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Title: The Montreal Museum Volume 1 Number 12

Date of first publication: 1833

Author: Mary Graddon Gosselin (editor)

Date first posted: Feb. 6, 2020

Date last updated: Feb. 6, 2020

Faded Page eBook #20200212

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






No. 12. NOVEMBER, 1833. Vol. I.


By Mrs. Lee, (formerly Mrs. Ed. Bowdich.)

From the London Athenæum.

Having in our last number touched on the leading incidents of Cuvier’s private life, and mentioned some traits illustrative of his character, it now remains that we should turn our attention to his public career, and consider the influence he has had on science, and the part he played as a legislator and a politician. His earliest acquaintance, with the Animal Kingdom seems to have been made through its tiniest inhabitants—the insect tribes; and so great was his admiration of the wonders displayed in their organization, that in after life he has been heard to say, “If I had not studied insects from choice when I was at college, I should have done so later, from a conviction of its necessity.”

“An anecdote is related of him by M. Audouin, in his Discourse, read at the Entomological Society of Paris, which proves still further the value he set upon such pursuits. A young student of medicine came to him one day, and ventured to tell him, that he had discovered something new and remarkable in dissecting a human subject. ‘Are you an Entomologist?’ asked M. Cuvier—‘No,’ replied the student.—‘Well, then,’ returned M. Cuvier, ‘go and anatomise an insect, I care not which, the largest you can find, then re-consider your observation, and if it appear to be correct, I will believe you on your word.’ The young man submitted cheerfully to the proof; and soon after, having acquired more skill and more judgment, went again to M. Cuvier, to thank him for his advice, and, at the same time, to confess his error. ‘You see,’ said M. Cuvier, smiling, ‘that my touchstone was a good one.’ ”

We have already alluded to the circumstances which drew his attention were particularly to the mollusca. Previously to his time, naturalists had adopted the division of animals into the vertebrate and invertebrate, that is, such as had, and such as had not, a spine or back-bone. This last was, it will be observed, merely a negative character and therefore should never be employed where positive characters can be obtained. The consequence of adopting it had been, that animals of the most incongruous descriptions were found thrown together, and nothing but confusion reigned in this branch of the science, until Cuvier, in a memoir on the invertebrate animals, read before the Society of Natural History, 10 May, 1795, established the true mode in which they should be classed, and distinguished the mollusca from the zoophytes, and certain articulata, with which they had been mixed up, on grounds drawn from their internal organization,—which grounds, therefore, must be as permanent as the nature of animals is invariable. Linnæus made the mistake of confining himself too much to the consideration of one or two characters; it was thus that he came to place man, ape and bat in the same order, because they had each four incisor teeth in the upper, and as many in the lower jaw.[1] The attempts to correct these anomalies made by men who confined their view to the particular defect they sought to remedy, and never thought of seeking for its cause, by examining the system from whence it sprung, only rendered “confusion worse confounded.” Linnæus was in danger of sharing Aristotle’s fate, and being crushed beneath the weight of commentators, servile pecus, when Cuvier arose to draw order out of irregularity, and exhibit the philosophy of Natural History. He set out with three leading principles: 1st. Every animal is formed for a definite end; therefore, to enable it to accomplish that end, there must be a congruity between its organization and its instinct; 2nd. No animal is formed for isolated existence; in his own words, when speaking of creation, “All is linked together, all is dependent, all existence is chained to other existence, and that chain which connects them, and of which we can only see some comparatively insignificant portions, is infinite in extent, space, and time;” 3rd. Animals are to be united into families or classes, not from any individual characters, such as teeth, claws, &c., but from a consideration of their entire structure and habits. These principals are so simple that every one can understand them; so just, that to understand is to assent to them; so apparently obvious, that we are only astonished why they were not sooner discovered and acted on. Of the mode in which they are developed in his ‘Tableau Elémentaire de l’Histoire Naturelle,’ his ‘Leçons d’Anatomie Comparée,’ and, finally, his great work, ‘Le Règne Animal,’ the very general acquaintance with these works renders it unnecessary that we should speak. But while thus engaged in working out discoveries which were to immortalize his name, he was always ready to do justice to the merits of his predecessors and his contemporaries. In his character of secretary he was accustomed to lay before the Institute annual reports on the labours of its members and correspondents, forming, in fact, a succinct and comprehensive series of essays on the advancement of science during each year.

“The same fearlessness of rendering justice marked these reports, as well as the other productions of the writer; and from their impartiality, their truth, and beautiful unity, they might have been supposed rather to have related to times long past, than to have been a record of the labours of contemporaries. Not a word of his own opinions or feelings escapes him; he mentions his own works with the most perfect modesty and simplicity, and scrupulously states, with invariable fidelity, every argument brought forward, even against his own views and sentiments.”

Another part of his duty, interesting as it showed the amazing versatility of his talents, was to pronounce the Eloges of such celebrated members as had closed their earthly career. The collection of these Eloges contains as fine specimens as any extant of that species of narrative biography which intersperses characteristic traits with passages of noble sentiment and elevated pathos.

Geology owes too much to Cuvier to permit of its being passed over in a sketch, however brief, of his works. Fossil geology, or the indications derived from the spoils of animals found in different strata, may be almost entirely referred to his researches. It is well known that the bones of animals occur in countries where animals of the same species now no longer exist. One mode of accounting for this fact, given by M. Cuvier, appears so natural that we shall quote his own words:—

“For example, let us suppose that a great irruption of the sea shall now cover the continent of New Holland with a mass of sand, or other débris; the bodies of kangaroos, wombats, dasyuri, perameles, flying phalangistæ, echidnæ, and ornithorynchi, will be buried under it, and it will entirely destroy every species of these genera, since none of them now exist in other countries. Let this same revolution dry up the sea which covers the numerous straits between New Holland and the continent of Asia: it will open a way for the elephant, the rhinoceros, the buffalo, the horse, the camel, the tiger, and all other Asiatic quadrupeds, who will people a country where they have been hitherto unknown. A naturalist afterwards living among them, and by chance searching into the depths of the soil on which this new nature lives, will find the remains of beings wholly different. That which New Holland would be in the above case, Europe, Siberia, and a great part of America are now, and, perhaps, when other countries, and New Holland itself shall be examined, we shall find that they have all undergone similar revolutions. I could almost say, a mutual exchange of productions; for, carrying the supposition still further, after this transportation of Asiatic animals into New Holland, let us imagine a second revolution, which shall destroy Asia, their primitive country; those who afterwards see them in New Holland, their second country, will be as embarrassed to know whence they came, as we can be now to find the origin of our own.”

As connected with his geological investigations, we must notice the commencement of his acquaintance with M. Laurillard, who afterwards became his secretary, and afforded such able assistance, more particularly in the drawings and plans necessary to illustrate his works. M. Laurillard was, by profession, an artist. He had come from Montbéliard, his as well as Cuvier’s native place, to Paris, and had been engaged there to make a few sketches for Cuvier, and also for his brother, M. Frederic Cuvier, which he executed well, but without attracting any particular attention.

“One day, however, M. Cuvier came to his brother to ask him to disengage a fossil from its surrounding mass, an office he had frequently performed. M. Laurillard was the only person to be found on the spot, and to him M. Cuvier applied in the absence of his brother. Little aware of the value of the specimen confided to his care, he cheerfully set to work, and succeeded in getting the bone entire from its position. M. Cuvier, after a short time, returned for his treasure, and when he saw how perfect it was, his ecstasies became incontrollable; he danced, he shook his hands, he uttered expressions of delight, till M. Laurillard, in his ignorance both of the importance of what he had done, and of the ardent character of M. Cuvier, thought he was mad. Taking however his fossil foot in one hand, and dragging M. Laurillard’s arm with the other, he led him up stairs to present him to his wife and sister-in-law, saying, ‘I have got my foot, and M. Laurillard found it for me.’ It seems, that this skilful operation confirmed all M. Cuvier’s previous conjectures concerning a foot, the existence and form of which he had already guessed, but for which he had long and vainly sought.”

The course of lectures on which he had entered towards the close of his life, was one of the most splendid in conception that can be imagined. “The fundamental principle of these lectures,” says M. Laurillard, “was, that society having been developed by the discovery of the natural properties of bodies, each of these discoveries has a corresponding degree of civilization; and therefore, the history of this civilization, and consequently of all humanity, is intimately connected with the history of natural sciences.” This magnificent idea, of embracing all history, all philosophy, and all science, at a glance, could only have originated in a mind of surpassing power, and filled with stores of richest erudition. The enthusiasm with which the course was received was unbounded: “in the coldest weather the audience assembled an hour before the time, and some were contented to remain on the staircase, provided they could catch some of his melodious words.” It is ever to be regretted that of these lectures no trace now remains, save in the recollection of the hearers, and in the imperfect notices inserted in the feuilletons of the Temps and other contemporary journals.

Of Cuvier’s work on fishes, which he was carrying on conjointly with M. Valenciennes, eight volumes appeared before his death, and one since. If completed as begun, it will be all but perfect. To the latest hour of his life he was employed in preparing for what he always looked to as his crowning labour, a grand work on Comparative Anatomy. The five volumes of his lectures, published 1800 and 1805, by the cares of MM. Duvernay and Dumeril, he looked on only as a sketch or outline of the science: the materials he had prepared for enlarging and filling in were immense.

In his legislative character, as Councillor of State and President of the Comité de l’Intérieur, his chief efforts were directed towards founding and extending a sound system of national education, with a view to fit the people gradually for the full enjoyment of political privileges. His sentiments on this subject are worthy of his general character:—

“Give schools before political rights; make citizens comprehend the duties that the state of society imposes upon them; teach them what are political rights before you offer them for their enjoyment. Then all ameliorations will be made without causing a shock; then each new idea, thrown upon good ground, will have time to germinate, to grow, and to ripen, without convulsing the social body. Imitate nature, who, in the development of beings, acts by gradation, and gives time to every member of her most powerful elements. The infant remains nine months in the body of its mother; man’s physical perfection only takes place at twenty or thirty, and his moral completion from thirty to forty. Institutions must have ages to produce all their fruits; witness Christianity, the effects of which are not yet accomplished, notwithstanding a thousand years of existence.”

In issuing an ordonnance, he generally accompanied it by a memoir declaratory of its motives, and explanatory of each of its articles. “He thought it as useful to spread every where the reason of the laws as to disseminate the laws themselves; thinking that the latter are often attacked and mistaken by the publication for want of a proper comprehension of the motives which caused them to be framed.”

The decided mariner, in which he refused the censorship of the press, when urged on him by Charles X., is well known. It was on this occasion that Madame de T—— made her celebrated remark, “What impertinence! Was not Cato censor of the Romans? and is Cuvier a greater man than Cato?”

We have nearly exhausted our space, but our subject is almost inexhaustible. Let us only exhibit Cuvier in one more character—the recorder of private worth and simple unobtrusive virtue. Every one has heard of John Frederick Oberlin,—his fervent piety, his practical religion, his zeal, his unfeigned devotion to the service of his Maker,—his unceasing, and finally successful, exertions in harmonizing and civilizing his rude and discordant flock. But few have heard of his faithful fellow worker, the noble, the virtuous Louise Scheppler. In 1829, the head prize for virtue, endowed by M. de Monthyon, and annually adjudged by the Académie Française, was conferred on her. Cuvier was appointed to explain publicly the distribution of prizes, and the principles on which it had been made. After a few preliminary observations of a general character, and an outline of the life and labours of the worthy pastor, he thus speaks of Louise—and with this extract we must conclude.

“A young female peasant from one of these villages, named Louise Scheppler, though scarcely fifteen years of age, was so forcibly impressed with the virtues of this man of God, that, although she enjoyed a small patrimony, she begged to enter into his service, and take a part in his charitable labours. From that time she never accepted any wages; she never quitted him; she became his help, his messenger, and the guardian angel of the rudest huts. She afforded the inhabitants every species of consolation; and in no instance can we find a finer example of the power of feeling to exalt the intelligence. This simple village girl entered into the elevated views of her master, even astonishing him by her happy suggestions, which he unhesitatingly adopted in his general plan of operation. She it was who remarked the difficulty that the labourers in the fields experienced, in combining their agricultural employments with the care of their younger children, and who thought of collecting together, even infants of the earliest age in spacious halls, where, during the absence of their parents, some intelligent instructresses should take care of, amuse, teach them their letters, and exercise them in employments adapted to their ages. From this institution of Louise Scheppler arose the infant schools of England and France, where the children of the working classes, who would otherwise be exposed to accidents and vicious examples, are watched over, instructed, and protected. The honour of an idea which has produced such beautiful results is solely due to this poor peasant of Ban de la Roche; to this she consecrated all her worldly means, and, what are of more value, her youth and her health. Even now, though advanced in years, she, without receiving the smallest compensation, assembles a hundred children round her, from three to seven years of age, and instructs them according to their capacities. The adults, thanks to M. Oberlin, have no further moral wants; but there are yet some, who in sickness or old age have need of physical aid. Louise Scheppler watches over them, carries them broth, medicine, in short, everything, not forgetting pecuniary succour. She has founded and regulated a sort of Mont de Piété, of a peculiar kind, which would be an admirable institution elsewhere, if it could be multiplied like the infant schools; for it is among the very small number of those which merit the name given to them, for money is there lent without interest and without securities. When M. Oberlin died, he by will, left Louise Scheppler to his children; the simplest words of a dying master may be heard with interest, and will be more eloquent than anything we can add:—‘I leave my faithful nurse to you, my dear children, she who has reared you, the indefatigable Louise Scheppler; to you also has she been a careful nurse, to you a faithful mother and instructress; in short, everything: her zeal has extended still further; for, like a true apostle of the Lord, she has gone to the villages where I have sent her, to gather the children round her, to instruct them in the will of God, to sing hymns, to show them the works of their all-powerful and paternal Maker, to pray with them, to communicate to them all the instructions she had received from me and your own excellent mother. The innumerable difficulties she met with in these holy occupations would have discouraged a thousand others; the surly tempers of the children, their patois language, bad roads, inclement weather, rocks, water, heavy rain, freezing winds, hail, deep snow, nothing has daunted her. She has sacrificed her time and her person to the service of God. Judge, my dear children, of the debt you have contracted to her for my sake. Once more, I bequeath her to you; let her see, by your cares, the respect you feel towards the last will of a father,—I am sure you will fulfil my wishes, you will in your turn be to her all together, and each individually, that which she has been to you.’ Messieurs and Mesdemoiselles Oberlin, faithful to the wishes of their father, were desirous of bestowing on Louise the inheritance of a daughter; but nothing could induce this generous woman to lessen the small patrimony left by her master; and all she asked was, permission to add the name of Oberlin to her own. Those who claim this honourable appellation as a birthright, think themselves still further honoured by her sharing the title.”

