Imatges de pÓgina

the fête of St Louis, and therefore sacred at once to
devotion and merriment. The public highway lead-
ing to Basle, at the distance of about a mile, was
thronged very much, but not a single instance of in-
toxication came under our notice; and so, in the midst
of hundreds of good-humoured excursionists, we were
carried forward as in a flood towards the gates of this
venerable member of the Helvetic republic. As the
Swiss confederation, to its honour be it spoken, has
no custom-house to torment travellers arriving within
its territory, we were subjected to no sort of stoppage
in entering Basle, and were driven at once to our
hotel, the excellent and well-known house, the Drei
Könige, or Three Kings, placed on the very brink of
the green and rapidly flowing Rhine.

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.
* Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions. London:

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'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.'
'Is it black?' 'Yes.'

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[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

their bed.

rious knocks.

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
absurdity, however great, there is sure to be plenty of
imitators. Like sheep in a field, if one clears the
stile, the rest will follow."

Well may Mr Mackay express surprise that men
capable of a moment's sound reflection should not
have seen at once the utter absurdity of the supposi-
tion, that a supernatural being, if such had really been
permitted to visit the living world, would have come
to play the part of an invisible rat, to scratch upon
bed-heads, pull down plates, and frighten poor old
women, who had done nothing in the slightest degree
connected with the mission of annoyance. Mr Mackay
cites other instances of alarms scarcely less absurd,
one of them of old date. A community of monks
established near Paris by St Louis, having cast eyes
of affection upon a handsome old palace in their neigh-
bourhood, named Vauvert, commenced playing such
pranks about it as caused it to be instantly reputed
as haunted. By these means they actually succeeded
in their object. We have another instance of a house
being deserted, shunned, and finally sold for an old
song, merely in consequence of an occasional noise
ultimately traced to the clanking of a loose door in
the lower storey. We recollect ourselves a house at
Slateford, near Edinburgh, which for some weeks was
an object of dread to all the country round, for no
other reason than a derangement of the water-pipes.
The only other anecdote for which we can find
room, is one relating to a remarkable case which also
occurred within our recollection, and for some time
was a theme of far-spread wonder. Like the Cock-
Lane affair, it takes a strong hue of the ridiculous. Though the materials of a great part of the volumes
"On the 5th of December (1828), the inmates of before us are by no means of a very novel character,
the farm-house of Baldarroch, in the district of the agreeable manner in which they are thrown to-
Banchory, Aberdeenshire, were alarmed by observ-gether will amply repay the trouble of perusing the
ing a great number of sticks, pebble-stones, and book, as, indeed, our citations will probably have
clods of earth, flying about their yard and premises. satisfied the reader.
They endeavoured, but in vain, to discover who
was the delinquent; and the shower of stones con-
tinuing for five days in succession, they came at
last to the conclusion that the devil and his imps
were alone the cause of it. The rumour soon spread
over all that part of the country, and hundreds of per-
sons came from far and near to witness the antics of
the devils of Baldarroch. After the fifth day, the
shower of clods and stones ceased on the outside of

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."


