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Title: The Montreal Museum Volume 1 Number 3

Date of first publication: 1833

Author: Mary Graddon Gosselin (editor)

Date first posted: Aug. 1, 2019

Date last updated: Aug. 1, 2019

Faded Page eBook #20190772

This eBook was produced by: Howard Ross & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at https://www.pgdpcanada.net






Volume I. FEBRUARY 1833. Number III.




There is no subject so much connected with individual happiness and national prosperity as the education of daughters. It is a true, and therefore an old remark, that the situation and prospects of a country may be estimated by the character of its women; and we all know it is hard to engraft upon a woman’s character, habits and principles to which she was unaccustomed in her youthful days. It is always extremely difficult, and sometimes utterly impossible.—Is the present education of young ladies likely to contribute to their own ultimate happiness, or to the welfare of the country? There are many honorable exceptions; but we do think the general tone of female education is bad. The greatest and most universal error is teaching girls to exaggerate the importance of getting married: and of course to place an undue importance upon the polite attentions of gentlemen. It was but a few days since I heard a pretty and sensible girl say, “Did you ever see a man so ridiculously fond of his daughters as Mr. ——? He is all the time with them. The other night at the party, I went and took Anna away by mere force; for I knew she must feel dreadfully to have her father waiting upon her all the time, while the other girls were talking with the beaux.”—And another young friend of mine said with an air most laughably serious, “I don’t think Harriet and Julia enjoyed themselves at all last night. Don’t you think, no body but their brother offered to hand them to the supper-room.”

That a mother should wish to see her daughters happily married is natural and proper; that a young lady should be pleased with polite attentions, is likewise natural and innocent; but this undue anxiety, this foolish excitement about showing off the attentions of somebody, no matter who, is attended with consequences seriously injurious. It promotes envy and rivalship; it leads our young girls to spend their time between the public streets, the ball room and the toilet; and worst of all it leads them to contract engagements, without any knowledge of their own hearts, merely for the sake of being married as soon as their companions. When married, they find themselves ignorant of the important duties of domestic life; and its quiet pleasures soon grow tiresome to minds worn out by frivolous excitements. If they remain unmarried, their disappointment and discontent are of course in proportion to their exaggerated idea of the eclat attendant upon having a lover. The evil increases in a startling ratio; for these girls, so injudiciously educated, will, nine times out of ten, make injudicious mothers, aunts and friends; thus follies will be accumulated unto the third and fourth generation. Young ladies should be taught that usefulness is happiness, and that all other things are but incidental. With regard to matrimonial speculations they should be taught nothing!—Leave the affection to nature and to truth, and all will end well. How many can I at this moment recollect, who have made themselves unhappy by marrying for the sake of the name of being married! How many do I know who have been instructed to such watchfulness in the game, that they have lost by trumping their own tricks!

One great cause of the vanity, extravagance, and idleness that are so fast growing upon our young ladies, is the absence of domestic education. By domestic education I do not mean sending daughters into the kitchen some half dozen times, to weary the cook, and to boast of, the next day in the parlor. I mean two or three years spent with a mother, assisting her in her duties, instructing brothers and sisters, and taking care of their own clothes. This is the way to make them happy as well as good wives; for being early accustomed to the duties of life, they will set lightly as well as gracefully upon them.

But what time do modern girls have for the formation of quiet domestic habits?—Until sixteen they go to school; sometimes those years are judiciously spent, and sometimes they are half wasted; too often they are spent in acquiring the elements of a thousand sciences, without being thoroughly acquainted with any; or in a variety of accomplishments of very doubtful value to people of moderate fortune; as soon as they leave school, (and sometimes before,) they begin a round of balls and parties, and staying with gay young friends. Dress and flattery take up all their thoughts. What time have they to learn to be useful? What time to cultivate the still and gentle affections, which must in every situation of life, have such an important effect on a woman’s character and happiness?

As far as parents can judge what will be a daughter’s station, education should be adapted to it; but it is well to remember it is always easy to know how to spend riches, and always safe to know how to bear poverty.

A superficial acquaintance with such accomplishments as music and drawing is useless and undesirable. They should not be attempted unless there is taste, talent and time enough to attain excellence. I have frequently heard young women of moderate fortune say, “I have not opened my piano these five years. I wish I had employed as much time in learning useful things; I should have been better fitted for the care of my family.”

By these remarks I do not mean to discourage attention to the graces of life.—Gentility is always lovely in all situations. But good things carried to excess, are often productive of bad consequences. When accomplishments and dress interfere with the duties and permanent happiness of life, they are unjustifiable, and displeasing; but where there is a solid foundation in mind and heart, all those elegances are but becoming ornaments.

Some are likely to have more use for them than others; and are justified in spending more time and money upon them.—But no one should be taught to consider them valuable for mere parade and attraction. Making the education of girls such a series of “Man-traps.” makes the whole system unhealthy, by poisoning the motive.

In tracing the evils of any kind, which exist in society, we must after all, be brought up against the great cause of all mischief, mismanagement in education; and this remark applies with particular force to the leading fault of the present day, viz. extravagance. It is useless to extend our ingenuity in purifying the stream, unless the fountain be cleansed. If young men and women are brought up to consider frugality contemptible, and industry degrading, it is vain to expect they will at once become prudent and useful, when the cares of life press heavily upon them. Generally speaking, when misfortune comes upon those who have been accustomed to thoughtless expenditure, it sinks them to discouragement, or what is worse, drives them to desperation. It is true there are exceptions. There are a few, an honble. few, who late in life, with Roman severity of resolution, learn the long neglected lesson of economy. But how small is the number, compared with the whole mass of the population! And with what bitter agony, with what biting humiliation is the hard lesson often learned! How easily might it have been engrafted on early habits and naturally and gracefully “grown with their growth, and strengthened with their strength!”

Yet it was but lately that I visited a family, not of “moderate fortune,” but of no fortune at all; one of those persons who lives “nobody knows how;” and I found a young girl about sixteen, practising on the piano, while an elderly lady beside her was darning her stockings. I was told (for the mother was proud of bringing up her child so genteelly,) that the daughter had almost forgotten how to sew; and that a woman was hired into the house to do her mending. “But why,” said I, “have you suffered your daughter to be ignorant of so useful an employment? If she is poor, the knowledge will be necessary to her; if she is rich, it is the easiest thing in the world to lay aside, if she chooses; she will merely be a better judge whether the work is well done by others.” “That is true,” replied the mother; “and I always meant she should learn; but she never seemed to have any time.—When she was eight years old, she could put a shirt together pretty well; but since that, her music and her dancing, and her school, have taken up her whole time. I did mean she should learn some domestic habits this winter; but she has so many visitors, and is obliged to go out so much, that I suppose I must give it up. I don’t like to say too much about it; for, poor girl! she does so love company, and she does so hate any thing like care and confinement! Now is her time to enjoy herself, you know.—Let her take all the comfort she can while she is single!” “But,” said I, “you wish her to marry some time or other; and in a probability she will marry. When will she learn how to perform the duties which are necessary and important to every mistress of a family?” “Oh, she will learn them when she is obliged to;” answered the injudicious mother; “at all events, I am determined she shall enjoy herself while she is young.”

And this is the way I have often heard mothers talk! Yet could parents foresee the almost inevitable consequences of such a system, I believe the weakest and vainest would abandon the false and dangerous theory. What a lesson is taught a girl in that sentence. “Let her enjoy herself all she can, while she is single.” Instead of representing domestic life as the gathering place of the deepest and purest affections; as the sphere of woman’s enjoyments as well as of her duties; as indeed, the whole world to her; that one pernicious sentence teaches a girl to consider matrimony desirable because “a good match” is a triumph of vanity, and it is deemed respectable to be “well settled in the world;” but that it is a sacrifice of her freedom and gaiety. And then how many affectionate dispositions have been trained into heartlessness, by being taught that the indulgence of indolence and vanity were necessary to their happiness; and that to have this indulgence they must marry money! But who that marries for money, in this land of precarious fortunes, can tell how soon they will lose their glittering temptation, to which they have been willing to sacrifice so much? And even if riches last as long as life, the evil is not remedied. Education has given a wrong end and aim to the whole existence; they have been taught to look for happiness where it can never be found, viz. in the absence of all occupation, or the unsatisfactory and ruinous excitement of fashionable competition.

The difficulty is, education does not generally point the female heart to its only true resting place. That dear English word “home” is not half so powerful a talisman as “the world.” Instead of the salutary truth that happiness is in duty, they are taught to consider the two things totally distinct; and that whoever seeks one, must sacrifice the other.

The fact is, our girls have no home education. When quite young, they are sent to schools where no feminine employments, no domestic habits, can be learned; and there they continue till they “come out” into the world. After this, few find any time to arrange, and make use of the mass of elementary knowledge they have acquired; and fewer still have either leisure or taste, for the elegant every-day duties of life.—Thus prepared they enter upon matrimony. Those early habits, which would have made domestic care a light and easy task have never been taught, for fear it would interrupt their happiness; and the result is, that when cares come, as come they must, they find it misery. I am convinced that indifferences and dislike between husband and wife are more frequently occasioned by this great error in education than any other cause.

The bride is awakened from her delightful dream, in which carpets, vases, sofas, white gloves, and pearl ear-rings, are oddly jumbled up with her lover’s promises. Perhaps she would be surprised if she knew exactly how much of the fascination of being engaged was owing to the aforesaid inanimate concern. Be that as it will, she is awakened by the unpleasant conviction that cares develope upon her. And what effect does this produce upon her character? Do the holy and tender influences of domestic love render self-denial and exertion a bliss? No! They would have been so had she been properly educated; but now she gives way to unavailing fretfulness and repining; and her husband is at first pained, and finally disgusted, by hearing: ‘I never knew what care was, when I lived in my father’s house. If I were to live my life over again I would remain single as long as I could; without the risk of being an old maid.’—How injudicious, how short-sighted is the policy which thus mars the whole happiness of life, in order to make a few brief years more gay and brilliant! I have known many instances of domestic ruin and discord, produced by this mistaken indulgence of mothers. I never knew but one where the victim had mere courage enough to change all her early habits. She was a young, pretty, and very amiable girl; but brought up to be perfectly useless; a rag baby would, to all intents and purposes, have been as efficient a partner. She married a young lawyer without property, but with increasing practice. She meant to be a good wife, but she did not know how. Her wastefulness involved him in debt. He did not reproach, tho’ he tried to convince and instruct her. She loved him, and weeping replied. ‘I try to do the best I can, but when I lived at home, my mother always took care of every thing.’ Finally poverty came upon him, like an armed man, and he went into a remote town in the Western States to teach a school. His wife folded her hands and cried; while he, weary and discouraged, actually came home from school to cook his own supper. At last his patience and her real love for him, impelled her to exertion. She promised to learn to be useful, if he would teach her. And she did learn! And the change in her habits gradually wrought such a change in her husband’s fortune that she might bring her daughters up in idleness, had not experience taught her, that economy like grammar, is a hard and tiresome study after we are twenty years old.—From the St. Francis Courier.


Translated from the Corsaire; for the Museum

Adèle, very much dressed, entering her husband’s apartment.

I am come to scold you, Sir.


A.— Yes, you. How is this, Charles, it is two o’clock, and you have not been in to see me . . .

C.— My dear Adèle, I have had business to transact; I was obliged to go out this morning; and it is not more than ten minutes since I returned, but what are your projects for to-day?

A.— Projects, Sir, I have none.

C.— I have never seen you so brilliant before.

A.— Do you think I look well?

C.— Charming, adorable! (he kisses her hand.)

A.— And you love me?

C.— Can you doubt it?

A.— Yes, Sir, I do, very much.

C.— You are unjust.

A.— I am not unjust at all; for some time past, you are quite altered, you are absent, you answer with difficulty . . . Charles can it be that you have sorrows?

C.— No my good Adèle, no.

A.— You have troubles and you hide them from your friend! You have secrets for her and yet you know she never had any for you.

C.— Adèle, life is a road wherein we meet more thorns than roses.

A.— For that reason it requires two to cultivate the one and root out the other: it is so sweet, so necessary for a husband and wife to have but one will.

C.— It is for the strongest to support the misfortunes.

A.— They are much lighter when shared.

C.— There are things . . .details, concerning pecuniary and other matters which a woman should not know.

A.—You are mistaken; nothing can dispense with mutual confidence; that alone can procure happiness. From the moment that a married pair have secrets between them, the first charm of their union is vanished, and the garlands of flowers are changed to heavy chains.

C.—Your sex is born for happiness and pleasure; man should reserve himself for the labour.

A.—Man has the strength, but woman the sensibility; man executes but woman advises, and permit me to tell you, that it is said, her tact is finer and more sure than yours.

C.—It is true, nothing escapes a woman of sensibility.

A.—Therefore, my Charles, no more secrets, no more constraint; come my husband, my friend, confide to me your afflictions, your anxieties: come and depose in my heart the sorrows which oppress yours.

Here Charles and Adèle approached each other, and spoke in so low a tone that it was impossible for me to hear any thing; only I saw some tears flow. Adèle’s head rested on her husband’s shoulder; he having passed his arm round her pretty waist. . . .

I quitted my hiding place, hastily re-entered my room and while my memory was yet quite fresh, I wrote down this conversation, to be the admiration and edification of all married people present and future.

In testimony whereof I sign




waiting maid to Mdme. D. . . .


Leaves from a Juvenile Scrap Book.

Wildly and mournfully the Indian drum.

  On the deep hush of moonlight forest broke;—

“Sing us a death song for thine hour is come!”

