encomiums of friends, to suppose that you are a Roscius; and keep in mind that you may be flattered to be laughed at. Never get into a passion because others will not agree with you in opinion; you are not infallible, and moreover, diversity of opinion is the very life and soul of conversation; at the same time, we confess there are some dogmatists who never speak "rhyme nor reason," and who sadly try the temper. Never trouble others with the recital of your misfortunes: communications of this description are never pleasing; and, at all events, sympathy cannot counteract the decrees of fate; and, moreover, if you are given to such disclosures, you will be dubbed "knight of the rueful countenance”—a personage who is no favourite at convivial meetings, or, indeed, any where. Never refuse, if it be in your power, to aid the unfortunate; a generous act is always followed with a glow of happiness, far surpassing any mere animal gratification. Never harbour animosity towards a friend for a mere hasty expression; forgiveness is a godlike quality, and a true friend is so scarce a commodity, that he should not be repudiated on slight grounds; but those who injure you from "malice prepense," should be shunned as you would avoid a tiger.-Edinburgh Observer.
PEOPLE OF COLOUR AT BELIZE.
By this time I had twice passed the whole length of the principal street, and the town seemed in the entire possession of blacks. The bridge, the market-place, the streets and stores, were thronged with them; and I might have fancied myself in the capital of a Negro republic. They are a fine-looking race, tall, straight, and athletic, with skins black, smooth, and glossy as velvet, and well dressed; the men in white cotton shirts and trousers, with straw hats, and the women in white frocks with short sleeves and broad red borders, and adorned with large red ear-rings and necklaces; and I could not help remarking that the frock was their only article of dress, and that it was the fashion of these sable ladies to drop this considerably from off the right shoulder, and to carry the skirt in the left hand, and raise it to any height necessary for crossing puddles. On my way back, I stopped at the house of a merchant, whom I found at what is called a second breakfast. The gentleman sat on one side of the table, and his lady on the other. At the head was a British officer, and opposite him a mulatto; on his left was another officer, and opposite him also a mulatto. By chance a place was made for me between the two coloured gentlemen. Some of my countrymen, perhaps, would have hesitated about taking it, but I did not; both were well-dressed, well-educated, and polite. They talked of their mahogany works, of England, hunting, horses, ladies, and wine; and, before I had been an hour in Belize, I learned that the great work of practical amalgamation, the subject of so much angry controversy at home, had been going on quietly for generations; that colour was considered mere matter of taste; and that some of the most respectable inhabitants had black wives, and mongrel children, whom they educated with as much care, and made money for with as much zeal, as if their skins were perfectly white. Stephens's Incidents of Travel in Central
SUPERSTITION IN THE NINETEENTII CENTURY.
A lad, about eighteen years of age, on Wednesday night, a few weeks ago, disappeared under strong excitement; and it is supposed threw himself off the bridge at Melksham, into the Avon, and was drowned. To recover the body, his friends on Saturday were firing a gun along the banks of the river, believing that the report would burst the caul and raise the corpse to the surface. On Monday, they beat a drum along the bank, believing that the drum would cease sounding when opposite the corpse! Of course, both methods failed.-Newspaper paragraph.
LONDON: Published, with permission of the proprietors, by W. S. ORR, Paternoster Row.
Printed by Bradbury and Evans, Whitefriars.
CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS, EDITORS OF "CHAMBERS'S INFORMATION FOR THE PEOPLE," "CHAMBERS'S EDUCATIONAL COURSE," &c.
THE STORY OF A PICTURE. In the year eighteen hundred and something, Henry Cummins awoke one morning and discovered-what very much surprised "the world" when they heard it, and almost astonished himself, namely-that he was penniless! In three years he had run through the savings of a life; for his father, a plodding man of business, had bequeathed above thirty thousand pounds to his only child, having previously given him what is called "a good education"-a term which is, alas! too often a sad misnomer. What is commonly called a "good" education, sometimes turns out to have been a very "bad" one. Although a tradesman, old Mr Cummins had an amiable weakness (if weakness it must be called), yclept family pride, and his anxious hope was, that Henry would resuscitate the honour of the family. Yes, he belonged to a family which had been renowned through several generations; but as virtue and honour do not always fill the purse, and as in this unromantic age it is found absolutely necessary to pay butchers and bakers, it was thought advisable for a younger branch of the genealogical tree to strike fresh root in the plebeian but extremely invigorating soil of trade. Mr Cummins had been the younger branch destined for this healthful process, and Henry had been intended for the bar, the father's dreams of course picturing him on the woolsack. But a lavish allowance for his pocket, and the gratification of every wish not absolutely vicious, while yet in his teens, were not precisely the means to render him a steady or a studious man. He was twenty when his father died, and he came into uncontrolled possession of his property a year afterwards; so, considering that he found it quite impossible the first year to live on four times the sum that his trustee allowed him, and that he did contrive, and not very mysteriously, to borrow some thousands during that period, it is not surprising that at the end of three years, as we have said before, he awoke one morning and found himself without a penny. He made other discoveries, too, at the same moment. He found that, paying the price of his whole fortune, he had not, after all, purchased happiness; and when the first stunning sensation of extreme unhappiness and affliction which his different discoveries occasioned had a little abated, there sprung up in his mind a wonderful growth of good resolutions for the future, and some sort of inward assurance, which was better than all, that told him he had energy enough to carry them
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 1842.