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.
Spoons, knives, plates, mustard-pots, rolling-pins, and
flat-irons, appeared suddenly endued with the power of
self-motion, and were whirled from room to room, and
rattled down the chimneys, in a manner which nobody
could account for. The lid of a mustard-pot was put
into a cupboard by the servant girl, in the presence of
scores of people, and in a few minutes afterwards came
bouncing down the chimney, to the consternation of
every body. There was also a tremendous knocking
at the doors and on the roof, and pieces of stick and
pebble-stones rattled against the windows and broke
them. The whole neighbourhood was a scene of alarm;
and not only the vulgar, but persons of education, re-
spectable farmers, within a circle of twenty miles,
expressed their belief in the supernatural character of
these events, and offered up devout prayers to be pre-
served from the machinations of the Evil One. The The pipe, which was made of ebony, was about eigh-
note of fear being once sounded, the visiters, as is gene- teen inches in length, and three-quarters of an inch in
rally the case in all tales of wonder, strove with each diameter, and had a brass bowl near its further extre-
other who should witness the most extraordinary oc- mity, which was closed. In shape, the bowl resembled
currences; and within a week, it was generally believed a pear, having its upper surface smooth and flattened,
in the parishes of Banchory-Ternan, Drumoak, Durris, with a small aperture in its centre, sufficient to admit a
Kincardine-O'Neil, and all the circumjacent districts needle of moderate size. The use of the lamp and bod-
of Mearns and Aberdeenshire, that the devil had been kin, which need not be described, will be seen presently.
seen in the act of hammering upon the house-top of
Drawing a table with his apparatus to the side of a
Baldarroch. One old man asserted positively, that bamboo couch, upon which he seated himself cross-
one night, after having been to see the strange gam-legged, after the manner of the Turks, our hero began
bols of the knives and mustard pots, he met the phan- by lighting the lamp, over which he placed a glass shade,
tom of a great black man, who wheeled round his so as to render the flame strong and steady, and prevent
head with a whizzing noise, making a wind about his its smoking. He then took a small quantity of the drug
ears that almost blew his bonnet off, and that he was (of the size of a pea) on the point of the bodkin, and
haunted by him in this manner for three miles. It was
held it for a few seconds in the flame of the lamp, when
also affirmed and believed, that all horses and dogs it swelled and took fire, emitting smoke of a strong
that approached this enchanted ground, were imme- aromatic and not unpleasant odour. Instantly blow-
diately affected that a gentleman, slow of faith, hading it out, he rolled it for a short time on the bowl of
been cured of his incredulity by meeting the butter- the pipe (by swiftly twirling round the bodkin between
churn jumping in at the door as he himself was going the forefinger and thumb), and again applied it to the
out-that the roofs of houses had been torn off, and flame of the lamp to undergo the same process for two
that several ricks in the corn-yard had danced a quad- or three successive times. After being sufficiently
rille together, to the sound of the devil's bagpipes re- burned, he next introduced the bodkin into the aper-
echoing from the mountain-tops. The women in the ture of the bowl, twisting it gently round, so as to de-
family of the persecuted farmer of Baldarroch also kept tach from its point the opium which was left adhering
their tongues in perpetual motion; swelling with their to the edges. Lastly, having made a deep expiration,
strange stories the tide of popular wonder. The good-in order to expel the air as much as possible from his
wife herself, and all her servants, said, that whenever lungs, he put the pipe into his mouth, applied the bowl
they went to bed, they were attacked with stones and to the flame of the lamp, and took one long inspiration,
other missiles, some of which came below the blankets by which the opium was almost entirely dissipated and
and gently tapped their toes. One evening, a shoe converted into a dense smoke, which, after retaining in
suddenly darted across a garret where some labourers the chest for a short time, he emitted through his nos-
were sitting, and one of the men, who attempted to trils. The same process was repeated eight times in
catch it, swore positively that it was so hot and heavy the course of twenty minutes, when he lay down on the
he was unable to hold it.
couch and fell into a profound sleep, which lasted nearly
Among the persons drawn to Baldarroch by these three hours. On awaking, which he did of his own
occurrences were the heritor, the minister, and all the accord, he appeared stupid and confused, and seemingly
elders of the kirk, under whose superintendence an
not a little surprised at finding himself in the company
investigation was immediately commenced. Their of foreigners, when, recollecting himself, he burst into
proceedings were not promulgated for some days; and, an immoderate fit of laughter.
in the mean time, rumour continued to travel through
all the Highlands, magnifying each mysterious incident
the farther it got from home. There were, of course,
some sensible and educated people, who, after stripping
the stories circulated of their exaggeration, attributed

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

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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.

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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,
And spairgin about his snaw and his hail,
And the door is steekit against the blast,
And the winnocks wi' wedges are firm and fast,
And the ribs are ryppet, the cannel a-light,
And the fire on the hearth is bleezin bright,
And the bicker is reamin wi' pithy brown ale;
Oh, dear is to me a sang or a tale!

Then I tove awa' by the ingle-side,
And tell o' the blasts I was wont to bide,
When the nichts were lang, and the sea ran high,
And the moon hid her face in the depths of the sky,
And the niast was strain'd, and the canvass rent,
By some demon on message of mischief sent;
Oh, I bless my stars that at hame I can bide,
For dear, dear to me is my ain ingle side!