  So the red warriors to their captive spoke.

Still and amidst those dusky forms alone,

  A fair haired youth of Scotia’s mountains stood

Like a chief’s son; though from his cheek had flown

  The mantling crimson of the island blood.

And his pressed lips looked marble. Fiercely bright,

And high around him, blazed the fires of night,

Rocking beneath the cedars to and fro

As the wind passed, and with a fitful glow

Lighting the victims face;—but who could tell

Of what within his secret heart befel,

Known but to Heaven that hour? Perchance the thought

Of his far home, then so intensely wrought

That its full image pictured, to his eye

On the dark ground of mortal agony

Rose clear as day.—And he might see the band

Of his young sisters wandering hand in hand

Where the laburnums drooped; or happy binding

The jessmine, up the door’s low pillars winding;

Or, as day faded on their gentle mirth,

Gathering with braided hair around the hearth

Where sat their mother; and that mother’s face,

Its grave sweet smile yet wearing, in the place

Where it so ever smiled.—Perchance the prayer

Learned at her knee, came back in his despair;

The blessing from her voice, the very tone

Of her “good night,” might breathe from boyhood gone

—He started, and looked up; thick cypress boughs,

  Full of strange sounds waved o’er him darkly red

In the broad stormy firelight; savage brows,

  With tall plumes crested and wild hues o’erspread

Girt him like feverish phantoms; and pale stars

Looked through the branches as through dungeon bars,

Shedding no hope!—He knew, he felt his doom—

Oh! what a tale to shadow with its gloom

That happy hall in Caledon!—Idle fear!

Would the wind tell it?—Who might dream or hear

The secret of the forests? To the stake

  They bound him; and that proud young chieftain strove

His father’s spirit in his breast to wake,

  Trusting to die in silence! He the love

Of many hearts!—The fondly reared!—the fair,

He stood beneath his death-pyre and the brand

Flamed up to light it in the chieftain’s hand!

—He thought upon his God. Hush! hush!—a cry

Breaks on the dread and stern solemnity!

A step hath pierced the ring! who dares intrude

On the dark Hunters in their vengeful mood?

A girl—a young slight girl;—a fawn-like child

Of green savannas and the leafy wild

Springing unmarked till then, as some lone flower

Happy because the sunshine is its dower;

Yet one who knew how early tears are shed,

For hers had mourned a brother playmate dead.


She had sat gazing on the victim long

Until the pity of her soul more strong;

And by its passions deepening fervour swayed,

Even to the stake she rushed, and gently laid

His bright head on her bosom, and around

His form her slender arms to shield it, wound

In close embrace; then raised her glittering eye,

And clear toned voice, that said—“He shall not die!”

—“He shall not die!”—The gloomy forest thrilled

  To that sweet sound. A sudden wonder fell

On the fierce throng; and heart and hand were stilled

  Struck down as by the whisper of a spell.

They gazed, their dark souls bowed before the maid,

She of the dancing step in wood and glade!

And as her cheek flushed through its olive hue,

As her black tresses to the nightwind flew,

Something o’ermastered them from that young mien

Something of heaven in silence felt and seen;

And seeming to their child like faith, a token

That the great spirit by her voice had spoken,

They loosed the bonds that held the captive’s breath;

From his pale lips they took the cup of death;

They quenched the brand beneath the cypress tree—

“Away” they cried, “young stranger, thou art free!”


—This is destiny above

Our power to baffle.Campbell.

A low and thrilling voice stole upon my ear, I turned and Helen Warburton stood beside me, her pale countenance and attenuated form, looked more ethereal from the loose white robe that hung in deep folds around her, and her light hair and flowing veil, floating in the passing breeze; Poor Helen! never more for her was the freshness of unawakened feelings which invests all things with a perpetual daydream of sunshine.

When first I knew Helen, she was scarce sixteen, in all youth’s blushing loveliness. “Its first spring time, which knows no occasion to be sad” was spent under the maternal care of an aunt who lavished all a mothers fondness on her; Helen’s early years, were passed in everbeaming sunshine; how often, have I watched her light footsteps and laughing eye, as eagerly she flew along the grass, with all the earnestness of a child, perhaps chasing a butterfly; or listening to some village gossip, seated beneath an elm which shaded the parlour window, and repeated with all the love of humour, and a vivacity half concealed by bashfulness. There was an originality about Helen, that rendered remarks from her piquant and refined that from others had been commonplace. Possessing a tender and susceptible heart, open to every impression. A large share of indiscriminate reading, gave to her mind a romantic turn, which coloured in some degree her future prospects, “For such a world hearts should be void of love”—Hers was the fate of many—Who has not met with false friends—and blighted hopes? Alas for us, there is but one spring! the desolation of the heart, turns the rest of our lives into one winter. Helen’s romantic mind rendered her but too susceptible of her cousin Edward’s pre-eminent attractions. What wonder? formed in nature’s finest mould he looked born to command, there was the chiselled lips, the arched brow, and wide expanded forehead. Combined with many of the beauties of his mother’s character, her gentleness, her benevolence, and much of her amiability. All this endeared him but too fondly to the heart of Helen, the object of her young affections, strengthening with the growth of years; nor was this attachment unreciprocated—Edward loved as man loves who has never seen a more beauteous object than the one present. But the high birth of Edward Trevanion, and his military profession, combined with the captivation of his person, often threw him into the society of females whose high standing, and brilliant acquirements, conspired to draw him from the allegiance to his first love.—How imperfect are we by nature! one small flaw spreads ruin and desolation around, “The wreath will have the gaudier rose, whose thorn offends us, when its leaves are dropped.” Thus Edward ever vacillating, forgot the friendships of to-day, in the newly formed companion of to-morrow, and like his friendship was his love, a length of time he withstood the glance of invitation from many a brilliant orb, and felt untouched at the evident admiration his person and manner excited. But at length struck by the Juno-like form of the daughter of the major of his regiment, his senses became enthralled and his early love forgotten. None indeed could gaze on Catherine MacPherson without acknowledging her surpassing beauty. Even I with all my prejudices hard upon me could have gazed forever on that beaming countenance. Her raven locks contrasted well with the dazzling whiteness of her forehead: her long silken eyelashes gave a darker hue to the large grey eyes they shaded, while the lustre was increased by the bloom which occasionally tinged her cheek, her tall and somewhat slightly formed figure moved with a grace and dignity unequalled, while the soft and winning smile which illumined her face was peculiarly fascinating. Ah! need I trace the progress of my suspicions—I cannot—I will not—Edward worshipped his goddess, his duties, his family, his own peculiar situation, all, all, was forgotten in this soul absorbing passion, the world and all his future prospects faded from his eyes, the hopes of many years were relinquished; natures best affections blighted, the transitory joy in this life allowed to one, brings but the uprooting of earths best affections to another—Catherine became a bride—and Helen Warburton a victim.—But unmurmuringly she bore the blow; sometimes she would cling to me and pray, sometimes she would break off suddenly when talking of her sorrow, and a suppressed shriek of agony would find its way, which some thought awoke, but I rarely saw her shed a tear.

After this event the winter came on, and anxiously was she entreated by her broken hearted aunt to try the effect of a more southern climate, but in vain, here had been her day dream of happiness, her hour of desolation, and grateful was I to that God, who snapt the chain which bound her to unutterable sorrow.—Thou art gone Helen, but not from the memory of thy friend.




Concluded from page 119.

Ladislas listened to these lines unmoved; but the effect they produced on Idalie was dreadful. She gave implicit credence to them, and every word sounded as a knell. She lost all presence of mind; every reflection that might have taught her to avert the stroke she so much dreaded, was swallowed up in anguish, as if the deed that was to be consummated was already done. What task can be more difficult than to describe the overwhelming agony which heavy and unexpected misery produces. To have lived the day that Idalie had just lived—a day in which all the beauty of existence had been unveiled to its very depths; to have dreamt as she had done, a dream of love that steeped her soul in divine, and almost uncommunicable joy; and now to sink from this pinnacle of happiness into a black and lampless cavern, the habitation of death, whose spectral form and chilling spirit was felt through all the air! This is but a feeble metaphor of the sudden transition from rapture to misery, which Idalie experienced. She looked upon Ladislas, and beheld him bright and full of life; the roseate hues of health upon his cheek, his eyes beaming with peaceful joy his noble countenance varying not in the least from that imperturbable and godlike self-possession which was its habitual expression. And as her imagination made present to her the fatal moment, when beneath the dagger of the assassin this adored being should sink bleeding, wounded, and then be ever lost in death, her blood rushed to her heart, a deadly pause ensued, from which she awoke in a bewildered mist of horror. The still air and quiet moonshine to her seemed brooding mischief; a thousand shadows that proceeded from no one, but were the creatures of her distressed brain, flitted around, and filled the empty space of the portico. Poor Idalie! an eternity of bliss would have been dearly bought at the price of that moment’s overwhelming anguish! Ladislas beheld her excess of emotion with pain, in which, however, all was not pain, for it was blended with that triumphant exultation, that a lover ever feels when he for the first time becomes assured that he is beloved by the object of his love with affection tender and intense as his own.

As soon as Idalie recovered some presence of mind, with passionate supplications she entreated Ladislas to leave her, to fly this solitary spot, and seek safety amid the crowded streets of Naples: He would not hear of this; he gently remonstrated with her upon the unreasonableness of her terrors, urging how little probable it was that his passing rencontre with Giorgio at Gaeta could have awakened in him such a deadly spirit of revenge as Marietta represented. He viewed the whole thing lightly, attributing it either to the vivacity of Marietta’s imagination, which had made her attach a monstrous import to some angry expressions of her brother, or looking upon it as some merry device which she had contrived, in order to frighten them; and tranquilized Idalie, by assurances that they would shortly see her wild sister return laughing, and full of glee at the success of her plot. In this expectation two hours passed away, but still no Marietta appeared, and it had grown too late to seek another shelter, without exposing Idalie to the slander of evil-minded people. They passed the rest of the night therefore in the portico, Idalie sometimes pale and breathless, with recurring fears, and sometimes calm and happy, as Ladislas poured forth his tale of passionate love. His feelings on the contrary were pure and unalloyed.

Where Idalie was, there was the whole universe to him; where she was not, there was only a formless void. He had an insatiable thirst for her presence, which only grew intenser with the enjoyment of its own desire; and he blessed the fortunate occurrence that prolonged his bliss during hours which otherwise would have been spent pining in absence from her. No other consideration intruded. Blessings kindled within his eyes as he gazed upon that lovely countenance and faultless form, and angels might have envied the happiness he felt.

Morning came, bright and serene; the sun arose, the ocean and the mountains again resumed their magic splendor; the myrtlewoods and every minuter bloom of the garden shone out beneath the sun, and the whole earth was a happy form made perfect by the power of light. They recollected that they had promised to join the Princess Dashkoff, and a large party of her friends at eight o’clock, in an excursion to Pœstum. The point of meeting was the shore of the Villa Reale, where the numerous guests were to embark in a steamer which had been engaged for the occasion. In Idalie’s present homeless and uncertain condition, this plan offered some advantages. It would enable them to pass the day in each other’s society under the auspices of the Princess, and it was to be hoped that on their return the mystery of Marietta’s disappearance would be unravelled, and Idalie find her home once more open to her. They had scarcely settled to go, ere one of these horse calessini which ply in the streets of Naples was seen coming towards them. Its driver, a ragged boy, sat on the shaft, singing as he drove; another urchin, all in tatters, stood as lacquey behind, and between them sat Marietta; the paleness of fear was on her cheeks, and her eyes had the staggered affrighted look of one who has gazed upon some appalling horror. She hastily descended, and bade the calessino retire to some distance, and await further orders. “Why is he yet here?” said she to her sister. “You foolish blind Idalie, why did you not mind my letter—too proud I suppose to obey any but yourself; but mark, you would not hear my warnings—we shall lose him, and you will feel them in your heart’s core.” She then with all the violent gesticulation of an Italian, threw herself at the feet of Ladislas, and with a countenance that expressed her own full conviction in what she said, besought him to fly instantly, not only from Naples, but from Italy, for his life would never be safe in that land of assassins and traitors. With entreaties almost as violent as her own, Ladislas and Idalie urged her to explain, but this only threw her into a new frenzy; she wept and tore her hair; she declared the peril was too urgent to admit of explanation—every moment was precious—another hour’s stay in Naples would be his death.

The situation of Ladislas was a curious one. He had served in the Russian campaigns against Persia and Turkey, and had been there daily exposed to the chances of destruction; in the late struggle between Poland and Russia, he had performed actions of such determined and daring bravery as had made his name a glory to his countrymen, and a terror to their enemies. In all these exploits he had devoted himself so unreservedly to death that his escape was considered as a miraculous interposition of heaven. It was not to be expected that this Mars in human form, this Achilles who had braved death in a thousand shapes, should now consent to fly before the uplifted finger and visionary warnings of a dream-sick girl, for such Marietta appeared to him to be. He pitied her sufferings, endeavoured to soothe her but asserted he had seen no reason that could induce him to quit Naples.

A full quarter of an hour elapsed before an explanation could be wrung from Marietta. The chaos that reigned in her mind may easily be imagined. She had become possessed of a secret which involved the life of two persons. Ladislas refused to save himself unless she revealed what might place her brother’s life in jeopardy. Whichever way she looked, destruction closed the view. Nature had bestowed on her a heart exquisitely alive to the sufferings of others; a mind quick in perceiving the nicest lines of moral rectitude, and strenuous to act up to its perceptions. Any deviations in her conduct from these principles had been the work of a fate, strong and fierce as a tempest which had bent down her weak youth like a reed beneath its force. She had once loved Giorgio; he had played with and caressed her in infancy—with the fond patronage of an elder brother, he had procured her the only indulgences her orphaned childhood had ever known. Fraternal love called loudly on her not to endanger his life; gratitude as loudly called on her not to allow her benefactor to become his victim. The last idea was too horrible to be endured. The present is ever all-powerful with the young, and Marietta related what she knew.