Even this is now known not to be an invariable character.


I have been a toad-eater for nearly five and thirty years, and I am more and more astonished at the ridiculous folly of mankind in laughing at and despising one of the best trades going. Indeed, when I see so many promising young men of ability seeking for employment and at a loss for something to do, I cannot help asking them why do they not take up the trade, for toad-eating is surely better than not eating at all. Besides, it is a trade that requires no capital, either of money or wit. If you would establish a newspaper or a magazine, you must have something in cash to begin with; or if you would be a penny-a-liner, you must have ability to write a line worth a penny;—I don’t say that every line you write must be worth a penny; that would be expecting too much; but you must be able to write one line that is actually worth a penny, and then on the reputation of that one line you may write thousands not worth a farthing and get a penny a piece for them. But it is not everybody that has cash enough to establish a paper, nor is it every one who has wit enough to write a line worth a penny, whereas toad-eating is easy to the meanest capacity; and I will give you the benefit of my experience.

I first learned the noble science when I was at school. I had been taught to reverence my superiors, and I had heard something about the benefit of forming good connexions; I had art enough to know that good connexions are not to be had for nothing, and that the only way to make myself acceptable was to make myself agreeable. I first practised on my schoolmaster; for as I did not like the trouble of learning my lessons, I endeavoured to render myself agreeable without that trouble. I soon discovered who among the boys were favourites and who were not; and then I set myself diligently to find out all the faults, failings, sins, and peccadilloes of the unfavoured, and to report them to my master: and as people are never more pleased than when they are supplied with reasons for disliking those whom they hate from caprice, I thus made myself mightily agreeable to him. In all the letters which I wrote home, I praised the school and its management, literary and domestic; and I took care that all my letters should by some accident or other be seen by my master. Amongst the boys, I paid homage to the big and the blustering, that I might have their fistic protection; I flattered the good scholars, that I might have the benefit of their assistance in my lessons; I stuck close to the rich, that I might experience the benefit of their purses. In short, I became an universal favourite, except amongst a very few whose goodwill was not worth cultivating. All those to whom I played toady said that I was the nicest fellow that ever lived; I managed to flatter so dexterously. Dexterously did I say? Nonsense—flattery requires no dexterity, because the very attempt to flatter shows that the person whom you assail is worth courting, and that is of itself gratifying to a man’s vanity. I will tell you a story, which I know to be true. A certain Earl, who has large possessions and great influence in one of the northern counties, was one day shooting in company with one of his toad-eaters, and by way of making an experiment on the elasticity of the man’s complaisance his lordship said; “What a beautiful view we have from this hill of the town of A!”—“Beautiful, my Lord—beautiful,” said the captain. “On second thoughts, Captain, the town is not visible from this part of the hill.”—“Clearly not, my Lord,” replied the captain. “But let me see,” said his lordship again, pointing to a furze-bush, “surely that must be the church tower.”—“No doubt of it, my Lord,” responded the captain. His lordship laughed, and the rest of the party laughed—but the captain was right—he got promotion, but not for that, certainly not for that. I heard this story when I was at College, and profited by it; it was told to me by a young lord. My inference was, that it was impossible to lay on flattery too thick.

The benefits of toad-eating are numerous;—there is the physical and substantial benefit of eating and drinking, and that let me tell you, is no mean consideration; and how much easier and pleasanter it is to smile and lie for a dinner than to work for one. Besides, those dinners which one gets by smiling and lying are much better than such as are to be had for work. And then a toad-eater is generally considered so agreeable a person,—he never contradicts any one except those whom his feeders contradict, and then if he is bid he will contradict himself. A toad-eater (though I say it that should not say it,) is something like a dog: he will fawn on his master and his master’s friends, but he will snarl at and snap at his master’s enemies; and the great comfort of the matter is, that he has always powerful backers, and is sure never to be wrong, for he has only to wait for his master’s signal and then he may attack any one safely. There is another great benefit which the toad-eater enjoys; he has no occasion to trouble himself about the formation of any opinions on any subject whatever; he has nothing to do but to take his master’s opinion and to re-echo and corroborate that. It is a great pleasure to be saved the trouble of thinking—at least, I think it is—not that I ever did think, only I think thinking must be very troublesome. Now a toad-eater need have no opinions,—indeed, he is much safer without, for if by any accident he should lose his occupation he is in a most miserable condition, and nothing so endangers a toad-eater’s situation as daring to have an opinion. It is true that a patron will often ask his opinion; but if he have the slightest sagacity he may easily know his patron’s, and that of course becomes his. There may perhaps be some little ingenuity required; here, and therefore, for the benefit of those who wish to pursue the high and honourable occupation of toad-eating, I will state my own practice. He asks my opinion, say, for instance, of some bill before Parliament, of which perhaps till that moment I have not even heard the name; but if my patron seems interested about it, I would not for the world seem to be indifferent; so, without saying that I really know nothing about the bill, its merits or demerits, I merely shake my head and look wise, giving a certain smile, as much as to say, “Ah, all the world save you and me, are fools.” “You think it will be carried?” says he interrogatively, but yet doubtfully as to the expression of his own wish; then I can only repeat the word “carried!” Then he says “Ay, carried.” By his tone in repeating my repetition of his word, I immediately understand what his opinion is, and that of course becomes mine. Thereupon the bill becomes in my estimation the wisest or wickedest measure that can be brought before the House. Sometimes it may be necessary to back out of an opinion, because your patron may change his; you may perhaps think that there is some difficulty in this,—no, none at all: if your master can change his mind, a dozen times in an hour, why should not you? A good toad-eater ought never to be wiser or better in any respect than his master; and it is positively a great piece of presumption to suppose that toady can lose reputation by any changes which his feeder may dictate.

But now methinks I hear you say, “Might not a toady’s feeder be a little flattered by some appearance of independence, so that agreement with his opinion should seem to be the result of judgment rather than of assentation?” Ay, to be sure—you must pretend to be independent and to be sincere; you would be a great donkey if you let slip any intimation that your agreement arose from mere complaisance, and was only verbal. Let me illustrate this by a reference to the story of the captain who mistook the furze-bush for a church tower. He did not say it was so without looking at it, but he looked earnestly in order to be convinced, and he was convinced. All then that you have to do, in fitting your opinion to that of your patron, is not to make the matter too broad a caricature; there must be something of an appearance of conviction, otherwise it is a mockery; still I must be permitted to say, that those great people who feed toad-eaters are not always cunning enough to see the hypocrisy of their dependents. A man may go a great way in humouring his patron’s caprice, and very few patrons have so much wit as the noble Lord above alluded to, who endeavoured to make trial of the servility of his hanger on; but if that said captain had been foolish enough to discern the joke, he might have gained a loss by his sagacity. A toad-eater, without being a conjuror, may be able to see through his patron, but he must not let his patron know that,—if he does, he loses his place immediately. The captain let the laugh he turned against him either from craft or stupidity, and so he kept his place and gained promotion. Now when I tell you that flattery cannot be too gross, I do not tell you that you may at the moment of administering it say point blank, that it is mere gross flattery, and that you do not mean what you say. No, but if you would play the toady’s part well and successfully, you must have no opinion of your own, and be ready to say and think whatever your patron tells you. You must watch his looks and read every intimation of his thoughts, and in the course of a short time you may easily understand him; and you will have nothing to do but to reflect his looks, to adopt his opinions, and make him pleased with himself, and you are provided for.


On a little Orphan whose mother died of Cholera at New York in 1832. She had just arrived from England, and was on her passage to join her husband a private in the 24th Regiment, then quartered at Quebec; the child was taken care of by the humane Dr. Bartlett of New York, and by his exertions restored to her father.

By Mrs. H. Bayley.

Poor Infant! in sorrow, why dost thou weep!

Can anguish so early deprive thee of sleep,

Rest thee, my child, on my bosom awhile

I’ll soothe thy soft slumbers, thy sorrows beguile.—

Poor little Orphan! thy years are but three

Yet thou hast travers’d the Atlantic Sea,

Remote from thy home, in a far distant land

Thou art bereft of thy mother, by death’s cruel hand;

But weep not, my child, thy sorrows will end,

God has seen thee with pity, and sent thee a friend,

The hand of Omnipotence will ever protect

The Orphan from mis’ry—the child from neglect:

Little Emma then smilingly looked up to him

Whom God had appointed her protector and friend

And clasping her hands with innocence said:

“Oh yes, mother told me, if when she was dead

I pray’d God to bless me, and was very good

He would never forsake me, but send me to dad.”

“Your father, my child,” the stranger replied,

“You then have a parent remaining alive!”

“Oh yes, he’s a soldier to Canada gone

And I would go to him as soon as I can.”

That heart which had felt for the Orphan’s distress

Now had its reward by seeing her blest.

The day cannot close, nor the morning begin

But both father, and daughter must pray for their friend.

Isle aux Noix, Nov. 1833.


Translated from the French for the Museum.

On board of a French whaler; the attentive watch had announced a whale; all was in readiness; each one at his post waited but the orders of the captain, who, leaning against the drift-rails, was following the course and movements of the fish. The signal is given, two light, slender canoes rapidly divide the waters and fly towards their prey.

At the distance of twenty paces a bold hand darts the harpoon; the whale sinks, but the line follows and indicates the place where it will re-appear. The officer deals several blows with his lance, he redoubles without perceiving his danger, and one blow of the tail shatters the canoe to splinters.

Men and wreck, all were received by the sea. Each seeks refuge on board of the captain’s canoe, which still keeps fast moored to the whale.

“Captain,” said the officer, “we constrain your manœuvring; let them who love me follow! a quarter of an hour at sea is soon passed.” Four sailors precipitate themselves into the water with him and hook themselves to the keel of the broken canoe, patiently waiting the moment when the whale would blow forth its life blood, but it makes off rapidly with the wind.

The sailors observe the captain’s canoe with attention, it moves swiftly away, while the current carries them backwards. Soon, they lose sight of both ship and canoe. Night approaches: they are alone in the immensity of the sea, and they coolly discuss the blow that had broken the bark, to whose wreck they are clinging.

Time passes, the night is dark, not a light, not the least sound announces the captain; not a biscuit, not even a glass of water. . . . It is now only that they think they are lost for ever. Adieu to the pains and pleasures of a sea-faring life! adieu the noisy orgies of return to port! adieu the gay talk of the fore-top man! for them no more hope, death awaits them.

Oh Virgin Mary, patroness of sailors! . . . Virgin whom they never forget in the hour of danger! ours invoke and implore thee secretly. The wind alone answers, joined to the noise of the swell which is rising. The silent moon seems to rise but to illuminate their tomb. Oh Virgin Mary!

Suddenly a light, a lantern is seen balanced on the waters, it is the canoe in search of them. It approaches; it is within hearing: “Captain,” cried the whale-catcher, who was supported on the keel by the sailors, “is the whale saved?”—“Yes, it is saved;” a loud, joyful hurrah, is shouted forth, and they return gaily on board forgetting the Virgin and danger.—(Journal de la Marine.)


Extracted from the Legendes Rouges,—and translated for the Museum.

Situated in the depth of a ravine, the modern Amalfi consists in two wards, each of which forms a species of tapestry to the sides of this valley; and the two lateral faces are so steep that it has been utterly impossible to form more than one street in the interior of the town, this one is at the bottom of the valley and serves as a line of separation between the two parts of it; the houses are placed one above another and communicate with each other by stairs. The terrace of the lower house conducts to the first story of the one above, and so on successively.