mock his anguish, and (what perhaps he also observed)
But the question was, what first should be done? After a little while, all visionary plans and speculations melted into the one strong sense of the necessity of selling at once horses and carriages, house, furniture, and every species of available property, with the proceeds of which he hoped to discharge debts still outstanding, and have perhaps a trifle to begin the world with. Now, abstractedly, a chair is but a chair, a table but a table, yet every one will allow the power that even inanimate objects possess of twining themselves around the heart, until a final separation is absolutely painful. Henry Cummins was perfectly aware of this fact, as on the morning of the sale he walked through every room of his house, for the last time, among his household gods. There they were, every one ticketed, and standing uncomfortably forward, as if they had already taken leave of their master, and were inviting themselves to the notice of the strangers who walked through the rooms. Had the weather been dull and cloudy, nature would have seemed in unison with the spendthrift's feelings; but the sun streamed in most unsympathisingly, as if to
drawing-room, but he passed by the picture without noticing it again, and after giving rather an indifferent glance to some other objects, seated himself within a few paces of the auctioneer's desk. Henry Cummins wondered if he meant to bid for the picture, and felt almost decided to buy it in himself; but he did not wish to make himself known to the auctioneer, and so determined to bid as a stranger. The sale began, and the china monster, which was in the first page of the catalogue, was knocked down to the little old gentleman. It had been run up to a sum far beyond its value, for the purchaser had shown he was determined to have it. Perhaps he took a hint from this circumstance, or, perhaps, he was in reality an experienced bidder, and had only from some accident been off his guard in a trifling matter; however this might be, when the picture was put up for sale the old gentleman's voice was not heard at all. It is true the auctioneer must have received, from time to time, telegraphic dispatches from somebody, as, without the bidders being always heard, "going-going"-was followed by higher and higher offers. At last, as if himself out of patience, the auctioneer sharply let fall his mystical symbol, even before Henry Cummins could determine on an advance, and a nod of the head proclaimed that the picture belonged to the little old gentleman. He looked remarkably happy, for he would willingly have given hundreds for that which he had purchased for thirty-five pounds. Once more he approached the painting, gazing now with a sort of parental admiration; but this time Henry Cummins was at his elbow. A quick beating of the heart had superseded the thickness in his throat as the latter exclaimed-" Sir, I will give you twenty pounds for your bargain!" "Sir, I would not take fifty," returned the other. "What will you take ?" rejoined Henry. "Nothing you can offer. Sir, I mean to keep the picture" and the old gentleman clasped his arms behind his back, in his favourite attitude of determination.
"I was deputed by Mr Cummins," exclaimed Henry, after a moment's pause, "to buy in this painting; it is much prized by him, having many old family associations, and at the last moment he repented having offered it for sale. You would not have had it, sir, had the auctioneer been a second less quick in his decision."
It was, indeed, an exquisite painting-no matter by which of the old masters; and it had belonged to the Cummins' family for several generations. It was a landscape scene with figures; the season bright gorgeous summer; and the picture was among Henry Cummins' earliest recollections and associations. In the days of frocks and pinafores he had played before it, looking up sometimes, and almost wondering if the shadows would ever grow longer, or the knot of harvest people ever finish the day's labour. And in years later than those of frockhood, he had tried his daring hand in copying the great original, only, it must be confessed, to throw palette and brushes away in disgust; and in recent times he had pointed out its beauties to admiring visiters, while it had been the silent witness of his follies-silent, surely, because he would not listen, for now to the mind's ear it spoke trumpet-tongued reproaches. There it hung, in its old-fashioned frame, ticketed No. 27. Had that ticket supernatural powers ?-for, verily, to the vision of Henry Cummins, the figures seemed starting to life, as they looked down sorrowfully and reproachfully at him. The stranger, whose glance the picture had arrested, was a little old gentleman, dressed in brown, who held by the hand a beautiful girl of about twelve years old. The fairy-like child was soon satisfied with looking at the picture, and slipped her hand from that of her grandfather, the better to observe a China monster, which had caught her attention; and then the little old man drew out his spectacles, stepped somewhat nearer to the painting, and putting his arms behind his back, and clasping with one hand the wrist of the other, stood for full five minutes in a dream of delight. He was aroused from it by a joyous laugh of the child, for the grotesque image had been irresistible. The child's laugh grated on the heart of Henry Cummins almost as much as the bright sunshine had done; and though he gazed at her full in the face, as she shook back the thick curls which shaded it, and besought "grandpapa" to buy the green and purple monster, he certainly did not perceive she was the most beautiful object in the room-if the truth must be told, he thought her a noisy troublesome child. The little old gentleman promised to buy the monster, and telling Julia that the sale would commence in half an hour, he led her down stairs, and put her into a carriage which was waiting, and which quickly drove off. All this Henry Cummins beheld from a window, though he could not hear what directions were given to the coachman. However, in another minute the little old gentleman had returned to the
"Lucky for me, lucky for me, that he was so sharp; and I have nothing to do with the repentance of such a young scapegrace as Mr Henry Cummins." "Do you know him, sir?"