Well might the poor child be wild and disordered. She had passed the night in the catacombs of San Gennaro, under Capo di Monte. In these subterranean galleries were held the nightly meetings of the desperate bravi of whom Giorgio was in secret the chief. The entrance to the Catacombs is in a deserted vineyard, and is overgrown by huge aloes: rooted in stones and sharp rocks, they lift their thorny leaves above the opening, and conceal it effectually. A solitary fig-tree that grows near renders the spot easily recognisable by those already acquainted with the secret. The Catacombs themselves were wide winding caves, the burial place of the dead of past ages. Piles of human bones, white and bleached by time were piled along the rocky sides of these caverns. In one of these walks, whilst they were friends, Giorgio had shown the place to Marietta. In those days he feared not to entrust his mysterious way of life to her, although in all common concerns she was wild and untractable, yet in all that touched the interest of those few whom she loved Marietta was silent and reserved as Epicharis herself. The menaces Giorgio let fall in his visit on the preceding forenoon had excited her highest alarm and she determined at any risk, to learn the extent of the danger that hung over the stranger. After waiting in vain for Idalie’s return till the close of evening, she had hastened to Capo di Monte, entered the catacombs alone, and, concealed behind a pile of bones, had awaited the arrival of the confederates. They assembled at midnight.

Their first object of conversation was the stranger. Giorgio acquainted them with his history, which he told them had been communicated to him that very morning by a Russian lady of high consequence, who had likewise charged him with the business he had to unfold to them. He described Ladislas as a fugitive, unprotected by any government; he bore about his person certain papers which had been found in the palace of Warsaw, and were the confidential communications of the Russian Autocrat to his brother the Viceroy of Poland, and were of such a nature as to rouse all Europe in arms against their writer. These papers had been entrusted to Ladislas, whose intention was to proceed to Paris, and publish them there. Private business, however of the greatest importance, had forced him to visit Naples before going to Paris. The Russian government had traced him to Naples, and had empowered a certain Russian lady to take any steps or go any length, in order to obtain those papers from Ladislas. This lady had made Giorgio her emissary; her name he carefully concealed but Marietta averred, from his description, that it could be no other than the Princess Dashkoff. After much consulting among the band, the assassination of the Pole had been decided upon. This seemed to be the only sure method, for he carried the papers ever about his person, was distinguished for his bravery, and if openly attacked, would resist to the last. Giorgio was no stickler in the means he employed, and told his companions he had the less reason to be so in this case, as he had received assurances from the highest quarter, that his crime would go unpunished, and the reward be enormous. Ladislas was almost unknown in Naples; the government would not interest itself for a fugitive, without passport, country or name; and what friends had he here, to inquire into the circumstances of his destruction, or to interest themselves to avenge it.

Such was Marietta’s tale, and Ladislas instantly acknowledged the necessity of flight. He was too well acquainted with the perfidy and barbarism of the Russians, to doubt that even a lady of so distinguished a rank as the Princess Dashkoff, might be induced to undertake as foul a task as that attributed to her by Marietta. The worldly and artificial manners of this lady, in an Italian or French woman, would only have resulted from habits of intrigue; but a Russian, unaccustomed to look on human life as sacred, taught by the government of her own country that cruelty and treachery are venial offences, wholly destitute of a sense of honor, concealed under such an exterior, vices the most odious, and a callousness to guilt unknown in more civilized lands. Ladislas knew this; and he knew that the badness of the Neapolitan government afforded scope for crime, which could not exist elsewhere, and he felt that on every account it were better to withdraw himself immediately from the scene of danger.

While musing on these things, Idalie’s beseeching eyes were eloquent in imploring him to fly. He consented; but a condition was annexed to his consent, that Idalie should share his flight, he urged his suit with fervour. It were easy for them on a very brief notice to seek the young lady’s confessor, induce him to bestow on them the nuptial benediction, and thus to sanctify their departure together. Marietta seconded the young lover’s entreaties, and Idalie blushing and confused could only reply,—“My accompanying you could only increase your danger, and facilitate the bravo’s means of tracing you. How could I get a passport? How leave this place?” “I have a plan for all,” replied Ladislas, and then related that the Sully steam-packet lay in the harbour ready to sail on the shortest notice, he would engage that for their conveyance, and so speedily bid adieu to the shores of Naples, and all its perils. “But that boat!” exclaimed Idalie, “that steam-packet is the very one engaged by the Princess for our excursion to Pæstum this morning.” This for a time seemed to disarrange their schemes, but they considered that no danger could happen to Ladislas while one of a party of pleasure with the Princess, who from this act of his would be quite unsuspicious of his intended departure. At night upon their return from Pæstum when the rest of the party should have disembarked at Naples, Ladislas and Idalie would remain on board, and the vessel immediately commence its journey for France. This plan thus assumed a very feasible appearance, while Ladislas in terms of fond reproach, asked wherefore she refused to share his fortunes and accompany him in his journey; and Marietta clapping her hands exclaimed, “She consents! She consents! Do not ask any more she has already yielded. We will return to Naples. Ladislas shall proceed immediately to seek out the captain of the Sully, and arrange all with him; while without loss of time we will proceed to the convent of Father Basil, and get every thing ready by the time Ladislas shall join us which must be with as much speed as he can contrive.” Idalie silently acquiesced in this arrangement, and Ladislas kissed her hand with warm and overflowing gratitude. They now contrived to stow themselves in the little calessino, and as they proceeded on their way Ladislas said: “We seem to have forgotten the future destiny of our dear Marietta, all this time. The friendless condition in which we shall leave her fills me with anxiety. She is the preserver of my life, and we are under the deepest obligations to her. What shall you do Marietta when we are gone?” “Fear not for me!” exclaimed the wild girl, “It is necessary that I should remain behind to arrange those things which Idalie’s sudden departure will leave in sad disorder: but you will see me soon in Paris, for how can I exist apart from my sister?”

When near to Naples, Ladislas alighted from the calessino, and directed his steps towards the port, while the fair girls proceeded on their way to the convent. What the bashful, conscious Idalie would have done without her sister’s help, it is difficult to determine. Marietta busied herself about all; won over the priest to the sudden marriage, contrived to put up articles for the fair bride’s journey, and thinking of every thing, with far more watchfulness and care than if her own fate had depended on the passing hour, seemed the guardian angel of the lovers. Ladislas arrived at the convent; he had been successful with the master of the steam-packet, and all was prepared. Marietta heard this from his own lips and carried the joyful news to Idalie. He did not see her till they met at the altar, where kneeling before the venerable priest, they were united forever, and now time as it sped on, gave them no moment to indulge their various and overpowering feelings. Idalie embraced her sister again and again, and entreating her to join them in Paris, made her promise to write, and then escorted by her husband, proceeded to the Sully on board of which most of the party were already assembled.

The smoke had lifted its stream of dishevelled tresses to the wind, which was right aft; the engine began to work, and the wheels to run their round. The blue wave was disturbed in its tranquil water, and cast back again in sheety spray on its brother wave. Farewell to Naples! That Elysian city, as the poet justly calls it; that favourite of sea, and land, and sky. The hills that surround it smooth their rugged summits, and descend into gentle slopes, and opening defiles, receive its buildings and habitations. Temples, domes, and marble palaces, are ranged round the crescent form of the bay, and above them arise dark masses, and wooded clefts, and fair gardens, whose trees are ever vernal. Before it the mighty sea binds its wild streams, and smoothes them into gentlest waves, as they kiss the silver, pebbly shore, and linger with dulcet murmur around the deep-based promontories. The heaven—who has not heard of an Italian heaven?—one intense diffusion, one serene omnipresence, forever smiling in inextinguishable beauty above the boundless sea, and for ever bending in azure mirth over the flowing outlines of the distant mountains.

The steam-boat proceeded on its equal and swift course along the shores, each varying in beauty, and redolent with sweets. The first passed Castel-a-Mare, and then the abrupt promontories on which Sorrento and ancient Amalfi are situated. The sublimity and intense loveliness of the scene wrapt in delight each bosom, not inaccessible to pure and lofty emotions. The hills, covered with ilex, dark laurel, and bright-leaved myrtle, were mirrored in the pellucid waves, which the lower branches caressed and kissed as the winds waved them. Behind arose other hills, also covered with wood; and, more distant forming the grand background, was sketched the huge ridge of lofty Apennines, which extends even to the foot of Italy. Still proceeding on their way to Pæstum, they exchanged the rocky beach for a low and dreary shore. The dusky mountains retired inland, leaving a waste, the abode of malaria, and haunt of robbers, the landscape assumed a gloomy magnificence, in place of the romantic and picturesque loveliness which before charmed their eyes. Ladislas leaned from the side of the vessel and gazed upon the beauty of nature with sentiments too disturbed for happiness. He was annoyed by the unpropitious presence of the idle and the gay. He saw Idalie in the midst of them, and did not even wish to join her while thus situated. He shrank into himself, and tried, forgetting the immediate discomforts of his position, to think only of that paradise into which love had led him, to compensate for his patriotic sorrows. He strove patiently to endure the tedious hours of this never-ending day, during which he must play a false part, and see his bride engaged by others. While his attention was thus occupied, the voice of the Princess Dashkoff startled him, and looking up, he wondered how a face that seemed so bland, and a voice that spoke so fair, could hide so much wickedness and deceit. As the hours passed on, his situation became irksome in the extreme. Once or twice he drew near Idalie, and tried to disengage her from the crowd; but each time he saw the Princess watching him stealthily, while his young bride, with feminine prudence, avoided every opportunity of conversing apart with him. Ladislas could ill endure this. He began to fancy that he had a thousand things to say, and that their mutual safety depended on his being able to communicate them to her. He wrote her a few lines hastily on the back of a letter, with a pencil, conjuring her to find some means of affording him a few minutes’ conversation, and telling her that if this could not be done before, he should take occasion, while the rest of the company were otherwise occupied, to steal from them that evening to the larger temple, and there to await her joining him, for that every thing depended on his being able to speak to her. He scarcely knew what he meant as he wrote this; but driven by contradiction and impatience, and desirous of learning exactly how she meant to conduct herself on the Princess’s disembarking at Naples, it seemed to him of the last importance that his request should be complied with. He was folding the paper, when the Princess was at his side, and addressed him. “A sonnet, Count Ladislas; surely a poetic imagination inspires you; may I not see it?” And she held out her hand. Taken unaware, Ladislas darted at her a look of indignation and horror, which made her step back trembling and in surprise. Was she discovered? The idea was fraught with horror. His revenge would surely be as fierce as the wrongs he suffered might well inspire. But Ladislas, perceiving the indiscretion of his conduct, masked his sensations with a smile, and replied,—“They are words of a Polish song, which I wish Idalie to translate for the amusement of your friends;” and stepping forward he gave Idalie the paper, and made his request. All pressed forward to know what the song was. Idalie glanced at the writing, and changing colour, was scarcely able to command her voice to make such an excuse as the imprudence of her husband rendered necessary. She said that it required time and thought, and that she could not at that moment comply; then crushing the paper between her trembling fingers, began confusedly to talk of something else. The company interchanged smiles, but even the Princess only suspected some loverlike compliment to her protegée. “Nay,” she said, “we must at least know the subject of these verses: what is it? tell us, I entreat you.” “Treachery,” said Ladislas, unable to control his feelings. The Princess became ashy-pale; and all her self-possession fled, and she turned from the searching glance of the Pole with a sickness of heart which almost punished her for her crimes.

They were now drawing near their destination. Idalie, grasping the paper, longed to read it before they reached the shore. She tried to recede from the party, and Ladislas, watching her movements, in order to facilitate her designs entered into conversation with the Princess. He had effectually roused her fears and her curiosity, and she eagerly seized the opportunity which he offered her of conversing with him, endeavouring to find out whether he indeed suspected any thing, or whether her own guilty conscience suggested the alarm with which his strange expression had filled her. Ladislas thus contrived to engross her entire attention, and led her insensibly towards the stern of the vessel: and as they leant over its side, and gazed on the waters beneath, Idalie was effectually relieved from all observation. She now disengaged herself from the rest of the party, and walking forward, read the line pencilled by Ladislas. Then terrified by the secret they contained, and unaccustomed to bear the weight of concealment—she tore the paper, as if fearful that its contents might be guessed, and was about to throw the fragments into the sea, when gazing cautiously round, she perceived the position of the Princess and Ladislas, and was aware that the lady’s quick eye would soon discern the floating scraps, as the boat passed on. Idalie feared the least shadow of danger; so she retreated from the vessel’s side, but still anxious to get rid of the perilous papers, she determined to throw them into the hold. She approached it, and looked down. Had the form of a serpent met her eye, she had not been more horror-struck; a shriek hovered on her lips, but with a strong effort she repressed it, and, staggered on, leant against the mast, trembling and aghast. She could not be deceived; it was Giorgio’s dark and scowling eye that she had encountered; his sinister countenance, upturned, could not be mistaken. Was danger then so near, so pressing, or so inevitable? She remembered his written request, with which she had previously determined in prudence not to comply. But it now offered her an opportunity, should no other offer, of informing him of the unexpected messmate which the new crew had on board.