On the summit of the left hill are to be seen the imposing remains of a Norman fortress, an ancient manor of which the Hawks and Kestrels have taken possession. The hill at the right is formed of a pile of rocks, whose pillars overhang the roofs below. Their tops are covered with the most beautiful vegetation, while their sides are bare and inaccessible. A narrow path, steep and rocky, after many long windings, lead to a miserable village built on the most elevated flat of these mountains. There reside a few shepherds, and it frequently happens that their cattle, erring through the interstices of these elevated rocks, are precipitated on the roofs of the houses of Amalfi or their public squares.

Towards the end of the year 1828, profiting by a leave of absence given me by the French Ambassador, I left Naples for Amalfi, where it was my intention to remain a week. On arriving there, I enquired for the Capuchin Inn, so called from its having been built upon the ruins of a convent of that order, but I was scarcely installed, when I was gallantly carried off by order of the consular agent of France, who had the kindness to introduce me to his uncle Monsignor L——o, Bishop of S——, and I could not refuse the hospitality so obligingly offered by this estimable family. I became very intimate with a young ecclesiastic secretary to the bishop, he was perfectly acquainted with the localities and inhabitants, and served as guide in my frequent excursions.

One day, that we happened to be at the top of the mountain that commands the western part of Amalfi, we lay down on our stomachs to drag ourselves along the edge of the immense rock which overhangs the town like a natural spout, and, from thence our eyes plunged, not without dazzling, into the depth of this vast precipice. We looked on small atoms of divers colours as they passed and re-passed under us, and which by their motions we knew to be living creatures. From time to time, Don Ignazio (that is the name of my companion) cried; There is our boatman passing with his son! here is the sacristan of the cathedral! oh! I see the wife of Giovanino.

In such a situation, the least interruption becomes a serious cause of terror, and this occurred to us. A harsh but plaintive voice arose suddenly behind us, and caused us to shudder. Instantly, and without seeking to learn the cause, we hastened to retire backwards, until, arrived at a broader and safer place, Don Ignazio and myself could rise on our feet. During this short space, I had felt my heart palpitate with violence and my hair rise stiffly on my head: as to my companion, when I could look at him, his face was oddly spotted with livid colours; his lips were compressed, and his nostrils widely dilated.

The being who had interrupted our contemplation in so disagreeable a manner, was a poor old woman, a miserable keeper of cattle, who, resting with one hand on a knotty staff, extended the other to us, crying: Charita, Christiani! per l’amor di Dio!

—Old witch! you deserve that I should send you rolling down into the town, exclaimed don Ignazio, whose countenance had become purple; wicked old woman!

—Be calm, Signor Ignazio! I then said; for I was surprised at a passion so unchristian, and I also felt great joy at having escaped with no worse effect than the fright; I even gave some small coins to the woman, from, whose dull and sunken eyes I saw big tears flow.

—Ah! Signor, she said to me, may heaven preserve you for your mother if she still lives! I shall go and pray to the Madona and Jesus Christ for you and for the soul of my poor daughter.

This manner of testifying her gratitude, seemed to me so extraordinary that I felt inclined to stop and talk with her, when Don Ignazio taking my arm, said:—

—Come, we will leave this old woman, who after all, perhaps neither deserves my anger or your compassion, for she is both very unfortunate and very guilty. Come, and on the road I will tell you her story, if you are curious to hear it.

—I am very curious, I assure you.

—Listen to me then:—The woman we have left is a keeper of cattle who inhabits a hut in the environs.—Giuseppa, or rather, as we call her for brevity Peppa, came and settled here about twenty years ago, after the death of her husband, a cultivator of land at Vico. She had but one child by her marriage, this was a girl, gifted with all those fragile marks of beauty which you worldlings prize so highly; it is also said that her character was of an amiable and mild cast. A few years since this young girl, called Tonia, had the misfortune to meet with a wild young man, some years older than herself, and to take pleasure in listening to his declarations of love. Renzo Majuri was a handsome fellow, he had little trouble in causing himself to be beloved by Tonia. Each day our two lovers met near the ruins of a casino which I will point out to you as we pass. There, they mutually confided to each other, their griefs and their hopes: Renzo, an orphan from infancy, exercised the painful and little lucrative trade of wood-chopper; what he had earned after a day of hard labour scarcely sufficed to keep him; consequently each time he had expressed to Peppa, his desire to obtain the hand of her daughter, he had been repulsed with brutality. At length he determined to change his profession; he sold his hatchet and other tools, and joined himself to some fishermen who possessed a boat and nets among them in common. The extraordinary zeal he brought caused him soon to surmount all difficulties, and in a short time he became a very tolerable sailor. Not that at the bottom of his heart he did not regret his old trade, for he preferred a thousand times the solitude of the dark and silent forests to the impetuous motions of the sea, but he had an end in view which he wished to attain, and there, were concentered all the faculties of his soul; his ambition was to amass a few ducats wherewith to seduce old Peppa and induce her to grant him the hand of her daughter, of the amiable Tonia. She, each time that her lover embarked on a fishing voyage spent the day watching the state of the sky and of the waters; at night she slept little but repeated her rosary in spite of the scolding of Peppa who told her to cease her prayers and go to her bed.

However, the fears of Tonia were unfounded; Renzo ever returned safe and sound from his jaunts. Love gave him so much zeal and activity that in a short time he had succeeded in laying past a small sum, about forty ducats. Renzo after consulting with his mistress presented himself to Peppa, and showing her the fruit of his labours, pressed her to grant him her daughter, now that he was in a way to make a fortune.

Tonia joined her prayers to those of her lover, but the wicked old woman was inexorable, she pretended this money would all vanish like smoke the first days of their marriage, and that he must earn at least as much more before he could hope to obtain the hand of his mistress.

The two young people retired very sorrowful. The day was spent in tears and lamentations. At length Renzo finding strength in the very excess of his grief, resolved to double his ardour and activity to gather the required sum. Heaven at first seemed willing to crown his efforts with success; his draughts were abundant and in a short time he found himself master of a small capital. Ambition then took possession of him, he would not expose himself to a fresh refusal from Peppa, and finding himself on the road to fortune, he resolved not to appear before the mother of his mistress till he was sure his proposals would be no longer repulsed. Uniting all his savings together he bought a boat and nets, and commenced fishing on his own account.

Still Tonia felt great anxiety; for a long time she had not seen Renzo, and had merely learnt indirectly that he had bought a boat and nets.

—If he becomes rich, said she, he will no longer want me. Oh! my mother, my mother, why did you not give him to me when he was poor?

While she spoke thus her beautiful eyes were overflowed with tears.

—Silence, fool, the old woman would answer, Renzo is a young man of sense; he will come to us when his affairs are in good train. You will soon see him, depend on my experience.

—Alas! mother, I cannot help feeling dreadful presentiments of evil.

One night of fatal memory, the wind blew with excessive violence. Peppa’s cabin was horridly shaken. Tonia, deaf to her mother’s remonstrances, watched in all the agonies of despair; more than once she opened the door of the cabin to assure herself of the state of the weather: the sky was clear, not a cloud was to be seen; the stars shone most brightly; but the violence of the wind was extreme, the trees shook their vast heads and the cracking of large branches with which the hurricane was strewing the ground was heard. The gulf also sent forth a deafening noise.

Tonia listened in the greatest anxiety; she fancied she distinguished in the midst of all this fracas, the voice of Renzo imploring succour. Alas! what could this weak girl do? Weep and pray. Towards morning, overcome with weariness she closed her eyes and dozed for a few minutes on a chair. Her sick imagination then offered the most fantastic visions to her view: She saw on the beach, the remains of a wreck, and, stretched close by, the corpse of Renzo, cold and inanimate. It appeared to her that at the moment when she leaned over these dear remains, the body of her lover disappeared suddenly, and she saw nothing but a carpet of verdure and wild flowers. At the same moment a strain of celestial music was heard, and Tonia saw descending towards her a young woman, the mirror of candour and beauty, carried on a golden cloud; it was the holy mother of God who took Tonia by the hand and led her away with her to the celestial regions, saying: Come, it is here that he will be returned to thee, and nothing can separate you more! The young girl, filled with devotion and love, cast a look around, and beheld Renzo hastening joyously to her, and she heard him distinctly say:—Mine! mine forever! Here the dream vanished.

The young girl, finding that the day had dawned, reproached herself for sleeping, she hesitates not to go out, and softly drawing the door after her, the poor child ran to Amalfi to learn news of her lover. The town was in a tumult in consequence of the disasters of the preceding night. Tonia, timid and modest knew not whom to address; she wandered, silent and sorrowful through the noisy crowd, hoping that chance would enable her to hear something interesting. At length a man recognised her; he was one of the sailors with whom Renzo had at first been associated.

—Tonia, he cried, from as far as he saw her, Tonia, my pretty child, how red are your eyes! you have cried a great then?

—Alas! yes, Monsieur Philippe, and I am very anxious . . . on account of, . . . you know who I mean.

—Yes, yes! I know what you would say; but take courage, he is saved, I have seen him with my own eyes, scarcely a quarter of an hour ago, and I should not be surprised if he were now at your mother’s.

Tonia could not contain an exclamation of joy. Lighter than a fawn, she ran in the direction of her mother’s hut, and scarcely had she commenced climbing the steep and narrow path that led us hither this morning, when she perceived her lover slowly dragging herself from rock to rock, pale, breathless and with his dress in disorder. On hearing the young girl’s voice he stopped, and Tonia arriving at that moment drew back in affright on seeing the change that had taken place in the young sailor. His features were distorted, his wild look and contracted brow announced the deepest despair:

—All is consumed, Tonia! said he in a dismal tone, after a long silence.

—Renzo, how happy I am to see you again!

—All is over, I tell you! . . . no more hope! . . . death, and death alone!

—What do you say of death? why do you say all is lost, when you are saved?

—You know not then? that I have lost all! The sea rejected my body as useless prey . . . but has kept all the rest.

—Poor Renzo, have you saved nothing?

—Nothing! boat, baskets, provisions, clothes . . . all has been swallowed up, broken and destroyed.

—Beautiful Virgin, mother of God, what will become of us?

—Cursed, a thousand times cursed be your mother, who avaricious and wicked, has by her obstinacy forced me into the precipice!

—Stop in the name of heaven, Renzo! speak not so of my mother. Alas! she thought she was doing for the best. Come, let us sit here, I will tell you the dream I had during the night, I am sure it will revive your courage.

The young girl then related to him, how she had seen, after a wreck, the beautiful Madona, mother of God, open to them the gates of paradise, and unite their hands in sign of alliance, promising them an eternal beatitude in the celestial abodes to make them forgot all the evils they had endured on earth.

The young man listened with avidity to these details which accorded so well with his own sentiments.

—I know it, I know it, Tonia! it is only in heaven that we shall be happy.

Renzo sat with his arms crossed on his breast and his head bent forward like a man buried in thought, he kept silence for some time. Tonia observed him attentively, and caught the tears as they flowed from her lover’s eyes.

The sun was high in the horizon, when a mountaineer, who was laying at some paces from the young couple, though unperceived, saw them direct their steps towards the holy chapel of the Madona, situated at a short distance: it was at the moment when the divine sacrifice was being celebrated. Renzo and Tonia devotedly confessed, took the sacrament of communion, and were seen to touch each other’s forehead and breast with a drop of the holy oil that burns before the image of the Madona, a certain sign that a vow had just been made by them, but the object of which was not known until some time after.

Love had exalted the imagination of these unfortunates, and misfortune finished by deranging their heads. They had promised under the invocation of the mother of God, not to survive each other.

From this day, Renzo, whose imagination had reached its height of exaltation did not cease to press his mistress to quit this life of tribulations to launch into eternal life where happiness awaited them; Tonia resisted, alleging the duties she had to fulfil towards her mother; but her lover answered reasonably enough that it was precisely old Peppa who was the first cause of their misfortune. At length the young girl had but one objection to bring forward: she had many times heard it preached that God had placed us in this world and that we were not permitted to leave it without his permission.

—Well then let us consult the will of the holy mother of God.

To this effect they carried a wax taper to the Madona which they caused to be blessed, and burned it before her revered image, while they were devotedly praying. In a few minutes the flame seemed about to be extinguished and the wick presented to view two luminous excrescences, red and gold, a double crown of martyrdom, an evident manifestation of the divine will, as these good people said. Tonia left the chapel confused and trembling, she had nothing more to say, she however obtained another short delay.