In that famed place no longer cruising,
Where William kissed his black-eyed Susan,"
Driven by the tide, toss'd by the breeze,
Rides our good ship, the Ramilies.
Others may slumber on the ocean,'
But we've found out" perpetual motion;"
And things shall go a little hard,
If some one claims not the reward.
Some stomachs are so very nice,
Rolling upsets them in a trice;
And pitching gives them such a fit,
Poor souls! they cannot pick a bit!
Let winds pipe loud, let billows roar,
We eat and drink like folks on shore.
But what is this? As I'm a sinner

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"Tis Christmas, and we've nought for dinner!
Already lour the distant skies;
The angry white-topp'd billows rise;
O'er head the rack is scudding fast,
And heavy moans the coming blast;
On flagging wing sails slowly by
The sea-mew, with a wailing cry.
What sad portentous signs are these?
How quick they turn our swans to geese!

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 surf is rolling on the beach ;
And down comes Lapslie, hat in hand--
"At Deal, to-day, no boat can land!"
And all our hopes of Christmas fare
Vanish, like witches, in the air!
The rich sirloin, all smoking hot,
Like baser shin, has gone to pot:
The goose-oh, name it not !—the goose
Is killed and stuffed for others' use;
Or borne away, on ample pinions,
Regardless of our sage and onions.
'Tis clear our evil stars prevail-
We'll ne'er lay salt upon her tail.
The fowls have all been "bought and sold;"
The curry is too hot to hold!
The mince, so nicely baked in pies,
Is fruitless as a sailor's sighs,
When fast he scuds before the wind,
And leaves his lass and heart behind.
The ham, well dried a month before,
We only smoke it from the shore;
And, were we Jews of Abram's line,
On it might be allowed to dine;
But no-at distance here we stand,
And only view the promised land.

The veal-pray, messmates, do not frown-
Not it, but we, are quite done brown:
The tongue that tickles every palate,
Is mute within some butcher's wallet;

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The pig on which I thought to dine,
Lies grunting with his fellow swine!
And greens uncut adorn the plain-
Mr may green for them in vain.
For such "good cheer" we may not look-
We all must dine with Humphrey's Duke;
Our Christmas gambols we have played ill,
And danced to "Sandy lick the ladle!"
To bear with this is not in nature,
I therefore vote we cob the cat'er.


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.


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



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.

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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



mock his anguish, and (what perhaps he also observed)
to throw a very unbecoming degree of light upon
faded damask, cracked china, and tarnished gilding.
It is possible that he might have given a rough guess
at the different prices which might have been expected
had a cloudy sky veiled such imperfections, yet it was
not that which made his cravat feel something too
tight, or produced the nervous twitches which might
have been remarked about his mouth; for though
tears-those exhalations of intense agony, a man's
tears did rise to his eyes, pride drove them back.
It was very strange that his father's arm-chair, or
his mother's work-table, should produce such emo-
tions, and yet they oppressed his heart most strongly
when he observed a stranger pause, with all the assur-
ance in the world, to examine a certain old picture.
Now, it chanced that this was about the only thing
to which the sunshine was favourable, for, without
streaming upon it, a flood of light nevertheless illu-
mined the apartment, and, coming from the right
direction, brought out beauties that might otherwise
have remained unobserved.

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-
prise, I was not less animated by repentant feeling
than by the hope and belief of regaining the picture
which fortune had made yours; in short, that picture
has been the soul of my reformation. I am now
blessed with the means of independence; and here,
then, I appear with the wish to gain back the object
of my long-cherished desires."