Thus perfidy, dark hate, and trembling fear, possessed the hearts of those human beings, who, had a cursory observer seen them as they glided over that sea of beauty, beneath the azure heaven, along the enchanted shore, attended by every luxury, waited on by every obvious blessing of life—he would have imagined that they had been selected from the world for the enjoyment of happiness. But sunny sky and laughing ocean appeared to Idalie only as the haunt and resort of tigers and serpents; a dark mist seemed to blot the splendour of the sky, as the guilty souls of her fellow-creatures cast their deforming shadows over its brightness.

They had now arrived close on the low shore, and horses and two or three light open carriages were at the water’s edge to convey them to the temples. They landed. Ladislas presented himself to hand Idalie across the plank from the vessel to the beach. “Yes?”—he asked her, in a voice of entreaty as he pressed her hand. She softly returned the pressure, and the word “Beware,” trembled on her lips, when the young Englishman who had before admired her, and had endeavoured to engross her attention the whole day, was again at her side, to say that the Princess was waiting for her in her carriage, and entreated her not to delay.

The party proceeded to where those glorious relics stand, between the mountains and the sea, rising like exhalations from the waste and barren soil alone on the wild and dusky shore. A few sheep grazed at the base of the columns, and two or three wild eyed men, clothed in garments of undressed sheep-skin loitered about. Exclamations of wonder and delight burst from all, while Ladislas, stealing away to the more distant one, gladly escaped from the impertinent intrusion of the crowd, to indulge in lonely reverie among these ruins. “What is man in his highest glory?” he thought. “Had he burst the bonds of Poland; and had she, in her freedom, emulated the magical achievements of Greece; nevertheless, when time, with insidious serpent windings, had dragged its length through a few more centuries, the monuments we had erected would have fallen like these, and our Temples, a new Pæstum, have existed merely to excite the idiot wonder and frivolous curiosity of fools!”

Ladislas was certainly in no good humour while he thus vented his spleen; but annoyed by two circumstances sufficient to irritate a young philosopher: he beheld a scene, whose majestic beauty filled his soul with awe, in the midst of a crowd of pretenders more intent on the prospect of their pic-nic dinner, than on regarding the glories of art; and he saw his bride surrounded by strangers, engrossed by their conversation and flattery, and unable to interchange one look or word of confidence with him. He sighed for the hours passed under the portico of Idalie’s solitary pavilion, and the near prospect of their voyage did not reconcile him to the present; for his soul was disturbed by the necessity of interchanging courtesies with the enemy, and haunted by images of treacherous attempts, from which his valour could not protect him.

It had been arranged that the party should dine at the arch-bishop’s palace, and not embark again until ten o’clock when the moon would rise. After a couple of hours spent among the ruins, the servants informed them that their repast was ready; it was now near six o’clock, and after they had dined more than two hours must elapse before they could depart. Night had gathered round the landscape, and its darkness did not invite even the most romantic to wander among the ruins: the Princess, eager to provide for the amusement of her guests, contrived to discover a violin, a flute, and a pipe, and with the assistance of this music which in the hands of Italian rustics was true to time and expression as if Weipert himself had presided, they commenced dancing. Idalie’s hand was sought by the Englishman; she looked round the room, Ladislas was not there; he had doubtlessly repaired to the temples to wait for her, and ignorant of the presence of Giorgio, wholly unsuspicious and off his guard, to what dangers might he not be exposed? Her blood ran cold at the thought; she decidedly refused to dance, and perceiving the Princess whirling round in a waltz at a distant part of the room, she dispatched her officious admirer on some feigned errand for refreshment and hastily quitting the house, hurried along over the grass towards the temples. When she first emerged into night, the scene seemed wrapped in impenetrable darkness, but the stars shed their faint rays, and in a few moments she began to distinguish objects, and as she drew near the temple, saw a man’s form moving slowly among the columns: she did not doubt that it was her husband, wrapped in his cloak awaiting her. She was hurrying towards him when, leaning against one of the pillars, she saw Ladislas himself, and the other exchanging his stealthy pace for a tiger-like spring. She saw a dagger flashing in his hand; she darted forward to arrest his arm, and the blow fell upon her; with a faint shriek, she fell on the earth, when Ladislas turned and closed with the assassin; a mortal struggle ensued; already had Ladislas wrested the poignard from his grasp, when the villain drew another knife. Ladislas warded off the unexpected blow aimed with this, and plunged his own stiletto into the bravo’s breast; he fell to the earth with a heavy groan, and then the silence of the tomb rested on the scene; the white robe of Idalie, who lay fainting on the ground directed Ladislas to her side. He raised her up in speechless agony—as he beheld the blood which stained her dress; but by this time she had recovered from her swoon; she assured him her wound was slight, that it was nothing; but again sunk into his arms insensible. In a moment his plan was formed; ever eager and impetuous he executed it ere any second thought could change it. He had before resolved not to rejoin the party in the arch-bishop’s palace, but after his interview with Idalie, to hasten on toward the steam-boat; he had therefore ordered his horse to be saddled, had led it to the temple, and fastened it to one of the columns. He lifted the senseless Idalie carefully in his arms, mounted his horse, and turning his steps from the lighted and noisy palace, wound his way to the lonely shore, where he found the captain and his crew already preparing for their homeward voyage. With their help Idalie was taken on board, and Ladislas gave orders for immediate departure. The Captain asked for the rest of the company. “They return by land,” said Ladislas. As he spoke the words he felt a slight sensation of remorse, remembering the difficulty they would have to get there; and how, during the darkness of night, they might fear to proceed on their journey on a tract of country haunted by banditti; but the senseless and pale form of Idalie dissipated these thoughts: to arrive at Naples, to procure assistance for her, and then if as he hoped her wound was slight to continue their voyage before the Princes Dashkoff’s return were motives too paramount to allow him to hesitate. The captain of the Sully asked no more questions; the anchor was weighed, the wheels set in motion, and a silver light in the east announced the rising of the moon, as they stood off the shore and made their swift way back to Naples. They had not gone far, before the care of Ladislas revived his fair bride. Her wound was in the arm and had merely grazed the skin. Terror for her husband, horror for the mortal strife which had endangered his life, had caused her to faint, more than pain or loss of blood. She bound her own arm; and then as there appeared no necessity for medical aid, Ladislas revoked his orders, but stretching out at once to sea, they began their voyage to Marseilles.

Meanwhile, during a pause in the dance, the absence of Ladislas and Idalie was observed by the feasters in the arch-bishop’s palace. It excited some few sarcasms, which as it continued, grew more bitter. The Princess Dashkoff joined in these and yet she could not repress the disquietude of her heart. Had Ladislas alone been absent, her knowledge of the presence of Giorgio, and his designs, had sufficiently explained its cause, and its duration, to her; but that Idalie also should not be found might bring a witness to the crime committed, and discover her own guilty share in the deed of blood perpetrated at her instigation. At length the rising of the moon announced the hour when they were to repair to the shore. The horses and carriages were brought to the door, and then it was found that the steed of Ladislas was missing. “But the signora Idalie, has she not provided herself with a palfrey?” asked the Englishman, sneering. They were now about to mount, when it was proposed to take a last look of the temples by moonlight. The Princess opposed this, but vainly; her conscience made her voice faint, and took from her the usual decision of her manner, so she walked on silently, half fearful that her foot might strike against some object of terror, and at every word spoken by the party, anticipating some exclamation of horror; the fitful moonbeams seemed to disclose here and there ghastly countenances and mangled limbs, and the dew of night appeared to her excited imagination as the slippery moisture of the life-blood of her victim.

They scarcely entered the temple, when a peasant rushed in with the news that the steam-boat was gone:—he brought back Ladislas’s horse, who had put the bridle into the man’s hands on embarking; and the fellow declared that the fainting Idalie was his companion. Terror at the prospect of their dark ride, indignation at the selfish proceeding of the lovers, raised every voice against them; and the Princess, whom conscience had before made the most silent, hearing that the Pole was alive and safe, was now loudest and most bitter in her remarks. As they were thus all gathered together in dismay, debating what was to be done, and the Princess Dashkoff in no gentle terms railing at the impropriety and ingratitude of Idalie’s behaviour, and declaring that the Poles alone could conduct themselves with such mingled deceit and baseness, a figure all bloody arose from the ground at her feet and as the moon cast its pale rays on his yet paler countenance she recognized Giorgio: the ladies shrieked, the men rushed towards him, while the Princess desiring the earth to open and swallow her, stood transfixed as by a spell, gazing on the dying man in terror and despair, “He has escaped, Lady,” said Giorgio, “Ladislas has escaped your plots and I become their victim:” he fell as he spoke these words, and when the Englishman drew near to raise him, and if possible assist him, he found that life had entirely flown.

Thus ended the adventures of the Pole at Naples. The Countess returned in her calèche alone, for none would bear her company; the next day she left Naples, and was on her way to Russia, where her crime was unknown, except to those who had been accomplices of it. Marietta spread the intelligence of her sister’s marriage, and entirely cleared Idalie’s fair fame; and quitting Italy soon after, joined the happy Ladislas at Paris.



O you who at lighter afflictions repine

Arrest your complainings and list you to mine;

And you, who sorrow at every toy

Hear a mother’s lament for her poor Idiot boy.


Still memory tells of that moment of bliss

When I pressed on his forehead a mother’s first kiss

When committing the gift to the hand that had given

A mother’s first prayer sought acceptance in heaven.


I asked not for beauty, I asked not for wealth

The prayer was for reason, contentment and health;

That reflection might temper the fervour of youth

And his heart be the seat of religion and truth.


My babe he was lovely in infantine charms

And often as sweetly he slept in my arms,

O God! I exclaimed what delight it will be,

To rear him to virtue, to truth and to thee.


And fondly I waited the moment so dear

When my baby should part from my arms with a tear,

When his sweet voice should greet me with accents of joy,

But none were reserved for my poor Idiot boy.


When the glittering trinket was held in his sight

My infant would utter no scream of delight:

When gently compelled from my bosom to part

No cry of unwillingness gladdened my heart.


His lovely blue eyes never wandered around

To seek for his mother or greet her when found;

These promised delights were not mine to enjoy

All arms were alike to my poor Idiot boy.


His accent was plaintive, distressful and weak,

No tear of emotion ever stole on his cheek;

Nor frown ever sate on his forehead of snow

Nor flush of desire was traced on his brow.


The first year, the second, my grief was beguiled

With the fond hope that reason would dawn on my child;

But hope is no longer—for seven sad years

He has lain on my bosom bedewed with my tears.


In vain I caress him and lure him to speak,

He feels not the warm tear that falls on his cheek,

No look of intelligence brightens his eye

A wild, vacant stare his only reply.


Than grant me Oh God! ’tis a Mother’s last prayer

The solace of death with my infant to share,

No pause of affliction is mine to enjoy,

’Til I sleep in the grave with my poor idiot boy.

The answer in our next number.


Memoires de Madame la Duchesse d’Abrantès, Vols. VII. & VIII.

We shall conclude our translations from the present volumes with the following description of a Spanish inn, which, with a little dash of romance to give it effect, would make a good scene in a melo-drama.

“We next slept at San-Pedro, a place still more horrible than I had yet seen. We arrived late in the evening; the weather was cloudy, and it was dark when our carriage stopped at the door of the house which was to afford us shelter for the night. I was almost asleep from fatigue, arising more particularly from the attention with which I had, as we passed along, examined the trees and bushes in the forest, to see if I could perceive any suspicious looking people on the watch for us. Junot, who, as a measure of precaution, chose to walk by the side of the carriage, reached the houses before I did.

“Do not be frightened at your possada,’ said he to me, laughing. ‘Your bedroom is certainly not elegant, but if we find no toads in it we shall do very well.’

“As he spoke, I roused myself, got out of the carriage and entered the house . . . House indeed. . . . Let the reader imagine a hut of clay, divided into three holes, scarcely more than five feet high, which were termed rooms. And from each hole exhaled a dreadful stench!

“ ‘Ah!’ cried I, drawing back, ‘what a hovel! I can never sleep here! What a horrible house!’

“ ‘And yet I built it myself,’ exclaimed a deep, sepulchral voice. It proceeded from a man near me, who held a lamp in his hand.

“This man spoke French. I looked at him, and beheld a dreadful countenance. I was at first horror-struck, but I took courage and addressed him:

“ ‘Good God! how came you to leave your country to inhabit this savage desert?’ And I added internally, ‘This man must be an infamous villain, who has fled from the galleys—perhaps from the guillotine.’

“And in truth, all this was expressed in the dark, sinister, and murderous countenance of the host.

“I determined not to sleep in the house myself, but, fearful that the confined air of a carriage might be prejudicial to my child, I selected the best room, had the window opened, juniper berries burned, and a braséro put into it, with the charcoal extinguished. Then leaving the child there with her nurse, I went with Junot back to the carriage, in which we passed the night.

“I had then with me an Italian woman, the wife of my husband’s first valet-de-chambre, and who acted as my housekeeper. She was extremely pretty, very much attached to me, and I was very partial to her. She belonged to that race of good servants, now extinct. She would not remain in my daughter’s carriage, in which she travelled, but preferred sleeping in one of the rooms of this horrible casa. Leaving, therefore, her husband to watch over the luggage, and keep the escort in order, she took up her quarters in the apartment next to my daughter’s.

“The latter had been asleep some time, when Madame Heldt entered the room, and appeared before Fanchette (the nurse) with a pale and horror-struck-countenance. Fanchette, who was naturally no Bayard, trembled dreadfully on seeing the fright of her companion. My own maid had preferred sleeping in the carriage; therefore these two were alone.