On Friday, the 29th of December 18—, at six o’clock in the evening, the young people were on the plat-form where we found old Peppa; they were saying their rosary. Renzo was to act first to encourage Tonia, and she vowed on the sacred image of the Virgin to follow his example. The young girl was much agitated, but the countenance of her lover shone with joy: Paradise was about to open to him, and he was going to wait for her he loved so well! After commending his soul to God and the Virgin, he rose courageously, gave his trembling companion one kiss, the last terrestrial kiss . . . darted forward, and disappeared in the abyss. Tonia, at that moment could not restrain a piercing cry; she felt her courage faint within her. Twice she dared to look into the depth of that precipice, and twice she closed her eyes, shuddering with horror. Her love for the unfortunate being who had just yielded to the exaltation of his passion, and the oath by which she had engaged herself to him, drew her on one side towards death, but the attachment to life which is ever strongest at the approach of danger; the fear of suffering and the remembrance of her mother conspired to retain her in this world. The cruel combat which tore this poor heart had perhaps terminated by another catastrophe, when the miserable girl saw lights burning beneath her, and heard a dull murmuring sound from the town: she guessed that it was the people running to pick up the body of her lover, and this circumstance turning aside the current of her thoughts, sufficed to renew her energy in abiding degree; and she had strength to drag her steps as far as her mother’s hut, putting off to the next day the fulfilment of her promise. The poor thing had never been more agitated, more pale, or distressed, but Peppa was accustomed to see her melancholy; she contented herself by addressing, as usual, reproaches to her daughter and ordering her to go to bed. The next day, Tonia went to the scene of the catastrophe; she wept much, and several times tried to accomplish her fatal vow, devotion and love were powerful incentives but the weakness of this poor humanity did not allow it: nature claimed her rights over her with an imperious voice, and she won the combat. She returned however several times, but always with less resolution than ever, till at length she thought she had found good reasons for renouncing her design altogether; but we do not trifle thus with sacred things, with impunity!

A gnawing worm destroyed the health of poor Tonia; each day found her worse; in a word she was visibly decaying. A fresh circumstance occurred to aggravate the situation of the unfortunate girl. The peasants of the environs pretended that each night, after the sun went down, there was seen at Renzo’s stone, so called since the dreadful circumstance, a tall,pale man, holding in his hand a wood-man’s axe, who vanished in a light mist after a menacing, angry cry.

This story came to the ears of the poor girl, and contributed not a little to augment her grief. The longer she delayed following to the other world him who waited her coming, the more guilty she felt towards him. At length her agony knew no bounds and she determined to confide all to her mother: which she did a short time after.

Peppa, became the depository of this horrible secret, tore her hair in despair and prayed to all the saints in paradise to aid her with counsel in so critical a conjuncture.

Born in a class where ignorance and misery too often produce fanaticism and cruelty, Peppa doubted not from that moment of the reality of the apparition of the wood-cutter; and she was convinced that the soul of the unfortunate came to complain to her daughter of her want of faith. The nights were passed by her in agonies of fear, and even in sleep she still fancied she saw the terrible phantom. All the day she spoke of nothing else, and the most trifling accident was to her a sinister presage which drew forth long lamentations.

Her poor brain already so weak could not resist such an attack.

In the middle of one stormy night, Peppa arose and called on her daughter in a loud voice, as if it were possible that the daughter could sleep.

—Tonia, do you hear the thunder?

—Yes mother.

—Do you hear Renzo’s voice?

—My mother, in mercy speak not thus! you will kill me.

—Tonia, my child, it is the will of heaven, and it is he who calls you. The Madona has withdrawn her love from you, because you have not kept the oath pronounced before her sacred image.

—Have compassion on me, my good mother, tell me what to do, I am ready for all.

—My daughter, my poor daughter, you must fulfil your vow, the Madona exacts it, and Renzo comes for you.

The old woman then trimmed the lamp that burnt before the image of the Virgin, and causing her daughter to rise, both prayed until the break of day.

A superb winter’s day succeeded the dreadful night; the trees even green in our happy country, were loaded with drops of water which glistened in the sun like diamonds. The pure, mild air resembled the spring, and a hundred light barks glided silently over the immovable surface of the gulf. Peppa did not fail to make her daughter remark this happy change as a blessed augury of the divine mercy. The two woman attired themselves in their holiday clothes and went down to Amalfi, where they were seen in the church taking the holy communion; but they spoke to no one.

At night, after the sun had gone down, Tonia kneeling before her mother on Renzo’s rock, supplicated her to grant her a last favor more precious a thousand times than the gift of life.

—I shall never have the courage to do it alone, help me mother!

Her mother kissed her, crossed herself. . . . A few minutes after, the body of a young girl was found on a terrace in the town: it was that of Tonia.

Peppa told all herself the next day, appealing to the Virgin as a witness to the truth of her story. The authorities took cognizance of the affair, and after a year of detention, she was declared to be alienated in mind, and placed at liberty.

M. Famin.


Females, from their earliest years, should be allowed these sports and amusements in the open air, so necessary to a proper development of their bodies, and which are now confined entirely to boys. Instead of being constrained to walk demurely, with measured steps, like so many matrons, they should be encouraged in running and romping at suitable times; and that the motion of their limbs maybe unconstrained, their dress should be always loose and easy. For instance, until they are fourteen or fifteen years old, they should be allowed to play in the open air at least six hours every day, when the season and weather will permit. They should be allowed to run, leap, throw the ball, or play at battle-dore as they please. All these exercises call the different muscles into action, strengthen the limbs, and impart a healthy tone to the different organs; the blood circulates freely, the nervous system is invigorated, and the redundant fluids are driven off by perspiration. The most suitable dress is unquestionably that which is called Turkish, consisting of trousers and a short frock; and the covering for the head should be light and cool; a straw hat answers the purpose very well. They should never be confined to their tasks above six hours a-day, and I am confident they will learn more in that time, if properly managed, than they will in twelve, without sufficient exercise. Make it your own case; can you spend even eight hours a-day in study, to any profit? I think not. The mind becomes weary, and then nothing is retained. How then can you suppose that the expanding faculties of children can be constantly exercised for that length of time to advantage? But admit that they can be profitably kept upon the stretch for twelve hours, and that the mental faculties can be fully developed by this means at the age of sixteen, and admit that the faculties can not only be developed, but the mind stored with a vast collection of useful knowledge; what will be the state of the neglected corporeal part, the casket which must contain this polished gem? Why, it will be yet in its infancy, imperfect in its form, and feeble for want of employment; yea more—it will be the seat of disease, and wear the undoubted marks of premature decay. Depend upon it, too much attention is paid to the culture of the minds of children, and too little to that of their bodies. Do not misunderstand me, or suspect me of undervaluing the former, or of overrating the latter. Certainly the first can never make us happy in this world without the second. I mean, simply, that parents are too fond of forcing genius at an early age, and thus ruining the health. Some parents feel mortified, if their little one cannot read tolerably at six, and be well acquainted with grammar and geography at ten; and they seem to forget entirely that even if all this be accomplished, there is no probability whatever of their being a single step in advance, at the age of twenty-five, of those who have not learned to read before eight, or become acquainted with grammar and geography before twelve. I do not mention this as an argument against commencing their education in infancy; far from it; for the intellect is improved and developed by exercise, as I have already said, like the body. I only wish to show that neither should be neglected, and the perfect development of the one is not inconsistent with that of the other. But I would go one step farther, inasmuch as all enjoyment in this life, and even the full force of the mind, depend upon the entire health of the body, it would be safer to direct the principal attention to the latter, till it has arrived at maturity, than to run the risk of its being neglected in the cultivation of the former. The mind can be brought to a high pitch of excellence, even when the work is not commenced until the age of twenty; but if the body be neglected until this period, if is not only incapable of acquiring its natural powers, but speedily suffers from disease.

In 1829, I was consulted respecting the health of Miss Fisher. She had from the age of six or seven, exhibited uncommon abilities for a child, and though one of a large family, was decidedly a favourite of her father. Conscious, as she must have been at an early period, of his fondness, it seemed the greatest pleasure of her life to merit his approving smile; and, as nothing pleased him so much as her rapid progress in learning, she gave her whole soul to her studies with a devotedness truly astonishing. When eight years old the quantity of poetry she had committed to memory, and rehearsed with a great deal of taste and expression, was almost incredible, and as she sat upon her father’s knee, repeating the sweet strains of Cowper, Hemans, and others, it was easy to see the mingled emotions of pleasure and paternal affection which they excited.

I pass over several years with the bare mention of her uniform success in obtaining the first prizes at school, and come to a period that has a more immediate bearing on our subject. Miss Fisher had attained her eighteenth year, was rather tall, but very spare and delicate: her complexion was fair, and her large blue veins were very apparent about her neck and arms; her eyes were animated and full of expression; her voice in ordinary conversation was peculiarly soft and melodious, and the remarkable sweetness of her temper was perceptible at the first glance. Her person I will not minutely describe—it would be dwelling too long upon the casket, when the gem it contains should at once rivet the attention.

Her mind was truly a gem of the first order, possessing those native qualities which alone can give intrinsic value. It had received all the improvement which the most unwearied labour could bestow upon it, or even a father’s heart could desire, and now shone forth in all the perfectness of its splendour. But alas, it was like the meteor’s blaze which appears for a moment, and then vanishes for ever. Her father had indeed gained a prodigy, but lost a child. Need I tell the sad sequel of her tale—it is what all have witnessed, and what may be told of thousands. A slight cough gave the first warning of the impending calamity, but her whole appearance exhibited, to the practised eye a constitution ruined by neglect of exercise and incessant application to study; and the advances of that relentless disease, consumption, were indeed too visible; but assuming all the mildness and gentleness of character for which its victim was remarkable, it seemed to take from her all fears of its certain consequences and final termination. Still her fondness for those intellectual pursuits which had so much embellished the spiritual part, while its frail covering had gradually fretted out, was unabated; still she seemed wrapt in a bright vision that was ere long to be interrupted, and could with difficulty be induced to pay any attention to her health. Why should she? She felt no pain, and she could discover in herself no indications of disease. A slight cold would account for her cough—her appetite was as usual—her spirits were undiminished—and to convince her that a fatal disease was already fastening upon her, was to convince her against the evidence of her own senses.

Still, however, the destroyer was gaining ground, but so silently, so stealthily, that no alarm was excited; indeed, he seemed to fascinate the object of his wiles as the serpent does the harmless bird that it decoys to destruction, beguiling her with the mock roses and lilies under which he lay concealed, till she should yield unhesitatingly to his deadly embrace.

Among all the diseases that prey upon human life, none are so false and deceitful as consumption. It singles out the fairest and most delicate part of the creation for its victims, and, alas! too often foils all the exertions and ingenuity of man to arrest its progress. Inflammations, fevers, and a host of other maladies, attack us openly, and with a degree of boldness that at once puts us on our guard; but consumption is a concealed enemy, that silently and unexpectedly gets possession of the citadel, and slowly carries on the work of destruction at the very seat of life.

But I am wandering from my subject, and fain would I leave the rest untold. Though short, it is full of melancholy—though, the fate of thousands, it is not the less replete with painful interest; for who can behold one so young, so intellectual, and so lovely, decked with false roses as for her bridal, and calmly and unconcernedly descending step by step to the gloomy mansion, and not be moved? Suffice it to say, no human efforts could delay the fatal moment; but her lovely spirit shone brightly to the very last, and when its frail tenement was no longer worthy to retain if, it was gently released almost, without a struggle or a moan.—Rules for Invigorating the Constitution.


To a dear little Boy, with a present of a Gold Watch.

By Mrs. H. Bayley,—Author of “Tales of the Heath” &c.

A watch thou would’st my darling boy,

Which, thou wilt receive from me,

A token of thy mother’s love,—

A choice well made by thee.


’Tis not the bauble thou wilt prize

Oh, no ’tis something more,

To count the moments as they fly

And trace the minutes o’er.


To improve the hours as they pass

Will be thy anxious care,

And thou wilt feel the value then

Of each succeeding year.


Remember when a moment’s lost

It ne’er can be regained—

Employ it well, that thou mayest view

Past moments without pain.


The watch will prove of value then

Not for its golden case,

But as the means, by which thou learnt

Thy hours and days to trace.


And may thou, dearest, never know

The pang of self remorse,

For having thrown thy years away

And thy best moments lost.

Isle aux Noix, Nov., 1833.



The hall was truly splendid: so was the supper. Three new beauties “came out” that night; fourteen gentlemen, distinguished in the fashionable world, for various causes, fell in love with these “blossoms of the London Spring,” as the newspapers call them; and Bessie Ashton’s marriage with Lord Glenallan was formally declared by her aunt, Lady Ashton, as fixed for the ensuing evening. One by one the lingering guests departed; the chandeliers gave a fainter light as the gradual day-dawn overpowered them; and the tired servants, seemed only wailing finally to extinguish the lamps, till the departure of two figures should leave the rooms silent and deserted. They waited however in vain. Mute and motionless as a statue, Bessie Ashton remained gazing, from the open window, on the empty park, and ever and anon the cool breeze of the morning lifted her glossy black hair from a cheek whose haggard weariness and unsmiling expression, ill assorted with the situation of Glenallan’s envied bride. Opposite, leaning against a marble table which supported one of the magnificent mirrors in the apartment, and gazing steadfastly on her averted figure, stood a young man of about six and twenty. His mouth was coarse—his eye harsh—yet his countenance was handsome. Miss Ashton turned from the window with a slight shudder, as if the wind had chilled her; “Well, George?” said she listlessly. “Well, Bessie. And so you have sold yourself for a coronet!” “Ah! George do not begin in that harsh way; you know I cannot bear it.—It is so long since I spoke familiarly with any one, and I was so glad to see you back again.”