Ten years passed away, bringing about their
strange revolutions; ripening youth to manhood, and
tainting the pride and vigour of maturity with decay
sweeping many a loved one from our hearth, but
weaving fresh ties around the heart, as a ruin that Sir James was not unmoved by the ingenuous
is supported by the sweet young flowers which twine appeal; but he was inexorable. Henry, in some
there; and yet the older we grow, the more stub-respect, felt himself to be ill-used; yet of what should
born are such tendrils, though, if they do enwreath he complain? Surely, a man has a right to retain
themselves, it is with ties that can scarcely be the purchase he has lawfully made. Although con-
severed. Ten years, then, working their wondrous tinuing obdurate to all offers, Sir James had the
changes, had passed away, when, on a bright sun- condescension to ask his visiter to walk into the
shine morning, a stranger arrived at one of Lon-drawing-room to look at the picture. Henry fol-
don's regal-looking hotels. He was a passenger from lowed, trembling; for while it was unredeemed, he felt
India, by the good ship Ariel, and there came in his the painting would gaze upon him like a reproving
train a due proportion of those ponderous packages spirit. There it was, in the centre of one side of the
and chests with which the Anglo-Indians very pro room, and provided with a new and gorgeous frame;
perly encumber themselves-perhaps as containing a the light, too, was most favourable. What memories
sort of ransom money with which to buy back the re- did it bring back to the spendthrift's mind! His
gard and affection of which absence may have robbed mother's gentle touch, her loving kiss-his father's
them. The stranger at the -, however, had few counsel-the voices of early friends-and the forms of
Friends in England, although he brought home several all-and scenes of long, long ago-seemed vividly to
chests; one especially the cognoscenti would have se- pass before him. Like the buried cities which lay for
lected at a venture, as containing the most precious centuries at the volcano's foot, so there are thoughts
deposits, though its solid black leather exterior might and feelings which rest entombed beneath, not de-
have seemed unpretending to the inexperienced. Now, stroyed by, the lava ashes of time and circumstances.
if the truth must be told, the stranger had returned to To his heart and fancy the figures did not look at him
England for three especial reasons; two will be told reproachfully as he had expected them to do, but seemed
presently, the other was to find a wife. Whether he
to wear an expression more of sorrow than of anger,
was of opinion that, as second-rate goods are manu- and he felt that he would have given much to be
factured for exportation, so, speaking generally, they alone with the picture for an hour, for Sir James stood
are not first-rate parties which find their way to the by him, with his arms clasped behind as formerly,
Indian market of matrimony, the chronicle of his muttering audibly, "No, I will never sell this picture."
life declareth not, though the fact of his not having Poor Henry was summoning his courage for the
"suited himself" while abroad, would suggest the leave-taking, and gazing like a lover at a mistress who
idea that he might be a little fastidious, and that, could never be his, when a joyous laugh, evidently pro-
although a successful man of business, and a thorough ceeding from the adjoining room, fell upon his ear;
man of the world, there might still exist in his mind it jarred upon his spirits, and seemed almost as dis-
a belief in the divinity of love-call it, if you will, a cordant as that he well remembered ten years before.
vein of romance, but in some natures it can never be The voice and laugh were peculiar, and he felt certain
worked out, and does almost ever exist with the loftiest the tiresome child was near. Of course, a moment's
order of minds. Well, then, the "black chest" con- thought convinced him that the child must be now a
tained gifts for this imaginary being-for, of course, woman; but he felt almost sure she had red hair,
she would be worthy to be robed with the delicate had a strong impression that she squinted, and asso-
filmy muslins of Dacca (fit for Titania and her court), ciated her as well, in some incongruous manner, with
or to move beneath the graceful folds of the soft and a laughing hyæna. One more appeal before he de-
peerless Cashmere.
parted; it was this:-"Sir James, if I survive you,
will you direct your executors to sell me the picture?
or will you give me the power, in case I should die
first, of willing it into my family, by any pecuniary
arrangement with my heirs and yours which you may
like to make?"