“ ‘Madame Bergeret,’ said the housekeeper to Fanchette, ‘there is a man under my bed who has been murdered.’

“Fanchette uttered a piercing cry.

“ ‘Peace! for God’s sake, hold your tongue! we shall share the same fate else. There is a huge instrument of torture in the room.’

“Fanchette easily believed all this, and her faith would even have gone much further. She however determined to verify the fact, and taking the lamp with a trembling hand, carried it into Madame Heldt’s room, the latter having in her terror, upset her own and extinguished it. Fanchette then looked under the housekeeper’s bed. At first she saw only fresh straw chopped, such as is used in Spain. . . . But on bringing the lamp down, she perceived the two naked feet of a man, and above them two legs which seem to belong to a body.

“The two women dreadfully agitated were very near falling by the side of the corpse. Fanchette, braver than her companion, perhaps because she had a greater responsibility, said that they must leave the room and call for assistance. Madame Heldt then made her observe the instrument of torture, which was discovered next day to be a flail for thrashing corn. But Fanchette and the housekeeper only saw what their fears made them imagine, and that was of the most horrible kind.

“ ‘My God!’ said Fanchette, ‘how shall we get out from this place? My lady was right. This man is a murderer.’

“ ‘A murderer? He is rather the executioner of the village. Look here!’ And Madame Heldt again pointed to the fatal instrument.

“At length steps were heard under the window. It was Colonel Laborde, who was going his rounds. The night was fine, and his uneasiness—for everybody was uneasy in this dreary place—he had preferred not to go to bed; but had taken up his bivouac upon two bundles of fresh straw which he quitted every now and then to see if all was safe. On hearing the noise of his cavalry boots upon the little stones with which the court yard was paved, Fanchette called to him. In an instant this brave and excellent young man was in Madame Heldt’s room, when the first words he heard were corpse and murder. On perceiving the naked feet under the bed, and not having the same fear of a dead man as the women had, he pulled at the feet and dragged from the straw in which it was enveloped, the naked body of a man, who seemed to have died recently, but whose corpse exhibited no marks of violence. Without however giving himself time to examine the state of the body, he told one of the women to call the master of the house. But the moment he had seized the dead man by the heels, both had run into the other room and taken their station near my daughter’s cradle, as if to ask protection from this dear child, whose beautiful head covered with auburn tresses, rested upon one of her arms as she slept the sleep of angels. M. Laborde unwilling to give the alarm, called one of the soldiers of the escort, then, taking the lamp, he went to the kitchen where he found the host in a sound sleep upon the floor, near the remains of a fire round which the muleteers had supped.

“This man is not a murderer,—at least, he has not been so to-night,” thought M. Laborde; “but no matter, we must know what the corpse means.”

“He pushed the man rudely with his foot, and on awaking, held a pistol to his head. The poor wretch thought it was his last hour was come, and uttered the most doleful cries.

“Peace!” said M. Laborde, “or I will blow your brains out. What is it I see in one of the bed-rooms, thou atrocious murderer!”

“Good God! Sir, I am no murderer,” said the man, falling on his knees and clasping his hands. “I will tell all. But do not acquaint his excellency the ambassador with it. You will see that I am guiltless of the crime.”

“M. Laborde looked sternly at him, and the poor man, though with the air and face of a determined villain, was so frightened that he could scarcely tell his story. It seems that one of his ploughboys had died that morning, and was to be buried next day. Our arrival had caused the removal of the corpse, because the room in which it lay was one of the best in the house. “If the ambassador or his lady had done me the honour to sleep in my house,” said the man, “I would have had the body removed in a sheet without its being perceived. But as only one of their attendants occupied the room, I thought the remains of poor Garcia under the bed, would not be in her way, more particularly as she appeared so much fatigued, that I thought she would not perceive the body. It seems I was mistaken. But, colonel, if I had committed a murder, I certainly should not have put any one to sleep in that room, until I had made every trace of it disappear.”

“He was right; M. Laborde inquired who would answer for his respectability; and he referred to the priest, and the Sangrado of the village.

“ ‘Lock me up till the morning, Sir, if you think I have not told you the truth, and then I shall be able to prove my innocence.’

“No sooner said than done: and the poor man was locked in one of his own dark rooms. Two soldiers were then dispatched to put the body upon the bed it had previously occupied; and M. Laborde advised the two men to carry my daughter to the carriage, as the ploughboy might have died of an infectious disease, the yellow fever being then at Cadiz. Next morning I thanked M. Laborde for this kind thought; but Junot had no intention of thanking the host, whom he swore he would send to the other world after the ploughboy. The poor wretch had hid himself, fearful of encountering the anger of the great lord, as he termed Junot.

“ ‘I am no great lord, thou villain!’ said Junot; ‘but I am a father and a humane master. And I cannot conceive how you could have thought of making two women and a child—and my child too—sleep in a room, not only impregnated with the fetid and pestilential air of a dangerous disease, but containing also the corpse of one who had fallen a victim to that disease.’

“Junot’s anger rose so high that he was about to seize the poor fellow by the throat, when the priest and the village doctor arrived. They certified that the neighbourhood of the corpse was not dangerous. The ploughboy had died of pleurisy. The priest had administered the extreme unction to him; as for the doctor, if there was any murder in the case, it concerned him more than any one else.

“Neither Madame Heldt nor Fanchette would however admit, that this corpse had died like other corpses; and this impression has remained so strong, that Madame Heldt, who mentioned the circumstances within the last fortnight, still maintains that a murder had been committed, and that, without the help of Colonel Laborde, she and her companion would have shared the same fate, as well my daughter Josephine. ‘Poor little innocent angel,’ added Madame Heldt.”


(Extracted from an unpublished work by John Howard Willis.)

A few words passed between the young chief and his trusty confident, who glided away into the wood like a spirit of darkness—and a minute more saw the bold warrior and his beauteous companion urging their fresh and willing steeds at a fearful speed along peculiar tracks in that wild wilderness, which none but the practiced and piercing eye of an Indian could trace—none but the sure and keen sagacity of his trained and hardy horse could follow. With little intermission for the space of an hour or more they continued on with unslackened pace, and with untired strength the mettlesome and vigorous steeds dashed along on their darkling career; and it was only after a vast extent of forest had been passed, and they emerged upon the brow of a narrow and slightly wooded valley, that the warrior reined in his panting horse, and lightly leaping from his back assisted the partner of his desperate and speedy journeying to dismount. The time afforded by this brief halt gave the excited animals the opportunity of taking fresh breath for what remained of their urgent task of fleetness, and also for the Indian to carefully inspect the furniture of either horse, and particularly that of his companion’s, and to freshly tighten their saddle girths—as though there was yet much depending on the faithful and powerful exertion of the beasts.

The couple were soon again mounted, but not before the warrior-youth had drawn the bright tomahawk from his belt, and placed it in the keeping of the Indian girl. They lingered yet upon the edge of the open dell, winding before them in the clear starlight a sinuous course of deeper gloom than that over-spreading the more extended country above its border. It seemed that here they were to part; and as they sat upon their horses in that peculiar hour of loneliness and darkened obscurity, and the immediate events of the past, and the uncertainty of their future, that pressed so forcibly upon them there and then, we may judge that both were agitated by feelings which, perhaps, were more fitly and strikingly told in the deep prolonged silence of either.—Touched by the sorrow, and won by the surpassing beauty of his captive, the gallant young warrior had thus at a fearful risk to himself, and with a degree of chivalric devotion best telling of his brave and generous bearing, conveyed and protected her thus far in the purpose of her liberation, and return to her nation and friends, trusting to be back to his post again ere suspicion of his agency in the escape could attach to his absence.

Aware that the passing moments were precious, and that delay was perilous to the safety of the being for whom he felt all, all of the wild unsettled ambition of his future could well be sacrificed, the generous souled youth drew near to the side of the lovely girl—herself deeply impressed with all he had done, and was doing for her sake: and, gently taking her hand, spoke with an earnest and subdued voice his words of parting.

“Daughter of a mighty chief,—Thou art free, and I deem that I am not to assure thee thou art also safe. Tell them not, the dwellers in the tents of thy people—no, nor above all thy brave and war-famed sire, that the fetter was taken from off thy dainty foot by the Young Hawk of the Silver Lake’s. Maiden, in this I am a traitor to my nation’s trust—to free thee thus, and the aged chiefs of the council-lodge not near to say that it is good; and thy father and his body warriors would curse my falsehood to my people as unworthy of a chief, even while thou wert gladly strained to his heart, and fondly welcomed back to thy childhood’s hearth-fire.

“Daughter of a mighty chief,—Let the seal of silence therefore be on thy sweet lip of the spring rose’s budding; and forget all but the dream of thy heart which may tell thee to remember that I could not live and look on thee, proud and beautiful as thou art, a slave among the slaves of my people. True, many would be the powerful chiefs who would come to thy lodge to seek thee as a bride; but I looked on thee in thy weeping, and my soul said thou never would be happy thus—and lo, and we are here.

“Daughter of a brave and powerful chief,—Spring and summer, and autumn, and winter will colour the woods of thy people’s hunting grounds with the shade of their numbered seasons, but the memory of thee will ever be as the cheering sun of summer to my heart; for thou art very beautiful to my eye, and thou didst make my sight dim with a sorrow wakened from thine own, when thy tears were falling fast, and thou wouldst not be comforted because of thy far home, and thy father and brave brethren. Yet, when again the tender green leaves of spring are newly budding, and thou art leading forth thy pet fawn to feed on the fresh shoots of the forest—startle not if the cry of the early hawk sounds shrilly above thee among the waving maple tops; for know then that the fearless bird has flown from his home near the bright waters, and is hovering around to perch in the sunlight of thy dark and charmful eyes.”

“Daughter of a great and war-famed chief,—Look upward to the dark blue sky, and note where the point of the starry arrow is gleaming downward on that opening in the distant belt of the gloomy forest—there lies the path which will bring thee upon the foot tracks of thy kindred. It is yet a long, and darkling, and lonely ride for thee, but I may not be its farther companion; for even now the great chief may waken from his dreaming, and ask for the Young Hawk who sleeps at his feet, and my people must not know shame to come upon their own battee-bird of the lakes. Yet fear not for the den of the growling wolf is past, and the brake where the rattle-snake slumbers lies far among the hills; and thou art the daughter of a mighty warrior and cannot be afraid. Therefore go onward upon thy path in security, for mine eye has pierced its many windings, and it sees nought of evil mien to thee lurking among the branches by the way side; and thou hast the sharp and glittering tomahawk in thy belt, which often has drank its fill of blood, and thy hand may not, nor must, hesitate to spare it now in thy need.

“Daughter of a great chief—thou art free as the bounding deer of thine own valleys; and I turn from thee to find darkness again upon my forest track which weighed not upon my eyes when thou wert near. There seems a shackle upon and around the wing of the hawk, so that strangely he feels he will no more fly as freely, as before thy bright eyes lured him to forget his own silver lakes; and he will pine and droop that the beautiful maiden is not near, and will hide himself away from the young girls, among the lodges to dream, to live, to breathe but in thought and memory of thee,—Daughter of a mighty chief, thou art free—farewell!”

A moment the youthful warrior warmly prest to his bosom the hand of the lovely being whom he had thus so gallantly liberated, and in his impassioned language avowing his deep and sudden love in the instant he told her she was no longer a captive. A wave of his arm, as it pointed onward to the valley track below as the maiden’s future course—and his lash resounded on the deep stillness around, immediately followed by the crashing tramp of his bounding horse on his backward path through the dusky forest. And the Indian girl lingered to gaze upon the parting form of her gallant deliverer, as it passed away in the obscurity of the leafy covert, ere she urged her steed down the narrow path leading into the dreary security of the shadowy defile; where, for some time, the lessening tread of its fast speeding hoofs merging into distance, told of a swift career along the lone and darkened intricacies of its safe and solitary path.


My complexion’s dull and dark,

  Yet I had a lovely sire.

I am wingless: but the lark

  Through the skies ascends not higher:

Griefless tears I cause the fair:

And at my birth dissolve in air.


Upon my word, ’tis quite a joke,

That six such lines should end in smoke.

Hood’s Comic Annual for 1833.

The following letter is extracted from Hood’s Comic Annual. We are not very great admirers of this species of wit, but it belongs to the literature of the day, and as such is entitled to a place in our pages. It is no more than just to give the opinion of the London Athenæum on the subject. That paper too, contains a few specimens of the “graphic jokes.” which are as usual very ridiculous.

“We have at our last hour received a copy of the genuine Comic Annual—Hood’s Annual, and the perusal of it at once puts to rest all reports touching the want of life in the author. On the throne of fun he sits supreme over mouths stretched from ear to ear. And not only will he bear no brother near his throne,—he will bear no sister’s proximity. Miss Sheridan appears to have endeavoured to have had it thought, forgetting that kings never die, that Hood or his book was no more. She makes nothing by her motion, for the attempt at his destruction only gives fresh life to our inimitable humourist.

The present volume is perhaps,—strange to say,—better, lighter, brighter, more varied than any of its predecessors. It has some admirable pleasantries on the passing follies and cantisms of the day. It has some extraordinary ingenuities in the way of fun, rhyme, and versifications. It has one bunch of bad spelling, from a servant-maid in Van Diemen’s Land, which is quite a bouquet. In order to afford our readers as much amusement at this late period as our room and time,—or rather the want of both,—will permit, we will abstain from all further remark of our own, and proceed to extract.