As she spoke the last words she clasped his hand in one of hers, and laying the other lightly and tremblingly on his shoulder, looked up in his face with a nervous and painful smile. Her companion did not shake her off, but he shrunk from that caressing hand, and ceased to lean against the marble slab. “I do not wish to speak harshly to you, Bessie; on the contrary, I believe you will find me more kindly disposed to you, than many who are smoother spoken: but I cannot, and will not, conceal from you, that your conduct towards my friend, Claude Forester, has forever destroyed my esteem for your character. It is impossible I should not feel this—and particularly at a time when I know him to be ill and heart-broken.” “I did not forsake him—he chose to distrust and forget me,” said Bessie, while she struggled in vain to choke back the tears that rose to her eyes. “And why? why did he distrust and forsake you? because that spirit of coquetry, which is the curse of your existence, prompted you to encourage every one round you—to traffic for compliments; to barter looks for words, and words, for feelings—and to make him miserable for the gratification of your vanity. Yet you might, if you had tried, have won him back again: you might even now.” “Win him back again!” exclaimed Miss Ashton passionately, “I have no need to make so vast a struggle to be loved; there are many, who are thought Claude Forester’s superiors, who like me in spite of those faults you and your friend are so quick in observing; and pray, on what occasions have I played the coquette, my wise cousin?” “Bessie, Bessie, you need not be bitter with me; for the time is gone by when you could provoke or sadden me. Have you forgotten young Mildmay, to whom you were forced to apologise for having led him to believe you would accept him? Have you forgotten Lawrence Gordon and his laboured gifts, which you returned when weary of the giver? Have you forgotten Lord Curtown and his flowers? Mr. Montagu and his blood-hound, which you caressed for the sake of making a tableau? Have you forgotten that at one time you even thought it worth your while . . .” A peculiar and confused expression passed over his countenance; he stammered and paused. Miss Ashton raised her eyes, and a short, quick smile of triumph lit every feature of her expressive face, as she gazed on his. “I do think you are jealous,” exclaimed she, “it is ill receiving advice from a lover, Mr. Ashton.” “I am not your lover, Bessie; God forbid that my happiness should depend on you—and if I were your admirer, is the admiration which results solely from the power of personal attraction—without esteem, without respect—is it indeed, worth that smile? your beauty no one can be insensible to: but your heart! oh, very cold and selfish must that heart be, which could prize any triumph at a moment like this, when you have made the misery of one man, and are about, in all human probability, to destroy the happiness of another. Beware, Bessie, beware! the day shall come when the triumph of coquetry shall have no power to comfort your agony. Good night.” He turned and left the room. Mechanically, Miss Ashton followed; and mechanically, she sought her own room, and flung herself into a chair. George Ashton’s words rang in her ear; her heart beat violently; the choking which precedes weeping rose in her throat, grief, pride, resentment, and mortification, strove for mastery in her mind, and the triumphant beauty gave way to an hysterical burst of tears. Her passionate sobbing awoke the weary attendant, who had been sitting up for her. “Dear Miss,” said she, “don’t fret so; we must, all leave our homes some time or another, and I am sure Lord Glenallan . . .” “Don’t talk to me, Benson—I have no home—I have no one to grieve for. Home! is it like home-friends to give a ball on my departure, as if it were a thing to rejoice at? Where is the quiet evening my mother used to describe long ago, which was to precede my wedding day—where the sweet counsel from her lips which was to make the memory of that evening holy for evermore—where the quiet and the peace which should bless my heart? They have made me what I am—they have made me what I am.” “La, Miss,” said the astonished maid, “I am sure you ought to be happy; and as to your mamma, it is in nature that parents should die before their children, and she was a very delicate lady always. So do, Miss,” continued she, “dry your beautiful eyes, or they’ll be as red as a ferret’s and your voice is quite hoarse with crying; you will not be fit to be seen to-morrow.”

Nothing calms one like the consciousness of not being sympathised with: Bessie Ashton ceased to weep, and began to undress, after which she dismissed her maid, and burying her head in her hands forgot all but the irrevocable past.

“Past four! a fine morning.” Bessie started, and raised her heavy eyes to the window—the monotonous words were repeated. She looked wistfully at the bed; but no—she felt she could not sleep. Her head sank again on her hand; vague feelings of wretchedness and self-reproach weighed on her soul; and too weary, even to weep, she remained listlessly dreaming, till a sudden beam of the morning sunshine lit on the ornaments she had worn the night before, and started her into consciousness. Her clasped hands dropped on her knee as she gazed on the sweet sky which heralded her wedding day. The sun rose higher and brighter—the heavens grew bluer—the indistinct and rarely heard chirping of the earlier birds changed to a confused twittering, varied by loud cheerful notes, and the clear carol of the blackbird and thrush; the fresh wind blew on her weary, aching brow, as if seeking to sooth her misery, and Bessie Ashton sank on her knees, and, stretching out her arms to Heaven, murmured some passionate invocation, of which the only audible words were: “Claude, dear Claude!—Oh! God forgive and help me! that love is sinful now.”

Few would, have recognised the pale and weeping form which knelt in earnest agony then, in the bride of the evening. Wedded by special licence to an Earl: covered with pearls and blonde: flushed with triumph and excitement: the Countess of Glenallan bent, and imprinted a light cold kiss on the forehead of each of her beautiful bridesmaids: bowed and smiled to the congratulating beings who passed her; received the stiff and self complacent parting speech of her aunt, Lady Ashton; and descended the magnificent staircase with her happy bridegroom. One adieu alone disturbed her. George Ashton stood at the hall door, and as she passed, he took her by the hand and murmured “God bless you, Bessie!” Involuntarily she wrung the hand she held: involuntarily she returned the blessing; old memories crowded to her heart!—tears gathered in her eyes;—with a burst of weeping she sank back in the carriage, and when Lord Glenallan whispered caressingly, “Surely, my own, you have left nothing there for which my love cannot repay you.”—She drew her hand from his with a cold shudder; and a confused wish that she had never been born, or never lived to be married, (especially to the man to whom she had just sworn love and duty,) was the uppermost feeling in Bessie’s heart, as the horses whirled her away to her new home.

Time passed; Bessie Ashton again appeared on the theatre of the gay world, as an admired bride. The restless love of conquest which embittered her girlhood still remained, or rather (inasmuch as our feelings do not become more simple as we mix with society) increased and grew upon her day by day.

The positive necessity of sometimes concealing what we do feel; the policy of affecting what we do not; the defiance produced by the consciousness of being disliked without a cause, and abused as a topic for conversation; the contempt excited by the cringing servility of those who flatter for services to be performed, and follow for notice to be obtained; the repeated wreck of hopes that seemed reasonable; the betrayal of confidence which appeared natural; the rivalry, disappointment, mortification, and feverish struggling, which beset us in the whirlpool of life, and carry us round whether we will or not—those are causes which the noblest and the purest natures have difficulties in resisting, and which had their full effect on a mind like Bessie’s, naturally vain and eager, and warped by circumstances to something worse.

From her mother’s home, where poverty and a broken heart had followed an imprudent marriage, Miss Ashton had been transported, to add, by her transcendent beauty, one other feature of attraction to the gayest house in London.

“Not quite a woman, yet but half a child,”

she was at that age when impressions are easiest made—and, when made, most durable. Among her rich relations the lessons taught by the pale lips of her departed parent were forgotten; the weeds which that parent would have rooted from her mind, grew up and choked her better feelings; and Bessie, the once simple and contented Bessie, who had been taught to thank God for the blessing of a humble home, and the common comforts of life, struggled for wealth and rank that should place her on a par with her new associates, and shrank from the idea of bestowing her hand on any man who could not give her in return—diamonds and an Opera box.

During the seclusion of an English honeymoon, Bessie had believed that (Claude Forester apart) she could love Glenallan better than any one. He was intelligent, kind, graceful, and noble. He was an Earl, he was popular with women and respected by men. He had made two very creditable speeches in the house, and might make more. He rode inimitably well. He had shown more taste in laying out the grounds about Glenallan, than Nash did in the Regent’s park. In short, there was no reason why she should not love Glenallan;—except that it would be so exceedingly ridiculous to fall in love with one’s husband; it would look as if nobody else thought it worth his while to pay her any attention; Glenallan himself would think it so ridiculous, for Glenallan had none of Forester’s romance, and was quite accustomed to the ways of fashionable couples, and contented to pursue the same path.

Then, Lady Ashton—how Lady Ashton would laugh! and it really would be laughable after all. So that Lady Glenallan’s first coup d’essai, after her marriage, was to encourage the violent admiration evinced for her by her Lord’s cousin, Fitzroy Glenallan, who was twice as intelligent, twenty times as graceful, won all the plates at Ascot, Epsom, and Doncaster; was the idol of the women—and as to the men—pshaw! the men were jealous of him.

Now it so happened that one of the inimitable Fitzroy’s peculiarities was, that he never could be in love with the same woman for more than three months at a time. Upon this failing therefore, the young Countess undertook to lecture him, and succeeded so well, that he suddenly told her one morning, when she was gathering a geranium in her beautiful conservatory in Park Lane, that if ever there existed a being he could worship forever, it was herself. Lady Glenallan let fall the flower she had gathered. She blushed a deep crimson. She felt she was a married woman, and ought to be excessively shocked—she thought of forbidding him the house, but then it would be so awkward to make a quarrel between Glenallan and his cousin; so she only forbid him to mention the subject again, and to prove she was in earnest in her wish to discourage his attentions, she gave two hours every morning and a perpetual ticket to her Opera box to young Lord Linton, who knew nobody in town, poor fellow, was only just two-and-twenty, and most touchingly attached to a pale pretty little sister of his, with whom he rode, walked, and talked unceasingly, and who, he assured Lady Glenallan, was the last of seven; that eating worm, consumption, being the inheritance of the family.

Fitzroy Glenallan was not, however, a man to be slighted with impunity—he ceased to be Lady Glenallan’s lover, but oh! how infinitely more troublesome and irksome did he contrive to make the attentions of Lady Glenallan’s friend. What unasked-for advice did he not pour into her ear!—what gentle hints and laughing allusions did he not bestow on her husband! what an unwearied watch did he not keep over the very curl of her lip, and the lifting of her eye-lash; when her smiles were bestowed upon her new favourite.—A thousand times in a fit of irritation did she determine to free herself from the tyranny of this self erected monitor; and a thousand time did she shrink from the attempt under the bitter idea that her own folly had in some measure placed her in his power. He might incense Lord Glenallan, who was gradually becoming, not openly jealous—no, he was too fashionable a husband for that—but coldly displeased and distant at times, and sneeringly reproachful at others. He might ridicule her to his companions: he might—in short, she felt, without exactly knowing why, that it would be better to keep well with the person whose admiration had once been so grateful to her. Meanwhile, young Linton gradually became absorbed in his passion for his beautiful protectress: that a being so gifted, so worshipped, so divine, should devote her time, her talents, her affection, to one so unknown, so insignificant as himself, was as extraordinary as it was intoxicating. His mornings were spent in her boudoir—his afternoons in riding by her side—his evenings in wandering through the crowded assembly, restless, fevered, and dissatisfied, till her arm was linked in his, and then—all beyond was a blank—a void—a nullity that could scarcely be deemed existence. His little fair, consumptive sister was almost forgotten; or when remembered, the sudden pang of having neglected her would strike him, and he would hurry her here and there and everywhere in search of amusement, and load her table with new books, and hot-house flowers; and kiss away the tears that she had in her eyes; and murmur, between those light kisses, how willingly he would lay down his life to save her one hour’s vexation; and wonder she still looked fatigued and still seemed unhappy. But by degrees these fits of kindness became more rare—the delirium which steeped his senses shut out all objects but one. Day after day—day after day—Lucy Linton sat alone in the dark, hot, drawing-room, and with a weakness, which was more of the body than of the mind, wept and prophesied to herself that she should die very soon; while her brother persuaded himself she was too ill—too tired to go out—too anything—rather than she should be in the way. . . .

It is true, Lady Glenallan could not be aware of all these solitary musings; but it is equally true that she was jealous of Linton’s love, even for his sister, and in the early days of their acquaintance, when Lucy used to accompany him to the opera, exacted the most undivided attention to her fair self. Occasionally, indeed, when some charitable dowager had taken Lucy to a party,—and that little pale wistful face passed Lady Glenallan in the crowd, and gave one lingering look of fondness at the brother who was her natural protector, the heart of the admired Countess would smite her, and her arm would shrink from her companion, as she reflected that she did not even return the love she had taken so much pains to secure to herself, but, for the most part she forgot all save her own interests or amusements.

At length a new actor appeared in the scenes we have been describing. Claude returned to England! Fitzroy Glenallan’s eye rested on Bessie’s face, when some careless tongue communicated the news to her. For one moment he looked round to assure himself there was no other obvious cause for the emotion that crimsoned the brow, cheek and bosom, of the being before him. Lady Glenallan lifted her conscious eyes to his, and turned deadly pale—he looked at her a moment more—bit his lip till the blood started, and moved away. A moment’s hesitation, and she followed with a light step into the adjoining room. “Fitzroy,” she gasped as she laid her hand on his arm, “you know I knew him before I was married.” “I did not know it,” he replied coldly, “neither do I believe does Glenallan.” For a moment Bessie shrank angrily from the insinuation, which the tone, rather than the words, implied. She dreaded she scarcely knew what from the manner of her companion; and the consciousness that even that rapid moment, which had scarcely allowed time for the crimson blood to rise and subside in her cheek, had sufficed to flash the thought, through her mind of how and where and when Claude would meet her, and what would be the result of such a meeting, bewildered her, and increased her agitation, as, with a nervous laugh, she said: “You will not jest before him about it—will you?” It was the first time she had so directly appealed to him—so directly endeavoured to propitiate him.—A conscious and bitter smile of triumph played on his lip and lurked in his eye.