But we must return to the little old gentleman,
mentioned long ago. Ten years seemed to have passed
him by with a very slight and friendly greeting.
There sat Sir James Howard, so very like his former
self that one might have fancied the suit of brown he
wore was the identical apparel alluded to before; per-
haps a very keen observer might have remembered
that, ten years ago, there were a few dark hairs amid
the snow-drifts of time, whereas now all were white;
perhaps, too, his habitual stoop was a little more re-
markable, and his hand (that great test of age) a little
more wrinkled; but the bright, intelligent, good coun-
tenance, seemed just the same as ever. His house was
a short distance from London, and he sat in a favourite
morning room, the walls of which were decorated with
gems of art; books, also, were there, not too formally
arranged; and the French windows opened into a
flower-garden, admitting the summer breeze laden
with sweets. A servant entered with the card of
"Mr Henry Cummins," and Sir James desiring him
to be admitted, the stranger entered the room. Si-
multaneously with offering his apologies for intrud-
ing, the latter glanced round the apartment, while an
anxious expression gathered upon his countenance.
"I fear, Sir James, I am scarcely remembered,"
exclaimed Henry. And Sir James put his finger to
his brow as if to invoke recollection, before he replied,
"The name is familiar to me, though I cannot exactly
tell how."
"You-you-Sir James, you purchased a picture
that once belonged to me."
"You! Are you that Mr Cummins ?" rejoined Sir
James, eyeing his visiter from top to toe, with a look Our space forbids us to describe minutely Henry
that plainly indicated he remembered Henry's early Cummins' second visit to Sir James Howard; how
career, and the circumstances which had led him to the cheerful aspect of the different apartments failed
predicate that the "scapegrace" must turn shoe-black. now to oppress or deject him; or how even a certain
That could not have been the occupation of the gen- laugh seemed musical. But the second visit was not
tlemanly, indeed distinguished-looking, person now the last, for the reformed spendthrift had won an
before him; and Sir James recollecting, with the eccentric but sincere and lasting friend. He was in-
lightning flash of thought, every particular connected troduced to Julia, and assuredly there was nothing
with the sale, gave a shrewd guess at the object of about her to recall his former unfavourable impression.
Henry Cummins' visit, and-grew a little out of Her eyes were as straight as his own (and they were
temper. Yes, as faithful historians, we must confess rather handsome ones), but of the deep blue of a
he felt cross; for, as the sun has spots, so the dear, violet, and her hair of that sunny brown that even
good, little, old gentleman had one fault-he was, on an enemy" would call auburn. They became in-
particular subjects, of an irritable temper. The pic-timate, and Henry grew to delight in the rich voice
ture he still retained, and prized highly. Inclination and joyous laugh; and Julia had a heart, and could
was at war with the promptings of his own kind, weep sometimes:
warm, fresh, evergreen heart, and the more the former
"For the heart which is soonest alive to the flowers,
succumbed, the more peevish in manner did he grow.
Is always the first to be touched by the thorns."
It is almost needless to hint that the object of Henry One day he sat beside her at the piano, and remark-
Cummins' visit was to regain it at any pecuniary sac-ing (not for the first time) that her hands were whiter
rifice. He was a proud young man, and yet he bore than the ivory, he bethought him of a certain diamond
the reproaches with meekness which Sir James could which was in the "black chest" among other unset
not help insinuating, and owned his errors frankly. gems, and he was sure it could never find so fit a
"I can assure you, Sir James," he said, "when I home as on one of those snowy fingers. It was pre-
Bought for and accepted a situation in India from an sented-accepted; and as the chest was opened, he
old friend of my father, it was with the most anxious found, among other half-forgotten treasures, an ivory
desire to redeem past errors-errors which, I may work-box, looking as if it belonged to her; there was
take leave to say, were of the heart not of the head; room for her name on it, and he thought of having

"Well, perhaps, it may be yours after my death."
And so they parted.
Poor Henry Cummins returned to his hotel vexed
and disappointed. He had taken the precaution of
leaving his address with Sir James, in case the latter
should change his mind, which did not, however,
appear a very probable event. Out of spirits, and
perhaps a little out of humour, the day dragged
wearily on. In the evening he strolled out for an
hour, and bethought himself of walking down the
street in which was his former home. The old house,
which he had left bare and tenantless, was now lit up
for a party; it seemed as if every thing that day were
destined to assume an uncongenial unsympathising
air; and he bent his steps homeward more desponding
than ever. On his arrival he found a huge packing
case in his apartment, and a note from Sir James
Howard. The eccentric old gentleman kept his word
-he did not sell the picture, he gave it to a reformed
spendthrift! Yes, there it was, and in the old frame
too. To be sure, some people might have hinted that
the handsome one was reserved for another favourite,
but they would have done Sir James injustice. He
knew human nature well, and he knew that the kindly
feeling displayed in the preservation and recollection
even of an old picture-frame would not be lost on the
heart of Henry Cummins.


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
marry, and so the blank space remained. In another
week some other thought caused the black chest
to be again inspected; but when he came to close it,
the contents had been so much disturbed, that without
removing an embroidered cashmere, the lid would
remain obstinately gaping. He took out the cash-
mere, paused for a moment, smiled, as if some agree-
able thought occurred for the first time-and-and
Decca muslins, cashmeres, boxes, fans, card-cases,
attar, chains, rings, unset diamonds, &c. &c., found but
one mistress. In less than three months from that
day, more pretty things than one were engraved
Julia Cummins. Thus were two of the ardent wishes
of Henry Cummins accomplished, and the third was
in his own power to fulfil. Although the career in
India, which had blessed him with an ample fortune,
had unfitted him to pursue the study of the law, he
understood that conduct sheds as much lustre on a
family as the display of talents: that was in his power;
and if vanity is sometimes pained by the recollection
of the name he might have won, he owns that the
punishment is just, though, while he regrets the past,
he feels gratefully happy that he has redeemed it.
So true is it that "there is a future to all who have
the virtue to repent and the energy to atone."


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

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