To Mary, at No 45 Mount Street Grosvernor Square.

“Dear Mary—Littel did I Think wen I advertisd in the Time for another Plaice of takin wan in Vandemin’s land. But so it his and hear I am amung Kangerooses and savidges and other Forriners. But goverment offering to Yung Wimmin to Find them in Vittles and Drink and Close and Husbands was turms not be sneazed at, so I rit the Outlandish Seckertary and he was so Kind as Grant.

“Wen this cums to Hand go to Number 22 Pimpernel Place And mind and go betwixt Six and sevin For your own Sake cos then the familys Having Diner giv my kind love to betty Housmad and Say I am safe of my journey to Forrin parts And I hope master has never mist the wine and broght them into trubble on My accounts. But I did not Like to leav for Ever And Ever without treetin my Frends and feller servents and Drinkin to all their fairwells. In my Flurry wen the Bell rung I furgot to take My own Key out of missis Tekaddy but I hope sum wan had the thought And it is in Good hands but shall Be obleeged to no. Lickwise thro my Loness of Sperrits my lox of hares quite went out of My Hed as was promist to be giv to Gorge and Willum and the too Futmen at the too next dores But I hop and Trust betty pacified them with lox of Her hone as I begd to Be dun wen I rit Her from dover. O Mary when I furst see the dover Wite Clifts out of site wat with squemishness and Felings I all most repentid givin Ingland warning And douts if I was goin to better my self. But the stewerd was verry kind tho I could make Him no return axcept by Dustin the ship for Him And helpin to wash up his dishes. Their was 50 moor Young Wimmin of us and By way of passing tim We agread to tell our Histris of our selves taken by Turns But they all turnd out Alick we had All left on account of Testacious masters And crustacious Mississis and becos the wurks was to much For our Strenths but betwixt yew and me the reel truths was beeing Flirted with and unprommist by Perfidus yung men. With sich exampils befour there Minds I wander sum of them was unprudent enuff to Lissen to the Salers whom are covered with Pitch but famus for Not sticking to there Wurds, has for Me the Mate chose to be very Partickler wan nite Setting on a Skane of Rops but I giv Him is Anser and lucky I did for I Am informd he as Got too more Marred Wives in a state of Biggamy thank Goodness wan can marry in new Wurlds without mates. Since I have bean in My pressent Situation I have had between too and three offers for My Hands, and expex them Evry day to go to fistcufs about Me this is sum thing lick treeting Wimmin as Wimmin ought to be treeted Nun of yor sarsy Buchers and Backers as brakes there Promissis the sam as Pi Crust wen its maid Lite and shivvry And then laffs in Your face and say they can hav anny Gal they lick round the Sqare, I dont menshun nams but Eddard as drives the Fancy bred will no Wat I mean. As soon as ever the Botes rode to Land I dont agrivate the Truth to say their was half a duzzin Bows apeace to Hand us out to shoar and sum go so Far as say they was offered to thro Specking Trumpits afore they left the Shipside.”* * *


‘Britannia rules the waves.’—Thomson.

‘By the bye, Twaddel,’ said Jones to me, in one of the fine days of June, ‘you and I and our set have had all sorts of parties but a water-party;—What say you to one?’—I hemmed and ha-ed a bit, and replied, ‘I have no disinclination to such a trip, certainly; but can any of our friends pull an oar,—or even handle a skull?—I can’t,’ said Jones candidly, ‘nor, I believe, can Wilson, nor Smith, nor Thomas; but what of that? we can learn, I presume? Rowing is easy enough.’—Except when it is hard,’ said I. Jones smiled and went on. ‘Tchew! what can be easier?—You have only to pull so,—suiting the action to the word.’—‘But with inexperienced persons,’ I remarked, ‘there is at least some danger.’—‘Danger!’ exclaimed Jones, pulling up his collar, and putting on a look of wonder—‘what is that?—I was silenced by his superior daring, and said, ‘Well, I’ll be one. Who are the selected?’—‘Wilson, Tomlins, Smith, you and I.’—And the indispensables—the ladies?’—‘Why, we will say the two Miss Browns, Miss Simpson, and Fanny, and Fatima Smith’—‘Very good. When, where, and what time?—‘To-morrow at nine, at Searle’s, and Richmond our destination.—‘Well, I will undertake to get you there; if you will yield the entire command of the expedition, as I may call it.’ ‘It will be, if we get there in half the usual time,’ chuckling over the jest; (Jones is not, however, by any means so dabish at wit as he thinks he is)—‘You interrupted me,’ I resumed; ‘but who is to arrange the preliminaries and accessories—the eatables and drinkables, and all that?’ Leave the all that to me,’ said Jones. ‘Well then to morrow at nine;’ and we shook hands and parted.

At nine the next day I was on the Lambeth side of Westminster-bridge, and at a quarter past nine we were all mustered, the crew gallantly, and I may say, nautically dressed in striped shirts, white trowsers, white hats, and black neckcloths tied seamen’s fashion; our boat—(a shallop with a white awning) manned in no time, the ladies safely got on board and seated; our provisions stowed away fore and aft, and every thing ready for starting. Expectation ran high, and the tide was about to do the same; we could not have had a finer morning; the ladies, though timorous on the one hand, relied on the other upon the courage and steadiness of the crew; Mr. Searle considerately said, ‘Now is the time, gentlemen, to start—you could have not a finer tide,’—I took my station at the helm, Jack-of-the-water pushed us off the roads, and we were committed to the mighty deep. Some confusion as to the duties of stroke-oar, &c. followed; three of the four wished to row on the larboard side, but that was impossible, as they soon discovered; and then Jones very awkwardly dropped his oar with the blade flat in the water, which flung up a spray that wetted Miss Simpson, as thoroughly as if she had been in a shower-bath; but she bore it with a partiality for Jones which nothing could diminish.—(Jones is, in many respects, a very great favorite with the ladies, and deservedly so, for he is a young man of very good expectations,) and Smith and Wilson, equally awkward, sat down with their foolish faces towards each other, and began to pull, of course different ways, which gave rise to considerable merriment on shore: but I put them right on this nautical point, and then placing them as they should be, directed what they should do. Tomlins was my next vexation, for, before his partners had dipped their oars in the limpid stream, he began to pull away as strong as a——as a——no matter what—I have not a comparative at hand; but the effect of his obstinacy was, that the boat’s head was turned to the right about, notwithstanding my keeping the helm hard aport. Then Jones began to put his shoulders:—I must confess that I felt quite ashamed of their obstinacy and ignorance. The first pull he gave, I thought he would have drawn us under water; at the second he could not move his oar at all. ‘What the devil has got hold of my oar at the bottom?’ he roared out half laughing, and half alarmed. ‘It isn’t a shark, I hope?’ said Miss Simpson!—I explained to her that sharks in the Thames were impossible—there might be such things on shore, but they were not amphibious. And I also explained to Jones why it was that he could not lift his oar, he had in technical phraseology, ‘caught a crab,’ I told him he should skim the top, not rake the bottom. ‘Very good,’ said Jones; and the next stroke he made he missed the water altogether, hit himself an unmerciful thump in his stomach with his double-handed oar, which tumbled him heels uppermost, with his head in Wilson’s lap, which broke poor Wilson’s watch glass, Miss Simpson’s salts-bottle in his pocket, and knocking Wilson backwards, pitched him with his head into the hamper at the bows, which fractured two bottles of double stout, and cut his occiput clean across the organ of cautiousness. The ladies shrieked, but Wilson, who is, in some respects a wag, said, very gaily, ‘he didn’t mind it more than a foreigner.’ Several other amusing accidents attended our starting, but as they were of minor importance, I shall not narrate them here.

With scarcely any pulling at all—wafted along the silver tide,—we had reached the Red house at Battersea: but now we set to in good earnest, and our oars dropped in alternately, one, two, three, four, as regular as the chimes. Here some of the natives on the shore, who had been observing the gallant style with which we pulled along, bawled out, ‘Go it, tail—(I write the word with the hesitation of reluctance—) tailors!’—It is written and I breathe again!—They no doubt mistook us for a party of tradesmen of that sort, than which nothing could be farther from our thoughts. However, that we might not be annoyed by such mistakes in future, I determined on putting the boat out into the middle of the stream. ‘Don’t Twaddel!’ exclaimed the whole party, as with one voice, for we had hitherto kept close in shore, because the water being shallower, it afforded us some chance of succor if anything should happen to our daring and adventurous crew:—as Smith observed, in his dry way, ‘It would be very disagreeable to be picked up wringing wet and very dead. But the command being in my hands I was resolute on being obeyed, and so out I steered into the dangerous bosom of the Thames.

I now, I may say, we, went on swimmingly. The rowers were attentive to their duty, and perspired with pleasure at their successful exertions: the ladies chatted pleasantly with each other on the fashions and upon Miss Wilke’s expected marriage with the gallant Major Morris of the Middlesex militia; and now and then encouraged our endeavors to please with their lovely smiles, we had every appearance of being as happy as beauty and bravery could render us. About this time, I noticed that Jones looked somewhat deploringly at his hands they were as red as beet-root in the palms, with symptoms of blistering. If there is anything on which Jones is sensitive it is on the whiteness of his hands; it as an amiable weakness, which even the mighty mind of Lord Byron gave way to. Smith who has a deal of malicious humor about him, comforted him by telling him that he would lose all the skin they had ‘to their backs,’ but in three months he would have in its place a new and much whiter one. Jones looked quite horror-struck!—Miss Fanny Smith then advised him to put on his gloves, which he did, and that made them considerably worse. A boat full of persons passed us at this moment, and we were again saluted with, “Go it tailors!” Jones who was sore in one respect, and in many other respects very mettlesome, was for running them aboard and calling them to an account: but I explained, that it was possible that a party of those very serviceable tradesmen were expected up the river that day, and we might probably be mistaken for them. Jones seemed pacified, and pulled on till he declared he could pull no more his hands were so blistered, and so they were like a newly painted shutter in the dog-days. We all sincerely pitied him, save Smith, who laughed and looked all sorts of droll things at his misery. “Gentlemen,” said I, “to relieve you for a time from your labors, pull in your oars, and let the boat drift with the tide, which is almost strong enough to carry us to our destination.”

All hands I could see were agreeable, so that the oars were taken in, but in a very unseamanlike manner, for Wilson nearly brought down the awning and brained Miss Simpson with his and Jones hit Smith such a pat on the head with his, that it made it ring; we all set it down as a “trifle from Margate,” in return for Smith’s raillery, at poor Jones’ expense. Smith however, only laughed—nothing can disturb his good humor. Jones then produced his German flute with additional keys, and every one was restored to harmony. He played us, out of Wragg’s Preceptor,’ ‘In My Cottage near a Wood,’ ‘The Lass of Richmond Hill, ‘At Kew one Morn was Peter Born,’ ‘The Jolly Young Waterman,’ ‘Go to the Devil and Shake Yourself,’ and many other naval and national melodies, very delightful indeed. Miss Fanny Smith also kindly obliged the company by singing the first part of ‘All’s Well,’ to Mr. Jones’ second part on the German flute. Nothing in human nature could be more beautiful!—the waters seemed to glide silently past us, as if listening with every attention to their dulcet strains; and all Nature was hushed, save a west-country bargeman, who whistled responsively, as he plunged a sweep every now and then into the silver waters. After this Wilson gave us a song, set, I dare say, as he sung it, for thus ran the opening line:—

“When forced from thee to—o—o—o—part;”

and then he paused. Smith, who is always alive to the ridiculous said in his dry droll way, ‘Try back, Wilson.’ Wilson however could not remember the second line. ‘Then,’ said Smith, ‘I’ll sing it for you;’ and he struck up—

‘When forced from thee to pooh—pooh—pooh—part.’

We laughed for an hour, and Wilson would not sing another note. ‘A Muggins to the rescue!’ Tomlins volunteered a song, and all was silence, as he struck up ‘Love’s Young Dream’

“But there’s nothing half so sweet in life

  As Love’s young dream;

Oh there’s nothing half so sweet in life,’

‘As lump sugar!’ chimed in that provoking fellow, Smith, with a vociferous jollity of voice that put all the sentiment of the song to immediate flight. Our laughter must have been heard along both shores. Wilson being one of the Grocer’s Company thought the joke a little too personal; but who can take a lasting offence at the frolics of Smith? Throughout this memorable day he shewed himself a wag of the first water. We all, except Jones, who was rather jealous of his success, allowed him to carry away the palm of preference; the ladies’ eyes, too,

‘Rain’d influence, and adjudg’d the prize.’

By this time we neared Battersea Bridge—it is the Scylla and Charybdis of amateur aquarians; if you escape S. you come bump against C., and vice versa. The station of the steersman is therefore one of serious responsibility, and requires the steadiest skill, an eye like a mathematician’s, a hand like a watchmaker’s, and the most undaunted courage. We were shooting cleanly and cleverly, and in the most seamanlike manner, through the centre arch, when Jones, perhaps over anxious for the success of this fine evolution, dipped his oar in, and giving a pull, drove our nose plump between the starling. All was immediate confusion! the ladies shrieked in the most piercing manner—Wilson turned as white as his waistcoat—Jones trembled—Tomlins was terrified—Smith looked as if all the jokes were taken out of him—and I in some measure gave up all for lost. The tide rose like a rampant beast at the stern, and our boat pitched deeper and deeper still at the head. To add to the agonies of such a moment, a savage in human form, who was hanging over the balustrades, bawled out in a jeering manner. ‘Say your prayers, you tailors, while I run for the drags!’ ‘Tailors, again!—d—n it!’ said Jones, indignantly;—all his mettle was in arms—he became desperate; and, seizing an oar, with a superhuman push he set us clear again, but broke the oar short off; this, however, was of no consequence, as we had had the precaution to take an extra pair, and this accident brought them into play. Jones was blamed by all, but it was of little use, for he was so proud of his powers in getting us out of the scrape, that getting us into it seemed quite a merit in his eyes!