“You may depend on my never mentioning the past,” said he; “but tell me”—what he desired to know was left unasked, for at that moment Claude Forester himself walked through the room. He saw Lady Glenallan—paused—hesitated for a few seconds—crossed the room and stood beside her. A few words he spoke but what they were Bessie did not hear, though they were spoken in a clear firm tone. To her imagination it seemed as if there were contempt and reproof even in the sound of his voice; she murmured something inarticulate in return, and when she ventured to lift her eyes, Fitzroy Glenallan alone stood before her. Oppressed with the suddenness of the interview—overcome by previous agitation—and stung to the heart, Bessie Glenallan burst into tears. Fitzroy had taken her hand, and was endeavouring to soothe her, when Lord Glenallan and George Ashton entered at the same moment. “Shall I call the carriage, Lady Glenallan, are you ill?” asked the former, as he glanced with a surprised and discontented air from one to another. “If you please,” murmured Bessie, and he went followed by his cousin. Not a word was spoken by the pair who remained, but once when Lady Glenallan looked up, she caught George Ashton’s eye fixed on her with earnest pity: how different from Fitzroy’s smile! thought she, and as she stopped into the carriage, she asked him to call the next day and see her.

The morrow came, and with it came George Ashton. Dispirited and weary, Lady Glenallan complained of Claude Forester’s coldness—of Fitzroy Glenallan’s friendship—of Lord Linton’s attentions—of her husband’s inattention—of Lucy Linton’s health—of the world’s ill-nature—of every thing and every body including the person she addressed, and, having exhausted herself with passionate complaining, sank back to wait his answer. “Bessie,” said he, at length, “I have known you from childhood, and (I may say so now that all is over) I have loved you as well or better than any of your admirers; it is not therefore, a harsh view of your character that prompts me to give the warning I beseech of you to hear patiently. You are listless and weary of the life you are leading, and mortified at Claude Forester’s neglect; but, gracious heaven! what is it you wish? or when will the struggle for pernicious excitement cease in your mind and leave you free to exert your reason?—Suppose Claude Forester to have returned with the same deep devoted love for you which filled his heart, when he left England, and fled from a fascination which he was unable to resist. Suppose him to have urged that passion with all the vehemence of which his nature is capable—would you, indeed, as Lord Glenallan’s wife, listen to the person to whom you would not sacrifice your vanity when both were free—or is there so much of the heartlessness of coquetry about you, that you would rather he were miserable than that you should not appear irresistible? Do you, Bessie, wish Claude were again your lover?” “No,” sobbed Lady Glenallan, “but I wish him not to think ill of me.” “And if you could prove that you had no fault towards him, would it not seem hard that he had ever left you? would not explanations lead to regrets and regrets to ——. Bessie, struggle against this strange infatuation—this envious thirst for power over the hearts of men. Already you are entangled—already you shrink from the tyranny of Fitzroy Glenallan and dread the approaches of the cruelly deceived Linton,—already you have begun to alienate the affections of a kind and generous heart for the miserable shadows of worldly admiration. Oh! where is the pleasure—where the triumph—of conquests such as yours? What avails it to your comfort at home, or your respectability abroad, that you are satisfied to believe yourself virtuous, because you disappoint even the fools whose notice you attract? Is it indeed so gratifying to see Fitzroy bow to his thousand previous deities, and coldly pass them to place himself by you? Is it, indeed, so gratifying to see that little pale deserted girl struggling for a smile, while you parade her infatuated brother through the rooms at Ashton-house? or to sit in an attitude in your Opera box as a point towards which all the glasses in the pit should turn? Warning is given you—retreat in time—have courage to do right. Think of your home, your husband,—and leave Claude Forester to his destiny.”

“Dear me, Lady Glenallan,” exclaimed a female friend, who entered an hour afterwards; “I can’t conceive what you find to fret about?” “Can’t you,” responded the young Countess, dipping her handkerchief in some Eau de Cologne, and applying it to her forehead. “No, indeed, I can’t,—all the men run after your—all the women are jealous of you—you’ve no children—no lapdogs—no sisters-in-law—none of the torments of married life. You are as rich as Crœsus, and,”—Bessie Glenallan looked from the window, and sighed. “Yes, it’s a very empty park—very dull—been so wet all the morning—but I should think you would be at no loss for amusements—got your harp and all the new books, I see. Are you going to Lady Maskingham’s to-night?” “Yes—no—why?” “Why? really, my dear Lady Glenallan, something must have happened; you’re quite absent; you know every one will be there.” “True,—yes—oh! I shall go certainly.”—He shall not think I am sad for his sake, thought Bessie, and she sighed again.

Full of excellent resolutions, Lady Glenallan ordered her carriage—bathed her eyes—and drove to South Audley street. She found Lucy alone, and proposed to her to drive out, which was gladly consented to. As they returned, Bessie said to her little companion: “I shall call in the evening to see if you will go to the ball—do go; I never saw you look better.” “And then,” thought she, as the carriage drove off, “I will have a few words of explanation with poor Linton, and after that I will play the coquette no more, for it is all very true——” And again Lady Glenallan sighed. Lady Glenallan and Lucy were late at the ball, owing to the difficulty the former had found in persuading Miss Linton to go at all. But Bessie, like most selfish people trying to do a good-natured thing, would take no denial, and though Lucy persisted that she was more weak and weary than usual—her chaperone waited till she was dressed, and carried her off in triumph. The ball-room opened on an illuminated garden, and Lady Glenallan was standing on the stone steps which led to the principal walks, when Lord Linton hastily addressed her, “Let me speak three words to you—pray, pray, hear me . . .” Startled and confounded, Lady Glenallan neither spoke nor moved, while, in a rapid and confused manner, he explained that he had heard a story of her attachment to Claude Forester, of their parting, of her agitation at seeing him the night before; and he conjured her, not to trifle with him, but at once to confess, either her love for Claude, or her willingness to fly with himself to the uttermost parts of the earth. “May I dance? Do you think it would be safe for me to dance, Linton?” asked the gentle voice of his sister. “Yes, yes, love; no, I mean—yes, dance by all means, dance.” “I have really your leave?” she continued with a smile; “I believe you scarcely heard my question.”—“Yes, yes, my dear Lucy; you wish to dance—go now—go—I am quite willing you should dance to-night.——Oh! Lady Glenallan—oh! Bessie! answer me, speak to me!” But another voice was in Bessie’s ear. As they stood in the shadow of the portico, unseen by those who were walking in the garden, Claude Forester and a lady passed close to them. “Do not deceive me,” said Claude, “I have been deceived once, and I tell you fairly, that my contempt and disgust for the most wretched and profligate of her sex, is weak to what I feel towards the coquette, who, with no temptation but vanity, trifles with—” the words were lost in the distance. Yet, as the speaker returned, Bessie thought she distinguished her own name, in the murmuring protestations of Claude’s companion. “He scorns me—he holds me up as a warning, as an example, he—Claude—the only being, whom I ever really loved!” and Lady Glenallan leaned her head against the portico, too faint even for tears. “Speak to me—speak to me—answer me, beloved Bessie!”—She had forgotten him. Shuddering, she attempted to withdraw her hand from the death-like clasp of his, while she exclaimed in agony: “Oh! well, might he scorn me! Let me go, infatuated boy! you know not what you love!—Oh! let me depart and die, I am sick, sick at heart! I have not heard you—I know not what you have said, or what I have answered—I am a fool—a miserable, vain, accursed fool, I am—Oh! God, forgive me!” “Lord Linton! Lord Linton! Lord Linton!” cried several voices, in a tone of alarm and horror: “Lord Linton! your sister!” said Lord Glenallan, as he made his way through the crowd, and seized the arm of the unhappy young man. Instantly he darted forward—and Bessie followed; drawn by that fearful impulse which prompts us to leap the precipice we shudder to gaze from. A silent circle was formed where the dance had been; the music had only ceased that moment; there was but one sound through the wide room where hundreds were collected; and that sound was the gasping breath of him who knelt with the slight form of Lucy Linton, supported in his arms. All that yet deceitfully told of life, was the shivering communicated by his trembling grasp. He laid her down, and felt that he was gazing on a corpse. Peals of laughter, and merry voices came faintly from the garden, where the event was unknown. “Oh, stop them! stop them!” exclaimed Lord Linton, as he gazed towards the portico. “Oh! madman! fool! to let her dance!” And as he uttered these words in a tone of agony, his eye fell on Lady Glenallan with an expression that froze her very soul. A terrible dream seemed to haunt her; a dream from which she could not wake. Slowly, and with an effort she withdrew her eyes, and gazed round the circle,—all, all were gazing spell-bound and horror struck, on that awful sight; all but one. Claude Forester supported the girl with whom he had been walking, and whose gaze was riveted on that mournful group of the young brother and his dead sister. His eye alone sought another face—Bessie Glenallan met it—and fainted.

Many, many years have passed since that night of sudden horror. They have danced in the same ball-room; to the self same tunes; and the name of Lucy Linton is a sound forgotten even by those who know her best. But Lady Glenallan yet remembers in her prayers that fearful evening, and smiles tearfully in her husband’s face, as, for the thousand time he repeats to comfort her, the certainty that poor Lucy would have died in a few days at all events; and pressing his little daughter’s silken curls against her mother’s cheek, bids her guide and guard her well, lest she too should be a coquette.



The dawning of hope and the pledge of young love

  In the cherub-like form of my first you may show,

The innocent type of the angels above,

  And the dearest of gifts to fond mortals below.


By priest and by mourner my second is worn;

  The recluse and the widowed oftentimes wear it;

’Twas a name by two brave British admirals borne;

  But Falsehood, and Womanhood equally bear it.


My short happy whole we have all of us known,

  A stranger alike to guilt and to pain:

Its memory we cherish, regret it when flown;

  Yet, alas! in our age dread to meet it again.


When I heard some prisoners tried at the Old Bailey, I was particularly pleased with the amiable manner in which the judge summed up the evidence; for when any matter was at all doubtful, he invariably directed the jury to give the prisoner the benefit of the doubt. This was generous, and contrary to the frequent practice of mankind, who are too apt to judge harshly of their neighbours, and to see every thing in the darkest point of view against those who have had the misfortune to transgress, in any degree, the strict laws of integrity. As I particularly love and admire amiableness, I have endeavoured, ever since to imitate the spirit of the judge, who, like charity herself, thinketh no evil. In a word, I have practised the pleasant principle of the benefit of the doubt in every case to which it is at all applicable, and I really think that it has rendered me one of the most amiable creatures in the world. For instance, in the morning, when I wake, which may be at eight, nine, ten, eleven or twelve o’clock, I may perhaps think that it is time to get up, but I am rather sleepy and heavy, and I am not quite certain that I have had rest enough, (for some constitutions require more sleep than others,) so I give myself the benefit of the doubt, and doze away another hour or two—till at length I am absolutely tired of lying in bed; and then, as there is no doubt to take any benefit of, I get up, and I am in a most amiable humour, and not crabbed and cross as those poor creatures are who leave their beds before they have had their natural rest. When I am once up, it frequently occurs to me that I ought not to spend the day in idleness, but to give myself seriously to some occupation; but so many various modes of occupying myself are presented, that out of the multitude I know not which to choose; then, in the midst of my perplexity, I bethink myself that while some of mankind are best employed in action, others are most profitably employed in contemplation, and if I have any doubt as to which of the two I am most fitted for, I immediately take the benefit of the doubt, and give myself to contemplation, and thus I find myself most amiably disposed. If I have a necessity to visit a distant part of the city or suburbs, and if I think that the walk may do me good, I peradventure also fear it may be too much for me,—thereupon I give myself the benefit of the doubt, and take a cab,—this preserves my equanimity of temper; and I am not fretful and peevish as those who are fatigued invariably are. If I meet in the streets a half-starved beggar, or one who says that he is half-starved, and if I feel inclined to pity and relieve him, I think it possible that he may be an impostor, and only wants the money to spend at the public-house: thereupon I give myself the benefit of the doubt, and keep the money in my pocket; and I comfort myself with the pleasing reflection, that I have not in any way contributed to countenance hypocrisy, or to promote intemperance; and as nothing more effectually tends to make a man amiable than the possession of a good conscience, I am quite pleased with myself for not having been instrumental in assisting an evil-disposed person with the means of vice. If I receive two invitations to dinner—for such things will sometimes happen—and if one of the invitations should be accepted on the score of duty, while the other has claim upon the inclination, I weigh with great diligence the arguments on both sides, and as with all my skill I find it impossible to put the matter beyond a doubt, I give myself the benefit of the doubt, and accept the invitation which best suits my inclination. If, after I fancy that I have taken quite enough of wine; yet, if I feel disposed to take another glass or two, and I am not quite certain that it will be too much for me, forthwith I give myself the benefit of the doubt, and drink.