"Enough to know that the picture is much safer in my possession than in his. I suppose he is going to turn shoe-black, or something of that sort; he can't be fit for any thing better, I should think."
"They say he is going to India-a friendless, moneyless adventurer."
"Eh! what!-well, it is never too late to reform; but I can't let him have the picture for all that. Good morning, sir; my carriage is waiting"
There are mysterious chords in our nature, which trifles may sometimes awaken to the holiest purposes; and the feelings which this incident drew forth formed the key-stone to the strong arch of Henry Cummins' good resolutions-an arch which spanned his future life. He had hitherto, like thousands of young men in similar circumstances, lived a life of pure heedlessness-taking no thought of the morrow-ignorant of the value of money-and concerned only in the paltry and fleeting enjoyments of the senses; but while his long, and fond, and earnest farewell gaze rested upon that picture, he understood, for the first time, that we have duties in this world to perform, beyond mere
and in all my exertions in that distant field of enter-
Ten years passed away, bringing about their
But we must return to the little old gentleman,
"Well, perhaps, it may be yours after my death."
enjoyment or the maintenance of one's own existence, and he turned away calmer, more collected, almost happier, than he had felt for many a day.
Julia Howard engraven, but he recollected she might
CATACOMBS OF PARIS.
THE origin of the great catacombs, or receptacles for the dead, attached to the French capital, is in every point of view curious and interesting. Previously to the latter end of last century, the burial-places of the city were in a condition at once disgusting and destructive to human health. One of the early French kings had bestowed a piece of the royal suburban grounds on the inhabitants as a place of interment; and this spot, the site subsequently of the church of the Innocents, continued for nine or ten centuries to serve as the sole or principal receptacle for the dead in Paris. Not only was this the case, but the cemetery was also applied to its purposes in a manner unusually dangerous. Large pits were formed, each about thirty feet deep and twenty feet square, and into these coffins were lowered, one tier above another, without any intervening earth, until the pits were filled. Each was then covered with a thin layer of soil. The common number of bodies cast into every excavation amounted to from twelve to fifteen hundred; and, in the thirty years preceding 1780, nearly ninety thousand bodies had been thus deposited in the charnel-holes of the Innocents. Once in every thirty or forty years, it had been customary to execute the frightful task of opening and emptying these pits; but, in the case of great numbers of the older ones, this task had long ceased to be fulfilled, and they accordingly remained unmoved, though so choked up with the matter of corruption as to rise above the level of the adjoining streets, and seriously to affect the air in the ground-flats of the houses. It was supposed that, from the time of Philip Augustus, more than 1,200,000 bodies in all, had been interred in the cemetery of the Innocents; and as the mouldering bones, even when the pits were cleaned out, were merely conveyed to an arched gallery surrounding the burial-ground, it might be said that some portion of all that had ever lain there still remained."
When all men of science and sense were beginning to recognise the necessity of remedying this evil, another cause of peril and alarm chanced to agitate the city of Paris; but, fortunately, the one was found capable of serving as a remedy for the other. Quarries of stone had been opened in the immediate vicinity of Paris at an early period of its history, and had been wrought to a large extent in the course of successive ages, to supply materials for the increasing city. In consequence, a vague notion existed among the inhabitants, that the city was considerably undermined. Little attention was paid to the matter till 1774, when some alarming shocks and falls of houses aroused the fears of the government. A regular survey took place, and the result was the frightful discovery, that the churches, palaces, and almost all the southern parts of the city of Paris, rested upon immense irregular excavations, and stood the greatest risk of ere long sinking into them. A special commission was immediately appointed to take the proper steps for averting such a catastrophe; and the necessity of such a commission was made strikingly apparent on the first day of its operations, by an accident in the Rue d'Enfer. A house in that street sunk down in an instant, eightand-twenty metres below the level of its court-yard.
When all the labyrinths of the quarries were inspected, and plans taken of them, the alarm of the Parisians was far from being abated. Every quarrier had habitually worked, it appeared, where he chose or where he could; and, in many cases, excavation was found below excavation, the whole running to almost interminable lengths, while the pillars that had been left were found in almost all cases to be totally insufficient to bear permanently the enormous weight above. In various instances, the roof had sunk considerably, and in others, large masses had actually fallen, rendering it almost marvellous that the city should not long before have become a mass of ruins. The great aqueduct of Arcueil, which passed over this scene of hidden peril, had in reality suffered some shocks, and if the risk had not been timeously discovered, it can scarcely be doubted that the ultimate issue would have been the charging of the quarries