Some close observer of nature has remarked, that ‘after a storm there comes a calm.’ We were soon restored to that complacency which men feel who have done their duty in trying circumstances, and Smith who had recovered his good humor, told us a capital story about Battersea Church, and how the Emperor of Russia wished to purchase it for Petersburg; but as the parishioners would not part with their church without he took the parson into the bargain, and the Emperor would not do that, the negotiation went off, and there the church is to this day. This amusing story was, no doubt, a piece of invention of Smith’s for he has a very happy originality in that way.—We laughed prodigiously, and Smith was satisfied.

Here I took occasion to address a few words to the gallant crew. ‘Gentlemen,’ said I, ‘as we came with the intention of reaching Richmond by water, allow me as the commander of this expedition, to press upon you the necessity of putting your shoulders to the wheel, if you mean to complete that great enterprize. I need not remind you that in order to reach Richmond it is necessary that you should go there. (Hear, hear!) Gentlemen, the eyes of Cornhill—I may add, Cheapside, are upon us! If we succeed, we shall be crowned with success; if we fail—but no—I will not fear—that is to say, Gentlemen, I cannot—’—(Here I was completely put out by Jones, who kept winking, his malicious eye at Smith, as much as to say, ‘only hear the future Deputy of Dowgate Ward!’ Jones, I am sorry to say, is in many respects a very envious young man. I resumed—)—‘In short Gentlemen, as some one has said, a long pull, a strong pull, and a pull altogether, will, if we faint not, bring our enterprise to a happy end. For as Mr. Shakespeare, the dramatist, has said’—

“There is a tide in the affairs of men.

Which taken at the full leads on to——”

‘Richmond!’ was the inspiring cry of the whole crew, with the exception of the ladies—who shared however in our truly British ardor. Every man grasped his oar; jackets and hats were immediately thrown off, as encumbrances Jones in his enthusiasm forgot his blisters, and we pushed along gaily and gallantly—

“Swift as an arrow from a Tartar’s bow,”

and Putney seemed to stare with astonishment at Fulham—Hammersmith at Barnes, to see the rapidity of our flight. To make our labours light and cheer our way, Miss Fatima Smith, at her brother’s request, read to us the ‘Choice,’ of Mr. John Pomfret, that divine poet; and Smith himself,

‘Possess’d beyond the Muse’s painting,’

broke out all over with an original sonnet, keeping time with his oar to the measure. When it was over we all expressed our regret that he did not put his high poetic powers to more use. ‘If I did,’ he remarked, ‘how should I be known “from many another Smith?” ‘Take another name,’ I suggested. ‘Call yourself Jones,’ said Jones, in his very happy way, and we laughed amazingly. Jones is inimitable when he likes to be so.

Absorbed in this delightful interchange of poetry and pleasantry, we progressed agreeably along, and

‘Panting time toil’d after us in vain.’

‘What place is this we are athwart of?’ asked Tomlins. He was informed it was Kew. ‘I thought so,’ he added; ‘and that little gentleman in the nook of the wall is, I suppose, Q in the corner?’ We had never heard Tomlins perpetrate a pun before; but we encouraged him with our smiles. He is not a favourite with our party; I don’t know why, except that he is very stupid. Tomlins makes pretensions to Miss Fatima Smith, but with very little chance of success. Miss Smith will become a Mrs. T., but it will be Mrs. Twaddell, not Tomlins, if I know her heart. ‘By the by, where shall we dine?’ said Jones. ‘Yes, where shall we dine?’ cried all. I saw that he had the sense of the company with him so I replied, ‘Where you please.’ ‘Why not here?’ he rejoined. We were at that moment in sight of a lovely lawn, that ran with an easy slope down to the water’s edge. It was one o’clock—the place was propitious—and the labors of the morning had whetted our appetites to the keenest edge. I was not, therefore, taken by surprise, when I heard the four exclaim, as with one voice. ‘Here we dine!’ I immediately rounded the rudder for land, and in a minute we touched the shore, and all hands leaped on the lawn. The ladies, the giblet-pies, bottled porter, and sherry, were landed in a jiffy; and while a detachment was sent out to select a pleasant spot, Jones was as active as a harlequin, in unpacking and preparing all things. A delightful nook in a quickset hedge, and under a shady elm, was marked out for the happy occasion; and every thing being in no time removed to it, a clean cloth was spread on the turf; the pies, bread, salt, knives and forks, plates, glasses, and every thing was in apple-pie order—the word was given, ‘to your places,’—the ladies were handed to theirs, and down we all squatted, like a Turkish dinner-party, hunger and expectation being remarkable in every countenance.

‘Jones,’ I directed, ‘cut up the pie.’ ‘With all the pleasure in life,’ he promptly replied, and began to operate. ‘A cursed hard crust to begin with, and as thick as the serpentine in skating season,’ remarked Jones, as he grinned and groaned, and vainly endeavoured to make an impression on its outworks. ‘Never mind its hardness,’ said I,—(Miss Fatima Smith had made it with her own fair hands.)—‘I shall venture on it.’ ‘Yes,’ said Smith, ‘it will bear you.’—(Roars of laughter.)—‘Upon my soul,’ said Jones, ‘I cannot cut into it—my hands are so tender.’ This set the ladies giggling, and then he threw down the knife and fork in a pet. ‘Here, hand the pie to me,’ said Smith; and, oh, monstrous! he made no more ado, but jobbed his elbow upon the cone of the crust, which broke it in sure enough, but at the same time sent half the gravy with a spurt into our eyes, all over Wilson’s white waistcoat, and down Miss Simpson’s black satin spencer. ‘You awkward fellow!’ exclaimed his sisters, and they blushed as beautifully as Aurora. ‘Oh, never mind my spencer,’ said Miss Simpson: ‘I don’t care about my waistcoat,’ said Wilson, ‘since we have got at the giblets, which I had given up in despair.’ We then laughed heartily, and heartily we eat. I never saw, at a Guildhall dinner, such appetites and such expedition. As for Jones, he might eat his way up to the civic chair, with any man in the city who has not yet arrived at that honor: for a young liveryman, his performance was wonderful, and his promise more. In ten minutes the eatables were hors du combat; and one bottle of porter, and three of sherry, were all that was left of the drinkables. Filling a bumper of sherry, I then gave from the chair (the stump of a tree)—‘The Ladies, our fair compagnons de voyage!’—(Drank with three times three, and one cheer more—a missfire of Wilson’s.)—Jones was then called upon for a song: he complied, and struck up—

‘Oh, nothing in life can sadden us,

Whilst we have wine and good-humor in store—’

‘Holloa, there, you sirs! who gave you leave to land here, I should very much like to know?’ roared out a fellow six feet high, brawny as Hercules, as he jumped over the hedge, and alighted with one foot in the pie-dish, and the other in Jones’ new white beaver. ‘Nobody,’ said Jones, hurt at having his hat injured. ‘Well, then, I warn you off these grounds,’ continued the out-of-town barbarian, and laid hold of Jones by the collar. ‘Stop, my good friend,’ said I, ‘no violence, if you please: we are gentlemen, and if . . .’ ‘I don’t care whether you’re gentle or simple—you’ve none of you no business here—so bundle, bag and baggage.’ At this we were all indignant; and as for Jones, I never saw him so up-ish: he was for throwing the ruffian into the creek on the other side of the hedge. ‘Do, Jones—it will serve him right, if he’ll let you,’ said Smith, laughing contemptuously at his presumption. Jones, for a slight man of five feet, is a very well-meaning young man; but this fellow, as it happened, would be a little too much for two Joneses. In many respects Mr. Jones is very conceited of his powers; but, on the other hand, his attentions to his grandmother, who will leave him all when she dies, is excellent and exemplary I pacified the blue-aproned Cerberus, by handing him a bumper of sherry, with half a sovereign at the bottom: he swallowed the one, caught the other between his teeth, and immediately became as gentle as ‘Una’s milk-white lamb.’ ‘Well gentlemen, all I meant to say was this here—don’t pick the flowers, nor damage the shrubs, and you may stay as long as you please, because master is out; and so, good morning.’ This he said very civilly, and touching his hat he turned off.

No sooner was he gone, than Jones began to vapor about, and upbraid me, because I had made peace:—‘He would have taught the cabbage-cutting rascal what it was to insult gentlemen and young liverymen:—we should have seen what he would have done to him, &c. &c.’ ‘Yes,’ said Smith, sarcastically, ‘with the aid of a good microscope.’ Jones looked unutterable things but said not a word. To divert attention from these unpleasantnesses, I proposed a ramble round the grounds: agreed to nem. con.; and off we set. Jones soon recovered his temper; and, to exhibit his prowess to the ladies wagered Smith a bottle that he would hang by the heels from the lower limb of a tree for five minutes. The bet was taken—up jumped Jones at the branch, caught it, threw up his heels, locked his feet across, let go his hands, and there he dangled, head downwards, as pretty a calf as you’d see in Leadenhall on a market-day, Smith sarcastically said. One, two, three four, five minutes elapsed, and he was declared winner. ‘Help me down,’ cried Jones. Nobody stirred, but all laughed. ‘Now, do help me down!’ he beseeched rather pathetically. Not a foot moved. He then tried to help himself, but could not recover the branch with his hands. Then he began to swear and the ladies very properly ran away. We enjoyed his quandary amazingly; but no one felt inclined to end it yet. At last, seeing him turn black in the face, with rage and his inverted position, I and Smith took pity on him, and placed him right end upwards, when he turned so giddy, that down he dropped. I thought Smith would have died with laughing; but Jones triumphed still, for he had won. It was ridiculous to see his exultation and, hear his crowing.

A rookery was overhead. Jones bent on his mischief, must now have a fling at its black tenantry. Up went stone the first—down it came with a rebound over a low wall, and a crash followed, as if a hundred hot-house panes were shivered: at the same moment a head and red night-cap popped up from the other side, surveyed us in silence, and disappeared. ‘Now, for heaven’s sake,’ said I ‘don’t destroy people’s property in mere wantoness!’—‘Pooh!’ said Jones, ‘I shan’t hit em again if I try!’ and up went stone the second, and fell as before, with the same awful clatter and crash. ‘That makes five shillings!’ said the head and night-cap, popping up again. ‘Nonsense,’ said Jones, ‘it was an accident!’—‘Well gentlemen,’ said the head and night-cap, ‘you shan’t go till you do pay, for I’ve grabbed your oars.’ ‘Oh, pay the man,’ we all advised. ‘Here, then you night-capped numskull,’ said Jones flinging a sovereign up the wall with a munificent air,’give me my change?’—‘Break four more and that’s a pound’s-worth’;—and down went the head and night-cap. How that Smith did chuckle! ‘Well, then I’ll have some fun for my money,’ said Jones: ‘here goes;’ and up flew stone after stone, but not one of them told, for the wary gardener, we supposed, had covered over the remainder of his glass with matting. And now we had the laugh fairly against Jones—he was matched. He pretended, however, to admire the fellow’s cunning, and tried to laugh too, but ’twas ‘with a difference.’ ‘I never saw you look so foolish, Jones,’ said Smith. This was quite enough; Jones turned quite pale with rage, and instantly walked down to the boat, Miss Simpson following him. Then up spoke Tomlins; ‘Let him go, and be——’—‘Wiser,’ I interposed, ‘when his pride is subdued to reason by reflection.’

This incident cast a damp on the delights of the day; and the ladies looked, and were very uncomfortable; but we gallantly redoubled our attentions, and smoothed the raven down of their displeasure till they smiled, as some one, I think, has somewhere said. To show our philosophy, we sat down, again to the sherry; and Smith, perfectly to restore harmony, gave us a song which he assured us was written by the footman of a person of quality, and addressed to a hard-hearted housekeeper who had jilted him. Smith introduced it as a genuine specimen of the cupboard-love school of poetry.

When first my Sally Jones I knew

  I thought her face was pretty.

I liked her eyes of Saxon blue,

  Her locks so raven jetty.

Her teeth, her lips, her hips and waist,

  Her nose that did not look awry—

I loved her arms and charms so chaste,

  But I adored her cookery;


And laid my person at her feet—

  (She did put to bed the children);

She smiled consent with looks so sweet

  Oh, love! ’twas quite bewildering!—

She did not say she would be mine—

  I thought so naturally;

She ask’d me, though, to stop and dine—

  (The Colonel was at Calais):


I did:—it was my favorite dish,

  And drest in great perfection;

’Twas then I gave words to my wish,

  And told her my dejection:—

She said that I might live in hope;

  I left her at 11;

And, ah! I thought, without a trope,

  Pall-Mall the path to heaven!

‘Mark the passionate in the measure,’ said Smith, ‘so descriptive of the tumult of his feelings:—’

But, ah! one Corporal O’Harra,

  Of I know not what dragoons,

Went off next day with Sarah,

  Who sent back my spoons!—

Then break my heart! thou art betray’d

  And in the trap art taken,

Caught by a luring bait well laid,—

  Calves’ liver fried with bacon!