In this practice of giving myself the benefit of the doubt, I believe that I am not altogether singular; I have occasionally observed ‘this self-same moral amiableness in others.’ When a hackney coachman gets a customer, and is in any degree of doubt as to the distance which he has driven him, he always gives himself the benefit of the doubt, and charges the out-side of his possible claim. When the driver of a sand-cart is filling his vehicle with sand, and has any doubt whether the poor donkey can by any possibility draw another bushel or two, forthwith he gives himself the benefit of the doubt, and heaps up the load till it is past all doubt that the beast has got as much as he can possibly draw; when the said sand-man is impatient to make progress, and has a doubt whether it be possible for the ass to move a little quicker, he gives himself the benefit of the doubt, and his donkey the benefit of the crabstick, belabouring the wretched animal, till he puts it beyond doubt that the poor thing cannot move a step forward or faster. When a client comes to a lawyer with a bad cause in his hand, and a bouncing fee in his fist, the lawyer sees the hopelessness or wickedness of the case; but as it is just possible that there may be a chance of success, the lawyer pockets the fee, giving himself the benefit of the doubt, and goes to work for his client as craftily or honestly as may be. When a gentleman has been dining at a public dinner, and goes to look for his hat amidst a host of others, and doubts, which is his own, he gives himself the benefit of the doubt, & takes the best that he can find. When a public-spirited & patriotic gentleman is going to parliament, all for the good of his country, and when a measure is proposed which may be beneficial, or which may not, and when a vote one way would do himself no good, and a vote the other way would, he gives himself the benefit of the doubt, and votes accordingly. When a physician has attended a patient some weeks, and there seems to be no farther occasion for his attendance and services, and, no need of any more things; yet, as it is possible, notwithstanding all favourable appearances, that there may be a relapse, he gives himself the benefit of the doubt, visits the patient once more, and administers another dose. When a shop-keeper has an article of doubtful quality, and a customer of no doubtful sagacity, he forthwith gives himself the benefit of the doubt, sells the doubtful article, and puts it beyond all doubt, that some folks are more easily imposed upon than others. When a stage-coachman, picks up a roadside passenger, and doubts whether it be quite honest to appropriate the proceeds to himself, he gives himself the benefit of the doubt, and forthwith pockets the fare. When a party of school-boys have arranged an excursion to commit depredations on a neighbour’s orchard, and one of them feels a little hesitation and a few conscientious qualms as to the matter, and has some doubt us to whether he may not do better by abstaining from plunder; but being rather partial to apples, and knowing that if he does not steal them, he will not have any, and doubting whether, after all, there be any such mighty great crime in stealing a few apples, he gives him the benefit of the doubt, and sticks to his party. When a cab-driver or a water-man has taken two or three fares successively in his cab or boat, and finds, after the departure of the last customer, a purse or other article of value at the bottom of his cab or boat, and he knows not which of the three it belongs to, in such circumstances the readiest way of settling the matter is to give himself the benefit of the doubt, and put the purse into his own pocket. When a voter at an election can get a fee from one candidate, and not from the other, from thence is some doubt in his mind as to which is the best man to vote for,—as it is a difficult matter for common minds to determine on state, affairs,—he forthwith gives himself the benefit of the doubt, and votes for the candidate who pays best. Then what a blessed thing is doubt, since so many benefits result from it! Life would be a very dull concern if we had no doubts; for then we should have no opportunity for the exercise of our judgments; and we should have no use for that beautiful and graceful quality called discretion.

Sir Roger de Coverley was very right, when he said, “There is a great deal to be said on both sides.” Does not every body see, that if there were nothing to be said one side, there could be nothing said on the other? And if there were nothing to be said on either side—there would be nothing said at all; and perhaps very little done. It is impossible to imagine anything so stupid as an unanimous world, or so dull as a life without a doubt. They, therefore, are guilty of much cant, and of great display,—I may say, an unnecessary display of stupidity, who express a wish to have everything brought to a certainty; they would have a completely drab world—there would be neither hue, nor colour, nor complexion about it. We should all trot on in the monotonous stupidity of hackney-coach horses with blinkers on their eyes—they have no benefit to doubt by; for when they feel the whip, they know they must move if they can; and when they feel the tug of the bit, they know they must stand still. They have no doubts—their orbit is not eccentric—they indulge in no extravagances. Truly, there is a great benefit in doubting; and had it not been for the benefit of the doubt, you gentle reader, would not have had the pleasure of reading this paper. So doubt no more that doubt is good.


Hannah More was born about the year 1745 or 1746. She was the youngest of five daughters of a clergyman, who resided at Hannam, near Bristol. Her sisters had for some time conducted a small school, in which they had acquitted themselves with so much propriety, that their reputation increased, and they were enabled to venture on forming a larger establishment, and taking pupils of a higher class than they had hitherto been accustomed to educate. Patronized by several ladies of fortune and discernment, they, about the year 1765, removed to Bristol, and opened a boarding-school in Park street. It soon became one of the most celebrated seminaries in the West of England. Hannah More accompanied her sisters on their removal. She soon attracted the notice, and acquired the friendship of the Rev. Dr. Stonehouse, their next door neighbour; and that gentleman not only encouraged her to write, but is understood to have corrected all her early effusions. Her first publication, which appeared in 1770, or 1772, was, “The Search after Happiness, a Pastoral Drama.” The reception which it experienced was so favorable, that she was encouraged to print, in 1774, her “Sir Eldred of the Bower,” “The Bleeding Rock,” and a tragedy, entitled “The Inflexible Captive,” founded on the story of Regulus. Through the kindness of Dr. Stonehouse, Hannah More was introduced to Garrick, who advised her to write for the stage—for which, indeed, she seems to have had a strong predilection. One of the early fruits of her acquaintance with the manager was, “An Ode to Dragon, Mr. Garrick’s House Dog.” This appeared in 1777; as did also a volume of “Essays on several Subjects, designed for Young Ladies.” In 1778, her tragedy of “Percy” was performed. It was well received; and, for a time, it seems to have established her fame as a dramatic writer. In the following year she produced another tragedy—“Fatal Falsehood.”

It was not long, however, before Miss More’s thoughts took a more serious turn; and, in 1785, she published “Sacred Dramas,” and “Simplicity, a Poetical Epistle;” some of the dramas had previously been acted by the pupils of Miss More’s school. The stage, however, having become an abomination in her eyes, she subsequently availed herself of an opportunity to declare, that she did not think it, in its then state, deserving the countenance of a Christian. She accordingly renounced all dramatic attempts, except in poems.

Many years since, Hannah More and her sisters retired, with an easy fortune, to Mendip, in Somersetshire. There, by the establishment of charity schools, they effected a great alteration and improvement in the manners and morals of the colliers.

Continuing to favour the world with her literary productions, Miss More, in 1785, wrote a “Biographical Preface to the Poems of Anne Yearsley, a Milkwoman.” Circumstances which arose out of her connexion with this Anne Yearsley, poetically designated “Lactilla,” excited much notice and animadversion. The patroness and her protégée quarrelled: the latter was accused of ingratitude; and she, in her turn, told a strange story about the disappearance of a volume of her manuscripts, which had been left with Miss More. The difference, we believe, was never satisfactorily settled. In 1786, she published “Flora, a Tale,” and the “Bas Bleu, a Conversation,” two poems. Her “Thoughts on the Manners of the Great” appeared the same year, anonymously: for some time it was assigned to Mr. Wilberforce, Dr. Porteous, and others. This was soon followed by her “Estimate of the Religion of the Fashionable World,” which excited much attention; “Village Politics,” and “Remarks on the Speech of Monsieur Dupont on Religious Education,” in 1796; and “Strictures on the Modern System of Female Education,” in two volumes octavo, in 1799.

It is said that, when the education of the late Princess Charlotte became a consideration of national importance, Miss More was consulted on the subject by the Queen (Charlotte;) and that, in consequence, she, in 1808, produced in two volumes, “Hints towards Forming the Character of a Young Princess.” This work was honoured with the Royal approbation, and that of a large portion of the public.

Though long confined to her bed by an excruciating disease, she continued to write, and in that state produced some of her most popular works: among others, “Cœlebs in Search of a Wife,” which appeared in 1808, and which ran through ten editions in the course of a twelvemonth! Her “Practical Piety,” in two volumes, was published in 1811; her “Christian Morals,” in two volumes, in 1812; her “Essay on the Character and Writings of St. Paul,” in two volumes, in 1815; and her “Moral Sketches of prevailing Opinions and Manners,” in 1819.

For several years her health had been in a feeble and declining state; and after a painful and protracted illness, accompanied, at times, by feverish delirium, she expired on the 7th of September, at her residence, Windsor Terrace, Clifton.



Artemisia reigned over Caria and several of the neighbouring Islands, and held her court in the city of Halicarnassus.—She was a princess of a commanding spirit, great courage, and fond of the glory resulting from great military achievements; nor was she surpassed by any of the generals of her time, either in valour or prudence.—When Xerxes invaded Greece with his numerous hosts, she accompanied him with a number of ships, and a considerable body of troops. In the council which Xerxes held previous to the battle of Salamis, to which he summoned the kings of Tyre, Sidon, Cilicia, and other petty sovereigns or despots, dependents or tributaries of Persia, the advice given by Artemisia, who counselled the Persian monarch to avoid a battle by sea, if possible, and land his numerous army in Peloponnesus, was the most judicious that could have been given: and when, by the management of Themistocles, who conducted the Grecian fleet, the battle became unavoidable, she displayed so much courage that Xerxes exclaimed, that “the women had that day fought like men, and the men like women.” After the Persian fleet was thrown into confusion in this battle, she was so closely pursued by some Athenian ships, that she only escaped by sinking a Persian vessel, which induced the Greeks to suppose that her ships belonged to their fleet, and to desist from the pursuit.

Nor was she less distinguished for gallantry than for Martial prowess. She was tall and elegantly formed, and moved with the commanding and majestic air of Juno. The Persian princes and generals felt the influence of her eyes, and paid her amorous homage. Mardonius, who was commander in chief of the army of Xerxes under that monarch, though he had espoused the sister of his sovereign, appeared far from insensible to the charms and merits of Artemisia. But Ariabignes, one of the brothers of Xerxes, appeared most to engage her favor; youthful, handsome, brave and generous, he appeared the counterpart of the Halicarnassian heroine, and, before the departure of the army from Asia, splendid were the entertainments, and sumptuous the banquets which were mutually given and received by the two royal lovers.—But the chance of war soon terminated this amour. Ariabignes, hurried away, by too impetuous an ardour, fell, covered with wounds, while attempting to board an Athenian galley at the battle of Salamis.

After the defeat and dispersion of the army of Xerxes, Artemisia returned to Halicarnassus, where she endeavored to forget, amid the splendid luxuries of her court, the disgrace she had in part incurred by the failure of the expedition in which she had been engaged.

Here she again received the homage, partly sincere, and partly interested, of numerous admirers, among the officers of her army and the grandees of her court.—But love, ever capricious, commanded her to disregard them all, and place her affections on a youth of humble birth, named Ortanes, who was an attendant in the palace. She raised him rapidly to the most lucrative offices, and all the honors she could bestow. Still, however, she perceived a coldness and want of passion in the youth, which ill requited the profusion of affection which she bestowed, on him; but she attributed it merely to the temperature of his constitution, or the modesty of his youth, which her love and bounty must at last overcome. The idea of a happy rival never presented itself to her fancy to torment her soul. The great officers of her court, however, who saw with envy and indignation an obscure youth thus preferred to them, employed spies to watch every part of his conduct, that they might find matter of accusation against him, and deprive him of the extravagant favor of his sovereign. They soon discovered that his affections were really fixed on a girl of obscure situation in life, named Laodice, to whom he had vowed an eternal attachment, and with whom he lamented all the honors and wealth showered upon him by the unsolicited favor of his royal mistress.

This discovery once made, means were easily found to communicate it, in a proper manner, to the queen, and prove to her the fact, beyond the possibility of doubt.—She questioned Ortanes on the subject, who, after some hesitation, throwing himself at the feet of his royal mistress, avowed his love for Laodice; a love which nothing should ever eradicate from his heart, and which he would never exchange for crowns and diadems.

Artemisia, in all the rage of jealousy and disappointed passion, ordered him into the custody of a guard, who conducted him to a dungeon.

Laodice soon heard what had befallen her lover, and presented herself, unsummoned, before the throne of the vindictive queen. She prostrated herself before her sovereign, and entreated for mercy for her lover. The fury of Artemisia at the sight of the rival, who was the insuperable bar to all her wishes, blazed out with double violence. As she perceived she was exquisitely beautiful, her passion was still more irritated by despair, and she poured forth on her a torrent of bitter invectives, concluding with the dreadful menace, that Ortanes should never more behold those seducing charms which had occasioned him to slight and despise his queen.

Laodice, alarmed for the life of her lover, redoubled her entreaties with an earnestness bordering on frenzy. She offered to go into voluntary banishment, or resign her life for his sake; but the queen, deaf to all her supplications, ordered her to be led to prison, and commanded that the eyes of Ortanes should be put out, which was executed on the spot.

Ortanes died soon after, and Laodice, when she heard of his death, stabbed herself in the prison in which she was confined.

After the death of Ortanes, Artemisia, finding her love for him still continue, accompanied by the bitterest remorse, repaired to Leucate, to take what was called the lover’s leap; it being generally believed, that if those who suffered the pangs of hopeless love leaped from the promontory at that place into the sea, they were cured of their passion, if they escaped drowning and the effects of their fall.

Artemisia took the leap; but her passion had been unjust and cruel: she sank in the waves, and rose no more.

Her tomb was long after to be seen at Leucate, a monumental warning against the sad effects of the indulgence of inordinate passion, unsubjected to the restraint of reason and justice.


When Jesus Christ, bending under the weight of his cross, wished to taste a few moments of repose before the door of Ashaverus, he was harshly repulsed by this barbarian; he staggered and fell under his burden . . . but was silent.

The angel of wrath appeared before Ashaverus, and said to him: “Thou hast refused rest to the Son of Man, hard heart! rest shall also be refused to thee until his return! A dark demon, escaped from hell, shall hunt thee from country to country, Ashaverus, thou shalt not have the sweet consolation of death, nor the peace of the tomb.”

It is nearly two thousand years since Ashaverus has roamed through the world. See him: he drags himself forth from a dark cavern of Mount Carmel, he shakes the dust from his beard, seizes one of the human skulls which are piled at his feet, and hurls it from the top of the mountain; the skull bounds, rings and breaks to pieces.

“It was my father!” yelled Ashaverus.

Another skull, seven other skulls roll with a great noise from rock to rock.

“And these! and these! . . .” howled the jew with haggard looks; “and these . . . and these . . . were my brides.”

Other skulls roll down.

“And these . . . and these . . . murmured Ashaverus, were my children. Ah! they could die . . . but I, reprobate, I cannot die . . . a terrible judgment hovers with threatenings over my guilty head.

“Jerusalem fell. I crushed the infant in its cradle, I threw myself into the flames, I insulted the Roman; but alas! an indefatigable malediction held me by the hair . . . and I did not die.

“Rome was about to fall; I hastened to bury myself under its ruins. The colossus fell and crushed me not.

“Nations arose in my sight, and were destroyed by time; I alone did not die.

“From the summit of a rock which divided the clouds I precipitated myself into the sea; but the waves threw me back on the shore, and the poisoned arrow of existence again pierced me.

“At the mouth of Etna’s burning gulf, during ten moons, I joined my roaring to the roaring of the giant, his sulphurous mouth was filled with my cries . . . alas! during ten moons! but Etna vomited flames and threw me back in a torrent of lava. I struggled in the ashes . . . and I still lived.

“A forest was burning; driven by delirium, I ran into the midst of the flames. The boiling resin fell drop by drop on my limbs; but the fire consumed my flesh and dried my bones, and devoured me not.

“I joined myself to the butchers of humanity, and threw myself into the midst of battles: I defied the Gaul, I braved the German, but darts and lances broke upon my body, the edge of the Saracen’s sword was blunted by my skull; a shower of balls fell on me like unto peas against an iron shield; the powder of battle affected me as it does the crust of mountains whose heads are lost in the heavens.

“In vain the elephant has trod me under foot; in vain has the powder mine burst under me and thrown me high into the air: I fell back to the earth stunned, I was . . . burnt, consumed; my blood, my brain, all, even to the marrow of my bones was dried up, in the midst of the disfigured bodies of my companions . . . but I yet lived!

“The steel club of the giant has been shattered to pieces on my head, the arm of the executioner has been disjointed, the tiger’s tooth was powerless against me; no famished lion could tear me in the circus.

“I lay down in the midst of venomous serpents, I provoked the dragon by passing my hand over his bloody crest; the serpent bit . . . he did not kill.

“I braved the rage of tyrants; I said to Nero: Thou art a butcher! I said to Christiern: Thou art a butcher! I said to Muley Ismael: Thou art a butcher! . . . The tyrants invented unheard of tortures, and destroyed me not.

“Ah! to be unable to die! To be unable to repose after such fatigue! to drag about unceasingly this heap of dust, with the livid hue of death, its infirmities, its gravelike odour! to have but the monotonous monster of uniformity, during thousands of years before my eyes, and to see time, covetous, greedy, unceasingly bringing forth children, unceasingly devouring them! Ah! that I could die! that I could die!

“Thou, whose anger persecutes me, hast thou any more cruel sentence! cause it to fall on me like thunder. Let a storm dash me from the summit of mount Carmel; may I roll, dashed to pieces at its base, may I there pour out all my blood . . . and at length let me die!”

And Ashaverus fell. A terrible noise sounded in his ears, darkness covered his lids; an angel carried him back into the cavern.

“Sleep now,” said the angel, “sleep in peace, Ashaverus; the wrath of God is not eternal. When thou awakest, he will be there, he, whose blood thou sawest spilt at Golgotha . . . and who has pardoned thee.”

Shubart, (German Poet.)

Luni-Solar and Horary Tables,” by Janet Taylor.

A treatise on nautical astronomy by a lady is a very rare phenomenon; in this instance, rarity in the least important element of its value. The design of the work is to supply certain corrections to the ordinary nautical tables of sines, tangents and secants, in order to make them agree with the true arch of geocentric latitude. It is sufficiently notorious that a very slight error in estimating altitudes may be attended with serious consequences, and therefore we are bound to take advantage of every means afforded to us for approximating to accuracy. We can safely commend this work; the writer possesses sound mathematical knowledge, and has given some very excellent and simple solutions of important problems occurring in daily practice.—Literary Gazette.

French-English.—We have recently seen some sheets of a very clever work printed at Paris, in which the author interlards his French correspondence with scraps of English, in the way that Lady Morgan mosaics her writings with bad French and Italian. At some of these we have had a hearty laugh, as we hope our readers will at the following example. He is speaking of his intercourse with the lady of our Governor-General in India, and figuring himself on his English, thus expresses himself.—“Bon soir, mon cher père; concluez de ce chapitre si vous le voulez: That I am a too great admirer of the foretold lady and that it is high time for me to depart with the occasions of meeting her often.”—Literary Gazette.

The foregoing reminds us of a similar example we met with some years ago in a novel, entitled, if we mistake not, “Pour et contre, or Woman as she is;” some French gentlemen in conversation with one or more English, were remarking on the blunders made by the English in translating the French language: our countryman owned this to be the case, but said he had also observed errors of the same nature in their translations of the English, as witness the following:—a French writer construed “Pale and woe-begone” into “Pâle et douleur allez vous-en.


“Marie Caroline, like all young Neapolitan girls, of whatever rank or station, has received scarcely any education. With her, all is nature and instinct. She is a creature of impulse; the exigencies of etiquette are insupportable to her, and she is ignorant of the very forms of the world. She allows her feelings to carry her away without attempting to restrain them; and when any one has inspired her with confidence, she yields to it without restriction. She is capable of supporting the greatest fatigue, and encountering the most appalling danger, with the courage and patience of a soldier. The least contradiction exasperates her—then her naturally pale cheeks become flushed, she screams and jumps about, threatens and weeps by turns, like a spoiled child, and then again, the moment you give way to her, and appear to do what she desires, she smiles, is instantly appeased, and offers you her hand.”—Dermoncourt.


Although no réunions have yet taken place in the fashionable circles calculated to give a decided tone to the winter fashions, the extensive orders in execution at Lyons, as well as the opinions of Herbault, Simon, and Mesdames Palmyre and Minette, may be regarded as decisive. The richest brocades will be adopted for full dress; with black or very dark grounds relieved by bouquets in bold and striking patterns, called à la Pompadour, or à la Du Barri. Some of the handsomest of these have been executed for the house of Howell of London, at the price of thirty francs an ell, which would do honour to the wardrobes of our great-grand-mothers, when a full dress suit was hereditary, no less than the family diamonds and point lace. In the millinery department, the bonnets are again enlarged in form, and made on the exact model of an elderly lady’s bonnet, in England, four years ago; the crowns are round and plain, and the trimmings insignificant. Herbault’s blonde caps are also much wider in the trimmings; while the morning caps retain their neat narrow frilling or plaiting round the face. A wreath of gauze ribbon usually crosses the forehead of these caps, surmounted by the plaiting of lace. Bird of paradise feathers are likely to be more than ever the fashion; but Herbault has introduced a small snowball plume of heron’s feathers, or esprits, which are considerably in vogue from their lightness. Birds of paradise are best suited to velvet hats; and velvet is not likely to be so much worn as satin or brocade. Plush is quite exploded.


The Annuals.—Those beautiful autumn flowers have again made their appearance clad in the rich and glowing tints peculiar to the seasons they are intended to adorn and enliven. Honor to the first publisher of Annuals; we look upon them as a most charming refinement in literature, one of those mental luxuries, which may compare with the many we possess for the promotion of our corporeal ease and gratification; the mere sight of the crimson or purple cover, at this season, is associated with bright fires, ottomans, and close drawing-rooms. This number of the Museum contains two extracts from the English Annual for 1834, the “Coquette,” a tale by the accomplished editor, Mrs. Norton; and a pretty trifle from the pen of a great man. We believe that with respect to its contents, both literary and graphic this work stands at the head of the list of similar publications. The tales and other articles are interesting and well written, nothing coarse is to be found in its pure white pages, all bears the stamp of the lady Editor’s refined and elegant mind. The engravings, fifteen in number, are exquisite specimens of art. Among the most conspicuous, are, the likenesses of the “Princess Esterhazy,” “The Right Hon. Lady Augusta Kennedy Erskine,” and the “Duchess de Berri.” The first has already appeared several times in the Annuals, but now with increased beauty of execution; we are not surprised that artists love to linger over this picture, or that book-makers bring it repeatedly before the public, so seldom can they find subjects possessing such a quantity of beauty. The Lady Erskine and her child present a touching picture to any observer, but to the wife and mother, the lovely widow and orphan, tell a tale most painfully legible and interesting. The Duchess de Berri, we have also seen before in her present costume; if the likeness be correct, which we doubt not, she is certainly handsome; her dress is well chosen being of that description which will look tonish and becoming, be the reigning fashions what they will. This we presume, is the effect the dashing lady would wish to produce. The other engravings possess equal merit.

Weekly Magazines.—Within a month past no less than three new periodicals have been published in Montreal and Quebec: “The Saturday Magazine,” edited by Mr. Price, “The Weekly Miscellany” from Mr. Starke’s press, and “L’Abeille Canadienne” in Quebec. The first of these we have not had an opportunity of perusing, but have seen it mentioned in the highest terms in the different papers of the day. The Weekly Miscellany, we have seen and read with real pleasure; the mechanical part is executed in the neatest and most correct manner, and the selections are evidently made by a person of superior judgment and taste; one rather lengthy article contained in the first number, “On the moral training of children,” is alone worth far more than the price of the sheet; we recommend it to the attention of all who live in the habits of intercourse with children. But we would remind the public, that it is not by purchasing a few odd numbers of a work like this, that a person can form a correct idea of its merits and utility; but by becoming regular yearly subscribers, and after a few months accumulation, they will be agreeably surprised by the fund of entertainment and information they possess. L’Abeille Canadienne, is also a very creditable work, and being the only one of the kind published here, in the native language of the country, we hope it will meet with encouragement.

While on this subject, we would acknowledge the receipt of “Greenbank’s Periodical Library,” which has come to hand regularly from the first number. This periodical seems to be distinguished from “Waldie’s Select Circulating Library” by the character of the works it republishes, the latter apparently making choice of novels, tales, &c. while the one in question generally contains more serious productions, such as Travels, Biography, History, Memoirs, &c.

The last three numbers contain the commencement of the “Life of John Galt,” a biography that cannot fail of being interesting to all readers, were it only for the sake of his former publications. From the value of the books re-printed, and the steadiness of its appearance, we have reason to believe that this valuable periodical receives the most extensive patronage.


A new and delightful task is before us, that of presenting our thanks to a generous public, for its patronage of our humble Magazine; and the closing of our first volume. To each subscriber individually, we feel most grateful for his quota of encouragement—and lastly, though far from being so in our mind, we would tender our acknowledgements to the talented members of the press in Montreal and Quebec, for the cheering encouragement, and generous forbearance exercised towards us. We are conscious that errors awfully conspicuous, particularly to a practised eye, have passed unmarked, while on the contrary, the least merit has been carefully pointed out to notice; this has not blinded us to our faults, but we fully appreciate the act and motive; both are most honorable to those gentlemen.

A severe and dangerous illness has caused us to trespass again on the patience of our subscribers, by retarding this number of the Museum, and must be our excuse for hurrying over, what we had intended to treat at some length. We trust this is the last time that cause of complaint will be given; the delay, unavoidably incurred in the publication of the two last numbers, has induced us, in the commencement of the second volume, to omit one month, but in name only, and the number, which will be ready for delivery early in January, will be for that month, in the place of December.

Transcriber’s Notes

Punctuation and spelling have been changed silently to achieve consistency.

[The end of The Montreal Museum Volume 1 Number 12 edited by Mary Graddon Gosselin]