This unexpected climax took us all by surprise, and even the most sentimental of our party laughed, as may well be supposed, I suspect that the song is Smith’s, and no footman’s—it is beyond the powers of plush-breeches gentry,

‘But what in the name of wonder, has become of Jones and Miss Simpson all this while?’ exclaimed Wilson, with an expression of anxiety which I shall never forget, it was so amiable;—Wilson is, indeed, a very amiable man in many respects. We had forgotten them—there is no use in mincing the matter; but as we were not quite indifferent to their welfare, we walked leisurely down the lawn to the boat, where we expected to find them. What was our surprise!—they were not on board, nor could we perceive them anywhere around. Our anxiety now grew serious. ‘He has not jumped into the river in his tantrums,’ said Tomlins—‘Trowsers,’ said Smith, interrupting him—‘And Miss Simpson plunged in after him?’ continued Tomlins. ‘Cork cannot sink,’ said Smith, sarcastically.—I never knew him so severe. I put an end to this unseasonable levity by remarking, that it was our duty to discover what had become of them. ‘That is no hard task,’ said Smith, laughing ‘for there they go in a wherry to Richmond!’—We looked, and there they were, sure enough. Jones had hailed a waterman sculling by, and had deserted us in high dudgeon.

‘Man the boat, and give chase!’ I commanded. The ladies were put on board—the rudder shipped—I grasped an oar and we were once more on the bosom of the deep; but what with Wilson’s willfulness and Tomlins’ awkwardness, we made little or no way for some time; and the wherry distanced us so rapidly, that we at last lost sight of it altogether. At length we got into better working trim, and pushing along, came, after an hour’s chase, in sight of Richmond bridge. As we neared that beautiful structure, the Diana steamer pushed off from the shore, and almost ran us under water. What was our astonishment, at that trying moment, lo! behold Jones standing coolly on the paddle box, with his hands in his pockets, laughing at us in the most insulting manner. ‘ ’Tis too bad!’ I exclaimed, with all that energy of which I am master. ‘It is—it is!’ cried one and all. ‘Well, what will you do to mark your sense of Mr. Jones’s unhandsome behaviour?’ ‘I know,’ said Smith—‘Diana, a-hoy!’ he bawled; the steamer stopped her paddle-wheels. ‘You have room for eight?’ inquired he of the captain. ‘For eighty,’ replied the fresh-water wag. ‘Well, then, ladies, get on board;’—they did, ‘jump on board, gentlemen,’—we did;—Smith then, in a most masterly manner made fast a tow-rope to the Diana’s stern-rails—and then jumped on board, over the cabin-windows, with the gallantry of a Nelson. Scowls of defiance were, as I expected, exchanged between Jones and him, they even went so far as to exchange cards, which I thought very unnecessary, as they live next door to one another. I took care to prevent any further collision; by tearing Smith away from him. After we had taken tea, that mild beverage, sacred to friendship and all the social feelings—the smiles of the fair—the dulcet strains of the harp and violin, and the dance on deck, softened down the asperities of the belligerents, and before we had arrived at Westminster, we were all as good friends as when we started. And so ended our first trip to Richmond by water.

Dowgate.     T. T.


One of the most remarkable and inexplicable experiments relative to the strength of the human frame, which you have yourself seen and admired, is that in which a heavy man is raised with the greatest facility, when he is lifted up the moment that his own lungs and those of the persons who raised him are inflated with air. This experiment was, I believe first shown in England a few years ago by Major. H., who saw it performed in a large party at Venice under the direction of an officer of the American army. As Major. H. performed it more than once in my presence, I shall describe as nearly as possible the method he prescribed. The heaviest person in the party lies down on two chairs, his legs being supported by one, and his back by the other. Four persons one at his legs, and one at each shoulder, then try to raise him, and they find his dead weight to be very great from the difficulty they experience in supporting him. When he is replaced in the chair, each of the four persons takes hold of the body as before, and the person to be lifted gives two signals by clapping his hands. At the first signal he himself and the four lifters begin to draw a long and full breath, and when inhalation is completed, or the lungs filled, the second signal is given, for raising the person from the chair. To his own surprise and that of his bearers, he rises with the greatest facility as if he were no heavier than a feather. On several occasions I have observed that when one of the bearers performs his part ill, by making the inhalation out of time, the part of the body which he tries to raise is left as it were behind.

At Venice the experiment was performed in a much more imposing manner. The heaviest man in the party was raised and sustained upon the points of the forefingers of six persons Major. H. declared that the experiment would not succeed if the person to be lifted were placed upon a board and the strength of the individuals applied to the board. He conceived it necessary that the bearers should communicate directly with the body to be raised. I have not had an opportunity of making any experiments relative to these curious facts; but whether the general effect is an illusion, or the result of known or new principles, the subject merits a careful investigation.”

One of the most popular pieces of Mechanism which we have seen is the magician, constructed by M. Maillardet, for the purpose of answering certain given questions. A figure dressed like a magician, appears seated at the bottom of a wall, holding a book in one hand and a wand in the other. A number of questions ready prepared are inscribed on oval medallions, and the spectator takes any of these which he chooses and to which he wishes an answer; and having placed it in a drawer ready to receive it, the drawer shuts with a spring till the answer is returned. The magician then rises from his seat, and bows his head, describes circles with his wand, and, consulting the book as if in deep thought, he lifts it towards his face. Having thus appeared to ponder over the proposed question, he raises his wand, and, striking with it the wall above his head, two folding doors fly open, and display an appropriate answer to the question. The doors again close. The magician resumes his original position, and the drawer opens to return the medallions, all containing different questions, to which the magician returns the most suitable and striking answers. The medallions are thin plates of brass of an elliptical form, exactly resembling each other. Some of the medallions have a question inscribed on each side, both of which the magician answers in succession. If the drawer is shut without the medallion being put into it, the magician rises, consults his book, shakes his head, and resumes his seat. The folding doors remain shut, and the drawer is returned empty. If two medallions are put under the drawer together, an answer is returned only to the lower one. When the machinery is wound up, the movements continue about an hour, during which time fifty questions may be answered. The inventor stated that the means by which the different medallions acted upon the machinery, to produce the proper answers to the questions which they contained were extremely simple.

Brewster’s Letters on Natural Magic.


“A most extraordinary species of manufacture, which in a slight degree connected with copying, has been contrived by an officer of engineers residing at Munich. It consists of lace and veils, with open patterns in them made entirely by caterpillars. The following is the mode of proceeding adopted:—Having made a paste of the leaves of the plant, on which the species of caterpillar he employs feeds, he spreads it thinly over a stone, or other flat substance, the required size. He then with a camel-hair pencil dipped in olive oil, draws the pattern he wishes the insects to leave open. This stone is then placed in an inclined position, and a considerable number of the caterpillars are placed at the bottom. A peculiar species is chosen which spins a strong web, and the animals commence at the bottom, eating and spinning their way up to the top, carefully avoiding every part touched by the oil, but devouring every other part of the paste. The extreme lightness of these veils combined with some strength, is truly surprising. One of them, measuring twenty-six and half inches by seventeen inches, weighed only 1.51 grains, a degree of lightness which will appear more strongly by contrast with other fabrics. One square yard of the substance of which these veils are made weighs four grains and one third whilst one square yard of silk gauze weighs one hundred and thirty-seven grains, and one square yard of the finest patent net weighs two hundred and sixty-two grains and a half.”


The fond protecting love of a devoted husband is like the tall and stately poplar, that rears its foliage beside some happy cot, to which its leafy honours affords reviving shade, while its spreading branches shelter the melodious songsters of the verdant grove, who within its hallowed precincts nurture their callow brood, unmolested by the wanton tyranny of the school boy prank.

Oh! ’tis the effulgent Egean shield, which casts far and wide its bright defensive rays around the timid, shrinking form of the best, most tenderly beloved object of his warm heart’s pristine love and veneration.

The hallowed love of such a husband, is the far-off goal to which the adoring wife’s most ardent wishes fly, borne upon the strong untiring pinion of woman’s faithful and unending love. Cheered by the smile of such a being, the envious summer’s parching heat, the ruthless winter’s pinching cold, impart no pang, they pass unheeded over her sheltered head, light as the fleecy cloud; unregarded as Zephyr’s balmy breath. Supported by his manly form, what sorrow, what anxious care can assail her bosom’s calm repose? Serene as the smooth surface of the glassy lake, unruffled by the storm’s rude blasts, her peaceful hours speed on pleasure’s wind.

How beautiful is such a union! Oh! ’tis a sight that Angels might delight to fix their lingering gaze upon, lost in mute rapture and admiring awe. Mutually giving and receiving strength, the blissful pair tread life’s thorny path on light fantastic toe, gaily tripping on, unmindful of all, of care or woe—his powerful arm each dangerous briar removes; her delicate, fingers presents to his refreshed senses each beauteous flower, that shed its perfume on their illuminated way.

All yesternight you met not.

My ladylove, forget me not.

When I am gone, regret me not.

But here or there, forget me not.

With your arched eyebrow threat me not.

And tremulous eyes, like April skies,

That seem to say, forget me not.

I pray you, love, forget me not.

In idle sorrow see me not.

Regret me not—forget me not.

Oh! leave me not—oh, let me not.

Wear quite away;—forget me not.

With roguish laughter fret me not.

From dewey eyes, like April skies,

That ever look, forget me not.

Napoleon’s Grave.

Night closed around Napoleon’s final home;

A shadowy form stood by the moonlight tomb,

And ’mid the shelt’ring willows mournful play,

Thus pour’d its plaint, its sad unearthly lay.


“And is this narrow confine all,

This low and poor decay

The mighty end, the cov’ring pall

Of man’s imperial sway?


Ye cares, ye fev’rish toils, in vain

Your proudest triumph seem,

To the freed spirit passed the chain

Of life’s delusive dream.


Is this his doom whose high decree

The law to millions gave?

A prison-rock amid the sea,

An humbled captive’s grave!


Here should the pitying stranger tread,

Oh! ’mid the desert lone,

The name let young Ambition read

That marks this mould’ring stone.


A Husband, Father,—unredeemed,”—

The voice became a sigh—

It ceas’d, a moan of sorrow seem’d

Alone to tremble by.


The moon from dark’ning land and main

Withdrew her pallid ray;

Silence resum’d its awful reign

The spirit pass’d away.


Would any man believe, that all the whole-length portraits that have ever been painted since the death of Reynolds, by the most eminent English portrait-painters, have stood on their toes from the painters’ ignorance of design? And would any man, further believe, that when a portrait was sent with the feet properly in perspective, so corrupt were the eyes from long habit of all the eminent painters, that they cried out, “the man stands on his heels!”—Haydon in the Times.


In 1818, Dr. Arnold discovered in the island of Sumatra a flower which he named the Rafflesia Arnoldi, and which an author has called with much justice “the magnificent Titan of the vegetable kingdom.” The human mind indeed had never conceived such a flower, the circumference of the full expanded flower is nine feet,—its nectarium calculated to hold nine pints,—the pistils are as large as cow’s horns, and the entire weight of the blossom computed to be 15 lb.—Temple in his recent travels in Peru, states that he shot a Condor, and, from notes taken on the spot, gives us the following dimensions of its size:—“When the wings are spread, they measure 40 feet in extent, from point to point; the feathers are 20 feet in length, and the quill part eight inches in circumference.” This almost realizes the fabled roc of Sinbad in the Arabian Nights; but its dimensions, as here given, rest on good and very recent authority.—The Penny Magazine.


On issuing this our third number, we would tender our grateful acknowledgements to the public for the patronage it has so liberally bestowed on our Magazine, and the indulgence with which the numerous errors it contains have been overlooked.

That such a work should be faulty in its commencement is somewhat to be expected. This has however, and still is labouring under so many disadvantages that it may almost be thought to abuse its privilege. When the Museum was planned, it was fully intended that the editorial duties, with the exception of overseeing the mechanical part, should be entirely fulfilled by two ladies. This appeared so extraordinary, that the Quebec Mercury after a most flattering notice of the prospectus, expressed an opinion that in course of time, instead of “Ann Page” a “lubberly boy” would be discovered performing her part. Circumstances deprived us of the aid of the gentleman who had volunteered his services for correcting proofs &c. before the first number was even commenced, and other circumstances, caused one of the ladies to withdraw immediately after the second number was published: the result is that the whole labour has devolved on “Mistress Page.” and is really and truly performed by her; she trusts however that time and experience will daily teach her a new lesson, and that ere long the Montreal Museum will, stand on an equal footing with other works of the same class.

It will be perceived that instead of a plate this number contains a piece of music—which was kindly selected for the Museum by Mr. Ryan, professor of Music.

The irregularity with which the Magazines containing the latest European fashions are forwarded, and the impossibility of having plates properly coloured here, has induced us to make an alteration in our plan. Our present intention is to make an arrangement with proper persons in New-York, or Philadelphia, to forward us copies of those received there, once in three months. The expense will probably be very high, but we still hope it will be in our power to decorate the magazine with specimens of Mr. Bourne’s talents by inserting plates or original pieces of music, if any are contributed, or some of the latest and most fashionable that can be procured.

Our distant subscribers are respectfully informed that the postage of the Montreal Museum will amount to two shillings per annum, which brings the subscription to 22 shillings. This was not before mentioned as no agreement had been made at the post office before the first number was published. It is so trifling however, that we trust it will not deter any intending subscribers from coming forward; or cause any whose names are already on our list to withdraw.

We shall insert in our next number an original article politely sent to us by a lady, author of the “Tales of the Heath,” “Scenes at home and abroad” and other literary works.

Transcriber’s Notes

Punctuation and spelling have been changed silently to achieve consistency.

[The end of The Montreal Museum Volume 1 Number 3 edited by Mary Graddon Gosselin]